All posts by Angela Fortuna

SGA Confronts Communication Issues

by Angela Fortuna

A recent request made by the Student Veterans Organization sparked a debate in the Student Government Association at Central Connecticut State University over logical decision-making and open communication between clubs and the student government.

The SVO reached out to the SGA in hopes of receiving funds to purchase T-shirts and sweatshirts for the 2017-2018 school year.

The request was approved on April 5, but was later vetoed by SGA President Jahmil Effend because all the necessary information was not present to make a decision, he later explained.

“Senate is composed of about 39 members and many senators were not present to voice their opinions and concerns with the request. There were only 23 members present to make the vote,” said Effend. “We are a governing body, we cannot be emotional. I believe the senate has been making irresponsible decisions as far as taking into account the responsibility necessary to really represent the student body.”

Treasurer Brendan Kruh expressed his opposition to Effend in regards to the SVO contingency request.

“I’m going to vote yes to overturn the veto. A lot of you will be angry with me and that’s okay. I don’t answer to you, I answer to the student body and students,” said Kruh to the SGA. “I have to do what’s right for this senate, what’s right for the year [and] for future senates. At end of the day, this senate has changed since my time.”

On April 12, SVO Vice President Paul Small attended the SGA meeting for the third week in a row after the organization was not asked to participate in a veterans panel held on campus. Small spoke of the senators’ behavior and how he and other members of the SVO feel marginalized.

“SVO feels alienated by the student body, specifically the Social Justice Committee,” said Small. “It’s unnecessary for us to feel so alienated by a group on campus, it’s ridiculous.”

Some SGA members acknowledge the problem of communication between the SGA and clubs on campus.

“I am deeply disturbed with the direction of members of [the] SGA. We no longer seem to have the ability to use logic and reasoning for our decision making,” said Senator Danielle Plaskonka, addressing the SGA.

“We need to listen to what our clubs are saying to us; whether we agree or not, we cannot attack them continuously just because we disagree,” said Senator Eric Ott to the SGA.

During the meeting, discussion began over remarks on Facebook made by Senators Plaskonka and Sawera Hussan in regards to requesting money for clothing items, similar to what the SVO did.

“[Plaskonka and Hussan] prompted all CCSU groups to come to SGA and make a request similar to [SVO’s],” said Small.

Hussan posted, “let’s get sweatshirts fam” on Facebook, tagging the Muslim Student Association at CCSU.

“It didn’t happen on SGA time, people are people and they are allowed their own freedoms to do whatever they want to do in their personal time,” said Effend in response to the Facebook posts.

Small disagreed during the meeting, and felt the SGA should be held responsible for what they say and post on social media.

“It’s a damn shame. It’s a shame there isn’t a way to impeach senators. It makes no sense that senators are allowed to say and do whatever they want and not be held accountable,” said Small to the SGA.

The SGA believes the constructive criticism of outside clubs helps create discussion on the topic at hand.

“Any discussion is good. Having healthy discussion is important for [the SGA],” said Effend. “I think the fact that there are so many opinions in the room and so many voices being heard is a good thing.”

Former SGA Senator Josh Quintana spoke to the SGA as a whole at the senate meeting.

“You guys need to act like adults and take leadership seriously on campus. You are the student government. These arguments about Facebook, who wronged who, is childish and asinine,” said Quintana.

“As unnecessary as it was for the SVO, it was needed for the student government to really take the job seriously going forward,” said Effend. “The biggest role of the student government is to represent the people and [make sure] their voices are heard.”

Free College Tuition for New York Residents

Public colleges and universities in New York will grant free tuition to middle-class residents beginning in fall 2017; a significant step in the right direction to benefit upcoming generations.

In order to qualify for free tuition, students must be full-time and average 30 credits a year, or 15 a semester, which can include summer and winter-break classes.

Although there is no grade point average requirement set for eligibility, students need to ensure their grades are enough to pass each class and stay on track with the number of credits for graduation.

