All posts by Analisa Novak

SGA Meeting Bullet Points

by Analisa Novak

  • The Spring Concert sold out for the first time in a couple of years. An estimated $50,000 will be coming back from that.
  • There was an open forum for the upcoming presidential search for members of the college community to discuss the characteristics and backgrounds they would like to see in a president. A meeting just occurred to discuss the search for the new president. A new president should be chosen by mid September.
  • President Caroline Fox said she wanted to plan an event for President Jack Miller and his retirement to commemorate the years.
  • President Fox held her last meeting, thanking all those involved this year.

Project Puffin Author Speaks At CCSU

by Lisa Massicotte

Award-winning Boston Globe Editor and columnist Derrick Jackson paid a visit to Central Connecticut last week.

Students lounged in the couches of the Marcus White Living Room Wednesday, April 20th to hear Jackson share his journey covering the Project Puffin.

Project Puffin is a 43-year-old initiative to restore puffin-bird populations to Eastern Egg Rock, which is one of their native habitats off the coast of Maine. The project is the world’s first successful attempt to restore any seabirds back to their native habitat and has been replicated by biologists around the globe.

“It’s impressive to listen to him talk and to see his passion,” said Galileo Sutherland-West, CCSU student. “He has a great pace of voice. He has the ‘Morgan Freeman’ quality of voice.”

Jackson, 60, discussed his book “Project Puffins: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock.”

He started by explaining how he got his foot in the door by covering football for the Wisconsin Associated Press.

“I got to cover every game at Lambeau Field for the Green Bay Packers. The only Eagles I’ve heard of played football in Philadelphia and the only Cardinals I’ve heard of played baseball in St. Louis,” said Jackson. “If you asked me 20, maybe even 10 years ago if I would write a book about puffins, I would of said you’re crazy.”

“He’s been with the project ever since the elevator left the ground,” said Geography Department Chair Dr. Richard Benfield.

The book will be celebrating its first anniversary after being published a year ago from tomorrow, April 28th.

Dr. Benfield said Jackson is, “Creating environmental awareness from a very famous and well-respected seasoned journalist in the fields of politics, environmental awareness, sports and current affairs.”

The future of journalism was also a topic of conversation. Jackson said nor him or the experts are exactly sure what is in store for the future, but he is adamant in his belief journalism will go forward as we move into the digital age.

“Despite all the turmoil in the industry, particularly on the print side, it’s still actually more vital today than ever,” said Jackson. “It’s why it’s in the constitution. It’s got it’s own separate pillar in the constitution under free speech.”

Students left Marcus White with a surplus of knowledge and perspectives.

“I didn’t really know anything about puffins before reading about Project Puffin, other than the fact they were cute little birds with big beaks,” said Jasmine Ruckey, CCSU student. “It was fascinating to hear about the whole process on how they got Egg Rock started, from trans-locating the eggs to setting up puffin figurines to get the adult puffins to return back to the location and it’s still amazing that this project continues, after 40 years.”

“CCSU should put on more of these events because even if it isn’t in your major. It gives you another perspective of the world and I think we all need that,” said Sutherland-West.

After all the trial and error and environmental obstacles, Jackson was proud to announce Project Puffin’s progress as of today, “In Maine they were down to its last two to four birds by 1902. Today, there are now 1100 [mating] pairs of puffins on the coast of Maine.”


SGA Meeting Bullets

by Analisa Novak

  • Even with the hiring freeze, Student Affairs reported to SGA that 34 positions have been approved. Positions to be filled include a director of student disabilities services, hall directors, RN search, among other positions. An estimated 20 positions are still waiting to be approved.
  • Finance Committee reported that clubs requested a total of $923,009.80, they authorized to give $453,299.83. The total cuts being $469,709.07. The committee funded 49.1 percent of requested funds. There are eight campus clubs that are getting $10,000 or more in their base budget. Three clubs that the Finance Committee approved to give everything requested. One campus club will receive nothing.
  • Motion to approve the Chinese American Students Association line item for $400 was denied. They will not be able to purchase goodbye gifts for their foreign exchange students departing back home at the end of the semester.

