Brett Friedensohn

College cancels congressional candidate coming to campus

Administration says Mikie Sherrill welcome to visit after election

By Brett Friedensohn
Editor-in-Chief

Adam Gentile
Features Editor

Less than 24 hours before her scheduled appearance in professor Mark Washburne’s history class, New Jersey 11th congressional district Democratic Candidate Mikie Sherrill was disinvited by County College of Morris administration. As for why, the reasons vary depending on who is giving them.

Dr. Bette Simmons, vice president of academic affairs, sent an email to Washburne, the Democratic candidate for mayor of Mendham Borough, and Interim Dean of Liberal Arts Dr. James Hart Oct. 15 to notify them that the visit was postponed. On that email, sent to the Youngtown Edition, she copied History Department Chair Dr. Michael Parrella and Communication Department Chair Dr. Matthew Jones.

The email chain started Saturday, Oct. 6, when Washburne notified Simmons, Hart, and Parrella that he had heard from the Sherrill campaign that the candidate was available to visit Oct. 16.

Washburne said that he sent a text message to Sherrill after she beat him in the Tuesday, June 5 Democratic primary for the 11th district seat, congratulating her on her victory and invited her to speak in his classroom. He said that after not hearing a response on the matter, he met her again at a September Democratic fundraiser and again extended his invitation, and sent the email within minutes of hearing from Sherrill’s staff.

Parrella emailed Washburne back Oct. 6 saying that he had spoken with Hart and was unsure of the college’s policy on inviting candidates to speak in classes and that Hart will speak to Simmons when she returns Tuesday, Oct. 9. Simmons later said to the Youngtown that she was on vacation during this time.

She replied to Washburne Oct. 9, saying that he needs to reach out to Webber to invite him,  and she advised him to wait until after the election to host Sherrill. Later that day, she sent another email saying that he may host Sherrill even if Webber declines the invitation, but Washburne will need to invite him  nonetheless.

“It would be most appropriate – and in keeping with college expectations – that you reach out to Mr. Webber’s office and invite him to participate as well,” Simmons said in the email. “If he declines, you would still be able to host Ms. Sherrill as the offer had been extended to her opponent.”

Washburne replied that day saying that he had reached out to Webber’s office. He later told the Youngtown that he would have been happy to host the Republican state assemblyman but had emailed and called the office multiple times but heard no response.

“The time to bring her in is before the election, and if they want to be fair, let’s bring in whoever wants to come in as well,” Washburne said.” Jay Webber hasn’t responded, but he could have come in. Nobody was saying he couldn’t come in.”

Youngtown staff had been in contact with Sherrill’s staff over the week leading up to the scheduled visit to organize an exclusive interview with Sherrill before she spoke to the students. Since the cancellation, Sherrill and Webber’s campaigns  have not responded to requests for comment.

Washburne has in the past hosted in-class visits by 11th district incumbent Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen, and in October 2016, organized a debate between representatives for Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton.

Simmons said Wednesday, Oct. 17 that it was Washburne’s responsibility to notify the department of public safety as well as the office of marketing and public relations about the scheduled event. The next day, the professor said that none of his supervisors told him this was his responsibility but that would have alerted these departments had he been instructed to. This matter never was mentioned in the email chain.

“That never even came up in conversations at all, so I find it odd that it’s coming up now in conversations,” he said. “I don’t know where it’s coming from. There wasn’t any part of our conversation at all that I didn’t notify any of these people. I was trying to figure out whether we could even do the program, so we never got to that stage.”

Simmons said that Washburne needed to notify public safety about the matter because Sherrill is running for federal office, and therefore, the college would be at a higher risk level if she is on campus.

“She may have been bringing her own security staff, but that still means that we have to do some things, making sure the facility was the proper facility to host her,” Simmons said. “So all of those housekeeping items needed to be taken care of, and unfortunately, they were not taken care of. And then the other part of the issue is again, because she is running for a political office, we need to make sure that the college had extended an offer to the other candidates that were running  for that position, that they were given an equal opportunity to have access to our students and our employees, and that had not been done either. And so, to do all of that in the very short period of time from the moment I found out that the event had been scheduled, we just felt that wouldn’t be County College of Morris at our best, so we asked to have it postponed.”

Kathleen Burnet Eagan, CCM’s public relations director, said that if Washburne had notified her office of the event,  she would have reached out to the candidates’ staff to find out what they need the college to do to help and if they need publicity assistance.

“It’s just part of the logistics, and this is when it went from solely a classroom event to a larger event,” Burnet Eagan said. “There’s a lot of pieces to take care of, and you need some time.”

Washburne said that Simmons had changed her mind on the rules regarding the steps he needs to take to host Sherrill.