Under New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo’s new plan, families who make less than $100,000 per year are eligible for free tuition at state colleges, universities and two-year colleges for the fall 2017 semester.

Every year, the annual household income requirement to receive free tuition will increase. It will rise to $110,000 in fall of 2018 and to $125,000 in 2019.

Free tuition at state colleges and universities is every student’s dream. Higher education should not only be accessible to students who are fortunate enough to receive help from their family.

Cuomo is also trying to work with state colleges and universities in hopes of lowering tuition costs overall, which seems logical if they will see an influx of enrollment. Currently, tuition at New York’s state colleges and universities totals $6,470.

The plan proposed by Cuomo estimates that the plan will cost $163 million in its first year.

Cuomo proposed the plan in January, in hopes of setting an example to other states to decrease college costs.

It is estimated that when the plan is fully phased, 940,000 people would qualify for the program at New York’s 64 state colleges and universities. New York has the largest public college system in the U.S., totaling over 443,000 enrolled students, according to USA Today.

With so many students eligible to receive free college tuition, many may wonder how this is possible. However, when attending a university, there are many other expenses, such as room and board, that need to be taken into consideration.

The State University of New York said the costs on top of tuition total $20,700 a year. Also, students are responsible for paying for textbooks and providing transportation to and from school.

Free tuition could also be a plan in the near future for Connecticut students. As of April 4, Chris Murphy and Bernie Sanders backed the free tuition bill introduced by Senator Richard Blumenthal the day before at a Senate meeting, according to the Stamford Advocate.

“The $1.3 trillion in student debt is a disgrace and so is the fact that the U.S. government is profiting from student debt,” Blumenthal said at the Senate meeting.

“The legislation’s sponsors, which include 14 Democrats who introduced a version in the House of Representatives, estimate that $600 billion can be raised over a decade by a 0.5 percent tax on stock trades, a 0.1 percent fee on bonds and a 0.005 [percent] fee on derivatives,” according to the Stamford Advocate.

Although it may take Connecticut a while to put free tuition into action, it would clearly be beneficial to the state and a step in the right direction to make higher education accessible to the entire population.

The Parallels of Trump and Nixon

by Kristina Vakhman

In 1987, former President Richard Nixon sent President Donald Trump a letter, urging him to run for office and foreseeing that he would win should he do so.

“I did not see the program, but Mrs. Pat Nixon told me that you were great on the Donahue Show,” Nixon wrote, referring to Trump’s appearance on “The Phil Donahue Show,” where he insisted the United States should receive compensation from countries it protects militarily. “As you can imagine, she is an expert on politics and she predicts whenever you decide to run for office, you will be a winner!”

That would not be the last time Nixon entered the current commander in chief’s life. Remnants of the 37th’s presidency, like “the silent majority” slogan and his rash unpredictability, thus far echo in the 45th’s.

However, where Nixon lives in Trump the most is in the sitting president’s detestation for the mainstream media.

Dr. Paul Petterson, an associate professor of political science at Central Connecticut State University who experienced the Nixon era firsthand, sees the congruence in the two presidents’ relationships with the press and the damaging severity of Trump’s.

“If [Trump’s relationship] is similar to anyone’s, it would be similar to Richard Nixon’s,” said Petterson. “But I think it’s even worse than Nixon’s because, I think, Nixon’s, at least — when the media caught him, ultimately he would come around to admitting certain things, whereas President Trump seems to be intent on repeating his own position even if it’s been proven inaccurate or false.”

Petterson later went on to say that Trump has had the worst relationship with the American media thus far. Petterson also noted that, much like Trump denouncing the legitimacy of any news not aligning with his rhetoric, Nixon and his administration did not appreciate and fight journalism that contradicted his views or sought flaws in his actions.

