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Accurately capturing the extent of America’s opioid crisis is a challenging task. Even as headlines like “The First Count of Fentanyl Deaths in 2016: Up 540 percent in Three Years” fill the media landscape, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report from April 2017 indicated that opioid-related deaths may still be understated. Regardless of data discrepancies, there is no doubt that substance abuse is making America gravely ill, and action needs to be taken in order to prevent further suffering and death.
This past summer the Rutgers community set out to create a campaign that would ignite a sense of individuality among each student as well as foster an environment that is inclusive to everyone on campus.
Symbolized by the demolition of the expansive Berlin Wall, the end of the Cold War Era marked the completion of the global power struggle between the United States and the Soviet Union. No longer was the world divided between NATO and the Warsaw Pact or democracy and communism. The fall of the Berlin Wall did not just erase the partition that cut Europe in half and separated West from East, but it also marked a new age in world history — one less defined by borders and more focused on international commerce. As Thomas Friedman puts it in "The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization," “the Cold War was a world of ‘friends’ and ‘enemies.’ The globalization world, by contrast, tends to turn all friends and enemies ‘competitors.’” Contrary to popular belief, the fall of the Soviet Union was not so much a triumph of freedom and democracy, as much as it was the anointing of free-market capitalism as the dominant ideology of this new globalized age. But due to the global-skepticism that has taken shape throughout the west on both the left and the right, the ideological hegemony of neoliberalism is now in question.
Last Friday, I was sitting on the carpeted floor of Cooper Dining Hall with a small circle of friends. Although we had all just been casually hanging out, we wound up having a long discussion spanning the topics of nature, gravity, causality and the utilization of human qualities in investigating the reality of the world around us. I left the conversation feeling content and at ease, my social quota for the day wholly satisfied. But more than that, it was the contents of what had been spoken about that imparted upon me a sense of meaningfulness. It is rare, nowadays, to have conversations that go beyond the mandatory “how is everything” inquiry. Most touched-upon matters revolve around the frivolous, albeit necessary, points of mundane, daily life. Engaging with ideas outside of that realm of talk is refreshing and, well, exciting.
RESPECT FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS
The United States is the place to be for a college education, but the same cannot be said about their primary schools. From state to state, and in some instances even town to town, what material is being taught, the duration of what is being taught and the level of difficulty of what is being taught differs from district to district. As a nation, we must pinpoint and refurbish our education system to compete with the new successors of education in the world. To do that, we must distinguish the main factors that correspond with the drastic drop of the level of education in the United States.
Whenever Halloween comes around, I have an incredibly distinctive fear that I will see someone complete their elaborate "Orange is the New Black" costume with blackface, like Julianne Hough did in 2013, or a costume idea unintentionally hinting at blackface, like Lili Reinhart’s recent tweet about dressing as a demon painted in black. Of course, there are people who deliberately use blackface to enforce a racial stereotype in an incredibly insensitive manner, but the truth is that most of the celebrities we attack on Twitter or our own peers that we see at parties are never truly seeking to be offensive. They are not specifically using blackface to mimic the blackface that was offensively used in early Europe minstrel shows to act out “stereotypically crude, black behavior.” They are not explicitly racist.
With Domestic Abuse Awareness Month coming to a close, there are hopes that the messages and lessons that October brought remain in place. One of the movements that sparked up this month was the #MeToo movement on social media. The campaign originally started more than 10 years ago with activist Tarana Burke but recently regained steam after the release of the many sexual assault allegations made against Harvey Weinstein in Hollywood. Actress Alyssa Milano took to Twitter and urged anyone who has been sexually harassed or assaulted to write “me too,” in order to “give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.” The tweet and the hashtag blew up, bringing in words of support from people from all spectrums of the site. The hashtag quickly took to other social media sites and did exactly what it was meant to do — expose the disturbingly great magnitude of the effects of sexual assault and its victims.
