Echoes: Café dining in Prague

By Annabel Lau

One of the best parts about studying abroad is eating your way through a city (or continent, if you’re ambitious). But what’s even better than just great food is knowing you’re dining in a place with its own unique history. After all, what could be cooler than sipping coffee with the ghosts of Einstein or Kafka? Here are three of the best cafés I’ve come across in Prague that have the whole package: delicious food with an interesting history on the side.

The Grand Café Orient
The Grand Café Orient is housed in the historic House of the Black Madonna, a cubist building in Prague’s Old Town designed by Josef Gocar between 1911 and 1912. It closed down in the 1920s when cubism fell out of style, but since reopening in 2005, the café’s interior remains true to its cubist intentions; the elegant cubist buffet-bar and light fixtures used today were designed by Gocar himself. This café holds a special place in my heart because it’s where we were officially welcomed to Prague back in February —my school held a welcome reception for us there. (Also, the hor d’oeuvres are to die for.)

Café Montmartre
Opened in 1912, Café Montmartre is one of the oldest cafés in Prague. The moment you walk in, it’s like you’ve stepped back in time. Unfortunately, it was closed down during World War II for 50 years, but it has since been reconstructed with furniture and decorations to resemble its interior from the 1920s. It has a quaint, brooding atmosphere with dim lighting — perfect for those who just need to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life and bask in the solitude for a bit. It’s no surprise that writers such as Franz Kafka and Egon Erwin Kisch have been among its most well-known guests. Although it used to host some “wild nights” back in the day, it’s now a relaxing place to grab a cup of coffee and read, write or just chat with some friends.

Café Louvre
My personal favorite, Café Louvre is a gorgeous art nouveau café located near the National Theater. Since the café’s inception in 1902, it has been a gathering place for writers, artists and intellectuals, who would often hold their club meetings there. Among its famous clientele were writers Franz Kafka, Otto Pick and Karel Capek. Albert Einstein frequented the café on Tuesdays while he was a professor at Charles University. Café Louvre was forcefully shut down by the communists in 1948 but reopened in 1992. Today, in addition to exquisite coffee and food, the café also features a game room with billiards, chess and various card games.

It really is exhilarating to visit these cafés, knowing that brilliant minds of the history books have breathed the same air more than a hundred years before. As I sip my coffee, pen and notebook in hand, I feel invigorated and inspired. It’s probably the caffeine, but part of me likes to think it’s the spirit of Franz Kafka.


From the Roberts: Summer wardrobe

By Raquel Roberts and Samantha Roberts

With summer just a few short weeks away, we have been stocking up on some of our favorite pieces for the season. Fringe bikinis, beach pants and anything/everything crocheted are some of the items we cannot live without this summer. Keep reading to find out how you, too, can stay in style this summer in some of our favorite trends:

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 7.02.34 PM

Our obsession with fringe took off this spring, and it’s not being halted by the summer season. While we love fringe dresses, rompers and accessories, one of our favorite fringed items is a bikini. Fringe takes any bathing suit from basic to adorable. Choose a fringe bandeau top for a little extra summer spunk, or how about a fringed halter bikini (which might we add, is extremely flattering). Whatever your bathing suit style of choice is, add some fringe and you’ll be the ultimate boho beach babe this summer.

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 7.03.11 PM

Beach pants are an absolute necessity for the summertime heat. They are light, flowy and adorably chic! And while these pants serve as the perfect beach cover-up, this style is ideal for almost any occasion, whether that be lounging with friends, kicking back by a bonfire, heading to the movies or strolling in the park. Pictured above are some of our favorites. The Victoria’s Secret linen beach pant is casual and laidback, while the pattern of the Billabong Bright Bayou adds a little extra style. We adore this style and think that it’s a must have for every girl this summer.

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 7.03.33 PM

The two of us love anything and everything crocheted for summer 2014. Whether your item of choice is a maxi cardigan, an itty-bitty sundress, a pair of short shorts, or a cute crop top, if it’s crocheted, then it’s absolutely summer-worthy. Crocheted items are perfect for the sunny weather because they are light and give off a relaxed, beachy vibe. For extra style points, choose a colored crocheted piece instead of a traditional nude. Above are some incredibly affordable yet completely adorable crocheted pieces that we love. Who knew that lookin’ cute and keepin’ a college gal’s budget could be so effortless?

Here’s to hoping that you all have a fantastic (and stylish) summer!

From The Roberts

Lions Playlist: The finals week playlist

By Susan Pereny

It seems like I was just writing a playlist for the beginning of the semester, but somehow this time is already upon us.  With the end of the year approaching, I feel as though I still have some unanswered questions about my classes.  For example, why are you assigning a huge paper and having a final too?  Do you enjoy watching me suffer?  The only thing good about finals are the reading days.  Or reading day since there’s really only Friday.  Thanks school!

