Are Students Voting This Year?

By Sandra Aggrey

With Barack Obama winning the majority of student votes back in 2008, many are left wondering if the young population will carry as much weight in this year’s presidential election.

It is no secret that students are often criticised over their lack of interest in all things politics, so it was a surprise to many when studies showed that the number of students who voted in the last election had been higher than ever. With issues such as financial aid, tuition fees and youth unemployment being more prevalent than ever, will the young once again vote in their masses to get their voices heard?

CCSU student, Karen Jenson who was one of the majority that voted for Obama in 2008 ,explained why this year will be a different story for her. “I have a legal inability to vote this year. It’s unfortunate because neither me or my family live in Middletown town any more and I kind of missed the ball when it came to switching my voter registration to New Britain because of school work.”

The 25-year-old went on to explain that her vote would’ve alternatively been casted elsewhere if she were able to vote. “I would’ve voted 3rd party because I don’t particularly like the Democrats or Republicans or the policies they stand for. I feel like Obama has done some things I would agree with but he’s also not done things that I feel he should have.”

Issues with practicality seemed to be a running theme when it came to whether students at CCSU voted this year or not. 24-year-old Azrielle Steele, who is registered in her home town of Greenwhich, said it was too far for her to make a trip back home to vote.

“I would’ve voted for Obama and I feel that he will once again get the studentvote because he actually cares and wouldn’t take away tuition like Romney.” She went on to add, “I’m both excited and scared for the results, scared because Romney might win and that won’t be good for the country and especially young people.”

19-year old-student Amanda Keator also stated that her reason for not voting was down to lack of time. “I’m registered to vote in my home town of Milford but I didn’t manage to vote today because I had a lot of much school work. To be honest I haven’t been able to pay as much attention as I should’ve because I’m always busy doing something, if I’m not working, I’m doing extracurricular activities.”

Keator still maintains that she would’ve voted for Obama. “I think students will also mostly vote for him because from what I believe he’s advocating for lower tuition so it gives students with less money more opportunity.”

However, New Haven resident Amber Reed  made the intentional decision not to vote. “I didn’t register because this year I don’t agree with the candidates that we have to choose from,” she clarified.

“I feel like with Mitt Romney everybody only sees him as this rich white guy that’s another Bush and with Obama nobody’s going to respect him because he tries so hard to do all these things to help the economy but people are  just focused on things like his birth certificate and they just don’t respect him. Both candidates won’t be respected either way so their policies just aren’t going to be passed or they’re going to pass the wrong policies to impress the right people.”

A Political Rollercoaster

By Spencer Brickney,

Special To The Recorder 

You know those moments before a date arrives? That period in time when the tension is unbearable and the rushing in your ears is deafening? That is the best way I can describe the first half hour being at the Andrew Roraback headquarters. And like many  dates, everything seems to go so well until everything starts to go downhill.

Located at the Backstage bar in Torrington, CT, the majority of those in attendance were members of the media, with the few supports lounging in the bar area. Music blasts through the dining area, which is an odd sound accompanying the cavalcade of news cameras and reports set up on one end of the room. No one showed any interest in the blaring tunes that bombarded their ears, as they patiently waited for the first poll results to come in.

Brian Mattiello, the campaign manager of Mr. Roraback, took the stage positioned across from the TV cameras. By this point, a couple dozen supports had arrived and waited on baited breath for information. He informed the nervous crowd that he will be announcing the calls as they come in, and asks everyone to have a good time. This does nothing to ease the manic nervousness of the group.

Not long afterwards, the first polls came in, and Roraback held the lead. The tension releases out of the room like air from a balloon as everyone started to enjoy themselves. Food is served and drinks are plentiful as people began to mingle with each other. Like in any situation with alcohol, everyone quickly loosened up and started to have fun, and it seemed to be unanimous that no one really wanted to talk about politics. “the time for speeches have come and gone”, says Chuck Coury, a long time supporter of Roraback, “people can relax here now, have a good time, its informal, it’s not a sit down dinner, its people walking around, drinking a beverage, laughing and talking about stories, having a good time.”

Oddly enough, Roraback made no appearance while polls were being read. Sources say that he was at a nearby location with his family, watching the results privately.

The first several poll announcements were for Roraback, and with each victory, comes more celebration. After each, Mattiello offered presidential trivia for the chance to win a lottery ticket. I can proudly say that I won one with the “shortest president”, who was James Madison (I said John Madison, but that’ll be our little secret.). Sadly, I didn’t win anything that night, just like half of the candidates across the country tonight.

The festivities quickly dampened, though, as Esty’s first victory was announced, and it was a major one. She won New Britain by over 9,000 votes. It was the first chink in the armor of the Roraback camp, and it could be felt throughout the restaurant.

Everyone attempted to stay optimistic, but the next poll is what sent the entire event into “mourning a loss” territory. Etsy won Waterbury by another 9,000 votes, and the large lead Roraback once had started to turn into a razor thin margin.

As the night grew late, the festivities kept winding down, even though the race continued to heat up. At about 10:30 p.m, half the crowd left the headquarters, waiting to see the results in the morning. With each new update, the lead grew smaller and smaller for Roraback, and eventually turned into an uphill battle. The night that was once filled with smiles and hope had turned into looks of sadness and disappointment (it did not help that they never stopped blaring every inspirational song from the 1980’s throughout).

They called it at midnight. The election that at one point seemed certain had now become a lost dream. Roraback made his first appearance of the night around 12:30, taking the stage while “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey played in the background. He made sure to thank all of his supporters and staff, and made it clear what his campaign represented.

“Our candidacy has been about trying to convince the people of Connecticut that the solutions to the problems our country faces are going to require finding solutions that unite us”, Roraback stated, “Lets hope they [President Obama and the house of representatives] will begin to focus on solutions that unite us as a people…they need to put the nations interest in front of their partisan interest if we are going to solve the enormous problems we are facing”. The speech was an emotional affair, with several supporters in the crowd crying.

And just like that, the event was over. Roraback left the stage, and the few people remaining, mostly the press, quickly shuffled out of the building. Even after the crowd had been enveloped back into the cold darkness outside, there still lingered a feeling within the now deserted headquarters. A sense of sadness and mourning, an imprint in the walls, left by the dozens of hopeful supporters who left that night disappointed.

When Should Your Personal Life Be Made Public?

The whole country is talking about David Petraeus and the recent events that led to his resignation.

In not so original fashion, Petraeus became one of many public figures that has been caught having extramarital affairs. To name a few, there’s Bill Clinton and John F. Kennedy. America is no stranger to cheating men.

The interesting question is whether or not our country is handling these situations properly. In general, these men that are caught are shunned from society. They are publicly humiliated and forced to leave their respective position. While marriage is a sacred thing and in all fairness anyone who cheats on his or her spouse deserves humiliation, do they really need to step down from their duties?

If every man that ever cheated on their wife left his job then the unemployment rate would skyrocket. But why is it so important when a public official cheats that he resigns?

The answer that is most plausible is that the country tries to save face. What kind of society would we be if we allowed unfaithful men to keep their highly respected positions? The answer is a rational one.

The idea that Petraeus must step down from his CIA director position really has no merit behind it. Patraeus served the United States military for over 37 years, ending as a 4 star general who oversaw all alliance forces in Iraq as the 10th Commander, U.S. Central Command and Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq. His accomplishments and accolades are too numerous to list in a weekly editorial, and cover his chest almost entirely in uniform. Patraeus had been a refreshing realist during his time in Iraq, careful to make the distinction between victory and progress, and carried out his job with a sense of humanity that is often overlooked. He served the U.S. as Director of the CIA beginning in early 2011 and did so with the same work ethic and attention he showed the Army.

Given all that Patraeus has done for the nation, and even some would say the world, can we say that it is in the U.S.’s best interest to have him step down from the CIA? He did send in his own resignation to President Obama, but under immense pressure and scrutiny, not to mention what was said behind closed doors in the Pentagon and White House that we will never hear.

Our society needs to ask itself if one’s personal life should really have as much bearing as it does on their profession. Does the fact that Patraeus cheated on his wife influence his ability to direct the CIA? No.

Yet every time a public figure is involved in some sort of scandal the first reaction from the public is that he should step down or be fired. What Patraeus did was clearly wrong. But his punishment should solely be dictated by his wife. If she chooses to divorce him then that’s her business. If she decides to stand by him as Hilary Clinton did then, again, it’s her decision.

It isn’t in this country’s best interest to get involved with the intricate details of every public official’s personal life, that’s why it’s called personal. If we continue to force overly qualified officials to relinquish their title, we face the risk of the replacements we are left with failing to fill their shoes, all in the name of an intact marriage.

Editor’s Column: Veterans Day Is Everyday

By Kassondra Granata

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”

On November 11, 1919 U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Veterans Day and seven years later on June 4, 1986, the U.S. Congress issued a resolution that on this particular day, there would be appropriate ceremonies to honor those who fought to keep our country safe.

Veterans Day, also referred to Armistice Day, has been acclaimed since the end of World War I to honor those who lost their lives during the war. Ever since elementary school, I have attended different memorial ceremonies, parades, and other events such as salutes at military cemeteries to honor our soldiers.

