Category Archives: On-Campus

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.

The Snoball in Wonderland

by Joshua Quintana

A line of well-dressed students waited in line for the dance of the semester in Alumni Hall, Friday Jan. 29th. As students waited with their dates for doors to open, Students voiced their excitement to finally be able to enjoy the Snoball.

The doors haven’t opened around around eight. Ten minutes after, the excitement is clear. The balloon arch placed in front of the doors started to sag, the clock-shaped cut outs hanging from the arch seemed to mock the tardiness of the event.

When the doors opened, the Alice in Wonderland themed masterpiece Central Activities Network (CAN) put on is noticed. Five dollars has never provided such a wonderful and rapturous first impression. The Student Government Association (SGA) chambers are gone and instead a sumptuous feast of fruits, vegetables, cupcakes and marshmallows set beside a mini lake of smooth creamy chocolate fondue is set up. Beside that, a mashed potato bar with all the tea time fixings are set for everyone to come and enjoy.

By 9 p.m. the room is filled and the DJ played songs that got everybody in the partying mood. By 9:30, the entire room is up and dancing, taking requests and couples out on the dance floor slow dancing. It is clear that CAN has out-done themselves with this event.

SGA Vice Chair of Public Affairs Committee and CAN Program Director Jahmil Effend was taking tickets at the door, and he explained the late opening was due to, “Sodexo setting up everything just right.” He also said that the vaunted VIP tickets on sale sold out entirely. Clearly the time was well spent.

Freshman Dana Brianti attended with her friend Kayla Walsh and clearly enjoyed themselves. “I like it so much and the DJ is great,” Brianti said while she and Walsh wait in line to get their picture taken. Scott Hazen, Director of the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development (SA/LD) said, “I’m glad to see the students coming out and having a good time.”

Later in the evening an announcement regarding the artists for the Spring Concert was supposed to be made. However, upon speaking with Julie Koivisto, program adviser for CAN, the announcement won’t be made for another couple of weeks. Instead it will be announced over the new social text CAN is setting up  and promoting. For more information, be sure to sign up for the CAN text system and check their Facebook page.

Effend was happy with the event’s turnout. “The decorations in the room were awesome and it looked like everyone who came enjoyed themselves.” On the announcement of the Spring concert lineup, Effend offered, “I know a lot of people were disappointed that we didn’t reveal the spring concert acts, but it definitely built anticipation about who it may be!”

If you were wondering about whether you missed an opportunity to have one of the most memorable times of your life at CCSU, the answer is yes and a helpful hint to not miss out next year.

Poetry by “G” Ties Tradition and Innovation

by Sheridan Cyr

Spoken word artist George “G” Masao Yamazawa, Jr. visited Central Connecticut’s Devil’s Den on the first night of Central Activities Network’s “Alice in Wonderland”-themed welcome week of the Spring semester. G took center stage over a murmuring crowd of seemingly apprehensive students and blew away all doubt with an electrifying, compelling evening of in-your-face poetry, sprinkled thoroughly with a comedian touch.

“Poetry is not like golf,” G said, peering over the crowd. “Ain’t gotta be all quiet!” With that opening, tension fled the room. He made some conversation, warming everyone up, then transitioned suddenly from typical conversational voice to rhythmic. G’s first poem discussed “ten things you should know about being Asian in North Carolina.” G blended traditional heritage with some of the stereotypical opinions made regularly in popular culture.

Coming from a background in which his parents were strictly traditional to their Japanese culture, while growing up in a modern American city, G’s path to adulthood had been confusing at times. He found himself fighting off plenty of common misconceptions about Asian culture: some innocent and curious, and some that did not come from such a good place. All his life, he was compared to characters like Bruce Lee and Jet Lee; names G admitted to being strong and admirable characters, though a sure sign of misunderstanding of culture. It seemed as though few had the desire to get to know George Yamazawa, but were instead interested in placing him into their image of an Asian American teenage boy.

Once in class, he was asked what race he is. “Japanese,” he replied. “Oh, I thought you were Asian,” said the classmate.

G talked about his father to great lengths to share with the audience the manner in which his family stayed true to their traditions. Oddly enough, when G spoke of him, he used a thick, stereotypical Japanese accent, one which he did not possess naturally. He described the day his father gave into one of the most American things around. His father called him one day and told him it was a very special day. “Why?” asked G. “It’s a secret,” his dad said before laughing and announcing, “Today, I get… iPhone!”

While there was a fair share of humor that night, G made sure to dabble in the rougher topics in his poetry. He had a particular style of blending both lighthearted stories and personal hardships, making for an entertaining yet informative look into what those from foreign cultures endure in our roughly-edged American society.

Reserving G for a night at Central was not exactly a simple task for CAN. Samantha Rowe, head of CAN, explained that a handful of program board members attended an NACA conference prior to the event where dozens of entertainers’ information was displayed in personalized booths. Board members wander through the room and examine each potential candidate. They go through something called “blackbooking,” where several Connecticut universities join together to get one entertainer reserved in the Connecticut area for a certain time period. George Yamazawa happened to be quite popular at the conference.

G is widely considered to be one of the most popular young spoken word artists in the country. He is a National Poetry Slam Champion, Individual World Poetry Slam Finalist, Southern Fried Champion, and has toured in over 50 American cities and five European countries. If you missed him in Devil’s Den, the best chance you’ll get to see G in your lifetime is probably online.

Culture and Clothing Meet at ‘Views From the 860’

by Analisa Novak

Central Connecticut’s Fashion Design Club held a fashion show properly titled “Views From The 860,” Friday in Welte Theater.

