All posts by Kiley Krzyzek

Get Baked: Double Chocolate Banana Cake

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by Ashley Arnesen

Do you love chocolate and are looking for a way to satisfy your sweet tooth without feeling totally guilty? Try this version of a healthy double chocolate banana cake. Even without the butter and oil, this recipe is still delicious and moist thanks to the applesauce and bananas.

If you really want to make this recipe healthy, try using coconut flour, unsweetened apple sauce, cacao powder and cacao chocolate chips.

Ingredients:

  1. 3 medium ripe bananas (if you love bananas, feel free to add more)
  2. ¾ cup brown sugar
  3. ½ cup applesauce
  4. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  5. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  6. 1 cup flour
  7. ½ cup cocoa powder
  8. 1 teaspoon baking powder
  9. ¼ teaspoon salt
  10. 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
  11. Handful of mini semi-sweet chocolate chips for topping (optional)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and coat an 8-inch pan with cooking spray. You can use any type of pan, but the cooking time will vary. If you decide to use a loaf pan, the cooking time will increase to about an hour.

2. Mash bananas and combine with brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir until sugar is dissolved.

3. Add the applesauce, vanilla and a lightly beaten egg. Stir to combine.

4. Stir in the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt. Add the chocolate chips and pour into pan.

5. Sprinkle chocolate chips over the top and bake for 25-30 minutes.

6. Enjoy!

Inspired by a recipe from www.fridaycakenight.com.

Game on: “Assassin’s Creed Rogue”

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by Larry Clark

“Assassin’s Creed Rogue” is the game that should have been the franchise’s sole release this year.

“Rogue” is the perfect continuation from “Black Flag,” that ties together “Black Flag,” “Assassin’s Creed III” and “Unity.” Here’s why you should play on:

The story of “Assassin’s Creed Rogue” follows Shay Cormac, an assassin in British colonies, during the events of the Seven Years War. As the story sets out, Cormac is already a fully fledged assassin and working under the tutelage of Achilles, the mentor from “Assassin’s Creed III.”

After playing what is mostly some tutorial missions in the form of Cormac refining his skills as an assassin, afterwards he is sent off to obtain a wooden box that was lost in Haiti and recovers it in his ship the Morrigan. Cormac recovers the artifact which turns out to be a map of precursor artifacts (ancient artifacts that can have a magic like power). Naturally, Cormac gets sent to Lisbon to retrieve this artifact, where instead he is greeted with a powerful earthquake that destroys the city.

Horrified by the results of the deadly earthquake, Cormac returns to the assassins and is only shocked to hear that Achilles wishes to pursue more artifacts, which leaves Cormac in shock having just barely escaped the earthquake in Lisbon. Cormac, in an almost ultimate act of rebellion, steals the manuscript that goes along with the map, which leads to a confrontation with his mentor. After a brief cut scene, Cormac runs off, and is chased and hunted down by assassins. Eventually he is shot and falls into the ocean.

While this may seem like the appropriate time for a person to die, it seems as though Cormac truly does make his own luck, and survives the swim of his life by the grace of a family in colonial New York. This family also happens to be sympathetic with the Templar way of thinking. It is here that Cormac meets George Monro, and learns that the assassins are driving a large number of the criminal activity in the colonies. Outraged by the assassin’s activities, Cormac sets out to eliminate their forces from the city. It is these actions that set him on the path to becoming a templar and dismantling the Colonial Assassins.

“Assassin’s Creed Rogue” finds itself in an odd place as a game. Having ended up playing “Rogue” after “Assassin’s Creed Unity,” there were some difficulties transitioning back to older systems of play.

On top of this, while the story for “Rogue” was very engaging on its own, it features many inconsistencies when held up against to the other “Assassin’s Creed” games. “Rogue” also answers many questions about what happened to the Colonial Assassins who were all but wiped out at the end of “Assassin’s Creed III.”

Overall, “Assassin’s Creed Rogue” is a great game in terms of story and game play. While there are some failings in parts of the plot line, the story fills in any events that were missing between “Black Flag” and “Assassin’s Creed III.”

