CCM students display artwork at exhibition

BY TODD EVANS 
Staff Writer 

Vincent van Gogh once said “I am seeking. I am striving. I am in it with all my heart,” and the student artists at County College of Morris displayed the products of their hearts and many hours of work at the Art Club’s Annual Art Exhibition April 2 in the Davidson rooms located in the student center. 

CCM Art Club President Megan Metrock said that the goals of the exhibition were to give the student artists exposure and for students to “come together and see a bunch of artwork.” The work shown at the exhibition varied across different types of art including: acrylic paint, photography and mixed media. The majority of the submissions to the exhibition came from art majors, but a few artworks were created by non-art majors. 

There was a competition element to the exhibition with all submissions being judged with three levels of winners selected. The first place winner was The Youngtown Edition’s own Mike DiCola for his photograph titled “Asbury Park.” His winning photograph was a black and white that depicted a “pier in Asbury Park that is almost completely repaired after hurricane sandy,” DiCola said. He believes that his photograph really works because he “kept it extremely simple” and that it has a “very smooth, clean finish to it” because it was printed on canvas. 

An acrylic painting titled “A Child’s Imagination” came in second place. It shows a child’s bedroom in black and white with three toys at a tea party among other common childhood objects in the background. The ceiling and walls are bending and the wallpaper is rolling off exposing the sky. 

The honorable mention of the exhibition went to Carlos Tobon’s “Andrea” which is an acrylic painting of a landscape going off into the distance with snow peaked mountains and a sun shining through clouds. 

The exhibition gives student artists “a great way to get your foot in the door of the art world.” DiCola said. He intends to move towards a career as a freelance photojournalist and his dream to photograph for National Geographic. 

In a time when many educational art programs are being cut from budgets and the demand for art has fallen because of financial concerns, CCM students can help support the arts. Many art activities such as the exhibition cost little to no money so students can help by “stopping by and checking it out” and seeing the products of what student artists “do in those big studio rooms” Metorck said. The artwork from the exhibition afterwards will be displayed in the bookstore on campus in the student center.

NSE arranges exciting event for students

BY KAITLYN ALEGRIA 
Managing Editor 

New Social Engine, a club at County College of Morris, hosted their annual free Funplex night, March 27. NSE serves to provide these types of social outings to reduce the risks of alcohol and drug use among the student body. 

Jeremy Forrester, NSE president and a student at CCM for three years, helps arrange these events for students. 

“This is our annual free Funplex night where we [collaborate] with Fairleigh Dickinson University and Drew University,” Forrester said. “We rented out Funplex for two and half hours.” 

Not only was it free to get into Funplex, but students who were invited had access to free tokens, pizza and soda while enjoying the rides, according to Forrester. 

“Basically, it’s just to show them that there are other things you could do on any night without going to parties, drinking, drugs and stuff. There are alternatives,” Forrester said. 

There were approximately 160 students who came to NSE’s Funplex night, according to Forrester. Events in the past had more than 200 students come to enjoy the rides and celebrate being sober. 

“We had one that was over 230 once,” Forrester said. “It really varies on people’s schedules but for the most part, it’s always a high number of students that show up.” 

Fairleigh Dickinson University, Drew University and County College of Morris financed events such as this for the students to go out with friends and meet new people from different colleges. 

“We talk to campus life there, and we work with them to get money in order to organize these events,” Forrester said. “In the past, we used Prevention is Key, which is an organization that stands for what our club stands for. Now we are just getting help from the schools.” 

Christian Ibahay, a student at CCM majoring in business administration, believes that NSE does a great job at being involved with the student’s welfare. 

“This event is the best event for NSE,” Ibahay said. “People from Drew University and Fairleigh Dickinson University, I’m not really sure how involved they are, but CCM is pretty good with it.” 

Tyler Stager, a student at CCM majoring in mechanical engineering, was invited to Funplex by a friend. 

“At first I was a little nervous because I knew there was going to be a lot of people. But I ended up having a lot of fun,” Stager said. “I went on the free fall ride and the bumper cars. The best part was my friend won me a stuffed animal.” 

