CCSU English Department Hosts Alumni Panel

 

by Jackson Rioux

“It was all frustrations and roadblocks, and there was one moment of happiness and that’s when you get a job.”

Those candid words were spoken by Central Connecticut State University alumnus Ian Mangione at “The Road Taken,” an event hosted by the CCSU English Department on Oct. 27.

“The Road Taken” offered the chance for current CCSU students and faculty to gain insight from recent graduates’ experiences in the “job search.” The event allowed alumni to, “discuss their current employment, additional training or education that helped them realize their career goals.”

“The Road Taken” ran from 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. in the Multi-Purpose Room at Mid-Campus Hall. There were two panels of English alumni, with the first one taking the floor at 7:30 p.m.

The first panel featured four alumni who found their jobs as educators through varied paths. The panel was called, “Many Roads Leading to Rome: Divergent Paths to Careers as Educators.” Each speaker took the time to discuss his or her current position, former experience and other related career factors during the 45-minute panel.

The first panel drew plenty of responses from the audience as the panelists talked about odd or completely unrelated prior jobs.

For instance, panelist Mike Rebeschi formerly worked in a kitchen as a chef. Rebeschi enjoyed being able to play music in the kitchen, although he did say, “I got sick of crepes really fast,” as laughter rang out throughout the room. Rebeschi, who graduated from CCSU in 2015, has moved on from the kitchen, as he is now a master’s degree candidate in elementary education at Southern Connecticut State University.

The first group of panelists also took time to discuss their differing personalities and teaching methods before taking questions from the audience.

The second panel was titled, “Many Romes: Paths Leading to Diverse Careers.” Each panelist had taken a career path toward Government, Health Management, Industry, Librarianship, Public Relations or Writing.

This panel discussed specific skill sets hiring teams look at. They also gave advice regarding resumes and networking among other topics.

Nicolas Phillips, who graduated from CCSU in 2011, placed a significant amount of importance on one skill set.

“If you have great grammar skills and you can write, there’s always a place for you at a company,” said Phillips. “Everyone needs good writers.”

Phillips has been able to translate these skills into a Corporate Communications position at Alexion Pharmaceuticals.

The other panelists agreed with Phillips as they cited other helpful skills that were acquired through majoring in English.

“It’s good to have the English skills to know how to communicate to a broad group of people,” said Kimberly Gierla. “It’s good to know how to communicate and get your point across.”

Kassondra Mangione cited her journalism background as a beneficial asset toward her Communications and Public Relations Manager role with Girl Scouts of Connecticut.

“One way I marketed myself when interviewing for the job was I know how the reporter’s mind works,” she said. “I know what it takes to get a press release picked up by the media.”

Mangione’s example aimed to further show that a student’s major does not necessarily restrict a student to a narrow field upon graduation.

As a whole, the panel provided insightful advice to an audience that may soon be finding themselves in the shoes of the panelists.

Donald Trump’s FBI

by Kristina Vakhman

In the week before the election, an the FBI stated there was no change in verdict regarding Hilary Clinton, FBI director James Comey sent a letter to Congress on Oct. 28 saying that the bureau would be reopening the probe into Clinton’s emails.

Leaked to the public by Republican congressman Jason Chaffetz, the letter explained Comey’s reasons to believe that newly discovered Clinton emails possibly contained pieces of evidence “that appear to be pertinent to the investigation” of an “unrelated case.” The emails were found on a seized laptop belonging to former congressman and top Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s husband, Anthony Weiner, during an investigation of him sending explicit text messages to a minor. The bureau will be going through more than 650,000 emails in search of related evidence.

This bombshell proclamation came less than two weeks before the presidential election. Though Comey stated that the emails could be benign and that he didn’t want to create “a misleading impression” by announcing the investigation at this time, the letter garnered bipartisan opposition. Over 100 former Justice Department officials openly criticized Comey for the letter’s close proximity to Election Tuesday.

“We cannot recall a prior instance where a senior Justice Department official—Republican or Democrat—has, on the eve of a major election, issued a public statement where the mere disclosure of information may impact the election’s outcome,’’ they wrote.

Tim Kaine, Clinton’s vice presidential candidate, joined in on the backlash, accusing Comey and the FBI of propagating “a double standard.” He cited the contrast between Comey’s refusal to publicly comment on Donald Trump’s alleged ties to Russia and his eagerness to investigate Clinton’s emails.

