Health & Wellness

Biden Comes to New Brunswick with Frank Discussion About Sexual Assault

0513104e0f92fcee9677_IMG_6256.JPG
Former US vice president Joe Biden at Rutgers - New Brunswick on October 12. Credits: Daniel J. Munoz
0513104e0f92fcee9677_IMG_6256.JPG

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Joe Biden called upon Rutgers University students to take an active stance to end sexual assault during a  discussion October 12 visit to the university.

The former vice president was on campus speaking for the “It’s On Us” nationwide campaign against sexual assault on college campuses.

An estimated 1,000 students and Rutgers affiliates attended, breaking out into applause throughout the rally.

Sign Up for E-News

The event was part of Rutgers’ week-long “Turn the Campus Purple” campaign, focused on understanding and preventing domestic abuse, sexual assault and relationship violence.

Biden commended Rutgers’ leadership in working to end sexual assault, citing 24-hour service for victims and leading the country in research. But he said more must be done.

“Everyone has a role in changing the culture that enables sexual violence,” Biden said.

“We want to make it clear to everyone, from the president to the dean of students, to the coaches, you all have a responsibility to speak upwhen you see (sexual assault),” Biden said, “We’re calling on men to step, in, whether it’s at a bar, or a party, or a dorm room.”

Indeed, a slam poetry skit put on by three students, Marwa Adina, Dena Igusti, Justice Hehir, prior to Biden’s appearance, called on male college students, especially those in Greek life, to actively organize against sexual assault.

The performance criticized the practice of ratio at fraternity parties, saying “our value changing base on the ratio,” and also called out an alleged practice in some fraternities of maintaining that “we’re not like all the other Greek organizations.”

Biden cited as many as one in five women in college being the victims of sexual assault, adding that sexual assault is the main reason women will drop out of college.

Yet sexual assault has “buried and ingrained” itself into society and “enshrined in our legal system,” Biden said, making it all the more harder to advocates to put an end to it.

“Why wasn’t the dinner ready when I came home, why did you speak to him that way,” Biden asked rhetorically, citing one example.

The former vice president also took the opportunity to chastise the Trump administration’s stance, or lack thereof, of campus sexual assault.

“I know the president talks about locker room talk. They didn't talk that way in my locker room,” Biden said, prompting cheers from the crowd.

Biden was also critical of US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s decision to rescind Obama-era Title IX guidelines, which required schools to use the “preponderance of the evidence” standard when judging sexual violence cases.

That standard calls for enough evidence to show that something is more likely than not to be true.

Preceding Biden’s appearance, a number of different students had the chance to tell the crowd their stories of how they’ve survived domestic abuse or sexual assault, and the road to recovery.

One student, Cassandra Grod, spoke of how she was affected by two separate stalkers.

“My first boyfriend was the poster child of narcissism, and followed the step-by-step directions,” Grod said. “He began to physically abuse me, but then he’d also bring me roses.”

Eventually, Grod said, the stalking reached the point where she was sexually assaulted. In the months to follow, Grod said she suffered with binge eating and purging rituals.

Six months later, Grod’s mother convinced her to attend therapy, during which she was diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder.

“I’m living a shame-free life, in spite of a society that tells me I don't deserve to,” Grod told the crowd, to cheers from the crowd.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Franklin Township

Fourth Season of Live Music at the Ross Farm Kicks Off Sunday, April 22

April 18, 2018

Indie rocker Mike Mains returns to Basking Ridge to kick off the 2018 Ross Farm Music Series on Sunday afternoon, April 22. The doors open at 2:30 p.m. for the 3 p.m. concert but guests are welcome to come early and stroll the grounds of the historic Ross Farm at 135 N. Maple Ave. in Basking Ridge.

Mains has set himself apart in the world of indie rock, often mixing catchy lyrics and melodies ...

Area Rotary Club Fair: Fun Place to Do Business

April 16, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The Rotary Club of Hillsborough will provide local businesses multiple opportunities to showcase their services and connect directly with customers at its 11th annual Rotary Fair, scheduled this year for Aug. 14–19.

More than 15,000 people from Hillsborough and surrounding communities are expected to visit the weeklong family event held at the Hillsborough Promenade, ...

Area Church Set To Host “Little Big Shots” Viewing Starring Lil Asmar

SOUTH PLAINFIELD,  NJ —  Impact Church is inviting the public to a viewing of NBC’s “Little Big Shots” featuring South Plainfield resident, 11-year-old bass guitarist, Lil Asmar. It is  a feel-good, family-friendly series hosted by Steve Harvey, "Little Big Shots" showcases talented and unique kids from all over the ...

Somerville: “Shop ‘til You Drop Resale Extravaganza” April 21

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The “Shop ‘til You Drop Resale Extravaganza” on April 21st is meant to draw attention to the borough’s  burgeoning network of antiques, collectibles and consignment shops.

