Through ending DACA, Trump wants to deport me from the only country I have ever known

By Erika Calle
Contributor

“Trump expected to announce end to Obama’s DACA program: The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is an American immigration policy that allowed some individuals who entered the country without their consent as minors to receive a renewable two-year period of deferred action from deportation which would allow these kids to be eligible for work permits, driver’s licenses, and to continue their educations to have careers. It may all coming to an end. What is next for the Dreamers?”

As I heard the reporter announce this, my heart dropped from shock. I myself am a Dreamer, and hearing this unexpected news, I started to wonder to myself, “What’s next? What am I going to do now? Is there anything I could do at all?”

In fact, there is. I have to be patient to make the right choices so that I won’t be so affected by this decision. My parents brought me to this country when I was six years old for a chance to have a better life than they had.  Now, all of a sudden at age 18, the only chance of me having a better life seems to be coming to an end.

Coming to the United States has given me nothing but positive outcomes. It has definitely changed my life for the better; in the U.S., DACA has only expanded the opportunities I had. Education, for one, is way more advanced. It gave me the opportunity to learn day-to-day knowledge, not only book-related but real-life scenarios. The job opportunity in this country is almost infinite; I can find just about any job that would help me gain a better work ethic.

Also, I have learned how to be more reliable within the work environment. The opportunity to stay in the U.S. has opened many doors, not only for myself, but for my family as well. It is rough living in a country where certain individuals don’t want immigrants to succeed in life. One would think they should be able to relate—having parents or being parents themselves, they should know that parents only want the best for their kids, as did my parents, who brought me to this country only wanting the best for me.

Education in the U.S. can’t be compared to that of my homeland, Ecuador. What is being taught in schools is much more advanced and reliable. Not that education in Ecuador or any other country isn’t reliable, but in the U.S., it is definitely backed up with more evidence, and the information is more credible. I was given the opportunity to start from the beginning; in first grade, I was able to learn English very well. This is an opportunity that many immigrants do not have. Being bilingual in the U.S. is a great advantage that I have; it definitely opens many more doors for me, compared with those who only know one language.

In addition, I learned the history of the U.S. and that “E Pluribus Unum” was established as the country’s official motto. It is Latin for “Out of many, one.” Initially, the term referred to the separate states forming into one Union, but it has expanded to signify many and various nationalities each bringing their strengths and customs and uniting into one culture to, let’s say, “make America great.” Immigration isn’t anything new to the United States. Whether it was immigration from Ireland in the 1840s and 1850s, from China in the 1860s and 1870s, or from Eastern Europe at the turn of the century, America has been and will continue to be a country of immigrants. It is the immigrants who have come to make America, have helped America prosper into what it is today, and can help it realize what it can become. It is the education that these immigrants have received and continue to receive that has made them the people who help America succeed as a whole. Education is a gift we immigrants receive, hoping to be able to use it in life for whatever career we choose to pursue. I myself will do my best to use it responsibly, such as many past immigrants did before me.

When my parents used to tell me, “You can become anything you want; work hard and believe in yourself,” I used to laugh it off and tell myself they were saying it so that I would do well in school and get a good job that paid well so that I could help them out. As I got older, I realized they weren’t just saying it; they actually meant it. After my education, having the opportunity to have a great job that I enjoy and that pays well is astounding. Once I turned 16 and I could work, I immediately applied to many jobs, not caring what the positions were. I wanted to make money for myself so that I did not have to keep asking my parents. I knew I didn’t want to receive something I had not earned. I have had three jobs ever since; most of the time, I work two at once. It is a lot managing two jobs and school at the same time, but it is a sacrifice I have to make to help out at home with bills and also, of course, to start becoming more independent myself. It is not only at school where I learn valuable lessons but also at my workplace. As I learn more life lessons and skills, they help out on a day-to-day basis. I learned how to manage my money more efficiently and how to treat other people, whether they are bosses, employees, or co-workers. I have also learned to act professionally and to never let any situation bring me down because, at the end of the day, I will get through it, and tomorrow is another day to become more successful if I work hard and put my mind to it.

