Phi Beta Kappa celebrates new inductees

By Elise Schoening
Features Assistant

Students inducted into the College’s prestigious academic honor society, Phi Beta Kappa, on Tuesday, April 14, were met with a standing ovation from the crowd.

“I must say, we’ve been doing this for eight years and we’ve never had a standing ovation,” said Elizabeth Borland, president of the College’s chapter of Phi Beta Kappa.

The induction ceremony, which was held in Mayo Concert Hall, was filled with friends and family members of the inductees. They all rose from their seats to applaud the accomplished students before them.

Phi Beta Kappa, which was founded in 1776 at the College of William and Mary, is the nation’s oldest academic honor society. It recognizes and encourages student achievement in the sciences and liberal arts.

“It’s not just about the GPA,” Borland said. “We’re looking for students who go above and beyond and really embrace the liberal arts.”

Today, less than 10 percent of colleges and universities in the nation hold a Phi Beta Kappa chapter. The College was approved for a chapter in 2006 and is currently one of only four higher institutions in the state that holds this honor.

The selection process for students admitted into the honor society is just as rigorous. In fact, membership is not open to all students and there is no application process.

Students must be nominated for consideration by professors before they are formally invited into the society, explained Rebecca Flores, a senior history and political science double major and new member of Phi Beta Kappa.

In order to be considered for membership, students must be of junior or senior standing with majors in the liberal arts or sciences. Not only must they maintain a high grade point average, but they must also demonstrate strong moral character and an affinity for the liberal arts and sciences.

“We’re looking for students that have that intellectual spark,” said Janet Morrison, department chair of biology at the College and a member of the selection committee for Phi Beta Kappa.

Morrison gave the final speech of the ceremony. Her address to the inductees encompassed the interdisciplinary nature of the organization. Phi Beta Kappa, she explained, was founded on the tenets of friendship, morality and scholarship and is rooted in the principle that “love of learning is the guide of life.”

She spoke of the connections between the arts and sciences and how inspiration can be found all around us. She argued that beauty is a source of inspiration for many, though it can take different forms. Some may find beauty in poetry and art, while others may find it in the intellectual thought of an equation, Morrison said.

Morrison urged the new members before her to find what inspires them, whatever it may be, and to let their vast knowledge from the arts and sciences guide their future.

After taking an oath to maintain the principles of the society, the inductees were granted membership into Phi Beta Kappa. They then signed the chapter reg- istry and received an official certificate of membership.

Membership into Phi Beta Kappa is life-long, Morrison said, and a number of notable public figures have been inducted into the honor society, including Bill Clinton, Eleanor Roosevelt and Sheryl Sandberg.

“Phi Beta Kappa is a great honor society that recognizes not only my academic successes, but also my love of learning,” junior philosophy major Payal Ved said. “I am honored to be a member of a society that has Presidents and Nobel Laureates in its rankings. Some of the greatest minds in the world have been a part of this society.”

Intoxicated student recites rap lyrics to police officers

By Colleen Murphy
News Editor

• Sometime between 9:20 a.m. on Monday, April 6, and 1 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8, $100 in cash and a $50 Visa gift card were stolen from a Travers Hall room, according to Campus Police. The resident had left her door unlocked and later realized that the items were missing from her wallet, which was located in her dresser drawer. The resident talked to several of her floormates, thinking one of them was playing a joke on her. When she told Residence Life staff about the missing items, they told her to report it. From a tip, Campus Police developed a suspect. Police met with one of the victim’s floormates at 9:50 p.m. on Wednesday, April 8, inside his room. Police told him they were investigating a theft on the floor and transported him to police headquarters where he was questioned. The male said he didn’t take the money or the gift card and doesn’t know who did. According to Campus Police, there are no other suspects at this time.

• A black backpack with $1,214 worth of items was stolen from a Library computer lab on Saturday, April 4, between 6 p.m. and 7 p.m., Campus Police reported. The backpack, which was valued at $50, had a silver iPhone 6 valued at $649, an Asus laptop valued at $400 and a graphing calculator valued at $115. Police reviewed footage retrieved from a basement security camera where they saw a man leaving the lab area and walking upstairs and then exiting the south entrance of the library. The student had also reported the stolen backpack and electronics to Lawrence Township Police. At 10:17 p.m., Lawrence Township Police called Campus Police saying they had located the suspect in his vehicle by using the “Find My iPhone” application that was connected to the victim’s tablet. The suspect fit the description of the man seen leaving the library, and he was also in possession of the backpack and its items. When back at police headquarters, the suspect said, “Man, I shouldn’t have even come here today.” He was warned not to return to campus, and if he does, he will be charged with trespassing, according to Campus Police.

• A fire door that led to a stairwell on Cromwell’s fourth floor had its window broken by physical force on Wednesday, April 15, at 9:28 p.m., according to Campus Police. Residents said they did not hear or see anything suspicious.

• Campus Police was called on Saturday, April 4, at 11:35 p.m. after a report cited two silhouettes seen inside the Campus Town construction site. The caller then saw a male climb over the fence back onto the campus, where he walked through Lot 4 toward Lot 7. All units responded to Lot 7 where the male was arrested for criminal trespassing. Police were unsuccessful with finding the second suspect. At police headquarters, police observed that the trespasser had slurred speech and a strong smell of alcohol. As a result, he was charged with underage consumption of alcohol. Police observed mud on the male’s sneakers and lower legs and, according to Campus Police, the boy said it was “probably from going through Campus Town.”

