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News happenings at The College of New Jersey

Harvard professor makes a case for diversity

By Nicole Ferrito
Staff Writer

In honor of Black History Month, Harvard University professor Charles J. Ogletree invited students, faculty and staff to engaged in a discussion-lecture on the topic of race and justice in today’s society on Wednesday, Feb. 25.

A distinguished author, speaker and the Founding and Executive Director of Harvard Law School’s new Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice, Ogletree challenged the audience to think about issues of race and class and what actions the next generation will take in order to make positive changes.

Raised in a small town in Arkansas, Ogletree was the first in his family to finish high school. He discussed his love of books and said reading was his “sense of overcoming poverty.”

Ogletree moved on to attend Stanford University, a decision that made his family happy.

“Wow, everybody should go to college,” he thought. What was most important, Ogletree explained, was that “I’m not the last one.” He went on to say that he hoped to “keep the doors open for the generations to come behind (him).”

Ogletree explained his constant efforts to push for diversity. He began a diversity program at Stanford that aligned with his goal to ensure that the doors are open for other generations to attend college, no matter their race or background.

He discussed ways the United States has changed since the 1950s and ’60s, such as the nation’s first African American president. Ogletree was mentor to both Barack Obama and Michelle Obama throughout their time at Harvard and assisted Obama during his 2008 and 2012 campaigns.

“I was very pleased to be someone who was supporting him,” Ogletree said.

While he mentioned the progress America has made in terms of race and social justice, Ogletree discussed his disappointment in recent events — the killings of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown — and the way in which they have been handled. He questioned what that tells us about race and class.

“In a sense, that makes us worry, ‘Is it really a problem?’ How are we going to address it?” Ogletree said. The problem will not go away, he explained. “It’s going to stay with us in a sort of memoriam,” Ogletree said.

He spoke of the importance of revitalizing cities like Chicago, Ill., and Ferguson, Mo.

Part of Ogletree’s disappointment stemmed from the lack of action taken by the community of Ferguson after Brown was shot. He said that African Americans make up almost 70 percent of Ferguson’s population.

“They, in a sense, control this area … if they choose to control it,” he said.

Ogletree explained that they have the power to make changes in their government, but only about 20 percent of those registered to vote did so in the last local election.

“You have to think about doing something instead of complaining about the way you’re treated,” he said. He spoke of influential figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks and the changes they fought for. He compared Martin and Brown to these past civil rights activists, saying “(they) gave their lives to make this a better society.”

Ogletree expressed that he was proud of our nation for starting “BlackLivesMatter” as a way to bring the conversation about race and social justice to the forefront.

“A whole new generation of activism is happening around the world,” he said. 

One piece of advice Ogletree emphasized to the audience is the importance of getting involved in politics.

“What can you do?” he asked. “Run for office — as soon as you’re able and willing to make a difference.”

Each year, Ogletree gives out scholarships to the high school he attended, as well as other high schools around the country.

“It’s my way of giving back,” he said. “Now they are going back and giving back to the next generation.”

But, the scholarships don’t go to the best and brightest students, Ogletree said. He explained that those are the students who will already be receiving scholarships. “I’m thinking of people who come from a C- to a B+,” he said.

Ogletree elaborated that these are the students that have made progress so that they can attend college. 

“He inspired me to vote, now,” said Harmony Kingsley, a freshman elementary education and English double major. She added that his speech made her think about “how anybody can make a difference. It doesn’t matter how old you are.”

Mardi Gras Masquerade allocated SFB funds

By Jonathan Edmondson
Arts & Entertainment Editor

The Student Finance Board meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 25, began with a high-volume request from the College Union Board for its annual event, “Funival.”

According to the proposal, this year’s end-of-year event will have a circus theme, featuring a fully-equipped one-ring circus with training sessions, sideshows, inflatable attractions, food trucks and more. The organization hopes to hold the event on Friday, May 8, the last day of classes for the spring semester. Due to a smaller amount of staffing, the organization will not be bringing a band to campus this year. Admission for students is free and $10 for non-students.

SFB used the remainder of its yearly high-volume budget on this event, which was allocated funds of $132,157.40.

PRISM proposed next for its annual Queer Wedding, an event that has been featured on campus for the last 12 years. According to the proposal, the event is used to shed light on the inequality of marriage benefits for non-heterosexual couples. PRISM plans to hold a reception immediately following the wedding.

The event, which was allocated funds of $449, will take place on Monday, April 6, in the ABE Drawing Room.

The next organization to propose was the Alternative Break Club, who presented its “Mardi Gras Masquerade” event. According to the club, this year’s event is extra special due to the fact that its the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. The event will serve as a celebration of New Orleans, in addition to providing students with an opportunity to learn more about the organization and all the positive work it does in Hurricane Katrina restoration.

Scheduled to take place on Wednesday, April 1, in the Brower Student Center, the event was allocated funds of $5,554.96.

The Student Film Union also presented for Campus Moviefest, the world’s largest student film festival. The Moviefest has been brought to campus for the last two years and gives students full access to technology needed to make a short film, which they have a week to complete. According to SFU, the event “fosters the creative community at the College.”

The competition, which was allocated funds of $14,000 will begin on Wednesday, April 15, and end on Tuesday, April 28, with a finale in Kendall Hall.

CUB returned later in the meeting to propose for two big spring events — the first being its 2015 Spring Lecture. The club hopes to bring RJ Mitte III, American actor and producer best known for his role as Walter “Flynn” White Jr. on “Breaking Bad,” to campus. Mitte was born with mild cerebral palsy and suffered from bullying as a child. He plans to speak about overcoming such obstacles.

The event, which was allocated funds of $10,925, is scheduled to take place on Thursday, April 9, in Mayo Concert Hall.

The second event proposed was a performance from “Baby Wants Candy,” a world- renowned musical comedy troupe. The troupe performs a 90-minute improvisational musical based on audience suggestions. The event, which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 24, in Mayo Concert Hall, was allocated funds of $2,500.

