SGA’s new president ‘I want to help you’

By Adam Gentile 

Editor in Chief 

A wide-eyed freshman wants to find an extracurricular outlet where she can continue to live her creed of trying to help as many people as she can. Luckily enough for her, CCM has volunteer-based clubs in abundance, however, she decided to ask herself a question “where can I go to have a platform that can truly make a difference?”  The answer that she arrived at was the Student Government Association (SGA), a platform that can enable her to help the entire student body and the surrounding communities. Fast forward to June of 2020 and now she finds herself as the new SGA president, Jenna Curran. 

.  Curran comes from the town of Denville and is studying political science. Curran mentioned that throughout her life her parents have helped to instill her values of helping as many people as she can. 

“I have always been someone who loves to help people,” Curran said. “My family raised me to always help somebody no matter who it is. If there is something that you can do to help them you help them, because you don’t know what they’ve been through.” 

Curran mentions that during her first semester as a student senator she found that she had an affinity for government. 

“I was a senator for the student affairs committee the first semester and I loved it,” Curran said. “So after I get my associates at CCM I’m planning on studying political science and I’m on a pre-law track. I was really just planning on going into law and becoming an attorney, but I didn’t realize how much I would love government. But now that I’m in it and have worked on all of these projects, which unfortunately didn’t happen due to COVID, I really got to understand the potential of what government can do.” 

One of Curran’s canceled projects included the Escape the Vape event that was planned for May 1,  however, Curran mentions that she plans on hosting anti-vaping style events when organized events can be reintroduced to campus. 

Since becoming president, Curran mentioned she has been in meetings with several of CCM’s deans, along with the vice president of student development and enrollment management Dr. Bette Simmons, and CCM president Dr. Anthony Iocono, and hopes that with these connections she can be more effective at organizing projects that can help the students. 

Curran mentions that she believes that the role of SGA as a group is to act as an intermediary between the students and the administration of CCM. 

“The students are not given as great of a platform as we are,” Curran said. “For example, I have had constant contact with Dr. Iocono. I know that if I send him an email right now he will respond to me, but maybe if a student who was not involved in student government did they might not receive the same response that I would get, and because of that a big part of my campaign was to improve communication between us [SGA] and the students, because if they are not telling us what needs to be done, then how can we help them get their message to whoever needs to hear it? And I really want to make sure that I can do whatever I can to help people no matter what problem they’re facing. I want to help them.” 

Curran mentions that she believes that the best way for improving communication between SGA and the students of CCM involves making the organization feel more personal and by being the friendly face of the organization. 

“This is a personal preference but I think people will be more responsive if a single person had control over the social media,” Curran said. “They’d say ‘Oh, Jenna Curran is running this I know who is behind the screen,’ because the alternative is if someone reaches out to say the SGA on Instagram, and you don’t know who’s on the other side you may feel a little uncomfortable and not reach out.” 

Along with the @sga_ccm Instagram account, Curran has an alternative account currently named @curran_for_ccm_sga_president where she has a link in her bio that allows anyone from CCM to send to her comments, concerns, or complaints onto a google docs page.   

Due to the current pandemic, it is uncertain whether or not the CCM campus will be open in the fall. However, if CCM is open, Curran’s communication improvements will not only be focused on social media improvement but on also being available for real-world conversations with any student who wishes to speak to her. Curran mentioned that a possible way that she will do this is by implementing office hours for students to come by and bring up their issues to her. 

Another main part of Curran’s platform was to raise overall awareness of the SGA to CCM students as a whole, however, at the moment she is unsure how to implement that goal

“That’s the little problem we have. We aren’t sure how to get more people involved in our meetings and see how we’re voting and what we’re voting on so people can understand what we do,” Curran said. “We don’t just vote yes or no on things. We talk, we give reasoning, if we can get people to come to our meetings then they can see what we are doing and how the process works for us in order to do something.”

Curran mentions that at the end of her tenure she hopes that the SGA will become a group that all students know about, a group that all students approachable to all students, and a group that is known for helping members of the CCM campus and the community as a whole. 

Protests against police brutality spring up in Morris County

By Luna Wroblewski

Managing Editor/Photographer

Since George Floyd was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, named Derek Chauvin, on May 25, 2020, all 50 states have witnessed protests, according to USA Today. While some of the protests have turned into riots, many of the demonstrations have been peaceful. One peaceful protest happened in Morris County June 7, 2020.

The protest was in Kinnelon NJ, a small town in the county with a police force of 16 full-time officers. The 2018 census says that about 81% of Kinnelon is white, and black members of the community are claiming that they have faced racism in their small town. 

According to one of the speakers at the protest, a social media account run by students at Kinnelon High School targets black students and black members of the community in Kinnelon.

