Retail workers prepare to face Black Friday

BY MIKENNA RIVARD 
Contributor 

The days when “Black Friday” was a single day meant to kick-off holiday shop- ping and push sales into the black for businesses has come and gone.
Consumer participation in Black Friday has increased from 87 million shoppers to 99 million between 2014 to 2015 and is only expected to increase this year, according to the National Retail Federation. Thirty million people also said they would participate in Black Friday on Thanksgiving night.
With the evolution of Black Friday, stress levels are increased for retail workers as the dreaded holiday approaches.
“I don’t usually look forward to Black Friday,” said Favio Cerezo, merchandising manager at the Rockaway Townsquare Victoria’s Secret. “The shoppers come in earlier and earlier every year, and it can sometimes affect my Thanksgiving plans when I have to come into work so early.”
Rockaway Townsquare is one of many malls opening their doors on the night of Thanksgiving. This year they will be opening at 6 p.m. and staying open until the fol- lowing Saturday at their usual closing time of 9:30 p.m.
The extended hours are not all bad news for employees. Retail workers may be able to enjoy the incentive of getting paid time and a half if they work on Thanksgiving, since it is a federal holiday. Some said this extra pay is especially nice for nancially struggling college students.
“The only reason why I agreed to work on Thanksgiving night is because I get time and a half,” said Shauna Sommo, Rockaway Townsquare employee and County College of Morris student. “I need the extra money to put towards school or Christmas presents for my family.”
The nancial bonus doesn’t entirely outweigh the negative aspects of the day, though. “I hate Black Friday because it is exhausting and I always feel like I am being overworked,” Sommo said. “There can be a lack of respect that comes from holiday shoppers as they are trying to make their purchases during the madness.”
CCM students are only a small fraction of the 100 million people celebrating Black Friday this year.
“It’s a yearly tradition for my mom, my sisters and me to go Black Friday shop- ping,” said Braelyn Perez, a CCM student. “It’s not just about the shopping for us. We all love going out shopping late at night and being a part of the chaos together.”
The spectacle has evolved, and while retail workers may be dreading the droves of shoppers, there are no indications that those crowds are going to decline any time soon.

New athletic trainer begins work Oct.20

 By: Brett Friedensohn
Sports Editor

County College of Morris hired a new athletic trainer during its fall 2016 season to fill a void that had existed since the summer when the previous athletic trainer resigned.

Taylor Fox, who graduated Seton Hall University in May with a master’s degree in athletic training, began working as the CCM athletic trainer Thursday, Oct. 20, when CCM’s men’s and women’s soccer teams were entering the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIX playoffs.

Fox described a positive transition into his new job.

“It’s been great,” said Fox, who worked in the summer for Aspire Sports Medicine in Philadelphia. “The athletic directors, the coaches are really good.”

Fox said that his hiring came at a convenient time of the year.

“It really hasn’t been that bad since I came in towards the end of the soccer season,” Fox said. “I kind of knew that that was winding down, so I just kind of made that push through their playoff run, and then, now I’ve just got basketball, so it’s kind of a nice period to come in because I know with that quarter break coming up, we’re going to have kind of a little dead period, and then, I get ready for February and spring when the spring sports start.”

John Svendsen, men’s soccer goalkeeper and exercise science major, said that Fox made it easier for players on his team to handle health concerns.

“Not having an athletic trainer had a really big impact on the beginning of the season because we had a lot of injuries with the guys on the team,” Svendsen said. “Unless we were going to actually go to a doctor somewhere, we weren’t really going to get help with them, so when Taylor came along, it was nice to be able to have on sight, every single day, have someone who could help you out and work on anything that was wrong with you.”

CCM athletic director Jack Sullivan said that Fox would need time to set up the trainer’s office his way.

“He’s a hard worker, dedicated,” Sullivan said. “It’s gonna take some time for him to really set it up in his vision because it’s a training room, and the process of having a training room is you’re dealing with all our student athletes. Each trainer has a different — not way of doing things — but maybe a different personality or a different environment that they like to create.”

Fox sait that he has found challenges in organizing the trainer’s room.