All College Theater proposed next for “Rock,” an improv comedy festival. The event was tabled.

TCNJ Net Impact, a new organization, proposed for its Social Innovation Challenge, scheduled to take place on Sunday, April 12, in the Business Building Lounge. The event was allocated funds of $733.84

Finally, Student Government proposed for its “TCNJ EPCOT: Celebration of Diversity” event. The purpose of the event is to engage student with the many diverse cultures that are represented on campus. Scheduled for Thursday, March 26, the event was allocated funds of $3,430.81.

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

Students discover new opportunities at Career Fair

By Gabrielle Beacken
News Assistant

Many of the College’s students graduate with three summers of “solid internship experience,” according to Steven Schreiner, dean of the School of Engineering. And whether a student is a rising sophomore or a senior about to graduate, Schreiner said finding internships is always possible.

“Students who look do find opportunities,” Schreiner said. “I encourage all students to seek internships.”

Sharply dressed students quickly filled the Recreational Center on Friday, Feb. 27, as the College hosted its spring semester Career Fair, allowing students to interact with professionals of a variety of fields and discuss job and internship opportunities.

“It’s important to understand what the marketplace is like,” Allstate Insurance Corporation associate Normeba Lane said. “Especially for graduating seniors.”

According to Lane, it’s important for companies to understand what students are looking for in an employer.

“New graduates bring a new perspective to the company,” Lane said. “It’s important to have that relationship.”

According to junior interdisciplinary business major Ryan Quindlen, it’s “pretty fun” that, while you’re trying to impress employers, they are trying to impress you, too. Quindlen found several companies that stood out to him while searching for marketing internships, such as Enterprise, Target and Johnson & Johnson.

Allstate is looking for “young, nice, talented and educated undergraduates,” according to Lane. Companies such as Unum insurance and CohnReznick, an accounting and tax advisory company, are also looking for “motivated” individuals.

“We’re looking for a young, determined and motivated individual looking for success,” Unum representative Ariella Faccas said. “We’ve met a lot of very qualified, intelligent students … (We’re) very impressed.”

Two alumni who currently work with WithumSmith+Brown accounting firm were also impressed with the College’s students.

“We met a lot of great kids,” said Elizabeth Schullstrom, a WithumSmith+Brown associate from the company’s New Brunswick location. “We had nice conversations, and students had great questions.”

CohnReznick June Summer Leadership Program is looking for students “that are motivated, open-minded and are able to grow and develop,” according to Lindsay Infield, its human resources specialist.

“It’s a great way to introduce (students) to the world of accounting — to a top 10 firm.”

Johnson & Johnson, a healthcare company based in New Jersey, is looking for student candidates for its co-op program.

“We’re looking at a variety of majors with strong leadership experience and for someone who’s really passionate about J & J,” Johnson & Johnson representative Amanda Spicker said. “It’s great to see everybody here today coming out.”

The College’s Career Fair is valued by not only potential employers, but especially by the students in attendance.

“The Career Fair presents great opportunities for students to find internships and job opportunities in students’ areas of study,” sophomore biology major Kate Kearns said. “(The College) did a great job getting a range of employers coming together.”

Schreiner agrees with Kearns, but said that the range of companies can always be increased.

“We work with the Career Center to continuously increase the presence of companies on campus,” Schreiner said.

Students from all years submitted their resumes to potential employers at the fair, hoping to land a job or internship opportunity.

First-time Career Fair attendee, junior nursing major Christian Dy, was pleased he went to the event, even though it was “a little overwhelming.” Striving to become a military nurse, Dy was able to communicate with the U.S. Army booth, even though there were not many booths directed toward nursing, according to Dy.

Looking for a summer internship, this was also sophomore finance major Kurmaine May’s first Career Fair.

“I’m looking for a good place to start off,” May said. “It’s not what I expected, but I’m glad I found out.”

The younger the students start coming to the Career Fair, the better, according to Mike Holyoak, senior radio frequency architect at LGS Innovations. Holyoak, who is “looking for the best and brightest engineers” to fill LGS’s internship position, told students not to be discouraged if they don’t receive their desired position.

“Even if you don’t get anything, make relationships with the person at the company,” Holyoak said.

Networking with professionals and building relationships is very important, according to Schreiner.

“Today I spoke with a recent alumnus who returned to recruit more TCNJ engineers,” Schreiner said. “He was taken aside at a TCNJ Career Fair for an on-the-spot interview, which landed him his position. Career Fairs can be powerful, (and) I absolutely encourage students of all levels to come.”

Engineers Week celebrates relief efforts

By Jackie Delaney
Correspondent

In honor of Engineers Week, a seven-day-long commemoration of the engineering profession, Michael S. Bruno gave an hour-long seminar titled “Humans vs. Nature: Improving Coastal Resilience in the Aftermath of Sandy” in the Mayo Concert Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 25, at 11 a.m.

Bruno is currently the dean of the School of Engineering and Science and professor of ocean engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, N.J. He is also the Director of the Center for Secure and Resilient Maritime Commerce and Coastal Environments, a department of the Homeland Security National Center of Excellence.

“Engineers Week began in 1951 in order to educate the public about the significant contributions of the engineering profession to society,” School of Engineering Dean Steven Schreiner said. “Annually, engineering schools, corporations and professional engineering societies across the country use this week to celebrate how engineers make a difference in our world by creating innovative technological solutions to today’s most pressing problems.”

This year, Engineers Week — sponsored by the School of Engineering, Sustainable Jersey, the Center for Community Engaged Learning and Research and Alternative Break Club — was utilized to bring attention to ongoing campus-wide efforts to respond to those affected by natural disasters such as Hurricane Sandy and Hurricane Katrina.

