Category Archives: News

Four Jumped on Fastrak Near CCSU

Four individuals were mugged at the Cedar Street CTFastrak station on the night of St. Patrick’s Day when coming back from downtown Hartford; two were Central Connecticut State University students. Photo credit: CTFastrak.com.

by Lorenzo Burgio

One person was jumped, one had a phone stolen and another got punched in the face at the Cedar Street CTfastrak station on the night of St. Patrick’s Day.

A trip back to New Britain from downtown Hartford resulted in two Central Connecticut State University students and two friends getting mugged.

Two minors, who are not CCSU students, were charged with sixth-degree larceny, breach of peace and interfering with an emergency call. They were later given juvenile summonses and released.

After parking at the East Street station in New Britain and getting on the CTfastrak, three females and one male arrived in downtown Hartford at approximately 10:30 p.m.

“Since what happened at Angry Bull, all the bars are strict. My friends’ fakes wouldn’t work anywhere, so we decided to leave,” said one of the three females, unwilling to be named, citing concerns for safety.

Half an hour later, the four friends got back on a Hartford CTfastrak bus to go back to New Britain. About 15 minors allegedly entered the bus at the next stop also in Hartford, said the woman.

The woman allegedly knew one of the individuals and he greeted her with a hug. The group of girls he was with, who were allegedly under the influence of alcohol, then became aggressive towards her.

“They started throwing glass bottles at us inside the bus while the bus was moving,” the woman alleged. She relocated to the front of the bus as her friends held the aggressive group of juveniles back. “The bus driver was doing nothing. She was letting it happen and continued driving.”
After approximately ten minutes, the bus stopped at the Cedar Street station in Newington, one stop away from their car at the East Street station. The woman said the group decided to get off because it was closer to the CCSU Police Department.

“The bus driver gave us a head start. She opened the doors for us and then shut them right after, but then [the bus] sat there,” the woman alleged, adding that as she was running away from the bus, the group of juveniles were banging on the bus’ windows.

The woman said she and another friend were approaching the Newington side of Fenn Road near Starbucks, and their two friends were on the New Britain side of the road, when she realized the group of juveniles were following them.
“The first two girls came running at me, and I’m trying to get away from them. Then three more girls came; they just surrounded me,” alleged the woman, who was thrown to the ground and hit until a friend pulled her up, according to the police report.
The minors then ran up to the other two friends across the street and punched the male in the face, pushing him into the snow, the woman alleged.
The woman was mugged in Newington and the male friend was punched in New Britain, alleged the woman, explaining that she and a friend were on the phone with police at this point.

When one of the juveniles realized the police were being called, they allegedly stole her friend’s cell phone and ran away, said the woman.

According to the police report, Sgt. Ramon Baez had just finished his shift and was exiting the building when he noticed several young females running into the lobby of CCSU Police Department.

The women informed Officer Rafael Rodriguez and one other officer they were victims of a robbery that occurred on the CTfastrak terminal on Fenn Road when Baez noticed two suspects behind the Dollar General, stated the report.
He watched the suspects as they began walking westbound on Wells Street, until they saw the cruiser and began running eastbound, at which point Baez pursued them on foot, ordering them to stop and identifying himself as a CCSU police officer, according to the police report.
As one suspect was being detained by Baez outside the East Hall Parking Lot until New Britain Police arrived, Rodriguez got to the scene, according to the report.

New Britain officers apprehended the second suspect in the front entrance of James Hall on Paul Manafort Drive, according to the report. The juveniles were placed under the custody of state police who are conducting further investigations.

“They caught the two males involved and put everything on them, because they didn’t catch any of the girls,” alleged the woman.

CTfastrak buses and stations are well lit with cameras and usually crime-free, other than problems associated with large groups of college students on certain nights, CTtransit general manager David Lee told The Hartford Courant.