“He [Nixon] and his first vice-president, Spiro Agnew, had a very conflicted relationship with the media,” said Petterson. “Agnew called them ‘nattering nabobs of negativism,’ and was very intent on talking down the media because he felt the media never gave them a fair hearing — a fair shake. They were quite deliberately trying to control the message of the media and simply turned to hostility and trying to talk down the media because the media wasn’t just parading their positions. They wanted the media to be compliant, it wasn’t, and so they became hostile.”

Possibly the most vocal resemblance in Trump’s and Nixon’s views on the press is blacklisting them to their enemy list. Back in February, Trump tweeted that adversarial media outlets like The New York Times and CBS were not his enemy, but “the enemy of the American people.”

A declassified 1971 conversation between Nixon and his then-Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, Thomas H. Moorer, revealed the 37th president’s replicated sentiments.

“The press is your enemy,” Nixon told Moorer. “Enemies. Understand that? Now, never act that way… give them a drink, you know, treat them nice, you just love it, you’re trying to be helpful. But don’t help the bastards. Ever. Because they’re trying to stick the knife right in our groin.”

As reporters honed in on incriminating details of the Watergate scandal — details that would eventually force Nixon to resign as they exposed the president of having participated in a cover-up after the break-in at the Democratic National Convention — Nixon’s disdain grew, leading him to tap journalists’ phones and try to destroy the careers of the most outspoken ones. In a similar fashion, Trump’s crusade against the media exploded disproportionately since the publication of the dossier alleging his campaign’s treasonous relations with Russia during the 2016 presidential election.

In spite of these claims and their repercussions, Petterson explained that, at this point, there is nothing that can link Trump to treason or to push his impeachment. There is nothing truly damaging. The real issue is Trump’s paranoia, which Petterson views as worse than Nixon’s, as it prevents him from taking responsibility and acknowledging the legitimacy of a free press. Additionally, Petterson said that those comparing the Trump’s administration current state to Nixon’s during the Watergate scandal, and those wishing for Trump’s downfall, have no leverage.

“You’d have to find things that were being investigated and where questions were asked and answers were given and it turns out that those answers were lies, but the simple fact that those things may have occurred, in and of themselves, aren’t necessarily the same thing as Watergate,” said Petterson. “It feels the same. People would like it to be the same. You know, there are some people hoping that, okay, they can find some sort of smoking gun that forces Trump to resign, but you can’t simply equate it to Watergate.”

However, if this was around the time of Nixon’s election, Petterson said just these allegations would have been enough to send Trump to “political death.”

“They’d be chanting ‘Lock Him Up!’” said Petterson.

Trump’s Healthcare Plan Shot Down Before the House Vote

by Angela Fortuna

President Donald Trump’s healthcare proposal was not ready to be implemented because it lacked support from both Democrats and Republicans, according to Central Connecticut State University associate professor of political science, Dr. Diana Cohen.

The House was prepared to vote on Trump’s healthcare plan, known as “Trumpcare,” or the American Health Care Act, on March 24, when it was cancelled before the voting could begin because of an insufficient number of votes.

“Instead of totally dismantling the Affordable Care Act, Trump should work across party lines to fix specific weaknesses of current legislation,” said Cohen. “The issue is that Trump has backed himself into a corner with his ‘repeal and replace’ campaign rhetoric, and a total repeal is not going to happen.”

“Obamacare was put in place to provide rules and regulations for insurance while providing for those too sick or too poor to afford insurance,” said CCSU sophomore Jessica Gojuk, who added that the ACA has certainly helped the economy.

The ACA will continue to act as the primary health insurance plan for many Americans. “The AHCA did not adequately address one of the largest issues with the ACA  — the dwindling number of health care plans in the commercial market,” said Cohen.

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, from 2011 to 2016, the number of people in the U.S. under the age of 65 in families having difficulty paying medical bills and expenses decreased, dropping 22 percent, or nearly 13 million people.

However, the ACA has caused the U.S. national debt to rise dramatically. The Congressional Budget Office projects that the ACA will cost the federal government $1.34 trillion over the next decade, adding even more to the current national debt of roughly $20 trillion.