Bruno began the seminar by discussing the large amount of coastal cities across the world. Many large and populated cities are located on coasts because of the economic benefit of ports, but according to Bruno, “they are in harm’s way.”

Bruno presented many photographs of areas in New York City and Hoboken, as well as coastal communities in New Jersey, that were heavily affected by Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012. The storm flooded streets and swept away homes into the sea.

“This was a mammoth storm … a historic storm,” Bruno said.

The seminar focused on resilience engineering, which, according to Bruno, is “striving to do better when recovering” after a storm like Hurricane Sandy.

The goal for engineers is to create a system that delivers an even better service than it did before the disaster, through innovations and opportunities. Resilience engineering looks to improve coastal cities after disasters have occurred, using these events to progress rather than just simply recover.

Bruno highlighted many strategies that cities could use to adapt and become more resilient. Social cohesion, emergency planning, economic diversity and fortification were among his top strategies.

Social cohesion, Bruno explained, focuses on the interaction of cities with other cities. He stressed the importance of “being friendly with your neighbor,” after studying that many areas were able to bounce back more easily with aid from nearby cities.

Bruno also discussed the necessity of collaboration when analyzing and creating systems of resilience.

“Linking physics with oceanography and ocean engineering … (to) models of social and behavioral aspects, that’s where it gets to be important,” Bruno said. “Ultimately, the systems that engineers design and build are in the hands of the people.”

The seminar largely focused on lessons learned during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, from rebuilding coastal cities to actions that should be taken by authorities when a storm of this caliber is predicted.

“It is important to underscore Dr. Bruno’s emphasis on designing technological solutions that consider human and societal dimensions,” Schreiner said. “I am confident that TCNJ engineers are well-prepared to contribute such designs for the betterment of society.”

Now there’s a good excuse not to go to the gym

By Colleen Murphy
News Editor

• A student who went to Packer Hall’s Physical Enhancement Center had $120 stolen from her wallet on Friday, Feb. 13, between 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. According to Campus Police, the student put her bag and jacket in one of the gym’s cubbies and then used the elliptical machine. When she went to collect her items, she found that her bag and wallet were missing. Unable to locate it in the immediate vicinity, she went to the first floor of Packer and found the bag left at the bottom of the stairs with its contents missing.

• A total of $345 in property was stolen from a student in the PEC on Monday, Feb. 16, between 4 p.m. and 4:15 p.m., according to Campus Police. The student put his drawstring bag, a hat and sweatshirt in one of the gym’s cubbies. When he checked the bag 15 minutes later, the bag and its contents were missing. The student later located the bag in the men’s bathroom with its items missing. A Samsung Galaxy S4 ($200), a Visa gift card ($25), an Amazon gift card ($25), a QuickChek gift card ($25), a McDonald’s gift card ($10) and $60 in cash have not been located.

• On Friday, Feb. 20, between 1:30 p.m. and 2:45 p.m., $30 was stolen from a backpack that was left in one of the PEC’s cubbies, according to Campus Police. The student reported his missing backpack to staff and searched the building. He found the backpack in a garbage can in the first floor men’s bathroom. All of the contents were in the bag except for $30.

• Six items and a duffel bag were stolen from the PEC on Tuesday, Feb. 24, between 11:15 a.m. and noon. The student put the bag on the floor beside the cubbies. According to Campus Police, after a 45-minute workout, the student saw that the bag was missing, along with all its contents: a black wallet ($15), a TCNJ I.D. ($10), a Visa debit card, a N.J. driver’s license ($15), a police family card ($10), a TCNJ room key with lanyard ($10). The duffel bag was valued at $5. Altogether, the property is valued at $65.

• Two female students were issued summonses for underage drinking in Travers Hall on Friday, Feb. 20, a little after 11 p.m., according to Campus Police reports. One of the girls, to whom Lions’ EMS attended, slurred her speech and had trouble standing. She was visibly intoxicated and found to have bloodshot eyes, as well as an odor of alcohol on her presence. The student said she had consumed three or four shots of tequila. She then vomited, and Ewing EMS transported her to Capital Health Medical Center-Hopewell. Her friend was also found to have slurred speech, bloodshot eyes and an odor of alcohol, but the student was not transported.   

• A car in Lot 17 was left with a 12-inch scratch on the driver-side door on Thursday, Feb. 19, between 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Campus Police reported. The female student told Campus Police that before parking her 2014 Honda Civic, she got into a verbal argument over a parking space with another female student who was driving a dark-colored car.

• Campus Police said they made an arrest in the display of graffiti across campus. Police first received an anonymous tip about the graffiti markings of “NEWO” and stick figures. Further investigation of the tip resulted in the development of a suspect who was then charged with criminal mischief. The paint used to cover the graffiti was estimated to cost $250. Police say the suspect, who will be going to court, did not take responsibility for all of the graffiti.

Anyone with information can contact Campus Police at 609-771-2345.

Alumni share how Student Government shaped them

By Alyssa Sanford
Staff Writer

In lieu of a general body meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 25, Student Government hosted an Alumni Panel event in Roscoe West Hall.

The panel addressed how their individual experiences in Student Government have shaped their career goals and also offered advice to SG members regarding networking, teamwork and applying skills from involvement in student governance.

“It’s an honor to be reinstating a Student Government Alumni Panel event,” Vice President of Advancement Sarah Drozd said. “We’re hoping that this promotes learning for our students and communication with our alumni.”

Drozd informed the panel — comprised of Sarah Ross, Class of 2009, and Kevin Drennan, Class of 2002 — of the Student Government scholarship fund to which almost all members have donated. The goal is to raise $25,000 to reach endowment level. Members have donated a total of $21,129 to date.

“I’m looking forward to the day when I can announce that we’ve reached our scholarship goal, which hopefully won’t be too far away,” Drozd said.

Heather Fehn, Class of 1994 and current chief of staff to President Barbara R. Gitenstein, as well as secretary to the Board of Trustees, served as the moderator for the panel.

