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After reading the March 11 column, “Do universities need to reconsider value of greek life?” I felt the need to respond to its blatant butchering of every statistic presented. Please bear with me as I, the completely sober fraternity brother (hard to believe right?), systematically dissect the column.
The Rutgers Business School has just initiated its third dean search in eight years. Ever since the merger of the New Brunswick and Newark business schools in the years 1996 to 1997, three of the four deans have been forced out, ranking and reputation of the combined school has deteriorated and morale among the faculty has been in steady decline, and as a result of this, business students on both campuses have been shortchanged.
The Medical College Admission Test is a required exam for entry into U.S. medical schools. Last year, the MCAT was administered 94,907 times, and of the individuals who took the exam, roughly 48,000 applied to medical school while only 20,055 matriculated, according to the Association of American Medical Colleges. The national average score has been 25 out of 45 over the past ten years.
Recently, Rutgers’ New Brunswick Faculty Council has issued a resolution calling on the University’s Board of Governors to rescind its invitation to Condoleezza Rice as speaker for the commencement ceremony. She will accept a $35,000 honorarium and an honorary doctorate from the University.
As an American college student, I am often appalled at the attacks on higher education by our country’s hard-right minority. Arguments that our universities are places of elitist snobbery hit close to home for many of us, and the caricature of top schools as intolerant ivory towers guarded by ideological brownshirts fly in the face of what many of us know universities to be: places of respect for dissent, diverse thought and tolerance of all opinions. In the past several weeks, however, Rutgers has shown American universities’ fiercest critics that we are all too capable of being exactly who they say we are.
The first thing to note about Rutgers’ new Strategic Plan is that there is no serious talk about reducing the burden of tuition costs imposed on students. The increasing costs students have had to shoulder are mentioned only in passing with no further comment. If the Board of Governors truly cared about the mounting financial hardship students have had to endure, and its consequent detriment to genuine education, not to mention “creative expression and human experience,” they would make mitigating this hardship one of the main priorities of the Strategic Plan.
Are men’s rights being taken away when women are granted more? In most situations, such as equal pay and equal treatment in the workforce, the answer is no. The case of Title IX, however, is more complicated. Title IX sets criteria for universities to ensure that “sex discrimination [is banned] in educational institutions receiving federal funds.” The legislation has many benefits. For example, it prevents women from being harassed, abused or treated differently in an academic setting. When it comes to athletic opportunities, however, a lot of men are losing out. Because Title IX requires equal funding for both men’s and women’s teams, many universities have cut men’s programs, claiming they are unable to raise the budget for women’s sports without cutting from men’s. Is this necessarily the truth? No, because there are several other options available. Women in sports are gaining more opportunities while men are losing out for no clear or real reason.
At Rutgers University, greeks have a problem. It is a problem that sororities have excluded themselves from by following their own policies down to the letter, leaving fraternities to take the blame. The culture at this university is one that encourages students to pregame, go out to binge drink and return home late at night, not remembering much of the night. However, the bigger problem here is the expectation. People know that the fraternities will party: We are social organizations, and we will do that. The problem is that people expect fraternal men to be the providers and enablers of their reckless behaviors.
The past few years have been pretty fantastic for women of color on primetime television. With the introduction of shows like “Scandal,” “Suits,” “The Mindy Project,” “Elementary” and 2013’s breakout hit “Sleepy Hollow,” we have seen a steady rise of female actresses of color in leading roles. Not just as parts of an ensemble but as real, central, plot-driving leading ladies.
Living somewhere where the air hurts my face when I walk outside makes me question my life decisions everyday. In the end, there are some things in life that just seem unavoidable: Taxes, my beloved Cleveland Browns winning less than five games a year on a consistent basis, Rutgers not closing down during winter storms that rain snowflakes the size of Flappy Bird. Let’s face it — the struggle-bus is real. Every single student at Rutgers is riding it right now, and we all know our “favorite” multivariable calculus teacher isn’t driving. I would rather have our bus stuck underneath of a random pile of partial differentiation equations than the depths of the vast wilderness that is the Cook and Douglass campuses during these past few ice ages that have hit New Jersey.
Americans everywhere both marveled and broke out in anger over Coca-Cola’s Super Bowl commercial this year and its broad support for our country’s ethnic and linguistic diversity. Some were incredibly glad to see the United States portrayed in the media as multicultural and multilingual, while others were shocked and appalled at this image of the U.S. speaking languages other than English, and showcasing people other than the white population. While there is great importance in making all ethnicities and linguistic communities in the U.S. known and highlighted in positive ways, there is also an issue with the maker of this commercial, Coca-Cola. Like everything in this world, Coca-Cola’s motives must be questioned.
