Students of varying cultures excited for upcoming World Cup

By Mahadye Paniahie

While the United States failed to qualify for this year’s World Cup, many students at County College of Morris plan to embrace other cultures and watch the soccer matches rooting for the countries of their backgrounds.

This summer, men’s soccer teams from all over the globe prepare to meet in Russia for the 2018 Fifa World Cup, looking to battle it out in the tournament and seize the mantle from the  returning 2014 World Cup champion Germany.

“I cannot wait till the World Cup starts and watch my beautiful people of Colombia gather together and wish for the same goal which is to win the World cup,” said Erika Pineda, an exercise science major at CCM. “I hope we do good like last World Cup, except win it this time.”

Pineda and her family are from Colombia, and their national team lost in the quarter-finals last World Cup to Brazil.

For others, the excitement exists more because their nation qualified and will participate this World Cup after failing to do so last tournament. For example, Peru has not qualified for the World Cup since 1982.

“I am so happy that Peru did qualify this time so my family and I can actually have that joy and happiness watching,” said Marcello Rivera, a design major at CCM.

Marcello said he is hoping Peru could make an impact in this upcoming tournament and is excited to watch them play.

“Peru is an underdog team, and watching them play might shock some people this year in the World Cup, but it won’t shock me if they go far because I know they are capable of doing so,” Marcello said.

As much as excitement there is for this upcoming World Cup, there may be as much revenge from the previous World Cup.

Matthaus Rivera was born in Argentina and said he has been a fan of Argentinian soccer since he was a kid.

“Last year, my people of Argentina were thrilled to reach the World Cup finals, but were so heartbroken when we lost,” said Matthaus, a criminal justice major at CCM. “I feel so frustrated knowing how close we were to winning it last time, so I won’t be satisfied with anything less than first place this World Cup.”


Softball seeks strong season start

Titans finished second in region last year


The 2018 Titans softball players pose for a team picture at practice. Photo courtesy of: Facebook

By Connor Iapoce
Sports Editor

County College of Morris Titans softball looks to stay motivated as they open the 2018 spring campaign after last season’s 3-4 defeat in the Region XIX Championship game against Lackawanna College stopped ended their chances of reaching the College World Series.

Head coach Greg Wardlow is now in his 14th season coaching softball at CCM; under his command, the team started training beginning Thursday, Feb. 1, but irregular weather made it difficult to practice outside prior to the Titans’ Friday, March 9 season opener.


Titans freshman pitcher Jonnalyn McClain warms up her arm during a team training session outside. Photo by: Brett Friedensohn

“We’re practicing on average like five days a week,” Wardlow said. “It’s tough in the Northeast because you are limited by the weather and the field conditions. We try to use the space available to work on what we can.”

The makeup of the team has changed since the previous year’s lineup with the team made up of mostly new players and five returning sophomores. A key addition to the Titans was the acquisition of four new freshman pitchers, replacing former Titans powerhouse pitcher Mary Mastriani who, after setting a CCM record for most wins for a softball pitcher at 43, now plays at NCAA Division I St. Peter’s University.

“Obviously, our pitchers can get in work in the gym just as well as they can outside,” Wardlow said. “So we put a premium on pitching development. We have four freshman pitchers this year all of which were pretty good high school kids. We try to maximize their development in February.”

In recent years, the program has found a solid footing with three trips to the Region XIX championship game in the past three seasons. The Titans won the region in 2016 but were unable to go back-to-back last season. Wardlow said he is optimistic about the team’s chances of reaching the game once more this season.

“We’re kind of optimistic going into this season,” Wardlow said. “We always have hopes of going to the World Series which this year is mid-May in Mississippi, so we try to promote that motivation and enthusiasm to the players. We talk about going to Mississippi; that’s our objective every year. It’s not easy. You have to win your conference, win the region tournament, and then you have to win the district tournament to get there. Two years ago, we came close. We won our region for the first time in 25 years, and we played the district championship, and we won our first two games. We just got beat, though. Once step short. Last year, we lost in the final of our region tournament. But, that’s our goal. We are excited to start the season.”

The Titans team has focused their sights on the end goal of reaching the region tournament and beyond. Many Titans returning sophomores are set on returning to the big stage to prove the team’s newfound talent, especially with their new bullpen.

“We try not to put too much of a premium on winning games early in the season. It’s all about development.”

Greg Wardlow Titans head coach

“Honestly, I hope to win regions because last year we came in second,” said Carly McDaniel, a sophomore shortstop. “I think that we have a better chance this year because we have four pitchers. Last year, we only had one”

Other returning sophomores are focused on proving their determination and collaboration as one core Titans unit.

