Feminist Book Club offers safe environment for literary discussion

By Charlotte Channell


Feminist Book Club members hold a meeting in the lower level of the Learning Resource Center. Photo courtesy of: Chloe Smith

The Feminist Book Club at County College of Morris addresses the multitude of struggles women have faced throughout history by picking books to aid in weekly discussion.

Chloe Smith, founder and president of the Feminist Book Club, said she felt as though CCM was in dire need of a safe space for students to read and discuss stimulating literature. At the start of the spring 2017 semester, she took it upon herself to organize the group, and it has been active ever since.

“My favorite kind of literature is feminist women’s literature, so I thought I’d make that specification so we would be reading those kinds of books,” Smith said. “I took a women’s studies class my senior year, and it really got me into the topic.”

“One of the first books we did, ‘She’s Come Undone’ by Wally Lamb, talked about sexual assault, which is a huge topic right now,” Smith said.

This semester, the club is reading Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’, a dystopian novel that explores patriarchal society while also addressing sexual abuse.

The latter theme was Carol Mathusek’s inspiration for joining the book club, this inspiration eventually leading to her becoming the vice president.

“I know women who have been the victims of sexual violence, so I’ve always held that feminist ideology close to heart,” Mathusek said.

After taking a Women’s Studies class at CCM, she said her eyes were opened to the prevalence of gender roles in today’s society, and she found solace in the book club.

“We are in an age where women are so objectified, and despite our greatest efforts, women are not moving forward,” she said. “I think it’s important to have an atmosphere at the school where women, and even men, can get together and talk about issues that really matter.”

The club’s faculty adviser and CCM English professor Dr. Philip Chase, said he also finds the discussion of these heavy topics to be extremely valuable, especially as the discourse stems from such inspiring literature.

“The club provides a space for students to talk about books in a situation where there’s no pressure from grades; it’s just a pure love of reading,” Chase said. “It’s also important to talk about books with the feminist lens in mind, knowing that we live in a society that is still not entirely equal.”

Chase hopes the book club will continue to flourish in the coming years and that students will take advantage of the many benefits it has to offer.

“Almost 100 years after women got the vote, there are still things that need some sorting, and a feminist approach, not just to literature, but to life, is vital,” Chase said.


Student artwork on display at CCM gallery

By Deanna Roma
News Editor

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Photos by Deanna Roma

County College of Morris’ Art and Design Gallery is decking its walls with student artwork with three exhibits in April and May when members of the public can view the pieces in the lower level of the Learning Resource Center for free.

The Art Club Spring Exhibit ended Friday, April 13, followed by the photography program’s thesis exhibit set to close Friday, April 27. CCM’s “best of the best” student exhibition will run Friday, May 4 to Friday, May 18.

“The annual exhibition provides an opportunity for the community to view outstanding artwork,” said gallery director Todd Doney, an art and design professor at CCM. “Each program will be on display [and] represent each area of the CCM department of art and design.”

The whole exhibit is sponsored by CCM’s Art Club and all featured art is the work of CCM students.

“This project is a lot about identity,” said photography technology major Claire Neely. “I think all of our work here is about identity. Everyone here has kind of picked something that they are passionate about.”

Neely said that photography is a longtime passion of his.

“I have been taking pictures for a very long time,” Neely said. “I come from a family of photographers, so it’s kind of in my blood.”

All artwork entered can potentially be awarded one out of four prizes: Best in Show, Award of Merit, Honorable Mention and the 2018 Scholarship Gala Purchase Award. As for the winner of the Gala Award, the student’s artwork will be purchased by the art club and donated to the CCM Foundation which raises money for programs and scholarships at CCM. The art club’s donation goes directly to the Tony Lordi Scholarship Fund.

“The gallery opens up a big opportunity,” said gallery monitor Kathy Dodds. “It displays their work and it also shows that they have had their work in an establishment. I myself have had some of my artwork displayed in this gallery … It is very crucial that you get your artwork out there so people can see how good you are at your work. You can tell how hard the students have worked on their pieces.”

The thesis show will hold a reception at 5 p.m. Friday, April 27 under the guidance of professor Hrvoje Slovenc. The student exhibition reception runs at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 10.  The art and design gallery hours are Mondays and Wednesdays from noon to 5 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m., and Fridays from noon to 4 p.m.

Primary Primer: What students should know for upcoming House of Representatives elections

By Caroline O’Brien

Registered voters in six New Jersey Congressional districts will elect their party’s candidate for the November federal congressional midterm election Tuesday, June 5.

United States House Representatives serve two-year terms and are up for reelection every even year. Twelve New Jersey candidates will serve in the U.S. House, one from each congressional district.

U.S. House representative in District 11 since 1995, Rodney Frelinghuysen, announced he will not be seeking re-election in the district which encompasses County College of Morris and most of the rest of Morris County. This will guarantee change for New Jersey’s 11th district.

Neighboring districts with primaries in June include District 5 which includes most of Sussex, Warren, Bergen, and Passaic Counties where incumbent Josh Gottheimer hopes to represent the Democratic Party again. Also, incumbent republican Leonard Lance is seeking re-election in District 7 which encompasses most of Hunterdon and Somerset Counties, parts of Mercer County, and some Morris County municipalities including Mount Olive, Chester Township and Borough, Washington Township, Long Hill, and Chatham.

