News

Protests against police brutality spring up in Morris County

By Luna Wroblewski

Managing Editor/Photographer

Since George Floyd was killed by a white Minneapolis police officer, named Derek Chauvin, on May 25, 2020, all 50 states have witnessed protests, according to USA Today. While some of the protests have turned into riots, many of the demonstrations have been peaceful. One peaceful protest happened in Morris County June 7, 2020.

The protest was in Kinnelon NJ, a small town in the county with a police force of 16 full-time officers. The 2018 census says that about 81% of Kinnelon is white, and black members of the community are claiming that they have faced racism in their small town. 

According to one of the speakers at the protest, a social media account run by students at Kinnelon High School targets black students and black members of the community in Kinnelon.

While the protest in Kinnelon went without any incidents, many of the protests in cities 

across the country have been met with riot police and use of force. Videos have shown police using force against protesters, as well as against journalists there to report on the events. Officers have been seen using tear gas, pepper spray, mace, rubber bullets, and their fists to try and stop people from protesting. Other videos show police using a tactic known as false surrender, in which they pretend to be standing down, only to open fire at protesters as they get closer. 

  In a statement issued by the mayor of Kinnelon, James Freda, he said that “Kinnelon is a welcoming town so let’s put our best foot forward.” 

Marcelo Fernandez Fauste, a CCM History student who attended a protest in Brooklyn, NY says “this government has failed us time and time again” and that he isn’t just fighting for black people, but other minorities as well. Being Hispanic himself, he said that he has faced racism despite being seen as “white Hispanic.” Fernandez Fauste also said that it worries him how militarized the police in the U.S. have become. 

At the protest, Fernandez Fauste says that it was peaceful before the police came and made it violent. 

“I saw a young girl with a sign. She was like 15-16 [years old], 5 foot [tall], she was no threat,” Fernandez Fauste said. “Police grabbed her by the hair and yanked her to the ground. 

Others were furious and ran to aid her, including myself. They pepper-sprayed us. Shortly after, 

they tear-gassed the crowd and started beating people with sticks. We tried to be peaceful and 

they attacked us.”

Fernandez Fauste mentioned that this issue will divide CCM and that a lot of people, 

mostly from Randolph, are now “showing their true colors”. “

“Racism is closer than we thought,” Fernandez Fauste said. “It will be you versus them 

mentality. I’m not for it. I feel like this is more of a revolutionary time.” 

Fernandez Fauste mentioned that racists on campus usually say things behind your 

back, but they have been more vocal on social media lately.

CCM President, Dr. Anthony Iacono sent the student body a “Message of Unity” on June 

3 where he states, “CCM is a college that embraces a community of unity for every student, employee and community member, regardless of race, color, age, sexual orientation, 

gender, economic class, and other factors.”

Iacono goes on to acknowledge that students and staff have faced discrimination and to announce an online discussion that will be shared by Vice President of Student Affairs Dr. Bette Simmons. At the time of writing this, no details have been shared regarding the online discussion. 

A statement issued by the Randolph Police Department said, “Although we are deeply saddened and troubled by these most recent incidents across our Country we will not let them erode our mission which is to work hard each and every day to earn both your trust and respect.”

The Kinnelon Police Department has been contacted for comment; however, at the moment the department has not returned a statement on the matter.

CCM’s Return to campus plan dictates actions for Fall 2020 semester

By Adam Gentile 

Editor in Chief

Last March students left the CCM campus for spring break and haven’t been back since, due to the statewide shutdown orders that came in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Months later, as the Fall 2020 semester was approaching, CCM released its Return to Campus Plan (RCP) which outlines and details the CCM’s plan for the upcoming semester from Course format to student events to providing students with the resources they need to in order to succeed at school during this pandemic. 

Dr. Bette Simmon, vice president of student enrolment and management, said that the RCP  has been in development since April and has been a collective effort between the college council, the Student Government Association, and the five labor unions at CCM. 

 “Because we wanted to do our best to ensure that the plan was comprehensive and addressed a multitude of areas of consideration, we did not want to rush through it,” Simmons said. “Rather, we wanted it to be thoughtfully and carefully developed which caused continual discussions and drafts of the plan before we had a final document.”

Dr. James Capozzi, president of the Faculty Association of the County College of Morris (FACCM) and Assistant Professor in the English and Philosophy department, said that there has been a strong collective effort by faculty to help one another and ease the transition process for the upcoming semester. 

“A lot about this upcoming semester remains to be known,” Capozzi said.”But what we do know is that there has been a huge collective effort on behalf of faculty. This has been seen when we had to transition instantly last semester, and seen in the preparation for this upcoming semester. 

Capozzi mentions that faculty understand that students like faculty are being asked to deal with this situation in ways that may not be preferable to them. 

“We [Faculty] have been encouraging each other to be as forthcoming as possible with students,” Capozzi said. “ I think everyone realizes that this is a difficult situation and that students and faculty have been compelled into a difficult scenario. This is not ideal for students at all and I think that faculty understand that we are going to have to struggle through it together to some extent.”  

Dee McAree, Secretary of FACCM as well as an Assistant Professor in the English and Philosophy department, mentioned that faculty were working with the college over the course of the summer to help with the reopening plan. 