• Between 11:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 2, someone dented the rear bumper of a parked vehicle behind Eickhoff Hall, Campus Police said. The vehicle’s owner believes the employee she had disciplined for “job abandonment” and told not to return to campus until a follow-up meeting on Thursday, April 9, had done it out of spite for being reprimanded, according to Campus Police.

• Five more bags were taken from the Physical Enhancement Center on Thursday, April 2, between 2:45 p.m. and 3:15 p.m., according to Campus Police. A student worker found four bags in the men’s bathroom. She brought them back to the gym, and three owners approached her to retrieve the bags. All three people checked and said that their bags were picked through. One student had $40 taken from her wallet. The fourth bag was placed back in the cubby. A fifth person asked if another bag was found, but it hadn’t. One of the students told officers that incidents like this happen all the time, and Campus Police said they recommend that these thefts be reported.

• Three car magnets were stolen off a car in Lot 12 sometime between 7 a.m. on Friday, March 20, and 3 p.m. on Friday, April 3. The three magnets were of the word “Pray,” Greyhounds in a red Volkswagen and Greyhounds in a paw, and each was valued at $10.

• On Saturday, April 11, at 6:48 p.m., a resident on the fourth floor of Cromwell heard a group of about four or five males being loud in the hallway. Soon after, she heard a loud bang and then laughing. When she went out to the hallway, she saw that the glass from the hallway door was broken out. She was unable to identify the males, according to Campus Police.

• Campus Police found purple graffiti on the outside of Decker Hall and on the dumpsters behind Cromwell at 7:20 a.m. on Saturday, April 11. According to reports, a stick figure and a cat head, with the words “pussy money weed” were spray painted on one wall. The words “dick spout,” with an arrow pointing to a pipe, was found on another wall. “HOPES” and “DR DIE” were spray painted on the dumpster, according to Campus Police.

• Two males, one a visitor, were found intoxicated in a New Residence Hall room at 1 a.m. on Saturday, April 11, according to Campus Police. The first male had vomit on his clothes while the second was vomiting into the sink. The second student was cooperative and admitted to having several shots of vodka. Lions EMS evaluated the first student who went in and out of consciousness and was unable to answer all the questions. The first student shouted, “I had a lot,” when asked what he consumed and then lay down on the bed. While conscious, he was uncooperative, yelled and recited rap lyrics. When the males were told they were being transported to the hospital, the first student became combative, prompting EMS to strap him into a board restraint so he didn’t harm himself or EMS. Neither student said where he drank, Campus Police said.

• At 7:40 a.m. on Friday, April 10, a car on the fourth level of Lot 13 was found to have been sprayed with a fire extinguisher on the front hood, bumper and side of the vehicle, according to Campus Police. The extinguisher was found 10 feet from the vehicle. A second extinguisher was found 20 feet away. Campus Police said that as they drove down to the bottom level, they noticed that all the fire extinguishers on each level of that corner were missing.

SFB funds free pizza for Finals Fest 2015

By Jackie Delaney
News Assistant

The Student Finance Board convened on Wednesday, April 15, to decide funding for the last few events set to occur this semester. The last two meetings of this semester will review funding for events scheduled for fall 2015.

The New Jersey Christian Fellowship presented for scholarships for its yearly retreat for members in May. After losing funding from the school the group usually appeals to every year, NJCF proposed for $2,000 from SFB to fund scholarships for new executive board members. The five-day retreat will include team-building activities, allowing the group to “collectively communicate as a team.” It was fully funded by the board.

Student Government then requested $7,544.48 for Finals Fest, the traditional event to help students unwind during the most stressful  weeks of the semester. According to the proposal, the event “helps to raise student moral and energy on campus during the stressful week of finals.” This semester, the event will include a free ice cream giveaway as well as offer massages, smoothies and bagels. SFB decided to fund SG with $8,044.48, which includes an additional $500 for extra pizzas for the free MammavFlora’s pizza giveaway. Finals Fest will take place Tuesday, May 12, through Friday, May 15.

Finally, the freshman class council proposed for the previously tabled funding of helium tanks for TCNJ Cares Week. The board funded the event last week with the exception of the helium tanks to see if a rental was possible. SG worked out an agreement to have the balloons blown up by an outside company for $1,780. The request was fully funded. TCNJ Cares Week will take place starting on Monday, April 27 through Friday, May 1.

The board was also met with two new club status requests. Sigma Lambda Beta, a fraternity that upholds ideals of brotherhood, scholarship, community service and cultural awareness, was picked up as a new club. The fraternity hosted the “Take A Walk in Our Shoes” program last semester. Lambda Theta Alpha, an organization dedicated to educational programs, philanthropies, social activities and promoting cultural awareness on campus, was also picked up as a new club.

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

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From The Roberts: Raquel’s Style Vlog

This week we decided to let all of our readers in to our world a little bit. We decided to take this week’s blog as an opportunity to better know one of our founders, Raquel. Raquel chose to be a part of From the Roberts because she loves to both write and explore the world of fashion. Two activities that “allow one to fully express who they are to the world in their own voice and on their own terms.” We caught up with her on campus and got to hear all about her favorite springtime go-to’s, as well as catch a glimpse at what a fashion blogger likes to rock on their down time.

