Proposed legislation hopes to expand student press’ First Amendment rights

By Jannat Sheikh

Managing Editor

To combat mounting pressure from many high school and college administration’s interference, a free speech group is pressing legislation to bolster student’s rights.

Free Press, a nonpartisan organization fighting to save the free and open Internet, curb runaway media consolidation, protect press freedom, and ensure diverse voices are represented in media including student journalism has launched New Voices, a campaign to increase community engagement with local journalism.

Assembly Bill 4028, introduced June 30, 2016 in New Jersey and is still pending legislation, states, “a student at a public school or a public institution of higher education who gathers, compiles, writes, edits, photographs, records, or prepares information for dissemination in school-sponsored media has the right to exercise freedom of speech and of the press, and is responsible for determining the news, opinion, feature, and advertising content of the school-sponsored media.”

In 2015, News Voices was launched in several communities across the state of New Jersey to focus on connecting with the local newsrooms. News Voices is now active in six communities: Asbury Park, Atlantic City, Camden, Morristown, Newark, and New Brunswick. Hundreds of people, including journalist, activists, students, faith leaders, union workers, and artists, have come together at the News Voices’ events according to NewsVoices.net. At these events, people discuss pressing local issues and ways that they can collaborate to tell stories with impact.

As a career journalist, communication professor, and proud member of a Democratic society, Russ Crespolini said he is pleased to see support for public-interest journalism.

“When we first learned about this last year at the New Jersey Press Association (NJPA) I was intrigued by their goals, some of which included expanding protections for journalists in New Jersey,” Crespolini said. “We are at an interesting crossroads when it comes to journalism in America. The pendulum had swung so far away from traditional news media over the last several years that it gave rise to this populist propaganda in poorly vetted social media posts.”

In addition, Crespolini said that no one practiced media literacy but suddenly there is turning point. Crespolini explained that since November of 2016 there has been this push for professional media content and real news from real sources.

“It is an amazing time to be a journalist because we have been reminded, as a nation, how important a role the media plays in our Democracy.” Crespolini said. “And, this New Voices initiative is a natural extension of that.”

Like Crespolini, career journalist, journalism professor and the Legacy Project’s Co-Chairman John Soltes said journalism is the hallmark of a free and open society.

“I am excited by the many new ways that the industry is reinventing itself while simultaneously sticking to the bedrocks of solid reporting, engaging writing and coverage of important news stories,” Soltes said. “I welcome new efforts to promote the journalism trade because this will lead to greater civic engagement and understanding of how government, society, politics, religion, sports, entertainment, and communities operate.”

In regards to local journalism at County College of Morris, both Soltes and Crespolini said that the independent student-run newspaper, the Youngtown Edition, represents the ideas of free press.

Soltes said that the communication department and the Youngtown Edition offer support to those committed to journalism as a career and those interested in learning some of the transferable skills of the industry.

“With any academic discipline that has a direct real-world application, it’s important to always adapt and evolve the lessons learned, while still sticking to those principled values of citizenship, verification, truth and relevancy,” Soltes said.

Crespolini said that the college community is extremely fortunate that the communication department and student journalists receive the backing of the administration.

“Long before my time here, previous President Ed Yaw was a staunch supporter of the Youngtown Edition and respected its autonomy,” Crespolini said. “The Youngtown has always been allowed to function as designed, a free and independent student newspaper. This has continued since the arrival of Dr. Iacono last year.”

Crespolini said that all newspaper advisors ever really need in terms of support is for people to cooperate with the learning journalists and otherwise stay out of their way.  At a New Jersey Press Association awards ceremony last year, Crespolini said he was regaled with horror stories of other school papers that were frequently harassed by their administrators. He explained that some schools began publishing their own competing product which focused on positive public relations material.

“Definitely not a reader service, and definitely not what journalism is about,” Crespolini said. “We were stunned to hear those stories. Mostly because interference like that is unethical and in some cases actionable. And in our case, unthinkable because we couldn’t fathom something like that happening here.”

Editor-in-Chief of the Youngtown Edition Brett Friedensohn said that he agreed with the bill because other schools need the protection.

“I support News Voices New Jersey, but Youngtown doesn’t need it like other school papers do,” Friedensohn said. “Even though we have plenty of content that isn’t flattering to CCM, I think our administration understands that to have the strongest journalism program possible, they shouldn’t try to impose any direct action against us. That’s unlike many schools, high school or college.”