“We had a team to come together to work with the college on the reopening plan, McAree said. “So I would say that we had a lot of input on it and professors were able to choose their own modality [Course format].” 

McAree mentioned that the college has been receptive to the needs of the faculty and has provided them with the appropriate training that they have requested. 

Technology 

According to the RCP, “there is an increased number of available laptops, webcams, and microphones available to loan to students and employees if needed.” Any student requiring technology assistance should contact TASC Plus (tascplus@ccm.edu). 

Library/Computer Labs

The library and on-campus computer labs will be open, but only to members of the CCM community. These areas have been modified in order to follow proper social distancing protocol and health guidelines. These changes resulted in the removal of seating in order to reduce capacity to about 50% and adding silicon coverings on keyboards to allow for easier cleaning. 

Course Formats

CCM will be offering classes in three different formats: online, remote, and hybrid learning. In order to learn which format a class is in, a student can check their schedule on Titan’s Direct and select the course and view the meeting information. 

An Online format has no strict meeting requirements for students. However, professors may have optional lectures for their students. As with online courses in the past, the student’s main responsibility will be to complete assignments by a specific date as set by the professor. If a class is an online class then it won’t  appear in your schedule on Titan’s direct

Remote courses, like online courses will, be exclusively online. However, unlike online courses, there will be a required lecture time for the class 

Hybrid courses will have students arriving on campus at pre-scheduled times. Courses that are eligible for hybrid learning use the guidelines provided by New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy’s Executive Order 155. The guidelines outlined in Order 155 are as follows, “may resume in-person instruction of students for curricula that require labs, technical, clinical, or hands-on instruction and therefore cannot be readily taught other than through in-person instruction.” 

According to CCM’s RCP, any hybrid format class may be subject to reverting to a remote or online format dependent on directions from the Governor’s office or public health officials. Students will be notified by CCM of any possible format changes to their course. Simmons said that the speed of notification to the students will be dependent on the nature of the State’s mandate. 

 “This depends upon the mandate from the State of New Jersey and the timeline associated with that mandate,” Simmons said. “ We would hope that we would have some time to adequately inform students and faculty about any adjustments to be made.  However, as we have learned since March 13, mandates from the State could cause us to take immediate action with limited notification.”

Student services 

Student services such as campus life activities, orientations, fairs, workshops, etc. will be done virtually for the Fall 2020 semester. Academic advisement for students will be available on Titan’s Direct. 

In-person counseling, advising, and transaction services will remain available for: 

  • Accessibility Services 
  • Admissions 
  • Bursar, Campus Life 
  • Career Services 
  • Counseling Services
  • EOF
  • Financial Aid
  • Records and Registration 
  • TASC
  • The Testing Center
  •  Transfer Services

The number of staff working in the offices, along with the number of students in waiting areas and hours of operation for in-person appointments, will all be reduced. The college plans to reduce the amount of in-person appointments by “encouraging the use of online services.” Students that decide to have in-person appointments must make the appointment in advance in order to meet with the staff. According to the RCP, “ Should someone arrive on campus without an appointment, the department will need to document that visit for retroactive contact tracing should that become necessary.”

 The Office of Health Services will continue to provide medical care, health and wellness services, and resources in-person, with limited hours. Individuals will be screened carefully upon accessing this department and every effort will be made to distinguish between typical medical care needs and potential COVID-19 cases.

Athletics 

College sports will resume in January 2021 following guidelines set up by the state as well as other sporting institutions such as the National Junior College Association and The Garden State Athletic Conference.  

Student-Athletes will be subjected to a four-question screening process every day prior to a workout, practice, or event. The questions that the athletes must answer are as follows: 

  1. In the past 14 days, have you been in close contact (within 6 feet for > 10 minutes) with an individual that has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or a person who had COVID-19 symptoms but was not tested?
  2. Do you currently have and/or have you had within the past 24 hours- fever, chills, repeated shaking with chills, or night sweats?
  3. Do you currently have and/or have you had within the past 24 hours- cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, diarrhea, headache, muscle pains, or new loss of taste or smell?
  4. Within the past 24 hours, have you experienced increased anxiety, inconsistent mood swings, or changes in sleeping or eating habits? 

For more information on CCM’s COVID-19 policies please go to https://www.ccm.edu/covid-19-information-center/

Chosen first name forms now available for CCM students

By Alexa Wyszkowski

Editor-in-Chief

County College of Morris students can now fill out a Chosen Name Request form to have a different first name than their legal name appear in certain places and documents. Even with the CCM campus closed, students can still access the new Chosen Name/Preferred Pronoun webpage of the CCM website to download the form, fill out and send it back in an email to Records and Registration.

The form became available to CCM students on March 23 and allows students to have a chosen first name, such as those who have a preference of middle name, nickname, anglicized name, or a name that aligns with their gender identity.

The form can be filled out and submitted at any time during any semester. Once the form has been accepted by Records and Registration, the student’s chosen name will appear in Titans Direct and Colleague for the student and their professors to view. Their chosen name will also appear on alumni records, Titans Direct class rosters, commencement programs, Dean’s lists, their graduation diploma, Titan’s Direct faculty advisee lists and student ID cards. 