“Dr. Simmons changed her mind on Thursday and said we had to hear from Jay Webber. And so, we never heard back from Jay Webber, so and I don’t know, I haven’t been in touch with the administration since Thursday on the matter, but I got an email on Monday saying that they were cancelling Mikie Sherrill coming to the class,” he said. “To me that would be great, if we were to invite Jay Webber. I said, ‘What if we invite Jay Webber?’ She said, ‘Sure.’ And that’s what I did.”

Simmons said that the college made its instructions to Washburne clear and consistent.

“I can’t respond on how he interpreted the message that I gave,” she said. “Knowing that there were other people that were a part of that conversation, I would say that it was really clear with what the college expected of him.”

While he is a Democratic politician, Washburne said that his purpose of bringing Sherrill to campus was not to promote his agenda but rather to educate his students and engage them in their elections.

“I love controversial topics to bring in. I want to engage my students, so for me, it’s not a big deal to bring in a candidate, or a few candidates,” he said. “I want to get them excited about the election, so that’s really the reason why I invited her and I have invited other people in the past, just to get students excited about it. They wanted, the administration wanted her to come in after the election. So I said, ‘This can’t wait. My students won’t be able to ask their questions about her positions.’”

Mike Velasquez, a fine arts major, does not agree with the schools decision to cancel Sherrill’s visit.

“We have these signs out in the student center that tell us to vote, but when we have a candidate coming to talk to us they just turn her away, that’s not right,” Velasquez said.

Alexa Cacchila, a nursing major, said that with Sherrill being unable to show up students lost a valuable opportunity to be encouraged to vote.

Robert Osewalt, a liberal arts/criminology major, was disappointed in the action that the school took.

“She should’ve been able to come, isn’t the school supposed to teach their students about the world?” Osewalt said.

Sophie Connell and Lianna Del Corpo contributed to this story.

CCM applies for increased state aid

Denied for this year, optimistic for fall 2019

By Brett Friedensohn
Editor-in-Chief

 

County College of Morris President Dr. Anthony Iacono, along with representatives from all 18 other community colleges in New Jersey, met Governor Phil Murphy at Union County Community College Thursday, Sept. 27 to vie for acceptance into Murphy’s new tax-funded scholarship program.

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Governor Phil Murphy celebrates Quest Diagnostics’ Seattle office headquarters opening. Photo Courtesy of Twitter

The effort, called “Community College Opportunity Grants,” is intended to cover costs for community college students who have exhausted  all other need-based federal and state grants. The pilot version of this program is set to begin for the spring 2019 semester in 13 community colleges whose counties’ residents, on average, make lower incomes. As Morris County is on average a more affluent area, CCM will not be one of the pilot colleges. However, Iacono said that he hopes that all 19 community colleges receive these benefits by the fall 2019 semester. Murphy will try to increase the amount of money allocated to community colleges for the 2019-20 fiscal year.

“Here’s the thing people misunderstand, that colleges are getting money; the colleges don’t see any money,” Iacono said. “So I think that’s a very positive thing  because the intent is to really help students, and I think there’s a couple of really positive things about this. Clearly, the Murphy administration really sees community colleges as a part of a solution to really strengthening New Jersey’s innovation economy. Two is he really believes in community colleges.”

Prior to his election in November 2017, Murphy made it one of his campaign promises to establish free community college in the state, and in July, Murphy’s budget allocated $25 million to community college. Each eligible college will receive $250,000 for their students, and qualify for this aid, a student must come from a household whose earnings are $45,000 or less per year.

“There’s a recognition that to have a great workforce, you need to have an  educated workforce,” Iacono said. “And we should not be losing people because they lack a little bit of money, and I always argue if you help them get their jobs, they’re going to pay that money back in taxes ten-fold over. So it’s a smart, smart economic investment, and that’s what he’s after. So we feel really excited about it. We really appreciate what the governor is doing.”

CCM Financial Aid Director Harvey Willis said that he is confident in fall 2019 as a goal for receiving this aid.

“It will benefit a lot of students because it will benefit primarily the needy students because their family income has to be at least $45,000 or less to qualify,” Willis said. “So again, we’re very hopeful that it will launch for the next school year, but I just want to make it clear that the prerequisite for qualification is that they complete the FAFSA which is the free application for federal student aid. That’s a requirement for pretty much a majority of the aid. Whether they qualify for the grant or not, it’s still beneficial to complete the FAFSA. And I also want to mention that eligibility is for tuition and fees after, and I stress, after all other federal and state moneys are factored in.”

Willis said that the covered fees are only college-prescribed fees such as the college fee and technology fee, not external fees such as a personal laptop. Also, he said that he thinks it will have an impact on enrollment.

