Category Archives: Breaking News

DSC_0194

Tickets for Presidential Speech Cause Campus Chaos

By Acadia Otlowski and Jacqueline Stoughton

CCSU scrambled to prepare for a presidential visit this week, distributing tickets for the Wednesday event to faculty, staff and students just two days prior. The distribution went well according to administration, but the process was not without its hiccups.

President Barack Obama, Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut, Governor Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont and Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts will be holding a “Raise the Wage” speech on Wednesday.

The event will take place in Kaiser Hall at 2:40 p.m. The gates open at 11:30 a.m. and those attending are asked to arrive as early as possible.

A limited amount of tickets were distributed Monday for students and faculty online. These sold out within minutes. Additional ticket were offered at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

Ticket sales on Monday were not without fault, but the university spokesman said it went fairly well considering the volume of requests the system had to handle.

“It stressed the system to the max,” said Mark McLaughlin, university spokesman, “The faculty and staff hit 85 percent a few minutes after the opening bell.”

Faculty were able to get into the ticket distribution website at 10:45 a.m. Students were allowed in the system around noon. But students and faculty received emails at different times, causing both groups to complain about the system used.

“[We] got a number of complaints that students were not able to sign up,” said McLaughlin. “There are some uncontrollable things about email.”

While the marketing office at the university was unable to release the exact number of tickets for students and faculty, McLaughlin said that the demand for the tickets was exceptionally high.

“When the system is stressed it slows down,” said McLaughlin.

“It wasn’t easy. The email came in late, I kept getting server errors. Then it said it was sold out but I kept trying.
It’s not often the president comes to Connecticut,” said Ryan Revard who was able to get tickets

Students are excited for the president’s arrival but are skeptical about the subject of the speech.

“I think that it’s surprising also that he is coming when we are having all this tension with Russia,” said Djenne Mobley, a student who was unable to get tickets on Monday. “Other then that, it’s a great opportunity for the school to have some much needed publicity.”

Many of the students were interviewed in line waiting for their tickets, but believe that the increased minimum may cause more problems than it would solve.

“Raising the minimum wage isn’t needed anytime soon, they just raised it,”  said Revard.

Connecticut recently raised its minimum wage to $8.70 per hour this January. The nest raise for the state will occur January 1, 2015. This raise will bring the Connecticut state minimum wage to $9.00 an hour.

“I can see both sides of the minimum wage debate, but it’ll probably just end up causing inflation,” said Melanie Gawlak, a student that received tickets for the talk.

Some students were disappointed about not receiving tickets for the talk.

“I didn’t really try because it said tickets were sold out within five minutes,” said Jessica Hubina, who didn’t manage to get tickets for the event.

McLaughlin was not positive why the university was selected for the honor of hosting the governors of four states and the president today, but he was willing to speculate on it.

“One of the things I’ve heard is that Connecticut is an exemplary state for raising the minimum wage,” said McLaughlin.

“The university has a proud tradition of bringing presidents [to speak],” said McLaughlin. These distinguished guests include Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, George W. Bush Jr. and Sr. President Obama will now join these ranks.

Student Alec Donna summed up the feelings of many of the faculty and her peers.

“Whether you like the president or not he is the president of the United States and it definitely would be an experience of a lifetime to be able to see him in person,” said Donna.

President and Governors To Speak On Campus Wednesday

By Jacqueline Stoughton and Acadia Otlowski 

President Barack Obama will visit CCSU Wednesday in an effort to garner support for the White House’s push to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Gov. Daniel Malloy and three other New England governors will be joining him.

In a conference call between principal deputy White House press secretary Josh Earnest, Governor Dannel Malloy of Conn., Governor Peter Shumlin of Vermont and Governor Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, each governor laid out their state’s plan to raise the minimum wage to the $10.10 rate suggested by the president.

The main reason for the call was to announce the tour across the region, “which will highlight his commitment for expanding opportunity for every American” according to Earnest.

On Tuesday, Obama will release his budget for the upcoming fiscal year which Earnest said would include a number of bipartisan policies.  On Wednesday, the president will appear at Central Connecticut State University with the governors of four states to push the raise in the minimum wage. On Thursday, the president will appear in Washington D.C. to discuss the merits of the Affordable Care Act.