“I think we’re going to do really well,” said Ally Tufaro, sophomore outfielder. “We have a lot of talent. Everyone gets along, which is very important on a team. We need to probably improve on consistent winning streaks.”

Wardlow said he knows the team must focus on the length of the season to stay consistent over the course of the 56-game season. He emphasized the team’s development over focusing on a winning record.

The Titans will have games against GSAC members and Region XIX rivals as well as a visit to Cocoa Beach, Florida punctuating the front half of the season. The team will match up with other junior colleges from around the country during the Florida trip with the outcome of the games still weighing on the overall season record.

“We try not to put too much of a premium on winning games early in the season,” Wardlow said. “It’s all about development. The conference schedule is a small portion of our schedule. We have 56 games scheduled between now and the end of April and only 10 of which are conference games. We’ll play games in Florida which count towards our overall record, but whether we win or lose those games is not all that important. We need to be over .500 to qualify. We want to be playing our best at the end, so you have to try to keep an even keel between now and the end and just try to keep getting better and better.”

Wardlow said softball was a part of his family when his daughters played, and when that ended, he continued his involvement of the sport at CCM.

“I make this part-time job into a full-time job which means that I enjoy it,” Wardlow said. “I come to school every day, and I enjoy every aspect of it. Whether it’s recruiting high school kids during the season or in the summer or coming out here and practicing every day. Obviously, I’m a competitor, so we try to build this program to win, but it’s also very rewarding to develop kids to help them not only in their athletic pursuits but academically as well. I think that’s probably what we take the most pride in as coaches is seeing these kids do well at their next stop.”

Tufaro said that she feels welcomed at CCM.

“It’s a very welcoming atmosphere,” Tufaro said. “I transferred from a different school that I played at, and I thoroughly enjoy this much better.”

County College of Morris Titans softball are a member of the Garden State Athletic Conference and NJCAA Region XIX at the Division II level. The Titans open their home season with a doubleheader against Rowan College at Burlington County starting at 12 p.m. Saturday, March 24.

SATIRE: Local Satirist Flooded with Requests for Hit Piece

By John Dumm
Satire Editor

As of Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 1:28 a.m., the satire column for the first March issue of the Youngtown Edition has finally entered its first drafting phase, only to meet two simultaneous, cascading workflow issues: a lack of suitable, semi-surreal recent local events to semi-seriously report on, and a total lack of suitable stockpiled material.


In the Student Community Center game room, an anonymous tipster wants a hit piece. Photo by: Brett Friedensohn

With the predictive artificial libel engines taken down and sold for scrap after the satire column’s ill-advised declaration that they existed in the first place, the sole intrepid reporter of the Youngtown Satirical Research Team has been forced to plumb increasingly unstable, ideologically radioactive sources for pressing news and hot takes: Game Room reader submissions. Unsurprisingly, given the scattershot majors and dubious enrollment status of the Student Community Center TV Center’s regular patrons, the entries provided thus far: 17 requests covering three topics, not counting a notice from the Board of Trustees threatening to replace the column with an advertisement for the Super A&P off Parking Lot 1, do not strictly hold up to rigorous journalistic standards.

Quoting one Sonya Gilliland, who has graciously offered to read the 15 anonymous emails concerning our most requested topic for the regrettably cancelled CCM production of Newsies 2- Pictures of Spiderman:

“There’s a miscreant running amok in the game room who’s been harrassing everyone in there over made up newspaper quotes since this time … last year, I think.”

Unfortunately for our anonymous submitter, hit pieces, no matter how warranted, are explicitly barred from publication in the Youngtown. Gilliland noted that Matthew Bristol, Youngtonwn’s distribution manager who was featured as having various roles such as chairman of CCM’s communist party and a chair enthusiast, has written in with complaints.

“Matthew Bristol came up the other week saying that he hadn’t given consent for any of the quotes credited to him, and that he was going to sue,” Gilliland said.

The regulations against explicitly naming individuals in print when they’re going to be displayed in a negative light is actually double regulated on campus, held up by both the journalistic integrity of Youngtown staff and heavily-armed representatives of the Board of Trustees, sent to reinforce the Silent Act against Academic Sedition implemented after a notable Youngtown-aligned revolutionary managed to escape the high-security penal cells at Randolph Middle School and report on his own execution by the board.

“Fictional Matthew Bristol is threatening to countersue; he’s saying this counts as censorship and a violation of Clone Rights?” Gilliland said. “I really don’t know what to do, could you please inform the law students?”