“He [Comey] said that the FBI has a long-standing protocol that we will not make statements like this right before an election,” Kaine said, rephrasing Comey’s explanation to his resistance to sign a FBI conclusion on Russia aiding Trump. “Why do these protocols need to get followed with respect to Russia’s involvement in activities to influence the election, but they don’t need to be followed with Hillary Clinton?”

Even Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings, one of Comey’s most vocal advocates at the beginning of his term as FBI director, expressed concern, stating that Comey’s decision to reopen the investigation at this time could “damage” the FBI’s credibility “in immeasurable ways.”

The effects of the letter’s publication are indeed proving to be harmful to the FBI’s previously unbiased impression. “The Guardian” recently spoke to several retired and currently serving FBI officials, “none of whom were willing or cleared to speak on the record.” Many bluntly stated that, specifically, Comey’s department is anti-Clinton and heavily supportive of the Republican nominee.

“The FBI is Trumpland,” one current agent told the paper, adding that Clinton is “the antichrist personified to a large swath of FBI personnel” and “the reason why they’re [Clinton’s emails] leaking is they’re [FBI] pro-Trump.”

The FBI’s bias was furthered when one of Trump’s top surrogates, Rudy Giuliani, hinted to “Fox and Friends” about the Republican nominee’s campaign having “a couple of surprises left” that would be “enormously effective” against Clinton. This statement came two days before Comey sent the letter to Congress. This rose suspicion that FBI insiders had leaked the bureau’s plan on Clinton’s emails to the Trump campaign, taking Giuliani’s close ties with the FBI into account. Giuliani later denied the allegations in an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.

The FBI is currently reviewing the Clinton emails, having now officially obtained a warrant. The investigation will continue for months after the election.

Happening Around The World: South Korean President Facing Call to Resign

by Alonso Velasquez

Tens of thousands of South Koreans protested in Seoul last Saturday, demanding President Park Geun-hye to resign. This comes after allegations that Park revealed classified secrets to a  close friend not related to the government.

The crowd gathered in Gwanghwamun square, where it was estimated that anywhere from 45,000 to 200,000 citizens held signs saying “Park Geun-hye out” and “treason by a secret government.” Some stated that if Park doesn’t step down, the government should try to impeach her. The protest came a day after a teary Park apologized on national television for the scandal, stating that it was “all my fault.” In response to the outrage, she has removed prime minister and second-in-command Hwang Kyo-ahn and has reshuffled her cabinet, nominating three new senior officials. The nominees will have to be appointed by the national parliament. Many opposition politicians  are also requesting that the parliament should name the next prime minister.

The friend in question is Choi Soon Sil, who was arrested by prosecutors earlier in the week with charges of fraud and abuse of power. Choi, daughter of a late  pseudo-Christian leader and a longtime friend of Park, is believed to have received around $70 million from businesses pressured by the government to help fund her. It is alleged that Choi repeatedly meddled in government affairs such as making policy, appointing ministers and even picking the president’s clothing. The scandal began when Korean network JTBC uncovered that Choi had received secret documents via a tablet.

Due to her “shamanic” traditions, she is seen as Korea’s “Rasputin.”

Choi’s late father was a spiritual mentor to Park’s father, who was former President Park Chung-hee. After the elder Park was assassinated, the younger Park was alleged to have been greatly influenced by the younger Choi. In Park’s inauguration, she stood close to a tree with colorful silk purses, reportedly at the request of Choi to bring prosperity. However, Park denies participating in “occultic rituals” with Choi in Seoul’s presidential palace, nicknamed the “Blue House.”

Many Koreans are outraged over the scandal and feel like Park has been a puppet, with Choi really leading from the shadows.

Park currently sits at a record low five percent approval ratings, down from 30 percent before the scandal. Park has 15 months remaining in her term, with the next election scheduled for December 2017. If Park is to resign, law dictates that there must be an election within the following 60 days. While several politicians have asked Park to step down, opposition parties have resisted going full-force, fearing that it could negatively alter next year’s scheduled election.  Park became her nation’s first female president after winning a close race in 2012. She has regularly been criticized as being a dictator’s daughter as her father ruled the country as a military strongmen from 1962 until 1979.

