CCSU Receives Exceptional Grades for Sexual Assault Approach

By Skyler Magnoli

The 2012 Campus Report Card, which highlights both the gaps and improvements of current sexual assault policies and practices at Connecticut colleges, has been recently released with Central ranking higher than most of the other schools.

The Campus Report Card was put together by the Connecticut Sexual Assault Crisis Service (CONNSACS). This organization sent questionnaires to all of the collegiate institutions in Connecticut to gauge the sexual assault services that are being provided.

“My take on it is that it is something that CONNSACS does to access where various colleges and universities in the state are in regards to providing services around sexual assault and interpersonal violence,” said Dr. Laura Tordenti, the vice president of student affairs.

“We worked together to make sure we were responding to the questions and that it reflects what we are doing with the services we are providing,” said Rosa Rodriguez, the Chief Diversity Officer at Central.

According to Mary DeLucia, the campus advocate for the YMCA in New Britain, Central did well overall in comparison to other institutions in Connecticut, especially with the strides that Central has taken with providing services for sexual assault survivors.

The Campus Report Card allows the public to see the range of services that are offered at the institution and how effectively they are doing their job in terms of reaching out to students and bringing awareness to the problem of sexual assault on college campuses. Central attributes its progress of dealing with sexual assault to how well all the services on campus work with each other.

“I think it’s having that cross functional team of people that work together and trying to find the resources to help the students,” said Rodriguez.

According to the 2010 CCSU Clery Report, there were six forcible sex offenses in 2008, three in 2009 and four in 2010. The data that is presented includes all on-campus crimes reported to the CCSU police that occurred on campus, in the residence halls and crimes that may have been reported to other campus authorities. To give a broader picture of crime on campus, the data also includes crimes committed at campus facilities and those occurring near campus.

When a sexual assault occurs involving a Central student, many different offices are contacted to work together to provide that student with a wide range of options and services. Central’s Sexual Assault and Interpersonal Violence Resource Team is an example of the close network of offices on campus. The Resource Team has members from the police department, Women’s Center, Student Affairs Office, Counseling and Wellness Center, YMCA advocates and the Judiciary Office to help victims of sexual assault with whatever they might need.

“That’s always the challenge after something like this happens: to try to convince a student to take advantage of some of the support services that we offer,” said Dr. Tordenti. “We communicate and try to provide an array of services to try to help the student through the situation.”

While the Campus Report Card shows that all the institutions did well and are working to address sexual violence, the Report Card also allows institutions to identify what the gaps and needs are in their services. According to DeLucia, all colleges and universities in Connecticut need to improve with the education of sexual assault in their Greek Life.

Another problem for Central has been staffing. Due to budget issues, the Women’s Center has run into trouble finding an advocate to help guide victims through a situation. The budget only allows the advocate be a part-time position and most people look for something full-time. Luckily, the YMCA has stepped in and provided training for students in residence halls, conducting over 20 information sessions of sexual assault on campus.

“This issue is always evolving, the services are always changing, so it’s really looking at a snapshot where the institutions are at that point in time,” said Rodriguez.

However, there was a mistake on the Campus Report Card regarding the victim and survivor services that are available at Central. The Campus Report Card marked “no” under Campus-based advocacy for students engaged in the adjudication process. Central does in fact have this service available for student victims.

With the statistic that one in four women in college will be a victim of sexual assault, and that 90 percent of victims will know their attacker, the Campus Report Card describes education as a necessary form to prevent this on college campuses.

Central educates the student population by running programs that bring awareness to sexual assault. The University provides training and services on campus and the campus is littered with literature about the subject. In the last 18 months, Central has made many revisions to its sexual assault policies and procedures in order to develop better protocol.

“There are some students who are aware that sexual assault is a problem on college campuses, but not necessarily here and not necessarily to them,” said Dr. Tordenti. “Ideally students would really pay attention to it.”

