Amanda Edwards

Clubs connect with college community at Welcome Back Bash

By Amanda Edwards
Contributor

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The Student Activities Planning Board provided sandwiches, music, and club recruitment tables for campus community members to stroll through at the Welcome Back Bash Thursday, Sept. 20.

Though delayed two days by inclement weather, hundreds of students and faculty came together to visit approximately 28 clubs.

Clubs ranged from honors societies like Phi Theta Kappa to academic clubs like the Math Club to cultural clubs like the Asian Students Association. The CCM Foundation Career Services and the CCM Foundation also occupied tables to apprise students of some of the many resources available to them. Additionally, CCM’s very own Titus the Titan made an appearance as a model of pride for the community.

Beyond the information furnished by clubs, there was a smorgasbord of activities for attendees to indulge in. These included free spin art, music, food, and drinks, courtesy of S.A.P.B. Each club had a unique array of pens, highlighters, sweets, and other novelties that attracted visitors strolling past their tables.

This year, approximately 28 student club leaders arranged their tables across the Learning Resource Center to welcome enthusiastic attendees.

Don Phelps, director of campus life, the office which coordinates clubs, said that the event is designed to celebrate each semester’s start and offer clubs the chance to recruit.

“It’s one thing to read about the clubs, but another thing to see them in person,” Phelps said. “Academics should always come first. But if students have extra time and fewer financial responsibilities, I recommend that they become involved. Being involved allows them the opportunity to practice the skills they learned in the classroom.”

S.A.P.B. president Angela Galvis-Cuellar said that it was a fun-filled time during the college hour when many friends got a chance to hang out.

“Everything is about time management and not leaving things until last minute,” Galvis-Cuellar said. “I myself feel overwhelmed sometimes since I am a full-time student athlete, work and am president of S.A.P.B. Sometimes all I need to keep everything in control is take a step back for a moment and just take a deep breath in. Before students get overwhelmed by getting involved on campus, make sure you find a balance and prioritize your responsibilities; then get involved. It doesn’t hurt to try.”

In the crowd was CCM president Dr. Anthony Iacono who said that the event was one of his favorite events in the school year and that he loves to see the diversity of the clubs.

“I really appreciate how students get involved and demonstrate their leadership potential,” Iacono said. “That’s a really important part of our college culture.”

Liam Shamhart, student developer of the CCM mobile app, hosted a table to promote the app.

“The CCM mobile app is also important as it has Blackboard, Titans Direct, and a school map to find classes,” he said.

Taylor Marsden, an exercise science major, said that she was not a part of any clubs because she works as a nanny.

“So there are never any days off, and the kids’ needs come first,” she said.

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.

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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.”

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.

Federal grants, loans available to students

By Amanda Edwards
Staff Writer

Editor’s Note: The print version and an earlier online version of this article stated that CCM fall scholarship applications are due in July and applications for spring are due in November. However, those are the months the scholarships are awarded. The scholarships are due in May for fall and October for spring. The current version of this article reflects that.

In order order to combat the high cost of education, students should avail themselves of the loans and grants available to them, according to Harvey Willis, director of the Financial Aid Office at CCM.

Students can receive federal loans and grants through the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at fafsa.gov that can help offset the cost of their education

However, many students fail to consider this reality and are left sorely disappointed when they realize that they can’t enroll, according to Dr. Bette Simmons, vice president of Student Development and Enrollment Management.

Simmons said that 55 percent of the 7200 degree seeking students at CCM use financial aid. However, many students in need are not a part of this percentage.

“The problem is that financial aid is not sought after, it’s an afterthought, usually when the bills are due, as quite a few students are under the impression that county colleges are free, despite the advertised cost of education,” Willis said.

Since most aid is contingent upon need eligibility, students must first complete the FAFSA. This application becomes available on Oct. 1 of every year. It is a relatively short, electronic application that may take an average 30 minutes. After applications are received, the Financial Aid Office reviews each student’s credentials to determine aid eligibility.

According to a flyer from financial aid, “This year, the Financial Aid Office conducted a series of FAFSA filing sessions to assist students in submitting the 2018-2019 FAFSA.”Though these days have passed, students may visit the Financial Aid Office at the Student Community Center for more information.

Several variables are considered to determine any one student’s eligibility. These range from income to number of family members to assets. However, the list is extensive, and the process is unique for every student. Make sure to consider all of your factors while completing your application.

“Students should allow an average of 21 business days for processing,” Willis said. “While sometimes students receive an update within three to four days of submitting FAFSA, other students may be selected to submit additional documents. Since this is only a process of verification, aid will be processed in short order if students submit the documents in a timely fashion.”

Willis has pointed out that FAFSA is only a government application and it is the Financial Aid Office and New Jersey State Higher Education Student Assistance Authority (HESAA), which reviews the results for aid determination and awarding. However, students often misunderstand this fact.  Additionally, students are strongly encouraged to periodically view their financial aid eligibility online through WebAdvisor or Titans Direct as funding may change due to changes in credits total and or type of courses registered for each term.

