Category Archives: On-Campus

RECentral’s Insanity Workout

by Sophia Contreras

On Wednesday night, students were hot and sweaty in Kaiser Gym thanks to the Insanity Workout event hosted by RECentral. The instructor was a Central Connecticut State University alumnus, who attended three years ago and studied physical education.

The Insanity workout is said to burn up to 1,000 calories during a single 45-minute session, which, for students looking to get their spring break bodies soon, was a major appeal in attending the event.

When the Insanity warm-up began, about 100 students were present and eager to start their workout. However, by halfway into the workout, about a quarter had left. The high intensity workout was just too much for some. “My favorite part of the workout were the breaks,” said Jeffrey Flores, a criminal justice major at CCSU.

The instructor was very supportive and motivating. She offered plenty of alternatives to every movement. By the end of the workout, only the most determined participants remained. Although not all the participants finished the whole workout, everyone went home with an Insanity t-shirt to prove their accomplishment of participating in the workout.

RECentral was looking forward to hosting the Insanity workout event again. “A couple of years ago, [ReCentral] hosted the Insanity workout, we had about 400 students show up. We’re excited to host it again and are hoping for another big turn out, but with the weather conditions outside, we are unsure. We just want the students to have a fun way to stay active,” said Ken DeStefanis, director of RECentral.

Participants ranged from experienced athletes to students who wanted to get out of winter hibernation. “I’ve just started to vigorously work out because I am working on my Revenge Body inspired by Khloe Kardashian,” said Flores.

“I would recommend this workout to people who love cardio,” said sophomore Amy Brigham. When asked if she would do the workout again, she said, “I feel like I should say yes, but definitely not, it was a lot to handle at once.”

For students looking for a more vigorous workout, DeStefanis recommends the fitness classes offered by RECentral at Memorial Hall that include body boot camp, Zumba, spinning, yoga and more. The fitness class schedule can be found on RECentral’s website and paper copies are available at all gyms on campus.

RECentral hopes to host other similar events to encourage students to become more active. “We’ve been thinking about having Work Out Wednesday. We usually have programs like Insanity a few times a semester, we are hoping to have another similar event around Spring Week too, to get the students moving,” said DeStefanis.

Welcoming New President Toro

by Alonso Velasquez

Central Connecticut State University welcomed President Zulma Toro at a reception held in Alumni Hall on Jan. 19th.

CCSU faculty and students filled the tables set up in Alumni Hall to enjoy finger foods, have the opportunity to mingle with each other and meet the new president for themselves.

The ceremony was open to the public, which resulted in many in the CCSU community taking the opportunity to meet Toro.

Many in attendance spoke of their hopes and expectations for the incoming president.

Student Chris Morales hopes that the new president will “improve student retention and support Greek life.”

CCSU Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs Zdzislaw Kremens explained that, being an engineer himself, he likes that Toro “is an engineer. She is very energetic. I think she will be a very good president.”

Freshman Akai Long hopes that she fosters innovation. “She said that her plan involved a new building that CCSU recently purchased. I hope she has an active presence, as the predecessor didn’t.”

“I hope most of all that she has an open door policy, and is a transparent and accessible president,” said Student Government Association (SGA) Chair of Academic Affairs Wyatt Bosworth. “This is what truly causes positive change. She came to the student government meeting yesterday and sat down with us for an hour. She met with clubs and organizations. She cares deeply about getting student input and that’s a good first sign.”

“If we have a direct line of communication between the leadership of the university and the students, then we can collaborate and move the institution to be what we need to be,” said Toro at the SGA meeting on Jan. 18th.

“Things I hope she can improve on, would be for her to maintain a good relationship with the legislature of the governor’s office, we’re facing very big budget cuts this year,” said Bosworth. “The state needs to see her be an effective, transformative president, so they can continue to invest in this institution. And I hope that she keeps a high standard for academics, and funds our student activities appropriately.”

“We are going to make the case for Central once again to see if we can somehow at least maintain the current support from the state. We will continue to advocate for Central, because we are helping the students,” said Toro during the SGA meeting, in regards to the university budget.

