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From Base Life to Basic Life ..................................................................3 By r auL rodriguez senior staff writer How Life Can Change From One Day to the Next ...............................3 By a rayansy garCia staff writer Where’s the Fruit?! .................................................................................4 By greg BLaCkweLL staff writer College Students’ Views on the Voting Process ....................................4 By k iMBerLy Jennings staff writer Nomophobia-A Rising Addiction...........................................................5 By Ciara Lewis staff writer HPV Vaccine: To Wait or Vaccinate? ....................................................5 By M ary e. a nderson senior staff writer Priceless Opportunity: The Honors Program ......................................6 By sandrene foster staff writer Literary Club’s Enriching Thursday Afternoons ................................6 By david weidenfeLLer editor Kindergarteners at HCC ........................................................................7 By k aren d. fernandez staff writer Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation Inspires HCC Students ...........................................................................7 By MiChaeL Bandy staff writer The Moving of Housatonic Community College ..................................8 By Peter Murszewski staff writer Limited HCC Athletics But Other Opportunities Available .......................................................8 By austin vaughn senior staff writer A Balancing Act.......................................................................................9 By Lauren weinstoCk senior staff writer Joking as a Method of Coping ..............................................................9 By Laura gustafson editor For the Love of Debt ...............................................................................10 By a Manda d. friot staff writer Moving On ...............................................................................................10 By Peter Murszewski staff writer HCC’s Academic Support Center Can Help Students ........................11 By soMaLi saMueLs staff writer What is that? ...........................................................................................12 By Jay LederMan staff writer Attraction to the Walls ...........................................................................12 By k rystLe PiCCinino staff writer So You Wanna Go to the Show? ............................................................13 By david weidenfeLLer editor Open Mic Night Brings HCC Artists Front and Center..................................................14 By saMantha deLgado editor HCC and UNH Partner for First Transfer Tour .................................14 By Brandon t. BisCegLia ContriButor Career Fair an Arresting Experience ...................................................14 By MiChaeL Bandy staff writer Amazin’ Mets No More? ........................................................................15 By Chris gaLLi senior staff writer Spring Training Overview .....................................................................15 By austin vaughn & Chris gaLLi senior staff writers No Title = No Loyalty? ............................................................................16 By Jose a. rosas senior staff writer
Editor-in-ChiEf Lovanda “dava” Brown Advisor Professor steve Mark Editors toM CahiLL saMantha deLgado Laura gustafson deB torreso ashLey weLfare dave weidenfeLLer WEb dEvElopEr adaM BeLLo stAff WritErs MiChaeL Bandy eryn BarCia JuLia Bowers JaneLLe Cook karen fernandez sandrene foster aManda friot arayansy garCia soraya garCia-saCCo kiMBerLy Jennings Peter Murszewski destiny nieves krystLe PiCCinino seMhar saMueLs soMaLi saMueLs Chadran sMith Jeff sPenCer sEnior stAff WritErs Mary anderson ashLey CaMPBeLL stePhanie CastiLLo Chris gaLLi JaMes harLow keri-ann JaCkson Jay LederMan Ciara Lewis rauL rodriguez Jose rosas eriC swanson dana souza austin vaughn Lauren weinstoCk Contributor Brandon t. BisCegLia distribution And promotion CoordinAtor BoBBi Brown Art And dEsign dirECtor aBeLardo PuLido dEsign Advisor Professor andy Pinto
Cover Photo by Abelardo Pulido
HORIZONS • News
From Base Life to Basic Life
by rAul rodriguEz sEnior stAff WritEr
he variety of people in this school is pretty astounding when you take a look around. People of different backgrounds and places come to college to begin the “project of life.” One such type of person trying to recreate themselves in college are people who have seen the type of life many of us could only read about in magazines. These people are war veterans, and they have some of the most intricately woven stories of coming to college to mold their life into what they want. The idea that people who have fought for the country are going to the same school as me is compelling. What was it like? How do they feel? What do they think of the food? Iraqi war veteran and Horizons writer Chris Galli said the biggest difference was that his life went from 90 mph back to 10 mph. He used to have something to do constantly, and now he’s just sitting around waiting for excitement. He did not prepare for school in any way. He was a month out of the army when he came back to school. His reason for going was simple. “the Army pays me,” he said jokingly, “but of course I need to succeed.” When he came back to school he said a big difference that surprised him was the amount of freedom compared to high school. This is a man who has not been to school in six years. The idea of being free and being able to leave and choose which
courses to take or not, surprised him. Eunice Ramirez works at HCC in the registration office but also talks to war vets who are coming to this college for extra needed assistance. She is also an Army veteran, having worked eight years for her country as a war medic inside the ambulance platoon.
She was part of the 118th Area Support Battalion from Newington Connecticut. Her exact job title was, Trooper Medical Clinic, part of the quick response force. Her specific duties were to gather the injured than needed to be “taken care of.” She came back to Connecticut once her time was up and is currently on her way to becoming an Occupational Therapy Assistant at HCC.
The field will train her to help people who have been in accidents by retraining them in basic functions like picking up a glass of water to drink, or tying their shoelaces. Ramirez admits coming back from war was great but somewhat of a challenge. She had the feeling of isolation and was diagnosed with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder). The mindset of being in a war is “You don’t think; you just do,” she said. Being back now she sees how everything is more balanced. Life is calmer. The only issue now is that she is more “hyper vigilant.” Whenever she sees an issue on the road when she is driving to work for example, she is the first out of her car to see what happened, and knows exactly how to resolve the situation. Paramedics and police officers know her by name, as she is that persistent. The only issue is that now she cannot help but scan the perimeter constantly wherever she is inside her car; she sees it as both her strength and weakness. The reason she is able to talk to veterans who are becoming students is because they have that “instant blood” as she puts it. “We’ve all walked in their boots,” Ramirez said. Her final words to veterans who are interested in joining HCC are, “Don’t ever think you are alone. You’ve served your country. Let your country serve you.” If you are a war veteran seeking academic guidance at HCC, or need someone to communicate with, call the veterans office on campus at 203-332-5087.
Illustration By Abelardo Pulido
How Life Can Change From One Day to the Next
by ArAyAnsy gArCiA stAff WritEr
he angles in which people view the world can be caused by dramatic events that happen at some point in their life. According to the American Psychological Association, “People do not all react the same to traumatic and stressful life events.” Every individual builds their journey to resilience in distinct ways. Whether it’s a childhood experience, a car accident, coming out as homosexual, a long term illness, being a parent, natural disasters, terrorist attacks, or just an empty feeling, the lens in which peo-
ple view the world can change forever. “My life changed when I finally came out the closet,” HCC student Jasmine Rivera, 20, said. “People started treating me different―my family started treating me different. Living life as someone you don’t wanna be is the hardest thing. As a homosexual, it isn’t easy at all.” “It changed me now just because I’m more comfortable with being me,” added Rivera. “It was very difficult being in a shell, and now that I’m out I’m who I really am. Only thing is everyone is always looking at me and kids are confused whether I’m a guy or girl―and my family are somewhat having a hard time dealing with it.”
How a person may have viewed the world then, will be different to how they view it now if they’ve experienced any life-altering event. But who hasn’t experienced something in their life that has changed them in some form? “My life changed when I became a mother,” Maria Ramirez, 25, of Bridgeport said. “I can’t just think about myself anymore, I have to think about my kid too.” “Being a mom changed my life because I feel like it forced me to put what I really wanted to become in life on the back burner,” Ramirez said. “But being a good mom is about doing what’s gonna benefit your kids and not yourself―but hey that’s
the choice I made when I had a baby and I’m fine with it because I love my baby and I wouldn’t trade him for anything in the world.” As the American Psychological Association puts it in their brochure on “The Road to Resilience,” we can all learn from our past. “On a river, you may encounter rapids, turns, slow water, and shallows. As in life, the changes you experience affect you differently along the way.” Mental recuperation from the things that happen in our lifetime, can unfold the kind of person we become, and will always be the biggest challenge people face. What’s changed your life? ―
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HORIZONS • News
What are HCC Students Eating?
by grEg blACKWEll stAff WritEr
Where’s the Fruit?!
s you zip into Housatonic multi layered parking garage, your stomach growls with a vengeance. As you pull into your trusty parking space on mauve floor, you check your watch and decide you would fancy grabbing a quick bite from the school cafeteria. As you walk into the cafeteria laden with books, listening to your watch ticking malevolently, all you manage to see are doughnuts and pastries; it seems like you’re off to a rough start already. Our cafeteria may be a quick and easy route to purchase food on the go, but there is the slight dilemma of students not choosing more beneficial and adequately health based foods on hand in the reliable feast hall. In 2006, a study conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and prevention found that 28.5 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 39 were obese.
If you count those who are overweight or After questioning cashier and student, Jenobese, it leaps to 57 percent. “Eh that’s not nifer Valentin, she notified me, “there are too bad,” you might say. However bear in healthy items we have here such as salads mind that in 1994, the obesity rate was only at 15%. Dealing with work and school is hard enough, and it’s even tougher if you can’t manage to fit through your classroom door, partly due to some of the poor health choices in the cafeteria. One reason for this lack of healthy foods is due in part to the presentation aspect. Walking into the Cheeseburger and french fries from the Beacon Hall Cafeteria cafeteria in Beacon Photo By Abelardo Pulido Hall, the first items that pop out on the menu have a significant and fruits. However most students seem to amount of cholesterol, fat and calories. make a beeline for the deep fryer.”
The fact that these foods are not so easy to spot upon the menu interface causes students to make poor decisions when it comes to their eating habits. Student Candy Reinoso says, “I don’t really see many people eating healthy meals or snacks in the cafeteria. Most of them eat fries and chicken fingers; stuff like that. I usually have a nice grilled chicken cobb salad, though.” During the day it is highly important to ingest the proper nutrients as it impacts your health, your body, your focus, and studies show it makes you a happier person in general. “Students will eat what they want to eat. Most of the time they regret it later, but there’s not much you can do about changing their habits,” adds Reinoso. Although the college cafeteria may include a few healthy items available, a vast majority of the students still partake in the high caloric intake highly unhealthy foods that make one quite sluggish during classes and are not beneficial to a successful day.
