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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.

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.

Registering to Vote

by Devin Leith-Yessian

Sitting behind a stack of 500 forms, the president of the CCSU Democrats called out to passing students, asking them if they are registered to vote.

­­­­“I don’t believe in that stuff,” responded one student, who briskly walked away.

He wasn’t alone in that sentiment.

At the end of the day, around 480 registration forms were left blank.

“It is discouraging to hear people say that their vote doesn’t count,” said president Wyatt Bosworth.

Before the 2012 election, Democrats passed a law allowing same day voter registration and online registration. This allows unregistered voters to register to vote at their polling place and cast their vote in one trip.

In New York, which lacks same day registration, the deadline is 25 days before the election. That date occurred on Oct. 14 this year.

When Bosworth and his fellow CCSU Democrats were planning the push to get people registered as they walked through the Student Center, he admitted that the 500 person goal was “aggressive.” Nonetheless, he seemed disappointed at the lack of interest, and sometimes opposition, to getting registered.

“My vote doesn’t matter. A lot of people said that at the table. They think the government is corrupt, which they’re not wrong,” said Secretary of the CCSU Democrats Kristina Carvalho. “They feel as though they don’t have as strong as a voice as people say they do.”

One student who did stop at the table was Kaila Robinson. While she was already registered, she needed to change her address. This  meant she had to fill out another registration form. She wasn’t particularly excited about Clinton, and she said that it came down to “whatever I have to do” to stop Trump.

Adam Offutt found himself in a similar situation to Robinson.

He was also changing his address to CCSU. He said that he doesn’t hear many people his age discussing politics or their intention to vote. His age group has the lowest voting turnout of any, although he did not know why.

What Offutt and other students seemed to agree on the dissatisfaction with the candidates they had to choose from.

Standing in sharp contrast to Offutt and Robinson’s political orientation was Brandon, who preferred to not give his last name.

He identified himself as a Republican and was wearing a jacket adorned with a Confederate flag. He said that he would have voted for Ted Cruz in the primary if an error had not occurred during registration. This error marked him as an Independent, which made him ineligible to vote.

A sentiment he shares with Robinson and Offutt is that he is “not at all” happy with the candidates who came out of the primaries.

While Trump might not have been his first choice, Brandon still believes he is the clear choice among the candidates in the race. He is concerned that the current gridlock will continue without presidential and congressional majority from the same party. Brandon also believes that the economy, which he described as just beginning to “skyrocket,” would suffer with Clinton as president.

Regardless of the difference of political opinion, Bosworth asked Brandon if he was registered. After a cordial conversation regarding the candidates, Brandon left, leaving Bosworth continuing to find more students.

Despite only registering a few students, Carvalho was still optimistic about the work that was accomplished.

“I would’ve liked to have seen more people, but the people we did ask were already registered, so that was refreshing,” she said. “Not all of them, but a good amount.” Trailing off from laughter she wondered aloud, “But will they vote?”

Bernie Or Bust

 

by Kristina Vakhman

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) in July saw a split in the left like no other. From comedian Sarah Silverman calling those still standing behind Bernie Sanders “ridiculous,” to members of the audience booing and heckling Hillary Clinton’s nomination throughout the event, it was clear that “Stronger Together” was not standing as strong as it was meant to.

For any Democrat, watching the war-zone unravel during the DNC was saddening. Every “boo!” and every cry of “Never Hillary!” was like a stab in the side. It was synonymous with seeing members of a sports team turn on each other in the middle of a game. Unfortunately for my mental capacity, I fell into the category of the disheartened.

Like many left-wing Americans, I was feeling the Bern since Sanders bursted onto the scene and catalyzed a hot political movement the U.S had not seen in years. His refreshing views went as far as to ricochet beyond the country’s borders, with a vast majority of foreigners stating through social media that, if they were U.S citizens, their votes would go to Sanders.

Despite my and others’ enthusiasm for his campaign, I knew from the start that the Senator from Vermont wouldn’t be the nominee. He wasn’t just running against Clinton or Trump; he was running against a fear of change. Sanders’ promises were so unorthodox and out-of-the-water that they seemed too whimsical, even for Democrats.

Thus, I wasn’t surprised when Clinton received the nomination, nor was I shocked to find out the DNC had rigged the system against Sanders. He was an Independent running as a Democrat, after all. He was the outsider. It was clear as day that Clinton had always been set to be the nominee. Nothing could have changed that, even if I—a college student just one month shy of being able to vote—had been able to cast a ballot for Sanders in the primaries.

