Conference Focuses on Global Sustainability

Matt Kiernan / News Editor

The second annual Global Environmental Sustainability Symposium brought together professors, scientists and heads of environmental organizations to discuss how people can help keep their planet a cleaner place to live.

The event ran for two days at different centers around campus and was hosted by assistant professor of geography Dr. Charles Button.

He held panel discussions, visits from various specialists on the subjects of global warming and environmental sustainability and exhibitions among other things.

“We need to look for any opportunity we can to make a difference,” said Senator Chris Dodd of Connecticut.

Senator Dodd stopped by to give a speech and discuss with members of the audience ways to use renewable energy and the importance of people being informed that global warming is an issue that must be addressed.

He said that better housing and land use will save households thousands of dollars each year and that addressing environmental problems will give everyone a once in a generation chance for change.

“This ought to be a no-brainer for us to move aggressively,” said Dodd.

A town hall meeting with Danielle Rosengarten of the Environmental Legislative Counsel for Senator Joe Lieberman, CT Climate Coalition and Campaign Director Roger Smith and CCSU Chief Administration Officer Dr. Richard Bachoo talked about how students and members of the community can help their environment.

“Doing things that help aren’t necessarily uncomfortable to people, but a mindset,” said Bachoo. Bachoo discussed how often people are hesitant towards helping their environment because of not caring enough and that helping doesn’t create much discomfort for people.

“The problem is we can’t do this just as Connecticut, we need to do this at a national level,” said Smith.

Smith said that money should be used towards ways of renewable energy rather than areas such as the coal industry for new innovations that may not necessarily work.

A panel discussion with toxicologist and author Dr. Gary Ginsberg, Head of Education and Outreach for the Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History David Heiser, Director of Reforest the Tropics, Inc. Dr. Herster Barres and Chair of Windsor Environmental Subcomittee for Chamber of Commerce John Waiveris spoke about daily activities people can participate in to help out.

“Our choices as consumers tell us that we need the newest, best things out there,” said Heiser. Often people walk through aisles in stores and find themselves buying things that they don’t need, but want anyways and don’t take into consideration the health hazards of using the products.

A Circus for a Fragile Planet, a display in Welte Auditorium, featured acrobatics, juggling and featured clowns that interpreted life and death from environmental problems. An artistic performance by the group Neutralize Our Waste used theater to discuss the consequences and what people should do to create change.

An art exhibition is open for viewing until April 24 in Maloney Hall that features paintings and other art that examines environmental problems to show people the problems the world faces.

NHL Playoff Preview

Carmine Vetrano / Special to The Recorder

The end of the regular season in the NHL is the most exciting time for hockey fans and other sport fans because it means only one thing. We get to embrace the Stanley Cup Playoffs.  The 82 game schedule is finally done and now the remaining 16 teams only have to win 16 games to earn the most prized trophy in all of sports, the Stanley Cup.  Here are my first round predictions for both the Eastern and Western conference.

East
Boston vs. Montreal – The Boston Bruins seem to be cursed when facing the Canadiens in the playoffs, but Boston is way beyond Montreal this year. The Bruins are all-around better than Montreal and have the scoring, defense and goalie to pull this series out. Canadiens goalie Carey Price is not having the season they expected of him, and I think that he will be the Achilles heel for them. Boston is the top seed for a reason and will win this series. Boston in 5

Washington vs. New York Rangers- The Rangers snuck into the playoffs with big wins toward the end of the season. New York needs their top guns to come out in Chris Drury, Scott Gomez and Nik Antropov if they want to move on to the next round. Washington, like Montreal, does not have the goaltending to make them as dangerous in these playoffs. Alex the great cant do it all by himself. Rangers in 6

Carolina vs. New Jersey- The Devils did not have future hall of fame goaltender Martin Brodeur for most of the season, but still found ways to win. Devils forward Zach Parise lights the lamp with help from guys like Jamie Lagenbrunner and Travis Zajac. With a playoff hungry Brodeur, the Devils can be dangerous. Carolina rides the offense of Eric Staal, and if goalie Cam Ward plays the way he did in 2006, Carolina can be just as dangerous. I like Carolina just for the fact that the Devils defense has been non-existent down the stretch.  Carolina in 7

Pittsburgh vs Philadelphia- The battle of Pennsylvania was not a likely matchup midway through the season. However, the beauty of hockey draws these two rivals together in a first round matchup. Both of these teams have great offense and goaltending, but it comes down to two men. No, not Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin; Flyers forwards Jeff Carter and Daniel Briere. If these two are clicking Philadelphia should have no problem dispatching the flightless birds.  Philly in 6