College Students’ Views on the Voting Process
by KimbErly JEnnings stAff WritEr
he election of 2008 put a mark in history books. For the first time an African American was elected to office in the United States and half of young adults did not have an effect on this historical election because they did not vote. The college population (ages 18-24) were not active participants. College students like you and I are new to the voting process and face a great obstacle. You adults are given a civic right to vote, at age 18, but are not given any direction or information about the very confusing process. When you turn 18, people will tell you to vote. This is easier said than done for a young adult, according to most college students. Many families do not discuss politics at the dinner table. Nicole O’ Donnell is one of the few families that does talk about politics with her family. O’Donnell discusses the election with her father. They discuss who’s running, who he likes and who he plans on voting for. Yet the voting process is complicated, as O’Donnell acknowledged. “I didn’t know what to fill out,” she said about the first time she went to vote. The voting process can be very discouraging to younger adults if they do not have someone to guide them through the process. According to the U.S. Census, 47 percent of 18 to 24 year olds voted in the 2004 presidential election. Less than half of eligible voters in that age group went to the polls, and it was the largest voter group of youth voters since 1972. Jennifer Capra, a 26-year-old student
at HCC is one of the 53% of non-voters in 2004. She didn’t take the time to vote, she said, because “I didn’t know what was going on. I didn’t know who to vote for or follow any of the election, it didn’t seem important at the time.” Capra is not alone. Other college students do not follow politics because it seems boring that it does not directly relate to that population. A lot of campaign coverage includes feuds between the campaigners, campaigners that are uninteresting and have no relationship with young adults. The boredom and sense of not being able to relate to politics along with not understanding how the process works would be discouraging to anyone. High Schools do not seem to be providing helpful information on preparing young adults to vote. Many students turn 18 during their last year of high school. Joshua Guime, 19-year-old HCC student, is not registered to vote. “I don’t know how to register,” he said. Many younger students do not understand how to get started or what to focus on like Guime, “I’ve always wanted to know but I didn’t know how to find information or what the president does and the political party system,” he added. Guime is interested and eager to be involved now that is aware of how the government systems function because of the information he has learned and been inspired to learn in his American Government class at HCC. “Now I have a better understanding,” he said. Alma Corde, a 20-year-old HCC student, has voted one time before because she said she“ got information from teachers and friends.” If she did not have others to dis-
cuss matters with she would not have voted. Many campaigners focuses are not parallel to college students’ interests. This year’s election doesn’t interest Cordero and she feels like she wouldn’t be able to change anything, “ I don’t feel like voting would make a difference.” Students and young adults could become more active and have a say in government by representing their interests by voting.
Image Courtesy of totusblog.com
Al D’Amore is also not registered but for a different reason. D’Amore isn’t interested in voting. D’Amore would be if he found “a candidate he respected.” D’Amore follows some of the political campaigns through online news websites. There is an importance to voting, college students interests need to be represented. Some of the key important things to know about the candidates are their position on important issues that matter
to you. Some important and controversial issues include the economy, health care, foreign policy, immigration, same-sex marriage, and abortion. You may not think about these issues now, but everyone will think about one or another in the future. Other issues, that college students may not think about at first is the amount of funding from the government for student grants and loans. Budgets are continually being cut due to the rise in government debt. The government plays a role in students being able to get jobs after college by having impact on the economy, an important aspect for college student to think about. Don’t be discouraged to vote because it is a complicated process to understand at first. Things get easier. Don’t hesitate to ask adults who have experience and understand like professors, American Government specifically. Most professors are happy to help. Online sites are the most popular way to find information; it is the age of technology. There are several sites where you can find information to help you understand the campaign runners and what their political outlooks are. Some helpful and most often used sites among college students are CNN.com, News12.com, and dosomething.org. The election of 2012 is on Tuesday November 6. To get registered, go to your local town hall. If you are interested in voting this year keep posted on campaigners ideas by following the presidential debate scheduled on October 3, 2012. It will be aired on many channels.
HORIZONS • News
Nomophobia-A Rising Addiction
by CiArA lEWis stAff WritEr
an you go a month without your cell phone? What about a week? A day? A second? If you answered no to any or all of these questions, you may have nomophobia. What is nomophobia? This is a rising addiction that causes people to become tense, anxious or even have panic attacks when they are away from their phone. In this media crazed world today, it is hard to function without a phone to communicate. Everyone wants to know what everyone is doing 24/7. Mark B. claims that “being
without your cell phone is not necessarily a fear but used when bored or filling our need to stay connected.” With cell phones increasingly becoming smarter, faster and able to do everything, they are hot commodities, especially for teenagers and young adults. According to an article written on CNN by Vicky Kung, “more people feel anxious when they are out of reach of their phone, and the younger they are, the more likely to stress.” This may seem crazy but is becoming more of an issue. Freshman student Michael Lawrence says that cell phones “affect us dramatically because we grew up in the era where cell phones are used for
everything.” However, there are people that have given up their phones and other media to reinvent their lives. In recent articles, young people have shown that their lives drastically changed for the better when they put down the phone, logged off social networks and lived outside. “At first it’s like anxiety but then you get to focus more in other areas in life,” says sophomore Craig Barton. Internet is not negative but to use it excessively to the point of not being able to live without is never good for anyone. “Cell phones being taken away from us will hurt us and force us to actually interact with the
people around us,” laughs Lawrence. If this is true and if this is the way life is going, that is a major cause for concern. Ever noticed that one kid in class that is always sneaking texts on their phone? Or someone else walking through the hallways with their head down rapidly pressing buttons as they walk? Is that person you? Can you make it a whole day without having constant contact with everyone else on the planet? Mark boldly states that “cell phones and other technology is ruining our generation.” If this is true, there needs to be a remedy to catch people’s attention to actually look up and live life as it once was without cell phones.
HPV Vaccine: To Wait or Vaccinate?
by mAry E. AndErson sEnior stAff WritEr
sk any of your fellow HCC college students what they remember most about receiving the HPV vaccine. More than likely the answer will involve the word “pain,” pain that many say feels like a punch in the arm instead of a mere shot. What many people tend to forget is that behind the pain, life saving changes may be starting to take place. The HPV vaccine is given to combat the human papilloma virus, better known as HPV. HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can go away on its own. It can also lead to cervical cancer in women and genital warts and/or rectal cancer in men. There are two popular HPV vaccines in use today, Gardasil and Cervarix. Gardasil, the more popular of the two, is manufactured by Merck & Company Incorporated. It is a vaccine that fights four different strains of HPV. They are number 6, 11 16 and 18. Strains 6 and 11 cause genital warts, while all four strains contribute to cervical cancer. Females 9 years to 26 years of age have been receiving the vaccine since 2006. Men and boys aged 9 to 26 years have been receiving Gardasil since 2009. Cervarix is the other HPV vaccine in use. Primarily it is given to women 9 to 25 years of age. It is manufactured by GlaxoSmithKline and fights strains 16 and 18. Both brands require a series of three HPV shots over a six-month time frame. This may sound like a fairly grueling schedule, until you consider the CDC’s finding that 20 million Americans are currently infected with HPV and 6 million more will get infected this year. Even worse, “Every year, about 12,000 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 4,000 women die from this disease in the U.S. While about 1% of sexually active adults in the U.S. have visible genital warts at any point in time.” How does the vaccine work? The HPV surface components interact with one another to form HPV “viruslike particles (VLP) that are not infectious, because they lack DNA.” This triggers your immune system causing it to remember the virus should you ever become exposed to it in the future. A pap smear is the test women receive that determines if they have been exposed to HPV. Imagine if you are nervous about getting the vaccine what it must be like for the nine-year-old fourth grader who is facing the prospect of getting their first HPV injection. Some parents feel offended because HPV is transmitted sexually. Agreeing to it seems too much like preparing their child for sexual activity. Other parents may look
at the vaccine as an investment in the future health of their child. HCC Microbiology Professor Sandra Barnes, addresses this dichotomy, ‘I know that the great majority of cervical cancers (over 90%) are due to certain strains of the Human Papilloma Virus. If you get the vaccine PRIOR TO BEING SEXUALLY ACTIVE, most of those cancers would never occur. This can also cause oral cancers, but the percentage attributable to this virus is lower. If my children fell into the correct age bracket, I would want to protect them from this virus, which is very, very common in the general population.” Although Merck Corporation has approved nine-year-olds to receive the HPV Vaccine; The Advisory Committee On Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends the HPV vaccine for “routine use” on boys and girls starting at 11 to 12 years of age. Basically the parent and the health care provider can decide when to start the vaccine. Although the HPV vaccine is widely claimed to be safe, Merck Corporation
warns against receiving it if you are pregnant, nursing or allergic to yeast. Also fainting or dizziness occasionally occurs after receiving the vaccine. Many healthcare providers will ask patients to sit for fifteen minutes after receiving the HPV vaccine as a safety measure. Remember another safety measure is that it is best not to receive the vaccine on an empty stomach or if you are fasting. The average HCC student either falls in the age range to be eligible to receive the HPV vaccine or could have a child or family member who is in the eligible age ranges. One important thing to remember is that the Centers for Disease Control has a Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) that tracks vaccine reactions and side effects. The number for their information line is (800) 822-7967. Since the HPV vaccine is relatively new, especially for boys, you may want to inquire about any adverse events associated with the vaccine if you are uncertain about receiving it. If you have already received HPV vaccine and believe you have “suffered in-
jury” from it you can contact the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) (800) 338-2382. Remember to ask your healthcare provider questions and note any other vaccines being given along with the HPV vaccine. Merck Corporation, for example does not recommend giving the Meningitis vaccine in the same arm as the HPV. In spite of some documented adverse effects, many believe that making the HPV vaccine mandatory in order for kids to attend school would be beneficial. Others argue that HPV is different than other mandatory vaccines such as the chickenpox vaccine because kids can’t catch and pass on the disease in the school environment. Whatever your stance, the decision to vaccinate is yours. You alone have to decide if the HPV vaccine is your pound of prevention or ounce of cure.
HORIZONS • News
Priceless Opportunity: The Honors Program
by sAndrEnE fostEr stAff WritEr
magine you have the grades and the motivation to work hard in your classes. Do you like to be challenged? Do you love to have a good time and would like to know how to excel in future academic arenas? So it’s no surprise that you’re looking for the Honors Program here at Housatonic. According to Kirk Hughes, a professor and the coordinator of the Honors Program, the HCC Honors program is a special interdisciplinary academic sequence consisting of four courses. It provides an opportunity for our college’s strongest students to work closely with individual faculty in a specific field of interest, to develop academic leadership skills with other honors program students, and to pursue a semester-length independent study project in a specific field. While Hughes’s formal academic credentials include a doctorate in Comparative Literature from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters in English Rhetoric, a Masters in Religion and Literature from Yale’s Divinity School, and a Bachelors degree from Yale College in English and French Literature, he says, “The most important credential for this work as a Honors Program Coordinator, however, is curiosity. I’m really curious about a lot of things. I think this is the best qualification for this work.” “I think the best jobs for people are when the energy of the work spent connects with where one finds meaning. While there are many kinds, shapes, and sites of intellectual inquiry, I love thinking about things in conversation. I also enjoy guiding others (inviting students in, so to speak) into the steps of thinking carefully about stuff that matters. I’ve had to get over thinking about stuff that doesn’t matter with people who don’t really care to be in conversation,” he added. Since Hughes took over the program, the program has nearly doubled, from 35 students to 67 Honors students. He stated, “For me, this position is kind of like winning the lotto.” Along with Professor Hughes, many faculty work with the Honors Program.