“You can see a big pile of boxes out there by my door because it’s just hectic trying to treat these guys that have been getting injuries over the course of the season or preseason,” Fox said. “Meanwhile, I want to get things organized the way I want them in order to be able to do certain things, have more area in the back for exercise and people to roll out and stuff. We’ve got a giant old machine and trash. Also, trying to get everybody’s name down, keep a treatment log, and we’ve got to document injuries that are coming about.”

Fox said that he has found enjoyment in treating CCM’s student athletes.

“I love being able to kind of do the hands-on stuff, treat all the athletes myself, get to know them, kind of do all my little experiments, see what treatment is really effective for them and going over these chronic injuries they’ve been building up because they haven’t had a trainer here with them,” Fox said.

Campus concerned in wake of unexpected Trump victory

By Mohammad Rahmatullah
Satire Editor

Donald Trump was elected the 45th president of the United States of America Nov. 9 in a stunning upset that surprised pundits, pollsters, and the American public and many on campus at The County College of Morris are reeling from the unexpected outcome.

“I’m a bit shocked,” said Angelica Garcia, an early childhood education major. “I definitely predicted Hillary would win, for obvious reasons…but she didn’t.”

Polls leading up to Election Day showed Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leading by a sizeable margin. Presidential forecasts by FiveThirtyEight, the New York Times, and the Huffington Post showed her odds of winning to be 71.4 percent, 85 percent, and 98 percent, respectively.

Many students are struggling to come to terms with Trump’s election, citing his temperament and lack of political experience as a matter of concern. Trump has never held public office and had only run an unsuccessful bid for the Reform Party’s nomination in 2000 prior to his 2016 campaign.

“Donald Trump won because the country wanted a meme for a president,” said Adina Kohn, a multimedia major. “That’s basically all he is. He’s audience pandering, he’s very childish at the podium, and he always has to find a reason to place blame on somebody, even if there’s no blame to be placed.”

Others found Trump’s mixed messaging during campaign to be a symptom of his inexperience.

“His attitude was very wishy-washy from one debate to the next,” said Demylee Pablos, a hospitality management major. “It kind of hit me…he kind of doesn’t really know what he’s really doing right now.”

Pablos cited Trump’s erratic shifts in rhetoric as a source of confusion. She said the contrast between the bombastic language Trump used towards the Mexican government early in his campaign and the muted pleasantries he offered Mexican President Nieto following their August meeting are a sign that Trump himself may not be sure which policies he will pursue once in office.

Trump first announced his proposal to build a 40-50 foot high, 2000 mile long wall on the US-Mexico border, estimated to cost $25 billion by the Washington Post, while campaigning July of last year and has made it a key point of his campaign. Since his election, he has told CBS News that the wall may include “some fencing.”

Another glaring instance of Trump’s policy shifts include calling for women who seek abortions to be punished, before walking back the proposal hours later after facing intense bipartisan backlash. Many supporters of pro-choice policies found his decision to make such a proposal to be a major cause for concern.

“I’m scared for our country,” said Emma Enright, a criminal justice major. “[I’m scared of] the fact that he and all the Republicans he affiliates himself with are anti-abortion, so women wouldn’t have the right to choose.”

This pattern of ambiguous and rapidly fluctuating policy positions have left many voters uncertain of exactly where he stands on almost any issue and scrambling for clues as to which policies he will champion while in office.

Despite the nature of Trump’s campaign, many students are looking ahead with a sense of curiosity and intrigue as to what may come of his presidency. While some students are troubled by Trump’s lack of experience in public office, other students see it as a potential strength.

“He has no political or military experience, I am intrigued to see if he has a radically different perspective that can be beneficial to the country,” said Eric Cocozello, a liberal arts major. “Because if you go to a friend for help [with homework], it’s because they have fresh eyes.”

With Trump’s presidency set in stone, some students are now looking ahead to the future. Some feel that Congress will ensure that Trump’s policies are kept reasonable and measured.

“I’m praying that Congress is not going to allow any completely overly radical bills to be passed just by Donald Trump’s whim,” Kohn said. “I have faith that the Congress is gonna be able to control that and make everything reasonable.”

House speaker Paul Ryan told CNN journalist Jake Tapper during “State of the Union” that House Republicans are not “planning on erecting a deportation force” in response to statements made by Trump in recent days regarding mass deportations. Ryan then added that he hopes this “puts people’s minds at ease.”

