ECCO February 2012
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FEBRUARY 2012 observer THE OFFICIAL STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE THE STUDENT VOICE SINCE 1968 Governor Christie Visits Irvington Church "Remember that you are in a house of God," - Pastor Ron Christian Reminds Attendees By Wintella Powell and Lev D. Zilbermintz Photo credit: The Seattle Times About 400 people packed Chris- tian Love Baptist Church in Irvington to hear Governor Christopher Christie speak about crime and education. The event held January 19, 2012 was organized by church leaders in coordination with the Gover- The event started at 10 a.m., with a blessing by Reverend Reginald Jackson, chairman of the Essex County College Board of Trustees. Following recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance, a choir of three young children sang the national anthem. Pastor Ron Christian of Christian Love Baptist Church introduced Governor Christie. The pastor asked the audience to act respectably to each other and the elected representatives. "Remember that you are in a house of God," said Christian. Mayor Wayne Smith of Irvington called on the attendees to be "very, very professional and respectful" when addressing Governor Christie. Upon entering the church, Gover- nor Christie received a warm welcome and a standing ovation. In his speech, Christie talked about - cording to the governor, over 117,000 jobs were lost prior to his election. Taxes were raised 115 times. Within eight years, New Jersey became the state with the highest- paid taxes in America, said Christie. Be- cause of this, people began to move out of state to Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Christie described to the audience how he had to make some tough choices - that if he did not cut two billion dollars in spending in the next three weeks, New Jer- sey would not be able to make payroll in March. Realizing that the state was in seri- two years in a row. Over 600 programs were cut during Chris- not raised. Christie said that there were three important things that needed to be ad- dressed: reduction of income taxes, im- proving education and cutting down crime. By way of example, Christie pointed to the fact that "property taxes went up less last year than in 20 years." This was accomplished with the help of authorities in Trenton and Newark's may- or, Cory Booker. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. In His Own Words Page six Photo credit: Wintella Powell NJ Governor Chris Christie Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. By Ben Potesky r. Martin Luther King, Jr. should have been at home with his wife, children and grandchildren celebrating his 83rd birthday on the 15th of this year. Unfortunately on April 4th 1968 cowardly people who feared MLK's message of peace, justice and equal- ity ended his life far too early. MLK's assassins did succeed in destroying his body, but they did not succeed in de- stroying his message. On January 17th 2012 hundreds of people from all over NJ gathered in ECC's Mary Burch Theatre to celebrate his life and ac- Photo credit: Wintella Powell complishments. Lawrence Hamm, delivers passionate speech The event was hosted by Dr. Akil Kokayi Khalfani, the director of the Africana Institute at ECC. Khal- ity." Dr. Abdullah emphasized about the fani opened by paying homage to all power of education, and how even today, the men and women who fought on for anyone to truly be free, they must the front lines of the civil rights move- have an education. Recalling her child- hood in the South, she remembered hav- order that their children and grandchil- ing no choice but to go to "colored only" dren could live in a country that would places in public. Abdullah said, "I say not treat them as second class citizens. to you today although we may not have The ECC head then turned over the lines for white and colored we still have stage to ECC President, Dr. Edythe engrained in our society, engrained in our M. Abdullah. Dr. Abdullah opened minds things that separate us as human with a powerful quote from MLK "An beings, and we must free ourselves from individual has not started living until those chains." Following Dr. Abdullah's powerful speech, Rev. Lola Akiwowo led of his individualistic concerns to the an opening prayer, followed by several broader concerns of all humanity." fantastic songs performed by the ECC She then went on to say "MLK was choir that truly embodying the events not only about the struggle of African tone. Americans, but the struggle of human- continued on page two D Staff Writer To applause, the governor said that he wanted to cut income taxes by 10% and raise the income credit for the working poor. Another important thing is the education system. Christie said that teachers need to be evaluated to ensure Any teacher who does not have the necessary teaching skills will have to leave. "The criteria for the success of the school system is not based primar- ily on your zip code, but on the quality of the teachers," said Christie. Christie said that only "twenty- three percent of children in Newark graduated with a high school diploma." The governor also noted that his great- grandparents emigrated to Newark; that his grandparents and parents lived in Newark until 1967. "My parents moved out of Newark in 1967 