 

Editorial: Rolling Stone Schooled on Campus Rape Reporting

An alleged rape victim, Jackie, told her story to Rolling Stone in a report that  made national attention- first for graphic details and lack of intervention by the University of Virginia, then for journalistic error.

Allegations of assault should always be taken very seriously, and perhaps going to the press wasn’t the best first course of action.

The fraternity in question, Phi Kappa Psi, was accused of a horrific coordinated gang rape at a function involving 18-year-old freshman, Jackie, her date, and other fraternity members and pledges in fall of 2012.

The fraternity has recently announced their plans to sue the magazine.

“It’s completely tarnished our reputation,” said Phi Kappa Psi President, Stephen Scipione.

Rolling Stone commandeered The Columbia School of Journalism to look into their reporting practices, and the report goes into deep detail about where they went wrong.

As journalists, this raises the question of respecting confidentiality and verifying sources to avoid defamation.

One major flaw in the reporting was that the reporter allowed Jackie to arrange for much of the proof of the attack, including an interview with her freshman roommate, who stated that Jackie told her about the attack some four months later. Also, Jackie warned that the three friends she cried to immediately after the attack, (whom she named only with first names), didn’t want to be quoted.

“The magazine did not pursue important reporting paths when Jackie had made no request that they refrain,” asserted The Columbia Review.

Sexual assault on college campuses is a very important and sensitive issue. Reporting such cases requires much balance and respect.

“It would be unfortunate if Rolling Stone’s failure were to deter journalists from taking on high-risk investigations of rape in which powerful individuals or institutions may wish to avoid scrutiny, but where the facts may be underdeveloped,” states the Columbia Review’s dissertation.

Recent cases have involved students frustrated at the lack of procedures in place to report such incidents, such as the Columbia student who carried around a mattress with her to class in protest. It should never have to get to the point where a student feels that the only option is to make a huge public statement to make headlines, however, this is making a huge difference on college campuses everywhere to prevent such incidents.

While reporting assault is supposed to be required as part of the Clery Act, it may be challenging for students who have been victimized to know what steps to take, and what university resources are available to them.

The aim of the StandUpCCSU campaign, is to make resources more readily available for students, and also work on bystander prevention. It’s a step in the right direction for Central.

Although there may have been falsehoods stated in the Rolling Stone article, that doesn’t take away the significance of such allegations on college campuses. Sexual assault is a very serious issue, and college campuses need to take accountability in both preventing such incidents and having recourse when a survivor steps forward.

CCSU Presents “Young Frankenstein”

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by Kaitlin Lyle

In this spectacular adaptation of Mel Brooks’ beloved parody, the cast and crew of “Young Frankenstein” pulled out all the stops in their performances to give their audiences an unforgettable night of laughter.

In the opening number, the villagers of Transylvania rejoice at the passing of Dr. Victor Von Frankenstein, but recoil abruptly when it’s revealed that a Frankenstein still lives in the form of grandson Frederick. However, the distinguished doctor has made his place in New York, abandoning his family name (pronouncing it “Fronkensteen”) with no plans to live up to his heritage.

However, duty calls for him to visit Transylvania to resolve his grandfather’s estate; it is here that he befriends buxom lab assistant, Inga, and hunchbacked servant, Igor, who are ecstatic at the chance to assist him.

As much as Victor resists joining the family business, he becomes tempted to experiment with reanimation, especially with the encouragement of family ghosts.

Together, the group repeats the steps of the past and succeeds in bringing their creature to life, resulting in a rampage. Determined to restore peace to the community and give the creature humanity, the group sets out on an adventure of hysterical proportions that ensures a remarkable show.

As Frederick Frankenstein, actor Nick DeCrosta went beyond the call of duty in reanimating Gene Wilder’s iconic role, both embodying the role in its fevered entirety, and elevating it to exciting heights. Both his companions and “creature” excelled in dispensing newfound life to Mel Brooks’ characters with electrifying results.

