All posts by lorenzo burgio

Journalist Sara Ganim Tells Students To Embrace Their Youth

by Lorenzo Burgio

Sara Ganim spoke to a room full of current and aspiring journalists in the Travelers Lecture Hall Nov. 17th at Central Connecticut State University. The Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter was famous for unveiling the Sandusky Penn State child sex abuse scandal while a reporter at The Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Ganim’s speech shined a light on the journalistic career path for upcoming graduates. The now a 28-year-old CNN reporter effortlessly related to the largely undergraduate-based audience. “Your twenties are a really interesting stage in your life, you notice the world is really big then you realize you’re broke and can’t see any of it,” said Ganim.

Recalling life after college, Ganim mentioned there were no paid internships and salaries were, “So low you could qualify for food stamps.” Being able to learn and experience a lot after being “catapulted” shortly after college when the scandal broke, Ganim’s speech resided around two focuses. Never let age deter from producing the finest work, if anything use it to an advantage and choose work environments wisely.

Being a 19-year-old in her first newsroom, she became obsessed with her beat. Sleeping with a police scanner next to her bed and engulfed in her surrounding, Ganim still faced obstacles on her path to success. “It took time, it didn’t happen overnight. I was lied to, ignored, people didn’t trust me,” said Ganim. Until one day someone did, which primarily tipped her off about Jerry Sandusky, longtime beloved football coach.

As the crowd eagerly waited for the next career-starting-tip, Ganim assured the audience how youth can work as an advantage when reporting. Being 24 years old when the scandal was uncovered, she didn’t intimidate others, people could be comfortable around her. “If you recognize your youth, it can work to your advantage. People who make fun of your age don’t like you because they are scared of you,” said Ganim. Again displaying her ability to relate to the audience.

Building upon that, she emphasized caution upon selecting employment and how she has turned jobs down in the past. Also, acknowledging society functions by everybody learning from each other, and to succeed a positive environment is required. As the audience contemplated how any journalistic-employment option could be turned down, Ganim explained she was surrounded by people who kept her grounded and helped to move stories along at The Patriot.

News organizations were unable to duplicate her stories. Ganim knew the most about the scandal. Covering news for the following day, rather than what happened that day as other networks. She recognized this stemmed from a well-functioning work environment. Her constructive atmosphere and love for the job, played major roles in her success.

Ganim overcame obstacles and dishonesty, and showed it is a necessary characteristic in the journalism field. “Almost every Penn State official lied about almost everything,”answered Ganim when asked if they knew anything regarding Sandusky.

“I hope everyone finds the thing they love and want to do — that you can wake up in the morning and actually want to do it,” concluded Ganim.

Through her persistence and ability to transform societal-disadvantage into a journalistic tool, while surrounded by a comfortable and constructive atmosphere, Ganim flourished in the field and left impending journalists feeling capable of the same.

Thanksgiving: A Day for Family, Not Shopping

by Lorenzo Burgio

As we enter the heart of the holiday season, new advertisements and commercials are rapidly coming out. A specific one by Kohl’s recently aired and erupted an abundance of ignorant responses regarding same-sex couples. This shockingly was not the focus of the arguments though.

The commercial showed various individuals arriving at a house for a holiday gathering. Included are a multiracial couple and gay couples. As expected, the negative feedback flooded in after it was aired.

The Kohl’s Facebook page exploded with uneducated and bigoted comments. They ranged from, “Please remove this ad, you are supporting the gay lifestyle which is wrong! Thank you,” “Will no longer shop at Kohl’s” and “This is sick! Kohl’s used to be my favorite store!”

These common rude and dogmatic comments surprisingly were not the focus for most individuals’ aggravations with the advertisement. It was that the store was opening Thanksgiving night while the commercial promoted family “togetherness.”

Kohl’s wrote with the commercial on social media, “We’re celebrating togetherness this holiday season. Tell us who you are spending your holidays with.”

Accompanied by countless employees that emphasized they will be working at Kohl’s, the majority of comments on social media were directed at Kohl’s not actually being a family-based company because they force their employees to work on Thanksgiving. Other corporations such as TJX who own Marshalls, Homegoods, T.J.Maxx and many more, closed every store in their conglomerate.

As they did receive some praise for incorporating a diverse get together, it was drowned by the justified responses regarding the store opening at 6:00 p.m. Thursday evening. Companies should show their employees enough consideration and empathy to not be open on holidays. They should leave the stressful retail environment for Black Friday, when they are already guaranteed to make enough money.

Many social media users were quick to make their point clear to the company. Comments ranged from, “If ‘Kohl’s Cared’ about families, you would not be open on Thanksgiving day!” “Good job but you would have my 100 percent support if you weren’t open on Thanksgiving,” and “You care about family, why are you open on Thanksgiving day? Greed!”