because they were afraid I would not get an education," said Christie. Crime was the third important issue that Christie addressed. The gov- ernor questioned the logic of releasing violent offenders before they came to trial. "They should keep you in jail until you came to trial. If you are ac- The governor wondered why $27,000 was spent to house non-violent offenders. By comparison, drug treat- ment costs $12,000 per year. Following his speech, Chris- tie took questions from the audience. A member of the audience commented continued on page two Long Lines Plague ECC Bookstore Buyback Program By Lev D. Zilbermintz Photo credit: Wintella Powell Buyback program. Spring semesters. During Summer I and II was displeased with the slow pace at A long line of students snaked to- terms, used books can be returned during which the cashiers worked. "Cashiers need to put more effort, pas- front of the ECC Bookstore on Level 1. books, the student must have the original sion in their job," said Tabatha, a Social Students were patiently waiting in line to purchase receipt, stated the Science major. sell their college textbooks back. Every so website. often, the line would inch forward, and an- ECCO staff talked to students dur- ECCO staff counted at least twenty stu- other student would try sell his or her ing the Fall Buyback program, held dents waiting in line, and only one ca- books. December 12 � 16, 2011. Most students shier serving them. According to the store policy post- were resigned to getting only a little mon- ed at www.essex.edu/bookstore/policy. ey for their books. Marva Rudder, the Director of the html used books have a return value of 30 Bookstore, defended the cashier. In percent of the purchase price. This means Izaias, an undecided major, said, [I take] an email response, the director wrote, that a book which originally cost $60 will "Whatever money they [the Bookstore] "The cashier performs satisfactorily. be sold back for $20. give me. Use it to buy books for next se- No complaints were ever made regard- Used books can be returned dur- mester." ing the process." Another student, Tabatha, Class of 2013, continued on page two News Editor Essex County College 303 University Ave. Newark, NJ 07102 PAGE 2 FEBRUARY 2012 Christie Church Visit continued from page one NEWS Bookstore Buyback continued from page one Remembering MLK continued from page one Eventually it was time for the keynote speaker, civil rights activist Lawrence `Larry" Hamm, a veteran human rights activist with over 30 years of experience. Immediately after taking the stage Mr. Hamm's strong presence was felt by the audience as his powerful voice boomed throughout the auditorium. "It is a great honor for me to be here with you today for this celebration of one of the greatest Americans that ever lived, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr." he opened. Hamm continued with an extremely pas- sionate speech, telling students that just like the civil rights pioneers before them it is time to take action. "We need to be marching right now on boards of education all over this state to make Dr. King's books required readings in these public schools!" he continued. Mr. Hamm then reminded the audience that MLK day was by no means given to the people, and if it weren't for the hard work and dedication of certain men and women, MLK day would have likely not become a holiday. Hamm eventually closed with a message to the students of ECC "Our history shows us that if we can put aside our differences and unite on our common interests, there is NOTHING we cannot accomplish!" After the event was over I asked Dr. Khal- fani what the one message from event he would like the students to remember. Khalfani said, "The message to take away from this is that students today have a huge role in changing the world just as they did in the civil rights movement." This event was not only a celebration of MLK the man, but the message he conveyed, and that if students of ECC have the courage to stand up for the things they believe in just as he did, then they truly have the power to change the world. as to whether the Governor and Legislature could do anything to stop the killings in New- ark. After all, the anti-bullying bill was fast- tracked through the Legislature. Afrika, an ECC alumnus, Class of 2011, asked, "What is the Governor going to do to create jobs?" Gary Campbell, a member of People's Organization for Progress, said, "I hate to be negative, but everything was set up. Every- thing is controlled [by the church]. The gov- ernor did not address the foreclosure issue in Irvington. I think that is key." Viva White, a Newark native, said that the meeting with the governor should have been held "in a bigger building" and a better time of the day. "It is about the people," said White. Rudder explained that the Bookstore uses a set criteria for determining which books it will buy back. According to Rudder, "the buying decision is made with the aid of the textbook Buyer's Guide.Textbooks are purchased if they will be used in the upcoming se- mester. Textbooks are purchased if up to the buyback event no edition changes are announced. The Bookstore also purchases text which will not be used in ECC class- rooms (per the Buyer's Guide and Wholesale Agreement)." Aly, a Biology/Premed student, Class of 2015, wanted to