Friedensohn has worked on “The Voyager,” the paper at Parsippany Hills High School, and he said that the administration there reserved the right to censor anything they planned to print and required that they have them review everything before publication.

“To my knowledge, they didn’t enforce their red tape in my time there, but that always loomed over us,” Friedensohn said. “We never truly had complete independence, and with something like New Voices New Jersey, they would’ve known that they needed to back off because otherwise, we could’ve imposed legal action against them, and we probably would’ve won.”

Parsippany Hills is not alone as a censored school in New Jersey. The College Media Association presented their first Frank LoMonte Ethics in Journalism Award, a nationwide honor collegiate media advisors, Thursday, Oct. 26 to former Student Press Law Center Director Ernabel Demillo who was fired from her position as school paper advisor at St. Peter’s University in Jersey City for standing up to her administration’s efforts to censor the paper.

Friedensohn said that the CCM community should write to state legislators and ask them to support this bill.

“Also, I encourage all students interested in journalism to join Youngtown,” Friedensohn said. “We’re willing to teach if you’re willing to learn.”

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Strive toward your own college goals, not someone else’s

By Elena Hooper

Opinion Editor

As we college students feel that they are caught in a whirlwind, unable to find stable ground, we rush through our lives day in and day out, hoping to achieve some nebulous end goal, propelled forward by this sense of urgency to race to the finish line of college when many of us don’t really even know what we’d do with the prize. This is a largely unaddressed problem that affects us more than we’d like to admit. It’s through no fault of our own though as we may feel pressure from outside entities such as our high school teachers, our friends, or maybe even our own parents to follow the cookie cutter model of getting a secondary education. We put such high expectations on ourselves and push ourselves to achieve this goal that we sometimes run ourselves into the ground, taking our eyes off the real prize that college has to offer to us.

When we think of the ideal college education, we normally think of the four-year run, whether we start out in community college or not. We may also consider years of post-graduate education, but that’s not always in the cards for everyone’s career paths. But what is it about that four year plan that has us so transfixed? Why do we break our backs trying to fit this arbitrary expectation when we’re not even sure of what we’d like to do with this achievement when we reach the end? When we’re so focused to doing “what everyone else is doing,” we often forget about the real purpose of college and what it can actually offered to us.

Rushing through college just to meet a non-existent deadline stifles our potential to really learn, grow, and become intelligent, critically thinking adults. High school definitely doesn’t teach us these important skills; college is the opportune time to hone and perfect them, but even with this gracious opportunity, we can sometimes squander our potential as we only see the finish line, not what it takes to get there. We just want results and have very little interest in the process of learning and getting good at something, which is arguably the most important part. The aim of college is to get you out of that mode of static thinking and into fluid thinking, which allows for much more growth and learning potential, and how can you possibly do that if all you want to know is the answer to a question so you can pass the test, even if you don’t understand it at all?

If I haven’t completely sold you the idea that learning is important, let me put it this way. If you want to have successful, happy life, you’re not going to achieve that if you’re close-minded. And I don’t mean close-minded in the liberal against conservative sense. What I mean is someone who has no curiosity, no self-starting attitude, no initiative. A person without these traits is someone who follows, who does what they’re told, and doesn’t ask questions. While you may be comfortable living like this, it is very unlikely that you’ll truly be satisfied or have many opportunities to move up in the world. And if you want to be truly satisfied, start paying attention now while you’re still in college because this is the best opportunity for development of these traits that you will ever have.

Now is the time to be expanding your mind, indulge in your curiosities, and ask any and every question. If you want to have a truly happy and satisfied life, consider taking the road less traveled. Many more doors are open to those who open themselves to more possibilities. Many more opportunities present themselves to people who seek them. And what’s the rush anyway? It’s very common now for young adults to struggle with their direction in life. Why would you want to run a race if you don’t even know why you’re running?

Men’s basketball earns blowout victory in season opener

By Connor Iapoce

Sports Editor

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Titans guard Lamont Williams jumps over Delaware Tech players for a layup in a 98-66 win. Photo by Connor Iapoce.

The County College of Morris men’s basketball team opened its 2017-2018 season  Saturday, Nov. 11 with a 98-66 home win against Delaware Technical Community College.

Led by Anthony Obery in his fourth season as head coach, the Titans coaching staff consists also of recruiting assistant Anwar King in his second season, assistant coach Antoine Obery in his second season, and assistant coach Kory Roberson in his first season.