Mikie Sherrill, a Democratic candidate seeking election for District 11, is displeased with current policy makers.

“After promising not to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Rodney Frelinghuysen broke his word and voted with Donald Trump to end protections for preexisting conditions, let insurance companies charge individuals over 50 five times more than others, and to strip away health care from nearly 30,000 district residents,” her website says. “Rodney Frelinghuysen got in line and voted for Donald Trump’s tax plan that eliminates state and local tax deductions. This is a $4,000 tax increase for most families in our district. He sided with Donald Trump to defund planned parenthood, cut education funding, and has the worst environmental record of any member of the New Jersey delegation.”

Mark Washburne, a CCM history professor and Democratic candidate for District 11, said congress should do a better job of holding President Donald Trump accountable.

“In drafting the 1787 United States Constitution, our Founding Fathers anticipated that we would have a rogue President from time to time as they had experience dealing with rogue kings,” Washburne said. “They purposely established a three-branch government with checks and balances. The drafters of the Constitution assigned Congress the task of being the check on a rogue President … The current Congressman from New Jersey’s 11th District refuses to fulfill his Constitutional duties by speaking out and being a check on this rogue President.”

Tamara Harris, a Democrat seeking election, said she is confident in her adversity to current legislation. She  believes planning for the resiliency of our state and our nation will spur growth. Harris advocates research and development of green technology as means to provide new jobs and tax revenues.  She supports universal Pre-School to give more children across the country a fair opportunity to succeed. According to her campaign website, the GOP’s current budget plan would remove $2.4 billion in grants for teacher training and $1.2 billion in funding for summer and afterschool programs. Students need support from teachers who prepare them for their future beyond the classroom. Students need more options to graduate without debt and relieve existing debt. Undergraduate and graduate students need options for work while in school, including programs such as Federal Work-Study program. Harris will work to make higher education more affordable and accessible in NJ11’s college rich district. She believes in retaining functioning parts of the Affordable Care Act and fixing the parts that need improvement. She supports universal background checks on all gun purchases and banning assault weapons and prohibiting technology that increases a weapon’s rate of fire and destructive capabilities. She is Pro Choice, and pro-education for our teens as they begin to make life choices that can affect their physical and sexual health and economic viability. Harris also believes immigration system is broken, and needs to be fixed, replacing it with a safer and more accountable system that includes a path to citizenship for immigrants. Harris also supports continued investment in our roads, bridges, and tunnels, to ensure the safety of residents.

“Republicans in Congress recently passed a slew of tax cuts for the ultra-rich and big corporations that will burden New Jersey’s middle class and working families with higher taxes,” Harris said on her website. “The Republicans in Congress who vote for this tax-plan are sacrificing the middle class and creating extreme disparities in wealth that will impact economic mobility for generation to come. My advocacy for students, singles, families, and seniors requires me to stand firm against these Republican tax giveaways.”

Allison Heslin, a Democratic candidate seeking election, knows  collecting sufficient information is a critical first step to policy reform.  According to her website, Heslin advocates investing in renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, and reducing energy consumption through energy efficient technology while also creating jobs. In addition, she promotes modernizing waste management practices to divert organic waste into composting facilities to prevent a full 18 percent of methane emissions. Management and protection of our forests and oceans is crucial to support their natural role of absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere, while also supporting wildlife and biodiversity. She considers the Hudson River tunnel is a critical piece of regional and national infrastructure, which needs an immediate guarantee of federal funding contributions.  Heslin supports a tax system in which wealthy and corporations pay their fair share, in order to adequately fund public services without overburdening middle income earners. Heslins campaign also address’ different forms of institutional violence in order to create a more just society.

“Only half of undocumented migrants in the U.S. crossed the border illegally, the other half arrive legally through official points of entry and overstay their entry period,” Heslin said on her campaign website. “Additionally, of those apprehended by Border Patrol in 2016, less than half were from Mexico. The national focus on reducing undocumented populations by targeting Mexican migrants through increased border security does not match the reality of contemporary migration, and policy proposals based on this misrepresentation of migration will not address their stated purpose.”

Mitchell Cobert, a Democratic candidate, advocates funding by the federal government for the Gateway Tunnel Project, according to his campaign website. He plans to develop a fair immigration system protecting our national security and bipartisan solutions that benefit all and put immigrants, particularly Dreamers, on a path to citizenship. ​He believes in drug abuse preventions and cure over prisons and jails. Will work to ban offshore drilling and fracking and support transition to clean, solar, tidal and wind energy.  Cobert will fight any attempts to privatize Social Security and work to expand benefits for all recipients. He will also work to advance equal rights and opportunities of all persons with disabilities to help them fully realize their potential as contributing members of society.

Mikie Sherrill,  a Democratic candidate, calls climate change an economic and national security issue that affects all of us.  According to her website, she is a Naval Academy graduate, navy pilot, former federal prosecutor, and is ready to fight back against Trump. Sherrill supports access to affordable, quality education, healthcare, and will never support cuts to social security and Medicare. She believes the federal government should have no say on when, how, or with whom women decide to start a family. She also supports policy to keep guns out of the hands of violent criminals, domestic abusers, and terrorists.

