Review: The Maine’s ‘Lovely, Little, Lonely’ New Album

by Thomas Redding

The Maine is a pop-rock band from Phoenix, Arizona, who just released their sixth studio album, “Lovely, Little, Lonely,” that has received positive feedback.

The band released the album with no help from a record label or distributor. The physical copies were only available as pre-orders on their website and on release day at select locations in the US.

Despite having a lack of promotional tools, the band managed to chart the album at #15 on the top 200-album chart in the first week, and #3 in vinyl albums sold. “Lovely, Little, Lonely,” features 12 tracks, totaling 34 minutes and 13 seconds.

The first track, “Don’t Come Down” starts the album off right with an ear catching guitar riff that leads into a catchy, hard-hitting chorus. The lyrics to the song make it a perfect, bittersweet anthem for any teenager in love who doesn’t want the flame to burn out.

The second track was the first single released back in January, titled “Bad Behavior.” The band noted that this was the best transition track into their new sound for those who heard their previous record, “American Candy.”

The first single from that album was titled “English Girls,” and the new track feels somewhat like a sequil. It has similar vibes, but a little more rock influenced and they both dive in to the ideas and feelings behind intimacy.

Track three is a 34 second instrumental track titled “Lovely,” that consists mostly of soothing tones created from a sampler or keyboard and features a guitar riff similar to that of the next track. It’s short, sweet, and builds suspense for the listener.

If listening to the album for the first time, it can catch listeners off guard when “Lovely” bleeds right into “Black Butterflies and Déjà Vu,” track four. One loud snare hit followed by a loud, fast section of the full band playing abruptly awakens the soothing sound of “Lovely.”

The song has an interesting spin on normal songwriting techniques the band typically follows. The chorus is actually the softest part of the song, and features the same ambient sounds form the previous track, while the verses feature the guitars and drums pounding with loud vocals to match the amplitude.

Track five is one of the more “emo” songs on the album, yet still has a somewhat positive message. The song is titled “Taxi,” and vocalist, John O’Callaghan, sings about being there for someone who believes that their sadness will never leave them.

It’s a reminder to be there for loved ones, no matter the situation. The track starts in a more somber style with just acoustic guitar and vocals that helps focus listeners on the lyrical content, which is the strongest part of the song.

Leading off side B of the vinyl is “Do You Remember (The Other Half of 23).” This song is one of the more positive ones in the aspect of the lyrics and overall feeling. It was also the third single to be released. This track’s arrangement resembles a track from their previous album titled, “Am I Pretty.”

However, “Do You Remember” is much more of a rock song. The use of crunchier guitar effects and more guitar feedback make this song one of the only pop-0punk influenced songs on the new record.

Through seamless transition, the next track starts when the guitar from the previous song ends. The drums bleed into the next song titled, “Little,” another transition track, similar to “Lovely.”

It features the same type of ambient keyboard but with a spoken word poem edited with a deep, monster sounding vocal effect, and some of the lyrics from the next track softly layered in the background. The track ends with just acoustic strumming, and runs right into the next song.

Track eight is titled “The Sound of Reverie.” This track is about things changing so fast that they may just miss them and the idea that with age comes forgetting who real friends are. They may lose contact with a person, and that person then becomes a stranger.

O’Callahan sings about not blinking or to not miss anything. This could refer to that passing of time or even as a sign of negligence. The track has acoustic guitar during the verses as well as an undertone to the electric guitars during the chorus.

The acoustic feel of this song make it another bittersweet one. The band had noted in an interview that they were trying to make a “Happy Sad” album, and these select songs that I’ve noted really push that agenda.

Up next is “Lost In Nostalgia.” This song is instantly recognizable by its infectious bass line. The song is the grooviest, most pop influenced song they’ve ever written. Its instrumentation consists mostly of keyboard arrangements and soothing sounds. The vocals are highly edited to fit the ambient vibe.

The track ends with an arpeggio of keyboard sounds that sends listeners into a long section of guitar feedback that gets interrupted by the sound of soft playing drums.

