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November Edition 2013

College doesn’t have to be just a dream Student Debt Crisis

Father-Daughter Relationship

Film Presentation

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arts & cont entertainment nts e
Molly ....................................................................................................................... 3
BY NEIL KnOX OPInIOnS EDITOR

Where Are the Housatonic Hawks?....................................................................3
BY LInDSEY BALDASSARE STAFF WRITER

BY EMMA TECUn NEwS EDITOR

Developmental Classes Being Cut......................................................................4

Adventure and Friendship Await.................................................................4
BY NICOLE LAZARIUk STAFF WRITER

Horizons Staff
Editor-in-Chief David Weidenfeller Advisor Prof. Steve Mark Managing Editor Sherly Montes Editor-at-Large Katelyn Avery News Editor Emma Tecun Opinions Editors Neil Knox Online and Social Media Editor Joshua Hamel Staff Writers Lindsey Baldassare, Jocelyn Battle, Zachery Champagne, Mary Clark, Victor Dawson, Shannon Duff, Sekinah Erskine, Tyler Heche, Juan Hernandez, Jenna Iacurci, Franklin Jusino, Ryan Lahiff, Nicole Lazariuk, Raphael Leite,Brenna McIntyre, Ashley Seeto, S tacy Shippee, Matt Wood Senior Staff Writers Kathryn Hanrahan, Tiffany Harvey, Justin Quinn Art and Design Directors Minerva Tabor, Carolina Trinidad, Vanessa Morales Art and Design Staff Guy Charles, Carl Dorvil, David Enriquez, Angel Gonzalez,Brandon Hatcher, Craig Leachman, Kurton Lewis, Isadora Lopez, Anthony Marsilio, Orlando Martinez, Dawitt Pearcy, Mathew Pham, Leigh Thomas, Jhon Vergara, Shawn Walsh Design Advisor Prof. Andy Pinto Cover Design Craig Leachman Back Cover Shawn Walsh

BY JEnnA IACURCI STAFF WRITER

Gloves Up: Community College vs. University................................................5

New Pill May be Medical Breakthroug of the Decade....................................5
BY TYLER HEChE STAFF WRITER

‘Tis the Season To Give Back ...............................................................................6
BY SEkInAh ERSkInE STAFF WRITER

BY STACY ShIPPEE STAFF WRITER

Need Money for College? Scholarships Can Help...........................................6

The Ins and Outs of Credit...................................................................................7
BY ShAnnOn DUFF STAFF WRITER

All-Male Poetry Showcase at HCC Museum of Art........................................7
BY LYDIA VISCARDI MEDIA COORDInATOR, HOUSATOnIC MUSEUM OF ART

Student Senate Gets Down to Business ......................................................7
BY JEnnA IACURCI STAFF WRITER

Give Our Furry Friends A Chance......................................................................8
BY DAvE WEIDEnFELLER EDITOR-In-ChIEF

College Doesn’t have to Be Just a Dream...........................................................8
BY NICOLE LAZARIUk STAFF WRITER

How I Became A Smartphone Zombie..............................................................9
BY NEIL KnOX OPInIOnS EDITOR

Can’t Read My Monopoly Face............................................................................9
BY CAROLInA TRInIDAD
STUDEnT

The Student Debt Crisis: Unusual Suspects.....................................................10
BY NEIL KnOX OPInIOnS EDITOR

The Largest Hand In Your Pocket......................................................................10
BY NEIL KnOX OPInIOnS EDITOR

Father-Daughter Relationship............................................................................10
BY AShLEY SEETOO STAFF WRITER

Music and Drugs: .................................................................................................11
BY AShLEY SEETOO STAFF WRITER

HCC Museum of Art Peer Docent Program Has Some Big Changes.........11
BY BREnnA MCInTYRE STAFF WRITER

ALAS Hosts a Dia De Los Muertos Celebration.............................................12
BY BREnnA MCInTYRE STAFF WRITER

HORIZONS • News

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arts & entertainment news e
Old Drug with A New Name
BY NEIL KnOX OPInIOnS EDITOR he current new or at least in vogue designer drug laying waste on the “Club Scene” appears to be a variation on an old drug “E” or “X”, Ecstasy. It is used primarily by the new generation of “Club” enthusiasts as a way to enhance their experience on the dance floor. Also called “Mand,y” the drug is a pure powder form of MDMA. In a recent survey conducted at Syracuse University, 20% of the participants responded that they had tried Molly. One third of those students stated that they did not know the ingredients of the drugs they had ingested. As Michael Johnson, former director of Outpatient Services at a local Bridgeport Drug program, explained, “ As it’s been explained to me, people use it as a way to heighten the visual and vibratory sensations while listening to music at these clubs. It’s a visceral thing to these kids, they feel the music.” The pure form of the drug induces an almost hypnotic state and stimulates the part of the brain that controls emotional response. It can come in a crystal form, but is more frequently taken in a pill form. Manufactured under less than laboratory like conditions and imported from various countries around the world as well as here in the U.S.the. quality and content contained in these pills and crystals can be any combination of substances and in

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many cases may contain no MDMA at all. In a recent report from the FDA tests conducted on several batches of confiscated pills found that some of the pills contained plant fertilizer.

they are ingesting,” he continued. “The devastating effect it has on the nerve centers in the brain, it’s the whole ecstasy thing all over again, we are seeing more and more kids come in here with their

Photo courtesy of DDAA (some rights reserved from Flickr creative commons limited attribution)

“These pills are manufactured in makeshift labs by people who really don’t care what goes into it as long as they look like they’re supposed to look, with those little icons on them, kids going out on the weekend aren’t really concerned with that they are buying, it’s all about the good time they look forward to, escape is the main goal for many of them. as it is with most drugs,” Johnson added. “Of course these kids have no idea of the quality or the contents of the pill

frightened parents seeking help.” Asked about the sudden resurgence in the use of this drug, Johnson, who has been in this field for over 20 years and worked at various treatment centers throughout the Bridgeport-New Haven area, thought for a second and chuckled. “This isn’t a resurgence in the true sense of the word,” he said. “It’s only because of the attention being given to it by the media because of the use of the word in popular music recently, never underestimate the

power of the music industry in a kid’s life.” The influence of pop culture has been recently blamed for encouraging the use of Molly. In a concert last year Madonna was caught on tape asking the crowd “how many of you have seen Molly?’ She later denied she was referring to the drug itself claiming she was referring to a friend’s song. Kanye West and most recently Miley Cyrus have also mentioned the drug in songs of their own. Many of the Rap industry’s notables have also been quick to jump on the bandwagon. Nicki Minaj, Chris Webby and Chainz are just a few of the names trying to sell songs by mentioning this devastating drug. “The peer pressure thing plays into this as well,” Johnson said. “The idea that these “club” drugs are just being used recreationally is another myth. I’m old enough to remember the days when LSD exploded on the scene, and there are still people walking around today dealing with ramifications, flashbacks, blackouts, and their brain just doesn’t fire on all pistons if you know what I mean.” “The parents suffer just as much as these kids do. The uptick in cases we are experiencing from just the “Molly” craze is scary,” he added. Recent events in the news regarding the fact that overdoses and the unrestricted sale of drugs like Molly at concert venues throughout the tri-state area hopefully will raise awareness to the dangers of this new take on an old drug. Unfortunately once the clamor dies down who will assume responsibility for its use and accessibility.