“I’m not sure how it’s gonna turn out,” Pablos said. “I hope for the best but I’m not sure.”

Coffee talk: President Iacono addresses concerns

BY: AMANDA ALLER 

Managing Editor 

County College of Morris President Dr. Anthony Iacono continued his caffeine fueled conversation tour on Wednesday, Nov. 9 to discuss any issues that might be plaguing the campus community.  

The first subject brought up was the feeling that there’s less community at CCM.

“When I first started working here, CCM was more of a community,” said Cheryl Smarth, department administrative assistant. “For example, I was walking out of Henderson Hall for lunch and there was a ceremony going on for Dr. Yaw and I was just wondering why the campus wasn’t made aware of that. I don’t think everyone needs to know what’s going on all the time, but that feeling of community is lost.The communication isn’t what it was. We just don’t get information that is truly needed or that maybe people just want to know.”

Joanne Goffredo, administrative assistant, agreed. She also said that people who are affected by decisions made at the college are not included enough in the decision-making process.

“We had an issue in career profession programs last summer when they were redoing the cafeteria,” said Goffredo. “We had the brochure out and we were not aware the cafeteria was going to be closed and I got calls from students. We didn’t know where to feed them.”

Iacono said that the brevity of his appointment thus far does not allow him to make the same comparisons as Goffredo and Smarth.

“I do sit through board meetings, and read the CCM memo, and read the student paper,” said Iacono. “The college council minutes are published consistently which tells you a lot about what’s going on. Mostly we just post right on the website for anyone to see.”

Iacono said they are working on moving away from text and including more video clips. He explained that there’s a lot going on in which people don’t know, which can be solved with a stronger focus on more internal marketing.

Another discussion point was “Guided Pathways”, which is a program which maps out a concrete academic plan and makes decision making much easier for students. It also gives frequent feedback so that students can graduate in a more timely manner. The CCM administration is planning to begin implementing this program here.

“The schools that have done this have found that it eases a lot of anxiety, gives them a very clear road map,” said Iacono. “It also helps students understand that if you move out of this realm, it’s going to change your graduation date and impact your financial aid, so that’s a big piece that probably in the new year we’ll unveil.”

Iacono said that there is a CCM app for iOS and android devices which is currently in the making and soon to be released in app stores to help students and faculty to be more connected and create a better sense of community. The website is also being worked on, with the goal to make it more navigable.

Jeffrey Jones, mathematics professor, posts videos of his math lessons on Youtube. He said it is so that when class is over, students still have the option to go back and review anything they might have missed.

“Jeff can’t go home with 100 students at the end of the day just in case they might all need him but he’s going home with them through his technology,” said Iacono. “So do we still need the math professors? Absolutely. But this is a good example of using technology to the best of your advantage.”

A concern raised was also the infrequency of CCM students graduating within two years of enrolling.

“The two year community college experience is not very common anywhere anymore,” said Iacono. “Most students at community colleges go part time. So getting done in two years assumes several things. It assumes the student will go full time and pass their classes continuously and not make any changes along the way. So if you’re going to enroll in 15 credits worth of courses, to pass all of them and make no changes, assumes a lot. It assumes the students aren’t working, and even if they are working, that they have few other responsibilities. Most students have more going on than just class. According to the average graduation rate, most students will take three to four years. My philosophy is, this is not a sprint.”

Gender club founder on campus for a cause

By: Marisa Goglia 
Copy Editor 

The infinity symbol etched on the windows of County College of Morris’ Student Community Center reaffirms for Cat Rogers that the possibilities as a transgender student are endless.

Weighing four pounds at birth, Rogers continues to defy the odds. Yet the struggle inside his own body is no easy feat.

Two days before Pronoun Appreciation Day, Rogers sits in one of his two offices in the student center, eager to read a personal essay that won him two scholarships this semester. As Rogers begins to read the opening lines, the small office is transported back to the secluded state hospital room which Rogers occupied for three months in 2012.

“The only connection I had with the world around me was the light radiating through a crack in the doorframe of my padded, secluded room,” Rogers said. “Within my abysmal darkness, I watched the other patients pace the gloomy, deteriorating halls of the institution…While my peers studied for exams, I fought to stay alive and connected to my future aspirations.”

