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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.
On Monday, newly sworn in Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) signed an executive order calling for a full-scale audit of NJ Transit. The system is seen by many as failing and was one of the hot-button issues of November’s gubernatorial race, especially after Hoboken’s rail accident in 2016. From personnel to infrastructure, NJ Transit is in need of a serious revamping, and Murphy is right about that. At parts of the train station in Summit, for example, the concrete was found to be crumbling. But while a revolution is just what this transit system needs, change at the scale in question requires a large amount of one scarce and particular thing — money.
We stand at a crossroads. America is plagued by inequality. People feel stuck and trapped in their socioeconomic status, yet a wave of activism is crashing across the country. People are mobilized in an effort of progress and hope is present in many. Now is the time for the Democratic Party to assert itself as not just the anti-Donald J. Trump party, but also the party of the working class, of economic uplifting and of liberty and justice for all.
Right beside McCormick Residence Hall is the ongoing construction of the Richard Weeks Hall of Engineering. It is an architectural marvel. The exterior is sleek steel and large, open glass windows. A long metallic hall juts out the side of the main entrance in an eccentric tilt and a large, circular room bulges from beneath. Activity on the construction site had begun just before I enrolled at Rutgers as a first-year and is slated to end this fall. Once the structure is completed, it will rival the Business School on Livingston campus.
A significant burden to the students of Rutgers—New Brunswick is the transportation system. While students become increasingly frustrated with the buses, the University is seemingly frantically looking for ways to make them run more smoothly and efficiently. New bus lanes and bike lanes were implemented on College Avenue in the summer, but they are simply not enough to solve the problem. One of the main ideas behind this initiative with synchronous lecture halls is that by offering classes of this sort, the University will be able to cut out a good portion of student travel and hopefully alleviate traffic. So far the University has taken 10 large lecture courses and made them into synchronous lecture hall courses with the hope of reducing the number of students who need to take the bus. So for example — in a class of 300, rather than possibly more than 150 students traveling on the buses there may now only be 50 traveling for that class. This is an important goal because, in reality, the whole point of attending Rutgers is to go to class and learn. Without students actually being able to get to class efficiently, this is impossible. With that said, it is good to see the University coming up with innovative ways to solve the bus crisis.
Seven years after the Arab Spring, Tunisians have returned once again to the streets, demanding reform. Since the beginning of the month, small and medium-sized protests have erupted in multiple towns and cities all across the north African country demanding economic opportunity, development and job growth. As of the time of this writing, the protests have begun to die out. Despite this, the protests are significant because of the underlying issues that they reveal.
It was after one Hispanic and one Indian colleague left me to stand in the flight boarding queue in Durban International Airport that a man approached me. I am what most would consider white but let us use the term loosely as I was more of a light hue of salmon, as my sunburn entered the “peeling” phase. As I finished one last peel of skin, the man asked where I was from and what brought me to "the motherland." I explained that I was a member of a Rutgers delegation which traveled to South Africa to learn more about Nelson Mandela and perform social and economic justice research post-apartheid in partnership with South African students.