 

Below we have recreated Raquel’s look in an adorable and affordable way! With classic simple pieces like Raquel’s and the ones below, layering becomes as easy as possible, and your wardrobe will go to infinity and beyond. To add a little edge, simply mix and match these staples with colorful, patterned or textured pieces for a bit of fun.

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And in the words of our co-founder, Raquel, “Be bold, fashionistas! Try something new, never be afraid to be who you and always show that wonderful person off!”

 

Until next time,

From the Roberts

Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal is met with controversy. (AP Photo)

College loses $2.4 million in state funding

By Sara Torres
Staff Writer

Governor Christie’s proposed budget plan for the 2016 fiscal year slashes funding to public four-year colleges, mainly due to the rising cost of employee benefits. The budget summary, released in February, reveals an estimated dip in operational funding to the College, specifically, by over $2 million.

Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal is met with controversy. (AP Photo)
Gov. Chris Christie’s proposal is met with controversy. (AP Photo)

“The state provides support to public colleges in two primary ways: direct operating aid and by paying the cost of employee fringe benefits,” said David Muha, vice president for Marketing, Communications and Brand Management.

According to the proposed budget, funding for fiscal year 2016 would maintain the present level of funding provided in the current fiscal year. However, the cost of fringe benefits, such as healthcare and pensions, will increase. This means funding will be taken out of the allotment for direct operating aid to make up for fringe employee benefits.

“Under the governor’s proposed budget, TCNJ will receive $2.429 million less in institutional operating aid from the state next year,” Muha said. “That represents an 8.29 percent cut to our operating budget.”

The budget proposal has sparked abundant controversy. Spokesman for the New Jersey Association of State Colleges and Universities Paul R. Shelly was quoted in an article on Philly.com saying, “We’re very concerned, because the reduction in this budget proposal would be a significant share of our institutions’ direct appropriations, and it would continue a pattern of declining state funding for public higher education.”

The college administration is currently considering options to address this slash in state funding, according to Muha. In the coming weeks, the president, provost, treasurer and vice president of Human Resources will meet with the Student Government, the Faculty Senate, the Staff Senate and campus unions to discuss the proposed budget and gather input.

“I can’t speculate on what the ultimate solution will involve,” Muha said.

Senior elementary education and history double major Deanna DeCongelio said the budget proposal is reminiscent of the governor’s usual pattern of behavior toward education.

Being in the teaching field has exposed DeCongelio to similar situations in which she has witnessed many teachers constantly being denied tenure due to changing qualifications.

“Christie hasn’t been a fan of giving teachers the salary or the tenure that they deserve,” she said. “I think this is a real step back from where we should be going in the educational field.”

When she leaves the College behind, it may not be the same place she entered if the budget passes.

“That’s such a shame, especially for our professors who do so much for us and want to make us the best that we can be,” she said. “If they don’t have the resources for higher education, what’s the purpose of college?”

It is possible the proposal may undergo changes in the legislative process. The governor’s proposed budget must still be enacted by the legislature and signed by Christie by Tuesday, June 30. The Senate and Assembly have higher education budget hearings set for late April.

Lions’ EMS: Combating seasonal allergies

By Steven King
Columnist

Spring is finally here in full force. Say goodbye to the days of freezing temperatures and hello to actually being able to go outside and enjoy the nature around campus. However, for people who experience seasonal allergies, that may still be a tough feat.

As the days progress, all the trees and plants around campus start producing allergens, which can result in several annoying symptoms like sneezing, coughing and congestion that can keep you from enjoying these warmer months. Lions’ EMS has a few tips about how you can deal with your allergies without having to trade away your ability to have a good time outdoors.

Enjoying the warm weather is difficult due to allergens. (AP Photo)
Enjoying the warm weather is difficult due to allergens. (AP Photo)

First, it’s important to understand what exactly is causing you to have these nasty symptoms. Certain pollens have the ability to make your day pretty terrible. Pollen is the stuff that plants use to fertilize other plants. Pollens are designed to be small and light, which makes it easier for them to travel with the wind. When pollen enters the body, your immune system treats the substance as a dangerous threat and responds to it, despite the fact that pollen is generally harmless. This response from the immune system is the cause of symptoms such as sneezing, congestion, coughing and itchy throat.

One suggested way to cope with your allergies is to avoid exposure to allergens, although that can be pretty difficult, especially when you are rushing to class, going to your next club meeting or playing a sport. The best thing to do is to be prepared. Find out which days are going to be particularly bad for people with allergies so that you know in advance. There are various websites, such as accuweather.com, which can warn you about the allergen condition outside in your area. Using these resources can help you plan ahead for a particularly bad day.

In order to treat allergies, get an over-the-counter antihistamine. Over-the-counter eye drops and decongestants are also very helpful in dealing with symptoms. Through a combination of knowing which days allergens might be worse and having the right medication, you can alleviate your symptoms.

Overall, having allergies can really make spring time difficult to enjoy. Having these symptoms makes it hard to enjoy the warmer temperatures and stay focused during classes. The symptoms of seasonal allergies, however, can be dealt with. By making sure you know whether or not the pollen in our area will be bad, you can prepare yourself by getting the proper medication to help deal with symptoms. Everyone reacts differently to allergens, but if you know that you have suffered from allergies in the past, take the proper steps to make sure these warmer days are not ruined.