More Than Just a Safe Place

by Sarah Willson
The Ruth Boyea Women’s Center at Central Connecticut State University has provided students with guidance and resources for over 15 years and is continuing to add new programs.
“On campus, we provide cultural resources,” said freshman Michelle Chavdhary, a staff member at the Women’s Center.
“There’s a Latino Women in Leadership program that we provide. We also offer services such as Girls in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics),” said Chavdhary. “I’m currently working on the Girls in STEM expo, it’s our ninth year that we’re doing [the program] here at CCSU.”
“What we’re trying to do is promote and foster [women] in the STEM field because there are not a lot of them going to the STEM field,” said Chavdhary. “We bring in about a hundred girls from Connecticut.”
The event is run by students and staff volunteers at CCSU and acts as a way to encourage women to join the STEM field.
Chavdhary believes the STEM turnout for females is so low due to its largely male image.
Women only make up 25.8 percent of the STEM fields, according to Catalyst, a non-profit organization that aims to accelerate progress for women through workplace inclusion.
The Women’s Center, known for its variety of activities, also puts together events that stray far from academics.
“Planned Parenthood was a program we did in February as a way to provide females and males here on campus with information about the services offered,” said Chavdhary. “A lot of people don’t really know exactly what Planned Parenthood is, or the services they provide.”
The program was described as a way to help students practice safe sex and feel in control of their own bodies.
“We also do Women’s Night In for females here on campus,” said Chavdhary. “We have belly dancing, pole dancing and yoga. It’s basically just to empower women.”
The Women’s Center does more than just host activities. Chavdhary stated that staff members are always more than willing to help students overcome any academic or personal obstacle they may face throughout their time at CCSU.
“People who are uncomfortable [going to the Women’s Center] should not be uncomfortable because we understand your situation,” said Chavdhary. “We know what you’re going through. We’re here to care for you and we’re here to help you. You are going to be our first priority.”
“It’s a place for anybody and everybody. They can come here and talk to us and we can get you the help that you need,” said Chavdhary.
“I think a lot of people tend to forget that the Women’s Center is for both males and females,” said Chavdhary. “Everybody here is welcome.”
The Women’s Center, named after its founder, Ruth Boyea, “exists to provide resources, to advocate, to inform and to support personal development,” to students and faculty at CCSU, according to its website.
Located in room 215 of the Student Center, the Women’s Center provides a variety of programs for both men and women, on and off campus.
Students can find services that provide information on a variety of issues such as women’s rights, gender equality and leadership roles Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The Women’s Center aims to bring students together regardless of their economic status, sexual orientation or cultural and ethnic background.

Make America Stupid Again

by Kristina Vakhman

The Trump administration proposed its “America First” budget plan to Congress last week, unveiling alarming cuts to significant educational and scientific institutions.

These slashes were propositioned to offset a $54 billion increase in military spending and other security measures.

If Congress approves the current proposed budget, the Department of Education would suffer a whopping $9 billion decrease in the next fiscal year. 20 of the department’s programs would be defunded or entirely eliminated.

The Environmental Protection Agency would see a $2.6 billion cut and a loss of 3,200 jobs, consequently affecting educational programs centered around environmental protection, such as Advanced Placement Environmental Science in high schools.

Additional government and independent programs and agencies at risk include: the Federal Pell Grant Program, the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Art Works, the National Endowment for the Arts, the 21st Century Community Learning Centers program, Community Development Financial Institutions Fund grants, the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program, work study programs, the Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, NASA’s Office of Education and many more.

For public colleges like Central Connecticut State University, these reductions and eliminations mean less support for low-income students in need of financial aid, as well as a potential increase in tuition.

While these cuts have been presented to “emphasize national security and public safety,” as written in President Donald Trump’s opening message in the plan, there may be a darker reason for why educational, scientific and related programs are major targets in the administration’s radar: Trump and his administration are trying to dumb down the American people.

According to a report done by the Pew Research Center after the 2016 presidential election, voters “without a college degree backed Trump 52 percent to 44 percent” against Clinton.

“Dramatic movement” amongst those with no college degree caused the widest gap between college and non-college voters since “any election dating to 1980,” the report adds.

It is clear that the president benefitted greatly from this demographic. He could potentially benefit from it again, should he run for re-election in 2020.

So, why would Trump want any of its residents to move from it? Why would he want uneducated voters to educate themselves and to potentially form views that differ from his? He would lose a major voting base if there is movement in educational demographics; his best bet to keep that from happening is to suppress policies and programs that provide for these kinds of advancements.