“It was a pretty good game,” said freshman point guard Abraham Kromah. “It was nice to get my guys involved. Everybody played hard today. It was good competition.”

The Titans came out strong offensively in the game to put up 48 points in the first half. The team also dominated the second half with 50 points. They restricted Delaware Tech to only 33 points per half.

“At times we lost intensity, but we brought it back up,” said sophomore guard Lamont Williams. “That’s why we had a 30 plus point lead in the win tonight. It was a good game.”

Key offensive players in the win against Delaware Tech include Lamont Williams and Ranell Bell with each putting up a team-leading 20 points and Abraham Kromah adding 13 points total. Nicholas Whitaker was a key defensive player with eight defensive rebounds, three blocks, and four steals.

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Forward Andrew Sciancalepore sinks a basket in a win against Delaware Tech. Photo by Connor Iapoce.

“I feel like we did what we were supposed to do,” said assistant coach Anwar King. “A lot of people don’t know about County College of Morris on a regular basis, but this is a totally different team.”

The Titans statistics thus far into the season include a 44 field goal percentage, 50 three-point field goal percentage, 67.9 free throw percentage, and 51 rebounds per game.

“The key to success is just to bond,” Kromah said. “We have to play hard together, play good defense, and everything will fit for the team to succeed.”

Williams said that the team needs to work as a cohesive unit to be as efficient as possible.

“We just have got to love each other on the court and off the court,” Williams said

Assistant coach Anwar King is not looking forward to any specific game, as he believes that every game will matter this season.

“Nobody is used to County College of Morris being a name in the junior college scene,” King said. “The coaching staff and the athletic staff has done a lot of work to change things around here. We are looking forward to every game.”

King said that he is confident in various players to step up when needed.

“Every game is going to have somebody different that’s going to step in when we need them to get us over those humps,” King said. “We have loads of talent at literally every position.”

Some of the team members are hoping that they will be able to earn a spot in the National Junior College Athletic Association Division II National Championship tournament in March in Danville, Illinois.

“We are going to nationals,” Kromah said. “Of course we are going. Nothing less for this team.”

King believes the only thing that will stop this Titans team is themselves.

“As far as expectations on the season, I don’t see anybody stopping us but us,” King said. “The sky’s the limit for us this year. As long as my guys compete on a day-in, day-out basis whatever happens is what happens. I know we’re not going to be the same team that everybody knows us for.”

CCM Titans men’s basketball team competes in the Division II level in the Garden State Athletic Conference as well as in the NJCAA Region XIX.

The Titans next home game is at 3:00 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 9 against Valley Forge Military College on the basketball court in the Health and Physical Education Building.

Transfer deal with Rider to grant entry to all CCM graduates with minimum 2.5 GPAs, among other perks

By Gina N. Fico

Staff Writer

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Administrators from CCM and Rider announce a path to transfer agreement between the two schools.

County College of Morris and Rider University signed an articulation agreement designed to help CCM students transfer more seamlessly to the college in Lawrence Township.

The agreement was signed Thursday, Oct. 19 by Iacono and Rider University’s president Dr. Gregory G. Dell’Omo for 23 specific programs.

The agreements provide students with more benefits than the statewide agreement that makes credits transferable. The transfer agreement with Rider will also provide students guaranteed admission for all student applicants who have a 2.5 grade point average, although some majors require a higher GPA, according to Nancy Branca, administrate assistant at transfer services. Students interested in Rider University will also have the chance to be able to take a free course related to their major.

It also provides students with merit-based scholarships based on their GPA and scholarships for rooming as being part of the partnership. Keri Hawkins, coordinator of transfer services, said that this agreement will help students try to kept their transfer to four semesters after CCM.

“The benefits to the articulation agreement we signed with Rider goes beyond financial,” Hawkins said.

Some people have a stigmatized view of transfer students from community colleges; however, transfer students are shown to have an advantage over other students, according to Iacono, who said they are proven to be successful. He said that they have been successful once and they will show that they can be successful again. Dr. Bette Simmons, vice president of student development and enrollment management  said that CCM has a very positive reputation that has been built over 50 years and that CCM students hard work and how well prepared the transfer students are stands out.

“They really value our students because our students do really well when they get there,” Iacono said.

Some other universities that CCM has signed agreements with include West Virginia University, Fairleigh Dickinson University, Berkeley College, William Paterson University, and Drew University. CCM’s website also provides students with more information about transferring.

The CCM administration wants to insure that students have a stress-free and successful educational experience after graduation, according to Simmons.