Where Are the Housatonic Hawks?
BY LInDSEY BALDASSARE STAFF WRITER t`s sad that we don’t have sport teams here,” said Claudia Maldonado, Student Senate President here at HCC. Maldonado explained that when high school students come up to college, they want to play sports. It is a great experience to have new students bond with older students and to meet new friends. Here at Housatonic, we did have baseball and basketball teams, but they were mainly for guys. Woman really didn’t play on the sport teams. Going to a sports events help bring the school together. Some students from the school play with another

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school on their football team. On the Housatonic Facebook, there was a status about how you feel about having sports teams at HCC. A lot of students believe that it is an excellent idea and would love for sports teams to come back. There were people suggesting what sport teams we should have like soccer. One of the main reasons we don’t have sport teams is the funding.“We do not have athletic programs at Housatonic Community College due to the cost of starting and maintaining the teams. These funds would need to be drawn from other critical programs and services that HCC offers.” explained Anita Gliniecki, College President. We would have to pay for coach, a place to play, and a referee. We would also need monery for uniforms and transportation. It

is also a lot of work to get everything together. HCC would need to hire full time staff to run sport teams. They would have to figure out what teams to play and when and where they would practice. The hardest thing would be trying to get students to make time to play or even have enough students that would be able to play. Most students don’t have time to play sports because they are working, have a family that they must take care of, or they need to focus on their studies According to Michael Stein, Professor of Art, “Sport teams would be great in my point of view, it shows school spirit.” He was here when we had sport teams at HCC. Sport teams at HCC haven’t been around since the early 1970`s. Professor Stein also explained that another professor here

tried to form a table tennis team here that only ran for about to a year. It was so much work that he couldn’t keep up with it. In the meantime, we have an intercollegiate team for football. This allows all the community colleges to have one football team together and people that are in between colleges to play. To play on the team there is a $200 fee. This fee includes transportation, hotel stay, and meals. According to an article that Bernie Armstrong sent me, only about 70 percent can afford so they ask for donations for the other players that can’t afford it. Hopefully, in the future we can get more funding so that we can bring back sport teams. It will be a great bonding experience not only for students but for faculty too.

PLEASE RECYCLE THIS NEWSpApEr
Most of the classrooms at HCC have both a garbage bin and a blue recycling bin. There are only two things that you should put in those bins: - Printer Paper/Notebook Paper - Newspaper These items CANNOT go in the recycling bins: - Food - Plastic of any kind, including bottles - Other packaging Any non-paper items that you throw out while in class must go in the regular trash. The cleaners will not separate our waste for us. Any time you dispose of regular garbage in the recycling bins, the entire contents of that bin goes to the landfill. Horizons remains committed to assisting in efforts that will result in a cleaner campus and community.

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HORIZONS • News

Developmental Classes Being Cut
BY EMMA TECUn NEwS EDITOR ue to the number of failing statistics, the Connecticut’s Board of Regents has been pushed to create a different structure that they hope will create more success among students taking remedial courses. The Huffington Post reports, “Only 28 percent of two-year college students who took at least one developmental course earned a degree or certificate within 8.5 years, compared to 43 percent of non-remedial students, according to one study.” The state has taken huge strides in trying to eliminate the awkward transition from high school into developmental courses. “As a department we have the student’s success at the center of the work we’ve been doing,” said Rebecca Samberg, a Professor of Developmental English and Chair of the Developmental Studies department at HCC. In reality students should be getting getting the tools they need in high school to be sent off to college and succeed. The preparedness truly is made up of a balance of maturity to work ethic and other varying aspects, but Connecticut schools are trying to pull their college students up by their bootstraps.

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A recent bill has passed which has created a huge reform in remedial classes. The developmental courses are being cut due to lack of graduation statistics. The Connecticut Post explains, “The goal is to eliminate the remedial, non-credit courses academically struggling students pay to take without credit before being eligible for courses toward their degree.” “I wish this bill had passed a long time ago,” said Melissa Arbelo, a 21-year-old

to get her to the college level courses she is currently taking. “I would have been able to use my financial aid for classes which would have given me actual college credits, instead of being placed into classes which I really did not want to take,”nsaid Arbelo. The goal of cutting the remedial classes is not to discourage students from college level classes, but to increase the work ethic. Connecticut schools are finding that

“Only 28 percent of two-year college students who took at least one developmental course earned a degree or certificate”
part time student. Arbelo is one of the many students who had no choice, but to take remedial courses after taking the accuplacer upon entering HCC. About 60 to 70 percent of Connecticut community college students enroll in at least one developmental course, as recently reported in The Huffington Post according to the Community College Research Center at Columbia University’s Teachers College. Arbelo had to take developmental classes and pay out of pocket for the classes which she did not receive college credit for not only are students underprepared for the college classes they are expected to undertake, but there is not enough help for the students who are underdeveloped in their learning abilities. “We are stressing to the students the seriousness of students being present in class, there are no more chances,” said Samberg. The new act, which will be in effect in Fall 2014, is aimed to cut all developmental classes and implement a more simple “transitional course”. The coming spring semester will be a trial run for the transitional courses which HCC will be providing to students who need help to get their

skill levels up to college level. This course will offer students more help and attention to support them with the longer hours they will spend in class. “The way the legislature is being implemented will be beneficial,” said Samberg. The new bill is looking to create a clearer path for students to be successful. Students will no longer have to jump through hoops while using their financial aid dollars. Complete College America is a non-profit organization based in Washington, which is working to increase the number of college graduates. CCA brings to the surface the issue of the increasing numbers of student-loan debt which has skyrocketed. These remedial courses usually cost about the same as regular college credit classes and run about $3 billion annually (reported by CCA). Most students, faculty, and staff would agree that they do not want to pay for schooling without getting the credit for these classes. If these developmental classes were to create a successful outcome for the remedial students, this issue would be entirely different. Even though this recently passed bill is creating a lot of controversy among students and their path to graduation, Samberg firmly believes, “Students need to be their own advocates.”

Adventure and Friendship Await
BY NICOLE LAZARIUk STAFF WRITER s club members describe it, The League of Adventurers has become like a family because of their Sunday hikes and travels. “We learn to trust each other...Everyone is pulling their own weight, and that is something you don’t take for granted,” Andrew Watkins the club’s Vice-President said. David Koch, Associate Professor of History at HCC, and the club’s advisor thought the club would be a good way to get students who enjoy history and the outdoors together. ”The League is devoted to the idea that we can all enjoy the outdoors and our historical and cultural heritage, no matter how young, old, rich, or poor. Come out with us!”, the club’s mission statement on their Facebook page implores. The club has done a lot since it was formed in October of 2012. Last summer the LOA went white water rafting on the Hudson River. They anticipated that the waves would be a class 3, reasonably tame, but because of heavy rains they were greeted with class 5 waves, which means obstructions and large frequent unexpected waves. “I fell off the boat!” Jose Rivera, the club’s secretary, said, laughing. “Yeah, they said all they saw was my legs go in the air, and the next thing they couldn’t see me anymore.” Rivera didn’t seem daunted, though. “It’s so awesome, though. It’s so worth it,” he added. The club has also been to Washington D. C., The Rhinebeck Aerodrome, The

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Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, and last year they donated their time to collecting school supplies for children in Haiti. But the Sunday hikes, which take place in parks all over Connecticut, seem to be the heart of the club and bring everyone closer together. Imelda Fernandez, the club’s former treasurer, says they hiked as a group even before they became an official club. “Koch was like, ‘Every weekend, whoever wants to hike will just go, every Sunday,’ ” she added. Koch, having worked as a seasonal interpretive/backcountry ranger for the Rocky Mountain National Park and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, patrolling trails from 8,700 to 12,000 feet above sea level, has experience hiking. Fernandez would probably not go into the woods without the LOA: “I’m not a hiker. I’m scared to hike, because I’m scared to get lost. But…I told Koch, I will hike with you anytime.” Participants in the club agreed that the hikes relieve stress, and Koch’s vast historical knowledge is always fascinating. “When we went to Indian Well, I asked him, ’Why is this place called Indian Well?’...It [was] awesome. He told me the entire legend behind that well,” Armand Dabiran, the club’s treasurer, said. Everyone laughed at this story and Fernandez enthusiastically added, “Exactly.” Fernandez says she was intimidated at first to join a club with younger students, but she has felt extremely welcomed. When she saw how expensive it was for the students to pay for hotel rooms on trips, she was inspired to donate her timeshare in Williamsburg Va.