Registrar Laura Lee Bowens has been working on having a chosen name option for two years now. Information Systems and the Diversity Committee also assisted Bowens during this time, as the different websites and programs had to be updated and reworked to allow for the chosen name fields to exist. 

“The things we can roll out, we are rolling out. The things that have to wait, hopefully, won’t be too long in the future. I’m excited about this. We have been waiting. Honestly, I started this process two years ago. We had to wait for the software company to have an upgrade that included that field [chosen name], and once we got the field, it was a matter of mapping it to everything. It became complex,” said Bowens.

There are plans for the near future that Blackboard will also be updated to include the chosen name field, but as of press time, Blackboard still displays student legal names. CCM student email accounts will also still consist of student legal names. Bowens explained why the student email accounts won’t yet have the chosen name field.

“To change the student email account, there are thousands of email accounts that would have to be changed, it has been discussed, but there’s been no closure on that discussion yet, so we keep batting around a few things to see how we can make this work. It’s something that we do want to do in the future because it makes sense for a lot of reasons,” said Bowens.

Students’ legal names will continue to appear on financial aid and billing documents, official and unofficial transcripts, health records, paychecks, travel forms, transfer credit evaluations, parking permits, tax records and in the time entry system. 

CCM students Robin Goodfellow, biology major, the president of LGBT+ Student Union and Valentin Espey-David, sociology and art major, the secretary of LBGT+ helped Bowens and the Diversity Committee with rolling out the Chosen Name Request form. Goodfellow explained how essential this form was for students.

“It [the chosen name form] would definitely make trans people more comfortable in college, it be would be much less anxiety-inducing than to have to email our teachers beforehand, I know trans students [before the form existed] have to email their teachers beforehand, and go out themselves,” said Goodfellow. 

Karen Danna, professor of Sociology and a member of the Diversity Committee explained how the form will help students not have to explain their change of names in every interaction.

“The idea certainly with some of the chosen name initiatives here is to take burdens off of students and put them onto systems, put them onto structures, have structures that can do that, and then make it administration, faculty burden. We don’t want this to come back to the student, where the student still has to do the legwork of negotiation and interaction. The structure is supposed to handle some of that,” said Danna.

Bowens explained how Titans Direct will allow students some additional choices under their user profiles.

“Once you see it, it’s really cool. Once everything comes together and you see how it works, then you discover new things in the system that you didn’t know before, which is on Titans Direct students will be allowed to choose their preferred pronouns too,”

Students are also now able to select their preferred pronoun and gender identity on Titans Direct under their user profile. Students in Professor Karen Danna’s spring 2020 Sociology of Gender class helped create the preferred pronoun table that can be found in Titans Direct. 

Students with any additional questions can find out more information by visiting the webpage https://www.ccm.edu/admissions/records-and-registration/chosen-name-info/ and sending an email to registrar@ccm.edu.

Coronavirus concerns causes CCM campus closure

By Benjamin M. Richards

Politics Editor 

The campus of County College of Morris was closed Friday, March 13 and will not reopen until New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy allows it. His order caused all colleges and universities across the state of New Jersey to close in order to protect students, faculty, staff, and community members from the Coronavirus. CCM classes moved online starting Monday, March 23, after spring break concluded. All in person meetings, activities and events, including the 2020 graduation ceremony, have been cancelled. Field trips, sports practices, and games have also been cancelled. 

During CCM’s spring break, the county of Morris set up tents in Lot 1 of CCM for Coronavirus testing. New Jersey and at least seven other states have now been ordered to stay at home.

Almost immediately, many in the U.S. were aware of the spread of COVID-19 and the danger it represented to people physically and to the U.S. economy. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), an American non-profit organization that focuses on the role of the U.S. in global health policy and major healthcare issues facing the United States, as of February 13-18, 2020, 56 percent of those polled said that they had heard a lot about the COVID-19 outbreak and 87 percent said they knew that there were already cases in the U.S. United States citizens were also worried about the economy, with 57 percent saying that they are very or somewhat concerned the COVID-19 outbreak will have a negative impact on the U.S. economy. 43 percent of those polled also reported they were concerned they or someone in their family would fall ill. All this concern over personal health and well-being has prompted people to take precautions like stock-piling food and supplies. 

Ryan Fitzpatrick, a sophomore communication major, was on a trip to Florida to visit family over spring break but was able to return with time for groceries. 

“Right after my flight back from Florida, I went to ShopRite and got the essential food items I needed. Since then, I have been self-quarantining and haven’t ordered food or eaten out for the most part,” said Fitzpatrick. 

U.S. citizens have not been laid back when it comes to buying food and essential items. In fact, they’ve taken to hoarding them in massive quantities. According to Newsweek, commercial stores in the U.S. have had such a difficult time keeping their shelves stocked that some people have resorted to traveling elsewhere for goods. Until the U.S.-Mexico border closed, Californians had been heading down into Northern Baja, Mexico to buy toilet paper, water, and other goods as stores in the state struggled to maintain a stock of said items.

