Transfer Plans May be Unnecessary

Charles Desrochers / The Recorder

The Connecticut State University System announced on April 22 that it would put forth plans to ease the transition into higher education. 

The plan, according to the Hartford Courant, will focus on students who wish to transfer from community colleges and vocational schools by allowing them to be registered at their respective school and any of the four state university simultaneously.  

“There has never been a difficulty to transfer from vocational schools or community colleges,” said Dr. Cathryn Addy, President of Tunxis Community College. 

The agreement looks like it has the best of intentions but according to Dr. Addy, a seamless transition to the state universities has always been a main concern.  

“The plan shows a lack of information on what’s being done here,” said Dr. Addy.  “I’m not in favor of the alignment.”

According to Dr. Addy the plans intends to put the community colleges and the vocational schools under the same umbrella in reference to the state universities. She finds this concept to be disrespectful to the community colleges since it does not put them in the level of higher learning that they think they deserve.

Set aside the fact that transferring from vocational and community colleges is an easier process than transferring from anywhere else, Dr. Addy’s complaint brings up a good question.

This puts forth the question about where community colleges belong in standing. Should they  be lumped in with the vocational schools or are they to be treated more like a university?

Most students from Manchester Community College and Tunxis Community College transfer to any of the four state schools. The credits are the same and in some cases the professors are the same.

General education courses at Tunxis in the summer are significantly more affordable than at CCSU. If a student could always take these courses while attending CCSU, then what would have stopped them from doing so prior to the plans announcement?

The more Dr. Addy spoke of it, the less it seemed like this plan was needed. When asked why she thought the plan was proposed she responded by saying there were individual and political reasons, but would not elaborate further.

This plan may mean that outside sources will be affecting how these schools are run. They’re trying to fix an unbroken system.

What NOT to Ask: Consider these rules the next time a person of importance visits the campus.

Shauna Simeone / The Recorder

Recently, CCSU was lucky enough to be graced by the presence of one of CNN’s lead anchors, Anderson Cooper, here on campus. He emphasized that he wanted his speech to be more of a dialogue, so he left plenty of time for questions from the audience. For the people who were chosen to ask questions, this was probably the only time in their lives that they would have a chance to speak directly with him. Surprisingly, many of the questions asked by audience members were ridiculous or irrelevant. I have compiled a list of things that people should not do when they get to ask a famous person one special question.

 No long political diatribes

One particular audience member at the Anderson Cooper event decided to give a mini-speech on the fact that Henry Kissinger was a war criminal. The actual question he asked was lost in the midst of it all, and it ended up being a wasted stretch of speech. In 99 percent of the cases, any one-minute speech that you make to these speakers is not going to change their minds, so stop trying. 

No long-winded praises

It is understandable that you are excited to meet these people, and going on about how great they are may flatter their ego, but other people in the audience would like to hear some kind of thoughtful answer from them. Therefore you need to start asking a thoughtful question at least somewhere in the mix.

No irrelevant questions

Prominent speakers may be experts in certain fields, but this does not make them qualified to give advice in every area of life. For example, Cooper heard a sad story about a woman who has been unemployed for a while and wanted some advice. Cooper responded with something along the lines of, “I don’t know what to tell you. Keep working hard”.

Again, what made you think that Cooper would have some brilliant advice on how to help you find a job? Try and keep your questions relevant to the speaker’s expertise, so they can possibly give a legitimate answer.

No “gotcha” questions

Occasionally you will come across an audience member who has uncovered an obscure and unknown fact that contradicts something that the speaker has said. They proceed to tell the fact and then say something like “how do you explain that?!”. Honestly, give these speakers a break. They have to answer on the spot in front of a large group of people. They probably don’t feel like getting into a heated debate to prove you wrong or argue with you. You can guarantee that these types of questions always bring along an awkward moment for everyone.

No abnormally long questions

There is one in every audience; that one person who loves to hear themselves talk. In these cases, the questions never seem to turn out as well as expected. Either, the point of the question was lost somewhere along the way, or the whole 45-second prelude to the question was completely irrelevant and a waste of time for everyone listening. Please, save some time for other people. Just get to the point and everyone will be happy.

Hopefully, the next time the CCSU community and hundreds of fascinated local residents face the opportunity to speak to someone of stature, be it the President of the United States or one of your personal idols, you keep in mind these points of advice. Asking a good question can really help add to a memorable moment.

Mezvinsky Says Goodbye After 42 Years with CCSU

Matt Kiernan / The Recorder

Marking the end of a 42-year run at CCSU, Dr. Norton Mezvinsky delivered a farewell lecture and heartfelt goodbye last Monday.

An audience of fellow scholars and professors, students and friends surrounded the history professor as he told of his beginning at the university and some of his proudest achievements during his work at CCSU.

Mezvinsky, who will leave to direct the Institute for Middle East Studies at Georgetown University, looked back on his tenure and pupils happily.

“I like the students or at least most of them that I’ve had the privilege of teaching,” remarked during his speech.

Mezvinsky is an accomplished author and scholar who has focused his career on on the teachings and studies of the subjects of Judaism, American history and the Middle East. These, he said, are the most rewarding of subjects for himself and the topics he found to be interesting even from a young age.

The lecture was opened with an introduction by associate professor of history Dr. Matthew Warshauer who credited Mezvinsky with his own interest in history.

“If it wasn’t for Norton Mezvinsky, I probably wouldn’t have taken the path that lead me here today,” said Warshauer who attended CCSU for his bachelor’s degree and so happened to take a history class with Mezvinsky during his undergraduate studies.

At the goodbye ceremony Mezvinsky was awarded with the honor of being given his own eponymous scholarship, which will be offered to students studying abroad or working in Washington D.C.

Mezvinsky discussed his first teaching opportunities at CCSU. When Mezvinsky joined the faculty at CCSU in 1967, he was living in New York City and was quite happy with his living situations there.

He planned to spend his time teaching within the city at the City College of New York, but was later introduced to the CCSU campus. After being brought to CCSU and offered a job in teaching by university President Herbert Welte, Mezvinsky gave CCSU a chance.

Although he originally planned to live in New York City, commute to CCSU and later land a job teaching elsewhere, Mezvinsky was so thrilled with his job at CCSU that he decided to stay.

He said he knew that he didn’t have to worry about being academically stifled and had developed friendships with colleagues.

In recent years, Mezvinsky’s proudest achievement has been the formation of the Middle East lecture series that brings scholars the subject to CCSU to discuss the problems and issues with events occurring in the Middle East.

He hopes to continue the series for years to come and if asked is willing to help bring friends and scholars to campus to speak.

During his speech, Mezvinsky also looked to his past to recall events that occurred on campus and what was most memorable to him.

He remembered and spoke of his first year at Central where there was a debate on Vietnam and if R.O.T.C. should be supported on campus, which Mezvinsky spoke openly against.

He wishes CCSU to not become state-man controlled for Connecticut and wishes the university to have shared government within.

“We need to emphasize the value of having scholars on the faculty and scholarship,” said Mezvinsky.

He also suggested that the CSU system add faculty members to the Board of Trustees.

For people in positions of government power, he described a leader as being someone with integrity and being an educator. He said that humility is lacking in many of today’s current political leaders.

Controversial Activist Speaks at Central

Tonya Malinowski / The Recorder

Student demonstrators gathered outside of Davidson Hall Monday afternoon to protest political activist and philosopher Lyndon LaRouche.

Mostly members of the Youth for Socialist Action protestors were armed with comic book-style fliers depicting LaRouche as “a small-time Hitler”.

LaRouche spoke as part of the CCSU Middle East lecture series. This particular event, unlike the rest of the series, was funded personally by CCSU professor Norton Mezvinsky.

“I know some sharply negative attacks are being targeted at LaRouche here on campus,” Mezvinsky said. “The material being handed out is, at best, problematic factually, and some of it just downright false.”

LaRouche has run in eight presidential campaigns since 1976, has written extensively on political and economic topics, and directs a political action committee.

“I talked to some of [the protestors] and they have no idea what his real ideals are,” LaRouche Political Action Committee member Alex Allen said. “If you are going to come protest something, there should be some substance behind it.”

The YSA refused to comment.

Despite being part of a series of speakers on the Middle East, LaRouche’s lecture focused mostly on his criticism of America’s political inadequacy and inevitable failure. He mostly discussed Obama’s need for “adult supervision”.

“I am greatly worried about this president. I think he’s cuckoo at this point,” LaRouche said. “He cannot think for himself. He’s a puppet, and the only way he won’t fail is if the cabinet can keep him in captivity.”

LaRouche said the United States has been rapidly deteriorating since the Roosevelt administration and claims the cure is something similar to Hitler’s economic stimulus after coming to power in 1923 and “saving the country from depression”.

LaRouche faced a hostile crowd during the Q and A session after his lecture. Many in the crowd were unhappy with his characterization of Obama as a puppet. LaRouche answered questions by reiterating his beliefs about the American economic system being doomed.

While touching on the subject of the Middle East conflict, LaRouche said the problem is rooted in the fact that there is nothing there worth fighting over.

“I’m angered at my own people, like fools, who kill each other over things not even worth fighting for,” LaRouche said.

“We have to promote the welfare of the other nation as much, if not more, than our own.”

CCSU Speaks Out On Textbook Sales Tax

Shauna Simeone / The Recorder

Connecticut legislators are considering repealing a law that exempts student textbooks from being charged with the 6 percent sales tax.

The newly added tax will affect nearly every college student across the state. 

Jack O’Leary, manager at the CCSU bookstore, feels that repealing this law could create problems.

“CCSU was instrumental in removing the tax on textbooks in the first place,” he said.

He believes that lawmakers are forgetting the original reasons for creating the law, which were to support the education system and help to make college a little more affordable for students.

O’Leary’s advice for the campus community is to “be proactive and write to your legislator” regarding the issue. 

Students, too, are concerned about the new law. Tim Waldron ’10, said is considering other options aside from buying books.

“Textbooks are expensive enough as it is. I might consider not even buying them next semester,” he said.

This type of attitude is worrisome to some faculty such as physics and earth science professor Dr. Steven B. Newman.

“Not having the text can adversely affect their grade, especially if they are not particularly good note-takers, or miss some classes,” he said.

With the repeal of the exemption law, faculty and students will both have to make an effort to keep the cost down for students. Many students hope that teachers will use old editions of the texts to keep down costs. 

Chemistry professor Dr. Thomas Burkholder said that the science departments have some of the most expensive books on campus.

“Keep in mind that in some areas of chemistry the market for texts is small, which drives up the cost,” Burkholder said.

He also commented on the fact that science is a constantly growing field with new information coming in all the time.

“In some areas such as biochemistry, the material is still being actively updated so the textbooks have to be updated more frequently,” he said.

Newman concurred with this statement, and said he typically does not use old editions of the text because of the fact that they are being constantly updated.

Due to difficulties of using old versions of textbooks, students are required to buy expensive versions of the new books.

“Students have a hard time affording their books already,” he said and added that the extra cost of the “sales tax just makes it that much more difficult.

The college community seems uneasy about the sales tax being added on to textbooks.

“Textbooks are already overpriced and this new law is basically taxing education,” O’Leary said.

Entrepreneur Imparts Life Lessons to Students

Matt Kiernan / The Recorder

43folders.com creator Merlin Mann came to campus to help students figure out what they need to focus on to be successful in their personal and professional lives.

“I think we have to find the problems that we’re comfortable with solving rather than the problems that aren’t there,” said Mann. Mann said that teachers can help students get on the right track, but they can’t help students figure out what they want to do in life. It’s up to the students to figure that out.

“I remember feeling a pressure to do certain things a certain kind of way,” said Mann on his time spent growing up.

He went on to say that there are a lot of opportunities out there for people to do interesting things with their life.

Mann told a story of how a college friend of his had known he wanted to be a lawyer since a very young age and one day became a lawyer and ended up hating it. He said that what you want to do and be today may change over time and that it’s normal for it to happen.

He went on to say that college is just the beginning of the rest of your life and that as you go on life will become increasingly more weird and exciting. 

“I don’t think you’re really going to learn anything until you’ve gotten your butt kicked,” said Mann.

The workshop aimed at helping students find jobs was lead by digital humanities student Alex Jarvis. Jarvis said that instead of focusing on making video games. He wanted to concentrate on how video games make people feel and that he’s fine with the possibility of changing his mind down the road of what he wants to do with his life.

Mann recalled being in junior high school and his class spinning a vocational wheel for finding what jobs there are and what they do. He hopes that instead of people focusing on the one thing they’re good at, they’ll think about things that freak them out and ask themselves why it freaks them out.

“Anything that has high value in your life will come from an awesome decision and a cool person,” said Mann. 

The term networking is one that Mann shuns, but thinks the idea of making connections with other people to progress in life is one of the most important things students can do to succeed in getting a job.

In another part of the workshops, Mann talked about controlling the amount of e-mails a person receives in their inbox and how to maintain it. Keeping your inbox closer to having zero e-mails will make your life much easier instead of having to worry about sifting through e-mails like it’s a second job.

Mann described attention management as when a person spends their time on things that are important.

Much of a person’s day in the workforce can be wasted on going through e-mails that are unnecessary. 

“E-mail is a medium for moving something from one place to another,” said Mann.

He went on to say that it’s not a place to hang out and that it needs to be emptied like a normal mailbox.

Mann thinks that if a person has the time to check their e-mail, they have the time to make a decision on what they want to do with it.

Anderson’s Edge

Melissa Traynor and  Charles Desrochers / The Recorder

Anderson Cooper is proud of the fact that he has learned to out-hustle colleagues and overwork himself to get ahead.

Despite his outward modesty and shyness in regards to giving his full-fledged opinion on issues other than himself, the “Anderson Cooper 360º” host exuded a confidence in what he does and how he does it.

He fully acknowledges the idea that perseverance and dedication, and especially his commitment to working weekends and holidays, have made him the anchor and reporter he is today.

At first rescheduling his Vance Lecture Series appearance due to work and original scheduling conflicts, Cooper spent the day on campus last Friday and concluded it with airing “360º” live from Willard Hall’s TV studio.

Between touring the campus, first in a meeting with President Jack Miller, then on to a more intimate question and answer session with students, a dinner and a lecture, Cooper allowed glimpses of the dedicated journalist who is otherwise recognized as one of America’s media darlings.

During the informal Q&A in Founders Hall, he answered mostly typical questions. In the same way that Dan Rather spoke candidly about his beginnings in radio during his Vance lecture in 2007, Cooper’s answers ranged from retelling his experiences in the field to his work habits.

His career sprouted from a general interest in war and a fascination with being on the other side of the lines – the generally unsafe side of the lines. Since he was young, he was interested in learning about the military and happened to read about war correspondence in Vietnam in college (Yale University).

While he reflected on his college years as political science major, a term he joked often about and admitted that he still hasn’t completely figured out, he credited his college education with learning exactly what he didn’t want to do.

“I didn’t want to stay in school any longer. Going to graduate school because I didn’t know what I wanted to do – as a fall back – didn’t appeal to me at the time,” he said.

His path or whatever prescribed plan was still working itself out.

“At the time I felt like I was flailing around in the dark,” Cooper said. He explained that not only does he see that despite whatever his initial reservation of confusion was, he understands that his path up until this point is very clear.

“What I think I learned in college is that you should make choices based on what your gut tells you and what your interest is now,” he said. “And if you do that, you’ll be doing something that you’re passionate about… and you’ll be successful at it.”

Hosting his “360º” on weeknights, Cooper’s Monday-though-Friday week belong to CNN, but he spends his weekends “60 Minutes” for CBS. He explained that he doesn’t really take weekends or holidays.

Advising that passion is the key to success, Cooper was able to draw from his own experiences working double shifts, into weekends and through lunch breaks.

“And that’s the only way to succeed,” he said, “by out-hustling and out-working everyone else around you.”

Looking back on his work with the news agency Channel One, Cooper said he took that determination with him when he decided to push his way into covering war with a forged press pass and limited protection.

Somalia is where he learned how to be a reporter, he said, and then spent the next two and a half years jumping from one war to another, including the Rwanda genocide in 1994 – an event he frequently remarked upon throughout the day.

Starting off as a reporter for the Channel One, Cooper said that his days covering wars beginning in Burma were spent traveling through war zones and looking for the opportunity to just happen upon a story where he could find one. He didn’t speak as though stories were too hard to find.

Cooper told stories of his early travels in Somalia, to which he credited a sharpened sense of self-protection and caution. Though, in between his quirky tales of “growing up reporter”, Cooper hinted at the massive tragedy and destruction that he has spent much of his career covering.

During his stay in Somalia, he hired a roaming band of gunmen for protection, for lack of other options. This story garnered a good amount of laughs from the small audience in Founders.

“They were my protectors, but I was actually more scared of them than anyone else,” he said.

“One day we were at a burial ground where about a hundred people were dying of famine every day in this town, so they were just mass burying people.”

“We were at this burial ground waiting for some bodies to come and I suddenly realized, ‘why don’t these guys just shoot me and dump my body in a pit and walk away and take whatever I have?’” he continued.

“So I kept coming up with all of these stories about all my journalist friends who were going to be coming on the next couple of flights,” he said.

Since then, he said, he’s enjoyed much more sophisticated and heavier protection as major media companies have hired private protection and afforded the expense of armored vehicles.

While it’s not so today, Cooper said he was able to wander around the city of Sarajevo in Bosnia looking for stories. He faced the occasional mortar shell or shooters, but was never specifically targeted as a journalist before.

“You never know how you’re going to react when someone takes out a gun and starts shooting, or when you’re in the midst of a mob and there’s a chaotic situation,” Cooper said, and added that luckily he was often able to operate well under pressure.

Treasurer of the Robert Vance Foundation Edward Young commented on Cooper’s audacity.

“[I’m amazed by] the fact that he’s gone behind the lines and done some pretty hands-on stuff on the battlefield,” he said. “It really amazes me when reporters put their own personal safety at risk for their minor duties.”

Cooper said that when he returns home to the States, his stay often feels boring and inactive. It makes regular life appear very dull upon return.

“When you’re on the front lines, when you’re in a conflict zone, it’s like the air hums,” he said. “You feel alive.”

He said that war zones, where he is frequently exposed to scenes of literal life and death, can not help but mark a different world and mentality than that at home.

Conversation often drifted towards the line between sensationalistic reporting and how journalism can accurately reflect the emotion involved in the moment. Cooper is often asked about his methods for keeping that emotion secure.

“I tend to focus on people, real people in circumstances that are out of their control,” he said. “For me the objective is to allow those people’s emotions to just come out and that you do that by just getting out of the way and not injecting yourself in.”

Cooper often emphasized the importance of objective and not volunteering any opinions, which is what at least some of Friday’s night audience showed up for.

“The impression I have of him is that he is generally objective, well-informed and alert,” said Ray Andrews a CCSU alumnus who was invited to attend the Vance Lecture dinner.

Cooper does, however, believe in the importance of being personally impacted by the stories he covers. Or else it would make him more susceptible to the common plight of unaffected journalists in keeping themselves completely detached from their subjects.

“And it’s a hard thing because when you’re out there the more you see of human suffering, the more you see of war and tragedies associated with it, the harder it is to allow yourself to be affected by it,” Cooper explained.

He stressed that while he is certainly affected by the scenes of horror he has witnessed, he acknowledges it as normal.

“You end up miserable a lot of times or sad or whatever based on what you’re seeing depending on where you are and that’s okay,” he said. “You’re supposed to be sad at least some of the time.”

Throughout the day, Cooper couldn’t help but reflect on his experiences as a reporter during civil war or ethnic cleansing, rape, famine, disease and the general hostilities and dangers associated with war. A cause he made a special point of, at least several times on Friday, was the conflict in Zaire, or what is known as the Congo.

He often reminded the audience that the conflicts are escalating to the point where they cannot be ignored. Cooper expressed without overwhelming sorrow the individual tales of rape in the region, where villains take pleasure in publicly humiliating and disfiguring women as young as 3 and beyond 85 years old.

It is one particular area he is interested in covering because he believes that even though the viewer demand for it is low, news agencies have a responsibility to tell these people’s stories.

Known for his experiences in reporting on Hurricane Katrina, Cooper also took time to acknowledge the great amounts of hope and desolation he saw in New Orleans.

“I’ve seen a lot of bodies out of the streets, but to see them in the United States was something very different,” he said.

On the flipside, he easily turned the depressed state of the flooded city into a reason to believe that hope exists.

“In the wake of the tsunami we saw complete strangers literally reaching out and saving other strangers,” Cooper said. “In the streets on New Orleans we saw tremendous acts and in the three and a half years since the storm we see tens of thousands of college students going down to New Orleans and volunteering their time instead of taking spring break somewhere fun.”

While Cooper’s “emo journalism” has been criticized, it is a great command of his emotions and sensibility that attracted more than a few of Friday’s audience members to his lecture and his CNN program.

Bryce McKinzie ’12 praised him for his level-headedness despite his chaotic surroundings and his ability to draw in otherwise uninterested viewers.

“They might be watching because of Anderson cooper but they’re actually listening to what he says,” McKinzie said.


With Schillaci, NEC Title Hopes Return

Christopher Boulay / Asst. Sports Editor

CCSU baseball outfielder Jay Schillaci has returned for the spring season, and his dream of winning an NEC title have returned as well.

Schillaci, a senior, was forced to sit last season because of what he calls “school issues”. Now, back on the team and resuming his regular position as a staple in the outfield, Schillaci has not missed a start this season.

“It was pretty tough. Last year I went to some of the games, and it was both sad and depressing for me.” Schillaci said. “In my mind, I always wanted to come back.”

Schillaci, who was named to the NEC All-Tournament Team in both 2006 and 2007, believes that this is the best chance for CCSU Baseball to win the NEC Title.

“This year, we have a good shot. The NEC Title is why I came back,” he said. “A title is a great way to go out.”

The outfielder has been key to both the offensive and defensive play of the Blue Devils throughout his career, and currently has a .967 fielding percentage.

Schillaci’s road to being a regular starter at CCSU began when he was in high school in Pennsylvania at McKeesport Area High School.

“I remember in high school watching the NCAA Tournament where Pittsburgh played CCSU. I didn’t even know where CCSU was located. Who knew that I would end up there?”

Schillaci was a two-year letterman at McKeesport, and he also was All-Section/All-League. He played on the American Legion All-Pennsylvania team as well. At CCSU, he hit .319 in 2006, .344 in 2007 and is currently hitting .303 this year.

“When I first came in, it was hard. It was a completely different life, especially being eight hours from home,” Schillaci said. “It has been a lot of fun. There have been a lot of ups and downs, but a lot more ups.”

Schillaci is optimistic this year to win the NEC Title, not because of the talent level, but because of the tight-knit atmosphere that the team has built for the season.

“We have a lot of clutch hitters,” Schillaci said. “Everyone picks each other up. We are a lot closer in the group, no arguments or fights. We have the same goal in mind, and that is to win it all.”

Though Schillaci returned to many familiar faces this season, he admitted the adjustment was a little difficult.

“It is tough because I wasn’t [at CCSU] in the fall. I knew all the guys, but it was so weird at first,” he said. “I feel really confident. We started off slow, but we have a [six game] win streak right now. We are starting to gel and we have to keep up momentum.” 

That momentum could be seen in full-force during last weekend’s four game sweep of the Long Island Blackbirds in Brooklyn, N.Y. The Blue Devil offense crushed the Blackbirds, outscoring them 44-17 over the four games.

Schillaci was a large part of that offensive juggernaut, tallying seven hits in 14 at bats while scoring seven runs. The senior also crushed two home runs and drove in eight. He is now has four home runs on the season and is tied for the team lead in with teammates Casey Walko and Richie Tri. 

CCSU is currently 20-12 overall and 10-5 in the NEC. They lead the conference by .5 game over Mount St. Mary’s.

Dorau The [Sports] Explorer: Sporting Events Lack Forum Befitting National Anthem

Kyle Dorau / Sports Editor

As my beloved Boston Bruins were in the process of ending the Montreal Canadiens’ hundredth anniversary season last week, Habs fans were loudly booing the American national anthem before game three.

Initially enraged, I realized that not only were they well within their rights to boo it, but why should they show respect for what has become merely a pointless sideshow?

“The Star-Spangled Banner” is a beautiful song that truly represents what the United States of America is all about. 

When performed right, in can bring a tear to the eye of many. It can also be a coping mechanism, best evidenced in times of national tragedy or duress. We protect most other national treasures, why should the anthem of our country be any different?

So when we let disc jockeys and three-year-olds sing it, we’re actually doing a disservice to the anthem, as well as our country. 

Playing the song at sporting events just doesn’t make sense anymore.  Shirtless Vinny in the fifteenth row is double fisting beers and banging on a cowbell. Crowds chant out specific syllables or words that match their favorite team’s nickname. The starters for each team have their hats or helmets back on and are pacing around before the song is even close to finished. And let’s not forget my personal favorite, the moron who yells “WHOO!” right in the middle of it.