The lines at Funplex were long, but worth the wait, according to Stager. The opportunity to have a free, fun night with friends without worrying about the cost or who is driving home was made possible by NSE. 

“So far it seems like everyone is having fun with the go-karts and laser tag… Sounds like everyone is enjoying all the rides. You can hear them screaming throughout the place,” Forrester joked. “It’s just a fun night to come out with their friends and meet more people.”

CCM students call for intramural basketball league

BY JOHN GOLDFARB
Sports Editor

Every day at County College of Morris, students go to the gym on campus to work out and play basketball. 

Some students believe basketball should be offered as an intramural sport for those who want to play for fun.

Stephen Heo, an exercise science and education major, said that students would play intramural basketball if it was offered and that there is hidden talent that would be revealed in an intramural setting. 

“I think at CCM there’s at least 3,000 kids that had talent that aren’t on the basketball team because of favoritism or politics, so they would rather enjoy the intramural league if we had one,” he said.

According to Heo, if CCM had an intramural basketball league, a lot of students that come to the gym in between classes or during college hour would play. 

“You always see guys during their break, they’re always in the gym playing pickup games,” said Heo. “Either playing five on five, or four on four, so I think a lot kids would play.”

Jonathan Descorbeth, a business administration major at CCM, takes a similar stance, as he believes that intramural basketball is a fun sport that everyone can play. 

“At least one third of the school would play,” he said.

Exercise science major Mike Dipasquale seemed to agree that many students who did not make the main team would be interested in playing intramural basketball instead. 

“I believe that most people who can’t really play in another league or just want to play just to be around the game should come out to play,” Dipasquale said. 

He also said that he enjoys watching the game himself during his workouts. 

“I think a lot of people would try it,” Dipasquale said. “I’m always in this health building. I always see a million people in there shooting around, playing knockout, playing a pickup game, playing everything. It’s really competitive.”

CCM provides students a grand tour of Italy

BY TAMARA CUROVIC
Contributor 

Since 2011, County College of Morris provided its students with a once-in-a-lifetime experience. During next year’s Spring Break students will have an opportunity to take a 10 day grand tour of Italy, starting in Venice and ending in Rome. 

“I decided what I wanted to do was to have trips to kind of expose students from this school and from anywhere else too, to Europe,” said Craig Pilant, a history professor at CCM. “I wanted them to see what there is outside of New Jersey.” 

Pilant stressed the importance of travel and a sense of worldliness that comes with the experience of travel. This trip is not only available for CCM students, but also for others who are interested in partaking in the trip. 

“We open it to faculty, staff, administration, students, of course, families and friends,” Pilant said. “So, as long as you have some kind of association with the school, and you have somebody who is willing to basically vouch for you, you can come on the trip.” 

All throughout Europe people are speaking varied forms of English, so tour guides and translators will also be traveling with the participants of the spring break trip. They will be there as a resource to help when necessary, helping tourists feel more comfortable. 

The all-inclusive price of the trip, estimated to be $3,700, remains roughly the same as last year. The price could change depending on the itinerary planned. The price includes coverage of transportation, breakfast, dinner, and an insurance policy in case the trip is canceled. 

These tours provide a program where everyone shares the same experience, hopefully one filled with new memories. 

“I think it’s more for the experience, the cultural experience more than anything,” said Mirna Rosende, a current Spanish professor at CCM. Having gone on past trips before, she stressed the importance of taking advantage of this opportunity given its affordability. 

The next information session regarding the next tour will be held Wednesday, April 30 at 11 a.m. in DH-158.

“I think we should take the opportunity to study abroad and study in different places,” said Alyssa Valero, a current CCM student. “We’re young. We need to travel.”

CCM hosts annual Language Coffee Hour

BY GIOVANNA ROMAZINI
Assistant News Editor

County College of Morris language department hosted the annual Language Coffee Hour Thursday, April 3 at Sheffield Hall study lounge, where students were able to gather information about studying abroad, career options, clubs and the languages honor society, according to the CCM website. 

