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Approach academic cheating ethically

(09/20/11 4:00am)

I have not cheated on an exam since taking elementary school spelling tests. To be fair, I was young and foolish, and those didn’t count for anything. However, I have witnessed cheating throughout my years in high school and even at the University to some extent. Though we can all agree that cheating and other kinds of academic dishonesty are fraud and certainly unethical, interesting moral quandaries come into play when considering how we, as non-cheaters, should deal with our peers who do cheat. Is it ethical to report them? Is it ethical not to report them? The answers to those questions, of course, depend on context.


University must take U.S. News rankings seriously

(09/15/11 11:35pm)

I am a Rutgers College graduate and have been an alumni leader since 1975. I have spent years in the trenches at college fairs in Connecticut as the founder of the Rutgers Club of Connecticut and have watched as parents and guidance counselors from public and private schools parade through the room with the latest U.S. News and World Report rankings of colleges. Guidance counselors have told me that they help students distinguish between their various college choices. 



Get involved with activities, organizations on campus

(09/08/11 4:00am)

It is no doubt a hectic time at the University, regardless of how many credits you have. Upperclassmen are furiously writing personal statements, asking for letters of recommendation and editing résumés for graduate and professional schools or looking for jobs. Others are trying to figure out how to explain their year off to mom and dad. As underclassmen, you are either learning or reacquainting yourself with our sprawling campus, trying to remember why taking the F bus might be a better decision than taking the EE, and taking a deep breath as you realize that you still have more than half of your undergraduate career left to complete.


Exercise choice, not censorship, when offended

(09/08/11 4:00am)

To further elaborate on the column, "Free speech applies to everyone" in yesterday's issue of The Daily Targum, the idea of censorship to the First Amendment has been a never-ending conflict between law and citizens. The laws in the United States apply to everyone within the jurisdiction of this nation. But rights, such as freedom of speech, only apply to citizens protected by the Bill of Rights under the U.S. Constitution. The Bill of Rights was written for those who are citizens, written in the Constitution as words "We the People of the United States of America …" To infer that free speech applies to everyone is a valid fallacy under this document for those who are illegal immigrants or visitors of this country. It's safe to say that amendments are the most scrutinized and often debated laws in our courts since the time of our existence. Many Supreme Court decisions were made in order to dispute such rights. This debacle has caused conflict and further intensifies political tension that can easily overshadow rational or educated beliefs to protect liberty and positive progress, but this is where the First Amendment currently stands.


Students should work for better understanding

(09/06/11 4:00am)

As you adjust to new class schedules, residence halls and the general hustle and bustle inherent within a university lifestyle, we ask that you take a few moments to consider the following: the University is one of the most diverse universities in our country, with 3 of every 5 students belonging to a different ethnicity. That means that in a classroom of 15 students, 9 different ethnicities are likely to be represented. Take advantage of this wonderful statistic during your time here. Learn about your roommate's background, family life and religion. A conversation with a student culturally different than you can change your world perspective, and you will often find that you share more in common than you would have ever thought.


Recognize Obama's many conservative tendencies

(09/06/11 4:00am)

President Barack Obama rejected a proposed rule from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this past week, which would have imposed stricter air quality standards. Lisa Jackson, the EPA administrator, fought for these ozone reductions but was on the losing end of a battle with Obama and his White House staff. The decision to abandon the tougher emissions standards angered environmentalists and liberal Democrats who formed a large portion of Obama's political base since the lead-up to the 2008 election. Despite Obama's protestations that the new policies would hurt potential economic growth, these constituencies see Obama's most recent pivot as a betrayal of principles they believe the president once held when "change" was the buzzword around the country.


Recognize value of high-quality affordable schooling

(05/01/11 4:00am)

The recent protests and sit-in at the University are about more than just a tuition freeze. Students issued their demands not out of shortsighted self-interest, but out of a desire to promote the values of public education. We invest in public education because society itself profits from a more educated, more skilled populace. Ensuring that everyone has equal access to education ensures that merit, not socioeconomic status, will determine the leaders of tomorrow.


Speak out against mistreatment of student voters

(05/01/11 4:00am)

You are busy. You have class, you work, you study, you are involved on campus and then you wake up the next morning and do it all over again. Yet you still try to find time in your completely filled schedule to cast your ballot on Election Day — to have your voice heard.  If some states have their way, it may not be that simple. Election reform laws have been introduced in 31 states that will require college students to find more time in their busy days to exercise their right to vote.


World needs dialogue about LGBTQ issues

(04/28/11 4:00am)

My heart sank twice on Monday. The first time, I was riding the train as a group of young teenagers walked on bandying about the "F" word — the same one that has Kobe Bryant on a far-reaching apology tour. I wondered if my support to help pass marriage equality in Trenton, my efforts to fundraise for a local lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) organization in Newark, the efforts of all of those like me and those who work so much harder for the cause would really have an effect on the youth who may well have no reason to pay attention to what many of us find to be an endemic problem in our collective culture. It was clear that this anti-gay sentiment, which is still so prevalent in spite of massive efforts to raise awareness and generate tolerance, was learned and accepted, likely a reflection of the persistence of the myth of masculinity in our culture.