The journey of self- discovery began in elementary school. As girls were dressed in an array of skirts and dresses, Rogers found comfort in wearing jeans and a t-shirt.

“Since elementary school, kids always find what’s different, and I’m a different person,” Rogers said. “I don’t fit any category at all. I was never feminine. I dressed different from the girls. I was typical of what one would think of as a tomboy, and I got made fun of for that.”

Students also took note that Rogers was excelling well academically beyond his current grade level.

“I was much more advanced in my studies,” Rogers said. “I got things a lot easier. I remember in first grade when everyone was learning how to write sentences; I was writing paragraphs. I wasn’t into socializing with friends that much. I would have much rather been reading a book.”

Throughout middle school and high school, Rogers escaped down the avenue of music.

“I was just the outcast for the longest time; music became my outlet,” Rogers said. “I play several instruments including the violin, saxophone, flute, piano… But I became a prolific trumpet player to the point where all the band teachers wanted me to do all of these highly regarded competitions.’’

Rogers’ peers found a way to interfere in his craft.

Days before the Christmas concert, Rogers went to get his trumpet in the unlocked band room closet and noticed that it was absent. Rogers, who was on his fourth trumpet, said that it was a devastating time.

“I went to get my trumpet, and it wasn’t there, somebody stole it,” Rogers said. “It was a brand new, pure silver trumpet worth $6,000 that my parents paid for. It was obvious that young people wanted to pick on me, but it went too far. They stole a very expensive piece of equipment.”

The next week, Rogers noticed his friend holding a pamphlet about Morris County School of Technology (MCST). MCST is a four-year full-time career and technical high school with 10 different academies allowing students to complete classes at CCM, according to the MCST site.

“Flipping through the pamphlet, I made up my mind that I’m not staying in high school,” Rogers said. “I wanted a career; music was just my hobby.”

Rogers took particular interest in the Academy for Healthcare Science at MCST.

“I wanted to go into orthopedics to give back,” Rogers said.

As a one-year-old, Rogers had fallen, leaving him with trauma-induced hip dysplasia. Being “Patient Zero” as Rogers calls himself, doctors performed hip reduction surgery, leaving him in traction for eight months.

“I owe it to the doctors who helped me walk and re-walk,” Rogers said. “I want to help children who cannot walk — or those who have broken bones — and help heal them.”

Rogers noted that CCM gave him the opportunity to reach out for help for the depression he had been dealing with in his junior year of high school.

Rogers recalls sitting all the way in the back of Professor Williford’s honors abnormal psychology class.

“There was this one day where I was very depressed,” Rogers said. “I was leaving class and Professor Williford actually put his arm out to stop me. Williford said ‘Cat, you’ve been acting weird and I’m concerned.’”

Williford, who is a psychologist, invited Rogers to his office hours the next day.

“I went to his office and I still was not feeling great,” Rogers said. “Williford made me open up to him, he talked to me during his entire of ce hours.”

Rogers may not have been aware of what was happening at the time, but this was the start of trying to come to terms with the changes in his life.

“I don’t remember at the time what was wrong,” Rogers said. “It could have been generalized depression. I just had surgery, started college, came out of the closet as being gay before identifying as transgender. Williford said ‘Cat, I’m giving you five minutes to go to the counseling office…’ Back then you don’t realize how important that was.”

For Rogers, obtaining his first degree at CCM became a manageable task, although he was in and out of rehab hospitals.

“There were times when I was in the hospital,” Rogers said. “My mom would bring me my books, and I would take my midterm and pass. The next week, I would go into the hospital, study for my next quiz and pass again. This was how I got through my rst degree, and I still managed to come out with a decent grade point average.”

Through dark times, a bright spot for Rogers came about in his willingness to lead multiple clubs around campus.

“That’s the reason why I am back here at CCM,” Rogers said. “To teach students how to become better leaders. That’s what makes me happy, is wanting to lead.”

Rogers stays active on campus as president of the Biology Club, the vice president of constitutions for Organization Achieve Inspire Mentor and the executive administrative assistant for Student Ambassadors.

But the club position that Rogers is most passionate about is being the vice president of the Gender Club, which he chartered himself last semester.