This strategy is similar to what Trump is doing with facts and reputable sources. By undermining the credibility of news organizations, journalists, scientists and professors that present the truth in his actions, our commander-in-chief is keeping his supporters in the dark. Even if this is detrimental to the functioning of society, as people are blindly voting for things that can cause them harm (like the American Health Care Act, or “Trumpcare,” which will increase the cost of health insurance for poor and working-class white Americans — a group that voted for Trump), the president will do it anyway to rally support behind him.

Those who are not properly educated on certain topics will believe whatever comes out of the president’s mouth.

Trump and his press secretary, Sean Spicer, have stated that the president should be the American people’s main source of facts, not the press. By cutting education and science, Trump will be able to assert this role of truth-bearer; with less funding, these programs will have less of a chance to present facts contradicting his words.

His supporters, especially those with little education, will continue to stand behind him. That is why Trump has said he “loves the poorly educated.”

Less education means more voters wearing “pink glasses.” A badly educated population is easy to manipulate. Ask any dictator.

International Women’s Day Strike Brought Awareness to Gender Inequality

by Angela Fortuna

International Women’s Day was about spreading the message that women deserve all the same rights as men, according to Central Connecticut State University freshman Catherine Moran.

A crowd of about a hundred students and faculty rallied to support women’s rights in the Student Center Circle on March 8 as part of International Women’s Day.

“[The strike] brought awareness to an issue which is otherwise greatly overlooked by our population,” said Moran.

Moran admitted the strike made her feel empowered as a woman in today’s society.

“With rape and other violent [crimes] toward women more advertised on the media, [the issue] is still not on the decline,” said Moran. “It needs to be known that those issues, among others, are not acceptable and we will no longer stand for it.”

 

Although women’s rights have improved over the years, many women still have to deal with the issue of inequality, especially in the workplace.

“Despite the great leaps we have made for women, we are still making 75 cents for every dollar that a man makes,” said Moran.

Many who attended wore red in solidarity and abstained from paid and unpaid labor for the day, in conjunction with the early 1900s labor movement.

Participants were also asked to refrain from shopping for the day, or to only shop at small stores owned by women or people of color.

The event featured a few CCSU student speakers including freshmen Shelby Williams and Sawera Hussan, seniors Tania Correa and Monica Nieves and event chairperson, Amy Frances Tenenbaum.

Along with issues regarding women’s equality, many people are actively participating in these strikes in opposition of President Donald Trump and his policies, especially his lack of support for Planned Parenthood.

Trump is also known for having extremely lewd conversations about women, dating back to before he announced his candidacy for president.

“We strike to end gender violence, protect reproductive freedom, secure equal pay for all, preserve the environment and natural resources and call upon our governments around the world to enforce effective secularization,” said Tenenbaum in an earlier interview.

Tenenbaum felt confident with the outcome of the strike, posting later on in the day, “thank you so much to everyone who made it out today! YOU ALL are #WhyIStrike,” on the CCSU International Women’s Day Strike’s event page on Facebook.

The event, organized by Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at CCSU and the Ruthe Boyea Women’s Center, aimed to get people to “come together for love and liberation,” as stated on the CCSU Women’s Strike poster.

People across the world collectively protested to support a particular wide-spread issue in society today: women’s equality.

The outcome of the strike proved to be successful and will be remembered as the first International Women’s Day strike held at CCSU.

Sitting Down With Senator Cusano

by Analisa Novak

If someone would have told Marissa Cusano that she would be making campaign posters for herself last year, she wouldn’t believe it. But the commuter senator has grown a lot within her time at Central Connecticut State University; so much that that she is throwing in her hat in the race for Vice President of the Student Government Association.

The Southington native, who first arrived at CCSU three years ago, found that commuting to campus was affecting her ability to be involved. It was then, that Cusano decided to get involved in one of the biggest organizations on-campus Greek life.

“I joined because I lacked confidence in myself and I wasn’t involved on campus at all. Being a commuter and being involved was hard for me. Phi Sigma Sigma gave me the confidence to aim high and really reach for the goals I wanted to accomplish. It was a home away from home for me,” Cusano said.

She found confidence within the many philanthropy events that Phi Sigma Sigma holds on campus, including the annual ALS walk, in which this year she is chairing.

“Phi Sigma Sigma taught me how to feel a sense of belonging on campus and how it’s important to get my voice heard and to do whatever I can to improve the way others view this campus,” Cusano said.