West
San Jose vs. Anaheim- San Jose just wrapped up the President’s Trophy for the first time in team history, and should be the team to beat in the West. They have the key ingredients to win it all with their scoring and goaltending. Anaheim squeaked their way into the last playoff spot with solid play in the last couple of games and should play San Jose tough. The Sharks are just too good though, and should take this series.  San Jose in 5

Detroit vs. Columbus- This is bittersweet for Columbus fans. Their team makes the playoffs for the first time in franchise history, and they draw the defending Stanley Cup champions in the first round. We all know how good Detroit is with Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsuyk, but Columbus does have soon to be Rookie of the Year goalie Steve Mason. Detroit is too much for Columbus to handle, though.  Detroit in 5

Vancouver vs. St. Louis- Who would have thought of St. Louis to jump into the playoffs based on their early season performance? The Blues went from cellar-dweller to 6th in a blink of an eye. With the way they are playing combined with forwards David Backes and the return of Paul Kariya, St. Louis can make this series interesting. Vancouver has star goalie Roberto Luongo and the Sedin twins though, which should carry them through a tougher test than expected.  Vancouver in 6

Chicago vs. Calgary- Chicago makes the playoffs for the first time since 2002 and can thank the pair of Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane for that. Calgary has an X-factor goalie in Miikka Kiprusoff who can take his team on his back and carry them for several rounds. Jarome Iginla and newly arrived Oli Jokinen help Calgary move on as well.  Calgary in 7.

Stanley Cup Finals: Vancouver over Boston in 7.

Other staff picks:

Sports Editor Kyle Dorau:

Boston over Montreal in 5

Washington over New York in 6

New Jersey over Carolina in 4

Philadelphia over Pittsburgh in 6

Anaheim over San Jose in 7

Detroit over Columbus in 6

Vancouver over St. Louis in 5

Chicago over Calgary in 5

Stanley Cup Finals:

Boston over Detroit in 6

Asst. Entertainment Editor Michael Walsh:

Boston over Montreal in 6

New York over Washington in 7

Carolina over New Jersey in 6

Pittsburgh over Philadelphia in 6

San Jose over Anaheim in 6,

Detroit  over Columbus in 5,

St. Louis over Vancouver in 7,

Chicago over Calgary in 7

Stanley Cup Finals

San Jose over New York in 6

Party Starters’ Gift to Central Connecticut

Charles Desrochers / Asst. Lifestyles Editor

Hartford has never been accused of having nightlife. What little bars there are cater to a crowd that enjoys Bud Light

But for the kind of people who think Nickelback suck, a good concert normally means driving to New Haven. 

Out of this frustration and a love for their city, Neil Brewer, Ben Grippo and Patrick Kennedy, a.k.a. DJ Party Time, established The Hartford Party Starters Union. 

The HPSU is a nonprofit group that organizes and promotes concerts for a niche that isn’t being catered to in the state’s capitol.  

“The whole thing and the whole interest in this is a reaction to what I see as a tremendous amount of shitty stuff,” Brewer said. 

This calling didn’t come overnight to the three friends.  Brewer, a CCSU ’08 graduate who works for the Mayor of Hartford, explained that it all started a year ago when he had a surplus of “I Love Hartford” buttons that were normally given to legislators to sway municipal funding.

So with nearly 200 extra buttons, he started handing them out to people he would see when he, Kennedy and Grippo would go out. 

“People were really hot for these pins,” said Brewer. “People were like, ‘Where are those pins? I need those pins. My mom wants those pins!’” 

From this, they were surprised to find that a lot of people were interested in Hartford. So they made more T-shirts and buttons as well as a logo that resembles Hartford’s seal for their official group.

At a New Years Eve party the trio threw their first official party as the HPSU.

Since then the HPSU has been gaining popularity and snow balling.

“We specialize in Guerilla house parties,” said Grippo, whose tattoos wrap his arms and lay under his collar like a necklace made of red stars.

Grippo and Brewer spoke about one house party in particular when the second floor apartment was packed from wall to wall. They easily credited Internet promotion for the outstanding attendance and said that people arrived from as far away as Willimantic, Conn.

“It was scary, you could feel the floor moving and the people were shoulder to shoulder. I was staying out of the room because I thought we were going to end up downstairs. But it was a great time,” said Grippo. 

The Hartford Party Starters Union isn’t in it for the money. After making an initial investment of about $200 each, the three haven’t seen one dime in return. Every dollar made by The HPSU goes towards planning and executing the next show. 

Each one is meant to be bigger than the next. Always attempting to outdo themselves, they have moved from basements to apartments to actual venues. Their next planned show is April 25, featuring The Death Set and Ninjasonik at The Warehouse in Hartford.