‘Challenger Deep’ is a completely captivating novel

By Kayla Whittle
Staff Writer

Whether you’ve been a fan of Neal Shusterman or you’ve never heard of the author, you’ll quickly be enraptured by “Challenger Deep.”

The novel is everything I wanted in a book and more. I’ve been a fan of Shusterman for years, and though he is most well-known for his “Unwind” dystology — a dystopian that’s barely short of horror — this fictive narrative that depicts mental illness in the modern age is equally as brilliant.

Now I know that whatever Shusterman writes, whatever the genre, his writing is powerful enough to transcend every obstacle and transform his characters and ideas into something epic.

“Challenger Deep” is emotionally packed, stressful and more grounded in reality — some of the time. The novel follows Caden, a typical high school student who begins to no longer tell the difference between what is real and what are the things that only he can see. Caden pretends to join the track team, but instead spends his time walking for miles trying to understand what is going on in his head.

This book ended up feeling more surreal than most actual fantasy books, as the reader needs to piece together what is happening before revelations are made in the book.

'Challenger Deep' contains inspiring characters. (AP Photo)
‘Challenger Deep’ contains inspiring characters. (AP Photo)

I think that Shusterman did a fantastic job in writing about mental illness. The novel approaches an issue that many who suffer with mental illness face — trying to put their feelings and thoughts into words. Caden is trying to work through his illness as depicted by the overarching metaphor that he is on a ship that’s headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench. Trying to piece together his words, Caden is designated as the ship’s resident artist and begins to find his voice through his art.

Though I’ve never experienced something like this myself or known someone who has gone through this kind of illness, I was touched even more when I found out that the author based his characters around the real-life experiences which people close to him have had. While I didn’t think Shusterman would approach such a topic lightly, it’s a heavy reminder that this book which can feel so reminiscent of fantasy in its tumultuous scenes is reality for some out there. It’s a depiction of the daily struggle they go through.

To me, mental illness can seem more terrifying than any sea monster or treacherous ship captain, referring to some of the things Caden can see. It’s something most people prefer not to speak of and there are so many stigmas attached to labels of illness, even now when most think we’ve made so much progress. Shusterman wrote about that, too. There were so many major issues that he managed to thread into this novel without throwing his messages in the reader’s face, which I think is yet another thing that made this novel so beautiful.

It’s one that I’m definitely going to reread, and I need to buy a physical copy of it to add to my collection. I think anyone could learn something from “Challenger Deep” — and enjoy reading it while they’re at it. Even though it can get dark, there’s Caden’s humor to light the way, and you’ll find yourself rooting for him through every step.

Jaar emphasizes importance of cultural spaces

By Jack Meyers
Staff Writer

With just a few powerful words and images, communities can re-imagine their struggles and recover from catastrophe, explained celebrated artist Alfredo Jaar, who spoke about his work with memorials in the Mayo Concert Hall on Wednesday, April 15.

“It’s really about the power of a single idea,” said Jaar, whose artwork is based on the importance of traveling and learning about other cultures. “Before acting in the world, I need to understand the world.”

Born in Chile and having experienced the infamous dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, Jaar has visited and worked across the globe.

Born in Chile, Jaar has been influenced by his travels across the globe. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Assistant)
Born in Chile, Jaar has been influenced by his travels across the globe. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Assistant)

He is perhaps best known for his work in helping commemorate the deaths from state-sponsored terrorism in Latin America in the 1970s and 1980s. Most notably, Jaar created a massive lightbox memorial to the “Disappeared” — the people tortured and kidnapped under Pinochet in Santiago, Chile and a similarly evocative memorial in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

“When we feel we have the (keys), we begin to feel responsible for this place,” Jaar said about his motivation to travel and support community renewal and growth with his art.

Jaar was even recently invited to create a memorial out of found and refurbished blackboards in a city in Japan that was devastated by the 2011 tsunami. The exhibit, titled simply “We Shall Bring New Life,” showcased the countless hours the community had poured into their children’s education.

“I saw something in destruction that was the start of an idea,” Jaar said.

From the discovery of the blackboards, Jaar encouraged surviving students to contribute to this project by signing the words “We Shall Bring New Life,” which were projected, fading in and out onto the boards for a public audience.

“What you have to do is find problems and get together with friends and solve those problems,” said Dean of Arts and Communications John Laughton, praising Jaar for his transformative artwork.

At its core, the art Jaar puts forth not only has brought tremendous change to many people, but has also illustrated the importance of simplicity.

“I’m always looking for ways to articulate ideas in the most minimal way possible,” Jaar said, explaining that  “poetry is very important in my work; it is fundamental.”

“I like the economy of means of poetry, when you’re capable of saying so much with so little,” he added. This minimalism is the essence of Jaar’s work, which has touched lives and helped put grief-stricken communities back on their feet.

Jaar claims his love for this kind of home-town heroism is rooted in having traveled abroad and having been well-cultured at a young age.

“I think we are the response to all the stimuli we receive,” Jaar said, encouraging the audience to take care of the cultural spaces they identify with. “The birthplace is an important stimulus, but it is not the only one.”