Student Jose Diaz said Toro could help the Latino community. “At CCSU, there is a lot that can be done. So I think the expectation is to help the immigrant community and having more resources and being open to talking with students.”

CCSU Latin American Student Organization (LASO) co-director Awilda Reasco said, “I would like the support of Dr. Toro to enhance our diversity, because CCSU is in the backyard of Hartford and New Britain and we have so many talented young students of color, Latino, African American, low income students that we need to reach out, by giving access to them.”

The gala was part of a string of events intended to help Toro learn more about the CCSU community. The day prior to the event, she spoke for an hour to the SGA, and LASO also hosted an event for her.
Toro is CCSU’s 13th president, succeeding Dr. Jack Miller, and officially started her term on Jan. 3rd.

Central Celebrates Homecoming Week With Annual Fall Carnival

by Kayla Murphy

Students across Central Connecticut State University gathered in the Student Center Circle from 12-4 p.m. for the annual Fall Carnival on Wednesday Oct. 12. Hosted by CAN, the Fall Carnival is an opportunity for students to come together and celebrate the week of Homecoming.

The area was crowded with hundreds of students dancing to songs by Drake and Flo Rida. Others were munching away on cotton candy and fried dough.

Senior student Sakriah Epps helped out at the Fall Carnival for a second year in a row. Epps said  the highlight of the carnival was the free t-shirts and bags.

“We only had about 50 shirts,” said Epps. “They sold out so quickly.”

Epps also said CAN planned to give out more free shirts at the pep rally held on Friday in Kaiser Hall from 7-9 p.m.

In order to obtain free shirts, students had to participate in different games and activities, such as Frog Flippers, Pirate Plunder and Strike Zone Bowling.

After completing each activity, students were given stamps on the back of their hands. Once they collected a certain amount of stamps, they were given a free shirt.

Andrea Cuartas, a Political Science major, said she had just missed out getting a free t-shirt, but was able to get a free bag.

“I went with a group of my friends to the carnival” said Cuartas. “The music was really good, but it got really crowded, especially people waiting in the lines for food.”

Junior student Matt Keborkin, who helped with WFCS Radio, said the event was jammed pack with buzz and excitement.

“CAN needed DJ’s to help with this event, and I’ve never done a live event before. So I was really up for the challenge and it was something new to do. I was really happy that the crowd seemed to like what I was playing,” he said.

Other than WFCS Radio, the Habit for Humanity and the Student Veterans Organization also promoted their clubs and presented activities for students to do.

Criminology major Nick Faniola, offered his assistance with the Student Veterans Organization. It was his first time helping out at the carnival. Having served in the Marine Corps for four years, Faniola was happy to help educate students about the 22-A-Day Challenge.

“The 22-A-Day Challenge is a push up challenge,” said Faniola. “Everyday 22 veterans commit suicide. By promoting the push up challenge, we are trying to raise awareness to Central students. We even had students write warm wishes on these giant posters for veterans going through a hard time.”

The carnival was a success in the mind of senior student Sakriah Epps.

“It was a perfect day for the carnival,” said Epps as she cleaned up around her gaming station. “A lot of kids were able to come hangout a bit in between classes and I’m glad students were willing to participate. I think this weekend is going to be a lot of fun with Family Day and Homecoming.”

Torpe Theater Celebrates Italian Culture Month with ‘A Touch of Sinatra’

 

by Kaitlin Lyle

Sitting in the audience of Torp Theater last Sunday afternoon, members of the Central Connecticut community enjoyed an enriching musical experience in observing “A Touch of Sinatra,” a show dedicated to presenting the life and music of Frank Sinatra and his companions in the music business.

Presented by the Italian Resource Center in cooperation with the Elihu Burritt Library, the occasion on October 16, 2016, was made possible through the suggestion of Dr. Maria Passaro of the CCSU Department of Modern Languages, who had seen “A Touch of Sinatra” at a library event over the summer. The performance took place at 3 p.m. in Davison Hall’s Torp Theatre and gathered a crowd of Sinatra enthusiasts. Following an introduction by Dr. Passaro and Dr. Carl Antonucci, Director of Library Services, the show commenced with Joe Gilligan narrating the well-loved singer’s story and Donnie Fararro providing musical talent from Sinatra’s broad music career.