“We had picked them because we saw them in New York and just thought that they were awesome. They just rocked the party,” Brewer said of The Death Set.

Some of the highly stylized flyers can be seen on campus cosrkboards. Emphasis was put on the design in response to the perceived lack of effort put into flyers that are routinely stuck under windshield wipers.

Grippo remembered when he was young that bands’ flyers were more of an art than the usual promotions seen on car windows today. He remembers lining his wall from floor to ceiling with all his favorite bands. That added focus on design, he said, is something that he thinks will attract more people to the HPSU flyers. 

Despite wanting to plan bigger shows, they say they don’t choose bands on popularity. The bands are chosen on how much fun the audience is in for and the performance value.

 They expressed they want the HPSU to be a name someone can trust when they can blindly go into the night knowing they will have a good time. 

For the most part the trio is having fun in their new hobby. They could care less whether or not the “brand” of the Hartford Party Starter Union survives. What they want to last is the idea the HPSU represents – that Hartford can be fun again.

Catching Up with Brian Haas of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey

Michael Walsh / Asst. Entertainment Editor

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey has always been about exploring new boundaries and evolution. 2009, the group’s 15th anniversary, marks a new date in change for the abstract jazz group that is unlike anything you’ve ever heard before. In January, the new quartet, whose new album Winterwood is available free at www.jfjo.com, made its live debut in New York City at the Winter Jazzfest. In anticipation of the group’s show on April 18 at The Main Pub in Manchester I had the chance to speak with Jacob Fred’s only founding member still remaining, pianist Brian Haas, about new musical directions, where the unique sound came from and why he and the band are playing the best music of their lives

Michael Walsh: You’ve got two new albums, Winterwood with Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey and one solo titled Petting Sounds, and you went digital with both and you went free with both, what were the reasons behind those tactics?

 Brian Haas: Well you know it’s our 15th anniversary and we’ve been doing this for a really long time and have so much appreciation for our fans who have stuck with us for 15 years and who keep turning on other people to our music and our fans are the lifeblood of the band. Our fans turn just as many people on to Jacob Fred as we do. So basically the concept behind Winterwood and Petting Sounds was to give our fans a gift. But then it also has a double intention because we know that free music obviously is going to turn a lot more people on to our music and it definitely has. It has completely expanded our fan mail list. We’ve way over doubled our fan mail list in a little over a month. In addition to it being a gift to our fans it’s also in my opinion some really smart capitalism.

MW: In a follow-up to what you said to give back to the fans and reach new fans, did any of the reasons have to do with the economy?

BH: Oh absolutely, just the state of the music business with CD sales way down, digital downloads way down, that definitely influenced our capitalism for sure. When you’ve been doing this for 15 years like I have, you’ve seen the music business change so much in a short amount of time. It’s a constant challenge and it’s a constant goal to try to engage in creative capitalism and to try to do new things to gather new people listening to your new music.

MW: Now you guys are an ever-evolving band, you always change, so was there a different approach to the new album at all?

BH: Winterwood was a super unique record for us because we recorded it basically all at once with a few exceptions. We didn’t really do a lot of add-ons. We did tons of recording all at once and then spent about nine months after that actually refitting everything and reconfigurating and remixing and adding effects and stuff like that. It was different in that it was a super short recording process within a very long production process.

MW: How about you as a personal musician with your solo stuff? How does your personal approach separate you from others in the genre?

BH: Well I come from the Midwest, I come from Oklahoma, and I just have a really different take and language that I play on the piano. I definitely think there are a lot of young jazz pianists today that have certain things in common. I just feel like my voice is unique to me. I feel the same about a lot of the really great guys that are in my generation. You can always tell that it’s them. I can always tell when I’m listening to Jason Moran, I can always tell when I’m listening to Ethan Iverson, I can always tell when I’m listening to John Medeski. I feel like a lot of the people that are rising to the top right now in my generation are people like me that have really unique voices on the instrument.

MW: So do you have any inspirations that led to the unique voice you have?

BH: One of my main inspirations for the last year has definitely been the symphonies of Beethoven. It’s something we’ve been working on a lot. I definitely feel that my solo piano record Petting Sounds came out of all the work we had been doing on Beethoven’s third and sixth symphonies. I just feel like it’s an ambient approach to something that is so classical in nature. I sort of feel like that’s been one of my biggest influences for the pasts year. Not just the third and sixth, the ones we’re working on, but really all of them.

MW: This year you debuted a new lineup with Josh Raymer, Chris Combs and Matt Hayes. Did you know them previously?