While the protest in Kinnelon went without any incidents, many of the protests in cities 

across the country have been met with riot police and use of force. Videos have shown police using force against protesters, as well as against journalists there to report on the events. Officers have been seen using tear gas, pepper spray, mace, rubber bullets, and their fists to try and stop people from protesting. Other videos show police using a tactic known as false surrender, in which they pretend to be standing down, only to open fire at protesters as they get closer. 

  In a statement issued by the mayor of Kinnelon, James Freda, he said that “Kinnelon is a welcoming town so let’s put our best foot forward.” 

Marcelo Fernandez Fauste, a CCM History student who attended a protest in Brooklyn, NY says “this government has failed us time and time again” and that he isn’t just fighting for black people, but other minorities as well. Being Hispanic himself, he said that he has faced racism despite being seen as “white Hispanic.” Fernandez Fauste also said that it worries him how militarized the police in the U.S. have become. 

At the protest, Fernandez Fauste says that it was peaceful before the police came and made it violent. 

“I saw a young girl with a sign. She was like 15-16 [years old], 5 foot [tall], she was no threat,” Fernandez Fauste said. “Police grabbed her by the hair and yanked her to the ground. 

Others were furious and ran to aid her, including myself. They pepper-sprayed us. Shortly after, 

they tear-gassed the crowd and started beating people with sticks. We tried to be peaceful and 

they attacked us.”

Fernandez Fauste mentioned that this issue will divide CCM and that a lot of people, 

mostly from Randolph, are now “showing their true colors”. “

“Racism is closer than we thought,” Fernandez Fauste said. “It will be you versus them 

mentality. I’m not for it. I feel like this is more of a revolutionary time.” 

Fernandez Fauste mentioned that racists on campus usually say things behind your 

back, but they have been more vocal on social media lately.

CCM President, Dr. Anthony Iacono sent the student body a “Message of Unity” on June 

3 where he states, “CCM is a college that embraces a community of unity for every student, employee and community member, regardless of race, color, age, sexual orientation, 

gender, economic class, and other factors.”

Iacono goes on to acknowledge that students and staff have faced discrimination and to announce an online discussion that will be shared by Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Bette Simmons. At the time of writing this, no details have been shared regarding the online discussion. 

A statement issued by the Randolph Police Department said, “Although we are deeply saddened and troubled by these most recent incidents across our Country we will not let them erode our mission which is to work hard each and every day to earn both your trust and respect.”

The Kinnelon Police Department has been contacted for comment; however, at the moment the department has not returned a statement on the matter.

Satire:Transition To In-person Learning Begins

Jared Brodsky

Copy Editor 

Many students have struggled with online learning. They’ve had trouble concentrating, keeping up with assignments, and communicating effectively with their professors and peers. This has prompted CCM to begin its reopening, despite the obvious risks.

“The pandemic has taken a heavy toll”, said CCM administrator Donald Fernbellow. “Lives have been lost and families have been torn apart, but we must focus on what’s important: in-person learning.”

The CCM administration has released the following protocols to ensure a smooth transition: 

1. Cars are extremely conducive to the spread of COVID-19 because the virus can easily hitch a ride in the passenger seat of a vehicle without having to attach itself to a human host. Consequently, all professors are being advised to sell their cars. Instead of continuing to use cars for transportation, the administration is urging professors to make a small, one-time investment in a Hang Glider. The Freedom 150 Hang Glider from North Wing comes highly recommended. It costs only $4,775 and requires very little maintenance. 

“We’ve installed rooftop platforms across campus on which professors can safely land their gliders each morning,” said Christoph Plotzman, vice president of roofing infrastructure and development. “Large targets have been painted on these platforms so that they can be seen from a great distance.” 

Professors are being asked to allow an extra hour each morning for travel to the nearest mountain, where they will begin their daily flight to school. Several of them have already died.

2. Because the virus has trouble traveling through solid materials, all people entering school grounds are to be shrink-wrapped. As they arrive on campus, people will step onto one of the many wrapping platforms, where staff will begin the process of plastic mummification. After their wrapping, people will find they are too stiff to walk properly. To ease their troubles, they’ll be piled onto large pallets and carried to and fro with the aid of a forklift.

“This is how things ought to be,” said Barry Orenthal, the newly appointed director of student packaging and shipping. “I envision a bright future, where people all around the world will be safely entombed in plastic. I love plastic.”

Bows and ribbons will be available to those who would prefer to be more festively wrapped. 

3. There will be no speaking allowed in classrooms. Keeping the mouth shut gives the virus fewer chances to enter or exit the body. Instead of communicating with one another verbally, students and professors will communicate solely through pantomime. This will ensure an effective exchange of ideas, while also teaching everyone a useful new skill. Accompaniment will be provided by the administration.

