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In Rutgers' 250 years of rich academic excellence, students of all walks of life have had the privilege of being a part of a historic research institution. Public state universities play a key role in society by creating opportunities for those who are under-privileged or those who took a little longer than expected to show their brilliance, and did not have the well-rounded attributes as early in life as the students who received Ivy League acceptances.
Six years out of college and I can say without hesitation, The Daily Targum was instrumental to jump-starting my journalism career and empowering me with the skills and knowledge I needed to succeed. I learned lessons while working at the nation’s second-oldest college newspaper that I use continually in my day-to-day job.
For any number of reasons, there are times when I wonder whether I made the right choice attending Rutgers University. But then I quickly remind myself that if I hadn’t gone to Rutgers, there is no way I’d be where, or who, I am today. The Daily Targum and the opportunities and experiences it provided me with don’t exist anywhere other than Rutgers. Sure, there are hundreds of other student newspapers on college campuses throughout the country, but there are none that even closely resemble the Targum. Operating as an entirely student-run and independent organization, Targum Publishing Company provides Rutgers students with more hands-on and real-world experience than any journalism course or undergraduate internship could ever provide.
The Daily Targum is where I found my voice. It’s where I fell in love with the craft of journalism and became enamored with the rhythm and energy of a newsroom. It's where I learned to believe that I could be Ida B. Wells, Toni Morrison, Alice Walker and Maya Angelou all rolled into one. The Targum is where I found my people. And, in many ways, it’s where I found myself. I came to Rutgers University for the education, and I stayed because of Targum. I am the journalist, writer and storyteller I am today because of the long days and nights I spent there.
The Daily Targum received the gamut of criticisms that led some students to vote "no" for referendum when I worked there.
At the July meeting of the University Board of Governors, the Board will vote to set tuition for the 2016-2017 school year. This is the price advertised to students when they apply, but upon enrollment one quickly finds that Rutgers has plenty more brilliant ways of taking your money — campus fees, school fees, computer fees, new student fees (Welcome to Rutgers!) and so on. Old Queens takes in our money through the front door and through the back door.
"Rutgers has no money!" How many times have we heard that? When faculty demands a raise, when students demand affordable tuition, when we all want a robust curriculum … the Administration pleads poverty. For many years, Old Queens argued that rising wages would push tuition and fees up sky high. Then they boosted tuition while freezing salaries for five years. By last year — as faculty fought their way out of the salary freeze — we knew enough to suspect that Rutgers had money hidden somewhere. Unrestricted reserves had gone up from $631 million to $709 million in one year.(Now they stand at $771 million). This money lay outside the operating budget, available for research and other purposes but (obviously) not being spent down. Within the operating budget, the administration certainly wasn’t acting poor as it shelled out mega-salaries to coaches and a proliferating squad of vice presidents. When we scratched below the supposed scarcity, we in fact saw signs of fiscal abundance.
Without The Daily Targum, where would I be? I joined the paper as a freshman in 1981, and I immediately felt like I was part of something really important. Getting my very first story on the front page was one of the most gratifying moments of my early college life, and it was very motivating in my continuing of my career at Targum. I rose to become a staff writer, then associate news editor and finally news editor. What other organization could have given me the kind of real-life challenges and skills than Targum? You covered things at night, and boom, there they were, in the paper the very next day. My ability to write quickly and gracefully under deadline pressure, my interviewing skills, my people skills — I owe it all to The Daily Targum. We were teenagers, or hardly out of our teens, writing, editing and producing a daily newspaper. With the countless hours we devoted to putting out the paper, it was enough to make you feel like you were a professional. While I became a newspaper reporter after graduating and remain a journalist today now working for The Record of Bergen County, there are countless other fields where I could have applied the skills I learned at the Targum. Not to mention the fact that it's where I made some of the best friends of my life. The Targum is well worth your support. The paper is a valuable source of news and information for students. The organization is a priceless tool for students to learn what it feels like to work in the real world.
Vote "yes" for The Daily Targum. I could repeat the same line that is decades old. I am sure, if you are reading this, you are aware of the referendum. However, most students are unfamiliar with what it means. The referendum is the way the University and former editors decided to maintain an independent newspaper. It is the direct will of the students. It is important to understand that the University has no influence over the Targum — it is a creation of idealistic and bright-eyed students. Students with a passion for balanced editorial content. Students who take pride in bringing you information from the salaries of every employee to the changing of the buses. This is rare and valuable.
On Feb. 10, Milo Yiannopoulos began “The Dangerous Faggot Tour” at Rutgers University. The tour criticized the modern-day college campus as overly sensitive and censor-happy. During his speech, feminists and Black Lives Matter protestors stormed into the lecture hall and began chanting, “Black lives matter!” They were met with loud opposition, with the audience repeating, “Trump!” Most news coverage has criticized the protestors, citing disrespect to Milo’s freedom of speech.
While it has been more than 10 years since I worked for The Daily Targum, I cherish the opportunities, skills and friendships that it gave me and that I still hold dear.
Never underestimate the places you’ll go after working for The Daily Targum. The hands-on experience can get you far in life — trust me, I’m writing this from Madagascar.
To the Editor:
When we walk around the Rutgers campus today, we can't help but be a little bitter. With its own Jersey-style diner and winning sports teams, Rutgers is a much cooler place now than in 2005, the year we graduated.
Every three years, Rutgers' student newspaper, The Daily Targum, the second-oldest and one of the largest college newspapers in the country, asks undergraduate and graduate students to vote in favor of refunding the paper. This process, called a referendum, gives students the choice to continue paying the $11.25 newspaper fee on their term bills every semester.
Reflecting upon my three-and-a-half years on the Banks, my mind floods with memories of a freshman year spent in Katzenbach, getting stuck taking two buses back from Livingston after the REXL stopped running. I remember being the sole defender of Brower’s food amongst my friends, which to this day, I won’t testify against. I remember waking up with excitement to catch the train to New York City for three incredible television news internships. But most of all, I remember my time as associate news editor for the 146th editorial board of The Daily Targum.
I never planned on being in journalism. I never even planned on being involved with my college newspaper. The short version of the story is that I wandered into The Daily Targum with a friend to play video games on the office computers after the paper was done for the day.
I still remember the interview for my first job after I graduated from Rutgers. My prospective boss wanted to know whether I had an internship and if I had any college newspaper experience. When I replied that I had worked at The Daily Targum and secured an internship in the Statehouse Bureau of one of the largest newspapers in New Jersey (thanks to a Targum alumni), he was impressed and I was quickly offered the position.
We are Rutgers students, but many of us are also New Brunswick residents. This may seem obvious, but it often feels as if Rutgers students strictly confine their movements to Rutgers property and the popular College Avenue houses and bars. We live somewhere with history, culture and plenty to do, but students rarely break out and venture into our city. There must be a reason why students follow these beaten paths.
What is diversity? It’s certainly the buzzword around college campuses, businesses and, indeed, all aspects of society. An institution can receive societal gold stars if it is “diverse” enough. Again, what does it mean? Should you care? Or should you go back to cramming for an exam or Netflixing your stress away? (Side note: If you do go back to Netflix, I highly recommend "Daredevil." Season 2 is phenomenal. Now, back to diversity).