When Trump’s healthcare plan was discussed in the House of Representatives, many House members agreed that the plan had too many flaws and therefore would not vote to support it.

“Trumpcare isn’t about helping people or our economy,” said Gojuk. “It’s about company profit, which means free reign to insurance companies and hurting the American people.”

Even with a House and Senate full of Republicans, Trump’s healthcare plan did not satisfy the needs of a replacement for the ACA that will now stay intact.

“Trump will change course and focus on other issues. He already announced a pivot to focusing on tax reform. This pivot is because Trump has yet to figure out how to appeal to the Freedom Caucus wing of the GOP,” said Cohen.

“To use a sports analogy, Trump tried to hit a home run on the very first pitch. A patient batter would let some pitches go by to get a feel for what he or she is up against. Instead, Trump was impatient, swung and missed on three consecutive pitches, and struck out,” Cohen added.

To many, healthcare is a top priority that needs to be handled with the utmost attention.

“[The government] is obligated to provide an option to those unable to get insurance,” said Gojuk.

According to the New York Post, Trump is willing to turn his back on the Republican party in order to satisfy his beliefs and take action on what healthcare should be.

“President Trump said if resistant Republicans don’t come around on repealing and replacing Obamacare, he will work with Democrats,” said the New York Post in an article entitled “Trump Ready to Ditch Republicans on Health Care Reform.”

“The bill was not ready for prime time,” said Cohen. “Consequently, it lacked support from members of both parties.”

Effectiveness of Intervention in Syria Disputed

by Sarah Willson

Despite the military strike on April 4, where the Syrian regime took the lives of over 80 people, including 10 children, via chemical weapons, prompting the United Nations to declare an emergency meeting, Central Connecticut State University Middle Eastern studies professor Ghassan El-Eid believes it may be too late to fully involve the U.S. military in the war-torn Middle East.

“[The United States] should have helped the moderates in the beginning,” said El-Eid. “Now, the extremists dominate the opposition, which plays into the regime’s hands,” explaining that it would be too late for the U.S. to send advanced weapons and other military hardware to Syria and that the U.S. could not face the country alone.

“As for sending troops to Syria, I am opposed to that,” said El-Eid. “Unless it is part of a multi-lateral force sanctioned by the United Nations.”

“Defeating this entity remains a challenge,” said El-Eid. “We have made significant progress in combatting [the Islamic State] and degrading its military capability, but we have a long way to go in our attempt to defeat it.”

“In order to prevail, we must attack the conditions that led to its emergence in the first place. We have failed to address and alleviate the sources of discontent that lead people to resort to terror,” said El-Eid, adding that the best thing to do at the moment is to welcome refugees.

“I am fully aware of Trump’s opposition to admitting migrants from Syria. However, we have a very effective vetting process that will ensure that those who are ultimately admitted to the United States will pose no threat to our national security,” said El-Eid.

“We are a nation of immigrants and America has always been viewed as the land of the free people seeking to escape persecution and to secure a better future for their children,” said El-Eid. “People are fleeing their war-torn countries because they have no choice. Germany, a country of far fewer resources than our own, has taken in close to half a million refugees so far. We can surely do better in this regard.”

As of now, President Donald Trump claims there is no plan for further military action in Syria. However, current UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, stated in a report on Friday that the U.S. is “prepared to do more” in regards to the Syrian people.

There is nothing simple about the civil war in Syria, which has been ongoing since March 2011. The fight started off as a peaceful protest against a dictatorial regime and quickly spiraled into a full-blown war in which more than 250,000 people have died.

The recent attack in Syria on April 4 has a rising death toll, now surpassing 80 casualties.

Yet again, the battle between Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, the rebels and the Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the loss of dozens of lives. President Assad of Syria, who is being blamed for the carnage, denied the use of chemical weapons on his people. Many victims of the attack showed signs of damage from chemicals in and on their body.

