Category Archives: News

News happenings at The College of New Jersey

Gas leak springs from Campus Town

Students and faculty wait outside the Brower Student Center for more updates on the gas leak. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)
Students and faculty wait outside the Brower Student Center for more updates on the gas leak. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)

UPDATE: As of approximately 1:30 p.m., PSE&G gave the all clear and all buildings and parking lots were re-opened. All classes resumed at 2 p.m.

A gas leak reported at the Campus Town construction site has caused the evacuation of several buildings across campus. According to David Muha, vice president of Communications, Marketing and Brand Management, the evacuation area includes all properties and buildings adjacent to the Campus Town site.

A TCNJ text alert sent at 11:30 a.m. informed the campus community of the gas leak and called for the immediate evacuation of the Hausdoerffer and Phelps dorms, Loser Hall, the Business and Bliss Buildings, off-campus housing along Pennington Road, the Art and Interactive Multimedia Building, the Music Building and Armstrong Hall.

Additionally, all classes in the above mentioned buildings have been canceled until further notice.

“We were in the middle of a presentation in Loser when the fire alarms went off,” junior nursing major Aila Salazar said. Students were instructed to evacuate the building.

“Five minutes later we got the text saying to move to the Stud,” junior nursing major Janine Isaga said.

According to Muha, more updates and information regarding the gas leak will follow.

Talent takes the stage

Where could you have seen a comedic juggler, a saxophonist, a contortionist, dancers and singers all on the same stage? At the fifth annual TCNJ’s Got Talent, of course.

TCNj talentApproximately 30 acts auditioned for a spot in the show’s line-up, but only nine were chosen to perform on Thursday, April 17. Ultimately, it was sophomore accounting major Stephen Fabiano who impressed the judges with his animation dancing to take home the title of the College’s most talented student.

“When I won, I was absolutely shocked,” Fabiano said. “Having seen everyone’s performances and the level of talent, I thought there was no way I’d win. Everyone did an amazing job, bringing such a high level of talent to the show. I’m just glad I could do my part to make the show great.”

Fabiano, who was also a part of the show last year, said he never considered himself a dancer until his senior year of high school when a group of peers formed a circle around him during homecoming. However, it wasn’t until his freshman year at the College that he realized how talented he actually was.

“Once my floor saw what I could do during Welcome Week, they encouraged me to keep improving,” Fabiano said. “As I kept learning and trying new things, I gained confidence and eventually got the ‘I can do this’ mindset.”

The judges, associate vice president for Communications, Marketing and Brand Management Dave Muha, vice president for Student Affairs Amy Hecht and assistant director of the Career Center Lynette Harris, awarded second place to freshman psychology major and contortionist Shirley Wang.

Wang got her start in contortion after having to end competitive figure skating when entering college and still having a drive to perform.

“I started practicing contortion with videos on YouTube,” Wang said. “Over fall, winter and spring breaks, I took classes at several aerial arts studios and discovered a new love for aerial silks, lyra and trapeze. Along with aerial classes, I took contortion classes, which I also enjoyed.”

According to Wang, getting to know the other performers made the night even more enjoyable.

“Everyone was super friendly and easygoing, and it was a very energetic and positive atmosphere,” she said.

Freshman health and exercise science and education dual major Christine Levering probably had something to do with lightening the mood backstage. Levering was awarded third place not only for her juggling skills, but also for her added comedic quips.

As the performers finished, they were able to rejoin the audience to watch the other ongoing talents. Because she performed early on, Wang saw most of the performances and said she loved them all.

“They were all amazing, and I was so impressed by everyone’s talents,” Wang said of the other performers.

Although there were only nine total performances, the show represented only a small portion of the College’s immense pool of talent.

Planning to make hall ‘Bliss’

The College’s campus is home to numerous academic buildings in which students spend a majority of their time during the semester. Some locations, such as the School of Education Building, are brand new with top-of-the-line facilities and an aesthetically-pleasing design. These beautiful buildings, however, do not cover up the less-than-appealing locations.

