Clubs

Students to display creations at CCM fashion show

By Gina N. Fico
Features Editor

The Fashion Club at County College of Morris will hold its spring fashion show at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 3 when fashion design students will showcase designs.

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Stevenson’s work in progress designs. Photo By: Heather Stevenson

Anyone who wants to volunteer can model, according to the President of the Fashion Club and fashion design major Dot Lare.

Lare said CCM has been doing fashion shows for the last decade and are run in coordination with  the fashion club and the design department. She said as president the impact she made with fashion is leadership and which brings more student involvement to the club. Lare said her hope for the fashion show is to bring out the newest set of trends.

“My hope for the outcome of the fashion show is to bring unique trends and to bring people’s social creativity out into trends,” Lare in an email.

Gina Mellen, vice president of the fashion club, said she enjoys planning the fashion show with her friend Lare. She said although there’s a lot of responsibility when everything comes together, it’s exciting.

She added that the club does fundraising  in order to  get the equipment and necessities they need for the “perfect show.” She said these fashion shows are a good opportunity to bring students together and see the designer’s work on the runway.

Mellen said she has had a growing passion for the fashion industry through her time at CCM and said this is her last show so she wants to it to be “the best yet.”

“My passion has truly extended throughout these two years at CCM,” said Mellen, a fashion design major at CCM. “I went out of my comfort zone, throughout the box, and had friendships that helped me love what I am doing even more. Fashion can express the way one person is without having to speak.”

Heather Stevenson, a fashion merchandising major, said her role is “to participate” and that she is new to the club but delighted to be a part of it.

Stevenson said she does not want to reveal too much about the designs she has been working on. She said the theme for the fashion show this year is “evolution”. However, Stevenson did say the ideas for aesthetics that she has thought about. She said she was originally thinking about dark themed designs that symbolize the dangers of obsessive thoughts and that she will be working on more “whimsical” designs instead.  She said she will be using a lot of pastels and it theme drawn from childhood.

“I’ve got all my fabric together in one corner of my room right now, and it really does look like circus crashed into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory,” Stevenson said in an email.

Stevenson said she is very excited to be part of the Fashion Club and the Fashion Show.

“I really like having this as an outlet to create an idea and a platform to share it. I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to be in college, I could rant for days how college is a luxury, and it is almost a fluke that I even made it here, I really feel like the luckiest person alive,” said Stevenson in an email.

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SAPB hosts annual teddy bear factory fundraiser

Students made stuffed animals to support Passaic charity

By Gina N. Fico
Features Editor

The Student Community Center at County College of Morris transformed into the Student Activities Planning Board’s Valentine’s Day Teddy Bear Factory Tuesday, Feb. 13 when participants paid to make stuffed animals to raise funds for a charitable cause.

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From left, Jasmin Moreno-Monsalve, Andrea Lucia Alfonso, Valeria Marin, Jennifer Reyes, Kimberly Quintero participated in the Valentine’s Day Teddy Bear Factory organized by the Student Activities Planning Board. Photo By: Gina N. Fico

CCM has been hosting Teddy Bear Factories for the past 10 years, according to Don Phelps, associate director of campus life. The cost is $5 which covers the stuffing and an unstuffed animal of a bear, monkey, or a cow.

Phelps said the charities change each year  and added in the past the money went toward an equine center, autism research, cancer research, and a particular family in the CCM community. This year, donations went toward SMILE, a food and diaper pantry out of Passaic. SMILE also has other programs such as case management, help for refugees, and mental health. He said SAPB members pick the charity and that the event raises $500.

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Maria Schwarz, biology major, right and Victoria Cattano, biology major participate in the Valentine’s Day Teddy Bear Factory. Photo By: Gina N. Fico

“It brings together students, faculty, and staff, and watching the interactions and people build their bears is really special,” Phelps said.

Jasmin Moreno, vice president of SAPB and a business administration major said this is a very popular event at CCM.

“I like the fact that people can come up and be really enthusiastic about getting a bear, and you are the one who gets the bear, gets the stuffing, gets the decorations and make someone have fun for a half hour,” Moreno said.

April Pachas, a nursing major, said she likes that the proceeds of this event are going to a good cause.

“I didn’t expect all these people to come and all the money is going to charity, so that’s great,” Pachas said.

Sophia Meola, an exercise science major, said the event is something that she finds relieves stress.

“It takes your mind off school, it’s something fun to do”, said Meola.

She said she is going to give the stuffed cow she made to her mother for Valentine’s Day.

Marianne Enriquez, an exercise science major, said she drove from work to make a bear and spend time with her friend.