Currently, the divisive mess from the DNC has not cleared up. Bernie or Bust is alive and kicking. There are thousands of active pages and forums all over social media dedicated to the movement with large numbers of supporters. I don’t know if I should be proud or terrified of this.

I can’t vote yet, but even if I could, I don’t think I’d be adding Sanders onto the ballot. Doing so would be turning a blind eye to reality and the election isn’t a fantasy world. This is serious business. A candidate who has been written out of the race cannot win, no matter what voters want to believe.

With this in mind, I can’t say I’d be voting for Clinton or Trump. Clinton may have adopted much of Sanders’ platform to be more appealing to his angry supporters and Trump may have “welcomed” people like me “with open arms,” but both of these candidates are not my cup of tea. Clinton’s scandalous background and the fact that Trump is against all that Sanders stands for makes it hard for me to imagine voting for either. I’d find myself selecting the lesser of two evils and that would be difficult to determine.

That being said, if I were old enough to vote, I’d probably end up going for Hillary Clinton. This wouldn’t be because I would want to, as sad as that sounds. It would be out of Sanders’ will. He’s made it perfectly clear which side he’s on and why he opposes the other one; to deny that would be going against the beliefs I share with him and nullifying the imaginary vote I gave him in the primaries.

In fact, the Bernie or Bust supporters who will choose to write Sanders onto the ballot in November, will not be choosing Sanders at all: they’ll be choosing his polar opposite, Trump. By not making a choice, they are making a choice, only one that the Senator from Vermont doesn’t approve of. If a voter is a genuine Sanders supporter, he or she wouldn’t continue with the movement. Besides, what’s the long-term plan? So, Bernie or Bust: now what? Perhaps they’ll write Sanders in on the ballot and Trump will win. As Democrats, what do they do then?

Silverman put it well when interviewed via telephone by The New York Times after the DNC, “I couldn’t love Bernie more, and to help him at this point is to make sure he has an ally in office. People who change the world aren’t always the president.”

I can only hope that Bernie or Bust supporters will make the right choice this upcoming election. Though, to be frank, I’m moving to Canada to raise chickens no matter who wins.

Latino De Oro

by Alonso Velasquez

The 10th Latino De Oro Awards ceremony showcased the many positive contributions made by the Latino community in the state of Connecticut. The gala, hosted by the Hispanic-focused newspaper, “Identidad Latina,” was held on Sunday, Sept. 10 in the Theater of the Arts at The Learning Corridor in Hartford from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Trophies were awarded to winners in ten categories, nine of which were chosen in an online poll with the tenth being a special Lifetime Award. Before the event, nominees got the opportunity to walk the unique golden carpet leading into the venue.The evening was hosted by Oscar Arango and Marilyin Kent.

The winners were State Representative Angel Arce, politics; Superintendent of the Connecticut Technical High School System Nivea Torres, education; Health Specialist Nilda Fernandez, health; rapper Shorty C, music; 1978 FIFA World Cup Winner Mario Kempes, sports; Executive Director of “Madre Latina” Yoellie Iglesias, Help to the Latino Community; UCONN student Alessandra Fournier, student; broadcaster Pedro Garcia, communications; Mexican folk dancer Tere Luna, arts and culture; and medic Alfonso Enriquez received the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Enriquez is a Peruvian-born medic who spent most of his career at New Britain General Hospital. He founded the Hispanic American Cultural Council in 1980, which focused on putting Latinos on the grid at a time when they often went unnoticed.

Intertwined with the awards were performances by several regional and international artists including the Choco Band, Bachata singer Lizbeth, rap group Indio TDR and mariachi singer Carlos Javier, who was accompanied by Emperadores de Puebla. Food for the evening was prepared by the chef Izolda Miranda. There was also a tribute to recently deceased Mexican singer Juan Gabriel by Raquel Maldonado, whose music was played as an image of him was shown onscreen. Two 1000 dollar scholarships were also awarded incoming college freshmen Torrian Shannon and Pablo Idrovo.

Guests enjoyed the songs of the versatile Jose Paulo as well as old fashioned mariachi by México Antiguo. Other notable guests at the event were Senator Chris Murphy, Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin and the Consulate Generals of Brazil and Peru. During a speech, Murphy urged attendees to have a voice in politics and not let divisive political rhetoric break them apart. This event took place a week prior to the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, encouraging people to explore and gain a better understanding of Latino culture and to demonstrate that, no matter your background, “Si se Puede!”