Many kids who came or were brought here by their parents at a young age can relate when I say, “We don’t know any other life than the one we have in this country.” It is not our fault that our parents brought us into this country wanting us to have a better education and to become important in life. I was always told by my parents to be the better version of myself. I never quite understood it until I was about 10 years old. I realized it meant to always push myself to be better. Nothing in life is too hard. I have to believe in myself to get where I want to be, and I can achieve any goal I have in mind. I was given the opportunity to have and create a life in this country by my parents, and DACA helped by opening many doors for me and many other immigrants. Before DACA, I was just a dreamer, but when the law passed, I could actually act on my dreams and make them come true. Now it all may come to an end as Trump attempts to end DACA. However, that will not stop me or others in my situation to create better futures. Every day is a new day, and we will continue to fight to have equal opportunities because we are all the same, in the same country, trying to become the better versions of ourselves.

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SATIRE: Youngtown satire editor arrested, executed for sedition

By John Dumm
Satire Editor(?)

Following production of warrants for his arrest of on orders from the County College of Morris Board of Trustees, the Office of Campus Security has finally successfully detained academi-political dissident John Dumm as of Thursday, Oct. 19.

Following his arrest, he was placed on trial for inciting a rebellion against County College faculty, found guilty on all counts, and publically executed Friday, like 15 minutes after the game room closes, in the remains of the Student Center Cafe, via electrocution.

In the wake of this arguably necessary display of judicial authoritarianism, Youngtown staff members were asked to step forward with details on his transgressions, capture, and eventual death.

“Always knew that place was just chairs in the end, though this particular variant wasn’t exactly expected,” said Matthew J. Bristol, Youngtown distribution manager, psychology student, campus head of culinary economics, founding member and current chairman of the Communist Party of CCM, said. “Still, though, the subject of this interview, John Dumm was easily the most powerful idiot this school had on offer.”

Having been enlisted as John’s ‘beta-reader’ prior to submission for editing, Bristol has offered to share his thoughts on the factors leading to John’s arrest.

“Everyone just kind of forgot he was the satire editor, explicitly involved in satire, the ridiculous comedy column with the disclaimer and the quarantine page so it doesn’t get into the opinions of easily influenced children including himself. He wrote three pieces on economic anxiety knowing for a fact that that is the one emotion every community college student can be trusted to be able to feel, tugged on the wrong people’s heartstrings, and got chewed out for it. Next thing I hear, he’s setting up a multi-prong attack to destroy the Youngtown with an actual, honest-to-God pumpkin cult. I’m not gonna claim this wasn’t a completely disproportionate response, but with the toxicity in the game room, the pong room, and the entire Student Government Association these days, sometimes the horrific over executive mockery of justice just feels like a c-minus result. So long as we get the degree without dying, he’s an outlier, and I kinda expected something like this to happen anyways.”

Bristol said that he was close with Dumm in spite of his antics.

“I loved him like a brother, yes,” Bristol said. “And as to whether or not that ‘including himself’ bit referred to delirious forgetfulness or a puerile cognitive contextualizer that can and will warp under the strain of it’s own content, it’s both. He was exactly the kind of person who would write a blatant and surreal parody of factual events, come back to it the next day, and think ‘Legitimate News Publishing’, or ‘Revolutionary Thought, Praiseworthy, and Innovative,’ or, on less lucid days, ‘Food.’ I have seen him flip to the satire page and cram it into his mouth, as a chaser to a few rashers of bacon, a slice cauliflower pizza, and a half-cup of ‘activated almonds’.”