Bliss Hall’s current condition is in need of repairs, according to students on campus. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)
Bliss Hall’s current condition is in need of repairs, according to students on campus. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)

In particular, Bliss Hall is wildly unpopular with students. Out of a surveyed 64 students, 75 percent said they do not look forward to having class in Bliss Hall.

The building, which is home to classes in philosophy, English, journalism and world languages, among other subjects, is in desperate need of repairs. From an outsider’s perspective, it would seem that the College is pouring all its effort into other areas on campus and ignoring this current, crumbling location.

With the school of Humanities and Social Sciences catering to a large portion of the campus community, many students have a majority of their classes in Bliss Hall. These classrooms are often dirty, cluttered and out-of-date. Even some of the professors who have offices in Bliss complain about the conditions. Take, for example, English professor Diane Steinberg, who had to be moved from her office due to a mold problem. It is evident that students are not the only ones dissatisfied with the building’s current state. 

There were also plenty of other statistics to back this up, such as 34 students ranking Bliss Hall as the worst building on campus. Finally, 85 percent of students surveyed believe that Bliss Hall is in need of repairs.

Luckily, complaints have been heard and changes are on the way.

“In response to employee complaints and reports of apparent humidity-related issues, TCNJ engaged specialized consultants to inspect (Bliss Hall) and make recommendations on possible repairs,” said David Muha, associate vice president for Communications, Marketing and Brand Management.

A potential framework for rennovations has also been planned.

“There are plans for partial renovations to Bliss Hall,” Muha said. “The project is designed, and we expect to seek bids from contractors within the next several weeks. The work is aimed at remedying building humidity and associated environmental conditions that can affect air quality and occupant comfort. The bids should be received within approximately a month and work will be completed over the summer.”

When asked about how the College decides which buildings to renovate, Muha said they take a careful and thoughtful approach in determining which projects to advance and which to defer until more resources become available. 

“In the spring of 2011, the Provost, the Treasurer and the vice president for Administration advanced a proposal for prioritizing projects to the Committee on Planning and Strategic Priorities (CPSP),” Muha explained.

The College has been operating under prioritization criteria ever since the CPSP proposal. The criteria by which projects are advanced, Muha said, are in order of importance.

The first projects that pass are those that involve improvements to conditions in life safety, health and security. Followed are projects that involve building code deficiencies, projects that will prevent more expensive damage in the future, repairs that were already started and repairs that will enhance enrollment capacity. 

Benjamin Rifkin, Dean of Humanities and Social Sciences, recently sent out an email to all faculty within his department stating that during the summer it will not be possible to access offices within Bliss Hall. Without going into many details, Rifkin stated that work would be done to manage the mold and humidity problems on all three floors. 

These improvements, while necessary, will still not address the physical condition of many classrooms and interior hallways of the older building. Perhaps as more attention is drawn to problems that arise, a total renovation of Bliss Hall will occur sometime in the future.

‘Neknomination’ challenge sweeps across campus

What started out in Australia has quickly begun sweeping the United States. Now, it has reached the College campus. Everything about the “neknomination” changes, from the types of drinks people use to who is being nominated for the challenge. But despite traveling from Australia to the College, the game has managed to keep a constant in all of its change — it’s lethal to the body and unforgiving to the future.

Nominees one-up their opponents, even squeezing lemons into their eyes. (youtube.com)
Nominees one-up their opponents, even squeezing lemons into their eyes. (youtube.com)

The “neknomination” is a drinking game that utilizes social media to spread its competition rapidly around the world. A person’s participation in the game begins once they are nominated, meaning they have been challenged to film themselves drinking large amounts of alcohol in order to top the nominator’s previous combination of drinks. They then must nominate other people to complete the challenge within 24 hours.

Having already claimed five lives, the game has taken a dangerous toll on its participants — and yet people continue to play it, as not completing the challenge can reportedly result in online ridicule, according to the New York Daily News.