Two former presidential aides, An Chong Bum and Jeong Ho Seung, have also been arrested for allegations that they helped fund Choi.

There were also protests in smaller cities like Gwangju, where 3,000 citizens protested.

The Curse Is Over!

 

by Kimberly Pena

One of the greatest post seasons that this generation will ever see has come to an end and the conclusion was nothing short of incredible. The Chicago Cubs ended America’s longest championship drought with their first World Series win in 108 years. They ended their magical season in dramatic fashion by roaring back from a 3-1 deficit to beat the Cleveland Indians in a nerve-wracking Game Seven.

“Game Seven,” for many sports fans, is one of the most anticipated and greatest words ever spoken in sports. All hands are on deck and every rule in the book is off the table. Both managers will do everything in their power to assure victory, even if it means that they have to make bizarre decisions that they would never make in the regular season. That is how pivotal Game Seven is: winner takes all.

Game Seven was filled with that and more. The game began with a bang as Dexter Fowler became the first player in MLB history to hit a lead-off home run to begin a Game Seven. Later on the game, Cubs manager Joe Maddon made a questionable move in the fifth inning when he removed pitcher Kyle Hendricks from the game after a harmless two-out walk. Prior to the walk, Hendricks was absolutely dominating the Indian’s offense and had an 5-1 cushion. With the new pitcher in, John Lester was a bit erratic and threw a wild pitch, which led to two runs across the board. One of those runners got on from an infield hit against Lester, cutting the lead to 5-3.

The Cubs would eventually get one of those runs back by a home run from the veteran catcher David Ross. The game was really beginning at that point. In the eighth inning, with two outs and a runner on base, Cubs closer Aroldis Chapman came in the game to get the final out of the inning. However, an obvious fatigue, Chapman was not able to get the job done as he allowed a dramatic game tying two-run home run from the bat of Indians’s outfielder Rajai Davis, tying the game 6-6.

The game remained tied heading into the 10th inning. But before the inning began, there was a 17-minute rain delay, allowing the Cubs to recompose themselves after the momentum swung to the side of the Indians. During the delay, Jason Heyward gave a pep-talk to the Cubs, reminding them of who they are.

“I had to let them know that we had 103 wins because we had overcome every bit of adversity that we’ve had thrown at us to this point,” said Heyward to reporters. “We needed 114 wins, and I told them, everybody in this room could go out and get this 114th. It was a venting thing for me, letting these guys know to keep that fire.”

His talk did seem to resonate as the team would take a 7-6 lead in the top of the 10th from the bat of the eventual World Series MVP Ben Zobrist. Miguel Montero would tack on an insurance run and the eventual game-winning run.

With one out away from World Series galore, Mike Montgomery pitching with a one-run lead allowed a weak ground ball to third baseman Kris Bryant, who threw across the infield to first baseman Anthony Rizzo, sealing the team’s first ever World Series championship in over a century. Something that 108 different Cubs’s teams were not able to accomplish, this 2016 group was able to do. The city of Chicago jolted of excitement and had the party of a century, uniting the city once again.

“Just blow for blow, everybody playing their heart out,” said MVP Zobrist. “The Indians never gave up either, and I can’t believe we’re finally standing, after 108 years, finally able to hoist the trophy.”

The series was highlighted by bullpen dominance and sub par hitting with runners in scoring position. Both teams depended heavily on their bullpens as neither team’s starter were able to pitch past the sixth inning. Left handed pitcher Andrew Miller was Cleveland’s secret weapon; meanwhile, flame thrower Aroldis Chapman was the Cubs.  Both pitchers threw a combination of 15 and 1/3 of an inning with each pitcher throwing seven and 2/3 of an inning.

The organization is hoping with this monkey off their back, the team can hold up to this caliber of excellence and potentially create a dynasty. With the youth and strong talent that the team has, it is not something too big to dream of for the Chicago hopefuls. With the World Series loss, the Cleveland Indians became the new team with the longest drought without a World Series championship (68 years).

With their present looking just perfect, the Chicago Cubs cannot look anywhere but up. The curse is over, the drought is done with and the Chicago Cubs are the World Series Champions.

