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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.”

Club Hockey Brings Governor’s Cup To Newington

The team celebrates after winning the Governor's Cup. Photo: Daniel Saunders | The Recorder

By Brittany Burke

The buzzer went off and sticks and gloves flew into the air as the CCSU hockey players rushed from behind the bench to celebrate the 3-1 over the UConn Huskies. This wasn’t just an ordinary win for the Blue Devils; this one gave the athletes the CT Governor’s Cup, something that has never been in their possession before.

The two teams lined up and shook hands, but as soon as the trophy was in the hands of the Blue Devils, the cheers and celebrating started all over again. The cup was passed from player to player, raised in the air and kissed.

The Stanley Cup-esque celebration continued well into the team locker room, and is something the Blue Devils have fought for the right to do each year, always coming up short.

“This is a good thing for us. We put a good win streak together mid-season, [the cup is] just a nice little prize,” said Michael Joy. “It’s a relief because last year we came in second, the year before that we came in second; we came in second at nationals. It’s that point where we finally hit the tipping point and made it over, finally got a big win for a championship. It’s something that this team needs and can rally around pushing to the end of the season.”

The CT Governor’s Cup tournament is a mini two-day tournament featuring club teams from four Connecticut schools. This year CCSU played with the University of New Haven, Western Connecticut State University and UConn.

CCSU played the UNH Chargers on the first day of the tournament, beating the team 5-1. The first game victory put the Blue Devils in the winner’s bracket against the Huskies, who had beat WCSU the night before.

As UNH battled WCSU in the second rink at the Newington Arena, CCSU hockey fought against their in-state rivals.

The last time the two teams had met, the Blue Devils gave up a four point lead, and allowed the Huskies to come back and tie for the draw.

“Last time we played [UConn] we blew a four goal lead, so regardless of it being a championship game or not it’s an in-state rival,” said Matt Siracusa. “There’s nothing we wanted more than to beat them in the championship. Before the tournament started we figured we’d meet them in the finals, so it was really nice to win. We had a good amount of fans come out and celebrating with them, there’s nothing better than that.”

While both teams played hard, this game’s outcome was different, as CCSU wouldn’t give UConn the opportunity to take the lead.

With Greg Coco in the net, the Blue Devils had the game won with 1:56 left to play in the third. Down by one, and already on the man advantage, the Huskies were scrambling to get the tying goal.

In an effort to get that second goal, UConn goalie Craig Naclerio was pulled and the Huskies were given the sixth man on the ice.

Even with the extra manpower, the Huskies couldn’t control the Blue Devils. CCSU’s Siracusa gained control of the puck and skated it up the left side, eventually burying it into the right side of the empty net.

As the puck left his control Siracusa continued to skate behind the net, but was upended into the boards by a UConn defender, but that didn’t stop him from getting up to celebrate with him teammates on the bench. The goal had given CCSU the two-goal padding and momentum for the last minutes of the game.

“Personally I take pride in my defensive game,” said Siracusa. “I wasn’t have the best offensive game, but I just made sure the other team kept the puck out of the net, and I saw that puck wide open, skated as hard as I could and there was no other option than put it in the net [it was a] tough angle, and just the emotions came out. I could’ve went a little overboard on the celebration but it’s always nice to win a championship.”

Even though it was CCSU who topped UConn, it was the Huskies who got on the board first in the opening period.

With Andrew Mazerkiewicz serving the last 23 seconds of a five-minute penalty, UConn’s Joseph Fiori powered past the CCSU defense and netted the one and only goal against Coco.

The lead was short-lived as the Blue Devils countered with under three minutes to play in the period. The stick-side goal from Conor Stanley, assisted by his brother Ryan Stanley and Jon Knobloch, marked his 18th point in 14 games.

CCSU’s score was doubled with a goal coming from Knobloch, for his second point of the night. Evan Mink and Ryan Pereira were also on the score sheet with a single assist each.

“The lines are gelling very well,” said Adams. “I’m very excited that we’re back to running four lines that’s what got us to nationals [two years ago]. I’m confident in putting any person on the ice in any situation, we certainly have some key players that are out there in key times but everybody’s just getting the job done.”