In a statement on Wednesday, Trump hardened his tone on Syria and expressed his concerns for the people, saying that the attacks “cannot be ignored by the civilized world,” and that he now has “responsibility” when it comes to “horrific” attacks in Syria.

Trump also made a statement on April 6, saying “something should happen” in regards to Assad, following through with his statement later in the evening.

Hours later, Trump fired 60 U.S. Tomahawk missiles into Syria, aiming at airbase runways, aircraft and fuel points. One missile misfired, the rest were direct hits and destroyed 20 Syrian aircrafts, aircraft shelters, fuel and weapon depots. Six people on the ground died in the strikes. Assad called the attacks “foolish and politically motivated.”

The decision came after what is being called a “72-hour evolution” from the White House. After being briefed on the chemical attacks on the morning of April 4, conducting 48 hours of “intense” meetings and “asking for options,” the White House decided to go forth and carry out the strikes.

However, some were upset by the fact that Trump did not seek approval from Congress before giving a green light to the strikes. Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton backed Trump’s decision, calling on the U.S. to “take out” Assad’s airfields the afternoon of April 6.

Fake News — Can You Spot It?

Another workshop regarding fake news will be held on Thursday, April 20th.

by Humera Gul

How fake news plays a daily role in people’s lives through modern media was the premise of a workshop organized by Central Connecticut State University librarians and the Department of Journalism on April 6, called “Fake news, can you spot it?”

They introduced four different literacy speakers: journalism professor Theodora Ruhs and librarians Martha Kruy, Briana McGuckin and Susan Slaga-Metivier.

Ruhs started off the workshop, speaking about fake news and how people can spot it and stop it.

Fake news is a new term that has been used not only to describe fabricated information, but also to refer to media outlets that report against their beliefs. This has led to a lot of well-known and credible newspapers and media outlets being labeled fake news.

Literacy speakers converse about fake news and how to spot it and stop it

“Fake news is intended to give you misinformation,” said Ruhs.

Fake news’ intention is to spread false information to motivate or demotivate a person or group, but it is common for news outlets to make mistakes and that is not to be classified as fake news.

“Credible news sources make mistakes. News sources that are not [as] credible sometimes have great information. When we are talking about fake news, that means the information is not true,” Ruhs said. “Biased news is generally based on factual information, but it is presenting a particular viewpoint.”

“All information is shared and created by people. Humans engage in things like logical fallacies [resulting in] a mistaken belief,” McGuckin said, explaining information literacy is when people define, evaluate and use information to spread an agenda, often times resulting in fake news.

The people that attended the workshops were divided in three groups.  Each group was given 10 minutes to read, watch and analyze news and determine if they felt the news sources were credible or not.  This exercise also helped them to realize how people react to fake news or information that is not true.

The information portrayed at this workshop is crucial to understanding and distinguishing fake news. The discussion was open to the public. A second workshop will be held Thursday, April 20.

FBI Agent and Panel Discuss Combatting CT’s Opioid Epidemic at CCSU

by Kristina Vakhman

Fighting a battle against prescription drugs was something Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent Charles Grady never thought he would do in his 21 years of law enforcement.

In the earliest years of his career, Grady and his fellow agents were cracking down on the rampant drug trade in Connecticut’s streets. It contributed largely to inner-city violence, making its termination a high priority. Grady celebrated when he confiscated his first kilo of cocaine and, back then, he cared little for drug addicts.

“As a law enforcement person, I had the attitude that so many law enforcement people had, which is that, if you are an addict, shame on you. I have no sympathy for you,” Grady told the crowd at Central Connecticut State University’s “Chasing the Dragon” event. “We were tired of chasing drug dealers and getting drugs off of the street, but it’s a supply-and-demand thing, so we were really aggravated that people were this addicted.”

However, this view changed when Grady discovered street-sold heroin, cocaine, and other hard drugs were not the most potent problem.