As a Democrat seeking election, Washburne has relied only on voluntary sharing through social media and has declined all monetary donations for the primary election. If elected to Congress, Washburne said he will speak out and hold President Trump accountable for his often dangerous, unethical, and illegal behavior.  Washburne supports strengthening the Affordable Care Act to ensure more people are covered. According to his website, Washburne considers a landmark study in 1993 at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that bringing a gun into the home puts everyone at much greater risk. The National Rifle Association pushed Congress in 1995 to stop the C.D.C. from spending taxpayer money on research that advocated gun control. Congress passed the Dickey Amendment in 1996 and cut funding that effectively ended the C.D.C.’s study of gun violence as a public health issue. Washburne supports rescinding the Dickey Amendment and allowing the C.D.C. to be able to study firearm violence in the U.S. He also supports universal background checks before purchasing a firearm and gun  control measures to remove weapons meant for war off American streets.

According to his campaign website, Patrick Allocco, a Republican candidate, decided to take up the political torch that Rodney Frelinghuysen is putting down. He believes votes matter and District 11 deserves a fast and easy way of conveying thoughts on every bill presented to congress.

Peter de Neufville is a republican candidate seeking election to the U.S. House to represent the 11th Congressional District of New Jersey and, according to New Jersey Globe, wants to improve gun background check standards and combat national debt.

Antony Ghee, an investment banker and Army Reserve major, announced he is seeking election a day after Assemblyman Anthony Bucco announced he would not run for Congress.  His campaign website accepts contributions except from corporations. He has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration, with honors, from Virginia Union and my Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law. In addition, he received a Masters of Law from Georgetown University School of Law, specializing in Securities & Financial Regulation. He is currently employed as a director at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in the Global Wealth & Investment Management Chief Investment Office in New York City.

Martin Hewitt  is running as a Republican in order to serve all the people of District 11.  According to his website, Hewitt decided to run as a moderate Republican because, while he feels both parties have a strong heritage, it is the Republican Party that has lost its way. He is running as a moderate Republican after listening to many of the constituents who believe that Congressman Frelinghuysen no longer represents their best interests. He believes in freedom of speech and that all people have certain rights including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.  Hewitt advocates healthcare as a right for all people. He also believes the government should not dictate who to love or who to marry.

Jay Webber is a republican member of the New Jersey General Assembly, representing District 26. Webber was elected to the chamber in 2007 and was re-elected to a new term in 2017. His campaign website states Webber is leading the effort on transparency to put all of New Jersey’s taxpayer receipts and expenditures online for taxpayers to see. Webber is also leading the way in an innovative bipartisan effort to emphasize prevention and early treatment of chronic disease for public employees, which will improve the quality of outcomes for the employees and save money for taxpayers. Webber is an advocate for expanding educational opportunities for kids stuck in our lowest-performing schools, by giving them a chance to go to a school of their choice. As for higher education, he has proposed innovative ways to make college more affordable to students and their families, by allowing them to finance their educations in ways that will minimize student loan debt.

Polls are open June 5 from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.  If a New Jersey voter does not provide valid identification at the time of registration, he or she must show identification at the polling place, student IDs accepted.  Early voting permits residents to cast ballots in person at a polling place prior to an election. To vote absentee, an application may be submitted in person to county election officials until 3 p.m. June 4, or if sent by mail, it must be received by election officials no later than May 29.

Students learn the ropes at CCM Climbing Club

By Jonathan Rogoff


A climbing wall in Atlanta where the climbing club toured in 2014. Photo courtesy of: Facebook

The Climbing Club at County College of Morris offers students a chance to either try climbing for the first time or climb with a group of like-minded enthusiasts who have a passion for the sport.

The club aims to bring climbers together as a tight knit community and to draw as many people into climbing as possible, while fostering a healthy relationship with being active and climbing.

“There was a group of maybe about a dozen students who were super into climbing,” said Ian Colquhoun, a faculty member of the engineering technologies department and adviser to the Climbing Club.  “They wanted to form a club, so they looked at what the proper channels were and they needed a faculty adviser, and it just so happened that one of the students at the time was a student of mine. So that’s how it all kind of came about.”

Colquhoun, who used to be more of an avid climber but enjoys it more casually nowadays, said that indoor climbing is the perfect place for students to hone their climbing skills.

“It’s good to start indoors where it’s safe and fun and everything, and then once your skills get better, you can transition to outside, and get some more skills and a little more knowledge and some really close friends, and then all go and climb together,” Colquhoun said.

“The club started five years ago,” said Emma Plunkett, a member of the club and a liberal arts major at CCM.  “We know the people who started it, and we see them climbing sometimes at the place we go to which is nice because they want to see the club continue.  We meet at 8 p.m. at the Randolph Climbing Center and they allow us to climb there and give discounts to CCM students so that we can get the equipment cheaper.”

The club meets every Tuesday and Thursday and contains 19 people on the email list while nine people have been to club meetings and five people have been to the climbing center.