“We’re going to show the good and the bad, the people he loved and the people who loved him, and his enemies,” said Gilligan at the start of their performance. “We’re going to do a bit of everything.” With that brief foreword, the duo brought the audience back in time to Sinatra’s early days, beginning with his birth on December 12, 1915 in Hoboken, New Jersey. As the audience began to settle into the ambiance that Gilligan and Fararro designed to tell Sinatra’s story, the theater was soon echoing with the familiar songs of the late artist, beginning with Fararro’s delivery of “New York, New York.”

With each account of the notable moments in Sinatra’s life, the theater lights would illuminate both the stage and the audience, subsequently lowering as the stories gave way to melody. In combining the words of his story with the lyrics of his music, the performers incorporated specific works that aptly depicted the trials and tribulations in Sinatra’s life: from his divorce from first wife Nancy Barbato (“All the Way”) to the moment of his first big break in 1939 (“Fly Me to the Moon”). With each celebrated song, the audience was enraptured as Fararro crooned the lyrics in the familiar style of the late artist. Along with their celebration of Sinatra through Fararro’s musical renditions, it was through Gilligan’s narration that the audience received an education of little-known details in Sinatra’s personal life, including the unfortunate eardrum injury he underwent at birth.

Between the anecdotes and the musical performances, Gilligan and Fararro shared a few jokes from their experiences that had members of the audience chuckling in their seats. However, their routine onstage was not entirely limited to narrating the life and music of Frank Sinatra, but also included the individual stories of Sinatra’s acquaintances during his music career, such as Perry Como, Johnnie Ray, and Dean Martin. In their renditions of Dean Martin’s melodies, the duo encouraged the audience to join them in singing the lyrics, succeeding as the crowd began singing “That’s Amore” with gusto. Yet it was during the grand finale – in which Fararro and Gilligan dedicated the song “My Way” to the memory of Sinatra’s beloved mother Dolly – that the audience members, regardless of age, joined in singing along with the popular ballad before replacing their singing with a standing ovation for the talent onstage.

Following the performances by Gilligan and Farrarro, there was an intermission outside of the theater that served Italian-style refreshments before the Italian film “Stanno Tutti Bene,” (Everybody is Fine) commenced.

Among the audience was Professor Gil Gigliotti of the English Department who was present along with the Western Culture II course that he co-teaches with Professor David Blitz of the Philosophy Department. Around the campus of CCSU Professor Gigliotti is especially known for his avid interest in the life of Frank Sinatra, as was referenced by Dr. Passaro in her introduction. As a professor in the English Department, he has taught several courses on Frank Sinatra throughout his time at CCSU, including a course abroad entitled “The London Sinatra(s)” during the winter semester of 2015. In addition, Professor Gigliotti has written two books that incorporate the musician’s life story, “Sinatra: But Buddy I’m a Kind of Poem” in 2008 and “A Storied Singer: Frank Sinatra as Literary Conceit” in 2002, both of which can be found at the CCSU library. Since December of 1993, he has hosted a radio program entitled “Frank, Gil, and Friends” on Tuesdays from 8 to 10 a.m. in affiliation with the CCSU Radio Station 107.7 WFCS, where Gigliotti is also the faculty advisor. At the heart of the professor’s time on the air is the music of Sinatra, from his contemporaries to the music that Sinatra inspired in today’s genres.

As a whole, Gigliotti remarked that he admires the late singer’s persistence and hard work throughout his music career. “He started off as a hit among young teenage girls and his career should have ended shortly thereafter, but for any number of reasons, he managed to come back and he stayed on top for the rest of his life.” said Gigliotti. With regards to “A Touch of Sinatra,” Gigliotti stated that he hoped that his students would be able to observe the performance with a critical eye, given the knowledge they attained over the past two months. “I’m not looking for them to take away anything specific as much as hearing someone else tell the story and perform the music,” said Gigliotti.

