"News is the first rough draft of history."

The Voice of the College at Florham

"News is the first rough draft of history." - The Voice of the College at Florham

Student Voice: Sometimes the blues is just a passing bird – the end

Student Voice Editor

Two years ago, former Editor-in-Chief Melissa Hartz made the bold decision to give me a column in The Pillar. The subject: my life, the people I’ve met, both weird and way too normal, I drank with the best of them, so that I could wake up in the morning and tell you all about it.

I’ve thrown myself into fountains full of freezing water, so that I could no longer feel my body. It’s wonderful to hit golf balls off balconies, your target held in place by empty wine bottles that shatter. The sound of destruction has kissed my ears. Once, and only once, I cried myself all the way to the fifty yard line just to stare up at the sky, hoping that my soul would float away from me because there’s a story in everything we lose.
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Personal essay: Finding ways to make the intangible tangible

Senior Editor

Sophomore year of college, my roommate Hillary Brewer and I decided to take our relationship to the next level… and get a hamster.

It seemed like the perfect kind of a pet for the broke, irresponsible, still-wet-behind-the-ears college students that we were, and the kind of lifestyle that we were living.

A lifestyle that I can’t share all of the details of, but that I will say included copious amounts of gin and seltzer (flavored). The Roots. Samantha Reba. The phrase “Cheers, Gov’na!” Beds pushed together. Legs crossed, Indian style on the floor, on beds, on the grass. Leah Heffernan. Chinese food. Laughter. College sweatshirts with the hood up, indoors. Empty water bottles. Rosy cheeks. A whole lot of love.
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From the editor’s desk: Graduating seniors ready to do great things


One of my editors asked me, “Do you think that our newspaper is a good one?”
I hesitated a moment before I answered.

In that moment, I knew exactly where he was coming from. How could we, as a staff, be proud of the newspaper that we’re not sure other people even recognized? Of course people know we have a newspaper, but it’s hard to tell with the overflowing issues that are piled in the NAB.

In that moment, which probably only lasted a second or two, I realized that this idea of being proud of this newspaper is something that reflects my entire four years at this university.

For four years, I crept in shadows.
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Opinion: How history will judge former President George W. Bush


With the opening of the Bush presidential library in Texas, the presidency of George W. Bush has been revisited by the media. According to observers of politics in the U.S., George W. Bush was one of the worst presidents in American history.

Independents disliked much of his second term agenda. Even Republicans are weary of some of Bush’s policies – mainly relating to economic issues and fiscal policy. But, how will history judge President Bush?

I think that history will remember President Bush as a good president, but not a great one.
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From the editor’s desk: Change might distract some, inspire others


In the words of one of my favorite bands, Envy On The Coast: “No, I’m not afraid, at least not to die. I’m afraid to live and not remember why.”

EOTC couldn’t have put it any better. And, quite frankly, that verse from their song “Lapse” has become a phrase I’ve learned to live by.

We all know that life has its purpose.

Some of us find that purpose a lot sooner than others and it’s a damn shame that others may go their whole lives not knowing what that purpose was.

I’m convinced that the only thing standing between us and our purpose in life is ourselves. We stand as our own ironic distraction to our own happiness.

Too many of us are afraid of the inevitable, of the obstacles that get in the way of finding our purpose. Sometimes, we get so distracted by letdowns and setbacks that we forget an obstacle never means the end of the world. It might just mean a different world where we start seeing things differently – and that’s okay. Change is constant; change is good. Like obstacles, change is inevitable. So is death, and we can’t be afraid of that.

I don’t think we should be afraid of anything, but if we were afraid of something it should be living our whole lives not knowing that life’s worth living. And we can only know that life is worth living when we find our purpose – when we realize exactly what it is that keeps us waking up every morning.

This thing I call purpose changes. What made our lives worth living at the age of 2, 10 or 20 years old will be different from the thing that makes life worth living when we’re 40, 60 or even 80 years old. For example, when we’re toddlers, everything makes our day: playing with a toy truck; blowing a dandelion; speeding down a slide. When we’re that young, it’s hard not to find something that fascinates us. It might just be that the world is a large place that we’re progressively discovering and the route of discovery is a child’s purpose.

As we grow older, unfortunately, our world seems to shrink. Things that once amused us don’t anymore. Some of us, in a sense, become jaded along the way. Others start finding purpose in other things. Maybe it’s something we love to do like playing the guitar, playing soccer or even going to school. We stick with that thing we love, and for a while it becomes our purpose, too.