“It’s a good thing; we’re very excited about the program, and as far as I’m concerned, as an aide administrator, it’s way overdue,” he said. “I think it will have an impact, and really addressing, primarily let’s say, the independent students that are really returning to college, you know, past CCM students that never completed, and they’re coming back. Because of financial reasons, that’ll definitely attract those students again. Most importantly, now that we can start awarding certificate students financial aid. Those students that are returning for, let’s say, jobs retraining, things like that, part of a career development program, et cetera.”

More than 46 percent of CCM students benefit from need-based financial aid, according to Iacono.

“There are plenty of  individuals who are smart, who are talented, but do need the financial support,” Iacono said. “You guys build our future, and any time we don’t help you as much as we can, it clips that future. So it hurts you, and ultimately, it hurts all of us.”

On the day of the meeting, Murphy said in a press release that tuition-free community college is crucial to the state’s economy.

“NJ’s community colleges play a critical role in preparing students for the workforce & meeting the demands of a growing economy,” Murphy wrote. “Over 13,000 students will benefit from our first-ever CC Opportunity Grants, as we seek to make community college tuition-free.

FAFSA applications opened Monday, Oct. 1; students can fill out the application at the CCM Financial Aid Office.

Professor looking to make history in Mendham Borough mayoral race

Mark Washburne running on Democratic ballot in November election

By Brett Friedensohn
Editor-in-Chief

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History professor Mark Washburne lectures in his US II class. Photo by: Brett Friedensohn

After failing to secure the Democrats’ nomination for a Congressional seat in New Jersey’s 11th District, losing to Mikie Sherrill, Mark Washburne, a history instructor at County College of Morris, is now on his party’s ticket in Mendham Borough’s general mayoral election Tuesday, Nov. 6.

During the June primaries, Washburne received three percent of his party members’ votes for New Jersey’s 11th Congressional District, but three weeks prior, Mendham Democrats Committee Chairman Michael Craver informed him that no one had run for mayor as a Democrat in Mendham Borough, where Washburne resides, and asked him if the committee may use his name on the ballot. During the primary, he received 74 write-in votes, 16 more than required to earn a spot on the general election ballot.

“Technically, you’re not allowed to run for two offices at the same time, so there was actually a little controversy before they could certify that I was the winner of Mendham Borough,” Washburne said. “An attorney had to look it up to see if anybody else had, if there was any precedent to have being written in, and he couldn’t find anything. So I’m the first person to have that happen to.”

If elected, Washburne would be the first Democratic mayor of the borough since 1970. Since the council is currently completely comprised of Republicans, he said he wants to facilitate more bipartisanship to the borough’s government.

“Certain ideas don’t get brought up,” he said. “For example, they, without dissent, they wanted to support a Republican state Senator who said that there should be a cap at two percent for firemen and policemen. And for me, listening to that, first of all as a teacher, you’ve probably heard all these negotiations on the contract, we might get a two percent raise, but that doesn’t mean we’re going to get two percent because they’re all asking us to pay more for our health care. So what might look like a two percent raise is not really a two percent raise, so and what the other thing is, any time you make a rule that has to be done always, you don’t take into account hyperinflation. In the 1970s, we had what was called double-digit inflation, so something would be 10 percent more the next year. Well, if you’re giving someone just a two percent raise, they’re losing money when prices go up.”

Washburne earned a master’s degree in political science from Marquette University in Madison, Wisconsin in 1979 before completing another master’s from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1986. He started as an adjunct professor at CCM in 1995 and as a full-time faculty member in 2001. He first taught political science but now only teaches history. As the mayoral position in the borough is a part-time job, he said that he would continue teaching at CCM if elected.

“It’s a Republican town, but you never know,” Washburne said. “With this election, a lot of people are upset with what happened on the federal level …  So people come in not necessarily to vote for mayor. They come to vote for congressmen, in this case, folks like congresswomen and senators, and then, they vote the whole ticket. It’s called ‘coattails.’ If you get a popular president or popular senator, they can make a big difference in getting people lower on the ticket elected as well.”

Since the current Mendham Borough mayor is not seeking re-election, Washburne’s Republican opponent in the general election is Christina Serrano Glassner, a sitting borough council member who served as a delegate for President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election. Her husband, according to New Jersey Hills Media, is in the chief operating officer of Trump’s 2020 re-election committee. Part of Washburne’s congressional campaign was moving forward on the impeachment process; he still says that Congress should impeach him for obstruction of justice, citing Trump paying off of Stormy Daniels and firing former FBI Director James Comey.

“I like her; she’s very nice,” Washburne said. “I just think she comes with baggage having been a delegate for Trump at the 2016 Republican Convention and also having, her husband, I believe he is in charge of his re-election commission in 2020. I don’t think Menham wants that.”