“We asked the boss of the climbing center, who is very generous, if they would mind giving us a discount,” said Tatiana Castellanos, an exercise science major at CCM.  “We are college students, and we are on a budget, and he said that it was no problem.”

Castellanos said that the climbing center even allowed the club to do a free night for people who are new to climbing, just to see what it is like and to get people aware of what climbing is.  Castellanos also added that a lot of students can be timid and hesitant when they see something they need to pay for, so it is nice that they can offer something for free because students will be more inclined to try it.

“I just got hooked,” Plunkett said.  “The reason I kept going was because everyone was so nice and welcoming that I fell in love with the actual sport of it, and now I’m super into it.”

Castellanos said that she is “obsessed” with climbing.

“I started when I was 18, so five years ago,” said Castellanos, who was working in gymnastics on the other side of the climbing center.  “I saw that we had a rock wall, and then one of the employees asked if I wanted to try it, and everyone there was so welcoming, and I tried it out … It’s basically just hanging out with your friends while doing something you all really like.”

Counseling center hosts series of events to raise awareness about sexual assault

By Amanda Edwards
Staff Writer

In honor of Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the Office of Counseling and Student Success presented a number of events between Thursday, April 12 and Wednesday, April 25, to raise awareness with the proceedings supported by the student clubs active minds, gender club, and LGBTQ+ club.


CCM student Matthew J. Bristol holds a promotional sign for the Counseling Center’s awareness campaign. Photo courtesy of: Facebook

The events were Teal Day, Spin The Wheel of Fact VS. Fiction, “No more” Campaign, and “Denim Day.”

These events were collectively designed, according to a release by the Office of Counseling and Student Success to “raise visibility, encourage conversation, and help break the social stigma surrounding sexual assault and violence.”

Kaitlin Dias, counselor at CCM, was one of the key organizers of the events.

“It affects us more than we know,” Dias said.

In fact, statistics from the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network, (RAINN) state, “Every year, there are approximately 237,868 victims of sexual assault; 1 in 6 women and 1 in 33 men in the U.S. will be a victim of sexual assault.”

Dias said that while this topic may make some people feel uncomfortable, students should access the counseling center’s services when necessary.

“This topic could be very triggering for those who are victims of sexual assault,” Dias said. “I understand that. Nevertheless, I strongly encourage all students to visit the Office of Student Services and Counselling, whether it is they themselves who need help, or they’re worried about a friend. Even if it was a case from before you attended CCM, I advise you to come. You are not alone, and we will support you in a non-judgemental way. This is also an opportunity to use your voice to prevent this from occurring again.”

At “Teal Day,” active minds president Stephanie Camacho related the purpose of the awareness campaign to the club’s mission to encourage mental health.

“Active Minds is keen on spreading awareness because we know that sexual harassment affects mental health,” Camacho said.

Also, as she encouraged students to sign the “No more” pledge, Active Minds Volunteer Allison Bratsch told the participants :“It’s okay not to be okay. Be strong.”

Vice president of Active Minds Raven Resch said she has struggled with a number of mental illnesses in the past.

“During those times I felt so isolated because no one wanted to be associated with the girl with the psychiatric problem,” Resch said. “It was hard, but I’ve recovered since then because of time social workers and psychologists have spent with me. Sometimes, it’s not the person that has the problem, but its trauma from the environment and I want to break the shame that the victim feels. I am passionate about spreading awareness about sexual assaults because I know what mental illnesses can do to someone’s life. Those times were difficult, but I also  wouldn’t change any of my flaws. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without those experiences, so I encourage others to seek help.”

Dias advises students who need help to call the National Sexual Assault Hotline to be connected to a trained staff member in their area. Their contact number is

800-656-HOPE (4673).

Counselors are available from 8:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Mondays and Thursdays and from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in SCC 118.  Students can also reach the Office of Counseling and Student Success by calling 973-328-5140, or email counseling@ccm.edu.”

White supremacist group’s propaganda found on campus, removed

Providence of posters, stickers, business cards under investigation

By Arianna Parks & Brett Friedensohn
Staff Writer, Editor-in-Chief

After a white nationalist campaign posted promotional material around the County College of Morris campus the weekend of Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25, CCM administration has taken steps to remove the propaganda and alert the community about the unsanctioned materials.

Article 4 Identity Evropa Header Image

Before removal, a white supremacist group’s propaganda rested
on a table in the Cohen Hall Cafeteria. Photo Courtesy of: Twitter

As part of the ongoing investigation, campus officials found footage of an individual who they suspect may have been behind the canvasings in the Student Community Center, Cohen Hall, and the patio outside the Music Technology Center.

Public safety surveillance has shown an unidentified male taking pictures of the propaganda which was taken down immediately by the college, according to CCM President Dr. Anthony Iacono. He said that since the administration was unable to find video of the suspect posting the paraphernalia.  CCM has chosen to not release his image.

Vice President of Student Development and Enrollment Management Dr. Bette Simmons said that the college was unsure if this individual was a student and that if the administration had proof of him posting the messages, they would have shared the surveillance footage with the Randolph police and look into prosecuting him with a bias crime.

