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Clearing the air on ‘Carrying the Weight’ campaign

(10/31/14 1:36am)

The “Carrying the Weight” campaign was a huge success at Rutgers. I appreciate the coverage from The Daily Targum in the action — however, there are some things that needed to be mentioned, but were not included in the article. The article only covered the march aspect of the day-long action. Thank you so much to the Office of Violence Prevention and Victim Assistance for all of your help with making the campaign successful in such a short period of time. The march was a great part of the action, but it was not the only part.




On the dangers of ‘terrorism,’ politicization of language

(10/16/14 2:41am)

Margarita Rosario’s recent column in the Targum presented an intrepid analysis of a situation in Gaza. However, we are concerned because even the most earnest expressions of support could become ensnared in the trappings of Western rhetoric. An innocent turn of phrase could reveal itself to be quite condemning — in this case, undermining the attempt to properly read the nature of ISIS’ project and, more gravely, leading one to disqualify any political forms that are not Western constructions.


Service learning in Ghana: Women’s rights and community development

(10/14/14 1:19am)

Sitting down amongst hundreds of students, I nudged a friend beside me and attempted to inconspicuously whisper, “The accents of the people in this movie are so familiar!” We were at a plenary session for the Global Village Houses in Jameson, part of the Douglass Residential College. It was a screening of the film “Six Days: Three Activists, Three Wars, One Dream.” The movie traced a day in the life of three human rights defenders thousands of miles apart, and I had guessed the African activist was from Liberia. English appeared to be the primary language of the people. Everyone spoke it, and they spoke it excellently — and while many African countries are deft in the English language, it was the accent that grabbed me. Thick and distinct, it resonated. Also, what other African country spoke like this and had faced a war in the recent decades? It must be Liberia.


Latino leadership important for classroom, community

(10/13/14 2:36am)

This month, I have the privilege of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month alongside 90 strong, intelligent and resilient eighth graders. Together we’ll reflect on our past, reading works by Sandra Cisneros, Julia Alvarez, Junot Díaz and others. Through these talented writers, we will examine and share stories about our background and what it means to be Latino. We’ll be looking toward the future of Latinos in the country as we look at the lives of women like Sonia Sotomayor, while also discussing our own plans and goals for the future.


Poorly researched article spreads lies by normalizing Hamas

(10/08/14 3:15am)

Margarita Rosario’s column titled “Hamas is not ISIS, ISIS is not Hamas: UN speech misleading” does not offer insight to what the title suggests. Indeed, there are similarities and differences between Hamas and ISIS worth consideration, yet her writing consists of ill-founded, poorly researched arguments and false information regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Discussing differences opens gateway to interfaith dialogue

(10/02/14 8:56pm)

On Tuesday night, I attended an event hosted by the Rutgers Hillel Center for Israel Engagement called “Debunking Myths About the Middle East: Examining Human Rights Violations Against Minorities in the Islamist World.” The talk, attended by a standing-room-only crowd of Jews, Muslims and other Rutgers students, was given by two women: human rights attorney, author and award-winning filmmaker Brooke Goldstein and physician, author and human rights activist Dr. Qanta Ahmed.


Polarizing event hinders progress, unity

(10/02/14 12:51am)

On Tuesday, Sept. 30, Rutgers University Hillel hosted an event called “Examining Human Rights Violations Against Minorities in the Islamist World: From Hamas in Gaza to IS in Iraq and Syria,” featuring none other than Brooke Goldstein, a known bigot who has made many ridiculous claims. But before we get into Goldstein’s background, let us first discuss the sheer error in the very premise of the event.


Police militarization necessary for law enforcement

(09/28/14 8:07pm)

Look no further than the Ferguson riots to comprehend why police departments around the country should possess surplus military equipment. This past August, the town of Ferguson, Missouri, was the subject of national news following the police shooting of unarmed suspect Michael Brown. Immediately after this incident, angered citizens took to the streets to protest in Ferguson and throughout the United States. These protesters assumed the guilt of the officer involved, even though our legal system is hinged upon the notion that individuals are innocent until proven guilty.