“It’s really cute and it’s not expensive and it’s going to a good cause”, Enriquez said.

Students can gift their stuffed animal to someone for Valentine’s Day or keep it for themselves. The Equal Opportunity Fund also had a table there, giving students the option  to donate their stuffed animal to children at Morristown Medical Center, according to Jonathan Vega, human services major and EOF member.

SGA ponders push for meditation room

Muslim Student Association sponsoring request

By Gina N. Fico
Features Editor

Members of County College of Morris’ Muslim Student Association have continued to campaign for the establishment of an interfaith meditation room, a proposal first presented from the club to the Student Government Association in the fall 2017 semester.

MSA members have been talking with Don Phelps, associate director of campus life and Student Government Association adviser, according to MSA faculty adviser and mathematics professor Gitanjali Rizk, who said having the Student Associations on board with the idea has been a challenge.

Matthew J. Bristol, former SGA vice president who served in fall 2017, said that some MSA members had initially suggested a “prayer room,” but SGA members had proposed that the campaign be changed to a meditation room. Phelps said the campaign is currently listed under both names and a final name is yet to be determined.

“I think that a prayer room so long as it is for everyone is perfectly fine,” Bristol said. “I want a prayer room that is also a meditation room, some place for people to go that is for everyone. They do not have the right to disrupt others’ prayer or meditation, and they should not be in that room because that is to be a place for peace, quiet, and for people to relax, pray, or meditate.”

However, Rizk said that while talks for a “prayer room” began last semester, the room will be a “meditation room” that will be open to all faiths and help with students’ stress.
“I think a room like this will provide students a place where they can go and pray, meditate, reflect on things around them, and as such, provide an avenue to relieve stress,” Rizk said. “This should further help them concentrate more on their education.”

The president of MSA, Yassar Kahn said that the opportunity for people to meditate is not just limited to students.

“It’s a really good addition to the campus for not only students but non-students,” Kahn said.

Vice president Fatema Ahmadi said the meditation room will help eliminate confusion. She said they pray in in the club rooms, but some people feel confused when they see others praying and she wants everyone to feel included.

“I want everyone to be united and come together as one,” Ahmadi said.

Rizk said they hope to have something decided about the mediation room this semester.

The idea of a meditation room is favorable to Beth Ochs, a liberal arts major at CCM, who meditates on a weekly basis. Ochs said that a mediation room will also help students succeed academically.

“I actually mediate about 20 minutes a day myself, so if I had a place to do here would be more than happy,” Ochs said.

She said the mediation keeps her more focused on what is important and helps her mind not race over unnecessary thoughts.

Phelps said a mediation room will also have similar benefits.

“I think it will give a great space for students to go to and reflect and recharge either mentally or spiritually,” Phelps said.

Phelps said a challenge is how often CCM is under construction, and a mediation room in Demare Hall has been suggested, but the plan hasn’t gone any further.
Shane Spritzer, a criminal justice major said a mediation room would benefit the CCM community because it’s a unique idea for people to try something new while also being  something for students who already mediate.

“It’s a good opportunity for students to try something they haven’t tried before,” Spritzer said.

Students celebrate fall festivities at Art Club fundraiser

Pumpkin painting, mask making event table held in the Student Community Center

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By Arianna Parks
Photo Editor

The Art Club at County College of Morris raised money for the art department’s Metropolitan Museum of Art trip fund by inviting students to paint masks and pumpkins in the Student Community Center Thursday, Oct. 26.

Angela Caristi, an 18-year-old biology major at CCM, said that she found the event to be a de-stressing and artistic escape while juggling the taxing academic responsibilities of her first year.

“They [club members] came over and asked us, invited us,” Carista said. “That’s what prompted us to come over. It was inviting and seemed friendly.”

The table offered a range of canvases from plastic skulls to real pumpkins. To create with an assortment of feathers and jewels cost $5, and to purchase a premade piece cost $10. Art Club President Tori Przetak, Vice President Mike Champagne, and other club members were present and promoting the event to raise money for their group and the art department.

“Our forte is fundraisers,” said Champagne, a 20-year-old fine arts major. “We raise money for art supplies, trips to the Met, and other things the department needs.”

Megan Frehill, a 18-year-old nursing major at CCM fondly recalled her autumnal family traditions while painting a plastic pumpkin in sky blue.

“Me and my parents watch a lot of Halloween movies,” Frehill said. “Once the first day of October hits, we try to watch a bunch of movies to get us in the mood.”

Whether escaping the stresses of class and academic pressures or hoping to meet new friends and have an outlet for artistic expression, CCM students gathered around the Art Club’s craft table and brought their creative visions to life through grainy, wooden brushes and sparkling gems.