Harriet Tubman: A Face Of Change Then And A Face Of Change Now

by Analisa Novak

Harriet Tubman will now be the face you see every time you touch a $20 bill. It was announced last week that the United States Treasury Department decided to give former President Andrew Jackson the boot and put African-American-Abolitionist Tubman on the face of the new $20 bill.

This decision represents so much to both women and African-Americans.

Not trying to down Jackson’s reputation but he was a sub-par president to say the least. He didn’t accomplish the things others featured on currency such as Presidents George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. He also represents a part of American history often sugarcoated. Jackson was co-executor of the “Trail Of Tears,” a forceful Native American relocation event.

This event lead to thousands of lives being lost in death marches and even more once they reached the camps. Native Americans were starved, exposed to diseases and separated from their families. Jackson probably wasn’t a barbarian and was a victim of the time he was living in. At this time, Indians and Americans were at war for territory. Jackson also owned slaves, which was extremely common during early American history.

But while Jackson represents a dark part in our countries history, Tubman represents the essences of this country’s moral.

Tubman willingly sacrificed her life and put herself in danger every time she led slaves to the path of freedom. She never once let fear interfere with her ideals. She, as an African-American woman, is the ideal person to put on the $20 bill because she represents progress, not oppression. African-Americans have always and to this day continue to deal with the repercussions of slavery.

Even if it was abolished many years ago, the discrimination has remained in our society. Women were also discriminated against in our country’s history and they continue to feel discrimination in many aspects. Even though this country has many historical women whose accomplishments can be featured, only two have been selected. Martha Washington and Sacagawea are the only women who have ever been on currency, both in coin versions.

No women up until Tubman was ever featured on a dollar bill – and I also think that speaks the volume of the inequality women receive. When we finally received the honor of being on currency, we were put on a coin.

No African-American leader has ever been featured on any currency, even though most revolutionary leaders we have had happen to be African American.

Tubman is the perfect person to represent the democracy of this country and the people that have been oppressed throughout our history.

She was the face of change during the days of the Underground Railroad and is now the face of a nation that is working hard to stop any remnants of our oppressive history.

CACE Career Fair A Huge Hit

by Analisa Novak

Four hundred students and 74 employers gathered at Central Connecticut last week for the Center for Advising and Career Exploration (CACE) Spring Career Fair. CACE is actively involved in helping students with any career or employment needs.

“We’ve been doing career fairs for as long as we’ve been around. The idea is to set up events where we can make connections between employers and students who are looking for full-time opportunities or internships. It’s just another avenue besides job postings so students can find something,” said Ken Poppy, director of CACE

The Spring Career Fair was an open event that encouraged all students to come out, no matter what year they were in.

“We invite freshman to attend the career fair. Even if they aren’t looking for any jobs or careers yet we encourage all students to come in to understand what it’s like, how to work the room and how to talk to these company representatives. This helps when it comes time that students are looking for something seriously, its not intimidating and you are ready to go,” said Poppy.

The long awaited event concluded of a month-long variety of CACE events made to prepare for the career fair. These events included resume workshops and “Things They Didn’t Tell You About Your First Internship.”

The 74 employers were not just local companies, but a variety from all areas of the state with all different backgrounds of expertise ranging from sales, accounting, social services and health. Many of the employers actively peruse CCSU graduates such as Webster Bank, Comcast and Home Depot.

“We definitely have a long history of hiring within Central, both within our Travelers edge programs and being able to see them into a career of insurance, more in specific with Travelers. We have a big purpose of being here to hire newly graduate college students,” said Christopher Marcinkewicz of Travelers Insurance.

Most of the over 400 students dressed in business casual clothing had a resume in hand as they lined up in the Student Center waiting to get inside Alumni Hall.

“I think events like this open a lot of doors for people to get one-on-one with potential employers. Usually we don’t know where to go when we graduate or about to graduate, so this helps you put your foot in the door and meet new people,” said junior Merissa Delbuono.

Some benefited from local employers looking to fill summer positions.