Needless to say, those who attended the performance in Torpe Theater this past weekend were treated to a well-rounded cultural event that celebrated the lives of notable Italian musicians as well as the music that has bonded their impact throughout generations.

Registering to Vote

by Devin Leith-Yessian

Sitting behind a stack of 500 forms, the president of the CCSU Democrats called out to passing students, asking them if they are registered to vote.

­­­­“I don’t believe in that stuff,” responded one student, who briskly walked away.

He wasn’t alone in that sentiment.

At the end of the day, around 480 registration forms were left blank.

“It is discouraging to hear people say that their vote doesn’t count,” said president Wyatt Bosworth.

Before the 2012 election, Democrats passed a law allowing same day voter registration and online registration. This allows unregistered voters to register to vote at their polling place and cast their vote in one trip.

In New York, which lacks same day registration, the deadline is 25 days before the election. That date occurred on Oct. 14 this year.

When Bosworth and his fellow CCSU Democrats were planning the push to get people registered as they walked through the Student Center, he admitted that the 500 person goal was “aggressive.” Nonetheless, he seemed disappointed at the lack of interest, and sometimes opposition, to getting registered.

“My vote doesn’t matter. A lot of people said that at the table. They think the government is corrupt, which they’re not wrong,” said Secretary of the CCSU Democrats Kristina Carvalho. “They feel as though they don’t have as strong as a voice as people say they do.”

One student who did stop at the table was Kaila Robinson. While she was already registered, she needed to change her address. This  meant she had to fill out another registration form. She wasn’t particularly excited about Clinton, and she said that it came down to “whatever I have to do” to stop Trump.

Adam Offutt found himself in a similar situation to Robinson.

He was also changing his address to CCSU. He said that he doesn’t hear many people his age discussing politics or their intention to vote. His age group has the lowest voting turnout of any, although he did not know why.

What Offutt and other students seemed to agree on the dissatisfaction with the candidates they had to choose from.

Standing in sharp contrast to Offutt and Robinson’s political orientation was Brandon, who preferred to not give his last name.

He identified himself as a Republican and was wearing a jacket adorned with a Confederate flag. He said that he would have voted for Ted Cruz in the primary if an error had not occurred during registration. This error marked him as an Independent, which made him ineligible to vote.

A sentiment he shares with Robinson and Offutt is that he is “not at all” happy with the candidates who came out of the primaries.

While Trump might not have been his first choice, Brandon still believes he is the clear choice among the candidates in the race. He is concerned that the current gridlock will continue without presidential and congressional majority from the same party. Brandon also believes that the economy, which he described as just beginning to “skyrocket,” would suffer with Clinton as president.

Regardless of the difference of political opinion, Bosworth asked Brandon if he was registered. After a cordial conversation regarding the candidates, Brandon left, leaving Bosworth continuing to find more students.

Despite only registering a few students, Carvalho was still optimistic about the work that was accomplished.

“I would’ve liked to have seen more people, but the people we did ask were already registered, so that was refreshing,” she said. “Not all of them, but a good amount.” Trailing off from laughter she wondered aloud, “But will they vote?”

CCSU Political Clubs Staying Active

by Lauren Lustgarten

With the 2016 Presidential Election just under a month away, political clubs on all college campuses are involved with campus activities. Political clubs at Central Connecticut State University have continued to increased their activity.

Although, some groups are finding less interest than they were expecting. Whether it is because people think their vote doesn’t matter or simply because of unlikeable candidates, it is greatly affecting school involvement.

College Democrats is one of the more active clubs on campus. Currently holding about eight to ten members, the club has been active for at least the past six years.

Most members come from the Department of Political Science, with more members joining during election years. In 2012, there were 40 active members.

The club does a lot more off-campus than they do on-campus but, this year they are hosting the Young Democrats Convention on Nov. 12 in which the club will be the ground team.