Professors Koch, Boylan and Adams, for example, advise HN225 Independent Study projects this semester. Dozens of faculty also advise In-Class Honors projects in their classes during an academic year.
42nd Street to catch the last train to help a group of HCC students really get to know one another,” he said. Yet, he added, “More importantly, however. we developed a group research bibli-
Dr. Hughes HCC Honors Program coordinator. Photo by Abelardo Pulido
According to Professor Hughes, “InClass Honors Projects are extra work in a class (above and beyond work required in the syllabus) that is proposed by the student and negotiated with the professor. All kinds of academic work can qualify: extra writing, presentations to the class, outside off campus service and many more. The In class Projects students a chance to meet with and learn from the instructor (in office hours, project discussions, project feedback, critique, etc.)” The Honors Program is competitive to get into. Students need to have completed 12.0 credits hours at HCC, be in a “declared” program, and have a 3.5 GPA or Higher. However, Hughes says, the program is also collegial. “In the Fall 2011 Genius Seminar, for example, students really befriended each other on our field trip to New York City. There’s nothing quite like surviving latenight White Castle burgers and a run down
ography using the Zotero plug-in of Mozilla’s Firefox browser. Students helped each other’s research projects by sending each other readings, articles, links, videos and pictures using this innovative tool. It was a great example of crowd-sourcing research. This is an example of our resourceful students using cutting-edge web-based technology as part of their developing research processes. It’s pretty impressive work from my point of view. Their work also shows how HCC’s strong community spirit and generous collegial work of our students beats competitiveness every time.” Hughes’s goal is to develop top-notch Academic Program that inspires lots of students to “think carefully, critically and with considerable glee.” He also wants to involve more students in the program. The Honors program is a great benefit for students who wish to continue their education. Students who complete all four requirements of the program earn
HCC degrees with the specific designation “Housatonic Scholars.” This designation is marked on official college transcripts, and each class completed in the program is designated as a special “Honors Course.” Moreover, honors students have been especially successful in obtaining grants, funding awards, and a wide array of scholarships to further their studies. If you plan to continue your studies towards bachelor’s level work (and beyond!), participating in the honors program could put you at a distinct advantage in terms of admission and potential scholarships. Anthony Rodriguez, a student in the Honors Program, said, “When I look back on my HCC studies years from now, I will view the time I spent with the HCC Honors group as an academically eye opening point in my life. We learn to “step our game up” so to speak. We all brought our “A game” as honors students, Dr. Hughes taught us how to make it an ‘A+ game.’ Learning what would be expected of us in our future careers and how to optimize our selves in our respective studies was a key element and I feel the most beneficial. At the end of a semester of hard work spanning many academic disciplines, Dr. Hughes invited all of us into his home for a glorious meal that was a very warm and personal as well as a professional chance to network with each other. Anybody that wants a challenge, a good time and a look at how to excel in the future would be a fool to not take advantage of this priceless resource HCC offers.” If you would like to join the Honors program, please see Professor Hughes in BH 229. There is stillroom for you. Don’t wait! Act Now!
Literary Club’s Enriching Thursday Afternoons
by dAvid WEidEnfEllEr Editor
he Literary Club met on the third floor student lounge of Beacon Hall on February 16, 2012. Club members gathered in a circle and had an open discussion, where there is no set topic, “Helps the creative process,” commented Karyn Smith, an English professor and advisor to the Club. “The format is very open even when it come down to club business,” Smith continued. Also in attendance was Club President Lovanda Brown, also Editor-in-Chief For Horizons as well as editor Samantha Delgado, both long-term members of the literacy club. Todays free write topic was a choice between two writing prompts. The first was to write about an intense game of Scrabble that takes a turn for the worse. The prompt was to write a scene from this statement: You wake up with amnesia; you have a
rock, $4 in your pocket and a toothbrush in the other. A strange man is staring at you. Writing prompts were chosen from a can full of cut strips of paper each with a different idea or writing prompts. Though prompts were chosen club members are not forced to write on those particular prompts notes Smith, but may choose to write about anything they want, even something they have been working on previously. Club members, including Smith, took 15 minutes to free write, after which members were encouraged to share all or part of what they had written. Club members wrote intently with mild conversations amongst each other. Some writers shared ideas with each other during the writing period, other just help with ideas, other chose to stay to themselves and write. Members may choose to comment and/or give constructive feedback or suggestions. This period of the meeting was filled with laughter and all clubs members joined in the fun.
According to Delgado, the club is also involved with getting the Open Mic nights three times a semester here at HCC. Writers of all genres are welcome to join the Literacy Club. Non-writers are welcome to explore their “inner writers,” says Brown. The Literary Club meets every Thursday from 3:30 to 4:30 pm and because the meeting place is the student lounge on the third floor of Beacon Hall the atmosphere was relaxed and very casual, members are very friendly. There were only six members attending today’s meeting, but according to club sign in records the number in attendance can fluctuate throughout the semester. The duration of the meeting was again used in casual open discussion while members packed up their things and talked of ideas for next week’s meeting. “Watch for upcoming Open Mic nights” said Delgado as the Literary Club hosts the event, which showcases the talent of HCC’s very own.
Housatonic Community College has a student Senatte whose members are elected annuall by the student body. The Student Senate serves to promote good citizenship and harmonious relationships throughout the college and the community. It serves to provide a forum for student representation and to provide orderly direction of college activities. The Student Senate assists the Office of Student Life in the allocation and the distribution of the Student Activity Fund. Any Student who meets the necessary academic requirements, meets the Student Senate requirements as outlined in the membership application, and pays the student activity fee is eligible for election to the Student Senate.
For more info. about The Student Senate Contact 203.332.5094.
HORIZONS • News
Kindergarteners at HCC
by KArEn d. fErnAndEz stAff WritEr
magine a student at a computer lab in school, stressed out and rushing to put together a paper that’s due in about an hour. Sleep deprived and hungry, but determined to take on the seven hundred word beast, nothing can break her concentration; she’s more focused than a stealth ninja! That is, of course, until a “David Guetta-wannabe” busts through the lab door, earphones and IPod on deck, so loud one can sing along with him! Adding insult to injury, he sits right next to her as if rehearsed in a “FML” comedy skit. She turns to face him with a “do you mind?” attitude, but he’s nonchalant, bobbing his head and mouthing the words to the song. Unfortunately enough, this scenario is not uncommon here at HCC. Often times students ignore the rules of the computer labs and disrupt, if not enrage, other students who are struggling to concentrate on their work. When it’s not the obscenely
loud headphones, it’s the just plain rude side conversations going on in the lab and even during class. “It’s really annoying and bothersome. I wouldn’t do it to anyone because I don’t like when people do it to me,” said Kermo McKenna, an HCC student about cell phone conversations and music in the computer labs. “I don’t wanna hear, ‘he didn’t wear a condom last night and I’m worried,’ while I’m trying to focus!” he added. On the other hand, HCC student and culprit, Nichelle Moorer said, “I am one of those loud people in the computer lab!” Lab/ITT Tech at HCC Mike Tapper, offered his opinion on the matter, “For the most part students are respectful. There’s not always a monitor in there, but there’s always a sign up on the wall in both labs that clearly state the rules.” And for those students who don’t follow the rules, well, “they have to take it outside,” he added. However, there’s not just a lack of cour-
tesy in the classroom, this issue extends into HCC’s restrooms as well as the cafeterias. Andrea Cisneros, HCC student and restroom user, shared her insight on the issue, which is not a laughing matter, but a fecal matter. “There’s a number of times I went into a bathroom stall and found ‘a surprise’ waiting for me in the toilet bowl.” Cisneros said, looking disturbed as she recounted the events of her horror story. “That’s gross, they need to have more respect for other students that use the restroom.” Moorer had a restroom shock of her own when “I found an open, used, pad on the toilet seat one time! I mean we are grown women, come on!” Yet these types of incidents are encountered on rare occasion, according to Chanell Kain, also an HCC student. “That type of thing never happened to me. I think the janitors here do a pretty good job of keeping the bathrooms clean” she said, cringing at the thought. Cleaning up after oneself also seems to be a dilemma in our cafeterias. Even
though there are plenty of trash bins within reach, trash still gets left behind at tables. “I hate when people leave their trash behind! It’s disgusting. There’s enough trash bins around, people are just lazy,” said McKenna. According to Raul Nieves, grill cook in Lafayette Hall’s cafeteria, “usually the ones in big groups don’t clean up after themselves. I think that’s immature. Most of the time it’s the janitors who clean up after them, much like one’s mother.” He added, “If that’s the way they are here, I can’t imagine what their rooms look like!” Still, some feel that school officials play a part in this cycle, “tuition money should go towards remodeling Lafayette Hall, because it seems like students only try to keep Beacon Hall clean,” says Kain. Although all, if not most, students at HCC operate on a college level, everyone learned the motto, “treat others the way you’d like to be treated” as early as kindergarten; the rest is up to the individual.
Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation Inspires HCC Students
by miChAEl bAndy stAff WritEr
ast year, Lady Gaga and her mother founded the Born This Way Foundation, dedicated to fostering a more accepting society where differences are embraced and individuality is accepted. The foundation’s official mission is “dedicated to creating a safe community that helps connect young people with the skills and opportunities they need to build a braver, kinder world.” Though originally started in part due to the rash of gay teen suicides the country witnessed last year, the foundation is inclusive to all orientations and backgrounds. The Born This Way Foundation has three pillars that they stand by: Safety, Skills and Opportunity. Gaga says that these three ideas are very important. “If a person feels safe in their environment,” said Gaga, “then they can develop the skills they need to become a tolerant, accepting, functioning human being. They can then find more opportunity to share those skills with others, thereby creating a society where everyone is accepted.” At this year’s official launch of the Foundation, held in a large ceremony at
Harvard University, Lady Gaga spoke to Oprah Winfrey about what she hopes to accomplish with this venture. “I’m not here to tell you that I can solve bullying or intolerance – this is about transformative change in culture,” said Gaga. “This is not an anti-bullying foundation; it’s a youth empowerment foundation. This is about changing the climate of the school environment and putting the power in the hands of the students.” Gaga said that after the release of her latest album, Born This Way, she received countless letters from fans stating that they wanted to keep the message of the album alive. “They wanted to be brave, they wanted there to be more tolerance in the world, more acceptance,” she said. “I thought, ‘How can I keep the conversation going, and how can I have an impact on young people?’.” Thus, the foundation was born. Students here at HCC are generally happy about what Lady Gaga is trying to do, and they spoke out about how important this Foundation is to young people. Student Martha Otfinoski said, “I think it’s good because people need to learn to accept those who are different, and hopefully, people will stop bullying each other.