“We are here to tell people that we are hiring for our seasonal positions, the positions include cashier, garden, overnight stock and crew. It’s important to come to career fairs to show our face to let students know we are hiring not just seasonal positions, but permanent positions as well,” said Yvonne Leclaire of the West Hartford Home Depot.

While there was a huge employer turn out, some students felt there could have been a wider variety. But even with the lack of variety, students with different majors still found a way to benefit from the career fair.

“I’m a physical education major, so it didn’t have a lot to offer in that aspect but as far as summer jobs go, I did have two new leads in a construction field which I didn’t think I would run into originally when I came here, so hopefully that works out for me,” said CCSU student Zach Toro.

For any student with questions about job searching or want their resume reviewed, CACE is open Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. in Willard Hall, room 103.

Think Twice Before You Speak

by Analisa Novak

I remember when I was growing up I was told that as a girl I had to have tough skin to survive. This is something that I am constantly reminded of when I hear people make the ever so cliché “stop being a girl” comment.

I hate these comments because they stereotype something that I am and something that I am proud to be as negative. I try to just brush it off when it is said to me, I grit my teeth and smile at times when I hear it being said to others in class. But I recently came to notice that I was doing the exact thing that I hated so much to a different group of people: the LGBQT community.

I am originally from California, where there is a strong gay influence in our communities. While not perfect, I do believe that California is one of the most accepting places for LGBQT. But even with this, the saying “that’s gay” somehow came into my vocabulary and stuck.

I had not even realized how it has become a huge part of my everyday talk. When my friends made a joke, I would say, “That’s so gay, stop.” I was throwing that phrase around like it was a vowel.

The realization that I needed to stop came as I started talking to more people who are gay. Never once did someone correct or yell at me for using the term; in fact, no one ever commented at all when I said it in front of them. It wasn’t until one day when I was trying to make a friend understand the point I was making about how women have to accept demeaning comments. That is when it dawned upon me how unaware I have been this entire time.

I asked him, “Don’t you get mad when someone says ‘that’s gay’ about something?”

He responded to me, “No, you just have to have tough skin.”

The thing that I, as a female, was being told my entire life was the same thing that people who are gay had been living by as well. We are expected to allow these offensive comments to be said because society is telling us that we need toughen up. That’s the problem – society thinks we are the problem and is forcing us to adapt. Had one person ever told me, “hey, watch what you say, that’s pretty offensive,” I would have instantly stopped.

I didn’t notice the impact of my words and how something that comes off as a joke to some can also deeply offend others. To say “that’s gay,” or “that’s such a girl thing,” is offensive and needs to be stopped. This word vomit needs to be addressed and corrected, instead of being suppressed by the people it affects.

Third World Problems

by Analisa Novak

I was born in a third world country, one that is now the murder capital of the world. Until last week, I was content with my life in the United States and never really thought of how my life would have been if I stayed in El Salvador.

It wasn’t until I landed in Cuba for a study abroad trip that I truly understood how lucky I was. But as this trip humbled me, it also made me realize how ungrateful many are for the life they have.

I heard classmates talk about how they were tired of eating rice and beans everyday, as I watched children who were nearly emaciated play with their deflated soccer ball.

I witnessed peers refuse to drink the water that we were provided because of the fluorides listed, all while a Cuban man begged me for an empty water bottle.

I felt my face get hot as I heard students scrutinize and complain about how they were on the bus for over three hours most days, while right beside them in plain view Cuban citizens were walking, as it is the only form of transportation for many Cubans unable to afford cars or bikes.

During our trip, we were transferred from a resort to a hotel that is the equivalent to a Motel 6. This angered some of my peers who openly said they would prefer to sleep on the bus instead or that sleeping in the jungle was better than this hotel.

This was said after most of us passed by houses that were practically in ruins and lucky that the foundation was still holding.

In these moments I realized what American privilege was. It was in this moment that I understood why we were looked upon in most countries as spoiled. Our “first world problems” were a dream to countries all around the world.

Do we as Americans truly understand how fortunate we are to be in a country that allows us the privilege to choose simple things, such as the option to become vegetarian or the option to sleep on a bed with actual bed sheets?