Next up on the track listing is “I Only Wanna Talk To You.” This is the only full acoustic song on the record, but still includes drums. It has this creepy guitar riff in the intro that leaves everyone wondering what’s next. It’s the most romantic and intimate song on the album, and the message is direct in reference to the lyrics.

As it builds up toward the end of the song, the vocals get louder showing the passion in O’Callahan’s voice. It’s a great love ballad for fans of non-cheesy love songs. The song ends with the same feedback that started it, and this runs over into the next track.

The second to last song is called, “Lonely.” The title corresponds with the feeling of the song very well. He sings about feeling weightless and alone in deep water, yet it all turns around. This could be taken literally because the album art features two hands submerged in water, which is represented by empty black space.

It can also be taken metaphorically, yet has a sort of dissonance that makes it difficult to understand what he might truly mean. This song is mostly piano with the addition of a drum machine in the later end of the song.

Also making a later appearance are ocean sounds, which further pushes the theme of vast water and emptiness. Hearing the actual sounds that they recorded of the ocean next to where they recorded the album lets you feel exactly what it was like to be in that emptiness that he was feeling. It makes the song exponentially more intimate. The next song, whose vibe is the exact opposite, abruptly cuts off this track.

The final song of “Lovely, Little, Lonely” is called “How Do You Feel?” This track is about living your life to the fullest, and not really caring about what other people think. The track’s instrumentation is similar to track six, “Do You Remember.” It has more of a rock vibe, and more positive lyrics, which highly contrast the previous four songs.

It was definitely the best decision for a closing track because you never would have expected this loud song to come after these four softer ones. It’s uncomfortable, yet works seamlessly.

The album speaks to what the band believes in. At every show, they tell the crowd to live in the moment and not care about what’s going on in their lives and let the music bring everyone together.

The fans have received the album better than any proceeding record, and the release of “Lovely, Little, Lonely” is important to the band because of this. This can be a pivotal point in their career, but it is definitely not nearing the end. The band has been making music for 10 straight years, and said they will for as long as they can. If interested in purchasing a physical copy of “Lovely, Little, Lonely,” it is available on their website www.wearethemaine.net. It is also available digitally on iTunes and Spotify.

I would rate this album a solid 10/10. Not only is it great music, but it is rare to be able to feel what a band was feeling when they wrote the songs The vibe and overall feeling of this album will make listeners a little happy and a little sad, but in the end like a better person.

Blue Devils Drop Two of Three In Weekend Series Against Binghamton

by Tyler Roaix

The Central Connecticut State University baseball team went into a weekend series at Binghamton riding high, scoring a combined 17 runs in their last two games. But the offense struggled to get much going, scoring just six runs total in the three-game set.

The weekend series began with a double header on Saturday. The early game featured a CCSU offense that struggled to get anything going, as Central fell 6-1.

The Blue Devils started off well with junior Dean Lockery, hitting a leadoff homerun to take an early 1-0 lead. He would later single to account for two of the team’s three hits in the game.

Justin Yurchak carried Binghamton to the win. The third baseman went two-for-three at the plate, but his two-run homerun in the fifth inning delivered a huge blow to Central’s plans for a comeback.

Nick Gallagher was strong on the mound for Binghamton, allowing just one run on two hits in six innings of work. Gallagher also had two strikeouts, pushing his record to 6-1 on the season. The bullpen got the job done as well. Joe Orlando and Nicholas Liegi finished the game giving up just one hit combined.

Brendan Smith received the loss for CCSU, dropping his record to 3-6 on the year. He gave up two runs on five hits, but pitched just four innings. Tom Curtin struggled as well; he allowed three earned runs in three innings out of the bullpen.

Central was able to bounce back in the second game with a hard-fought 3-2 victory, earning a split of the double header.

The Blue Devils again jumped out to an early lead with a homerun from Mitch Guilmette, leading off the second inning. They added on two more in the fourth inning to make it 3-0, after an RBI triple from Buddy Dewaine and an RBI single from Dylan Maher.

Ron Grant had an impressive start for Central, holding Binghamton to just two hits in the first five innings of play. But the Bearcats finally broke through in the sixth.

