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Collegiate cravings for students on the go

BY JAMES CAROLAN
Contributor

After multiple engagements with the snooze button, a rushed shower, and possibly an existential crisis or two, it’s a rush to get in a car with enough time to find parking on campus at County College of Morris much less sneak in a feeding.

Once in the car, there is the chance to calm down, only to be interrupted by a cacophony of gurgles from one’s stomach.

While sometimes it feels like there aren’t possibly enough minutes in the morning to squeeze in a filling breakfast amongst everything else going on, CCM students are professionals at this balancing act.

Jack Rebucci, a business administration major at CCM, gets up early in order to make eggs for a breakfast full of protein. This is a great way to kick off a school day and ensure he will have enough energy for whatever comes his way.

But not all students are morning people.

Ross DeBlock, a biology major at CCM, who occasionally consumes just a spoonful of peanut butter on his way to school if he does not wake up in time for breakfast. It provides a punch of protein, just like the eggs yet takes a fraction of the time.

“I usually eat trail mix in the morning”, said Kim Platt a criminal justice major at CCM. Trail mix is yet another car snack choc-full of protein.

Non-traditional breakfasts come in all shapes and sizes. While waffles may not seem like the ideal breakfast to eat in the car, Simon Picciuti, a criminal justice major at CCM, manages to scarf them down while on his way to school.

Sometimes a sugar rush is what students are looking for to push them through their morning classes. Dan McCartney, a chemistry major at CCM, makes sure to leave enough time in his mornings to enjoy a Toaster Strudel.

Sugar is also a factor Freddy Smith, a business administration major, looks for in his breakfast. “I go with pretzel M&M’s, those things are really good,” he said about his on-the-go snack.

Hannah Martinez, a nursing major at CCM, takes that sweetness to the dark side “Dark chocolate is my car snack,” said Hannah. Dark chocolate has many reported health benefits, and sounds like a pretty luxurious way to kick off the day.

“I stop at like the Panera drive through, or like the Starbucks on route 10.” Communication major, Gabby Sapienza relies on the raw power of caffeine to get through the morning. “I usually don’t eat, eat at places like that, I usually just get a coffee or something like that.”

Commuter breakfast is a trial-and-error program, but there is no right or wrong answer. Whether it’s a carefully eaten waffle or some dessert for breakfast, the most important meal of the day looks different from car to car.

CCM joins stigma-free initiative

BY MIRANDA SPETACCINO 
Contributor

A resolution was passed April 27, 2016 by the Morris County Freeholders supporting the designation of Morris County as a Stigma-Free Community, focusing primarily on mental illness and substance abuse disorders. County College of Morris is one of the communities involved, joining the initiative about a month ago.

Stigma is “a mark of shame or discredit” as defined by Merriam-Webster, and according to the Morris County Stigma-Free Communities Initiative’s website, “stigma is the primary barrier to the achievement of wellness and recovery and full social integration.”

Laurie Becker, the Morris County mental health administrator, said that the focus of the Morris County Stigma-Free Communities Initiative is to cultivate an environment in which those struggling with mental illness and/or substance use disorders don’t feel they are being stigmatized. They are also focusing on educating the public on what those illnesses actually are.

“We want to make sure that everybody understands what those illness are and what they aren’t,” Becker said. “We’re hoping to provide a lot of good facts and information to dispel any myths.”

While the primary focus of the initiative is on the stigma surrounding mental illness and substance use disorders, it hopes to spread to other areas that have experienced stigma as well.

“Whoever feels that this is something that is of importance to them, we welcome,” Becker said. “We always say we’re inclusive, not exclusive.”

There are currently 13 towns in Morris County that have proclaimed themselves stigma-free, and the goal of the initiative is to have all 39 towns in the county, as well as corporations, agencies, and schools to be involved, Becker said. CCM is one of the most recent to have joined the Morris County Stigma-Free Communities Initiative.

Lisa Volante, a counselor in CCM’s Counseling Services office, said that the campus’ stigma-free designation is young, and that everyone is still becoming educated on what it means, exactly.

