Tag Archives: CCSU

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Mission: Bleed Blue Jumpstarts Student Participation

By Jacqueline Stoughton

Central Connecticut State University is enacting a new initiative in an attempt to bring more awareness and participation to on-campus events that are sponsored by various organizations that exist at CCSU.  They’re calling this new initiative Mission: Bleed Blue.

“Mission: Bleed Blue is a new initiative we’re starting on campus where we’re sponsoring certain events throughout the semester,” said Brian Choplick, president of CCSU’s Student Government Association.  “If students go and swipe in at those events, they’ll earn a certain amount of points per event. Once they hit a certain amount of points they’ll be eligible for certain prizes.”

All students have to do to be in the running to win a variety of prizes is to swipe their Blue-Chip card at each event they attend.  The points earned will then be distributed through the collegiate links system.  Students are already registered within that system if they are actively involved with any club on campus.

“The point system is a little bit different than normal point systems.  It’s not like cash, where you give us points in exchange for something in return,” said Choplick.  “The first 200 people to hit ten points will win the first prize, which is a Mission: Bleed Blue t-shirt.  As people hit certain tiers in the point system, they’re eligible for the prizes.”

“The prizes get larger and cooler as you go up.  They’re apparel type items, but not the usual you would get,” said Michelle Zohlman, president of the Central Activities Network.  “We wanted to be different and make it stuff you couldn’t typically get at the bookstore.  It’s stuff you essentially don’t want to pay for.”

Although CCSU is enacting this new initiative to try and bring in more participation at campus events, lack of attendance and participation at such events was never a troubling concern, and certainly not the sole reason this initiative was created, according to the founders of the initiative.

“There’s never an amount of people that is too much. But, we should always be looking to improve the amount of people that attend events,” said Choplick.  “One of the things we’re attempting to address through this initiative is the completely false stigma that there’s nothing going on at Central.”

“The point of Mission: Bleed Blue is to reward students for being a part of the students activities programming on campus and to really show them that there are these things to do on campus and to tell them to keep supporting it because there’re these great programs that aren’t getting the support they should be,” said Zohlman.

Mission: Bleed Blue is defined as being it’s own entity.  It has no association with CAN, SGA or any other major organization on campus.  This is a new system that has been in the works since last November, and has just recently been announced this past August.

“I think that the Mission: Bleed Blue is a really good initiative to get students involved around campus and develop themselves as better leaders,” said CCSU student, Danielle McCormick.  “I have always gone to events and been involved on campus.  But, I definitely think that we need to get more people to come out and participate in more events.  This program is essentially the first step to making great leaders at CCSU.”

Mission: Bleed Blue has already begun, it’s first two events being the CAN Carnival and Family Day.  Its next event where students will be able to swipe in and earn points is at this weeks pep rally.

“From a CAN perspective, we’ve had the best attendance in events.  We’ve actually broken our record for events attendance,” said Zohlman.  “We’re interested to see how it’ll affect indoor events.”

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Administration Addresses Vance Hall Confusion

By Kassondra Granata

CCSU’s Vance Hall and eight Finance Committee recommendations were discussed at last week’s lengthy SGA meeting.

Dr. Laura Tordenti, the vice president of Student Affairs and Dr. Richard Bachoo, the chief administrative officer, spoke during the student affairs report about the recent decision to put the Vance renovations on hold.

“We just can’t afford to do the whole building this summer,” Tordenti said. “We don’t have the money. We would do the whole building if we could.”

There was concern expressed at last week’s Inter Residence Council (IRC) meeting from the Vance Executive Board. The hall said that they were disappointed and “misled” by the administration that their building would be finished this year. A member of the board said that the decision to put the renovations on hold would deter their return to live in Vance Hall in the fall.

Tordenti said that the new food service building will commence construction and a representative will be at the next IRC meeting to ask questions and suggestions of the general council. Sen. Simms Sonet asked Tordenti if the administration knew that the student body thought that Vance would be done by the summer.

“This is actually the first time hearing that students thought that,” Tordenti said.

Bachoo agreed with Tordenti and said that he was not aware that students expected that all renovations were to be completed.

“It is a huge project to think that it would be finished so quickly,” Bachoo said. Bachoo said that CCSU will be doing as many renovations as they can. He said that a goal is to complete two floors in Vance this summer.

“We are trying to get a floor done and by Christmastime we will get more work done,” Bachoo said. “We are not going to give you false hope. We can’t get all of it done this summer; it is impossible.”