Here are some songs to help you get through the worst time of the semester:

The Ark- “One of Us Is Gonna Die Young”

Seriously, either this essay is going to be really great and I’ll be dead, or it will be mediocre and I get to live the rest of my life.

The Beatles- “I’m So Tired”

Enough said.

Buddy Holly- “Everyday”

For when you need a song to cheer you up and remind you that this isn’t forever.  Buddy Holly soothes with this sunny song.

Bright Eyes- “Let’s Not Shit Ourselves (To Love and Be Loved)”

Let’s remember that we WILL get through this miserable week.  Also, bonus — this song makes fun of tests.

Cake- “I Will Survive”

And you will!  This sexy cover of the famous Gloria Gaynor hit packs a little more punch than the original, with some alterations to the lyrics such as “I should have changed my fucking lock.”

Elvis Costello – “Wave a White Flag”

You may feel like waving a white flag, but don’t.  Like we already decided, you will survive!  Warning: this song is focused on domestic abuse.

Fun. – “It Gets Better”

“This is really happening / you never looked so bored.”  Yes, the final is actually in front of you, but no, you don’t really feel like writing all of those essays…Don’t worry, it gets better.

Kid Cudi & Kanye West- “Erase Me”

PSA: Remember if you’re second guessing yourself regarding an answer on a test, your gut is usually correct.  Don’t erase! Or should you?

Billy Joel- “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song)”

You did it and now you’re leaving!  My condolences if you’re one of the people such as myself doomed to have two finals the day of move out.

The Lime Correspondent: The fate of the American lime industry

By Patrick Gallagher

Currently, North America is suffering from one of the greatest lime shortages in recorded history, due to a number of reasons already mentioned in previous articles. These reasons, may they be disease or organized crime, are prevalent mostly in Mexico, the nation that exports the majority of limes consumed by Americans. While today we rely on Mexico for the majority of our limes, there was a time when the United States produced its own limes, and had an industry of its own.

What's the fate of the American lime industry? (
What’s the fate of the American lime industry? (

Back in the 1940s and 1950s, there was a booming lime business in Homestead, Fla., a major agricultural hub in southern Florida. The hot, humid weather made for the perfect conditions to grow limes, which are, of all citrus, the most susceptible to the cold. Florida today is known for its oranges, but 60 years ago, a great number of limes were grown there. This successful boom of limes caused the American appetite for the citrus to amplify. Combined with an influx of immigrants from Latin America, whose cuisines make ample use of the fruit. As the demand for the fruit grew, the supply could not keep up.

In 1992, Hurricane Andrew ripped its way through Florida, and caused much devastation. Among many other things, the lime orchards in Florida were torn apart and had to be replanted. During this time, lime production in Mexico stepped up to meet American demand, and a vacuum was created. American-grown limes would have made a comeback as orchards were re-grown after Andrew, but disease spread throughout Florida, killing citrus trees off. Lime trees were not to be grown in order to contain the spreading of citrus canker, a devastating disease to citrus. Farmers have since then gone on to other crops, unable to risk another loss of trees due to disease, and unable to compete with cheaper Mexican labor.

But now that Mexico is hit by hard lime-times, is this the moment for the American lime industry to resurge? Much citrus disease is already affecting Florida orange groves, and most of the climate in the United States is not conducive to growing limes. There is potential of growing them in Hawaii, but the import costs would not be worth it. However, scientists are starting to think that the damage done by disease years ago can be reversed, and new strains of citrus can emerge resistant. The fate of the citrus industry in general relies on such research, as places such as Mexico have become affected by disease.

Over the semester, I have done research to inform not just the TCNJ community, but all readers of this blog, about the impact that limes have on the world. This started as a humble student blogging about his favorite fruit, but it has turned into something much more than that. As I started writing these articles, a sudden lime shortage occurred. When this news arose, I knew to do my best to spread this knowledge to my peers. I want to thank you, the readers, for staying informed about the current state of limes in the world. I hope you learned a few new things, and have a newfound appreciation for this citrus.


From the Roberts: Springtime fashionistas

By Raquel Roberts and Samantha Roberts

Springtime style spotted: The fashionistas of TCNJ were spotted this week sporting some pretty adorable outfits. Two of our particular favorites were completely different, but they both had “spring” written all over them.

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 6.40.00 PMSophomore communication studies major Rashida Ricketts was spotted wearing a fabulous all-white ensemble around campus this week. And while Rashida’s sophisticated white outfit doesn’t apply to the whole “no white before memorial day and after labor day” style “rule,” we think that her white-on-white outfit was perfectly balanced out by her springtime accessories. White is typically a summertime color. But if you’re like Rashida and can incorporate spring trends into your style, you will totally be able to rock this sleek look this season. Rashida finished off her polished look by adding a colorful, patterned clutch and gold accessories, including a fabulous statement necklace. You go, girl!