Grant ended up allowing two runs on four hits, while striking out six in 5.1 innings of work. Two hits and a walk in the inning helped Binghamton cut the lead to just one going into the final inning.

The Bearcats again rallied in the seventh, getting runners on second and third with two out. Coach Charlie Hickey brought in Patrick Mitchell to get the final out of the game. Mitchell did just that, inducing a ground ball out to secure his third save of the year.

The rubber match proved to be the most exciting game of the series, as the two teams took it to extra innings in yet another pitchers duel.

The scoring started early yet again as TT Bowens singled in a run to give the Blue Devils an early 1-0 lead. But the Bearcats answered quickly with a solo homerun off the bat of Brendan Skidmore, tying it up at one run apiece. The teams then traded runs in the sixth to bring the score to 2-2.

The pitching duel then continued all the way into extra innings. But in the bottom of the 11th inning, Skidmore came through again for the Bearcats with a bases-loaded walk-off single to secure the win and the series.

The weekend performance brings Central’s overall record to 22-18. But their second-place position in the Northeastern Conference remains unchanged with a 12-5 record in NEC play. The Blue Devils will be back at home this weekend to face conference opponent Sacred Heart.

Deep Roots In North Korea’s Relationship With The U.S.

by Sarah Willson

It is no secret that tensions have risen between the United States and North Korea since the Korean War. Although believed to have ended over 60 years ago, the war is technically still ongoing, as the parties involved only agreed to a ceasefire.
Since then, the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea has reached an all-time low, especially since President Donald Trump took office in January.
After Vice President Mike Pence paid a visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), dictator Kim Jong-un warned that a nuclear war could break out at “any moment,” putting the U.S. on high alert.
Now more than ever, Trump is preaching the importance of creating peace between the two nations, something the U.S. has been working towards for over half a century.
However, to begin the process of creating peace between the U.S. and North Korea, it must first be examined why the isolated country and its mysterious leader have grown to despise the United States.
It is important to note that the split of North Korea and South Korea, which took place in 1945, was a major blow for such a tiny country. South Korea ultimately declared itself as an independent nation in May of 1948, leaving bloodthirsty, Soviet-appointed Kim II-sung a blank canvas to construct a communist country.
After taking office on Sept. 9, 1948, he begun his political revolution, calling himself “The Great Leader.” From then, everything went downhill. Kim II-sung begun to fill his people’s heads with propaganda, specifically about the U.S.
North Korea is angry at the U.S. for something it never did.
According to the BBC News Netflix documentary, “The Propaganda Name,” Korean schools have taught for decades, under the ruling of Kim II-sung, Kim Jong-il and now Kim Jong-un, that the U.S. fired the first shot in the Korean War, when in fact it was North Korea who did. North Korea’s people believe they only fired as a defense mechanism against the U.S.
Because of this, North Korea blames U.S. for its hardships, as the country took an emotional and economic loss due to the war. North Koreans today continue to pin their hardships on America, believing that the United States is the reason they live difficult lives.
So, how can America create lasting peace with North Korea?
First, the United States should not give North Korea any reasons to intervene within American government and military. This means steering clear from the DMZ, as visiting there only provokes the communist nation.
Second, America should formally end the Korean War, which to this day is still ongoing. There is no reason as to why the conflict should continue. More than anything, it puts other countries, including the U.S., at risk with North Korea and its 20 nuclear warheads.
Third, involve China. Applying pressure from China could ultimately scare North Korea from using nuclear weapons, as they know the Chinese military is much stronger than theirs will ever be. North Korea, although seemingly scary, does not want to put its country or its people at more risk than they already are.
Lastly, although not likely, Trump may need to continue Obama’s administration condition for negotiating peace, which ultimately aims to disarm North Korea of its nuclear weapons.
Trump, however, has made it clear that he has no intention of pursuing any of Obama’s foreign policies.
Nothing is going to happen overnight. But, if all else fails, negotiating peace between the two countries may not be the worst idea. After all, North Korea has been demanding a peace treaty with the U.S. since 2011.

