Clubs

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.

SGA shakeup: President out mid-semester

BY BETH PETER 
Editor-In-Chief

The president of the Student Government Association (SGA) was ousted mid-semester after he was found to be ineligible for the position.

Stanley White was elected to the post in May but graduated on Aug. 30. White neglected to inform the school of his status change, and the college neglected to verify his enrollment status.

“As we go through the semester we are always looking at the status of any of our officers,” said Janique Caffie, dean of enrollment management and student development. “In doing so, reaching the mid semester just to make sure everyone is doing well academically, it was discovered that Mr. [Stanley] White had graduated.”

Malik White, digital media studies major at the County College of Morris (CCM), is now the president of the SGA.

“It’s tough to do a transition in the middle of the semester, so it’s been a challenge,” said SGA co-adviser, Don Phelps. “Malik was the only member of the executive board so he has lot’s of positions to fill.”

Malik White was the vice president prior to the change on Oct. 14. Since his appointment, Andrew Ginsberg, public and nonprofit administration major at CCM, has been named treasurer. Ginsberg was treasurer of the SGA last year as well.

According to Caffie, one of the stipulations for presidency is that the student be in a degree seeking program

Caffie said Stanley White had been unable to attend the college council meetings, at which his role would have been to read the SGA meeting minutes. Malik White has been attending them in his place.

Malik White had undergone training with Stanley White during the summer months to prepare for the fall semester, but he had been focusing on his role as vice president. Now Caffie said the school is working to help him understand his new responsibilities.

“Everybody in SGA is fine with Malik coming in,” said Ginsberg. “They’re happier with him than with Stanley.”

The current SGA has had a rough semester thus far. Caffie said she felt they were struggling to work together, but she hoped that with Malik White as president, they would be able to work more cohesively together.

“The mood for this year was already set, which was unfortunately negative, but I’m trying to make sure there’s no bad blood,” said Malik White. “People need to come together and realize that we have problems and we need to start working together.”

Malik White was chosen as president due to his previous position as vice president.

“It’s like what would happen in the case, any time the president of the United States has to go under the knife,” said Caffie. “When that happens then the vice president just steps into the role until such time that the president is back on his or her feet.”

Caffie said they plan on keeping Malik White as the president through the entire academic year.

“He would be president for the remainder of the academic year if he so chooses,” said Caffie. “If he chooses to step down then the next step for the institution is to hold new elections, and that’s what we would do. Until he tells us otherwise, he is the SGA president.”

Malik White is not planning, as of now, to step down during the year. It has been a challenging transition for him, but he has the support of his adviser and he said he would like to see the position through.

“I only had one day of training,” said Malik White. “Don has been very helpful. If it gets too overwhelming, Don and Dr. Simmons said I can step down to vice president until I’m ready to run for president again.”

Caffie said the school would ultimately support him if he chose to make that decision.

“It is hard to step into a position that you didn’t originally want to have,” said Caffie. “He ran for vice president, that’s what he felt he was capable of contributing at this level of his academic career, his leadership career here at CCM. He’s expressed his own concern about his ability to be the president, so it’s a learning experience for himself.”

While according to Phelps this is not the first time a transition has been made mid-semester, Caffie said she believes this is the first time in her tenure here that it has happened. She further said that, it may be a rare situation at CCM, but this is not an unusual experience in a professional environment. This could be a learning experience for members of the SGA.

“It’s not easy to work with people who are like yourself as well as different from yourself, so hopefully this experience will have been a learning lesson for everyone involved,” said Caffie. “There’s a lot to be learned from this whole process.”

While there may be things to be learned from this, Phelps said he doesn’t want the SGA to dwell on the change and let it affect the remainder of their year.

“As adviser, I want people to take this experience and look forward,” said Phelps. “I’m looking forward to SGA moving on and looking forward to a fresh start.”

Dr. Bette Simmons, vice president of student development and enrollment was unable to be reached for comment.

Ambassadors Club the ‘face’ of CCM

BY VALENTINA MARMELEJO
Contributor

When outsiders come to County College of Morris, whether as an attendee at a college event or as a prospective student touring the school, the first people they meet are the Ambassadors.