As big as Greek life is on campus, Cusano noticed there was no representation of it on the SGA. Even with the campus and fundraiser events that Greek life actively participate in; Cusano, like most sorority and fraternity members,noticed the negative stereotype that come with joining these organizations.

“Greek life had no representation on the student government when I joined. Greek life on campus really does work towards great things. We do philanthropy and are working on showing ourselves more on campus,” Cusano said.

This past year, with the support of her sisters, Cusano chose to be the voice for all Greek life by joining the senate.

“I joined senate this year and I joined to help represent Greek life and to help break the stereotype that Greek life is all about partying,” Cusano said.

It with amongst the SGA that Cusano found another family and another group of brothers and sisters. She explained her inspiration to run for vice president was found amongst her peers.

I know that it kind of sounds cheesy but if it wasn’t for senate I wouldn’t know my true strengths and abilities. I have grown so much since joining and I definitely owe a lot to senate along with Phi Sig. Phi Sig taught me how to feel a sense of belonging on campus and how it’s important to get my voice heard and to do whatever I can to improve the way others view this campus,” Cusano said.

As a commuter student she knows how important it is for all students to feel welcomed and to be involved.

“Not a lot of clubs know their liaison and that doesn’t sit right with me.I have noticed through being a liaison to clubs that communication between the SGA and clubs is strained,” Cussano said.

If elected, Cusano said she will make it a priority to bridge the divide between club officers and senators.

“We send emails out to the presidents occasionally but from my perspective it doesn’t seem to be the best way to communicate. Clubs need to be able to meet with their liaisons and feel comfortable talking to them and I don’t believe that clubs our comfortable coming to us. I want to change that. Clubs need to be able to communicate with us and feel comfortable coming to us for anything that they may need,” Cusano said.

Cusano credits her open minded mentality as key strength. She is actively searching to hear student concerns and to break any stereotype she comes across.

“I would describe my leadership style as participative. I value what others have to say about issues and I want others to voice their opinions on topics and feel like their voice is heard and I would be able to take those opinions and views and be able to make the decision that needs to be made,” Cusano said.

Cusano will graduate next year as a sociology major. She hopes to have a career in human resources in the near future. In her spare time she practices karate and plays softball. Cusano, has a lot of hope for the future of CCSU and for the future leaders of the senate. The once shy and timid student hopes to become a leader for all whether elected or not.

I’ve wanted to run for a while and almost didn’t submit a packet but then I realized that I want this and I shouldn’t limit myself because of others. It’s important that everyone on campus knows that they all have the ability to be a leader.  I want to be able to help encourage students to see their potential and to help them become leaders. When we graduate I want to be confident that I have done all that I could to make sure no one felt as though they couldn’t do something that they wanted,” Cusano said. 

The Quest for Increased Enrollment Rates Begins

by Lauren Lustgarten

Due to a number of factors, it is no shock that enrollment rates for Central Connecticut State University have been declining. From a total number of 11,784 students enrolled in Fall 2016 to 11,060 students enrolled for the spring semester, the numbers are at the lowest they have been in quite some time, according to Larry Hall, director of recruitment and admissions.

Increasing enrollment has been something Dr. Toro has set her mind to since the first day she started at CCSU. In order to implement the necessary tactics to raise these rates, the first step was to look at what exactly was causing them to drop.

“The fact that the college-age student population in the state is going down means our enrollment rate will as well,” said Dr. Toro. “We didn’t have a marketing campaign going and we didn’t have enrollment targets. All of those things are important. Even when I don’t think we compete with other institutions because I think our educational experience provides better volume, we have competition. The fact that people don’t understand all the things we offer is contributing to that competition as well.”

“We have been relying on the history of the institution, but we haven’t been diligently working towards maintaining our enrollment levels,” said Dr. Toro.

Hall explained how, although it is normal for spring semester enrollment rates to drop from fall, these numbers are still far too low.

“We cannot ignore the financial realities of 2016 and the climate that was there during that time. The economy will always play a role. It was also an election year and I am certain that there was some unsettling moments for individuals about what was coming next,” said Hall. “We need to work on moving the needle on our first to second year retention rate from 75 percent to above 80 percent.”

Progress has already started to be made.