In addition to its leads, the musical brought forth two of the most memorable supporting roles – fiancée Elizabeth and servant Igor – to light up the stage with a perfect amount of panache and pun. Newcomer Chris Whitcomb had audiences in tears of laughter in the role of everyones favorite hunchback; Kat Barone’s “adorable madcap fiancée” took her part by the reigns and had spectators fawning over her in no time.

“Out of all the roles I’ve played at Central, playing Elizabeth is one of the hardest roles I’ve had to play, including Hedda Gabler. She’s very showy and loud, and it’s something I’ve never done before, so for an actor who wants to put something on her resume, it’s an exciting twist,” said Barone on her role.

“Embrace the unexpected,” she sings as a poorly-timed arrival for her darling Freddy in the song “Surprise.”  By that point, the audience had already been hooked into the performance since the show’s opening number.

A range of hilarious accents spilled across the stage, from Sam Wolf’s Inspector Kemp to Delaney Cassidy’s Frau Blucher. Jokes of all nature surfaced in both song and script, whether they remained true to the original dialogue or produced sidesplitting innuendos.

The extensive choreography performed in the show’s musical numbers awoke awe in the theatergoers as footsteps on the stage caused their seats to rattle in place. The soundtrack relayed the story’s most iconic quotes by transforming them into unforgettable show-stoppers, such as “Roll in the Hay” and “He Vas My Boyfriend.” Avid film fans were perched at the edge of their seats in preparation for the infamous tap number between monster and maker in “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”

“It’s meant to give a laugh, but I think the greater message is passion: finding your passion and your dream,” said Victoria Daigle, an ensemble member and dance captain, on the message the show had to offer.

Rest assured, there was a happy ending in store for this year’s spring musical, however laced in it was with the show’s final shenanigans.

 

Ebony Choir Reignites the Fires of Faith

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by Sheridan Cyr

The Ebony Choir has done it again; in their spring recital last Wednesday evening, they filled every inch of Welte Auditorium with faith, hope, confidence and joy through the spirit of God.

Billy Powell, emcee and gospel recording artist, started off the recital with a rap of his own. As the chorus came around, he had the whole room singing back to him, “Giving glory to our King.” Some even rose from their chairs and danced to his song.

Next, two girls under the name “The Freedom Dancers,” left an incredible impression with an interactive dance advocating for renewal, healing and self-power. They began with one girl on the ground surrounded by picture frames. Each frame had one hardship scrawled across in bold; alcoholism, drugs, depression. The grounded girl would show one at a time, while the other acted it out to the music. Mid-way, they fought over the frames and ended up throwing them to the ground, shattering them. Their message was to free yourself from your demons and of spirits that are not like God.

Jonathan Cunningham followed after the dance with his self-written song, “God’s Grace,” on the keyboard. He focused on second chances and freedom. “No matter what you’re going through, His grace is a vision for you.”

Powell took the stage again to introduce the Ebony Choir, “the baddest college choir in Connecticut!” he claimed.

Steven Wilson, director of the chorale, offered a message before beginning the recital: “Saying ‘yes’ to the Lord means you’ve got to give up some things. You will fall and make many, many mistakes, but if you say ‘Yes, Lord, I will try,’ He will guide you to where you should be.”

The choir enriched the audience’s faith with a number of deeply moving, provocative songs. They touched on many fears and insecurities that nearly every person faces.

One issue within Christianity is that many people do not feel that they deserve God’s love. Their song, “You are Worthy,” fought that idea, claiming that everyone deserves His love, no matter how wrong you may have been, or how far you have pulled away from God.

In the very energetic and upbeat song, “Yes, Lord,” Ebony Choir gave into God, promising to do anything for Him. The audience danced, clapped and shouted out praise and approval to the catchy beat.

One of their slower songs, sang by director Wilson, beckoned that “the power of sin is broken, Jesus overcame it all.” The song talked about Easter and Jesus’ death, only to rise again three days later. Wilson’s powerful voice alone was enough to send chills through the room.

Wilson led his choir through a song of confession and overwhelming compassion. They gave all of their love to God, repeating, “Lord I love you more than anything.”

Giving all to restore the faith of those broken in the room, Wilson said, “It’s a different kind of love with God. People walk in and out of our lives. They use us. They mistreat us. They disrespect us. God is always here. God only offers love, and He will never hurt you.”