The singer belts her favorite tunes with her bandmates. (Jonathan Edmondson / Arts & Entertainment Editor)

Tony-nominee Milioti charms with acoustic concert

By Mackenzie Cutruzzula
Review Editor

Cristin Milioti is no stranger to Kendall Hall at the College — she spent the summer when she was 16 years old studying theater in The Don Evans Black Box Theatre with the Governor’s School. She was excited for the transition to perform on the Kendall Main Stage on Tuesday, April 14, where she once received her Governor’s School diploma.

Milioti returned to the College for an evening of music and conversation, a “real treat” since ending her run as Girl in the Broadway musical “Once.” Performing with her former “Once” co-stars, Will Connolly and David Abeles, the trio brought a laid-back but fun atmosphere to the stage.

The singer belts her favorite tunes with her bandmates. (Jonathan Edmondson / Arts & Entertainment Editor)
The singer belts her favorite tunes with her bandmates. (Jonathan Edmondson / Arts & Entertainment Editor)

“We hadn’t played together in nine months,” Milioti said. “It’s something we get to do together a couple times a year, but I wish it was more.”

During her performance, Milioti chose her small setlist to be comprised of the songs that most inspired her and had the biggest impact on her life. It was only fitting that she began with “Gold” from the Tony award-winning musical that started her on the road to success and formed the friendships she brought along with her on stage.

Later, in a moderated discussion, Milioti talked more about her time working on “Once,” from starting out in a bar basement in Cambridge, Ma. to how those small beginnings affected her reaction to the show’s slew of Tony nominations.

“I have a regret in that time in my life — I wanted to protect the show and keep it a gem,” Milioti said. “I wish I had taken more time to enjoy everything that was happening to me.”

Milioti’s role in “Once” led to her instant classic, last-season casting on the hit sitcom “How I Met Your Mother” as none other than the Mother, also known as Tracy McConnell. Milioti admitted she had never seen the show before landing the role and didn’t truly understand the significance of the part.

Unlike other characters that were able to bring lots of pieces of their own life into their “HIMYM” roles, Milioti didn’t have as much freedom playing McConnell. She did, however, bring one piece of herself into the role — her ukulele that she carries everywhere with her, including her performance at the College. Confessing that she was pretty sure her dad bought the instrument from Target, she said she only feels comfortable playing that one specifically. Even when the producers of “HIMYM” gave her a brand new one to play in the show, she kindly refused it and played her personal one.

Milioti discusses her work from Broadway to “How I Met Your Mother.” (Jonathan Edmondson / Arts & Entertainment)
Milioti discusses her work from Broadway to “How I Met Your Mother.” (Jonathan Edmondson / Arts & Entertainment)

Milioti kept her performance at the College personal by providing the audience with a listen to her very first original song, “Glacial Sentiment.” The song was extremely poetic with lyrics such as, “You are halfway across the globe, near glaciers and sea birds, and there is no earthly way to hold your hand.” Milioti admitted before singing that sharing her own music is frightening to her, and she has been trying harder to face that fear. The audience greeted her with roaring applause that surely put her nerves at ease.

Milioti joked about her nerves by pulling from her Jersey roots.

“It’s the Jersey in me,” Milioti said with a Jersey accent. “I always say, ‘I don’t care what you think about my song,’ but I secretly do care.”

Milioti grew up in Cherry Hill, N.J. and noted that even though she played a “typical Jersey girl” as Teresa Petrillo Belfort in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” it was not a role she was used to playing. She did, however, love the role because it embodied what she loved most about acting — having a wig and an accent. She continued that trend in her music, providing the squeaky voice in what was supposed to be her closing number, “Four Five Seconds.” However, Milioti has taken up an interest in improv comedy of late and thus included an impromptu encore. The trio did an acoustic cover of “Skinny Love” with no mics or amps — just two guitars and a stool.

Milioti ended the show with a vibrant exclamation —“We did it!” After imparting both wisdom and laughs to the audience, she laughed about her next adventure — finding the nearest Wawa, which she confessed backstage she was looking forward to finding on her trip to Jersey.

Presidential hopefuls announce candidacy

Some have questioned Paul’s professionalism amidst his bid for president.
Some have questioned Paul’s professionalism amidst his bid for president.

By Alyssa Sanford News Assistant

Rubio, Clinton, Paul and Cruz.

Three Republican senators and a former Democratic Secretary of State are currently vying for a presidential nomination from their respective parties. While primary elections are still nine months away, there’s a lot that these candidates can do in the meantime to improve their public image before it comes down to the inevitable vote.

For instance, Senator Ted Cruz (R–TX) has a 4 percent Republican backing, according to a CNN/ORC International poll. Perhaps that’s because he has only been in office since 2012 and lacks widespread recognition, as some experts at the Washington Post suggested.

But his staunch conservatism might actually alienate moderates who are looking for a fiscally-conservative president. He may attract support because of his infamous 21-hour filibuster against Obamacare in 2013, but he also holds some radical views that can’t possibly entice a band of truly loyal proponents.

The New York Times posted an editorial on Friday, April 17, about Cruz’s stance on the Second Amendment, in which they quoted him as saying, “(It) is a Constitutional right to protect your children, your family, your home, our lives and to serve as the ultimate check against governmental tyranny — for the protection of liberty.” The suggestion that the right to bear arms might be retooled to mean that anyone can rise up against perceived governmental tyranny is ludicrous, and it could have disastrous consequences. Strongly held beliefs like these could block Cruz’s path to a Republican nomination.