The issue of underage drinking is nothing new to the public. If The Signal’s Cop-Shop column is any indicator, it’s even more obvious on campus. But this game has taken drinking to a competitive level in which people forego their limits and do whatever it takes to outdrink their opponent.

 “This is a lethal game,” Dr. Sarah Jarvis, medical adviser for the UK-based charity Drinkaware, told CNN. “The point about alcohol is that it affects your ability to recognize that you’re in danger, and it absolutely affects your ability to react to danger. So now we have a double whammy.”

However, students at the College have decided to partake in this game because they felt they knew their bodies’ limits well enough to avoid danger, making it no more lethal than going out to a party on the weekend.

“I think it could be seen as a problem for underage teens to (do the “Neknominator” challenge) because there’s a lot of alcohol, and people don’t know their limits,” said an anonymous sophomore business and pre-med double major who participated in the challenge. “That gives it a bad reputation for everyone else who can do it safely and in a controlled environment. I guess the difference is I knew that I would be able to handle what I drank. Other people think, ‘Here’s 10 shots, I’m gonna outdrink my friends and look cool,’ and that’s where the problem starts.”

Aside from the obvious safety issues to those who participate in this viral drinking game, the more astounding issue is that they have been posting the videos of themselves actually underage-drinking for anyone to see, including future employers. The game has even surpassed Facebook and hit YouTube, allowing videos without privacy settings to be viewed by anyone. For example, a YouTube video titled “The Gnarliest #Neknomination ever” shows a male consuming large quantities of liquor. He then participates in a ‘man-shot,’ where he snorts a line of salt, takes a shot, squeezes lemons into his eyes, gets punched in the face and finally downs a mystery cocktail. This participant may have felt he proved his masculinity by completing the ‘man-shot,’ but it can probably be inferred that a future employer may not be as convinced.

“My motivation was pretty much, ‘Why not?’” the anonymous student said about accepting his nomination. “I have posted a video online with me drinking. However, I changed the privacy setting so only a few of my closest friends could see it that I trust. If (the participants) don’t change the setting on the video, then they are just stupid. There’s no reason everyone needs to see that, and it only harms yourself.”

Whatever the argument may be regarding the safety of the game — whether it’s kids just being kids or a health hazard — it is undeniably endangering students’ future endeavors and hard work. They could be losing a job opportunity, all in the name of the game, just to post a three-minute video proving their worthiness of a “neknomination.”

It’s even gone as far as leading a woman to strip down in a supermarket and down a drink. Another man chose to drink out of a toilet while other players mixed their spirits with dead mice, insects, engine oil and dog food, according to CNN. And the best part? All of these videos are free for the public to see and some of them have been picked up by news sources and spread around through social media.

While there’s been enough said and done about the issue of underage drinking, the “neknomination” brings teens to force themselves to drink voluminous amounts of alcohol in order to avoid getting mocked for bailing out on their nomination. But for those who are able to survive the game, it may be too late for them to right their social media faux pas. They are posting illegal activity for the world to see, leaving its mark in cyberspace forever — and possibly ruining a bright future before it even begins.

NYC Queer Culture Day a go

PRISM was the sole presenter at the Student Finance Board’s weekly meeting on Wednesday, April 16.

SFB fully funded PRISM with $650 to hold a Queer Culture Day in New York City. The club will travel to the Leslie Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art, followed by a discussion about the Stonewall riots at the Stonewall Inn. The funding from SFB will cover the bus quote for the trip on Saturday, Sept. 20.

PRISM was also zero-funded to host a PRISM Center Open House for prospective students to explore the club. As SFB typically doesn’t fund open-house events, the request for funding was denied.

Disclaimer: Though SFB agrees to finance certain events, there is no guarantee these events will take place.