Too Soon: SGA Approves Contingency Request For YSA To Travel To Standing Rock

Despite less than a week of planning, the Central Connecticut State University Student Government Association (SGA) approved the Youth Socialist Action contingency request to travel to Standing Rock Indian Reservation.

During the public hearing at SGA Senate meeting last Wednesday, CCSU student Kim Oravetz proposed on behalf of the YSA to obtain a contingency request of a total of $6,500.00, ($5,000.00 for travel, and $1,500.00 for accommodations, not to exceed). According to Oravetz, the request was for a trip to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation to go and “protest”.

Standing Rock has recently gained national attention  when thousands of Native Americans and protesters gathered in North Dakota to block the Dakota Access Pipeline, the 1,200-mile project by Texas-based Energy Transfer Partners . The pipeline is designed to transport barrels of crude oil daily extending from North Dakota to Illinois. The Dakota Access Pipeline goes through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation and directly crosses through the Missouri River, the primary water source for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. Concerns over the chance of a spill, oozing into the water and claims that the pipeline crosses into sacred Indian burial grounds has protest there gaining national attention.

Although she originally stated that the group would protest  Oravetz explained there was more to do to assist in the efforts. YSA would be  helping the tribe prepare for the winter months by building ” more permanent structures for winter,” and helping  with food preparation by “shucking corn that can be stored for soup later in winter.”

Due to wanting to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday, Oravetz decided to bypass the finance committee and present it to the Senate instead.

“We’re going during one of the busiest travel days in the week, but by the time we would secure the funding we don’t know how much more expensive the flights are going to be, if hotels are booked we would have to find other accommodation, it would complicate things a lot more the closer to the day that we get. The sooner we can pass this and get funding the better,” Oravetz said.

This raised some concerns from Treasurer Kruh. “Although the presentation was very well put together, standard protocol for this standing body is all emergency funding requests go through finance committee. As chair of finance committee and treasurer of this senate I do not see this as emergency funding and therefore believe it needs to take due process,” said Treasure Kruh.

SGA Senator Bosworth disagreed with the Treasurer. “Referring it back to finance does nothing. Not only are we probably going to approve it in finance, but it will be more expensive because the flight bookings were delayed. Do you want this to come back in a week and have it cost a couple hundred dollars more, or do you want to approve them right now and give the club the security they deserve to start planning this event,” said Bosworth.

Senator Dew also pointed out that it is not required for clubs to go through the fiancee committee. “Bylaws says clubs are required to make a formal presentation to the finance committee OR the SGA general assembly, so they do have a right to come to us today.”

The issue of how quickly this event was planned also brought some debate.

“I fundamentally have an issue because of the fact that if I were in any other organization, if I was an officer and wanted to go on a trip, I would plan that trip out. It would be planned in advance, if not months. As we know, this has been going on since august. Why is it that fundamentally speaking that YSA hasn’t been able to come to us even two weeks ago to go through finance committee to ask us then,” said Treasure Kruh.

YSA first heard of this event  during their Tuesday November 2nd meeting, just one day before it was presented to SGA.  During this meeting, Oravetz proposed the Standing Rock trip. Seven members who were at the meeting and could go were selected to participate. Oravetz was not a member of YSA up until that Tuesday. YSA did not have a faculty assigned  to accompany them up until the morning.

“The case is that this trip was put together by an individual, that individual talked to YSA about it and then YSA got on board with it last night to be planned and carried out for thanksgiving. It is not this bodies responsibility to make sure they don’t have a time crunch. It is the individuals and clubs/organization’s responsibility to make sure they are adequately planned,” said Treasurer Kruh.

SGA Senator Long, who is a member of YSA also urged the senate to consider this contingency carefully. “I’ve been thinking about this for a while,  I am actually a member of YSA,  I have been going to the meetings for 2 weeks now, and I question the effectiveness of these trip and I don’t feel as if this was appropriately planned,” said Long.

Senator Bosworth expressed that this was being argued not because it wasn’t planned well but  that it didn’t go through the finance committee.

“Want to remind everyone that it’s not our responsibility to plan the events for the clubs. The gentleman before alluded to this and it was also alluded to in finance before, the treasurer is upset they didn’t give us enough time. Okay. How does everyone feel about the soundness of this request? Is the request good? If it’s good, but finance didn’t get to look at it, does that make it bad,” said Bosworth.