Brett Friedensohn, editor-in-chief of the Youngtown and the executive who first recruited Dumm for the Youngtown, had this to say in defense of his deceased colleague:

“Honestly, he was a hit, in the same way you might call an ACME-brand piano a hit,” Friedensohn said. “It runs like clockwork. He runs up to the literal half-hour of the deadline, pushes us some bizarre piece while telling us he dredged it out of a sewer somewhere, and comes to production meetings just to hyperventilate in a corner. And it wins fan mail! Callouts on the road between classes! Groupies, from near the game room, sometimes. Granted, these are game room groupies, but it was at least marginally better than death squads. Plus, he got Matthew to sling papers for us, so we’re pretty sure that qualifies him for Catholic sainthood. Really, he filled a hole that our last satire editor left in our hearts, and now we’re gonna have to get it looked at by a doctor or somesuch. We’re not insured. It’s ridiculous. By the way, who are you getting to collate these interviews into a cohesive article, anyway? Usually, it was John handling the, uh, inane meta-humor.”

Taking reports and collations to advance a hitherto-unknown position on his own death, John Dumm has compiled a retort and eulogy, listed below:

“I can neither confirm, nor deny the allegation. May God rest his soul, may his soul haunt his column, may his column inject visions of eight-pack abs and meticulously fluffed eyebrows into the CCM populace. Just let the Board of Trustees know: Everything I did, I did for memes alone.”

The questionably-animated remains of John Dumm were last seen picking up expensive microphones and dropping them, to unknown effect. If any students have information on this ghoul’s whereabouts, please contact the Youngtown Edition.

‘Pumpkin spice everything’ fad continues at CCM

By Rachael Coyman
Contributor

Throughout the course of fall in recent years, the pumpkin spice flavor rises in popularity, and some students at County College of Morris buy into this trend annually.

Starbucks

Students at LRC cafe which sells Starbucks products. Photo by Arianna Parks.

Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte, which turns 14 this year, is one of the oldest and most popular sources of the widely favored flavor.

The pumpkin spice latte is Starbucks’ most popular seasonal beverage, with more than 200 million sold since it was first established, according to the Washington Post. Starbucks’ pumpkin spice latte even has its own Twitter account, @TheRealPSL, where it has a well founded existence on social media.

“I will literally eat or drink anything pumpkin spice,” said Lauren Clarke, a nursing major at CCM.

During the fall, food manufacturers and grocery stores depend on pumpkin-flavored products to boost sales. Pumpkin spice is a mixture of pumpkin, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and ginger.

“You can eat as much pumpkin spice as you want,” said Elizabeth MacDonald, a liberal arts major. “I love baking pumpkin bread and putting chocolate chips on top.”

Cheerios has also come out with a limited-edition pumpkin spice flavored Cheerios. The Cheerios are advertised as “fall in a box” and a must have for all pantries.

Some other foods that are incorporating pumpkin spice for the fall season are Ghirardelli pumpkin spice caramel chocolate squares, Pumpkin Spice Oreo, Baileys pumpkin spice Irish cream, Pumpkin Spice Special K, Ben and Jerry’s Pumpkin cheesecake and many more.

Although it may seem like pumpkin spice is everyone’s fall flavor of choice, there are some people who have other preferences. Not everyone is jumping on the pumpkin spice bandwagon.

“I’ve tried pumpkin spice, but I don’t really like it,” said Evelyn Novena, a communication major. “I do love fall activities though, like going to wineries, pumpkin and apple picking, and Halloween.”

The pumpkin spice trend has also been incorporated into candy. Hershey has come out with Fall Harvest Kisses Pumpkin Spice. Therefore, it looks like there might be some pumpkin spice candy in the Halloween bags.

Fall favorites and trends make fall a tremendously popular season among CCM

students.

Five class registration tips from a CCM graduate

By Gina N. Fico
Staff Writer

It is that time already: registration for the spring 2018 semester. Registration can be a stressful time for many students for various reasons. Anticipation for graduation and work conflicts are leading concerns for students while selecting classes. The five following tips will help students to have a more fulfilling experience at County College of Morris.