 

Chipotle price hikes, beef with fans

• The home improvement store Home Depot is known for offering consumers tools, lawn materials, appliances and construction material. Despite the bulky nature of its key products, the retailer is now expanding its online shopping options. This past year, the home-improvement giant opened more distribution centers than stores. One store it did open, however, was in North Dakota, stationed in the oil and gas town of Minot. The oil and gas boom has created large population growths in remote areas of the country as construction and oil production workers move to new extraction and exploration sites.

• Google Inc. is taking apps to a new level. In a phone being designed by the tech giant, consumers would be able to not only purchase apps, but also hardware accessories that could be attached to a standard phone body through slots and magnets. Some of the potential hardware options would be various cameras and blood sugar monitors. 

• Chipotle Mexican Grill is raising its prices, menu-wide, for the first time in three years. The company says the reason for the increase is the continuously rising prices of key ingredients such as beef and avocados. 

• China’s own version of Twitter, Weibo Corp., raised $286 million in its initial public offering last week, rising 19 percent from its initial price of $17 per share. The tech company, which means “microblog” in Chinese, allows users to post short statuses, comment on other users’ posts and repost. While the IPO did not live up to expectations, still over 33 million shares exchanged hands on the first day of trading. 

  Gas and oil prices are on the rise due to the approaching summer season, which means more Americans are traveling long-distance and exports of American gas are increasing to foreign countries. The national average for gas prices has now risen to $3.63 per gallon, or 12.1 cents per gallon higher than last year’s rate. New Jersey alone has seen prices jump nine cents per gallon.

All information courtesy of the Wall Street Journal.

 

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AMPD club is music to SG’s ears

Four clubs were approved by Student Government at the general body meeting on Wednesday, April 16.

The first club — the Association for Music Production and Discussion, or AMPD — seeks to create an environment for music discussion, music production collaboration and recording.

The group was previously derecognized, mainly owing to loss of access to the on-campus recording studio as it underwent renovation, but even so, AMPD continued to co-sponsor events such as The Drop, a biannual electronic music event.

“We had The Drop last year and we brought in DJs from outside, but we also showcased some students’ music,” AMPD executive board member Chris Flannery said.

Governmental Affairs unanimously voted in favor of the organization, believing it will be a creative addition to campus.

SG is impressed by the Arabic Club and ACLU. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)
SG is impressed by the Arabic Club and ACLU. (Courtney Wirths / Photo Editor)

The next group that presented was the American Civil Liberties Union, or ACLU, a non-partisan group that hopes to create awareness about issues such as on-campus housing equality, Internet privacy, LGBTQ rights and an understanding of the student code of conduct.

GA was impressed with the initial programming ideas for the club.

Next to present was the Student Alliance to Facilitate Empathy, or SAFE, an organization meant to bring disability awareness to campus.

The group will offer a stigma-free environment and supportive, student-run meetings.

Finally, the Arabic Club was approved after GA recognized the lack of Arabic representation on campus.

The club plans to focus on raising awareness of various Arabic customs and allowing members to practice the Arabic language, along with hosting film screenings, Arabic cooking classes and guest speakers.

“Many people have been comparing the Arabic Club with the Muslim Students Association already on campus,” freshman class council member Javier Nicasio said, “but not everyone of Arabic descent is Muslim. That’s exactly why we need this club on campus, to educate people about Arabic culture.”

 

Rwanda in retrospect, 20 years ago

By Connor Donnelly
Correspondent

This April recognizes the 20th anniversary of one of the most horrific atrocities in recent history, the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.  

On April 7, 1994, a 100-day killing-spree of Tutsi Rwandans began in the tiny country of Rwanda, which left about 800,000 people dead to ethnic conflict.

History professor from the College Matthew Bender gave a special lecture to a large group of students on Monday, April 14, in honor of the 20th anniversary of the Rwandan Genocide. Bender, whose specialty centers on African history, featured an introduction on the topic followed by the screening of the documentary film “Ghosts of Rwanda” as part of the lecture.  

“I like to think of Rwanda as a case study of the best and worst of humanity,” Bender said in his introduction.  