The College Democrats are an affiliate of the Connecticut College Democrats who are an affiliate of the National College Democrats.

A normal meeting consists of around eight members in attendance with an equal mixture between males and females. With a lot of chatter among the members, there seemed to be one major issue they were worried about: voter apathy.

“We need to get the people to vote. Since Bernie dropped out, a lot of people are refusing to vote. We need to get the Bernie supporters to vote for Hilary,” said one of the members with a bunch of nodding heads following.

A few members described themselves as “Bernie guys” and one even said “I hate Trump…I’m not even crazy about Hillary but we’re better off as a country with her as our president.”

College Democrats have been doing a lot around campus. They can be around campus at voter registration tables. The group attempts to outreach to as many people as possible through door-to-door knocking. They also co-sponsored a showing of the presidential debate with SPJ. As always, they hope to continue to grow and change the way people think about this election.

SGA is an extremely active organization on campus. They are the creators of many events that take place at CCSU.

When it comes to the election, they are doing their best to extend awareness around campus regarding the upcoming presidency. Caitlin Moreau, an At-Large Senator and on the Public Affairs Committee for SGA, said they have already started getting people involved on campus.

“We held a watch the debate party in Vance on Monday night for students to watch the debate together. We are starting a voter registration campaign to help students to register to vote in the upcoming election and we have already started walking around campus with forms to register students,” said Moreau.

She said they will be taking further action to inform students how easy it is to register and are planning ways in which to reach all students possible. Some strategies include tabling at dining halls, walking around in groups , posting flyers and possible promotional items like stickers.

Another extremely active group on campus who seems to have the most followers and pull on campus is Youth for Socialist Action (YSA). The group has been around since 2006.

Currently, there are around 20 members total with new students wanting to join regularly. The group engages in a lot of action so balancing workloads as students with activism can be difficult, explained president Brian Becker. That is why active members come and go during the semester.

YSA works with other on-campus clubs to discuss and defend students’ rights, organize and attend local and national protests and rallies and engage in weekly educational work. Members of the club learn how to paint banners, give speeches and organize to create change.

The activities they engage in often correlate with the interests of students on-campus and off-campus. For example, they worked with the CSU-AAUP, the professors’ union, in protecting their right to a fair contract. They organized rallies and protests to ensure that the quality of education in universities doesn’t suffer.

Becker is a 21-year-old senior. He is a sociology major with a minor in political science. He only joined the YSA last semester while they were working with the university professors’ union to help fight for a fair contract. It was immediately a club he thought he could get behind and now he is the president.

With a heavy persistence on change, Becker has a solid grasp on this upcoming election and feels strongly in what he plans to do.

“I don’t plan on voting. While I would never dissuade other students from doing so, I would urge them to get involved with groups that engage in social activism on the ground. It is because of the pressure of social movements from below that change is pushed forward and the voices of the oppressed heard. Genuflecting to politicians to enact policy, as we’ve seen in this state and with this election, doesn’t accomplish much,” said Becker.

Anyone committed to social change can join the YSA.

College Republicans are a now defunct campus group. They were just as involved as the College Democrats, but offered no comment on the reasoning behind the inactivity.

Despite this one group’s inactivity, the other groups are doing more than enough to get students involved in the election this year.

The old mantra, “One vote can make a difference,” is still strong.

 

 

Victims of Abuse Share Trauma, Evoke Change

by Joshua Quintana

Semesters in Devil’s Den was transformed last Tuesday into a space where survivors of sexual, physical and mental abuse were welcomed to share their struggles, experiences and stories of survival.

Take Back the Night is an event that brings awareness to sexual assault as well as physical and emotional abuse. The event not only focuses on creating awareness but also providing a safe space for those who have fallen victim to these evils. It offers a place for them to share their stories of abuse, empowering them to move forward in a positive direction.

The Central Connecticut community showed commitment and support to Take Back the Night’s cause with help from the Women’s Center.

Alyssa Cornwall, the director of the ACABellas, certainly feels that the issue deserves to be in the forefront of discussion. She and the ACABellas performed a stirring rendition of Lady Gaga’s “Til It Happens to You.”

