Tag Archives: club news

The Most Dangerous Club on Campus

By Ashley Foy

At last September’s club fair, one group in particular stood out as new sign-up sheets continuously were being added to the table after students heard a brief description of planned activities.

“[SALD Associate Director] Sue Sweeney told us at the club fair that we are the most dangerous club on campus,” said Drew Blythe, the club’s vice president.

This popular and “dangerous” new club on campus is the outing club.

“Matt [Vekakis] and I came up with the idea of an adventure club during winter break 2010. When we found out, however, that there was formerly an outing club which had held the same mission as us, we decided to reactivate that,” explains Liz Braun president of the outing club. “Our club purpose is to enjoy nature in a respectful way, but we also throw in a relaxed sense of having fun and adventure. The main difference between us and the old outing club is the adventure we mix in.”

One would think a club that’s main goal is respecting and enjoying nature should seem like a relatively low-risk club, but that is clearly not the case for the outing club.

“We definitely throw a lot of adventure into the mix, with things like zip-lining and whale watching,” explained Vice President Drew Blythe.

While the club is working on insurance issues surrounding some of their planned activities, they are promising exciting events for their club members. With already around 50 members on Collegiate Link and a strong following of members at meetings and on their Facebook page, this club is quickly becoming a popular one around campus.

The club is currently in the process of getting gear for all of their active members, and then will be giving out extra reusable bags and carabiners with an outing club logo to promote the club and thank the members for their support. These will be given out at a table they will have in the Student Center in the fall semester and at an event they are planning for Earth Day in the spring.

Aside from their major whale watching trip during the spring semester, the club will have an overnight event this winter where members go rock climbing, sleep over, have pizza and hang out. The event will be held at Prime Climb in Wallingford, Conn. And before then, while Connecticut is still in its fall foliage stage, the club plans to go on a hike and will announce the time and place once they get the clearance from SALD.

Important to remember is that the club covers many different nature activities from all walks of life. There is no expertise required to partake in any of the events. Beginners and experts alike will be accommodated at each event to ensure that all students are truly welcome to join in and will have a good time.

Meetings for the outing club are every other Thursday. The next meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Sprague Room in the Student Center.

Japanese American Cultural Club Hopes to Expand Focus

The Japanese American Cultural Club is planning on going in a new direction this semester that club president Raymond Feliciano hopes will illustrate the club’s commitment to a more comprehensive understanding of Japanese culture, history and society.

In the past, the club’s main focus has revolved around Japanese media, including anime, video games and other Japanese popular culture.

“We want to bring to light different aspects of Japanese culture. We’ve started straying away from just media culture,” said Feliciano.

Recently, the club has strived to present a more comprehensive look at Japanese culture through panel discussions, forums, Q&A sessions with Japanese students and educational trips. Feliciano and treasurer Chelsey McGovern hope that this new direction will also shed some light on CCSU’s East Asian Studies major and study abroad opportunities.

“We really want to make the East Asian Studies major more visible,” said McGovern, who recently returned from a year abroad at Kansai Gaidai, CCSU’s partner school in Japan.

Feliciano emphasized that while the focus of the club is Japanese culture,  the main goal is to promote a cross-cultural understanding.

“It’s open to all students,” said Feliciano. “The only thing you need is an open mind”.

The club’s first major event will be a Japanese game show night on Sept. 23 at 7 p.m. in Torp Theatere. The game show night is open to anyone who wishes to participate.

The Japanese American Cultural Club meets on Thursdays from 7 p.m to 10 p.m. in the Student Center in the Philbrick Camp Room.

For more information e-mail the club at jclubccsu@yahoo.com.

CCSU Hosts ASME East Human Powered Vehicle Challenge

CCSU hosted the event this year, bringing in 28 teams from around the world.

By Samantha Fournier

In thick jagged white writing the words “Devil’s Chariot” appeared on the side of the smooth black carbon fiber exterior of the Human Powered Vehicle Club’s vehicle as club members drove it around the Stafford Motor Speedway last weekend for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers East vehicle challenge.

This year, CCSU hosted the ASME East human powered vehicle challenge, bringing 28 teams from around the world. Some of these teams came from as far away as Venezuela and Canada to CCSU’s campus to race their human powered vehicles in this three day competition.

