Category Archives: News

Faculty Senate Stands in Solidarity With Student Protests

By Acadia Otlowski

The Faculty Senate passed a joint resolution which stands in solidarity with students supporting their efforts to protest against the proposed tuition hikes by the ConnCSU Board of Regents.

“We endorse student protests against tuition hikes and encourage faculty participation in the rally planned for March 21, 2013 at 61 Woodland Street in Hartford,” said the resolution.

“To that end, we also ask faculty to raise awareness of this issue in their classes and allow students to exercise their democratic rights of free speech by accommodating their participation in the March 21 rally,” it also said, encouraging faculty members to allow students to miss classes to participate.

“Our students continue to amaze me, you have my full support,” said James Mulrooney                                                                                   to Eric Bergenn, SGA president, who was present at the meeting.

The Senate spoke in support of the proposal.

“It’s only the ethical thing to do,” said Briann Greenfield of the proposal. Greenfield was also an active participant at the rally, helping to organize students and hand out signs.

There were concerns that the money had to come from somewhere. Some were concerned that without the tuition hikes, the quality of the students’ education would suffer.

“Our student-faculty ratio is very high and after long discussion we had to expose the other side of the coin,” said Edward Sarisley from the manufacturing and construction management department.

“The department asked me to vote not in favor of increasing tuition in favor of quality faculty. After all, if we don’t have quality faculty and have quality programs, what is the point?” said Sarisley, who was one of the few that voted against the joint resolution.

“We are standing behind the students… We could delay this, but it won’t do any good for the 21st” said Mulrooney, addressing concerns with the wording and the logistical issues.

Greenfield explained the importance of the resolution and supporting the students.

“It asks us to not just stand behind, but with our students,” said Greenfield.

The Faculty Senate also reiterated its disapproval with the choice of the Vance Lecturer. One Senate member described Rudy Giuliani and his associates as “a couple of thugs.”

“I never really understood the relationship between the school and the Vance Foundation,” said Cindy White, reflecting the similar sentiments of her colleagues.

The Senate demanded clarification on this relationship and Mulrooney offered to have a representative come down and explain this relationship to the group.

Other members of the Senate wished to take action on the lack of class cancellation during Friday’s snow storm.  Several members complained of low attendance and dangerous conditions. One member described several students falling, while another noticed a student who was stuck in their wheelchair because the paths hadn’t been cleared.

The Senate took no action on these complaints, but plans to in the future.

Connecticut Tolls Should Not Be Disregarded

By Justin Muszynski

Recent talks amongst Connecticut officials have addressed the idea of reinstating tolls when traveling into the state on major highways. There are several bills being proposed that aim to achieve this goal.

The idea of this concept is a tricky one. There are several views towards this issue that are completely rational, but are absolute opposites.

Opponents of bringing back tolls say that Connecticut residents pay enough in taxes and should not have to cough up additional fees when traveling in and out of the state. While this argument is sensible, it may not take into consideration the amount of people that come through our state to go between Massachusetts and New York City.

This could potentially bring in lots of revenue that other states around us have been capitalizing on for years. Why should people from Connecticut have to pay a toll when going to New York or Massachusetts when others can come into our state for free?

The other aspect of this matter that some are concerned about is where the money would go. Even those within the state are questioning this.

“History shows you really can’t trust us,” said State Rep. Steve Mikutel at a hearing regarding possible tolls in Connecticut, according to an article in the Hartford Courant.

It’s very clear that this could be a problem, but the ideal scenario would see the profits go towards road repairs that the state desperately needs. Given the state of our economy, we simply cannot pass up on possible solutions to our deficit woes.

According to the Huffington Post, Connecticut had the highest amount of debt per capita in 2011 of all the 50 states at $5,402; totaling $99,751,147. That being said, we must take advantage of every opportunity that comes our way.

Not only would tolls help the debt situation, but it would also contribute to the unemployment rate. They would create job opportunities producing state positions that would most likely offer numerous benefits.

There are also those who would claim that this will create congestion as well as chase people out of the state. However, most commuters that would cross the border daily are seasoned travelers. A great deal of these people are clever enough to use E-ZPasses because they go back and forth so often. This would keep traffic to a minimum.

This brings us to the idea that residents will leave Connecticut because of the many costs associated with living here. But residents that are constantly exiting and entering the state are probably doing so because of their occupation. If you are willing to travel that many miles for your job, you’ve got to be earning a decent wage. People aren’t going to all of a sudden pick up and leave because of the minimal expenses that a toll generates.

Before any tolls could be implemented, all of the logistics would have to be thoroughly discussed and laid out.  But this should be something that our state seriously considers and does everything in its power to make happen. We are in too deep of a debt to not contemplate every possibility.

Phonathon

By Amanda Webster

Student Organization Reaches Out To Alumni

Willard Hall room 114 may be one of the the only rooms on campus where students are encouraged by the University to talk on their phones.

