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UC Davis police break law with pepper spray

(11/28/11 5:00am)

There is a chilling moment captured on film from the Nov. 18 protest at University of California, Davis that repeats in my mind. As students sit on the ground in silence, arms linked, a police officer raises a can of pepper spray to the crowd — as one might spray Raid onto unwanted bugs. The students keep their arms locked, enduring the pain as other officers move in to remove them from the ground.

Rutgers United, RUSA advocate for students

(11/21/11 5:00am)

When I grabbed The Daily Targum last Thursday, I flipped to the Opinions section and thought to myself, “Today is finally the day I am printed in The Daily Targum.” My personal jubilation soon shifted to a feeling of annoyance. On the left page, the blow quote from the column “La Nausée” read, “[Rutgers United is] a manifestation of a larger progressive liberal movement.” I was annoyed because, for the second day in a row, instead of doing my homework for my “American Presidency” class, I would have to read an entire Targum column and respond.

U. groups promote kindness by feeding hungry

(11/18/11 5:00am)

One of the greatest lessons I have learned at this university has been the meaning of kindness. To put it as simply as I now understand it — being nice is the surface and being kind is the deeper level of concern for others. A kind person is someone who genuinely cares for the wellbeing and happiness of others and demonstrates it through his or her actions. It is not others’ perception of them that compels kind people, but rather the desire for the betterment of themselves, and others, that is their compulsion to act on their kindness. To tell someone to have a great day is nice, but to hope that it comes true is kind. Kindness is not merely doing what we would comfortably do, but also going out of our way for others. Inspired by the principals of kindness, Rutgers Shalom/Salaam, The

Grease trucks may remain in Lot 8

(11/18/11 5:00am)

I have spent the better part of the last few days doing social media damage control for the latest “controversy” to hit the University. This alleged grease truck controversy holds that the University is trying to get rid of the grease trucks and with them, a storied tradition that has become a cultural and iconic landmark. While I am not surprised that the media has latched onto this story and portrayed it as something controversial, I feel it necessary to restate the facts. My goal here is to reassure you, the University community, that you will be able to purchase fat sandwiches in Lot 8 on College Avenue.

Do not exaggerate Reagan’s feats

(11/17/11 5:00am)

Tuesday’s column, “Pay respect to President Reagan,” attempts to portray Ronald Reagan as the champion of a decade of economic growth. The author does this simply by quoting statistics in 1980 and 1988 and attributing all of the nation’s economic growth and its ability to cut inflation to Reagan. But the author clearly has not done his homework — for if he had, he would have seen that Reagan might have done more harm than good.

RUSA successfully serves student community

(11/17/11 5:00am)

I would first like to thank the author of yesterday’s letter to The Daily Targum, “Student government needs to establish real purpose.” Although the information is not found in our mission statement, the Rutgers University Student Assembly always wants to hear student concerns, by any means and in any form, to better improve our standing with the student body. This is one reason why we have a public sector portion of our open meetings every other Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Activities Center on the College Avenue campus. That being said, I would like to personally invite every student to come out to a RUSA meeting to voice their concerns about the University. Tonight’s meeting will be a Town Hall with President Richard L. McCormick. RUSA is giving students a rare opportunity to address their president directly and ask questions about any issue they have on campus. I personally feel this meeting will be time well spent and beneficial to every student that comes out, even if they do not want to ask a question.

Student government needs to establish real purpose

(11/16/11 5:00am)

One of my teachers once said to look at any endeavor, organization or movement, and search out its purpose. If the endeavor fulfills its purpose, then it will succeed. If it fails to fulfill its purpose, then the endeavor will fail. With this focus on purpose in mind, I turn now to the Rutgers University Student Assembly. In my musings on the matter, I thought that a student assembly’s purpose would be to address student concerns with the University. I thought of how student assembly leaders would be able to communicate with administrators and resolve conflicts between students and the University.

Right wing uses divisive language to retain power

(11/08/11 5:00am)

In reading conservative writing about Occupy Wall Street and the movement it spawned, the phrase “class warfare,” as to be expected, comes up often. This term is a favorite invective of the American right, which is strange, considering how little the right likes to talk about class in other contexts. What I find most interesting, of course, is that to the American right, class warfare seems to be a one-way street.

Address problems, do not point fingers

(11/03/11 4:00am)

The author of Tuesday’s column, “Liberals perpetuate poverty,” demonstrates a mind-bogglingly limited capacity for perspective and seeks, one can only assume, to spew inflammatory invective in hopes of gaining notoriety. The other option is that he truly believes liberals deliberately seek to propagate poverty, which I submit would reflect more poorly on his character. I will therefore proceed under the assumption of the former.

Week in review: laurels and darts

(10/28/11 4:00am)

Bobby Montoya is a transgender child who, like most little girls, wanted to join the Girl Scouts. When Montoya’s mother took her to see a troop leader about signing up, though, the leader denied her, citing the fact that Montoya had “boy parts” and was therefore not a girl. Luckily, though, the Girl Scouts of Colorado have since decided that denying Montoya was a mistake, and the organization has extended membership to her. We give the Girl Scouts a laurel for ultimately making the right choice in this situation. They may have originally forced some pretty oppressive gender stereotypes on the 7-year-old, but they learned their lesson. In the end, what could have been yet another upsetting instance of gender discrimination turned into something rather uplifting.

Students, treat city with some respect

(10/27/11 4:00am)

Every morning I drive my daughter to her school across town. This gives me the opportunity to view many of the different neighborhoods of the city. The most obvious neighborhood I pass through is the “college town” area. I know I am there when suddenly I see red Solo cups strewn about the streets and lawns. I know I am there when I see piles of flattened boxes from cases of beer in untied heaps — I’m sure the pile was high until the rain drenched the boxes and the wind made the boxes move further and further out, lowering and widening the pile. I know I am there when I pass an empty lot that has been filled with red Solo cups, fat sandwich wrappers and everything else that the drunken, careless college students cannot seem to find a trash can for.

Remember to keep helping those in need

(10/26/11 4:00am)

I’m writing this piece because I want to tell the University community to keep on helping people in need and to bring a greater awareness around those who, like us, are struggling and need support now more than ever. As president of the University chapter of the Childhood Leukemia Foundation, some members of the organization and I went to the Robert Wood Johnson University Children’s Hospital last Friday to carve pumpkins, an idea I had last year but never fully implemented. The children were ecstatic and with the carving kits, they were able to make the scariest pumpkins in New Brunswick.

Nobel laureates should merit prize before receiving it

(10/24/11 4:00am)

A couple of weeks ago, my girlfriend told me that the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to three women “for their non-violent struggle for the safety of women and for women’s rights to full participation in peace-building work,” according to the Norwegian Nobel Committee. Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is the first democratically elected female president in Africa. Since 2006, her efforts have supplied Liberia with peace as well as social and economic growth. Leymah Gbowee rallied women of all ethnicities and religions to end their war in Liberia. She then fought for these same women to participate in their nation’s election. Tawakkul Karman battled for democracy and women’s rights in Yemen. She also struggled for peace before and during the Arab Spring.