“It wasn’t until I realized that there were certain drugs that were manufactured, that manipulate the human brain to a point where you are left believing that the only way you can breathe is to have that drug. Opiates are one of those drugs,” said Grady.

Last year, Connecticut saw close to 1,000 fatal overdoses, according to chief medical examiner, Dr. James Gill. Close to half of these deaths were attributed to a prescription painkiller containing fentanyl, a powerful synthetic opioid that has a high risk for addiction and dependency. It it sometimes laced with heroin; nearly a quarter of last year’s drug-related deceased had both substances in their systems.

Fentanyl is not the only culprit. Other over-the-counter medicine like Percocet and OxyContin are contributing to the devastation. The epidemic is only growing in the state of Connecticut, yet many are unaware. Grady has taken it upon himself to reach out to the Connecticut community to draw awareness to this issue.

At CCSU, Grady presented “Chasing the Dragon: The Life of an Opiate Addict.” The 45-minute documentary is the joint project of the FBI and the Drug Enforcement Agency, aimed at educating students and young adults about the dangers of addiction. Followed by the documentary, many speakers shared the experiences of several recovering drug addicts and showcases the horrible effects of drug use, such as the fact that overdoses kill about 46,000 people a year.

After the viewing, Grady welcomed the crowd to direct questions at him and his invited panel. The panel consisted of Maks Danilin, recovering addict and worker at a substance abuse clinic; Debbie Komoroski, former DEA agent and pharmacist; Robert Lawlor, drug intelligence officer for the Connecticut High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program; and Dr. Richard Kamin, Emergency Medical Services director at the University of Connecticut Health Center and the Department of Public Health.

Many of the questions tackled what caused the prescription opioid epidemic in the first place and what initiatives can be taken to combat it.

“About 20 years ago, an enormous amount of emphasis got placed on treating people’s pain and quite a bit of pressure to make sure physicians and providers make sure they were addressing people’s pain correctly,” said Kamin, starting the discussion. “Pharmaceutical companies, in my opinion, took advantage of the fact that there was a shift in clinical practice to try to address the perceived lack of attention to people’s care.”

Kamin furthered his explanation and added that the “here’s your prescription” custom has become highly unsafe and too accepted, both non-medically and medically. It leads to inappropriate prescription practices, where doctors will prescribe more than what a patient requires. In Connecticut, steps are being taken to combat this.

“It’s no longer as simple as it used to be to prescribe large amounts of prescription pain medicine,” Kamin said. “I honestly believe, as a physician, that all of it is poison. Everything that I prescribe has a great potential to hurt you. The amount of narcotics that I write is always incredibly small and focused. I’m the jerk that will write you for, like, three tablets and send you away. Someone looks down and says ‘three?’ and I’m like, ‘yea, cause three’s all I think you’ll need’.”

“He slipped on ice and broke his arm and went to the emergency room,” Komoroski recalled about her son while he was in graduate school. “I said, ‘how many pills did the doctor dispense to you?’ ‘120.’ 120 Hydrocodone pills prescribed to a 23-24-year-old kid. If he had taken all of those drugs and everything that was in that bottle, it’s very likely that he would’ve been addicted because after a certain time period, your body becomes physically addicted. We need to address this.”

“There are state regulations, state statutes and federal regulations that are limiting the amount of opiates that an emergency room can prescribe,” said Komoroski. “The only challenge is, although there are limits, the law still says that if a doctor thinks you need more, they can write whatever they want. So, we need to educate prescribers and pharmacists more about what the consequences are.”

Lawlor then joined the conversation, talking about the drug trends in the streets and noting how fentanyl is being pressed to replicate other substances. Those who mix the fentanyl are not “professionals” and “don’t know how much to put into the pill,” significantly increasing the risk for an overdose. He also spoke on marijuana.

“I find this great — some of you may not — but, thankfully, the legislature here in Connecticut have decided that they were not going to legalize marijuana for recreational use. I’ve probably interviewed thousands of people who are drug addicts and they all pretty much started out smoking weed,” said Lawlor.