Oravetz expressed to SGA members how good this would make CCSU look politically.

“This is a very unique opportunity to represent Central and CT in a positive light and show that we support their fight for clean drinking water, What has happened in their history, we know and support them. They’re calling for people on the ground, that’s the most important thing you can do to help protest, go.”

In the end, the SGA passed the motion to allocate Youth for Socialist Action’s Contingency request a total of $6,500.00 with 22 in favor, 8 opposed and 2 abstentions.

YSA president Brian Becker was surprised that this motion even passed.

Although YSA thought of assisting with the cause for some time, with Oravetz knowledge of the SGA, they were surprised at how fast this was able to pass.

David Kiely, a YSA E-Board member realized the advantage of having Oravetz present it. “Kim Oravetz was a former SGA senator, she knows the kind of presentation they want to see, so she was able to facilitate that together. I mean ultimately thats the SGA, they want it a specific way and presented that way. I’ve been apart of other clubs and its been hard to get funding.”

Although YSA received the funding quickly, they are still in the process of planning the trip. At this moment no plane tickets have been purchased and they are reaching out to another advisor to come on the trip.

Pander Me Silly

 

by Andre Early

Wake up, turn on CNN, MSNBC or Fox News. What do you see on the TV?

Is it a police officer killing an unarmed black man? Is it Donald Trump regurgitating his immigration policy? If not, then maybe it’s some on-air personality criticizing a football player for protesting the national anthem.

Racial division is a pressing issue that’s not going away anytime soon. It has to be addressed with urgency.

But the ongoing pandering to get the votes of minority groups can be a distraction. During a conference in New Orleans, I had the opportunity to see diversity that Connecticut had never offered me.

I figured that I could use this to my advantage. So I went to the streets to see what people were really thinking.

“I think it’s cool, because most of the blacks don’t vote too much. I haven’t voted one time in my life,” said New Orleans resident Will McKay. “I’m 62 years old, which is a shame. Us [black people], being oppressed throughout the years, we don’t care who wins.”

There is truth to his opinion.

A large influx of blacks have turned out to the polls since the 2012 presidential election. Two million more African American voters, two million more Hispanic voters, and 600,000 more Asian voters registered in 2008 than those who registered in 2004, according to the Census Bureau in 2009. Altogether, in 2012, these three racial groups gave 80 percent of their vote to Obama, which propelled him to win the second time around.

We want to live in a world that’s not divided by hatred, bigotry and ignorance, yet it seems some of our current politicians have a problem grasping the idea that a progressive society is equivalent to an evolved one.

Recently, in the aftermath of protests caused by the murder of Keith Lamont Scott, who died at the hands of a police officer in Charlotte, North Carolina, Republican Congressman Robert Pittenger of Texas stated that, “[black people] hate white people, because white people are successful and they’re not.”

This is an elected official with the responsibility to improve the general welfare of his community.

“They don’t care about the ethnics’ well-being,” suggested Roy, a 25-year-old man out of New Orleans, “They basically don’t really want us here, so once they get our vote, it’s a wrap.”

During one of Trump’s recent campaign stops at a church in Cleveland, Ohio, former boxing promoter Don King, who rambled like a drunken philosopher, spoke as a guest of honor. King used derogatory terms that expressed a sense of self-hatred and maybe even desperation.

“You have to emulate and imitate the white man to be successful,” said King. “If you’re intelligent or intellectual, you’re an intellectual negro. If you are a dancing-sliding-and-gliding n—-, I mean Negro, you are a dancing-sliding and-gliding negro.”

This is a mindset we, as a people, have worked so hard to stray away from for over 100 years. Yet Donald Trump has no concept of what’s acceptable and what’s not.

How could Donald Trump care about the black community?

Isn’t this the same man that took weeks to denounce his affiliation with David Duke, former Imperial Wizard of the infamous American terrorist affiliation, the Ku Klux Klan?

Hillary Clinton isn’t off the hook, either. Did we somehow forget about the time she referred to young black males as “super-predators?” Or what about when she backed the many bills implemented by her husband during his term in office that disproportionately incarcerated African Africans?

None of the candidates are perfect. The point I’m trying to make is that the tactics taken by these two people, just to get the black vote, are too obvious and their motives don’t come off as being truly genuine.