Photo courtesy of Imelda Fernandez

The LOA really enjoyed visiting historical Williamsburg Va., and living together for the two-day outing really brought them together, “We went grocery shopping and doing the cooking together we got to know everyone...it was fun,” the club’s former co-secretary Helen Nguien-Phen said. “We have become really just like a family in the club.” Rivera added. Watkins, being an out-of-state student from California, says the club gives him a chance to really see the area and make new friends, which is inspiring him to continue life in Connecticut. Dabiran said he joined the club for the hiking and adventure but also to meet new people, seeing as though nobody really talks in classes. The club is planning a lot of new adventures for the future, a trip to Colorado,

horseback riding, visiting the wax museum, Zip lining and camping in upstate New York. The LOA might even go overseas to Europe. “Anything is possible in this club”, Nguien-Phen said. “I think Koch, our advisor, is out to inspire us...to look beyond our normal lives…” Watkins added. If you are interested in joining, the meetings where they plan their adventures are every Monday at 2:30 (BH 317), and the club hikes every Sunday. As the LOA Facebook page puts it, “... Hope you guys can come family, friends, kids, and partners welcome at all times. Rides are available as always. Tell your friends, and hope to see you on top of the mountain!”

Visit HCC Online!
Curious about the services, courses, and programs at HCC? Go to http://www.hcc.commnet.edu, the college’s home page. From there you can navigate the various departments, search for courses, or follow links to other useful sites, such as MyCommnet and the HCC Foundation.

HORIZONS • News

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Gloves Up: Community College vs. University
BY JEnnA IACURCI STAFF WRITER enjamin Franklin once said, “An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” Well, no offense to Mr. Franklin, but he wasn’t paying student loans with this much interest. In the current dismal economic state, and with tuition costs rising every year, students, and parents, are debating whether an education at a university is really worth the stress of calculating every nickel and dime it takes to afford it. College tuition isn’t getting any cheaper. Community colleges have gained popularity over recent years in terms of getting the best “bang for your buck”. They provide a quality education, but unlike a prestigious university, are much more affordable. The reputation of well-known institutions versus the financial advantage of community colleges fuels the debate. Housatonic Community College student Sekinah Erskine chose the community college route to jumpstart her education. She said, “I chose to go to HCC because of the journalism program… HCC was the only affordable school and community college not far from me.” Virginia Gasparakis graduated from the University of Connecticut and took supplemental classes at HCC after her graduation. Even after attending a well-known four year university, she still sees the attraction of community colleges. “I loved the small classes and I really feel as if the professors really knew how to communicate the material to their students,” she said. “The professors at HCC were honestly much better teachers than any of my professors

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at UConn.” Applying to college is a competition for students: who can get into the better school. Lately students have been taking a closer look at the schools they were once hasty to snide at. When comparing tuition costs, the choice seems easy. For the Fall 2013 semester, Yale University will charge students $42,300, which is about four times the University of Connecticut’s tuition of $9,256, and 13 times Housatonic Community College’s tuition of $3,360 for a full time student. According to the TIME’s article The Class of 2025, the average four-year cost for the 50 most expensive colleges in the U.S. is $186K, $140K for private-college tuition, and $72K for public college tuition. These already sky-high numbers are projected to increase in 2025 to $237K, $160K and $97K. With these costs in mind, students are opting for schools like HCC, whose Fall 2013 enrollment was 5,813 students compared to 4,678 students in Fall 2003. Within the past ten years enrollment was at an all-time high in 2012, with 6,097 students enrolled, 20% of them being newly admitted and 64% continuing their studies. The Great Recession of 2008 hit Americans’ wallets hard, and there was much concern about the well-being of their future generations. The young students became concerned about inheriting the economy’s problems, and how it would affect their education. As Gasparakis describes it, “I feel like times have definitely changed… I know a lot of kids in high school now that are not even thinking about applying to private universities…” Among this age demographic the

unemployment rate as of October 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, is 13.7%. But, with a Bachelor’s Degree, the unemployment rate drops significantly to 8% and 6.2% . In order to be competitive in this job market where having a job is considered a luxury, a Bachelor’s Degree is necessary to be successful. Erskine agrees, “When I graduated high school in 1992, there were plenty of ‘good’ jobs you could get without a college degree. In the last ten years times have changed drastically and you have to have a degree just to answer the phones.” Even with all of these statistics, Anita Gliniecki, President of HCC, does not

choose sides. She says, “Each type of institution meets the differing needs of students.” But, from her frequent talks with students and parents, she can see that HCC is a college of choice due to its affordability and quality education. Choosing a college is possibly the most stressful time in a student’s life. Regardless of what school you land on, you’re left with what is supposed to be an amazing education, plus thousands in student loans. For more students, community college seems to be the more logical path to lighten this heavy financial load, but the reputation of the four year university still holds some weight.

CC Popularity photo courtesy of CommonWealth One Federal Credit Union in partnership with brass (cofcuknows.com)

New Pill May be Medical Breakthrough of the Decade
BY TYLER HEChE STAFF WRITER new pill form of insulin may be a breakthrough in medicine that millions have been waiting for. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body is not meeting its need for insulin, and thus creates too much glucose. “Insulin is a hormone that is produced by the pancreas that causes cells to take up glucose from blood and convert it to glycogen, to store in the liver,” said Dr. Divina Garay, a general physician with Norwalk Hospital, and a former live-in nurse. In the later stages of diabetes, people use injections to get the insulin they need into their body. This method has been used for almost a century now, and two pharmaceutical companies are finally on the verge of changing that. In an article called, “Pharma’s David and Goliath in Race to Produce Insulin Pill,” Bill Burkrot of Reuters, writes, “Pharma and Oramed Pharmaceuticals are both close to creating a pill that will deliver insulin directly to the liver, rather than all throughout the bloodstream, as it does when injected.” Many people may see this and say so what, but this pill holds more value then you may think. Insulin in a successful pill form would go directly to the liver which would quicken absorption, and would also be an easier treatment for a lot of users.

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“A pill form of insulin would hold a large benefit for children and patients who have serious problems with injecting. There are about 370 million people diagnosed with the disease, and a significant portion is made up of children, elders, and

said Garay. Ashlee Pastor, a student at HCC, does not have diabetes herself, but her younger brother at age 11 has recently begun taking insulin for his type 2 diabetes. As he is still too young to fully take care of his

“A pill form of insulin would hold a large benefit for children and patients who have serious problems with injecting.”
phobic patients,” said Garay. Joe Tetu, an HCC student, has type 2 diabetes and has been living with the disease for close to three years now. Tetu said the injection he uses is, “Really inconvenient at times. The insulin takes a while to circulate through the bloodstream so it affects my eating habits. It is also a pain to carry around, but it’s absolutely necessary.” “I have a problem with needles, and even though it’s pretty much painless, I would much rather just take a pill, and be done with it,” he added. There are also significant benefits of using a pill for both type 1 and type 2 patients. People with type 2 diabetes, which is the less severe disease, aren’t having the demands for insulin in their body met by their pancreas, so they take medication. However, additional insulin from injections is eventually necessary. “About 90 percent of people with diabetes are suffering from type 2,” own treatment responsibly, Ashlee is the primary person in the household to help him. “People who have seen the injection pens or other mediums for injecting do not see just how much precaution is necessary. Granted, it becomes routine after a while, but there are always tiny details that have to be paid attention too,” said Pastor. Apparently, there is a lot more to the process then just the injection, but it is the steps and techniques that are also important, especially when it comes to children. “My brother isn’t old enough to make sure everything is perfect before injections. Not only is there the time and meals that are factors, but the most important thing I remember to do is rotate his shot locations,” said Pastor. If an insulin injection is used too frequently in the same spot, then short-term issues such as lumps in the skin may occur, and long term issues such as scarring can develop.

“Don’t get me wrong, the shot is still a good way to get insulin, but a pill form would just take so much stress out of the process. It would be a lot easier to get my brother to not tense up if he is taking a pill, rather than getting a shot,” said Pastor. Type 1 diabetes is much more dangerous, as the body gets minimal insulin or none at all from the pancreas, and they need external insulin. “Type 2 diabetics may benefit the most from a pill because people may be more inclined to add additional insulin earlier than when it is absolutely needed. People do not like the idea of needles when it isn’t necessary, and a pill would be easier to adjust to. Earlier insulin for type 2 patients would allow their natural insulin to stay in the body,” said Garay. Apparently, sustaining the little natural insulin these patients have is a huge benefit. “With more of their natural insulin in their body, the risk of diabetic problems such as heart complications goes down,” said Garay. Clearly this pill would be helpful to the astoundingly large population of diabetics in the world. “The earliest estimate for the pills to become available is by the end of the decade,” said Burkrot. Tetu is looking forward to that time. “I think the pill would make such a tough disease just a little easier, and with diabetes, a little win sometimes is more than enough,” he said.