Danilin is one of those thousands of people. Though it has now been five years since he has touched opioids and any other harmful substances, he still remembers the horrific consequences of using them.

“Once you do an opiate, weed won’t top it,” said Danilin. “There’s no other drug like it. Everything — my schooling, my friends, my appearance, my self-worth — everything gets put to the side because all you’re trying to do is attain that ‘one more time.’ It cost me a lot.”

Lawlor summed up the discussion by addressing what additional assistance can be provided to those suffering from a drug addiction while incarcerated.

“I think when people do have addiction issues and are sent to jail, the Department of Corrections needs to do a better job getting them services while they’re in there, whether it’s getting them into treatment programs, detoxing them or getting them some medical treatments and therapy,” said Lawlor. “We, on the law enforcement side, have realized that just locking up the addict doesn’t work.”

The Student Wellness Services Wellness Education on campus is available to provide resources regarding alcohol, drugs and suicide prevention for students and family members. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9 to 5 p.m. in Carroll Hall room 247.

Too Close to Home

Three people were shot and injured in New Britain near the Central Connecticut State University campus last Wednesday around 7 a.m.

The three people were a woman and her 12-year-old and 17-year-old kids, who were all transported to local hospitals and are said to make a full recovery.

The shooting occurred on Newington Avenue, close to East Street, two and a half miles away and a short seven-minute drive away from CCSU; which is too close.

CCSU did not go into lockdown due to the incident. Since the shooting happened so close to campus and past events that caused campus to close down, it was a surprise CCSU was not.

Students at Central did not receive any notification about the event, not even through email as they usually are. Many students are still in the dark about the event, and have no idea it happened or what happened. Incidents such as this should be highlighted so students can take necessary precautions as New Britain residents.

With a shooting so close to campus, it is unacceptable that students were not at least notified of the event when it happened. There was no way for students to know where the shooter was going or what his possible intentions are unless they followed the news.

With the suspect’s intention being unclear and unpredictable, CCSU should have taken necessary precautions to ensure that the faculty and student body were informed of the event and were safe. Safety of students should be top priority for CCSU. If something were to happen, students would be unaware the event even occurred, putting many students in a dangerous situation.

The incident occurred after the suspect and a boy got into a dispute related to school, according to Eyewitness News.

The suspect has been identified as 36-year-old Jermaine Tywane Scott. Police officials are still looking for Scott, who is said to be “armed and dangerous,” and to have a criminal history that includes violence, according to police officials.

According to Eyewitness News, the shooting sent two nearby schools on lock down, Chamberlain Elementary School and CCMC School. St. Francis Hospital’s emergency department in Hartford did the same when the suspect was thought to be there.

Police officials believe Scott had both a relationship and lived with the women who was shot.

On the first of the month, authorities searched the home of another women Scott previously had relations with in New Haven on Thompson Street, where there was a large police presence.

Many nearby towns, specifically New Haven, are being watched by police in hopes of finding Scott and taking him into custody for several charges, including attempted murder, criminal possession, use of a firearm and criminal possession of a high capacity magazine, according to Eyewitness News.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the New Britain Police Department at 860-826-3000.

Women’s Empowerment in a Trump Era Discussed at CCSU

Dr. Stephanie Luce talked to CCSU students about the oppression women face in the workforce, especially under the Trump Administration

by Kristina Vakhman

To Dr. Stephanie Luce, the harsh reality of being a woman in the workplace hit when she began her first job as a softball umpire.

“I started talking to the other umpires, who were all boys, and realized they were all getting paid more than me,” Luce said to the crowd of Central Connecticut State University students and faculty attending the “Women and Work in the Age of Trump” lecture, where she was the keynote speaker.

“It was my first exposure to the fact that, maybe, the world wasn’t so fair,” said Luce.

Taking matters into her own hands, Luce “wrote a letter of protest to the league,” stating her case on why she deserved equal pay. The reply she received was less than satisfactory.