To find out how to recreate Rashida’s classy look, keep reading:

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 6.41.32 PM

Pair this white crocheted Forever 21 cami with a matching pair of white jeans. We absolutely love these jeans, courtesy of Urban Outfitters, because of their fun lace up bottom. Take a note from Rashida and accessorize your outfit by adding a patterned bag or clutch and gold chunky jewelry.

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 6.44.01 PMContrasting Rashida’s super sweet look, we spotted sophomore psychology major Aleta Nadolny traipsing around in an edgy springtime ensemble this week.  Aleta’s outfit is comprised of a tribal print high-low skirt, a black tank, a pair of adorable moccasins and a beaded cross body bag. We asked Aleta what her favorite part about her outfit was and she said it was her tribal print skirt. She said, “I love this skirt — it’s one of my favorite buys, for sure, because the print is like an outfit in itself. It doesn’t really require much else.” And we couldn’t agree more! Keep it up, Aleta!

To find out how you can rock a high-low skirt like Aleta does, keep reading:

Screen Shot 2014-05-08 at 6.44.09 PM

Tobi’s Low Ombre Skirt is fun, flirty and totally amazing for the springtime. To keep the tribal vibe of Aleta’s outfit, pair this skirt with these beautiful Diane von Fürstenberg’s Fisher Bootie, which include some killer fringe and braids. As for the perfect accessories? Choose this Free People Coin Crop necklace and this edgy Free People Steel Snake Armlet. This outfit is perfect for a day spent with family or friends enjoying the glorious spring weather.  And if you add a heel, this outfit is instantaneously date-night worthy!

Keep up the good work, ladies!

From The Roberts

In regatta racing, ‘Boaty’ comes out on top

It was the perfect day for sitting on the bank of Lake Ceva while watching the impressive work of students as they competed in the annual Cardboard Boat Regatta, hosted by Residential Education and Housing and Upper Class Experience, on Friday, April 25.
The event highlighted the difficulty of constructing a cardboard boat, stable enough to hold two people and race for time across the lake, paired with the humor of themed boats, costumes and sinking ships.’
Despite the need for experience in mastering the physics of a cardboard boat, it was a group of four freshmen for “Boaty” who took first place with a strong showing at 2:21, rivaled by the second place time of 2:35 belonging to “The Ark.”

“The Flying Squirrel” took third with a time of 2:49, sporting members from the College’s manhunt club who dressed in pirate gear.

The first place team of Alin Boyjkovic, Thomas Approvato, Tim Laux and Eric Brokaw, whose construction was titled “Boaty,” boasted an American fish-themed boat that was able to hold off the growing speed of “The Ark” and take the top trophy.

“That was terrifying,” Laux said of “The Ark” trailing them closely behind. “Noah hits the gym like all the time, so we were very scared.”

From the hours of 1 p.m. to 4 a.m., the boys spent their entire day constructing “Boaty,” whose performance proved their effort to be time well spent.

“We had a lot of haters, everyone thought it would sink,” Approvato said. “We were pleasantly surprised. I think ours was just a little bit straighter so it was easier for us to go faster, but (“The Arks”) was solid as a rock.”

With bed sheets tied around their bodies as togas in resemblance of Noah, the team of JT Schwindt, Christian Balevski, Mike Misdary, Sam Chen and Matt Scapardine — who created “The Ark” — gave a competitive showing in effort to overtake “Boaty” in the closest race of the day, but ultimately couldn’t catch up.

“‘Boaty’ was right in front of us and we were just trying to catch up,” sophomore political science major Schwindt said. “We just didn’t even up the paddle well …  (but) Noah’s Ark is ready for the flood, just look at the thing.”

The most inspirational showing of the day, however, belonged to “I-House,” the winners of the Best Spirit and Sportsmanship awards. “I-House” struggled through the race as their boat sank deeper and deeper, leaving its paddlers basically sitting on water as the rowers slowly but surely found their way back to the bank in order to complete the race without fully sinking. The perseverance of the team was noted by the judges who presented them with their two awards.

Unfortunately, other participants weren’t as lucky, with boats not being able to withstand the weight and water combination, resulting in several boats capsizing. However, the most spectacular of the boats that capsized belonged to the “Titanic,” recipient of the Best Sinking award, as the riders of “Usain Boat” embraced their boat’s sinking nature by jumping off into the lake with a celebratory cheer.

With 13 competitors and five heats, the event proved to be an awesome success allowing people to enjoy the excitement of a cardboard boat race, great music from the DJs at WTSR and a relaxing view of the campus’s beautiful lake. In the midst of final exam stress, the event provided an interesting escape for students to spend a spring day outside in the company of friendly competition.