According to Bachoo, University President Jack Miller said that CCSU will not shut down a residence hall until a new residence hall is built. Bachoo said that last week a team will be putting the new residence hall back online for selection through the summer into the fall.

During Committee Reports, the SGA allocated $250 for the Muslim Student Association to go toward their trip to North Carolina. The senate approved the PRIDE line-item change and approved the neuroscience base budget request for $200. The senate allocated Deuces Wild $400 for printing and refreshments and allocated the Biology Club $5000 for their conference trip.

The senate voted down on denying the Design Club’s contingency request and denied the Accounting Society’s contingency request.

An original motion to allocate $1750 to TGFI for a trip was changed by Sen. Ryan Baldassario to reduce the allocation to only $830, striking out the allocation of hotels. Sen. Bobby Berriault tried to amend the motion to give $300 to the group but that amendment failed. The motion to allocate TGFI $830 passed.

Gov. Dannel Malloy peans on using the funds to revamp Uconn's facilities.

UConn STEM Research Upsets CSU Schools

Malloy Proposes $1.5 Billion Initiative For UConn

By Kevin Jachimowicz

With the proposal to strengthen UConn STEM programs (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) moving forward, major financial support has led to excitement for some, but confusion for faculty and students at other state universities.

“It could have been coordinated a lot better so that all levels are used – the community colleges, us (state schools), and UConn,” said Sharon Braverman, assistant dean of the CCSU school of business.  “From the beginning it should have been all of us that were involved, not only one school, because it’s going to take all of us.”

Faced with a projected $1.2 billion budget deficit for next year and $63 billion in overall state debt – giving Connecticut the largest debt burden per capita in the nation – Gov. Malloy recently proposed a $1.5 billion initiative for UConn to augment the existing $2.3 billion “21st Century UConn’ program.”

Gov. Dannel Malloy peans on using the funds to revamp Uconn’s facilities.

Malloy is not necessarily responsible for the nonchalance in a shallow percentage of funding going toward Connecticut’s other state schools and community colleges.  Phillip E. Austin, now the current interim president for the Conn. Board of Regents of Higher Education, which governs the seventeen Connecticut State Colleges and Universities, was also the thirteenth president of the University of Connecticut from October 1996 to September 2007, which raises suspicion for some.

“We’ve got somebody running our system whose prejudices are for a research one university like UConn,” says CCSU English Professor Candace Barrington.
He’s sees us only that we have a very limited role and that we are the lesser university serving the lesser students.”

She also says that because UConn had a plan ready and people in place to pursue it, it had an upper-hand.

“Right now the attitude [here] is like let’s hope they give us something…and UConn’s been out there like, “Heres our plan, this is what we want, this is what we’re willing to do.” They were able to talk the students into voting for a tuition increase,”  said Barrington.  “Nobody from CONSCU is up there saying this is what we need and why…I don’t blame it on Malloy at all.”

CONSCU is the seventeen Connecticut State Colleges and Universities governed by the Board of Regents. These schools vow to offer students an affordable, accessible option to further their education or career training.

The Board of Regents is essentially in the crosshairs of this issue, being that it governs the seventeen state schools in their entirety. The board is aware of the growing concern amongst faculty around the state. Public Affairs and Marketing Director Colleen Flanagan Johnson admits that “The Board of Regents and its administrative leadership understand several of the concerns raised by some faculty and staff members at our seventeen institutions,” but continued to say “we were grateful that the governor specifically identified the role the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities must play in the state’s economic expansion strategy and workforce development.”

“I think the Board of Regents has no idea what it’s doing,” said CCSU professor David Blitz. “The president and vice president were forced to resign because of the scandal over the unauthorized pay raises. There’s an acting president who doesn’t know very much about the community colleges [or the state universities]…He knows about higher education, but [only UConn],” Blitz continued.  “In attending their last board meeting, I was very unimpressed. They don’t know us, and they don’t understand what they are doing; and that’s a formula for potential disaster.”

Dubbed “Next Generation Connecticut,” the initiative plans to begin major expansion of UConn to potentially increase enrollment, bring in new faculty, and improve the infrastructure.

Many feel that having a world-class university in Connecticut is a worthy goal, as is expanding the number of graduating students who are trained for the jobs of tomorrow, but some also say the initiative should be a collaborative effort of universities state-wide.

“I think it’s a positive thing to bring more students into the state, to invest in a growth area that’s important to the population (STEM & genetic medicine).  I think more money to higher education is a good thing, whether it’s us or UConn; the ideal would be, of course, both,” said Blitz.