It’s easy for us to say that we are humbled by these experiences to other Americans but yet act so inconsiderate to the face of people whose life will remain the same once tourists leave.

The Cuban people, although not as economically fortunate as us, were happy with what they had. They made the best out of it and of the embargo with the United States and still continued to advance scholastically and medically. This is a third world country nonetheless, but I never heard a complaint once. All the while my ears nearly bleed from the amount of complaints I heard in a single bus ride.

Fidel Castro recently commented to Cuba’s Granma newspaper on President Barack Obama’s visit stating that Cuba, “does not need the empire to give them anything.”

Cuba may not need anything from the United States, but the United States needs to look upon countries like Cuba and see how much can be accomplished with so little and that happiness can be easily attained when we shut our mouths and truly witness how fortune we are.

CCSU Students React To Tuition Rising Above $10,000

by Analisa Novak

Frustration and disappointment can be felt on the Central Connecticut campus, as it was announced over spring break that CSCU President Mark Ojakain proposed a five percent increase on this year’s upcoming tuition. Tuition will rise from $9,609 to $10,089 – a $480 increase.

In a statement made by Ojakain he states that the increase, “is fair given our current environment.” But CCSU students find it the opposite

“It’s not fair, I’m graduating this year, but this will affect future CCSU students,” said senior Darlene Allen.

The budget increase will affect all colleges and university in the state, but with state universities being affected the highest. Connecticut Community Colleges will also have an increase, significantly less, at just $141 dollars.

Most students select state universities because of their low cost and affordability, but with increase in tuition students may think twice about attending CCSU.

“I think it’s a bad idea to raise the tuition. We are already paying enough as it is. Why do I need to pay more just to go here especially when they are closing down two buildings this semester?” said sophomore Ashley Rodriguez.

This is the first time in the history of CCSU that tuition will break over $10,000.

This $480 dollar increase is detrimental to students who are barley making ends meet.

“For someone who has car payments, rent to pay, doctor bills or kids to take care of, it’s going to affect the ability for a lot of students to attend the school,” said Wyatt Bosworth, Student Government Chair of Academic Affairs and BOR Student Representative.

It has not been said how this will affect school programing and financial aid. Just to attend the university may require more planning and reaching out to recourses to afford just tuition.

“My parents pay for my tuition and after the increase, they are probably going to tell me to look for scholarships,” said freshman Keeley Scott.

“I’m probably going to take out more loans,” said freshman Adam Levoy as his solution to the tuition increase.

President Ojakian stated in his statement that this tuition increase will, “keep our schools affordable, so you [students] are not burdened with crippling debt when you graduate.”

But those who are just starting to take out student loans find this statement to the be inaccurate.

“I just started student loans and now savings just went out the door. It didn’t last long, I have to do graduate school too so that’s going to be fun,” said sophomore Ian Cocking.

While UCONN may be going through similar tuition increases, its tuition currently stands at $10,254. If not increased that would only make it $169 more to attend compared to CCSU.

“It’s kind of getting to the point of why come here? Why not go to a higher end school where it looks better on your resume,” said Junior Jackie Maynard.

These tuition increases are not only going to affect the imminent future of CCSU students but will continue to impact students for months and years to come.

“It’s my last semester and it’s going to affect me in the long run, it’s going to be more that I have to pay back, more loans that I have to take out in order to pay for it,” senior Johanna Pillati commented.

The Board Of Regents (BOR) decision on this tuition increase will be officially made by the end of this week.

Chose Your Own Day To Start Your Resolutions

by Analisa Novak

I’ll never forget Super Bowl Sunday 2014, I single handily finished an entire pizza, a 2-liter Pepsi and some nachos. I was only a little over a ,month into my New Year’s resolution to loose weight and I gave up. It wasn’t the first time and like many New Year’s resolutions it happened around the start of February.

After gorging my face in more than 5,000 calories, I noticed I was an absolute mess. I went to the bathroom and wanted all of the food out of my system, so I attempted to make myself throw up. Before I could, I leaned in the toilet bowl and yelled, “What am I doing?” Then, I decided it didn’t matter if it was Feb. 3rd and  I failed at keeping up with my public New Year’s resolution. This was about my mental and physical health.