Of course, access to food and toiletries isn’t the only issue facing CCM students. Another problem that students are feeling presently is the shift from in-person classes at campus to a completely online second half of the semester. Fitzpatrick mentioned that having all of his classes online is an uneasy thought. He said that he has taken online courses before and hasn’t been satisfied, as he believes that there are core aspects that just aren’t transferable to an online experience, like asking your professor questions and engaging with the class in real life.

 

The CCM approach to transitioning classes from a campus experience to an online platform has been tough. Updates have been sent by the administration via Blackboard notifications and emails to students’ college accounts, but that may not be enough. 

“Translating classes from IRL to digitally taught will be a learning experience for both faculty and students. As time goes on, people will become more comfortable with the format shift. Something that might help students stay aware of the constant changes and know the basics of what the college’s plan is for this transitional period would be if CCM sent updates through Titan Alerts instead of just email, as many students check their phones more often than they check their academic email addresses,” said Fitzpatrick. 

As diseases and pandemics can cause fear and mistrust, they can also bring xenophobia and racist assumptions to the forefront of civic life. According to The Atlantic, an American magazine, there has been an uptick in instances of racism related to the irrational fear of anyone who appears as Asian, regardless of their nationality, as they are assumed incorrectly to be carriers of the disease. Some of these instances are simply being avoided on public transit or getting a wary eye of distrust. Others are more extreme, as one student from Singapore was violently attacked in London, U.K., just because of his “foreign” appearance. Another instance was when a Vietnamese artist was disinvited from a London art fair just because the organizers thought the other attendees would fear her being contagious. 

Katherine Grosso, a part-time student at CCM and a digital media major, sees that these social interactions are the wrong approach to handling the COVID-19 outbreak in a social setting.

 

“The Coronavirus has changed my community and home in that everyone is living more simply. When I go out for walks, I see children playing with baseballs and bicycles and sidewalk chalk. This virus has stripped everybody of security in belongings because even if we can get belongings, we must ration them… I have found that the people I have passed by on my walks have been incredibly nice, and overall, people just seem to be more compelled to be kind during this time than before,” said Grosso.

Continuing in Grosso’s outlook, she believes that, while the CCM administration has a new and complicated situation to deal with, they are doing a fair job at managing all the aspects of the transition. However, something Grosso believes would make the transition easier on the student body would be if the coursework online weren’t too heavy or overbearing. There is little time left in the semester and as the world spirals into a scary place, it is extra important to have a balance of work and leisure. Grosso also cites her personal faith as something she can rely on in these times of confusion and hardship. 

Despite all the worry and apparent national awareness of the COVID-19 outbreak in the U.S., only 19 percent of those in the KFF poll said that they had taken any measures to stay safe. Those numbers are more than worrying, as while the estimates for how many U.S. citizens will contract the disease vary on available data and testing ability, many experts believe the true number of cases far exceeds the previously calculated number of U.S. citizens that officially have the virus. According to The Atlantic, as of March 21, 2020, on the last day of February, 15 U.S. citizens tested positive for COVID-19; by early March, more than 17,000 have tested positive. Yet, in that same article, virologist Trevor Bedford claimed to have found evidence that COVID-19 began rapidly spreading in the U.S. as early as January and that it has likely already infected approximately 87,000 U.S. citizens. It may seem grim, but a study recently published by Imperial College London predicted that, unless strong and swift measures get put in place, the Coronavirus could kill 2.2. million U.S. citizens in the coming months. It all comes down to how many individuals take this matter seriously and take the necessary precautions like social distancing and self-quarantining and actions the U.S. government and each of the states take to combat the spread of the virus. Stay safe by washing hands for at least 20 seconds on a regular basis, avoid coughing or sneezing openly or directly into your hand, and stock-pile necessary food and other essential items to prepare for long weeks of isolation. With all of these changes, CCM students have been asked to contact the new TASC+ with any challenges they may be dealing with. 

How professors are dealing with the transition to online learning

By Katrina Irhin

Copy Editor

 

Despite the challenges, CCM professors have been finding different ways to move to online lectures for their students, specifically by using the internet and digital platforms to either live stream lectures in real time or record and post them on the internet. Dr. Teresa S. Birrer, a professor of biology, has found several different digital platforms she is going to use to teach her students, and she is going to be using them in various ways to make easy-to-use lectures for her students.

“I will be recording audio on top of my Powerpoint slides using Techsmith Capture,” Birrer said. “The result looks like a YouTube video that can be started or stopped at any point.  These lectures will be posted for students to view at their convenience, as many students must share computers with other family members.”

Birrer is not the only professor who will be using digital platforms to make lectures for her students. Marcia Picallo, professor of languages and ESL, will also be using digital platforms to teach.

“Zoom seems to be… flexible when it comes to teaching and, especially, recording lessons that students can watch several times,” Picallo said.

Lecturing is not the only way that students can learn in the classroom setting. They may also learn through performing science lab experiments. Professors such as Birrer not only lecture for their biology classes, but also teach lab sections for them. Despite the fact that most of her students this semester were supposed to be doing their lab activities at the CCM campus, she nonetheless has found alternate methods to use the internet and make it possible for her students to complete their lab activities at home.

