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Researchers, activists and practitioners in environmental justice (EJ) have conducted work supporting the conclusion that poor communities of color are more likely to be plagued by environmental health hazards and pollution. Much of the research and media coverage has focused on the human and public health consequences of poor air and water quality, unsafe housing and a lack of active and public mass transportation services. However, there are also serious long-term implications to the educational outcomes of the people most affected by environmental burdens, primarily poor children of color.
Ever since the death of the late and great Justice Antonin Scalia, there has been a battle for the ages over his vacant seat on the bench of the most esteemed court in all the land. On March 16, former President Barack Obama nominated the chief judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, Merrick Garland. “He’s a moderate!” The left said in an attempt to justify filling Scalia’s seat with a man of activist judicial interpretation. What a slap in the face that would have been to one of my legal heroes, Antonin Scalia, and what a travesty that would have been for the Supreme Court, and the rule of law. Thankfully, in a shocking turn of events, the Republicans found their backbones and denied Merrick Garland a hearing to become the next Supreme Court associate justice.
The Athletics Department is not the only program at Rutgers that is going to see future improvements. After being put to a vote by the University’s Board of Governors on Thursday, Rutgers has approved an investment of $17 million for a new performing arts center in the Downtown New Brunswick. This investment will go toward the partial ownership of this performing arts center, which will serve as a place for Mason Gross School of the Arts students to practice and rehearse. After the completion of this center, Rutgers also proposed a new musical theater program offered to University students.
There’s been a lot of talk about tuition-free college over the past couple of years, with it being a primary issue on former presidential candidate Bernie Sanders’ platform, San Francisco making public community colleges free, and the state of New York passing legislation that effectively provides middle-class families with free higher education. And I’ve heard the spectrum of stances on the topic, ranging from how tuition-free college will create more equal opportunities for people regardless of income, to people complaining that they’d have to pay higher taxes so that some entitled millennial could get an education that they should have worked for themselves.
I was reading a book titled, "Can't Stop Won't Stop: A History of the Hip-Hop Generation" by Jeff Chang, and I came across a passage I could not get over: "It was not the rappers' message that brought the audience together, it was the things that the audience bought that brought the rappers together." Historically, rap music has gone through a myriad of styles and subjects. From the high-energy rhymes of Grandmaster Fash and the Furious Five to the gangster vibes of Ice Cube to the party beats of Future and PARTYNEXTDOOR, rap music has always been a mere reflection of what its listeners crave. But today's rap music is bringing back a revival in the importance of lyricism and political consciousness, and that emphasis is one that transcends the realm of music and carries an implication nobody can ignore.
As a University that has a daily newspaper, Rutgers should be extremely involved in any advancement made in the world of collegiate newspaper production. And with New Voices of New Jersey making efforts to pass a bill regarding the freedoms of college (and high school) newspapers, it seems like the perfect opportunity for Rutgers to make its voice heard.
As a proud Rutgers alumnus, I was disheartened to see the Conservative Union flyer that made the Targum’s front page on March 1, 2017. Although I believe that The Daily Targum should have explained that Dylan Marek's explanation of the five tenets of Islam was inaccurate, I would like to comment on the poster and the Conservative Union itself.
As a professor of religion, I am, of course, thrilled at the idea of a religious literacy course being required for all Rutgers students. It is a stunningly important topic, and we in the department would love to expand students’ exposure to our field. I think, though, there is a better (and more immediately accessible) way to accomplish the goal of increased understanding across religious difference: a university-wide diversity requirement.
April 7 marked the birthday of the World Health Organization and this year’s theme is depression, the No. 1 cause of ill health. More than 300 million people experience it worldwide, and about 20 million in the United States alone. It’s surprising that there isn’t enough awareness on how ubiquitous it is as 1 in 4 people will suffer from depression before the age of 24. Increased investment is needed in many countries since many societies don’t acknowledge the gravity of the disease. There is little to no social support — even in well-developed countries — as 50 percent of those diagnosed do not seek treatment. There is so little support toward mental illnesses that even governments, on average, only invest 3 percent of their health budgets in mental health. There is now a greater need than ever for investment. Statistics show that for every U.S. $1 financed toward depression and anxiety treatment leads to a profit of $4 in better health.
PRIZES FOR PHILOSOPHY
The conservative woman is an enigma that radical feminists like to pretend does not exist — but when they do, many radical feminists make the same gender-based attacks against these women that they accuse the patriarchy of doing. With conservative women, we have a group that is considered a traitor to its sex because it wants to preserve the customs and institutions that society has while shrinking the size of a government due to recognition that superfluous investment in social services does not equate to a happier society. And because conservative women have these "horrid, oppressive beliefs," modern feminists find it acceptable to attack them in the sexist ways that they usually complain about, particularly by targeting them for being women and using their femininity against them.