Republican Party Contradiction

 

by  Ryan Callinan

As we move closer to the elections in November, I have noticed an increase in the number of political signs in the front yards of homes, as well as bumper stickers that announce support for one candidate or another.

After having recently seen many of these outward signs of allegiance to one party or candidate, there have been a few things that have struck me as odd or nonsensical.

One of them came to mind during a recent trip to Cabela’s, a store that caters to outdoor enthusiasts of all varieties.  Here was a parking lot full of cars and trucks belonging to people who enjoy the outdoors, benefit from what nature has to offer, and one would think would care somewhat about protecting the environment from being destroyed, which would mean no more hunting or fishing or any of the other activities all of those people were there to shop for.

Along with roof racks for kayaks and all other kinds of outdoor adventures, another trait that many of the vehicles shared was outward support for the Republican Party, mostly in the form of bumper stickers. Inside, I noticed multiple people with Republican Party shirts and hats.

Over the next couple weeks, I noticed sings showing support for Republican candidates in the yards of many people who also had boats, canoes, and four-wheelers in their yards.  With a track record of being anti-environment and pro-pollution, as shown through years of elected Republican officials fighting against bills that would protect the environment, while working to allow corporations to be allowed to pollute more freely, and by continuing to lie about and deny the scientifically-supported concept that human action has contributed greatly to a rapid change in Earth’s climate that. If not addressed, will most likely result in an uninhabitable Earth.

The Republican Party has shown that they are against protecting the outdoors that these nature enthusiasts enjoy.  How does this make any kind of sense?  Do people who are active members of the Republican Party not know about the efforts by Senators, Congressmen, as well as state legislators to fight nearly every proposed bill that seeks to protect the water, soil, and air that they and their children are exposed to?  Are they ignorant of the work the Republican Party has done and continues to do to turn federally protected park lands into privately-owned property that can then be developed or blocked off from public access and enjoyment?

This ignorance or hypocrisy (ignorance is they do not know that the officials they are voting for are working against the protection of the environment, and hypocrisy if they are claiming to care about the outdoors while supporting a political party that works to allow its destruction) has been difficult for me to understand.

However, when I think about how much of the Republican Party is made up of people who claim to be in favor of pro-life and then fight for easier access to weapons, such as assault rifles that are specifically designed to cause as much death as quickly and efficiently as possible. Or people who loudly claim to be members of a religion that is primarily based on loving and respecting all fellow humans, then they go on hateful and bigoted rants and teach their children to hate, it should not surprise me that there are so many people who take pleasure in outdoor activities while supporting a political party that works to make it easier for businesses to destroy the environment, because it will mean higher profit margins.

I am not a registered Republican or Democrat, and there are stances on issues that both parties take that I disagree with, but one that I don’t see how there is not more attention given to, is the environment, and the way the Republican Party has fought energetically to allow for more destruction and less conservation is, to me, a large enough issue that I could not possibly overlook it.

Without water or air that will not kill us, we won’t have the luxury of debating over things like taxes or guns.  If the atmosphere is allowed to get to a point where the planet is no longer suitable for life to exist on it, arguments over what was or wasn’t said in an email or how many times a candidate has been divorced or cheated on his or her spouse, will not matter in the least.

Students React to Sexual Assault on Campus

by Analisa Novak

Students at Central Connecticut State University were outraged to find out that there was a sexual assault on campus last weekend, and they were not notified.

“For the general well-being for the people here, I think that we should have been notified,” said freshman Ari Burger.

The sexual assault, which took place last Saturday in the late hours at James Hall, was confirmed for The Recorder by campus administration. CCSU police are still investigating the situation and could not comment due to the ongoing investigation. In a statement, the university said that the student who reported the incident “was provided with support and information from CCSU staff, including CCSU’s Victim’s Advocate.”

Federal law requires the campus to deliver timely warnings whenever there is a campus crime that can be an “ongoing threat to the campus community.” Many CCSU students expected to receive an email or another type of notification about the assault.

“This is my first time hearing about the sexual assault,” said junior Sara Pare. “If someone sexually assaulted someone else, what’s to stop them from doing it again? Why not give a warning? They usually do notify us, so why didn’t they now? If it happened before, it could happen again.”

In a new statement released exclusively to The Recorder, Associate Vice President of Marketing & Communication Mark McLaughlin wanted to underscore that the police department “determined early on in the process that it was an isolated incident and that there was no threat to the rest of the campus.”