Thanks to the generosity of many publishers, we have a multitude of virtual labs available at no cost for the remainder of the semester,” Birrer said. “I am working with other faculty in our department to select appropriate online lab exercises that will cover the material we would be covering in person. It is not the ideal situation for science courses, but it will certainly work in the emergency situation we are experiencing. Although I normally teach a face to face, non-majors biology course, that course is already taught in an online format, so I have been able to adapt some of the materials from the online course for the rest of this semester.”

Besides lecturing and, for some professors, doing lab activities, professors must also conference with their students. In addition to doing lectures and lab exercises on the internet, conferences are being conducted with the use of digital platforms. One platform that professors are using to conduct conferences is Shindig, which, according to its own website, is a platform that “enables a host to give a video conference, lecture, seminar, interview or media event in front of an online audience of thousands.” 

“After checking out Shindig, I feel that that program will work better for office hours,” Picallo stated.

Shindig is what some professors are going to be using for video conferencing with their students. Other professors have found different platforms that will suit them better.

“As the semester continues, I may teach myself to use some new technology that could benefit my students, but for now I have Zoom which can be used for video meetings with students if they would like,” Birrer stated. 

Despite the fact that there are digital platforms that professors are going to use to help totally move their teachings and conferencing to an online environment, this transitioning does not come without its hardships. As stated by Birrer before, many students share computers with other family members, so some students will not be able to attend the lectures that some professors video stream. There are other conflicts, technology-related or not, that will arise with this transitioning to an online environment.

“I do understand that some students were taking my face to face class because they do not do well with the online format,” Birrer stated. “For those students this will be a challenge.  I will work as much as possible to help them be successful in a learning environment that might not be best for their learning style. I also have a good rapport with my students in person and will miss seeing them. My non-majors evening class was particularly active in asking questions in all areas of biology. I hope they will continue to seek answers to their questions.” In addition, Birrer stated that she knows she has some students who do not have access to any cameras, and others who only have wifi on their phones. “We have some obstacles to overcome, but we will figure out how to work with everyone.”

Birrer is not the only professor who acknowledges that some students find that they work better in an in-person environment, as Picallo recognizes this as well. 

“I love teaching and interacting with students in the class. I’m going to miss that. The online format is just not the same in that sense. Some of the disadvantages, although I don’t want to call them disadvantages; they’re obstacles that a person may have that have nothing to do with their own doing-and that’s why they take a lecture-type class. For example, when I was in college, I had very limited financial resources. If I would have had to deal with something like this, I would have had a lot of trouble finishing my semester. I would have had many obstacles to overcome financially. My survival would have come first. I’m being honest. I’ve already encountered challenges that this situation is presenting. A student may not have Internet or enough data on his/her phone. CCM has reached out to professors, staff and students to provide help to all of us. I’m hoping we can work together to solve some of these issues and get through the semester successfully. I don’t want my students to suffer. I teach because I want all of you to have better lives.”

With there being these types of conflicts that not only students must face but also professors, both Birrer and Picallo want to offer students advice on how to deal with college and life in general during the pandemic.

“It is difficult for all of us to stay at home and feel isolated,” Birrer stated. “My family and I have been watching movies most nights and going for walks during the day.  Try to do everything you would to keep your immune system healthy. Quarantine junk food seems to be a thing, but a healthy diet is important as well as regular exercise and sleep habits. Fresh air and sunshine are not good for the Coronavirus, so as the weather warms up go outside more and more.  I plan to record lectures from by deck soon. Finally, I would like students to know that the faculty are there for them should they just need to talk. These are stressful times, and we must help each other come through with both physical and mental health intact.” 

In addition, Birrer states that what would be the biggest benefit for students during this pandemic would be for them to follow the medical advice of staying safely at home.

Picallo also offers advice for students to help them get through what is currently going on.

“Stay healthy; stay in touch with your professors; and stay calm. We’ll get through this together.”

Construction begins for state of the art science and engineering center

By Anthony Ingham

News Editor

President Anthony J. Iacono, the CCM Board of Trustees, the campus community, Morris County Board of Freeholders, State Representatives and Industry Leaders met to celebrate the Groundbreaking of the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center in the Student Community Center, Davidson Room on January 30. Around 100 people came together to honor the $11 million state-of-the-art center, which was made to alleviate the need for employment and growing industry demands. 

The building is planned to have two electronics labs, two prototyping labs, two computer labs, a 3D printing room, an analysis lab, an automation and controls/robotics/emerging technologies lab, a measuring and materials testing lab, a welding lab, makerspace, conference rooms, classrooms and offices. It is expected to open around Spring 2020, according to a CCM press release.

Dr. Anthony Iacono, President of CCM, stressed the importance of how this would affect students in the time to come.

“Breaking the ground is breaking [for] the future,” he said. “The relationships and what we’ve achieved here have all been for our students’ futures.”

Construction of the Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering Center will free up space in the college’s current engineering and manufacturing lab, which will allow for the construction of The Paragano Family Foundation Healthcare Simulation Center. Through the CCM Foundation’s “Forward” Campaign, the Paragano Family Foundation gave leadership, as well as over $1.8 million to support the initiative, according to the CCM “Forward Campaign” page. CCM will also be broadening its scope of health care programs alongside development of the simulation center.