Still Not The Time For CCSU Student Athletes To Get Paid

by Kimberly Pena

Over the past years, the conversation in college sports about unionizing and paying student athletes have been heating up, and the discussion is not going anywhere, especially at Central Connecticut State University.

With over 400 student athletes attending CCSU, 99 of those students are football players, making up nearly 25 percent of the student athlete population at Central. On average, Central football players spend an approximate 45-plus hours training a week, and that does not include travel time, game time, study hall and their regular classes.

Joey Fields, a junior and a wide receiver for the football team, says his schedule is always tight. In the regular season, he does not get enough personal time to relax or hang out with friends. He wakes up at 6 a.m. to head to the field at seven in the morning for practice, then heads to lift weights at eight and following that, he must go to his daily meetings with the team at 9:25 in the morning.

Following his busy morning, Fields starts going to his regular classes and has an advising meeting in between. Once his academic day is done, Fields returns to the field and has practice from three in the afternoon to six in the evening. This is his daily routine, and it does not account for travel and game day.

“This is my job, this is my job,” said Fields. “We don’t literally get paid upfront with it, but this is what I do for a living.”

Since usual game time occurs on Saturdays, the team returns to campus late at night. The following morning, the team holds their weekly Sunday meetings, a few hours of practice and then study hall for about two hours at night. Fields believes that with this non-stop ongoing schedule, student athletes deserve to and need to be paid.

“The amount of hours we put into doing this, the time we have to be up, the time we go to sleep, the things you have to remember, the things you got to do,” said Fields. “You know a normal student, you can just go to class and go do whatever you want the rest of the day. We are living on a time schedule from the time we wake up, to the time we go to sleep. There is no stopping.”

Najae Brown, also a junior and a safety for the team, agrees with Fields and says the team works hard enough to get compensation that he believes they deserve.

“We do put in a lot of work, going to workouts, practice and then going to class,” said Brown. “We should get a little something, not like overly paid, but something.”

According to the Department of Athletics Assistant for Communication and Media Services Thomas Pincince, 274 out of 403 student-athletes receive some form of athletics aid, while 82 are on a full scholarship.

Fields and Brown are two of those 82, but it doesn’t mean they are never tight on money, typically turning to their parents if they need the extra cash for necessities, such as food. Fields explains how many of his teammates and other athletes in the school are constantly struggling financially, and are not as lucky as him who can turn to their parents for financial support.

“All my friends play Division I football and you know, they will send texts to me of them starving and they’ll be hungry, you know what I am saying. They are tight on money,” said Fields. “The café is closed and that’s where they usually get their food from, the café. So, let’s say they are on scholarships, they have meal plans. A lot of people say you are on a meal plan, there is nothing to be complaining about. What happens when the café closes, where do you go when the café closes? You open your fridge and there is nothing but water in there.”

Although the Department of Athletics at CCSU has a good understanding of the hours student athletes dedicate to the school and to the sport, there is just not enough money to pay the athletes, according to Pincince.

“I do understand some of the hardships that might come with that (being a student athlete), you know the ability to work and have a job to get some extra money,” said Pincince. “What makes it difficult at a place like Central Connecticut is the money factor. The reality is that an athletic department our size and our budget, we don’t have the money to pay student athletes. It is just the reality. We faced budget cuts each of the last few years.”

The CCSU Department of Athletics most recent budget cut amassed to be $300,000, according to CCSU Athletics Director Paul Schlickmann. With this cut, it makes the task of student athletes getting paid that much more difficult at Central.

“We understand that athletics is not unique in the challenges that come with the state financial picture, the direct impact it has had on the University and the challenges presented to each area of the institution to do more with less,” said Schlickmann. “We are committed to maintaining high expectations and providing our student-athletes with the best experience possible during their time at CCSU.”

The 2016 football season featured the Blue Devils turning in a record of 2-10. That record brought in a revenue of approximately $194,000, this includes game guarantees and ticket profits, according to Pincince.

Although that number is not millions like other colleges, such as Notre Dame or Ohio State, Fields believes their team brings in just enough to give attention and publicity to the university.