I want to take this time to reflect on some recent news developments that have been particularly interesting to me as a political junkie but have wide-ranging effects for our country. Ever since the Russian influence in the 2016 election story released and dominated the news cycle, I have been relatively hesitant to write about it in The Daily Targum. My reasons were twofold: One, the facts are largely scattered and incomplete, and I feel a responsibility not to comment heavily on matters that are misunderstood. And two I want to give the benefit of the doubt to President Donald J. Trump and his administration who are presiding during a time of highly polarized political attitudes with the Democratic and Republican establishment wholly at odds with their normal governing style. However, the steady drip of allegations and revelations against specific members of the Trump entourage and the stories complete dominance in the news cycle has made it impossible for me to remain quiet on the subject.
This past week, Rutgers students, faculty, staff and alumni signed a letter of support with the students on strike at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). The UPR student body concerns echo a resistance to a larger series of austerity measures imposed by the United States Congress with the passage of the 2016 PROMESA Bill. The legislation codified the Fiscal Oversight and Management Board (FOMB) the authority to manage Puerto Rico’s $72 billion debt to the United States government. United States oversight of the debt has led to a $500 million cut to the UPR budget. Slashing roughly one-third of the public university’s budget not only causes a detriment to the foundation of education for Puerto Rico, but sets a precedent for further permeation of United States fiscal intervention.
This spring, Rutgers teaching assistants (TAs) and graduate assistants (GAs) will apply for the TA-GA Professional Development Fund (PDF), a “competition” developed by the Rutgers administration in 2013 in place of a raise. A closer look at the recent history of the PDF shows the extent of the administration’s negligence and duplicity toward graduate students, who teach the bulk of courses at Rutgers. This history demonstrates the administration’s larger project of educational inequality and its lack of regard for its employees and its tendency to shield itself from answering to our larger demands. In telling this story we seek to put the PDF to rest so that, moving into next year’s contract negotiations, we can concentrate on more pressing goals like equitable salaries, universal tuition remission and stronger protections against discrimination.
A cold, refreshing Pepsi is perfect for almost any occasion — barbecues, parties and mid-work lunch. But do you know where a Pepsi does not exactly fit in? A protest — especially one lead by model Kendall Jenner.
To the delight of his base, President Donald J. Trump signed a massive and immensely consequential series of executive orders last week aimed at deregulating the fossil fuel industry. In global terms, the most significant portion effectively scrapped former President Barack Obama’s “Clean Power Plan,” a set of regulations aimed at drastically reducing emissions from American power plants, particularly those powered by coal.
If you’ve ever been remotely involved in anything even semi-sports related here at Rutgers University, then you’ve heard of our Athletic Director Pat Hobbs. And if you’ve paid any attention to the buzz on campus lately, then you know that he’s in some pretty hot water right now.
Two years ago I had a job as a teaching assistant, working with children at a local daycare center ranging from a few weeks old to the age of 4. Not a single day went by where at least one parent didn't feel the need to profusely apologize for leaving their child in the care of others due to demanding work hours. I recall one particular mother who almost drove herself to tears when she’d be late to collect her 3-month-old. Is this the kind of life we want for our nation’s hardworking parents — to be forced to spend extensive hours parted from their infants at a time when that parental connection is essential for healthy development? In 2015, CNN reporters Kelly Wallace and Jen Christensen presented their research findings on over 20 studies regarding the positive effects of paid parental leave. Some of the benefits include a reduction of the “infant mortality rate by as much as 10 percent,” an increase in the likelihood that children will obtain proper immunizations and an overall improvement of the mother’s mental health. Moreover, researchers have concluded that paid leave also “benefits women economically because they tend to go back to work and stay with the same employer, which means their wages grow at a faster rate afterwards.”
Many of our friends are leaving this year. April, as it does each spring, comes in a sudden manner, bringing its blooming cherry blossoms seemingly overnight. These days I hear seniors, their eyes pensive and brows furrowed, speak about graduation day. Post-college life for some may hold concrete plans but there is nevertheless an uncertainty of the conditions and flavors of the near future. Listening, I find myself engulfed in a particular type of emotion, tinged with sadness and despondency, but also one that urges immediate contemplation. Just as last April has led to this April, this year will bring about the next year in a quick stride. My college years are flying by just as one’s youth is eventually seized away. Questions of time allocation for the following (unguaranteed) years arise in my head. The graduation of others reminds me that my own graduation is not too far away and forces me to consider how I shall invest in the remainder of my time.
There’s recently been a lot of outrage at Rutgers over the removal of chicken nuggets from takeout. Starting this week, Rutgers Dining Services will begin to phase out unhealthy foods like chicken nuggets, hash browns and other processed foods. Instead, we will be presented with healthier, plant-based options that will give Rutgers takeout a much-needed facelift. The change will initially take effect at Neilson Dining Hall, but will hopefully expand to Brower, Livingston and Busch by the end of the fall semester. Last week I wrote about how veganism is the future and why it is important for people to make this change. Dining Services is transitioning toward a healthier and more sustainable menu that not only benefits the health of students on campus but will also reduce the negative impact the University has on the environment. Rutgers will be participating in a movement called Menus of Change, which is led by Stanford University and the Culinary Institute of America. The new menu will have a greater focus on fresh vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and beans, and will seek to significantly reduce the amount of red meat and processed foods in the dining halls. The fact that Rutgers is making these changes is a huge deal that should not go unnoticed by the student body.