Fehn was president of Student Government from 1993 to 1994.

“It was a wonderful experience for me,” she said.

Fehn also said that she never could have imagined working at the College after graduation, but she is honored to have worked here 25 years after entering as a freshman.

“I’m thrilled, and I smile every time I cross the gates on campus each morning,” Fehn said before opening the floor to the panelists.

Ross currently works at the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office in Trenton in the Criminal Justice division. She served as her class council president and a student representative for the Political Science Department. During the meeting, Ross talked about how her involvement in Student Government has shaped her leadership style.

“I think one of the things I learned the most, especially with the class council and the amount of programming that we had to do, was learning how to work together,” Ross said.

Drennan, an alumnus of the College who left after his sophomore year to pursue a career in politics, is currently the Executive Director of the New Jersey Senate Majority Office. He agreed that Student Government taught him that “as a leader, you can’t do anything alone.” 

Fehn posed a series of questions to the panel, asking Ross and Drennan to share advice for finalizing career plans.

Ross told general body members to “put yourself out of your comfort zone” when looking for job opportunities and to try everything, “even if you love it or hate it.”

“Go ahead and (go to grad school). Why not?” Ross said.

But Drennan had conflicting advice and advised students,“Don’t go directly to grad school.”

Whereas Ross talked about her rewarding experiences at Rutgers-Camden School of Law immediately after graduating from the College, Drennan explained that many students fresh out of their undergraduate schools haven’t figured out how to navigate the corporate world.

“Bottom line is, there’s not one right answer,” Fehn said in conclusion. “You have to do what’s right for you.”

Evan says his older brother, Ryan, is an invaluable role model to have in his life. (Julie Kayzerman / Managing Editor)

Putting an end to the ‘R-word’

By Julie Kayzerman
Managing Editor

Ryan Herrington stood before a packed audience of students in the Education Building on Monday, March 2, and asked them to raise their hands if they’ve ever been bullied.

Evan says his older brother, Ryan, is an invaluable role model to have in his life. (Julie Kayzerman / Managing Editor)
Evan says his older brother, Ryan, is an invaluable role model to have in his life. (Julie Kayzerman / Managing Editor)

As a slew of people threw their hands up, Ryan explained that using the word “retard” is a form of bullying. He then asked that the “R-word” be changed to “respect,” a request that was met with a huge applause.

“Be an advocate,” Ryan said during his R-word monologue. “Never give up. Don’t be a quitter. Use Respect.”

With these words, Ryan kicked off “Spread the Word to End the Word” week at the College, hosted by Best Buddies and Students for Disabilities Awareness. Ryan is the 25-year-old brother of Evan Herrington, a junior special education and English double major at the College. Ryan was born with Down syndrome, but according to his brother, “We are more alike than different.”

“Ever since I can remember, my best friend has been my older brother, my role model, my source of inspiration and a giver of unconditional love,” Evan said in regard to Ryan, who was sitting front and center to hear his brother. “The fact of the matter is, he knows that he has Down syndrome, and you know that he has Down syndrome, but the thing that people fail to realize is that he knows, (and) that you know, that he has Down syndrome.”

Evan explained that his hero has had massive success in life, graduating from Point Pleasant High School, being on the Prom Court and acting as the captain of his ice hockey team.

“I realize that not everyone is lucky enough to have a Ryan to teach them about respect and dignity and love,” Evan said. “Not everyone is fortunate enough to be instructed firsthand why “retard” is the most hateful word in our language.”

The word retard was introduced as a medical term to use for someone with an intellectual disability. Since then, however, it has become an offensive term, often used to deem people as stupid.

“By using the word, you are destroying the dignity of the most innocent collection of people,” Evan said. “You are rejecting a group of individuals with the most to offer and teach.”

Students applaud speaker and disability advocate Magro. (Julie Kayzerman / Managing Editor)
Students applaud speaker and disability advocate Magro. (Julie Kayzerman / Managing Editor)

Following his words, Kerry Magro, national speaker and disability advocate, joined the College to deliver his own monologue. Magro, an eloquent and confident speaker, explained that he was diagnosed with autism at 4-years-old and wasn’t able to verbally communicate for several years. He was called the R-word and severely bullied in school – an experience that has stuck with him forever.

But Magro confessed to the audience that when he finally was able to communicate well and made his first friend, he wanted to do anything to prove that he was cool and could make even more friends. Ultimately, this meant calling someone else the R-word. As Magro admitted his biggest regret in tears, he explained that the shame he felt from that moment on led him to become an advocate.

“I can never tell him I was sorry for what I did,” Magro said, having lost touch with the boy whom he insulted.

Other monologues were delivered by Katie Burns and Daniel Lapidow, Career and Community Students; David and Diane Perry, Friends of TCNJ Best Buddies; Karrie Mikotowicz, a mother of a Best Buddies member; and Dr. Jerry Petroff, professor of Special Education at the College. While each speaker described their different experiences with the R-word, each united in the same message – the R-word must to be stopped.

Havens asks students to pledge to stop using the R-word. (Julie Kayzerman / Managing Editor)
Havens asks students to pledge to stop using the R-word. (Julie Kayzerman / Managing Editor)

As the event closed, Best Buddies President Rebecca Havens asked audience members to sign a pledge to stop using the R-word. Students will be given the opportunity to sign the pledge throughout the week during 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Brower Student Center.

Magro closed his monologue with an original poem titled, “I am Kerry and I have PDD-NOS (Pervasive Developmental Disorder – Not Otherwise Specified).”

“My name is Kerry and I have PDD-NOS. This means that I have autism. It does not mean I am autism,” Magro read. “My disability cannot define me. I define my disability every single day of my life.”

IGC violates three SFB policies, loses most of its funding

By Jonathan Edmondson
Arts & Entertainment Editor

The Student Finance Board meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 18, included a special hearing with the Inter-Greek Council, which violated SFB policy multiple times in conjunction with TCNJam, an event that took place Saturday, Jan. 31.