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HORIZONS • News You Can Use

arts & entertainment news you can use o
‘Tis the Season To Give Back
their families aware of our service, hold a drive for collections of items of need: linens, PJs, socks, personal care items, disposable diapers, uniforms, etc.” Seferi said. The Community Closet also has a diaper bank and they takes donations of genfree pre-school for the women enrolled in their program. “These women are so motivated,” Paine said. “It’s the best place to work.” Tutoring is available for children, and free citizenship classes are offered on Thursday nights for women and men. BY SEkInAh ERSkInE STAFF WRITER ith the holidays just around the corner, now is the perfect time for HCC students and staff to help out and give back to the community. More than ever, many people are in need of clothes and food. A lot of people are looking for places to volunteer and donate, but just don’t know where to go. “I’ve never volunteered, but I would love to,” said Anna Garcia, HCC student.“I would like to know what the best agencies and charities are that actually help people in need.” Natasha Koonce, a member of Community Baptist Church in New Haven, said her church takes donations and distributes them to the community. “We currently accept food, clothing, money and toiletry donations, to our Hope Corner drop off center located in New Haven,” said Koonce. Community Closet, a donation center run by Karen Seferi in Bridgeport, is always looking for donations and volunteers. “Students and staff at HCC can get involved and help by making students and

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“I think it’s important to donate especially because people are always in need and I also think it’s essential to volunteer time, when disasters strike,” Garcia said. “My belief is that holidays shouldn’t matter. People should donate year around.”
tly used clothes and small household items weekdays, Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. “The children are especially endearing when they find a toy or book they can enjoy,” said Seferi. Christine Matthews Paine, Development Director at the Caroline House in Bridgeport, says they need volunteers too. Caroline House, which is operated by the School Sisters of Notre Dame, helps teach English language and life skill classes to immigrant women from countries like Peru, Haiti, and Syria. Caroline House also offers fun classes like knitting, art and yoga and operates a “Some of the women have an education, while others may not have learned how to read or write,” Paine said. “We don’t put a time limit on their learning.” With donation and volunteer centers set up in the community, people have places to help them. “It helps empower members of the community and will help improve the overall conditions of that community,” Koonce said. “This will lead to less crime, less poverty and less broken homes.” The mission of the Community Closet is to serve the disadvantaged and disenfranchised members of the community. Each year over 3,000 families (11,000

members) visit the Community Closet. One of the goals at the Caroline House is to break down barriers of social and physical isolation which keep low-income immigrant women from building better lives; so they can improve their lives and their children’s lives. Caroline House does not operate on government funding. “We take money from individuals, corporations and foundations,” Paine said. Volunteers come from all over and give their time at the Caroline House. If you’re a Journalism student at HCC, there are also opportunities to write for their newsletter. In addition to clothing and household items, the Community Closet offers information about other free services, including access to food, shelters, free medical care, legal services, and immigration services. “The most rewarding aspect of this job is seeing the joy on someone’s face when they find something they really need and they can have it free of charge,” Seferi said. “I think it’s important to donate especially because people are always in need and I also think it’s essential to volunteer time, when disasters strike,” Garcia said. “My belief is that holidays shouldn’t matter. People should donate year around.” “I like being able to make a difference in saving people’s lives,” she added.

Need Money for College? Scholarships Can Help
BY STACY ShIPPEE STAFF WRITER college education can be hard to pay for, and sometimes a little help can mean the difference between quitting and graduating. It seems like a daunting task to find scholarships when you look on the web and see all the information out there.The search can be difficult and most students don’t know where to begin. As Vanessa, a student at HCC, said “I don’t even know where to look for a scholarship.” With rising costs and a sluggish economy, many students are finding it hard to continue to pay for their college classes. Some do not qualify for financial aid and others need more money to pay for other costs like books, supplies and even living expenses. This is when scholarships are needed. Just type the word scholarship into Google and a list of agencies and websites will pop up, each one claiming to help direct you.This is not the most productive way to look for scholarships that are relevant to you. The reference librarian at the Ferguson Library said that “there are books of just scholarships that massage the data in many different ways.” This leaves us needing to follow a few simple steps that will help narrow the field to the scholarships you qualify for. The first step is to fill out a FAFSA application online. This is necessary even if a student doesn’t believe they will qualify for a government grant. Some scholarships require that you have completed this. Cindy Cominsky, the Scholarship

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Photo by: Carl Dorvil

Administrator for HCC, said, “Every student should fill out a FAFSA application.” This is because”the scholarships at HCC are for students who do not qualify for financial aid”. There are several scholarships available if all the criteria is met.The easiest way for an organization to determine this is a lack of award from FAFSA. Also this form will show financial need if a student does qualify. The second step is to look at government programs. The government has a co-op program for students that combines formal studies with off campus jobs related to their majors at www.studentjobs.gov . They also have the AmeriCorps program, which pays a minimum wage plus an annual award for each year a student works.This

program has a two year maximum and the award is tied to the maximum Pell Grant amount, currently $5550. Another notable program offered by the government is the Teach Grant that is for students who want to be teachers. This program offers up to $4,000 a year to students who choose to become teachers in a needed field. If none of these government programs suit a students’ needs, then the search for scholarships begins. The first area to look at when searching for scholarships is your major. Many organizations that pertain to certain careers offer scholarships. For example, the National Association of Accountants offers a scholarship to Accounting majors. Journalism majors can look for The Journalist’s Road to Success, where several million scholarships are offered for their major. The next step in the search for each student becomes a little more individual. Each person must begin a search within their community in areas that are relevant to them. The first area to look at is your employer. For example, McDonalds provides scholarships as do other stores and companies. The next area is clubs that you belong to. The Girl Scouts are one such organization, and the Boy Scouts, 4H club, and other organizations like Phi Theta Kappa, offer a transfer scholarship to a four year university. Your religious affiliation may also offer opportunities for scholarships. If you are Catholi, the Knights of Columbus offer scholarships. The last section or category that each student should look into is personal attributes. Ancestry, nationality, and other

personal categories have many organizations that also offer scholarships. If you are Italian, UNICO offers scholarships for you or if you are African-American the Jackie Robinson Foundation is just one of many that have scholarships you may qualify for. Other organizations that offer these types of scholarships are The West Indian Association, NAACP, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Executive Women International, and Little People of America. Each of these organizations and many others have scholarships for people who fit their specific criteria whether its age, sex, race, nationality, and other traits. Do you hunt, bowl, knit, speak Klingon, or have a plan for a zombie invasion? Any outside activity you participate in can lead you to a scholarship. The last category to search for scholarships is national companies. Companies like Coca-cola and Walmart offer many general scholarships. Other companies like Talbot’s, who offer scholarships to older women pursuing a degree, or the Dr Seuss scholarship, which offers $10,000 to a student studying art may be relevant to individual students. These and many others can be found in books available at the local library. Scholarships, Fellowships and Loans and Don’t Miss Out The Ambitious Student’s Guide To Financial Aid are just two of the books that have scholarship information. When researching you will discover that a scholarship search is very personal and has to be tailored to each individual. The most important thing to remember when searching is to not give up. There are many scholarships out there you can qualify for, but you must be persistent.