“We have already started by launching a marketing campaign which includes billboards, a number of advertisements on public transportation buses, television ads and also digital ads,” said Dr. Toro. “We are also working with current students who are reaching out to perspective students. We have a call center downtown that we are using for that purpose.”

On top of a new marketing campaign, a new slogan has also been implemented to help along the recruiting process: “See You at CCSU.” Dr. Toro has been involving current students in the process by having them work on short videos and other pieces that you can find on social media.

Dr. Toro also held an Admitted Students Day where students enrolled for Fall 2017 came and interacted with faculty and students and were able to ask questions. Dr. Toro stated that her main goal with holding these admitted events is to have potential students picture themselves as part of CCSU. Another Admitted Students Day will be held soon.

Dr. Toro, admissions and other faculty continue to make visits to high schools, community colleges and community based organizations and  recruit both within the state and region.

“We are in the process of developing the Central story; why students come to Central, what makes our educational experience unique. As soon as the story is developed we will launch another marketing campaign using that information,” said Dr. Toro.

The “Central Story” Dr. Toro has been speaking about is something that she believes will bring the university far if told.

“As a university, we have a responsibility to formally tell our story. It is really a matter of awareness,” said Hall. “There are still pockets in the state that don’t necessarily know us or think about us the way we would like them to. We have a lot of alumni across the state that are doing great things. We have to make sure people know that and that those folks are proud enough to say that they are alumni of this institution.”

Dr. Toro’s goal for the school is to have 15,000 enrolled students after five years. She remains realistic for Fall 2017 with a goal of 12,200 students.

“You may be thinking that’s not a high number, but when you have experienced this kind of decline, turning that around takes a lot of time. 12,200 is quite an accomplishment,” said Dr. Toro.

Hall explained that retainment and graduation rates are extremely important to enrollment rates. Everything is being looked at from making sure students continue to feel connected to the university to having mechanisms in place to help students if they have any sorts of problems.

“We need our students to have a positive experience so they can go tell their friends and family about the institution. No one can market the place like currently enrolled students and/or alumni,” said Hall.

“Dr. Toro’s implemented marketing campaign is certainly the start,” said Hall. “It is the beginning of continuing to move in the right direction, but that has to be coupled with positive experiences of students that continue to tell the story. Visibility and awareness is key.”

With these initiatives implemented and with the involvement of the right people, the future of enrollment at CCSU remains hopeful. Dr. Toro also hopes to add new academic programs that seem necessary for the school and students.

“There are definitely some obstacles, but nothing impossible for us to overcome. I am extremely happy to see how people have engaged themselves in the activities and the initiative we have been implementing,” said Dr. Toro.” The faculty, staff, students, alums and people from the community have been helping us along the way. I am very thankful and pleased to see that engagement.”

CCSU Discusses Immigration

by Sarah Willson

Central Connecticut State University held a panel discussion in Alumni Hall to educate students and the public about the immigration bill making its way through the White House, after it was moved from the Sprague-Carlton room due to safety reasons from a high-volume turnout.

The event, held on March 1, brought in four key speakers to talk with students and faculty about the importance of the bill proposed by President Donald Trump, because it could deport up to three million undocumented people.

CCSU President Zulma Toro introduced the key speakers; two immigration attorneys, a CCSU student and CCSU’s associate director of international student and scholar services.

“We are committed to providing a safe environment,” said Dr. Toro, opening the discussion by speaking about immigration laws. “You will have a better handle [after today] on what comes your way.”

“It’s very important not to get in trouble with the law,” said immigration attorney Monika Gradzki. “It is extremely, extremely important not to find yourself in a situation where you are being arrested. If you are arrested, you do not want to take any chances with that situation, you need to make sure that your criminal arrest is analyzed by both criminal attorneys and immigration attorneys.”

The panel explained some precautions undocumented and international students should be aware of, if they are ever confronted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Immigration attorney Jeff Dressler stressed the importance of having a plan and cooperating with the police, before explaining that arguing with them will only escalate the situation.

Dressler continued to say documents and other important information should always be accessible, as they will be needed if ICE arrives. More than anything, he emphasized on how critical it is to be courteous, remain calm and follow instructions if confronted by an immigration officer.

Dressler suggested downloading SafeLock on your personal phone, an app which lets users safely store and easily access all identification documents if need be.