4. All bathrooms are to remain boarded off indefinitely. Despite numerous seminars and training videos, no one has yet figured out how to operate a sink or soap dispenser after using the toilet. We hope this might soon be remedied by Dr. Charlie Warwick’s new course, “Your Body is a Cesspool. Wash Your Hands.” For students who would like a headstart on the course, the required text will be “Things We’ve Been Telling You Since You were a Toddler,” by Marcus Downey.  

5. An independent CCM study showed that COVID-19 survived for long periods of time on printing paper. After much deliberation, CCM has decided to ban the use of books. If students’ usual reading habits are any indication, this should have no effect on anybody. 

All policies are effective immediately. Violators will be planted and potted in the CCM greenhouse.

Table of Hope provides hope for families living in uncertain times

By Adam Gentile 

Editor in chief 

CCM hosted the Table of Hope which provided local families in need with food and school supplies. The event was run in conjunction with Table of Hope, the Girl Scouts of America, the sheriff’s office of Morris County, along with various members of the CCM community, from members of the administration to students. 

The Table of Hope is a program started in 2013 and is run by the Spring Street Community Development Corporation (SSPDC), a not-for-profit organization founded in 2011 that is focused on dealing with economic, educational, and social needs for the residents of Morris County. According to the SSPDC website, the Table of Hope provided food to over 18,000 families in Morris County since April. 

The event had a contactless drive-thru set up, which had families pull up in vehicles while volunteers filled their cars with bags containing produce, meat, canned food, and boxes of girl scout cookies. 

***Table of Hope interview 

In an August 19 CCM press release, CCM President Dr. Anthony, J, Iacono said, “The CCM community is proud to call Morris County home. We’re delighted to partner once again with Table of Hope and Morris County’s Freeholders, Chamber of Commerce, Sherriff’s Office, and others to host this event, along with providing staff and students to serve as volunteers. As community organizations, we are all committed to doing all we can to strengthen the communities we serve.” 

Members of the CCM community that came out to assist the Table of Hope included members of the faculty that were encouraged by the faculty union to attend the event. Dee McAree, Secretary of Faculty Association of the County College of Morris (FACCM), as well as an Assistant Professor in the English and Philosophy department, said that the union felt a need to come out and support this event as a way to live up to the FACCM’s motto of unity, equity, and protection. 

“We are here because of what’s on our shirts unity, equity, and protection,” McAree said. “And we hold that as a community value for all, so obviously supporting families in need is what we should strive to do in the very least.”

 Other members of the CCM community that volunteered with the Table of Hope included several students. Jonathan Granda, an engineering science major and a member of the Student Government Association, mentioned that he thinks that the Table of Hope is a helpful way to give back to the community. 

“I think this is a great idea and a great way to help people in need,” Granda said, “ During this Pandemic people have lost jobs, lost parts of their income, and they may be struggling to feed their families. The Table of Hope definitely addresses anxieties that people may be feeling.” 

Protestors rally to save the Post Office

By Adam Gentile 

Editor in Chief

“Do you realize right now the Veteran’s Administration delivers 80% of prescriptions to veterans? How anyone can delay the mail the that keeps these people alive is beyond me,” shouted a Vietnam war veteran to a crowd of dozens of cheering people who attended a Save the Post Office protest in Wayne township on Friday, Aug. 21 

The protest was organized by BlueWaveNJ, a grassroots advocacy group that focuses on direct action to demand change from legislators at all levels of government, in conjunction with NJ 11 For Change, which according to their website is an unaffiliated organization that focuses on making sure that the district’s elected officials are held accountable and are responsive to the constituent. 

Blue Wave NJ’s website said that the reason for the protest was because of, “Donald Trump’s attacks and defunding of the postal system are a direct threat to the right to vote and the integrity of the election and even now are delaying Americans from getting the medicine and mail they need. We must act now to stop this attack and protect our election process.” 

The protests that have appeared in dozens of locations across N.J follow multiple months of news coverage of new changes being issued by the management of the United States Postal Service (USPS) and growing fears of decreasing quality in mail service in recent months.  According to an internal USPS Service Performance Measurement report released on August 12, the USPS has seen a decrease in service in all forms of package delivery since July.

The Washington Post released an article on July 14 entitled Postal Service memos detail ‘difficult’ changes, including slower mail delivery. The article cites internal memos being sent to local postmasters not long after the appointment of Louis DeJoy, Postmaster General of the USPS, which said that the agency will prohibit overtime pay and limit the use of certain mail delivery techniques. 

Mark Dimondstein, president of the American Postal Workers Union, told the Washington Post, “Overtime is being used because people need their packages in this pandemic. They need their mail in this pandemic. They need their medicines in this pandemic. They need their census forms. They need ballot information.”

DeJoy testified under oath in a House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing that he did not order the removal of mail sorting machines or the cutbacks to overtime hours. 