BH: Josh Raymer has been with the band for about three and a half years, Chris Combs has been with the band since the beginning of last year and then Matt Hayes has been with the band since the end of the last year but yeah at the New York City Winter Jazzfest in January we debuted the new quartet. But in a lot of ways like I said Raymer had been with the band for three and a half years and then Combs started last year and Hayes started last year as well, so it’s something that was a long time in the making and all of these guys are younger than I am and they all grew up listening to my music. They were all listening to my music in late middle school and early high school. It’s something that was really gradual from my perspective but seemed really natural as well.

 MW: So it was a new experience for you? Because Reed Mathis left the band and he had been with you since you guys started.

BH: Reed and I were the last two original members. I think I saw a list online somewhere, I think the band has had like sixteen or seventeen members in 15 years or so.

 MW: Yeah Wikipedia has a huge list of guys that have been in the band. I know they’ve been around for a few years now but how does the new lineup compare to other formations and do Raymer, Combs and Hayes bring new things to the table that might help expand your music?

BH: Absolutely. I feel like Reed and I and just the trio for the last few years haven’t really been playing the best music of our lives. I feel like it’s been a little more inconsistent with the trio and I just feel like there’s a lot more consistency now and a lot more passion and just a lot more connectivity in a way. It’s kind of hard to put into words but I definitely feel like the band is sounding better than it has ever sounded. If I didn’t feel like that I don’t think I’d be touring it I’d probably hang out in Tulsa and rehearse a lot to get it sounding to a point where it’s sounding at least as good but I definitely feel like Jacob Fred is playing the best music it has ever played in the life of the band.

MW: Did Reed leave because it was just time for a change?

 BH: Oh yeah it was a real gradual, natural and organic thing. We had been in the process of moving that way for about four years. It might have looked sudden from the outside but from the inside it was something that was so natural and so easy. It was a very mutual thing. He didn’t really leave and he wasn’t really fired. It was kind of a mutual psychic experience that happened on one day. I was sending some text messages and he was sending an email and we were just on the same page at the same time. It was almost boring. There really wasn’t that much to do it. There wasn’t really any drama and there wasn’t really any discussion. It was just time to move forward. I really feel like we’ve grown apart musically and personally and I think that’s really natural. I think we all do that with all of our friends and loved ones and husbands and wives. It just seemed like a real, slow gradual process that just seemed really easy and natural.

MW: I guess that’s the way you want it to happen if it’s got to happen.

BH: Oh yeah I mean was so ready. I was ready for that day.

MW: You’ve played with a lot of different artists and have opened for a lot of different artists like Les Claypool who is one of my personal favorites, so I was wondering if any of them stand out to you for any reason?

BH: I was even lucky enough to play in his band for five shows.

MW: Oh yeah, which band was that?

 BH: Well Skerik couldn’t make some shows so it would have been the Frog Brigade. Skerik missed like five shows.

MW: Do you know Skerik well?

 BH: Oh yeah he’s one of my best friends.

MW: I’ve seen videos of him recording on some Les Claypool tracks and he seems to be one of the funniest and coolest guys around.

BH: Yeah Skerik has one of the best personalities of anybody in the business. He’s super unique and super positive and he’s just a total genius. Skerik couldn’t make five gigs and Les Claypool just said well then who can be Skerik and he was like oh it’s going to have to be Brian Haas. I play piano and Skerik plays sax so it was pretty interesting so I just played with lots of effects. I mean in some ways everybody is my hero. It just depends on what night I might hear them. You know what I mean? Sometimes I might hear somebody and they just blow my mind and change my life and then I might go and hear that same band two weeks and it does nothing for me. I think the reason my music keeps at such a rapid rate and I keep evolving at such a rapid rate is because I’m really non-judgmental and I’m really open to a wide variety of styles and textures in everything that’s going on around me.

MW: You said you have a vast taste in music and you always like different things. JFJO has covered songs from artists like Bjork and Jimi Hendrix and Neil Young, so does that all play into it?

BH: Oh absolutely, I mean that record (The Sameness of the Difference) was specifically this genius producer’s idea because he had been hearing us play a lot and he didn’t understand our music until he heard us playing jazz standards. So then he said hey why don’t you do jazz standards and then a bunch of other standards and do contemporary standards. And we were like oh cool we’ve been wanting to play this song we’ve been wanting to play that song, so it really turned out a lot better than we thought. But we’re working on some of the music off of Vampire Weekend’s new record. I do consider what we do to be within the jazz idiom and I’m proud to be apart of a jazz band but at the same time just because we’re a jazz band doesn’t mean we’re limited by any genre or anything. I know it’s really trendy in this day and age to say no it’s not a jazz band don’t put a genre on me well you know I’m proud that I play in a jazz band and what I’m doing is furthering something that was started in America. At the same time I don’t want to be limited by it. We just stay really, really open to all different styles of music and it’s just cause we genuinely love all those different styles. When I was a kid all I listened to was classical music. I didn’t even discover Hendrix until I was 16 years old, so it’s the kind of thing where I had a really great background in music and grew up playing music from basically age two on and got to be exposed to lots of music and I pretty much just love all music. If you’re making music it’s definitely better than making bombs and pharmaceuticals.

MW: You guys have been touring pretty much the whole United States this year. What has gone well and what can fans expect if they come out to one of your shows this year?

BH: Definitely some of the most unique jazz they’ve ever heard in their lives. The new band is super influenced by the Tulsa sound. The Tulsa sound is characterized by artists like Leon Russell, JJ Cale, and early Eric Clapton when he was living in Tulsa in the early 70’s. Our jazz just has a really strong Americana twang to it in a lot of ways. Our guitarist Chris Combs, he only plays guitar on maybe one or two songs, he mostly plays lap steel the entire night. And then Matt Hayes plays upright bass and he plays double bass. He only plays acoustic bass he never plays electric. I just think it’s some of the easiest music you could ever try to listen to. It’s challenging spiritually but sonically it’s really easy to listen to. 

MW: What does the band have on the horizon after this tour?

 BH: We go back to Europe in November. We are touring the entire year. We’ve already done the west coast once. We’re about to do the Midwest and east coast. We’re looking forward to that. It’s going to be a four and a half week run. We’re on the road all of June. We’re doing a festival at the beginning of June and then two nights in Kansas City and then we jump across to San Francisco and two nights in Berkeley and then we jump back to Colorado and we do five nights there. Then we’re home for a second and then we play one of the biggest festivals in the Midwest which is called Diversifest which is actually in Tulsa. Last year almost 100,000 people showed up. We just have a really, really busy year. In August we’ll return to the west coast again and then October is east coast and November is Europe so the year is pretty much plotted out.

MW: Yeah you seem busy but it should be fun for you guys.

 BH: Absolutely, I love all the guys I’m playing with. It’s like effortless. Two of the guys are 23, one of them is 25 and I’m 35. All these guys grew up listening to my music so in some ways they actually speak the language better than I do. 

MW: So yeah it’s got to be a little rejuvenating for you huh? 

BH: Oh man it’s so inspiring I can’t even tell. That’s one of the reasons I’m playing the best music of my life is cause I’m surrounded by these young, just vigorous super intense cats. It’s interesting because when you hear them talk about Jacob Fred from their perspective it’s theirs, it’s their band. I always hear them talking about it and I’ll hear them talking about it when I’m not around and from their perspective it’s their thing. From their perspective they created it and they’re the reason the band sounds so great and I love to hear them talking like that because it express equal ownership.

MW: Well that’s all I’ve got for you in terms of specific questions, do you have anything else you’d like to add?

 BH: Just that I’m looking forward to playing that room in Manchester. It’s a totally fun club man we always have great shows there and I just encourage everybody to come out because it’s a really intimate room and it’d be a great way to spend a Saturday night.

 

 

Blue Devils Baseball Suffers Two Losses

Kyle Dorau / Sports Editor

Giving up 36 runs in a span of 24 innings is generally not a recipe for success, even in a pitching-starved Northeast Conference.

The Blue Devils pitchers were rescued by timely hitting as they avoided a sweep at the hands of in-state rival Sacred Heart last weekend at Beehive Stadium.

Central was able to win the middle game of what became a three-game series with the Pioneers due to rain. After getting pounded 18-4 on Thursday afternoon, CCSU responded with a 10-9 victory in the first game of Friday’s doubleheader.

The nightcap went to Sacred Heart, as they once again lit up the scoreboard in a 9-5 win.

Pat Epps was the offensive star for the Blue Devils, going 8-11 over the course of the series with a double, triple, home run, and five RBIs. His two-run triple tied up game one on Friday in the bottom of the sixth, helping extend the game beyond the scheduled seven innings.

Following a Jeff Hanson home run in the top of the eighth, Epps’ RBI double once again tied the game and allowed Central an opportunity to win.

The Blue Devils had Richie Tri on first and Jay Schillaci on second with two out and the score knotted at 9-9 in the bottom of the eighth. 

Tommy Meade hit a ground ball to Pioneers shortstop Phil Tantillo, who opted to go the short way to second to try and force out Tri. The throw was late, and Jay Schillaci’s aggressive base running paid off as he rounded third and came home on the play, narrowly avoiding a tag by Sacred Heart catcher Jeff Heppner to give Central a 10-9 win.