HORIZONS • News You Can Use

7

The Ins and Outs of Credit
BY ShAnnOn DUFF STAFF WRITER ver wonder why as students we apply for credit cards, and we get denied? Or if we try and put our cell phone plans in our names, we have to put down a two hundred dollar deposit? Something is wrong and it isn’t that we’re students, it’s not that were too young or too old; the problem is our credit. Credit is what will get you where you need to be in life, whether it’s buying or leasing a car, applying for loans or even applying to a major credit card. At a recent Introduction to Credit workshop here at HCC, Sheryle McMillian of Money Management International brought up a lot of key points on credit. At the age of 18, she said, you are eligible to obtain a credit card. “Sometimes a relative or a best friend can ask you to take out a cell phone in your name, or even put a bill in your name,” said McMillian. This can be good if you're only trying to help, but it can also be bad if that person

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Credit croc Photo courtesy of CNN Money Illustration: Wesley BedRosian

doesn’t pay the bill on time or accumulates an outstanding balance. If this happens, your balance can be transferred to a credit agency, and from there your credit score declines. Information on your credit usually stays on file for about 7 years. But if you file for

bankruptcy, it takes 10 years to clear. “Credit reports can be used in many ways by anyone. Employers may view and use a modified version of your credit report to help assess an applicant's’ character,” said McMillian. This means that if you don’t pay your

bills on time, this might show employers that you’re not a responsible person, therefore you are not reliable. McMillian also made it clear that as students we should shop around for the best interest rates because the higher the rate, the more you have to pay back to the bank. To establish credit, the maximum amount of cards you should have is two, so you’re not overwhelmed. Another aspect of credit is identity theft. This is when someone finds your personal information to open credit cards or for any other conventional reason. Mrs. McMillian called it “dumpster diving.” This is when people go through garbage to find out personal information that you haven’t disposed of correctly. I never really rip up my mail, I just throw it away. I never knew that people actually go through your mail and steal information,” said Julie Adrienne, a student at HCC whose identity was almost stolen. Adrienne attended the workshop and thought is was very useful. “I enjoyed it a lot, and I learned a lot about interest rates that I didn't know before,” she said.

BY LYDIA VISCARDI MEDIA COORDInATOR, HOUSATOnIC MUSEUM OF ART

All-Male Poetry Showcase at Housatonic Museum of Art
mind to this experience. Contact Shanna Melton, HMA Ambassador of Poetry, shatamel@gmail.comand www.PoeticSoulArts.net for information on the poetry showcase and Lydia Viscardi, lviscardi@hcc.commnet,edu for information about HMA.www.HousatonicMuseum. org Jamaal St John, a poet/spoken word artist who has spent fifteen years honing his lyrical style of old school hip-hop rhyme schemes and cunning wordplay, accentuated with relevant social, political, cultural and economic topics, performing on various stages and colleges throughout The United States and Canada. Highlights of his illustrious career include a five time Nuyorican Poets Café Grand Slam Finalist, the Nuyorican Slam King in 2000 and Grand Slam Champion in 2008, Captain of the Poetic Battles Slam Team at the World Famous Apollo Theatre in Harlem, NY, New Jersey Grand Slam Finalist in Montclair, New Jersey, six time winner of The Toronto International Poetry Slam, and two time winner of The Yale Peabody Slam and The James Marshall Slam. St John taped for Russell Simmons’ Def Jam Poets. He is the author of a chapbook of poetry entitled “The Horror & The Hype” and has three spoken word albums to his credit: “Enterlightenment,” “Won't Catch Me Runnin',” and “Southpaw Stance.” He is currently working on a book of quotations, a new chapbook of poems, and a brand new spoken word album. Frederick-Douglass Knowles II is a Poet, Professor, and Activist involved in community education, AIDS activism and the performing arts. He has competed on the 2001 and 2005 National Poetry Slam Teams and served as the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Connecticut Slam Team coach. His works have been featured in Poems on the Road to Peace: A Collective Tribute to Dr. King Volume 2. Peabody Museum of Natural History by Yale University Press, The East Haddam Stage Company of Connecticut, The 13th Annual Acacia Group Conference at California State University, Folio –a Southern Connecticut State University literary magazine, Lefoko –a Botswana, Southern Africa Hip-Hop magazine, Fingernails Across the Chalkboard: Poetry and Prose on HIV/AIDS from the Black Diaspora by Third World Press and his first collection of poetry, "Black Rose

he Housatonic Museum of Art (HMA) presents “In His Words,” an all-male poetry showcase, free and open to the public on December 5th, 2013 from 6:30 – 10:00pm, 900 Lafayette Blvd., Bridgeport, CT. “In His Words,” inspired by the all-female poetry showcase, “The Women Gather,” is an opporunity to highlight men who use poetry as a medium to express their views on love, relationships, fatherhood, society, body image, self-esteem, and many other topics. This group of highly respected poets includes Buddha LuvJonz, Phenix, Frederick Douglass and Jamaal St John, artists who have performed and been celebrated on the poetry scene for numerous years. In His Words takes away the assumptions about beliefs and provides truth as learned from the experiences of these men. This event will inspire discussions about manhood and broaden our perspective on the male experience today. There will be time to network with each artist at the end of our program. Bring love, light and an open

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City," by Author House. Frederick-Douglass is currently an Assistant Professor of English at Three Rivers Community College in Black Rose City, where he teaches Composition and Literature. Phenix, also known as Jason Hall, is a theater major at Housatonic Community College. He has appeared in many productions at HCC such as; “Spunk,” “Freak,” “Grandmas Alley,” and Rebirth's production “Timeline.” Phenix is the author of Rebirth Arts Collective’s play, “Letters from the Sky.” He is a spoken word artist, performing at various venues throughout the tri-state area and has recorded a spoken word album entitled “Yahweh’s Paintbrush” released through Xoul Musik Productions. Jason is also a radio show host and creator of Wpmr online radio show “Xoul Power.” Buddha LuvJonz, also known as Adrian Sayaphet is an Asian-American/ Laotian poet, DJ, and actor born and raised in Bridgeport, CT. He exudes an abundance of great energy through self-expression. Poetry gives him the ability to share his cultural and life experiences of being Asian in America; a dose of yellow soul to help diversify closedminds. His art defines who he is - an individual searching to make a difference through

Student Senate Gets Down to Business
BY JEnnA IACURCI STAFF WRITER he Student Senate met in the third floor Student Club Conference Room of Beacon Hall Thursday, November 14, 2013. Club members gathered around in a circle, laughing, joking and catching up with each other, but as soon as the clock struck 2:05 p.m., President and Chair Claudia Maldonado banged her gavel and it was down to business. In a very formal fashion, the meeting was called to order and attendance was taken, accounting for every student senator present. Acting Director of Student Activities

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and Club Advisor Kelly K. Hope started the meeting off with her report, bringing to everyone’s attention important matters that needed to be discussed, such as advocating for a grant for the National Society of Leadership and Success that would help cut the one-time induction cost for students interested in joining the organization, and bringing motivational speaker Michael Miller to the Winter Summit conference in Waterbury January 3 so that HCC student leaders can benefit. Other future activities were addressed, like Operation PI by the League of Adventurers Club that aims to collect goods (clothing and food mostly) for people in the Philippines, the Hot Chocolate Cocoa Bar on November 20, and the Wings and Karaoke Night

on November 21. These senators are elected annually by the student body. Their mission is to act as a forum for student representation and to provide a setting where student activities can be discussed. It allows students with interests in being part of the political community or honing their leadership skills “to promote good citizenship and harmonious relationships throughout the college and local community.” These senators take their duties very seriously, because their decisions impact the student body and their actions make opportunities for HCC students happen, especially because they also allocate money from the Student Activities Fund to clubs that need it to host events.

At one point Hope noted the day-dreaming daze of certain senators and interrupted the discussion to tell everybody to “wake up” because there were important issues at hand. But by the end of the hour and fifteen minute meeting, progress was made and all issues were debated and resolved. Acting Vice President and Co-Chair Kenneth Rotunno, Jr. urges all HCC students to join these important meetings and voice their opinions on various topics, including what sort of activities they would like to see happen on campus, as these meetings are always open to the public even if you are not a member. The next official meeting will be held Thursday, November 21 promptly at 2:05 pm in Beacon Hall room 317D.