see the Bookstore buy more books than now. The freshman said she sold one book for $10, a fraction of its original cost. Another nursing students, Natalie, Class of 2012, said, "It is holiday. You can only get a little extra money back." According to Director Rudder, students may get up to 50 percent of the original price for their text- books. A lot depends on condition; demand; lack of edition changes; and whether texts will be used in the classrooms. Asked whether the Bookstore had an Internet buyback program, Rudder said that one has been in place since 2008. It can be found at http://www.essex.edu/bookstore/buyback/index.html The next Buyback program will take place at the end of the Spring 2012 semester. Look, a tall purple rectangle! Did You Know? continued from page seven Your stomach produces a new layer of mucus every two weeks so that it wont digest itself. Choosing Identities [but] it would be for us a backward step," Ryder ratio- nalizes as he weighs the options of assimilating into white society for survival, or accepting the complex psychological "burden" of the black race. In fact, he is one of the most ardent believers in this: Ryder chas- tises the "growing liberality, almost a laxity," of others in the Blue Vein Society concerning intermingling with blacks. He does this despite his own humble origins. But by the end of the story, after Liza Jane's poignant � and chastening--appeal, the answer to whom between whites and blacks the group should be loyal seems clear: the one that would be loyal to them. "The Wife of His Youth" suggest the whole audience in attendance has been moved by Ryder's tale. There was no true alternative to handling the appearance of someone like Liza Jane; acceptance was the only right answer. "For the story had awakened a responsive thrill in many hearts. There were some present who had seen, and others who had heard their fathers and grand- When you talk to your child, you build vocabulary, so everyday moments become learning moments. For more tips, visit bornlearning.org fathers tell, the wrongs and sufferings of this past generation, and all of them still felt, in their darker moments, the shadow hanging over them". Even within the Blue Vein Society, Liza Jane's story resonates. Ryder (and Chesnutt) knew it would. By having Liza Jane wait in an adjoining room, by Ry- der's act of looking at Mrs. Dixon with a "mingled expression of renunciation and inquiry," and by making his intent to choose his loyal wife abun- dantly clear. But most telling of all would be his recitation of the moral charge "to thine own self be true," uttered by Polonius in Shakespeare's Hamlet, It is easily arguable that Ryder had made his choice well before revealing her, in his own words to himself. The audience is meant to be moved; the is suggested that author Chesnutt knew his read- ing audience. "He should have acknowledged her," they say. To deny "the wife of his youth" in all her apparent blackness and loyalty would be to deny some fundamental part of themselves�their own respective racial identities. Free Income Tax Preparation For ECC Students Now Through April 16th ECC's Single Stop USA student resource center is offering free income tax preparation services for students now through April 16. Those eligible must be current ECC students with incomes of less than $49,000 if married or with dependents, or less than $25,000 if single without dependents. Stu- Security cards for everyone listed on the return. Also required are W-2 forms for each job; documentation and provider's tax iden- any other tax-related documentation received, such as tuition receipts. The free service is offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thurs- days, and Fridays, and 3 to 7 p.m. Wednes- Green Area near the Educational Opportunity 973-877-1856 for additional information. Taxes are due this year by April 17, as April 15 falls on a Sunday and April 16 is the Emancipation Day holiday in the District of Columbia. 99% of Americans have seen combat on TV. 1% of Americans have seen combat in Iraq or Afghanistan. Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Sandra M. Palumbo, U.S. Navy - Bahrain, November 6, 2007 We know where you're coming from. We've got your back. Join the online community at IAVA.org ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE OBSERVER PAGE 3 FEBRUARY 2012 student life Getting By At Essex County College S u r v i v a l T i p s F r o m a R e c e n t G r a d u a t e By Leonita Rexha Staff Writer New Students: First, I would like to say Welcome to Es- sex County College and congratulations on your acceptance. Now, that you are in college, here is a list of items that may better prepare you for stu- dent life. No, it's not more books to buy, but some things hopefully! 1- The counselors in the Red Area gelp transcripts) and degree requirements before seeing them. If you think you don't have a degree, then you are Liberal Arts. *This applies to current stu- dents as well* they will make you go back six times for the small- est things and the line there can take forever. Try to schedule your visits there when you have abso- lutely nothing to do for the next couple of hours. 6- If you are planning to go to a four year college after Essex County College, make certain the classes you are taking are transferrable or else for no reason. NJTRANSFER.org is a good website to help you with that. Remedial classes, those be- low 100, are non-transferrable. 