The board allocates funds for this year’s Ratfest (Kim Iannaorone/ Staff Photographer)
The board allocates funds for this year’s Ratfest (Kim Iannaorone/ Staff Photographer)

The IGC was charged with three violations in the following areas — charity, food and advertising. According to the board, fundraising money was collected at the event. SFB policy states that SFB-funded events are not allowed to collect money for a fundraiser at the event — only beforehand. Instead, the event was supposed to be a celebration that raised awareness of childhood cancer.
Additionally, pizza was used to draw attendees, and “SAF Funded” was not put on advertisements. Ultimately, the board ruled to deactivate IGC for the remainder of the semester (except for the use of copying and fundraising), in addition to charging them a $3,000 fine for policy violations.
The meeting also featured normal special appropriation requests, which began with a proposal from the Class of 2016 for “TCNJ’s Got Talent.” As stated in its application, the purpose of the event is “to showcase the talents of TCNJ students.” This event has been organized for the past five years, and the council hopes this year will continue to develop it into a “legacy event.”
The event was allocated funds of $1,316 and is scheduled to take place on Wednesday, March 11, in Kendall Hall.
The College Union Board proposed next for “Ratfest ’15,” an outdoor spring concert to commemorate the Rathskeller (which will close at the end of the semester as the Brower Student Center undergoes renovations) with a farewell concert. Headlining options include Mayday Parade and Jukebox the Ghost, while the list of openers includes Modern Baseball, Surfer Blood and The Menzingers.
The event, which is scheduled to take place on Saturday, April 19, was allocated funds of $28,305.
CUB also proposed for their Solo Circus event, which will include a circus-like performance by Michael DuBois and Viktoria Grimmy. Scheduled for Thursday, March 12, in the Student Center, the event was allocated funds of $7,695.
The meeting also included multiple cultural organizations proposing for events, the first of which was Union Latina for “Platanos and Collard Greens y Callaloo.” According to their proposal, the event is a “hip-hop theater play” that aims to educate the student body about prominent issues within the Latino and Black Community. The event, which is schedule to take place on Wednesday, March 4, in the Don Evans Black Box Theater, was allocated funds of $6,628.

The Eurasia/Middle East Society (EME) also proposed for “Nowruz: Celebration of the Persian New Year.” According to their proposal, the celebration “aims to introduce students to an important holiday that is celebrated throughout the Middle East, Eurasia and Southeast Asia,” and to “bring important elements of Persian culture to the campus community through music, food, dance, etc.” The event, which is scheduled to take place on Monday, March 23, in the Education Building, was allocated funds of $4,965.
Next, The Asian American Association proposed for their annual “Mystique of The East” event, which includes multiple performances from various Asian clubs on campus. The event, which will be free for everyone this year and is scheduled to take place on Saturday, March 11, in Kendall Hall, was allocated funds of $4,430.

Finally, MEDLIFE (Medicine, Education and Development for Low Income Families Everywhere) presented for an event entitled “A Taste of South America.” According to their application, the event will involve “traditional South American Food, with a specialization of Peruvian food, which will provide students the opportunity to be subjected to the foods of a different culture than their own.”
The event, which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, April 2, in the Lions Den, was allocated funds of $2,482.50.

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

Civil engineering club is recognized by SG

By Alyssa Sanford
Staff Writer

The Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) club was introduced and officially recognized before the Student Government general body on Wednesday, Feb. 18.

Jessica Glynn, vice president of Government Affairs, informed the general body that the organization has sustained itself since August 2013 and that ITE earned recognition from the national organization last spring. In order to be active on campus, ITE sought recognition from the general body.

There are currently 19 members in ITE, but as the civil engineering program doesn’t offer classes in transportation until junior year, the majority of the existing members are seniors.

Thomas M. Brennan, assistant professor of civil and transportation engineering and ITE’s faculty advisor, attended the general body meeting with two senior members of the club. They fielded questions from Student Government representatives about ITE’s funding and plans for expansion.

Members voted overwhelmingly in favor of recognition.

Glynn then introduced BS-2015-01, a bill designed to “protect the integrity of the [Student Government] organization.”

BS-2015-01 clarifies the requirements for members planning to run for president or executive vice president. In order to run, candidates must be either a general body member for two years or an elected member for one year.

The bill passed without debate.

Vice President of Advancement Sarah Drozd announced that Meet and Greet, an event to speak with prospective Student Government members, will be held on Monday, April 13, in the Alumni Grove.

Casey Dowling, vice president of Academic Affairs, reminded general body members that the Career Center is co-sponsoring a networking event in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, March 4. A total of 53 spots are available to interested students and 40 spots are currently reserved.

Later, it was announced that Equity and Diversity will hold a Multicultural Event on Thursday, March 26, in the Brower Student Center.

Senior class president Brian Garsh announced that Senior Week registration will be up and running in the next two or three weeks.

“It’s been a lot of headaches and a lot of stress,” Garsh said of efforts to coordinate Senior Week plans.

The sophomore class council revealed that president Robert Kinloch was quoted in a Philadelphia Inquirer article from Tuesday, Feb. 17, about the now-infamous T-shirts depicting David Muha, vice president of Communications, Marketing and Brand Management. T-shirts are still on sale in Eickhoff Hall.

Additionally, the freshman class council advertised its Mental Health Awareness Walk, scheduled for Friday, May 1, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. It will start from Green Hall and continue around the loop.

Garsh closed the meeting by reviving an old tradition. He discovered that past Student Government bodies at the College used to compile scrapbooks to commemorate another year of governance.

“I want to start that again so we can have another tradition,” Garsh said, before asking fellow members to collect memorabilia that will allow future members of Student Government to catch a glimpse of what the 2014-15 governing body has accomplished.