There are so many stories about young people who were bullied literally to death – it’s important to be nice to each other, so people can be themselves and not have to worry about what people think. “ Another HCC student, Sam Amorando, agrees. “What Gaga is doing is admirable,” Amorando said. “We live in a world where I have to explain my orientation and my religious beliefs, and that gets really frustrating. I shouldn’t have to explain myself, and I wish people could just accept me as I am. This Foundation can help people to work together to understand each other.” Some students expressed that they wished a foundation like Born This Way had existed when they were younger. “It would have helped,” said student Leo Feliciano. “I was shy as a kid and afraid to be myself, because I wanted people to like me. A foundation like this allows people to have that safety blanket to be themselves.” Student Ace Ricker said, “I don’t think anything dealing with bullying or disrespect can ever be overdone. I feel that this group is very general, but it has to be, because bullying and intolerance IS general – it comes in all forms and affects everyone.” Some students and faculty wondered
what exactly the Foundation, which is still in its early stages, will do to break the cycle of intolerance. “I think it’s cool that Gaga is using her celebrity to do this,” said student Brittany Gardner. “But I don’t know how successful it’ll be, because it’s difficult to find a concrete way to stop intolerance and discrimination.” Counselor Linda Wolfson agrees: “Movements like this mean well and say something, but as heartfelt as this is, I’m hoping they come up with more solid plans as for what they plan to do to stop this from happening.” Even with some doubts, most students are happy to see the Born This Way Foundation come to fruition. “It’s an opportunity for the youth of America to learn to accept each other and to know that you can’t judge people,” said former HCC U.N.I.T.Y. President Vaughn Sims. If you’re interested in learning more about Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, check out their website at www. bornthiswayfoundation.org.
HORIZONS • News
The Moving of Housatonic Community College
by pEtEr murszEWsKi stAff WritEr
any students that currently attend HCC are unaware of the old campus. The old run down building on Barnum Avenue is a stoic reminder of HCC’s past. It hasn’t been too long but the campus by I-95 is the one that everyone remembers. Since 1997, HCC has sat at its current location. Housatonic’s campus location has moved around a bit since its existence. In 1966, when the college opened, many different locations were used for the college. Classes have been held at Bunnell High School, Wooster Junior High School, Stratford United Methodist Church, Alliance Medical Inns. Building, Masonic Temple and Stratford Public Library until a permanent location was chosen at the Singer Metric Building on Barnum Avenue in 1971. This would remain the campus’s location until it moved to Lafayette Boulevard in 1997. The campus on Barnum Avenue was not the best that could be offered to students. It was in a run down building. Professor Samantha Mannion, who was an adjunct professor at the time, stated “I remember I used to have Security walk me
back to my car, as the neighborhood was poorly lit and not very safe.” She also remembers the two mice that made a home in her classroom “they really didn’t bother me that much,” she said, “but I always found it hysterical that students would jump on the desks and start screaming whenever they ran across the room!” It was starting to be obvious that something needed to be done. The move to Lafayette Blvd. was not something that came about overnight. To move a state school meant that a lot of red tape had to be cut through. Originally there was no plan to move the school. It all started when Bridgeport was in the running to have casinos brought into the city. There was talk of moving the school away from downtown Bridgeport in order to bring a casino in, and there was a lot of public outrage when it was said that casinos may be placed near the school. One of the first thoughts was to move HCC from Bridgeport and combine it with the Community College in Norwalk. The casino deal ended up falling through, but Governor Weicker pushed to have HCC moved to a more suitable, but still in Bridgeport, location. The process of acquiring the land for the college was difficult to do. Back in
1991, years before the school moved, there where multiple bills proposed to the General Assembly about possible locations. There was a bill proposed, HB 6045, which attempted to purchase land from the University of Bridgeport but that was ultimately shot down because UB was also looking to expand. Another bill that was proposed was HB 6997, which held universities and colleges to a high level of fiscal accountability, and helped lay the groundwork for Housatonic to move to its current location by bringing their financial summaries into public view. Showing the public how the school was doing financially helped create the movement that kept the school in Bridgeport. “We actually stand alone in Bridgeport. There are no other public institutions of higher learning,” says John Conway. He also said “I think by removing Housatonic from the Bridgeport area would be disastrous to many people and would deny them an opportunity for becoming successful in life.” All in all the move from the Barnum site to the current campus has been one for the good. Prof. Cliff Roti, who was a professor when HCC was on Barnum, has good memories of the Barnum campus and the move.
When asked if the move was part of the increase in the student body, Roti said, “Sure, maybe the main reason. Also the 1990s were a rather prosperous time and the state had money coming in from the income tax (which did not exist in the seventies)”. This helped provide a place for residents to expand their horizons and better their future. The move gave the students a sense of pride in their school, as Mannion pointed out. “I absolutely feel that students’ school pride began with the creation of the new campus,” she said. “It made the school a ‘destination’ instead of just a stopping place students went to for classes between work and home.” Housatonic moved but stayed in the community. This was a big win for the neighborhood. The school provides many local students with the opportunity to continue their education and to better themselves. Removing Housatonic from downtown Bridgeport would have sent the area into more of a tailspin. Instead it’s helped revitalize a small part of Bridgeport.
Housatonic Communty College campus Photo by Abelardo Pulido
Limited HCC Athletics But Other Opportunities Available
by Austin vAughn sEnior stAff WritEr
ousatonic spans quite the varied demographic, from young full time students straight out of high school to professionals looking for a degree to increase their salary and even middle-aged students looking to start a brand new career. However, the extent of athletic activities offered at HCC is limited to ping pong in the student center. With such a wide range of students, I’m sure intramural sports programs could attract and entertain a large amount of the HCC community. Also, there is a full trophy case in Lafayette Hall which hearkens to a proud athletic past here. I was even told of a football team which combined HCC, Norwalk Community College, and others to play against other combined community college teams. Upon surveying the trophy case snuggled away near the early childhood education lab, one would be proud to see that
the Housatonic Hawks had a winning tradition stretching back from the early 1970s until at least 1995. The left side is almost exclusively baseball trophies and plaques which declare the Hawks to have won championships in both the state and New England region. In the opposite case, trophies from the 70s, 80s, and 90s herald the Hawks as champions in basketball and tennis. There is even a plaque picturing the 1995 New England baseball champion Hawks who earned victories against the JV squads of Sacred Heart and Princeton. However, there is a club football team which comprises players from community colleges in the southwestern region of Connecticut including HCC students. The Southwestern Connecticut Grizzlies were founded in 2010 to aid local football players who needed time to improve, either their academics or athletics, before going on to play at the University level. “Playing Grizz football is a second chance to continue playing,” said Griz-
zlies OT and HCC student Andrew Conroy, “So far it’s given me a chance to look forward to school and it has helped me figure out my life goals.” Conroy is currently looking at universities to play for down South next spring. The Grizzlies play in the Yankee Collegiate Football Conference (YCFC), in which they play against other club football teams, many of which are affiliated with colleges such as University of Vermont, Boston University, and SUNY-Onondaga. In the past two years the Grizzlies have earned the YCFC Championship by winning the Yankee Bowl, and last year, they were voted the National Champions by the Intercollegiate Club Football Federation (ICFC).
“It’s a win-win for the student-athlete”
“It’s a win-win for the student-athlete” said Grizzlies Academic Coordinator Jamie Eisenberg, “just imagine, a kid can attend two years at their community college, play football, then transfer to the school of their choice as a junior. Because this is considered club football they do not lose any athletic eligibility.” In fact, several Grizzlie Alums have already committed to play for four-year schools: WR Deven Diaz of Oxford, CT is at the University of Rhode Island, DT Joe Pierro of Manchester is at Central Conn. State, and WR Marquis Highsmith of West Haven is at Western Conn. State. The Grizzlies are currently starting their pre-season workouts but there may still be time to join the team for those interested. For more information and the recruit application go to swcgrizz.com
HORIZONS • Opinions
A Balancing Act
by lAurEn WEinstoCK sEnior stAff WritEr
ver had a really big test that you had to study for? If you are a student and reading this, then the answer is obviously a yes. I am currently sitting in one of the lounges in Beacon Hall here at HCC, and as I glance around the room, I see so many students studying, on laptops, reading, and writing. I also can’t help but notice how many couples are walking around campus holding hands and kissing. Everyone is trying to make their way through their college career, but what I can’t help but wonder is, how do people balance being in a relationship at the same time as doing exceptionally well in school because after all, let’s face it, one always adds stress to the other. When it comes to school and relationships, I have to wonder, how can you do a balancing act of school and being in a relationship? Being in school alone is stressful. Every major is different, and of course some are less or more stressful than others. However at this time in a student’s life, school is the necessity. Relationships are great too but at the end of the day, loving your significant other will not bring home the bacon or a paycheck for that matter. Every student needs to realize that while being in a relationship is astounding, fun, and exciting, school is what needs to come first in all aspects of this time in their lives. The stresses of school comes from meeting deadlines, and having big important tests to study for, writing term papers, and meeting with a group for a project. The stresses of relationships comes from, needing to please that other person’s needs and wants as well as making time to see them and making them happy and complete. But what happens when you have a huge pa-
per to write that you know will take you all night to complete, and your girlfriend or boyfriend is wanting nothing more than to see you that night? Do you drop everything to see them? Or do you perhaps, tell them that school needs to come first for you that night. A majority of people, in college will put the paper on hold and spend the next five hours attending to their relationship. Krysten is a student who attends Pace University for Early Childhood development. She also is dating someone named Greg and they have been dating for a good 7 months now. “With your major, you must have to put in a lot of studying as well as working with kids, correct?” I get my notebook ready as I await for Krysten to answer. “Yes, I put in several hours a day babysitting children so that I can really get a feel for each different age group, and in my class we have two tests a week that I absolutely must do well on.” Krysten began to explain further what her major entails. She began to tell me the basic renditions of her day, including seeing Greg. “I don’t see him every day because at times my major gets highly stressful. Greg doesn’t go to school, he works full time but he’s available to hang out in the evenings. That adds a lot of stress to me because I always have a lot of homework and studying to do during the night.” Because of their different schedules Krysten decided for herself after several arguments to only see Greg every other day so the nights she doesn’t see him she can fully focus on her studies. With situations like these, it is important to take ample amounts of time for school commitments and work. When having stress with your significant other and your schooling, a good technique is to take a break for a night or two to get your stuff together for school. “Relationships are hard. School is
hard. The best way I was able to find a balance so that we aren’t ripping each other heads off is to just take the week slow and see him every other night so that I have the time for myself I need to get my career on the path I want it on.” When attending school and being in a serious committed relationship, what are the chances to make the relationship last? After all, school is the most essential and the first priority. As I sat and contemplated this question, I came across a girl sitting across from me. Her name is Jessica Santos. Jessica has been attending HCC for three semesters so far. During my interview with Jessica, I found out that she just recently had broken up with her boyfriend of two years. The reason was because it was getting too stressful with her schooling and her relationship. “He would constantly have a need to see me. And at times, when I appreciated his wanting to see me so much, I needed to focus on my studies and as a result we would just end up fighting with each other, I got so fed up with fighting and having more and more stress with school as the week went on that I had to call it quits on one of the two and unfortunately it had to be him.” I nodded and told her I understood and that I was sorry to hear about her loss. “It’s really okay. I am upset about it, but at the same time I am glad that I made the decision I made. School is a big commitment as well as a relationship. You always must be focused on the bigger picture and for me, at this particular age is my career,” Jessica said. “With school, you feel that it just added more and more pressure to your relationship?” I asked her. “Yes exactly. I felt as if I always had to concentrate on the problems in my relationship rather than the math problems I had on my homework, and at
this time in my life, I knew which one was more important to me.” To all students out there, if you are going through a problem like this, something to consider is yourself. When going through this roller coaster we call life, it is important to not be selfish with certain things. However, when you are a student going through college, it is highly important to be selfish. Focusing on yourself and what is best for you and only you is the way to go. In this day in age, it’s hard enough to find a job out there. Being selfish and focusing on your career and getting good grades, so that you can earn a degree and find a good job is the most important. So many times do I see students drop out of school to run away and be with their loved one. Something to consider, if your “lover” wants you to drop out of school for them, what kind of person is that in the first place? They should want you to finish school for yourself and want you to be successful in the long run. Balancing school and a relationship is not impossible, but it all depends on each individual. It depends on the amount of stress each person can take and how far they are willing to deal with both ends of the rope that is being pulled. If you are in a relationship, and you have a essay that is worth 80 percent of your grade, is the best decision to go out with your boyfriend or girlfriend that night? The proper decision would be to stay in and work your butt off on that essay and then to see them the following night, or dare I suggest it? Wait till the weekend. Balancing these two essential things is different for everyone. This is your call to action: the success of a balancing act depends on no one else but yourself.