7- If you are going to a four year college, your hardest classes will be your best and the most memorable. 8- If you are not used to or afraid of the work load that college gives, don't be. In the pro- cess you will learn to work under pressure and un- derstand the meaning of procrastination. Good luck! also register withdraw online. This means you can avoid waiting in the never-ending Enrollment Services line. 2- Take time to learn your way around - utes before classes start as some professors will not excuse your lateness. They are preparing you for the real world where lateness will not be ac- cepted by your employers. 3- You will have to do everything on your own unless you have a really good profes- sor or counselor to help you. Thus, if you have found that good samaritan or counselor to help Illustration credit: Leonita Rexha ECCO Roving Photographer Meet...Indira Singh Student Life & Activites at The West Essex Campus By Patrice Wright Staff Writer WEST ESSEX BEAT Essex County College's West Essex campus, Photo Credit: Wintella Powell just in time for the Spring Semester. Most of West Essex's events are free and open to all of the students who attend the campus. As the semester progresses, more of events will be added to the calendar and with everyone's favorite price, free. West Essex student, Shana May, boasted about their Open Mic Nights, Free Breakfast in the Morning, and Free Peanut-Butter and Jelly Sand- wich Day (PB&J Day). Although this campus may be smaller than the main campus in Newark � that doesn't take away from the student interaction with their classmates or teachers. Everyone knows almost everybody that attends this campus. Brandon Layne, of both cam- puses adds "There are clothing stores nearby and a lot of fast food places, restaurants, and deli's around. Different banks are close by and the parking for the school is also FREE." Layne feels the environment in and around the school is really comforting. Photo credit: Christian Blair Upcoming Events at West Essex: February 1st- Free PB&J Day February 9th � Extreme Game Day February 22nd � Black History Month Celebra- tion Stay Connected. Follow on Twitter: @EssexCountyWEC By Wintella Powell Staff Writer Instant Valentine's Day Card my gift to you. Indira Singh's perspective of Essex County College is that no matter how old you are or where you are within your education, it is never too late to pursue or further your education. The college has over 600 hundred programs to choose from. Singh's majors are Dental Hygiene and Education. Indira desires to teach everyone all around the world how to properly take care of their teeth. She wants to provide free dental plans for people in other countries who cannot afford dental insurance. Singh enjoys motivating children and encourages them to get a good education and to stay in school in order to lead successful lives. Indira believes that it is important that our African American children know their history. We all must remember our brothers and sisters who have paved the way for us. With that being said, Indira wants the Black Student Union reinstated at Essex County College. She is seeking serious students who are interested in helping her in this venture. Illustration credit: Stacey Almonte ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE OBSERVER PAGE 4 FEBRUARY 2012 OPINION OBSERVER The Student Voice of Essex County College Essex County College 303 University Ave. Newark, NJ 07102 email@example.com Editor-in-Chief Christian Blair News Editor Lev Zilbermintz Features Editors Elaina Garrett Tsahai General Staff Writers Stacey Almonte Michael Araujo Salomao Becker Robert Colon Collis Marrow Ben Potesky Wintella Powell Leonita Rexha Juniel Spruiel Patrice Wright Advertising Representative Chelsea Wegman Layout Design Editor Christian Blair Humanities Faculty Co-Advisors Eileen DeFreece Jennifer Wager Letter to the Editor Many people do not know the hard work, commitment and dedication it takes to publish a college newspaper and achieve academic success at the same time. I can only imagine that producing a student news- paper is no a walk in the park. And my position as president of Student Government Association (SGA) gives me a unique vantage point to make such an observation. priorities and responsibilities with attending classes and getting good grades. At the same time, we try to have a social life and enjoy the college experience. This often begs the question: what is college life like when you are participating in an extracurricular activity and trying graduate with a respectable GPA? Most often there is little or no college life. That's why it is important to take time out to say a big thanks to the hardworking ECCO staff, as well as many other students who devote their time to lead other clubs and activities while balancing their demand- ing academic schedules and making college a fun and exciting experience for the entire student body. They are truly the unsung heroes of ECC! Again kudos to the editors for their excellent work over the past few months. last semester. Keep up the great work ECCO! Kindest regards, Alton Drummond ECC Student Government President they are in fact suicidal. Getting them help is vital, be that