Appropriately, “Ghosts of Rwanda” showcased Bender’s point as to why Rwanda would be a case study for the worst of humanity. 

The film focused on the days leading up to the genocide, the days during the genocide and the days after the genocide by giving the students a true idea of the horror. Through images and interviews with witnesses and victims, the film retold the atrocity in a harrowing visual format.

Although many of the students in attendance already had some knowledge of the genocide, the images and stories from the film seemed to shock every person in attendance.

“I found the film and the lecture overall to be very interesting and shocking,” freshman communication studies major Michael D’Angelo said. “The images in the film really gave me a better idea of how horrible this was.” 

After the film, Bender answered questions from the students in the audience, many of whom were curious to hear more about the subject.  

“Along with the Holocaust, Rwanda is one of the best examples of genocide,” he said.

The lecture made students appreciate just how safe the United States is today and made them aware of how tragic and horrible the genocide really was. Its impact still shocks and appalls 20 years later.

 

Students go ‘All In’ for fundraising

By Christine Aebischer
Staff Writer

The campaign raises money for scholarships and campus developments. (Julie Kayzerman / News Editor)
The campaign raises money for scholarships and campus developments. (Julie Kayzerman / News Editor)

When choosing a college to attend, students weigh many factors, but when it comes down to making a final decision, the one that weighs most heavily is money — how much tuition costs and what scholarships are being offered. Besides the low tuition at the College, three out of four students also receive some kind of scholarship, according to Donna Green, director of annual giving.

The College’s newest initiative, known as the “All In” campaign, aims to gain the support of the entire College community to continue raising funds for scholarships and other campus developments.

“TCNJ is a place to be proud of and excited about,” Green said. “(The ‘All In’ campaign) is another way for people to be engaged with the campus.”

“All In” is directed at the entire community, including current and future students, faculty and staff, alumni and parents. Donations from these groups not only directly benefit students and the school, but they also help the College receive outside donations from businesses and corporations, according to John Donohue, vice president of college advancement.

“It’s really about growing a sense of ownership and loyalty to their alma mater,” Donohue said.

The “All In” campaign stresses participation more than anything else, meaning a donation of any size makes a difference. The amount of people who donate, not the amount of their donations, is what makes a difference, both for potential outside donors and for college rankings.

“It’s not the size of the gift that matters,” Green said. “It’s about participation, commitment and the idea to pay it forward. Every gift truly does make a difference — it’s not just something we say.”

The campaign also allows participants to choose where they would like their gift to go, meaning they can designate their gift to a specific school, department or athletic team — anywhere they would like to support.

“We want to keep people engaged in the life of the institution,” Donohue said.

The campaign also intends to grow the culture of giving by getting students in the habit now to give back. Alumni typically do not start donating until about 10 years post-graduation, according to Donohue, so the campaign is also meant to get them engaging with their alma mater sooner. While Donohue acknowledged that it can be difficult for students to donate, their participation in the program is significant.

“Part of the reason (current students) are enjoying their experiences is because of people before them doing the same thing,” he said. “Even a small amount drives our numbers up.”

Besides raising money, “All In” is meant to increase the energy and enthusiasm on campus.

“It’s a good time to celebrate TCNJ as a community,” Green said.

Increase in special apps for SFB budget

Members of Student Government traveled to the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton for the General Body meeting on Wednesday, April 9.

SG held its weekly meeting at the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton. (AP Photo)
SG held its weekly meeting at the New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton. (AP Photo)

Senator of Humanities and Social Sciences Emily Reyes introduced Assemblymen Raj Mukherji and Gary Schaer who took time to speak with the Student Government.

Student Government President Tyler Liberty opened by explaining that the main agenda item of the statehouse meeting was to endorse the Student Finance Board’s budget for next year.

Brian Hurler, the executive director of the  Student Finance Board, presented the budget to the General Body as members asked about the changes that are being made for the upcoming year.

One of the biggest changes to the budget will affect Greek life on campus.