Regardless of the actions of the accused or the explicitly, intentionally dubious integrity of the columns suggested for such actions, Youngtown cannot take specific action against unpopular students without the explicit permission or orders of CCM administration and has taken pride in subverting and undermining these mandates even when they have been given such as with aforementioned post-execution column that painted the guilty party as an honest guru of nutritional wisdom regarding funny pages.

“He just wanders around the game room with some poor girl’s varsity jacket, you know, the black-and-yellow West Milford one, ruining serious conversations and making this stupid face the whole time,” Gilliland said.

The photo attached to the email has not been reproduced to protect the privacy of the accused. We assure you, he looks like an absolute dope.

Nonetheless, we would like to thank these concerned school citizens for providing wonderful assistance in inspiring this PSA and spurring the satire column to completion in record time: just 15 hours and ten minutes after the deadline. Anyone who would like to submit an idea for the satire column that does not condone unethical practices, support the proposed secession of the Game Room from campus, or refer directly to the unstable ontological/canonical status of Cluck-U Chicken is encouraged to send their ideas either directly to the Youngtown, or to the current main satirist, at and respectively.

Professors, students worry for ecology following Trump’s wilderness decisions

By Arianna Parks

Since President Donald Trump’s executive order to scale back federal protection on land in Utah, there has been an uptick of those concerned about the environmental impact.

That concern extends to County College of Morris.

While industrialization of these areas may stimulate Utah’s economy, assistant biology professor Dorothy M. Salinas said she believes there will be environmental consequences to this activity in preserved lands.
“[Preserved lands] are going to naturally filter our air, naturally filter our water, as well as provide habitat for plant life and animal life,” said Salinas, who teaches general biology and human biology at CCM but taught environmentally-based biology at Brookdale Community College for eight years.
Two national monuments of the sprawling southern Utah wilderness preserved under former President Barack Obama’s administration in 2016 had federal protection of 1.9 million acres were eradicated Friday, Feb. 2, according to the Southern Utah Wilderness Association, a non-profit, non-partisan conservation organization located in Utah.
Presidents of the United States have legal authority to preserve lands as national monuments under the Antiquities Act of 1906, according to the United States Forest Service Department of Agriculture.
Trump moved to rescind the federal preservations of Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante Dec. 4, 2017, through presidential proclamations. Trump announced the decision to the residents of Utah at the state’s capital, Salt Lake City, saying the intent of these orders is to return control over the land to its people.

“I come to Utah to reverse federal overreach and restore this land,” Trump said, according to CNBC.
County College of Morris student Romy McClosky said she feels that it is wrong to disturb national monuments.
“Honestly, it’s not really a thing I think about often,” McClosky said. “I feel like in the long run, it will become a concern if drastic changes happen and it affects the environment.”
The southern Utah wilderness is home to native tribes such as the Navajo, Zuni, and Ute Mountains, according to the LA Times. In addition to containing these tribes, the land preserves rich deposits of natural resources in gold, silver, and uranium.

Trump’s proclamations open Bears Ears and Grand Staircase Escalante to both private citizens and corporations interested in owning or mining the land for its resources.

Visual arts major Roxy Ponce has concerns about the animals that reside in these preserved lands.
“I think that we should leave these lands preserved,” Ponce said. “ I just don’t agree with taking away the protections; it seems selfish and greedy.”
Salinas said a healthy ecosystem provides these naturally occurring services, and that if protection from these untouched lands is removed, this may ultimately result in the erasure of functioning services listed above. Salinas worked as an intern at the law firm Trident Environmental, an institution that specializes in consulting and remediation, the removal of environmental pollutants and contaminants, regarding land use and ecological assessments.
With her experience in analyzing human impacts on the environment, Salinas said she predicts the process of mining in southern Utah’s wilderness will affect the surrounding environment.
“The process of mining can cause pollutants to enter the local soil, the local air, and the local water,” said Salinas, who also said that these pollutants may pose health concerns to residents living on and around the mining sites.

English department chair says don’t plagiarize, ask for extended time

By Luis Rodriguez

In CCM’s English department, students are encouraged to seek help instead of cheat. Photo By: Brett Friedensohn

Instead of passing another’s writing as their own, students should communicate with their professors when panicking about deadlines, according to English department chair Dr. Janet Eber.

Despite plagiarism being a persistent issue at County College of Morris, a small portion of students who plagiarise are caught doing it, according to Eber, who said that the practice is “terribly” common at CCM.

Eber said students should know that the consequences of plagiarism and the panic of needing to hand in a paper that a student has not finished yet due to personal issues could be completely avoidable if the student just talks to the professor and asks for more time.