“We worked really hard for a long time to try to fix a lot of problems and the people that are being paid to fix those problems shut out the faculty; and it ends up being the solution that works best is the one that works best for those few at the top, and they’re not doing much to improve morale. My morale is pretty low, I can’t speak for anyone else,” Barrington said. “If you have a car, and you’re putting gas in it, and you’re doing your oil changes and you don’t abuse it, and it breaks after 30,000 miles, it’s not your fault, it’s the person who’s in charge of building it,” Barrington said metaphorically referring to the structure of higher education in Connecticut.

With so many students attending other Connecticut State Universities prior to their expenditures at UConn, Braverman finds it difficult to understand why the state would deny its students the proper funding and encouragement.

“There’s ways to work it out, and then UConn wouldn’t be the big beneficiary.  It’s going to take all of us; they don’t have enough anatomy and physiology labs to cover as many people as they need, so they’re going to have to come here too, and to the community colleges….we’re all going to need to work together,” said Braverman.

When confronted about continuing with increased borrowing, the governor responded, “Connecticut is not going to move forward doing the same things that we did unsuccessfully for 22 years,” Malloy said, according to an article in the Hartford Courant. “This is a big idea.”

Although the idea is massive, its primary focus is on one Connecticut university.  Major financial support for just one school has left both faculty and students at other state universities feeling as if they have been brushed under the rug.

“While I do see the state benefitting from obtaining a qualified in-state workforce, the education piece is only benefitting UCONN,” said CCSU Biochemistry professor Christa Cote. “I see a pitting of UCONN against other highly qualified state universities. Enrollment in UCONN will go up and down in other state universities.  If enrollment goes down elsewhere, employment at those universities can go down as a result.”

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CCSU Students Share Their Thoughts On Gun Control

By Kassondra Granata

On Dec. 14, 2012, 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot and killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. Since this event, President Barack Obama as well as other leaders around the country have taken action implementing new gun laws in hopes to prevent this from happening again.

Obama, in his initiative to decrease gun violence, has been executing legislative proposals and executive orders. These proposals range from congressional actions such as requiring criminal background checks and limiting ammunition magazines to 10 rounds, to executive actions such as issuing a presidential memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system, to starting a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

On Feb. 21, Vice President Joe Biden spoke with others at Western Connecticut State University on gun control.

“We have to speak for those 20 beautiful children who died 69 days ago,” Biden said, according to an article in The New York Times. He also noted the six staff members who tried to save them. “There is a moral price to be paid for inaction.”

Also present at the debate, Conn. Gov. Dannel Malloy proposed tougher, stricter gun laws for the state. Malloy said he plans on closing loopholes and banning the weapons that are used to cause events such as Sandy Hook.

“Two months ago, our state became the center of a national debate after a tragedy we never imagined could happen here,” Malloy said in a New York Times article. “We have changed. And I believe it is now time for our laws to do the same.”

 

 

 

 

In light of these recent laws, students at Central Connecticut University voice their views on gun laws and the Obama Administration’s efforts with gun control:

 

Pro-Gun:

  • “The new guns laws are not aiming to fix the problem, they are aiming to make things more difficult for the average law abiding citizen. To fix the problem we need to focus on the mental aspects and enforce the laws we have and go after the criminals. I’ve been shooting since I was three years old ive been shooting since I was five. I own my own gun business and have been part of gun club for three years now and I have been club president for two years. I have worked at a gun store and have worked in the gun industry before.” -Thomas Minutelli, president of the Rifle and Marksmanship Club at CCSU.
  • “The new guns laws are not aiming to fix the problem, they are aiming to make things more difficult for the average law abiding citizen. To fix the problem we need to focus on the mental aspects and enforce the laws we have and go after the criminals. I’ve been shooting since I was three years old ive been shooting since I was five. I own my own gun business and have been part of gun club for three years now and I have been club president for two years. I have worked at a gun store and have worked in the gun industry before.” -Thomas Minutelli, president of the Rifle and Marksmanship Club at CCSU.
  • “I am very pro gun. I just started shooting this year. I joined gun club because I wanted to learn how to protect myself just in case anything does happen mainly because I am living in New Britain right now. If someone is going to attack me I’d rather have as many bullets between them and me as possible.” -Brittany Levine, member of the Rifle and Marksmanship Club at CCSU.
  • “There are a constitutional right as opposed to an occupation that some people have. To some people that is just a hobby but for the vast majority of Americans it should be a right and is protected by the constitution.” -Jack Kelner, co-president of the Rifle and Marksmanship Club.
  • “I support stricter gun control, but I myself use guns for hunting and I have grown up with them my entire life. I support universal background checks; I do not support the assault weapons ban. I think there should be screening for mental health illness. With the assault weapon ban, I do not really support that because sometimes people do not know what an assault weapon is. People should be educated with them though, learn how to use them. I was always taught about the proper way to use guns.” -Matthew Denno, CCSU student.