However, many on campus disagree with McLaughlin’s statement. “We should have been notified because we need to know these things and we need to know what type of people are in our schools and I think they are trying hide it because I don’t think people would want to be in the school if they knew what kind of things are going on,” said senior Remmy Richardson.

Every local media outlet was on campus last week reporting on the sexual assault. But even with local media attention, many students continue to feel that they are being left in the dark.

“If outside news sources are going to show up to cover it, [the university] might as well address and acknowledge it as well. I didn’t know about it,” senior Jason Doe said.

Sexual assault is a growing concern on campuses nationwide; students at CCSU are questioning their safety more than ever and want to be notified of events.

“I should be aware of everything that happens on campus, good or bad, because my safety is involved,” said senior Taylor Zimmerman. “That kind of scares me because, what if that happened in my building? I used to live in Barrows; that is right next to James Hall and that would have been nice to know because that is an all female building.”

CCSU’s Own Competes in the US Olympic Trials Over the Summer

 

by Kimberly Pena

Blue Devils Swim Team’s own Maddy Garber qualified for this year’s U.S. Olympic swim trials for the 100- and 200-meter breaststroke.

The 20-year-old junior was CCSU’s lone representative at the summer trials that were held in Omaha, Nebraska.

She recalls the experience as something hard to wrap her head around as she was surrounded by many great Olympians including Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky. Garber remembers the intensity in the room during the meet.

“It was very exciting,” says Garber. “It was nerve-wracking, when I first got there we went and saw the pool and it was just scary like with all the stands and the light and everything with the pool. I’ve never been in that atmosphere, obviously. So it was cool to be at that level, too.”

Garber placed 75th in the 100-meter breaststroke with a time of 1:11.75 and 88th in the 200-meter with a time of 02:36.53.

For Garber, to be able to compete and surround herself with the greatest swimmers in the country, it was a huge accomplishment. She has been in love with the sport of swimming since she was six years old and remembers being in the water as much as she could.

“My parents really didn’t force me to do it,” says Garber. “I like just always enjoyed going to practice and just like being in a pool whenever I could. I’ve just been always around water and just like had a love for it.”

However, even with a passion for swimming, she understood that a great coach is pivotal in her quest for success. CCSU’s Head Swim Coach Bill Ball was just that man to her.

“I have a great coach that motivates me,” said Garber. “If you need something, he’ll do it, like he’s awesome and very supportive with everything. He’s obviously going to push us a little harder than we want to sometimes, but that just makes us better in the end. I think the whole team could speak to that, if he wasn’t here we wouldn’t be where we are.”

Coach Ball has coached CCSU’s swim team for the past decade, leading the team to win 70 individual events and 19 team relays, more than any other Northeast Conference program, according to the Central Connecticut State University sports website.

For him, it was exciting to see how well the swimming program has fared by having Garber compete in the U.S Olympic trials.

“I was pretty excited. It’s a great accomplishment for the program as well as for Maddy,” said Coach Ball. “I mean, it’s the pinnacle of our sport, other than the Olympics.”

He credits good communication between the two as what pushed Garber into becoming the best swimmer that she could be.

“I think we get each other and we communicate really really well,” said Ball. “As difficult as things could be in this sport and how difficult it could be at times and how overtiring and rundown everybody could get, we still communicate very well.”

Their relationship as coach and player has led Garber to break several CCSU records. As a rookie, Garber broke the North East Conference, CCSU and freshman record in the 200-meter breaststroke. She has also earned the NEC Rookie of the Meet award at the NEC Championships and was a part of the 400-yard medley relay that set the school record.

Even after her numerous accomplishments, Garber still wants to improve.

“This year, I want to improve my times in the dual meet, I definitely want to get faster there,” said Garber. “Everybody’s goal is to get faster obviously; I just want to keep getting faster.”

Garber still wants swimming to be a part of her life after her time here at Central and hopefully qualify once again for the 2020 U.S Olympic swim trials, but hopefully next time with a few of her swimming buddies from CCSU.

“A few of the girls on this team have the potential to make it too,” said Garber. “There was a lot last year that were very close, they keep training, I think I can train with them. I don’t think I can give it (swimming) up right away, I’ve been with it my whole life.”

Coach Ball believes Garber has the potential to win three events at NEC to add onto her list of accomplishments here at Central. The first swim meets for Garber and the rest of the swim team will be on October 14 at St. Bonaventure in New York.