Senator Rand Paul (R–KY) is faring better than Cruz at this stage; presently, the ORC International poll ranks him at 12 percent backing, which puts him in third place behind Jeb Bush (16 percent) and Scott Walker (13 percent). Paul is an interesting candidate because he is difficult to define. He holds libertarian views on social issues but has also been affiliated with the Tea Party, a right-wing conservative group.

Like his father, Ron Paul, who was a presidential hopeful in 1988, 2008 and 2012 according to ballotpedia.org, Rand Paul refuses to be defined by traditional party-line ideology. In fact, the Post noted that in his official campaign announcement on Tuesday, April 7, he “frequently knocked the Republican party throughout his remarks.” It could be problematic, but Paul’s real issues lie with his public image.

In recent months, Paul has gained a reputation for being short-tempered with reporters, even going so far as to ‘shush’ a female journalist, according to CNN. If Paul wants to have a serious shot at a presidential nomination, he has to overcome this somewhat belligerent attitude toward the free press and adopt a more stately manner.

Of course, this is second nature for Hillary Clinton, the former First Lady, Senator and Secretary of State who announced her candidacy on Sunday, April 12, in an online video. She is a diplomat with vast experience in foreign policy, White House politics and governance because she’s done it all before and with acclaim.

There’s considerable support for Clinton in her second run for the presidency. A CBS News poll projects that 81 percent of Democrats would consider supporting her. As for moderates who are socially liberal, Clinton is a compelling candidate because she has a chance at making history by becoming the first woman to earn a nomination from a major political party and possibly the first woman to become president.

However, there are problems with which to contend. The email scandal may continue to plague Clinton, as well as her somewhat hypocritical stance on women’s rights, as the New York Times reports her family foundation accepts donations from Middle Eastern countries that actively suppress women’s rights. She’ll need to be as transparent and forthcoming as possible, something that a skilled politician isn’t always good at being.

For Marco Rubio (R–FL), Clinton is a perfect target. In his campaign announcement on Monday, April 13, he attacked “a leader from yesterday” who wants to take the country back to its problematic roots, according to CNN. But it could also be interpreted as an attack on Rubio’s good friend and potential candidate, Jeb Bush.

Rubio is the youngest candidate out there at 43 years old, which is promising for voters looking for a fresh-faced politician to lead the nation into a new age. But because Bush is part of a prominent political family, it looks like he might take support away from Rubio, regardless of his age and his affiliation with the increasingly unpopular Bush legacy. Rubio also only has about 6 percent backing at this point according to the Times, which could keep dropping once Bush formally announces.

The four aforementioned candidates are viable; however, until frontrunners Scott Walker or Jeb Bush announce their candidacy, the race remains wide open. It might also be interesting to see former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina go head-to-head with Hillary Clinton, but a nomination seems like a longshot.

For now, the candidates should focus on public relations. This is particularly true for Clinton because she is the lone wolf in the Democratic race. Until then, I’m not entirely convinced that any of these candidates are prime presidential material.

Some are unhappy with pick-ups by Loser Hall.

Inconsistency for Loop Bus pick-up causes uproar

Some are unhappy with pick-ups by Loser Hall.
Some are unhappy with pick-ups by Loser Hall.

By Ellie Schuckman Opinions Editor

With the fencing up around the Brower Student Center, certain changes to campus events and offerings were bound to be effected, and the Loop Bus — coveted off-campus transportation — is no exception.

According to an email sent out from Ceil O’Callaghan, director of Planning and Administration, on Friday, April 10, pick-up for the bus will now take place on “Metzger Drive, across from the Paul Loser Hall entrance, on the Campus Town side.”

Though the promise was to pick students up from there, that has not been the case on multiple occasions, causing serious uproar.

“I have now taken the Loop Bus more than once from the new location, and each time it has picked me up from a different spot,” freshman open-options humanities and social science major Emily Loevy said. “What annoys me most is that even though I had been waiting for the bus longer than other people, they still got on before me because the bus didn’t go where we were told it would be.”

Loevy detailed how though she was there for over 10 minutes prior to the scheduled arrival time, others who ran up while the bus was pulling in got on first, taking all of the seats. She then had to wait another hour before the bus came around again.

This is simply unfair.

There needs to be a better system in place where students can actually form a proper line, and those who arrive first can get on the bus ahead of those who came after them.

The inconsistencies of pick-up locations only adds to the confusion.

When one driver stops by the bus stop where students were told to be and another driver pulls into the loop by Loser Hall, it becomes frustrating.

It is beyond difficult for students to plan accordingly and arrive with enough time to even make the bus initially.

Especially for freshmen who rarely have other means of off-campus transportation, the Loop Bus becomes ever more important. Some students rely on the bus to run errands and stock up on necessities they can’t find here at the College. Others take the bus to get away from campus life for a few hours and take a much-needed break from schoolwork and studying. Then there are those who rely on the Loop Bus to have a ride to the train station to travel home.

Inconveniences were bound to happen with the Student Center being under construction, but the lack of consistency is simply unacceptable.