Identity Evropa, a group which the Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League classify as a white supremacist hate group, posted Tweets showing pictures of propaganda campaigns at colleges in various parts of the country including CCM Wednesday, March 28, when the college decided to release statements consisting of social media posts and a mass email from Iacono to all students, faculty, adjuncts, staff, and administrators.

The group, established in 2016, targeted in its March campaign Rutgers University; University of Minnesota, Duluth; Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, Oklahoma; and University of California, Berkeley.

Simmons said that this is not the first time such material has appeared on campus, citing an incident where the college has been targeted with hate speech has occurred in the past few years including a live demonstration by a hate group in front of the Learning Resource Center. According to Simmons, during that incident fist fights almost broke out. CCM decided to publish an official statement on this incident because  the group made it public on social media.

“I think the one thing that is consistent here at CCM is that the moment we find out about whatever the organization’s doing, we act immediately,” Simmons said. “And so in this particular case, we knew that those posters had been here on campus over the weekend, and then, quickly over the weekend, we removed them. It wasn’t until the organization posted it on social media that the rest of the world, if you will, found out about it. And that’s pretty much been our action in the past is as soon as we find out that there’s graffiti on the walls or posters or people coming onto campus, we respond immediately. We may not necessarily communicate that out to the whole campus because it comes a point where we don’t need to.”

In his email on the incident sent to the campus community, Iacono stated that the college stands for inclusion and diversity. Iacono said he considered it an incident both “repulsive and unacceptable.” He said that anyone who finds more of the propaganda on campus should immediately contact public safety at 973-328-5550.

“It has no place at our college and should have no place in any corner of the world,” Iacono said. “Regardless of which group is being targeted, hate is hate and it is always wrong.”

Asian Student Association President Stephanie Yang said that the individual or individuals responsible for the propaganda posting should be ashamed of themselves.

“I’m very disappointed in why these people are just showing white supremacy in this school, and I am quite sad knowing that there’s people that are full of culture, full of life, I’m full of culture, full of life that I want to show my culture towards the school,” said Yang, an education psychology major at CCM. “But then, they’re just showing that and trying propaganda, that’s going to tear down the whole thing making racial comments and battles against one another.”

Yang said that she appreciated Iacono’s response to the situation.

“As I read it, I was like, ‘That’s very mature of him to say that,’ and he was also very calm,” Yang said. “I get the feeling that he was writing it in a sort of calming way to calm people down.”

Frankie Domoanico, a social sciences major, said that he finds this matter particularly interesting because he studies hate groups through organizations including the SPLC in his spare time and that it relates to his major and the courses he has taken in sociology.

“I can’t believe this,” Domoanico said. “[Iacono] is combating the issue, like ‘this is repulsive behavior,’ and it is.”

Dr. John Williford, chair of the psychology and education department and adviser to CCM’s Black Student Union said that while he disagrees with the groups’ arguments, the canvassing is important to ongoing cultural dialogue.

“I believe it is imperative to have discourse,” Williford said. “You listen to people, and then I think you rise above the fray and speak into people’s lives.”

Williford said that through discourse, cultures can learn from one another. As a student in elementary school he experienced a segregated school system. Being an advisor to the BSU at CCM, Williford guides his students to perpetuate love and participate in meaningful intercultural conversations.

“Don’t just shut people down,” Williford said. “Engage in fruitful discourse.”

Iacono said that Kathleen Burnet Eagan, director of marketing and public relations at CCM, helped him construct the college’s statements and that different branches of the college communicated in response to this.

“We sit down and meet with each other, so it’s not just Dr. Simmons’ area, it’s going to be communicated with my office, with Ms. Burnet Eagan, we meet with security, security, depending on what the issue is is going to communicate with local authorities, or we may contact other schools who are having this issue as well,” Iacono said.

Burnet Eagan said that communication strategies in these incidents depend on the specifics of the given incident.

“It depends very much upon the situation,” Burnet Eagan said. “In this case, we used social media because that’s where it was cropping up was on social media, mainly on Twitter, so we responded on Twitter and Facebook because we have a large audience on Facebook.”

Simmons, who handles student discipline, said that there are different appropriate ways one should handle hate speech in the classroom depending on the context and that in the appropriate setting, the classroom can be an appropriate place for civil discourse about these issues.

“It doesn’t mean that if someone’s really emotional about whatever their thoughts are, that means that we then would remove you from the class because it is spewing hate but rather how does a faculty member contains it in a way so that there is a healthy discourse and that it’s keeping to the discussion of the classroom,” Simmons said.

In some cases, however, Simmons said that these kinds of comments can be disruptive.

“If all of a sudden in a math class, a student starts blurting out things of this nature, we wonder, what’s the appropriateness of this in the classroom?” Simmons said. “So then, the student becomes disruptive. So there’s a difference between ‘I’m expressing my opinion’ and ‘I’m disrupting the teaching and learning environment.’ So the behavior of disruption would lead to ‘let’s pull you out and bring you over to my area.’”

Iacono, who began his career in higher education as a history professor at Indian River Community College in Fort Pierce, Florida in the 1990s, said that this type of mindset reflects a pattern in American history of discrimination of groups including Irish immigrants, African-Americans, and Native Americans.

