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Week in review: laurels and darts

(04/20/12 4:18am)

The Secret Service fired three agents and placed eight other employees on administrative leave this week after as many as 11 agents and 10 military personnel were found bringing Colombian prostitutes back to their hotel in Cartagena, Colombia. The service members were there doing advance work prior to President Barack Obama’s arrival for the Summit of the Americas, and apparently had a hard time upholding the separation of work and play. Of course, prostitution itself is a problem, but what makes the situation even worse is that these individuals were on the clock, working for an elite agency that is already accused of being overly secretive in their operations. These service members deserve darts for their actions.

Mega Millions: Don’t buy into it

(04/18/12 4:00am)

Mega Millions — the multi-state lottery that had people across the country flooding their local convenience stores in hopes of purchasing the winning ticket — announced its final winner yesterday. The Red Bud, Ill., resident will receive a check for $218.6 million. But after the hubbub that surrounded this year’s jackpot, we realized the lottery is a stupid idea.

Barchi brings hope for future at U.

(04/16/12 4:00am)

Only four days have passed since the University announced its 20th president, Robert Barchi. While we may not know everything about him just yet, the past few days have given the University some time to reflect on the man, his character, his past accomplishments and professional occupations. And from what we can discern, Barchi looks like a strong choice to lead New Jersey’s flagship university into the future.

Week in review: laurels and darts

(04/13/12 4:00am)

It’s not often that we praise a Republican — or, at least the current Republican primary race candidates — for their actions in the public spotlight. But we just can’t help calling out our man Rick Santorum this week for making possibly the most admirable decision out of all the candidates to date — dropping out of the GOP race entirely. Santorum announced Tuesday that he will be discontinuing his campaign. We can’t say we didn’t see it coming — someone who vows to ban pornography and strip women and gays of their rights couldn’t have made it too far — but we sure are glad to see him gone. We laurel Santorum for making a choice that’s, ironically, probably best not only for himself, but for the welfare of the entire country. Good riddance.

Rail tunnel would have benefited NJ

(04/12/12 4:00am)

New Jersey could have been home to the largest public works project in the nation — that is, until Gov. Chris Christie, in his characteristic style, refused the plan back in 2010. The Access to the Region’s Core rail tunnel, which would have been built beneath the Hudson River, was expected to bring tens of thousands of jobs to the state, alleviate an overburdened transit system and provide N.J. residents with direct access to New York City.

Good riddance to ‘pink slime’ filler

(04/12/12 4:00am)

Come September, the controversial beef additive called “pink slime” will no longer accompany New Jersey school lunches. The decision by New Jersey’s Department of Agriculture to stop providing beef that uses the filler to school districts will result in slime-free cafeterias for students throughout the state - though several schools across the state have already removed the product from their menu.

Virtual instruction hurts education

(04/11/12 4:00am)

The Garden State’s first comprehensive “virtual” charter school has begun to enroll students for the coming fall semester. The New Jersey Virtual Charter School, a for-profit education company based out of Newark, N.J., will hold all of its classes online - an idea that has residents throughout the state - as well as our own editorial board - fervently throwing up our arms in protest.  

Cast your vote for RUSA elections

(04/11/12 4:00am)

Today is the last day for students to cast their vote in the third annual Rutgers University Student Assembly elections. On the Rutgers United Party ticket, RUSA Vice President John Connelly is running for president, Sherif Ibrahim for vice president and Pavel Sokolov for treasurer. The opposing ticket, running under the Old Raritan Party, is composed of RUSA Treasurer Scott Siegel for president, Joe Fontana for vice president and Sabrina Arias as treasurer.

Place restrictions on state PACs

(04/09/12 4:00am)

In response to a civil rights claim brought to the court by a New Jersey man, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that detention centers do not need suspicion or probable cause to strip-search detainees. With hundreds of thousands held in custody in local jails across the country each year, the Supreme Court’s ruling could mean unneeded and wholly unnecessary strip searches for non-criminal defenders — like N.J. resident Albert Florence.

Strip-search ruling violates civil rights

(04/09/12 4:00am)

New Jersey’s pay-to-play laws have served as an important barrier between wealthy businesses looking to influence state and local politics, and candidates whose campaigns often depend largely on the donations of these businesses. More than 100 N.J. towns have enacted laws in recent years that prevent contractors and business from making large donations to political candidates. But despite these barriers, contractors throughout the state, including engineering firms and insurance brokers, are still managing to funnel considerable amounts of money to their chosen lawmakers, according to a recent Star-Ledger investigation.

Week in review: laurels and darts

(04/06/12 4:00am)

The New York Post, adding to a long list of insensitive — and even more so, unfunny — commentary on the weight of Gov. Chris Christie, wrote an article on Tuesday titled “The whale at the wall.” The headline refers to the governor’s recent visit to Israel, during which he stopped to pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem. While some may find such degrading attitudes humorous, we personally find it inappropriate. Even N.J. Sen. Richard Codey, D-27 — who has publicly sparred with Christie on a number of occasions — has denounced the paper’s jab. We join Codey and dart The New York Post for resorting to such lows. In an age of tolerance, we’d expect more from a national publication.

Report brings to light shady dealings

(04/04/12 4:00am)

The Daily Targum editorial board criticized Gov. Chris Christie last week for outright ignoring the entirely valid concerns of those opposed to a proposed merger between Rutgers-Camden and Rowan University. But with the recent news of University President Richard L. McCormick’s response to a report, advising Rowan on how to carry the proposed takeover, we’re compelled to enter the debate once again.

Program delivery misses connections

(04/03/12 4:00am)

New Brunswick, in an effort to foster a closer relationship with students on campus, launched its Student Connections program last week. In theory, this “city council on wheels,” in theory, a great way to strengthen a relationship between the city and the University that has a tendency to fall slack. It is also an improvement to past programs with the same aim, like Lunch with the Mayor. But next time around, we hope to see it better implemented.

Voice tuition, fee concerns at forum

(04/03/12 4:00am)

The House of Representatives approved, by a narrow margin, a $3.6 trillion Republican budget last Thursday. With massive cuts to research grants and Pell Grants for low-income students, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget plan could force us to address a problem that concerns students not just here at the University, but across the country: the increasing costs of higher education.