All posts by Analisa Novak

Angry Bull Shuts Down After Student Death


Angry Bull Saloon closed their doors after the death of Taylor Lavoie, 18, on March 3. Photo Credit: Facebook

by Analisa Novak

The doors of Angry Bull are officially closed after owners cancelled their liquor permit due to death of Central Connecticut State University student, Taylor Lavoie, 18, who is said to have fallen more than four stories off the roof of the establishment after a night out on March 3.

The state medical examiner ruled her death accidental. Lavoie died after suffering from blunt force trauma, according to medical examiners.

According to Hartford police, Lavoie was alone when her death occurred. The results of a toxicology test have not been released to the public yet.

Police have said when her body was discovered she had a “very good” fake ID and was wearing a wristband that allowed her entrance to the bar.

The bar, which is owned by Paul Genna, immediately suspended their liquor license for two weeks. The bar released a Facebook statement on March 3, stating that they will be using the time to review procedures and the incident with the Hartford Police and Department of Consumer Protection, which handles all liquor permits.

The license was only temporarily suspended for two weeks as the time of the investigation, according to Hartford Police.

The Hartford Police chief sent a notice to Genna stating that in order for Angry Bull to reopen, they would need to hire police detail each night, which could cost the bar up to $500.

Due to this financial constraint, the owner then decided to not renew its liquor license, thus permanently closing the establishment, according to the bars lawyers.

The investigation to how Lavoie gained entrance to the bar is also closed, according to the Department of Consumer Protection, as they no longer have a liquor permit.

Deputy Police Chief Brian Foley said that The Department of Consumer Protection  was planning an undercover raid before Lavoies death. Staffing and availability from both departments played an important key on why the raid was delayed.

Foley said that Hartford Police had made multiple complaints to the Liquor Control Commission, the most recent complaint on Feb. 24.

“We were in communication with them that week, they had our documentation, we wished it moved faster in a perfect world but that’s not where we are,” Foley said.


Sitting Down With Senator Cusano

by Analisa Novak

If someone would have told Marissa Cusano that she would be making campaign posters for herself last year, she wouldn’t believe it. But the commuter senator has grown a lot within her time at Central Connecticut State University; so much that that she is throwing in her hat in the race for Vice President of the Student Government Association.

The Southington native, who first arrived at CCSU three years ago, found that commuting to campus was affecting her ability to be involved. It was then, that Cusano decided to get involved in one of the biggest organizations on-campus Greek life.

“I joined because I lacked confidence in myself and I wasn’t involved on campus at all. Being a commuter and being involved was hard for me. Phi Sigma Sigma gave me the confidence to aim high and really reach for the goals I wanted to accomplish. It was a home away from home for me,” Cusano said.

She found confidence within the many philanthropy events that Phi Sigma Sigma holds on campus, including the annual ALS walk, in which this year she is chairing.

“Phi Sigma Sigma taught me how to feel a sense of belonging on campus and how it’s important to get my voice heard and to do whatever I can to improve the way others view this campus,” Cusano said.

As big as Greek life is on campus, Cusano noticed there was no representation of it on the SGA. Even with the campus and fundraiser events that Greek life actively participate in; Cusano, like most sorority and fraternity members,noticed the negative stereotype that come with joining these organizations.

“Greek life had no representation on the student government when I joined. Greek life on campus really does work towards great things. We do philanthropy and are working on showing ourselves more on campus,” Cusano said.

This past year, with the support of her sisters, Cusano chose to be the voice for all Greek life by joining the senate.

“I joined senate this year and I joined to help represent Greek life and to help break the stereotype that Greek life is all about partying,” Cusano said.

It with amongst the SGA that Cusano found another family and another group of brothers and sisters. She explained her inspiration to run for vice president was found amongst her peers.

I know that it kind of sounds cheesy but if it wasn’t for senate I wouldn’t know my true strengths and abilities. I have grown so much since joining and I definitely owe a lot to senate along with Phi Sig. Phi Sig taught me how to feel a sense of belonging on campus and how it’s important to get my voice heard and to do whatever I can to improve the way others view this campus,” Cusano said.

As a commuter student she knows how important it is for all students to feel welcomed and to be involved.

“Not a lot of clubs know their liaison and that doesn’t sit right with me.I have noticed through being a liaison to clubs that communication between the SGA and clubs is strained,” Cussano said.

If elected, Cusano said she will make it a priority to bridge the divide between club officers and senators.

“We send emails out to the presidents occasionally but from my perspective it doesn’t seem to be the best way to communicate. Clubs need to be able to meet with their liaisons and feel comfortable talking to them and I don’t believe that clubs our comfortable coming to us. I want to change that. Clubs need to be able to communicate with us and feel comfortable coming to us for anything that they may need,” Cusano said.

Cusano credits her open minded mentality as key strength. She is actively searching to hear student concerns and to break any stereotype she comes across.

“I would describe my leadership style as participative. I value what others have to say about issues and I want others to voice their opinions on topics and feel like their voice is heard and I would be able to take those opinions and views and be able to make the decision that needs to be made,” Cusano said.

Cusano will graduate next year as a sociology major. She hopes to have a career in human resources in the near future. In her spare time she practices karate and plays softball. Cusano, has a lot of hope for the future of CCSU and for the future leaders of the senate. The once shy and timid student hopes to become a leader for all whether elected or not.

I’ve wanted to run for a while and almost didn’t submit a packet but then I realized that I want this and I shouldn’t limit myself because of others. It’s important that everyone on campus knows that they all have the ability to be a leader.  I want to be able to help encourage students to see their potential and to help them become leaders. When we graduate I want to be confident that I have done all that I could to make sure no one felt as though they couldn’t do something that they wanted,” Cusano said. 

Five Years After Osama Bin Laden’s Death

by Analisa Novak

It’s been five years since we caught Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind 9/11. It’s been five years since we brought justice into the lives of those who were affected by this tragedy.

Five years ago when Bin Laden was killed, Americans went to the streets in unity. They went to the state capitol and cheered as the United State’s flag hung in the background. It was a moment of peace and closure to those affected by the terrorist attacks.

Blissfully speaking, this was something that America needed to show the world that justice will always prevail. Books and movies of this event followed right after the official announcement of his death. Everyone wanted to know what happened, how he was killed and who was there.

A great mystery still surrounds that day; no one has ever publicly seen Bin Laden’s body. Conspiracy theorist have drawn out theories that he was never captured. Many wanted to know who put the bullet into his head that ended his life. But in those five years, can we really say we are safer?

Even though we captured and killed him doesn’t mean that his legacy doesn’t live on. ISIS and Taliban forces still promote terrorism by murdering innocent victims. Recently the brazen attacks in Brussels and Paris have caught the attention of the world, but these attacks that may seem sporadic, have been in continuous motions for the years after his death.

Earlier this week a bomb exploded killing 32 in southern Iraq. Afghanistan and Iraq continue to be danger zones along with Syria, who has been most affected by the ISIS terror group. Daily bombing occur in these countries and the death toll continues to climb. While this may not be splashed over the media like the Brussels attack was, it is a reality of what is left even after the world most wanted terrorist dies.

Bin Laden was a representation of terror, but not the force that drives it. Terrorist attacks continue to happen and will continue to happen no matter who else steps into role. The world will continue to face danger because it is hate that drives people to preform such evil, not respect. Bin Laden was a martyr to many, but his death did not affect or stop terrorist attacks from happening.

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.”