“[The initiative] is community wide, going through all the clubs, the faculty and the staff,” Volante said. “It’s something that the whole school will have to contribute to and be on board [with]. It is a process.”

As for CCM students that may be trying to cope with mental illness and/or substance-use disorders, the counselors at the counseling office are all licensed professional counselors and are more than willing to help, stigma-free.

Volante assured that everything said to a counselor in the office is kept confidential, unless it becomes apparent that a person is a danger to themselves or others, as is standard across all therapeutic practices, which shouldn’t deter students from seeking help.

While the counseling office usually works with students in need for a semester or two, they can refer those that require more intensive help to many other resources in the community that are available.

Michelle Johnson, a liberal arts major at CCM, said that she has seen the green stigma-free logo in towns outside of Morris County, and is glad to hear about the Morris County Stigma-Free Communities Initiative as well as CCM’s involvement in it.

“I love the idea of living in an inclusive, non-discriminatory environment,” Johnson said. “Everyone should feel safe enough to ask for help, especially at school.”

The next Morris County Stigma-Free Communities Initiative meeting will take place Thursday, April 6 at 2:30 p.m. with the location to be announced. To stay updated, or for more information on the initiative, visit the Stigma-Free Communities Initiative’s website at: http://hs.morriscountynj.gov/stigma-free/.

Travel teaches students culture

BY VALENTINA MARMELEJO

Features Writer

“My initial feelings when entering Langa were sorrow, and almost a feeling of guilt as being an outsider. I felt guilty because once the tour was over I could go back to a life of luxury, while they will always be there.” Hope Motzenbecker, a communication major at County College of Morris, spent her spring break visiting Cape Town, South Africa.

On her trip, she explored some of South Africa’s hiking trails and picturesque views, but she says that the most memorable part of the trip was her visit to a township called Langa. A township is a term normally used in South Africa to refer to the often underdeveloped urban living areas that, from the late 19th century until the end of apartheid, were reserved for non-white residents.

Motzenbecker described the majority of the homes in Langa as huts made of scraps of metal. The people that wanted electricity wired their homes themselves. Motzenbecker said that the people of Langa did not have running water or plumbing, so they would wait on a long line in order to use portable toilets.

“It was a very moving experience,” Motzenbecker said. “I learned a lot. It not only made me feel fortunate for what I have, but it also made me more aware of what South Africans went through during apartheid.”

While her trip brought Motzenbecker closer to history, other CCM students took different messages away from their trips abroad.

“They live a simpler life and they appreciate the little things,” said Saira Islam, biology major at CCM, about her trip to visit her family in Pakistan. She said that the people she encountered through her family were friendly and made her feel comfortable even though she was considered a foreigner.

Islam said she recalled how happy her grandparents and their neighbors were when it rained in their village for the first time in four years.

Nina Thoguluva, a chemistry major at CCM, echoed similar sentiments regarding a vacation she had taken to Cancun, Mexico.

“The people were, I don’t know if humble is the right word, but they seemed like they were just trying to get through the day,” Thoguluva said.

Thoguluva described one day where she and her family decided to ride bikes outside of their resort. She said she noticed that the roads were unpaved and that the small houses outside had a lack of structure, which stood out compared to the comparative wealth of her resort and the U.S. as a whole.

“I think it’s important to travel outside of the country because it helps you get a different perspective on life,” Thoguluva said.

By Valentina Marmolejo

Features Writer

“My initial feelings when entering Langa were sorrow, and almost a feeling of guilt as being an outsider. I felt guilty because once the tour was over I could go back to a life of luxury, while they will always be there.” Hope Motzenbecker, a communication major at County College of Morris, spent her spring break visiting Cape Town, South Africa.

On her trip, she explored some of South Africa’s hiking trails and picturesque views, but she says that the most memorable part of the trip was her visit to a township called Langa. A township is a term normally used in South Africa to refer to the often underdeveloped urban living areas that, from the late 19th century until the end of apartheid, were reserved for non-white residents.