  1. Choose how many days a week works best for you.

I cannot explain enough how going to CCM less than five days a week has benefited my college experience. Some students work better by getting all their classes done by only coming to campus two or three times a week. It makes going to school seem less mundane and provides them with more time to catch up with their studies and/or work. However, other students may find these long days tiring and may benefit from spreading their classes throughout the week. Whatever works for you, pursue it. It will really help with your outlook on school.

  1. Keep in mind certain courses are available only in certain semesters.

I graduated as a journalism student in spring after starting in fall 2014, and now, I am back for a media technology certificate. There were two classes in the journalism program that I remember having to take in certain semesters. Advanced journalism only ran in the fall, and editing and publication design only ran in the spring. It is important to be aware of this especially for students who have plans for gradation for a certain date. Make sure to keep in contact with your advisor about this this issue.

  1. Don’t wait too long.

I understand this one is very cliche, and you will hear it over and over again. But you can’t have a list of class registration tips without it. You wouldn’t believe how quickly classes, especially high demand classes like the remedial writing skills class, fill up. Get to signing up for classes as quickly as you can, and always keep in mind there is a deadline. Understand what this deadline means to avoid an extra charge or worst being denied to sign up for classes for the semester.

  1. Build strong relations with your advisor

Advisors are available to provide students with answers for selecting the right classes for the upcoming semester. Don’t fall in into the habit of just getting cleared by your advisor. Ask questions, and find out what classes will benefit you the most academically and eventually, professionally, and keep up to date on understanding transfer plans. It is also important to have good communication skills with your advisor about any stress or concerns you have about upcoming classes you are required to take.

  1. Don’t race your degree completion

It is always rewarding to quickly move on to the next planned chapters of life. However, do not stress yourself about finishing your degree in a certain amount of time. Remember to always to keep in mind the quality over quantity rule with education. If you cannot handle a heavy course load for any reason, limit yourself to how many classes you plan on taking. Don’t feel pressured to keep up with your classmates or friends to finish a degree.

I hope these five tips will ease the experience of registration. It can be difficult and frustrating at times, but these five aspects have helped me select the right classes and get the most out of my education at CCM. I wish all CCM student the best for the spring 2018 semester.

Students celebrate fall festivities at Art Club fundraiser

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

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By Arianna Parks
Photo Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

De-Stress Fest aims at helping students relax during midterm season

By Katie Coyne
Entertainment Editor

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Students de-stress by creating art. Photo by Katie Coyne

County College of Morris held a “De-stress Fest” which allowed students to participate in coloring and creative arts, meditation, pet therapy, and yoga during the week of Monday, Oct. 16.

The event was sponsored by CCM’s counseling center for student success, and the events were held in the Student Community Center.

Andrea Reyes, a Spanish teacher education major said that sleeping is what de-stresses her the most, but she enjoys art as well.

“I usually just draw letters and stuff,” Reyes said.

She also said that she was looking forward to going to the pet therapy event that CCM was having on Wednesday, Oct. 18.

Art therapy has been proven to help people regulate their emotions and cope with them. As reported in Psychology Today, “Many individuals reported that they learned to change their behavioral responses through the process of art expression”.

John Urgola, a counselor at CCM, said  coloring is a good way for students to be mindful.

“Well, I would say aside from it just being fun and relaxing, it can be used as a mindfulness exercise,” Urgola said. “Mindfulness is making sure one is in the present moment and not having wandering thoughts regarding the past or future.”

Ariella Panek, a CCM counselor, echoed Urgola’s sentiment on coloring.

“You’re not focusing on your midterm or making dinner; you’re focused on one color at a time,” Panek said.

Meditation, which was held on Tuesday, Oct. 17 is also a health conscious choice for de-stressing.

One way to meditate is with Japa Mala beads, which are an Indian method of meditation.  The beads are an ancient tool that was developed to keep the mind focused on the practice of meditation, hence also being a tool for practicing mindfulness. Using beads to pray and meditate started in the 8th Century B.C.E, and many different religions and spiritual practices still use beads today.

