Lodi, NJ: Vice President Joe Biden, last Thursday suddenly found himself facing a barrage of questions by a bunch of young Sikh students in the small town of Lodi, New Jersey where he had visited for a new construction project meant to widen Main Street and US Route 46. The project is being funded with mostly federal money due to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Even as most Lodi citizens were pushed back far away from the Vice President, a small group of young people managed to gather on an eastbound ramp to watch the Vice President’s speech from afar and called for Biden to come over repeatedly. Eventually, they got their wish as Biden came over to greet the crowd. But just as he was shaking every hand and chatting with members of Lodi High School’s soccer team, and posed for two official pictures with the students, it became apparent that the Sikh students were determined to raise the event to more than a photo-op. A young Sikh woman, Gurbakhash Kaur, was ready for the chance. A resident of Lodi, Gurbakhash Kaur, who is starting medical school at Drexel University this August and is a member of the Sikh Youth of America, tried to question the Vice President about two Sikhs in the United States Army who were told to cut their hair in order to serve. The two men were medical professionals entering the U.S. military, and their religion forbids them to cut their hair. Vice President Biden interrupted Kaur to tell her a member of his staff is a Sikh and did not allow her to finish her question. Afterwards, Kaur said, “I want the story to get coverage, as hardly anyone pays attention to our issues . . . we need a lot more legal support and begging and pleading to get our issues addressed.” Biden then explained to the crowd that he was out of time, and it hadn’t been in his plans to greet anyone. He waved goodbye one last time, before getting into his limo and being whisked away. The twenty or so people who got the chance to meet him were glad he took the detour but one thing that was clear was that the Vice President was certainly not prepared to run into a Sikh asking piercing questions about an issue troubling the community. Moments before her tryst with Biden, Gurbakhash Kaur had cornered Governor Jon Corzine, who too had come over to shake hands, asking what Obama and Biden are doing about rising health education costs. Corzine briefly mentioned a healthcare reform bill, but cut his handshaking short when Kaur continued to question him about college debt.