“The Language Coffee Hour has been done for about seven years,” said Professor Jose Ortiz Batista, Chairperson of the languages and ESL department. “Professors from all language departments are here to present and discuss options for fellow students who need or would like to take a CCM language course.”

Every year, guest speakers share their experiences on learning and using languages in their careers, according to Batista.

“This year we preferred to have an admission session instead of a guest speaker,” Batista said. “Advisement week is coming soon, so we felt it would be great to leave students prepared and aware of how useful a course could be in their career choices.”

During the admission session, Professor James Hart, Assistant Chairperson of the languages and ESL department, spoke to the students about the International Studies and the Study Abroad programs offered by CCM.

“The International Studies program is in the liberal arts curriculum and it has a more global perspective to it,” Hart said. “The student’s elective courses are restricted to those courses related to world history, world literatures and foreign languages. This is a major that has become increasingly more useful, as the world becomes more globalized.”

The Study Abroad Program is a supplement to the International Studies Program, according to Hart, with programs in 29 different countries, all directed through him. 

“We belong to the College Consortium for International Studies and it is through the consortium schools that students can travel abroad,” he said. “We have many students who are returning from countries like Japan and Australia.” 

Hart informed the students that the program is not restricted to certain majors, students from almost any major find that they can study abroad and still earn credit toward graduation.

The event also held a career options table hosted by Rosemary Grant, Associate Director of Career Services and Cooperative Education at CCM.

Grant guided students on how to use CCM jobs listing webpage and emphasized that at the moment there are many international companies looking for students who are able to communicate in German and French. 

“It doesn’t matter the student major,” Grant said. “If the student can get language skills underdeveloped as a minor, whether on four years programs or just take courses here, the student will be above other candidates. It is very important in this competitive job market.”

French, Spanish, Russian, German and Italian students were able to interact and discover more about the language one’s studying during activities. Professors from each subject were also present to assist anyone interested in a course. 

Natasha Griffith, liberal arts major at CCM, is currently taking French classes. She attended the Language Coffee Hour in hopes of gaining more members for her French club. 

“I would love to practice the language more on campus, not only in the classroom,” Griffith said. “There are 15 students who have joined. We are waiting to be approved by the SGA and hopefully the club will launch in the fall.”

Language Coffee Hour is an effective approach on students. It shows a better perspective of all the benefits languages programs can bring. Those who could not attend and are interested in language courses can visit the Languages and ESL Department in DeMare Hall, room DH207. 

SGA scholarship alleviates tuition

BY ERIC CHOI
Staff Writer

The burdens of student debt and tuition rates have been hurting college undergraduate and graduate students for years, and does not look to be easing soon.

According to the Pew Research Center, nearly 50 percent of students who took out student loans reported that repaying them has made it tougher to make ends meet after leaving school. Others have said it has restricted efforts in getting a home, pursuing a certain career, and delayed marriage or starting a family. 

Pew data goes further, disclosing that the average tuition cost has tripled in the last three decades.

According to latest College Scorecard information released by the U.S. Department of Education, County College of Morris has been rated favorably to similar community colleges state-wide in regards to tuition, monthly loan payments, and overall value. 

Helping to insure CCM’s leadership giving students the most “bang for their buck” is the $5k for 5 Years ($5K45Y) scholarship, spearheaded by Student Government Association President and Phi Theta Kappa member, Carlos Herrera.

The SGA is currently raising $5,000 minimum to establish a scholarship under its respective name for the CCM Foundation. The SGA has plans to conduct a bake sale and host a dance in the coming weeks to complement the approximately $2,000 already allocated towards scholarships. 

Another $2,300 has been given by personal donations. The ultimate goal is to allocate $1,000 from the initial $5,000 minimum spanned across five years, reaching out to five or more students. 

Since CCM’s tuition rate is $138.00 per credit for in-county residents, this scholarship should make a considerable impact in supporting recipients. The beneficiaries may be needing much help, considering Herrera himself said he has, “Had to pay for tuition before out of [his] pocket, [and] it can be a lot of money.”

Although final plans may be changed in the future, current criterion of scholarship will be merit based. 