Taco Bell gives McDonalds a stomach ache

• Since Taco Bell introduced the “waffle taco” and the subsequent line of breakfast options, McDonald’s has been nervous. The fast food giant, with its popular Mc-breakfast options, has started an ad campaign that boasts of a fresh cooked breakfast and quality ingredients to combat the Yum Brands Inc. competition. The company says it hasn’t noticed any decline in its breakfast business since Taco Bell introduced the breakfast options.

• This week brought bad news from the magazine industry. The Ladies Home Journal, one of the oldest monthly publications in America, announced it would no longer be offering a monthly subscription. The magazine will be converted to a quarterly, newsstand-only magazine this coming fall. The change is a result of continuous declining profits, subscriptions and changes in consumers’ reading habits.

• While it was an unfortunate week for print publications, Apple investors had one of their best weeks in recent memory. After far exceeding the market’s expectations for first-quarter earnings, the Silicon Valley-based tech giant rewarded investors by adding $30 billion to its stock-buyback plan, increased its dividend eight percent and declared a 7-for-1 stock split. The stock price rocketed during after-hours trading, rising over eight percent, after the news was delivered.

• If you think a cup of coffee is a bit expensive now, then you may want to consider switching to tea for the future. Coffee prices are on the rise, and have almost doubled year-to-date. The increase in prices is a result of an unforgiving drought in Brazil — which is the producer of about one-third of the world’s coffee and the primary producer of Arabica beans, which are used for creating gourmet blends. While it may take some time for the price increases to effect consumers, eyes remain on May’s crucial bean harvest.

*All information is according to the Wall Street Journal.

CUB pursues Young the Giant, SNL writers

01_MulaneyWith two high volume requests, the College Union Board was fully funded for both the Fall Comedy Show and Fall 2014 Concert at the weekly board meeting on Wednesday, April 23.
Fully funding CUB for $70,550 to host the Fall Concert, SFB approved the list of possible headlining artisits, including Young the Giant, Taking Back Sunday, Matt and Kim, Hot Chelle Rae, Cher Lloyd, American Authors, Mayday Parade, New Politics and Ra Ra Riot. Possible openers include The Front Bottoms, The Downtown Fiction and Hey Ocean!.
The $70,550 is the highest cost the concert will be if the top choices of Young the Giant and The Front Bottoms come through. However, with cheaper bands, the money funded by SFB will get washbacked to the Student Activity Fund.
CUB was also allocated with $50,680 in hopes of getting one of their top choices in John Mulaney, an American comedian and writer for SNL, Jay Pharoah, a stand-up comeddian and actor for SNL and Steve Rannazzisi, a stand-up comedian and actor for the television series “The League.”
Other backup options include Patton Oswalt, Kate McKinnon and Moshe Kasher. Once again, the money funded by SFB will be the highest price spent if CUB’s top choices are received — all money not spent will be washed back into the SAF.
The third highest request stemmed from Union Latina, which was fully funded with $10,350 to host “Salsafied.” The event is intended to have the campus unite in dance with the inclusion of a narrated, lively and inclusive performance of salsa.
The event is scheduled to be held on Friday, Oct. 10, in Kendall Hall.
The last request came from PRISM, which requested $3,055 to bring comedian Erin Foley to the College. This well-known lesbian comedian has been featured on Conan, Chelsea Lately and Comedy Central and features work that seeks to debunk stereotypes about the LGBTQ community in a funny way.
PRISM was fully funded for this event and hopes to bring her to campus on Tuesday, Oct. 28.

*Even though SFB agrees to finance certain events, there is no guarantee these events will take place. The approval only makes the funds available.

‘Proof’ a gut-wrenching testament to talent

Catherine is reluctant to accept Hal’s romantic gestures. (Jonathan Edmonson / Review Editor)

A renowned mathematical genius once stood on the porch steps of his old, Chicago house in a horrific rage. He had truly succumbed to his mental illness and could no longer practice the work to which he had dedicated his life.

With the arms of his daughter Catherine around his neck, in a heart-wrenching scene where she cried softly, his daughter whispered to the sick man that she loved him and wouldn’t leave him — even though it meant sacrificing her future — in All College Theater’s production of David Auburn’s “Proof,” directed by alumnus Patrick Albanesius.

The audible gasps of the viewers sitting in the Don Evan’s Black Box Theatre during this flashback were a testament to the superb acting of the cast members —  each of whom embraced the volatile and grief-stricken characters with poise well beyond the years of a college student.

It certainly helped that they were able to perform on a beautifully designed and detail-oriented set that even included vines under the porch, a ratty old couch to coincide with the aged house and, of course, the porch steps — home to most of the play’s big action.

While Catherine (played by Morgan Teller)  must cope with the recent death of her father Robert (played brilliantly by Jake Burbage), she struggles to prove the authorship of her own proof — resembling only the genius work of her father — while trying to maintain stability in her fear of inheriting her father’s madness.

