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Jacob Donnelly

Christie announces presidential candidacy

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced his presidential candidacyTuesdaymorning at Livingston High School in Livingston, N.J. Christie, who has been struggling in New Jersey polls recently, is also an ex officio trustee of the University. He is the 14th Republican to have declared a presidential run. NJTV News reported there were around 1,000 protesters outside the high school protesting, among other issues, Christie's actions on pension reform. With supporters in the background holding "Christie 2016: Telling It Like It Is" signs, Sheila Goldklang, a friend and colleague on the Livingston Board of Education of Chris Christie's late mother, Sandy Christie, first introduced Christie.

Asbestos removal work begins in Dillon Gymnasium

In anticipation of renovations on the A-level of Dillon Gymnasium, work is being done now to remove asbestos in the area, Director of Environmental Health and Safety Robin Izzo said.Asbestos is a mineral that can cause cancer and lung disease.According to Senior Associate Director of Athletics David Leach, the renovations include six gender-inclusive changing and shower areas that will double as family changing areas; upgrades to the existing locker rooms, including new lockers and showers; addition of team rooms for clubs, including men's and women's volleyball; and a new hallway along the gym's west side on the A-Level.The renovations are expected to be completed in the fall of 2016, Leach said.There is a presumption that buildings constructed before 1981 have building materials that contain asbestos, and the University was aware that pipe insulation in Dillon contained materials with asbestos, Izzo explained."Some of the renovations will impact exposed mechanical spaces," Izzo said.

Alternative Lawnparties event to be held at Campus Club

An alternative Lawnparties event aimed at students who do not support Big Sean's attendance and students with different musical interests will be held at Campus Club on the day of Lawnparties. The event will feature barbecue and a live cover band with roots in New Jersey, GoodMan Fiske. The scheduling of the alternative event comes after some students had previously called on the Undergraduate Student Government in an informal petition to rescind its contract with Big Sean due to his misogynistic lyrics and criminal past.

McDermott discusses the changing nature of depictions of the Hindu goddess Durga

The changes in the face of the goddess Durga during the Bengali festival Durga Puja are reflective of changes in the broader face of Indian society, Rachel McDermott, professor of Asian and Middle Eastern cultures at Columbia,said at a lecture on Thursday. The Durga Puja is the Bengali version of Navratri, or the nine nights festival, in which the slaying of the demonMahishasuraby thegoddess Durga is celebrated, McDermott explained.

Neuroscience has 17 concentrators in inaugural year, other sciences largely unaffected

Seventeen sophomores signed in to the new neuroscience concentration this year, according to Asif Ghazanfar, co-director of the Program in Neuroscience. It was hard to have any expectations for enrollment because sophomores did not have the chance to plan how they were going to fulfill the concentration’s prerequisites in their freshman year, Ghazanfar said. “[The sophomores] I met with, basically, were very, very thankful, because they were trying to figure out some other kind of route to pursue their neuroscience interest,” Ghazanfar said. The Program in Neuroscience asked incoming sophomores which department they would have joined.

Former U. President Bowen GS ’58 discusses details of divestment

Divestment is a complicated issue, but universities should resist efforts to have outside agendas forced upon them through divestment, former University president Bill Bowen GS ’58 said at a dinner discussion on Monday. The action of divestment is too blunt to account for nuances and lets people engage in a form of activism that is "too easy" as opposed to the hard work of bridging divides and effecting real change, Bowen said. Bowen recalled that during his University presidency from 1972 to 1988, some members of the campus community had wanted the University to divest from a towel company that had engaged in questionable labor practices.

Prager discusses anti-Semitism, politics of religion

A moral compass can be determined to be valid or invalid based on whether Jewish people are treated fairly, and Islam may not pass this test, Jewish radio hostDennis Prager said at a heavily attended discussion moderated by jurisprudence professor Robert George on Thursday. Prager drew ananalogy between the few number of Germans who were actually mass killers during the Nazi era and the few number of Muslims who are actually terrorists,adding that just as a few Germans were Nazis did not excuse Germany from having a Nazi problem, few Muslims being terrorists does not excuse Islam from having a terrorism problem. Israel is now a target of annihilation just like Jewish citizens in Germany once were, Prager said. Prager also said he believed that Jewish and Christian conservatives have more in common now than with liberals in their own religions. Prager recalled an incident in which a caller was giving a rabbi who was a guest on a radio show a hard time about the chosen status of Jewish people, and a Catholic priest called in to say, “God chose the Jews.

USG sends email acknowledging problems with Big Sean lyrics

Undergraduate Student Government president Ella Cheng '16 sent an email to all undergraduates on Wednesday acknowledging that Big Sean’s lyrics “are demeaning towards women and LGBT individuals” and apologizing to students who were triggered by the selection. The email was co-authored by members of the USG social committee, as well as by Duncan Hosie ’16 and Rebecca Basaldua ’15, who started a petition earlier this month to rescind Big Sean’s contract to perform at Lawnparties. Basaldua said the email was the result of a meeting between her and Hosie with members of USG and Deputy Dean of Undergraduate Students Thomas Dunne, but that the email was not going to be the final result of the USG campaign. Dunne did not immediately respond to a request for comment. “Duncan and I obviously have very strong disagreements over the fact that Big Sean was chosen to come here and we vehemently disagree with Simon [Wu ’17] and Ella even as they stand by that choice — we were able to come to some common ground over his lyrics ... and communicate that to the student body,” Basaldua said. Basaldua said she thought that Lawnparties should not be canceled but that USG could still make alternative accommodations.

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