Multiple people spoke to the crowd that day, such as CCM chair and Board of Trustees member Paul R. Licitra, Assemblyman of Legislative District 25 Anthony M. Bucco, Director of Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders Douglas R. Cabana, NJ Commissioner Robert Asaro-Angelo, Deputy Secretary of the Office of the Secretary of Higher Education Diana Gonzalez, President of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce Meghan Hunscher, CEO of Glenbrook Technologies, Gil Zweig, and Electronics Engineering Technology Major, as well as Former Glenbrook Technologies Intern Cindy Ramerspad. Each speaker had a different set of topics they covered, anywhere from the current manufacturing marketplace to how glad they were to be a part of the contribution to the new building.

Gonzalez says that she believes this is a good move because it supports many of the people in these programs.

“At the end of the day, we want our students to make incredible wages, and put their learning in action,” she said.

After the speeches were over, the actual groundbreaking commenced around 11:30 a.m., just outside of 675, the building which houses the Public Safety and Information System departments, on Route 10. Pictures were taken with those who had helped support the funding of the building shortly after, as they stood next to a nearby bulldozer with golden shovels and hardhats.

To learn more about CCM’s Manufacturing and Engineering programs, visit the Department of Engineering Technologies and Engineering Science, or their page on CCM’s website at https://tinyurl.com/y9qkr3ty. If you wish to learn about its Workforce Development programs, visit https://www.ccm.edu/workforce/ .

Originally Published in the 2-13-2019 issue of the Youngtown Edition

Coronavirus’ impact on the 2020 primary

By Adam Gentile 

Managing Editor

The Coronavirus pandemic caused chaos and uncertainty in the 2020 democratic primary as poll stations shut down and moved and elections in some states have been postponed to a later date. The possible impacts of Coronavirus on the Democratic primary can be shown using the Tuesday, March 17 Democratic primary as an example, where the effects of the Coronavirus on the four scheduled states have had different scenarios. 

Democratic frontrunner former vice president Joe Biden has won Arizona, Illinois, and Florida, increasing his delegate lead to about 300 over his primary rival Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders securing a total delegate count of 1153 almost 800 delegates shy of crossing that 1991 delegate threshold and securing the nomination.

Originally Ohio with its 137 pledged delegates was also supposed to be decided, however, on Monday Ohio Governor Mike DeWine announced that Ohio polls will be closed due to health concerns from Coronavirus and rescheduled the election to June 2. DeWine released a statement explaining his decision to postpone the election.

“During this time when we face an unprecedented public health crisis, to conduct an election tomorrow would force poll workers and voters to place themselves at an unacceptable health risk of contracting coronavirus. As such, Health Director Dr. Amy Acton will order the polls closed as a health emergency. While the polls will be closed tomorrow, Secretary of State Frank LaRose will seek a remedy through the courts to extend voting options so that every voter who wants to vote will be granted that opportunity.”

The New York Times reported that election officials in Florida and Illinois have noted that there has been lighter in-person voter turnout than in 2016.

 “As of 1 p.m., about 126,500 people had voted on Election Day,” said Jim Allen, a spokesman for the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners. The Times reported that Allen said that in 2016 voter turnout at that time [1 p.m.] was around 300,000. Allen also mentioned that over 200 polling places have been moved within the past few days.

Voter turnout in Illinois according to the Illinois Board of Elections was around two million voters. According to the Associated Press (AP), last night’s election turnout with 99% reporting was around 1.5 million voters, a decrease of 25 percent compared to 2016. In contrast according to 538 nearly all of the primary states that voted before last night have seen at least a small increase in voters since 2016. 

Unlike Illinois, the voter turnout in Florida in 2020 is on track to be roughly the same as it was in 2016. According to the AP with 99 percent of votes reported in the 2020 Florida primary total turnout is just under 1.7 million voters while the voter turnout in 2016 was just over 1.7 million. 

Despite the national emergency, the total votes in Arizona were higher than it was in 2016 by about 60,000 votes. 

According to the Arizona Board of Elections, roughly 466,000 people voted in the 2016 Arizona Democratic primary, and according to the AP with 88% reporting about 522,000 votes have been cast in the 2020 Democratic primary. Of the total amount, 380,000 votes cast in Arizona were absentee ballots that had to be requested by March 6.

Earlier this week Sanders told Anderson Cooper his concerns of still holding the March 17 primaries due to the health risk presented to voters due to Coronavirus. 

“I would hope the governors listen to the public health experts and they’re saying is, as you just indicated, we don’t want gatherings of 50 or more people,” Sanders said to Cooper. “And when I think about some of the elderly people sitting behind the desks, registering people and all that, does that make a lot of sense? I’m not sure that it does.”

The Biden campaign in a memo released on Tuesday had insisted on keeping the schedule for the upcoming primaries the same, claiming that elections have remained as they were during other times of national emergencies. 

“We held elections during the Civil War, the 1918 flu pandemic and World War II,” said Kate Bedingfield, the deputy campaign manager for Joe Biden, in the memo. “We are confident that we can meet that same challenge today and continue to uphold the core functions and values of our democracy.” 