Greek life organizations and many other non-SAF funded clubs are now encouraged to apply to use the special appropriations fund.

Special appropriations are applications to propose funding for events on campus.

There is an increase in funds apportioned for special apps on campus since SFB anticipates an increase in presentations for funds from these organizations.

Vice President of Equity and Diversity Sadia Tahir informed members that the third and final issue of Diversity University will be released on Monday, April 21.

Finally, Junior Class Council President Brian Garsh announced that the junior class will be having a fundraising night at Applebee’s on Monday, April 21, and Sophomore Class Council President Shap Bahary informed members that the class is selling $5 sunglasses that say “TCNJ” and have a paw print on them.

A call to arms for Eickhoff volunteers

By Sarah Holland
Correspondent

Ask any student at the College about their favorite employee at Eickhoff Hall and they’ll more than likely respond with enthusiastic praises for Big Larry or Eve, two of the most animated ID swipers.

Whether Team Larry or Team Eve, anyone would agree that the reason for the popularity of these beloved workers is their friendliness. Waiting in a slow-moving line that trails all the way out the door of the dining hall becomes totally worthwhile after getting a high five from Big Larry or a cheerful grin from Eve.

“When Big Larry says ‘hi’ to me, it makes my day,” freshman special education and Spanish dual major Jenna Finnis said.

Her fellow students were passionately in agreement.

“Eve is an angel,” freshman open options humanities and social sciences major Megan Vantslot said.

One sincere greeting from a pleasant  Eick worker is enough to make a student’s day. But what students may often forget is that it’s a two-way street. They don’t consider that their own greetings could have the same effect, potentially making an employee’s day with just one friendly conversation.

That’s why dozens of students participate in Siked for Eick, a program in which volunteers help clean the dining hall at closing time and chat with the employees. With the extra help, the cleaning gets done faster and the employees are able to go home earlier. As the volunteers eagerly return week after week, they become more familiar with the dining hall staff and eventually form lasting relationships with them.

Junior biomedical engineering majors Adriana Chisholm and Anasha Green have been volunteering at Siked for Eick since its formation two years ago. Chisholm recalls talking with Green their freshman year, before the program was created,  about how kind the dining hall workers are and wanting to do something in return for their hard work.

Unbeknownst to the girls, another student on campus had the same desire. Yohan Perera, Class of 2013, proposed the idea of an Eick outreach ministry within the College’s InterVarsity chapter, New Jersey Christian Fellowship (NJCF). Perera was a leader in the fellowship. Chisholm and Green were thrilled.

Already active members of NJCF, the two best friends saw Siked for Eick as an opportunity to serve the people who work so hard to serve the students each day. They eagerly participated every single week.

“We loved it so much,” Chisholm said.

Chisholm said that her and Green’s involvement started as cleaning tables, but eventually it became “more than just cleaning, and (they) got to know the workers behind the counters.”

The following semester, the ministry was in need of a new leader. Since Chisholm and Green were so involved, they were jointly asked to helm the program. Now as a junior, Chisholm leads the ministry on her own, gathering the eager volunteers on the second-floor Eickhoff lounge every Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. for conversation and prayer before heading into the dining hall.

Since its inception, the ministry has grown tremendously. Volunteers include students who are already members of NJCF, but also “random people who saw us cleaning and wanted to join,” Chisholm said.

TCNJ Circle K, a student-led community service group, cleans up Eick after hours. (Julie Kayzerman / News Editor)
TCNJ Circle K, a student-led community service group, cleans up Eick after hours. (Julie Kayzerman / News Editor)

Not only has the Wednesday night group grown from five or six to 10 or 15 regular volunteers, but also other groups on campus got involved. Now, there are students doing Eick cleanup four nights a week, each night organized by a different on-campus group.

“It was really great to see it get this big all of a sudden,” Chisholm said. “Being able to collaborate is really cool.”

But Chisholm strives to make NJCF’s involvement in the program unique among all the groups.