 

Anti-Gun:

  • “I think we need more gun control. We have way too many guns out on the streets and we do not need military grade weapons. The Second Amendment is not interpreted correctly anymore. That was originally for a militia which we really do not need at the moment. Leaving the public with the access of so many different weapons is harmful.” -Kory Mills, SGA senator.
  • “I don’t think that people should be able to have them too much. Especially automatic weapons, large capacity magazines, even pistols to an extent. Having a shotgun or a hunting rifle isn’t too big of a deal, but other than that no one should really have them.” -Dan Mcallen, CCSU student.
  • “I definitely agree with the permits and the background checks. I think more security would help. I am definitely anti-gun, but I don’t see a problem with the permits that are going on now that are able to allow families to have guns. I am kind of neutral in that aspect.” -Nicole Pourier, CCSU student.

 

How is Obama doing?”

 

  •  “I am not a fan of these guns laws. I agree that there should be mental health checks; there are too many people who are mentally ill and are not capable of understanding the responsibilities of owning a gun that own one.” -Brittany Levine, member of the Rifle and Marksmanship Club at CCSU.

 

  • “The laws that have been implemented in the past have shown that there is no evidence that it has changed anything. There are not many facts and statistics that they have done anything to stop crime. If they want to help anything and improve society then mental health is what we need to be addressing.” -Jack Kelner, co-president of the Rifle and Marksmanship Club.

 

  • I think Obama is doing a lot of talk, but I don’t think he is going to get anything concrete through.” -Matthew Denno, CCSU student.”If I was Obama I would tell the NRA to go away. I would get stricter gun control. He is definitely on the right path, but he needs to be a little bit harder on it. It is the beginning of his second term, but he will get more done as it comes to a close.” -Kory Mills, SGA senator.

 

  • “We need to go after the people. We need to deal with their issues other than worrying about the red tape. We need to deal with the mental handicapped. We need to help the people first, go after the criminals.” -Thomas Minutelli, president of the Rifle and Marksmanship Club at CCSU.

 

 

To hear more student feedback: http://centralrecorder.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Gun-Control-Sound.mp3

or go under “Multimedia.”

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Regents’ Subpar Strategy Will Ostracize Connecticut Residents

The Connecticut Board of Regents for Higher Education was scheduled to vote yesterday on whether or not to approve a 5.1 percent tuition increase for in-state students and a decrease for out-of-state students by 2.6 percent. When this publication went out for print (Monday), our editorial staff was not aware if this proposal was approved or not. Nonetheless, the fact that this was considered did not sit well with our staff.

The idea that in-state residents, who pay taxes to the state, will have to pay more to attend a state school is disappointing. Most students in high school in Connecticut have been in this state for most of their lives. Their parents have paid taxes year in and year out. A chunk of every paycheck that they earned was taken away before they ever got their hands on it. Part of that money went towards education and now it’s not going to benefit them at all.

Regardless of what happened at the Regents’ meeting Tuesday, state school tuition will still cost less for in-state residents, as it should, but decreasing the cost for those who don’t contribute to the state while increasing the price for those that do cannot be expected to be taken well.

Under this proposal, loyalty is the last thing that comes to mind. If the state is dealing with declining enrollment then the last thing it should do is ask its residents to pay more for a college education. In-state students are the CSU system’s bread and butter. Most people that attend state schools do so with the inkling that it costs less to do so.

Not only is the tuition cheaper than private schools, but a lot of students commute from home to save on room-and-board costs. The amount of money that students can save is the main reason why they stay in state. To be quite frank, there’s not much that draws students from other states into the CSU system.

But that is exactly what the board voted on; a second-rate strategy that attempts to lure students from out-of-state into Connecticut. The message that is being sent to prospective Connecticut college students doesn’t exhibit any allegiance whatsoever.

People should feel like their state is behind them, but this proposal throws Connecticut residents to the side for the potential market that is out-of-state students. It’s just like when a company offers new customers a slew of benefits while ignoring the faithful ones that have been with it through thick and thin.

If this proposal was approved Tuesday, as many expect it to be, it will do nothing more to the declining enrollment issue that the state faces than to blindly throw a lousy solution at one of the many problems that Connecticut must deal with in the future.