Tuition prices frustrate students, professors alike

By Anthony Ingham

With the start of the spring semester, a common concern among students is the ability to pay the cost of tuition and books, and whether or not it is equitable to do so.

The Pew Research Center published an article in October of 2018 called “More in U.S. see drug addiction, college affordability and sexism as ‘very big’ national problems”, where in a survey of U.S. adults, 63 percent said the affordability of college was an issue. 

This is up 11 percent from 2016, and is second only to drug addiction in the survey by 5 percent.

According to CollegeBoard article “Tuition and Fees and Room and Board over Time”, this is warranted, as it says that prices for public two year colleges, prices have risen $930 since 2008, and $2,670 for public four year colleges.

A recent piece in the NY Times titled “What Students Are Saying About: College Tuition, Homework Help and Loneliness” by The Learning Network discusses how some students from colleges, high schools, and even one from a middle school, feel about some of the bigger issues within college.

When asked if tuition was out of hand, there were a couple of different responses from four different sources. Two students from Danvers, MA, say that the cost is unbelievable, and that the ability to go to college should not be based on their family’s financial status. A student from Locust Grove High School said that someone would have to work minimum wage for 17 hours a day to be able to pay off their student debt, and a student from Oxford Middle School said that professors need to get paid, and community colleges are much cheaper, so the prices aren’t that bad for what they’re asking for.

According to the 2017-2018 County College of Morris budget report the college’s operation’s cost summed up to approximately $72 million dollars. The funding breaks down to about 31 million from tuition and fees, about $7 million from the state, about 11.8 from the county, about $5.2 million from out of county students, $235,000 from investment, $948,250 from other resources, and the remaining $16 million comes from student aid, grants, and contracts.

A non-scientific survey asked a pool of 20 CCM students three questions; Are colleges trying to profit off of you more than they should, is tuition worth the cost, and will you have any student debt after your time in college? When asked if they felt overcharged by colleges,  18 people said they did. James Thomson, a Creative Arts student, says that tuition is absurdly out of hand for those from low income families.

“If you’re working all that time trying to cover expenses, it leaves you without time to do any of the out of school work, so why bother,” he said.

Professor Clemente of the History Department said that colleges are an “edu-business” more than anything, and often lean a bit more towards the business end of things.

Out of the 20 surveyed, 13 agreed that college was worth the cost, and seven didn’t. Students such as Mckenna Greco, a high school student who is coming to CCM next semester, and Furkan Yildirim, a Business Administration major, show just how differently students can think about this topic.

“It depends on the major,” Greco said. “If you’re a Computer Science student, you probably have to go to college. If you’re a Creative Arts student, you probably don’t have to.” 

Yildirim said that if you put the work required for it, and you get education, it’s definitely worth it. 

Anthony Mojica, a Game Development student, said that books are ridiculously overpriced, and the fact that some teachers don’t use them is an even larger slap in the face.

While 13 said that they would be able to get through college as a whole without student loans or debt of any kind, seven still said that they would have to. 

Students and adults alike are willing to admit that colleges need money to function, and that they are willing to pay them to get their education. In order to alleviate this, students should look for alternative methods, such as rentals, e-textbooks, PDFs, or others, before buying their books. 

Student loan debt is one of the most common forms of debt in the United States, with 44 million Americans having a total debt of $1.48 trillion, according to Forbes article “Student Loan Debt Statistics In 2018: A $1.5 Trillion Crisis”. The state of New Jersey recently passed the Community College Opportunity Grant, according to their “Governor Murphy Announces New Jersey’s First Step Toward Free Community College” article. This just started its primary phase for tuition free college, and with this program, 13,000 students from 13 out of New Jersey’s 19 community colleges will receive funding to attend school tuition free starting in the Spring 2019 semester. 

Originally Published in the 1-30-2019 issue of the Youngtown Edition

CCM opens lactation room for mothers who are nursing

By Jamie Corter

Contributor 

 

County College of Morris has opened a private space which contains the basic necessities for breastfeeding women who need to express breast milk.

Located next to the health services in Cohen Hall room 266, this space includes a chair, sink, lotion, and a mirror and is open to staff, faculty, and students.

Nurse Elizabeth Hoban, the coordinator for health services at CCM, is also a lactation specialist who spoke up about the importance of a lactation room. 

“You cannot have a toilet in a lactation room,” Hoban said. “It’s not sanitary . . .  There should just be a sink to wash your hands and a chair. There are family friendly bathrooms, which I don’t think even have changing tables, but those are more for people who are transitioning. [This room] is specifically for moms who are breastfeeding.”

For years, mothers have used Hoban’s back room as a lactation room because of its privacy and access to a sink. But now, it is required by law to have a separate room for nursing moms.

“It’s legislation now,” Hoban said. “We had no choice; we had to put it in.”

 In March 2010, President Barack Obama passed the Affordable Care Act that included the Break Time for Nursing Mothers policy. According to the United States Department of Labor website, employers must provide reasonable break time for employees to express breast milk for the first year after the child is born. In addition to this, employers are also required to designate a space other than a bathroom for this. The lactation room does not have to be permanent; it can be a temporary room as long as it is clean and private. 