As their name implies, they are tasked with forging deeper connections in the campus community.

The Ambassadors Club is the premiere club on campus that represents CCM to the outside community, said Walter Yurcik, vice president of the Ambassadors Club and Computer Information Systems major at CCM.

The club allows students to help out with any special events for which CCM needs volunteers. This includes events like the school musicals, plays and the scholarship gala.

“I heard about (Ambassadors) when I went to student orientation, and again at the Welcome Back Bash in the fall semester,” said Hope Motzenbecker, communication major at CCM. “I was interested in joining because I thought it would be a good way to get involved on campus, and make friends as well as a good way to practice leadership skills, for example when giving tours.”

The Ambassadors Club is usually approached by the school to volunteer, and they take that trust seriously.

“When anyone needs help they reach out to us to try and get members to stand around, show people where to go, and talk about the school,” said president of Ambassadors Club, Mark Lalo. “They are really there to put on a good face and give people a good first impression of the school.”

Lalo said he believes that Ambassadors have an important job because people want to know the atmosphere of the school, which is made up mostly by the students. Being that the club and tours are run by students, sometimes Ambassadors are the first real interaction students have with CCM students.

While getting ready for his graduation in May, Yurcik is currently in the process of training Lalo and sharing his knowledge about the club so that Lalo is able to continue running the club. Yurcik previously served as president, vice president and treasurer for the Ambassadors Club.

The main project this semester for the Ambassadors Club is to partner with Phi Theta Kappa, Student Government Association and Student Activities Programming Board for a community outreach program. Yurcik stated that their goal is “to kind of change the stigma of two-year colleges as well as to try to increase the membership within the club itself.”

According to Lalo, the club officers are currently devising a presentation called Project Outreach that would be presented by club members throughout Morris county. They want to reach out to schools outside of Morris county as well if the presentations prove helpful.  

Ambassadors club meets Thursdays 1:00 p.m. in SCC 133.

‘Love Your Melon’ battles cancer at CCM

BY MIRANDA SPETACCINO 
Contributor

Students at County College of Morris can now support children battling cancer in America through a new club affiliated with Love Your Melon.

Love Your Melon is a popular apparel company known for its philanthropy. It was founded in 2012 with the initial mission of putting one of their signature beanies on every child battling cancer in America.

Love Your Melon started off selling beanies, with the goal of donating 45 thousand hats (equal to the number of children battling cancer in America), and has since surpassed that, donating over $2.5 million and over 90,000 hats, according to their website. They have since diversified the merchandise they offer to include shirts and pom-pom hats, to name a few. Fifty percent of all proceeds go directly to support pediatric cancer research.

Now, college students across the country can start clubs on their campuses called campus crews to advocate for pediatric cancer through Love Your Melon. There are currently 11,000 Crew Members nationwide at 740 different educational institutions, according to their website. And it now has a campus crew at CCM.

At the beginning of the spring semester, Nicole Sullivan, a nursing major at CCM and president of the CCM Love Your Melon Campus Crew, decided to start a campus crew because of her passion for the cause and future career goals.

“I really liked what the company stood for and what they were doing,” Sullivan said. “I figured as a nursing student, I also wanna work with kids when I do become a nurse, that it was just a good way to kinda do both at the same time.”

Sullivan added that the role of a campus crew is not to sell the merchandise directly, but rather to promote Love Your Melon through campus events and social media posts, and to encourage the CCM community to purchase merchandise on the Love Your Melon website, choosing CCM as their campus crew. In turn, the campus crew chosen at checkout receives a credit.

“If you go on the website to buy [merchandise] you can select a campus crew to support [at checkout],” Sullivan said. “So you would select County College of Morris, and then we get a credit. The more credits we get, the more opportunities we get to go to the hospitals and see the kids and do stuff with them.”

The CCM Love Your Melon campus crew currently has between 12 and 13 members and meets in the Student Community Center every other Monday at 2 p.m., though Sullivan said the time may change.

Meetings serve as a way to touch base with the members on sales and as communication strategy sessions.

