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Homework can’t replace teaching and application

(09/27/13 4:00am)

Recently, I read a commentary about how “Professors and adults, in general ... know what they are teaching and assign homework on topics they know are important,” a rebuttal to this week’s “An Inconvenient Truth” which talked about how students should not be overloaded with busywork. The commentator, I believe, misunderstood the context of the article.

Students must be more supportive of Rutgers football team

(09/25/13 4:00am)

To the Rutgers student body: Do you want to have a football team capable of being ranked in the top 10? How about a BCS title? Dare I even think it — a national title? If so, you need to realize you are a major factor in getting there. You don’t need to be on the field, but you do need to be in the stands. You need to stay in the stands until the clock hits 00:00 in the fourth quarter. You need to be energized and loud! All the big-time programs learned long ago that an energized and excited student body is critical not only to the flow of the game (making it difficult for opposing quarterbacks to call audibles, breaking their rhythm, etc.) but also to potential recruits. No star player wants to play in a dead atmosphere.

LGBT activists should not cast aside ideals in favor of left’s agenda

(09/20/13 4:00am)

Monday’s column by Jeremy LaMaster, “US-Russia debate on Syria attracts risky homonationalism,” tries to force an awkward point about the perils of “homonationalism” into an entirely unrelated debate about U.S. military intervention into Syria. But this tut-tutting of uppity American homosexuals is not only irrelevant — it is also dangerous. For many of us who remember when the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people were absent from the national conversation, LaMaster’s column represents an unwelcome regression to “the closet,” when basic guarantees of safety and dignity were subsumed under greater, “more important” concerns like international peace.

Dorm socials least of our problems

(09/17/13 4:00am)

Tuesday’s commentary, “Mandatory social events are well-intentioned but suck,” really knows how to solve the extensive and complex problems facing Rutgers and other universities in the United States: Eliminate residence hall social programs. Thank goodness such complex and challenging problems have such simple solutions. I would have thought that complex issues stemming from how public universities are funded, structured and integrated into our society would require a more complex solution, but boy, that commentary nailed it. It’s not the huge budget shortfalls, the complexities of higher education, the growing and changing relationships with private industry and with the public. It’s mandatory pizza time in the dorms. That’s the problem. It’s amazing nobody noticed before that decorative name-tags on dorm-room doors preclude our success as a university and as a nation.

Minimum wage op-ed comes up short

(09/12/13 4:00am)

In their editorial of Sept. 9 advocating the raising of New Jersey’s minimum wage, The Daily Targum editors ponder what to do about the suffering of the state’s poor. After listing the requisite sobering statistics, they pronounce their solution: besides for a minimum wage hike, what we need is the improvement of government programs, as well as increased regulation, to change the state of things in New Jersey. This is all very well and good, but I have one question: Haven’t we tried this already?

Rutgers Film Bureau deserves recognition

(09/12/13 4:00am)

Congratulations to the Rutgers Film Bureau on their Mid-Atlantic Emmy nomination for their documentary, “Thailand Untapped: The Global Reach of Engineers Without Borders.” Tuesday’s issue of The Daily Targum featured an article titled “Student documentary archived by film bureau,” which recognized the documentary, but because this was an article in the Science section I thought more attention should be given to the film’s engineering project, which cannot be simply summarized in a few sentences. The author calls Engineers Without Borders an organization that “sends students abroad” — really though, it’s much more than that. It’s an organization that writes grants and works with professional engineers, non-governmental organizations and local community members to ultimately implement a sustainable engineering solution.

What's NJIT thinking?

(09/06/13 4:00am)

I cannot believe that the New Jersey Institute of Technology is going to renovate Newark’s Central High School on the Rutgers-Newark Campus, which it has acquired. It has to be one of the ugliest, most completely obsolete buildings that has ever had the misfortune of being erected. It has no redeeming significance since it has basically been the scene of an ongoing disaster for decades. I always dreamed of the day I would be able to watch them implode that eyesore, as I had to walk past it almost everyday as an undergraduate. It has to be a lot cheaper to start from scratch and build a brand-spanking new building. Now, we will be saddled with the debt and the horrible building for a very long time. What were they thinking?