CCSU Head Coach Charlie Hickey recognized the efforts of Epps, but was left unsatisfied by the offense as a whole.

“These guys, we need them to become better,” he said. “And more consistent to have days like today.”

Pitching struggles have been the focus of the season for Central, and this weekend’s efforts were representative of such.  The only hurler to escape the weekend without giving up a run was junior Tyler Riordan, who gave the Blue Devils two innings of relief, allowing no base runners and striking out two.

Junior Chris Chagnon was able to secure the lone victory on the weekend, improving to 4-0 on the season. The rest of the staff did not look sharp against a dangerous lineup, and they were aided by an inconsistent defense.

Tremendous outfield catches were juxtaposed against six errors by Blue Devil infielders. Those miscues resulted in 13 of the 36 runs given up by Central pitching on the weekend being unearned.

Half the runs given up by CCSU during the series came on Thursday night alone. The Pioneers combined for 22 hits off six different Central pitchers.  Sacred Heart went deep three times in the game, driving in nine of their 18 runs via the longball.

In one of the few bright spots in defeat, Blue Devils freshman infielder Angelo Buscemi notched his first collegiate hit in the loss.

The problem for Central was giving up one big inning in each contest. In the first game, a nine-run eighth was the nail in the coffin. In game two, a five-run sixth inning allowed the Pioneers back into the ballgame. In the series finale, a five-run second inning put the Devils behind the eight ball.

“When the game’s not coming that easy, you’ve got to out-work, out-hustle, and out-scrap the other team,” said Hickey. “We were fortunate to get one today. They were the better team today, they were the better team yesterday.”

The Blue Devils travel to Quinnipiac this weekend for another scheduled four-game set against their in-state rivals. 

The teams will play a nine-inning game at 3 p.m. on Friday, a seven-inning doubleheader at 12 p.m. on Saturday, and a nine-inning series finale at Noon on Sunday.

Quinnipiac is currently in last place in the Northeast Conference at 2-6.

Blue Devils Claim Win Against Pioneers in First Spring Match

Christopher Boulay / Asst. Sports Editor

CCSU was led by two goals from Eddie Floyd as the Blue Devils defeated the Western Massachusetts Pioneers 3-2 in the first match of the spring season.

CCSU dominated most of the possession in the match, and opened up the scoring in the 24th minute, when Floyd received a corner from midfielder Robert Cavener and struck a glancing header past the Pioneers goalkeeper.

Floyd was happy with his team’s collective effort. 

“For our first spring game, it went well,” he said. “The Pioneers are a good team and we expected a good game out of them. I give a lot to our guys, there was a lot of effort all around. They all pulled their weight and got the job done.”

Floyd put CCSU up 2-0 in the 38th minute when he rocketed the ball past the keeper to finish his scoring for the evening.

“I had to take my opportunities. You only get so many chances, so you have to make the best of them,” Floyd said. “We did well to create a lot of chances, we had a lot of opportunities.”

Junior goalkeeper Paul Armstrong kept a clean sheet for his work in the first half.

CCSU Assistant Coach Paul Wright, was proud of the score line and effort put forth by his team.

“It was a great result. But what was more important was the confidence a lot of young players could gain from a result like this,” said Wright.

In the second half, Western Massachusetts, a United Soccer League Division Two club, the third level in the United States Soccer Pyramid, cut into the Blue Devil lead, when Argentinean midfielder Federico Molinari scored on the 59th minute a free kick that bent away from junior goalkeeper Chris Jones.

The game was put beyond all doubt in the 66th minute when freshman midfielder Eduardo Davila Ortiz struck the ball off of the hands of the Pioneers goalkeeper and into the top corner of the net.

Defender Mike Lima was able to pull one more back for the Pioneers in the 82nd minute to finish out the scoring during a point in the game where CCSU looked to be their most vulnerable.

“Apart from the last 15 minutes, we definitely deserved the win,” Wright said. “I was very happy with the level of communication, something we really tried to focus on in practice.”

Former CCSU co-captain and star forward, Yan Klukowski, played up front for the Pioneers, playing against his former Blue Devil teammates.

“I am sure it was difficult for Yan, but there was extra motivation from our guys to try to step up and defend better,” Wright said. “ Yan is a fantastic player, but we are still a team. We are not going to fall apart.”

As a native of Bristol, Floyd has the ability to play in front of a home crowd, literally.

“My parents were there at the game,” he said. “It is great to get a good result in front of them.”

John Webster, the first coach of the CCSU soccer team, and the founder of the team, was honored at the match.

CCSU plays their next spring match on April 18, home against Assumption College at Arute Field.