“They want to make sure they are successful after graduation, and that is what these agreements are about,” Simmons said.

The process can be scary for many students but by having more clear guideline students can be more directed to the academic destination, according to Simmons. Iacono said that he understands how transferring can make students feel and hopes to make CCM students’ educational careers easier than his was.

William Paterson student arrested, suspected of theft on CCM campus

By Caroline O’Brien

Contributor

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CCM’s Health and Physical Education building. Photo by Arianna Parks.

Two students of County College of Morris helped to identify to police Jeffrey Yuen, a 22-year old William Paterson University student, who is suspected of stealing a wallet from the men’s locker room Health and Physical Education Building and was arrested Wednesday, Oct. 18, according to a report by the Randolph Police Department.

Yuen was arrested on CCM campus for alleged theft as well as alleged possession of marijuana and use of paraphernalia.

Yuen allegedly stole men’s soccer defender Bektesh Hadzovik’s wallet from an open gym locker Monday, Sept. 25 and used a debit card from the stolen wallet to pay for a meal from Nathan’s Famous in the Rockaway Mall food court. Hadzovik was notified by his PNC bank application and contacted the establishment for information. An image from the establishment’s security cameras was used to identify the suspect three weeks later in the HPE building.

Hadzovik filed a police report the day Yuen was accused of stealing his wallet. Using only the fuzzy, pixelated security image from Nathan’s Famous, Hadzovik and his soccer teammate, goaltender Gabe Lazarre, identified the suspect in the locker room three weeks after the initial incident. The students then notified a concerned faculty member who promptly alerted public safety.

“It took a long time to catch him,” Hadzovik said. “He showed up at school, and we realized it was him.”

Hazovik and Lazarre waited outside the locker room for public safety. Yuen snuck out through an emergency exit in the back of the building and ran right into two public safety officers. The public safety officers kept Yuen there until police arrived several minutes later.  Yuen was arrested and transported to Randolph Police Headquarters. The defendant was fingerprinted, processed, and served with a complaint summons. Yuen was released pending a first appearance at Central Judicial Processing Friday, Nov. 3.

“We were standing here, and we saw him run past the building, but public safety and cops already had it blocked off,” Lazarre said.

The two athletes said they will be more careful with their belongings and use locks in the locker room; they encourage other students to do the same.

Editor’s Note: Tips and suspicious activity can be reported to the public safety department on its 24/7 line at (973) 328-5550 or at publicsafety@ccm.edu. Anonymous witness report forms can be filled out at http://www.ccm.edu/public-safety/ .

CCM student arrested for assault in Lot 7

By Brett Friedensohn

Editor-in-Chief

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Students in Lot 7 the day after an assault was reported there. Photo by Arianna Parks.

A student at County College of Morris was arrested by Randolph police and charged with simple assault for an incident reported in Parking Lot 7 Wednesday, Nov. 8.

Anthony Rodriguez, 20, of Wharton was released pending court, according to a press release provided by Randolph Police Lieutenant Christopher Giuliani.

A joint investigation by the Randolph police and CCM public safety found that the assault apparently occurred because of a past dispute between the suspect and the victim, who has been identified as an 18-year-old male.

Vice President of Business and Finance Karen VanDerhoof sent an email to all CCM students at 5:15 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 16 announcing that a CCM student had been arrested following the assault.

Two males were reported to have fled Parking Lot 7 on foot after committing assault Nov. 8, according to two email notifications sent out to all CCM students the day of and after the incident. The press release clarified that there was only one reported assailant.

The incident was first reported at approximately 5 p.m. Nov. 8, according to the first notification, which was a Titan Alert, a system used to alert students of campus emergencies and weather delays, saying that there was no weapon involved and that Randolph police and and the public safety department were investigating a robbery. The second notification clarified that the first report of forcible theft was unsubstantiated and therefore, the incident was being investigated as assault but not no longer a robbery. The press release confirmed that there was no robbery.

The Randolph Police Department does not regularly patrol CCM and primarily leaves the task for public safety, according to Giuliani, who said Tuesday, Nov. 14 that no similar incidents have occurred at CCM in the recent past or since the Lot 7 assault.

“Without knowing the intent of the suspects, we cannot give a blanket statement that students are not at risk,”  Giuliani said. “What I can say is that an incident like this at the college is extremely rare.  There have been no reports of this nature since the incident.  The best advice is that everybody should be sure they are aware of their surroundings. If someone sees something suspicious, contact security immediately.”