From the Roberts: Spring Has Sprung

The countdown to spring is finally over!!! Well, sort of..

roberts5While the spring is technically here, the weather remains relentlessly chilly. TCNJ fashionistas are dressing up and dressing accordingly by slowly transitioning their warm winter wardrobes into lighter spring ensembles. Janet Park, English and Spanish double major, says that she transitions her wardrobe from winter to spring by keeping it simple: “The easiest way to transition your style is to layer,” she says. Here, Park layers a grey long sleeve Brandy Melville top with her Zara trench coat. On the bottom, Park pairs her Forever 21 plaid shorts (which we love) with a pair of black tights and little booties.

The two of us love how Park paired her bottoms with a pair of sheer black tights. “Tights are the perfect way to dress up any outfit,” Park says. She then adds that “tights are great because you can wear cute dresses, shorts and skirts without looking too bare/being too cold” during the colder spring days. Not only this, but tights automatically make any outfit classier. The tights were the perfect finishing touch to Park’s ensemble.

roberts6

Taking Janet’s outfit as inspiration we compiled a few looks that make us swoon. Tobi recently released some spring pieces and featured a handful of AH-DORABLE shorts in all different styles. Their Plaid For the Bad short reminded us of Janet’s look and we can see it on fashionistas everywhere. We also picked black leather shorts with a floral design and a pink skort!

To top off the shorts, and add flare and style, layer your outfit with a cute trench! We chose three simple coats, all designed by Forever21, and all affordable. Two of the jackets featured below are simple in off-white and grey and will add sophistication. For a pop of crazy cool, try out the Checked Dolman Jacket! Pair it with any plain pair of short and it makes a statement. Or- if you’re a daredevil- try it with a pair of patterned shorts and try to mix and match. Good luck, fashionistas! We know you can rock anything.

 

‘Thrones’ premiere promises exciting, bloody season

By Brooke Schmidt
Staff Writer

After a long year of anticipation, HBO premiered the first episode of “Game of Thrones” on Sunday, April 12, to its millions of fans across the world. From its inception, the show has garnered a place in the hearts of its viewers due to the intricate storylines, well-developed characters and gratuitous amounts of nudity.

It would be a lie to say that the nudity wasn’t a draw for most people at the beginning of its run. Now, however, the show has turned into a cherished time of the year where people see their favorite characters massacred from the comfort of their homes. 

Last season ended with a bang — and several deaths — which made the season premiere even more exciting. We left the series following Tyrion’s (Peter Dinklage) double murder, Jon Snow’s (Kit Harington) heartbreak and Stannis’ (Stephen Dillane) takeover, amongst many other things. Many of those plotlines were picked up by the premiere, but there are several characters left out from the moment we last saw them — mainly a certain Arya Stark (Maisie Williams).  We last saw her boarding a boat to Braavos, but she was gone from this episode. She will probably be featured in the second episode, and we will hopefully figure out what happened to her once she sailed from the shore. Excluding Arya, most of the main characters were focused on during the course of the episode. Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) even made an appearance, which bodes well for future storylines. 

Throughout the episode, a large majority of the sequences feature events in King’s Landing as well as Jon Snow’s plight at the Wall. In King’s Landing, Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) has the first ever flashback in the entire series. The showrunners revealed last year that they would break their flashback rule, and they did so with beauty.

Daenerys contemplates her future as a ruler in the latest season. (AP Photo)
Daenerys contemplates her future as a ruler in the latest season. (AP Photo)

The flashback showed a young Cersei having her fortune told by a frightening old woman in a dilapidated hut in the woods. It was both creepy and fulfilling, as any “Game of Thrones” flashback should be. It gave further insight into Cersei’s deepest fears, humanizing her while also turning her into a desperate creature. Her fears mainly consisted of being removed as Queen to have a younger, more beautiful woman replace her.  Basically, this was nothing new to intuitive fans, but it was an interesting scene and expertly shot.

The young actresses did a beautiful job and, as usual, the production value was on par with any “Lord of the Rings” type big-budgeted film. All of Cersei’s scenes throughout the episode fixated around this theme of losing everything she holds dear, from her father and sons to her crown.

Along with Cersei in King’s Landing, the episode featured the Wall pretty heavily. Politics of the new Lord Commander were discussed, but that was not the main focus. It was, instead, Stannis’s desire to rule the Wildlings.  In order to take control of Westeros, Stannis decided the only course of action was to force the Wildlings to fight under his command. One person really stood in the way of that: Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hind). Rayder, truly, is the only capable ruler throughout the entire series thus far. People follow him because they love and respect him, not because they fear and resent him which is a common theme throughout the other rulers. The only other similar ruler was Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony), but he wasn’t respected nearly as much as Mance and could never command such an army.

In the end, Stannis gives Mance an ultimatum: bend the knee or die. And thus another strong, interesting character dies before we can understand them further. In the best scene of the entire episode, Mance refuses to bend fealty to Stannis. Instead, he is led to be burned alive on a pyre. Jon Snow, in another effort to make the entire female population love him, puts Mance out of his misery with an arrow to the heart. While audience members got a taste of Mance’s personality, I truly wish we could have gotten the opportunity to see him challenge Stannis as a ruler. There is a good chance that Snow’s action may make the Wildlings swear fealty to him instead of Stannis, but such events will be shown next week — or never, depending on my predicting skills.