I learned cursive more than a decade ago, back in third grade when we still mixed up the days of the week, accidentally called our teachers “mom” and found the concept of negative numbers outrageous and far away. For a once relatively reserved and shy bookworm, I had never appreciated the rowdy, enthusiastic behavior of other children. It was nerve-wracking to collaborate with kids who would shove each other around for a handful of Legos and extremely embarrassing to be paraded in front of jeering kids for forgetting a homework assignment.
October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month — a truly noble cause. To help raise awareness, several Rutgers organizations stepped up to bring former Vice President Joe Biden to campus to talk about sexual assault, violence and prevention.
The College Avenue, Douglass and Livingston campuses were found plastered with a series of recruitment posters for a white supremacist group known as Identity Evropa. These flyers, the same ones that led to a passionate protest at New York University last month, highlighted the slogan “Our Generation, Our Future, Our Last Chance.”
It is evident to us by now that President Donald. J. Trump's administration has little to no regard for science and fact-based evidence. Several incidents, such as the nomination of Scott Pruitt, an experienced legal figure staunchly against the existence of environmental protections, to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), have proven time and again that our sitting president does not care about the people or the country and would prefer to see them both burn to fuel his special interests.
As a college student, you begin to learn that your overall appearance speaks volumes about who you are. This is why you wear professional attire for interviews and spend extra time getting ready when going out with friends. But some students fail to realize that your appearance is equally important when sitting in lectures and attending office hours. How you dress and groom yourself on a daily basis is a representation of your ambition and work ethic to those around you, your professors and most importantly, yourself.
In a report marked for official use only recently obtained by Foreign Policy, the FBI assessed that “perceptions of police brutality against African Americans spurred an increase in premeditated, retaliatory lethal violence against law enforcement,” classifying those espousing this ideology as “black identity extremists," or BIEs. This document, dated Aug. 3, was internally released less than two months after the President Donald J. Trump's administration “refocused” the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) countering violent extremism (CVE) programs on Middle Eastern extremist groups and away from far-right, white supremacist organizations. Before the FBI report was leaked, the phrase had never been used, but now it is being applied to activists based on them being black, rather than on an overarching ideological connection. What makes the Trump administration’s fixation on categorizing black activists as BIEs all the more outrageous is that in a joint intelligence bulletin released this past spring, officials highlighted the serious threat posed by white supremacist groups which have carried out “more attacks than any other domestic extremist group over the past 16 years and were likely to carry out more attacks over the next year.”
College degrees in the United States are more expensive than any other country in the world, and so the news of a proposed $3.3 billion cut to the Federal Pell Grant program being approved by Congress is one that is disconcerting. Although the bill is scheduled to be put to vote by the Senate in a few months, if it is approved, this would be the second year in a row that cuts were made to the Pell Grant program.
First, it was The New York Times article that accused Harvey Weinstein of persistent sexual assault of women in Hollywood. Then, it was solidarity taking many forms — women in Hollywood, and men as well, spoke out against Weinstein, told similar stories and, in essence, diagnosed Hollywood, as well as modern America, with a grossly under-acknowledged and widespread sexual assault problem.
By the time these words have been published, almost everyone with or without an internet connection will hear about the scandal regarding Harvey Weinstein. I am not writing this as “just another feminist” claiming that men are the bane of our existence. I am writing this as a woman who sympathizes with women who choose to remain silent, specifically the victims of Weinstein’s advances. Although I am fortunate enough to say that I have never experienced sexual assault, I think it is pretty hard — or rather, impossible — to go through life as a woman without being subject to sexual harassment at one point or another.
BIG BUCKS FOR ARESTY
Former New York Congressman Anthony Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in prison for sexting a 15-year-old girl with an additional three years of supervised release. This is how we catch a sexual predator, right? This is how we protect our children from the exploitation of men in power ... right?
The economic growth of the People's Republic of China (PRC) has been something akin to a miracle. Consistent GDP growth in China, around the 10 percent mark for the greater part of three decades, had the entire world absolutely baffled. These precipitous levels of development have allowed it entry in a club of three other countries as an Asian Tiger, alongside South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore.