Category Archives: Opinion

Can It Be Next Spring Already?

by Angela Fortuna

Being Editor-in-Chief for The Recorder at Central Connecticut State University is a position I have worked year after year to attain. And now, this goal has become a reality.

When I first found out the summer of my freshman year that I would be attending Central, I was not really motivated. I had every intention to go to school at Hofstra University in Long Island, where the journalism school was huge and the department was full of students competing to make their mark. Unfortunately, funds played a big role in which school I would attend, so Central was the better option for me.

Weeks after the fall semester of 2016 started, I had already started writing for The Recorder and becoming involved in other campus media organizations. Little did I know that the school in which I decided to attend really did not make an impact on my ability to get involved in what I love to do.

The tight-knit community of CCSU Journalism definitely played a big role in my ability to excel in and out of the classroom. The experiences I have faced and mistakes I have made along the way have shaped me into the person I am today, and I would not have it any other way.

Looking back at the decision I made the summer before my freshman year, I am very happy that I chose Central and that I made the decision to get involved early on in my college career.

Although I may be young, I know that I can bring a lot to The Recorder. I have been interested in journalism since the eighth grade and have been active in my high school’s newspaper and weekly broadcast production since the beginning of ninth grade. Since I started so early on, I am confident that I know a lot about journalism and can use my experiences and skills to lead others interested in writing for the school newspaper.

Writing for The Recorder and acting as News Editor this semester has provided me with many chances to report on important milestones in CCSU history, such as the re-election of New Britain Mayor Erin Stewart, the progressions through the Connecticut state budget, the Student Government Association, an alleged kidnapping near Central and more.

The Recorder has given me a platform to communicate and report on news essential to readers on campus and around the world.

I have every intention of working to continue to make The Recorder great, to enforce great journalism and to work together.

Reporting isn’t just about relaying information, it’s about understanding what is going on in society today and telling a story to spread awareness of important issues.

I plan to continue to make mistakes and expand my knowledge as a journalist, because that’s what learning is all about.

I am excited to see where this next year takes me, and what opportunities will come my way.

Live, love, the free press.

What Has Happened To The NFL?

by Tyler Roaix

For years, the National Football League was booming. It became everyone’s favorite sport. They were making billions of dollars every year. Everyone was happy.

And then, in a matter of a year or so, everything changed. Aaron Hernandez happened. This led to further discovery of CTE and football’s effect on the brain. Colin Kaepernick started his protests, and a lot of people decided, for some reason, that it wasn’t okay.

And now you have the Cowboys, who have decided to wage war on the NFL. Ezekiel Elliot gets suspended for six games and he decides to spend all year fighting it. Now he has backed down, is now serving his suspension, and “America’s Team” can’t muster up any offense.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tried to make a case that he is bigger than NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, threatening to sue the league if the other owners move forward with Goodell’s contract extension, which reportedly includes a close-to $50 million, the use of a private jet and health insurance for life.

But Jones has backed off of his fight recently, further proving that the league has been become a dictatorship, run by Goodell. The players and owners simply serve Goodell’s will.

The fact that Jones needs to face is that someone like Goodell is the perfect league commissioner. Why? Because he makes the owners a lot of money. The new TV deal he orchestrated a few years ago made the league and owners millions. That is just one small example of the profitability of the Goodell-era.

But when you tell businessmen, as all the owners are, that you can make them “x-amount” of dollars, they will only ask for more.

That is what the NFL has become; a bunch of wealthy, money-hungry businessmen that could not care less about the quality of play their teams put out on the field. When they see Colin Kaepernick, they don’t see a quality quarterback with more talent than half of the starting quarterbacks on active rosters. They see someone who “disgraces the country” and drives NFL ratings down.

Perhaps it’s more disgraceful that the only reason the NFL actually does the national anthem before games is because the U.S. Military pays them a ton of money to do so. Maybe the league and it’s owners should look in the mirror before blaming their own problems on everyone else, especially their own players.

To be blunt, the NFL is imploding on itself. Players are revolting. Owners are pretending like they have a say. Goodell is imposing his will upon the entire league. NBA owner Mark Cuban said in 2014 that “the NFL would fall apart in 10 years.”

Frankly, the once-strong NFL is way ahead of schedule. If Goodell and the owners don’t get a handle on their league soon, the league as we know it will be history.

 

Dear Media: Stop Grouping all Sexual Harassment Accusations Together

by Kristina Vakhman

I have to start this piece off by saying that there is no excuse for what Harvey Weinstein did. There is also no excuse for what Louis C.K. did. Or for what Charlie Rose did. You get the gist; the list goes on and on.

The #MeToo movement has unmasked these monsters. It is safe to assume that more of them will be revealed in the near future, too. Hiding in plain sight, some of these allegedly perverse beasts were people I considered role models before their horrendous actions were divulged from underneath their televised personas, like Rose, whose journalistic contributions I admired.

It is refreshing to now be in-the-know about those I used to look up to—to now have to rethink whose work I want to emanate when I graduate as a professional journalist. It is immeasurably crucial, especially in this line of work, to be informed. I am thus grateful to those who have spoken up.

However, as amazing as it is to see men and women gather the courage to voice their disturbing accounts, casting aside their fears to take down—with the help of good journalism—the predators who targeted them, one thing continues to bother me. This irksome feeling especially came to fruition when The Washington Post pictured two photos side-by-side: one of Senator Al Franken and the other of Alabama senatorial candidate, Roy Moore.

At the time this opinion was written, four women have come forward alleging Franken groped them without their consent. Again, there are no defenses to be made for this sort of behavior, especially when it comes to a political figure who has participated in drafting legislation to protect victims of sexual assault. The hypocrisy, if these allegations are true, is painfully hysterical.

In Moore’s case, nine women have accused him of sexual harassment. There is a stark difference, though, between Franken’s situation and Moore’s: while Franken’s delinquencies were limited to groping, Moore’s sexual misconduct crossed the line into pedophilic territory.

When he was a district attorney in Alabama, Moore allegedly sexually assaulted teenage girls as young as 14 years old. He went so far as to supposedly tell victim Beverly Young Nelson—who was 16 when Moore purportedly forced himself upon her in his car, grabbing her crotch and trying to force her face between his legs after giving her a ride home—not to speak about what had transpired between them because no one would believe her anyway.

Bias and political affiliation aside, there is a clear distinction in severity of crime between groping an adult woman and pursuing sexual relations with defenseless minors.

When The Washington Post published a side-by-side of these two cases, they executed a false equivalency. When other media outlets issue unnecessary comparisons between the circumstances surrounding the accusations against Franken and Moore, they send a sense of false equivalency as well. Equalizing Franken and Moore tries the crimes in a duplicate manner when they are enormously at variance; while both men’s actions are inexcusable, they are not the same.

It does not matter what the initial intention behind these works is; most readers unfortunately only digest the headline and its corresponding photo(s), not bothering to read the adjacent article that can be accessed with an extra tap or click. Consequently, the fallacious equity then pools in readers’ minds.

This malpractice is a symptom of sensationalism: these serious instances of sexual misconduct are overhyped as different outlets compete to outdo each other in viewership and subscriptions. The news is a business; there is the constant pressure to be the first organization to publish a story and to be the one with the most customers. The truth is manipulated along the way, either by the published works themselves or by the consumers who twist the facts and give the lies lives of their own.

Sensationalism will not stop in the news media, not even if it means people’s abilities to differentiate the austerity of two separate cases will be distorted or that pedophilia is placed on the same level as groping—the latter, by the way, is incredibly dangerous, as it trivializes how seriously demented pursuing sexual encounters with minors is.

You can put Weinstein and C.K. and Rose in the same basket. However, Franken does not compare to them, nor does he come close to Moore and his pedophilic promiscuity. The media needs to stop making it seem like Franken—and those like him—are the same.

What Franken did was wrong, but not a disrobing-and-kissing-and-fondling-a-14-year-old level of wrong.

Sexual Harassment Should Not Be The New Normal

Over the past month, dozens of women have come out of the dark to voice their tragic stories of sexual abuse by their powerful male counterparts in the workplace.

The #MeToo campaign on Twitter that started at the end of October encouraged women from not only the United States, but all over the world to come forward and share their stories.

The victims come from all walks of life, from famous Hollywood actresses to everyday women.

One of the biggest sex abuse scandals that came to light recently involves Harvey Weinstein, an American film producer who sparked the campaign after multiple women accused him of sexual assault. 

Stories of abuse closer to home have also been coming out. Breanna Stewart, a member of the University of Connecticut basketball team, shared her story on Twitter about being molested as a child.

Stewart is only one of the hundreds of American athletes who have undergone abuse.

U.S. Olympic gymnasts Aly Raisman and McKayla Maroney also came forward with allegations that their doctors had sexually abused them while they were in training.

What is heartbreaking is the fact that women, whether in the workforce or not, even have to deal with abuse from their male counterparts.

What is worse is that these incidents are often downplayed.

There is no doubt that Weinstein essentially ignored the 57 women who accused him of sexual misconduct, ultimately making matters worse not only for himself, but for the victims as well.

Weinstein is not the only man to downplay allegations made against him.

President Donald Trump has also written off the statements at least 12 women have made saying that he had molested them in past years.

A 2005 Access Hollywood video was leaked last year before the presidential election, where Trump talked about how he feels “entitled.”

Trump downplayed his remarks by saying it was “lockerroom talk,” and denied he had ever kissed or groped women without consent, according to CNN.

Trump denied the allegations, saying that the women were “liars.”

The claims of sexual harassment against Weinstein can be seen as similar to that of Bill Cosby: after one victim shares their experience, more victims seem to come out and share theirs with the public.

Cosby has been accused of drugging and sexually harassing dozens of women, many of which testified against him during his trial. The Cosby trial was declared a mistrial back in June, according to U.S. News. No new information has been provided since then.

People like Weinstein and Cosby have allegedly committed acts that are unforgivable. If people do not come forward and share personal experiences of sexual harassment, then these offenders will never realize what they are doing is wrong and no justice will be served.

Speaking out about personal sexual harassment experiences can be a long and difficult process; however, it can be rewarding.

If a person affected by sexual harassment does not speak up about it, there is no way in knowing if that person will ever harass others. Keeping quiet about traumatizing events can cause mental instability for some people, like post traumatic stress disorder.

CSCU Actions Speaks Louder Then Words To Support DACA

by Cindy Pena

Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, along with other institutions nationwide, are challenging the possible elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals by signing on to an amicus brief that supports the lawsuit filed by the University of California against the Trump administration.

The lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security claims the actions to rescind DACA are not abiding the constitutional rights of the university and students.

CSCU and the University of Connecticut signed on to support the lawsuit because they believe the elimination of DACA will hurt students and campuses by forcing them to leave, according to UConn Today.

“The fundamental responsibility of a public education institution is to foster learning, innovation and strong communities to any student willing to put in the work to learn and achieve. We have and will continue to fight for DACA students in our CSCU community,” Mark Ojakian, president of the CSCU system, said in a written statement.

So what does this pledge by CSCU mean to the students at Central Connecticut State University?

At CCSU, there are students under DACA. This pledge gives these students a sense of security. It shows that, although not everyone may be on your side, CSCU and CCSU is.

CCSU has hosted many events in support of these students and their families who are on verge of deportation. For example, a rally was held shortly after the announcement of the ending of DACA.

The rally held by the student organization, CHANGE, aimed to support and raise awareness on the undocumented community on campus and around the U.S. by sharing stories of DACA recipients and students whose parents are facing deportation.

During the rally, Ojakian and CCSU President Dr. Zulma Toro publicly expressed their support to these students.

“How is what is happening in Washington humane? How is telling people one day, maybe in a tweet to begin with, that they are no longer welcomed in the country that they call home? That they are going to be forced, perhaps, to leave our country, to give up their education, to give up their jobs and go back to places that they never lived before. How is that humane?” Ojakian asked. “The stronger we can come together, the better we can make sure that what is being proposed does not happen.”

“Let me tell you with no hesitation that you have my full support,” Toro said at the rally.

Making that public proclamation by telling these students that they are welcomed at CCSU, despite their legal status, is a major step towards change.

Further, by taking the legal action and signing on to the amicus brief shows that Ojakian’s proclamation of support in the rally and those written statements were not just words, they were the beginning of future actions.

Although the future of DACA is not certain, we can hope by these important figures standing up for the undocumented community, it can prompt legislative change on the federal level and fix the broken immigration system.