Kiandra Hill, a 19-year-old art education major, looked back on pumpkin carving competitions with her siblings as she created a dusky landscape on her plastic pumpkin.

“I am one of nine siblings … We did a lot of pumpkin picking, we would always try and get the biggest one.” Hill said, chuckling. “Whoever lost had to wear the pumpkin for the rest of the day.”

Club scheduling conflicts with student involvement

By: Philip Montanez
Contributor

While County College of Morris sets aside 12:30 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday for College Hour, a block where the college limits scheduling classes with the intention of increasing club involvement, some students are unable to participate in most clubs when their classes coincide with the block.

According to CCM’s website, there are between 45 to 50 active organizations in the facility that highlight their offerings at the start of every semester. These range from honors societies to major-specific clubs and physical activities that include frisbee and rock climbing.

Being that registrations are earlier than the club fairs and many students try to make their class schedules a closed block of time means some clubs may not see the involvement they desire.

“I have classes scheduled right now during College Hour, and it limits me on how involved I can get on campus,” said Andrew Kelly, a communication major at CCM. “I wasn’t that involved at my last college, and I want to build my resume and get a more meaningful experience out of college.”

There then arises people who desire to become associated with a group but were not made aware of the opportunities given to them in a timely manner.

Nursing major Mohammad Abdeljabbar was also interested in the clubs but found himself unable to attend what he would have seen as a fun experience.

“I wanted to do rock climbing, but I feel like my anatomy and physiology courses interfered between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.,” Abdeljabbar said. “They ended up overlapping.”

Some students who are currently involved in campus clubs and organizations also feel the effects of College Hour’s location in the day.

Chelsey Vazquez, Active Minds president and a biology health-related student studying the liberal arts, has seen the repercussions of this scheduling in her time at CCM.

Active Minds is a group that aims to learn and raise awareness on mental health issues in college and in life. Consistently, the group sees approximately 10 active members during the week, and Vasquez believes she knows why.

“I feel like for a community college, we have many active clubs on campus, but the challenges are that people have commitments off campus,” Vasquez said. “The mismatched schedules cause people to become uninvolved. I do believe it has to do with students not living on campus, but the school does try to help with the clubs. There is communication but not involvement.”

Writers’ Club gives new voice to budding artists

By Gina N. Fico
Contributor

This semester, County College of Morris introduced the Writers’ Club, a new student organization to help students expand their skills in writing.

The club is designed for students who either want to succeed in their classes or utilize their creative writing skills, according to founder and president Michelle Mardis. The club meets at 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays in Cohen Hall 265. Three members of the club introduced the student body to the club at the Welcome Back Bash Thursday, Sept. 21.

Mardis, a liberal arts major at CCM, said she was motivated to start this club so CCM students’ “voices can be heard.” She said that this club will also benefit students using writing as a “stress reliever” and that it will present guest speakers that can help students learn how to get their work published.

Mardis said her hope for this club is that it will get more people talking about writing and will help students understand how much writing can extend one’s knowledge and open up students’ minds to “thinking outside the box.” The club will present guest speakers that can help students learn how to get their work published.

Writing is a key skill for students as taking English Composition classes is required to obtain a degree in most majors at CCM. However, some students feel uncomfortable with expressing their thoughts. Gabby Cuevas, a liberal arts major at CCM, said that is another aspect the Writers’ Club can assist students with.

“If you are afraid to tell how you feel in public, you can definitely write down how you are feeling,” Cuevas said.

She said that the club will also focus on helping students construct their thoughts better for essays if that is something they struggle with.

Louis Perez, a music recording major at CCM, said he looks forward to the variety of work this club will present.

“Just more expanding on music related works, it could just be short stories, songs, any sort of writing,” said Perez.

Perez said he hopes this club will make his own “creative juices flow” and he wants the club to push students to speaking their minds more than they may be comfortable with.

Mardis said that the club will host an event called “The Writers’ Block,” which will give students a chance to share their story in a forum similar to an open mic, and students will be free to share their writing and singing their songs. Mardis said there are many phenomenal writers whose voices are not heard, and this event and others like it can help these students more confidently share their work.

“I think it will really show that community college students are just as good as a four year school,” Mardis said. “And it’s really important to me that everyone has a chance to have their voice heard. That’s the main thing I’ve been saying all day. Make sure your voice is heard.”

Religious, ethnic clubs recruit new student members

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Muslim Student Association members recruit new members at the Welcome Back Bash. Photo By: Alexa Wyszkowski.