Trayer Run-Kowzen, a yoga professor at CCM, lead the yoga workshop Thursday, Oct. 19. Yoga is also proven to not only be anxiety reducing, but the method of exercise also has other health benefits tied to it, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. Researchers have found that those who practice yoga on a regular basis experienced reduced incidences of chronic back pain, a better sense of well-being and quality of life, improvement in heart health as well as moods, and better sleep quality.

Some students were looking forward to the pet therapy workshop which was held Wednesday, Oct. 18.  The human-animal bond has been proven to have many calming effects including decreased blood-pressure, reduced anxiety, and overall feelings of general well-being, according to the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

“Just a lot of de-stressing is soothing stimulation,” said Lisa Volante, a counselor at CCM.  “Petting [the dogs] can be a really soothing experience.”

Halfway through fall semester, cafe changes still cause unnecessary issues

By Brian Schnell
Features Editor

Two months have passed since County College of Morris drastically altered its cafeteria selections for higher prices and less variety, and many students have taken notice.

In late August, CCM replaced hot food selections in the Student Center and Quiznos in the Cohen Cafe with vending machines and a Chartwells monopoly.

Some students have said that the machines, namely the DigiTouch digital screen machines are dispensing the wrong items. Several of the machines have been reported to just take money and give nothing in return, just like that annoying ex we all have.

Mike Prestano, a music recording major at CCM, said that he had money refunded by the bookstore a few times when the DigiTouch machine incorrectly charged him. He said that a machine had accepted his payment and dispensed no food.

“It authorized my payment, and nothing happened, so that was pretty shitty,” Prestano said.

“I’d rather have the cafe back,” said graphic design major Julio Martinez III. “The pizza, mac n’ cheese, and pasta were better.”

Many students wish for the old cafe to be returned as the new vending machines seem to be a total bust.

“A myriad of problems,” said liberal arts major Zachary Pryer.

Vice President of Business and Finance Karen VanDerhoof did not respond to a request for comment.

It seems that despite the optimistic change in Cohen Cafe’s food selection options, there is no real hope in recapturing the sales of the previous semesters from the students. There is much agreement between students that as time goes on, the demand for the food in the cafe is lessening. The current demand seems to be too high for the cafe to handle even. Often, this results in a nasty bottleneck in the cafe as people wait for their food to be made during peak times, but during non peak times one can see lukewarm burgers, cold onion rings, and tater tots with a questionable taste.

The most outrage appears to be coming from students who become aware that the chicken tenders were removed from the cafe yet still are unable to believe that there is still a slowdown in the ability to consistently pump out good edible food.

“I’m disappointed; the chicken tenders were kind of a snack to eat since the burgers are too much and just eating fries sucks,” said Igor Ramos, a  business administration major.

The Cohen Cafe appears to be slowly removing options in an effort to keep up with the demand, yet by doing so the demand is driven down even further. Many students have expressed concern over this. The soups appear to be slowly vanishing into thin air as well as some sandwich options being removed, almost in favor of the expensive build-your-own system for salads. All of this without a notice or explanation. This drives many students towards the burgers, which in themselves cause a back up in preparation, causing a bigger bottleneck than multiple closed lanes on a highway.

The process of ordering food in the cafe could also use for a streamlining update. The cafe is always out of some sort of asian sauce or part of a secret formula, and students do not find this out until it’s too late and they are hassled by cafe staff to quickly change their order. This a major problem as a cafe should not be consistently running out of food multiple times each day, causing a back up and a lapse in the management of the crowds and overall demand.

Add in that there is barely one register open for students to pay for their food also shows that the cafe cannot keep up with the demand. Even when there is a massive line, the second register is usually not utilized. It seems as though the second register is more of a display item than a functioning cash register. Due to the huge crowd and backlog of people pooling in hopes of checking out and paying within that day, many students just walk through between the cash registers without paying for the food.

