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I believe in empowerment to the individual, limited government and the Constitution. Based on these values, I tend to agree with conservative positions and lean Right on issues, such as the economy, the military and personal responsibility. I am who I am because of my values. I also happen to be a woman. My womanhood has never defined me nor prevented me from pursuing my goals. My identity as a woman is but a small fraction of who I am. I let my beliefs and principles be the judgement of my character and hope that others view me as an individual rather than part of a homogenous collective group, political or otherwise.
Among many of the hashtags that President Donald J. Trump’s administration has started is one of questionable legitimacy: #FreeMelania. Somehow, within the midst of the Women’s March, a movement to empower women, many progressive men and women chose to use the "powerless" First Lady Melania Trump as a rallying cry. Journalists feel compelled to hyper-analyze all of her body movements and slightest facial expressions to diagnose her with Stockholm Syndrome. There is an overwhelming urge to believe that the first lady is suffering, held prisoner by her husband. For years, the first lady has been reaping the benefits of her marriage to a real estate mogul and celebrity. Yet, we still insist she is a victim even when she has explicitly commanded people to not feel sorry for her. Why are we making excuses for a woman who has never shown sympathy to those her husband has torn down?
Last Friday, 20 public libraries in the U.S. received a $10,000 grant meant to help supply resources for adult English-language learners as part of the American Dream Literacy Initiative. The New Brunswick Free Public Library was one of the chosen institutions, and the money will go toward providing English as a second language (ESL) members of the community with education and workforce training. The money is distributed by the American Library Association (ALA) and the Dollar General Literacy Foundation, and according to the ALA’s press release the grants give libraries the ability to increase their access to print and digital ESL collections, increase computer access and training, provide job training, hold English-language learning (ELL), general educational development (GED) and citizenship classes, among other things.
We do not give our bodies enough credit for everything they do on a daily basis. Without this vessel, we would not be able to accomplish the goals we put our minds to. Our bodies are constantly at work — even while we sleep — to ensure that all natural systems are functioning properly. Therefore, when our bodies demand rest, the least we could do is listen and oblige, but many people push past their point of exhaustion. It seems like the main reason for driving the body to its maximum capacity is because being tired is a trend that has become part of the American culture. Without knowing it, we idolize those who push themselves past their limits often — it is why you have bragging rights if you only got 2 hours of sleep last night or if this is your third cup of coffee today. We should really be admiring those who can perform at their full power on a daily basis, because their body is healthy and allows them to function with ease.
The pendulum swings. I was first told this by a high school history teacher as he was explaining the way in which a conservative comes into office, and then there is democratic backlash and election — and vice versa, on and on. This seems fairly true in the case of former President Barack Obama’s eight-year presidency and its following by President Donald J. Trump's administration. Conservatism in response to the Obama-era can be seen everywhere, but it is now starting to reflect in a place that is perhaps unexpected — LGBTQ people and attitudes toward them. Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) recently released its Accelerating Acceptance survey for the year 2017. GLAAD has long been a highly visible organization focused on LGBTQ individuals, and the results of this survey found that LGBTQ acceptance has not increased for the first time since the survey began being measured. This leads to a quite obvious question: What happened?
On Jan. 29, University President Robert L. Barchi sent an email to the student body reminding it of the approaching date of termination for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), which as of right now is March 5, 2018. DACA is meant to protect young, undocumented students brought to this country at a young age from deportation and allow them to continue their education.
It is often said that if one hears a lie long enough, they begin to believe it. This dictum clearly applies to the concept of diversity. In an almost Orwellian fashion, phrases like “diversity is our strength” are constantly repeated by educators, politicians and the media (namely, of course, CNN). Individuals who dare question ethnic and cultural diversity are cast out as racists and bigots (terms that have taken on an almost transcendent and evil connotation, much like the words heretic and blasphemer). The unfortunate reality is that there is no evidence that ethnic or cultural diversity is a force for good. In fact, diversity seems to be a net negative on society.
How can college students make time to focus on our goals amid a busy semester? The answer is simple, but often ignored: time management. Time management is simply scheduling and pacing yourself, from when you work out, to when you study, to what time you can hang out with your friends and family. While this does not sound too difficult, without practicing correct time management, there is the possibility of crumbling under pressure. But, once you get into the habit and find a balance, it will become routine and will carry on through your entire life, not just your college career.
Following a statement by University President Robert L. Barchi, at the start of January the minimum wage on campus increased to $11 an hour. Despite that fact, the fight continues on for higher wages. Yesterday, a banner could be seen hanging from the roof above the Brower Commons steps that advocated for a rise in the minimum wage to $15 an hour. A similar banner was seen hanging in the same spot approximately two months ago with a similar statement. In both cases, someone presumably broke onto the roof of the dining hall or Stonier Hall and proceeded to hang the banner without the University’s permission. Additionally, the banner was held up by loose cinder blocks, as seen in photographs of the incident — a blatant safety hazard.