Defensively, the Blue Devils were missing two major powers, Kevin Paglinco and Sean Stoneman, from the lineup. Despite the losses, CCSU managed to clear the puck and keep the Huskies out of the net.

“They’re a big asset to the team, especially Pags … definitely big losses there,” said Joy. “[To fill the void] you just match [UConn’s] intensity legally, we had some rookies step up today so it was good to see them step up and we just had to rally around Coco who was taking heat down low and stand up for one another and it works out.”

Coco had a huge game, saving 44 of the 45 shots UConn took against him.

The Blue Devils have a week off due to the Thanksgiving holiday, and will then go on a two-game home stint. CCSU returns to the Newington Arena on Dec. 10 to take on Endicott College.

CCSU Blows A Four Goal Advantage

By Brittany Burke

The CCSU club hockey team played its third game in as many days against the University of Connecticut and, for the third straight game, the team was forced into an overtime situation, ending in a 4-4 tie.

“[The team] doesn’t want to lose and regardless of the score, they play hard and that’s a testament to the last two games,” said Head Coach Ben Adams. “Tonight I think we made too many mental mistakes and we stopped doing what was working for us and fully let [UConn] back into the game and they had a slow start and they ended up finding their magic.”

Coming off a home loss in extra minutes against New York University on Saturday night, the Blue Devils traveled to Freitas Ice Forum at UConn to try and get its first win of the weekend.

CCSU got the early advantage in the first with a goal from Conor Stanley and just two minutes later the initial deficit grew to two due to a shot taken by Jon Knobloch with 11:38 to play until the first intermission.

Knobloch led the team in goals against the Huskies, notching three goals for the hat trick, and a total of four points.

“It feels great you know especially so early in the season it’s good to get the goals off your back,” said Knobloch. “It’s a good feeling, but we played a tough game. We played good the first two periods then kind of fell apart a little bit and they came back we’re no strangers to overtime this year.”

His second goal of the night, and first shorthanded goal came 18 minutes into the game while Ryan Stanley served two minutes in the box.

Goalie Greg Coco managed to keep UConn off the board for the first 32 minutes while CCSU catapulted to a 4-0 lead. Coco finished the 65-minutes with 32 saves for 36 shots.

While the Huskies allowed for the Blue Devils to score four unanswered points, the home team kept fighting and eventually began to close the gap. Beginning with the late second period goal, the Huskies went on to tie the game with three third period goals.

“Blowing a four goal lead is never acceptable,” said Adams. “In this game that overtime was tough, we should have finished that game off with a W in regulation, as far as the other overtimes [on Friday and Saturday] they were hard earned.”

The final goal for the Huskies came with under three minutes to play in the game and while CCSU kept the puck moving, neither team managed to bury the puck, forcing the five-minute sudden death overtime.

“I think our guys just have to do a little bit better at settling down and blocking shots,” said Adams. “When they have opportunities to get pucks out they have to get them out there, can’t be an excuse as to why it didn’t and these kids are going to have to look within themselves and figure out that no team is going to just rollover and no team is gonna stop coming and give you a lane and they’re going to have to figure out what you need to get it done.”

The extra five minutes came and went with both teams still at four each. Since the league doesn’t go beyond the extra minutes the score remained and the Blue Devils ended the weekend where it had begun, in a tie.

“We basically played an extra period this weekend with all the overtimes,” said Knobloch. “We just got to learn to just close it out I think eventually we’ll get there, it’s still early in the season so it’s not a time to panic.”

The Blue Devils have now played five games, with four of the five going into extra minutes. CCSU will see action again on Saturday Oct. 22 at 9 p.m. to take on the Boston College club team.

Column: Huskies Who? Go Blue Devils!

By Brittany Burke

I managed to avoid writing this piece until I knew the UConn Huskies had secured the championship, because even I got caught up in the March Madness.

But I have to ask, did anyone really expect that the men would be playing in the finals, while the women were sent home? If anything I thought it would be the complete opposite, but I and everyone who did not pick the men in their March Madness brackets were proven wrong by Calhoun and his talented team.

So as this article comes to life for the CCSU student newspaper, I am watching the post game ceremony from inside a CCSU building and despite the fact that I go to CCSU, I am elated as a resident of Connecticut that the Huskies won. This is because you can’t help but not get pulled in to the excitement of the state team potentially taking it all, and representing where you come from.

