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Don’t feed the bubble

(10/26/12 4:00am)

A columnist wrote Monday in his piece “Ignorance threatens bond passage” in support of this year’s ballot question called the Building Our Future Bond Act — an act which, if it were to pass, would authorize “$750 million in bonds for the purpose of ‘capital construction’ [of non-revenue-generating buildings] at institution of higher education all over New Jersey.”

Healthy options are available to students

(10/22/12 4:00am)

I read with interest the opinions piece on weight gain in Friday’s issue of The Daily Targum, entitled, “Combatting weight gain, college-style.” My first year of college was many years ago at a different school than the University. Happily, my weight did not change much during those first years away from home. However in a way somewhat similar to the author, the weight gain caught up to me by the beginning of my middle age. During a visit to my doctor I found out I was borderline obese. Fortunately during the next year I actually did lose a lot of weight, which was really good for my health even though I was still very much overweight. I thought that the author identifies with overweight Americans as opposed to college students because students typically have a weight in the normal range. I see more overweight people in New Brunswick and elsewhere than on campus.

Money can’t buy you love

(10/12/12 4:00am)

As I reached for my wallet to pay for my three pound cup of coffee I heard the voices of friends and family saying, “You’ll have fun, but London is very expensive.” So it turns out that these people, whom I had taken as pessimists trying to ruin my excitement of studying abroad, were very right. I knew upon coming to London, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, that things would be pricey but I never thought that I would be afraid to check my bank account.

More legal service resources

(10/10/12 4:00am)

I am responding to a story in the Oct. 5 Daily Targum issue, titled “Alumni leave law school, launch legal website,” about two University students who left law school to start a website to help people learn about their legal rights. One stated their reason for doing so was the experience of working in a legal clinic where they were giving the same information daily to different clients. They said that convinced them of the value of a legal information website, particularly as “nobody was doing anything about it ... and there were no legal websites open to the public.”

Mental illness is no joke

(10/05/12 4:00am)

In the “Diversions” section of the Oct. 3 issue, The Daily Targum carried a cartoon called “Pop Culture Shock Therapy” by Doug Bratton. Titled “Fatal Attraction the Musical!” the cartoon depicts a minstrel man onstage pointing at a crudely drawn female dancer with fishnet stockings, top hat, and frizzy hair — but also with a deranged expression while brandishing a menacingly large carving knife. The pointing man parodies Carly Rae Jepsen’s recent hit song “Call Me Maybe”: “Hey, I just met you — And you are crazy! So lose my number — Don’t call me, baby!” Note the “you are crazy.”

Exorcisms and elusive leprechauns

(10/05/12 4:00am)

A Vatican-certified exorcist spoke about his metaphysical healing process to an audience of 200 (William Peter Blatty was never consulted) Wednesday night at the Cook Campus Center. The Rutgers Catholic Student Association trusted that the student body would be able sit through such a bout of fraudulent nonsense without throwing cabbage and tomatoes. For better or for worse, their trust was not misplaced. It is certainly a bitter irony that 8 in 10 of those who seek the healing capacity of Rev. Gary Thomas are victims of sexual abuse. Of course, the New Testament teaches us that possessive demons cannot be destroyed completely, but only cast upon a herd of pigs. Or sent to another parish. A softer heart could have the slightest bit of sympathy for the Reverend. It must be as difficult for him to determine the 10 percent of actual possession cases as it was for the crowd of Alabama natives to spot that elusive leprechaun. I once tried to catch a leprechaun using nothing but my 7-year-old wits and a stainless-steel colander. Suffice it to say, the effort was fruitless. Perhaps I should have used silver. The Reverend also took it upon himself to describe the difference, which apparently exists, between truth and fact. Evidently the certified pedant was not in attendance. Thomas’ healing capacity would be put to better use exorcising the demons of the historically and presently corrupt institution from which he hails. I sincerely hope this balderdash was not taken seriously by a single unsaved soul in that room.

Distasteful proselytizing

(09/28/12 4:00am)

Like many students at the Rutgers Student Center bus stop on Tuesday evening, I had the discomfort of having someone’s religious beliefs trumpeted at me through a megaphone. Actually, that happens fairly often. The disagreeable part was when someone literally stood in my path, preventing me from walking, and stuck papers under my nose with some sort of religious propaganda. One man even glared at me and aggressively stated, “You will accept Jesus as your savior.” I’ll make that choice for myself, thank you very much.

Teachers unions are not all bad

(09/20/12 4:00am)

The author of Tuesday’s commentary in The Daily Targum on the leadership of Gov. Chris Christie was truly disheartening. Time and time again, people choose to criticize New Jersey’s teaching system and the quality of public education here without really knowing much about it. The author claims teachers unions are “eroding the quality of public education” and cites the tenure system as problematic. While I agree somewhat with the tenure comment, I could not help but roll my eyes at the one about unions. That argument is getting stale. She goes on to talk about how Christie really won her over with his defense of the Islam. I applaud our governor for doing so, and I am glad the author has a religious ally in Christie. But that’s no excuse to criticize the N.J. public education system using feeble and ill-researched arguments. Just call a spade a spade and say you like him because he stands up for Islam.

See beyond sandwiches

(09/05/12 4:00am)

Chick-fil-A isn’t a person — it’s a large fast-food chain with about 1,000 restaurants all serving the same food in a generic-styled building to an ever-consuming populace. The sole purpose of its existence is to sell you artery-clogging food and make money. That’s it. Romanticizing Chick-fil-A or any other fast-food restaurant beyond that is a delusion. You certainly can appreciate the taste of the mass-produced food and appreciate the competitive pricing, but giving reverence to an abstract corporate entity such as Chick-fil-A is abominable. Terms of endearment, love and the sort should preferably be reserved for people, ideas and things that have meaningful purpose.

Open Letter From President Barchi

(09/04/12 4:00am)

Hello and welcome to a new year on the Banks. I’m honored to serve as president of this remarkable university with all its rich history. I’ve learned a lot about the talented and hardworking people at the University in the months since my appointment, and it has made me even more eager to get started. The coming year is going to be especially important for the University as we prepare for integrating most of the academic units of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey into the University. On the New Brunswick campus, these units include the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, the School of Public Health and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. While this process will not have an immediate impact on your studies, the long-term benefits of adding these health sciences elements to the University will be immense and very positive.