The event started off with a design presentation and safety check on May 7 around Copernicus Hall.

“Each vehicle had to be able turn within a 25 foot radius,” said CCSU’s Human Powered Vehicle club president Ben Haase, adding that each vehicle had to get up to 15 miles per hour at 100 feet and had to be able to stop within 20 feet.

The event then moved to the Stafford Motor Speedway on Saturday and Sunday for drag, utility, and endurance races. Overall CCSU’s three-wheel design came in 9th in the utility class.

Racers for this year were club participants Johnny Kassay, Joshua Treadwell, Charles Hart and Shayna Bartell. Over the past year these students, as well as Haase and other students have worked outside of class at nights, on the weekends, and some holidays to complete this vehicle for the ASME East HPV Challenge.

Since 2004 students have been building vehicles with club advisor and technology professor Dr. David Sianez. In 2008 the human powered hehicle group became an official club.

“Enough of us got involved that we wanted to help it grow,” said club president Haase of the club’s start.

“[The] purpose of the club is to apply what they learn in the classroom – application based learning. We try to expand the students’ experiences,” said Sianez of the club’s purpose.

Throughout the year students of all majors participate in the planning and building of the vehicle. They first apply their concept to a computer generated model and then use that to create the vehicle, which includes making a series of molds for the exterior and building the body. Altogether Sianez estimates students put in 1,200 to 1,500 hours worth of work on the vehicle.

While the team wanted nothing more than their hard work to pay off at the challenge, the club interaction and personal progress is important.

“For me the idea of winning has nothing to do with it,” added Sianez. “The idea of performing to the best of your abilities has everything to do with it.”

The Human Powered Vehicle club is already planning for next year’s two-wheel chrome exterior vehicle to race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway next spring.

CT1 Media Trip Reveals Changing Industry

The broadcast area of the CT1 Media newsroom that includes both the Hartford Courant and Fox 61.

By Jason Cunningham

The Hartford Courant’s home on Broad Street has transformed from the one that earned America’s longest continuously published newspaper a Pulitzer Prize. The integration of Connecticut’s affiliate Fox 61 with the Courant has created a new kind of media beast.

Students from CCSU’s Society of Professional Journalists chapter who visited the paper’s newsroom on April 30 were greeted by the yellow smiling faces of dysfunction known as The Simpsons. The long-running Fox cartoon family sits in the building’s main entrance, an instant reminder that this house now provides for two.

“TV people are very noisy,” joked Douglas Stewart, Fox 61’s Operations Manager .

Stewart, who led the SPJ’s tour through the building, believes the combination of the newspaper and station provide the greatest extent of coverage possible for their news organizations.

“We’re all adjusting to each other,” Stewart said.

The group first got a look at the massive printing press used by the Courant. According to Stewart it’s referred to as the “Daily Miracle.”

On the third floor Stewart explained how Google Hot Trends is used as a journalistic tool for both media organizations. He also talked of how the Courant and Fox 61 have expanded upon each other’s work, especially for online content. Sharing staff is a common translation for sharing resources between the two.

“Our photography staff is fluent, they work within both worlds,” Stewart explained.

Working within multiple journalistic worlds is Stewart’s main advice for anyone considering a career in journalism. Advising the SPJ members to be trained in as many disciplines as possible, ranging from writing and photography to audio and film editing.

“Be a one man band,” Stewart said, “This is what it’s moving towards and you’ve got to be ahead of the game.”

Regardless of what different news philosophies the Courant and Fox 61 bring to the table, Stewart says the newspaper and station count on each other.

“At the end of the day, that’s a good thing,” Stewart said.

Jenifer Frank, the Courant’s Deputy Metro Editor, calls the convergence an “interesting experiment.”

The group had moved into a conference room next to the newsroom, briefly sitting with Stewart and Frank until Stewart exited, leaving Frank open to the SPJ’s questions.

“Convergence is tough,” Frank said. “What’s going to happen is all trial and error.”

The future of the news industry, print journalism in particular, has taken a dramatic shift with the consuming popularity of Internet-based news organizations.

Frank told the group that while training in the traditional print journalistic method is useful, it’s not enough to base a career of off in the transforming industry.

“If I were your age I wouldn’t go into journalism right now,” Frank said with a laugh. “It’s a whole different ball game.”