“Me playing a Division I sport, I see all the fan bases, the things that we bring in and you know, like the venues, like when the games are sold out, all of that. They are there for us,” said Fields. “We should be getting paid for the things we bring to the school and the time we put into it. People only see the games and what we are doing at the games, but people don’t see what’s going on behind that Saturday night or that Friday evening on game day.”

However, sophomore and quarterback Jacob Dolegala, understands why the team does not get paid because of the complexity that goes into making a system work, and simply because CCSU does not have the budget like other universities. However, he wouldn’t mind making the extra bucks throughout the semester.

“It would help to have that extra money on the side,” said Dolegala. “I know for a fact we [university] don’t [have enough money]. We have to win more, and we are planning on changing that, but we just have to win.”

Although several players from the football team hope to get paid sometime soon, that may be a scenario far out of reach. With not a high amount of revenue, budget cuts and for a small university compared to Alabama State, getting paid is not an option right now or in the near future for the Blue Devils.

Students Experience The Civil Rights Movement Secondhand

by Angela Fortuna

Nearly 400 students and faculty members gathered at Central Connecticut State University to listen to mayor of Birmingham, Alabama, Dr. William Bell, speak on behalf of Birmingham during the civil rights movement.

The civil rights lecture was primarily focused on the “city of Birmingham’s ugly past, its reconciliation and the city’s legacy in promoting civil rights, equality and justice for all,” according to African American studies professor Stephen Balkaran who organized the event that occurred last Tuesday.

“I think Mayor Bell’s perspective on civil rights is remarkable,” said Balkaran. “The fact that he was part of the movement as a teenager in the 1960s brings first-hand knowledge of the struggle for equality in America.”

CCSU president, Dr. Zulma Toro, gave opening remarks at the lecture held in Torp Theatre in Lawrence J. Davidson Hall.

“CCSU takes pride in supporting diversity,” said Toro. “Our [CCSU’s] dedication for justice has been the cornerstone of our success.”

After Toro spoke, Balkaran introduced Bell.

“Our distinguished speaker was involved in the civil rights movement as a 14-year-old in Birmingham, Alabama,” said Balkaran. “His legacy as a civil rights activist continues today as mayor.”

The audience was full of emotion as Bell shared his personal childhood experiences.

“It’s important for CCSU’s faculty, staff, students and our community to have such an icon on campus. His knowledge on the civil rights movement will shape students’ minds for generations to come,” said Balkaran.

Bell recalled hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “power of words” and “passion” as a young boy, which inspired him.

As a 14-year-old, Bell acknowledged that he did not experience all of the difficult times his family went through, but he certainly knew something needed to be done about the way they were treated.

During the 1960s, the black community often felt intimidated and victimized by the white community, according to Bell.

During the question-and-answer portion of the lecture, a woman, who claimed to have grown up during the 1980s, said she remembers feeling intimidated by the white community and still sees this fear in her own children. She then asked Bell about his stance on affirmative action, and whether it applies today.

Bell responded that affirmative action needs to be evaluated “time and time again” to see if it is still needed.

At the end of the lecture, many students and faculty asked Bell about civil rights today, in reference to incidents such as Ferguson, Missouri and the Black Lives Matter movement. Many had the same question: what happened to the black community?

Bell said that leadership is needed in the black community today, and that there will always be a “push and pull” situation with human and civil rights.

“That’s just the nature of our society,” said Bell.

How One Undocumented Student Found a Home at Central

by Cindy Pena

Jose Diaz goes through the same struggles as any college student at Central Connecticut State University; manages to keep his grades up, stresses over finals and pays for the increasing cost of tuition.

However, he faces one constant struggle many students cannot relate to: he is undocumented.

Diaz is in the U.S. on a work permit and protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, an immigration program that protects people who came into the U.S. as children. 16,000 individuals live under DACA in Connecticut. Only 18 percent have a high school diploma and are enrolled in college.

Although he is protected from deportation, he still fears for other undocumented individuals.

