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By any standard, this semester has already had its fair share of traffic-related accidents. The University community was astounded to find that a student had been hit by a Rutgers University Police Department vehicle near the Scott Hall bus stop two weeks ago, and earlier this week, an elderly man was struck and killed by a handicap transportation vehicle in front of nearby Robert Wood Johnson’s Gamma Knife Center. Accidents such as these are undoubtedly concerning, and should serve as a wake-up call to University administrators, city officials, students and residents alike.
Tomorrow night, Republican candidate Mitt Romney will face off against Democratic nominee and current president Barack Obama in this year’s first hour-long, nationally televised presidential debate. The occasion will provide a much needed opportunity for at least two groups in the United States: the candidates themselves, to lay out clearly and succinctly their respective policies and visions for the future of the country; and voters, to inform themselves of those policies and visions. Students especially should make it a point to tune in Wednesday night.
Picture this, if you will. It’s 6 p.m., and you just got out of class. You walk toward the closest stop to catch a bus home, and stumble upon a pretty peculiar, yet familiar scene. A team of middle-aged men, most likely local evangelicals, stand near the bus stop amid throngs of student passers-by on their way to class or awaiting the next bus. Passing out literature on the wrath of God and the second-coming — or is it third-coming? — of “Jesus Christ, our Lord,” they shout from cheap megaphones or hold flimsy signs on which neo-Christian platitudes, such as “God Hates Fags” or “Burn in Hell, or accept Jesus” are scrawled. All the while most of their target audience — you and your fellow students — try desperately to ignore the men and their unwavering attempts to convince you that your failure to embrace our savior Jesus Christ is synonymous with an infinite afterlife burning in Satan’s eternal hell-fire.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced late Wednesday night that the league’s referee lock-out, which has had football fans across the country in a rage for the past two weeks, has finally come to an end. Conveniently, the announcement came just two days after the replacement refs cost Green Bay the game Monday night. Goodell apologized yesterday to fans for the lockout, saying, “We’re sorry to have to put fans through that.” Thanks, but no thanks, Goodell — when you’re pulling replacements for professional referee positions from a lingerie league, you should’ve expected as much. The NFL gets a dart.
A New Brunswick city resident and parent named Yolanda Baker is currently petitioning to give residents the ability to elect their own school board members to the city’s Board of Education, according to a recent story published this week by The Daily Targum. Baker, who this editorial board first praised for her short run with two other city residents for an open seat on the city council earlier in the semester, is again showing that resident involvement is key to a successful community. She was eight signatures short of the required 327 as of press time, according to the story.
If you haven’t yet heard the news, the Scholastic Aptitude Test scores of this year’s high school graduating class are in — and in at least one of the exam’s sections, scores have fallen to the lowest they’ve been since 1972. The decline in scores, needless to say, has drawn a considerable amount of attention and has had many questioning what this means for America’s youth and the quality of education in the country.
According to a report recently released by the Center for American Women and Politics at the Eagleton Institute of Politics, the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives might include a few more women representatives following this year’s election. A record number of women are running in the upcoming election for seats in the two houses of Congress — and this alone is reason for revel.
The U.S. News and World Report recently released its rankings for the Best Colleges 2013, an annual report and ranking of both public and private colleges and universities throughout the country. The top three spots, perhaps unsurprisingly, consisted of Harvard, Princeton and Yale University, respectively in the overall “National Universities” category. The University’s New Brunswick campus came in at a disheartening 68 — a four-place drop from the 64th spot occupied by the University in 2009.
Students taking classes in Scott Hall reported hearing some pretty concerning screams around 6 p.m. Wednesday, so The Daily Targum sent a reporter over to the scene to see what the noise was all about. As it turns out, a Rutgers University Police Department car struck and injured a student making his way across College Avenue. Now, we’re not sure who’s at fault here just yet, but you know what they say — when in doubt, dart the driver. Of course, if that whole “free tuition if you get hit by a bus” thing is true, then the student had some pretty considerable incentive.
