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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.

Minority populations must not let stigmas silence them

(09/08/14 3:00am)

It is the burden of abject identities to remain silent. Three years of college has taught me that courage is not gained through age or experience, but with the social amenities that one is allowed and that one takes. Too often do I hear stories about in-class anxiety, usually with the pretext that one is not smart enough, or would be embarrassed if she or he spoke up in class or that their professor would find their point so obscenely inept. In-class anxiety is a huge problem, but it is its prevalence among systematically oppressed populations that concerns me. If it was the case that all students felt discomfort upon speaking up, so that the thought of raising one’s hand would induce goosebumps and the act of speech itself would result in incredible distress, then our problem would be a much different one.

Bioethics promises a future far from Frankenstein

(09/03/14 3:24am)

Bioethics: Perhaps you have heard the term and know what it means, maybe you have heard it but are not exactly sure what it means, or perhaps you have never heard the phrase. Even though I have been interested in bioethics for quite some time, I have realized only recently that the majority of people fall into the latter two categories — and for a good reason. I first became interested in bioethics during the genetics unit of my biology class. The concept of manipulating the genetic makeup of organisms was fascinating to me, and when we briefly covered the Human Genome Project in class, I knew I wanted to know more. Only when I actually tried to search for information on my own did I realize how inaccessible it actually is. Not only were there not many articles about the ramifications of genetic manipulation, but the ones that did exist were written in a way that was not friendly for general audiences. My column, “Under the Microscope,” seeks to solve this problem by making the ethical issues that arise from scientific and medical advancement comprehensible and (hopefully) interesting to the average Joe. 

Reactions to protests reveal bigotry, lack of education

(05/05/14 4:00am)

While President Robert L. Barchi continues to stand by his and the Board of Governors’ decision to invite Condoleezza Rice to speak at this year’s commencement ceremony, ironically enough, Rice herself announced that she will be declining the invitation in light of student, faculty and community protests. The fact that Rice is capable of recognizing and responding to students’ adamant dissatisfaction and Barchi is not says a lot about how little the administration values its own students. Protests were expressed in the form of op-eds and open letters published in The Daily Targum and sent directly to the administration, a faculty petition and ultimately, direct action including a sit-in at Old Queens and other public protests. These were all peaceful actions that posed no harm to anyone and escalated only because of Barchi’s failure to even acknowledge protesters’ concerns.

Feminism is for men, too

(05/01/14 4:00am)

To the men of Rutgers — and by this, I don’t mean all men. I mean men who have a penis and for some reason feel that this simple fact, this chromosomal trick, imbues within them a superiority otherwise undeserved. Many of these men are referred to as “bros” by others, though in truth I feel they must be only children, orphans, or else have only male siblings as I cannot fathom someone with a sister or mother they care for acting this way. Let me give you some advice to begin. You know that “rule” about racist jokes? If you have to look around to see if someone of that race is around before you tell it, you shouldn’t tell it. That rule. I hope to help you understand that this rule applies to more than just racist jokes. It applies to speaking about women as well. 

Producing smart guns will not replace smart people

(04/25/14 4:00am)

In order to help mitigate the never-ending debate of gun control, manufactures have created the seemingly efficient way to keep firearms in the hands of their rightful owners. By installing a specialized chip inside of the gun that will only activate the weapon when the owner is close by in proximity, it figures to reduce the number of violent altercations that occur, including suicides and accidental shootings. The chip communicates with a certain type of watch that the user must have on to give the signal that it is okay to fire the gun. In essence, all this new technology really does is put an Elmo Band-Aid on an already-leaky faucet.

Commentary shows problem with education discourse

(04/25/14 4:00am)

When I wrote my commentary about liberal arts math education for the Targum last week, I didn’t really expect it to get much attention — which is why I was overjoyed to find that Kellen Myers, a math Ph.D candidate at Rutgers, had taken time to write a nice, long post of his own in response. My joy quickly faded, as nowhere in Myers’ retort did he actually address the issue at hand — namely, what kind of math should be taught to mathematically uninterested liberal arts majors. Let’s look at his three central claims, then go on to talk about the real issue.