When the cafe is unable to handle the demand caused by the students, the students will go else where for food, which in turn will decrease the demand and lead to more and more problems. When this is added to the fact that affordable, better tasting, less sketchy. And better prepared food is available within walking distance, let alone a short drive, it’s the final backlogged, poorly prepared, lukewarm, disgusting nail in the cafe’s metaphorical coffin.

Club scheduling conflicts with student involvement

By: Philip Montanez
Contributor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Students struggle with work, school balance

By Tyler Barth
Staff Writer

Many County College of Morris students are struggling to find enough hours in the day to commute, attend classes and keep up with work both on and off campus.

Between the long distances some students have to travel to attend CCM and the lengthy hours of work, it can be a challenge for some students to find the time to do classwork.

Some students do not possess the financial stability required to attend CCM without a job. Cynthia Jaramillo, a business administration major, is used to long nights comprised of finishing schoolwork after a long shift.  She explained that she often went multi-day stints of no sleep between holding three jobs and living on her own,.

“I think it’s just like the ideal of, like, failure not being an option. You just, kind of like, make it happen,” Jaramillo said. “It would be ideal if I could just dedicate myself to school, and, I’d probably be number one in the college.”

Evelyn Collins, a liberal arts major who has been bartending for approximately five years, said  she worked so many hours in the first half of one semester that her supervisor granted her the second half of the semester off upon her request.

“Especially when you bartend, I mean, it makes it easy because you can just have all your classes during the morning and daytime, and then you bartend at night, but then you have no time to get your work done,” Collins said. “Time management is the big thing … You have to plan out when you’re going to do everything, and if you have a project, you don’t have the luxury of leaving it to the last second.”

On the other hand, nursing major Andrew Carlson said he finds not working during the semester advantageous. Carlson said that he has a summer job but does not work when school is in session.

“I’d rather graduate with a little bit of debt, maybe that’s not the only reason, than not graduate and have a part-time job,” Carlson said. “I find it very helpful to have the time to study. When my [working classmates] are trying to do the same homework that I’m doing, they’re like, ‘Yo, I’m swamped with work.’”

Officials working with CCM on fire code compliance

By Brett Friedensohn & Jannat Sheikh
Editor-in-Chief, Managing Editor

The New Jersey Division of Fire Safety has been working with Randolph Township’s fire code official to resolve County College of Morris’ outdated fire inspection certificates, according to Department of Community Affairs Communications Office Strategic Director Lisa Ryan.

Prep Lab

County College of Morris chemistry prep lab in Sheffield Hall. Photo by Brett Friedensohn.

Currently, there are multiple areas on campus with outdated fire inspection certificates. Updated certificates are required by the state to be posted.

Karen Vanderhoof, vice president of business and finance at CCM, said that after a meeting Monday, Oct. 23 with Randolph Fire Official Richard Briant, the two parties agreed that the college will take down outdated certificates and post updated ones in the Dragonetti Auditorium, the Davidson Rooms, the Health and Physical Education Building, the Cohen Cafe, the Learning Resource Center, the Plant and Maintenance Building, and the lecture halls in Sheffield Hall, Cohen Hall, and DeMare Hall.

Briant said he was in contact with a representative of the Division of Fire Safety to make sure the certificates are posted in the area or areas required by the code. Before a meeting with the division Monday, Oct. 30, he  He said that the purpose of it was “to have an agreement” with the Division of Fire Safety.

As of Tuesday, Oct. 31, outdated Uniform Fire Code Certificates of Inspection are still up in five areas on campus.

These areas are Sheffield Hall, Cohen Hall, Emeriti Hall, the Student Center Cafe, and the Student Community Center as a whole. The SCC has posted a Life Hazard Use Certificate of Registration which is made out to “County College of Morris Library” and expired Sunday, Nov. 5.

An expired certificate of inspection in the auditorium box office window was taken down, but an outdated Life Hazard Use Certificate of Registration is up in the hallway outside the box office as of Friday, Nov. 2. The certificate expired in 2014, is made out to “County College of Morris Library,” and does not indicate that it is registered for the auditorium.

