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. 

How professors are dealing with the transition to online learning

By Katrina Irhin

Copy Editor

 

Despite the challenges, CCM professors have been finding different ways to move to online lectures for their students, specifically by using the internet and digital platforms to either live stream lectures in real time or record and post them on the internet. Dr. Teresa S. Birrer, a professor of biology, has found several different digital platforms she is going to use to teach her students, and she is going to be using them in various ways to make easy-to-use lectures for her students.

“I will be recording audio on top of my Powerpoint slides using Techsmith Capture,” Birrer said. “The result looks like a YouTube video that can be started or stopped at any point.  These lectures will be posted for students to view at their convenience, as many students must share computers with other family members.”

Birrer is not the only professor who will be using digital platforms to make lectures for her students. Marcia Picallo, professor of languages and ESL, will also be using digital platforms to teach.

“Zoom seems to be… flexible when it comes to teaching and, especially, recording lessons that students can watch several times,” Picallo said.

Lecturing is not the only way that students can learn in the classroom setting. They may also learn through performing science lab experiments. Professors such as Birrer not only lecture for their biology classes, but also teach lab sections for them. Despite the fact that most of her students this semester were supposed to be doing their lab activities at the CCM campus, she nonetheless has found alternate methods to use the internet and make it possible for her students to complete their lab activities at home.

Thanks to the generosity of many publishers, we have a multitude of virtual labs available at no cost for the remainder of the semester,” Birrer said. “I am working with other faculty in our department to select appropriate online lab exercises that will cover the material we would be covering in person. It is not the ideal situation for science courses, but it will certainly work in the emergency situation we are experiencing. Although I normally teach a face to face, non-majors biology course, that course is already taught in an online format, so I have been able to adapt some of the materials from the online course for the rest of this semester.”

Besides lecturing and, for some professors, doing lab activities, professors must also conference with their students. In addition to doing lectures and lab exercises on the internet, conferences are being conducted with the use of digital platforms. One platform that professors are using to conduct conferences is Shindig, which, according to its own website, is a platform that “enables a host to give a video conference, lecture, seminar, interview or media event in front of an online audience of thousands.” 

“After checking out Shindig, I feel that that program will work better for office hours,” Picallo stated.

Shindig is what some professors are going to be using for video conferencing with their students. Other professors have found different platforms that will suit them better.

“As the semester continues, I may teach myself to use some new technology that could benefit my students, but for now I have Zoom which can be used for video meetings with students if they would like,” Birrer stated. 

Despite the fact that there are digital platforms that professors are going to use to help totally move their teachings and conferencing to an online environment, this transitioning does not come without its hardships. As stated by Birrer before, many students share computers with other family members, so some students will not be able to attend the lectures that some professors video stream. There are other conflicts, technology-related or not, that will arise with this transitioning to an online environment.

“I do understand that some students were taking my face to face class because they do not do well with the online format,” Birrer stated. “For those students this will be a challenge.  I will work as much as possible to help them be successful in a learning environment that might not be best for their learning style. I also have a good rapport with my students in person and will miss seeing them. My non-majors evening class was particularly active in asking questions in all areas of biology. I hope they will continue to seek answers to their questions.” In addition, Birrer stated that she knows she has some students who do not have access to any cameras, and others who only have wifi on their phones. “We have some obstacles to overcome, but we will figure out how to work with everyone.”

Birrer is not the only professor who acknowledges that some students find that they work better in an in-person environment, as Picallo recognizes this as well. 

“I love teaching and interacting with students in the class. I’m going to miss that. The online format is just not the same in that sense. Some of the disadvantages, although I don’t want to call them disadvantages; they’re obstacles that a person may have that have nothing to do with their own doing-and that’s why they take a lecture-type class. For example, when I was in college, I had very limited financial resources. If I would have had to deal with something like this, I would have had a lot of trouble finishing my semester. I would have had many obstacles to overcome financially. My survival would have come first. I’m being honest. I’ve already encountered challenges that this situation is presenting. A student may not have Internet or enough data on his/her phone. CCM has reached out to professors, staff and students to provide help to all of us. I’m hoping we can work together to solve some of these issues and get through the semester successfully. I don’t want my students to suffer. I teach because I want all of you to have better lives.”