Students receive firefighting award

By Colleen Murphy
News Editor

When most people’s electronics go off during class, it’s usually the result of a text message or Siri acting up. But for three of the College’s students, that sound equates to something much more urgent. For these students, an alert that sounds during class means that somewhere in Ewing Township, their expertise and help are needed: These firefighters must report to a scene.

Dell'Aquila, Iannarone and Koons receive their award. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Iannarone)
Dell’Aquila, Iannarone and Koons receive their award. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Iannarone)

Matthew Iannarone, a senior mechanical engineering major, Anthony Dell’Aquila, a senior criminology major and Michael Koons, a senior business administration major, are not only full-time students at the College but also volunteer firefighters for the Pennington Road Fire Company. Recently, the company chief, Steve Luck, honored the three with the Firefighter of the Year Award for their ability to balance their dedication to both school and firefighting.

According to Iannarone, when Luck was presenting the award, he noted that there were a lot of great firefighters from which to choose. Deciding who to give the award to was a challenge, but the College’s three students stood out from the rest.

Every firefighter that works with the three recipients thinks that they do a good job, Luck said, and when figuring out who to present with Firefighter of the Year, the work ethic of Iannarone, Dell’Aquila and Koons put them “above everybody else.”

“Basically, to get the award, you have to be involved and not shy away from anything we ask of you,” Luck said.

The three students first became involved with firefighting at their local companies before coming to the College, with Iannarone starting in 2009, Dell’Aquila in 2006 and Koons in 2010.

Dell’Aquila, who now serves as a trustee of the Pennington Road Company, has been serving Ewing since 2011, and in 2012, he served as assistant chief of EMS. Koons began his work with the Pennington company in 2012. However, Iannarone didn’t think he was going to pursue firefighting while at college, but that quickly changed.

“I sort of missed it after two months of being here, so I walked down, picked up an application and joined,” Iannarone said.

Since they first joined, the three have responded to hundreds of calls in the area.

“It seems like we’ve responded to everything,” Iannarone said. “From the routine burnt food calls to full-house fires to car accident entrapments — Ewing pretty much gets it all.”

The firehouse is located right down the road from the College. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Iannarone)
The firehouse is located right down the road from the College. (Photo courtesy of Matthew Iannarone)

The Pennington Road Fire Company’s district includes the College, so the three men have responded to calls that come from the College numerous times, including late-night elevator rescues and last year’s fire at the Towers.

“I’m one of the few people who can say they took a chainsaw to Travers Hall,” Iannarone said.

According to Iannarone, he easily spends 10 hours a week volunteering for the firehouse. The amount of calls vary week to week, but just last year, the company went on 600 calls to Ewing and the surrounding area.

While they admit balancing their volunteerism with schoolwork can be difficult at times, the students say they would never give up firefighting.

“I sincerely enjoy what I do as a firefighter and EMT,” Dell’Aquila said. “Helping other people in need is something that I have always had a passion for. I also enjoy the excitement that being a firefighter and EMT brings. I never know what the next call might bring me. I am also gaining very useful experience by volunteering my time.”

Iannarone agreed with Dell’Aquila’s passion for altruism.

“I like giving back, helping people,” he said. “I think I’ll volunteer probably the rest of my life.”

The dedication that each has displayed to volunteering was what earned them the Firefighter of the Year award, and Luck noted that they’re incredibly great volunteer firefighters and EMS responders.

“It’s a pleasure to have them — it’s actually a blessing to have them because volunteers are hard to come by nowadays,” Luck said.

And Luck, Iannarone and Dell’Aquila all urged those interested in volunteering for the fire company or first aid unit to contact the fire company.

“If there is any student at TCNJ who is currently a firefighter or EMT, or anyone who wishes to become one, I encourage them to contact the fire company by logging on to penningtonroad.org, calling (609)-882-9885 or coming down to the firehouse (located at 1666 Pennington Road) for a visit and to pick up an application,” Dell’Aquila said.

Impacts of social media on students

By Chelsea LoCascio
Production Manager

Social media’s expanding population has transformed its purpose from connecting with friends to promoting businesses, products and people.

“When you’re old, you will say to some young person, ‘Back in my day, we actually had a piece of paper called a resume,’” Dean of the School of Business William Keep said. “Your social (media) presence will be your presence soon.”

This shift, to Keep, was what the panel “Your Public Face via Social Media” was all about. Held on Wednesday, Feb. 18, the panel, which was sponsored by the Dean’s Advisory Council and co-sponsored by Beta Gamma Sigma and Delta Sigma Pi, was held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Business Building lounge. The panel gathered a host of social media experts to discuss the impact of social media on students’ professional lives.

The panel included Sarah Cirelli, an interactive marketing manager at WithumSmith+ Brown, alum Kevin Coughlin, a product engineer at Tumblr, and Patti Singer, owner of Follow Me Social Media.

Moderator and alum Rebecca Machinga, a partner at WithumSmith+ Brown and chair of the Dean’s Advisory Council, began the discussion by asking the panel how students with little job experience can best promote themselves on LinkedIn, a popular social media site for professionals.

Singer said a crucial part of a profile is to include a professional headshot, which students were able to acquire after the discussion. It is also important to fill out the profile in its entirety and pay special attention to the summary section, according to Singer.

“That is where you can let everyone know who you are as a person and what your personal mission statement is,” Singer said. “Lead with your ‘why.’ Why do you want to get involved in the industry you’re going to college for? People will be mesmerized and read your entire summary … you will stand out from the crowd.”

Cirelli agreed and added that as a former college student, she is familiar with the embarrassing photos that can haunt you on social media and everyone should take control of what others can see by cleaning up their profiles.

“To not take ownership of the information people can find on you online is probably the most irresponsible thing you can do professionally,” Cirelli said. “You really want to take the keys to your online identity.”

Along with being careful of your image, be weary of strangers offering job opportunities or trying to connect with you, Coughlin said. The panel agreed that if a stranger connects with you and they are untrustworthy, it would inevitably reflect badly on you.