“Many people in CCSU and in the town of New Britain, that I know personally, are scared because all things they are hearing in the news and on the TV. They are afraid on what could happen to them,” said Diaz. “It’s different knowing that all those things that they are saying could happen. Although I am under DACA, it’s still scary.”

He has advocated for the cause of undocumented immigrants on and off campus through his speeches in events, interviews with news outlets and participation in clubs.

His voice on campus has helped many students who feel they can’t disclose their legal status in fear of how people will respond and treat them.

“I want to prove people that we are not the way you think we are. I just want to fight, not only for my family, but other students who feel that they don’t have a voice,” said Diaz. “We just want an opportunity. We just want people to see us the way we are. I don’t want people to judge us because we are undocumented or because we don’t have a piece of paper. That shouldn’t define us.”

However, he doesn’t want to be the only one fighting for this cause.

“I want to be that catalyst, I want to be that first person, but hopefully other people can come out later on,” said Diaz. “They shouldn’t be afraid to speak up, there is a support system here. That way, the school and others can see that there are others as well and it’s not just Jose.”

One support system that Diaz has leaned on is the Social Justice Committee of the Student Government Association.

The SJC organized a lobbying effort to push for the Afford to Dream Act and a rally in support of immigrants. Diaz and members of the SJC collaborated in both these efforts.

“I think that the SGA and the Social Justice Committee has helped a lot and they will continue to help even more. I think that they always have done everything that they can to support,” said Diaz. “We work together to come up with different ways that can help the undocumented students and help them succeed in school as well.”

The SJC and Diaz’ goal by organizing these efforts is to educate the CCSU community and change the common misconceptions people have on undocumented individuals.

“I think that most of the time that people are against immigration or the issue of undocumented immigrants is because they don’t know what’s going on. They are misinformed,” said Diaz. “People think they don’t pay taxes, that they are criminals, that they are bringing drugs and that’s not true. So, one of the things that I am doing is showing people that I am undocumented, but I am not a criminal. I am in school, I am trying to do my best to contribute to the community and help others. I am not a burden.”

CCSU and its many programs to protect undocumented students have created a safe place for Diaz and others; something he is truly grateful for.

“I think that CCSU is one of the schools that I personally feel safe, mainly because the way they have been reacting to all the things that’s been going on,” said Diaz. “All the things I have done here on campus, they have reacted positively. They always look to me and ask if I need anything else or if they needed my help to do something or needed my opinion. I feel like that actually matters because other universities will not take the initiative.”

Fifth Annual Hoops for Homeless

by Lauren Lustgarten

About 50 teams consisting of over 200 players and volunteers from around the state gathered on Main Street in New Britain on Saturday with one common goal in mind: to end homelessness.

In the fifth annual Hoops for Homeless tournament, Main Street got shut down, handmade basketball courts were created with chalk, portable basketball hoops were set up and the young and the old came together to play for a cause.

“I wish we could do it in every town in Connecticut, but at least we started the idea here in New Britain,” said event co-chair, researcher at the Institute of Municipal Policy and Research and Central Connecticut State University assistant professor of teacher education, Jacob Werblow.

“This is the city where our university is, so we’re grateful for the CCSU athletics being involved and the men and women’s basketball players being the referees and being there all day. It is a wonderful event,” said Werblow.

While the specific number is not yet available for how much was made at this years’ event, about $50,000 has been raised since the event started five years ago, according to Werblow.

“We had some of our volunteers, who are students at CCSU, know family and friends who are at risk of losing their homes. I mean, even during the event, there was counseling and some sort of advising going on between some of the providers in the community,” said Werblow.

Werblow explained that citizens have to be honest in realizing that they create and live in these stigmas, in saying one town is worse than another or one town is better.

“This is sort of inherent in our communities from being a child and I think, unfortunately, many students spend four years at CCSU, graduate and never really have spent time downtown, so they just carry those biases with them,” said Werblow. “So, if nothing else, just bringing people with them to our side of the community and to our city can be a very transformative experience, even though it is a very simple thing.”

The local programs that are supported by this year’s Hoops for Homeless tournament are The Boys and Girls Club of New Britain, the Consolidated School District of New Britain, The Friendship Service Center of New Britain and Prudence Crandall Center.