Youngtown staff repeatedly reached out to Public Safety Director Harvey Jackson for comment over the course of the investigation,  specifically if Rodriguez would have any restrictions on campus, if students were at risk, what they should do to stay safe, and whether his department had increased patrols or took additional measures to secure the campus, but did not receive a reply.

VanDerhoof was also asked over email questions regarding if Rodriguez would have any restrictions on campus and wrote back, “The student will go through the Judicial process which will determine the answers to your three questions.”

Tori Phillips, a graphic design major at CCM, said that she had parked in Lot 7 the night of the assault and read the Titan Alert in her 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. portfolio class when it was sent out, and she felt safer because she walked to the car with her boyfriend.                       

“It was probably a good thing to alert people on because apparently, they were still walking around after the mugging,” Phillips said. “I was not alone, but some of the janitors, I think one of the janitors, was warning people to make sure to walk, when you walk to your car, to walk with somebody because of the mugging.”

She said that by the time she left class, the police presence had subsided for the most part.

“I had a friend who was coming in late and said he had a hard time parking because of all of the police,” Phillips said. “So he saw it, but I was already in class. And by the time we got out, everything had died down.”

Sean Roftery, an engineering major at CCM, said that he was in an instrumentation and measurements class when he and his classmates learned about the incident when certain individuals read it on their emails. He believes that public safety alerted the students in an appropriate way.

“The whole class got the information pretty much immediately,” Roftery said. “It was probably appropriate because that isn’t the kind of thing you want to announce over the loudspeakers. That would just create panic and be unnecessary.”

Editor’s Note: Tips and suspicious activity can be reported to the public safety department on its 24/7 line at (973) 328-5550 or at publicsafety@ccm.edu. Anonymous witness report forms can be filled out at http://www.ccm.edu/public-safety/ .

CCM, Centenary University sign transfer agreement

By Dan Brodhead
Staff Writer

On Tuesday, Oct. 17, Dr. David P. Haney, president of Centenary University, and Dr.

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Hackettstown’s Centenary University is working with CCM to ease the transferring process. Photo courtesy Facebook.

Anthony J. Iacono, president of CCM, signed a path to transfer program Tuesday, Oct. 17.

This agreement is intended to guarantee a seamless transition for qualifying CCM graduates at Centenary University.

“We are delighted to enter into this agreement with Centenary as part of our ongoing efforts to make it easier for CCM students to also earn a bachelor’s degree,” Iacono said. “This is an exciting partnership and a great opportunity for students.”

Founded in 1867 by the Newark Conference of the United Methodist Church, Centenary’s academic program is meant to integrate a solid liberal arts foundation with a strong career orientation. This mix is designed to provide an educational experience that prepares students to succeed in the increasingly global and interdependent world. Centenary’s main campus is located in Hackettstown with its equestrian facility in Washington Township. The Centenary School of Professional Studies offers degree programs online and in two locations: Parsippany and Edison, online, as well as corporate sites throughout New Jersey.

“While Centenary University has many articulation agreements with community colleges, this is the first of its kind for us,” Haney said. “This is a wonderful partnership that is designed to make this process as seamless as possible.”

CCM has other agreements with schools including Drew University, East Stroudsburg University, and Fairleigh Dickinson University.

“I love the idea that CCM has so many agreements with schools throughout the state,” said Jessica Eaton, a nursing major at CCM. “After I graduate, it’s a good feeling to know that all of my hard work will follow me for the rest of my academic career.”

Women’s soccer season cut short at region semifinals against Essex

By Brett Friedensohn
Editor-in-Chief

A region title push by the women’s soccer team at County College of Morris ended when the Titans lost 3-1 to Essex County College in the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIX Division I semifinals Saturday, Oct. 21.

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Midfielder and defender Amanda Lawrence. Photos Courtesy of CCM Athletics

CCM finished its season 1-4-1 in region play and 6-5-1 overall.

The bottom seed in the four-team Division I tournament, the Titans met the top seeded ECC who later won the region title 1-0 against Sussex County Community College Saturday, Oct. 28, advancing to the district tournament with a record of 6-0-1 in the region and 10-2-1 overall.

CCM met ECC one other time in the fall 2017 season, a 7-1 defeat Thursday, Sept. 21. Before the region semifinal, Athletic Director Jack Sullivan guaranteed that the result of the rematch would not be a similar blowout.

