Category Archives: On-Campus

CCSU Spring Concert Selection Process

By Kiley Krzyzek

The annual announcement of CCSU’s Spring Concert artists often brings grumblings of complaint from the student body, who may be unaware of the forces that shape the decision on who to pick.

Tickets for the Spring Concert featuring three rap artists – Ab-Soul, A$AP Ferg and Joey Bada$$ – and 3lau, a DJ, went on sale after the announcement at the Snowball Dance in the beginning of February. The acts were chosen by the Student Government Association (SGA) and Central’s Activity Network (CAN) back in the fall.

Many factors go into choosing the acts with finances being the main one.

“The executive boards of CAN and SGA sit down together and figure it all out. Usually we start meeting in early October and we sit down and kind of figure out what our budget is. For CAN it’s a very set budget. They don’t have any wiggle room really. SGA decides what they can take out of our reserve account. What acts are in our price range really kind of narrows it down for us,” explained Brian Choplick, president of SGA.

“CAN gives about $56,000, which comes from the Student Union Board of Governors and that money is our investment. We don’t get any of it back. SGA will do the other half. We’re not there to make a business out of it. It’s there so we can keep supplying the concert,” said Michelle Zohlman, president of CAN.

CAN and SGA also try to gauge what kind of music the student body likes primarily using a survey that was on collegiate link, an online network used for connecting with clubs and organizations on campus.

The questionnaire allowed students to pick their favorite genre of music from a list and answer an open-ended question: “Any suggestions on what you’d like to see on campus?”

“Overwhelmingly, every year, it comes out that they want hip hop,” said Choplick, who explained that the survey was hosted during CAN’s welcome week events at the beginning of the semester.

“This year was the first time our survey was on the link. 3,000 people are signed up to use the link. In the past we’ve done a paper survey. It’s only been in our welcome week carnival, which is the first two weeks of school. This year we had it at the carnival, we had the computers and the tablets to sign up and we also had it at our events at welcome week and as well as it was available online so anyone could take it and it was advertised,” said Zohlman.

CAN acknowledges that not everyone may be happy with the choices for the concert and is open to suggestions on how to improve.

“You can’t please 10,000 people and I know some people are going to have negative comments and say they didn’t see the link thing but we had it up for a few weeks. But we are looking for people who can think of ways to do it better,” said Zohlman.

Of the 174 people who filled out the collegiate link survey, 48 voted for hip hop/rap and 47 voted for the pop category.

“But even though it might not have been as large of a quantity as people may like I think that the numbers still tell what the past seven years have been: hip hop is what the people want. And it doesn’t mean when we go through the process we exclude anything,” ensures Zohlman.

There were also various write-in suggestions.

“The intention of it is that somebody might mention somebody that we haven’t really thought of. I know that during last year’s process, Kendrick Lamar’s name actually came up so we’re always just looking for the student body to suggest someone who we may not know of,” explains Choplick.

To try to predict the future, the organizations took a look at the past. Rap has been the winner for the past seven consecutive years.With the majority of people in favor of hip hop/rap over pop, it was justifiable for the committee to make those choices, especially when considering cost.

“We did look at both but having pop is difficult. Once they have one hit they probably want up to $50,000. ​We try to do the best for our money and also who we think is going to do well in the long-term. We start thinking [of who to sign] by September and by October we start acting. You almost have to try to see the future. It’s fun to do from our perspective but it’s nerve-wracking,​” explained Zohlman.

Tickets are $15 for full-time students, $20 for part-time and graduate students and $25 for guests and can be purchased at the Centix Box Office located at the Student Center’s Information Desk.

“And there are four acts,” emphasized Ashley Anderson, vice president of SGA. “And it’s only $15 [for full-time students]. So four acts for $15 is pretty good.”

There is no cut off date for ticket sales; they will be on sale only until there are no more left.

Ticket sales are important, but the main priority is for those in attendance to have a good time.

“I do hope that the students there enjoy themselves and have a really great time. It’ll be if not just as good but better than last year, ” promises Zohlman.

The 2013 spring concert was very successful with Steve Aoki and Kendrick Lamar.

“Last year there was a really good turn out with a mix of a rap artist and a DJ and that’s kind of what we’re doing again this year. With last years spring concert, Kendrick Lamar, when they first chose him, he wasn’t popular yet. And then ‘Swimming Pools’ came out and by the time it was announced everyone was pumped,” said Anderson.