“[We] Want to lift the middle class, women, and children out of poverty,” said Malloy in the call.

According to Malloy, 55 percent of minimum wage earners nationwide are women and he believes this statistic is much higher in Connecticut.  Malloy also said that 13 percent of workers that earn minimum wage are over the age of 55, a percentage that Malloy feels is far too high.

Malloy also said that he hopes to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 by 2017. In keeping with that goal, Malloy outlined a plan that would raise the minimum wage slowly until it meets the projected goal.

“Raising the minimum wage can and should be done,” said Malloy. The governor’s labelled the initiative as having bipartisan support, although the campaign seems to be driven mainly by the democratic party.

“Republicans have been against this from the get-go, they’ve made this a partisan issue,” said Malloy.

Malloy noted that taxpayers would receive a refund on gas and car taxes, money which he hopes will go directly back into the economy.

Many of the governors have lost faith in Congress to deal with issues such as minimum wage, according to Shumlin.

“We are working hard to work with the president to pull ourselves out of this economy,” said Shumlin, who said while a lot of progress is being made towards improving the economy, the middle-class is being left behind.

“Wouldn’t there be strength in governors working together?” asked Shumlin, who sees the higher minimum wage initiative as a way to improve the economy without the approval of Congress. “Many states fear raising their minimum wage bc neighboring states won’t raise theirs.

Shumlin said he is thrilled to be helping not only the president, but the states and workers in the region. Shumlin hopes to raise the minimum wage in Vermont similar to Connecticut. Vermont will raise its minimum wage by one- third each year.

“Every society wants a strong middle class, out middle class is under tremendous stress,” said Chaffee.

Free tickets for the general public to the president’s speech will be available in Detrick Gym, Kaiser at 4 p.m. on Tuesday.

 

 

Student Arrested After Halloween Costume Prompts Lockdown

Amanda Webster

Central Connecticut State University students and faculty are breathing easier after a hectic Monday afternoon that shut campus down following reports of an alleged armed man on campus.

Just before noon on Monday, Central Connecticut police were notified of a suspicious man on campus who at the time was believed to have a weapon on him. The school was immediately put on lockdown and students and faculty were told to remain indoors and stay hidden.

David Kyem, a senior at CCSU, was taken into custody around 3 p.m. and has been charged with breach of peace. He was released after his father posted $1,000 bail.

According to the Hartford Courant, Kyem stated, “I’m sorry for all the commotion and the fear and the confusion. I’m sorry for any problems. It’s obviously a big misunderstanding.”

In an interview with the Recorder via email, Peter Kyem, father of David Kyem and a geography professor at CCSU, said that the situation was a misunderstanding.

According to Kyem, his son was still wearing his Halloween costume from over the weekend, and it was his costume that caused some concern.

“I did not know much until after the lock down. I came home and saw his picture [of the arrest] at the website of Channel 3. I then went to CCSU police to inquire about him and they confirmed his arrest so I made arrangements to bail him. He said he left with some friends for UConn for a Halloween party on Thursday evening and stayed over the weekend. He returned to campus today on a public bus and in his Halloween costume and headed towards James Hall where he is residing now. It was then that some who saw him enter the hall called the police and the frenzy began,” stated Kyem.

Kaylie Washburn, a senior at CCSU, said that she called campus police after she saw a suspicious man on the bus. Washburn exited the bus and entered the Dunkin’ Donuts, located next to campus. She then alerted authorities about what she saw and that the man may have walked onto Central’s campus.
“He was wearing a black hoodie, camo pants, black boots, black knee pads, partial face mask…I thought it was because it was nippy [out],” said Washburn of Kyem in an email.
At first, Washburn said she was not that alarmed at his appearance but she was approached by someone else on the bus who said that they saw Kyem carrying a gun.
There were no weapons, real or fake, recovered at the scene on Monday, according to Chris Cervoni, interim CCSU police chief.
 
“I just assumed he was going to a martial arts place… but being a paranoid person, I was a little suspicious,” explained Washburn.

Cervoni said that the suspect was identified and located by the time stamp from cameras outside of James Residence Hall, along with the card swipe system, which grants access to the dormitory.