On Sunday, different media feeds such as Facebook and Twitter were swarmed with different statuses commemorating veterans and current soldiers for their hard work and valor. After sifting through a dozen, I stumbled on a couple statements made from another journalist I met last year at a conference in Seattle.

He put: “Ummm why are we thanking Veteran’s today for their service? Shouldn’t we do that everyday? Come on peeps.”

Seeing this sprung a memory dated back to fourth grade. I was sitting in my classroom, and my teacher told the class that we would not have school because of Veterans Day. After she explained to one of my classmates what the significance of the holiday was, I rose my hand and asked why they aren’t remembered everyday, and only one specific day.

I proposed the argument, even at age eight, that soldiers don’t think of us only once a year. They think about us back at home and our safety every day. So it would only be fair to them if those back at home did the same.

According to the Reporter Times, while the east coast was still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard posted themselves nearly 3,000 miles to assist their fellow Americans. The Navy sent large-deck ships off the shores of New York and New Jersey, where Marines, soldiers and Coast Guardsmen were busy rescuing storm victims, rebuilding ravaged areas and providing food and fuel.

This example, aside from the obstruction that they face on a day-to-day basis overseas, is one of the main reasons as to why we should be thankful for their services. These soldiers, young and old, put their lives on hold to do what they deem honorable for their country.

Three weeks ago, I spent the weekend in Newport with my close friends from high school. In front of a restaurant, there were two men outside, in uniform, waiting for their table to be called. These two men claimed simple “hello,” and a “thank you for serving us” from our group made their night 100 percent better than it was before. They were appreciative.

I am not saying that veterans and current soldiers are not appreciative that there is a national holiday set to pay homage to their service. What I am pressing is that take some time throughout your day to think about how privileged you are to be able to walk the streets safely, to have the divine right to voice your opinion. Remember their sacrifice everyday. They are warriors and lionhearted and care for this country more than their own lives. They do not fight because they hate what is in front of them, but they fight because they love what is behind them.

Football Suffers Another Loss To Bulldogs

By Matthew Aveni

With the Central Connecticut Blue Devils having a very forgettable season, they suffered another home loss Saturday on Senior Day.  With a closely contested battle Central fell 28-25 to the Bryant Bulldogs.  With the loss, the Blue Devils are (2-7) on the season (2-4 in the NEC).

The Blue Devils were once again led by sophomore runningback Rob Hollomon, who once again rushed for over 100 yards.  Hollomon has been a catalyst for this Blue Devil team all year.  One of the positive aspects of this game was that quarterback Andrew Clements played very consistently from the start to finish.

The Blue Devils gave up a quick score to the Bulldogs with a 34-yard-pass from quarterback Mike Westerhaus to wide receiver Jordan Harris.  The Blue Devils responded quickly by moving the ball down field and scoring on a field goal by Juan Duque.  After a quick three and out by the Bulldogs, Central struck again.  Andrew Clements hit Denzell Jones in stride in the corner of the end zone to give the Blue Devils their first lead of the game.

“We had great offensive flow in the first half,” said senior wide receiver Deven Baker.

Central brought their lead to 10 points when Clements again threw a touchdown pass to Scott Benzing. This was Benzing’s first career touchdown.  Right before the half was over Bryant quarterback Westerhaus hit his tightend for a touchdown to cut the Blue Devil lead down to three at half.

The second half was all Bryant. They quickly scored two straight touchdowns to make the score 28-17 in favor of Bryant.

“We weren’t giving the same amount of energy as we were in the beginning of the game,” said Baker.

The momentum seemed to swing right towards Bryant and the Blue Devils could not put together a scoring drive.

In the fourth quarter the Blue Devil defense had its rhythm back and was stopping the Bryant offense. However, Clements and the offense could not catch their rhythm until the end of the fourth quarter.  Clement hooked up with Devin Baker for a eighty-five yard touchdown.

The touchdown was not enough, with a failed onside kick attempted the Bryant Bulldogs ran the clock out and took the victory.  With the Blue Devils making mistakes on both sides of the ball, Central Head Coach Jeff McInerney placed most of the blame on himself.

“The players did their best to win this game. It was my fault,” said McInerney.

This was after the Blue Devils went for it on fourth down in their redzone when they could have taken the three points with the fieldgoal.  Another play that was called into question was when McInerney called for a trick play and quarterback Nick SanGiacomo was hurt after making the catch.

Even placing the blame solely himself, McInerney described the importance of having a game like this.

“We all learn everyday, I have coached many games in my career and each time I learn something new and so do my players. We can take this loss and learn something from every snap,” said McInerney.

With the loss the Blue Devils fall to 2-7 with a game versus Albany next Saturday.

One thing is for sure, McInerney puts his whole heart into this team and school saying, “I love this team and I love this school, and we will get better.”