“Many students don’t necessarily intend to cheat,” Eber said. “Many students don’t realize the seriousness of what they do. Some have been taught to cut and paste in high school, and they’re coming here, and we’re telling them, ‘Wait a minute; you didn’t write this.’ And most of the time, they’re uncomfortable when they have to answer those questions.”

When professors suspect that their students have acted in an academically dishonest way, they should report the instance to the Office of Student Development and Enrollment Management, according to CCM’s website. Afterwards, students appear before the academic integrity review board which consists of faculty including Eber and administrators including Dr. Bette Simmons, vice president of student development and enrollment management.

Eber said that when students are caught plagiarizing, they fail the course and go to the review board regarding the charges brought up against them. On the second offense, a student can be dismissed for a semester.

“This last time we met a couple Fridays a go, or Wednesday; I think we had nine cases,” Eber said.

With the availability of the internet and other technologies plagiarism is much easier to do and a lot more common, according to Eber. At the same time, it is easier to catch when there is plagiarism due to the internet.

“I would suspect that a fairly small number of students get caught as opposed to the students who plagiarize,” Eber said. “Some do it because they’re kind of desperate. Others do it with grade intention. And some really don’t realize the seriousness of what they did.”

Eber said that plagiarism is more common at the end of a semester when students have to turn in their papers.

“Students are pretty decent people for the most part, and I think they are trying to learn and they want to learn,” Eber said.

Students often feel pressure whenever a paper is due, and they do not have it done yet, according to Eber.

“Sometimes any one of us, your back is against the wall; somebody says, I need that paper today; I assigned that paper to you a month ago; I have to have it today,” Eber said. “And what’s a student’s gonna do if he doesn’t have the paper. He’s gonna panic.”

Stepan Zybin, a CCM student majoring in engineering said that plagiarism is often a product of a lack of planning.

“People simply do not prepare for the essays you know,” Zybin said. “They don’t put enough effort and preparation. And obviously, it’s not just being lazy. Sometimes, it’s being overwhelmed with other work, you know.”

Zybin said that some students would rather get their answers and copy and paste rather than do the work themselves, and with the access of the internet, it is easy to do as students can just Google something and copy whatever they find.

“Plagiarizing will be easier every time,” Zybin said. “Every single case no matter how much tutoring there is, no matter how much extra time there is, plagiarizing will always be easier.”

Students have the resources that could help them write their papers legitimately and could ask for extra time, but the fact that plagiarizing is so easy to do, some students will choose to plagiarize.

Eber said that she wants students to know that she and other members of the English department will offer them help if they need it.

“If they’re really, really, really hurting, whether its for time, whether it’s a personal issue, we will never ask you what it is, whether it is something that’s getting in the way of their success,” Eber said. “Talk to the professors. It is so much smarter than cheating … Almost every time you will get a professor who says, ‘Okay look let’s talk about it, you need another day or two, I’ll give it to you’. There may be some who say, ‘No it’s due now, that’s it.’ But I would suggest, knowing this faculty as well as I do, that’s the minority … I have never in my 48 [years] on this campus never said no to a student who’s needed time.”

Opinion: Peter Rabbit’ hints at our society’s larger allergy ignorance problem

By Alexa Wyszkowski
Layout Editor

Sony has apologized after receiving well-deserved criticism by the food allergy awareness community since February when one of its animated movies premiered mocking allergic individuals.


Photo Courtesy of: Facebook

The Tale of Peter Rabbit, a story that originated from the famous writer, illustrator, and scientist, Beatrix Potter, was recently turned into the “children’s” movie Peter Rabbit released Friday, Feb. 9, and on the same day, there were already complaints.

In the movie, there are two scenes involving food allergies; the first is where the lead character Peter Rabbit, played by James Corden, is mocking the other main character Mr. McGregor, played by Domhnall Gleeson, about his allergy to blackberries, saying that allergies are made up for attention. The second is where Peter and his family are intentionally throwing Mr. McGregor’s food allergens at him, aiming for his mouth to kill him. The organization Kids with Food Allergies, a division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, posted immediately on their website and Facebook page about how the movie makes light of food allergies, emphasizing food allergy bullying, saying that the movie does not show the serious danger of allergic reactions. Another organization, Food Allergy Research and Education posted a parental advisement statement stating that the scene where the character is targeted with his allergens in the movie may be upsetting for children to watch.