Financial assistance at CCM exists in the form of federal and state aid and student loans. Additionally, the CCM Foundation awards more than $200 thousand in scholarships to qualified students every year. These grants may be merit or need- based. To apply, students must submit an online application through the CCM website. Applications are due by Thursday, May 31 for the fall semester and Monday, Oct. 22 for the spring semester.

“Everyone deserves an education, not only for self-help but to be a viable contribution to society,” Willis said. “However, since education comes with a cost, students need to know their financial options to move forward. I encourage them to complete the FAFSA, even if they don’t think they are eligible. In addition, they should periodically view their financial aid status online.”

CCM organizations to participate in Morris County health and fitness festival

Students, faculty to volunteer to raise health awareness

By Amanda Edwards
Staff Writer

The Randolph Pain Relief and Wellness Center (PRWC) will host the fourth annual Health, Fitness and Fun Fest between 12 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the Randolph Middle School on Middlebrook Road on Saturday, March 24.

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Adults and children participate in the 2016 Morris County Health, Fitness, and Fun Fest. Photo Courtesy of: Randolph Pain Relief and Wellness Center

The event will feature approximately 65 local businesses and vendors, including County College of Morris.

“The college has been participating in this event since 2014, and the number of departments involved has since expanded,” said Dr. Michael Paul, chairperson of the health and exercise department. “This year, students and faculty from CCM’s school of health professions and natural sciences will be volunteering.”

“For the student volunteers, this event is an opportunity to put theory into practice,” said Monica Maraska, dean of health and natural sciences. “But for the wider community, we aim to promote health and wellness through various activities. Additionally, information will be available on any major under CCM’S School of Health Professions and Natural Sciences.”

For the event, Paul said that CCM will supply an automated Annie so that attendees can learn about practicing CPR, and a skeleton, that the biology faculty and students will use to teach anatomy.

Additionally, John Rutkowski, program director of the respiratory therapy program at CCM said he will “share information about pulmonary health and diseases.”

“I will have an actual swine’s lungs to demonstrate as well as a simulation of lungs damaged by smoke,” Rutkowski said.

Among the other activities are stretching sessions spearheaded by  Paul’s kinesiology class.

“Proper stretching can yield immense health benefits but improper stretching can result in serious injury,” Paul said. “The CCM students have been taught the protocol for stretching by Dr. David Simon, chiropractor and co-owner of Randolph PRWC, and so, they are ready to apply it.”

Also contributing, according to Maraska, is the landscape horticultural and technology department.

“They will be donating plants like basil and lavender, grown in the greenhouse at CCM, for aromatherapy,” Maraska said.

At the event, CCM will also have a raffle with gift cards to the CCM campus store as well as several other giveaways.

According to a press release by PRWC, other attractions include health screenings, fitness challenges, meditation sessions, free refreshments, games, arts and crafts, and a photo booth.

PRWC also invites attendees to take donations to support a collection drive in aid of the Randolph Animal Shelter. Contributions may include dog and cat food as well as cleaning supplies.

Professor recovering after on-campus heart attack

By Amanda Edwards
Contributor

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The outside pathway of the Health and Physical Education Building. Photo by: Brett Friedensohn

A County College of Morris professor that suffered a heart attack on campus Wednesday, Jan. 31 was saved by some fast acting students and first responders.

Shortly before 2 p.m. while walking on the pathway up the hill beside the Health and Physical Education building, the faculty member stumbled and immediately lost consciousness, according to Dr. Bette Simmons, vice president of student development and enrollment management. Youngtown could not obtain the individual’s name because of patient confidentiality.

 

Nearly a week later, the professor was conscious and responding to treatment, and he is now poised for a full recovery, according to Simmons.

Some students who witnessed the incident called 911 while others provided aid personally.

One student who participated was an emergency medical technician, according to Simmons. As a result, he was able to assess the professor’s condition and act appropriately.

“He monitored his carotid artery, gave him 30 compressions, and then he proceeded to administer the automated external defibrillator (AED),” said health and exercise science professor William McHugh who retrieved and set up an AED. Meanwhile, a team from public safety arrived, and an officer promptly offered the professor mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. By this time, the paramedics had reached the scene.

“He was breathing and he had a pulse,” McHugh said. “We felt that we had hope.”

Soon thereafter, the professor was stabilized and elevated onto a sheet by the students and staff. He was then placed onto a gurney and rushed to the hospital by the paramedics.

According to Simmons, there was no delay in responding because the first responders had knowledge of appropriate emergency behavior and acted accordingly. Indeed, students and staff who may have never interacted together suddenly banded together as a team to save a fellow colleague.

“It is simply amazing how quickly those students acted; I saw how emotionally drained they were, and they truly deserve to be commended,” said Simmons, who witnessed the aftermath. “The college has trained more than 200 staff members in CPR and first aid treatment. This is the second time in three years that a regrettable incident like this has occurred, but nevertheless has ended positively.”
Also, she said that CCM had, and still has, the resources that were crucial in administering first aid treatment. The defibrillator was easily accessed, the paramedics were promptly alerted, and public safety responded within minutes.

Simmons and Dr. Michael Paul, chairperson of the health and exercise science department, said that students should take the CPR and First Aid Course offered at CCM.

“It teaches you not only theory but how to work on a team and that is crucial in emergency situations,” Paul said.