“Rape culture is prevalent in our society. I’m glad that we could bring light to this issue on campus and in our society,” said Cornwall. “Everyone in the ACABellas is happy to use the fame that we’ve earned to bring this issue out in the open.”

Also showing commitment to the cause of Take Back the Night was Residence Life, all of the resident halls and their councils, Student Wellness and Conduct, Student Activities and Leadership, the CCSU Police Department and the Women’s Center.

The event also garnered the participation of Natasha M. Pierre, Attorney at Law for the Office of the Victim Advocate. Pierre has been involved since the first Take Back the Night at the University of Connecticut 20 years ago.

“Every campus always has room for improvement and we live in a culture where rape is acceptable,” said Pierre. “We are beginning to move forward as a culture and as a campus. Central has a climate to start fixing that problem.”

Present at Take Back the Night was the University’s Director of Student Conduct Christopher Dukes as well as Sgt. Jerry Erwin representing the CCSU Police.

“There is a lot that CCSU has done before the legislature decided to act,” said Dukes. “We started back in 2003 and since then we’ve been fully funded in regards to Crisis Training and Counseling. We continue to train to be better to handle this very serious issue.”

“You know, it might not seem like it sometimes, but under this uniform we’re fathers, we’re mothers, we’re average people. We care about this community and we want everyone to know that they shouldn’t be afraid to come forward,” said Erwin.

Sgt. Erwin recounted a tale of when he first started, “There was this girl who had an abusive boyfriend. He made her feel like scum. Thanks to her coming forward, we were able to get the strength to leave. She got the counseling she needed, and now she teaches here at CCSU and got her Master’s degree.”

“It was amazing,” said Gretchen Marino, who helped organize the event. “The amount of survivors who got up and told their stories were amazing people.”

What made the night all the more compelling was listening to the stories. The tales of abuse from loved ones and strangers alike made Take Back the Night as real as it it could possibly be.

The daunting thing about sexual assault is that it can happen to anyone. It is not something one can expect or look out for often times until it’s too late.

“The event went really well,” said Zoe Grant, SGA Senator At-Large who is also currently running for Resident Senator. “It was important for people to share their stories so people can understand the different ways that sexual assault can occur.”

When Grant took the stage to tell those in attendance about how she was assaulted, she spared no details. She described how she was powerless to stop what was happening and how people made excuses for the assault. She was blamed for being a white girl in the wrong part of town, with accusers saying that she was, in essence, asking for it. She concluded her nightmare tale by saying that even though it was by far the worst thing that had happened to her, she feels empowered.

“For me, it’s a healing process. The more I get it out, the more I’m a survivor. It helps people to stop feeling like victims and start feeling like survivors,” said Grant.

Take Back the Night is one of the most important events that occurs on campus. This event and others like it bring everyday people out of the shadows, making themselves advocates who transcend the word “survivor.” The courage it takes to recount the traumas that these people had to endure makes them into the best examples of what this campus has to offer.

If you or anyone you know is involved in an abusive relationship on campus, call the CCSU Police or go to the Women’s’ Center located on the second floor of the Student Center. You deserve better. You are better. Get the help you need to be free of abuse.

 

Drag Ball Fever Hits Central

by Josh Quintana

It’s 10:00 p.m. on Thursday, instead of shuffling over to Semesters,the regular Devil’s’ Den crowd heads to Alumni Hall for what is the best of the best as far as Devil’s’ Den goes – the Drag Ball.

What is immediately evident upon entering the Drag Ball was the level of detail and work that was put into the organization of such an event. Marlena Oliveri, PRIDE Club president, could be seen in the hours leading up to the opening of the Drag Ball running to and from Alumni Hall and the PRIDE office, located on the second floor of the Student Center. She kept saying amidst her hurrying, “Tonight is going to be worth the work,” and “It’s going to be a great time, once we get set up.”