When Mr. McGregor experiences a reaction, in this twisted version of a classic storybook tale, Peter and his family want Mr. McGregor’s garden themselves, and believed their only way to get the garden is to kill off Mr. McGregor. At the same time, Mr. McGregor wants to get rid of the rabbits and threatens to kill and eat them. As they battle back and forth, the scenes become more violent but somehow still seem to have a comical feel to them until Sony Pictures simply goes too far. When Peter and his family start to pelt Mr. McGregor with blackberries, one of the rabbits states it’s a “clever idea” and they encourage each other to aim for his mouth. Once they get a blackberry into his mouth he then has an allergic reaction. As a result, Mr. McGregor’s throat starts to close up, he kneels to the ground, and then pulls out an Epi-Pen and stabs himself in the front of r his upper leg. Then he gets up several seconds later, acting perfectly fine, where in reality he should have been taken to the hospital for further treatment.

According to Food Allergy Research and Education, food allergies are a life-threatening medical condition that affect about 15 million Americans. One out of 13 children have a food allergy. Any person can develop one at any point in their lifetime. Food allergies are caused within the immune system, instead of protecting the body from harmful bacteria and viruses the immune system overreacts to a food protein. Every time the body is exposed to the food protein, an allergic reaction occurs which can range from mild, to severe, to life threatening. An allergic reaction that is life-threatening is called Anaphylaxis, which can include symptoms such as difficulty breathing and reduced blood pressure. A person experiencing Anaphylaxis must be given Epinephrine, which is used to help reverse the symptoms.  Once administered, that person must taken to a hospital immediately for additional medical assistance. A delay of just 30 minutes could result in death. To prevent any type of allergic reaction, people with food allergies should avoid their allergens and carry Epinephrine, which is commonly known and sold as an Epipen.

Children and adults that live with food allergies may often have anxiety about having an allergic reaction, and many times are left out of common activities due to fear and misunderstanding by those around them. By having Peter target and attack Mr. McGregor with his food allergens in this movie, children may now be even more scared that others may use their food allergy against them. During Mr. McGregor’s reaction, he stabs himself in the wrong place for the Epipen to work properly; it must be administered in the middle of the outer thigh and held for ten seconds. Since Mr. McGregor seemed fine after his allergic reaction, the seriousness of the situation is not explained, and others may not realize that by exposing someone’s allergen to them, they could potentially kill them.

Harshly, this type of harassment is not exclusive to fictional movies. According to the Washington Post, three girls in Pennsylvania planned an attack during school on another girl allergic to pineapple. The girls knew about her allergy, put pineapple juice on their hands and then high fived the girl who was allergic during the lunch period. The girl had a reaction and had to go to the hospital for treatment. The three girls who took part in this attack are facing criminal charges since not only were they bullies, but they physically harmed the girl and could have even killed her. The kind of cruelty in the movie mirrors that of instances like this, and when marketed toward children, it can create misunderstanding of an important issue to an impressionable audience.

In an earlier scene, Mr. McGregor mentions his allergy to another character when he is offered a drink with blackberries in it. Peter responds to Mr. McGregor’s comment as if having food allergies is just an excuse or made up for attention, when really it is a serious, life threatening condition. When Peter later uses this information against Mr. McGregor, the end result is extremely vicious and very similar to the case with the girl allergic to pineapple. Those with food allergies should be able to feel safe about sharing their condition, so in case of an allergic reaction, others will have the knowledge to help them, not hurt them.

Sony Pictures released an apology on Monday, Feb. 12 saying, “Food allergies are a serious issue. Our film should not have made light of ‘Peter Rabbit’s’ arch nemesis, Mr. McGregor, being allergic to blackberries, even in a cartoonish, slapstick way. We sincerely regret not being more aware and sensitive to this issue, and we truly apologize.” The next day, Food Allergy Research and Education released another statement saying, “We are appreciative that Sony Pictures issued an apology for the ‘Peter Rabbit’ scene. But we call on all filmmakers and screenwriters to work with food allergy advocates to treat food allergies responsibly, realistically and sensitively in entertainment media.” As a result of the movie, the members of the food allergy community sincerely hope that people learn and understand that food allergies should be taken seriously and not be used as a way to purposefully harm someone.

Opinion: Don’t let your desire for productivity prevent you from self-care

By Elena Hooper
Opinion Editor

As college students, I’m sure we’re no strangers to experiencing stress and anxiety. With the multitude of responsibilities that many of us take on like school, a job, family matters, and social relationships, we’re often left feeling burnt out, on edge, and like we have absolutely no time for ourselves. And sometimes, we can get a high from being so busy since we feel like we’re being productive all the time. It can give us a sense of purpose and make us feel like we’re striving for our goals, giving us a better future.