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HORIZONS • Opinions

Give Our Furry Friends A Chance
BY DAvE WEIDEnFELLER EDITOR-In-ChIEF hankfully I have never had to personally deal with it, but I know many who have, most recently my friend Danny Acosta of Linen Avenue in Bridgeport. The issue at hand is careless drivers mowing down not just people but people’s pets. The last thing on our minds when rushing to class or work is our furry

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back in May (the second accident involving a child in the same month, it is no wonder that I myself have personally counted 48 dogs and cats lying dead on the side of Bridgeport city streets since the beginning of October. “It’s really just about paying attention, and if you do hit somebody’s pet, have a heart and stop,” explained Acosta. Diamond, Acosta’s dog, is one of the lucky ones. She survived with serious injuries to her leg and even lost two
Photo 1 By David Weidenfeller Maribell lays dead after being run over by a careless motorist in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport.

manual given by the Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles. Do I sound condescending, possibly, because to see any life harmed by carelessness is unacceptable? Here are a few tips: 1. Leave yourself enough time to get to where you need to go. Rushing can distract you from paying attention to the road and to the speed at which you are traveling. 2. Keep it off the road. City and suburban roads are meant for transportation, not impressing your friends with your car mods and racing “skills.” The law calls it reckless driving. 3. Obey the speed limit; again it’s the law, but it’s also common sense, 4. Remember that should you hit an animal, have a heart. It has just as much right to live as the rest of us. If it is a pet, make an effort to find the owner or call the police. Life isn’t all about you. Don’t avoid it. Take responsibility for yourself. Remember for many a pet is another member of the family who depends on us to keep them safe. In my eight years of animal advocacy, I have seen first hand how devastated people can be at the loss of a pet to reckless or careless people, especially children. Next time you feed or walk your dog, think about Acosta, or Nichol, remember Diamond or this kitten I saw get hit in my neighborhood who never got a chance to do all the silly things that cats get to do with their owners.

Photo 2 By Nicole Emmerich Diamond patched up and healing from her hit and run on Linen Ave In bridgeport CT.

friends, who occasionally get away and run into the street. With the rash of hit and runs in Bridgeport, such as the 6-year-old girl and her aunt who were almost killed

teeth when, Acosta said, the car “actually when over her, she was under the car, my friend was almost hit too.” Diamond, pictured here with her yellow cast, certainly

is lucky. What the driver was doing when heading how Linen Avenue that day Acosta and girlfriend Nichol Emmerich, who also witnessed the incident, will never know. “People should be texting, drunk, or doing anything to take their eyes of the road,” commented Emmerich. “The high cost of medical care doesn’t stop with people. We’re having a lot of trouble paying for her [Diamond’s] medical costs, but she is a part of our family so we’ll make do.” I agree I feel that there is too much focus on rushing around, driving like every day is a NASCAR event. It’s obvious that accidents will happen, but to avoid unnecessary harm there are simple steps people can take to minimize the chance. There is no special manual or course. All you need to know is what was taught to you in driving school or the

College Doesn’t have to Be Just a Dream
BY NICOLE LAZARIUk STAFF WRITER t about fifteen I started to realize that while I liked school and got good grades, I wasn’t going to compete with athletes and geniuses for scholarships. I didn’t think it was a good idea to get a loan because I would eventually have to pay it off. My reasoning was I don’t have money now, I’m not going to have it later. I started to believe it would be near impossible for me to go to college. Watching the documentary, “First Generation: The Movie,” that was shown at HCC, I realized that I wasn’t alone in these feelings and it’s a common sentiment if you’re the first person in your family to go to college. Now I know I had options. I just wasn’t aware of them, and my parents didn’t know how to help. If only I would have known

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about tutoring, SAT preparation, financial aid, grants, and scholarships that are available. Yes, school is expensive, but it’s worth it. My father had the experience of college not working out for him. I think for this reason, although he saw the value in it, he

might not understand how overwhelming classes can be, especially with having to work. They may think college is just not possible. It reminds me of a line from the song “Mediocre Bad Guys” by Jack Johnson, “...Only know what they have/And they

I realized that I wasn’t alone in these feelings and it’s a common sentiment if you’re the first person in your family to go to college.
didn’t want me to get my hopes up. Students may have parents who have struggled financially and know the reality of how hard the world can be. They may get the message that you have to grow up, be realistic, help your family, and support yourself. The irony is going to college will give you a better chance of doing all those things. Parents who haven’t gone to college have only what they’ve seen.” I’ve noticed that doctors often have children who become doctors and I think it’s because from a young age they see it is a very possible reality. The same goes for believing you can go to college. What was seen in the documentary was all four kids had what it took to go to school, but Dontay was the only one that didn’t give up on his full dream of going

to a four year university with full financial aid. His mother genuinely wanted him to go and he had a counselor that helped him with the technical aspects of getting the financial aid. The other three kids lacked support and the knowledge of what was possible. After the movie there was a discussion. The faculty there wanted to know what they could do to keep students is school. I was reminded of the movie “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” based on the book by Betty Smith. The girl in the movie tells her father of the inspiration and advice her teacher has given her, “She said I’d have to work hard. She said imagination wasn’t any good if, you were just a pipe dreamer about it…” It’s that combination of encouragement and practical advice the teacher gives her that is key. As teachers, you can pass on the knowledge that school is worth the effort and also inform them on how to get to it and through it.

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HORIZONS • Opinions

9

How I Became A Smartphone Zombie
BY NEIL KnOX OPInIOnS EDITOR ot buying into the all the hype over the coming Zombie Apocalypse? Well, for all you disbelievers out there, just take a quick look around. They’re already here, and there may even be one in your own living room. If there’s a smartphone around, the odds are pretty good that close by, staring at the display screen, a family member of yours may already have been turned into one of them. It happened in my home. Unbeknownst to me, I was witnessing the transformation firsthand. I was becoming a two fisted Zombie no less, one smartphone just wasn’t enough. And heaven forbid if there wasn’t one close by within arm’s reach. Yikes! The search was on. Panic set in, butterflies, followed by that empty hollow feeling you get in your gut when you just know you’ve misplaced a $50 dollar bill. It had gone from a simple flip up phone with a display screen so small I could barely read it to a two-phone habit overnight. Suddenly I found myself signing up for upgrades I didn’t need, adding lines to my contract I didn’t need. I live alone! But the worst was yet to come. No sooner would I have my phone set to be so smart and so extraordinarily up to date when suddenly a newer gadget would hit the market and off I’d go to the nearest outlet to get mine. Money didn’t matter. I could live without food for a week. Survivor Man had nothing on me. And then I heard about Siri, well that was it, the beginning of the end for me. A noticeable change set in, the journey to the land of the undead had begun. My family saw it before I did, of course. Isn’t that always the way? An intervention soon followed. “Dad, at my wedding you hardly left the

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table. You shortened the father daughter dance with me because you said you were expecting an important message from your job, you lied to me. When I saw you go back to the table and start scrolling through your Facebook page I knew something had to be done, I couldn’t recognize my own father, and that silly grin on your face all the time, you began to look like an emoticon. That’s why we are all here today dad, you have to get help.” It required a strong, persistent effort on my part to break the habit. It wasn’t easy, giving up a two phone habit overnight. Cold sweats ensued, a sense of dread crept over me, followed by the horrific nightmares,one of which had me cornered by a group of closed fists with their thumbs turned up yelling “like me.” That was the final straw, something had to be done. I tried my best to kick the habit cold but that never lasted more than a day or two. How could I go on disconnected from the rest of humanity? What would become of me now, out of touch with all the inane texts and posts that previously filled my day? How would I ever manage to keep up with the world around me and all its inanity? I’ll never make it! Doctor help! Something is wrong with me, it seems I can’t make it down the hallway without checking my phone. I can’t go on without it. I’ll never make it! “There’s no easy way to break this to you sir but you have become what doctors in my field now refer to as a Smartphone Zombie. Yes, I know it sounds extreme but over the past ten years we’ve noticed a sharp increase across the nation in cases like yours. The symptoms appear suddenly. Walking with your head down, bumping into walls and people, the sudden appearance of lumps on your head, unexplained time gaps, wondering why there are expletives coming from the person’s mouth you’ve just rammed into in the hallway.