This is a clear contradiction on Kohl’s part. As progressive as the ad is, the company does not celebrate togetherness. In order to, it would require closing all their stores for the entirety of Thanksgiving in order for their employees to be home and celebrating with their family.

The company’s attempt to mask the minimal importance they put upon families and togetherness through a progressive ad was easily unveiled. Countless individuals contacted Kohl’s through social media asking how they can support togetherness this holiday season with the set hours, and there has been no response. How Kohl’s advertisers did not see the clear contradictions made is beyond comprehendible.

Let the Dust Settle

As French flag-filtered profile pictures and vaguely worded solutions to societal issues dominates social media, a main theme was noticed. Most people don’t let the entire story unfold, or “let the dust settle” before a crisis becomes artillery in heated debates pertaining to school shootings, gun control and much more.

Directly after the atrocities in Paris, news feeds infected with inadequate statements and memes were used to emphasize personal opinion. The abundance of arbitrary controversies and assumptions displayed on social media showed a lack of empathy. Can humanity as a whole take time to grieve and extend a helping hand after the crisis?

The New York Times published an article titled, “The Exploitation of Paris.” It brought to light many instances the atrocity is used to promote personal interests, largely on Twitter. Newt Gingrich, U. S. Representative tweeted, “Imagine a theater with 10 or 15 citizens with concealed carry permits. We live in an age when evil men have to be killed by good people.” This was nearly two hours after the attacks. The timing is simply disrespectful and intentions inappropriate.

The next tweet truly dug deep, and should agitate most readers. Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter Judith Miller tweeted, “Now maybe the whining adolescents at our universities can concentrate on something other than their need for ‘safe’ space.” The level of intertwined ignorance in this statement continues to grow after every word. These issues cannot be that simply compared, even if both resulted tragically. The Paris tragedy was committed by Islamic State terrorists, which is very different from school shootings. The Charleston Church, Sandy Hook, Colorado movie theatre shootings and even dating back to Columbine, were performed alone, with personal motives. Not because they distinguish with a radicalized group. There is a clear distinction between the two issues, somehow obtusely overlooked by Miller.

The article stated social media, “Was a megaphone to be used for whatever you yearned to shout.” This was seen when 12 journalist were killed during the Charlie Hebdo tragedy. Donal Trump relentlessly tweeted, “Isn’t it interesting that the tragedy in Paris took place in one of the toughest gun control countries in the world?” Using catastrophes to promote his own agenda, as well as insinuating France should adopt the U.S.’s Second Amendment showed indisputable ethnocentrism and insensitivity.

Trump’s indecency is seen again after the Paris incident, seemingly as a campaign tactic to promote his opinions on gun control. He stated in a interview with CNBC’s “Squawk Box,” “Had there been some guys with a gun, there would have been a shootout and probably the primary people that would have got whacked would have been the killers.”

These examples, and countless others on the internet clearly show prematurity, indecency and a focus on promoting personal views. Before the next opinionated Facebook post or imprecise meme is shared, let the wounds heal, let the families be informed and “let the dust settle.” Let Paris restore their sense of safety and community before it is made about another country’s.

Let’s Talk About Yale

by Christopher Marinelli

Yale and other universities have recently been in the spotlight of mass media over controversies of racism and mistreatment. Yale is a flagship school of Connecticut and an educational check point of New England, bringing the racial tensions close to home and down to a local scale.

The racial tensions started after a fraternity on Halloween stopped allowing African-American girls into the party once the building reached its capacity. Instead of turning everyone away, a fraternity brother was reportedly denying entrance specifically to African-Americans.

An email was sent out by the Intercultural Affairs Committee, which read:

“…Halloween is also unfortunately a time when the normal thoughtfulness and sensitivity of most Yale students can sometimes be forgotten and some poor decisions can be made including wearing feathered headdresses, turbans, wearing ‘war paint’ or modifying skin tone or wearing blackface or redface. These same issues and examples of cultural appropriation and/or misrepresentation are increasingly surfacing with representations of Asians and Latinos.”

This continued with a comprehensive list of hypothetical questions, encouraging students to consider the potential social repercussions that could come from wearing these costumes.

The email was responded to by Residential Hall Director Erika Christakis who questioned the sensitivity of the first email, and said “I don’t wish to trivialize genuine concerns about cultural and personal representation, and other challenges to our lived experience in a plural community. But in practice, I wonder if we should reflect more transparently, as a community, on the consequences of an institutional (which is to say: bureaucratic and administrative) exercise of implied control over college students.”

Yale has since responded abrasively with student marches and protests. Christakis has since received threats as well as demands for her resignation.