While Glassner’s staff did not respond to a request for comment, her campaign website says that she was first elected to the council in November 2016 and has since served as the borough’s chair of the Personnel Committee as well as the Local Economic Development Committee. Key points of her campaign include starting a two percent appropriations cap in 2020 with the intention of relieving debt, comparing designating times for residents to meet her in her office.

Unlike Glassner, Washburne said that he has not accepted campaign donations, continuing his policy during the Congressional campaign because he says he wants to keep money’s influence out of politics. Instead, he has gotten the word out by campaigning on social media as well as spending some of his own money.

Washburne said that if elected mayor, he would want to support local schools to help future generations as well as to keep property values up.

“Obviously, as a teacher, I’m pro-the school, pro-school budgets and things like that,” he said. “And it was always a dispute in Mendham. People have this attitude about, ‘We don’t want our taxes higher.’ Nobody wants their taxes higher.”

Additionally, he said that he would like to make it easier for businesses to be open in the borough.

“For example, one of the old restaurants, they’re saying they want to change the color of it,” Washburne said. “They’re like, ‘No, it’s always been white. You’ve got to paint it white.’ The exterior always had to be white. And as somebody who has a history background, I think I can help in that conversation in what’s important and what’s not. For example, something that you would think should be white is the White House, right? But if we base it on what the White House looked like when it was built, it was light grey. That was the first color of the so-called ‘White House.’ So sometimes colors matter; other times, really not. That’s just busting people, and I think it leads to people not wanting to do business in Mendham. We had a Dunkin’ Donuts that wanted to come in, and they made all kinds of problems with that company. They couldn’t have a drive-thru; they couldn’t do this, they couldn’t do that.”

New Jersey residents can register to vote at

state.nj.us/state/elections/voting-information.html.

Full-time faculty starts semester sans contract

By Brett Friedensohn
Editor-in-Chief

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A New Jersey Education Association button rests on a desk in the English department office. Photo by Brett Friedensohn

Full-time faculty returned to the classroom without a contact as negotiations between the Union and college management failed to strike a deal before the Thursday, Aug. 30 expiration date.

The last contact expired the day before the fall semester started.

As per prior agreements between both parties, negotiation details are confidential while negotiations are ongoing.

Among the top concerns for the Faculty Association of the County College of Morris (FACCM), a New Jersey Department of Education affiliate, is the decline of health care benefits for faculty. FACCM member chair and negotiation team member and communication professor at CCM David Pallant said  that when he started at the college eight years ago, he paid no money for CCM’s faculty health care benefits, but now, his contributions are outpacing his contractual raises..

“The past few negotiations, I’d say the past 10, 15 years, the faculty have really taken a hit, and some of it is statewide, and some of it is also local to CCM,” said Pallant, in an April interview. “So that’s the struggle factor, not just at CCM but at other places. We need to see something level off where we’re not losing something every year. And that’s what we’ll be working on.”

Communication Department Chair Dr. Matthew Jones, a FACCM member and president of CCM’s chairpersons and assistant chairpersons union, said that he was concerned about the widening pay gap between administration and faculty as certain members of the college’s administration have been awarded raises in recent years.

“For the health of the culture at the college, I think it’s important for people to sense that there’s a degree of equity and fairness,” Jones said. “The faculty, the staff, the support staff that is, they do a great deal, that’s an understatement, a great deal to keep this college running. Yes, senior administrators and administrators in general are responsible, and it’s their job to provide leadership. But it’s very difficult, I think, to rationalize that kind of a gap in pay equity in terms of percentages of raises … You have to look a little bit, anyone who knows about statistics knows you have to look a little bit deeper than just the initial, ‘What’s the mean salary there?’ People who have been here for a very long time are making good money. There is a section right there in the middle that are really lagging behind. Newer faculty, mid-career faculty are really lagging behind their counterparts in similar institutions.”

Jones also said that both parties on the negotiation table share liability in the state of this pay gap.

“I don’t for one minute think that this is something that’s a consequence of malicious plotting,” Jones said. “It’s just something that happened that both sides share responsibility for. Over the past 10 years, has FACCM done everything right and been as vigilant? No, of course not, but it shouldn’t be a process of gotcha. It shouldn’t be a process of, ‘Let’s take advantage now.’ It should be a process of, ‘What’s healthiest for the school?’”

CCM’s Vice President of Human Resources and Labor Relations Thomas Burk said that while the faculty union contracts are negotiated in his department then approved by the board of trustees, the board approves the contracts of managers, a title designated to approximately 40 administrative employees including himself, without negotiations.

“The board typically is very cognizant in what is the typical settlement of the unions and stay in line with that for the management,” Burk said. “So for example, July 1 [2018] is the start of the new fiscal year. The board awarded salary increases for management of two and a half percent. So if I were the union going into contract negotiations with the college, I would have that number in mind as probably in the ballpark of what to expect as the college’s offer in the bargain. It doesn’t always work that way. It’s a subject of negotiation, but whereas faculty salaries are negotiated, management salaries are set by the board of trustees.”