Members of the SPJ still seemed confident that jobs in journalism would be available to them after graduation.

“There’s always and interest in sports,” said Andrew Ragali, SPJ President. “Having ESPN in your backyard is encouraging.”

Culture Shock Claims Title as Event of the Year

ASO President Gigi Neama

By Jason Cunningham

Culture Shock, an event that features performances from across the African Diaspora, received Event of the Year at the Annual Club Recognition Dinner on Monday.

During Culture Shock, cultures with African roots represent themselves through performances, vendors and cultural foods to create a night of diverse entertainment. Culture Shock is the biggest event mainly sponsored by the Africana Students’ Organization.

“The night, all in all, went smoothly because we had a great team of workers to help who were organized and enthusiastic on making the show a memorable one,” said Gigi Neama, president of the ASO.

The Caribbean Orchestra, Karibe Mambo lead by Orlando Ortiz and Alisa from Alisa’s House of Salsa came together during the event to make Culture Shock an interactive performance.

“Just imagine 200 people learning to salsa dance and topping it off with a Conga and Limbo Line,” said Neama.

Culture Shock also featured a full buffet of Caribbean, African, Latin American, European and Indian food.

“In 2009 they needed the services of WFCS for DJing. We were a success so they brought us back,” said WFCS 107.7 DJ Earl B-EZ Nelson.

Nelson along with Michael DJ Fresh Jackson provided music and sound expertise for the evening.

“The reason why this is such a success is because it’s a cultural gathering of all cultures. There’s no superiority there, everyone is treated the same, on the same level,” said Nelson.

According to Neama, the fourth annual Culture Shock in 2009 was a crucial year for ASO. Prior to that Culture Shock had low attendance. The 4th annual Culture Shock was appealing because, like this year, the audience was integrated with the performers, engaging them in activities like salsa and belly dancing. Attendance jumped from 50 in 2008 to 200 in 2009, allowing the ASO a better opportunity to promote Culture Shock on a larger scale for this year.

Other cultural organizations on campus that are involved with Culture Shock include the Black Student Union, the United Caribbean Club, the Latin American Students Organization and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People amongst others. The President of NAACP, Martine Bernade, has acted as one of the emcees for Culture Shock for the past two years.

“A lot of the times cultural organizations have a stereotype that they are specific to a certain race or ethnicity of people and that hinder diversity within membership,” said Neama. “A common misconception among our cultural organizations on campus, Culture Shock counters that and opens up student’s minds to giving ASO a chance.”

ASO has already made plans to incorporate more events into their yearly calendar and hopes to be successful integrating fun and inviting events for the campus.

Muslim Writer Expresses Self Through Poetry

Boonaa Mohammed

By Jason Cunningham

There was a smaller than desired turnout at Torp Theatre for the Muslim Student Association’s “Inspirational Memoirs of a Muslim Poet” lecture.

Still, the first few rows were packed with people from the area’s Muslim community. The presenting poet, Boonaa Mohammed, had no trouble winning over the mostly Muslim audience.

“That’s my disclaimer, there’s nothing outwardly amazing about me,” Mohammed started.

Mohammed started writing poetry in 2006 to combat the stresses he’s felt growing up and living in Toronto, Canada. A child of refugees from Oromia, an oppressed part of Ethiopia, Mohammed balanced two cultures as he grew up.

“My parents grew with an insight of speaking out,” Mohammed said.

Mohammed’s parents left their country fearing the fatal repercussions to their opposition of the government. Mohammed criticizes oppression he sees in society as well, using his background and strong religious convictions as themes to propel his messages.

“Small crowds make me nervous,” Mohammed said with laughter instantly following. Though he claimed to speak to all faiths and all people, the audience heard less about his experiences as a Muslim and more about his religious convictions.

The MSA called the event outreach orientated before the poet took stage, saying that the main goal of the lecture was to eliminate stereotypes and to bridge the gap of cultural misunderstanding Muslims face in the West. Mohammed, however, mostly talked to everyone as if he was leading sermon, not delivering poetry that represented his struggles.

In his poem “How to be a Slave” Mohammed preached complete servitude to Allah.

“Some people worship money, only to see it go away… Some people are like pennies, two faced and almost worthless… Yes everyone will die, but not everyone truly lives…Why be a slave to this world when you can be Al-‘Ubudiyyah,” Mohammed rhymed.