A passionate, four-person cast and creative production staff combine forces for ACT’s production of Pultizer-prize winning ‘Proof.’ (Jonathan Edmondson / Review Editor)
A passionate, four-person cast and creative production staff combine forces for ACT’s production of Pultizer-prize winning ‘Proof.’ (Jonathan Edmondson / Review Editor)

Burbage’s performance of the professor was undeniably accurate in its portrayal of the mad man. He showcased fast-paced sentences ravaged with stuttered words and shaky hands which guided him through the most emotional of scenes in his terrifyingly violent arguments with Catherine.

Everything from Burbage’s red face, which resulted from him harnessing the anger of Robert, to his gray-dyed hair, depicted Auburn’s character with grace and a true professionalism in the role.

Coinciding with Teller’s outstandingly emotional performance, her costumes of typically sweatpants and baggy sweatshirts provided the audience with a sense of her laziness, stemming from the grief of her hard life looking after her unstable father and not living up to her mathematical potential— or so he thought.

The play introduces Hal, an eager young mathematician and former student of Robert, who looks to makes sense of the hundreds of books Robert wrote during his final years of suffering through insanity. While Catherine’s rough-around-the-edges personality greets Hal with defiance, as she begs him to accept that the notebooks are filled with nonsensical gibberish, a romantic flame is later lit, and she finds herself warming up to him in even the most love-stricken ways.

Hal (played by Garrett Verdone) added a hint of humor alongside the heart-pressing drama. He left the audience in awe at his genuine passion for Catherine when he admits he’s always liked her. Verdone acted out the role, doing justice to Auburn’s writing with his fantastic portrayal of a math nerd with a soft-spot for Catherine.

In the wake of Robert’s death, his estranged daughter, Claire (portayed by Emily Brady) finds her way back to Chicago for the funeral. However, Claire provided a wonderful contrast from her sister, boasting pearls and a diamond ring marking her engagement to her well-off fiancé. 

Brady’s performance offered the audience a taste of the life Catherine gave up in order to care for her father. Brady mastered the perspective of a woman hiding her shortcomings as a daughter behind her elegance — a mask that lasted until receiving a massive hangover after drinking with those “fucking physicists.”

The audience erupts in laughter over Brady's dedicated performance. (Jonathan Edmondson / Review Editor)
The audience erupts in laughter over Brady’s dedicated performance. (Jonathan Edmondson / Review Editor)

In a scene that forced an uproar of laughter from the audience, a disheveled Claire exits the house in a robe with sunglasses, and it was clear that Brady did a wonderful job in her execution of the role.

As Catherine begins to fall for Hal, she provides him with the key to a drawer in her father’s study. It is here that Hal discovers the brilliant work of a proof that even he can’t wrap his head around. 

In the final scene of Act I, Hal tries to explain some of the work in the proof with an overwhelming enthusiasm, hoping that Robert’s lucid year would provide him with one last ground-breaking proof in the field. However, Catherine startles the audience with her declaration that she already knows what’s in the notebook — not because she read it, but because she wrote it.

Catherine continues to struggle in proving to Hal and Claire that she produced the proof, as she inherited more than just her father’s rage and possibly his insanity. 

But there was no question in proving that the choice in casting was impeccable. The production stayed true to the integrity of Auburn and showcased an incredibly mature performance in the relationship between a mentally-ill father and a fearful daughter, that is sure to make any director proud.

“The most important thing, to me, in the portrayal of Robert was exhibiting his humanity in the midst of his delusion,” Burbage said. “It’s the same goal I try to achieve in all of the characters that I play on stage — making them believable.”

Students of the class of ’11 visit the fountain on the eve of Commencement. (Photo courtesy of TCNJ Magazine)

Fountain trip a ‘rite of passage’

01_fountain alt alt
Members of ZTA celebrate Pink Out Week next to the fountain in the Science Complex. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)

Once a year, seniors gather around the Science Complex fountain to kiss the College goodbye. An elegant affair during Senior Week, the president’s toast to seniors is the final step before students walk the path from the fountain to the Brower Student Center — a march that signifies the bridge from student to alumnus.

As they raise their champagne glasses with President R. Barbara Gitenstein, seniors’ eyes may turn toward the fountain — a landmark of the College, a meeting spot for classes on sunny afternoons and a center for campus organizations’ fundraising events.

For junior criminology major Colleen Warwick, the fountain made the trek to her difficult chemistry class a bit brighter.

“My teacher had us go outside and do work by the fountain,” Warwick said. “I think it’s very pretty. It adds to the beautiful campus.”

“The fountain is an identifier and creates a sense of place — ‘meet me at the fountain,’” said Emily Dodd, communications officer for the College.  The fountain appeals to our senses, she explained. “We can see it, hear it, feel it, either when the wind blows a light mist on us as we walk by or by sticking our hand in the water.”

