Published September 14, 2021

Photo by U.S. Department of Homeland Security

After two decades, have we recovered? Rutgers experts and community members examine that question, along with a range of other challenges the United States faces today.

The Star-Ledger discusses changes in American attitudes since the September 11 attacks of 2001, quoting School of Arts and Sciences professor Angus Gillespie and former professor John Cohen, who recently returned to the Department of Homeland Security under the Biden administration. “The threat we face today is significantly different from the one we faced after September 11,” says Cohen. “It comes instead from individuals or lone offenders and small groups of individuals who [are associated] with an ideological belief, or driven by personal grievances, and independently go out and commit an act of violence.” | ‘We knew everything was going to change…’

The Record writes about the mental health impact on college students as they face the stress of returning to campus during the pandemic. Stephanie Marcello, chief psychologist for Rutgers University Behavioral Health Care, encourages college students to make sure they are “reaching out to friends, joining clubs and organizations. Then there are the little everyday things like eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep. These things tend to go a little downhill in college. But they are so vital for maintaining not just mental health but wellness.” | Depression, burnout, anxiety: College students face pandemic of stress as campuses reopen

Inside Higher Ed quotes School of Communication and Information professor Todd Wolfson about Higher Ed Labor United, a new coalition of labor unions and groups. Wolfson, who is affiliated with the coalition, discusses a planned “Fall of Action” in support of federal funding for higher education. “We’re urging members of Congress to build on the proposals of the Biden White House…for free access to two- and four-year institutions and labor protections for all higher ed workers,” says Wolfson. “Our actions this fall will also strengthen a network of unions and organizations that unites higher ed labor across job classifications, across regions, across parent unions.”

Inside Higher Ed | Higher ed labor united plans ‘fall of action’

Enobong Hannah Branch, Rutgers’ senior vice president for equity, writes in the Star-Ledger about the unseen weight of mothering while Black, relaying a personal experience she had during her daughter’s birthday party at a local pool to illustrate how racism is often cloaked in rules. “Black bodies in public space are always subject to surveillance and even more so in pools,” Branch writes. “This recent unfortunate incident just brought it into sharp, deeply personal relief.” | A Black mother’s burden

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