“I think that our team was not really as cohesive as they are now,” Sullivan said. “It was the toward the beginning of the year, and you’re facing an athletic team that may have a bit more speed. And you’re not prepared, and you’re not on you’re not on your A-game, I think that you’ll get a score like that. I guarantee that it won’t be 7-1 this time.”

Forward Samantha Corrales and midfielder Stephanie Williams earned a spot on the Division I first all-region team, and defender Reanna Cope made second team all-region

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Defensive back Raenna Cope.

Corrales lead the division in goals with 17, eight more than the division’s second-leading goal scorer Gabby Sarni of Sussex County Community College. Corrales also ranked 38th nationally in goals scored for NJCAA Division I teams. Williams, the Titans’ second-leading goal scorer, recorded four goals and led her team in assists with 10.

Goalkeeper Kayla Beal, who made an starting appearance in the net in 12 of her team’s 13 total games, finished the season with 1.47 goals against average.

“To be honest, I wasn’t expecting any of this at all,” said Corrales, a criminal justice major at CCM. “I wasn’t expecting to have these awards. I wasn’t expecting any of this. I’m very proud of myself because I was out for one year for ACL surgery, so when I came back, it was more of me, myself, I did this, and I’m happy. But I couldn’t have done this without my team, and I can’t take all the credit for it. My team supports me. So I’m very proud of myself, and I’m also very proud of my team for helping me get to where I was.”

Corrales said unlike the region semifinal, her team was not prepared for ECC in the Sept. 21 match.

“It was 80 degrees outside, so it was really hard to keep up with them,” Corrales said. “We weren’t prepared for their skills. And then, the second time we played them, the week before, we had a really good week of practices. We ran; we did sprints; we did agility work, skill work, and then, when we came to the field, we knew that they weren’t ready for us as we weren’t ready for them last time. When we were playing, we moved the ball very well. We played as a team.”

Head Coach Roger Stephens said that he thinks the Titans would have advanced past the region semifinal had they not faced ECC in the first round.

“If we had any other round in that tournament, we probably would have gone to finals,” Stephens said. “They played great against Essex. The only thing is when you play a team that’s that good, you not only need to be playing their best, which they did. You need to have a little luck, too.”

Stephens said that Williams, a two-time all-region player, was probably his team’s best all-around player this season.

“The great thing about this team was they got better game in and game out,” Stephens said. “They were a far better team at the end of the season than they were at the beginning of the season, naturally, a compliment to them as players, and they bought into everything we did. And they had a great focus and enthusiasm. They took care of business. It was a nice team to coach this year. It really was.”

Seven players on the Titans’ roster played their second season this year and will therefore be ineligible to play next season. Corrales, a freshman who plans on returning in 2018, said that her team will need to replace the sophomore players to move past the region semis next year.

“I think we’re going to have to find players of the same skill work that we had this year because we lost very good players this year, players will skill work, ball movement, speed,” Corrales said. “And we just have to start from the beginning. We can do this. We want to get to districts. We want to go to semis. We want to go to [nationals in] Florida.”

Men’s soccer ends winning season with loss in playoffs

By Connor Iapoce
Sports Editor

The men’s soccer team at County College of Morris concluded its fall 2017 season Saturday, October 21 with a 3-0 loss against Ocean Community College in the first round of the playoffs.

The Titans finished with a record of 7-5-5 in overall conference play and 3-5-4 in National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIX play.

They had a 2-1 home win against Ocean at the end of September already on the record.

At the time of the win, Ocean was leading the conference while the Titans were attempting to break a six-game winless streak.

 

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Defender Liam Coffey fights for the ball in the game against
Sussex County Community College on Tuesday, Sept. 12. Photo by Brett Friedensohn

“The game that stood out for me the most was the game where we played Ocean at home,” said Liam Coffey, Titans right back defender. “It was super disappointing when we lost to Ocean in the playoffs and realized our season was over. We all thought we were capable of accomplishing a lot more.”

The playoff loss followed a seven-game undefeated streak following the first Ocean game, with four wins and three draws making up the record.

During the playoff game, the Titans went down a goal early in the first half at the three minute mark and it was an uphill battle for the rest of the game. Ocean would score another goal at the 20 minute mark and a third, final goal in the 50th minute of the game. The Titans were unable to answer offensively, with eight shots total and only six shots on goal.