The student government is hopeful that by the time the concert rolls around the popularity of the acts will spike again.

“Some of the artists have been featured on bigger artist tracks. The people who follow that kind of music know them. We have the talent booked by the first week of November. So that’s pretty far out that we have to plan for,” said Anderson.

The up and coming acts have already started to get noticed.

“So that’s the really cool thing about concerts here at CCSU. You’re going to see somebody, and a year later they’re going to be huge and you’re going to be able to say you went to see them before anybody else,” added Choplick.

“To be honest, I didn’t know any of these people when we picked them but I’m going to go because it’s always a good time anyway,” said Anderson.


Spring Fashion Show Auditions

By Kiley Krzyzek
The CCSU Fashion Design Club held auditions for the Spring Fashion Show in Welte auditorium on January 27th. Beautiful girls in heels lined up to strut their stuff alongside a group of Central’s finest guys in hopes of being selected to model in the third most popular event on campus.
During the auditions models wearing numbers were instructed to strut, pose, turn and walk back in line to the beat of the music.
The Fashion Design Club E-board sought out student models whose personality was a good match for the show. “It’s not like you have to be tall and skinny,” explained Gabrielle DiDato, President of the Fashion Design Club. Lenard J. Foust who’s studying dance at Central was directing the models during auditions explained they’re seeking students with “potential, rhythmic patterns, and chemistry between male and female.”
Chemistry was important during the portion of the audition where a girl and a guy paired up to walk and pose together. The models were very hands on, grabbing each other in romantic embraces. “We don’t know these people!” joked Jessica Jenkins during auditions. The students on stage quickly got to know each other. “If you don’t have chemistry, you’re cut,” emphasized Lenard J. Foust. Those cut were encouraged to help the show in a different capacity, like with backstage work. One student who didn’t make the cut offered to help with stage lighting. The students interacted with each other really well on stage. “I was actually really surprised with chemistry, which was really good,” said an impressed Foust after the auditions.
As models from past years attest to, The Fashion Show is well worth all the hard work. The models become really close knit while rehearsing for the show. “It was a fun experience, you make a lot of friends,” said Mickey Bascom, the fashion design Secretary. Modeling is also good for self esteem.“I was really shy and I became more confident,” said Gabby who has gotten professional modeling jobs because of the show.
A lot is expected of the models, “Whatever we say has to go, for rehearsals you have to be on time,” Foust told the fresh batch of models. The club has high expectations for the show this year which is going to be held in Kaiser with a professional runway. The spotlight is on the models that face pressure to perform their best “it’s going to be harder. This is no joke. We have scouts come to the show,” said Foust who reported that select models have gotten work after being discovered in the show. “People have asked them to wear their clothes and have a photo-shoot,” said Foust who is a dancer at Central and a go-go dancer at casinos when he’s not coaching models.
Overall the Fashion Design club is very hopeful for this year’s show and confident in the chosen models. “The auditions went very smoothly,” said Foust, who will coach the models to strut like professionals by the time the Spring Fashion Show comes around, “you learn technique; you learn how to work your face.” 

‘Miss Representation’ Portrays the Truth

By Paige Brown

The screening of ‘Miss Representation’ in Torp Theater last Tuesday revealed staggering information to students, professors and panelists about how the media portrays woman and girls and how it affects our daily lives.

Susan Campbell, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and newly selected Robert C. Vance Endowed Chair in Journalism and Mass Communication at CCSU, moderated a panel discussion following the screening of  ‘Miss Representation’, a documentary that explores all the ways the media portrays women and how it underestimates the power that women can hold without being defined by sexuality and physical beauty.

“Media makes money,” stated Cindy White, communication professor at CCSU and one of the three panelists following the screening. “Commercial media, which is the mass majority of the media that is produced and distributed, depends for it’s very life on profit, and profit depends on attracting advertising dollars. We are for sale. We are what is generating revenue that advertisers are expecting to get in return for their investment in the production and distribution of media.”

“We are not victims of this; we are part of process. We are people’s commodities. We need to recognize that and start to take the power back by exercising the power that we do have,” White explained what she thought the documentary was missing, “which is the power to make choices of what we purchase, what we wont purchase, what we will watch, what we wont watch, what we will tolerate and what we will make an argument about, not to say ‘I knew it, the media is a conspiracy’; it’s not the media, we are here too.”

Campbell agreed with White’s statement saying, “We are part of the equation and the equation often is that if I can make you feel bad about yourself, I can sell you a product to correct that imperfection.”