“First I did not order the removal of blue collection boxes or the removal of mail processing equipment,” DeJoy said. “Second I did not direct the cutback on hours at any of our post offices. Finally, I did not direct the elimination or cutback in overtime, I did however suspend these practices to remove any misperceptions about our commitment to deliver the nation’s mail.” 

Another article published by the Washington Post entitled Postal Service warns 46 states their voters could be disenfranchised by delayed mail-in ballots, reported the postal service being overwhelmed by the additional demand from absentee voting due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and suggested that if states want absentee ballots to be considered first-class priority mail then they have to pay for the first-class delivery service. This goes against a longstanding practice of the post office that delivered election mail as a first-class priority service at a lower rate to the states. 

According to an NPR analysis over the course of the 2020 primaries, over 65,000 voters have had their absentee ballots rejected, a majority of which was due to the ballots arriving at the clerk’s office too late despite the ballot being postmarked before election day

 Leslie Bocko, of NJ 11 For Change, mentioned that her organization viewed the changes being made to the post office as a form of voter suppression. 

“Our organization primarily deals with legislative changes and we see the attack on the post office as a way to suppress the vote,” Bocko said. “And being able to protect people’s right to vote, access to vote, and right to vote safely is crucial to our democracy.” 

Bocko mentions that along with the post office being needed in order for people to safely vote during this pandemic, the post office is also an essential resource that is often overlooked. 

“We often forget just how important the post office really is,” Bocko said. “It’s an amazing resource that many U.S citizens rely on for delivering their medication, paying their bills, and is helpful for a lot of small businesses just starting out.” 

*Editor’s Note The writer reached out to contact a member of Blue Wave N.J to get attribution for the Vietnam veteran, however at the time we went to press they did not get a name.

**Editors Note at the time of writing this Postmaster General DeJoy is under investigation by house democrats over campaign law violation

CCM’s Return to campus plan dictates actions for Fall 2020 semester

By Adam Gentile 

Editor in Chief

Last March students left the CCM campus for spring break and haven’t been back since, due to the statewide shutdown orders that came in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Months later, as the Fall 2020 semester was approaching, CCM released its Return to Campus Plan (RCP) which outlines and details the CCM’s plan for the upcoming semester from Course format to student events to providing students with the resources they need to in order to succeed at school during this pandemic. 

Dr. Bette Simmon, vice president of student enrolment and management, said that the RCP  has been in development since April and has been a collective effort between the college council, the Student Government Association, and the five labor unions at CCM. 

 “Because we wanted to do our best to ensure that the plan was comprehensive and addressed a multitude of areas of consideration, we did not want to rush through it,” Simmons said. “Rather, we wanted it to be thoughtfully and carefully developed which caused continual discussions and drafts of the plan before we had a final document.”

Dr. James Capozzi, president of the Faculty Association of the County College of Morris (FACCM) and Assistant Professor in the English and Philosophy department, said that there has been a strong collective effort by faculty to help one another and ease the transition process for the upcoming semester. 

“A lot about this upcoming semester remains to be known,” Capozzi said.”But what we do know is that there has been a huge collective effort on behalf of faculty. This has been seen when we had to transition instantly last semester, and seen in the preparation for this upcoming semester. 

Capozzi mentions that faculty understand that students like faculty are being asked to deal with this situation in ways that may not be preferable to them. 

“We [Faculty] have been encouraging each other to be as forthcoming as possible with students,” Capozzi said. “ I think everyone realizes that this is a difficult situation and that students and faculty have been compelled into a difficult scenario. This is not ideal for students at all and I think that faculty understand that we are going to have to struggle through it together to some extent.”  

Dee McAree, Secretary of FACCM as well as an Assistant Professor in the English and Philosophy department, mentioned that faculty were working with the college over the course of the summer to help with the reopening plan. 

“We had a team to come together to work with the college on the reopening plan, McAree said. “So I would say that we had a lot of input on it and professors were able to choose their own modality [Course format].” 

McAree mentioned that the college has been receptive to the needs of the faculty and has provided them with the appropriate training that they have requested. 

Technology 

According to the RCP, “there is an increased number of available laptops, webcams, and microphones available to loan to students and employees if needed.” Any student requiring technology assistance should contact TASC Plus (tascplus@ccm.edu). 

Library/Computer Labs

The library and on-campus computer labs will be open, but only to members of the CCM community. These areas have been modified in order to follow proper social distancing protocol and health guidelines. These changes resulted in the removal of seating in order to reduce capacity to about 50% and adding silicon coverings on keyboards to allow for easier cleaning. 

Course Formats

CCM will be offering classes in three different formats: online, remote, and hybrid learning. In order to learn which format a class is in, a student can check their schedule on Titan’s Direct and select the course and view the meeting information. 