“We gave ourselves a good opportunity,” said head coach Kevin Rosenberg after the playoff loss. “We drew a seed in a matchup against a team that we had already beaten. We felt pretty good going into the game with a good three days of training in preparation for it. Then, we had an unexpected injury with Bektesh Hadzovic, and we had to shuffle around a couple things lineup-wise.”

Despite the tough playoff loss, the Titans ended the season with a win percentage of .531.

“The lineup changes threw us for a little bit of a loop and we got off to a little bit of a slow start and then that was it,” Rosenberg said. “We couldn’t recover from our slow start with the early goal. We kind of had to chase the game the rest of the way, and it didn’t work out as well as we would have liked.”

In his first year as head coach, Rosenberg admitted to the struggles faced with a two-year soccer program as opposed to a four-year in terms of getting all of the players, both rookie and veteran, on the same page in a shorter period of time.

“None of the players have been there for a long time and when a new coach comes in, there is very little stability in what is going on,” Rosenberg said. “So getting everybody on the same page as quickly as we did was a challenge for all of us. It was something that we never had to do before. I thought that we did it fairly effectively.”

The returning sophomores were a big help in the turnaround of the team, invoking leadership roles to teach first season freshman the workings of college soccer, according to Rosenberg, who said that after a tough season last year, the returning sophomore players stepped up and Rosenberg believes “deserve a pat on the back.”

Overall, Rosenberg said he is satisfied with his first season as head coach and particularly, the development of the team from beginning to season end.

“I am very pleased with the development of the team this year,” Rosenberg said. “Obviously, we were not pleased with the way that it ended, but very rarely, unless you win the whole thing, are you pleased when it ends. Throughout the course of the season, I think that we set ourselves up pretty well. We got the program back on the right track.”

Rosenberg and Athletic Director Jack Sullivan both believe the future of the program is strong in terms of recruitment and work ethic.

“They’re a great group of young men, and I believe we have the right man in position right now,” Sullivan said. “He’s going to do a great job bringing in quality student athletes. I’m impressed with the work ethic. I think the coach has established a very nice culture. They worked very, very hard, and they were serious about what they were doing this season.”

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Right winger John McEvoy dribbles the ball down the field against SCCC. Photo courtesy of CCM Athletics  

Recruitment efforts to find the next wave of student athletes is underway under the guidance of Sullivan and Rosenberg.

“I don’t think it will take a Herculean effort to get the program going in the right direction,” Sullivan said. “Morris County is great at soccer, so I think right at our doorstep, we have to get kids to come here and commit and keep working hard.”

Seven starting freshmen will act as veteran returners on the team next season.

“All of those kids got very valuable experience; they’re hard workers and I think they got a taste of success this year,” Rosenberg said. “Hopefully, it leaves them hungrier for more and I think we are going to have a tremendous recruiting class coming next year. The sky’s the limit, to tell you the truth.”

Paul Licitra becomes chairman of CCM’s Board of Trustees

Board of Trustee Chair Paul Licitra presents medallion to President Anthony Iacono. Photo Courtesy of CCM

By Marisa Goglia & Jannat Sheikh
Managing Editors

County College of Morris’ Board of Trustees Chair Paul Licitra spoke on behalf of the Board in front of a crowd of 400 at the Friday, Oct. 6 inauguration of County College of Morris’ third president, Dr. Anthony Iacono.

Licitra, in his third month as chair, held the distinct honor of bestowing the investiture of the ceremony.

“By the power invested in me by the Board of Trustees, I hereby confer upon you [Iacono] the title of president of County College of Morris and present to you this medallion as a symbol of that office,” Licitra said.

Iacono became president of CCM in September 2016 when Dr. Joseph Ricca was the board chair.

Growing up in Brooklyn, Licitra said having Depression Era parents had given him the mentality of a hard work ethic.

“My parents were both immigrants and they grew up in the Depression,”  Licitra said. “So I’ve always had the mentality of Depression Era parents, and you see like a little differently when you wake up in the morning and you only have three cents to your name which is what happened in our family. So I’m proud to be a first-generation American, and I’m proud to have gotten as far as I have, and I’ve worked for everything that I’ve done in life. Not just this, I was mayor of a town, I was commissioner in the state, chairman of the county planning board, you name it, I did it.”

In 1967, Licitra had served his country when he was drafted during the the Vietnam war in South Vietnam’s Mekong Delta, a river approximately half mile wide, according to the History Channel. Leading out of the Mekong are canals that are from 75 feet wide down to 35 feet wide. By the beginning of 1967 there were 490,000 American troops in South Vietnam along with 850,000 from South Vietnam, South Korea, and other U.S. allies, according to The New York Times.