With there being these types of conflicts that not only students must face but also professors, both Birrer and Picallo want to offer students advice on how to deal with college and life in general during the pandemic.

“It is difficult for all of us to stay at home and feel isolated,” Birrer stated. “My family and I have been watching movies most nights and going for walks during the day.  Try to do everything you would to keep your immune system healthy. Quarantine junk food seems to be a thing, but a healthy diet is important as well as regular exercise and sleep habits. Fresh air and sunshine are not good for the Coronavirus, so as the weather warms up go outside more and more.  I plan to record lectures from by deck soon. Finally, I would like students to know that the faculty are there for them should they just need to talk. These are stressful times, and we must help each other come through with both physical and mental health intact.” 

In addition, Birrer states that what would be the biggest benefit for students during this pandemic would be for them to follow the medical advice of staying safely at home.

Picallo also offers advice for students to help them get through what is currently going on.

“Stay healthy; stay in touch with your professors; and stay calm. We’ll get through this together.”

Despite my diagnosis… Today I am Happy

Raven Resch

Contributor 

Despite my diagnosis, today I am happy, but I couldn’t always say that. I’ve had days of darkness where my own mind was destroying me from the inside out. 

I had learned that there was no place more frightening than the places my own mind can take me. I felt hopeless and helpless; there was a monster inside of me, torturing me. I felt guilt and shame. How could someone with a 2-year-old son and a rather normal life feel this way? But my life was not always normal, I ran from my past, but it finally caught up to me. 

You can’t run from undiagnosed post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety disorder, depression and OCD. You can’t run, it will always catch up with you. I could no longer run from the thoughts that were destroying me, my mind was so loud that even my own screams couldn’t block out the noise. I wanted nothing more than to die, but I know personally how suicide can affect a family. My only way of giving up, was giving in. 

I took myself to the emergency room and gave into whatever they wanted me to do. At this point I did not want recovery for me, I still wanted to die, but for my family I knew I had to do something. I was transported to the psychiatric hospital and from there to an acute partial hospitalization program, and it was there in that program where I got my life back. 

I was no longer just living, I felt like I was actually alive, a feeling I hadn’t felt for years. At the exact point where I felt I was giving up on life, I was actually accepting recovery. 

Today, because I accepted help I can say that I am happy. There is no doubt that some days are still hard but there are no days that are not worth all the lessons I am learning. I am turning my days of torture into days of success. I finally know what I want in life and that is to help people who are feeling exactly the way I felt. To let them know that there is hope even when you can’t see it, to speak out against the mental health stigma, and to end the silence that is slowing killing us inside. 

If you are struggling, please know there is help. Some resources you can utilize are the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255, the Crisis Text Line if you text HOME to 741741, and the Counseling Center in the Student Community Center, Room 118. 

Editor’s Note: If you are in the process of recovery we encourage you to join the members of Active Minds, Writers Club and the Youngtown Edition to become more than your diagnosis and to share your story, contact youngtownedition@gmail.com to find out how. 

Originally Published in the 2-13-2019 issue of the Youngtown Edition

Construction begins for state of the art science and engineering center

By Anthony Ingham

News Editor

President Anthony J. Iacono, the CCM Board of Trustees, the campus community, Morris County Board of Freeholders, State Representatives and Industry Leaders met to celebrate the Groundbreaking of the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center in the Student Community Center, Davidson Room on January 30. Around 100 people came together to honor the $11 million state-of-the-art center, which was made to alleviate the need for employment and growing industry demands. 

The building is planned to have two electronics labs, two prototyping labs, two computer labs, a 3D printing room, an analysis lab, an automation and controls/robotics/emerging technologies lab, a measuring and materials testing lab, a welding lab, makerspace, conference rooms, classrooms and offices. It is expected to open around Spring 2020, according to a CCM press release.

