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Sea-level rise, driven in large part by climate change, threatens our state’s coastal communities and ecosystems. To provide context for understanding the changes our planet and our state is undergoing, I am one of a group of scientists at Rutgers that studies past sea-level changes, both globally and here in New Jersey. Our New Jersey sea-level research has been the subject of misleading attacks, as in Tom Brown’s Sept. 10 letter to the editor in The Daily Targum titled “Rutgers should not sacrifice environment for research projects.” My collaborator, Professor Gregory Mountain, has provided specific responses in “Criticism of University marine research project misinformed, unfounded.” Here, I provide the scientific impetus for our studies.
As an alumna and former member of Residence Life staff, I was glad to read about overdose prevention efforts moving forward in the Rutgers community in The Daily Targum’s Sept. 10 article, “Rutgers addresses heroin issues in University community.” It is excellent to know the Rutgers University Police Department is in the process of equipping officers with the opioid overdose antidote, naloxone (Narcan). Similar initiatives are underway on other local campuses like Montclair State, Monmouth and William Paterson. First responders in various parts of the state have already saved more than 100 lives with naloxone, including multiple teenagers and individuals in their 20s.
As principal investigator of the research Tom Brown refers to in his Sept. 9 letter, “Rutgers should not sacrifice environment for research projects,” I want to address several inaccuracies in his statements.
I have been learning more and more about the issues of hunger in the New Brunswick area and in America in general. People will stand on the sides of the road with signs desperately asking for food in exchange for work. Should these people always be blown off? I beg to differ. I believe we can open a local store that operates seven days a week. The food we sell there can be food that farmers don’t sell to larger grocery stores because they are slightly discolored or misshapen. We could also go to local grocery stores and ask to purchase salvaged canned foods to stock this store.
I have been learning about the stressful workplaces nurses must suffer in on a daily basis. Arnold Bakker mentioned a term called “burnout” in the nursing profession in his paper, “Effort-reward imbalance and burnout among nurses.” The term refers to how nurses feel unappreciated and are exhausted from the heavy workload and hours in the hospitals they work in. Burnout, in turn, may lead to feelings of depression and tiredness, often leading to sloppier work and, thus, more mistakes in hospitals. In fact, according to a survey done at the American Organization of Nurse Executives, 57 percent of nurses said workloads were not distributed evenly in the previous year, with 54 percent saying they had excessive workload.
On June 3, Rutgers in association with the National Science Foundation, University of Texas and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory began a 30-day research project putatively to gather information about seabed sedimentation during the period between 30 and 60 million years ago. The data generated by this research is of great value to the fossil fuels industry. This research involved seismic blasting at a level orders of magnitude above the decibels generated by a jet takeoff. This blasting took place every 5 seconds for 30 days and nights, over a 230 square-mile expanse of ocean 15 miles off the Barnegat Inlet.
The United States was once full of luscious forests rich in biodiversity with trees standing taller than skyscrapers. Sadly, most of the forests in the U.S. and around the world have fallen or been severely degraded. Those still standing are falling fast. Canada’s Boreal forest, the largest intact forest and wetland ecosystem on the planet, is home to thousands of species including endangered species, such as the caribou. The Boreal forest is disappearing at the alarming rate of 4,000 football fields a day. Deforestation is exacerbating the rate of climate change, displacing communities and increasing species loss.
Condoleezza Rice made the proper decision to back out of an invitation by Rutgers University to receive $35,000 in return for a commencement address. The protesting students and faculty also were wise to remind the University that as National Security Advisor to President George W. Bush, she participated in the massive war crimes of the illegal and devastating invasion of Iraq — a nation that never threatened us.
Stepping into Rutgers as a freshman in 2010, I expected this to be the place where I would learn to be a strong, knowledgeable, eloquent individual. I expected to meet academics who would teach me the ways of the world and guide me in my efforts to make a positive impact on society. I expected this institution to have my best interests in mind and to act in a way that would maximize my benefits and learning experience. I expected the leaders of my university to serve as role models for me to follow once I stepped out of this college bubble and into the real world.
