EDITORIAL: A Warm Welcome Back from Youngtown

 

IMG_1284

As students say goodbye to beach days and long summer nights, they prepare for the back to school rush.

For some of us, this is an exciting opportunity for a fresh start: new notebooks, a planner (the true token to a successful semester) and an oversized pack of pencils that may or may not be missing by first week. Maybe we stock up on some new Titans gear to really show our back to school spirit. Regardless, we look forward to the gleaming potential of a new school year. The opportunity to raise our GPA’s, meet a friend or two, and snag the ideal parking spot every time we head to class (even if that means following student around Lot 6).

For others, the anxieties of a new school year may be taking over. What if I don’t pass all of my classes? What if I’m in the wrong major? What if Heart-Attack Hill actually gives me a heart attack? Maybe it’s your first year in college all together, or your first year at CCM. What building is what? What parking lots can I park in? (And why isn’t there any parking there?). The anticipation of a new semester can get the best of these students.

Or maybe you’re somewhere in the middle of these two extremes.

We at the Youngtown look forward to writing for everyone in this spectrum as we settle into our production room this semester. We are excited to deliver all the newsworthy  content CCM has to offer, from the groundbreaking changes to the Student Government Association, to the mysterious concoctions the cafeterias are stirring up this fall. Whether you’re thrilled or dreading the start of classes, we at the newspaper hope this semester is as eventful for you as it will be for us. We’ll be keeping our eyes peeled and our pads open as we take on this semester.

Feel free to join us as we kick off this academic year. Our next production is Thursday, Sept. 21 at 12:30 p.m. in LRC 216.

Advertisements

Speech Lab set to open in 2018 to assist with common required course

By Nick Sisti
Copy Editor

The department of communication at County College of Morris has commissioned the building of a Speech Lab which the department hopes will help streamline the speech writing process for students in need of assistance in speech fundamentals, a required class for students in most majors.

The lab will open its doors either in the fall or spring 2018 semester with select trials set to begin around the fall 2017 semester, according to Dr. Matthew Jones, chair of the department of communication which encompasses the speech classes.

For many college students, the mere prospect of a speech fundamentals class can be nerve-wracking. However, Jones hopes that the lab will help alleviate the anxieties of students who fear public speaking.

“There’s a very big initiative in community colleges, as well as universities in general, where it needs to be demonstrated that the student experience is adequately supported,” Jones said. “Tutoring centers are a part of that. There’s a writing center, a math center, a science center … Ideally, tutoring should be available for any course on campus. It’s very common to have a speech tutoring center, which we’re going to be implementing with the lab.”

Still in progress, the multi-room complex is located in DH 100, attached to the main tutoring center. The  four room  lab will assist students on how to properly articulate their ideas as well as address common issues like performance anxiety with techniques including meditation. The program will culminate with a dress rehearsal of one’s speech in the lab’s classroom.

“The theory is, if we can hold speech classes in the classroom, we can use that as a testing bed for students who’ve gone through the lab,” Jones said. “The goal is for the students to rehearse their speeches in as a realistic a setting as possible.”

Given the high demand for speech classes at CCM, there is a wide variety of teaching methods utilized. Some classes consist of lectures while others incorporate interactive and hands-on pre-speech exercises, an aspect that Jones said he hopes to amplify with the program.

“What I loved about my speech class was that the teacher made us get to know each other,” said Chloe Smith, a liberal arts major at CCM. “This made it a very open environment, which made me feel so much more comfortable when performing speeches.”

Some of the speech assistance techniques proposed to the lab have made appearances in the curriculum of certain speech classes, in varying capacity.

“We went over meditation as a way to prepare for speeches, as well as various games that allowed us to be creative while practicing speech methods,” Smith said. “After taking the class, I felt much more inclined to speak in front of strangers…Which, I think for many people is probably the most feared thing. You just have a different mindset once you establish that confidence.”

Preparation of “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” beginning for fall

By Katie Coyne
Entertainment Editor
​Out of the two plays County College of Morris will perform this fall, some students are gravitating towards Victor Hugo’s classic “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” because it has more of a musical aspect to it. Compared to the fall drama, John Steinbeck’s “East of Eden,” it will allow more chances for students in the campus’ drama and fine arts scene to showcase and hone their skills in live music and dance.

The college held four auditions for the musical from Wednesday, August 30 to Tuesday, Sept. 5.

Breanna Migala, a liberal arts major at CCM said she wanted to audition for an instrumental part rather than acting or singing.
​“I could play music for it,” said Migala, a clarinet player.  “That’s what I was more interested in.”

Austin Biss, a music recording major who has played drums for 13 years, said he is also looking forward to performing music for the play.
​“I’m actually the drummer for the musicals,” Biss said.  “I’ve been doing it for three or four semesters now. If you go see the musical, I will be playing the drums there.”