“We want to stand out apart from the group, by doing things like praying and making cards for the workers,” she said.

These acts of kindness are part of furthering Chisholm’s mission for the ministry.

“The purpose is not only to show appreciation through cleaning and giving back, but also show Christ’s love by being in relationships with (the dining hall staff) and having conversations with them,” she said.

Now, when Chisholm gets meals at Eick throughout the week, she’s able to relate to the workers on a personal level.

“It was cool to go from barely knowing the workers to knowing all of them by name,” she said.

Chisholm has advice for students at the College looking to show appreciation to the Eick workers.

“Ask them about their day, and it turns into a 20-minute conversation — ask them about their families and their kids, (and) they really appreciate someone caring about them,” Chisholm said. “Saying ‘hi’ with a big smile makes a difference. They notice that.”

Old sports: earning gold medals in golden years

He doesn’t take any medication. He’s won several gold medals and awards in tennis, and his motto is, “whatever happens, you just have to roll with the punches.” Roger Gentilhomme looks forward to competing in the next National Senior Olympics, as he’s just made the finals in the current Games.

At the next Games, he will be 102 years old.

Roger Gentilhomme maintains his health and competitive spirit even at age 100. (Photo courtesy of ageofchampions.org)
Roger Gentilhomme maintains his health and competitive spirit even at age 100. (Photo courtesy of ageofchampions.org)

As a part of Careers in Aging Week, the film, “Age of Champions,” documenting senior citizens participating in the National Senior Olympic athletics games, was presented in Roscoe West on Wednesday, April 9. The event was hosted by nursing assistant professor Connie Kartoz and sophomore nursing major Angela Ning.

“This week is intended to bring greater awareness to career opportunities in the field of aging and aging research,” Ning said. “We hope to garner interest in gerontology around campus.”

The College’s first Careers in Aging Week was held from Sunday,  April 6, to Saturday, April 12, and was sponsored by the Gerontological Society of America. The Gerontological Society of America promotes progressive research and education in the Gerontology field. The week also included an interactive career panel on Thursday, April 17, discussing professional opportunities in Gerontology discipline.

“We wanted the movie to inspire people to take charge of their health at any age,” Ning said. “You can always live an active lifestyle, even as an 80-year-old.”

The PBS award-winning documentary, “Age of Champions,” takes its viewers on the journey of five senior citizens athletes training for the National Senior Olympics. The film followed 100-year-old tennis player Roger Gentilhomme, a 70-year-old women’s basketball team, The Tigerettes, brothers Bradford, 88, and John, 90, Tatum swimmers, and track/pole vaulting Earl Blassingame, 88, and Adolph Hoffman, 86.

In the documentary, Roger Gentilhomme proceeded to the final round of tennis in the National Senior Olympics, though he ultimately lost to his 94-year-old opponent whom he referred to as “a youngster.”

The Tigerettes struggled through a difficult final game and ultimately won for the sixth consecutive time on a three-pointer buzzer shot.

“When little kids found out we won nationals, they look at us not as grandmas, but active senior adults,” a Tigerettes player said.

The Tatum brothers lived in a supportive D.C. community their entire lives. As each brother won the gold, they cheered, “Mission accomplished!”

The brothers commented that as children, they were not allowed to swim in the white community pools due to the color of their skin, therefore they swam in the fountain in front of the memorial. Bradford Tatum said it had been an amazing witnessing segregation to experiencing the election of the first black President of the United States.

With Blassingame always finishing in second and Hoffman in first, both men — residents of Texas — have sparked a friendly competition with one another over years.

“Adolph is the best athlete I’ve ever seen,” Blassingame said. “He’s just terrific.”

The film portrayed vibrant and active life possibilities that older adults may have. Careers in Aging Week promotes the professional application of creating new progressive opportunities for older adults.

“We hope to see this grow year by year and for more students to become interested in a possible career in gerontology,” Blassingame said.

