Category Archives: News

Suspected Hate Crime on Campus Under Investigation

By Melissa Traynor

A letter from the University President Jack Miller was sent out yesterday, March 13, that indicated a suspected bias crime was committed March 6. 

According to a campus announcement email that was sent out via CCSU’s office of marketing and communications to all students, Miller wrote that a male Latino student was assaulted in the campus mall between Elihu Burritt Library and Copernicus Hall on March 6 around 2:30 a.m. 

“The assailants are described as ‘college-age white males’ who appeared to be intoxicated,” Miller wrote.

The letter also indicated that CCSU police are looking into the incident along with the campus office of diversity and equity and that a bias crime report has been filed.

“While this is as yet a suspected bias crime,” Miller wrote yesterday, “I want to say in the strongest terms that acts of racial and ethnic intolerance have no place on our campus, and this incident is being thoroughly investigated.”

Anyone with relevant information is encouraged to report it to the CCSU police (860.832.2375).

Career Services Office Remains Optimistic Despite Economic Downturn

By Matthew D’Annolfo / Special to The Recorder

Although the attitude of the Career Services office at CCSU remains very optimistic, the department cannot ignore the lingering effects of America’s struggling economy.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate has risen from 7.2 to 7.6 percent in the month January, placing the number of unemployed persons at 11.6 million.

Economic downturn and shocking unemployment statistics are concepts familiar to Patricia Deloy, the Director of Career Services & Cooperative Education at the university.

“It was frightening,” said Deloy. “We could feel it coming.”

Deloy explained how the struggling economy does far more than simply limit jobs for graduating seniors.

“I’ve lost very valuable contacts,” Deloy said. “My best resource at United Technologies was let go.” Along with the loss of contacts, the amount of alumni looking for job placement assistance is at an all-time high.

“This May will make twenty-five years for me (at CCSU),” said Deloy. “I’ve been surprised by the number of alumni coming back. I have one or two on my calendar every day.”

Although the economy has changed, Deloy and the rest of the Career Services office have not lost their passion for helping CCSU students.

“We always reach out,” Deloy said. “We remain active and student traffic is up.” Deloy said that the Career Center will always be busy, in one way or another.

In addition to the career center losing contacts due to massive corporate lay-offs, Deloy says the Career Center has had to become more active in recruiting contacts for job placement.

In the past, the career center never had an issue with its number of contacts. Now, in times of economic crisis, there are far more students seeking employment than recruiters seeking employees.

“In a good economy we find the employers are in need,” Deloy said. “In a poor economy we find the students are the ones in need.”

While Deloy openly admits that some students may have trouble finding certain jobs, she encourages students to remain positive and active.

“Get some experience related to your major while you’re still in school,” Deloy said. “Experience helps you get to know people and sets you aside from the pack.”

In addition to gaining experience, Deloy encouraged students at any age or stage of college education to take risks.

“Try something new,” Deloy said. “Find something you are interested in and break into it.”

While actual job interviews are important, Deloy suggests that students be active and schedule what she calls information interviews.

“Sit down and talk with someone who has the job you want,” Deloy said. “Find out what the job is like.” Deloy said that students should not be scared to schedule information interviews. “People love talking about themselves,” Deloy said jokingly.

Although the Career Services office provides a friendly and helpful atmosphere, Deloy has noticed students hiding behind the comfort and anonymity of online job placement Web sites.

Deloy isn’t sure if this trend is due to America’s economic state, or students furthering dependence of online resources.

In either situation, Deloy feels that in-person job inquiries are the way to go.

“Don’t lock yourself in a room with a computer,” Deloy said. “Use career services please: it’s what we are here for.”

Even in times of economic struggle, Deloy’s message to students seeking employment is a positive one.

“Employers are still hiring college grads,” she said. “Employers are still attending job fairs.”

Deloy feels that a student’s best bet for finding employment is starting their search early, rather than later.

“Your job search starts now,” Deloy said. “I don’t care if you’re a freshman or a senior.”

The Career Services & Cooperative Education office is located in Willard Hall, Room 100.

Conference Aims to Bridge Gap in Teaching Culture, Modern Languages

By Tonya Malinowski / Staff Editor

The Bridging Cultural Identities Conference filled the normally quiet Student Center with a symphony of foreign languages on Saturday.

The third annual conference was held at CCSU and was sponsored by the department of modern languages and the Office of Continuing Education. Together they brought more than 200 modern language teachers and professors from around the state to see 42 registered speakers.

“We are trying to offer professional development that integrates teaching of language and the importance of culture,” said Carmela Pesca, chair of the organization committee.

The event, with sessions offered in seven different languages, strove to educate state language teachers on how to use language and culture as one unit to enlighten students on world civilizations.

“World language is expressed through culture, and culture through language,” Pesca said. “The connection of the two is very important.”

Through a series of sessions on world travel, art, music and project ideas, teachers were encouraged to use innovative teaching techniques in the classroom and help keep modern language a core subject in American schools.

Steven Strange, a Spanish teacher at Rocky Hill High School whose session was on the use of music in the work of Miguel de Cervantes, believes that culture and modern languages need to be more prominent in public education.

“Language teachers need to be more proactive in helping keep language education in schools,” Strange said.

The “Connecticut Plan” for middle and high school reform, passed in November, encourages teachers to seek professional development and calls for staffing for additional sections of modern languages.

“We’ve taken a much more aggressive approach with community outreach and workforce development,” said Richard Cheney, associate director of continuing education. “It’s still just the beginning.”