Warm Bodies Will Surprise Audience

By Navindra Persaud:

Director Jonathan Levine has delivered one of the most unorthodox zombie movies with his film Warm Bodies. Hitting theaters last Friday, Levine’s successful recreation of a love story between a  zombie and a human is a refreshing change from vampires and werewolves who seem to have taken over in today’s Twilight age. Warm Bodies is based on the eponymous novel by Isaac Marion.

The story takes place after a zombie apocalypse. “R”, the main character, played by British actor Nicholas Hoult, is a zombie obsessed with trying to figure out where he belongs in the post-apocalyptic world, and why he feels different from the rest of the undead creatures around him. It all becomes clearer when he meets Julie, played by Australian actress Teresa Palmer, a zombie killer that has a change of heart when rescued by R.

There are gross-out factors, with zombies eating brains and human flesh, especially the brains and flesh of Dave Franco who was in the film, but never exaggerated.

There is just the right balance between gross scenes, action packed human vs. zombie battles  and the love story which bore a stunning similarity to Romeo and Juliet. Anyone could sense that similarity, especially with the two main characters being R and Julie. What made this more evident is the fact that in one scene R was outside Julies’ window while she spoke secretively to him from her balcony.

Throughout the film, Julie realizes that R is more than just a flesh eating corpse and together these two characters embark on a journey, both of them not quite sure if what they feel for each other is real. Things get even trickier when Julie’s father, played by John Malkovich, realizes his daughter is in love with a zombie.

One of the best aspects of this film is the fact that it adds quirky humor to a tale of forbidden love. Though it was a short movie, some points did feel dragged out as though they were fillers. However, the film paid a great deal of attention to the setting, from the abandoned zombie-infested airport to the dark subways and heavily barricaded community of the last remaining humans.

Another successful factor in this movie is the soundtrack. Every song that played seemed to be perfect for the scene. Some songs exploited the humor while others set the tone of the love story between the two main characters in the film. The idea of a zombie living on an airplane and listening to vinyl records is farfetched, but Levine incorporates it perfectly in the film.

The film is full of simple dialogues between the characters and didn’t show much development. It seemed as if the love story between the main characters was rushed. Anyone watching this film will overlook the dialogue because they will be distracted by the interesting plot twists that include other undead creatures called “bonies,” which I have never seen in any other classic zombie film.

The cast was quite unfamiliar but did an excellent job in their roles. Hoult, who previously played the character “Beast” in X-Men First Class, played one emotionally confused zombie who seemed to become more human by the minute, even dreaming which is something zombies don’t do. His speech patterns, carefully placed scars on his face, and pale complexion bore a striking resemblance to Johnny Depp in his role as Edward Scissorhands.

Warm Bodies is a simple, fun zombie movie that is surely worth watching. It will make you laugh because of its awkwardness and surprise you with its creative plot twist.

Getting To Know CCSU’s Daamen-ator

By Corey Pollnow

A CCSU athlete casually walks down Kaiser hall in sweats, shake in hand, when an athletic administrator spots her and yells, “Dominator!” This is a normal greeting for Kirsten Daamen, captain of the women’s basketball team.

“[The nickname] came in high school. I blocked a lot of shots. My coach and one of his friends were trying to think a nickname and it kind of stuck,” Daamen said, who plays the starting center from Merrimac, Massachusetts.

Her impact is felt on both ends of the court with her 75” wingspan and 6’ 3” frame.

Daamen leads the Northeastern Conference in shots blocked with 29 (3.22 per game) and frustrates her opponents by playing physical and not letting them go to their desired space on the court.

Daamen does a superb job of hedging on-ball screens and causing guards to pick up their dribble. Try dribbling around the center and you will take a hit.

There’s no time for the opponent to rest against Daamen. She’s active on the offensive boards with 2.5 rebounds per game in the NEC, and she’s also highly efficient in the low post.

Give her the ball and 51 percent of the time she’s going to make her shot, which ranks second overall in the NEC.