The brick-and-stone fountain is filled with about 3,500 gallons of water. Jets line the circumference of the fountain, causing water to arc and crash onto the stone sphere in the center of the fountain. Each winter, the fountain is drained and then refilled when spring arrives.

The beauty of the fountain is admired by its passing students.

“Well, I have put my hand in it,” junior sociology major Tara Fries said. “It’s aesthetically pleasing.”

But for some students, the fountain is more than a pretty sculpture. It is the center of a treasured campus tradition.

During Welcome Week, many freshmen learn that swimming in the fountain is a must-have addition to their college bucket lists.
“It’s a rite of passage,” senior biology major Colleen Stalter said.
The fountain plunge serves as a bonding ritual for freshmen or a last hoorah for seniors before they jump into the real world.

“I like when they put colored lights in the fountain,” Fries said.
During warm months, the fountain is illuminated by blue lights in the evening — providing extra appeal for any late-night dippers.

When student ambassadors lead potential students on tours of the campus, they are always sure to include a stop at the Science Complex.

Some ambassadors even created a video called “The College Rocks,” which was posted on YouTube on Nov. 16, 2008.

“You may or may not know, (but) the College was named ‘the hot college’ by the New York Times.  Come on everyone, let’s go cool off!” one ambassador speaks directly to the camera.

The ambassador then whips off his shirt and runs into the fountain. Eight other students seated around the fountain follow suit, unable to resist the sparkling water. The students giggle as they toss a plastic beach ball in the air and slosh around with their friends.

Swimming in the fountain is not sanctioned by Campus Police, based on the account of several students.

“I felt a little on edge because I thought we would get caught,” junior journalism major Kris Alvarez said. The late-night swim was a bonding experience between Alvarez and his freshmen floor, but as he said “it was early freshmen year. We didn’t have anything to lose.”

Junior sociology major Dawn Kreder was splashing with her friends in the fountain when Campus Police approached and asked them to get out of the fountain immediately. The officers said that the fountain is “not ever cleaned, it’s not filtered and you can get hurt from the jets,” Kreder said.

But Tom Hasty, supervisor of landscape maintenance, said that the fountain can cause little damage to swimmers.

“The fountain’s like a pool, really,” Hasty said.

Students of the class of ’11 visit the fountain on the eve of Commencement. (Photo courtesy of TCNJ Magazine)
Students of the class of ’11 visit the fountain on the eve of Commencement. (Photo courtesy of TCNJ Magazine)

In order to prevent algae from forming, the fountain is treated with bromine and calcium chloride, chemicals found in public pools. Yet the water jets could potentially poke someone’s eye.
The water jets “come out pretty tight,” he said.

However, Campus Police appear to be somewhat understanding of the tradition.

“After the Eickhoff Ball on the last night of 2009 Senior Week, myself and about five other (sorority) sisters waded into the Science Complex fountain in our dresses,” ’09 alumna Katie Maricic said.

The sisters were swimming in the fountain when Campus Police approached and said, “You girls are so loud you could raise the dead.”  After exiting the fountain, Maricic “asked the police to take a picture of us in our soaking wet dresses, and they agreed.”

The final toast for the Class of 2014 is fast approaching. When they raise their glasses around the College icon, some seniors will fondly remember the late-night plunges they took with their friends when they were wide-eyed freshmen. Others may still be hoping to get their final swim in before they toss their cap.

Junior nursing major Gina Brucato, along with many of her student peers, will be satisfied when she stands around the fountain for her final goodbye to the College.

“I’ve been in it,” she said. “Mission fulfilled.”

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 7.11.19 PM

Make or break: Playoff rounds in sight

After outscoring its opponents 73-22 in the final four games, the 15-1 women’s lacrosse team finished the regular season ranked as the nation’s fourth best squad. And yet, despite that impressive feat, none of it truly matters if the women do not continue their intensity come playoff time.

Finishing as the nation’s fourth best squad, it’s do or die come playoff time. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)
Finishing as the nation’s fourth best squad, it’s do or die come playoff time. (Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk)

Luckily for the Lions, however, there is a lot of familiarity with its first round opponent.

After soundly defeating a gritty Kean University team 18-8 Saturday, April 26, the women have just four days to prepare for a rematch in the first round of the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) tournament. Despite their previous success, the women cannot take their opponents lightly. In the playoffs, anything is possible.

“We want to improve even more and play at a higher level and hold ourselves to higher standards when we do play them again,” junior attacker Ava Fitzgerald said. “(It is also good for us) to be able to come back out and get a second chance against them to play even better and eliminate any mistakes that we might have had in the first match between us.”