Motzenbecker described the majority of the homes in Langa as huts made of scraps of metal. The people that wanted electricity wired their homes themselves. Motzenbecker said that the people of Langa did not have running water or plumbing, so they would wait on a long line in order to use portable toilets.

“It was a very moving experience,” Motzenbecker said. “I learned a lot. It not only made me feel fortunate for what I have, but it also made me more aware of what South Africans went through during apartheid.”

While her trip brought Motzenbecker closer to history, other CCM students took different messages away from their trips abroad.

“They live a simpler life and they appreciate the little things,” said Saira Islam, biology major at CCM, about her trip to visit her family in Pakistan. She said that the people she encountered through her family were friendly and made her feel comfortable even though she was considered a foreigner.

Islam said she recalled how happy her grandparents and their neighbors were when it rained in their village for the first time in four years.

Nina Thoguluva, a chemistry major at CCM, echoed similar sentiments regarding a vacation she had taken to Cancun, Mexico.

“The people were, I don’t know if humble is the right word, but they seemed like they were just trying to get through the day,” Thoguluva said.

Thoguluva described one day where she and her family decided to ride bikes outside of their resort. She said she noticed that the roads were unpaved and that the small houses outside had a lack of structure, which stood out compared to the comparative wealth of her resort and the U.S. as a whole.

“I think it’s important to travel outside of the country because it helps you get a different perspective on life,” Thoguluva said.

Asbestos removed from DeMare Hall

BY DAN BRODHEAD
Staff Writer

County College of Morris had a toxin scare over spring break when asbestos was discovered in DeMare Hall.

In DeMare Hall Suite 100, asbestos was found in non-friable floor tiles. The removal began on Monday, March 13 and completed on Wednesday, March 15 by Jupiter Environmental Services Inc. A third-party firm, Whitman Companies Inc., monitored work and provided air sampling tests and results to ensure there was no airborne asbestos during renovation.

Asbestos is the name given to a group of materials that occur naturally in the environment as bundles of fibers that can be separated into thin, durable threads. These fibers do not conduct electricity, and are resistant to heat, fire and chemicals. For these reasons, they were often desirable to construction companies.

The potential for an asbestos-containing product to release breathable fibers depends on the degree of friability. Friable means that the material can be crumbled with hand pressure and can release fibers. Friable fibers can be found in fireproofing, insulation and soundproofing materials. Non-friable materials can be found in floor tiles and roofing, unless aggressive operations such as sanding or sawing are performed in which case the fibers are released.

“At the beginning of the work, the fire alarm was inadvertently set off by a carpet removal tool overheating a patch of the old carpet” said Karen VanDerhoof, vice president of business and finance at CCM. “When the space was reopened, there was an odor from the citrus based cleaner that was noticed in the building. Thanks to it being quickly reported, the area was resealed and an exhaust fan was installed to further ventilate the space.”

Asbestos is fairly common in older buildings in floor tiles and pipe elbows, according to Glenn Hamilton, college architect and director of facilities planning at CCM.

“CCM has performed an asbestos inventory in November of 2000, which is updated as we remove asbestos during construction and renovation work,” Hamilton said. “All Plant and Maintenance staff are trained in OSHA asbestos awareness each year. The next training session is scheduled for October 6, 2017.”

The renovation of DeMare Hall Suite 100, where the old music department was located, removed all remaining traces of asbestos. Hamilton said that the area is safe for students to be around.

“Everyone is exposed to asbestos at some time during their life,” Hamilton said. “Low levels of asbestos are present in the air, water, and soil.”

‘Diverse’ dancing focus of showcase

BY LINDSEY MEDWIN
Contributor

Incorporating both variety and collaboration into this year’s annual main stage production, the Department of Music, Dance and Performing Arts hosted a performance unlike any other at CCM.

The Dance Theatre Showcase, held Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4, was one of three dance concerts the program puts on throughout the academic year. It is the only one, though, which takes place on the Dragonetti Auditorium stage. That means it requires a lot of time and effort for preparing the 15 different dances featured this year.