An Online format has no strict meeting requirements for students. However, professors may have optional lectures for their students. As with online courses in the past, the student’s main responsibility will be to complete assignments by a specific date as set by the professor. If a class is an online class then it won’t  appear in your schedule on Titan’s direct

Remote courses, like online courses will, be exclusively online. However, unlike online courses, there will be a required lecture time for the class 

Hybrid courses will have students arriving on campus at pre-scheduled times. Courses that are eligible for hybrid learning use the guidelines provided by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 155. The guidelines outlined in Order 155 are as follows, “may resume in-person instruction of students for curricula that require labs, technical, clinical, or hands-on instruction and therefore cannot be readily taught other than through in-person instruction.” 

According to CCM’s RCP, any hybrid format class may be subject to reverting to a remote or online format dependent on directions from the Governor’s office or public health officials. Students will be notified by CCM of any possible format changes to their course. Simmons said that the speed of notification to the students will be dependent on the nature of the State’s mandate. 

 “This depends upon the mandate from the State of New Jersey and the timeline associated with that mandate,” Simmons said. “ We would hope that we would have some time to adequately inform students and faculty about any adjustments to be made.  However, as we have learned since March 13, mandates from the State could cause us to take immediate action with limited notification.”

Student services 

Student services such as campus life activities, orientations, fairs, workshops, etc. will be done virtually for the Fall 2020 semester. Academic advisement for students will be available on Titan’s Direct. 

In-person counseling, advising, and transaction services will remain available for: 

  • Accessibility Services 
  • Admissions 
  • Bursar, Campus Life 
  • Career Services 
  • Counseling Services
  • EOF
  • Financial Aid
  • Records and Registration 
  • TASC
  • The Testing Center
  •  Transfer Services

The number of staff working in the offices, along with the number of students in waiting areas and hours of operation for in-person appointments, will all be reduced. The college plans to reduce the amount of in-person appointments by “encouraging the use of online services.” Students that decide to have in-person appointments must make the appointment in advance in order to meet with the staff. According to the RCP, “ Should someone arrive on campus without an appointment, the department will need to document that visit for retroactive contact tracing should that become necessary.”

 The Office of Health Services will continue to provide medical care, health and wellness services, and resources in-person, with limited hours. Individuals will be screened carefully upon accessing this department and every effort will be made to distinguish between typical medical care needs and potential COVID-19 cases.

Athletics 

College sports will resume in January 2021 following guidelines set up by the state as well as other sporting institutions such as the National Junior College Association and The Garden State Athletic Conference.  

Student-Athletes will be subjected to a four-question screening process every day prior to a workout, practice, or event. The questions that the athletes must answer are as follows: 

  1. In the past 14 days, have you been in close contact (within 6 feet for > 10 minutes) with an individual that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or a person who had COVID-19 symptoms but was not tested?
  2. Do you currently have and/or have you had within the past 24 hours- fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, or night sweats?
  3. Do you currently have and/or have you had within the past 24 hours- cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, diarrhea, headache, muscle pains, or new loss of taste or smell?
  4. Within the past 24 hours, have you experienced increased anxiety, inconsistent mood swings, or changes in sleeping or eating habits? 

For more information on CCM’s COVID-19 policies please go to https://www.ccm.edu/covid-19-information-center/

Editorial: Get published

If you always wanted to get published and never had the time until now, there are plenty of online opportunities with the Youngtown Edition. Students of all majors are welcome to get involved, and professors, faculty, staff and CCM community members can as well. Here’s how you can get involved with us:

All submissions must be sent to youngtownedition@gmail.com. Not all submissions may be published and all submissions may be edited.

  1. Take part in an interview

Student journalists are looking for students, professors, faculty, staff and administrative members to interview for their articles. By participating, you answer a set of questions from a student journalist, where you get to answer and provide your opinions. Your statements can be published in an article about the Coronavirus, online classes, cancelled events, community news and more. If you are interested in taking part in an interview, either through email or over the phone, please contact youngtownedition@gmail.com.

  1. Write a Letter to the Editor

As always, the Youngtown accepts Letters to the Editor, which allows everyone at CCM to write to the newspaper. You may have read an article that was interesting and that you want to reflect on, or perhaps you have an opinion about an article, or an event, or even just current happenings and want to share it. Maybe you want to write about your experience transitioning online, or how you have more time than you expected and don’t know what to do with it because of the quarantine. Send your letter signed with your full name to our email.

  1. Draw a cartoon or comic

If you are an art major or just really like to draw, consider creating and drawing your own cartoon and comics. Design your own characters and storyline. Any medium, including hand drawn and digital drawn, are acceptable. Cartoons can either be in black or white or color. Be creative and have fun with it. Be sure to scan in and send your cartoon as either a JPEG, PNG or PDF to youngtownedition@gmail.com.