Daamen is averaging nine points per game in the NEC and scored 21 points twice this season – at Wagner and versus Wagner.

The move Daamen is most comfortable with is a five foot jumper.

Soccer was the main sport Daamen played when she was younger, but she went through a growth spurt when she was 10 and started to play basketball for leisure in sixth grade.

“[In Middle School] I was tall so one of the coaches asked me to play and that’s how I started,” said Daamen.

While at Pentucket Regional High School, CCSU’s Assistant Coach Glenn Senecal was acquainted with Daamen’s AAU coach, and Senecal brought Daamen to New Britain by beating out other schools in the recruiting process such as UNH and Maine.

Although Daamen’s hometown is two hours and fifteen minutes away from CCSU, her parents attend most of her home games and she mentioned, “It’s nice to have them come [to my games].”

A captain alongside fellow senior, Jaclyn Babe, Daamen and has taken on a larger role this season.

“I’m vocal on the court a lot more than I have been my first two years. That was really hard for me at first because I’m usually very quiet and keep to myself. Also, off the court being there for my teammates is important,” Daamen said.

For Halloween, Daamen’s mother brought a mask and she’s been making good use of the it-hiding behind walls and scaring teammates.

“I’ve gotten one of the freshmen really good… Raven [Mankins],” Daamen said laughing.

Last summer Daamen was invited to travel overseas with the Dutch National Team after her father inquired about Daamen potentially playing for the team.

In April she finished her finals early and headed to the Netherlands where she stayed in a house with some of her teammates.

Not on the team yet, Daamen continued to travel with the team and caught a break, “One of the girls ended up getting hurt, so I did end up dressing.”

Daamen was able to also visit with family and said it was a really good experience.

Daamen said that she’s unsure if she’s going to continue to play basketball after she graduates in May from CCSU. But, she said she has thought about playing overseas for a couple years and getting a graduate assistant coaching job so she can get have her graduate degree paid for.

Besides leading the Blue Devils, her main goal is obtaining an internship at the Connecticut Department of Transportation.

Technology Only Works If You Use It: Super Bowl Resurrects Instant Replay Debate

By Justin Muszynski

In yet another down-to-the-wire Super Bowl that saw two great teams battle it out to the end, a controversial no-call played a pivotal role in deciding the eventual champions, Baltimore Ravens.

On fourth-and-goal from the Ravens’ five-yard line, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick tossed a pass to his wide receiver, Michael Crabtree, only to watch the ball fly over his head. The problem with this play is that Kaepernick didn’t really overthrow his target. Crabtree was being held by Ravens cornerback Jimmy Smith, in what should have been deemed “defensive holding.”

As a result, San Francisco turned the ball over on downs and the Ravens ran the clock down to only four seconds remaining, effectively ending any chance for a 49er Super Bowl. The biggest football game of the year shouldn’t end on what is referred to by the NFL as a “judgment call.” The team that played better should walk away as champions, not whoever benefited the most by some fortunate calls that went its way.

In a Super Bowl that will oddly enough be remembered for a freak blackout incident that lasted approximately 35 minutes, it will also be notorious for the no-call at the end of the game that arguably cost San Francisco a title.

The simple solution to this problem would be for the NFL to allow instant replay to decide botched penalty calls. It’s hard to criticize a league that has some of the most liberal views in regards to instant replay, but the reason that it cannot apply to penalty calls, excluding “too many men on the field,” is illogical. With the technology we have today it doesn’t make sense to refuse to utilize it in certain situations.

It wouldn’t be fair, however, to claim that the missed calls in the Super Bowl only went in favor of the Baltimore Ravens. While the most crucial one may have, there were several other significant failed calls during the game.

At the end of the third quarter the Ravens attempted a 39-yard field goal. After the kick the referees threw a flag for “running into the kicker.” The 49ers missed the kick and were allowed the chance to kick again. As predicted, they made the second attempt despite the fact that the call should have never been made in the first place.