After that day, I found a diet that worked for me and began to heal the damage done to my body and mind, by focusing energy on myself. I no longer looked at the calendar, I didn’t weigh myself weekly and I didn’t compare myself to my friends. I made myself uncomfortable and forced myself to see at 22 I was unhealthier than people twice my age. I went to gym and dealt with judgmental glances. I purposely left my money at home so the temptation of the vending machine at work wouldn’t faze me. Soon after the weight slowly trickled off, but I didn’t allow myself to be content. To my surprise making a New Year’s resolution wasn’t the key to loosing weight, consistency was.

Two years, 95 pounds and 10 pants sizes later I feel I repaired my body physically and mentally. I shudder at the thought of how I would look and my health state, if I gave up at the start of February, two years ago.

If you’re in a similar situation and giving up on weight loss goals, I advise to figure out why you are doing this. Is it because of pressure to look good for someone or because you publically posted on Jan. 1st you would loose weight.

If those are the reasons then I hate to tell you, you wont be able to maintain consistency. Forget it’s been a month since you said you were going to loose weight and haven’t. Examine your health, how you feel about yourself and dig into why you’re unhappy with your weight. Consider January a test month and make February where you really work on yourself, without pressure of starting this race with everyone else. Jan. 1st is overrated, find your own day to start and finish for the most important person, yourself.

Hollywood’s Golden Girls No More?

by Analisa Novak

Amy Schumer and Jennifer Lawrence have a lot in common in my eyes. Their comparisons go beyond the facts that they are newly formed besties that are attached at the hip and that they have no filters when it comes to subjects such as beauty, weight and fame. What they have most in common is that Hollywood has pushed them to be so cool that they have actually become uncool. I cannot stand Jennifer Lawrence or Amy Schumer and as of late, I am not alone. The two women, both known for their accessible personalities, have received a lot of heat recently.

Jennifer Lawrence went from classy to arrogant during this year’s Golden Globes by insulting a reporter for using his phone to read questions.

“You can’t live your whole life behind your phone, bro, you gotta live in the now,” Lawrence taunted to the foreign reporter. She then reminded the flustered reporter that he was at the Golden Globes after he asked her how she felt coming into the Oscars. “If you put your phone down, you would know that,” she mockingly said as the poor journalist continued to laugh it off. No one else is laughing, as many people are calling for Lawrence to apologize for this incident. It was in that moment that Lawrence went from “America’s Best Friend” to just another presumptuous actress.

Honestly, I’ve never seen the appeal of Amy Schumer. It is a challenge to find her entertaining and her movie “Trainwreck” was exactly that in my eyes. However, it was admirable how she openly isn’t ashamed of her body. In a world where we are told to have a size zero waist and a Kim Kardashian-sized behind, Schumer was the complete opposite. Famous photographer Annie Leibovitz photographed her, rolls and all, in a photo that not many wouldn’t find Instagram worthy. Amy Schumer was inspiring and everyone loved her for showing us that it’s okay to be ourselves.

She didn’t get the memo that it’s not acceptable to openly steal jokes from lesser-known comedians. Four female comedians have accused the actress of fraud. Nothing is lower in the world of comedy than being a “joke stealer.”

Schumer is denying the allegations. “On my life, I have never and would never steal a joke,” she tweeted. The evidence is pretty damning if you listen to the jokes she is accused of stealing. Plagiarism, an already serious offense, is worse when the people you are plagiarizing from are the women you are trying to empower.

It is highly unlikely that their careers are over because of these incidents, but they have lost what Hollywood capitalized with them. Perhaps both Schumer and Lawrence can recover from these recent blunders. The damage is done and anyway, the demise of their popularity was a long time coming.

They were pushed on us so much and at first, we liked them for what they represented: difference. Like all things in Hollywood and life, they got caught in the inevitable tangle of web that is called conformity and instantly we see them now as nothing special. Lawrence is still an extremely talented actress and Schumer is still funny, but so are others; others who now see a vacancy sign hanging for “America’s Next Sweethearts.”