  1. Participate in Roving Reporter 

Usually, student journalists and photographers search the halls of CCM looking for people to participate in Roving Reporter. This almost always requires providing a name, major, answer to a question and a photo. However, with the CCM campus being closed, the photo requirement has been lifted. If you have ever wanted to participate in Roving Reporter, but didn’t want your photo taken, now is your chance. Follow @youngtownccm on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to participate in biweekly online Roving Reporter questions. Just send a direct message with your first and last name, major and answer to the question.

  1. Create a puzzle

If you ever wanted to design your own word search, crossword puzzle, maze, riddle or any other type of puzzle, now is your chance. Create your own puzzle, design a theme for it if you so choose, and be creative. Also, be sure to include a copy of the answers to your puzzle. Please scan in and send your puzzle as a PDF or PNG to our email.

  1. Share a recipe

If you enjoy cooking and baking, share a recipe for others to try at home. Either create your own recipe, share a family recipe, or provide a favorite recipe. If your recipe is not your own, please include what website or book you found it in. Please send your recipe typed out in either a word document or just in the email. Also, take some photos of what you made and send as JPEGs. Send everything to youngtownedition@gmail.com.

  1. Offer recommendations

If you have any recommendations on TV shows to watch, movies to stream, video games to play, apps to download, Youtubers to follow, music to listen to and more, write a recommendation of things you enjoy for others to check out. Send your recommendations to our email.

  1. Write an article

 Perhaps you have always wanted to write an article for the Youngtown. Write about any topic of your choice, and make it at least 200 words. Please remember bylines will only not be given if the student is a member of a club or organization mentioned in his or her own article. Send your article to youngtownedition@gmail.com by Sunday, April 5, to be considered for the next edition of the Youngtown.

Chosen first name forms now available for CCM students

By Alexa Wyszkowski

Editor-in-Chief

County College of Morris students can now fill out a Chosen Name Request form to have a different first name than their legal name appear in certain places and documents. Even with the CCM campus closed, students can still access the new Chosen Name/Preferred Pronoun webpage of the CCM website to download the form, fill out and send it back in an email to Records and Registration.

The form became available to CCM students on March 23 and allows students to have a chosen first name, such as those who have a preference of middle name, nickname, anglicized name, or a name that aligns with their gender identity.

The form can be filled out and submitted at any time during any semester. Once the form has been accepted by Records and Registration, the student’s chosen name will appear in Titans Direct and Colleague for the student and their professors to view. Their chosen name will also appear on alumni records, Titans Direct class rosters, commencement programs, Dean’s lists, their graduation diploma, Titan’s Direct faculty advisee lists and student ID cards. 

Registrar Laura Lee Bowens has been working on having a chosen name option for two years now. Information Systems and the Diversity Committee also assisted Bowens during this time, as the different websites and programs had to be updated and reworked to allow for the chosen name fields to exist. 

“The things we can roll out, we are rolling out. The things that have to wait, hopefully, won’t be too long in the future. I’m excited about this. We have been waiting. Honestly, I started this process two years ago. We had to wait for the software company to have an upgrade that included that field [chosen name], and once we got the field, it was a matter of mapping it to everything. It became complex,” said Bowens.

There are plans for the near future that Blackboard will also be updated to include the chosen name field, but as of press time, Blackboard still displays student legal names. CCM student email accounts will also still consist of student legal names. Bowens explained why the student email accounts won’t yet have the chosen name field.

“To change the student email account, there are thousands of email accounts that would have to be changed, it has been discussed, but there’s been no closure on that discussion yet, so we keep batting around a few things to see how we can make this work. It’s something that we do want to do in the future because it makes sense for a lot of reasons,” said Bowens.

Students’ legal names will continue to appear on financial aid and billing documents, official and unofficial transcripts, health records, paychecks, travel forms, transfer credit evaluations, parking permits, tax records and in the time entry system. 

CCM students Robin Goodfellow, biology major, the president of LGBT+ Student Union and Valentin Espey-David, sociology and art major, the secretary of LBGT+ helped Bowens and the Diversity Committee with rolling out the Chosen Name Request form. Goodfellow explained how essential this form was for students.

“It [the chosen name form] would definitely make trans people more comfortable in college, it be would be much less anxiety-inducing than to have to email our teachers beforehand, I know trans students [before the form existed] have to email their teachers beforehand, and go out themselves,” said Goodfellow. 

Karen Danna, professor of Sociology and a member of the Diversity Committee explained how the form will help students not have to explain their change of names in every interaction.

“The idea certainly with some of the chosen name initiatives here is to take burdens off of students and put them onto systems, put them onto structures, have structures that can do that, and then make it administration, faculty burden. We don’t want this to come back to the student, where the student still has to do the legwork of negotiation and interaction. The structure is supposed to handle some of that,” said Danna.

Bowens explained how Titans Direct will allow students some additional choices under their user profiles.