Often, this idea comes from the culture that surrounds us, and it’s no secret that the U.S. has a very strenuous work ethic. We get caught up in this idea from a young age that any idle moment is time wasted, and time wasted wastes out potential and can ultimately make us failures. This then causes us to want to spend every free moment doing something that we deem as “productive” so that we may fit this work ethic mold to make ourselves feel good and to receive praise from our peers, friends, and family. But at what cost?

According to a 2015 study by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 85 percent of college students report feeling overwhelmed by their responsibilities within the past year. On its website, the ADAA says, “College students can easily feel anxious trying to balance school, work, friends and family while also trying to figure out the rest of their lives. Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental health problems on college campuses.”

You see, when we subscribe to this very strenuous work ethic, we are also subscribing to the idea that time to ourselves is time wasted. We often feel that we need to jump on every opportunity to do something, anything, as long as it feels “productive.” This can be a very harmful idea to embrace as this suggests that time to ourselves is not productive. But to think even deeper about the concept of being “productive,” the work ethic would suggest that we need to be productive as much as possible at all times and to forgo relaxation in favor of production since relaxation is seen as having no real “production” value.

The issue with this is that there’s a heavy emphasis on production and very little emphasis on comfort. Often, we are expected to be as productive as possible while needing as little comfort as possible, but trying to circumvent comfort to go straight to production ends up leaving a lot of people feeling like they’ve failed. You see, if you’re not comforted first, then being productive is out of the question. Trying to push yourself to be creative, imaginative, engineering, or visionary is not going to happen without a stable support system of people and activities you feel safe and secure in. You need to feel safe and content before you can do anything great, and trying to forgo this comfort in favor of productivity will more likely than not leave you miserable and drained. Comfort has to be the foundation on which we stand to give us support and understanding, two things which very few people can achieve much without.

Desiring time to ourselves can feel shameful for us since the culture we live in dictates that we must want to seize every opportunity we can to be out doing something, making something of ourselves. But what if we’re just too tired? What if we need some peace and quiet? What if we’re just naturally introverted? All of these things are often unacceptable to the people around us, and at the very least, not understood. We are often told that we just need to “do something,” and we’ll feel better, or we’re just not pushing ourselves hard enough, or we’re just being too sensitive. All of these ideas discredit the very real turmoil many people feel from anxiety and stress caused by this cultural norm. Not taking these feelings seriously can leave many people feeling isolated.

So how can this issue be solved? For one thing,  people should open to the idea of unapologetic self care and start to realize that having time to yourself and treating yourself with care and sensitivity is okay and that self care is a vital part of having stable mental health. For those still struggling to be open and honest about their need for self care and maybe need some help figuring out where to start; beginning with what self care habits work for you is a good place. Some examples of self care include taking baths, listening to music, going for walks, journaling, collaging, and having one-on-one time with a close friend (not a large group of friends).

Not all of these will work for everyone; the key is finding what works for you and that could be anything you like. Also, learn to be firmer with your boundaries; if you know you’ve already reached your maximum capacity for work and socializing for that day or week, don’t be afraid to say no to things or people that try to overreach that boundary. If at that moment you know all that you need is time to yourself, take assurance in the fact that there will always be a next time and that those in your life that truly understand your situation will stick around. But if at any time you feel that your anxiety and stress is too much to handle is making you feel out of control or is significantly affecting your life in any way, please make sure to seek professional help if you can. You don’t have to go through something that difficult alone.

Learning to accept that we all have thresholds for stress and listening to our bodies and minds when we’ve reached those thresholds is crucial for our mental health. Saying no to things when we know we’ve reached our limit is not a sign of weakness; it’s a sign of a healthy and balanced mind. Knowing how to take care of ourselves and allowing time for that can lead us to living more productive and stable lives. We can educate ourselves on the subject and learn to become better advocates for ourselves and other people who need it. We can’t be productive members of society without first being comforted members of society.

CCM organizations to participate in Morris County health and fitness festival

Students, faculty to volunteer to raise health awareness

By Amanda Edwards
Staff Writer

The Randolph Pain Relief and Wellness Center (PRWC) will host the fourth annual Health, Fitness and Fun Fest between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the Randolph Middle School on Middlebrook Road on Saturday, March 24.


Adults and children participate in the 2016 Morris County Health, Fitness, and Fun Fest. Photo Courtesy of: Randolph Pain Relief and Wellness Center

The event will feature approximately 65 local businesses and vendors, including County College of Morris.