“Al-‘Ubudiyyah” translates into being God’s slave. During the poem’s recital Mohammed jokingly sang a verse from the Britney Spears’ song “I’m A Slave 4 You.” As he did with most of his work, elements of humor popped their way into the entirety of the night.

“I’m black and Muslim, so everywhere I go someone hates me,” Mohammed said before the men in the audience took a break onstage for a group prayer.

Mohammed also preached caution to Muslims, bewaring them not to let people assume that they hate North America. Saying that since the United States and Canada are comprised mostly of immigrants, we all have an equal right to be here and thus can’t hate where we choose to live. Mohammed believes that rather than hatred, love is actually proven for a place through criticism, which will hopefully inspire improvement. Mohammed said that through his poetry he documents the injustice he sees all around.

“I’m like a journalist, you know those guys on Fox News, I’m like one of those idiots,” Mohammed said.

Though the goal of the event was unclear, feeling more like a performance by a completely commercial artist, the MSA still found it to be successful. It may not be Mohammed’s priority, but the MSA were very clear about their ultimate goal to reach out and to help people understand Muslims in this country better.

“This is the biggest event we’ve done in a while. This was our final event for the year, but our future goals are to get a prayer space on campus and to continue to work hard to erase the misconceptions people have about Muslims,” said Ala’a Alsaqri, the president of the Muslim Student Association.

“We want to reach out and show people we are more than what is shown in the media.”

NORML Ready to Rally for Marijuana Laws on 4/20

By Michael Walsh

CCSU’s NORML chapter will be rallying on campus and taking over the student center circle on Tuesday, April 20 for its inaugural 4/20 hemp and marijuana educational event.

NORML, the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, is a non-profit group seeking to make the responsible use of cannabis by adults no longer subject to penalty. The CCSU chapter is currently the only chapter in the state of Connecticut.

“Our short term goal is to educate,” said Larry Vitko, the club’s vice president.

NORML plans to utilize the all-day event to help educate the public on the benefits of hemp and marijuana.

“Knowledge is power. There is so much false information out there right now,” said Ross Martowski, president of CCSU NORML. “There are a lot of educational sites out there that are disgusting.”

“We will have merchandise but we’re also going to have pamphlets,” said Martowski. “We’ll have tons of information, more information than you could ever imagine, especially on industrial hemp. We have updated reports from NORML for 2010 for clinical apps.”

The group also plans to have petitions ready to be signed that will in turn be handed to both school administration and politicians in the local governments.

“As far as the big picture goes, we just want reform. The decriminalization bill 476 is going through. That’s a big thing,” said Martowski.

Bill 476 would make possession of less than one ounce of marijuana punishable only by an infraction or fine. Currently in the state of Connecticut, possession of less than one ounce of marijuana can end in a fine of up to $1,000 and up to a year in jail for the first offense. A second offense is considered a felony and is punishable by up to five years in prison.

“The police will argue that not much will happen with the penalties, which is actually pretty true,” said Martowski. “You might get some community service or something like that, but the record itself – you’ll lose federal funding. You won’t be able to get any state jobs with a drug charge on your record.”

Aside from the decriminalization of marijuana and the reduction of penalties for those caught with it, CCSU NORML is also  focusing on the use of medicinal marijuana.

“Many, many times [marijuana is] a safer form of medicine. A lot of these patients are dying. We give them morphine which is worse for you. It’s a condensed opiate. What’s heroin? A condensed opiate,” said Martowski. “Yeah they do other little things to it, but it’s far more horrible. It just destroys everything. It’s extremely addictive. Why do we have that legal when you can prescribe marijuana instead?”

According to the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, medicinal marijuana exists already in the form of Marinol. Typically used in pill form, Marinol is a synthetic THC that according to the DEA’s website, “has been found to relieve the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy for cancer patients and to assist with loss of appetite with AIDS patients.”

The club will argue that Marinol will still get users high and is far more dangerous because it is a synthetic and isolated product compared to the natural state of cannabis.

“When you make Marinol with just the fake THC, which is a problem of its own, it will cause problems because it’s fake,” said Martowski.

The only lingering worry for the group is how the event might be perceived by both those inside  and outside of marijuana culture.