“This is a different type of fashion show. This is a fashion show for the 860,” host and emcee Nigel “SwizzySuede” Jessamy said at the start of the show. Welte Theater was almost at capacity for this event as many CCSU students and alumni showed their support for these up-and-coming designers.

“It’s not about what you wear. It’s about how you wear it,” emcee Jesselica Rodriguez said, pumping up the crowd. The show opened up with designer Taj Mirage which brought an artistic view of the four elements. Models were painted with body paint and dressed to depict either earth, fire, air or water.

The show had a couple of musical acts to accompany the models. Rapper and designer Sogni performed an opening rap about how he is following his dreams. Popular local artist DJ Meechie from “Hot 93.7,” provided the music for the models to walk the runway.

The fashion show brought a combination of casual street wear and high-end couture pieces. One of the more multicultural collections was CCSU student Dillon Milardo’s “First Twelve,” which was influenced by his life and love of sports. “Our collection is based more on experience of life. It’s not just one genre. I like to say it’s the journey of life and different experiences and different cultures we come across. We merge them into one to create our own world,” said Milardo.

“First Twelve” brings an athletic look with a modern twist. “A lot of our influences are soccer and sportswear because there is a lot of international influence in soccer. It’s a worldwide sport so we like to use cues for that,”said Milardo. His collection is named after Milardo’s suite number at James Hall. It was started in 2011 and has been featured in Complex magazine and Soccer Bible.

Bringing elegance to the show was designer Dominick Daniels, a photographer and designer who emphasized the beauty of all shapes and sizes. The design featured a variety of pant suites, coats and dresses with a high-end material.

A natural and holistic approach to fashion was the stylish “Cleansing Moon Crotchet.” All “Cleansing Moon Crotchet” pieces are handmade and prepared with ethically sourced natural fibers. It featured an assortment of bohemian pieces, which included bell bottoms, scarves, leg warmers and skirts. The crowd’s favorite was the crocheted halter top that flattered the models.

Incorporating African culture to the program was “Touch Of Africa.” The line had a mix of tribal hats, dresses and backpacks and showcased unique prints and vibrant colors that are not common in the fashion world.

Overall, “Views From The 860” delivered in showing us that fashion is more than what we see at the mall. There are so many ways you can find your own sense of style by looking within yourself just as these designers did.

Celebration of Sinatra’s Centennial Continues

by Katelyn Avery

“None But the Brave” (1965) played inside Torp Theater on Nov. 13th as the fourth Classic Friday Films of the fall 2015 semester. Frank Sinatra is the string within these movies, as the semester long event is meant to honor him. This year is especially exciting as December will mark the centennial celebration of the musician’s birth.

The event, hosted by Gilbert Gigliotti, a professor from the Central Connecticut English department, took a different turn with the last film of the semester. In the first three Sinatra had only been an actor, but Gigliotti explained, “It’s the only film that Frank directed, and given that it was made in 1965 (during the escalation of the Vietnam War), it has a very interesting anti-war message.”

The guest speaker was Assistant Professor Lee Einhorn from the English department. His connection to Sinatra was much more than closer to home. It was from home, “My dad and all his friends who were all second fathers to me raised me on him,” added Einhorn.

Movie poster for "None but the Brave." Photo credit: lewiswaynegallery.
Movie poster for “None but the Brave.” Photo credit: lewiswaynegallery.

The film itself is about American and Japanese soldiers during World War II. Through different events on both sides, they are forced to cross paths. Despite the attack America suffered on Pearl Harbor, the film is not meant to demonize the Japanese as one would expect. Instead the audience sees the humanity in both troops. They both suffer a horrible experience, being forced into their country’s war, when they share more similarities than differences. The fighting takes a toll on both troops, even their temporary truce cannot fix everything. It would explain the words that show up at the end of the film, “No one ever wins.”

Within the film a line spoken on the American side by Capt. Dennis Bourke (Clint Walker) could explain why violence would destroy everything, as the final scene includes a shootout between the Americans and the Japanese. “Never swing at your enemy in anger, or you’ll end up getting clobbered,” said Bourke. On the Japanese side Lt. Kuroki (Tatsuya Mihashi) ponders, “Why are we trying to kill each other?”

“This film in particular from Sinatra is, I think one that is most interesting to reflect on,” said Einhorn in his opening speech.

“It’s literally a half Japanese, half American film,” noted Einhorn, as he explained that Sinatra co-produced the film with Japanese Finance series, which also added some style choices to the final product.

In attendance was CCSU freshman Kerra Jackson. When asked why she attended the event, Jackson explained, “Extra credit for theater class.”

Of course school work wasn’t her only motivation, just a plus. Jackson said that she enjoyed old movies, also her theater background probably helped with this.

Among the intimate crowd were Halina and George Popzzak. “We’ve been coming for several years now. We like the old movies,” said Halina. George added, “I enjoy watching his films.”

Movie poster for "None but the Brave." Photo credit:
Movie poster for “None but the Brave.” Photo credit:

A discussion between the audience, Einhorn and Gigliotti followed the film. The topics ranged from portrayals of the Japanese soldiers, some exaggerated aspects to different characters and the decade it came out in.

Classic Fridays Films are not a new event to CCSU, Gigliotti has hosted them for 12 semesters. He plans to continue showing Sinatra films. When asked about plans for next semester, Gigliotti reported, “I’m hoping to have the schedule finalized by Friday.” At the event, flyers were passed around to preview the spring 2016 semester’s films. All films contained trains in the plot as the main theme.

As for the rest of the fall 2015 semester, a 24-hour Sinatra radio show will be played on 107.7 WFCS New Britain/Hartford on Dec. 12th.

CCSU Psychology Club Screens “Shutter Island”


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.