You become oblivious to the reality going on around you. Soon you are lost in the world of the display screen and very few people find their way back out of it. Just take a look around you. It’s happening at an unprecedented rate these days. We in the medical profession are at our wit’s end

out of place in that little room at first, but soon I realized that this was my only hope for salvation and a return to normalcy. It took time. After all,, nothing good happens overnight, but I eventually made my way back to reality. I only keep one phone with me now, and I take precautions

Smartphone Apocalypse Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons @PaulLLester

because of it. There is no medicine available, though. It’s going to require a concerted effort on your part. You must come back into the real world, slowly at first, but it can be accomplished. There is a twelve step program for people like you though. Here’s the 800 number. Give them a call.” So off I went to my first meeting of SA, that’s right SmartPhones Anonymous. I was amazed at the amount of people crammed into that little church basement. Apparently the doctor was right, I wasn’t the only one afflicted. I listened to the harrowing stories, one poor woman was caught by her family stashing phones throughout her house in the most unimaginable places. Her phone bill and data plan charges were up to five hundred dollars a month, her family had had enough and threatened to disown her if she didn’t get help. I felt a bit

to make sure it isn’t of the smart variety Why tempt fate right? So my life these days is basically much more focused. No more walking into people and walls, no more resentful looks from people I inadvertently bumped into, but more importantly I now have extra time on my hands to keep up with the Kardashians. So the next time you stroll across the campus green, or are making your way through the hallways, or on the staircases on your way to your next class, and you see someone looking down at that display screen while tripping down the stairs, or you get rammed into by a fellow student with a faraway look in their eyes, just take a moment to remember that it’s really not their fault. They are just another helpless Smartphone Zombie, and be glad it is not you!

Can’t Read My Monopoly Face
BY CAROLInA TRInIDAD
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to pretend we are investing in the stock market. I personally have no clue whatsoever regarding economics, however; I generally aim for the larger digits and just do it. No one needs to know my lack of wall-street-knowledge, therefore; I put on my monopoly face and buy the property with no regrets. Monopolers, on the other hand –I am sure I just made that word up, but you get the point – are very meticulous about their investments. They were taught to “save for rainy days,” and refuse to engage in any financial activity whatsoever –it’s only a game peeps! If they could, I am sure they would have the bank hold

their paper money in the attempt to collect seeds of interest –no pun intended. The second secret for not loosing your cool during a game is to put on your monopoly face. So what! if you picked up the card that sends you straight to jail without passing Go or collecting $200. Just read the card and put your game piece in jail. Do not pay $50 to get out. If you don’t make a stink about it, chances are they will forget you are in jail by the time the game goes around. Play it cool. This of course works best with games with a larger crowd. Go ahead! Give it a try put on your Monopoly Face!

Illustration by Carolina Trinidad

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10

The Student Debt Crisis: Unusual Suspects The Largest Hand In Your Pocket

HORIZONS • Opinions

BY NEIL KnOX OPInIOnS EDITOR

iding behind a curtain of misinformation, erroneous statistics and public relations campaigns designed to mislead people lurks the real source of the student debt crisis. The institutions we chose to enroll in, in an attempt to compensate for a reduction in the amount of aid they now receive on a state and federal level, are loading the dice and engaging in what amounts to price fixing. Students faced with the biggest decision they have had to make up to this point in their lives are caught in the middle. Many past students who discovered too late that they had signed on with various predatory lending organizations,such as Sallie Mae, willingly acknowledge their part and accept responsibility for it, the impact is being felt economically years after graduation. Prospective new students, many of whom are at the tender ages of 18 or 19, in search of sources to meet the enormous tuition costs, are about to take a trip down a trip down a twisting, turning road loaded with trap doors and shifty used car salesmen peddling some of the most prohibitive and restrictive loan agreements. The unfortunate part for most past students is they would have needed a college degree in economics or business law just to understand the small print on the loan agreements. In too many cases though the actual bottom line, the who, and the why college loans are so outrageously overpriced eludes them. For at the end of this road of deception lays the real culprit, their alma mater. As Lyndsay Greene, a 24-year-old graduate of the University of Alabama said in a recent article in Rolling Stone magazine, “I was 19 years old, I didn’t understand what was going on but my mother was there and she signed, and now it was my turn, so I did.”“Six years later, she says, “I am nearly $45,000 in debt...If I had known what I was doing, I would never have gone to college.” Danielle Ivan-Pall, a graduate of Fordham University recently told Horizons, “ No one ever took the time to sit down with me or my parents and explain exactly what this all would end up looking like down the road. My loan payments are still astronomical and now there are two new mouths to feed on top of it all. I second guess myself constantly.” Colleges and universities that are building luxury hotel style dormitory facilities,

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extravagant athletic complexe,s along with any other type of amusement park features designed to entice the impressionable recent high school graduates, are all essentially being subsidized by federal student loan programs. There was a time when parents alone were responsible for footing the cost of a college education. If a family could not afford the cost or a student wasn’t fortunate

revamped loan programs now available schools that were once viewed as inaccessible to low and middle income families are rushing to open their doors to all comers. Throw into that mix private lenders with less than honorable resumes resulting in a financial toxic formula that has been created leaving too many students buried in debt before they graduate. Take into consideration the number

Illustration by David Enriquez

enough to receive scholarship backing college was out of the question. The primary source of income for most colleges back then was coming from the donations of private benefactors along with corporate sponsorship and tuition. Those contributions continue, of course, but because of easily accessible money from the newly

of available degree-granting institutions in the U.S , which have grown by 33% since 1980. The number of two-year and four-year colleges has grown by at least the same margin and, here’s the big one; non-degree-granting schools have gone from virtual non-existence in 1990 to over 2,000 today. While many may consider

statistics boring, these numbers play a big part in the student debt crisis in America. The market has grown exponentially, leaving prospective students, in most cases, uninformed and at the mercy of a new army of marketing sharks whose primary purpose is to get their fair share of that golden goose’s egg in D.C. A prospective student’s well being is the furthest thing on their minds.The advertisements are everywhere and unavoidable. It seems as if today you can earn a degree in almost any profession. We’ve all heard of them, those late night TV commercials that implore you to get off the couch and make something out of yourself. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it has created an entire cottage industry of ‘fly by night” schools, or as viewed by many professional educators, “diploma mills.” In order to take part in the feast of available money, a school must become an accredited institution. Most on this list are viable, legitimate learning institutions, but there are many that are in the very least questionable. As a result of a lack of proper oversight in determining exactly which schools should be on the list almost all of them qualify. Harvard, Yale and places where you can get a Doctorate in Theology by doing 10 online classes all qualify to be a part of the government’s lending programs. Those charged with overseeing which school’s qualify are nongovernmental agencies who are heavily influenced by the education industry and unregulated lobbyists. One would think the Department of Education would have a hand in this process, but it does not. As a result, almost all so called schools qualify, creating a feeding frenzy that is leaving tomorrow’s generation with tremendous burden. While competition drives any marketplace, it’s a basic premise of capitalism if there is an endless supply of loan money available for students it just doesn’t matter how many schools are out there, so there is no incentive for institutions to lower tuition costs. These factors have all been responsible for creating a Frankenstein monster that allows universities, community colleges, trade schools, along with other “specialty schools,” to raise their tuition costs on to the students without proper consideration and virtually unabated. If you are not a top notch athletic prospect or if you miss the scholarship boat and come from a family that cannot carry the strain of tuition costs, there are options. Tread very carefully through those options and do the required research to avoid the mistakes too many students have made before you.

Father-Daughter Relationship
BY AShLEY SEETOO STAFF WRITER irst Generation: The Film was a very relatable and inspiring story that can send a message to a variety of people,whether they’re in college, high school, or even intermediate school. However, there was one issue that stirred up some feelings within me. Jessica, one of the students in the film, had some financial issues and struggled with affording college. She worked at her family diner with her mom and succeeded in the high school she attended. Jessica needed help with money, and tried to imply that to her father. She didn’t have enough courage to ask her father straight out that

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she needed financial support, but she tried to state it subtly, and hoped her father got the hint. Of course, he didn’t get it and ended up not helping her with anything. Jessica’s father said that everyone on his side of the family had to work for what they had

going to have children, you have to take responsibility for them and understand that they need support in almost every stage of their life. My father left when I was around three or four, and I never had help from him. The

My advice to those included is to never give up on your dreams no matter what financial issues you have because there is always someway to reach your goals.
and basically told Jessica that she needed to do the same. I was outraged by what Jessica’s father did because she was only in high school at the time, so she had a lot of stress on her shoulders already. I believe that if you’re first time I met him was when I was 16 years old in Florida at my uncle’s house. My mother was the one who helped me throughout the years, financially and personally with my problems I faced. When I finally met my father, I had a lot of

resentment towards him because he was never there to help me with anything. I know how Jessica feels in this situation, and it hurt me to feel that my father didn’t want to be there for me while I grew up. To see another father not help their daughter out on something so important to their life enrages me because I don’t want someone else to feel how I felt. Unfortunately, many kids and teens grow up without family help and support, and it’s a struggle for them to be on their own. My advice to those included is to never give up on your dreams no matter what financial issues you have because there is always someway to reach your goals. You just have to keep pushing and do your best at whatever life hands you. When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.