The choir put on an exceptionally profound performance that evening. Their message was definitely received, and audience members walked out of the room with full hearts, renewed faith and peace.

CCSU Psychology Club Screens “Shutter Island”

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by Kaitlin Lyle

The ominous weather of last Wednesday night served as a perfect framework of illusion for what the Psychology Club had prepared for both members and fellow students alike.

As a final event, club members had chosen to screen the film “Shutter Island” in Marcus White Living Room at 8 p.m., a fitting choice for the rainy night that lay ahead. Along with the film’s screening, the students provided pizza and brownies for their audience’s enjoyment.

Based on the best-selling crime thriller by Dennis Lehane, Leonardo DiCaprio stars as U.S. Marshall Teddy Daniels, who makes an arrival at Ashecliffe Hospital for the Criminally Insane in order to investigate the disappearance of murderous patient Rachel Solando. Along with his partner, Chuck Aule, Teddy searches throughout Shutter Island in order to track Solando down, only to uncover an unexpected amount of sinister activity. As Teddy becomes more involved with the mystery behind the hospital and its inhabitants, both he and his audience soon begin to realize that nothing is remotely what it seems on Shutter Island.

The film itself exuded the style of a Martin Scorsese production, including fast-paced camera angles to make statements and a soundtrack perfected to fit the mood of each scene.

“We decided to do “Shutter Island” because back around Halloween, we were looking for something we could show everyone, and everyone had voted on that one,” said Sofia Iseppi, the club’s vice president.

Iseppi added that the process involved taking suggestions for what could be a psychological thriller film, and that available funding was a significant part in the process, especially since getting the rights to movies are expensive to show in a public setting.

At this point in time, the Psychology Club is now in the process of planning events for next semester, including its potential participation in the Compassion Campaign, and finding more ways to promote a compassionate campus. Iseppi noted that she would like to get the club involved in more volunteering, as well as putting its members more out in the public’s view for the purpose of promoting club membership.

“I’m really excited to work with her [Iseppi] next semester. I know we have a lot of goals for next year, and I think we’re going to do a lot more than we did last year,” said sophomore Amanda Mendoza.

While the opening titles of the film were projected on the screen, Damar Britto, a freshman member to the club, commented on how enjoying the chosen film could be related to what members talk about during Psychology Club. Other attendees noted the film’s attributes as a contribution to the horror genre.

“I like a good horror movie that’ll make me jump and be suspenseful, but not gory,” said freshman Hannah Webster, who came to support friends at the film’s showing.

Though last week’s event was small in attendance, the club provided a cozy atmosphere where students enjoyed good food, time with friends and the screening of an excellent psychological thriller.

CAN Spring Carnival Brings A Final Hurrah

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by Kaitlin Lyle

As an opportunity to end the semester on an exciting note, CCSU students were treated to the annual Central Activities Network (CAN) Spring Carnival held in the Student Center Circle on April 23.

After rescheduling the event due to inclement weather, students came out of the woodwork to enjoy what CAN had in store for them. Even with the surprise snowflakes that fell 10 minutes into the event, students were determined to remain in the long lines for food and activities alike.

Sponsored by CA. and Inter-Residence Council (IRC), the theme for this year’s Spring Carnival was “Life is a Beach”. According to CAN Advisor Erica Gardner, both organizations’ members had thrown out various ideas for this year’s Spring Week before considering the beach theme as a fun reflection of the springtime weather.

As a result of the theme appealing to the students, the event soon became a collaboration of various student organizations, including the Student Government Association (SGA) and Phi Sigma Sigma, who wanted to help promote the carnival.

“We figured ‘Why not?’ because there’s more than enough room, and it’s really awesome to get different organizations all together underneath the same roof. We all collaborate really well together, so it make things a lot of fun,” said Ryan White, vice president of Programming for CAN

White also added that the members tried to aim the event towards the seniors as a last hurrah in their final weeks at CCSU, as well as appealing to the freshman with CAN’s brand of entertainment.