Dorau The [Sports] Explorer: Rules Meant to be Broken in Baseball, Golf, CCSU

Kyle Dorau / Sports Editor

Forgive me if this column isn’t entirely about sports this week. By rule, generally I’m supposed to concentrate on athletics, and those of Central Connecticut State University in particular. However, I’m a believer in the adage that rules were made to be broken. Although, the inspiration for this column did occur during a CCSU baseball game this past weekend.

During Sacred Heart’s victory over Central on Thursday, Pioneers junior pitcher Chris Zaccherio earned his second save of the season. What’s so interesting about that?  He was credited with a save in a game that SHU won by a score of 18-4. While the save might be nothing more than a subjective statistic, the only thing he actually saved was the sanity of those of us in the press box by helping end the game a little faster.

The rules of baseball credit a save to a pitcher on the winning team who didn’t get credit for the victory, but finishes the game. That is, of course, provided one of a few specific criteria are met. If the pitcher enters the game with a lead of no more than three runs and pitches at least an inning; enters the game with the tying run on base, at bat or on deck; or pitches for at least three innings.  

True, at the time of his entry into the game, he met two of the three criteria, but Sacred Heart went on to back him up with a three-run seventh inning and tacked on nine more in the eighth for good measure.  That takes a lot of pressure off the pitcher and drastically alters how the rest of the game is played.

Maybe saves should be altered to omit ones in which the game’s outcome is decided by more than ten runs. There’s something inherently wrong about earning a save simply by pitching four innings in what quickly became a blowout. Those 14 run leads really are difficult to protect, aren’t they?

No game is perfect in its rules and design, but man, have you ever read the rules of golf? Yikes. Let me cite rule 19-2 of the 2008 United States Golf Association rulebook: “If a player’s ball is accidentally deflected or stopped by himself, his partner or either of their caddies or equipment, the player incurs a penalty of one stroke.”

I think that rule is pretty stupid and doesn’t make much sense. If the numbskull caddy of the person you’re playing with doesn’t have enough sense to get out of the way of your shot and it hits him, you’re the one penalized. Sadly, more often than not, fixing faulty rules like the ones mentioned above just ends up with more rules. Trying to tweak these would just create more addendums and sub-sections and thicker manuals.

All too often, we as a society let rules and procedures get in the way of common sense.  If they are indeed as serious as they claim to be about improving their six year graduation rate, maybe some changes in how transfer credits are handled would be in order.  CCSU refers to itself on its Web site as a “learning institution.” What we learn is that us students lose out on credits faster than an 80-year-old at a penny slot machine.

This is where our good friends in the communication department come in. I’ve taken Advanced Television Production at two other schools, including a four-year university a short drive away from Central.  Despite getting an A in that class, I’m still being forced to take Basic Video Production.  I’m not saying everyone should be able to jump right into the toughest class in each department and if they pass that one, they can skip all the rest. But let’s be honest. I’ve done production assistant work for a network broadcast of an NCAA Championship game. I can navigate my way around broadcasting and production, and have more than enough credits to graduate simply in terms of number.

Far more than just my personal axe to grind, there are plenty of students out there who are frustrated by the lack of classes offered, inconvenient times and questionable advising. However, it goes both ways. A clear and mutual understanding needs to be met. Students need to be willing to eloquently present their individual situations to those in charge and understand that they may not always be victorious.

In no way do I mean any disrespect to the instructors in that department in particular, or any professor on campus. I’ve had a number of teachers in the communication department, and enjoy their classes. This is more of an affront directed at antiquated policies and an inability to change perpetuated by this institution. I have a sense of loyalty and emotional investment when it comes to this university.

When a student puts on an article of clothing with the CCSU name or Victor E. Blue Devil logo on it, they should feel that same sense of pride. But when decision-making is left in the hands of those in power who are not even willing to hear a case in opposition of their stance, it’s hard to muster up that school spirit. It becomes a situation similar to the rules in sports that I explained earlier: awkward, outdated and embarrassing to see from a governing body.

CCSU Soccer Receives Some Traditional Football Influence

Christopher Boulay / Asst. Sports Editor

CCSU men’s soccer has begun their spring season, and with the recent success of the team, the Blue Devils are expanding their fan base as well as instilling a traditional “club football” atmosphere.

According to Head Coach Shaun Green, the match against the Western Massachusetts Pioneers was as much of a marketing event as it was to keep the players fresh and prepared for the fall season.

“Fall is our traditional season, but the NCAA allows us to have five competitions in the spring season,” Green said. “[During the Western Massachusetts game] we had as good of a turnout as in the fall. It is a great experiment.”

Coach Green has used Facebook, as well as his CCSU soccer Web site, www.soccerccsu.com to promote the spring season, and continue to build a fan base for the team, who only are two years removed from the Sweet Sixteen appearance in the NCAA Soccer Tournament.