Burk said that less contentious issues such as assessment outcomes are discussed early in the bargaining process while pay issues are argued later on.

“You don’t come to work here to get rich,” Burk said. “I don’t know how else to put that. It’s always a tug of war between what the expectations are of the union and what the college is capable of providing. So that’s usually the last issue that gets resolved in the bargaining.”

He also said that states division of pensions and benefits’ provisions regulate what the college can provide with regards to health care.

“The health benefit plan is a state plan, so at the negotiation table, we don’t negotiate over, ‘This will be covered; that won’t be covered; that’s all in a plan designed by what the state has created,” Burk said. “Up until, probably this was like eight years ago now, there was no contribution by the employee for their health benefit plan, and then, the state implemented a contribution, a partial contribution, towards the premiums for the health insurance. And it actually phased in over four years. So there are different choices of health plans. Some are more expensive; some are less expensive. There’s also different levels of coverage, so if you only have to cover yourself, that’s a lower premium. If you have to cover a family, that’s a higher premium.”

In 2011, former Governor Chris Christie signed Chapter 78, a bill which, according to the NJEA, requires public employees to pay a percentage of their health care costs. In its 2016 press release, “Local associations negotiate Chapter 78 relief,” the association says that this contribution always is above 1.5 percent of a given employee’s base salary but can reach up to 35 percent.

“Around 2010, Governor Christie, with a stroke of a pen, changed the structure of the entire benefits package for all state employees, which included teachers and others at this college,” said music professor Joe Bilotti, a current FACCM member and union president from 2011 to 2013. “For the next few years, he then bullied school administrators to not allow sufficient monetary raises to those employees, at the threat of pulling funding to schools that ignored his order. This resulted in an ongoing financial hardship for all professors here at CCM, of which many have not recovered today.”

Two months after his January 2017 inauguration, Christie’s successor Phil Murphy allocated $50 million in state funding to community colleges. However, Pallant said in April that he is unsure if that will help faculty at CCM considering the size of the college’s budget which for the 2017-18 school year which, according to board of trustees records, was approximately $72 million.

“We don’t know if we’ll get it, but it looks like we will; in the end, it will probably mean for CCM $800,000,” Pallant said in April. “And that’s only going into student need which is important. Students need it. But I don’t think that’s gonna level out our budget so much, so that’s the big debate. Will it be properly funded? And then in typical New Jersey, will we see the funding, or will it be stolen, siphoned off as it comes through for administrative costs or whatever else? So we won’t know until we actually see it.”

During the first week of school, some professors wore NJEA buttons pinned to their shirts which said that they were working without contracts.

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English and philosophy professor Dr. James Capozzi sports a New Jersey Education Association button.
Photo by: Alexa Wyszkowski

One of these was union secretary Dee McAree, an English professor who stepped into her new union role over the summer.

“Working without a contract has no implication on us as far as how we perform our job or our environment or anything like that,” McAree said. “The button is really a way for people to know that we are in negotiations at the moment and that it’s an important topic. Faculty here work very hard. We believe strongly in the process of collective bargaining. So we’re hopeful that negotiations go well and that the college is receptive to supporting faculty for professionalism and hard work.”

Pallant said in April that he had seen an increase of union membership since the start of 2018.

“We were dealt a bad hand at the start of this semester,” Pallant said. “FACCM’s president was on medical leave, and the secretary and treasury had left the college so we needed people to step up to fill leadership and get engaged for negotiations.  As the current Membership Chair, I have had my sidewalk conversations, and met with all the new faculty face to face this past year and have seen their renewed interest in FACCM. At the first meeting of the NCT or Negotiation Council Team, we had an overflow crowd in the small FACCM office, so much so that we needed more chairs to be brought in, the meeting lasted two hours, it probably was the largest number of people in that small office in a decade.  I would say 2018 is the Renaissance year for FACCM.”

Negotiations are ongoing and the Youngtown will update the story as information becomes available.

CCM golf wins region, conference titles, place fifth in national tournament

By Brett Friedensohn
Editor-in-Chief

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CCM golf placed fifth in the national tournament at Chautauqua Golf Club in Chautauqua, New York. Left to right: Tommy Apostolico, Ricky Christensen, Ryan Ruben, Kyle Kepler and Nick Axelson. Photo Courtesy of: Twitter

The golf team at County College of Morris capped off a 36-1 season by sweeping both the region and conference championships and finishing the national title in the fifth seed, the highest ranking in the program’s history.

 

This marks the first region title at CCM since softball in 2016 and the first for golf since 2014.