These emails were essentially a tipping point after a build up of quiet racism, something many colleges and students have experienced. While these events are arguably trivial in nature, they are the outcome of silent social and racial barriers.

These events aren’t unique to just Yale, racial tension is surfacing as protests across the country emerge as a response to the years of silent racism. It is important to look at these triggers and responses from students and start searching for answers rather than sweeping these conflicts under the rug.

Contemporary racism is a controversial subject, one that cannot be easily addressed. However, it is important to start having a conversation about these issues and look at these incidents at Yale and the University of Missouri to start acknowledging the problems at hand.

Lady Blue Devils Win NEC Opener 5-1

by Dillon Meehan

Central Connecticut’s women’s soccer team, (5-2-2, 1-0 NEC) won their Northeast Conference opener in dominating fashion against LIU Brooklyn (3-8, 0-1 NEC) by a score of 5-1.

The lady Blue Devils used their superior pace to create multiple scoring chances in the first half.

“We were able to move the ball well, it’s how we want to play, keep it on the ground, keep it moving fast and when that happens we look pretty good,” said CCSU head coach Mick D’Arcy after the game.

CCSU had the opportunity to take the lead less than 30 seconds in, when freshman midfielder Charlotte Maurer intercepted an attempted clearance and fired a shot from the top of the box that caromed off the post.

However, the lady Blue Devils did not have to wait long to get on the board, CCSU found the back of the net less than four minutes into the game when freshman Shelbie Carr found fellow classmate Danielle Pearse who beat the goalkeeper near post to take the 1-0 lead.

“We were sharp, almost had one [goal] 30 seconds in and then that first goal set the tone for the rest of the game,” said D’Arcy of his teams performance.

Pearse continued to find holes in the defense and just over 20 minutes later she had the opportunity to double CCSU’s lead.

The freshman received a through ball at the top of the box and flipped the ball over the Blackbirds’ goalkeeper, who pulled Pearse down, drawing a penalty.

Senior Claire Walsh stepped up to take the penalty and rocketed it to the top right corner.

CCSU was able to stretch their lead to three, 10 minutes later when a cross from freshman Emma Hubbard was redirected by a Blackbirds’ defender, which resulted in an own goal.

At the end of the first half, the lady Blue Devils had outshot the Blackbirds 7-1 and were in possession of a commanding 3-0 lead.

Heading into the second half, CCSU was hoping to slow the game down and keep possession of the ball, however that all changed just a minute into the second half.

Lucy Gunton-Jones fired a long cross from a set piece, into the box where it found the head of Allegra Ondrejka who knocked it in to make it 3-1, with 44 minutes left to play.

However, the Blue Devils were able to stay composed and keep the pressure despite the Blackbirds’ comeback attempt.

“It was up to us to show that poise and confidence in ourselves, that we can steady the ship and play through it,” said D’Arcy of his team.

CCSU almost stretched their lead back to three in the 63rd minute when Pearse looped a shot that hit off of both the right and left posts but failed to cross the goal line.

However, they were finally able to find the back of the net again with 10 minutes remaining when Hubbard crossed it in to sophomore Alex Zampini, who finished it from close range.

Senior Delaney Lancor added the fifth and final goal for the lady Blue Devils a few minutes later, her attempted cross was directed back to her and she then fired a long shot which found the top left corner.

Nicki Turley had a relatively easy day, the junior goalkeeper made three saves on four shots continuing her strong stretch of form this season.

CCSU’s next game is away against Mount St. Mary’s University on Friday, Oct. 9th. Blue Devil fans can catch them at home Friday, Oct. 23rd against Robert Morris University.

Why Are Textbooks So Expensive?

by Lorenzo Burgio 

College tuition itself is expensive. The price of textbooks, that are required for most classes continues to increase each semester and could possibly be affecting student’s performances.

Ken Feder, Central Connecticut anthropology professor, commented on the high cost of textbooks, “Highly specialized books with very small runs are often crazy expensive. When publishers have to meet their expenses and make a profit on a small number of books, they need to price each one they do see very high.”

Feder also explained how other influences such as including photographs, contributes to the high cost. The photos in textbooks are commonly from third party art agencies that charge up to $200 for something that only takes up half a page. “Look at all those [pictures] in a biology textbook. Do the math and see that the art for a book can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. And color photos add to the expense. Everybody wants color. But you pay for it.”

Authors and publishers only make money on the initial sales of their book. This is why so many new editions are seen, as well as a decrease in the amount of buybacks. Charlie Williams, CCSU Communications major, said, “They make new editions that are the same as the old ones and charge so much more.”

Jason Jakubowski, a political science professor at CCSU commented on the matter, “I do think it’s pretty obvious that the publishers are more than aware that they are selling commodities that are being required for purchase.”