According to Green, he believes that between him and the players that are on Facebook, they have about 6,000 friends on Facebook, and hopes that if they can get around 10 percent of that on a regular basis, they would have a very solid start.

The match against the Pioneers is being broadcast on CPTV to further help CCSU’s quest to gain more soccer fans.

“This is an opportunity to bring back alumni and former players,” Green said. “We are trying to create a soccer culture here. In college, usually students just watch the game and go home.”

A big way that the team tries to build a culture around the team is to have post-game celebrations at Chili’s on Hartford Road, where the team goes after every home match.

“We like to create a social event afterward.” Green said.

CCSU has been ranked 14 times in three different polls in the past three seasons. These polls are NSCAA, Soccer America and College Soccer News.

Many former players attended the Western Massachusetts match, including former captain and Center Back, Gareth Wilkinson. Wilkinson, the native of Belfast, Northern Ireland who played from 1999 to 2003, now lives in Connecticut, is quite excited to be present at the match and post-game festivities.

“It is good to be back, but it is strange to be back and not recognize anyone anymore. This is the first time since I have left that something like this has happened. There was quite a few people [at the match,]” Wilkinson said. “It seems like it was last year [when I played].”

“I am still pissed that I wasn’t on that team,” Wilkinson said with a smile, regarding the team that reached the Sweet Sixteen two years ago.

The CCSU men’s soccer spring season continues until May 3. The fall season will begin on September 4 away against Vermont.

CAN Expounds on Spring Weekend Reformat

Charles Desrochers  / Asst. Lifestyles Editor

There is a method behind the madness of Central Activities Network’s decision of having five smaller bands instead the big name for Spring Weekend.

CAN representatives Emily Jerrard and Chris Leahy explained that CAN is attempting to give Spring Week a festival feeling as apposed to one big name.  

Leahy, who organized the bands for Spring Week, says CAN was working with a budget of $50,000. Last year CCSU’s Spring Week bands were a part of a bundled concert promoted by Crocs Footwear called Crocs 360.  This year the same kind of “sponsored concert” was not available.  

The advantage of having a bundled concert is that; lighting, sound and talent are all included in the same lump sum.  With this year though, CAN was responsible for acquiring the production equipment separate from the bands, which Leahy said added 20 percent to the bands total.

CAN also had a two week window in which they knew they wanted the concert to occur.  When looking for bands in the area that fit the budget CAN had difficulty finding the right balance between schedule and budget. 

Working with $50,000 and a limited pool of talent, CAN set out to find what they thought CCSU would enjoy.  

“We didn’t have a lot of input from the students this year. Not a lot of students came so we tried to reach out there and unfortunately no one really offered any suggestions,” Leahy said. “It was kind of tough to decide what we thought was best for the campus as well as comedians.  We wanted to combine some genres that you don’t normally see on campus.”

 “We looked at last year’s headline concert and we saw there was a good turn out for the Reel Big Fish and there was actually a real big culture around that style, that ska, that punk, that culture setting,” Leahy said.

Reel Big Fish headlined last year’s Spring Weekend as the replacement for the original band, One Republic.  

“A whole lot of people had mentioned to me this band called Streetlight Manifesto, so we looked it up online and we saw that they were going on the Warped Tour this summer and we thought that, you know, it would be a pretty good attraction,” Leahy said.

CAN is also featuring comedian D.L. Hughley as part of the Week’s festivities on Monday, April 20, as well as rides and booths on the Saturday of the concert. The show itself will include five bands as well as a stage for local bands and be from noon until 6 p.m. so that students may also have time enjoy a night out. 

Not many other colleges in the area have gone for the a lot of a little approach before, but Leahy, Jerrard, and the rest of CAN just say, “A lot of state schools take that rap and hip hop route – we wanted to try something different.  If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.”

Crazy Costume Cardboard Canoe Race

Sean Fenwick / Staff Writer

What would you say if some one were to ask you to make a boat in thirty minutes out of cardboard, two garbage bags, and a roll of duck tape?

On April 21 RECentral is hosting their Crazy Costume Cardboard Canoe race in Kaiser at 6:30 p.m. Teams of two are given 30 minutes to build a canoe out of cardboard, two plastic bags and a roll of duck tape but in order to participate the team members must be wearing crazy costumes.

RECentral staff will oversee the construction of the boats and after the time is up, teams are selected to race against each other in the pool. There are two teams racing at a time for awards in fastest time, best boat and best capsize. At the end of the day teams will have created a water-worthy boat, raced it in the pool and most likely get soaked in the process.