Obviously there are specific times in which playing the anthem would be appropriate: National holidays, international competitions involving true amateurs, and in times of extreme circumstance or tragedy. The mood has to fit.

Professionals making millions just doesn’t seem to inspire that type of mood.  Conversely, based upon my experience working in sports, I don’t think most college athletes are ready for the responsibility of treating the anthem with respect.

Additionally, most fans prefer to keep their sports and politics quite separate. I’m quite sure some of the boo-birds in the crowd at the Bell Centre in Montreal were booing simply from a politically motivated standpoint. While they certainly have the right to their free speech, there really is nothing more pathetic than that half-hearted kind of gesture. 

Instead of booing the anthem at a sporting event, why not do something worthwhile instead of attend the game? Translate that hatred into some sort of positive activism and make a difference instead of getting your face painted the hometown team’s colors and cheering minutes later. 

It also seems as if every anthem singer I see thinks they’re on “American Idol”, trying to put their own spin on it and drag it out to maximize their recognition. The end result is a performance far closer to those of Carl Lewis and Roseanne Barr than the classic Whitney Houston rendition from Super Bowl XXV.

I am well aware of the fact that people have gone to war and died for our right to attend such events. My brother is in the Air Force and my grandfather was a ball turret gunner in World War II. It’s not that the anthem isn’t good enough to be played at sporting events, in fact it’s quite the contrary. 

The atmosphere at sporting events are not nearly respectful enough of the anthem itself. Until we as a society are ready for the privilege of hearing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at sporting events, it should be taken away.

CCSU Duo Signed by Professional Soccer Club

Christopher Boulay / Asst. Sports Editor

Midfielder Yan Klukowski and defender David Tyrie, both staples in the CCSU men’s soccer team starting lineups for the past four years have been signed by the Western Massachusetts Pioneers to season-long contracts.

The Pioneers, a United Soccer League Division Two club, belong to the third level of the United States Soccer Pyramid below the MLS and USL-1.

The contracts last until the end of August and will continue if the Pioneers make the playoffs.

Tyrie, a Norwich-Norfolk, England native, was the 2007 NEC Defensive Player of the Year and All-NEC First Team member.

“It is very pleasing to sign with the club,” Tyrie said. “It is a real bonus to sign with the Pioneers and to play with Yan again. After playing with him for four years, it is great to get an extra season to play [together].”

Klukowski, a Wiltshire, England native, was the former CCSU men’s soccer captain, as well as a member of the All-NEC Second Team and NSCAA/Adidas All-North Atlantic Region First team, was thrilled with the chance to fulfill a childhood dream of playing professional soccer.

“Ever since I started playing soccer, it has been a goal to play professionally,” said Klukowski.

Klukowski had a chance to trial with the Pioneers during their match against CCSU on April 8, a match that the Blue Devils won, 3-2.

 But both Klukowski and Tyrie praised the CCSU coaches for helping develop them as players during their tenures with the Blue Devils.

“I want to thank Shaun for the opportunity to play here. It was the best four soccer years of my life. I have been to great places across America, namely Niagara Falls and reaching the Sweet Sixteen [in the NCAA Soccer Tournament],” Klukowski said. “I also want to thank Paul Wright. His enthusiasm is second to none.”

“I want to thank Shaun, Paul and Christian Benjamin. They helped us get the opportunities we have today,” Tyrie said.

Klukowski is also excited about the proximity of the Pioneers, which will allow him to partake in other soccer-related activities, namely coaching.

“In the summer months, I can do coaching. I can help kids in the community, which is what I like to do,” he said.

Tyrie and Klukowski are part of a long line of former CCSU players that have gone on to play professional soccer.

“There have been some great players that have made an impact on the pro level,” Klukowski said, “I am looking forward to hard work and to push my game even further.”

“It will be nice to play in the professional ranks and take it to the next level,” Tyrie said.

Though Klukowski praised the quality of CCSU’s soccer program and its newfound success at at both the conference and national level.

“The program has grown each year, and that is how it should develop,” Klukowski said. “I am wishing all the best of luck to the team and I will be coming back.”

Both players were also selected to play in the New England Intercollegiate Soccer League Senior All-Star Game at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. on May 2.

The Pioneers opened their season on the road in Harrisburg, Penn. against the Harrisburg City Islanders.

Klukowski and Tyrie will be graduating in May.