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U. must consider faculty input to fix serious issues

(12/10/13 5:00am)

While the University’s apparent response to Hurricane Sandy is a step in the right direction, many more steps are needed in a great variety of areas. A few local problems, have plagued Cook Campus departments for decades, and in this case, it happens to be the one I work in. By no means is this a complete list. Literally hundreds of other infrastructural problems have plagued our campus: From extensive heat outages lasting for months at a time, to intentional, secret electrical disconnections of every toxic fume hood in the building, to persistent natural gas leaks. Cook Campus has one electrician for 100 buildings. The list of problems goes on forever. Rutgers Vice President Richard Edwards told me personally that there exists no budgetary provisions for the maintenance any of the new buildings going up all over the University. Maintenance funds come from wherever possible — but not the football budget that is running about $28 million in deficit each year.

Private student loans more problematic than helpful

(11/25/13 5:00am)

Have you ever wondered why students pay such high interest rates to borrow funds for education? If you haven’t, you should. The logical answer is that loans to students with no income are risky. This is completely true. But my bets are that private lenders are not charging only for the additional risk. They are also taking advantage of unsophisticated, unsuspecting student borrowers, as well as not being fully transparent about the rates borrowers may or may not qualify for.

Support for Stan McNeil shouldn’t be blindly given

(11/22/13 5:00am)

There has been a very generous amount of attention paid to Stan NcNeil. I say generous because it certainly reflects the student body wanting to give more of something than is strictly necessary or expected to this otherwise quotidian end of an employee’s career. The Daily Targum’s opinion poll — which, I must confess, is the most pathetic of newspaper tools — currently reads with 55 percent of students supporting the position that “he didn’t do anything to interfere with the responsibilities of his job.” I write this polemic mainly to combat the egregious lack of opposition to this and in the wake of student protests and petitions for his reinstatement.

Get involved in RUSA to have your voice heard

(11/22/13 5:00am)

Over the past couple of weeks, the Rutgers University Student Assembly, or RUSA, has been trying to figure out what is really on student’s minds when it comes to issues that they face at the University. The student government is comprised of only sixty students with sixty unique viewpoints. In order for RUSA to know what students want to see fixed at the University, we need to hear from you!

GREEN programs provide priceless opportunities

(11/20/13 5:00am)

I let the moment sink in. The cool, salty water lapped with a natural rhythm against the surfboard. I sat there, in disbelief. I thought scenes like this were built for the movies, a fiction unattainable in real life. The fire in the sky — made of the bright yellows and warm oranges of the sunset — burned against the deep cool blue of the sea’s passing waves. This moment was the epitome of everything that I had experienced in Costa Rica, the moment where everything came together. I had learned so much about different cultures, the environment, balance in life, and myself.

Hillel apology missing much needed accountability

(11/12/13 5:00am)

On Friday, Andrew Getraer and Ariel Lubow came out with a response to Sara Zayed’s column. As a person mentioned in the article, I feel obligated to respond. I want to start off by rejecting the halfhearted apology I received in the article. Not only did it dismiss incidents of verbal and physical harassment the volunteers and I suffered, but reported them as an isolated incident committed by one person not part of the Rutgers University community. I would like to confirm that as a recipient of such abuse, this is false. “The offending bigot was not a member of the Rutgers Hillel community” as the article puts it, is incorrect. They are students and members of Rutgers I recognize on campus and in my classrooms. It was also more than one person that harassed the Arab and Muslim volunteers.

Misrepresentation of Hillel cannot go uncorrected

(11/08/13 5:00am)

In Tuesday’s Daily Targum, columnist Sara Zayed made a number of comments and accusations against Rutgers Hillel. We hesitate to respond, recognizing that most of the campus couldn’t care less. Foremost, the back and forth between pro-Israel and anti-Israel voices is just noise. We all have better things to do than add to the noise.

ENDA congressional act must pass

(11/06/13 5:00am)

In 1970, Congresswoman Martha Griffiths pulled off a legislative coup on Capitol Hill still unmatched in its courageous pluckiness when she did an end-run around a minority of representatives hostile to the proposed Equal Rights Amendment for women. With a majority of Congress in favor (Republican Leader and future president Gerald Ford heralded it as an “an idea whose time has come”), Griffiths pursued the arduous task of ejecting the amendment from committee via discharge petition, a rarely-used and somewhat exhausting maneuver in which a majority of the House of Representatives can sign up to force a bill onto the floor for a vote.

“Going green” should benefit community, not administrators

(10/30/13 4:00am)

It is completely and utterly obvious that the tuition that continues to increase is not being put to intentions of our interests as students. Instead of receiving increased services, the libraries are open fewer hours on the weekends, the dining halls have closed earlier, and the once frequent and accessible LX busses are now clogged with students — whereas students hoping to go back to Cook and Douglass campuses on the REXLs are nearly fighting for their lives to get home. This is not an exaggeration. Our academic departments are forced to drop important courses, which are needed to provide us with an education, and which we students need to graduate. We cannot be fooled by all this new renovation and the idea that the purchasing of the medical school means the quality of our education has gone up — we must stand up and say something.

Alma mater change should have been put to a vote

(10/29/13 4:00am)

My name is Christopher, and I’m a proud Rutgers alumnus. I was an esteemed member of the Glee Club, a dedicated student employee and football fanatic. In recent years, it has pained me to see constant controversy circling the institution I love. Initially, they were events that coincidentally happened at Rutgers, such as the circumstances surrounding Tyler Clementi’s tragic death. But lately, I feel Rutgers has handled all the tough decisions poorly. There were the Grease Trucks, national scandals in our athletic department, the wrongfully forced resignation of Tim Pernetti and the sullied past of his replacement that was divulged after she was hired. Now, there’s our alma mater.

Negative perception of immigration in America impacts policy

(10/28/13 4:00am)

It’s been said time and time again that America was founded as a nation of outcasts and immigrants. The 13 colonies became a conglomeration of men and women who were considered 16th and 17th century radicals. They left behind their familiar surroundings in search of something better, a freer more virtuous way of life. As time went on and migration spread from the East to the West, the United States began to take on a different persona. African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and other racial groups immigrated to the U.S. and contributed to the melting pot — or mixed salad — that is America today.

Campus diversity must apply to opinions too

(10/24/13 4:00am)

Over the last several weeks, I have read point and counterpoint regarding the mock eviction notices distributed in residence halls by Students for Justice in Palestine. The notices were meant to call attention to the destruction of Palestinian homes by Israel in territory that, by all accounts, is claimed by both sides. Given that I am neither Jewish nor Palestinian, I have been impartial on this issue and continue to remain so. But as the clashes between both student populations have made their way through these pages, I wanted to offer some thoughts as a young alumnus outsider.

Silk Road shutdown is misguided step

(10/16/13 4:00am)

About 2,120 years ago, travelers, warriors, pilgrims, monks and soldiers from Europe, Egypt, India, the Philippines, China and Vietnam would cross mountain ranges, vast deserts and wide seas comprising the Silk Road. The route was given its name because of the fruitful silk business, since silk was a precious material in China. The road also allowed for exchange of other precious goods, ideas and religions. In modern day Afghanistan, the largest Buddhist statue to exist was found along the route. However, despite all of the benefits the road offered society, it also helped spread the bubonic plague.