Professor Marielaine Mammon, chair of the music, dance, and performing arts department at CCM said that she is excited about the musical.

“The music is phenomenal,” Mammon said “ I researched it and I just got so excited about it.”

​    Two of Mammon’s favorite composers Alan Menken for “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”  and Stephen Schwartz for “East of Eden” have  featured works in their respective CCM productions.

Mammon said “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” will have a more similar portrayal to the novel rather than the Disney movie.
​“The storyline, the true storyline of how Quasimodo was treated and his demise, and Esmeralda’s death, and Phoebus, it’s a love triangle, and it follows the book more than the cartoon,” Mammon said.
Mammon said Hugo’s musical will be comprised of a large chorus featuring some of  the “challenger students,” high school students earning college credits at CCM.

“The Hunchback of Notre Dame” will be performed Wednesday Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Student Community Center Dragonetti Auditorium. There will also  be a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m.
“East of Eden,” will be performed in the Dragonetti Auditorium Thursday, Nov. 16 and Saturday, Nov. 18 at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets for both productions are $15 for the general public and $10 for CCM students and senior citizens over age 62.

Protect, don’t neglect, your personal data

By Krista Campbell
Contributor

In a time when college-aged people post personal information on social media  from which high school they attended to what they ate for breakfast, County College of Morris students may be aware of possible cyber theft that could impact accounts that hold private information but may not be so proactive when it comes to securing hackable information.

An online privacy survey, “Americans and Cybersecurity,” conducted by the Pew Research Center examined more than a thousand American adults in 2016. The survey found that 64 percent of those surveyed have experienced a major data breach at some point in their lives and that most of them either somewhat confidently or confidently trust in institutions including the federal government, cell phone and internet providers, and social media sites to keep their data secure. However, most of those surveyed feel the security of their data has declined in recent years.

Valentina Lombardo, a communication major at CCM, feels less secure with data security than she did just a few years ago.

“Credit cards are saved, even when you don’t realize,” Lombardo said. “Passwords are saved; your address is saved onto your computer with your phone number and everything; that’s why,”

Autosave for personal information can save time but can also be a security threat.

With there is a need to make an account with most applications and social media networks one chooses to use, the amount of passwords to create, protect and memorize can become overwhelming. Lombardo does admit that she shares passwords only for her Netflix and Verizon accounts with family but logs her passwords onto a computer notepad. Although useful, writing down private information may not be the best idea, especially on a hackable piece of technology.

The study finds that many Americans share their passwords in a similar fashion to Lombardo as 41 percent of responders claimed to have a password shared with a friend or family member and 25 percent of responders admit to having passwords less secure than they’d like out of convenience.

Remembering passwords for every single account can be daunting.

“Most times I find myself doing the ‘I forgot my password’ process all over again and having to change my passwords a lot,” said Paul Nunez, a biology major. “It is pretty frustrating.”

To remember passwords, Nunez often rotates between four different passwords but keeps each password far removed from anything commonly used. The study found this type of trend is common among Americans, as it said that 39 percent of responders say that they “use the same or very similar passwords for many of their online accounts.”

Nushin Simon, a computer science major at CCM, is not afraid of cyber hacking since she keeps her passwords secure and only shared between friends and family members.

“I make sure that everything is blocked only for my friends to see, like followers,” said Simon, who added that she keeps an active watch on both passwords and social media content.

Since Simon is among the 41 percent of Americans who share passwords within a network of trusted individuals, this is not too surprising.

Simon keeps her accounts as safe as she can from people she doesn’t want having access to her accounts. For instance, she said that the government should not have access to encrypted devices.

Simon  is not alone in her decision to exclude the government from access to personal information.

According to the Pew Research Center, millennials and Democrats often express support for strong encryption when it comes to the government gaining access to private information from personal devices. “Americans remain divided on the issue of encryption: 46 percent  believe that the government should be able to access encrypted communications when investigating crimes, while 44 percent believe that technology companies should be able to use encryption tools that are unbreakable even to law enforcement,” the study said. The thought of the government knowing personal information of the public is not particularly new; for a long time, there has been joking and speculation that the government is always listening. Except now the speculation should be that the government is always tracking, or at least they could be without encryption laws.

Simple steps to protecting personal data include encrypting accounts with strong passwords that have upper and lowercase letters, digits and symbols, according to How To Geek, an online magazine committed on providing articles and how-to’s. Something that can be easily figured out, such as a name, birth date or something obvious, should not be used as a password. Although easy to keep track of, using the same password for multiple accounts can be dangerous.

CCM students are conscious of these guidelines, but not all take precautionary steps to ensure digital privacy.