Campus-provided drug help is available

(09/06/13 4:00am)

Rutgers Health Services would like to thank you [The Daily Targum] for your September 4th editorial, “College drug use requires necessary precautions.” Health Services is dedicated to providing services to ensure health for the whole student body, mind and spirit. Student substance use and abuse is of the utmost concern for us. We know the majority of our students are making responsible decisions, but that there are some who are placing their lives at risk due to substance abuse. We provide educational workshops for all students at Health Outreach, Promotion and Education on MDMA and other substances, as well as other health and wellness topics. All are welcome to contact us for more information at 848-932-1965. If students are concerned about their own or a friend’s use of drugs, they can contact Counseling, ADAP, and Psychiatric Services at 848-932-7884. Thank you for bringing to light a very important issue for our students.

U. must be responsive to animal rights efforts

(04/30/13 4:00am)

I would like to clarify a statement made Friday, April 26 in the front-page article, “Students ask University to shift focus from profit.” Rutgers United for the Welfare of Animals supports affordable tuition for all students and the pending switch to cage-free eggs will NOT conflict with the interest of students. Cage-free eggs are a dining budget issue, which is separate from tuition. The referendum we held was recommended and approved by the Director of Dining Services, Joe Charette, who believes that the dining hall should be responsive to the interests of meal plan holders. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of ending the dining hall’s support for animal cruelty, in the form of intensive confinement of egg laying hens. A majority of 99 percent of students voted that they would like to see this inhumane practice ended at the University, with the average student willing to pay 2-3 times the actual cost to make the switch. Why did students vote this way? Most people can agree that cats and dogs should not be abused and neglected. And now more and more people, especially youth, are realizing that the suffering of other animals, such as farm animals, is wrong as well. These animals don’t feel any less pain just because they are used for food.

Social media action reflects U. values

(04/26/13 4:00am)

Since moving to New Jersey almost two years ago, I’ve been disappointed in how this community works together to help its own, excluding the response to devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. I went to an undergraduate institution that prided itself on its family-like atmosphere. If something negative happens to one person, it happens to everyone. There, it was easy for people to rally around and help without wanting anything in return.

Dear Rutgers Board of Governors

(04/23/13 4:00am)

Former Athletic Director Tim Pernetti is the embodiment of Rutgers Athletics and already a University legend. He has forged the University’s path into the Big Ten, created the relationships to sell the naming rights to the stadium and instilled an academic environment that has allowed the University to be on the top of the Academic Progress Rating rankings. The list of positive stories could go on and on, but our favorite story about Pernetti is when former football coach Greg Schiano, another University legend, left for the NFL on the eve of national signing day. Pernetti reacted by becoming a football assistant and saving one of the most heralded recruiting classes in University history. We were so proud of Pernetti that day. It was not because he saved the recruiting class — well, maybe it was — but really, we thought “What other athletic director could have reacted that quickly and be able to garner enough trust to make these kids commit to a coachless program?” No other athletic director in this great nation could have done that. Reinstate Tim Pernetti.

Open letter from faculty in support of Barchi

(04/08/13 4:00am)

On Sept. 1, 2012, Robert L. Barchi became the 20th president of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. A neuroscientist and medical neurologist, Barchi wrote on the occasion of his appointment, “We need a fundamental change in the way we teach, the way we do research and the way we finance those entities as we move forward.” We applauded this exciting invitation to achieve greater levels of excellence at the University.

Delayed Rice reaction result of negative publicity

(04/04/13 4:00am)

This is a sad day for the University — not because we lost Mike Rice, the men’s basketball head coach, but because our administration has proven to us that they are a bunch of superficial cowards. I am deeply distraught, not only by the way Rice treated his players — although I know it goes on at many other schools and in many other sports — but also because of the way the University has decided to handle the situation. In an email that University President Robert L. Barchi sent out to us, he wrote that he and Tim Pernetti, director of intercollegiate athletics, had already viewed the tape back in the fall and handed out the punishment to Rice. But Barchi goes on to say that yesterday, he “personally” reviewed the tape. Did you not “personally” review it back in the fall? Was the safety of your students and players not important to be taken “personally” back then? Is it only important now because the video was leaked? Shame on the University, and shame on Barchi. His punishment should have stayed as his punishment — you can’t just change it because the public found out. I thought we were “closely monitoring his behavior” as part of his punishment? If the behavior that has been monitored was fine, why the sudden change?

Controversy shames university

(04/04/13 4:00am)

Another scandalous story. University students are starting to become inured to seeing the name of their university splashed around in the press almost always associated with some negative story. Is this a fault of the University Office of Media Relations? Perhaps. Is it a string of bad luck? Probably not. I think that it is most likely a problem that the University administration has created as a result of its policy choices and the undue attention that it has devoted to athletics.