“Some of the pieces we actually started rehearsing over winter break,” said Noelle Cappuzzo, a double major in dance and musical theatre major and one of the leading performers in the showcase, noting that some pieces took up to 46 hours to finalize.

The extensive preparation for this event, though, is not just to perfect the pieces, but also to create them. Professor Terence Duncan, director of the event, noted that all of the dances were formulated from, “all original and self produced work”.

One dance in particular that left an outstanding mark on the production was entitled, “Departed Dearly”, choreographed by Christina Polluci. This 16 minute duet conveyed a dark, yet humbling story of two sisters journey together up until their deaths through the beauty of dance. This complex number and the story behind it was all inspired by Polluci’s vision of door, which was used throughout the piece. Cappuzzo and Sabrina Olivieri, another dance major at CCM, played the sisters in the duet.

“Christina did a really nice job of crafting a work that was both challenging and intricate,” Duncan said.

Polluci said that choreographing dances is not always easy, and that’s the point.

“The whole point of what we do as choreographers and choreographers of students is that we want them to succeed and have a positive experience, even if that means we have to struggle to get there,” Polluci said.

The initial development of some dances featured in the showcase stemmed from a collaboration the department had with the Garden State Dance Project, a New York dance school. The co-founder and artistic director of the project, and CCM alumnus, Eli  Kababa, personally trained with the students for several performances in New York, choreographing numbers featured at the concert.

Duncan said that working with the project was, “an opportunity to have a performance series in New York in January and present the work to New York city public school children.”

This experience enabled the students involved to expand their abilities and talents, to then present those skills to a local audience at CCM.

“It really helped me keep my technique balanced in all genres of dance,” Cappuzzo said.

The Dance Theatre Showcased extended this trend of collaboration by featuring some CCM musical theatre majors in a student choreographed piece entitled, “The Cellblock Tango.”

This was the first dance concert where different majors in the department were featured. This not only gave some variety to the concert, but also allowed everyone involved to work together and create a fantastic opening number to the second act of the concert.

Gabe Weiss, one of the actors featured, noted that it was great working with, “people that really care about the program,” and by bringing different walks of life together, it made the Department of Music, Dance and Performing arts a far more, “well rounded program’

“I have to say, this has to be one of the best showcases we had because there was so much diversity in dance and do so many different things,” Cappuzzo said.

Muslim Student Association embraces technology at second meeting

BY MARIA CASALINO
Contributor

The Muslim Student Association continued its strong presence on campus at its second meeting.

Jannat Sheikh and Aaron Bosloper, president and vice president of the MSA, hosted their second club meeting on March 9 at 12:30 p.m.

Unlike the initiation meeting back in February, there was a huge turnout totaling approximately 14 new student members; the majority actively practicing the Islam religion, others merely attending to educate themselves and learn more about Islam and the Islam religion as a whole.

“I am really happy with the turnout,” Sheikh said. “A lot of people gathered together and spoke about Islam and answered questions about Islam. I feel this is going to be really successful in the CCM community because we are spreading knowledge through the MSA.”

Group members discussed a myriad of topics over pizza and soda including the misconceptions surrounding Islam, the differences between Christianity and Islam, and the various apps that iPhone users can download to learn more about the religion.

“The apps including Noble Quran, Muslim Pro, and Quran Pro are good because they give you different translations from English to Arabic with a teleprompter and Arabic pronunciations,” said Sam Abdella, computer science and information security major and fellow CCM student.

Whether eager to learn about the Islamic culture or striving to speak out about the misconceptions, fellow CCM students are coming together at weekly MSA meetings to discuss a variety of areas surrounding the culture and religion.

Looking ahead, the MSA will continue to host Thursday club meetings in Cohen Hall and plan for upcoming events including the Muslim Awareness Week aimed to educate the CCM student body.

Public safety skips state licensing

Officials say the school is exempt

BY BRETT FRIEDENSOHN
News Editor

The public safety department at County College of Morris does not require its security officers to be licensed through the New Jersey Security Registration Act of 2007 (SORA), and according to public safety director Harvey Jackson that isn’t an issue.