Despite the majority of the campus’ science labs being situated in Sheffield Hall, VanDerhoof said that science labs do not fall under the building qualifications that would constitute the necessity for certificates posted. She said that public buildings that do require them are recreation centers and places of assembly and fuel dispensing.

Ryan said that classrooms qualify as places of assembly and did not specify if this applies to only K-12 or includes college. She said that science labs qualify as life hazard use buildings depending on “the quantities of waste or chemicals stored in the building.”

When asked to comment on Ryan’s statement, VanDerhoof said that code is very complex and specifies that classrooms for K-12 be inspected.

“The code also gives a lot of authority to the local fire official,” VanDerhoof said in an email. “We have always worked closely with our local code official.”

Youngtown publically disclosed eight outdated certificates Wednesday, Oct. 11. These certificates included the one in Sheffield Hall, which expired in 2010. Youngtown first reported on the issue in November 2016.

In the Oct. 11 report, CCM Compliance Officer Dawn Latincsics said that the college had in possession updated certificates for all CCM buildings but that there was no posting requirement. Briant and Department of Community Affairs Communications Director Tomari Petty, however, said that the law states otherwise. On Friday, Nov. 3, Latincsics clarified that the certificates are required to be posted in Life Hazard Use areas.

Latincsics also said that day that CCM will keep on record all updated fire certificates in the department of public safety instead of plastering them around the campus. Latincsics said that Briant spoke with a state representative who will allow CCM to keep all the certificates and registrations in a binder kept in the department of public safety available and accessible for anyone to view.

“That way, we don’t have to go running around remembering where the last person in charge of it stuck it on,” Latincsics said.

Each certificate of inspection states, “This certificate must be posted in a conspicuous location in the above premises.” The premise listed above this statement is the building to which the certificate is registered.

Before the meeting between VanDerhoof and Briant, Youngtown staff found one more area with an outdated certificate and four with no certificates posted at all.

The Davidson Rooms’ fire code certificate and Sterno use permit expired in 2013. They were both taken down by Monday, Oct. 23. The areas with no certificates posted were DeMare Hall, HPE, the LRC, and the Music Technology Center.

The Uniform Fire Safety Act of 1983 states that certain public buildings must be inspected periodically depending on their potential risk for fire-related incidents and that after an area is inspected, it must display a certificate of inspection in an inconspicuous location.

The act was first passed because of several multiple-death fires within the state, according to Petty.

On Jan. 19, 2000, three students were killed and 59 injured after a fire in a Seton Hall University residence hall fire; students who pleaded guilty said that they intended it as a prank, according to New Jersey Advance Media. Campus administrators said that the university was under complete compliance with the fire code, but since, the university has since made several fire safety strides including updating and installing sprinklers and banning smoking in all residence halls.

Briant returned to CCM at the end of October to reinspect violations he found over the summer and certificates have now been been issued for the building where corrective action has taken place.

Briant said there are a few buildings that share a violation that requires a specialized contractor to complete the work. He is allowing time for the work to be done, and the extension date is Sunday, Dec. 31. The certificate for Sheffield Hall is not issued due to the extension of time, according to Briant.

Latincsics said that a common violation at CCM is that sprayed on fireproofing insulation has fallen off of beams and that the college needs quotes from three vendors before work is done on this. She also said that Briant will need to return after Dec. 31 to insure that the correct changes are made. CCM will receive the most updated versions of the certificate for each building when it is completely satisfactory.

If any old certificates are found around campus, VanDerhoof and Latincsics said they would appreciate if it is brought to their attention and taken down. They can be reached respectively at kvanderhoof@ccm.edu and dlatincsics@ccm.edu. Latincsics said that she and representatives from public safety have looked around for outdated certificates to take down but have not been able to find many.

“For the life of me, I have no idea where they still might be,” Latincsics said.