Piggybacking off of what my editor-in-chief said last week, it is fully acceptable for a non-UConn student or alumnae to root for the Huskies. The team isn’t school specific, the fan base extends throughout all of Connecticut, and even further.

While I fully understand and embrace rooting for UConn, especially Huskies basketball in the NCAA tournament final, I don’t want to forget about the Blue Devils.

I am by no means comparing the enormity of what the Huskies did to the Blue Devils. I merely want to know why students of CCSU can’t find the same pride and excitement for their own athletics program.

The fact that we aren’t UConn shouldn’t matter. The students on the CCSU campus cheering and drinking in honor of the Huskies win should be the same students to attend a Blue Devils game and cheer on the athletes who represent their school.

I understand cheering on Kemba Walker and Maya Moore, but you should also turn out and yell C-C-S-U for Ken Horton or Leaanne Crockett amongst the other athletes on one of CCSU’s 16 NEC sports.

That’s not to say there is absolutely no Blue Devil pride, but it’s not where it can be.

We shouldn’t degrade what the Blue Devils do, because “they aren’t UConn.” Every student attending any one of the four state schools, CCSU, Southern, Eastern or Western should show the same form of camaraderie for their universities as they do UConn.

‘A Little March Madness [May] Contribute to Sanity’

By Brittany Burke

In the month of March there is no getting away from college basketball. Whether you are a fan of the sport or not, it is hard not to get drawn in to the craziness of the NCAA men’s and women’s tournaments. As the contests are reaching their heights with the men’s Final Four set, along with the women’s Elite Eight taking shape, there are some things every sports lover should know, whether you are a basketball fanatic or basketball hater.

10. If you want to sound informed it is important to know the teams who remain in the tournament. The 2011 men’s Final Four is made up of Butler, Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), the University of Kentucky and yes, UConn.

The women’s Elite Eight currently stands with Tennessee, Notre Dame, Stanford, Gonzaga, Baylor, Texas A & M, Duke, and once again, of course, UConn. (However, by the time this paper goes to print the Elite Eight will become the Final Four.)

9. This year’s tournament was extended from 65 to 68 teams, because we all know that 65 just wasn’t enough. Due to the expansion a new round was added, called The First Four, which coincidentally isn’t referring to the amount of teams. It’s referring to the number of games.

8. The rounds for the NCAA Tournaments are as follows: The First Four, The Round of 64, The Round of 32 (not the most creative, but they get the point across), the Sweet Sixteen (now you won’t get it confused with the MTV show), the Elite Eight and the Final Four.

7. The term March Madness was coined in 1939 in Illinois, but it didn’t gain popularity with the NCAA Tournaments until the ‘80’s. Aside from March Madness, the NCAA Tournaments are also known as, The Big Dance, although March Madness remains the catchier of the two.

6. Both CBS and the Illinois High School Association own the rights to the phrase “March Madness” after Illinois basketball official H.V. Porter first used it.

5. The Butler and VCU head coaches are amongst the youngest head coaches in the NCAA. VCU’s Shaka Smart is 33, while Butler’s Brad Stevens is 34. One of their teams will go head-to-head with Jim Calhoun’s Huskies or John Calipari’s Wildcats in the championship. UK currently has the most wins in the history of college basketball. Daunting? Just a bit.

4. While most fans are worried about their tournament brackets and their profits, the NCAA makes sure to dole out the billions made to the participating schools. One-sixth of the money is based on how many NCAA sports each school has. Half of the money from the men’s tournaments that goes to the different conferences is based on how the schools did in the six tournaments prior. While one-third of the NCAA’s profits are divided amongst the schools based on the amount of scholarships the colleges and universities give to the athletes.

3. UCLA has the most men’s tournament wins, with 11. The late John Wooden was the coach for 10 of those 11 wins and the closest school to UCLA, Kentucky, has seven wins.

2. Many will spend hours meticulously configuring their March Madness bracket and some will have multiple brackets to enhance their chances of winning. However, we all know it is the people who know nothing about basketball that just pick teams at random based on color of the schools or what not, who will actually win the pool. Which means I may actually have a shot.

1. Despite going to CCSU, it is okay to root for UConn. In fact, as a resident of Connecticut it is only right to do so.