The panel also consisted of Teresa Younger, executive director of the state’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women and Mala Matacin co-chair and associate professor of University of Hartford’s department of Psychology.

“My interest with this topic is really about this idea that women aren’t good enough and I’m really interested in body image and what happens to women and the messages that come at them,” said Matacin, who proudly sported a crown that she brought and described herself as “miss”represented.

Throughout the documentary, high school students were interviewed about the topic of how the views and perceptions of women and girls in the media are distorted. Many of them were emotional in their answers, some even brought to tears thinking about how it affects themselves and their loved ones.

One student talks about how his younger, female cousins try too hard to be exactly what they see on television and in ads that degrade women while another student got emotional about her younger sister physically hurting herself because she doesn’t look how people think she should and gets bullied.

Gilbert Gigliotti, an English professor at CCSU, attended the screening and shared his views of how he felt about this topic to Susan Campbell.

“It seems like kids are watching things much too soon and they can’t understand what’s hitting them,” said Gigliotti.

Teresa Younger feels like this movie raises a lot of awareness of what the media’s responsibility is as a whole to how they objectify or portray women and men in the media.

“Every time I watch this movie I remember it’s also the misrepresentation of what’s not in this movie, which is a lack of voices in color, a lack men of color, a lack of Hispanic and Latino voices, a significant lack of “traditional people”; they went only to the experts or only went to people who are high school students.

Also, the other thing that they touch on but don’t really get into is the idea and the impact of media and leadership,” she said.

Younger feels that we as consumers can change the channel and can make a statement and can turn off the TV and change the radio station.

“When we see female reporters, journalists, activists being vilified, we need to make sure that they knew that what they are doing, you agree with,” Younger stated.

Campbell, being a female journalist, has seen firsthand how the media has portrayed her and others like her.

“Life long, [it] pissed me off, but I’m lucky. It didn’t quiet me down, it made me louder – but I don’t think that is everyone’s reaction,” she stated.

Campbell reflects on her earlier years in the media and the difficulties of overcoming social gender expectations.

“As I got older, it became increasingly frustrating to me to see women who were like me who weren’t textbook gorgeous and didn’t date the quarterback of the team – and didn’t want him – but who was building a career and intent on social justice issues,” says Campbell. “You don’t see those people.”

She has realized that women and girls can overcome what the media forces people to believe what they should be like, but only if they are willing to try.

“The way this sort of thing has an affect depends on your personality or upbringing,” she said, “you may, as a female, back away from being that loud person.”

“The greatest wisdom in ‘Miss Representation’ is to make your own stories,” White said. Her parting words of wisdom continued, “learn how to not be critical of the media that is there. Learn how to produce it, make it and distribute it. Become part of the construction of the images or a part of the deconstruction of images. Know that being able to pick up that pen or pick up that video camera is extraordinarily, extraordinarily empowering.”


Coffee Shop Brews New Choices

By Aundrea Murray

The grand opening of Sodexo’s newest coffee shop this week has the campus buzzing with curiosity and excitement. Students are wondering what is it that makes this new university installment different from the others. Within the past year, CCSU has managed to introduce a new meditation room, recreational center and academic building. General manager Dawn Tedesco confirms that a new coffee shop will be revealed in the Social Sciences building.

Sodexo plans to take a more natural approach to food and beverage availability at this new location. Tedesco says that Central will now have a coffee shop offering organic and more healthful alternatives to the popular bags of junk food and energy drinks. While such unhealthful items will most likely remain popular in the bookstore or cafeteria, students seem to be looking forward to the better options.

“I didn’t even know about the new coffee shop. Now I won’t have to walk all of the way to the Student Center,”  says sophomore Nikole Perryman about the coffee shop.

Other students are happy to see something new catered towards commuter students.

Commuter students are going to be the most excited about the shop. We [commuters] don’t need a new residence hall; we need coffee,” says transfer student Micheal Williams.

The shop’s location is a favored detail, as it will be located in the lobby of CCSU’s most recently constructed academic building. The lobby itself features newly furnished rooms and a lounge area, complete with flat screen televisions that broadcast CCSU’s campus media.

Tedesco argues that both the coffee and the versatile options in snacks will make this establishment stand out among the others.

“It’s different than the grab-and-go you see in Starbucks,” explains Tedesco.

By hosting products like organic granola bars–like CLIFF or Kashi brands–pastries, muffins and bottled protein shakes, the coffee shop is sure to make a name for itself.