“It’s not like who has the most connections wins. That’s not what LinkedIn is about,” Singer said. “You want to make solid connections with people that you trust… that you wouldn’t be afraid to refer to other people.”

Machinga also asked the panel what part of the profile employers cared about most. According to Cirelli, companies are impressed when a student can apply the skills from a previous experience, like a job at a pizzeria, to the job they currently desire.

Although the panel discussed how detrimental social media could be to any budding career, they also emphasized the importance of not losing person-to-person contact and using sites like LinkedIn to supplement what you are already doing to promote yourself.

“Think about (social media) as a way to help you do what you’re already doing, more efficiently,” Cirelli said. “I don’t want it to be all you’re doing. There is still value in the face-to-face, the phone calls, the meeting and real networking parties. Use (social media) to enhance what you’re already doing.”

Taibbi discusses economic disparity between rich and poor Americans. (Kim Iannarone / Staff Photographer)

Taibbi criticizes white-collar criminals

By Gabrielle Beacken
News Assistant

Hollywood gets it wrong, according to political, financial and media author and journalist Matt Taibbi. Hotshot Wall Street and bank executives are not the romanticized versions often seen in films, such as the portrayal of former stockbroker-scammer Jordan Belfort in the 2013 film “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Hollywood’s take on the economic injustice of white-collar crime is upsetting while also inaccurate, Taibbi said.

Taibbi discusses economic disparity between rich and poor Americans. (Kim Iannarone / Staff Photographer)
Taibbi discusses economic disparity between rich and poor Americans. (Kim Iannarone / Staff Photographer)

Taibbi said that instead of viewing financial injustices as solely a fiscal issue, it should be viewed as organized crime.

“It’s not an economic story,” Taibbi said. “It’s a crime story.”

Journalist for The Nation, Playboy and Rolling Stone and author of “The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap,” Taibbi lectured students, faculty, staff and the College community on Wednesday, Feb. 18, in Kendall Hall, about the economic disparity between the wealthy and poor and the lack of stipulation narrowed at white-collar criminals. This lecture was part of the semester-long Exploring Economic Justice series, sponsored by the College’s Committee on Intellectual and Cultural Programming.

Taibbi also spoke to the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS 487) research seminar “Justice,” which includes both faculty and students.

“He talked to us for over an hour, and we got to ask questions and have an interesting colloquy,” said Morton Winston, professor of the research seminar. “It was really a nice experience for everybody.”

The first few weeks of the class were devoted to reading and analyzing Taibbi’s book,  Winston said. “We wanted to explore what the ramifications of this inequality of wealth and income are for other aspects of American life. How does inequality of economics affect education, educational opportunities? How’s this inequality affect race relations?”

Taibbi admits that he didn’t begin his journey into the world of economics with a solid background.

“It was a topic I came upon completely by accident,” Taibbi said. “I couldn’t even balance my checkbook … I knew nothing about the financial justice system.”

As a political humorist following the presidential campaign trail, Taibbi realized that, including himself, “nobody had any clue what was happening on Wall Street.” Even writers reporting on the 2008 financial crisis were unfamiliar with the economics.

“I thought we crossed a line at that moment,” Taibbi said. “The ignorance of the press corps became a serious problem.”

Transitioning into producing pieces with “boring” semantics, Taibbi had to “learn an entire new language and translate it into what people understand.”

Since economics, and publications covering financial issues, are laced with sophisticated terms and complicated math references, it is difficult for the average American to understand the world of finance.

“As both a student and a journalist, I think that it is extremely important to have some basic knowledge about the financial state of our country,” junior journalism and professional writing major Shayna Innocenti said. “I think that journalists like Taibbi are doing a great job translating the complex governmental and economic jargon, so that the everyday person can understand what is transpiring around them.”

The “punchline” of the white-collar crime tale seemed to be that no one ever went to jail, was indicted or even had to pay out of their own pocket, Taibbi said.

Besides two people from Bear Stearns Co., an investment services firm, being brought to trial, “not a single individual had been indicted for misdeeds in the financial crisis,” Taibbi said.

“In 2008, indicting CEO’s may have had a catastrophic effect,” Taibbi said. However, “I never bought the excuse that not arresting people was out of concern for the economy.”

Winston agreed with Taibbi that the absence of arrests during the financial crisis was suspicious.

“It’s kind of a scandal that the criminal justice system has been so skewed by wealth,” Winston said. “It’s an important thing to know for contemporary American society … it’s an eye-opening thing for students to learn about.”

According to Taibbi, there seems to be two tiers of the criminal justice system — street crime and white-collar crime, which to many is not considered a “crime-crime.”

Due to lobbyists creating loopholes for big business, divergent allocation of resources in the police force, and prosecutors considering violators of white collar crime more like respected and intelligent peers, rather than offenders, there are weak repercussions for white-collar criminals, according to Taibbi.

“Where’s the deterrent to not commit other crimes?” Taibbi said. “Why not? Caught for one thing and essentially there was no price.”

For white-collar criminals, no incentive or deterrent to not commit crime has led to a “flowering” of white-collar offenses, Taibbi said.

Taibbi contrasted the event surrounding police brutality victim Eric Garner and  the American International Group (AIG) fraud scandal and eventual government bailout.

The video of Garner’s death depicts 10 police officers eventually at the scene. On the contrary, during AIG’s scandal, one regulator at SNL Finance, a financial information firm, policed over 100,000 employees, according to Taibbi.

These two scenarios “symbolizes the difference in resources,” Taibbi said.

“One of our ideals as Americans is that there should be equal justice under the law,” Winston said. “But what (Taibbi’s) investigative reporting shows is that’s not true for many people.”

“They are two different worlds, but it is all crime,” Taibbi said. “It’s something we should all be concerned about.”

