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OPINION

Social networking bad for your health

Social networking has become one of the most popular and acceptable ways of keeping in touch with friends, family and classmates. The creation of sites like MySpace and Facebook has allowed people to catch up and converse with each other with the click of a mouse. But could this form of communicating be detrimental in more ways than just cheating yourself of spending quality time in person with a friend? Recent studies have shown that health problems can be caused by the lack of face-to-face contact. Psychologist Dr. Aric Sigman claims that "e-mailing someone instead of actually seeing them may have wide ranging biological effects." The increased isolation could alter the way certain genes work and upset immune responses, hormone levels and the function of arteries. There are certain hormones that are activated when interacting with someone in person that you don't get when e-mailing someone. One particular hormone known as the "cuddle chemical," oxytocin, which promotes bonding, is activated when with someone but not when using technological communication. Some genes, including ones that deal with the immune system and responses to stress, also act differently. There is also the risk that constant use of these sites instead of actual in person socialization can impair mental performance.

OPINION

Is the stimulus worth it

The past week has been one of the fiscally craziest ever. The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped to its lowest point since many of us were in middle school, the U.S. government took steps towards buying up 40 percent of Citigroup's stock, Starbucks started selling instant coffee for cheap prices and President Barack Obama signed into law a stimulus package that would pump $787 billion of taxpayer money into the economy.    

OPINION

U.S. airstrikes in Pakistan necessary

In the letter "Change: Not in Obama's foreign policy" that appeared in the Feb. 6 edition of The Daily Targum, the author makes two points that I cannot help but disagree with. He criticizes the Obama and Bush administrations for ordering airstrikes on Taliban and Al Qaeda in Pakistan and he criticizes both administrations for their support of Israel's military operations in Gaza.

OPINION

Web site helps fight world hunger

As many of us in the realm of higher education have learned, Facebook is one of those Web sites that can take up a large portion of our lives. Whether it's in between classes, before heading to bed or during a particularly boring class, almost all of us are guilty of checking this Web site at least once a day. Although I am a victim of the addiction for mindless entertainment that it satisfies, I realized that despite its ability to pass time and maintain contacts with our friends, it boils down to a waste of time in most respects. Therefore, what is a college student bent on procrastination supposed to do?

OPINION

Student hurt during bad weather

In spite of hourly checks last week of the campus status information page as well as my eden mail for a possible note from my professor, I realized there was, in fact, class. I decided, in spite of my better judgment, to head out to my 7:40 p.m. "Sociology of Deviant Behavior" class in Murray 221. I had my trusty snow boots with the all-terrain grip soles and I thought nothing could possibly happen in the two blocks between my close apartment and Murray. The University had surely cleared the paths.

OPINION

Online textbooks save money

In August 2008, Congress issued a mandate that was, and still is, effective and beneficial to all students, as well as professors, in post-secondary institutions within the state of New Jersey and all over the nation. This legislation is known as the Higher Education Opportunity Act. Among other things, this act asserts that scholastic publishing companies are under obligation to reveal the cost of textbooks that they are selling to the students and professors who purchase them; to provide textbooks to students and professors that do not come in packages that contain unnecessary CD-ROM's and workbooks; and that, before the semester even begins, universities notify their students and professors about the textbooks that are needed for a particular class. This is to all of our surprise and delight. However, according to textbookfacts.org, on average the undergraduates of four year colleges spend close to $650 every year for textbooks, which is still too expensive.

