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Intolerance of religion on campus inhibits productive discussion

(10/07/15 12:07am)

A common theme that emerges from conversations I’ve had with Rutgers students, of all faiths, is a certain feeling of marginalization. Monotheistic or otherwise, daily interactions with professors and students leave believers feeling as though they comprise only a small sliver of the Rutgers pie that practices their faith. Perhaps there is nowhere on campus where that imposition is more visible than the opinions section of The Daily Targum. Followers of all religions have been called irrational, bigoted, hypocritical and gender-biased — all in one week.

Rutgers professor fondly remembers student Edward Romano

(10/01/15 11:54pm)

Edward Romano, a School of Arts and Sciences senior majoring in history and political science, died suddenly on Sept. 30. He was beloved by fellow students, faculty and staff in both departments, along with the Eagleton Institute of Politics, history club, Rutgers University Democrats and a variety of other groups. Ed got involved — that’s what he did.

Celebrations of Yom Kippur, Eid test years of religious violence

(09/29/15 12:27am)

Unfortunately, in the last century the narrative of Jewish-Muslim relations has been marred by episodes of violence and hate. Ignored by many, however, is that both religions derive from the same source: Abrahamic monotheism. Therefore Judaism and Islam are not related just functionally — as are all faiths — but share a mutual history, hence the two religions need not to be seen as adversaries but more like siblings, the spiritual children of Ishmael (Muslims) and Isaac (Jews).

‘Criminals and Tacos’ restaurant name is tasteless, unfortunate

(09/24/15 12:18am)

After reading the Sept. 15 article on the new taco restaurant coming to New Brunswick, I felt compelled to respond. For at least 20 years now, New Brunswick has been the home to “authentic” Mexican restaurants owned and operated by residents from the Mexican states of Oaxaca and Puebla. These two southern states in Mexico are renowned for their cuisines throughout Mexico and the world. We now have more than 15 authentic Mexican restaurants in the city that serve a wide variety of tacos, burritos, other tortilla-based dishes and full plates such as chicken with mole sauce and beefsteak a la Tampiqueña. Rutgers students, faculty and employees can sample this wide range of delicious and economical Mexican food along French and Handy streets and Joyce Kilmer Avenue, among others.

Incoming Mexican restaurant on Easton Avenue is inauthentic

(09/24/15 12:22am)

Did you know that of the 57,080 individuals that call New Brunswick home, 26 percent identify as Mexican? According to restauranteur Andrew Schiff, that means that within the next 30 days, there will be about 14,840 Mexican New Brunswick residents who will FINALLY be able to get their hands on the “true flavors” of “real Mexican food” in New Brunswick. Where you may ask? At no place other than a new Easton Avenue restaurant, called “Criminals and Tacos.”

Removing processed food items from diet will help weight loss

(09/16/15 1:23am)

I wanted to share with you a new Facebook group that I started as a part of a colloquium class that I took with Dr. Julie Fagan this summer. Many people are unhappy that they’re overweight, and they may have even been told by a medical professional to lose weight. As you might have experienced, it’s not that easy to lose weight. Counting calories, sodium, carbs and fat makes eating a chore and takes the pleasure out of eating. We have an easy solution. Just eliminate processed foods and beverages from your diet and you’ll feel better and the pounds will seemingly melt away without effort. Processed foods and beverages are thought to be largely responsible for our well-known obesity epidemic. Additionally, consuming processed foods can result in significant increases in blood pressure and may influence incidences of diabetes, cancer and heart disease. If you convert to eating only unprocessed foods, you will no longer need to count calories or look at fat and carb content, as unprocessed foods are naturally lower in sodium, calories, carbs and fat.

America's economic incentives in dealing with Iran Accord

(09/10/15 8:24pm)

With the recent Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) agreement between Iran and the West, it seems as though, within the past decade, economic stability and integrity have become the essential concern of world leaders. Countries that have not been strong enough to withstand their own economic markets have been putting forth efforts to repair or rebuild some sort of financial backbone. On the other hand, economically strong nations are in a race to augment their markets to recover from recent economic hardships and return to prosperity. The JCPOA does just that.

Kaparot in 2015: On bringing compassion into religious practices

(09/08/15 10:48pm)

Despite Kaparot not being formally referenced in the Old Testament or Talmud, it remains a common custom among observant Jews. Occurring between the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah and the Day of the Atonement — Yom Kippur — Kaparot is a last-ditch effort to be spiritually cleansed before the start of a new year. In order for the individual to be spiritually cleansed, his or her sins are transferred to a live chicken, who is then slaughtered and donated to the poor.

RU students named politically disengaged, importance of voting

(09/06/15 9:20pm)

When it comes to election season, University faculty and student groups always put together an impressive coalition effort to make sure folks know when the voter registration deadline is and where their polling places are come Election Day. Since 2012, the Rutgers Vote Coalition has registered over 12,000 students to vote! But tabling and class announcements aren’t enough. We can do better as a community to create more access to the democracy process on campus. University professors sent out a link to StudentVote.org and helped over 3,000 students register to vote during the last presidential election. A campus wide email with this link would make an even bigger impact. At UC Santa Barbara, where the vote coalition helps over over one-third of the campus register to vote every election, not only does the campus publicize StudentVote.org, but the coalition is a presence at every first-year's first dorm meeting and allowed to go door-to-door to register students. We have an opportunity to give UCSB a run for their money with the presidential primaries and the general election coming up next year, but only if we establish these common sense measures to make voting more accessible. 

Response to critiques of Obama, Mrs. Clinton, their non-supporters

(04/28/15 4:38pm)

I have chosen to respond to Steven Keller’s article,"Bigots who targeted Obama for race will target Clinton's gender," by offering a sobering view of why there is so much opposition to President Obama and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. Keller attempts to make the point, that critical political conversion is scarce, which he does well. But similar to his previous article, he reinforces the unimportant topics he rails against.

Co-educational greek life organizations may be necessary switch

(04/23/15 12:15am)

In light of the ban on fraternity and sorority parties, the greek community at Rutgers needs to reconsider some of its fundamental values. Some would observe the death of Caitlyn Kovacs in September and blame alcohol alone, but demonization of a substance is easy, and ignores the larger context and social issue at hand.

Bigots who targeted Obama for race, will target Clinton’s gender

(04/22/15 1:42am)

Ready, set, go! Now, all of the racists that have poured out their vitriol on our first black president, simply because he is black, can now turn their hate machines toward sexist, anti-woman venom, since Hillary Clinton is in the race. It really takes no brains or critical thought to mock or hate a person for the clothes they wear, their hairstyle or their sexual identity — but man is it easy. 

On dealing with Iran: diplomacy or war, pick one, but choose wisely

(04/21/15 5:56pm)

Take the deal with Iran or go to war with Iran: That is the choice. If what is being gained in 10 years to further mend our relationship with Iran and negotiate another treaty, which will extend the nuclear weapon ban again and again. The breakout time for the Iranians to make a nuclear weapon will go from two months to over a year. If we reject this agreement, Iran is free to become a nuclear weapon country, which Israel will not allow, even if we do. When bombs are dropped over Iran, by either the U.S. or Israel, another war will commence. The U.S. Iraq/Afghanistan war has lasted 12 years (and is still ongoing) at the expense of thousands of American lives, thousands of Arab lives and three to five trillion dollars — who would want another war? The choice seems simple, take the deal and continue to work diplomatically. However, there are strong forces aligned against the common sense choice: the Obama haters, the rich and the super-rich.