Whether its mode of transit be through the spoken word, text in a newspaper or journal, or an act as simple as donating money to a given cause, free speech and expression is something that we, as Americans, hold pretty close to the heart. And as college students — notoriously liberal in our opinions and belonging to an atmosphere most ideal for voicing and expressing those opinions — this is doubly so. It’s because of this very fact that we find the University’s handling of recent litigation relating to the withholding of fundraising money for a flotilla ship against the Israeli blockade of Gaza two years ago so concerning.
The University’s bus system has long-served as a source of grief for students across the University’s four campuses. And, for equally as long as they’ve been around, the buses have drawn criticism from the student body. Overcrowding, inconvenient delays and “bunching” — a problem whereby multiple buses on the same route arrive at the same stop at the same time — are common occurrences throughout the day, and often serve to hinder riders from reaching their destinations in a timely manner. But even with predictable problems like rush hour aside, perhaps so much should be expected from one of the largest university bus systems in the nation.
During the past week, there’s been quite a bit of talk around campus about the importance of registering to vote. University groups and national organizations like Rock the Vote, — whose colossal, red, white and blue bus could be found parked near the Second Reformed Church on College Avenue Friday — have began buckling down their efforts to register as many college-aged voters as possible before the state’s deadline on Oct. 16.
After last week’s attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya, presidential candidates Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama finally have a chance to provide voters with unambiguously clear and definite stances on their respective foreign policies. Now, more than ever, “America needs a debate about foreign policy,” as one writer for put it in Saturday’s edition of The Economist. And now, like almost every other issue affecting the country today, this year’s election isn’t providing it.
Mark Killingsworth, a professor in the Rutgers economics department, praised University President Robert L. Barchi in Friday’s issue of The Daily Targum for his recent proposal to cut school subsidies to the University’s intercollegiate athletics program. Killingsworth called the proposal “long overdue” and outlined steps to systematically and pragmatically reign in the inordinate program and balance a historically unbalanced budget.
We learned this week that Gov. Chris Christie plans to campaign for Congressman Steve King, R-Iowa. Now, this alone would usually not strike us as problematic. But it just so happens that this is the same Iowa congressman who, echoing the daffy sentiments of Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., accused the family of a high-ranking Democratic adviser of being “entrenched in the Muslim Brotherhood.” Such sentiments, of course, are thought by many — including former presidential candidate and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz. — to be completely unfounded, but that hasn’t stopped neither King from making such baseless claims nor Christie from backing him. Christie deserves a dart for supporting King, and, by extension, his bigoted comments.
A $750 million bond referendum that would support financing capital projects and improvements throughout N.J. higher education institutions is set to be included on November’s voting ballot. The measure itself, lead by Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and Minority leader Thomas Kean (R-Union), was approved by the state’s Senate Budget Committee in June and will be used to expand and upgrade public and private colleges throughout the Garden State. Yet according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll, few voters are actually aware that the issue even exists — let alone that they’ll be ask to give their stamp of approval come November.
Three New Brunswick city council seats are now left uncontested after a party of independent challengers — consisting of two New Brunswick community members and one School of Arts and Sciences senior — announced a sudden withdrawal from the race last week. While we respect the party’s decision to discontinue its run for the seats, we can’t help but feel disappointed that, for yet another year, the incumbent members of the Democratic party will run unopposed.
When talk of remobilizing College Avenue’s long-cherished grease trucks surfaced in 2011, the University community was rightly outraged. Facebook groups and T-shirts proclaiming “Save the Grease Trucks” began cropping up after The Daily Targum first broke the story in November 2011, and many saw the plans — which first called for the trucks to file for a request for proposal process — as a threat to the very existence of the trucks — and by extension one of the University’s few long-standing traditions. And indeed the plans might have posed such a threat, seeing as the process would have, among other things, required the vendors to bid their way back into Lot 8.
The University learns a little bit more about its new president, Robert L. Barchi, with each Convocation, University meeting and piece of news coverage. We know he wants to do a better job marketing a University education. We know he plans improve its reputation in the health sciences. We know he likes clocks.
Chase Bank is now the sole provider of ATMs on campus. For those students who happen to already be longtime Chase customers, the University has done right, and the abundance of the company’s ATMs is undoubtedly beneficial. For everyone else, the change represents a massive inconvenience.