“Not only is the goal of this event to raise money, but it is also humanize the issue of homelessness and to raise awareness,” said Werblow. “It influences more people than many of us think.”

Tensions Rise Due To Alcohol Issues Around CCSU

by Diondra Clements

In light of the incident that took place in early March at the Angry Bull Saloon in Downtown Hartford, underage drinking has a topic of conversation on many occasions.

Central Connecticut State University freshman Taylor Lavoie fell to her death from the roof of the Angry Bull early on March 3. The aftermath has caused bars in the area, students and the school itself to be on close watch of what is going on.

Following the tragic incident, many students have become weary and more careful of what they do. Several bars in the area have said they have always taken serious measures to ensure no one is coming in that is underage or using fake identification.

A popular bar with CCSU students is Elmer’s Place, right down the road from campus. Many students frequently go to Elmer’s because it is easy to get to from their dorms or off-campus houses. It also has a reputation of being “easy” to get into for underage students.

“We’ve always done aggressive carding. When we card, we also video record it to a machine that blows it up and saves it on a hard drive, so this way the guys at the door when they put it in the machine it blows it up on a screen even the customer can see it blown up that way we look for imperfections on if they tried to change the date or anything,” said “Butch,” a manager at Elmer’s Place who wished to remain anonymous.

“When we do have someone with a knowingly fake ID, we pretty much confiscate them and turn them into the police department,” the manager said.

Another bar popular with CCSU students is Los Imperios Restaurant and Lounge in West Hartford. The bar had its liquor license suspended back in September after a shooting incident. The liquor license was reinstated one month later.

“What we do is, we have a scanner to determine and it will tell you if it’s a fake ID or not,” said the manager of Los Imperios, who did not want to be identified.

Some students agree that the bars near the Angry Bull Saloon have taken higher security measures, while bars further away have not changed their practices.

“I would say all bars in Downtown Hartford are a lot more strict. Before the Angry Bull incident, with the right fake, you could definitely get into some of the bars,” said one 20-year-old CCSU student. “However, after the incident, I don’t believe any bars are willing to take the chance and are not allowing anyone knowingly underage in. Although, I think this is mostly due to the proximity because I haven’t had problems with bars elsewhere. Other bars have not changed their ‘quick look and go’ technique. I recently went to Los Imperios and had no problem getting in.”

When it comes to the question of if CCSU students are encouraged more to drink on campus and in their dorm rooms, some students believe nothing has really changed.

21-year-old CCSU student, Kristina Frederick believes that, regardless of the recent situation, CCSU is a dry campus and it will remain that way.

“Drinking isn’t allowed in the dorms anyway, so I think the Resident Assistants follow the rules if they have any suspicions with drinking in the dorms,” said Frederick.

However, Frederick does feel as though bars have tightened up on carding. “They’ve started using a scanning system, where they scan cards and even take pictures for their records,” she said.

Some CCSU students do not believe much has changed in light of the recent situation, and that bars that used to card aggressively still do.

“Nothing has changed at all honestly. There will always be drinking in the dorms and that hasn’t changed at all,” said 20-year-old CCSU student, Victoria Minervino. “Angry Bull was the only bar that didn’t card aggressively. Every other bar I know of still cards heavily, even if you are of age.”

Rally Held During Town Hall Meeting At CCSU

by Angela Fortuna and Christie Stelly

Students and professors at Central Connecticut State University rallied against a proposal to consolidate services at colleges across the state that will likely impact students and faculty.

The rally was held during a town hall meeting on the CCSU campus on April 25, where Board of Regents President Mark Ojakian was speaking.

The plan to “centralize and back office functions” proposed by Ojakian has received criticism from both students and faculty.

The proposal consists of consolidating operations such as Information Technology, Human Resources, purchasing and contracts, facilities and other “back office” functions in all four state universities, according to Ojakian.

The proposal suggests combining the 12 Connecticut community colleges to have one universal president. In his proposal, Ojakian calls for “operational and administrative consolidation.”