One thing I’m not suggesting is that it was a deliberate effort by the officials in some mass conspiracy to create drama and mold the outcome of the game. The idea that the NFL’s games are rigged and that a major cover-up exists is outlandish.

Nevertheless, games like this leave a bitter taste in people’s mouths, especially the fans of the losing team. The main argument opposing instant replay transcending the penalty aspect of football is that the games would drag on (longer than they already do). But the reason this claim holds no merit is because, by rule, head coaches in the NFL are allotted two challenges. If they get both correct then they are awarded a third.

Allowing teams to challenge incorrect penalty calls wouldn’t cause any more challenges than there are in the game today. A good coach wouldn’t challenge trivial plays. They would, as they do today, save the red flag for the vital calls that can contribute to the outcome of the game. This would all but eliminate the accusations by fans, the media and others that a blown call ended up costing one team the game. Consequently, this could diminish all the attention that NFL games receive in the aftermath of a controversial call. From a business standpoint this wouldn’t make much sense, so maybe the NFL knows what it’s doing after all.

Alesso Concert Review

(photo credit: songkick.com)

By Danny Contreras

Swedish EDM virtuoso Alesso stopped by the University of Connecticut’s Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts this past Saturday as part of the EDM mass college tour, Winter White.

With supporting acts from fellow Swede Otto Knows and UConn’s own DJ Manni, Alesso took to the stage at around 10:30 and had a one-hour-and-a-half set in which he played his biggest hits to date.

Alesso came to prominence in the electronic dance music community in 2010 as the protégé of Swedish House Mafia co-founder Sebastian Ingrosso. Remixing famous artists such as Nadia Ali, Bassjackers and Dune, he jumped the Atlantic in 2011 as a headliner in the first Electric Zoo in New York.

His Winter White set was amazing, opening with “Years,” which features the vocals of Matthew Koma. The light show began in a chaotic form with creepy visuals complementing it—not that it was a bad thing. Alesso started out on a high note with bootlegs of his remix of “Heiress of Valentina” and Julian Jordan’s “Kangaroo”.

The crowd was delighted with the show. Otto Knows did a great job of warming everybody up prior to Alesso. He played the confirmed but unreleased single from GTA, “Hit It,” to drive the crowd wild opened with his remix of Dada Life’s “Kick-Out the Epic MF” and closed with his biggest hit to date, “Million Voices.”

Alesso, meanwhile, had a rather non-traditional set with a lot of electro songs being mixed with a capellas of progressive house songs. He did pay homage to the group that got him noticed in the first place with Axwell and Sebastian Ingrosso both being played. Axwell’s “In My Mind” was bootlegged with an unreleased song while Ingrosso appeared with the forever catchy “KNAS.”

The highlight of the night was definitely the closing sequence in which Alesso played his best songs. A remixed version of his remix of Keane’s “Silenced by the Night” served as a prelude to a medley of big room anthems, supplemented by some great pyrotechnics. Fog, confetti and streamers all mixed as Swedish House Mafia’s “Don’t You Worry Child” played out the PAs to the thousands of screaming fans. The always melodic “City of Dreams” with Dirty South followed suit to more pyro, more singing, and more crazy intensity. It all builds-up to his first hit ever, “Calling” featuring Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic fame. With the slow build up, and crazy love lyrics, Alesso asked, “Are you ready to lose your mind?” to the full enjoyment of the crowd.

By the end of the song, UConn was still begging for more and it came with an encore repeat of the opening song “Years,” which everyone ate up. He concluded soon after, leaving everyone to bare the snowy night.

The concert, however, was one of the best I’d been to in recent memory; A lot better than Dada Life, but less personal. Overall, it truly was worth the money, and should he return to CT, it would behoove lovers of EDM to go see him. Alesso truly showed on Saturday why he was Ingrosso’s protégé and why he’s the lead producer/ DJ in this new generation.