“I think they’ll love it. Every year that we’ve done it, students love the carnival,” said White.

For this year’s activities, CCSU students were given a menagerie of diversions to attempt, from a mechanical shark ride to bungee jumps. A new addition that brought students together in large numbers featured bubble bump soccer that was played out on the lawn next to Copernicus Hall.

Along with the fried dough truck that held the longest line of hungry students, the Carnival held a stand for Monster Energy as well as machines for popcorn and cotton candy. Novelties were given out including t-shirts, tank tops, drawstring bags and towels inscribed with CAN’s logo and the year’s theme. In the middle of the Circle was a carnival-themed photo booth that offered souvenir photos that students could take with their friends.

Along with the SGA table that handed out novelties for the upcoming spring concert, the National Guard had its own table, and the sorority Phi Sigma Sigma appealed to participants with their featured “Pie a Phi.”

“Basically, we’re letting people come up and ‘pie’ any sister they like for fun,” explained Phi member Kaitlin Zaidel, gesturing to the plates of whipped cream they had laid out for their participants.

“It’s also to get our name out and support other organizations,” added Aunchlee Reilly, one of the many campus delegates for the event.

In spite of the initial weather, the students of CCSU were met with enthusiasm with the day CAN had planned for them.

“I think it’s really fun. This is the first one I’ve gone to. Usually I can’t make it due to classes,” said junior Tisa Platt.

From the long lines that stretched across the Circle to the student’s eager participation in all the Carnival’s activities, the Central Activities Network went above and beyond to provide students with a great time before the semester’s end.

Top Hikes To Satisfy Summer Adventurists

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by Ashley Arnesen 

Now that the spring semester has come to a close, what do you do with your time?

If you’re staying in the area or don’t mind making a road trip, here are five hikes that are worth the trip:
1. Mount Greylock – Massachusetts. This mountain has the highest peak in Mass. at 3,491 feet, and offers 360 degree views. This mountain is nestled into the corner of Mass. and borders Vermont and New York. It gives amazing views of the Adirondack Mountains in New York State and also Vermont and Connecticut. To seal the deal, there’s also a 100-foot tall light house atop this mountain. This scenery will give you some of the best views of New England’s beauty.
2. Franconia Ridge – New Hampshire. The majority of this trail is above tree-line, offering beautiful surrounding views because it is considered a range with multiple summits. Its six summits include: Mount Lafayette, Mount Truman, Mount Lincoln, Little Haystack Mountain, Mount Liberty and Mount Flume. With the highest peak at over 5,000 feet, this is a strenuous hike, but extremely rewarding after hitting every single peak.
3. The Long Trail – Vermont. The Green Mountain state doesn’t offer anything but the best hiking trails. To do the entire Long Trail would take about 26 to 30 days because it’s the entire length of Vermont, but there are plenty of day hikes to be done off these trails such as Mount Mansfield, Camel’s Hump, Mount Ellen and more. You can never go wrong with hiking the beautiful Green Mountains that are maintained by the Green Mountain Club (GMC).
4. Mount Washington – New Hampshire. This is one hike that should only be done by experienced hikers. The summit is 6,228 feet, and is known for its highest peak in America, bad weather and fast wind speed. There’s no doubt that this mountain offers the most amazing views of New Hampshire, Canada, Mass., Vermont and the New York’s Adirondack Mountains, but it’s strenuous. You can always drive your car or take the cog train to the top of the mountain and see the views. Still the same right?
5. Cliff Walk – Rhode Island. Located on the shore of Newport, Rhode Island, there is no way you can say “no” to this hike. You’ll see the natural beauty of the shoreline and the architectural history of the town, including the mansions that line the beach.
Each hike offers different things, but all of them offer amazing views. Make sure to also check out weather conditions for each hike and to grab a map. It’s important to understand that Mother Nature can change her mind anytime she wants. Always be well prepared for all your hikes.
To check out more information for all of these hikes, visit www.alltrails.com

As Usual, London Fashion is Ahead of the Curve

by Kiley Krzyzek

It’s true what they say about trends in Europe making their way across the pond.