By Katie Coyne
Entertainment Editor

Country College of Morris has a vast array of cultural clubs to choose from, and most represented themselves Thursday, Sept. 21 at the Welcome Back Bash held on campus.

Music and the rich smells of ethnic cuisines emanated through the air.

Pertaining to culture and religion, there are a wide variety of clubs to choose from at the campus. These clubs include the Campus Christian Fellowship, Orthodox Christian Fellowship, Muslim Student Association, United Latino Organization, Asian Student Association, Diversity Organization, Jewish Student Association, and Black Student Union.

By joining each or any club, students are welcome to learn about different cultures, customs, and traditions of each native heritage.

The Asian Student Association is planning an upcoming cooking event to show students how to cook Asian cuisine, such as sushi right, at home. The Muslim Student Association had different types of food they were serving at the bash, such as baklava and halal.

Halal, a Muslim way of cooking, translates into English, as “lawful or permissible.”  Baklava is a dessert containing chopped nuts and honey baked within a pastry.

“We eat Kosher, too, said  said Saba Gatabi, the vice president of the Muslim Student Association and nursing major at CCM. “It’s the same thing; we have it in a different way … We have religion, and we have culture. So in culture, there’s different kinds of food and different people. In culture, there are different kinds of religions, too.”

A majority of different religions follow the same principle, which is belief in a sole God.

“Basically all religions are the same, like different ways of following them, different ways of doing things,” Gatabi said.

The Orthodox Christian Fellowship is based on the Roman Catholic religion which is also monotheistic. Any and all students who worship within the Christian faith are welcome to join.

“We discuss Orthodox Christian rules amongst ourselves basically,” said Simeon Brasowski, a member of the Orthodox Christian Fellowship and a business administration major at CCM. “We’re open to inviting any and all other denomination of Christian or whatnot and basically to discuss today’s issues with teens and problems that we go through to try to relate to our lives and to Christian beliefs, basically.”

Culture clubs are also about having fun and introducing different games to students from different countries.

The United Latino Organization plans events such as bingo and gymkhana, games that are played a lot in their native regions of Latin America.     Gymkhana translates into English as a “scavenger hunt.”

“Bingo games are something that is really popular in our countries,” said Sebastian Oroteo, a biology major at CCM. “It’s just like a challenge, and they make rules and they just start doing like a step by step challenge … Our club creates events to make people understand how Latin American culture works, like what we do and how we live, and how our culture works.”

The Welcome Back Bash attracted many students and each cultural club was looking to attract new members.  Any students who are interested in joining a club may access more information on the CCM website.

Chess club looks to get more people playing

BY TED ORBACH
Contributor

In the fall 2015 semester, Brett Friedensohn, now acting president of the Chess Club at CCM, looked to resurrect the then-defunct club. Now, three semesters later, the club has seen enrollment rise, and under Friedensohn’s leadership, looks to grow even more from this year onwards.

“When I started here in the fall of 2015 I was hoping to join a chess club because I was the president of the chess club in my high school, and I love chess,” Friedensohn said. “I find it a bit addictive. I wanted to have a place where I can develop my ideas for chess with other students and play with them, discuss chess with them and hang out with like-minded people.”

Friedensohn’s love of chess began from an early age, when he and his fellow first grade students were taught the game during lunch times.

“I developed a love for it, I guess because it’s intellectual stimulation,” Friedensohn said. “I was never really a bulky athletic kid, so I didn’t get my competitive spirit out that way, I got it out more through chess.”

Fellow chess club member Marco Dellamonica mentioned a love for the intellectual nature of the game, as well as the players’ ability to improve themselves.

“I’m one of the people that, even though I get my butt kicked, I will beat my head into a wall until I figure it out,” Dellamonica said. “Chess is one of those games for me where I may not be good now, but after getting my head beat in maybe 1700 times I’ll get there.”

Victory is not the only factor driving members’ interest in the club.

“When I play the game I don’t really care whether I win or lose,” said Adam Novak, another member of the Chess Club. “I enjoy the strategy aspect, I enjoy that you have to think about the moves ahead.”

Friedensohn echoed this sentiment.

“I’ve always tried to expand my intellect, and think in problematic ways,” Friedensohn said. “To me fun is being as smart as I can and having intellectual stimulation.”

As far as future plans go, an open tournament for CCM students is in the works.

“I’ve wanted to have a tournament, an open tournament for CCM students,” Friedensohn said. This plus high growth can see the club gathering evermore steam heading into the end of this semester and beyond.

While the club looks ahead to bigger projects, it maintains a welcoming and consistent atmosphere for its members.