“I along with Casey Vreeland, co-founded the Gender Club three semesters ago,’’ Rogers said.

“We started Gender Club because there is an immense amount of gender inequality in this world and there is a misconception as to what gender is. Our main focus of our club is to get the main idea out there that gender is something that you just are.”

Unlike the other clubs that Rogers holds a leadership position in, he has a personal connection to the Gender Club.

The Gender Club has come a long way from its first semester, when Rogers was the only member.

“Last semester I was the only active member,” Rogers said. “I planned a food drive, and I raised $300 by myself. This semester, we have about 15 active members, and our sign-up at the Welcome Back Bash was three pages.”

Joe Hemmerich, communication major and president of the Gender Club, said Rogers has a passion that sets him apart from other student leaders.

“Cat deeply cares about what he is doing and who he’s influencing,” Hemmerich said.

“When doing something club-related, he just doesn’t do what he’s supposed to be doing, he goes above and beyond to make it perfect.”

That same tenacity is what drove Rogers to make sure that no detail was left untouched for the first annual Pronoun Appreciation Day, where students can express their gender identities more clearly to their peers through nametags that read “address me as:” and “my pronouns are:”.

Rogers said he thought of the idea for Pronoun Appreciation Day to bring awareness to gender identity.

“It was my brain-child,” Rogers said. “When I came out as transgender last semester to my friends. I also wanted to change my pronouns to he, him and his. It’s a big transition for not just the person, but for everyone that knows you. You can’t expect people to automatically switch. What I wanted to do was raise awareness enough about gender and transgender issues and Pronoun Appreciation Day is the first step.”

Sabrina Alvarado, a liberal arts major and a member of the Gender Club volunteered at the event.

“It was such a positive event,” Alvarado said.

“Many students were overjoyed to wear their name and pronouns. They even had a curiosity about our pronoun suggestions including ze, hir, hirs, xe, xem xyrs…To describe people who do not identify with the gender binary.”

Alvarado, who is also the president of Sexuality Advocacy for Everyone, formerly known as the Gay-Straight Alliance, is working alongside Rogers this semester, as both clubs overlap in important gender issues.

“I love working with Cat,” Alvarado said.

“I can always rely on him to do his best job.I was interested in a partnership because there are important intersections between our two clubs on gender and sexuality. We are in the beginning stages of planning events, but we would love to have a joint story telling of gender and sexuality in the spring semester.”

Rogers will be moving on to Rowan University for the next chapter of his life to pursue his career as an orthopedic surgeon. Rogers work in the various clubs and events that he has held will not go unnoticed and will carry on for semesters to come.

CCM basketball seasons tip off

 By: Brett Friedensohn
Sports Editor

The men’s and women’s basketball teams at County College of Morris began their 2016-17 seasons Tuesday, Nov. 8 when each team played a game against region competitor Mercer County Community College (MCCC).

Men’s basketball won its opening game 101-97 in overtime before improving to 2-0 both in the region and overall with a 101-84 win over Valley Forge Military Academy and College (VFMAC) Tuesday, Nov. 15.

Women’s basketball lost its season opener 72-33, then lost 98-9 to Harcum College Saturday, Nov. 12, bringing the team’s regional record to 0-2. The team then lost to VFMAC 76-19 Tuesday, Nov. 15, dropping its overall record to 0-3.

Brenda DeNure, head coach of women’s basketball, said that before the beginning of the season, seven of her recruits decided not to play in order to focus on school.

The team then did not have enough players to begin practicing three weeks before the season began as DeNure had wanted. Finally with nine players, they began practices just one week before the season began.

“I was a little disappointed, very disappointed with how they decided to do that, but what are you gonna do?” DeNure said. “When a coach recruits you, you don’t say, ‘I’m gonna play’ if you’re not gonna play, so it’s a little disappointing.”

DeNure said that she did not believe that her team would advance to the playoffs this season, but she hopes that it can use this season for rebuilding.

“We don’t have the talent,” DeNure said. “We’re just too raw. We’re too young. They’ve got a lot to learn, so build this year up.”

Zabrina Gale, forward and captain of the women’s basketball team, said after her team’s season opener that she hoped that the team would learn from the loss.