“Any sales that happen during the week, I have access to see the stuff we’ve done to see where we rank with like other schools in the region with how many beanies sales [we’ve been credited],” Sullivan said. “I think last time I checked we were at 17 which is pretty good considering we only started a couple months ago. We discuss any upcoming events and just if anyone knows a good way to get the word out about love your melon.”

Jaida Schettino, a communication major at CCM, jumped at the chance to contribute to a good cause by joining the Love Your Melon campus crew at CCM.

“I joined as soon as I heard Love Your Melon was getting a campus crew at CCM,” Schettino said. “I’m a communication major and being a part of this group involves reaching out to others and promoting the cause … my responsibilities within [the campus crew] are good experience for my future.”

Schettino added that the club meetings have a casual atmosphere, and encourages others to join as well.

“Once you join the club it kind of opens up your eyes to how many people are actually affected by pediatric cancer and how many lives you can make a difference in by doing something as simple as selling or promoting apparel,” Schettino said. “The whole thing is incredible and you just hope that others will help out as well.”

Love Your Melon is a widely known company, but because CCM’s campus crew is so new, many students are not aware of it, such as Michelle Caravaglia, liberal arts major at CCM.

“I know what Love Your Melon is, I actually have a few beanies,” Caravaglia said.  “But I had no idea we had a club on campus for it. That’s awesome.”

The CCM Love Your Melon campus crew is currently looking for new members and/or support from the CCM community. Students who would like to join can send an email to Nicole Sullivan at sullivan.nicole@student.ccm.edu with their full name, phone number, email address, graduation year, and t-shirt size.

More information can also be found on Facebook at County College of Morris Campus Crew and Instagram @ccmlymcampuscrew.

Muslim Student Association spreads Islamic information

BY MARIA CASALINO
Contributor

Students at County College of Morris are now able to join the newly chartered Muslim Student Association to network and connect with each other, whether of the Islam religion or not.

Jannat Sheikh, journalism major and president of MSA, led the club initiation providing members with knowledge about the societal problems that Muslims face, the goals and standards that the club wishes to implement, and the possible solutions that the club wishes to follow in order to conquer society and provide student club members the opportunity to speak out.

The club’s stated mission is to “spread knowledge and understanding about Islam to all people regardless of race, gender, ethnicity, age, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.”

According to Peer Research, as Sheikh shared on Thursday, “on a scale from 0-100 (0 being the coldest/unfavorable and 100 being the warmest/favorable), Americans rated Islam an average of 40.” Other belief systems were rated, Judaism receiving a 63 and Christianity a 61. Islam is ranked comparatively low.

Knowing this, MSA has come together to defy the perception that Islam is a bad entity, as Sheikh said. It will also work to educate people and erase any misconceptions of Islam and the Islamic way of life.

“Muslims need to know they are appreciated and appreciated in society,” Sheikh said.

Aaron Bosloper, vice president of MSA and an engineering major at CCM, spoke at the meeting about his Muslim culture.

“For me, religion was a house with many rooms and in those rooms, many religions. Muslim fit into my house,” Bosloper said. He converted to Islam from Christianity. “It was a long process, but once I did it, I definitely felt closer to God.”

Krupa Patel, a practicing Hindu and respiratory health major at CCM and Mahak Noor, a practicing Muslim biology major at CCM, both joined MSA in response to encouragement by Sheikh.

“We met (Sheikh) in the Student Community Center and she persuaded us to come,” Patel said.

“I wanted to learn more about my culture,” Noor said.

Even with different religions, cultures, and backgrounds, MSA welcomes everyone in a conscious effort to educate those and offer positive insight about Islam as a whole.

Looking ahead, MSA plans to host a myriad of events, the goal of which is to lead to more student attendance, as well as more knowledge about the existence of the club.

Over the next couple of weeks, MSA plans to host a bake sale or basketball charity event where the proceeds will be donated to Syrian Refugees. It also plans to dedicate one week at CCM to Muslim awareness where CCM students will have the opportunity to learn more about Islam and the Muslim religion.

For now, MSA will continue to hold weekly meetings at 12:30 in SCC125, also known as the club room.

“Everyone is always welcome here,” Sheikh said.