Acknowledge all facets of headscarf controversy

(04/27/11 4:00am)

I laughed when I opened this morning's issue of The Daily Targum and looked at the editorial page. I saw a column, titled "Burqa, niqab ban makes sense," a piece which concluded, "the headscarf and its associations saps Muslim women of agency." Right next to this article was a Project Civility essay my roommate wrote. She is a smart, energetic and politically conscious woman who also happens to wear a hijab. Reading these two pieces side by side was hilarious. After watching in awe as my roommate spent the year chairing committees, organizing conferences, emceeing numerous events and addressing women's issues at the New York City Council, the idea that her scarf "saps" her agency was eminently laughable. Their juxtaposition was also sobering, however. Why does anyone — the French government, a Targum columnist — feel they have the right to determine what my roommate — or anyone else for that matter — should wear? The column states the writer is using the French ban as a forum in which to question the "untouchable" status of religion in contemporary Western culture. Undoubtedly, the headscarf controversy is deeply concerned with determining the role of religion in a predominantly secular society. I would argue, however, that the religious aspect of this debate is not of primary importance. Rather, the writer's belief that he is justified in supporting the French government's ban of headscarves is evidence of deep-set culturally hegemonic and patriarchal attitudes.


Students deserve to have voice in fiscal decisions

(04/26/11 4:00am)

The Rutgers University Student Assembly (RUSA) election this past week was University students' only opportunity to use their democratic voice to change the University. But while I applaud the success and efforts of RUSA to change the University, they are limited in what they can do because of the administration's iron grip on fiscal decisions.



Keep fighting for education

(04/25/11 4:00am)

On the days leading up the "Walk into Action," I came across quite a few naysayers. Several students expressed skepticism about the effectiveness of such a rally. Many more doubted that people would turn out for the event. Hundreds of students gathered to challenge these sentiments on a misty afternoon on April 13 to collectively demand from our administration that something be done about the increasing costs of tuition. Passionate speeches were given, and chants were carried throughout the crowd for the entirety of the rally. I even ran into those aforementioned naysayers in the midst of the rally, screaming, "You say cut backs, we say fight back!" We united as students to fight on that day for something that is an integral part of our society — a quality education that is also affordable.


Look to elders for inspiration on living life fully

(04/24/11 4:00am)

At my local Borders the other day, I picked up a book called "How to Build a Fire: and Other Handy Things Your Grandfather Knew." Realizing that I may someday want to know how to build a fire to possibly impress a lady friend while camping, I picked the book up on a whim. What really struck me was what I found in the table of contents. Of course there were chapters on how to build a fire, how to catch a fish, how to paint a room and how to make beef jerky, but as I scanned further down the list, I saw titles like "Soldiering On: How to Be Brave," "How to Write a Love Letter," "How to Make a Toast," "How to Protect Your Home" and a few other things that really took me by surprise. The author Erin Bried had written about some really wonderful things that I realized would actually take a lifetime of rich experiences to learn. It occurred to me that over the years, all our grandparents have earned those skills like merit badges.



Students deserve recognition at graduation

(04/21/11 4:00am)

While everyone is distracted by recent controversies surrounding Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi's campus visit and the cancellation of Rutgersfest, a far more important issue is going unnoticed by students — the cancellation of the School of Arts and Sciences convocation. While there will still be a ceremony on May 15, School of Arts and Sciences students will not have their names called or be allowed to walk.


President McCormick cares about University

(04/21/11 4:00am)

With recent deaths, the stadium expansion, consolidation of the colleges, tuition increases, Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi and the most recent Rutgersfest incident, the University has had a rough couple of years. Being such a large university, it is not surprising that students may feel University President Richard L. McCormick and his administration are sometimes out of touch with students' needs and tend to hide away in the Old Queen's ivory towers — cue the YouTube video of students storming into the president's office with megaphones. Although we as students may disagree with the decisions being made, and even be angry when we don't understand why, we must keep in mind that the administration does truly care about the University's future.


Foster unity among disparate student groups

(04/21/11 4:00am)

This letter is in response to the letter published April 11 in The Daily Targum, titled "Engage in debate instead of resorting to attacks." The letter gave recognition to the Rutgers Shalom/Salaam's event on March 5 called "StandUp for Peace." As co-president of Rutgers Shalom/Salaam, I wanted to thank the author for mentioning the event and its success. More than 250 people showed up and hundreds of dollars were raised for Dance Marathon.


Choose party which serves students' interests

(04/20/11 4:00am)

I am not going to waste space recounting what a good friend Matt Cordeiro has been over the years, even if I do have enough circumstantial evidence to last a lifetime. Matt has always been someone I could count on to lend an ear to listen, a hand to help, and, from time to time, a couch to sleep on. But we do not elect our leaders based on what they do for the people they are close to. We elect them based upon what they will do for us as voters. As a friend, Matt has proven himself worthy of my support, but more importantly, as vice president of RUSA, he has shown himself worthy of the support of every student at the University. I am proud to run on Cordeiro's ticket not because of the conversations he and I have shared, but because the shared vision Rutgers United has for the future of this University.