OPINION

Yes to co-ed dorming

I feel like there are a lot of silly rules in place all over the world that do not make too much sense. This is a petition to allow co-ed rooming in any residence hall, suite or apartment at the University. I know this might sound odd, immature or simply an excuse to live with a pretty girl. But it is not. I was thinking about it the other day, mainly because housing assignments are coming up again and I realized that there was no male person I knew that I wanted to live with. It is not that I do not have a few guy friends that live on campus; it is just that my best friends, as far back as I can remember, are female. I feel if I want to live in the same room as my female best friend, I should be able to without a bureaucracy telling me that it is inappropriate. I ask that this rule be changed and that the students of the University stand with me on this issue. The rule of exclusive same-sex living needs to be changed, not because I am that desperate to get my hands on a girl continuously or to somehow snub the University, but because I care that I am not equal. I am not being treated as a decent human being because of the fact that I am one gender in the same vicinity as another. The real reason behind this rule, in my opinion, is that alumni, parents and the general public are too scared that some woman is going to be raped or a man would be accused of rape. In their minds there are lawsuits, court trials and the general downfall of the University. I think I am a bit more adult than they are. We come to college to learn what the so-called real world is all about to prepare us for life, when we have the reins and not parents, guardians or teachers. I say that I am more mature than some fictitious image of a guy that will harm someone I live with. I say that any person should have a choice to live with someone of the opposite gender, and they should get to choose whom to live with, just as people can now with someone of the same sex. If two gay men or two lesbian women can live in the same room together and manage not to harm one another and get along perfectly well even with something like physical attraction in the mix, I think I can too. What is so bad about that?

OPINION

Change Not in Obama's foreign policy

President Barack Obama built his campaign around the slogan "change." He preached that he would diverge from the policies and approaches of President George W. Bush. But two days after his inauguration, unmanned CIA aircrafts killed 22 people in Pakistan, 16 of whom were civilians. This was a continuation of Bush's efforts to eliminate Taliban suspects who have crossed the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Bush had commanded 38 U.S. air strikes, killing 132 people since August 2008. Obama followed in Bush's footsteps despite Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari stating that these attacks have been ineffective and led to too many civilian deaths.

OPINION

Shock and awe

During the "dark years" of the George W. Bush Administration, citizens were shut out of the governing process and made to cower for fear of terrorists or being persecuted as "un-American," or worse. The mood went from stable to hysterical and the Bush Administration took advantage of that atmosphere to manipulate the American people and to enact policies that strictly violated the Constitution and are, in the truest sense of the word, un-American.

OPINION

Laurels and darts

Young couples everywhere get into spats about stupid things. Whether it's fighting over directions to a certain place, or getting jealous because he or she was looking the wrong way at a person, these little "nothing fights" happen between most couples and tend to be resolved with both partners realizing how stupid the fight was. This was not the case for 21-year-old Daniel Alvarez of Austin, Texas, and his girlfriend, Christina Alvarado. The two got into an argument because Alvarez had eaten all of Alvarado's Girl Scout cookies, which led to the couple wrestling around the house fighting. It was when the two made their way into the living room that Alvarez grabbed a Nintendo Wii remote control and began to strangle his girlfriend with the cord. She was able to free herself and call 911, and her boyfriend was arrested when the cops got to their house. This was an example of extreme "nothing fighting." It is sad that the two both were not able to speak rationally to each other and had to resort to violence to solve their problems. It is especially sad when the violent fight is over a box of Girl Scout cookies. Darts to this couple for their sheer stupidity, and to domestic violence in general. 

OPINION

Snowy weather troubles commuter

As many of you are aware, last Tuesday night into Wednesday, we had yet another winter storm hit our area. Rutgers chose yet again to continue with a normal schedule of classes as usual. Living in a house right off of College Avenue, I have the luxury of being considered a commuter student. I awoke early for my 9:15 a.m. class on Douglass campus hoping it would be cancelled because of the terrible weather conditions. To my dismay, campusstatus.rutgers.edu gave me the worst news in the world — "Rutgers is operating on a normal class schedule." My heart sank. I knew that I would have to allow more travel time to get from the College Avenue campus to Douglass in order to be on time for class.

OPINION

Rutgers cuts ties with Russell Corporation

In the letter "The Real Makers of Your Rutgers Gear," which appeared in the Feb. 5 edition of The Daily Targum, Laura So of the Rutgers Labor Association calls for the University to terminate its license agreement with Russell Apparel due to allegations of labor rights violations in one of its factories in Honduras. I would like to clarify one or two of the points made in the letter. Last week, I met with two students from the Rutgers Labor Association. They came to my office to discuss their concerns regarding the Jerzees de Honduras factory, which is owned and operated by the Russell Corp. Russell has been accused of violating workers' associational rights at the factory by engaging in anti-union activities, culminating in the closing of the factory at the commencement of collective bargaining talks.

