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Stand up against NYPD’s actions

(02/24/12 5:00am)

With the recent outburst about the New York Police Department monitoring Muslim-American students around campus, it is safe to frankly and openly agree that Muslim-American college students are being violated. Muslim-Americans who have worked with us, studied with us, lived with us and even partied with us are not being treated like us. And by “us,” we speak as true Americans. The Central Intelligence Agency and other forms of government are prohibited from spying or monitoring the lives of American citizens, yet the NYPD has been discovered doing just that. Simply put, spying on American students simply because of their religion or Islamic lifestyle is unfair, unjust and should not be tolerated in a country that prides itself on being equal and being free.

Muslim-Americans part of solution

(02/23/12 5:00am)

The recent revelation of the New York Police Department’s monitoring of Muslim-American students at the University, New York University, Yale University and other universities in the Northeast is extremely troubling. The NYPD’s actions violate academic freedom, stain the reputations of elite American colleges and universities, and ignite distrust in the hearts and minds of Muslim-Americans — the very community that is dedicated to foiling any terrorist plots against this country. The NYPD’s actions cause bridges to burn between law enforcement and an active Muslim-American community. Ever since Sept. 11, the Muslim-American community has opened up all of its doors. We have nothing to hide.

University community deserves answers

(02/23/12 5:00am)

The University issued a statement on Monday regarding the New York Police Department spying on University faculty and students on the Newark and New Brunswick campuses, solely predicated upon what they believed was the religion of those individuals. “Rutgers University had no knowledge at the time that the New York Police Department was conducting surveillance near the university’s campuses in Newark and New Brunswick. Once the university learned that these activities had occurred, Rutgers was informed that the NYPD’s investigation was not within the university’s legal jurisdiction. The university was not aware that members of the Rutgers community were allegedly targets of this investigation.”

Police monitorings violate civil rights

(02/21/12 5:00am)

The Associated Press recently uncovered that the New York Police Department was conducting unwarranted surveillance on Muslim university students throughout the Northeast, including the students of the University Muslim Student Association. Aside from the appalling discovery that NYPD officers had a safe house in New Brunswick for “intelligence gathering” in 2009, Muslim students were being profiled daily through websites, blogs, emails and meeting attendances. The profiling had no basis, save for the fact that the students were of Muslim faith and the MSA members. As the executive board of the MSA serving a constituency of nearly 1,000 members, we are outraged at this violation of civil and legal rights. There is absolutely no justification in religiously profiling University students who attend this institution to attain intellectual liberation and positively contribute to American society. The MSA is an organization officially recognized by the University that maintains positive relationships with the administration, academic departments and a diverse number of groups on campus. We are a dynamic group that provides social, humanitarian, professional, educational and spiritual assistance to students on campus. To have past and possibly current members be treated in such a prejudiced manner is insulting to our integrity and our mission. We urge the University community to stand up and speak out against this incontrovertible injustice. We ask the University administration to address this issue in the most respectable and ethical manner, as no student deserves to be treated like a criminal. The University populace should openly condemn the clear violations of the NYPD, who conducted illegitimate profiling outside of their jurisdiction and breached the constitutional rights of individuals. The University is recognized for its rich diversity and tolerance, and this breach of honor on our institution should bring together the entire community regardless of religion, ethnicity or social class. This case is a threat to the civil liberties of all students irrespective of one’s background. As Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

Column misleads on religous beliefs

(02/21/12 5:00am)

With all due respect, the author of yesterday’s column, “Finding a common ground,” needs to be a little more careful when he writes about religion. Sure, there’s freedom of speech, but there’s also civility. His column may purport to clear up misconceptions and relieve some tension, but it actually introduces some personal convictions that end up misrepresenting the religion to other people. Specifically he denies the existence of hell, the deity of Jesus, the separateness between Judaism and Christianity and even the necessity of belief in Jesus. Thus he deviates from what the majority of Christians believe, especially regarding the deity of Jesus. He does this while declaring to The Daily Targum’s entire readership that this is what Christianity is. Now, in case the reader doesn’t know, Christians care a lot about how their God is represented. The author quotes scripture — words inspired by God — that superficially seem to support his opinions, but totally ignores the big picture created by all of scripture.

Oppose comedy’s ‘prom king’ system

(02/20/12 5:00am)

Stand-up comedy is a pure art form in that it primarily involves only the comic, the audience and the ideas and statements presented from the former to the latter. While props and other details have been incorporated into stand-up, it mostly remains a spoken word performance. Because of this procedural simplicity, stand-up comedy offers a vast and diverse range of opinions, views and thoughts. But the most common venues for stand-up — comedy clubs — are increasingly diluting and narrowing the potency of this outlet for social commentary. The mark of a great stand-up comedian is a keen sense of things, an ability to recognize the nuances of those things, and then effectively deliver one’s own unique and comical take on those things to the audience. But as time goes on, the policy of comedy clubs is to reward not the most talented, but the most popular. This practice not only discourages good comedy, but it turns the art form into a pissing contest designed to put people in seats instead of good comics behind the mic.

Vote during RHA elections

(02/17/12 5:00am)

The University Residence Hall Association is a student-volunteer government organization that represents all students living in University residence halls. RHA, along with Residence Life administrators and the residence hall presidents, works vigorously to improve student life on campus. Throughout the academic term, RHA organizes many educational, social, leadership development and service programs for residential students.

Outlaw unfair, unpaid labor

(02/15/12 5:00am)

Imagine a scenario in which cash-strapped college students have to give months or even years of free labor to companies and organizations in exchange for the opportunity to one day have a job that actually pays them. Now, imagine that companies accepted this free labor while they sat on record amounts of stockpiled cash while record numbers of people were unemployed. This is the current state of the internship system in this country, and it is unfair to students and the general workforce.

Editorial misleads readers on Plan B

(02/14/12 5:00am)

Although your venerable newspaper ran an informative article on the front page of Monday’s paper — “Obama includes coverage for contraceptives as part of Affordable Care Act” — it’s a bit curious as to why there is a disconnect from the truth in the editorial of the same issue of The Daily Targum, “Plan B should not become Plan A.” The problems with this editorial are two-fold. One, it presents incorrect information about what Plan B is and what it does. Two, it misrepresents why women might need — and eventually use — Plan B. Beyond the obvious shock value of Shippensburg University providing Plan B in vending machines, there seems to be a greater point in this op-ed piece: Women are using Plan B — what the Targum calls “the abortion pill” — without considering the health effects, which the piece decline to state (except that they are “dangerous”). You also indicate that women need “resources” to make the decision about unprotected sex. This is an upsetting and damaging misrepresentation of what Plan B can and cannot do, and why people may take Plan B.

Oppose intern exploitation

(02/13/12 5:00am)

The recent class-action lawsuits brought by unpaid interns suing for wages, such as those filed by interns on the “Black Swan” movie and those working at the magazine Harper’s Bazaar, have brought a spotlight to an area of rampant labor violations in our country — the exploitative, and often illegal, use of unpaid interns as a source of free labor in the for-profit sector.