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Rutgers United, RUSA advocate for students


When I grabbed The Daily Targum last Thursday, I flipped to the Opinions section and thought to myself, “Today is finally the day I am printed in The Daily Targum.” My personal jubilation soon shifted to a feeling of annoyance. On the left page, the blow quote from the column “La Nausée” read, “[Rutgers United is] a manifestation of a larger progressive liberal movement.” I was annoyed because, for the second day in a row, instead of doing my homework for my “American Presidency” class, I would have to read an entire Targum column and respond.

I am a proud Republican, as well as the Rutgers University Student Assembly’s corresponding secretary and a leader in the Rutgers United Party. Publishing my political affiliation, especially in a college newspaper, is a risky thing. Naturally, college is full of liberal people and ideology. Ask any conservative — if you can identify one — and they will tell you they don’t speak out for conservatism because they are fearful of being alienated and looked down upon at their college or university. But I am willing to do this because I strongly believe that as a School of Arts and Sciences senator at-large, I represent the entire student body.

I know that “Mr. X” states only 7.5 percent of students participate in the RUSA elections. RUSA Treasurer Scott Siegel first brought this fact to me. Since that time, I have been the most vocal about getting better turnout to RUSA events. I feel this will bring out bigger numbers for the upcoming RUSA elections in the spring. As I said in my speech to the RUSA body when I ran for vice president, I would be ecstatic to lose my seat next year if 25 percent of students voted in the online election.

Putting that aside, the supposed liberal causes of Rutgers United are not political causes — they are student causes. If I felt there was a political agenda in Rutgers United or RUSA, I would leave.

I have met very few students that want higher tuition. I have met very few students that feel the University is a better place when workers have their salaries frozen. I have met very few students that agree with the way the New Brunswick Police Department has handled the death of Barry Deloatch. These issues RUSA and Rutgers United bring up are student issues. I am proud to be a part of an organization on campus that is willing to actively do something about these issues that impact students.

Joseph Cashin is a School of Arts and Sciences sophomore majoring in English with minors in history and political science. He is the RUSA corresponding secretary.

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