In the first game against Kean, the women jumped to an early 4-0 lead. The Cougars were resilient, however, and stormed back by scoring five consecutive goals.

“I think we were reacting to a different type of attack that was being played against us, and we were adjusting our defense in order to combat that attack,” Fitzgerald said. “We are a team that responds really well, and we have a lot of character and composure. I think that we are able to rally together as a team and pick each other up, which is really important as well, and that definitely showed in the Kean game.”

After regrouping quickly, the women once again took command and headed into the second period on top with an 8-5 lead.

“When we met at halftime, we were really able to focus in on the little things that would make us better and that we would grow from, playing that team,” the team’s leading scorer said. “We were able to really narrow in on key elements that were causing us to lose possession or play a lot of defense, and we were able to strengthen those in particular. Everything else around that kind of fell into place once we were able to do that.”

There was no letting up in the second half as the women took advantage of turnovers and outscored their opponents 10-3. While every game is different, the Lions will look to replicate their second-half performance.

“It was a big learning experience for us, and I think it is fuel for us to (decrease) their amount of goals as well as increase our amount of goals and decrease our mistakes,” Fitzgerald said. “It is a key thing we look to do after every game, no matter what the score is and no matter how far we pull away from them. I think decreasing our unforced turnovers and our errors is a really big thing for us (because) we focus more on how to grow our game, rather than on our opponents.” 

While the expectations are high for one of the nation’s top teams, Fitzgerald understands that they cannot get too carried away.

“We are a team that can go really far in the playoffs, which is something really exciting,” she said. “We need to come out (strong) right from the start. We need to really make sure that everybody is on the same page and that everyone brings their A-game.”

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 7.34.06 PM

Campus goes green

Earth Day’s mission is to help the world become more eco-friendly, and several clubs around campus were busy making the world a greener place this past week.

On Tuesday, April 22, the Brower Student Center was bustling with several tables full of tri-folds and posters reminding students to help the environment.

Delta Zeta encourages students on campus to be more environmentally conscious. (Kyle Bennion / Photo Assistant)

The College’s chapter of Delta Zeta hosted Pink Goes Green Week, a Delta Zeta national event meant to promote environmental conservation.

“We do activities to encourage people to go green,” sophomore early education and math, science and technology double major Erin Wolters said. 

The sorority’s board composed a list of actions that students could take to help the environment, such as taking shorter showers, not littering and recycling.

“They could do really simple things,” junior history and special education double major Brittany Santos said. “It’s easy to be green.”

Throughout the week, Delta Zeta held fundraisers with food and a dunk tank, a showing of Pixar’s “Wall-E”, a campus cleanup and volunteered at the College’s campus garden.

However, Greek life was not the only organization on campus keeping the earth green this past week.

On Wednesday, April 23, freshmen students went with their First Seminar Program class to participate in a day of environmental community engagement. 

Students who normally wouldn’t have been interested in volunteering found themselves having fun.

“It was good. I like gardening,” freshman political science major Billy Jones said. “I feel like it brought my floor together more, too.”

Water Watch, the College’s environmental club, held special events all week, too.

Members held a water taste test on Monday, April 21. Students were invited to try and pick between two unlabeled samples of tap and filtered water. Over the next few days, Water Watch sold potted plants in organic plant holders, fundraised with chocolate covered strawberries and hosted a water balloon fight.

Junior psychology major and Water Watch member Phil Clark went the extra step to volunteer at the campus garden.

“It’s a great cause,” Clark said.

All students on campus were invited to work on the campus garden or any other environment-related projects through the Bonner Center.

Senior psychology major and Bonner scholar Regina Zich, for example, worked in the garden by herself on Friday afternoon. She was busy planting unsold plants from Water Watch’s fundraiser, which were being potted in recycled copies of The Signal.

Zich strongly encouraged people to help with the cause.

“(At) first you’re not interested, and you don’t want to pick up a shovel,” she said. “But in the end, all like it.”

Zich explained how all vegetables grown in the campus garden begin in the Biology Building’s greenhouse. Once they’re ready to harvest, they’re donated to the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK).

The garden’s produce ranged from leeks, peppers, eggplants, potatoes, garlic, sweet peas, sunflowers and much more.

Throughout the week, students learned that there is a lot more that can be done to help the planet, and efforts don’t have to be reserved for just one day.

 “Go green!” junior health and exercise science major Kristen Kuhlthau said as she raised her fist in the air enthusiastically.

Trans-queer feminist activist teaches lessons

“I grew up without an understanding of what gender meant and how it influenced my life,” Avory Faucette said of hir (a gender neutral pronoun) upbringing in conservative, religious North Carolina.

Faucette, a trans-queer feminist activist and writer, spoke in the Library Auditorium Thursday, April 27, as part of the College’s Trans Awareness Week.  