Kicked out for kicks: career fair dress codes too restrictive

(09/25/14 8:46pm)

I was kicked out of a career fair this week. I don’t think I’ve gotten kicked out of anything in my life up until this point, and it’s certainly not something I’d like to repeat. But there I was, at the “Rutgers Business Analytics and Information Technology Career Fair,” standing in front of two event organizers who made it clear that I had to go. They told me that this event had a strict dress code and that my refusal to adhere to said dress code “made [them] look bad.”


NFL commissioner should be held accountable

(09/21/14 9:29pm)

In the multi-billion dollar enterprise that is the NFL, morals are defined not by right and wrong, but by the dollar signs that cement its legacy. The supremacy that it holds might be to akin to that of the Titanic in that it is considered “too big to fail.” The late afternoons of guzzling down beverages of choice, dunking nachos and adjusting your fantasy football roster while watching your favorite players duke it out gladiator style has evolved past being a culture into more of a necessity. Even if the love of your life has abandoned you, or even if the prospects of getting a job in the economy have dwindled into oblivion, you can always find solace in the fact that your favorite team’s banners will shine brightly that upcoming Sunday morning. It is an all-encompassing sport that has captured the heart of America and the man that stands before the glorious empire might in fact be the most powerful man in all of sports. 


Grease trucks continue to thrive at Rutgers

(09/18/14 10:29pm)

I’m writing in response to Dan Munoz’s Sept. 4 column titled “Nostalgia keeps grease trucks alive.” As the long-time owner of the premier grease truck RU Hungry? and the person responsible for making Rutgers University grease trucks a nationally recognized icon, I would like to weigh in with my opinion. Suggesting that our business continues to operate simply due to “nostalgia” or better yet, an “appeal to tradition” is to suggest we exist simply due to what we were and what we offered 30 years ago. 



Conservatives must join movement for climate change

(09/17/14 11:52pm)

On Sunday, Sept. 21, the world’s largest climate change march to date is scheduled to take place in New York City. “The People’s Climate March,” as it is known, hopes to draw attention to the issue of climate change to world leaders at the upcoming United Nations summit by showing them that climate change is no longer an issue that can merely be put on the backburner. Framing the march as “the people’s” was a smart move on the part of the organizers, emphasizing that this is an issue that requires the attention of all people from all walks of life and corners of the globe.



Let's not be so dramatic about rowdy football fans

(09/15/14 10:03pm)

If you ask any of my friends what I was like for the week before the Penn State-Rutgers game, they would surely tell you that I was a mess. I was constantly reading articles, making predictions or just yelling with excitement and nerves. As a Penn State alumna, a huge football fan and a current Rutgers graduate student, I had a serious vested interest in this game. Not to mention that since it was announced that Rutgers would join the Big Ten Conference, I had been smack talking and trying to explain what a real football school is like. I really needed the Penn State team to back me up.


Preferred name policy marks major milestone for transgender community

(09/11/14 9:17pm)

Hey ya’ll. Jamie here, co-founder of Trans*missions and opinionated Rutgers graduate. Just because I graduated this past May doesn’t mean I’ve left for good. Rutgers has been home to me. As a New Brunswick native, Rutgers has always been an integral part of my day-to-day life. As a child, my mother, a 26-year Rutgers employee, used to parade her favorite little daughter around campus when summer camp let out early. She would show me off to her coworkers, brag about my soccer skills and occasionally let me sneak into the Cove arcade on Busch campus. I would play some of the games while my mom lifted heavy packages and filled mailboxes — the retro ones with a gold-tinted key. Things have changed at Rutgers since those days — lots of things. Those gold-tinted mailboxes are gone. Now they have a locker system that magically opens at the touch of a button, and then voila! There’s your Amazon package! (It’s not digital-aged magic by the way: My mom puts them there). Oh, and something else has changed at Rutgers since I was that little kid in the Cove. What I didn’t know back then was that nearly a decade later, I would go to Rutgers, just as my mom said I would, and I would become one of the leaders of the transgender movement at the University, co-founding Trans*missions, Rutgers’ first-ever transgender organization. That little Cove-dwelling girl would later transition and become a son rather than a daughter.