CCSU’s Phonathon is a program run by a group of students and alumni that works towards raising money for the University by reaching out to alumni and asking for donations. The students also update alumni contact information and keep track of what the alumni want their money to go towards.

Kyle Reynolds is a CCSU alumnus who graduated in 2011. He has been working with Phonathon for five years. Reynolds initiated a new program this year that invites alumni to invest more in the University while also creating a sense of community out of young alumni. The idea is to call alumni and invite them to events on campus that they might be interested in attending. Reynolds said that by getting alumni back onto campus it might encourage them more to make donations.

“We do not want the alumni to just get one phone call a year. We want them to come back to their University and see where they went to college,” Reynolds said.

“We try to raise as much money as we can for the University,” said phonathon student worker Kyle Coughlin.

According to Coughlin, the fall semester usually brings in more money from alumni because students focus on contacting individuals who have already donated to the school.

“The conversations are a lot friendlier and people really enjoy having conversations with us when we do call them. We get really good relationships with alumni during the semester,” said Coughlin.

This semester, Coughlin said that he and the other students are focusing on making new connections with potential new donors, especially recent graduates.  So far this semester, Phonathon has raised $7,445 out of a goal of $8,345 and, according to Reynolds, most of the donations were made by new donors.

“When you’re calling someone with $20,000 in student loans it can be pretty challenging,” said Reynolds. “But we think that as long as we’re creating a positive relationship and we’re inviting them back to campus then that’s the best that we can do.”

Reynolds went on to say that if recent graduates are unable to make a donation they will be considered for a possible donation at a future time.

Junior Ashley Malloy has been working at Phonathon for about six weeks and says she has taken a lot away from the job.

“I feel like I’m a member of a team here,” Malloy said. “It’s helped me hone in on a lot of interpersonal skills as far as working with the team here and also calling people on the phone.”

Malloy explained that sometimes getting people to donate money can be challenging but she feels that overall most people are fairly receptive towards her phone calls.

Students have started to hear from the alumni department before even reaching their graduation date. Another fairly recent program called “Count Me In” asks students to donate an amount that represents their graduation year, so students scheduled to graduate in 2013 are asked for a donation of $20.13 that will go towards their class. If students do make a donation they will be put on the list of alumni who have already given a donation towards the school.

Those interested in making a donation or learning more about Phonathon can find more information under the Alumni and Friends tab on the CCSU website.

CACE Aids Students In Career Search

By Skyler Magnoli

In preparation for the spring Career Fair on March 6, the Center for Advising and Career Exploration (CACE) hosted a Career Week to provide students with information on resume building, interviewing skills and job hunting tools. With more people now going to and graduating college than ever before, Central students learned how to get a leg up on the competition and how to get noticed by employers. The seminars were designed to help students learn what they will need to do to make connections with some of the companies and organizations that will be showcased at this year’s Career Fair. In case you missed some of the Career Week seminars, here are some important tips that CACE advisors put together for students.

 

Résumé Tips:

In the workshop, “Using Transferable Skills to Build Your Resume & Get an Interview,” hosts CACE advisor Montez Johnson and Student Center Assistant Director Tiffany Moffo Simpson discussed how students can take their life experiences and create transferable skills that will appeal to employers.

According to Johnson and Simpson, transferable skills are the skills that you’ve gathered through various jobs, volunteer work, hobbies, sports or other life experiences can be used in your next job. Also, it is important to show these skills on a résumé and in an interview ,

“Not all students I think have a good handle on it, meaning you all have experience outside of your regular job descriptions,” said Simpson. “We are finding that students are doing more outside of their job descriptions, and we want them to see that as good skills to transfer to their career and next phase in life.”

They also talked to students about figuring out which style of résumé fits best with their occupational needs. A functional résumé lists your skills, a chronological résumé lists your work experiences by date, and a combination résumé combines both functional and chronological, which lists work experience with your skills.

Simpson noted that most college students tend to use more of the chronological résumés because students are just starting to build experiences and skills.

CACE advisor Kim Dumouchel suggests ranking your résumé in order from most important to least important. Then, within each subject you put on your résumé, the bullet points should be ranked from most to least important.

Your résumé should always flow. Employers look at hundreds of résumés, so your résumé should not be long and bulky. Dumouchel suggests students need tricks to help guide the employer’s eyes down the page. By using capitalization, bolding and bullet points your résumé will become an eye catching marketing piece.

Dumouchel says that a résumé is a fluid document which should always be in motion and be changed for every position you apply to. Always do research to adapt the important aspects in your résumé to the company and what is more important to them.

“A résumé is really only a twenty-to-thirty-second eye scan, it is not intense reading for whoever is reviewing them,” said Dumouchel.

 

Interview Tips:

Both Simpson and Dumouchel encourage students to do a lot of research before entering an interview. This includes talking to people who currently work for or have worked for the company, mapping out and driving to the interview location before hand, dressing appropriately and arriving 15 minutes early.