Over spring break, I did some style searching in London and noticed some patterns.

British guys in general dress in a mix of casual and formal wear, pairing fitted blazers with straight leg jeans. Ladies opt for dresses or skirts and black leg-wear. Coats are a major part of the whole look for everyone.

Fur for one is making a comeback in a big way, think Brittany Spears post-crazy. Turns out the Olsen twins had it right all along, much to the dismay of animal rights supporters like my vegan self. Of course, there’s the more friendly and financially savvy option of buying faux fur. I was able to snag a really comfy, vintage, taupe furry coat from Camden Town. It’s so cozy and warm, I don’t even care if people on campus stare at me like I just fell out of Narnia.

London is known for their pea-coats, which are widely popular in an array of colors for both men and women. They Come in different fabrics such as fleece and wool, although fleece is definitely the less itchy option. The look is timeless and works to top off a dressy or dressed-down ensemble. When it’s rainy or not as chilly, motorcycle jackets are the other go-to outerwear option.

Mint green is the dream color this spring. The pretty mesh of blue and green is flattering for anyone. Basically every big store, like Topshop, had an array of mint products – from bags to dresses. Again, I fell in love with a sheath beaded dress in that color at the European department store (which also has a section at the local Nordstrom), and a sweater from Mango.

Fringe is also a surprising fashion development, making appearances in both accessories and clothes, especially vests. Fur and fringe vests are popping up everywhere in London right now. They’re great for transitional weather, which is perfect for times when you’re not sure if it’s going to be sunny or snowy. I also noticed some puffy vests in the store, Uniqlo, but wasn’t really a fan.

London is an iconic city for fashion. The trends there are no doubt going to carry over into the states very soon. So get ahead of the game this season and dress like a Brit.

 

 

Campus Lit Magazine Hosts Award Winning Poet

by Sheridan Cyr

Students gathered eagerly to hear the heartfelt poetry of William Schutt and Alfred Corn in Marcus White Living Room on Thursday evening.

Michael Lacy, Editor-in-Chief of Helix Magazine who hosted the event, welcomed Schutt to the pedestal, saying that Schutt’s achievements were “quite the list, to be honest!”

Schutt traveled to New Britain from Baltimore, Maryland to share his work with the group of students that he once was a part of. Students trying to figure out their own place in the world of writing were fascinated by the finished product of a successful poem.

Reading first from his book “Westerly,” Schutt shared a handful of poems. They tended to have a similar essence. The audience understood his captivation with nature with a hint of skepticism. Schutt keeps an eye on human nature and attempts to pick it apart in hopes of understanding.

“The good thing about our culture is it’s always in flux and influenced by other cultures,” said Schutt.

The poet also shared some newer poems that he’d like to think are wiser than those in the past. He believes that with every year, we become more knowledgeable of the world around us. These poems included, among others, “Background Noise,” “Valet,” and a poem about Hurricane Sandy entitled “Storm.”

As Schutt wrapped up his own reading, he introduced his colleague, mentor and friend to the podium, Alfred Corn. Corn has much more experience in the field, as he has been picking through it longer. When Corn read his poetry, he did not stutter once, nor pause to readjust. He read with much enthusiasm and adoration of the art itself.

Corn has lived in many different places throughout his life, but spoke mostly about his time in New Haven, Connecticut.

“When I was here, I always enjoyed being a Nutmegger,’” said Corn, generating a few laughs from the crowd.

The first poem he shared took the reader to a train, dissecting the surrounding passengers as well as the scenery. He pointed out that he had traveled so far, yet had not moved from his designated seat. “Don’t miss the goings-on around you!” warned Corn.

He shared poems from “The Various Light” and “Tables.” As a child, Corn read a great deal of Edgar Allen Poe and has been influenced by him throughout his life.

At the end of the evening, the poets shared tips and guides to the aspiring writers that made up the audience. Corn said that the best way to get your thoughts on paper is to “write in your mind and then record what you write on the computer.”

Schutt gave one key suggestion: “You should write a poem that at least one person in the room will hate.” He says it is important to remember that not everyone will like your writing. That is just part of the business.