As for where to receive help on campus, CCSU’s associate director of international student and scholar services, Toyin Ayeni, said that an email will circulate campus from Dr. Toro, encouraging students to reach out to her if they feel they need help or are in danger.

“Talk to the [CCSU] president about your situation,” said Ayeni. “She will be able to analyze it and make it easier for you.”

If Dr. Toro is not available, and students feel as if they need immediate attention regarding their situation, Ayeni said she encourages them to visit the Student Wellness Center, located in room 205 of Marcus White Hall.

Students can find five counselors available to help, Monday through Friday.

Every panel member stated that the most important thing to remember is that no one at CCSU is alone.

“We know there are anxieties and concerns,” said Ayeni. “We, as an institution, are a resource to all our students.”

Sodexo Workers Seek Revised Contract

 

by Sophia Contreras

Sodexo Management and headquarters at Central Connecticut State University have failed to provide workers with revised contracts. Instead, employees have had the previous contracts extended, according to Sodexo employees Billy Serrano and Kenneth Caraballo.

A revised contract has been requested since March of 2016. Employees have voiced their dissatisfaction through internal disputes with management, in addition to public and silent protest. Their biggest fears are not knowing whether or not they have jobs in the summer, potential health care benefits, contract violations and stagnant wages, explained Serrano.

“The current collective bargaining agreement at CCSU expires on May 31. Typically, bargaining for a renewal agreement begins about a month or two before the expiration, our labor relations team is currently in discussions with the union representatives to schedule dates to meet and negotiate the renewal agreement,” said John Smalls, managing director of Sodexo.

Discussion for a new contract should be taking place this month, but an official date has not been set. This has made many employees nervous, because until a new agreement is made, they do not know if they will have a job to come back to, explained Caraballo, who has worked for Sodexo for six years.

These concerns derived from an incident this past summer when Sodexo threatened to walk away from their agreement with CCSU, and employees were going to be left without a secure job with short notice, explained Serrano.

Through a series of disputes, protests, phone calls and emails, employees have expressed their concerns. They have worn stickers on their uniforms that say “I support food service workers, unite local 217,” their labor union number.

Sodexo management at CCSU has acknowledged the employees’ protest and concerns but have not taken the employees request to the necessary higher-ups, explained Serrano.

“They [management] want to stop hearing the noise and we respect that they have a business to run, but we have families we have to take care of as well,” said Serrano.

Employees also feel their contract has been violated, by management not respecting certain protocols such as grievance procedures and applying favoritism over seniority, explained Caraballo.

“When we have an issue with management we fill out paperwork and we are able mediate the issue. However, they haven’t followed the certain guidelines that we have, and favoritism within the company is very present when it comes to some of these guidelines outlined in the contract,” said Carabello.

“There are rumors that they want to switch us from plan A to plan B, because it’s cheaper for the company,” said Carabello.

The majority of employees haven’t seen a raise in two years either, according to Caraballo. They feel that, as union members, they have a right to voice their concerns.

“Right now we have a voice, so by us not having a contract it would destroy the little guy and take away our voice. A lot of us have families that depend on our health insurance, so by reducing our plans, a lot of lives outside of the employees will also be affected,” said Carabello.

Serrano and Caraballo expressed the love they have for their job, and how much they enjoy serving the students of CCSU. “We really do appreciate the support we get from the students workers, and the students who ask us about our silent protest. We just hope they’ll stand with us in our concern for a new contract,” said Serrano.

International Women’s Day Strike Planned at CCSU

by Angela Fortuna

Women across the world took action today to #beboldforchange, as stated in the the International Women’s Day slogan. They are protesting President Donald Trump’s policies and fighting for equality.

The goal of the International Women’s Day campaign is to “call on the masses or call on yourself to help forge a better working world.”

Women are fighting for “a more inclusive, gender equal world,” according to the International Women’s Day campaign.

“International Women’s Day started in Germany as a response to women there fighting for their right to vote,” said Amy Frances Tenenbaum, CCSU junior and student chairperson of the strike. “We strike to end gender violence, protect reproductive freedom, secure equal pay for all, preserve the environment and natural resources and call upon our governments around the world to enforce ‘effective secularization.'”

Women’s Day organizers have declared the day to be “The Day Without a Woman.”