Dr. Anthony Iacono, President of CCM, stressed the importance of how this would affect students in the time to come.

“Breaking the ground is breaking [for] the future,” he said. “The relationships and what we’ve achieved here have all been for our students’ futures.”

Construction of the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center will free up space in the college’s current engineering and manufacturing lab, which will allow for the construction of The Paragano Family Foundation Healthcare Simulation Center. Through the CCM Foundation’s “Forward” Campaign, the Paragano Family Foundation gave leadership, as well as over $1.8 million to support the initiative, according to the CCM “Forward Campaign” page. CCM will also be broadening its scope of health care programs alongside development of the simulation center.

Multiple people spoke to the crowd that day, such as CCM chair and Board of Trustees member Paul R. Licitra, Assemblyman of Legislative District 25 Anthony M. Bucco, Director of Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders Douglas R. Cabana, NJ Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo, Deputy Secretary of the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education Diana Gonzalez, President of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce Meghan Hunscher, CEO of Glenbrook Technologies, Gil Zweig, and Electronics Engineering Technology Major, as well as Former Glenbrook Technologies Intern Cindy Ramerspad. Each speaker had a different set of topics they covered, anywhere from the current manufacturing marketplace to how glad they were to be a part of the contribution to the new building.

Gonzalez says that she believes this is a good move because it supports many of the people in these programs.

“At the end of the day, we want our students to make incredible wages, and put their learning in action,” she said.

After the speeches were over, the actual groundbreaking commenced around 11:30 a.m., just outside of 675, the building which houses the Public Safety and Information System departments, on Route 10. Pictures were taken with those who had helped support the funding of the building shortly after, as they stood next to a nearby bulldozer with golden shovels and hardhats.

To learn more about CCM’s Manufacturing and Engineering programs, visit the Department of Engineering Technologies and Engineering Science, or their page on CCM’s website at https://tinyurl.com/y9qkr3ty. If you wish to learn about its Workforce Development programs, visit https://www.ccm.edu/workforce/ .

Originally Published in the 2-13-2019 issue of the Youngtown Edition

Coronavirus’ impact on the 2020 primary

By Adam Gentile 

Managing Editor

The Coronavirus pandemic caused chaos and uncertainty in the 2020 democratic primary as poll stations shut down and moved and elections in some states have been postponed to a later date. The possible impacts of Coronavirus on the Democratic primary can be shown using the Tuesday, March 17 Democratic primary as an example, where the effects of the Coronavirus on the four scheduled states have had different scenarios. 

Democratic frontrunner former vice president Joe Biden has won Arizona, Illinois, and Florida, increasing his delegate lead to about 300 over his primary rival Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders securing a total delegate count of 1153 almost 800 delegates shy of crossing that 1991 delegate threshold and securing the nomination.

Originally Ohio with its 137 pledged delegates was also supposed to be decided, however, on Monday Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio polls will be closed due to health concerns from Coronavirus and rescheduled the election to June 2. DeWine released a statement explaining his decision to postpone the election.

“During this time when we face an unprecedented public health crisis, to conduct an election tomorrow would force poll workers and voters to place themselves at an unacceptable health risk of contracting coronavirus. As such, Health Director Dr. Amy Acton will order the polls closed as a health emergency. While the polls will be closed tomorrow, Secretary of State Frank LaRose will seek a remedy through the courts to extend voting options so that every voter who wants to vote will be granted that opportunity.”

The New York Times reported that election officials in Florida and Illinois have noted that there has been lighter in-person voter turnout than in 2016.

 “As of 1 p.m., about 126,500 people had voted on Election Day,” said Jim Allen, a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. The Times reported that Allen said that in 2016 voter turnout at that time [1 p.m.] was around 300,000. Allen also mentioned that over 200 polling places have been moved within the past few days.

