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Rutgers community must stand against Rice invitation

(04/17/14 4:00am)

Brandeis University reversed its decision to award Ayaan Hirsi Ali with an honorary degree last week because of her Islamophobic rhetoric. The argument for rescinding her honorary degree is hefty, but not nearly as formidable as the argument to rescind Condoleezza Rice’s invitation and honorary degree here at Rutgers. Unlike Rice, Ali is not considered by most of the world to be a war criminal. For a much lesser offense, the Brandeis administration moved forward anyway. At Rutgers, President Robert L. Barchi has confined the debate on Rice’s invitation to a question of free speech in America, instead of the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people who had families, dreams, friends and passions. This neglects the reality of the invitation and simplifies the issue to one that is incredibly narcissistic. Rutgers is one of the greatest universities in the world, and as such, it is imperative that we intellectually engage the question of our commencement speaker as an inclusive, thoughtful community. With this in mind, we must also remember that some of our own community members are deeply hurt and personally affected by the Iraq War. The invitation to Condoleezza Rice began on the foot of exclusivity and disregard for consciousness and justice on this campus.

RUSA speaks for students

(02/21/13 5:00am)

As University President Robert L. Barchi continues his first year as the leader of New Jersey’s flagship institution of higher education, we in the Rutgers University Student Assembly, your student government, prepare to meet with him for the first time tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Student Activities Center on the College Avenue campus. Students are free to come ask questions if they wish. However, we, as a body, have some very specific concerns, which we have asked the president to address in his speech.