This purpose keeps changing. One day it can be getting into our dream school or making the winning goal in a soccer game, and other days it could be seeing the smile on our niece’s face. One day it will be seeing the smile on a newborn’s face or our future wife or husband. Our purpose changes, and it’s supposed to.

The truth is that life is filled with exciting chapters that we should be excited to write. We should be grateful to even be able to turn that page.

My point is that we can’t go our whole lives pretending to be happy. We have to find happiness in whatever makes us… happy. Some people seem to complicate happiness and try to force it. But, you can’t do that, either.

Those 17 little words from EOTC could mean 17 different things to 17 different people. But, to me, they mean one thing. They mean that you can’t live your life on autopilot. You should always be doing something you love, and if you’re not, then change it. The only person standing between you the thing you love is you.

Change is inevitable, but we can control it.

Opinion: America’s presidents should not be imperial presidents


With debates over the budget deficit, gun control and immigration policy dominating political discussion in Washington, D.C. and across the nation, another important political issue, the Imperial Presidency, has not been receiving the attention it deserves.

The Imperial Presidency refers to the idea that the Presidency of the United States has grown too powerful and has exceeded its constitutional limits.
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Opinion: Fierce inequality supported by the Republicans


With the impending issue of our nation’s deficit, there are a couple of important aspects related to the budget that people need to be reminded of.

Unfortunately, conservatives just don’t get it.

Getting rid of loopholes and lowering tax rates for corporations and the wealthiest of Americans just isn’t fair.

The Warren Buffett analogy, which has been discussed by the media, holds true. Until Buffett pays a higher tax rate than his secretary, the tax system will never be fair.

Obviously, loopholes for wealthy Americans and corporations might be an issue worth examining, but that doesn’t mean that the tax rates should automatically be lowered once you eliminate most loopholes.

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From the editor’s desk: From a resident to a commuter


When my not-so-glamorous life is broken down into tasks, I start to wonder how I haven’t gone insane.

Bear with me: 1. Monday: wake up; take bus to New York City; intern; take bus home; drive to FDU; go to meeting; work on newspaper layout; drive home. 2. Tuesday: wake up; drive to FDU; go to class; drive home. 3. Wednesday: wake up; drive to FDU; go to class; go to meeting; go home. 4. Thursday: wake up; drive to FDU; go to class; drive home. 5. Friday: wake up; take bus to NYC; intern; take bus home. 6. Saturday: SLEEP. 7. Sunday: wake up; drive to FDU; work on layout; drive home. 8. Repeat.

Part of me wants to run in the opposite direction when I think of this semester and all the things that come with it, while another part of me can’t wait to say, “I did it,” when it’s all over.

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Opinion: Why are we still talking about Benghazi issue?


Over the last few months the Benghazi issue has been blown way out of proportion. The sad thing is that the liberal leaning parts of the media (such as MSNBC, for example) are the only ones to realize that.

What about the Iraq War?

That was a war that didn’t need to happen but it happened anyway. A lot of people just seemed to turn a blind eye to the fact that George W. Bush’s administration lied about weapons of mass destruction.

Super-conservative Republicans such as Rush Limbaugh love to accuse Obama of being a fascist or a communist but the fact is that Bush was the one who had a cult of followers with personality mentality – the reason it took so long for people to speak up against the war.

That’s sad that a fair amount of people just blindly accepted what George W. Bush’s administration did and also the fact that if you were against the war you were un-American, which is totally untrue.
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Personal essay: Not your typical kind of Valentine’s Day

Staff Writer

I would be the worst girlfriend.

Let’s take a moment to digest that. I think teddy bears are meant for children, roses are meant to be sent everyday and chocolate…well, I do love chocolate, so that can be an exception. I’m not cynical or bitter about being alone. In fact, I would prefer to spend February 14 reading a good book with a cup of hazelnut coffee in my hand.

This “holiday” just never meant anything to me. I don’t understand why we, as a society, choose one day out of the entire year to show the people we love that we in fact love them.

This love needs to be measured in material wealth: chocolate, a dozen long stemmed roses and a fancy dinner. I’m not all about that lifestyle. If you love someone, tell them every day. You shouldn’t need a reminder to tell someone how much you care about them and need them. Tell them every day with a kiss or a simple note.

This year, I’m doing something different and putting down my book. I decided to throw a party to counteract Valentine’s Day. I’m throwing an Anti-Valentine’s Day party.
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