Voter turnout in Illinois according to the Illinois Board of Elections was around two million voters. According to the Associated Press (AP), last night’s election turnout with 99% reporting was around 1.5 million voters, a decrease of 25 percent compared to 2016. In contrast according to 538 nearly all of the primary states that voted before last night have seen at least a small increase in voters since 2016. 

Unlike Illinois, the voter turnout in Florida in 2020 is on track to be roughly the same as it was in 2016. According to the AP with 99 percent of votes reported in the 2020 Florida primary total turnout is just under 1.7 million voters while the voter turnout in 2016 was just over 1.7 million. 

Despite the national emergency, the total votes in Arizona were higher than it was in 2016 by about 60,000 votes. 

According to the Arizona Board of Elections, roughly 466,000 people voted in the 2016 Arizona Democratic primary, and according to the AP with 88% reporting about 522,000 votes have been cast in the 2020 Democratic primary. Of the total amount, 380,000 votes cast in Arizona were absentee ballots that had to be requested by March 6.

Earlier this week Sanders told Anderson Cooper his concerns of still holding the March 17 primaries due to the health risk presented to voters due to Coronavirus. 

“I would hope the governors listen to the public health experts and they’re saying is, as you just indicated, we don’t want gatherings of 50 or more people,” Sanders said to Cooper. “And when I think about some of the elderly people sitting behind the desks, registering people and all that, does that make a lot of sense? I’m not sure that it does.”

The Biden campaign in a memo released on Tuesday had insisted on keeping the schedule for the upcoming primaries the same, claiming that elections have remained as they were during other times of national emergencies. 

“We held elections during the Civil War, the 1918 flu pandemic and World War II,” said Kate Bedingfield, the deputy campaign manager for Joe Biden, in the memo. “We are confident that we can meet that same challenge today and continue to uphold the core functions and values of our democracy.” 

Despite my Diagnosis… Hold on, pain ends.

By Rachel Eckert

Contributor

 

Hope.
Hold on, pain ends.
I hear this phrase over and over again. Whether it be by professionals or friends, everybody tells me that. I knew it was true. In theory, anyway. But I always had such a hard time seeing that and understanding that. I didn’t understand how the anguish I had felt for so many years could ever end. Even if I only temporarily felt better, it was better than where I was. I never expected to magically get better. Because that isn’t how it happens. You don’t wake up one day and tell yourself “I’m not depressed anymore” and go on your merry way. I know, however, that is how some people think. It doesn’t go away overnight, that sadness deep in your belly.
I knew that much, but never thought about what came next. In the past few months, I have learned that when you are so sad and hurt all of the time, a slight improvement feels miles better than where you came from. Unfortunately, that slight improvement also feels like you crawled a mile to get there.
I was at rock bottom. No, I was lower than rock bottom. I was in rock bottoms basement. It’s a place I never realized existed until my rock bottom somehow turned even lower. The depression and anxiety were getting the best of me. I felt awful all of the time. But I am not asking for your pity. That’s not where I am anymore. When you’re in rock bottoms basement, you can’t get any lower. And for that I was thankful.
One morning, I decided to take recovery head on. I had plenty of setbacks and I didn’t feel better immediately. In fact, I almost felt worse because of the fact that I didn’t feel better. It took me months to get where I am now. To some, where I am is still so low. But for me, this is the best I have ever felt.
Hold on, pain ends. Maybe not right now. Maybe not in three months. The way you feel won’t be the same. I am still depressed and I am anxious, but it does not pain me to be alive. It does not pain me to get out of bed every morning. You may never feel 100%, but the way you feel now cannot stay this way forever. So when you are sad and want to give up, have hope. Hold on, pain ends.
If you are struggling, please know there is help. Some resources you can utilize are the National Suicide Prevention Line at 1-800-273-8255, the Crisis Text Line if you text HOME to 741741, and the Counseling Center in the Student Community Center, Room 118. 