Work, life balance through distance learning

By Brittany Grau
Contributor

In an effort to conserve time and create a flexible schedule, the online classroom setting is growing popularity among students at County College of Morris.

Instead of having multiple due dates and meeting times throughout a given semester, online classes let students do their work whenever they want as long as they submit all of their work by their deadline at the end of the semester.

Students are balancing work, paying bills and at the same time trying to further their education and get degrees in careers they have interests. Taking online classes allows them to receive a degree from a county college and to balance work and other activities.

“I like online classes because I like the idea that you can take your time with the homework, and you can do it at your own pace,” said Christian Spahr, a communication major at CCM. “As long as you complete all the assignments by the deadline, you’re good.”

Some students take online classes so that they don’t need to take them at another time in a traditional classroom.

“I have taken an online class and I found it to be relatively easy,” said Mike Mandanici, a student at CCM. “It is easier to take an online class than to have to take a class over the summer.”

While many students are trying online classes at CCM, not all of them have positive experiences with them.

“The online class I took was kind of confusing,” said Laura Lewis, a CCM student. “I had trouble finding my assignments, and although the professor was good about emailing me back, I still felt lost.”

Other students experienced similar situations.

“I think for certain classes assignments can be hard to find,” Mandanici said. “I never had a problem, but a few people I know did.”

Other students feel that online classes are good but not for all courses.

“I think that certain classes should be taught on campus,” said Spahr. “Sometimes, you just need to have a professor present.”

Overall, students at CCM are making time to get their degrees, whether it be online or in the classroom. They are managing to balance work and school with their busy schedules.

No matter a student’s preference, the college will strive to accommodate that person and help them further their education.

SATIRE: Students annex abandoned A&P

Uprising over new vending machines led to destruction of Student Center

By John Dumm
Contributor

The Student Community Center cafeteria has been named a demilitarized zone by the department of public safety because almost no human has stepped foot in there since the fall semester began. The only known human activity occurred when approximately 40 students have been estimated to have taken part in a spontaneous act of vandalism Wednesday, August 30 upon discovery of vending machines completely replacing hot meal options there, according to a public safety report.

As of July 2017, the Student Community Center cafeteria has been closed down for renovations, with no word from either staff or summer students on plans for the renovation inspiring rioting and spiking depression diagnosis rates as of August 30, as renovation seems to have ceased with the cafeteria in a completely inoperable, presumably condemned state.

“The place is completely dead, nothing but chairs anymore,” reports psychology student, CCM culinary economist, and noted chair enthusiast Matthew Bristol. “They walled up the debris from the last good eatery on campus, slapped down about seven vending machines, didn’t even bother filling them all — really, it’s an impressively, extravagantly, horrible remodel. It took genuine effort to disrespect the memory of the A-Caf this badly.”

A postmortem survey of the accessibility, affordability, and public knowledge of alternative restaurants reveals dire news and solid cause for the student exodus that has been rounding the rumor mills since the fall student influx.

“It’s like the architects got confused and figured the game room was a ritual-crafted portal to the Ledgewood Mall,” Bristol said. “The Cohen Cafe rework was by all reports a success, clean aesthetic, same friendly staff, new burgers, but the new burgers are the only viable option, and they cost eight bucks a pop- that’s just under eight individual dollar menu items at the Ledgewood chain restaurants, and about the price of a full meal at most of the Ledgewood specialties and the A&P district restaurants. That’s eight burgers per burger, people. If we’re getting gouged that hard, I want the option to order my meat medium rare. Or at the very least with an egg on it, or some other ridiculous, obtuse ingredient.”

Moe Che Sanders, a student who spends most of his time on campus in the video game room, said that he was baffled by what looks like deliberate support of the proto-socialist game room commune that has sprung up since the change.

“They’re even doing promotional discounts for Ledgewood restaurants, which is I suppose a direct subsidy to any students using this as an ersatz lab course in the Economics of Smuggling 101,” said Sanders, who insists that he is a smuggling major despite no such a program existing.

With regards to the A&P district restaurants: China City, Cluck U Chicken, and Scalici’s Pizzeria as of last survey their cheap prices, relatively high-quality food, and convenient location three minutes from Parking Lot One has sparked an almost total shift in the eating habits of all three main demographics of the SCC, Game Room, Pong Room, and Chair Enthusiasts, respectively.

“An actual relocation of the SCC is obviously completely unfeasible,” said frequent Ping Pong Room occupant Lizzy Pierre, toting a complex locational survey helpfully compiled by anonymous business and architecture students as part of an organized complaint to the dean. “Half the value of the place is that it’s an average ten-minute walk from every classroom on campus, and Lot One is already beyond feasible walking distance of the school’s main commuter hub- which is, paradoxically, the current SCC. Nonetheless, the A&P block is so close by car and fulfills so many of the community’s demands- Chinese food, Sportsbar food, Pizza food, there’s a card game shop down the way- next to, I think, a Thai food place and another pizza food- that the SCC regulars have established a kind of forward base there. The A&P itself, is, of course, derelict, which is where this ridiculous relocation idea came from.”