“Their response was, ‘Oh, Stephanie, we thought you were a nice girl. We didn’t know you would cause trouble.’ I learned then that the world was not necessarily fair and that you couldn’t necessarily play by the rules to get fairness,” said Luce.

Though she ended up not getting a fair wage as an umpire, Luce entered the realm of fighting for equal rights for women in the job market.

As a professor of labor studies in the Joseph S. Murphy Institute at the City University of New York, Luce is familiar with the technicalities of why women — primarily minority and non-college educated women — are incessantly repressed in the workforce.

In her lecture, Luce went over the factors in detail, relaying to her audience that backlash towards the feminist movement, a misconstrued definition of liberal feminism and misconceptions on gender roles have all contributed to this oppression, especially in President Donald Trump’s administration.

Luce called the backlash “extremely intense” in its current state under Trump’s presidency, with employers, politicians and those feeling threatened by feminism trying to dismantle the rights women demanded in marches all across the country.

On the topic of liberal feminism, Luce cited its gains, such as the idea of fighting for individualistic rights, and its faults — for example, how it “lumps all women into one category,” which tends to marginalize privileged women. On gender roles, she reminded listeners that gender issues do not only apply to women, for men can experience them as well, providing a situation with construction workers as an example.

“As more women came into the field and their masculinity felt threatened, many men began rejecting using the safety equipment that they had won the right to on the job as a way to defend their masculinity in the workplace,” said Luce.

Luce dove into the complications of capitalism, describing how, while the dependency on it “expands people’s rights to enter” the job market, it creates a system of “winners and losers” that has led to the division  between “99 percent and the 1 percent.”

She provided potential solutions to these issues. Pushing the notion of stepping back from a system that propagates problems, Luce called for “a more inclusive, solidaristic form of feminism” and a system that “maximizes human potential and human growth” rather than profit.

“The goal work might be care-work and the sustainability of human life on the planet rather than saying that the pursuit of profit is the main goal of human society,” said Luce. “We should think of how work is integrated into that; we’re working to become better people, to become better contributors to creating a society and caring for one another, and that means looking beyond what work is in the workplace. We need to think of work in this holistic way.”

Luce added that labor unions are an excellent method to reaching that new perspective, as these numerous “collective movements” not only focus on the problems in their workplace, but also on how these problems affect those outside of their work environment — nursing unions fighting for environmental protection, as “caring for the planet is another way to care for patients,” being just one instance.

Under the Trump presidency, Luce emphasized that this alternative approach is incredibly important and now, more than ever, everyone must come together to fight for their rights.

“I think this is a moment in the world that, twenty or thirty years in the future, we’re going to look back at and talk about,” Luce said in an interview after the event. “Everyone needs to be out there and optimistic that we can go the more productive route. The route that saves the planet — that saves humanity.”

The lecture left many, both female and male, enlightened and encouraged. Mark Mancini, a senior studying elementary education, felt that he had come to better grasp what he called “the struggles that people are going through” after attending Luce’s talk.

“My professor essentially gives us the idea that, as white males, we have no real understanding of the troubles that [women and minorities] go through. I think the best way to actually understand or, at least, come to a point where I can at least understand where people are coming from is to learn what’s pushing them down,” said Mancini.

Journalism major Tychell Pinckney-Nickson felt more comfortable about going into a profession where diversity is, unfortunately, not so easy to come by.

“I can definitely bring some color,” said Pinckney-Nickson. “My experience is, as an African-American, I can spread a message to other aspiring journalists who are also African American, like young girls who probably feel a bit insecure about going into that field because they are African-American.”

SGA Election Results

by Angela Fortuna

  • President:
  • Brendan Kruh
  • 362 votes and 43.04 percent of the votes

  • Vice-President:
  • Marissa Cusano
  • 346 votes and 40.99 percent of the votes

  • Treasurer:
  • Christopher Cappiello
  • 332 votes and 39.15 percent of the votes