Recently, there has been a building discussion on the use of capital punishment in the U.S. Back in January, my home state of Ohio executed Dennis McGuire who was convicted of the rape and murder of a pregnant woman back in 1989. The controversy arose after the state used a new cocktail of drugs to execute McGuire, who died 25 minutes following the injection — during which witnesses claimed he visibly struggled and gasped for air before expiring. His lawyers and his family have planned a federal lawsuit, claiming the procedure constituted cruel and unusual punishment. Overall, 18 states currently ban the death penalty. Opponents claim that the death penalty is a cruel and unusual form of punishment that comes at a tremendous cost to taxpayers and is already banned in most civilized countries. Supporters claim that the death penalty is a necessary evil to administer justice for the most heinous criminals. Additionally, some opponents claim there are better ways to punish criminals for horrendous crimes.
As I study for exams, I occasionally reminisce on my pre-undergraduate days. The term “academic neglect” comes to mind. I remember coasting through summer school to make it into high school. I remember my high school overcrowding lower-level classes with my minority friends, yet claiming there was no space in honors and Advanced Placement classes, although I saw half the seats vacant. I accredit a few teachers for my acceptance to Rutgers. You see, a college career was never a prospect that crossed my mind. My single mother was undocumented working two, at times three, jobs to provide for me. I figured I would enter the work force and call it a lifestyle. I was another failing student in a failing high school. However, I don’t completely blame myself.
Equality is a dream we strive to make a reality. Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela spoke words of equality, which reverberate in our ears. Equality is fair and equal treatment for people regardless of any differences.
Targum: We need to talk about you.
As Rutgers students, we need to let it be known that the Daily Targum Board of Trustees does not represent us. Some readers may be wondering who the members on Board of Trustees are, and that is a huge part of the problem. Why is this group, a group that is not mentioned anywhere on the Targum website, exercising control over what can and can’t be published in the Targum? Why do they operate with zero transparency and without any apparent accountability from the student body? The Daily Targum is a student newspaper, founded by students for students. We fund the Targum. Without the $10.75 addition to our term bill we pay each semester, the school newspaper could not continue. Why, then, is the Targum not being independently run by the students, but rather being controlled by an enigmatic group we know virtually nothing about?
My beloved Targum — how you never fail to stir up controversy semester after semester. With that Tyler Clementi editorial debacle back in 2010 or a microcosmic version of the Israel-Palestine conflict played out across the Opinions page or the cheeky piece on V-Day cunnilingus, The Daily Targum has pissed off many and pleased few. And once again, the Targum is in the spotlight as one former opinions editor attempts to expose a problem with the Targum’s infrastructure that undermines the integrity of the campus newspaper as an unbiased fixture at Rutgers University. While I have no desire to involve myself in the petty personal dramas unfolding around this pressing issue of campus newspaper censorship, allow me to weigh in for a second with my own experiences of working on The Daily Targum editorial board for three years between 2010 and early 2013.
The beast has reared its ugly head once again — and no, I’m not referring to the snow or the unloved dog with two noses making its way around the Internet. Valentine’s Day is upon us, and I know this because I walked into a drug store recently and had my eyes assaulted by the heinous tokens of American commercialism Hallmark would call “gifts for your valentine.”
The fable of Steve Jobs is now ubiquitous in American culture. Most people know about his orphaned upbringing, his endearment for electronics and his innovate spirit. Disciples regale the masses with tales of his courage, dropping out of college and “finding himself” (through rebellious scholastic enthusiasm as well as the hallucinogenic drugs he consumed). He then created one of the most illustrious corporations in the world with Apple, which he subsequently mutinied. Later, he purchased what would become the biggest animation studio ever, Pixar, which he promptly left, returning as CEO and prodigal son of the original brand. Apple was in utter disarray upon his return, yet Jobs was able to right the ship and steer them to great heights. This is the folklore of the 21st century, inspiring millions to follow in his ingenious footsteps. But should it be?
As one of the most diverse universities in the country, Rutgers prides itself on the multitude of opinions and ideas that arise from both ends of the campus. The student body continues to witness a community of thriving ideas, opinions and debate. Unfortunately, such a large and diverse community does not always allow for easy individual access to the plethora of opinions floating throughout the student body, which sometimes results in arrogance and disrespect.