Signs along the College’s main walk teach students about trans awareness while they walk to class.  (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)
Signs along the College’s main walk teach students about trans awareness while they walk to class. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)

“Try not to put someone down because they view life from a different perspective,” zie (a gender-neutral pronoun substitute for “she”) said.  “Being openly trans entails a breaking of the gender binary, and many people tend to be unaccepting of such a lifestyle.”  

Faucette spoke of the everyday choices about how much to reveal regarding hir sexual identity.

“The complexities of identity are often difficult to explain because sometimes it’s tiring to do so, and there’s always the possibility of potential backlash against you.”  

According to the National Trans Discrimination Survey, 51 percent of trans people have been harassed or bullied due to their differences. One in six students has left college due to assault, and 41 percent have attempted suicide, compared to just 16 percent of the general public.

“Social understanding needs to follow legal changes,” zie said.

Faucette earned a J.D. from the University of Iowa, and much of hir talk focused on the intersection of gender, media and law.   

Zie mentioned several societal situations in need of reform to accommodate the needs of transgender people.  

“Gender discrimination is prominent and unfortunately tough to prove concerning trans people in the workplace,” zie said. 

Other pertinent issues pertain to prison reform, medical care and verified gender changes on ID.  

“Making others aware of these issues is the first step to getting them to care and ending the discrimination,” zie said.

Students saw the presentation as a valuable experience and education on important national and on-campus issues.

“Faucette opened my eyes to inequalities that, before this talk, were practically invisible to me,” senior civil engineering major Brian Kunz said.

The most important step students can take is to contribute to the conversation and further educate students that may have missed the presentation.

“This talk helped me gain perspective on an overlooked problem in society,” senior marketing major Tom Infosino said.

Screen Shot 2014-04-29 at 7.08.01 PM

Campus MovieFest showcases student talent

The second annual Campus MovieFest, the world’s largest student-wide film contest, took the College by storm as the top 16 student-created films were screened on Tuesday, April 22, in the Brower Student Center.

According to the competition rules, student teams were given one week to write, film and edit a five-minute short film. This year, over 80 teams from the College took on the challenge.

The night’s winners included “Iris” for Best Picture, “Twitch Plays College” for Best Comedy, “The Last Stand” for Best Drama, Steve Munoz for Best Actor in “Iris” and Rebecca Wallace for Best Actress in “Blossom.”

'Iris' wins Best Picture. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Laux)
‘Iris’ wins Best Picture. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Laux)

Winners of the Golden Tripod Awards were “Forgot My Pants” for Best Editing and Best Soundtrack , “Iris” for Best Special Effects and “Crescendo” for the Audience Award, which was determined by which team brought the most fans to the event.

Best Picture, Comedy and Drama will continue on to a national event in Los Angeles and compete for $30,000 in cash prizes, professional gigs and industry exposure, according to the Campus MovieFest website.

Junior interactive multimedia majors Kenneth Carter, Brandon Noe and Brian Passafaro, worked together on the film “The Last Stand.” The drama showcases the struggles that many children face growing up in violent communities and the sacrifices people make to protect the ones they love.

“We’re so excited to be given this opportunity to go to Hollywood,” Passafaro said. “It’s an honor to have this privilege.”

When “Twitch Plays College” won Best Comedy, those involved were met with similar feelings of exhilaration and utter shock.

Junior history and secondary education double major Kyle Bennion, junior history major Michael Cort and  junior international studies major Sean Harshman first thought of their movie idea after following the Internet phenomenon “Twitch Plays Pokémon.”

Harshman and Cort gather to celebrate achievement. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)
Harshman and Cort gather to celebrate achievement. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)

In the original game, thousands of people type in commands to control the main character and complete missions using Pokémon. Similarly, in the college version, fictional players were able to control Harshman, the lead actor, on his journey around campus.

“We shot one scene at a mixer during Greek Week, but I kept getting bumped into by drunk girls so we couldn’t use the shots,” Cort, director and cinematographer of the project, said about the filming process.

Closing the evening, freshman interactive multimedia majors Ryan Laux and Chris Lundy and junior interactive multimedia majors Andrew Kuserk and Josh Lewkowicz took the stage in celebration of their film “Iris.”

According to the video, Iris is “the newest, most unique and human personal voice assistance to ever hit the market.” Iris is represented by a robot that taunts its victim, Munoz, before downloading him into the system.

Kuserk designed and animated the robot — who was voiced by junior marketing major Garrett Verdone — while Laux and Kuserk matched and edited the robot into the footage with Munoz. Lundy created the original score and sound effects.

The men emphasized that the entire process was a team effort.

It’s the best job to have because it’s the most fun to do,” Lewkowicz, the project’s cinematographer and editor, said of making movies with his friends. “You put a lot of emotion into a film and you hope others get that emotion out of it.”

The College of New Jersey Student Newspaper Since 1885