“The college has been participating in this event since 2014, and the number of departments involved has since expanded,” said Dr. Michael Paul, chairperson of the health and exercise department. “This year, students and faculty from CCM’s school of health professions and natural sciences will be volunteering.”

“For the student volunteers, this event is an opportunity to put theory into practice,” said Monica Maraska, dean of health and natural sciences. “But for the wider community, we aim to promote health and wellness through various activities. Additionally, information will be available on any major under CCM’S School of Health Professions and Natural Sciences.”

For the event, Paul said that CCM will supply an automated Annie so that attendees can learn about practicing CPR, and a skeleton, that the biology faculty and students will use to teach anatomy.

Additionally, John Rutkowski, program director of the respiratory therapy program at CCM said he will “share information about pulmonary health and diseases.”

“I will have an actual swine’s lungs to demonstrate as well as a simulation of lungs damaged by smoke,” Rutkowski said.

Among the other activities are stretching sessions spearheaded by  Paul’s kinesiology class.

“Proper stretching can yield immense health benefits but improper stretching can result in serious injury,” Paul said. “The CCM students have been taught the protocol for stretching by Dr. David Simon, chiropractor and co-owner of Randolph PRWC, and so, they are ready to apply it.”

Also contributing, according to Maraska, is the landscape horticultural and technology department.

“They will be donating plants like basil and lavender, grown in the greenhouse at CCM, for aromatherapy,” Maraska said.

At the event, CCM will also have a raffle with gift cards to the CCM campus store as well as several other giveaways.

According to a press release by PRWC, other attractions include health screenings, fitness challenges, meditation sessions, free refreshments, games, arts and crafts, and a photo booth.

PRWC also invites attendees to take donations to support a collection drive in aid of the Randolph Animal Shelter. Contributions may include dog and cat food as well as cleaning supplies.

CCM launches virtual reality degree

New concentration to focus on growing technology

By Deanna Roma


The closing ceremony of the 2018 winter olympics in PyongChang taken with an Oculus camera. Photo Courtesy of: Facebook

Students can begin earning an associate degree in virtual reality in the fall 2018 semester at County College of Morris and concentrate their studies in the growing photography and applied science discipline.

This particular applied science associate degree will also be a part of the college’s photography technology program, according to a CCM press release. Graduates of the photography technology program are expected to tell stories with imagery, in a way that early graduates were never able to do. There are also other opportunities for CCM students that enable them to take VR courses through other programs, such as business.

“VR was chosen because of its practicality, in many respects,” said Nieves Gruniero-Roadcap, chair of the department of art and design. “Major news outlets have been experimenting this content, including the New York Times, and in many of those cases, it was the photographers and videographers that have been creating this content. Many of our former students have communicated that they are expected to offer a large variety of image capturing services.”

Companies like the Times and Facebook have incorporated the virtual reality feature of 360 degree photography which creates spherical photos, allowing viewers to interactively alter a given photo or video’s perspective in a 360 degree rotation.

Gruniero-Roadcap said that that knowledge in virtual reality will help students in future professions as technology advances.

“The more technologically-savvy you are, the more lucrative it is for your bottom line,” Gruniero-Roadcap said. “As we move toward immersive content, so much has to be captured to engage an audience.”

Liberal arts major Drew Meechan said that the newly added degree will increase students’ opportunities.

“Putting virtual reality at CCM’s students access is going to create a lot of opportunity,” Meechan said. “I think it’s a great way to prepare people for what they are going to expect later on in their lives. Plus, virtual reality is really entertaining when you set aside the learning aspect.”

In the beginning months of 2018, there are four new VR products that will be launched, one of which CCM will be using, the Oculus Rift headsets, according to Gruniero-Roadcap. This high-tech headset is priced at a reasonable cost and perfect for beginners which is ideal for students looking to enroll in the VR program at CCM.  Terdiman said by 2026, the VR industry will be worth approximately $38 billion.

“Apart from journalism, mixed reality is playing a role in many fields, such as medicine, business, real estate, and game design,” said Dr. Bruce Dutra, dean of the school of liberal arts. “The content that journalists and photographers are expected to present include video that will put the reader [or] viewer right there. Our virtual reality program will also work with students in other courses … That mirrors what they would be expected to do once they enter the workforce.”

Students that decide to enroll in the VR program will study a number of areas, including digital imaging, virtual narrative storytelling, photography, mixed reality, and computer science.

Those seeking more information about CCM’s upcoming field of study may send Gruneiro-Roadcap an email at

Tuition up $3 starting with summer session

Third increase in as many years



Students will pay $3 more per credit for the 2018-19 school year. Photo by: Arianna Parks

By: Brett Friedensohn

Students at County College of Morris will pay three more dollars per credit starting with the summer semester thanks to a hike approved by the Board of Trustees at its meeting Tuesday, Jan. 16.