As Renata Mauriz, CCM student who advocated at the N.J. State House for the passing of the Tuition Equity Act commented, “[this] Opens scholarship opportunities for undocumented students who are ineligible to apply for FAFSA.” 

In a final word, Herrera added “It’s a great effort to be able to help so many students, even after our time at CCM.”

Disclosure: this reporter has personally contributed $1,000 to the $5K45Y scholarship.

Kabuki theater meets Shakespeare at CCM

BY DANNY GONZALEZ
Entertainment Editor

On the evenings of April 24 to 26, Shakespearean fans will be treated to a stylized retelling of “Macbeth,” one which blends American and Japanese play-acting. From Thursday to Saturday at 7:30 p.m., County College of Morris’ Dragonetti auditorium will be transformed into a kabuki theater replica, complete with hanamichi, or “flower way,” and a walkway that runs from the audience aisle to the stage. The CCM actors will also be armed with swords and garbed in brilliant colored costumes, oni masks and the fearsome white makeup of the enduring Japanese art form.

Kabuki and noh are one of the oldest forms of theatre in the world, dating back to the 17th Century, according to Dr. Robert Cioffi, the established director of the CCM drama program and of the play. Mixing the intimacy of Western style with the centuries-old practices of Eastern, Cioffi pitched the idea in the month of September, according to Claire Bochenek, a three-year alumni playing Lady Makubesu. Auditions were held in January and the play has rehearsed every Monday and Wednesday leading up to the show since.

“Our production is Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ as if a kabuki or noh theater company were doing it,” Cioffi said. “It’s been done before, it sounds more unusual than it really is, but the reason I’m doing it, it’s a tribute really to a Japanese film called ‘Throne of Blood.’ It’s a famous Japanese movie, which is a version of Macbeth. [Film director Akira Kurosawa] changes all the names and cuts out plot devices.”

Kabuki and noh theatres are akin to a movie because of the constant flow and instant change of scenery, as explained by Cioffi. The performance involves minimal amounts of movement and kneeling, and is exact in nature in regards to the angles of the back, arms and feet as well as the awareness to always be visible to the audience during dialogue. Lines are addressed to the crowd and not one another, and the closest a character is to the front, the more important they are in that scene.

When actors move on stage they move with exaggerated motions in a rhythmic fashion to the soundtrack of “Memoirs of a Geisha,” according to Cioffi. The music incorporates only two or three instruments such as the hyoshigi, tszumi and fue, wooden clappers, hourglass-shaped drums and bamboo flutes, respectively.

“It’s weird doing something so foreign when [the Japanese’s] whole culture is designed on this ritual,” said Devin Carwithen, a six-year alumni who plays Makudufu. “It really is amazing how much effort and energy and you know, the right amount of flexibility that goes into something as simple as bowing.”

Despite being held back by delays in snowstorms and power outages, the rehearsals have been moving along steadily. The cast has had to do more independent research than they are normally accustomed to, but the experience has had a positive impact on the students and the alumni. Seeing their hard work and effort come together and performing it on the stage as one ensemble of different personalities has been one of the most rewarding aspects of the play, according to cast members.

“[Cioffi] is probably one of the most knowledgeable directors, definitely in this area,” Bochenek said. “He’s able to use all of his knowledge toward all of the other shows he’s studied, shows he’s done and actually combine elements of it so that way we have a drama that has dance in it, that has music in it, yet it’s still a drama, it’s not a musical, that is extremely entertaining. You learn things without intending to.”

The plays at CCM are open to all who wish to audition. By blending in veterans with beginners, Shakespeare and Eastern tradition, CCM, Cioffi and the drama staff have fostered a unique program that keeps graduates coming back.

“We do things different here, it’s not the same five plays that every other theater does,” said TJ Reissner, an eight-year alumnus and the play’s titular Makubesu. “We do things like ‘Journey to the West’ and ‘The Almost True and Truly Remarkable Adventure of Israel Potter, an American Patriot.’ Plays that no one has heard of and are unique and interesting.”

Just don’t mention the name of “that Scottish play” when acting in a different one. Though not superstitious, Cioffi said he hates to break tradition.