“I think it was a very tough game to begin with,” said Gale, a psychology major. “We definitely can work on a little more things just so we’re ready for the next game.”

CCM athletic director Jack Sullivan said that he expects the women to work diligently to improve.

“The women are a work in progress,” Sullivan said. “The women have work to do. They know that, and they’ll get it. They’re not afraid of hard work.”

Gale said everyone is giving 100 percent  and that’s all she can ask for.

During its season opener against MCCC, the men’s basketball team came back from a 12-point deficit in the second half to win 101-97 in overtime.

“The men showed a lot of heart, played great defense, had a great come-from-behind win,” Sullivan said. “It’s a great way to open up the season for the region.”

TJ Adams, men’s basketball forward and liberal arts major, said that during the second half of the game, he and his team brought vigor that it did not have in the first half.

“I say the energy in the first half was lacking,” Adams said. “They came back, but we were able to maintain the confidence to win that game. It was a very winnable game.”

Adams said that his team should work on defense.

“As a team, I think we need to work on our defensive principles,” Adams said. “Like, we score the ball well, but the team should not be scoring 90 points on us.”

Former professor’s art on display on campus W. Karl Burger’s exhibit runs through Jan. 20

Brett Friedensohn
Sports Editor

County College of Morris’ Art and Design Gallery is holding its first solo exhibit since opening in 2014, displaying 29 pieces of artwork by New Jersey-based artist W. Karl Burger from Sunday, Oct. 23 to Friday, Jan. 20.

Born in 1925, Burger served as professor emeritus of art at Kean University, where he taught for more than three decades before resigning in 1993. Burger also worked as an adjunct professor at CCM.

Todd L. W. Doney, CCM visual arts professor and director of the gallery, said that he considered Burger an important figure in New Jersey art.

“To me, he seems almost like a Jersey icon with his artwork,” said Doney. “This is our first one-man show, and we were trying to think, ‘Who would we get that would be worthy of the first one-man show here at County,’ and we thought Karl Burger. Basically, that’s it, and he’s had such a great career, and like I said, it’s a no-brainer.”

Doney said that he wanted to hold a solo exhibit to have diversity in what the exhibit displays.

“Most galleries at some point or another have one-person shows,” said Doney. “You don’t want to be known for just having group shows. I think it’s kind of fun to see one person’s identity in 25 or 30 paintings to see where they go and how their artwork develops, where it moves.”

Pat Moran, a graphic design major who works in the galley, said that Burger’s paintings inspire his own artwork.

“Some of the things that I find super interesting about Karl Burger’s work is what he does with the watercolor paper,” said Moran. “He’ll take water colors, and then he lets them bleed out, and it creates this soft texture, which I think is nice. The stuff he does with graphite, too, it’s out in the hall over there, is incredible … I wouldn’t be able to think of even begin a piece like that.”

Moran said that he believes that Burger’s work gives off an energy rather than a message.

“I feel like there’s more of, not so much, messages that I get from it, as like, an energy or a certain type of feeling,” said Moran. “Definitely the watercolor ones have more like a calming feeling to them. The New Jersey Turnpike [‘Turn Pike #3’], I think it’s hectic, and it’s crazy, but there’s a lot going on in it.”

Liberal arts major Natalie Otero classified Burger’s watercolor painting “Turn Pike #3” as her favorite piece of work in the gallery.

“I’m someone who was born in New York, and for some reason, it reminds me of the city or when you’re going into the city,” said Otero. “And it brings back memories.”

Otero said that she found interest in Burger’s color scheme.

“Some are dark, but it’s not like very dark, I guess you could say, and it’s definitely a variety of things,” said Otero. “You have some very bright colors … It’s a mix of a little bit of everything, I guess you could say because you have some bright colors, and then you have some grayish and some dark colors that help blend in with everything that’s going on.”

Doran said that “Jersey Wood,” a painting by Burger on display at the exhibit, reminds him of his own artwork.

“It sort of reminds me of  my paintings and the way I design my paintings over here, so I see kind of a relationship,” said Doran. “He’s painting some sort of tree painting, and I like painting trees, so it’s soft of connected to that.”

The gallery, located on the first floor of the Learning Resource Center, opens at 12 p.m. every weekday while this exhibit is on display.