HORIZONS • Arts & Entertainment

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arts & entertainment e
Is This Popularity Surge Causing Deaths?
BY AShLEY SEETOO STAFF WRITER usic and drugs have had a long term relationships, dating back to the days of Led Zeppelin, Kurt Cobain, and many other older bands/musicians. Whether we like it or not, drugs have played a major role in the music scene and are still doing so today. But do we really need drugs to enjoy music? It’s gotten the point where the drug culture has overtaken the music environment and people are dying much more frequently now as a result. In the 90’s, Kurt Cobain, along with his band Nirvana, were one of the biggest acts on the music scene; they had more fans then they could count. His music was known worldwide and hit home to a lot of people. In 1994, Cobain supposedly died of heroin overdose. What kind of example was this to his fans? Many of whom were impressionable young people and aspiring musicians themselves. How did they take such horrible news? This incident might have added to the uprising of drugs at music events and generation after generation, the numbers get higher and higher. On August 31, 2013, two people died from reported MDMA overdose. They attended the three day music festival Electric Zoo on Randall’s Island in New York. MDMA is listed as another form of ecstasy by the NIDA, is now a days called “Molly”. Due to the deaths, the last day of Electric Zoo was cancelled, leaving thousands of ticket holders outraged. Tony Mancuso, a student here at HCC,

Music and Drugs:

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attended Electric Zoo and spoke out about his feelings on the cancellation. “I think cancelling the last day of Ezoo [Electric Zoo] wasn’t fair to everyone who was there and sober. I’m sorry for the people who died, but it’s not okay to do drugs irresponsibly and make other people suffer for it,” Mancuso says. Drug use at music events is so expected nowadays that promoters, owners of the

let me go through. I had so many pockets on me that they didn’t look at. I could’ve had a gun, drugs, literally anything in my pockets and they wouldn’t know. This is why events get shut down because people are able to bring in drugs and sell them in the venues,” Casey says. Casey said he’s upset about the amount of drug use at these events. “Why is it now that a lot of the people

Photo Credit: Jordan Loyd for ElectricZooFestival.com

venues and security at concerts all seem to turn a blind eye to it. This causes individuals to take advantage of their freedom. Mike Casey, another student at HCC, goes to many music events and shares this disappointment. “I once went to an event where the security just patted my sides and

who go to music events only go for drugs? I go to these events to listen, enjoy the environment and have fun. It’s scary seeing drugged up people hurting themselves and others,” he added. Unfortunately, artists themselves seem to be encouraging the use of drugs at

music events. Big time rap artists Tyga, Wiz Khalifa and Mally Mal came out with a song together called “Molly”. The lyrics go something like this, “Hi, I’m looking for Molly, I’ve been searching everywhere and I can’t seem to find Molly, Molly, Molly, Molly…” Some may say that “Molly” is being looked at as a girl named Molly, but some see it as the drug itself. The fans of these artists are being influenced by these songs and are probably thinking it’s okay to do drugs. According Rolling Stone, Diplo, a DJ that played a set at the Electric Zoo Festival had some firm opinions on what’s happening. “We’re such a conservative culture that we’d rather not talk about the things kids want to do, even though they’re going to do them anyway.” We’d rather ignore it to solve the problem. In Florida, where I’m from, drugs have been a part of club culture since day one,” he said. Due to the deaths of those who attended Electric Zoo, TomorrowWorld (an upcoming event in Atlanta) has collaborated with DanceSafe, a non-profit drug education group to help concertgoers avoid drug overdoses and give information on drugs and alcohol prevention. “Molly” is getting more popular and is easily altered with other drugs. As stated before, drugs and music have been in association with each other for decades. It could possibly be that these music artists are greatly influencing their fans and sending them the wrong messages. Dance-music fans should be responsible when attending these events and aware of their surroundings or else the consequences can be fatal.

Housatonic Museum of Art Peer Docent Program Has Some Big Changes
BY BREnnA MCInTYRE STAFF WRITER he Housatonic Museum of Art Peer Docent Program is a 14-year-old program that aims to teach Bridgeport students about art and art history and how to look at art in a critical way. For the first time ever, the program is focusing only on architecture and the Glass House, an art museum in New Canaan, Connecticut, is involved. Christa Carr from the Glass House says, “... Over the past year, the Glass House has increased outreach efforts with local and regional organizations to more fully engage with diverse audiences and expand educational opportunities at the site. The

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opportunity to partner with an established and well respected program fits perfectly within these initiatives.” One thing the students will be learning about is John Taylor Arms: A Selection of Prints from the Housatonic Collection. This features etchings of Gothic architecture in France, England, and Mexico by John Taylor Arms. In addition, the students will be studying Bridgeport architecture including The Barnum Museum, McLevy Hall, and The Arcade. According to Lydia Viscardi, the Museum Educator, in a press release, The Peer Docent Program“ ...ultimately provides them with an opportunity to develop visual, analytical, and leadership skills that will assist them across the academic disciplines and throughout their lifetimes.” Janet Zamparo, the Curator of

Education for the program, says, “... In addition to art enrichment, and the building critical thinking, public speaking and leadership skills, this year’s program adds the element civic pride. The students will learn about their own city’s rich history and beautiful architecture, things they might not have known. Learning and knowing could make them proud of where they live and of where they come..” Doreth Hudson has been involved with the peer docent program for over eight years and says, “This program is important because it exposes many students to works of art that they would not have been introduced to in the classroom. They also get to learn about the large collection of art that is available to the public at the Housatonic Museum of Art. The program helps the students to build confidence and self esteem

and trains them to be responsible, effective leaders. They also get the opportunity to visit Museums and historical sites.” This year’s focus on architecture is a significant change that Hudson describes as“very refreshing. It has taken us out of the museum into the streets of downtown Bridgeport where the students will get a chance to study the architecture of their own city.” Carr hopes that the students, “come away from the program empowered with knowledge about the architecture of their city, Bridgeport and of Connecticut in a larger sense.” Hudson is sure that, “...the students will be able to learn a lot about the history and architecture of Bridgeport and develop a sense of pride in the city in which they live.”

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HORIZONS • Arts & Entertainment

ALAS Hosts a Dia De Los Muertos Celebration
BY BREnnA MCInTYRE STAFF WRITER or the first time ever at Housatonic, the Association of Latin American Students, A.L.A.S, hosted a Dia De Los Muertos Celebration on Thursday, October, 31 in the student life room in Beacon Hall. Jailene Cervas, secretary of A.L.A.S, explains, “ Dia De Los Muertos is where we celebrate their [a loved one’s] life...we are celebrating with them in a way.” Students were giving out masks depicting traditional Sugar Skull designs to everyone as soon as they walked through the door to get them in the spirit of the holiday. The room was filled with festive decorations, including brightly colored paper and yellow and blue balloons, that are traditionally at Dia De Los Muertos celebrations. However, the most notable decoration was the altar. The altar was explained during an

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Photo Credit: Isadora Lopez

informative Powerpoint presentation during the event. People bring photos of a deceased loved one that they want to honor and bring offerings, Ofrendas, such as fruits chocolate, liquor, and food that the loved ones enjoyed. The way in which the holiday is celebrated was also detailed in the presentation. The first day of the three day holiday is October 31, and that is when all the supplies are gathered and the altar is set up. November 1 is the day in which everyone celebrates the lives of deceased children and November 2 is the last day of the holiday where the focus is on deceased loved ones who were adults. After the presentation, A.L.A.S shared some delicious Mexican pastries and desserts with everyone in attendance. A.L.A.S president, Margarita Llinet, says they hosted this event,”...to explain what Dia De Los Muertos is.” Llinet continues that A.L.A.S has events like this to, “...let ourselves be known to everyone.”

Happy Thanksgiving

From the Horizons Staff

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