In a column centered around the theme of health inequity, both globally and at home here in the United States, I plan what to write on a bi-weekly basis by following the news coverage in the last few days. But, one story caught my attention in early December, and despite its lack of attention in the media or urgency in terms of policy deadlines, it is one that is truly haunting and has stayed with me since the first mention I heard of it.
This past Sunday, Jan. 28, was the 60th Annual Grammy Awards. The Grammys is an award show in which artists are given awards for certain achievements in the music industry. During the show, performances are given by top, rising or summer bop-releasing artists, many of which tend to use their platforms to advocate for causes to raise more awareness amongst their audience. Two years ago, Kendrick Lamar used the stage for an electrifying performance of his song "Alright" from his album, “To Pimp a Butterfly." During his performance, there was actual fire burning on stage as he made countless references toward political conversations, such as police brutality, the mistreatment of minorities and the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement. This performance resonated well among his audience as "Alright" has become the theme song for the BLM protestors.
The attempted invalidation of news sources, even the most prestigious and well-respected of them, has become rampant in this country despite the fact that the press is one of our nation’s most important institutions. The press is seen by many as the “fourth branch” of the government, with an unparalleled ability to check for wrongdoings and hold officials accountable for their actions. This is part of the reason blatant attacks on the media which aim for its collapse are somewhat puzzling, especially when these attacks come from advocates for a less powerful central government.
While it would be prudent for President Donald J. Trump to proclaim that the state of our union is “strong” when he faces the nation for his 2018 State of the Union Address, behind the scenes there is no clearer evidence for the division that has been sewn throughout this country than the immigration debate. But while the debate that surrounded last week’s short-lived government shutdown about the future of former President Barack Obama-era's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program was centered around Republicans and Democrats, the more interesting divide on the immigration debate exists solely within the Republican Party, with the ethnic concerns of hardline nationalists clashing with the business interests of the establishment right.
As of 2018, Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake has become one of the most game-changing politicians that the country has witnessed since President Donald J. Trump’s continuously disappointing presidency. Much of the objection to our president was never about the electing of a Republican or even the differing views regarding immigration and citizenship status. Instead, what was truly infuriating is the president’s incapability to stand up for what he believed in. That is right — even for someone as pugnacious as Trump, instead of facing criticism, the only thing he was really capable of doing was wagging his finger and claiming that everything that did not inflate his ego was “fake.”
The first time I ever read The Daily Targum was in 2015 – the special magazine-style summer edition that was sent right to my front door. I remember picking it up and reading every word on every page – after all, the Targum was the reason that I chose to transfer to Rutgers my sophomore year over the other schools that I applied to. My eyes scanned the list of editorial board members, and it was at that moment that I set my mind on becoming a member. Fast forward a few months, and I was caucused in as the copy editor of Board 148. Fast forward a year, and I was caucused in as the editor-in-chief of Board 149.
Education is undeniably one of the most fundamental aspects of a developed society. It is recognized as a universal right and encompasses total accessibility for people of all beliefs, backgrounds, genders and races. Education is an achievement and an asset that promotes academic, social and cultural awareness because of its inclusivity. That being said, its state is the greatest harbinger of a corrupted society as it can be easily manipulated to fit harmful agendas. One can make a highly accurate judgment of a nation’s secularity, adherence to law, political and social values and treatment of its citizens simply by analyzing its education system.
The cost of ending the government shutdown this week was the shutting down of something else: a lot of hope. When 33 Democrats in Senate voted to end the recent government shutdown with a temporary spending bill to Feb. 8 instead of resisting the pressure, the hope for DACA beneficiaries plunged a little deeper into the ground.
The American economy is currently experiencing its longest stretch of continuous job growth in recorded history. For 87 months in a row, more jobs have been added than lost, with the unemployment rate plunging to just 4.1 percent. Long-term unemployment, once a symbol of the slow recovery, has finally normalized. In other words, the job market is strong.
In the eyes of many, 2017 has been defined by the roar of resistance. Reviving from post-election traumatics, critics of President Donald J. Trump gathered in the millions last year to voice their disapproval like clockwork. Those who wished to defy the new administration took to the streets with signs and dissent. The protests began in the first month with the Women’s March, then branched into oppositions against travel bans, immigration reform and climate change. Across the nation, there was a collective battle cry that yelled, “This Will Not Stand.”
As the opioid crisis becomes increasingly deadly, former Gov. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) has made it his mission to fight back against the de-facto plague here in New Jersey. For Christie the crisis is one that hits home, as a friend of his was addicted to opioids and was ultimately killed by them in an overdose. Christie recently announced that New Jersey universities, including Rutgers, will receive $5 million to help combat the issue on college campuses. The grant was decided upon before Christie left office, and is meant to go towards funding education and rehabilitation with regard to drug addiction in young people — a group that badly needs it. In 2016, 40 percent of all treatment admissions reported to New Jersey’s Substance Abuse Monitoring System was comprised of people between the ages of 18 and 29.