Simpson suggests preparing a list of all of your strengths and weaknesses to be able to answer basic interview questions promptly, and that way you can take a little more time on hard, in-depth questions.

A major point that was emphasized in the Career Fair Preparation Workshop, which was hosted by Leah Skinner, Cathy Sylvester and Joe Zeoli, was that showing communication skills with interviewers and future employers is critical. Employers will be impressed by people who make eye contact, give a firm handshake and have good conversational etiquette.

Dumouchel recommends that students do research on the company or organization so at the end of an interview when they ask if you have questions, you can ask an informed and intelligent question about the company that could really stick in the interviewer’s mind.

To help students answer questions with confidence, Dumouchel uses a system to keep students in a calm mind frame, in an environment that is very nerve-wracking and stressful. The PAR system tells students to answer every question by answering the Problem, giving the Actions that you took, and then the Result or outcome. This will help students answer behavioral interview questions.

Another point that was stressed in the workshops was that within 24 hours after an interview, always send a thank you letter to the interviewers. Dumouchel says to be sure to mention something positive that happened in the interview, like a moment where the interviewer was engaged and where everyone was clicking. This will personalize the thank you card and brings you back in their minds.

“I call it the magic moment,” said Dumouchel. “I tell students that during the course of the interview to pay attention and find the spot in the interview where everything clicked.”

 

What CACE Can Offer You:

Students are welcomed to walk in to the CACE office at any time to have some of their questions answered, or make an appointment to have a longer informational session.

CACE offers students resume critiques, mock interviews, where they will ask you questions and give tips and pointers on how to improve both resume and interviewing skills.

On the CACE website every student can access Central Connections. Central Connections is a database that lists internships, part-time jobs and full time jobs. All the jobs that CACE receives are in Central Connections.

CACE can also help any student who don’t know what they want to do, by showing them what they can do with a specific major.

Seth North To Become First Freshman Dorm

Residents Share Mixed Emotions On Recent Announcement

By Tommy Liljedahl

This coming fall, Seth North, one of Central Connecticut State University’s residence halls, will become the campus’ first exclusively freshman dorm.

The intent, according to Vice President Of Student Affairs Laura Tordenti, is to establish a community for new students and to enhance learning outside the classroom, and increase student engagement.

“A lot of literature suggests that students in intentionally structured living environments are more successful,” Tordenti said. “Seth North basement consists of computers and a community room, creating a great learning and socializing environment. The building can hold 100 to 110 freshmen, and housing will be given on a first come, first serve basis.”

The change will be announced at the open house meeting on April 13, and even further publicized to incoming students and parents.

“We want to create awareness for this fun learning experience and tremendous opportunity,” said Jean Alicandro, the director of residence life.

The benefits go beyond social engagement and others have made significant efforts towards this project.

Through a partnership with the Learning Center, each floor of Seth North will be assigned a graduate student to aid and enhance the experience, academically or otherwise.

Experienced resident assistants with a flair for working with younger students are also being solicited to join the effort.

“It’s great to have so many people enthusiastically involved,” said Alicandro. “We hope to create a really tight-knit community through activities, trips and even ‘pure fun’. Structured living has been successful for CCSU, as well as other universities, in the past.”

Three years ago, after discussing the concept of a living and learning experience, Central ran a pilot in Vance Hall, which grouped based on majors. The groups included Engineering, Elementary Education, Exercise Science and Physical Education.

“Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) at CCSU are on-campus communities designed for students with common majors and academic interests, and have been very successful,” said Alicandro.

The change naturally forces older students already living in Seth North to move and adjust, thus creating conflict. Accommodations, however, will be made.

“We had a meeting with the RAs and residents of Seth North, explaining the situation, and making it apparent that  they will be granted first access to new housing for the fall,” Alicandro said.

“I was definitely a little bummed when I first heard the news,” said junior Max Pieper, Seth North resident. “But it’s really nice that they would give us first choice of housing, and I plan on moving into James Hall with a few of my friends.”

“My main concern is that no one asked our opinion or for our input before making these plans,” said Simms Sonet, a Seth North resident. “I recognize the view points and understand the idea Residence Life has in making Seth North a freshmen dorm, but because they knew how close the community we built was and how much the dorm meant to us, it would have been nice to be asked how we would have felt about it first.”

“I feel like if its an all freshman dorm the students will be with other people their own age,” said Brian Gottier, a graduate student and former Seth North resident. “It will make things more comfortable for them when they are getting adjusted.”

As of now, the plan is a pilot that will be carefully assessed following each year.

“This is something new, so we plan to observe it diligently,” said Tordenti. “Based on history, however, we have no reason to believe it will be unsuccessful.”

The structured living environment of Seth North is expected to create comfort, enhanced learning and fun for incoming CCSU students. According to Tordenti: “Fun is never overrated.”

 

 

Kassondra Granata also contributed to this story.