“Once you see it, it’s really cool. Once everything comes together and you see how it works, then you discover new things in the system that you didn’t know before, which is on Titans Direct students will be allowed to choose their preferred pronouns too,”

Students are also now able to select their preferred pronoun and gender identity on Titans Direct under their user profile. Students in Professor Karen Danna’s spring 2020 Sociology of Gender class helped create the preferred pronoun table that can be found in Titans Direct. 

Students with any additional questions can find out more information by visiting the webpage https://www.ccm.edu/admissions/records-and-registration/chosen-name-info/ and sending an email to registrar@ccm.edu.

Ghost hunting with Kelly

By Kelly Romlein

Contributor

It’s imperative to our soul’s well-being to find passion, define ourselves, and, most importantly, learn and grow from this experience called life. My passion is ghost hunting, which involves much more than the cliché midnight graveyard stomping, and is surrounded by history, instincts, primal fear, and adrenaline. 

There are many haunted places throughout America that are open to the public, allowing guests to spend sleepless nights roaming the remains of old hospitals and prisons. To smell the dank air of the past and feel the electricity of something other-worldly is a remarkable experience and one that not many people probably have. 

Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Louisville, Kentucky is one of the amazing artifacts of American history that has recently opened its doors to those brave enough to spend a night inside. The building, which was constructed in 1908 as a small tuberculosis ward, was quickly inundated with patients as this extremely contagious epidemic made its way across America. This patient overpopulation led to deplorable conditions riddled with human suffering, and as a result, many of those being restless souls of the unfortunate victims who still remain within Waverly Hill’s walls.  

Waverly Hills’ lockdown began at midnight on a warm Kentucky night in August of 2012. The doors were closed behind me, and I was left, enveloped in darkness, to meander through the halls, looking to find the paranormal. Treatment for tuberculosis back in the early 1900’s involved allowing patients plenty of fresh air, so each room was equipped with a balcony that let the night flow freely through the vandalized and ravaged hallways. The balcony’s windows allowed moonlight to spill in and streak across the floor. 

The top floor of the ward was specialized for children, and the curator has a special relationship with the ghost of a small boy he calls Timmy. When the ghost of this boy was asked to turn on a flashlight with no one nearby, the light would get turned on without hesitation. Slowly the power drained from the flashlight and its light went out, all was silent for a few moments until the spirit was able to re-energize it. This spirit is notorious for interacting with guests, so visitors often bring him toys in exchange for communication. I myself approached Timmy once. The spirit fearlessly moved a ball across the floor right before me as if trying to play with me. As a witness to these events, I know what I have seen is real.

As the cool air of that Kentucky night settled through the decayed structure, shadowy figures were undeniably drifting through the open-door, in the studded hallways of the lower floors. It felt as if the spirits were curious about their visitors and wanted to poke their heads out of their rooms to see what the commotion was. Eyes could be felt from every direction, and the depth of their darkness was visible against the moonlit doorways. I saw figures darker than the night shifting through paint-peeled corridors, and could sense that undeniable feeling that you are not alone in a room, although you’re supposed to be. 

Finally, perhaps the most irrefutable piece of evidence that ghosts are more than fictional is something that I captured with my own camera. The basement of the Waverly Hills building featured a tunnel so infamously referred to as the “death tunnel.” Its grim name was given by people due to how it was used to remove bodies of the deceased from the building, which was done to spare the living patients from having to see the dead, and their own potential outcome, rolling through the front door. While walking down the tunnel, with only my sister slightly ahead of me, I snapped pictures the whole way down. Around 7 am, when the lockdown was over, we were released. I was scrolling through the photographs I had just taken during my pancake breakfast at a restaurant and I saw someone in front of my sister in one of the photos. The figure appeared opaque and large, the silhouette clearly of another person, but I am certain there was no one else in the tunnel with us that evening among the living.

 

Coronavirus concerns causes CCM campus closure

By Benjamin M. Richards

Politics Editor 

The campus of County College of Morris was closed Friday, March 13 and will not reopen until New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy allows it. His order caused all colleges and universities across the state of New Jersey to close in order to protect students, faculty, staff, and community members from the Coronavirus. CCM classes moved online starting Monday, March 23, after spring break concluded. All in person meetings, activities and events, including the 2020 graduation ceremony, have been cancelled. Field trips, sports practices, and games have also been cancelled. 

During CCM’s spring break, the county of Morris set up tents in Lot 1 of CCM for Coronavirus testing. New Jersey and at least seven other states have now been ordered to stay at home.

Almost immediately, many in the U.S. were aware of the spread of COVID-19 and the danger it represented to people physically and to the U.S. economy. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), an American non-profit organization that focuses on the role of the U.S. in global health policy and major healthcare issues facing the United States, as of February 13-18, 2020, 56 percent of those polled said that they had heard a lot about the COVID-19 outbreak and 87 percent said they knew that there were already cases in the U.S. United States citizens were also worried about the economy, with 57 percent saying that they are very or somewhat concerned the COVID-19 outbreak will have a negative impact on the U.S. economy. 43 percent of those polled also reported they were concerned they or someone in their family would fall ill. All this concern over personal health and well-being has prompted people to take precautions like stock-piling food and supplies. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, a sophomore communication major, was on a trip to Florida to visit family over spring break but was able to return with time for groceries. 