Cervoni said that there was no real threat to students and there was never a hostage situation, despite circulating rumors from concerned students on social media accounts. Two other individuals were also taken into custody and, according to Cervoni, all three individuals were cooperating with authorities.

Kayla Burgos was inside James Hall during the lockdown.

“I was really scared. Not knowing where [the suspect] was was really scary,” said Burgos. “I attempted to put the desk in front of the door, [I] put pillows on the windows.”

All of the emergency systems worked as they should have, according to President Jack Miller, who congratulated police and authorities for their swift response to the incident.

“My very sincere thanks to all of the officers that participated and provided support to us on the campus,” stated Miller. “From a personal standpoint I can simply say in this situation, our prayers were answered.”

logo header

Recorder Backs Recent CCSU Alumna

The mayoral election for the city of  New Britain is coming up on Nov. 5  and the students of CCSU need to pay attention. The two candidates for this upcoming mayoral race are current New Britain Mayor, Tim O’Brien, and Former CCSU Graduate, Erin Stewart.

Our editorial staff feels that a fresh, new perspective on local issues is just what the student body needs, and that Erin Stewart fits the bill.

This time last year, the New Britain City Council passed some ordinances that have had a direct effect on students living on and around campus. The ordinances focused on the landlords that own properties in the Belvedere neighborhood near campus, which is home to many CCSU students. One ordinance placed an annual fee of $150 to landlords that live outside of the area, which could potentially put an increase on residents’ rent. The second ordinance, called the “hot-spot” ordinance, states that individuals who call 911 10 or more times a year will be fined $500. 

Many of the nuisance calls made in New Britain are made in concern to off-campus students who are considered too loud to some permanent New Britain residents. The ordinances brought much attention to the students who live around the Central, however the attention was very one sided. Only about a handful of students showed up to the council to protest or voice their opinions about the then proposed ordinances, even though their presence in the community was a catalyst to the making and passing of the laws.

Being informed and educated about what goes on in our local New Britain community is key to making the most out of your time residing in New Britain. It would be foolish to think that these policies and decisions do not affect us. 

What many students seem to be unaware of is that they can have a say in the government of our city. If students live on campus or off campus in New Britain, they have the ability to register to vote in the mayoral elections.

Erin Stewart is looking to make students more involved in the local community with opportunities including internships, co-ops and partnering with businesses. This is a stark difference from incumbent Tim O’Brien, who seems to make the issue of off-campus students a way to increase city revenue without turning too many heads.

In an interview with a Recorder staff member, O’Brien stated he hopes to encourage more residential CCSU students to live in the downtown New Britain area. But with a multi-million dollar plan for Centrals campus to receive a brand new dorm, library extensions, fitness building, magnet school, arts building and upgrades to old facilities, O’Brien’s plan doesn’t seem to play into the grand scheme of things.

 

26-year-old Stewart is fresh out of college, so fresh that she could still be paying off college loans. She is exactly the kind of candidate that CCSU students need to support because she has their best interests in mind. If students at Central want to have more control in what the city of New Britain has to offer them then they need to start paying more attention to who wants to represent them and vote them into office.

 

 

 

 

 

 

8508458746_4341ab8ed8_o

Student Leaders Plan Demonstration Against Large Tuition Hikes

Increase Discussed, Response Agreed On

By Acadia Otlowski

Students have started organizing demonstrations after the Board of Regents Finance Committee pushed a vote this Tuesday that would approve a significant increase for in-state tuition for Connecticut State University (CSU) students.

David Ravizzo leads a discussion to student leaders at a public forum last Thursday.

“Whenever the state is looking to rise a little more or save a little money, they cut our funding for the state universities,” said Danny Ravizzo, a member of the Connecticut Citizen Action Group and the one organizing protests in colleges across the state.

Student leaders from across the state met at an open forum held Feb. 21 at CCSU. Their organized protests ranging from the campus to a protest in Hartford later in March were planned to get as many students involved as possible.

“To build momentum takes time,” said CCSU SGA Sen. Chris Marcelli at the forum. “The more you ask from people the more they give you. If you ask them to come to five things they’ll come to one.”