“I don’t want to make it seem like this is just a pot culture event, a giant rally where everyone is going to be smoking weed,” said Martowski. “At the same time I don’t want to make it seem like some boring educational event where only three people will show up.”

Martowski said he is seeking a balance between the professional, educational route and the more fun, pot culture route that is commonly brought to mind when the date 4/20 is mentioned.

“I’m just afraid that it’s maybe going to defer some of the other people who are more politically involved from showing up or more professionally involved or even people who are now just starting getting involved with it who actually have the bravery to go do stuff like this,” said Martowski. “And now they’re not going to do it because they think it will be just a bunch of potheads sitting there.”

CCSU NORML already knows what most of the entertainment will consist of. CCSU’s own radio station, WFCS 107.7, will be outside covering the event, playing pot culture music. Also scheduled is a magic show from 4 to 5 p.m. Martowski said the art club has been in contact with NORML and will be there to promote their upcoming mural slam. They also hope to have a few vendors on campus to sell merchandise.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. and run throughout the day until 7 p.m. A rain date has been set for Thursday, April 22.

Bill 476:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 21a-267 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2010):

(a) No person shall use or possess with intent to use drug paraphernalia, as defined in subdivision (20) of section 21a-240, to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain or conceal, or to ingest, inhale or otherwise introduce into the human body, any controlled substance as defined in subdivision (9) of section 21a-240. Any person who violates any provision of this subsection shall [be guilty of a class C misdemeanor] have committed an infraction.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2010) Any person who possesses or has under his control less than one ounce of a cannabis-type substance, except as authorized in chapter 420b of the general statutes, shall have committed an infraction.

Sec. 3. Subsection (c) of section 21a-279 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2010):

(c) Any person who possesses or has under his control any quantity of any controlled substance other than a narcotic substance, or a hallucinogenic substance other than marijuana or who possesses or has under his control one ounce or more but less than four ounces of a cannabis-type substance, except as authorized in this chapter, for a first offense, may be fined not more than one thousand dollars or be imprisoned not more than one year, or be both fined and imprisoned; and for a subsequent offense, may be fined not more than three thousand dollars or be imprisoned not more than five years, or be both fined and imprisoned.

NRA Reps Stop by Campus

CCSU Riflery and Marksmanship Club Hosts NRA Speakers as Part of Empty Holster Protest Week

By Kim Scroggins

Seth Waugh

As part of their pro-gun protest that had lasted all last week, Central’s Riflery and Marksmanship club hosted National Rifle Association speakers last Thursday to help inform students on how to become more effective activists both on and off campus.

Suzanne Anglewicz and Seth Waugh came to speak on behalf of the NRA-ILA or the National Rifle Association Institute for Legislative Action. The two-hour seminar was help in Torp Theatre and provided those who attended with a history of their program and what they hope to achieve through campaigning across college campuses.

The first half of the program was dedicated to the pro-gun debate which went through history of the NRA and the reintroduction of our Second Amendment. But it was when Waugh took the podium that the message became apparent: the NRA thrives on student group help.

“We love seeing that,” Waugh emphasized. Election Volunteer Coordinators and the Eagle Program, which introduces children at a young age on how to handle situations where guns are present, were also groups mentioned that could be used to help spread better understanding of gun use and the right to carry.

The majority of his lecture was listing ways for students to better their chances of getting a pro-gun candidate into office.

“Personal visits are some of the best things you can do,” Waugh said. Also on the top of the list were making phone calls to lawmakers, writing letters to the editor and using social networking like Facebook or Twitter. However, no matter which route you take, “be concise and well rounded on the issue.”

He mentioned a few resources for pro-gun students on the CCSU campus; Waugh said dorms, the student center, campus bulletin boards and student or sporting events are effective ways to talk about a cause. He also said advised students to to never be afraid to try a tailgate campaign.

“I can’t tell you how impressed I am,” Waugh said of CCSU’s Riflery Club. He praised their ambition and credits Sarah Adler, club President, for the gathering of such a group. However, he still made sure to advise those in the audience to work on a campaign and to “get involved at a young age, get these contacts now.”

Holsters on Display

The CCSU Riflery and Marksmanship Club is hosting the campus empty holster protest, a demonstration in which supporters of the controversial concealed carry policy on college campuses wear holsters for a week. This week will include a visit by a National Rifle Association representative, a bake sale and holster event.