The Drag Ball is put on by the quirky and often times whimsical PRIDE Club here on campus. PRIDE Club is one of the most active clubs here. They make the effort to help those who are confused or trying to figure out where they stand in terms of personal, sexual and gender preference. It’s not only about being gay, bisexual or transexual – it’s also about finding out if asexual is who you are or maybe even demi-sexual. Just because you’re straight doesn’t mean you can’t be involved in the Club or enjoy the Drag Ball!

The Drag Ball is put on by the Central Connecticut PRIDE Club and the Central Activities Network (CAN). It is arranged so that professional drag queens can set the tone of the night for those amateur drag queens and kings to get a feel for the atmosphere and not be left out of the fun.

The range of professional and amateurs who perform at the Drag Ball really provide a fun and entertaining atmosphere. After they had performed, several students got involved and did their own shows. Some went in drag while others decided not to perform in drag at all.

The lineup of the professional drag queens that graced the stage with their presence was talented, to say the least. Morgana De Luxe and Summer Orlando knocked it out of the park with their performances and made one thing for sure, this event is always one of the best times you can have on campus.

“I thought it went really well. I just didn’t like that they turned the music up or that the straight guys won because they weren’t in drag,” said Sara Carey, treasurer for PRIDE Club taking issue with some of those students who decided to perform not in drag. “So it’s basically just a strip tease.”

However, she noted that thanks to everyone who came and donated, the PRIDE Club was able to make a major contribution to a pro-LGBTQ organization.

“We raised $236 for True Colors,” said Carey.

“The Drag Ball was a blast,” said senior Megen Litwinczyk.

For those who are interested in joining the PRIDE Club or are passionate about LGBTQ issues on campus, the PRIDE Club meets every Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Center, or visit the PRIDE Office on the second floor of the Student Center.

Ms. Bubblegum (6)
Photo by Devin Leith Yessian
Morgana Deluxe (15)
Photo by Devin Leith Yessian

Phi Delta Theta, Creating Future Leaders

by Kaitlin Lyle

In an organization of “leaders leading leaders,” the fraternity Phi Delta Theta at Central Connecticut stands prominently as a brotherhood of strength and integrity among their endeavors on and off campus.

While its original organization was created on Dec. 26, 1848, at Ohio’s Miami University, the fraternity at CCSU was founded by Jason Cartilage on Dec. 13, 2002. Derived from the beliefs of the fraternity’s founding fathers, known as The Immortal Six, Phi Delta Theta is organized around the three cardinal principles of strong learning, moral rectitude and friendship – all of which have been strongly taken to heart by its members.

With regards to the fraternity’s motto “One man is no man,” members of Phi Delta Theta look to their mantra as a representation of their brotherhood standing together as one and leaning on one another as part of a lifelong bond.

“We always feel like we have each others back and we know we’ll always have somebody to rely on,” said Tum Tum Souriyamath, who has been a member since the spring semester of 2014.

“At the end of the day, if you want someone to be there for you, you have to be there for them,” said member-at-large Matt Guilmette.

As is printed inside the CCSU Student Planner, the mission of Phi Delta Theta is to promote the greatest version possible of their members throughout their endeavors within the brotherhood. In the eyes of the Phi Delta Theta brotherhood, the mission is not only to help their members carry out the fraternity name, but to also give them the tools needed to succeed in life.

“Empowering others gives them the potential to grow and to show themselves that they are better than what they may think,” said CJ Wells, the current president of Phi Delta Theta as of December 2015. “A flower doesn’t prosper in the darkness; it doesn’t grow in darkness, it grows in light.”

When it comes to appealing to potential recruits, the fraternity’s closeness as well as their outgoing individuals is frequently demonstrated throughout the campus, whether it can be seen at the bi-annual club fairs or at their tables in the Student Center. From brotherhood outings to team-building exercises, Phi Delta Theta provides open opportunities for its members at CCSU to develop bonds with one another while promoting necessary skills like social etiquette and business procedures.