OPINION

Simpson Scientology

When you hear the sound of Bart Simpson's voice, normally thoughts of practical jokes, Springfield or Krusty the Clown come to mind, but what about Scientology? That's what actress and supplier of the famous Bart Simpson voice Nancy Cartwright wanted you to do. Cartwright offered her character's voice to an automated call that informed people about the religion and an event that would be occurring to recruit new members. She begins the call with the voice of the well-known character, leading into her saying who she really is. The actress drifts in and out of the cartoon voice and her regular voice throughout the call. She states within the call as Bart Simpson that she is "now auditing on New OTVII," where she will "share her many wins" as an auditor at the Hollywood Scientology event and assures us that "it's gonna be a blast, man!" The message was placed on YouTube and resulted in outrage from fans and disapproval from the creators, and rightfully so.

OPINION

The skinny on your student fees

The Rutgers University Student Assembly Allocations seems to be a hot spot for debate these days. An editorial in Tuesday's Daily Targum illustrated important information about how our student fee money is spent. But aside from this editorial, the information is not available on their Web site. I encourage transparency.

OPINION

Missile tension

Not even a month into the White House, President Barack Obama has had a lot thrown at him. Between a failing economy, a war that seems never-ending and trying to find a way to fix it all, he is now being tested by North Korea. Recent reports have been released that North Korea is preparing to test launch its longest-range ballistic missile. The missile is designed to have a range long enough to hit U.S. territory. This is causing tensions to rise because the preparations are being made just days after the reclusive state warned that the Korean peninsula was on the brink of war. South Korean and Japanese news agencies have had unnamed government sources come to them saying that they have seen North Korea moving and transporting equipment that was used to launch Taepodong-2, the last long range missile they attempted to test launch. That missile test ended in the weapon self destructing and heading into the ocean. Because of the failure that occurred with the launch and the fact that it will take a month before any new testing can occur, that may be reason enough to not think much about what the North Koreans are doing.

OPINION

The era of mind your own business

On Tuesday, the Denny's Corporation became the nation's most generous, genuine and beloved breakfast joint in the United States for eight short hours. Denny's, the champion of middle America and the longstanding supporter of the family meal, offered the Grand Slam breakfast free to every customer from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. According to the Associated Press, their campaign was an attempt to "reacquaint customers with the brand" that they can afford, even in these tough economic times.

OPINION

The real makers of your Rutgers gear

Many students, including myself, own Rutgers apparel — clothing that shows our support for a school that we are proud of. But how many of us actually consider where that clothing is made? It is easy to pull a shirt off a rack and purchase it. It is equally easy to forget that these shirts do not just appear in campus bookstores — they are the labor of human beings. On Oct. 8, Russell Athletic, a supplier of apparel to Rutgers University, announced their decision to close one of their largest Honduran factories. The facility, known as Jerzees de Honduras, is located in the town of Choloma and employs more than 1,800 workers. Why did Russell decide to close its factory? Because workers there chose to unionize to fight for better wages and improve their working conditions. This closure represents a blatant violation of Rutgers University's code of conduct. President Richard L. McCormick must cut our contract with Russell Athletic immediately to ensure that brands take our University's labor standards seriously.

OPINION

On becoming bipartisan

Throughout the 2008 campaign season, then-Sen. Barack Obama repeatedly promised to bring a new political dynamic to Washington to end our recent tradition of inter-party squabbling and to promote a transparent and truly bipartisan government. Two weeks into his presidency, Obama indeed appears to be attempting to make good on his word. Since his inauguration, the president has made numerous efforts to accommodate the concerns of the Republican Party and to encourage a friendlier relationship between its members and those of his own party. This Sunday, Obama invited a bipartisan group of 15 legislators to the White House to watch the Super Bowl with him and his family. Reportedly, there was not much political discussion during the gathering, but it is just this sort of generally open, friendly and neighborly attitude that will allow for the establishment of the post-partisan spirit that Obama desires in Washington.


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