As I look back on my four years on the Banks, I cannot help but feel melancholy, recognizing that all of this will be coming to an end in a few short weeks. Rutgers University has provided me with experiences I will treasure for the rest of my life — not only treasure but hopefully learn from as well, as this is a University, after all. It has been an honor to serve this past year as your student body president, and I hope many of you have felt the impact the Rutgers University Student Assembly has had on your time here. It is always important to remember that you are not alone in your collegiate struggle. You have friends, family, professors, advisors, and yes, even your student government, working to mitigate the effects of the “RUScrew” as it has come to be “affectionately” known. At the very least, I have found the RUScrew as much a learning experience as occasionally attending lecture. Our Department of Transportation with its expansive bus system is the best preparation for any non-city dweller on how a large metropolitan transportation system functions. Likewise, the sprawling bureaucracy that makes up the Rutgers Administration is just a taste of what interacting with our local, state and federal governments is like. I doubt our friends in the IRS are as willing to hear you out as our financial aid office that strives to make sure we can continue attending Rutgers.
I’m writing in response to a letter to the editor published in The Daily Targum on April 30 titled, “Student protests lack necessary strength, persistence.”
As proud alumni of Rutgers University, nothing makes us happier than seeing Rutgers students use their education to make the world a better place. It was with great pride that we recently watched a video of current students standing up for their right to participate in selecting who would speak at their upcoming graduation. We are proud that they tried to work with the administration using proper channels and even more proud to see that, when they were rebuffed, they pressed for dialogue using the honored tradition of civil disobedience. Their actions are part of a long and proud history at Rutgers University, and they reflect a deep understanding of the ways we all need to be willing to put ourselves on the line when we see an injustice.
I am a senior who, up until this week, was very much looking forward to my graduation on May 18. However, after reading The Daily Targum’s news and editorial coverage of the #NoRice protests this week, I must express my grave concern.
I’m writing to comment on The Daily Targum’s April 28 article, “Students storm Barchi’s office to protest Rice’s commencement invitation.”
I write this as a proud member of the National Rifle Association as well as a Rutgers student. I just wish to make a point about Sabri Rafi’s piece on smart guns without getting into a debate on the minutiae of gun control. They are correctly identified as merely a “band-aid,” but there is one fact of which he may not be aware: Smart guns are completely impractical. As National Review Online’s Charles C. W. Cooke notes, “There currently exists a grand total of one “smart” gun — an expensive German product that comes only in a weak caliber that is wholly unsuitable for self-defense.” That gun, the Armatix iP1 pistol, costs $1,800 — approximately three times the price of an average handgun and far out of most people’s price range. It is a .22 caliber firearm, which, as anyone familiar with guns will tell you, is better described as a “pea shooter.” He goes on to cite Guns.com’s Max Slowik, who points out that, “And [Smart guns] just don’t work 100 percent of the time. Which is precisely why both New Jersey and Maryland have enacted legislation that exempts them from being forced to issue smart guns to their police officers. For a target or recreational shooter, this might be OK. But for anyone who may want to use their gun for self-defense, police or otherwise, the failure rate inherent to smart guns — about 1 percent with the latest generation of smart safeties — is unacceptable.” Revolvers, the form of gun usually preferred for self-defense purposes due to their almost-complete reliability, would actually have their failure rate drastically increased if they were to be manufactured with smart technology. (The iP1 is a semiautomatic, not a revolver.) I hope this brings a little clarification as to exactly how successful any smart gun solution would be.
Throughout the years, Rutgers has been effectively trying to provide stress relief for students during finals. I have gone to multiple events in the past, which included activities such as making stress balls, friendship bracelets and even receiving quick massages. They have also brought in therapy dogs that the students could interact with.
It never ceases to amaze me when people are presented with the opportunity to be great. They can contribute to something greater than themselves and use their consciousness to assert their place on the right side of history — and they don’t take it.
Earth Day has traditionally been the one day each year when people band together to take action for the environment. We bike to campus, we redouble our recycling efforts, and we pledge to be more conscientious about the amount of waste we produce. But did you know you could help save the planet every time you sit down for breakfast, lunch and dinner? It’s true — join millions of others who are doing something to help the environment by eating more plant-based meals.
I was pleased to read the article titled “Rutgers responds to N.J. heroin problem” written by editor-in-chief, Alexandra R. Meier. Substance abuse has become an increasingly bigger problem that needs to be taken seriously. About 20 percent of college first-year students drop out because of their substance abuse problems. However, according to the article, Connor was able to pull himself out of the bonds of addiction and return to college.
As a Rutgers alum, I want to congratulate Coach C. Vivian Stringer and the Rutgers women’s basketball team on their WNIT national championship, especially the determined, gritty way they sidestepped a furious University of Texas-El Paso rally to take the lead back and win. The Scarlet Knights triumphed despite a grueling eight-day road trip of three straight road games, jet lag, no time to adjust to the 3,500-foot elevation at UTEP and a screaming arena of 12,000 UTEP fans (who, by the way, proved El Paso a great city for basketball).