Editor’s Note: If you are in the process of recovery we encourage you to join the members of Active Minds, Writers Club and the Youngtown Edition to become more than your diagnosis and to share your story, contact youngtownedition@gmail.com to find out how. 

Tuition prices frustrate students, professors alike

By Anthony Ingham

With the start of the spring semester, a common concern among students is the ability to pay the cost of tuition and books, and whether or not it is equitable to do so.

The Pew Research Center published an article in October of 2018 called “More in U.S. see drug addiction, college affordability and sexism as ‘very big’ national problems”, where in a survey of U.S. adults, 63 percent said the affordability of college was an issue. 

This is up 11 percent from 2016, and is second only to drug addiction in the survey by 5 percent.

According to CollegeBoard article “Tuition and Fees and Room and Board over Time”, this is warranted, as it says that prices for public two year colleges, prices have risen $930 since 2008, and $2,670 for public four year colleges.

A recent piece in the NY Times titled “What Students Are Saying About: College Tuition, Homework Help and Loneliness” by The Learning Network discusses how some students from colleges, high schools, and even one from a middle school, feel about some of the bigger issues within college.

When asked if tuition was out of hand, there were a couple of different responses from four different sources. Two students from Danvers, MA, say that the cost is unbelievable, and that the ability to go to college should not be based on their family’s financial status. A student from Locust Grove High School said that someone would have to work minimum wage for 17 hours a day to be able to pay off their student debt, and a student from Oxford Middle School said that professors need to get paid, and community colleges are much cheaper, so the prices aren’t that bad for what they’re asking for.

According to the 2017-2018 County College of Morris budget report the college’s operation’s cost summed up to approximately $72 million dollars. The funding breaks down to about 31 million from tuition and fees, about $7 million from the state, about 11.8 from the county, about $5.2 million from out of county students, $235,000 from investment, $948,250 from other resources, and the remaining $16 million comes from student aid, grants, and contracts.

A non-scientific survey asked a pool of 20 CCM students three questions; Are colleges trying to profit off of you more than they should, is tuition worth the cost, and will you have any student debt after your time in college? When asked if they felt overcharged by colleges,  18 people said they did. James Thomson, a Creative Arts student, says that tuition is absurdly out of hand for those from low income families.

“If you’re working all that time trying to cover expenses, it leaves you without time to do any of the out of school work, so why bother,” he said.

Professor Clemente of the History Department said that colleges are an “edu-business” more than anything, and often lean a bit more towards the business end of things.

Out of the 20 surveyed, 13 agreed that college was worth the cost, and seven didn’t. Students such as Mckenna Greco, a high school student who is coming to CCM next semester, and Furkan Yildirim, a Business Administration major, show just how differently students can think about this topic.

“It depends on the major,” Greco said. “If you’re a Computer Science student, you probably have to go to college. If you’re a Creative Arts student, you probably don’t have to.” 

Yildirim said that if you put the work required for it, and you get education, it’s definitely worth it. 

Anthony Mojica, a Game Development student, said that books are ridiculously overpriced, and the fact that some teachers don’t use them is an even larger slap in the face.

While 13 said that they would be able to get through college as a whole without student loans or debt of any kind, seven still said that they would have to. 

Students and adults alike are willing to admit that colleges need money to function, and that they are willing to pay them to get their education. In order to alleviate this, students should look for alternative methods, such as rentals, e-textbooks, PDFs, or others, before buying their books. 

Student loan debt is one of the most common forms of debt in the United States, with 44 million Americans having a total debt of $1.48 trillion, according to Forbes article “Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2018: A $1.5 Trillion Crisis”. The state of New Jersey recently passed the Community College Opportunity Grant, according to their “Governor Murphy Announces New Jersey’s First Step Toward Free Community College” article. This just started its primary phase for tuition free college, and with this program, 13,000 students from 13 out of New Jersey’s 19 community colleges will receive funding to attend school tuition free starting in the Spring 2019 semester. 

Originally Published in the 1-30-2019 issue of the Youngtown Edition