“In a lot of ways the United States has made tremendous progress,” Iacono said. “Yet we have an enormous amount of work we still have to do in this country.”

CCM’s past lives on through long-tenured history professor

By Brett Friedensohn


Dr. Jim Bising, professor of history at CCM, attends his of office hours in DeMare Hall. Photo By: Brett Friedensohn

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this article initialed CCM’s faculty union as “FACCUM.” The correct initials are “FACCM.” The current version reflects that.

Two years after County College of Morris opened with Henderson Hall as its only academic building, CCM had not yet started on construction on DeMare Hall and Cohen Hall, and Dr. Sherman E. Masten was still the college’s inaugural president. It was November 1970 when Dr. Jim Bising’s beloved New York Giants played the Jets for the first time, and Bising taught his first class at CCM. Since then, Bising has taught history from the Medieval Era to the Modern Era for 48 of the college’s 50-year existence.

Born in Jersey City, New Jersey in 1937, Bising, founding president and current member of the Faculty Union of County College of Morris (FACCM), said that he has stayed involved with CCM for several reasons, including complacency and his health.

“You might call it inertia,” Bising said. “Also, there are worse places to be, and in the old days before Chris Christie, when the union was stronger here, raises were good. And it’s a convenient location, and climbing the stairs is good for the arthritis in my knees. So I’m getting exercise that I need. I could retire, but the couch is death. You often hear about people who die a couple of years after they retire. Jeez, they’re old. They’re gonna die. Others just become a coach potato, and that’s a fast road to death. I guess I like it here.”

Bising said that his arthritis plus other ailments caused by his aging have hindered him from doing all that he likes.

“I’m too old to be active in the union,” Bising said. “I’d probably like to do more. It’s just my eyes are bigger than my capacity, and I have to keep that in mind. I just move more slowly now than I used to. Old men used to annoy me, as I said, because they were so slow. Now, I’m an old man.”

Eric Hagee, a former student of Bising’s modern Europe class, served in active duty in the United States Army from January 2013 to May 2016 and said that Bising accurately depicts war in a way that students can easily understand.

“I think that he’s very knowledgeable, and he puts his own twist on a learning style, and I think it’s good because it keeps people interested and actually learning factual information,” said Hagee, a liberal arts major at CCM. “He’s very personable. He gives accurate depictions on what things are, not like dumbing it down but putting it layman’s terms, like saying something that happened back then that people nowadays wouldn’t understand.”

Bising said that he has had a lifelong fascination with war and history that started in his childhood.

“We were in World War II, and all the wartime propaganda went right in front of my face,” Bising said. “And my father worked on the New York waterfront … There was barbed wire everywhere, and there were sentries with rifles and bayonets. I thought it was great. I really thought this was great stuff.”

Bising studied as a European history major in college, graduating with a master’s degree from New York University in 1968 and a doctorate from NYU in 1972. He said that while he attended NYU, colleges would recruit history professors before 1969, when the job market for students studying history declined so much that it “resembled that of the Great Depression.”

He applied for full-time positions at many colleges, but all turned him down. With a part-time teaching job at Monmouth University, which paid him $2,000 per year, he lived with his parents until the end of the 1960s when a companion of his suggested that he apply to a local community college. Having never heard of community colleges before this, his companion explained the purpose of them, and he applied to several community colleges in the New York area. CCM was the only one to offer him a full-time position.

Bising taught his first class at CCM Monday, Nov. 11, 1970 after swearing to the college that he was not, nor had he ever been, a member of the American Nazi Party or the Communist Party of the United States of America.

Afterward, he began to notice what he found as injustices with the way CCM worked, and these prompted him to start the union.

“It took me a while to find out that, jee, three men and two women had been hired for the same academic year, which would be 1970-1971, and the men were started at $10,000,” Bising said. “Then, the woman I replaced was started at $8,500, and I got her salary. And I went, ‘What? What’s going on around here?’ I’m doing the same work. I was closing in on my Ph.D., and these other guys just had a minimal master’s, and I’m getting paid a lot less than they are.”

Bising said that the union has brought about some positive changes including higher wages for faculty, but he fears for the future of the union and said that the union should take a stronger stance on certain issues.

“Young people aren’t picking up the ball, and I think it’s essential for the health of the college to have faculty who take their professional betterment seriously,” Bising said. “The law that set up the county colleges: The state pays a third, the county pays a third, and each student pays a third of his tuition. The students are paying a lot more than a third with tuition because the political structure does not want to raise taxes, and I think that’s self-defeating.”

Dr. Matthew Jones, chair of the communication department and current president of FACCUM, said that he agreed with Bising in some ways.

“I agree with Dr. Bising’s statement concerning the consequences (to students and society) of failure to meet the original statutory funding obligations for community colleges. However, I would also say that young faculty are hard at work finding better ways to negotiate successfully with the administration and communicating the importance of supporting our community colleges beyond the boundaries of this campus. I would also point out that negotiation is a bilateral process and the responsibility of arriving at an equitable contract cannot fall squarely on one side of the bargaining table. Based on my past experience in negotiation, the process would benefit tremendously from increased transparency and autonomy on the part of the administration’s bargaining team.”