“I don’t have to worry about there not being somebody there,” Novak said. “Any day I could go to the library and sit by the chess boards but that doesn’t mean that people want to play. It gives me one day where I know I can go and play chess with people. The people are friendly and willing to learn at different levels. It’s a great place to go to if you’re just curious about chess.”

Chess club looks to get more people playing

BY TED ORBACH
Contributor

In the fall 2015 semester, Brett Friedensohn, now acting president of the Chess Club at CCM, looked to resurrect the then-defunct club. Now, three semesters later, the club has seen enrollment rise, and under Friedensohn’s leadership, looks to grow even more from this year onwards.

“When I started here in the fall of 2015 I was hoping to join a chess club because I was the president of the chess club in my high school, and I love chess,” Friedensohn said. “I find it a bit addictive. I wanted to have a place where I can develop my ideas for chess with other students and play with them, discuss chess with them and hang out with like-minded people.”

Friedensohn’s love of chess began from an early age, when he and his fellow first grade students were taught the game during lunch times.

“I developed a love for it, I guess because it’s intellectual stimulation,” Friedensohn said. “I was never really a bulky athletic kid, so I didn’t get my competitive spirit out that way, I got it out more through chess.”

Fellow chess club member Marco Dellamonica mentioned a love for the intellectual nature of the game, as well as the players’ ability to improve themselves.

“I’m one of the people that, even though I get my butt kicked, I will beat my head into a wall until I figure it out,” Dellamonica said. “Chess is one of those games for me where I may not be good now, but after getting my head beat in maybe 1700 times I’ll get there.”

 Victory is not the only factor driving members’ interest in the club.

“When I play the game I don’t really care whether I win or lose,” said Adam Novak, another member of the Chess Club. “I enjoy the strategy aspect, I enjoy that you have to think about the moves ahead.”

Friedensohn echoed this sentiment.

“I’ve always tried to expand my intellect, and think in problematic ways,” Friedensohn said. “To me fun is being as smart as I can and having intellectual stimulation.”

As far as future plans go, an open tournament for CCM students is in the works.

“I’ve wanted to have a tournament, an open tournament for CCM students,” Friedensohn said. This plus high growth can see the club gathering evermore steam heading into the end of this semester and beyond.

While the club looks ahead to bigger projects, it maintains a welcoming and consistent atmosphere for its members.

“I don’t have to worry about there not being somebody there,” Novak said. “Any day I could go to the library and sit by the chess boards but that doesn’t mean that people want to play. It gives me one day where I know I can go and play chess with people. The people are friendly and willing to learn at different levels. It’s a great place to go to if you’re just curious about chess.”

PTK establishes goals, searches for successors

BY CASSIDY YOUNG
Contributor

The approaching end of the spring semester has sent Phi Theta Kappa, the two-year college honor society, into a frenzy of activity as they fine-tune their goals and begin looking for officers for the fall.

Michael Gosden, president of the Alpha Kappa Kappa chapter of PTK, said that PTK has general goals set up by the national organization, but the CCM team created chapter-specific goals they want to achieve in 2017.

“We wanted to destigmatize what community college is,” Gosden said. “There is a huge misbelief and notion that community college is essentially the 13th grade and that it’s not taken seriously, which is not true at all. It is a wonderful milestone and a great place to start an education.”

To execute this goal, Gosden said that PTK has plans to travel to high schools around the area to discuss the benefits of attending CCM.

“We don’t fabricate the truth,” Gosden said. “We want to give them accurate information, and from there they can make a conscious decision.”

Gosden said another goal set out by PTK to achieve in 2017 is the idea of cultural unity.

“People shouldn’t necessarily divide themselves over certain ideas or beliefs, but rather we should come to expand upon them,” Gosden said. “At least come to a point of respect and understanding.”

The club has worked in the past to achieve this goal by holding Unity Day, an event that allows students to learn about other cultures. This semester’s event was April 4, and saw a large turnout in the Davidson Rooms in the Student Community Center.

“Unity Day is a great way to learn about cultures and discover new ones,” said Isabella Paz, a member of PTK. “It’s about not judging other cultures and cultural acceptance.”

Unity Day is not the only perk to joining PTK.

“There’s a lot of opportunities,” Paz said. “It looks good on the resume and you get scholarship money.”

Michelle Mardis, vice president of scholarship, said that the club is currently looking for a new officer team for fall of 2017.

“As of right now, we’re just looking for people to kind of take over our positions,” Mardis said. “We’re going to be doing interviews soon.”

Anyone interested in PTK can contact ptk@student.ccm.edu, or attend a meeting on Tuesday or Thursday during college hour in DH208.