With some presenters in traditional dress, and all with pictures and stories of travel to share, the conference brought a huge turnout. The registration fee of $25 before Feb. 15 or $40 after prevented the conference from being affected by budget cuts.

“The world is getting smaller all the time,” Strange said. “It’s more imperative than ever that students be able to communicate.”

Adderall More Than Just ADD Treatment

By Tonya Malinowski / Staff Writer

The wonder pill known as Adderall, which can be purchased for around $5 a pill on the street or around campus, is receiving a little more attention than simply as a treatment for Attention Deficit Disorder.

Adderall, or “kiddy coke”, is prescribed to treat ADD and Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, but as a prescribed form of amphetamine, it is rapidly growing in popularity among students.

“Adderall is probably the most common drug among college students that is never talked about,” said Dave Hugel, 24, who admitted he has taken the drug to help him study and stay alert for exams with minimal sleep.

Students have been known to crush up the pills and snort the powder for immediate effectiveness.

He is not alone. In 2005 the Society for the Study of Addiction to Alcohol and Other Drugs published a study that reported one-in-four college undergraduates in the Northeast have admitted to using the drug.

“We are seeing an increase in prescription drug abuse here for sure,” said Victoria Ginter, associate director of the Counseling and Wellness Center. “There is a huge shift in the accessibility of (Adderall) on campus than there was 15 years ago.”

Most students use Adderall without a prescription crush and snort the pill because the effects are stronger and more immediate. Ginter believes that there should be more education in the health and wellness classes on the dangers of self-medicating.

The Counseling and Wellness Center currently does not offer group or individual support on prescription drug abuse and instead refers students to outpatient rehabilitation programs.

“Students are really running a risk by taking drugs they know nothing about,” said Ginter. “I would be open to starting a group for people with prescription drug abuse problems.”

Originally used in diet drugs as an appetite suppressant, this drug is an amphetamine blend classified as a stimulant in the same category as Dexedrine and its predecessor, Ritalin. Possession without a prescription is punishable in Connecticut by a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.

“Adderall is so readily available because it is so over prescribed,” said Dave Engwall, graduate assistant at Natural Helpers. “The symptoms of ADD can often be symptoms of something else and a lot of kids are being overmedicated.”

The Federal Drug Administration warns amphetamines have a high risk of dependence if used for a prolonged period of time and lists insomnia, heart attack and severe social disability as side effects of extended use.

Despite this warning, Adderall is still the 34th most prescribed drug in the United States, according to the FDA.

Students agree Adderall is the most overlooked drug used on campus. Because of its ease of accessibility and seemingly harmless effects, the drug has gained a reputation as a miracle pill for the sleep-deprived.

“Not many people view it as a serious drug,” said senior Amanda Schultz. “They look at it as an equivalent to like, Tylenol.”

Snow Day: Decisions Behind Calling a Severe Weather Cancellation

By Kelly Gore / Special to The Recorder

Determining whether sever weather conditions are enough to cancel school has been an ongoing conversation this winter.

According to the National Weather Service, a total of 12.9 inches of snow fell last in January, making for dangerous conditions on the roads and for commuters.

“Unfortunately most of the problems come from the plows and conditions of the roads,” explained Dr. Mark McLaughlin, associate vice president of marketing and communications and the man behind the posting of cancellations. “We do honestly take into consideration people’s sense of what is safe.” McLaughlin and Dr. Richard Bachoo, CCSU’s chief administrative officer, are the tag team that monitor conditions and post conclusions about the weather conditions.

“Dr. Bachoo has the info, so he makes the call,” explained Dr. McLaughlin. “I go immediately to our Web site and post the info. Then I contact the police dispatch and tell them what Dr. Bachoo has decided and that information is put into a message for the media I contact.”

“If the National Weather Bureau is predicting something, Dr. Bachoo will monitor that and he will consult at about 4 a.m. with the state highway patrol and the department of transportation about the roads,” McLaughlin said.

He and Bachoo consult no later than 5 a.m. and a decision is posted on the web by 5:30 a.m. if a morning cancellation is determined. If conditions worsen after that a decision must be determined by 2 p.m.

“Sometimes unfortunately the conditions deteriorate far later into the afternoon and those are extraordinary circumstances and we’re governed by the situation,” explained McLaughlin. Although the best precautions are taken during a storm complaints naturally arise from faculty and commuters.

“My students are very communicative. There is occasional griping about school should have been canceled,” said Dr. Burlin Barr, English professor. “The cancellations this year have been okay, but the 2 p.m. deadline if the storm hits at 3 p.m. makes it a little bit hard. I let the winter weather advisories be my guide,” Barr said.

He explained he has a 55 -mile commute from Amherst, Mass. and he admits that during bad weather, he lets students go early so that he can get on the road as early as possible himself.

“I have been stuck on the road and I don’t want any of my students to risk their lives for one class of American Lit II, he said.”

Kim Dorfman, a lecturer in the English department who lives across from Davidson Hall, shares Barr’s sentiments. “I don’t want people to risk their lives. I have had good luck with snow and my classes,” Dorfman said.

“I haven’t had one cancellation due to weather in 9 years of teaching until that one Wednesday this semester.” She said she thinks the university does the best job it can and admits that she would prefer a cancellation during bad weather, “because most people wouldn’t show up anyways.”

Commuter Brian Oleksiw explained his attitude for caution. “Life is too short to worry about getting to class for one single hour; even an entire day of classes isn’t worth it, because if you’re dead you are not going to be finishing the semester anyway,” he said.

“People usually understand we’re making the best decision we can based on the information we collect.I’m very candid about complaints – we live in New England,” McLaughlin said.