According to the New Jersey Council of Community Colleges, “New Jersey’s community colleges were founded on the basic funding principle of one-third, one-third, one-third – that is, one-third funding from the state, one-third funding from the counties, and one-third funding from tuition.” When CCM’s Board of Trustees agreed to raise the price of the college’s tuition in January 2017, CCM’s Vice President of Business and Finance Karen VanDerhoof told Youngtown that the hike came because New Jersey and Morris County refused to give the college necessary funding.

“I would anticipate as prices go up, utility prices go up, cost of living goes up, salary, and wages go up a little bit; then we’ll have to do a modest tuition increase down the road as well,” VanDerhoof said. “We don’t see the state or the county in the near future increasing their support.”

Early Youngtown records show Bising at a Board of Trustees meeting in March 1977 advocating on behalf of FACCM regarding a proposal to add a late afternoon class to the schedule. At the time, the latest classes ended at 4:45 p.m.

“Why does the board wish to extend the workday by adding an additional class which begins at 5 p.m. and lasts until 6:15 p.m.?” said Bising, who added that the proposal was “outside the scope of negotiation ruling.”

Brenna Hopler, a former student in Bising’s Modern Europe class, said that the professor helps her understand information better than most professors do.

“He’s fun, and he makes you remember things,” said Hopler, a liberal arts major. “It’s not that hard to study for this class because you already know what he’s talking about, I guess you can say.”

Bising has recited pertinents facts for his classes mostly from memory, he has been able to do this because he reads often.

“I read a lot, certain things that I like to concentrate on in class, and sometimes, I don’t like the way the textbook handles them, and I also have to keep in mind what students are capable of learning,” Bising said. “I think it’s better to learn a lot about a little than a little about a lot. If you spread it out to thinly, it will not adhere. Also, if you spread it to thickly, it will not adhere. Too much gasoline will flood a carburetor.”

Since the time he started at CCM, Bising said the college has changed “not as much as you would think.”

“There’s something about CCM students, I think maybe all, but one size does not fit all, and there a lot of varieties and variations in the student body as you are aware, and one thing that annoys me is on the first day of class, to see the people who sit in the back row because they’re trying to hide,” Bising said. “And they’re making that obvious, and so I know that they’re not very bright. If, let’s say, police were looking for you, and you were walking down the street in Dover, and you see policemen in uniform come toward you. The worst thing that you could do is turn around and run because he’d probably notice you and probably start chasing you … Sit up front. Pay attention. Take notes. If you don’t understand something, raise your hand and ask. Do not let let anything go by you because Heaven forbid. If you’re in a business, and you do that, you could cause a disaster. If you’re in your professional life, what if you’re around moving machinery or moving equipment and someone gives an explanation you don’t understand? And that can lead to injury or death or serious damage to equipment. You know what I mean? You can be responsible for crippling someone, and you don’t want to go through life knowing that.”

Bising has continually visited France since the summer of 1959 between his junior and senior years of college. He has since learned how to speak French fluently and now has a house there. Because of health concerns, 2016 was the first year since 1990 that he did not visit the European country. However, he did say that he enjoyed his visit in the summer of 2017.

“To me, being in France is what Bill Parcells once described as ‘the big game thrill,’” Bising said. “I get out of the airport into the city of Paris, and for me, that’s a big game thrill. And I want more.”

Bising said that France has impressed him since his first visit there when he found himself at awe with the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris.

“It was and remains impressive, and for 57 years now, I still find myself going back there often,” Bising said. “I can’t stay away … It’s like a magnet pulling in iron filings.”

Bising said that one of his regrets in life is not having children although he enjoys spending time with his nieces and nephews.

SATIRE: CCM going green with legal on-campus weed, new ‘history of hemp’ class, vaping team

By Caroline O’Brien

Ahead of New Jersey’s legalization of marijuana as promised by newly inaugurated governor Phil Murphy, County College of Morris has decided Tuesday, April 10 at to ignore legal jurisdiction and its own smoking policy by legalizing the sale and recreational use of marijuana on campus.

Additionally, the college has implemented its first history of hemp course, which meets at 4:20 p.m. whatever day of the week they get around to it, and the athletic department has endorsed a newly formed elite vape team.

While implementing a new resource to combat climate change, landscaping and horticultural technology students now have access to hands-on experience and quality education in the rapidly growing cannabis industry.

Students may purchase and use a variety of products including flower, oil, and vaporizers.

The Cannabis Company of Morris is located in the abandoned cafeteria in the student union. CCM is still a smoke free campus.

While cannabis has no carcinogenic properties, exposure to extreme heat is a carcinogen. Therefore, Cannabis Company of Morris provides vaporizers, as suggested by experts, for increased temperature control as well as tinctures for topical application and edibles.

CBD and THC combined with other natural oils such as lavender, mint, and lemon imitate chemicals naturally found in human and animal anatomy. The chemical compounds found in these oils stimulate cells to trigger homeostasis.

Tom Chong, an engineering student at CCM, is the captain of the Morris Elite Vape team.

“It was just a matter of mind, or time or something like that,” Chong said. “You know, like, I’m just happy we can all pursue our passion without fear of persecution.”