During the town hall meeting in Alumni Hall in the Student Center, protestors holding signs gathered in front of Welte Hall and made their way into the meeting.

Students stood in the back of the auditorium holding signs that said things such things as “Board of Regents has failed” and “Stop the BOR.”

Students and staff are upset that there were no specific details given in the proposal, sociology professor John O’Connor and history professor Louise Williams said.

The proposal, nicknamed “Students First,” has been seen as cynical because students were not informed about it in the first place, explained O’Connor.

Ojakian said students and faculty will not be impacted with the proposal. However, O’Connor believes they will. The proposal could “really change experiences students have,” said O’Connor.

Ojakian plans on cutting more than $40 million out of school budgets. According to Williams, 80 percent of costs in running state universities are in personnel.

In his plan, Ojakian aims to save $41 million over the next several years. There is no way in knowing how this goal will affect faculty and the student body, although O’Connor believes it could lead to job cuts.

Faculty members are concerned because cutting funds ultimately means cutting resources from some part of the school. It is unclear, due to lack of specific details, whether that means eliminating staff members or other resources, O’Connor explained.

Williams believes the proposal should be a “policy of growth to improve education, not cut it.”

O’Connor said the proposal consists of “a lot of talk and very few details.”

The 15-page proposal was sent to faculty members on April 3, and the following Thursday, the plan was passed, allowing for no deliberation or discussion, according to O’Connor.

Ojakian claimed that the consolidation proposal is an effective way for the state to handle budget issues. “We need to invest more money in higher education and we need to do it in a way to prioritize our students and doesn’t continue to put a large burden on them and their families,” said Ojakian.

The only definitive part of Ojakian’s proposal is to increase tuition, O’Connor said.

“There doesn’t seem to be an end to increasing tuition,” Williams said. “I hope Ojakian thinks about the long-term effects and students think about the effects of paying increased tuition every year.”

Increased tuition has grown to be accepted by many students, even though it puts them further into debt, Williams said.

Tuition continues to rise because states continue to reduce funding for higher education. Williams, along with other faculty members, believes states should invest in higher education rather than cut its funding.

According to Ojakian, “[Connecticut] state funding has declined by 12.4 percent since 2015.”

“It has become abundantly clear that our operational costs are outpacing our revenues, creating a true structural deficit,” Ojakian said in an email sent to state faculty members.

Audience members were invited to come forward and ask questions directly to the BOR president during the town hall meeting.  Students and staff members took the opportunity to confront Ojakian about his plans.

Akai Long, student senator of the SGA, was concerned that students and staff members were not consulted during the process of the proposal. “Why weren’t more students reached out to when you were doing this plan?” Long asked in the town hall meeting.

“I have been all over the state meeting with students,” responded Ojakian. He suggested that there might need to be better communication between student leaders and the student body.

Students have not had the chance to voice their concerns with the proposal, causing many of them to protest at the town hall meeting, O’Connor and Williams said.

“I stand with those students and will continue to do so,” said O’Connor.

“I hope the concern we are expressing will affect Ojakian’s strategy,” said Williams.

Matt Warshauer, a history professor at CCSU, said that he has long believed Ojakian is the “perfect” leader for the student body at state schools.

“I believed we needed somebody with your kind of legislative background, the connections that you have, the understanding of government and budgets,” Warshauer said to Ojakian. “But what we don’t need is a systems office that micromanages us. This seems to be a top-down decision that is going to be implemented on us, not with us,” said Warshauer.

Warshauer agrees that the university system has serious budget issues, but he does not believe that Ojakian will be successful with his consolidation plan.

The proposal could also affect the plans and leadership of new CCSU president, Dr. Zulma Toro, according to O’Connor and Williams. State school presidents will have less freedom, making it harder for them to expand.

Williams hopes Ojakian does studies to see how similar plans have worked in colleges and universities across the country. Currently, no research has been done.

A faculty senate no confidence vote during an emergency meeting on April 17 voted 39-10 against the proposal, although it will most likely have no effect on the outcome of Ojakian’s plan, O’Connor said.

Foreign Languages Celebrated At CCSU

by Lorenzo Burgio