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NJPIRG helps U. students

(11/01/10 4:00am)

In the coming days, University students have a chance to make a statement about their support of a caring and socially just campus, state of New Jersey and society by voting for the referendum to continue to fund New Jersey Public Interest Research Group Student Chapters. NJPIRG provides valuable leadership and service learning experiences to students through its internship program, building skills such as writing for the media, conducting research, organizing grassroots campaigns and public speaking. Students learn how to make their voices count on essential public issues, such as poverty, energy and the environment. I greatly value the way in which NJPIRG provides opportunities for University students to become civically engaged and to learn deeply about the social issues of our community and our state. I hope students will stop by a polling table and vote "yes" so that NJPIRG can continue its tradition of helping University students become better citizens and leaders.

Religious politicians appeal to religious voters

(10/31/10 4:00am)

The University offers a phenomenal class through the Department of Political Science, "Religion and Politics," that I would recommend to everyone with political opinions. The main point of the class is that because of the very personal nature of both religion and politics, the two cannot truly be separated. They are simply too similar to be independent.

Take small steps to conserve water

(10/28/10 4:00am)

Almost every living thing on this planet needs water, including the more than six and a half billion humans. The only problem is that we use and waste water at such a high rate that our surface and groundwater sources can't replenish themselves. Out of all the water on Earth only 2.5 percent is fresh potable water. And less than 1 percent of the world's fresh water is accessible, leaving a mere 0.5 percent as fresh water we can use. This leaves us with a resource that is perceived as unlimited but is quickly decreasing by greed and misuse.

Continue to support EOF

(10/28/10 4:00am)

The only thing remarkable about my story is how truly unremarkable it is. Like all Educational Opportunity Fund students, I am the first member of my family to attend a university. Like all EOF students, I come from an economically disadvantaged home and would not be able to attend the University without the aid and support of the EOF program. Like most EOF students, I am in good academic standing, and like most EOF students, my grade point average is higher than that of the average University undergraduate student. Like many of us, I have to balance my grades with my two jobs, and like far, far too many of us, I find myself performing a juggling act, doing everything I can to make ends meet every semester.

Support NJPIRG chapter

(10/27/10 4:00am)

You've seen them out on campus registering students to vote. You've heard their class announcements about internship and volunteer opportunities. Maybe you've volunteered with a river clean up, helped to weatherize a house or participated in one of their service projects to address hunger. New Jersey Public Interest Research Group is one of the major components of student involvement at University, and right now they need you all to stop at one of their referendum polling stations and vote "yes" so that they can continue doing good for the University community.

Do not blame dire state of education on teachers

(10/25/10 4:00am)

I am writing this in response to the column written on last Thursday titled "Tenure damages education." While I would agree that tenure is outdated, and it possibly allows certain teachers to "slack off," the complete removal and implementation of a merit-based system is not the answer and can be quite detrimental to the educational process. Let me first address the columnist's point, "Tenure eliminates the incentive to perform well … if teachers, their job guaranteed, slack off then the quality of education wilts and students suffer." Yes, tenure allows for the possibility for a teacher to slack off and sadly some do, but this is not the case for the majority. A majority of teachers in New Jersey are wonderful and many have received awards for excellence and proficiency in their subject. There are the few teachers that care little for the student and do hurt the educational system, but I stress to anyone reading this that those teachers are the minority. Taking away tenure because of what few teachers do is not only inconsiderate, but in a way selfish as well. Find these teachers and punish them, fire them, do whatever one can to get them out of the school, but to remove tenure entirely is — as I said before — unnecessary. Rather, I would argue that we need to revise tenure and re-look at how, and in what time frame, teachers get tenure. Tenure works to protect the teacher, more so than you know. Tenure helps to protect the teacher from the ever-present supervisor or administrator that is trigger happy in firing teachers that do not agree with certain views. Now I do feel sorry for people in those jobs who do not have tenure, but getting rid of a teacher halfway through the year because a supervisor does not agree with the teacher's style of education and getting rid of a salesperson in the middle of the year because of whatever issues are two completely different realms of important.

Unite against preaching on campus

(10/19/10 4:00am)

As I was walking out of the Loree Building on the Cook/Douglass campus Wednesday, I stumbled upon a crowd circled around a man with a Bible. He was citing passages from the Bible condemning homosexuality as sin. I was horrified at his insensitivity, given former University student Tyler Clementi's recent death. I confronted him and demanded that he tell me Jesus's position on homosexuality. He knew his bible: Jesus never mentioned homosexuality. Rather, the man stated that "Pedophilia wasn't mentioned by Jesus either, but we know that to be immoral."

Become active citizens in movement against war

(10/17/10 4:00am)

The ninth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan and the beginning of its 10th year was marked on Oct. 7. Many did not acknowledge that. This is distressing as it indicates indifference or ignorance among the student population of a war that has been tragic for the Afghan people and carries serious moral and economic consequences for our country. The student population must acknowledge the importance of the moral and economic consequences of this conflict if it is ever to give birth to a substantive anti-war movement.

Economy still in shambles

(10/12/10 4:00am)

President Barack Obama implemented an economic stimulus package of $787 billion in February 2009, which was supposed to create five million new jobs by the end of 2010. This estimate was subsequently lowered to three million new jobs. The Obama administration then said they would create and save jobs. They said unemployment would peak at 8.0 percent by the end of 2010 and then recede.

Social titles play important roles for everyone

(10/11/10 4:00am)

In the letter yesterday in The Daily Targum, titled "Individuality must prevail over social titles," the author implied that identification based on social titles such as ethnicity and orientation is deterring people from seeing the point of equality and tainting the memory of University first-year student Tyler Clementi, whose tragic death has been on the mind of students, faculty and various communities outside of the University. It seems almost ironic that this letter was published the same day as National Coming Out Day. Much like the name implies, National Coming Out Day is a day in which people that don't identify with the hetero-normal labels can announce it to remind the people in their lives that they're here, they're queer and they're human beings.

Don't rush to judgement

(10/11/10 4:00am)

The narrative about University first-year student Tyler Clementi's suicide is so compelling that it must be true. Many questions, though, are raised by his death: What led to it? Was it preventable? Did the University somehow fail him? There are also larger issues of youth suicide, bullying of virtual and real nature and how to counter what is all too often a chilly climate for sexual-minority youth. Clementi's suicide is just one among a spate of gay young people who took their own lives recently.

Individuality must prevail over social titles

(10/10/10 4:00am)

If I asked "Who are you?" most likely you would begin with an introduction. But what's in a name? Next you might mention University and perhaps your place of employment. But those are just temporary social conditions. Exasperated, you may turn to the abstract, mentioning your gender, race, background, sexual orientation, friends and family, etc. In the end, all of these things and more make up our essence. The danger comes when we begin perceiving ourselves, or others, as being mainly part of a single label. Historically this has been common among persecuted factions: Those in the Holocaust perceive themselves as primarily "Jewish," those in the civil rights movement become primarily "Black," etc.