Ross Crespo, an adjunct professor at CCM, is not in favor of the new ordinance.

“This is a terrible idea,” he said.

Reggie Buds, a horticulture student at CCM, is taking CCM’s first history of hemp course.

“It’s been used for over 10,000 years,” Buds said. “It’s stronger, cheaper, and more durable than cotton and when grown organically has many environmental benefits. If it weren’t for current federal laws, this industry would be a gold mine.”

One hectare of cannabis absorbs 22 tonnes of greenhouse emissions while adding nutrients to the soil, making it excellent for crop rotation. This will increase crop yields to supply the Cohen Hall Cafeteria.

One acre of cannabis can produce 8,000 lbs. of seeds yielding over 300 gallons of oil that can be used as a biodiesel fuel with zero carbon emissions. The byproduct of this oil production is high protein hemp powder. This powder will be utilized in baked goods on campus in the transition to plant-based protein.

On Friday, April 20, Cannabis Company of Morris and the Morris Elite Vaping team are hosting an event in front of the student union. The goal is to blow a record breaking vape cloud. High Times Magazine will be there to take record.

SAPB game show undaunted by snow

By Chloe Smith

While a delayed opening for snow left County College of Morris’ buildings empty the the morning of Monday, April 3, by 12:30 p.m., the Student Community Center lobby had a crowd of people with remote controls in hand, competing in trivia and other activities for a cash prize.


Andreas Mathikolonis, the winner of the game show “Think Fast!” Photo by: Brett Friedensohn

Students that participated were singing, dancing, and debating in order to win $200 in “Think Fast!,” a game show event hosted by the Student Activities Programming Board. Two big screens were put up to display multiple choice trivia, video clues and other challenges.

Jared Danquah, a double major in business and engineering is a member of SAPB, and was also among the students competing for the money. Part of Danquah’s job as a club member was to advertise the game show that morning.

“I was just doing my job passing out the flyers and talking more about it,” he said.

Danquah said he was enthusiastic about the game and ended up getting a high score by the end.

“I stayed in the top ten for a long time,” he said.

Sean Callaghan, a fine arts major, did not spend a lot of time on the leaderboard. While he enjoyed the experience, he said he was stumped by many of the questions asked by the announcer.

“It was a lot of random questions you wouldn’t expect,” he said. “I did not score high.”

Callaghan did not seem to catch his stride in the competition. It required not only pop culture knowledge, but also a fast hand.

Andreas Mathikolonis, a game development major, was the winner of the game show.

In the final round, four students went up to the stage and answered a series of pop culture trivia questions. Mathikolonis was quick to ring in, beating the runner-up by 200 points.

Throughout the competition there were challenges that helped get bonus points. Mathikolonis ended up singing in front of the crowd which gave him the lead.

As far as strategy went, Mathikolonis said he kept things simple.

“I just looked at the question, and if I knew it, I answered it,” Mathikolonis said. “I feel good, I mean I won two hundred dollars.”

Mathikolonis was not sure what he would end up doing with the prize money.

“I don’t know, maybe if I needed extra classes I might pay for it with that, or maybe I’ll find something nice for myself,” Mathikolonis said.

Physical fitness competition to test students’ endurance, speed, strength

By Amanda Edwards
Staff Writer

The Exercise Science Club at County College of Morris plans to host its third bi-annual Mr. and Ms. Fit Competition, a student fitness contest which includes one mile run, shuttle runs, and sit up contests, Tuesday, April 17 in the Health and Physical Education building gymnasium.

According to Dr. Michael Paul, chairperson of exercise science at CCM and adviser of the exercise science club, the competition will be based on a 75-minute test.

“The test consists of a shuttle run, sit ups, chin ups or arm hangs for women, pushups and a one-mile endurance run,” Paul said. “After the time has expired, the winner will be chosen based on points accumulated … Though the task may appear daunting, it is a good opportunity for any student to test their overall fitness level.”

Exercise Science major Matthew Gregory has been the defending Mr. Fit Champion at CCM for three consecutive years.

“Back in high school, I didn’t know how unfit I was until I joined wrestling,” Gregory said. “It was that shocking realization that has fueled my passion to pursue fitness. Hence, I encourage CCM students to take advantage of this opportunity because if nothing else they will become aware of their fitness level. Ever since I found out, it’s as if a fire has been lit in me to improve myself, not only physically but in all other aspects of my life, including academics. It is truly an eye-opener, and I continue to participate to inspire others.”

Exercise Science Club President Haley Babus said that she will compete and encourages all students to attend.

“This competition is a great way to meet new people and share our love for exercise in a fun and competitive way,” Babus said. “I have both participated and proctored in the competition so I know. Regardless of what facet of exercise they excel in, there will be many activities for all participants to show their strengths.”

According to Professor Paul, this event has always had a good turn out in the past, so he anticipates the same for this semester. However, since the challenge must be completed in the allocated time, interested students are encouraged to contact him prior to the event. Students may email him at mpaul@ccm.edu.

The prizes for this year’s winners are customized T-shirts and $25 gift certificates to the campus store. The rain day for this event is April 19, 2018.