The Titans clinched the top honor of the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XIX at an outing Monday, May 7 and Tuesday, May 8 when they racked up a team score of 314 at Galloping Hill Golf Course in Kenilworth, New Jersey.

They earned the Garden State Athletic Conference Championship when they scored 310 also at Galloping Hill where freshman Kyle Kepler earned the tournament’s best individual score at 74.

The team then secured the fifth spot out of 12 community colleges with a score of 317 at Chautauqua Golf Club in Chautauqua, New York Friday, June 8.

CCM freshman Nick Axelson shot the 14th overall best score of the tournament at 313; he also earned a spot as an NJCAA third team All-American for the 2018 season.

“It comes down to a lot of different factors, obviously, but overall, it was just a good group of guys,” Axelson said. “I mean, we really got along together well as a team. We built off each other’s competition as well as amongst ourselves as well as the other teams we were facing.”

Axelson also said that head coach Jim Chegwidden kept the team focused on and committed to the sport.

“He was very much a leader for all of us and somebody that we can strive to be, like somebody that we almost want to emulate for his seriousness and doing everything the right way, no cutting corners and just really putting in the time and the effort, and that goes all the way back to preseason and the fall in just getting us into the gym, getting us a place to play schrimaches, getting us lessons with our assistant coach Mikey [Mrugal],” Axelson said. “We weren’t just screwing around just having fun. We were going in competitive trying to win.”

After the region title win and before nationals, Chegwidden said that this team was his best since 2007 when Morris won the region title and placed eighth in the country.

“Anything below eighth is going to be a good year; anything below fifth is going to be a great year,” Chegwidden said. “I think we’re going to need a lot of luck. The second thing is everyone’s going to have to understand that we’re going to get some bad shots. You have to get past that and just deal with what’s in front of you and not worry about what’s behind you. That’s why I like golf so much … It’s like life. If you worry about yesterday, then you can’t take care of things today, so if you hit a bad shot, and you let it affect the rest of your round, then you’re going to have a bad day.”

Chegwidden said that his ability to rely on all five team members helped lead to his team’s success.

“I think the fact that we had five guys that could step it up at any time, and anyone could step it up and be a leader this year,” Chegwidden said. “The No. 5 guy Ryan Ruban from Florida, when we were playing in the region qualifier in Hybrid Hills back on May 2, he really stepped it up, and he was the one that got us in the No. 1 seed, and then, the first day of the region tournament, we took a 10-stroke lead, and the second day, we got another 10-stroke lead. We ended up winning by 20 strokes, and Ricky Christiansen, a freshman from Little Falls, he stepped it up. At the region tournament, he placed third in the region tournament. So in the beginning of the season, Nick Axelson from Roxbury, he carried us for the first part of the year, and then, Kyle Kepler from Wharton started playing really well towards the end of the season … And then,  you had Tommy Apostolico steady throughout the whole season. He was just right around 80 all year long.”

Athletic director Jack Sullivan said that the team would have likely improved on their standing if given more time at nationals.

“They all shot better as they tournament went on, so I think if the tournament had a few more rounds, they would have even improved upon a fifth place finish,” Sullivan said. “I always think passion and desire to build a quality program comes from the coaches, and they have a personal connection to the school and the program.”

Axelson said that he probably played his best golf last year, his senior year playing at Roxbury High School. During the fall 2017 semester, he attended Coastal Carolina University in Conway, South Carolina to play golf and study professional golf management, but when he found that he did not play as much as he had hoped, he transferred to CCM. He said that the lack of golf played between high school and CCM has hindered his game, and he hopes to practice more in preparation for next season to rebound.

“I’ve got a lot of parts of my game that could use much improvement especially my short game,” Axelson said. “I think my putting let me down a lot this year, but just playing mid-season when you’re playing almost three, four times a week competing, your game surprisingly gets so much better so fast constantly playing and putting in that repetition. I guess that’s the one thing about next season is playing a lot of golf as a team and putting ourselves in situations with pressure and experiencing that before we have to deal with that is the biggest thing, the preparation.”

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that CCM golf’s most recent region title before 2018 was in 2007. While the Titans did win the title in 2007 and 2018, their most recent region title before this year was in 2014. The current version reflects that.

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.

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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
Editor-in-Chief

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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.

Men’s basketball ends playoff run with division title loss

By Connor Iapoce & Brett Friedensohn
Sports Editor, Editor-in-Chief

The men’s basketball Titans at County College of Morris fell short of glory after winning the Garden State Athletic Conference championship and reaching the championship game of the Region XIX DII tournament, where their season ended in a heartbreaking 74-76 loss against Ulster County Community College.

The Titans concluded the 2017-2018 season with an overall record of 21-9 and a conference championship under their belt.

