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Barely hours into Moscow’s Saturday evening Easter services, cries of “Christos voskres! Voistinu voskres!” were intermingled with calls for action against sovereign Ukraine. The Russian Orthodox patriarch of Moscow, Patriarch Kirill, buffered messages of Christian spirituality with calls for, “an end to the designs of those who want to destroy holy Russia” during Moscow’s Resurrection Matins services. The Russian patriarch’s phrases hearkened back to the imperialistic ideologies of pan-Slavism, as Patriarch Kirill spoke of Ukraine’s “spiritually and historically” linked relationship with Russia.
Sexuality remains, perhaps, one of the most intimate forms of communication that humans do on a regular, and frequent, basis. In particular, sexual communication remains the foundation of a healthy sexual relationship. Without clear, explicit and enthusiastic communication, sexual partners cannot give or receive consent.
Last August, the nonprofit lesbian, gay, bisexual and questioning advocacy group Campus Pride published its annual top 25 report on “LGBT-friendly Colleges & Universities” in the United States. Alongside such prestigious universities as Princeton, Ithaca College and Stanford University, Campus Pride’s 2013 listing proudly ranked Rutgers among the most inclusive in the nation. Indeed, the ranking is certainly a source of honor — Rutgers even acknowledges the achievement on its website’s “National Rankings” section.
During the winter break, I pushed myself to create a list of books, movies and video games to enjoy during my two months off. Needless to say, I didn’t make it very far. I only made a few hours’ progress into “EarthBound,” and I barely scratched the surface of Arthur C. Clarke’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.” However, during my last few weeks of break, I stumbled across a serialized graphic manga that I had heard about in passing. I quickly fell in love with the piece — not just because of its intricate storyline, but because the novel featured two transgender characters.
As any humanities student knows, studying art is an emotionally draining experience. At Rutgers University, for instance, literature courses often cover five to seven works per semester — which for many English majors, can include as many as 35 novels in four months! Indeed, humanities courses often ask their students to expose themselves to a variety of challenging narratives within a short period of time.