In addition, most of CCM’s security officers only receive first aid training and mental health screenings upon hiring.
Jackson said that his department does more than just security, and therefore is not required to submit to SORA licensing.  

SORA states that all organizations who fall under the classification of “security officer company” must have the organization and all of its officers licensed according to SORA.

SORA defines “security officer company” as “any body, board, person, firm, corporation, partnership, proprietorship, joint venture, fund, authority or similar entity that is organized for the purpose of or primarily engages in the business of furnishing for a fee, hire, reward or compensation one or more security officers . The term shall include any business of watch, guard or patrol agency.”

The act explicitly excludes government agencies and school districts from preschool to high school but not colleges.

Jackson said that his department does not qualify as a “security officer company,” and therefore, his officers are not required to hold valid SORA licenses. He said that since public safety is a department under CCM and CCM does more than just security, the college is not a security officer company and neither is public safety.

“A security officer company, that’s all they do is security,” Jackson said. “A proprietary can have his own security officer, but it’s run by the proprietary; it’s not a security officer company. What that says is that a security officer company has to be licensed. If I want to be a private detective, I have to be licenced, but any business – Macy’s – that is not a security officer company has a right to protect its boundaries with security officers.”

The New Jersey Guard Training Academy, which says that it is the largest company which trains people looking to attain SORA licenses to work as security guards in New Jersey, has different views.

“As of 2007, SORA training is mandated for all contract security positions throughout New Jersey,” the agency says on its website. “Unfortunately some companies will hire people without a SORA license. The unknowing security officer will be fined $1,000 and could be barred from working security in the future. Some companies try to get around this by changing their title, however, the officer will still be held liable for the fine.”

Jackson said that when the law was first enacted, he and representatives of security departments of other New Jersey colleges told state legislators that they would not require their officers to be licensed according to SORA.

“We as a group of state college directors, we went straight to state legislature and said, ‘Look, we have our own training, and we don’t intend to use guns,’” Jackson said. “And they’re teaching commercial training; we’re teaching training for colleges, and so, we were sanctioned by the state police long before SORA started, and we still are.”

Jackson said that most of his officers receive little training when hired because most of them are retired police officers and therefore do not need training; all of his officers receive first aid training and mental health examinations. He said that the few officers who do receive additional training undergo the New Jersey College and University Police and Security Training course at Rutgers University, a 40-hour course, the cost of which comes out of public safety’s budget granted by the college. According to Rutgers’ website, the college requires all of its security officers to “receive more than 40 hours of formal training through the New Jersey College & University Public Safety Association (CUPSA) prior to assignment of duties.”

“Do I send officers there? Not as much as I used to, simply because I changed my hiring practices, and what I mean by that is if I hire an officer with hardly any training, they have to have some security training because if the security training is out of a Macy’s or something like that, I’d look at that officer and probably send him to that class,” Jackson said. “The other officers that I hire more of are retired police officers, so it’s not necessary to send them to that class.”

Compliance with SORA can get expensive. The act states that all owners of security officer companies on initial registration must pay a $300 application fee, a $5,000 surety bond, and a $500 licence fee. The licence must be renewed every two years, and the licence renewal fee is $200.
Costs also come with licensing every security guard as they are required under SORA to undergo training courses. The cost of a SORA training course for an officer’s initial registration at New Jersey Guard Training Academy range from approximately $85 to $140. A SORA licence is valid for two years, according to the SORA law. The cost of recertification courses ranges from approximately $45 to $65 with the New Jersey Guard Training Academy.

A CCM student who chose to remain anonymous said that around the summer of 2015, he inquired about working as a security officer at CCM, but when he showed his SORA licence, he was surprised to learn that none of the officers had the licence. He currently works as a security guard at the Whitlock Packaging Corporation and is outsourced by US Security Associates. He said that he was required to show a SORA licence before working there, and if he does not get a new one after expiration, he will be suspended without pay until he gets a new one.

Michael Jungreis contributed to this story.