Along with a majority of brotherhood events, the fraternity is known for co-sponsoring with other organizations in order to get more involved on campus – including the Center for Victim Advocacy, the Student Veterans Organization and Greek Life. Amid their active social calendars, the fraternity members collaborate to generate activities on campus, such a Breakers Takeover and their annual paintball events. Off campus events include nature hikes near Quinnipiac University and planning a Six Flags trip during its Fright Fest season.

Above all, Phi Delta Theta goes beyond the call of righteousness in their community service events. Set for Saturday, April 16 on Vance Lawn, the second-annual ALS Walk has been a large bonding point among the members, particularly in their philanthropic goals for the ALS Association.

In addition to their determination towards the ALS Walk, Phi Delta Theta exhibited pride at their latest community service program. Created last semester by Souriyamath, the fraternity devotes every Sunday to working alongside children with autism with the location split between St. John’s University in West Hartford and the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain.

Among their future community service events, Phi Delta Theta plans to assist the American Red Cross with the upcoming blood drive as well as creating a car wash outside of Elmer’s Place on April 18. President Wells noted that the fraternity would like to generate a Sober Fest in order to promote better well-being on campus.

Meetings for Phi Delta Theta are held on Wednesday evenings at 9:00 p.m. in the Bellin A & B rooms of the Student Center. During that same time, Pledge, or “Phikeia,” Educator Souriyamath conducts his own separate meetings in order to provide new recruits with an education on the basic foundations of the fraternity’s history. In addition, chapter meetings for Phi Delta Theta are generally held at 6:00 p.m. in Bellin A & B. On Sunday evenings, member Guilmette hosts Office Board (“O-Board”) meetings at 6:00 p.m. in the Blue and White Room followed by the Phi Delta Theta E-Board meetings at 7:00 p.m.

In the organization’s entirety, Phi Delta Theta can be highly praised for its promotion of excellent values, dedicated efforts and the long-lasting strength of its brotherhood. When reflecting on his three years of experience, Wells encourages future members to take advantage of the opportunities presented during their time with Phi Delta Theta.

“I honestly just want them to get the most out of it – to truly understand what brotherhood means, to truly understand that one man is no man and to become the best they can possible can be in school, in life and as a man,” said Wells.

Improv Group “Simply Unemployable” Visits CCSU

by Corey O’Neill

Students were in for a treat at the Semesters lounge in the Student Center last Wednesday evening. Members of the New York-based improv comedy group “Simply Unemployable” put on a great show that had students bursting with laughter.

Hosted by Central Activities Network (CAN) as part of Winter Week, the hour-long event concluded with CAN members handing out T-shirts, bracelets and coffee mugs.

The show had comedians Matt Catanzano, Trevor Livingston, Richie Moriarty and Cavan Rogers performing improvised skits on the Semesters stage. For students who sat in the front two rows, the show was a very interactive experience. Students could yell out ideas for the comedians and most of the improvised skits were based off of what the students had suggested.

Some audience members were also invited onstage. One student was called up for an interview with Catanzo. After the interview, he found his life being comically reenacted by the comedians. The group also asked four students for their cell phones, not telling the students what they were going to do with them. Once the phones were in their possession, the four funnymen improvised a scene with the only dialogue being the students’ text messages.

One student, Chris Aquino, found his phone in the hand of comedian Trevor Livingston. Aquino was not sure what Livingston was going to find in his text messages. It turned out that all of the phones had some dirty laundry on them.

Students may have recognized one of the comedians, Richie Moriarty, from TV. He has been featured in numerous commercials and has had small roles on shows such as “The Mysteries of Laura,” “Power” and “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.” He also has a role in the upcoming comedy “How to Be Single,” starring Dakota Johnson and Rebel Wilson, so look out for this young rising talent.

The comedy group “Simply Unemployable” met at the Improv Asylum in Boston about 10 years ago. They have been putting on performances ever since. The group now resides in and puts on many shows in the New York City area. In the past three months, the group has performed 11 shows in New York. Wednesday’s show at Central Connecticut State University was their second college show in the month of January. The group typically performs admission shows at comedy clubs.

You can follow “Simply Unemployable” on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to their YouTube channel for great content.