CCM athletic director Jack Sullivan disagreed with labeling the game as a Region XIX championship loss due to technicalities about the designation of the game.

“Technically, it was a district championship, not the region title,” Sullivan said. “Ulster is from outside the region. It was a district game to see who goes to the national tournament. Technically, we were on top of the Region XIX, so we won the Region XIX, but it didn’t give us an automatic bid. I guess we’re the regular season Region XIX champions and Garden State Athletic Conference Champions, 21-9.”

Meanwhile, the Titans are still dealing with the shortened end of a successful season, with the second half of the season consisting of 13 wins and three losses. The Titans entered the Region XIX championship on a five-game win streak.

“I think that we all bought in,” said D’Ondre Dent, a freshman guard. “We came together, there was a lot of leadership skills by [sophomores] Ishmil Raymond and Ranell Bell. We bought into what the coach has been teaching us, and I know we came together, and everything became easy. Once you do everything you’re supposed to do, it became easy. That’s why you saw that win streak.”

The loss from an out of region team was especially disappointing for Dent, who said he saw it as a stolen win in a game that should been theirs to win.

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Titans forward Ish Raymond puts up a layup in a 99-55 win against Prestige Prep.

“The team we lost to, they weren’t in our region,” Dent said. “They came in and took our trophy. Now, they’re probably dancing in Danville right now. I’ll never forget that feeling. I didn’t play the game, I got hurt the game before so watching them, that was my first time. Watching them and to lose by two, that hurt so I’m definitely using that as motivation for next year.”

The championship game against Ulster came down to the wire for the Titans, with a two-point difference deciding the winner. The Titans were leading Ulster 35-31 entering halftime, but the team was ultimately outscored 45 to 39 in the second half, with the final score of 74-76.

“It hurt,” Dent said. “The team was good, but we definitely shot ourselves in the foot. Hopefully, we’ll work hard. We’re in the gym, and we’ll work hard. We are already in the gym and took a week off for spring break, so we’re focused on next year. Get to that same position, but have a different outcome.”

Before this playoff run, the Titans had not reached the Region XIX playoffs since the 2012-2013 season.

“We were the second seed going into it which is huge because it hasn’t happened in years, forget about us even going in,” said freshman red shirt Andrew Sosna. “So, we made it very far in that regard. We played our hearts out; I know the guys were frustrated with the loss. I think that we got in our own heads, and I think that’s why we couldn’t deliver. When this team plays at optimum capacity, we are unstoppable.”

The two championships were the first at CCM for head coach Anthony Obery, who is in his fourth season as a CCM coach and third season as the head coach.


“They came in and took our trophy. Now, they’re probably dancing in Danville right now. I’ll never forget that feeling.”

D’Ondre Dent
Titans guard


Sosna said he has been waiting all season for a chance to join the team and is hoping next season can capitalize on this year’s success.

    “I think a lot of our sophomores are leaving this year, which is upsetting, but good for them,” said Sosna. “I know they’re going on to bigger, better things. I think we have a team that’s ready to work, we have a good program, and we have coaches that are ready to kick us into high gear. I’m excited. I’m super excited. I’ve been waiting all year for this, honestly. I think we can deliver again.”

Sullivan is also confident the team will be able to find success again next season.

“I like the freshman we have coming back,” Sullivan said. “I thought they were outstanding. I think that they can go from there. I think there’s a lot to be excited about.”

Utility workers set up base at CCM after nor’easter hits area

 

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Emergency Disaster Services employees Steve Pollock and
Mike Atherly take a break in the heated tent in Parking Lot 3.  Photo by: Brett Friedensohn

By Brett Friedensohn
Editor-in-Chief

As two storms piled 34 inches of snow on Randolph in early March, employees of JCP&L and out-of-state line service companies worked out of County College of Morris’ Parking Lot 3 to assist in restoring power to the estimated 200 thousand homes and businesses in New Jersey which lost electricity.

With consideration to the low traffic during spring break, the college granted these companies, as well as their housing agency Emergency Disaster Services, permission to use the property after the Monday, March 2 storm, and they stayed until Wednesday, March 14, according to Vice President of Business and Finance Karen VanDerhoof, who said that the college did not charge for the property and that the workers occasionally used Parking Lots 1 and 2 while Lot 3 needed to be plowed.

“We were happy to support the community,” VanDerhoof said.

The first storm dumped 11 inches on Randolph before an extra 23 was added Wednesday, March 7, according to the National Weather Service.

New Jersey governor Phil Murphy visited the CCM site the day of the second storm to thank the several hundred workers, many of whom were from out-of-state, according to New Jersey Advance Media. CCM president Dr. Anthony Iacono said that he met Murphy briefly while he toured the site.