Nine stores will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., each offering discounts and prizes for those looking for truly unique, one-of-a-kind items at affordable ...

East Brunswick's Rabbi Aryeh Goodman Charged with Sex Trafficking of a Child

NEWARK, N.J. – Two individuals who allegedly forced a child into commercial sex acts at multiple hotels throughout Middlesex, Bergen, and Essex counties, will appear in court today with one of their customers to face federal sex trafficking charges, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.  The "customer" is Rabbi Aryeh Goodman, 35, of East Brunswick, who is charged in a ...

Governor Names New Brunswick an "Opportunity Zone"

NEW BRUNSWICK - Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Monday that the U.S. Department of Treasury has approved New Brunswick as one of 169 recommended designations for Opportunity Zones throughout the Garden State.

The Opportunity Zone Program is designed to drive long-term capital investments into low-income rural and urban communities. There are 75 municipalities in the state ...

South Brunswick: Mayor Killmurray’s Funeral Plans Announced, Township Prepares For Administration Change

SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ – Township officials announced funeral plans for Mayor Christopher Killmurray and plans to deal with filling his position and a second one on the Council.

Killmurray, 55, died at home Sunday morning after battling brain cancer for several years.

According to the township, a viewing is scheduled for 3-7 p.m. Wednesday at St. Cecilia’s Roman Catholic Church at ...

Area Rotary Club Fair: Fun Place to Do Business

April 16, 2018

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The Rotary Club of Hillsborough will provide local businesses multiple opportunities to showcase their services and connect directly with customers at its 11th annual Rotary Fair, scheduled this year for Aug. 14–19.

More than 15,000 people from Hillsborough and surrounding communities are expected to visit the weeklong family event held at the Hillsborough Promenade, ...

Area Church Set To Host “Little Big Shots” Viewing Starring Lil Asmar

SOUTH PLAINFIELD,  NJ —  Impact Church is inviting the public to a viewing of NBC’s “Little Big Shots” featuring South Plainfield resident, 11-year-old bass guitarist, Lil Asmar. It is  a feel-good, family-friendly series hosted by Steve Harvey, "Little Big Shots" showcases talented and unique kids from all over the ...

Somerville: “Shop ‘til You Drop Resale Extravaganza” April 21

SOMERVILLE, NJ – The “Shop ‘til You Drop Resale Extravaganza” on April 21st is meant to draw attention to the borough’s  burgeoning network of antiques, collectibles and consignment shops.

Nine stores will be open from 10 a.m.-6 p.m., each offering discounts and prizes for those looking for truly unique, one-of-a-kind items at affordable ...

Franklin Non-Profits Win Luxury Suite at TD Bank Ballpark

April 13, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Freeholder Director Patrick Scaglione selected 40 nonprofit organizations in an annual drawing for Community Box seats at the TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater.

The winners will have an opportunity to watch the “Boys of Summer” play home games on various dates during the Somerset Patriots’ 2018 season.

“Somerset County has made this 30-seat community ...

Freeholders to Hold Public Hearing for Proposed $237 Million Budget May 22

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Last night Franklin Township presented and approved its nearly $61 million municipal budget, and the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders introduced its 2018 county budget. 

The freeholders said they had two goals for the budget, to keep taxes stable and to reduce the county tax rate. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for May 22 at 6:30 p.m. at ...

Hillsborough Planning Board Tackles Indoor/Outdoor Sports Complex Proposal

HILLSBOROUGH, NJ - The Township Planning Board will consider an application Thursday night from a township businessman who wants to build an expansive indoor/outdoor sports complex on a 40-acre property on Mountain View Road adjacent to the 369-acre Mountain View Park.

The meeting begins at 7:30 p.m. in the courtroom at the municipal complex, 379 South Branch Road.

Last week the Township ...

Franklin Non-Profits Win Luxury Suite at TD Bank Ballpark

April 13, 2018

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Freeholder Director Patrick Scaglione selected 40 nonprofit organizations in an annual drawing for Community Box seats at the TD Bank Ballpark in Bridgewater.

The winners will have an opportunity to watch the “Boys of Summer” play home games on various dates during the Somerset Patriots’ 2018 season.

“Somerset County has made this 30-seat community ...

Freeholders to Hold Public Hearing for Proposed $237 Million Budget May 22

SOMERVILLE, NJ - Last night Franklin Township presented and approved its nearly $61 million municipal budget, and the Somerset County Board of Chosen Freeholders introduced its 2018 county budget. 

The freeholders said they had two goals for the budget, to keep taxes stable and to reduce the county tax rate. A public hearing on the budget is scheduled for May 22 at 6:30 p.m. at ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 14

On this week’s AtlantiCast, an internationally recognized orthopedic oncologist takes a leadership role at Atlantic Health System, see the newest weapon in the fight against HPV-related cancers, Atlantic Health System leads the Castle Connolly / Inside Jersey Rankings, and much more!