“My country had called me; I’m a patriot, and I felt I had to give back,” Licitra said.  “My country was good to me, I want to be good to my country. And, when you go over there, you go over for your country …. You’re so intent on getting not only yourself home but all your friends, trying to make sure that they get home. And that’s what your main goal is at that point.”

Licitra was discharged Sept. 8, 1967 and started an insurance job the next day.

Licitra said that he previously investigated accidents when he was in Vietnam and saw a comparison in wanting to pursue a career path as an insurance  broker.

“I went into insurance because it was kind of related to what I was doing in the Army for my last four or five months which was military policeman,” Licitra said. “When I came back from Vietnam, I got a job in insurance, and I went to college at night. I did 128 credits in four years at night [at St. John’s University] … It was nothing that I woke up sometime as a five-year-old and said, ‘Yeah, I want to be an insurance man.’”

Having 45 years experience in the business gave Licitra the ability to run companies as president, vice president, and senior vice president.

“It was a very exciting field for me,” Licitra said. “I used to travel the world.  I used to travel the United States. I had some really nice clients, some really good exciting clients, and I used to service them. I used to meet CFO’s and have meetings with pioneers and people of business. You know, [insurance] provided somebody with protection. You do captives; you set up insurance companies; you set up client services … You know, it’s a lot different now. It was a plain vanilla envelope. Now, it isn’t a plain vanilla envelope.”

In 1990, Licitra decided to depart from insurance and  run for the mayor of Mount Olive. Licitra said as a resident, he wanted to bring new innovative ideas that would leave lasting impressions.

“It was enjoyable; I mean I managed to create a legacy,” Licitra said. “I did a lot of building. I built the sport’s complex; I built recreation fields, a library, a senior center, a municipal building, things that Mt. Olive needed, that I felt that it needed…And now, my grandchildren are growing up in town and they’re enjoying this. I get great pleasure out of that.”

Although Licitra said he had fond memories of being a councilman and mayor for 12 years, he would not do it again due to campaign  incivility and lack of appreciation.

“People expect too much out of their elected officials,” Licitra said. “It’s not that you can’t please everybody it’s that it’s not appreciated, ..I think people just wanted to win and beat you, not they want to ruin you. It just isn’t the same. I don’t like that mentality, it’s just not me … I’ve never run a bad campaign; I never ran after anybody. Even my Facebook page, if you go on it, I just don’t get involved in petty politics, name calling, and things like that. It just isn’t for me.”

Five years ago, Licitra was appointed to the Board of Trustees and became vice chairman a year and a half ago. Now, he takes his seat as chairman of the Board of Trustees approximately three months after Ricca resigned as the chairman to take the job as superintendent at the White Plains School District.

“The exciting part of that was the inauguration, and I was partaking in the inauguration. I was the one that represented the school to give the baton to Dr. Iacono,” Licitra said. “And that was the first time I was involved in something like that. It was exciting. So, as the chairman, I represented the Board.”

Licitra said with the chairmanship comes with varying responsibilities in contrast to the previous positions on the board.

“ You’re more involved,” Licitra said.  “Dr. Iacono calls me up all day long and tells me this happened or that happened. But, you don’t have that when you’re a regular board member. You do run committees, and you do run reports.

Licitra said that he instituted a monthly meeting with Iacono and the Board of Trustees.

“We can tell him what’s on our mind and he can tell us what’s on his mind,” Licitra said. “And I think that’s important that you get people in different avenues, different people. You want builders, you want accountants, you want teachers, you want administrators. So  you’ve got to have a board full of these people. And, we have a good mix on the board right now and we get along..I feel that this is my extended family right now.”

Licitra said he would like  to see more student involvement within the meetings, and for them to know that the door is always open.

“I think they feel that we’re not available, and we’re always available,” Licitra said. “ I think I would like to see more mentorship from the board to the students. We do have a student representative and each one of them were great. Every year we have a new one. And, every single one has been as good as the other. But, some of them were fantastic. I think I’d like to see more of the student’s take more interest in the meetings.”

Licitra said he thinks it is important that the college gets to know each trustee personally.

“I’d rather them get to know each other one on one, but if they get to know them through your newspaper, then they’ll see that we’re just people,” Licitra said. “They have ideas; they have experience. So that’s good; that’s good for the student body, and we’re head and shoulder about everybody around us.”