Spiritual Center welcomes new Catholic priest

By Elise Schoening
Correspondent

Father Erin Brown, who has served as the Catholic priest at the Spiritual Center for three years, has now been permanently reassigned to another parish, according to an email sent out to members of the Catholic Campus Ministry (CCM). His recent departure has resulted in a great reduction of the Catholic Masses available to students on campus, and until further notice, CCM is only offering Mass on Sunday nights at 7:30 p.m. Starting Saturday, March 28, Saturday night Masses will be available at 6:30 p.m.

During his time at the College, Brown developed close relationships with numerous students. He will be remembered not only for serving as a friend and confidant to these students, but also for giving personalized and engaging sermons at Mass, according to junior early childhood education and psychology double major Katherine King, CCM’s co-vice president of retreats.

“He always relates the Gospel back to things that are going on in our lives as young adults, but mostly as college students who are going through a difficult transition point in our lives,” King said.

According to junior early childhood education and psychology double major Amy Pilsbury, CCM’s secretary, Father Brown thoroughly enjoyed working at the College and did not leave by choice.

At the end of the fall semester, Brown was temporarily reassigned by his bishop to St. Jerome’s Parish in Long Branch, N.J., according to King. This reassignment, however, was recently made permanent. John Butler has now taken on the position of primary pastor for the Catholic Campus Ministry at the College.

CCM, which is primarily a student-run organization, is working hard to continue operating as usual in spite of this recent change.

Sophomore civil engineering major Lauren Santullo says that the organization will continue to provide students with Catholic Mass and other religious events throughout the semester, although they are now being offered less frequently.

“I personally will miss Father Brown at our weekly activities, but if he needs to help out somewhere else in the diocese, that’s where he needs to be,” Santullo said. “I also hope that he comes back to visit for some of our events.”

This loss has not only been hard on the students who have grown close to Brown, but it has also restricted CCM’s ability to provide programs and services. The organization now has limited access to the Bede House, an off-campus house where the group’s events are typically held.

The new pastor, Butler, has a number of responsibilities outside of the College and cannot be as involved in the campus community as Brown was, Pilsbury said. Therefore, the number of Catholic Masses offered at the Spiritual Center has been significantly reduced. In the past, Masses have been held on both weekdays and weekends. CCM is now only able to offer Mass twice a week on Sunday evenings, and starting this weekend, Saturday evenings.

“The weekday Masses didn’t always have a large turnout, but it is still a loss to those who wanted that daily time to pray and reflect in the Spiritual Center,” Pilsbury said.

Weekday Masses were particularly important because they allowed students with busy schedules more flexibility for worship. Students who wish to attend Catholic Mass on a daily basis must now travel off campus to other parishes in the neighboring area.

Brown’s departure is certainly a loss felt by the college community and all who attended his sermons. Still, CCM has welcomed Butler and appreciates the new perspective he has to offer, Santullo said.

Father Butler is actively working to fill the hole left in Brown’s absence. He is currently planning a spring retreat for members of CCM and is also working hard to offer confession, as well as even more Mass times, Pilsbury said.

Bridging the gap between religion and science

By Colleen Murphy
News Editor

The Barenaked Ladies sing in “The Big Bang Theory’s” theme song, “Our whole universe was in a hot dense state, then nearly 14 billion years ago, expansion started,” spurring evolution. Over the years, scientists have found much evidence that supports evolution. However, according to Evergreen State College biology professor Michael Zimmerman, the United States is only second to Turkey in the Western World for having the largest amount of citizens who don’t believe in evolution.

To kick-off Evolution Weekend and celebrate Charles Darwin’s birthday, Zimmerman gave the presentation, “What the Evolution/Creation Debate Can Teach Us About the Relationship Between Religion and Science,” on Friday, Feb. 13, in Roscoe West, which explored why more Americans don’t believe in evolution.

“It’s difficult to imagine that we’re educating students — that we have an educated sensory — when the basic principle of evolution is so disregarded, disrespected and misunderstood, when it is so important,” Zimmerman said. “It’s anti-intellectual.”

He pointed out, though, that the point of his discussion was not to say which belief is right, but rather to have people understand that “the scientific method is important.”

“If you throw out evolution, if you question the basic premises of what evolution is and what we know about it from the last 150 years, you’ve thrown out the core of what biology is all about,” Zimmerman said. “Studying biology without having a framework of evolution is like studying history just by memorizing dates, not having any other context. No one would do that — no meaningful progress would be made.”

The biologist also wanted the audience to walk away from the event understanding that there is a way for religion and science to coincide and that the two are actually compatible.

In an effort to do so, Zimmerman discussed the Clergy Letter Project, a campaign he started in 2004 to bring religion and science together. As of Saturday, Feb. 14, almost 13,000 Christian clergy members from around the U.S. have signed a letter stating that they want evolution to be taught in schools and “that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.” As one clergy member pointed out, the two have different purposes, with religion’s being to “transform hearts.”

There are three other letters on Zimmerman’s site from three other religions that explain how they believe religions and science can co-exist. The letter from America’s rabbis has 514 signatures, while 285 Unitarian Universalist and 24 Buddhist clergy members have signed their faith’s respective letters.

Ariel Moskowitz, a sophomore biology major, was surprised to hear that some religious figures and clergymen also supported the theory of evolution and said she found Zimmerman’s lecture interesting.

“I personally believe in evolution, and it was very refreshing to think about how evolution and religion can coincide,” Moskowitz said. “I always assumed you couldn’t believe in both evolution and creationism, but Zimmerman showed how they aren’t mutually exclusive.”

Zimmerman believes the intersection of religion and science and creationism and evolution is important, but what he cautioned the audience of was fundamentalist beliefs on both sides, saying those beliefs are “equally wrong and counterproductive.”

“Only by combating fundamentalism can we generate respect for religion and ensure high quality science education,” Zimmerman said, adding that he believes there is no reason for someone to have to choose between the two entities.