Joking as a Method of Coping
by lAurA gustAfson Editor
e stood at the top of his driveway, which felt like the height of a mountain as I stood below. I was eager to make the few steps and greet him with warm thoughts, encouraging statements, and comfort, but I froze. I had thoughts rushing through my mind like a cracked egg laying at the bottom of a pan anticipating heat from the stove. He was sick. The hair that was once the barrier between the top of his head and hat was replaced with a bare scalp that held on to the premature bristles it was fighting so hard to withhold. Amidst this struggle that I pushed myself to embody as a stranger to such a tiresome disease, he smiled. Not a worrisome smile where the creases of lips quiver and become the foreground for tears. He was confident that no matter what the verdict was in his case of Cancer , he would persevere. I looked at him and knew that his determination would become his strongest antibody. We talked about his treatments, his train rides into NYC, the people he met,
his nurses and when he was expected to fully recover. He spoke about the other patients he was subject to room with, spend most of his time with and encounter on a near daily basis. It was as if he was painting them as the strong ones and alleviating his personal strength from the stories. He never turned his struggle into an episode in which he, as a character, reaped pity or an unnecessary sympathy from his audience. He did not want it nor did he feel like his position demanded an exponential amount of concern. I felt like I was speaking with him through an hourglass and that I was subject and responsible for what I decided to say in that afternoon’s time. So I went with, “My family and I have been thinking about you a lot. I pray for you all the time, and so does Bridgette before she goes to bed.” What I gathered after a short time of speaking with him was that his time spent at the hospital had its ups and downs, as did life in general. He said that he tried his best to remain happy by joking with other patients and especially with his nurses because he wanted them to be happy, too.
On that note, he said that with one of the fundraiser’s leftovers from a cupcake shop, he walked around the halls of the hospital and handed the extras to nurses, staff and whoever else he happened to bump into along his route. This is the way AJ Rogers has always been, caring about others. I cannot recall an instance where he neglected to offer a helping hand, word of encouragement or a piece of thoughtful advice to anyone. A reflection of this is how our town has responded to the news of his diagnosis. Fundraisers have been occurring frequently at hairdressers, fire departments, local cupcake shops, churches, and several businesses to help raise money for his cause. One fundraiser my family and I attended was hosted in Milford at the Orange Ale House. This event brought many friends, families, and even strangers together to enjoy the night and embrace an even bigger coming together in support of AJ. AJ Rogers is a young man who has left a mark on a countless number of people, and continues to do so wherever his journey leads him.
I remember the days after my house burned down, when I had no emotional or physical strength to assess the situation at hand. AJ was at my door each morning offering my mother and others his help. She would always call me and say, “AJ stopped by today.” He did more than his mandatory work associated with being a volunteer firefighter. I actually wrote of his ongoing support one day and noted, “he works with his heart much more than his hands.” When good people suffer through trials much more than they deserve, others are there to lift them up. I believe AJ has given me a new outlook on life and how to deal with life changing events as they appear unexpectedly. He has remained patient, positive, and hopeful throughout his battle, which is the biggest victory of them all. As Lance Armstrong once said during his illness, “When you think about it, what other choice is there but to hope? We have two options, medically and emotionally: give up, or fight like hell.”
HORIZONS • News You Can Use
For the Love of Debt
by AmAndA d. friot stAff WritEr
t is unfortunate, but true that a little piece of plastic can either be your best friend or the biggest headache of a lifetime. However, this is the best friend that will eventually stab you in the back in only a matter of time. We call this little compact piece of plastic that fits oh so well in our pockets the credit card. Since when did it become such a life saver these days? Many of us are currently trying to free ourselves from debt or have been swarming in debt since we discovered the freedom of blowing our cash on the weekends. It has grown into much more than that since we graduated high school or maybe even before that. Nowadays we tend to throw whatever we can on our handy dandy credit cards. Our education, fancy cars, designer clothing, food, vacations etc. Before we know it we have an outstanding balance and no way to pay it off anytime in this century. Establishing credit is an amazing thing. It is so amazing that it can also easily be taken advantage of. We all tend to get a little swipe happy based on the fact that technically the item or items are temporarily free. We all say to ourselves “no big deal I’ll pay it off later.” Followed by that, we build ourselves a comfort zone. “My debt has mainly accumulated by shopping on impulse and going out to the bars,” says Housatonic student Rachel Kulikowski. It is amazing how we can wear, eat and party away our money. I too have frequently had my moments where I would charge frantically on my credit card just because I did not want to see actual money disappear from my savings account. On impulse I planted it in my head that when something appealing met my eyes, I just had to have it. Shortly after that the credit card would come into play. Once my bill arrived on numerous occasions I was pretty appalled by the damage
I had done in such a brief amount of time. Guilt set in, ruined my day, and again I thought materialism would be the answer. This vicious cycle was just exhausting and never ending. I realized the guilt from my debt over powered the stress I would have had from breaking into the savings. Myself, being a shopaholic, always found myself wandering around stores and boutiques in my spare time. The less busy I was, the more money I spent. Sliding down a slippery slope and crashing head first into regret is no fun, especially when you have no idea how you are going to manage to pay off such a lump sum of debt. Always remember there are plenty of solutions. Surrounding myself with people who had no desire to shop eliminated my impulse majorly. I would also spend time with responsible figures, such as my mother, who refused to even step foot into a mall. I avoided hanging out with compulsive shoppers during the day because going to the mall was usually “the in thing” to do during a nice sunny day just to kill time. Instead, I would meet my non-shoppers for coffee or a walk on the beach.
“A monthly spending plan is essential. Without one you have no idea where your money is going”
Your debt will not vanish immediately, but there are ways to prevent it from racking up. “A monthly spending plan is essential. Without one you have no idea where your money is going,” says Debt Management Basics. This website suggested unique ways as to where a shopaholic can conduct a schedule and manage their money on more reliable terms, rather
than spend, spend, spend blindly. In other words, freeze before you spend. Write down a list of the necessities you absolutely need to pay off along with their deadlines. The things that require no if and’s or but’s about it such as: telephone bills, car payments, rent, education, etc. All of these things tie into our survival and well being, which makes them more important than luxuries. We don’t want our cars to run out of gas on the highway all because we decided it would be more logical to spend our gas money on Nike high tops. We definitely wouldn’t want our phones to be shut off because then how would we play Words With Friends? Once these goals have been met, it will be easier to calculate play money that is left over. It will then be a relief to know that you are accommodating to your responsibilities and at the same time know exactly how much money you have left over to spend on non sense at the end of the day. Just using the website Debt Management Basics assured me I was not alone and suggested a monthly plan that made my entire life and outlook turn around abruptly. I realized the things I needed would make me happier than the things I wanted. I also found myself saving even a little bit. By maintaining a job that pays incredibly or even decently well will be a big help in attempt to getting your debt lower. Also, by taking on more hours at work will consume your day as to where there is less time available to shop. “What causes debt is by not having a big enough income to complete the things you need and want to do. For example, buying a car and going to college. In order to prevent high credit card debt, I believe people should set out to find jobs that provide higher salaries and hourly wages.” says Stratford resident Jessica Villa. In other words, some individuals only put use to their credit cards come hell or high water and come to the realization quickly that they need higher paying jobs
in order to not get anymore knee deep in debt than what they already are. By striving for a higher paying job will provide people with more comfort when it comes to their bills. Making more money allows us to be more relaxed when it comes to our debt as long as we don’t run wild just because we receive larger checks. “Often your expenses exceed your income. If you delay in taking care of handling your life with a lower income then you are sure to start to take on debt,” says Step Case Lifehack. This implies to us that it is common that our spending over powers what we can even spare sometimes. “It is said that about 69 percent of consumers have used a credit card in the last month,” says Credit Card Statistics. On a more positive level, you have to remember that you are not alone. “609.8 million credit cards are held by U.S. consumers,” says Credit Card Statistics. Plastic isn’t always evil. They establish credit for us in order to be able to gain opportunity for loans and our own apartments. Being in debt can also show signs of being responsible if you know your limits and use it gradually. Look at is as you are earning points that will eventually lead to a reward. There are ways around it. You don’t have to give up shopping and spending altogether. Just remember the priorities you once left at the door when you were blinded by your credit card. At one point or another things will fall into place with a little help from your surroundings, budgeting, job hunting and managing. There is no need to stop having fun. Just try to make more use out of the debit card you ignored for all this time.