The proposed tuition increase would affect all in-state students attending CCSU. The Connecticut students living on-campus face as much as an $835 increase in tuition from this year to next year, according to documents from the Board of Regents. This represents a 4.5 percent increase in tuition for those students.

Manchester Community College and Quinebaug Valley Community College attended the forum to contribute their perspectives on the budget cuts and tuition hikes.

In-state commuter students would be expected to pay  $385 more than this year, a 4.6 percent increase.

Despite these numbers, what has enraged those organizing against the proposal is that out-of-state students will pay a lower tuition this year than they did last year.

According to documents from the Board of Regents, CCSU residential students from out-of-state will pay $113 less, a commuter from out-of-state will pay $563 less.

All CSU schools except Eastern project a drop in enrollment in upcoming years. In the Finance Committee’s proposal to the Board of Regents, it is suggested that these low numbers stem from a lack of out-of-state students who are daunted by high tuition rates.

“Everyone would like to see it as minimal as possible,” said President Miller of the tuition hikes. He explained that mandatory pay raises  for unionized faculty accounts for millions of dollars that are not accounted for in the budget.

“It’s not realistic for it to be zero,” said Miller of the increase.

His opinion regarding the drop in out-of-state tuition is that it reflects the CSU’s desire for revenue.

“My opinion is that the out of state students pay so much more. I think they’re (the Finance Committee) hopeful it will bring in a few more people,” said Miller, explaining that the out-of-state students bring in more revenue than in-state students.

Despite this, student leaders express the feeling of being alienated by the cut in out-of-state rates.

“I know I was elected into our Student Advisory Committee to represent all students, but the high majority of our students are in-state residents and I have to look after that,” said CCSU SGA Treasurer Nick Alaimo.

“One thing that does kill me is the out-of-state residents and [the fact that] they are at a decrease right now,” Alaimo continued, reflecting the sentiments of many students who feel as if the drop in out-of-state rates is unfair.

Others worry that residence halls will become even more quiet with the raise in tuition. Robert Vance Hall, a dormitory on campus, has begun to offer single rooms to students, hoping to entice students to live on campus.

“The room at last week’s IRC meeting became uneasy very quickly when I mentioned the idea that resident tuition and fees could increase by $890 next year, based on most recent recommendations. I’m very concerned about the number of students choosing to live in the residence halls,” said Bergenn.

“Living here on campus is very expensive compared to living off-campus. I lived two years here (on campus) and two years in an apartment and it’s significantly cheaper to live off-campus,” said Alaimo, citing cost as a main factor as to why students do not live in on-campus housing.

Student leaders at the open forum planned the first stages of demonstration for a little more than a week from the forum on. By then, they hoped to already have some students engaged in the process of informing others.

“My thinking is to get as many people as we can,” said Daniel Piper of the CCSU Youth for Socialist Action at the forum  on Thursday. “It’s to add a second layer of leadership into this. People who get personally invested have a better understanding as to what is going on, get in the game plan, and make those personal connections.”

Student leaders have planned a building meeting just after a panel discussion about the value of a college degree. This will be held March 5, after the Board of Regents votes on the motion proposed by the Finance Committee. There will then be a rally in the Student Circle at 2 p.m. on March 11.

breakingthumb

Woman Allegedly Sexually Assaulted At CCSU

By Justin Muszynski

A woman reported to CCSU police yesterday that she was sexually assaulted in the campus parking lot adjacent to Willard and Diloretto Hall.

The alleged assault occurred in the evening hours of late January, according to University officials.

“It’s not unusual with a sexual assault that the victim takes some time before notifying the police,” said Mark McLaughlin, University spokesman.

CCSU students were notified Friday via email in accordance with the Jeanne Clery Act. The notice said that the man “pushed her into a car and sexually assaulted her.”

“We really have very little information at this time,” said Lt. Edward Dercole of the CCSU police. He added that the investigation in this case is currently underway and that the police have no suspects at this time.

McLaughlin says that the school is advising students to use caution when walking alone. The notification to students says that additional patrol units will cover the area where the assault allegedly occurred.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Lt. Edward Dercole (860-832-2394), Det. Densil Samuda (860-832-2381) or the CCSU Police dispatcher (860-832-2375).