What does this say about the entire show? Everything is hitting the fan. Tyrion may be helping Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke); Sansa (Sophie Turner) is going somewhere with Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen); Brienne and Podrick (Daniel Portman) may be going to find Sansa, but no one is really sure; King’s Landing is full of deceit and lies (but that’s not really new); and Jon Snow creates another reason that he should be King.

Predictions aside, this episode was an incredibly strong start to another exciting season, and fans are already clogging the internet with discussion and speculation. However, when does the show ever follow fan speculation anyway? Well, fans shall see next episode if their predictions have come true. For now, the biggest question remains: Who shall be the next to die?

ACT’s risky, abstract spring production pays off

By Ellie Schuckman
Opinions Editor

Set on the verge of the modern smartphone revolution, All College Theater’s interpretation of “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” had audience members questioning metaphysics their own use of electronics throughout its five performances last week in the Don Evans Black Box Theater.

The play, detailing one introvert’s journey as she tries to form relationships with others, explores modern technology’s ability to both isolate and unite people together.

With white, circular lanterns hanging from the ceiling and soft blue and purple lighting, audience members were immersed into the theater from the instant they entered. Instrumental music from jazz to Debussey (designed by Glenn Nunez Rodriguez and Sorraya Brashear-Evans) added yet another layer to the story, driving it forward.

Friedman and McGovern share a tense scene in ‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone.’ (Photo courtesy of Ronald Gomez)
Friedman and McGovern share a tense scene in ‘Dead Man’s Cell Phone.’ (Photo courtesy of Ronald Gomez)

Senior music major Shannon McGovern kicked off the show with her quirky interpretation of Jean, a woman in her late thirties who picks up the cellphone of a man (later revealed to be Gordon) in a cafe to stop it from ringing — that is, to stop it from bothering her work. Unbeknownst to Jean, the man is dead, sending the play into motion.

McGovern brought Jean to life, engaging the audience while raising awareness to the dangers we so commonly ignore.

Junior philosophy major Nick Muoio dominated the stage as Gordon with a fierce voice and charisma, enlivening the crowd. Commanding his lines and a lengthy monologue, Muoio divulged the narcissistic and truly troubled man his character is while playing him with style. He even invited the audience into his performance, his gestures and forceful eye contact roping them in.

Freshman communication studies major Lauren Vogel further livened the show with her performance as Gordon’s mother, Mrs. Gottlieb, a difficult, complex woman trying to cope with the loss of her beloved son.

“It was a lot fun getting to work with a small cast as you really get to know everyone,” Vogel said. “Being 19, it was kind of difficult to find the character of a 65-year-old woman — it was a challenge to get into that mindset. We all played characters that were well above our age.”

Jean and Dwight share a romantic moment in the stationary store.  (Photo courtesy of Ronald Gomez)
Jean and Dwight share a romantic moment in the stationary store. (Photo courtesy of Ronald Gomez)

Written by esteemed playwright Sarah Ruhl, the story begs the question: Can people truly connect to one another in a world dominated by technology, where each individual has their eyes constantly locked on artificial screens?

Professional director Noah Herman offered an aesthetically compelling interpretation of the play. As the story itself has a message prevalent to modern society — the lack of communication with others in a society obsessed with cellphones — it only makes sense to push that message a bit further through sound, color and the moods these effects establish.

Adding to the “real-world” feel of the play, lighting (designed expertly by Jen Dall, Liz Farrell and Kim Bernstein) played a significant role, changing the mood of each scene. While the story itself has abstract qualities, lighting and sound cues are used to draw the audience into the show. Even when the text of the show begins to get confusing, the strong aesthetic choices of the director and the production staff help to communicate the show’s overall theme.

The tones of a cellphone, for example, rang throughout the play, signifying a change in Jean’s character as she becomes more withdrawn from those immediately around her and obsessed with who is on the other end of the phone calls.

“Through the imagination of the play, and especially through Gordon’s cell phone, (Jean) gains a little bit of power in her life, and she uses her storytelling, lies and confabulations to create a world that she wants to live in,” McGovern said. “However, it doesn’t necessarily turn out exactly as she thought it would, and that realization changes her for the better.”

The cast also included junior communication studies major Jackie Kuczinski playing Hermia, Gordon’s widow, as she struggles to cope with his death, fearing their relationship was never truly whole. Junior political science major Sam Waxenbaum starred alongside McGovern as Dwight, Gordon’s younger brother who constantly lives in his shadow. Rounding out the group of six actors was junior history and education double major Rachel Friedman, who put on a convincing role as The Other Woman (Gordon’s mistress) and The Stranger.

But not all was seamless. One of the production’s few flaws was perhaps the text of the play itself. While delivering a message important to society, the absurdity in Jean’s lines and actions — continuously answering and cherishing his cell phone while forming rapid relationships with his relatives — is almost too outlandish. That said, the cast did everything it could to embody the characters, create visceral effects and reveal our obsession with electronics, for better or worse.

“Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” with an underlying humor coursing throughout, is simply captivating, with particular thanks to the production staff that pulled off a two-hour, technical feat.

“The show is very abstract and has so many wacky technical elements, but the production staff has done such an excellent job bringing it all together,” McGovern said. “Because of their hard work, the show and story is really able to shine amongst this weird world of falling paper, eerie lighting and a symphony of cell phones.”

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