by pEtEr murszEWsKi stAff WritEr
ll of the students that attend Housatonic Community College, and other two-year schools in the area, know that their time at the school has to come to an end. For some it means graduating and for some it means dropping out. The majority of students, though, decide to continue their education and for them the best option is to transfer. It is a process that involves a lot of work but is worth it in the long run. Getting ready to graduate is an exciting time. There are a bunch of doors that start to open as you walk across the stage and receive your diploma, one of them being the opportunity to continue your education. Housatonic is a great two-year school that really sets students up to receive a bachelor’s degree. Transferring is not a process that can be glossed over. Every school in the state of Connecticut has different requirements
and forms for applying. What you turn in for one school might not be the same type of forms you need to turn in for another. Many schools such as UConn, Fairfield, Sacred Heart and Connecticut State Universities differ in what is needed as part of the application packet. You can go to each school’s website to try to get the information you need but alas, that always doesn’t provide transfer students with all the info they need. A prime example of this is the fact that students receiving financial aid may be eligible to receive up to 4 application fee waivers but are not aware of this. A quick call to the academic advising office will start you on the road to an easy transfer as they can lead you in the right direction. Housatonic’s website has a few links for students thinking about transferring, but the students should go to the website of the school they plan on attending to see what they need. These schools will also have information on their site as to who to contact if assistance was needed. Many of the ad-
visors at these schools are knowledgeable and are able to lead you in the right direction. UConn actually has a check-off list that is assigned to you when you start the process that they constantly update. With a little looking you will be able to find tools like this to help you in the process. David Leonardo, a UConn student who transferred from SCSU, said “It’s not a difficult process if you stay on top of it. The universities make it easy to follow through. I would also recommend students take tours of the schools, this allows you to see what it’s really like.” Dorian Lockett, a Norwalk Community College and UConn graduate, has an opposite opinion. “I received more help from my advisors at Norwalk than I did from my advisors at Storrs. I finally got the help I needed but I had to keep calling”, Locket said. Many students preparing to transfer are concerned about how many of their credits will transfer with them. Housatonic has agreements with the Connecticut State
Universities that allow students to take many credits with them. UConn also accepts many of HCC’s credits making it easier for students to transfer schools and not lose too much time. Leonardo said that he had “all but 6 credits transfer with me and when I asked why they didn’t transfer the Admissions Office took the time to explain why to me.” UConn wouldn’t accept his math credits because the math class was not equal to UConn’s math classes. This is something that is tough for HCC students because classes that are needed for graduation, such as Math 137, may not transfer over. Transferring is a very stressful time but it doesn’t have to be. There are many different obstacles that can be thrown in your way during this process. Students just need to take the time and get organized so they know what they need to do and when it needs to be done. With a little planning this can be an exciting process that allows you to see what options life has put in front of you.
HORIZONS • News You Can Use
HCC’s Academic Support Center Can Help Students
by somAli sAmuEls stAff WritEr
chool can be overwhelming, and other responsibilities outside of school can be distracting as well. Classes can be rather large, and professors may have a certain teaching technique that may be hard to understand. Cramming so much work into one semester is a lot of hard work. Some students may need a boost to help them stay on the path of passing. That’s why HCC has an Academic Support Center (ASC) to help students pass their exams and ultimately pass their classes. The ASC offers one-on-one tutoring for the registered students only. An appointment is needed for tutoring services. Most subjects are available. For the one-on-one
tutoring, an appointment is required and tutoring sessions last from thirty minutes to an hour. For this particular tutoring, you can only get tutored based on the course(s) that you are taking. Appointments are on a first come first served basis. For more information, visit room B116 in Lafayette Hall and pick up an informational ASC pamphlet. With the Mega-Math service, there is no appointment needed. Days of availability include: Tuesday from 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. -4 p.m. It offers help for students struggling with algebra, calculus, and statistics. Once you come to Mega Math during these hours, the tutors there will assist you with one of the three math courses they offer. For online tutoring, log on to www.etutoring.org. The subjects they offer are Ac-
counting, Anatomy and Physiology, Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Math, Statistics, and writing. With eChat, you’re able to talk with a real tutor! You’re also given the opportunity to submit a draft of your essay and get feedback within 24-48 hours. For example, if you need help with an essay for an English course, you can type up your essay and submit it to etutoring. A trained tutor will then read it and make a few suggestions before you hand it in to your teacher. In the ASC, some of the tutors are Lee Bayusik, who tutors reading and writing, Ghian Badowi, who tutors Math, Jaron Bialecki, who tutors math and computer programing, and Kyra Palange, who tutors reading and writing. “The tutoring center helps me stay on track with school and helps me understand the work that my professor teaches,” says
Aaliyah Cruz, who’s been using center for months now. “The tutors in the ASC have the ability to reteach what you didn’t understand in class.” Francis Gordan agrees, “Before using the tutoring center, I was barely passing or understanding the work my professor handed out,” she says. “But now that I have started using the tutoring center, I’ve been getting way better grades and I understand the work.” The ASC is very useful and available to all HCC students. The ASC is located in Lafayette Hall, B116, B118, and B120. Did you know that the ASC is offered to all HCC students with no charge? Check it out! It will be worth your while.
May 2 2012
11:00 am - 2:00 pm
LOST AND FOUND: In the Public Safety/Security Office room A105
The Lost and Found Dept. has accumulated a large quantity of items. If you have lost something, please stop by the office. Thank you, Public Safety Dept.
HORIZONS • Arts & Entertainment
What is that?
by JAy lEdErmAn stAff WritEr
Attraction to the Walls
by KrystlE piCCinino stAff WritEr
culptures of the 21st Century were on display in the Housatonic Museum of Art this past month, featuring modern and contemporary artwork by members of the New York Sculptors Guild. If you’re the type of person who finds themselves pouring over a piece of art, admiring its genuine beauty but really doesn’t understand what it all means worry not, art is meant to fire up the imagination. Because art is interpreted as being subjective, a painting that looks like a bowl of apples to you, may look like a basket of oranges to somebody else. When we view art we rely on our minds to discern what we are looking at is an accurate account of things we have already seen or know. Here’s the skinny on some well known forms of art. Abstract is a visual form that uses colors and lines meant to represent an artist’s individuality, usually a painting or a drawing. What is modern art? Modern art is artwork that has typically been created between the 1860’s and 1970’s, modern art complements all other art forms created during that time period as well. Contemporary artwork is art that has been created during a certain era, like The Renaissance or World War Two. Contemporary art is always in demand and highly sought after at auction houses by art collectors. How you interpret these masterpieces is entirely up to you. One sculpture stood out amongst all the others on display, its unique and
beautiful characteristics filled the gallery with a refreshing burst of energy. a 6-foot tall wood and oil painted sculpture. A vibrantly colored work of art, its bright tangerine colored base resembles the husk of a tropical palm tree gradually transitioning into waves of electric blue ritton anemone, an aquatic plant that protects the clown fish species, finally two bright yellow flames that erupt out from the top, waving through the air motionless as if frozen in time. Irene Gennaro, the sculptor’s creator, a member of the New York Sculptors Guild and a New York native’ says the inspiration for most of her work comes to her while shes asleep. “As a young adult my interest in Tibetan Buddhism allowed me to see my purpose as a sculptor. Documenting and sketching images as they arise is integral to my creative process as a sculptor. Images have appeared in dreams, during a drawing session or simply while relaxing. At times series have been suggested by a group of images,” she said in a press release. You don’t have to travel very far to get a glimpse of a masterpiece, our school has one of the largest art collections of any community college in the United States. If you’re walking between classes or have some time off throughout the day, stop and look at the pieces of art we have at HCC, take a moment and reflect on why you stopped. Do you truly understand what you’re looking at? Sometimes you aren’t meant to know.
hile walking down the halls of Housatonic Community College (HCC), there is art on every single wall. Did you know that HCC has the biggest art collection out of all the 2-year colleges in the United States? HCC has over a $1 million art collection, and is not only known as a college but also a museum, Housatonic Museum of Art. The art pieces were created by the artists: Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Joan Miro, Marc Chagall, Auguste Rodin, Mary Cassatt, Larry Rivers, Marisol, Giorgio DeChirico, Milton Avery, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Roy Lichtenstein, Tom Wesselman, Isamu Noguchi, Jim Dine, Christo, Jean Dubuffet, Gustav Klimt, Ansel Adams, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Philip Pearlstein, Reginald Marsh, Victor Vasarely, Claes Oldenburg, Aristide Maillol, Alberto Giacometti, and Pierre Renoir. HCC is also known for the art gallery in Lafayette Hall that is free and open to the public during the hours that the college is open. Lisa Greenberg, Adjunct Instructor in the Fine Arts Department (Teaching Children Art), says, “On any given day, one can enjoy the art adorned walls and floor spaces with works from the Housatonic Museum of Art. The collection can be seen, openly, throughout both Lafayette and Beacon Halls. Not all the artwork is displayed at one time and, sometimes, the artwork is relocated to make room for “new” pieces. The Burt Chernow Gallery in Lafayette Hall hosts a variety of unique exhibitions during the year.” Greenberg describes how art displays are important around the college. Students and other HCC attendants pass by the artwork without giving it a second thought. Yet, Greenberg adds, “Students are encouraged to wander in at their leisure and take in this unusual gift of art that surrounds them every day.”
So why should HCC students care deeply about all of this valuable art that illuminates their surroundings every day? Burt Chernow himself said it best in his quote, in Greenberg’s opinion, from 1980: “Occasional and usually rushed visits to a gallery or museum, or the use of slides or other reproductions never really equate daily unhurried contacts with works of art in which students can see true color, size and texture in a familiar college setting.” With these techniques, every student needs to take a look at an art piece because it helps students to grow as the art broadens their minds in a relaxing way without realizing it.
Maternity, a life size bronze by Mexican sculptor Francisco Zúñiga is part of the Housatonic Museum of Art’s Collection. Photo by Abelardo Pulido
Sculpture by Irene Gennaro Photo by Jay Lederman
HORIZONS • Arts & Entertainment
So You Wanna Go to the Show?
by dAvid WEidEnfEllEr Editor
athering of the Vibes is back this summer. Now in its seventeenth year, the music, arts, and culture festival celebrating the life of the late guitarist/vocalist from the Grateful Dead is returning to Bridgeport’s Seaside Park this July 19-22. You may be thinking, “Okay, big deal!” or “So what? It’s just another festival that is held to consume all of our money.” Silly, silly thinking. Let’s take a look at the vibes from a fresh perspective while erasing any preconceived notions. Why take the time to do this? It’s simple, this festival has become an important part of my life, as teenager as that sounds, not just because of its dedication to keeping the spirit of the late Grateful Dead guitarist Jerry Garcia alive through the appreciation of live music, but also because of its symbiotic relationship with the most important aspect of our world… people. 1999 was my first Gathering of the Vibes (GOTV). It was a remarkable and memorable show as it featured Bob Weir’s (now of Furthur) first appearance at a GOTV, and, yes, it was at beautiful Seaside Park. It was surreal in every way and magical in every other; a fantastic array of people mixing and blending together for four days in completely uninhibited self-expression with each of them celebrating something within themselves. It consisted of camping, good times, and live music with people. Migrating from all corners of the country, festival goers converge once a year like a family reunion or a tribe: The Vibe Tribe. I have been blessed with many opportunities to attend this annual event, each time a truly new experience, which has let me watch as each festival grows from what it was the previous year. But what makes this festival so special and so enticing to thousands of people since its inception? Exactly what do people do there for a whole weekend? Is it all just a bunch of pot smoking hippies stuck in some crazy time warp or is there more to this event than just rock n roll and a few good times? These questions among others that may be floating around in the back of your mind will be answered as we take a walk with … The Vibe Tribe. Tickets: It was 1996 when it all started. I wasn’t there. I was remembering Jerry Garcia in my own way with my tribe of jam band loving yahoos. A group of friends got together, including Bridgeport Conn. local Ken Hays to host a gathering for those who were touched by music and celebrate the life and dreams of famed Grateful Dead guitarist and singer Jerry Garcia. The event dubbed “Deadhead Heaven – A Tribute to the Tribe” almost didn’t happen after past New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani denied requests to let a gathering go on. Refusing to accept things and determined to keep the music and memory going, Hays and company held the event on the campus of SUNY Purchase. Tribe Population: 3500. The following year, the “Tribe” gathered yet again in celebration of Jerry G and the endeavors of the Grateful Dead. This time in Croton Point Park NY, and with a new calling--Gathering of the Vibes. With a total six different settings since 1996, it is Bridgeport’s Seaside Park that seems to feel like home. This year marks the eighth return to the city. It was Ken Hays who made a very important connection for me. It’s something not really thought of when one thinks of Seaside Park or Gathering of the Vibes. Hays reminded me that Mr. P.T. Barnum in fact donated the park to the city after his time as mayor. So it would seem that the venue itself had the good vibe feeling from the start.