Publishing companies commonly contact professors and send them free teacher editions in order to persuade them to assign that book for the semester. “At least two or three times a semester I’ll get a box of free instructor copies of texts that different selling agents want me to consider assigning for a future course,” said Jakubowski.

Feder showed concern that middle-class-students end up selling books back, that they really should be keeping. All in order to have enough money for next semester’s order.

He continued to mention, as an undergrad in the 1970s he had the option of keeping a book in order to refer back to it in the future. This is no longer an option for most.

Feder also brought attention to another concern, “I see an increasing number of students, especially in [general education] courses, simply not buying required books, figuring that they can pass the course without buying the book. That’s pretty sad.”

Williams commented, “I usually spend about $400 a semester on books, but this semester it was too much. With paying rent and buying books, I haven’t gotten any yet.”

There is hope that certain alternatives such as eBooks can help reverse the cycle. But this will only eliminate the cost of ink, binding and paper. Leaving all other fixed costs still there, explained Feder.

Jakubowski also mentioned possible ways to alleviate the stress of buying textbooks, “I think a transition to electronic texts is one obvious step. Expanding book buy-back options is another. But the problem with that is as soon as a new edition comes out, the old edition is obsolete.”

Jakubowski continued to explain, semester after semester and over 12 years of teaching he is continuously shocked at how much his students have to pay for textbooks.

NFL Week Two Fantasy Roundup 

by Dillon Meehan 

The NFL has now entered an area, which we call the Twilight Zone. The Bucs, Jaguars, Raiders and Redskins all won over heavily favored opponents.

It is still week two and there are still plenty of unknowns around the league but there’s a certain trends starting to form for fantasy.

To start off, if your wide receiver is playing the Carolina, look for other options. Despite appearing to have a week secondary, Panthers corner Josh Norman has held the team’s number one target, to have less than 70 yards in nine straight games. So heads up to anyone who owns Brandin Cooks, he most likely will have a quiet week.

While we’re still focused on Carolina, don’t give up on Greg Olsen just yet. His production is poor at best right now, but he was targeted 14 times last week so expect more from the tight end this season. Especially considering they’re playing a Rob Ryan coached defense in New Orleans next week, who just lost to the Buccaneers at home.

Owners of Drew Brees and Tony Romo should possibly look for new options. Not only because of the injuries, but for Brees the offense also appears to be regressing after losing Jimmy Graham.

There are options available though, Colin Kaepernick, who is owned in 53 percent of ESPN leagues, is coming off one of the best games in his career, and statistically is having one of his best two-game stretches as well. Carson Palmer is another option as well, he is owned in less than 70 percent of leagues so he is possibly still available in eight team leagues.

For owners of Andrew Luck, I really don’t know what to tell you. I thought he was going to throw for 5,000 yards with that offense this year but the poor offensive line play has finally caught up to them. Their defense, which is usually good play considering their weak division, is riddled with injuries which makes their offense even more pass-heavy. It is an ugly situation in Indy that will likely result in the unjustified firing of Chuck Pagano.

Looking at running backs, it continues to be a total crapshoot in terms of finding consistent production. D’Angelo Williams has had back-to-back great games for Pittsburg but with Le’veon Bell returning, it is tough to figure he sees the field that much. Giovanni Bernard has shown a lot of promise through two games. If Jeremy Hill continues to have ball security problems, look for Cincinnati to continue lean on Bernard like they did for the second half of Sunday’s game.

Matt Jones was a standout for Washington. It doesn’t mean Alfred Morris’s starting spot is in jeopardy just yet, but he definitely will take some touches away from him in future games.  So if you’re in need of a running back and are in a 12 or 16 team league, consider Jones.

Dion Lewis appears to be Belichick’s new scat-back. There’s a possibility that production could continue, but owners should already know that it is never smart to bet on Patriots running backs.

One final piece on running backs, if David Johnson is available, pick him up. With Andre Ellington out for an extended period of time, you can expect Johnson to build on his production. Next week, the Cardinals host the 49ers who just gave up 43 points to the Steelers, expect Arizona’s offense to do the same.

With tight ends being the lottery ticket position last week, the receivers took home that title for week two. Travis Benjamin has exploded lackluster defenses for back-to-back weeks and expect him to do the same next week against Oakland. Both Nate Allen and Charles Woodson are expected to be out still, so it’s safe to bet on Benjamin for at least one more big play next week.

Julian Edelman had the same number of yards and receptions as last week, but two of those targets went for scores. Edelman and Brady are perfectly in synch and expect another big game next week against Jacksonville.

On the other side of the ball, the Broncos are the best defensive team in football right now. It’s going to be tough to imagine them not at least scoring 7-10 points for the majority of their games, especially considering the fact that Manning will figure out what to do on offense.