Who do you vote for in times like these?

“I think this is a shortcut for them to connect to potential voters but I also think it is incumbent for the voters to recognize that and to hold these politicians and candidates accountable for issues further pandering them; not just accept the regurgitation of those same old lines,” said Frank Robinson, a graduate student at South Dakota State University.  “The voters need to say, ‘OK, that’s fine, but give me something that’s tangible.’”

No more hot air from these half-witted politicians. We need to see more action, more improvement, more plans and more dedication. Time ultimately is the only factor that will reveal the true intentions of whichever official we elected in November.

Colin Kaepernick is Not Dividing People-You Are

by Daniel Bates

As we enter into the sixth week of Colin Kaepernick’s protest against what he sees as wrongdoings against minorities in this country, we’ve heard it all: People are talking, players are talking and the media is talking.

Kaepernick decided that he could not bring himself to stand for the national anthem, due to the social injustices that African Americans and minorities face in this country-specifically, police brutality.

Recently, Fox News’ Brian Kilmeade alluded to the idea that Kaepernick’s protest could lead to “black and white division.” He argued that Kaepernick expressing his views would not only create division between black and white players, but black and white people across the country.

Suppressing opinion is what creates division amongst people, not expressing it. When people are inflexible, stubborn, and think, “This is not a problem,” that is what creates division within society.

With every distracting comment about how Kaepernick’s kneeling is disrespectful to the military, those who criticize him are unjustly projecting what the national anthem means to them and not accepting that it may mean something else to another individual.

Many people are failing to understand that it is possible to simultaneously love the country, and those brave enough to fight for it, while protesting certain aspects in which our country may come up short.

The magnificent Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had it right when he said, “Insulting Colin Kaepernick says more about our patriotism than his.”

Then adding, “One of the ironies of the way some people express their patriotism is to brag about our freedoms, especially freedom of speech, but then brand as unpatriotic those who exercise this freedom to express dissatisfaction with the government’s record in upholding the Constitution.”

Even though Kaepernick has repeatedly stated the great respect he has for our men and women fighting for our country, critics are so wrapped up in trying to suppress his opinion that they are the ones who are actually creating the division by being so rigid.

It seems that whenever a Black American tries to express that things going on aren’t right, they are met with some sort of distracting narrative or blind anger that misses the point. We do not do this to any other group of people who are trying to bring attention to their cause.

“Black Lives Matter,” is retorted by, “All Lives Matter.”

When Colin Kaepernick decided to use his platform to bring awareness to a cause he cares about, it got misconstrued as a bad quarterback trying to stay relevant, or how he is somehow disrespecting the flag and America. Even though Kaepernick eloquently spoke about why he chose to sit during the national anthem after being asked.

It’s like others want black people to peacefully protest, but “not like that.”

Former Minnesota Governor Jesse Ventura, who wore the uniform, stood in full support of Kaepernick, stating, “That’s why I served my country, so that you have the freedom to protest.”

I guess the real question is which video is more upsetting, seeing Colin Kaepernick take a knee during the national anthem? Or watching Terence Crutcher, Alfred Olango, Keith Lamont Scott, shot dead in the street? Which is more angering? Which is more talked about? Which was tweeted about more? The answers may be depressing.

While Colin Kaepernick may have generated anger with his protest, he also created a discussion between us. It is unwillingness to join the conversation that is creating the real division.

 

‘We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!’

By Kaitlin Lyle

Looking closely into the issues of today, the Central Connecticut State University Theatre Department achieved an impeccable production in beginning its 2016-17 season with Dario Fo’s “We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!” Following a guest lecture by Ron Jenkins, the show’s translator, in September and a series of steadfast rehearsals, the culmination of the cast and crew’s dedicated work was discernable in last week’s performances.

Directed by Jan Mason, the story behind “We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!” is a testimony to the individuals who, driven by hunger, struggled to survive during the rampant inflation of the 1970’s. The play focused on the lives of two married couples and their reaction to the “autoriduzione” movement that struck Italy as well as the United States. After making the decision to pay the prices of their choosing, the couples maneuver within troublesome (and frequently hysterical) situations in order to get by. Within the first few minutes of Act One, the show’s title arose in the chant of the women refusing to pay the rising costs of their groceries. As the fiery heroine Antonia proclaims, “It was the shopping spree to end all shopping sprees! Not because we didn’t pay for the stuff, but because suddenly we were all there together with the courage to stand up for ourselves.” From the moment Antonia and Margherita decide to react against the injustice, the ensuing turn of events produced a riotous narrative that demonstrated the buoyant nature of the human spirit during a time of economic hardship.