“It sure does make a good home for an event like this,” offered Lauren Reed of Fairfield, whose first GOTV experience was last year. “I think it is very fortunate that such a beautiful parcel of land once owned by Barnum is used for such an amazing event. There is no show quite like the Vibes.” she explain, as she stared off into nothing while undoubtedly trying to pull up the memories of her first time.
Bob Weir of Furthur Photo by David Weidenfeller
How it works: Beginning two weeks prior to the first chords being strummed, Seaside Park begins a transformation which only ends early morning after the show. The stage meticulously begins to grow from the ground next to Seaside’s existing band shell which at one point was used as the second stage. Miles of fencing has been erected in every direction. Fanciful decorations reminiscent of the psychedelic art of the 1960’s adorn almost everything. Everything has been thought of, at least that’s what the GOTV staff is hoping.
and everything in between. Even pizza pies are offered from our very own Two Boots restaurant. People think this is fun: Of course! It’s so much more then camping out in some park to listen to some live music. The music plays all day late into the night. It is the music that brings everyone together in the first place. Appropriately all remaining members of the Grateful Dead have graced the stage before the tribe, with others such a the Black Crowes, Gov’t Mule, Primus and Janes Addiction. Lesser known or mainstream performers come too with just as much enthusiasm, including people like Martin Sexton and Ryan Montbleau Band, Taj Mahal Trio and Primate Fiasco, to name a few. Hays feels that one important factor as to why these festivals, especially GOVT, are so successful, is because of the wide variety of music along with plenty of other things to see. “People feel it is a great value being the economy the way it is,” said Hays. He admits that he would love to have Eric Clapton or Neil Young come and rock out with the tribe, but knows that even the acreage of Seaside would not be enough, “it would be logistically impossible.” “Sitting by the sea wall as the tide comes in, be it heat of day or the cool of night, is where I spend most of my time. I don’t need the shopping like the girlfriend does,” explained Bridgeport resident Gregory Cook with an amused smile.
all to see. So as usual these days bring your wallet, and don’t be surprised how easy it is to spend. Activism also plays a part in the GOTV experience. A variety of non-profit organizations share their respective visions by setting up booths as any other retail style vendor would, and freely give out information about the cause / causes they are involved in. Creating the Not-For-Profit Village. Many of these organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut, Bridgeport Community Land and Trust, Green Peace and the Rex Foundation, have partnered up with the folks at GOTV. Information on these and the many other organizations can be found on the GOTV website. Over the years, I like many have seen the magic these organizations bring to the world through obvious channels such as the media, but also through the festival and the contacts that one can make while taking a walk through the village. It is this sharing of idea and building of relationships that makes this aspect of the festival so unique. Something for Everyone: Here at the festival, the kids have something too! Teen Scene and the Kid’s Corner have games and activities for the younger people in the family. Adults do not have to feel guilty about dragging the kids along. Face painting and a community mural are just some of the things for the little tikes, and for the teens, or they can just hang out and meet teens from all over. The School of Rock gets involved here with instrument instruction and jam sessions available all day. With these activities and so many more, parents can revel in the idea that the kids will have a safe and fun time they won’t have to miss the show either. It is a perfect balance between family fun and a little revival of those days now past. The estimated population of GOTV 2011 was a staggering 20,000. See your next issue of Horizons to learn more, but
main stage 2011 Photo by David Weidenfeller
With all of that said and done, the festival begins and the camping areas begin to fill up in random colorful order. And the energy fills the air which means the vibes are flowing. With campers setting up, music ascends from the stage. The Dark Star orchestra emits the songs of the Grateful Dead. Vendors set up their wares while food services cook up a smorgasbord of eats from vegan burritos to fried bananas
All over the festival grounds are vendors selling just about everything. ”Hippie” sellers pack their booths with Grateful Dead memoribilia along with other rock and roll amenities. There are plenty of jewelry booths, selling silver and gold, many hand made craft as well as clothing and accessories. By far, there is no shortage of things to purchase. Prysim Glass set up shop last year with glass artists showcasing their craft for
hopefully you’ll witness it all firsthand at the show. In the second part of this story we will look a little bit more at the festival and will move right into the more behind the scenes action of the festival. The city of Bridgeport’s involvement and … this year’s line up, which is set for press release on April 2, 2012.
HORIZONS • News Briefs
Open Mic Night Brings HCC Artists Front and Center
by sAmAnthA dElgAdo Editor
Participate in HCC’s First Day of Community Service on April 21
HCC has partnered with the Norma Pfriem Urban Outreach Initiatives for its first HCC Day of Community Service on Saturday, April 21, starting at 9 am at HCC. We will be volunteering our time to work in community gardens, the food pantry, clothing closet and more at the United Congregational Church on Park Ave and Fairfield Avenues. To sign up, please go to the Student Life Office, room 317 in Beacon Hall. Free T-shirts will be given to the first 75 people to register and participate, and free breakfast and lunch too! For more info, contact Linda Bayusik, Director of Student Activities at LBayusik@hcc.commnet.edu.
pen Mic Night is an event that comes on a couple times a semester to showcase Housatonic students creative talents like [freestyle] rapping, poetry, and singing. Hosted by the Literary Club and sponsored by the Music Club, Open Mic has been a popular evening since it began 2 years ago. 50-60 people came Thursday, April 5, in the Events Center of Beacon Hall. Sign up began as it usually does at 6:30 p.m., and the event started at 7:30 p.m.
Advisor to Literary Club Karyn Smith said about Open Mic,“We like to give people an outlet to express their talent and creativity. The idea started because during our writers circle we were writing a lot of poetry and we wanted to create a space to share our work.” In the Literary Club, writing circles are part of the meetings where members write and share their pieces. Smith believes the Music Club plays a big part in the success of Open Mic night. The president of Music Club and other members help promote the event and encourage students and the community to come. Also during the event, Music Club plays on their drums,
keyboards, and guitars which keeps the audience entertained throughout the whole evening. Smith also thinks that having repeat performers keep people coming back for more, “...Phan Z., Chris Ayala, “So1o” Santiago, and Brandon Slade are some performers that people look forward to listening to. And in the past we have had some really great features like Jason Hall, [commonly known as] Phoenix.” Students who feature have the last 10 or so minutes to showcase their talent. Indeed, Phoenix has been featured at least 3 times and his charismatic attitude and meaningful poetry are always a crowd pleaser. President of Literary Club (and Horizons Editor-in-Chief) Lovanda Brown said, “This is a haven for students to express the events that are occurring in their life and allows them to do so in a way that helps them to interact with peers and teachers alike.” The next Open Mic will be on Thursday May 3 Students and teachers are encouraged to come and sign up just as long as their piece is under 2 minutes, so every person has a chance to go on. Smith adds that Open Mic is “awesome and everyone should come [because] we are always looking for new talent.”
Career Fair an Arresting Experience
by miChAEl bAndy stAff WritEr
he HCC Criminal Justice Club hosted a Law Enforcement Career Fair on Thursday, April 5 in the Events Center, in an effort to bring career opportunities in the field to students. The event, which featured representatives from 10 different law enforcement agencies, area colleges, as well as Army and National Guard recruiters, was attended by roughly 75 students interested in a criminal justice career. After a panel discussion and demonstration by a bomb squad team, students were able to meet with each representative to learn about what it takes to have a career in this ever-growing field. Capt. S. Bretthauer, a 34-year veteran of the Stamford Police Department, says that being a police officer is more of a calling than a job. “You have to want to help people, from the mundane to the serious,” she said. “It’s a people profession, and you have to be ready for anything.”
Students who attended the event were also interested in the Army and National Guard programs. Student Ava Addenbrooke spent a lot of time at the National Guard table. “Being in the National Guard would really prepare me for a career with the police department,” Addenbrooke said. “I’ve always wanted to be in law enforcement; my grandfather was on the police force for years, and it would be like following in his footsteps.” President of the HCC Criminal Justice Club, Charles Hankerson, said that criminal justice is a field all students should consider. “Those who go into criminal justice do so because they have a passion to see change in their community,” said Hankerson. “Police officers can only do so much, and citizens need to be a part of the solution.” Students who are interested in this exciting and challenging field are welcome to attend a Criminal Justice Club meeting, held on Thursdays at 1 p.m. in the Beacon Hall Events Center.