“We strike this year to combat decades of socioeconomic inequality by calling for all marginalized communities to come together, get loud and make their voices heard,” said Tenenbaum.
Organizers of the Women’s March in Washington, D.C. are calling on women to participate in a one-day strike, abstaining from paid and unpaid labor. Strikes will be held all across the world.

The protest turnout across the world on International Women’s Day is expected to be similar to the Woman’s March on Jan. 21 with over a million people participating. 

According to NBC New York, “[Women’s Day organizers] are also encouraging women to wear red in solidarity and to spend money only at small women and minority-owned businesses that day.”

The International Women’s Day strike is aimed to support Native American women, women of color, working women, immigrant women, lesbian and transgender women, Muslim women and disabled women.

There will be a women’s strike held at the Student Center Circle today at noon.

The event, hosted by Tenenbaum, aims to get people to “come together for love and liberation,” as stated on the CCSU Women’s Strike poster.

There will be a few CCSU students speaking at the event, including freshmen Shelby Williams and Sawera Hussan, as well as seniors Tania Correa, Senior Monica Nieves and Tenenbaum.

The CCSU community and the public are welcome to come and support women’s rights.

The event is being sponsored by Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies and the Ruthe Boyea Women’s Center at CCSU.

On the poster advertising the strike, Tenenbaum addresses the issue head-on: “We, the women of the world, are fed up with violence addressed at us, be it physical, economic, verbal or moral. We will no longer tolerate it passively. We demand that our governments stop using misogynistic insults and start taking real measures to solve the numerous problems related to our safety.”

Tenenbaum later goes on to say “we demand our governments enforce effective secularization and recognize that before our biological conditions, we are first of all human beings,” on behalf of all women.

This strike will be the first protest related to women’s rights held at CCSU.

If the event gets rained out, the strike will be held in the Constitution Room in Memorial Hall, with limited seating.

CCSU Reacts to Loss of Student

by Angela Fortuna

The loss of a Central Connecticut State University freshman who fell from the roof of a Hartford bar has left students and faculty mourning across campus.

Taylor Lavoie, 18, of East Granby, was a freshman biology major at CCSU when she suddenly died after an incident at the Angry Bull Saloon last Friday. 

According to the Hartford Police Department, Lavoie is said to have fallen more than four stories off the rooftop of Angry Bull.

Lavoie’s advisor, Dr. Douglas Carter, the Biology Department Chair, spoke about her in a very positive light. Dr. Carter taught Lavoie in a general biology course last fall.

When describing Lavoie, Dr. Carter described her as a “very strong student” with a “very promising future.”

Although Dr. Carter did not know Lavoie for very long, he knew she would make a very significant impact on the Biology Department at CCSU. Dr. Carter described Lavoie as being “very involved in the classroom” with an interest in going to veterinary school in the future.

“I was sure [Lavoie] would have been an award-winning student in biology,” said Dr. Carter.

After learning of Lavoie’s death, Dr. Carter said that many of her friends and fellow students were in shock.

“After hearing about the loss of a fellow CCSU student, my first reaction was to think of her and her parents,” said SGA Senator Marissa Cusano. “My thoughts and prayers are with them after this tragic event.”

“I feel really upset for the family and friends of this student,” said CCSU freshman Alyssa Mercaldi. “It’s made me realize how important it is to appreciate all of my friends at CCSU because, anyone can be gone in the blink of an eye.”

“It is a very unfortunate event, but it reminds you to never take anything for granted, because life can change so quickly,” said CCSU freshman Katie Barnicle.

Angry Bull responded to the incident on March 3 through Facebook.

“[We are] devastated by the loss of life of this young college student,” Angry Bull said in the statement.

Angry Bull wrote that they have not been found in violation and they have not had any punitive action taken against them. The bar’s liquor permit has been suspended until March 24.

Angry Bull will meet with the Hartford Police Department and the Department of Consumer Protection during their time in suspension to review procedures.

On the day of the incident, CCSU President Dr. Zulma Toro sent out an email to students and faculty expressing her condolences during this rough time.

“Beyond the grief that we feel, tragedies such as this remind us how important it is for us, as a community, to cherish and support each other,” said Dr. Toro.

Anyone who would like to speak with a counselor can visit Student Wellness Services at their office in Marcus White or contact the office at 860-832-1945. John Campbell, of the Campus Ministry, is also available to speak to students.