“We had a student a couple of semesters ago that took a Saturday class, and she was here all day,” Hoban said. “She had nowhere to [pump]. I think she was the one that triggered a complaint because she had to go across to the library to the family-friendly bathroom. In doing research, it was determined that we actually have to provide a space for them.”

Originally Published in the 12-5-2018 issue of the Youngtown Edition

Student Success Center on track to open in spring

By Adam Gentile & Alexa Wyszkowski

Features Editor, Layout Editor

 

County College of Morris is developing a Student Success Center, a new resource to help students stay in school and reach graduation as administration is aiming to open it by the start of the spring 2019 semester.

The new Student Success Center will move into the old Office of Career Services and Cooperative Education in Cohen Hall room 203, which is currently under renovation. 

Career Services will move out of the club room, where they have temporarily displaced several club offices, and in with the Counseling Center for the start of the spring semester. As a result the Career Services and Counseling Center will be merged as one office together in the downstairs Student Community Center so it is with the all other offices housed in the downstairs and upstairs of the SCC. The other offices include the Office of Student Development and Enrollment Management, Women’s Center, Office of Campus Life, Records and Registration Office, Office of Student Financial Aid, and the Bursar Office. 

Dr. Bette Simmons, the vice president of student development and enrollment management, said that the moving of the career services will help consolidate the various student services. 

“It’s really all about transporting the Career Services Office into the Student Community Center, and they will merge with the counseling center staff,” Simmons said. “So we have a nice continuum of resources for students all together in the same spot.” 

Career Services had to move out of Cohen Hall because they needed more space during the renovation for the new Student Success Center.

“Currently, we are freshening up the area in Cohen Hall that Career Services is vacating, and we are getting it ready for the center,” Simmons said. “In the meantime we are merging the Career center with the Counseling center because there are a lot of similar purposes when it comes to helping students with decisions about their career.”

Simmons said that the clubs being vacated from the club room are doing a great service for the students. 

“I see the clubs who had their spaces vacated for a short period of time, as helping the college achieve its goal,” Simmons said. “So they are helping us create this center that will be able to help themselves as well as other students.” 

If any club is still having any issues storing any of their supplies, Simmons said they should seek her out so she can assist them in finding proper storage space for their stuff.

The new Student Success Center location is close to where the majority of classes are held. This office will have a new team of five specialists, as two will be full-time Student Success Specialists, one will be a part-time Student Success Specialist, and the other two will be part-time Career and Technical Programs Support Specialists. These specialists will help students reach their goals, guide them in the right direction and help them be able to graduate. This facility will also have study spaces, computers and meeting rooms for students to utilize. In addition to students, faculty and staff members will also be able to use the resources that will be available in the Student Success Center.  

CCM’s president Dr. Anthony J. Iacono is looking forward to the creation of this facility, and hopes that it will allow students to gain the necessary skills needed to achieve success in a diverse and competitive job market. 

Iacono said that although the Career Services is currently doing a decent job, it is not properly equipped to deal with these ever changing job markets. He hopes that with the creation of the Student Success Center students will be able to leave the school fully equipped with the tools needed to obtain an internship. 

“We know that the market place has changed dramatically and the number one thing I hear from employers, whether they are tech industries, engineering industries, health care industries, or any industry is I want kids to come in with their resume and show that they can apply what they learned,” Iacono said. “Whether it’s an internship, an apprenticeship, or any kind of hands on experience we know thats what the employer wants.” 

For Iacono, the goal of anyone coming to CCM should be aimed towards graduation, and ensuring that the school can retain students until graduation is one of the most important challenges the administration faces. 

“A lot of times we have students who aren’t doing well and want to leave college, it’s not academically related, It can be and we want to have a resource that says we have tutoring, there’s this, and this, and this here are a variety of ways that we can help you,” Iacono said. “If you have work and don’t get out until after the tutoring center is closed, there’s online tutoring” 

Iacono mentioned that other issues may be economic related and that there are some on campus that may suffer from food insecurities. CCM partners with local areas in the community and if a student heads to the Student Success Center they can help them get connected to these organizations. 

“Most of the time what sidelines a student from coming back to school isn’t academic reasons, it’s life,” Iacono said.” So the Student Success Center can really help us deal with the issues that sideline students, by focusing more on the students.” 

Iacono’s future plans for developing the Student Success Center will include plans to help faculty along with students. 

“It is designed where it can help students directly, and it will also be able to help faculty directly,” Iacono said. “That’s not in place yet that is for more in the future. Current things that are in place are helping faculty find a student, and if a student brings an issue up to a professor the professor can go to the retention center and ask questions.” 

Iacono says that since the Student Success Center is new the new options may be added to it over time to properly develop the center, and to make sure that it’s as helpful as it can be. 

“The students are going to have a resource that they have never had before, the faculty is going to have a resource that they have never had before,” Iocona said. “It’s gonna be a learning experience, but the goal is to listen to the students and watch the students and see if we miss anything. A lot of the time you might think of us as on the teaching end but we are on the learning end too, good teachers are good learners.”Student Success Center on track to open in spring

Originally Published in the 12-5-2018 issue of the Youngtown Edition