HCC and UNH Partner for First Transfer Tour
by brAndon t. bisCEgliA Contributor
group of 22 students from Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport got a first-hand look Friday at the University of New Haven experience. The students, accompanied by HCC Counselor Marilyn Wehr, boarded a bus at 10 a.m. and made the half-hour trip to West Haven, where they were shepherded to the second floor of Bartels Hall for a presentation about UNH by Nikki Cardillo, assistant director for transfer admissions at UNH, who led the tour. Aided with slides, Cardillo gave an overview of the programs and facilities available at UNH. She explained the transfer process, including the scholarships available to transfer students and the dates by which they would need to apply in order to qualify for financial aid or housing. Cardillo also spent time talking about some of the successful people who have graduated from UNH, such as David Beckerman, who founded the Starter athletic apparel company in New Haven in 1971. Most of the students were learning
about UNH well before they were ready to finish at HCC. When Cardillo asked how many of the students were interested in transferring for the Fall 2012 semester, four raised their hands. The students posed tough questions for Cardillo at the end of her presentation. Several asked about part-time enrollment, which had not been covered in the presentation. According to HCC’s Institutional Research Office, 4,248 out of 6,132 of the college’s students this semester are enrolled part-time, accounting for over twothirds of the student population. One student asked Cardillo if she could estimate UNH’s ability to place students in jobs. Cardillo said it was difficult to tell. “Some students go on to Master’s programs. Others get jobs that are not in their specific majors,” she pointed out. After the presentation, the students were given meal cards so they could buy lunch in the cafeteria, where they were joined by professors who talked to them about academic life at UNH. Several students had already formed positive impressions of UNH before arriving on campus. Rob Nerkowski, a computer sciences major at HCC, had heard about
the computer engineering program at UNH from a friend who attends the College of Engineering. Nerkowski said that everyone he had met on campus seemed kind and had said ‘hi’ to him. “There’s nothing I didn’t like,” he said. HCC Criminal Justice major Alex Antuna, Jr., said that he was excited to see the Henry C. Lee Institute. “I wanted to come today because this is one of the best schools for criminal justice and forensics,” he said. Antuna was a little intimidated by the idea that he would be living on campus by himself, however, saying he had “living on your own anxiety.” Carolina DeLeón, another criminal justice major at HCC, was not at all intimidated. She said that she was looking for a small campus with nice people, adding that she wanted to go somewhere with the same feeling of community that she enjoyed at HCC. She was, however, reserving judgment until she had heard more about UNH’s part-time programs. She said she has a 14-year-old son, and would not be able to manage a full-time course load. Wehr said this was the first time HCC
and UNH had worked together on such a tour. She and Cardillo worked together to coordinate the trip because they felt that HCC and UNH are near one another and have numerous programs in common, including criminal justice and accounting. Cardillo said that, since starting as an admissions coordinator in the summer of 2011 she has made it a goal to build closer relationships with Connecticut’s community colleges, as well as some in New York and Massachusetts. “I think that having students come visit, and having our counselors visit their schools multiple times per month gives that personal touch on which UNH prides itself,” she said. Cardillo said she is currently planning a trip for engineering students from Naugatuck Vallley Community College in Waterbury to visit the Tagliatela College of Engineering. Brandon T. Bisceglia is a staff writer at The Charger Bulletin, UNH’s student newspaper. He is a former HCC student, and editor-in-chief of Horizons from 2008 to 2010.
HORIZONS • Sports
Amazin’ Mets No More?
by Chris gAlli sEnior stAff WritEr
ith the 2012 MLB season just beginning, there is a lot of excitement in the air. Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim fans and Detroit Tigers fans should be excited about their new acquisitions of Albert Pujols and Prince Fielder respectively, but New York Mets fans have relatively nothing to be excited for. Since 2003 Jose Reyes has been a pivotal part of the Mets organization, and won the 2011 N.L. batting title and is now on the Florida Marlins roster. Losing Reyes to a N.L. East opponent is just one of many problems the NY Mets have in 2012. Like many other people these days, the Mets are having serious money woes, and since the opening of Citi Field, which cost around $900 billion, the ballpark revenues have dropped by 30 percent. Not only are the fans not coming to the stadium at the rates they used to, but the owners are hav-
ing financial issues not related to baseball. of $162 million, far less than what was Fred Wilpon and Saul Katz, the prin- expected, and also do not have to pay anycipal owners of the Mets, have sold 12 thing for another four years. This could not minority stakes in the team at an afford- have been better news for Wilpon and Katz, able $20 million each, amounting to $240 who reported earlier this year that they lost million. In $70 million early March last year. U.S. District With all the Court Judge Mets owners Jed S. Rakoff current legal ruled that Fred troubles it is Wilpon must not hard to unpay $83.3 milderstand why lion to the victhey are not tims of Bernie only trying to Madoff’s $65 sell off shares billion Ponzi of the team, Photo courtesy of newyork.cbslocal.com scheme, and at but are also one time thought that they might have to not willing to put any money into the team. pay another $300 million. This offseason they did not only let Reyes In a season where not many things are leave for Miami, but also let Carlos Belgoing right for the Mets, one thing did and tran and Francisco Rodriguez go, freeing according to the ESPN website, the Mets up much needed cap space. In fact the Mets owners and the trustees that are represent- payroll went from $142 million last year to ing the victims have agreed on a settlement $95 million this current year, which is an
MLB record for biggest payroll deduction in one year. Because of this the Mets have done nothing in free agency, where every other N.L. East team have made improvements to their roster this offseason. With all the money lost and not showing any effort to improve a team that hasn’t made the playoffs since 2006, just how long will the tough New York fans put up with it? New York is a town that does not take losing lightly, not that there is a town that does, but with the cross-town rival Yankees primed for another successful season, is there any hope for Mets fans? In my opinion the answer to that question is no, at least not anytime in the near future. With bats like Jason Bay and David Wright that still haven’t proved themselves in New York, and a pitching staff that’s reliant on a number one that hasn’t pitched in over a year, and a number two knuckleballer that show signs of both good and bad, there is increased skepticism that this playoff drought will continue for years to come.
Spring Training Overview
by Austin vAughn & Chris gAlli sEnior stAff WritErs
ell, spring training is just about wrapped up, and the MLB is gearing up for opening day. Before we get into the good ol’ Yanks/Sox rivalry or see if Met fans can finally lift their heads, let’s see what the spring can tell us to expect from the regular season. MLB’s spring training throws out the League and Division affiliations and pits teams that train in Florida, nicknamed the Grapefruit League, against each other and teams that train in Arizona, aka the Cactus League, against other Arizona teams. Down in Florida’s Grapefruit League, the Tigers have amassed a 15-6 record behind the powerful bats of 2011 All-Star Game MVP Prince Fielder and Delmon Young. The balanced play of the Blue Jays has given them an impressive 21-4 record so far, despite the lack of any real standout players. The defending champion Cardinals are doing well without star Albert Pujol, earning a 14-7 record. However, most of the Grapefruit teams
seem to be mired in the middle, such as two spring leagues, still has some excitethe newly christened Miami Marlins, NY ment for fans that are curious about what Yankees, and Bobby V led Red Sox, with the 2012 MLB season will bring. Albert close to .500 records. With no actual re- Pujols leaving the defending champs to go percussions or meaning in the stats or to sunny Los Angeles has proven to work records before the regular season begins, out well so far, as the Angels only trail the these teams may just throw the idea of Oakland Athletics in the Cactus League wins and losses out the window in order standings with their records being 14-5 to see the play of their roster; to see who deserves the starting spots once stats start to matter. That idea gives hope to Met fans, who have an embarrassing 6-16 record and fans of the 7-15 Rays. The Cactus League, which many people consider the MLB 2012 Spring Training Image courtesy if alliancetickets.com lesser of the
and 15-9 respectively. Another surprise of the spring is the two time defending AL pennant winner Texas Rangers. They are not playing how many were expecting, going 7-16, good enough to earn second to last place in the Cactus and scoring a third least, 120 runs. Now, for a team that hasn’t won a World Series in over 100 years, the Chicago Cubs have been lighting up the scoreboard this spring scoring 148 runs, which is second best in both leagues. This is due in main part to the hot hitting Alfonso Soriano, who has 6 home runs and 15 RBI’s, which is good enough for first in both categories. But with all good there is bad, and for the Chi-town Cubs it’s pitching, where they’ve been horrendous giving up the most runs in both the Cactus and Grapefruit Leagues with 156. Many people think that spring training is not a preview for the year to come, but more simply just a chance to check out the players and improve your roster, but for that answer I guess we’ll all have to just wait and see.
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HORIZONS • Sports
No Title = No Loyalty?
by JosE A. rosAs sEnior stAff WritEr
fter months of speculation on whether Dwight Howard would finish the season in an Orlando Magic Uniform, the saga has finally reached its end... for now at least. He will be sticking around with Mickey Mouse and the rest of the Disney Characters in Orlando for at least another year. That decision is a result of him deciding not to opt out of his contract this summer, which would have made him a free agent. With Howard not making his decision official until March 15, which was NBA trade deadline day, the Orlando Magic were considering to move him if he wasn’t willing to demonstrate some loyalty to the team before deadline time. According to Howard, he had made it clear 3 weeks before March 15 that he was willing to finish off the season with the Magic. “I told them I want to finish this season out and give our team, give our fans, some hope for the future. But I feel they have to roll the dice. It might be tough, but I feel we’ve got a great opportunity. But they’ve got to roll it,” he said. After making an official statement he would stay with the only team he has been with since he entered the league, he later apologized for the “circus” he had created: ”I have gotten some bad advice. I apologize for this circus I have caused to the fans of our city. They didn’t deserve none of this. I’m sorry from the bottom of my heart. I will do whatever I can to make this right and do what I was put in Orlando to do.” Howard stays put, the Magic are above the 500 line (with a record of 29-17 at the moment), and Orlando has defeated top teams in the league this season such as the Miami Heat. Can the team now move as a group and focus on winning a title this season? “Really glad that every one’s still here and we can focus on finishing the year strong!!! We have
a chance to do something special this year!! God is good!” Orlando Magic Forward, Ryan Anderson said after all the Howard saga had finished for the moment. All smiles may be going on in Orlando, but Ottis Smith, Orlando Magic general manager, knows Howard’s current contract only lasts one more year, therefore leaving him with one more year to prove to his star player why Orlando is the best place to stay and win a championship. Whether
it is hiring a new coach, trading for some key players, or even trying to land another superstar to create a Superman and Batman duo with Howard, the clock is ticking and something has to be done if the Magic wish to retain Superman. Dwight Howard is arguably the best Center in the NBA. Nowadays it has become very hard to find a Center like Howard. Sure there are some solid ones out there, but the skills he possesses are truly
rare. The Orlando Magic cannot afford to lose their franchise player like they did back in the end of the 95-96 season when they lost Shaquille O’Neal in the free agency for nothing. When asked whether or not he thinks this whole saga will be revived before next season’s trade deadline, Howard said, “ You can’t worry about the future or anything like that. You can only control this moment, right now.” He knows a lot of people always want to look ahead two years, but he is worried about right now. “What about what we can do right now? That’s where I stand. This is a moment that we can control. And if we control this moment, the future’s gonna be great,” he said. Did the ending of that quote imply that if Orlando wins the NBA finals this season he will stay with the team and if not then it won’t be so great for the Magic Organization? Or perhaps will he demand another trade like he did this past December if they don’t win the title? However Orlando decides to play this out, they have a year to figure out what is best for the organization, while Howard has to decided whether he believes Orlando is the best place to stay and win a title. If the Magic were to get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs, that could possibly be the beginning of another nightmare to come in the city of Orlando. We don’t know exactly whether Howard decided to stay one more year so the Nets, (which was the team on the top of his list of being traded to) could develop their young players one more year, or if he did it because he feels Orlando can overcome all obstacles and truly create a championship team this season. One thing for sure is the fact that he decided to stay one more year will either be a “circus” (once again), or the beginning of another great era for the Orlando Magic.
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