Going the distance for charity

Franc celebrates his finish at last year’s NJ marathon with the executive race director Joe Gigas (left) and his father (right), who also ran. Photo courtesy of Gabe Franc)
Franc celebrates his finish at last year’s NJ marathon with the executive race director Joe Gigas (left) and his father (right), who also ran. Photo courtesy of Gabe Franc)

By T.J. von Bradsky
Correspondent

For many, running a marathon is something that is simply talked about in the abstract. Maybe it’s even put on the bucket list. But this is not the case for junior interactive multimedia major Gabe Franc.

Franc decided to take action toward achieving the grueling task of running 26.2 miles in one sitting.

“I wanted to do it as a challenge and to push myself by accomplishing something that is fairly unique,” he said.

But Franc is helping others overcome their own personal challenges in the process.

Franc has raised thousands of dollars for brain cancer research through The Kortney Rose Foundation. He ran his first race, the annual New Jersey marathon, as a 17-year-old high school senior in 2011. Since then, he has completed each New Jersey marathon, as well as participating in the Philadelphia Half-Marathon.

Franc knew he wanted to help others, so he began searching the New Jersey Marathon website for potential charities. The Kortney Rose Foundation stood out to him, so he began his first 26.2-mile-long journey with a purpose.

“I felt attached to the Foundation since brain cancer is really terrible and since it is affecting children who are innocent,” he said.

organization itself was created by the parents of Kortney Rose, a 9-year-old girl who passed away from a rare brain tumor in 2006, according to the Kortney Rose Foundation website. It is a nonprofit charity with the goal of raising awareness and money for pediatric brain cancer research.

Brain tumors are among the most commonly diagnosed tumors in children. On average, about nine children a day are told they have a brain tumor, according to the Kortney Rose Foundation website. But funding for research is not nearly up to par with other common diseases. In fact, money available for childhood brain cancer research has decreased every year since 2003, the website says.

Knowing this, Franc continues to do his best for the cause. He will be competing once again in the New Jersey Marathon later this month.

The inspiration he draws from children like Kortney Rose helps him to stay motivated and consistently place amongst the top runners in his age group. He runs six days a week preparing for marathons. In the past two races, he has been one of the top-three finishers in his age group and finished last year’s marathon in three hours and nine minutes.

“The sense of accomplishment with a challenge like a marathon is definitely fulfilling,” Franc said.

Franc identifies with the extremely long process that the Kortney Rose Foundation is undergoing in helping to find a cure. Marathons are 26.2-mile-long expeditions that require a tremendous amount of persistence, just like the fight for a cure.

“As I start to get closer and closer to the finish line, I think back about how far my journey has been to get to that point,” Franc said.

Pediatric brain cancer research may be stalling, but Franc is helping it pick up its pace. After all, he is a pretty good candidate for the job.

Copper pipe crime swipe

On Thursday, April 10, at 1:35 p.m., the window of an off-campus house was broken and several hundred feet of copper pipes were stolen. According to Campus Police, a routine property check found the basement window broken, copper piping on the floor and a small amount of water. After notifying TCS Corporation, officials observed that 60 feet of 3/4” piping, 80 feet of 12” piping and 100 feet of 2” piping were removed, valuing a total of $1,685. 

A female student was observed to be intoxicated at Townhouses South on Friday, April 11, at 2:08 a.m. Campus Police said the suspect was being assisted by someone, as the suspect could not walk by herself. The odor of alcohol was present on her breath, and she visibly swayed as she stood. According to Campus Police, the student said she had been drinking at a friend’s house off campus, and a Horizontal Nystagmus Test confirmed the student had indeed been drinking. Lions EMS was called to further assist in treating her.

On Sunday, April 13, at 7 p.m., a student reported property stolen after an overnight guest slept in her room. The student housed the guest from Saturday into Sunday in New Residence Hall, driving her home the following morning, Campus Police said. However, upon returning at 6 p.m., the student found cigarettes missing from her cigarette box, which she showed to the guest, and $140 in cash missing from a pouch in the same drawer.