Starting in summer, tuition for Morris County residents will rise from $125 to $128 per credit, but the college fee will stay at $29, making the total cost per credit $157.

Students who live outside the county pay a differential fee of 100 percent of the in-county tuition; therefore, they will pay $285 per credit. Out-of-state students’ differential fee will be $238, making their total cost per credit $395.

Tuition hikes have been recently common at CCM because of flat funding from Morris County and the state of New Jersey, according to Vice President of Business and Finance Karen VanDerhoof, who said that the approximate $7 million granted by the state and $11 million granted by the county for the 2017-18 school year has covered around one third of the college’s costs, leaving the other two thirds to be paid by the students. For comparison, CCM received $13 million from the county and $9 million from the state for the 2007-08 school year.

In Jan. 2017, the board approved a total tuition hike of $4 per credit for in-state students and $6 for out-of-county students. In Jan. 2016, the board approved a $2 per credit tuition hike.

Budget and Compliance Director John Young recommended the price hike to the Board of Trustees who voted unanimously in favor of his proposal.

Young said during the meeting that most of the college’s costs are used for salary and benefits of personnel.

“The increase will allow the college to maintain and enhance the quality of education and breadth of programs currently offered to students,” Vanderhoof said over email. “The administration recommends the budget parameters to the Finance and Budget Committee of the Board of Trustees.  The committee can request revisions be made to the parameters and then gives the administration authorization to develop the budget. Each division receives an allocation and determines how to distribute the funds to their departments. Each department builds their budget based on their needs and priorities.  They must also indicate how they are supporting the college’s strategic plan. Completed budgets are returned to the director of budget and compliance for review and compilation. The budget is the submitted to the finance and budget committee. Once approved by the committee it is then presented to the full board for approval.”

When New Jersey began opening community colleges around the 1960s, the state intended for each college to be paid for in even thirds by its county, the state, and the students, according to the New Jersey Council of Community Colleges.

Young said after last year’s hike that the idea “never came to fruition” because of the flat funding.

After last year’s hike, President Dr. Anthony Iacono and Vice President of Student Development and Enrollment Management Dr. Bette Simmons said that gradual increases over time rather than drastic, sudden increases are preferable for the students’ sake. Iacono said that in the event of a drastic increase of funding at the state and county levels, the college will probably decrease tuition.

During his gubernatorial campaign, current New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy  promised in September that if elected, he will ensure that all state community colleges are free of tuition, according to New Jersey Advance Media. A Murphy spokesman said that this would cost $200 million at the most. VanDerhoof said that she does not know if such an idea is feasible.

“I know he’s very serious about it,” VanDerhoof said. “How he’s going to do it we haven’t seen, and whether or not it’s doable from the state budget side of the house is yet to be seen, so we’ll keep our eyes open on it and see how it would impact us and the students.”

VanDerhoof said that she does not know what impact such a move would make on enrollment.

“It depends on how it’s done,” VanDerhoof said. “A lot of states have what they call free tuition, but the free tuition is as a last resort, like New York, there’s income criteria. Students still have to file for financial aid, and then, if there’s an on-net gap, that becomes the free piece, so it all depends on how it’s regulated or legislated, and then, we can assess it.”

Last fall semester, New York community colleges began granting financial aid to students whose households earned less than $100 thousand, according to NJ Advance Media. However, Tennessee covers free community college for all adult residents.

Liberal arts major Austin Smith said that she did not know about the tuition hike and that CCM should have made the move more transparent and that a mass email would have helped.

“I think the whole point of coming to school here is to be saving money in order to fund later institutional things, so that’s why I come here, to save money,” Smith said. “And I pay my own tuition, so not knowing that that was even happening this summer, it’s kind of a little absurd because they should be as transparent as possible with money and with our futures because that can make or break someone who is going to go to college or if they want to stay in college, too.”

However, mechanical engineering technology major Joshua Heinerch said that the burden of paying for colleges should not fall on taxpayers who do not use the college directly.

“I think it’s better because now, the people who are actually going to be paying more of it instead of people who aren’t, like the state or the government, paying for it,” Heinerch said.

After last year’s hike, Iacono said that while he respects the county freeholders’ priorities, he believes that government-funded tuition results in a more educated workforce, which in turn, benefits the community in general.

“It’s a difference in philosophy: Do you see education as an expense, or do you see it as an investment?” Iacono said. “I see it as the best investment you could possibly make.”