The show ran from Oct, 11 to the 15 at the Black Box Theater of Maloney Hall, including two preview showings on the 11 and 12 and a free morning matinee on Oct. 14. The CCSU rendition of Dario Fo’s political farce featured a cast of five, including one performer who took on several roles that intermingled uproariously throughout the plot.

Actor Dustin Luangkhot exhibited a remarkable talent for comedy in playing a “utopian subversive” sergeant, a rigorous trooper, an undertaker with an Italian accent, and a senile grandfather, much to the bewilderment of Nick Carrano’s Giovanni. Senior Carrano conveyed a majority of the show’s feverish monologues with an artistic zeal, delighting the audience with his eccentric interpretations of the surrounding events. When paired with Orianna Cruz, who starred as the inventive Antonia, the duo was as dynamic in their lively interactions as the late Lucille Ball and Ricky Ricardo.

While rehearsing the nonsensical humor of Dario Fo’s work, Orianna Cruz found Fo to be an animated playwright, especially in his ability to fuse comedy with strong political meanings. “It is unusual, but very liberating because of the fact that, right now, people perform comedy just for the sake of entertainment and it kind of gets old after a while,” said Cruz.

In agreement, actor Kendra Garnett, who starred in the play as Margherita, described “We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!” as “commedia dell’arte.” “It isn’t just a comedy in that the only reason to be there is to be funny,” said Garnett. “It was also made to get a point across and it has a big message for everyone to take with them.” In her fourth mainstage production, sophomore Garnett was vibrant in her movements onstage as her character reacted to the madcap situations around her.

Alongside Margherita, her husband Luigi, played by senior Alex Szwed, shifts from internalizing the newfound societal inequalities to going along with his companions’ absurd means for survival, particularly in his scenes with Giovanni. The experience of “We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!” marks Szwed’s final mainstage production with the CCSU Theatre Department as well as his last collaboration with director Jan Mason. “I’m so grateful for this theater department,” said Szwed. “It has instilled great confidence in me, it has opened so many doors for so many great relationships, and I’m very sad and gracious in leaving.”

As an unexpected surprise, the cast and crew paid a kind tribute to the memory of playwright, Dario Fo, who passed away in Milan last Thursday, during their official opening night on Oct. 13. “He was definitely in our thoughts all day,” said Garnett, who observed that Fo’s passing altered the mood of their performance onstage. “It felt like we were definitely more doing it for him.”

Throughout the hysteria of the storyline as well as its timeless themes of desperation and determination, “We Won’t Pay! We Won’t Pay!” created a lasting impression on its audience, delivering riotous laughter for their enjoyment and inspiring them with the plays underlying message. For a production that pinpoints the rising cost of living, the talent found at the Black Box Theater last week was undoubtedly worth the price.

Central Celebrates Homecoming Week With Annual Fall Carnival

by Kayla Murphy

Students across Central Connecticut State University gathered in the Student Center Circle from 12-4 p.m. for the annual Fall Carnival on Wednesday Oct. 12. Hosted by CAN, the Fall Carnival is an opportunity for students to come together and celebrate the week of Homecoming.

The area was crowded with hundreds of students dancing to songs by Drake and Flo Rida. Others were munching away on cotton candy and fried dough.

Senior student Sakriah Epps helped out at the Fall Carnival for a second year in a row. Epps said  the highlight of the carnival was the free t-shirts and bags.

“We only had about 50 shirts,” said Epps. “They sold out so quickly.”

Epps also said CAN planned to give out more free shirts at the pep rally held on Friday in Kaiser Hall from 7-9 p.m.

In order to obtain free shirts, students had to participate in different games and activities, such as Frog Flippers, Pirate Plunder and Strike Zone Bowling.

After completing each activity, students were given stamps on the back of their hands. Once they collected a certain amount of stamps, they were given a free shirt.