Pierre advises students affected by the teardown to pool their resources with the rest of the SCC community’s attempts to cope, contributing to the bizarre merchant commune formed around people with large cars and open schedules, contacting the musical theater department about their night-bombing and hostage raids on the culinary classrooms behind the primary conference room, or even just joining a support group and going on a diet now that Frosties are expensive again.

COLUMN: President’s Corner

Dr. Anthony Iacono
College President

It’s finally here. Another academic year to grow intellectually, cultivate new experiences, meet new people, and move forward in life. With all of the enthusiasm and encouragement I can muster, I urge you to get involved! After all, it’s your educational experience. This is your year. Make it your best by going above and beyond each and every day. I challenge you to expand your horizons and get more out of your educational experience by doing 10 simple things. Now, I know what you’re thinking. Ten is a lot. Ten is too much. Ten is not simple. Ten might even seem overwhelming. Continue reading, however, and you will see that 10 is entirely possible.

  1.       Meet your professors. They are extraordinary. Even a brief meeting to introduce yourself personally and to learn more about their work will enhance your CCM experience. I am continuously excited about their scholarly research and practices.  I know you will be too once you learn more about them. Many are highly recognized in their fields for their cutting-edge research, publications, and conference presentations.  They are active participants in the arts, creating breathtaking paintings, sculptures, and pushing the boundaries of photography. They compose original musical selections, including symphonies, and share their talent locally and globally. They are recognized vocalists, actors, dancers, poets, novelists, and playwrights. They are recognized industry leaders in fashion and design and engaged in innovative partnerships with organizations like NASA and the Department of Homeland Security. And, for the direct benefit of students, they are endlessly busy forging productive relationships with businesses, law enforcement agencies, healthcare organizations, and other colleges and universities.
  2.       Make a least one new friend among our staff members. Visit the Office of Campus Life, the Learning Resource Center library, the Tutoring Center, an academic office, Accessibility Services, the Testing Center, or any other office. You will find our staff are eager to help you get the most out of your CCM experience.
  3.       Enjoy a coffee or meal at any of our student eateries. The food is terrific, and the selections are better than ever!  If you’re lucky, you might even meet superstar food services employee Derrick Turner, a CCM alum who is so nice that some of our students and employees have dubbed him “the ambassador of CCM.” Trust me. He has an uncanny ability for improving everyone’s day.
  4.       Go somewhere new. Attend a CCM play, concert, dance recital, art show, sporting event, or any other engagement you have never attended in the past. Attend a Legacy Project lecture, visit the Longo Planetarium, or participate in a campus social activity that is new to you. Remember, it’s all about getting involved and expanding your horizons.
  5.       Do something new. Join a club or an honor society. Consider auditioning for a play or trying out for an athletic team. Long after graduation, you will likely find that these kinds of involvement will benefit you in many wonderful ways. Remember, getting involved allows you to not only expand your horizons but it also helps you build a network. It’s never too early to build a network of support for your CCM years and beyond.
  6.       Talk to me. Stop by my office, grab me on the sidewalk, chat with me at a campus sporting event, or simply say hello at a performing or visual arts show. Join me for lunch in the Cohen Café or chat with me over coffee at Starbucks. Consider attending one of my student focus groups. They are designed for you to share your thoughts and ideas. Follow me on Twitter @CCMProud where I feature all things CCM, including your accomplishments.
  7.       Talk to your classmates, and make new friends. Be the one who reaches out to others and extends an invitation to form a study group, attend a campus event, or create a new club; the Office of Campus Life is highly supportive and encourages your leadership.
  8.       Be the person who accepts the invitation – see #7.  Remember, our campus is a great place for a first meeting.
  9.       Read at least one really good book this fall. If you need a good recommendation, ask a professor, a librarian, someone in Campus Life, or your advisors. Ask me. I love to read.
  10.   Volunteer your time and talent this year. Whether you give one hour a year or an hour a day, helping others is a rewarding and easy way to make the world a little better. If you’re not sure how to get involved as a volunteer just ask someone in Campus Life. Many of our clubs involve volunteerism and getting involved is easier than you might think.

Getting the most out of your educational experience requires focus, adaptability, sacrifice, a willingness to try new things and an openness to new ideas. It takes hard work and dedication. Your best efforts, however, will almost certainly yield rewards that can last a lifetime.  When it comes to being a student, why settle for surviving when you could be thriving! Thank you for choosing CCM. I look forward to working with you!