“Right after my flight back from Florida, I went to ShopRite and got the essential food items I needed. Since then, I have been self-quarantining and haven’t ordered food or eaten out for the most part,” said Fitzpatrick. 

U.S. citizens have not been laid back when it comes to buying food and essential items. In fact, they’ve taken to hoarding them in massive quantities. According to Newsweek, commercial stores in the U.S. have had such a difficult time keeping their shelves stocked that some people have resorted to traveling elsewhere for goods. Until the U.S.-Mexico border closed, Californians had been heading down into Northern Baja, Mexico to buy toilet paper, water, and other goods as stores in the state struggled to maintain a stock of said items.

Of course, access to food and toiletries isn’t the only issue facing CCM students. Another problem that students are feeling presently is the shift from in-person classes at campus to a completely online second half of the semester. Fitzpatrick mentioned that having all of his classes online is an uneasy thought. He said that he has taken online courses before and hasn’t been satisfied, as he believes that there are core aspects that just aren’t transferable to an online experience, like asking your professor questions and engaging with the class in real life.

 

The CCM approach to transitioning classes from a campus experience to an online platform has been tough. Updates have been sent by the administration via Blackboard notifications and emails to students’ college accounts, but that may not be enough. 

“Translating classes from IRL to digitally taught will be a learning experience for both faculty and students. As time goes on, people will become more comfortable with the format shift. Something that might help students stay aware of the constant changes and know the basics of what the college’s plan is for this transitional period would be if CCM sent updates through Titan Alerts instead of just email, as many students check their phones more often than they check their academic email addresses,” said Fitzpatrick. 

As diseases and pandemics can cause fear and mistrust, they can also bring xenophobia and racist assumptions to the forefront of civic life. According to The Atlantic, an American magazine, there has been an uptick in instances of racism related to the irrational fear of anyone who appears as Asian, regardless of their nationality, as they are assumed incorrectly to be carriers of the disease. Some of these instances are simply being avoided on public transit or getting a wary eye of distrust. Others are more extreme, as one student from Singapore was violently attacked in London, U.K., just because of his “foreign” appearance. Another instance was when a Vietnamese artist was disinvited from a London art fair just because the organizers thought the other attendees would fear her being contagious. 

Katherine Grosso, a part-time student at CCM and a digital media major, sees that these social interactions are the wrong approach to handling the COVID-19 outbreak in a social setting.

 

“The Coronavirus has changed my community and home in that everyone is living more simply. When I go out for walks, I see children playing with baseballs and bicycles and sidewalk chalk. This virus has stripped everybody of security in belongings because even if we can get belongings, we must ration them… I have found that the people I have passed by on my walks have been incredibly nice, and overall, people just seem to be more compelled to be kind during this time than before,” said Grosso.

Continuing in Grosso’s outlook, she believes that, while the CCM administration has a new and complicated situation to deal with, they are doing a fair job at managing all the aspects of the transition. However, something Grosso believes would make the transition easier on the student body would be if the coursework online weren’t too heavy or overbearing. There is little time left in the semester and as the world spirals into a scary place, it is extra important to have a balance of work and leisure. Grosso also cites her personal faith as something she can rely on in these times of confusion and hardship. 

Despite all the worry and apparent national awareness of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., only 19 percent of those in the KFF poll said that they had taken any measures to stay safe. Those numbers are more than worrying, as while the estimates for how many U.S. citizens will contract the disease vary on available data and testing ability, many experts believe the true number of cases far exceeds the previously calculated number of U.S. citizens that officially have the virus. According to The Atlantic, as of March 21, 2020, on the last day of February, 15 U.S. citizens tested positive for COVID-19; by early March, more than 17,000 have tested positive. Yet, in that same article, virologist Trevor Bedford claimed to have found evidence that COVID-19 began rapidly spreading in the U.S. as early as January and that it has likely already infected approximately 87,000 U.S. citizens. It may seem grim, but a study recently published by Imperial College London predicted that, unless strong and swift measures get put in place, the Coronavirus could kill 2.2. million U.S. citizens in the coming months. It all comes down to how many individuals take this matter seriously and take the necessary precautions like social distancing and self-quarantining and actions the U.S. government and each of the states take to combat the spread of the virus. Stay safe by washing hands for at least 20 seconds on a regular basis, avoid coughing or sneezing openly or directly into your hand, and stock-pile necessary food and other essential items to prepare for long weeks of isolation. With all of these changes, CCM students have been asked to contact the new TASC+ with any challenges they may be dealing with.