Andrea Cuartas, a Political Science major, said she had just missed out getting a free t-shirt, but was able to get a free bag.

“I went with a group of my friends to the carnival” said Cuartas. “The music was really good, but it got really crowded, especially people waiting in the lines for food.”

Junior student Matt Keborkin, who helped with WFCS Radio, said the event was jammed pack with buzz and excitement.

“CAN needed DJ’s to help with this event, and I’ve never done a live event before. So I was really up for the challenge and it was something new to do. I was really happy that the crowd seemed to like what I was playing,” he said.

Other than WFCS Radio, the Habit for Humanity and the Student Veterans Organization also promoted their clubs and presented activities for students to do.

Criminology major Nick Faniola, offered his assistance with the Student Veterans Organization. It was his first time helping out at the carnival. Having served in the Marine Corps for four years, Faniola was happy to help educate students about the 22-A-Day Challenge.

“The 22-A-Day Challenge is a push up challenge,” said Faniola. “Everyday 22 veterans commit suicide. By promoting the push up challenge, we are trying to raise awareness to Central students. We even had students write warm wishes on these giant posters for veterans going through a hard time.”

The carnival was a success in the mind of senior student Sakriah Epps.

“It was a perfect day for the carnival,” said Epps as she cleaned up around her gaming station. “A lot of kids were able to come hangout a bit in between classes and I’m glad students were willing to participate. I think this weekend is going to be a lot of fun with Family Day and Homecoming.”

CCSU Favors Clinton

By Austin Salnitis

Despite being largely frustrated with the election, the majority of Central Connecticut State University students support Hillary Clinton for president.

A representative survey conducted by CCSU journalism students found that Hillary Clinton controlled 46.9 percent of the vote compared to Donald Trump’s 14.9 percent, while 26.3 percent remain undecided. When only given the option between Clinton and Trump, three quarters of those surveyed opted for Clinton.

Although a total of 273 surveys were collected, some were not complete. When asked whom they would vote for on that day, a total of 228 answered.   When only given the two options, that number dropped to 212. The lack of participation may have to do how the students feel about this election.

Most students associated negative feelings with the election. Frustration, anxiety, and embarrassment were among the most common responses from 203 students, when asked to describe this year’s election. Although a select few found the process to be entertaining and even comical, many expressed strong disappointment and even went so far as to use profanity.

“I was a little surprised to see such a high percentage of undecided students,” said Dr. Diana Cohen, a political science professor at CCSU. “My theory regarding why so many students are undecided is that both candidates have major negatives. Further, the extreme negativity in this race is unappealing to many.” Cohen suggested the possibility of the undecided students being “tuned out” due to disdain for both candidates.

SGA Senator and President of CCSU College Democrats, Wyatt Bosworth was also surprised. “It doesn’t reflect the national attitude. I think a lot of those students are either upset about their options or are simply indifferent to both options.”

CCSU journalism student, Michael Robitaille, who was one of many to administer the survey said, “I’m not at all shocked by how many students are undecided. Some were even proud of the fact that they won’t be voting in November. It may not be the best option, but it definitely says something about the choices our students are facing.”

Another noteworthy finding of the survey is the lack of a gender gap. While women on campus were 10 percent more likely than men to vote for Clinton, surveys and polls from around the country were reporting figures more than twice that. “Circumstances have changed since your survey was distributed. Given how front-and-center gender issues have been in the past week, the gender gap has most certainly grown,” said Dr. Cohen.

The gender gap may continue to grow following the “Trump tape” and subsequent sexual assault allegations. “A lot of Bernie Sanders supporters I know have come around to Hillary because Donald Trump is that bad,” said Bosworth. With 26 percent of undecided students having supported Bernie Sanders, some of his followers are still up for grabs.

The results of this survey cannot be used to generalize any population other than CCSU students. The objective of the survey was not to draw any conclusions but to get a better understanding of how the students are feeling. The journalism students were able to do that through an intercept method.

Essentially, an intercept survey is conducted by approaching random people in a given area. In this case they were stationed in high traffic areas such as dining halls, larger academic buildings, and even parking garages during peak hours. Those administering the survey did so from Sept. 27-29, following the first presidential debate with each person collecting 25-30 surveys. Although there are many challenges with accurately representing a population through a survey, the results closely match the campus demographics.