Sodexo has acknowledged feedback from customers before developing the idea for a shop in the newest building on campus. The company wants to create an environment that promotes products that take effort and patience, such as a stricter diets, or recycling. A blueprint drafted by Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (L.E.E.D) is in place for the shop. The Sodexo team wanted to create a “green” place, able to support the lifestyle of the program. CCSU has also been paying close attention to the requests and demands of the student body before developing the project further.

Students can expect a variety of sandwiches, salads and a menu that is more accommodating to special diets and gluten allergies. Most foods will be pre-packaged, giving students a greater opportunity to buy lunch quickly and head back over towards class.

Students’ Blue Chip cards will be an acceptable form of payment at this location. Tedesco plans to have promotional offers during the shop’s opening week. Discounts on products, and other forms of coupons, are things Sodexo will be promoting.

Students, faculty members and visitors are welcome to enjoy the multiple offerings of Central’s newest establishment. Whether or not you are on the northern side of campus, a short walk to the main hall of our Social Sciences building may be well worth your time.

CSU Community Shares Positive Experience With State School System

By Jacqueline Stoughton

The members of the Higher Education Committee, along with students, alumni, and faculty of the CSU community, came together last week to hold a meet and greet for the members of the Board of Regents to share their personal, academic, and social experiences at each of the four Connecticut state universities.

The Connecticut State University American Association of University Professors sponsored the panel discussion where three representatives from each of the four CSU schools shared what they love most about their school, how their experience at a CSU school has positively benefited and impacted their lives.

The panelists from Central Connecticut State University were the first to share.  Michael Markowicz, CCSU alum, started the discussion, explaining how, before arriving at CCSU, he was all ability and no results.

“What I got at Central was personal, individual attention,” says Markowicz, who now works as an associate at Murtha/Cullina Attorneys at Law. He graduated from Central with a History and Political Science degree.

“What I didn’t have, and what I’m so glad that I have today, is a real love of learning,” says Markowicz.  “I’m so thankful to this university for helping me develop that.”

Dejenne Mobley, a graduate student attending CCSU, explained how grateful he is to the university for understanding his deployment.  “One of the things I really took to heart was their understanding of me going to Iraq in 2009,” says Mobley.  CCSU helped him get the right insurance and chose the right courses in order to complete his Masters in the special education cross endorsement program.

“The faculty at Central genuinely wants us to learn.  They want us to understand the importance of believing in ourselves,” says Heidi Eilenberger, an undergraduate student at CCSU majoring in English with a minor in writing.  “The professors here care that I want to learn and they want to give me that education.”

Alumni, graduate, and undergraduate students from Easter, Southern, and Western spoke as well, describing their personal experiences at their schools and the impact it has made in each of their lives.

“I’ve built up my skills,” says Paula Hanson, ECSU alum.  “I think it was more than just skills, I’ve built up my confidence as well.”

“I can’t even begin to explain how much it has changed my life,” Allison Bass says, a SCSU alum who now works as an adjunct professor at the same university.  “It is such an honor to teach Southern students and to give the gift that was given to me of belief, support, success, and believing in your success.”

Bina Walker, a graduate student at SCSU, explained how upon her move from Seattle to Connecticut, SCSU has been so helpful of her adjustment to college and her new community.

The classes have been so amazing, rigorous, and challenging,” says Walker.  “It’s an honor to be at Southern; I love the program.”

“We have a great faculty, which is a common trait among all the CSU schools,” says Shamar Lamb, WCSU alum.  “Throughout everything I’ve gotten a great experience at WestConn through my on campus residency and work ethic.”

A brief question and answer session followed the initial panel discussion.  Until Gregory Gray, President of Conscue, took the microphone to give a brief speech on his opinions of the CSU schools.

“We heard stories about outstanding faculty and classroom activities,” says Gray.  “What struck me with great pride after hearing you all speak tonight was to hear about the learning communities our four universities have.”

Gray explains how the Board of Regents is currently working on a plan for the future that is based upon the three fundamental acts: student access, affordability, and unmatched quality.  A plan Gray believes can be achieved in the near future.

According to Gray, access and affordability are the biggest obstacles for potential students trying to obtain a college education. “We have the lowest tuition plan in state.  I think you will be quite pleased with the tuition plans we have made for the near future,” says Gray.

“Every person that comes to work here is passionately dedicated to student success,” says Gray. “The role of our four universities is really being achieved.”