“Very nice, very gracious, his whole purpose of being here was solely to thank the workers, identify that he understood that it was a challenging job, thank you for the hard work you’re doing,” Iacono said. “And he knew he was talking to that group was predominantly, I think out-of-staters and just said, ‘If we ever have the occasion to repay the favor, hopefully, we can send our trucks to your states.’ And so he was pretty nice. Hopefully, we get to have him back another time to talk more about the college.”

On the site, EDS’ trucks stationed mobile showers, bunking rooms, laundromats, food storage units, and kitchens. The agency also held porta potties and a heated tent with picnic tables lined up for the workers to eat. Outside the tent lay ice bags and cases of water and Gatorade bottles which, according to Director of Logistical Operations Jamey Gumm, the cold air naturally refrigerated.

EDS hosted approximately 600 JCP&L workers per night, according to Gumm, who arrived at around 6 a.m. Monday, March 5 from Kentucky, where she drove from with her workers from around 7 p.m. the previous evening when she received the call ordering her to set up base in New Jersey.

“We call these tent cities,” Gumm said. “We basically build a little city for these guys so they have a place to eat and sleep while they’re here.”

The JCP&L workers worked approximately 16 hours per day, according to Gumm, who said that she had a similar site in Flemington, New Jersey where there were approximately 1,400 more line workers.

Gumm has worked in disaster zones of other storms including Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

“I love doing it, not so much for the cold,” Gumm said. “I shouldn’t say I like the hurricanes better, but I like the season that comes with it … only due to the fact that I don’t have to heat the tents; they’re air conditioned. It’s a little bit simpler. You don’t have to put turbo boosters on all the water units because the water’s all going to be warm. The good thing is that I can leave packets of ice sitting outside all night, and it doesn’t affect them. And my refrigerated trucks, in the summer, you’d have to keep them closed, but now, you can leave them open.”

Gumm said that she met Iacono when he toured the site.

“The man in charge came down here, and he goes, ‘This is not anything like what I was expecting,” Gumm said.

Iacono said he was impressed by the setup.

“They really set it up military style,” Iacono said. “It kind of reminded me of a M*A*S*H unit or something like that where they can pack up and go.”

Iacono said that CCM’s maintenance crew had worked overtime to plow the snow.

“Usually, what we try to do is stay on top of the snow, and it’s easier to move three inches at a time than three feet at a time,” Iacono said. “Of course, what they were also doing was trying to make sure that the interior roadways stayed open so the JCP&L trucks can get in and out of the campus back and forth, back and forth as well.”

SATIRE: Student who already wears tee shirts, shorts awarded administrative medal of toughness

By Brett Friedensohn
Editor-in-Chief

The County College of Morris president presented his distinguished medal of toughness Tuesday, March 27 to Jake Folio, this one guy who already walks around in a tee shirt and shorts, allowing just his pulsating muscles to protect him from the cold as the Foo Fighters’ song “My Hero” plays over the emergency speakers whenever he steps foot outside a building on CCM property.

“It became clear to me when I saw this courageous student strolling to class today, I had to award his testosterone by giving out this medal for the second time in the college’s history,” said CCM administrator Dr. Jeff Cuck, who noted that the only other time since the college opened that this medal was given out was in 1971 when this really chill professor shared LSD with his entire class. “Standing out here in a fluffy coat and ski gloves, I can only wish that someday, I will possess this student’s courage.”

When presented the opportunity to give an acceptance speech, Folio said, “Yeah, I guess it’s not really that cold out. It’s like 40 degrees. It’s not that bad.”

Human anatomy professor Stephanie Austin said that in some but few men exists a gene which allows them to withstand the cold temperatures of late winter without any mild discomfort.

The Youngtown Satirical Research Team has found research to suggest that no one at County College of Morris stands a chance at getting any compared to this guy because 69 percent of CCM students would leave a partner if awarded the opportunity to brush up against the triceps this resilient man.

“Sure, it’s hot when guys are inefficient enough with their energy to wear beanies in summer, but manliness radiates out of a guy who takes on exposure to the natural elements when it is unseasonable to do so,” said sociology major Susan Longo.

Business administration major Seth Anderson said that he had touched this man. The Youngtown Satirical Research team was unable to confirm these claims.

“I only grazed his abs across the rip of his tee shirt, but seconds turned to hours,” Anderson said. “I saw the face of God, and he said to me, ‘Yup, this is it. This is the greatest moment of your life.’ And how could I argue with him? His six pack game was too on fleek for any mortal to handle.”

Youngtown satirical staff reached out to God multiple times with requests for comment but received no reply at press time.

Editor’s Note: Satire editor John Dumm did not contribute to the editorial process of this article as he died when seeing Folio’s picture. For the safety of its readers, Youngtown decided to not release the photo.