medical attention or counseling services. Of- fering genuine care in concern is a long way. Saving someone does not always have to be a super heroic act By Elaina Garrett like convincing someone not to jump out a window. Simple kind words can have a huge impact on the suf- ferer. You can be a hero by telling your peer things the semester is just beginning. The stress of term papers, like, "I understand that you are hurting more than GPA's, work, bills and social life can take a toll on our you can explain to me", "I love you. I know you can mental state. We are constantly bombarded with the pres- overcome this", "I believe in your pain", or "Would sures that come along with transitioning into adulthood. These pressures, depending on the resiliency and coping can also make a `life pact' that says "Promise me you skills of the individual can either make or break you. De- won't hurt yourself before we at least try some treat- pression among college students is on the rise. According ments" or leave loving reminders that encourages to a study published in the American Journal of Ortho- them to want to see their future. Personally, music psychiatry, of the individuals that visited an on-campus and my younger brother saved me from my overdose medical center, 25 percent were diagnosed as depressed. attempt. Find things that they like or that bring joy to With numbers for depression being this high, suicide is a them during this dark time. Above all, try to get them help sooner rather than later. reality to some. Suicide and depression are as serious as a Recently an ECC student attempted suicide in a class- heart attack and they should be treated as such. Never room on the Newark campus of Rutgers University. By grace, a Rutgers student entered the classroom, stopping ever assume that someone will not take his or her own this tragedy. Since then, the universities have been en- life, or assume that what they are going through is a couraging counseling and other services for students who phase and that they will "get over it." may be at risk for this severe depressive state. Students are encouraged to take advantage of these services, even person. Being in such a state as this is entrapment, it if non-suicidal, and to also speak up if they feel someone is a silent imprisonment. I felt as if the end was the most logical solution. The problems that existed did may be in need of these helps. More puzzling than the reality of a friend at- not make sense to me and I was done with trying to tempting to take his or her own life is not being able to detect it before the inevitable occurs. How do you know if would only result in my own unhappiness. The need one of your peers are depressed or suicidal? What do you for relief that I longed for only existed in death. With say to him or her that will impact a change? How do I pre- counseling and a great deal of strength and support, vent sabotaging a rescue mission? These are all important I overcame. It is imperative that if you or someone questions that we as young adults should be knowledge- you know is suicidal, seek help. My favorite tool that able of, especially with the strains that school, work and was taught to me by a counselor was to reach out to a social life put on us. As an individual who attempted sui- trusted individual (maybe a friend or loved one) if you cide, I see the importance of this enlightenment for young ever felt unsure about harming yourself. In an emergency, contact the National Suicide adults. A depressed person will not always admit that Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK. Our peers are they are in fact depressed, although some do. A few signs can protect yourself and others. or symptoms in young adults are: Silent Imprisonment By Christian Blair Editor-in-Chief The Pulse hopes to be a column that reports the results of anonymous surveys of - it out, and place it in the Pulse envelope on the ECCO newsroom door located downstairs in the Clara Dasher Center -- Room G3. Thank you for your participation! 1. Sadness or hopelessness 2. Irritability, anger, or hostility 3. Frequent crying 4. Withdrawal from friends/ family 5. Lack of enthusiasm and motivation 6. Thoughts of suicide ECC Voting Survey 1- Major: ___________________ 2- GPA: ____________________ 3- Sex: Male Female Just because a friend displays one or more of these symptoms, does not make him or her depressed or even suicidal. Please do not attack the individual with ac- cusations of depression or suicide. Be sure to offer your sincerest compassion; you never know the state of the in- dividual. Depression is a state that may lead to an attempted decipher, but most of the time they are confessing their plans to us but we do not notice. Our peers have the great- est impact on us, thus it is important for us to know the signs so that we will be able to help our friends. Did you know that 70 percent of people who are going to or have committed suicide have shared their plans with a friend or family member? They may have said things like, "I'm bet- ter off dead", "I won't be your problem when I'm gone", or "You'll be sorry when I'm gone." Although these are not outright confessions, they are indirect implications. Other changes in behavior include making arrangements to eliminate debt, a sudden need for reconciliation, or giv- ing away valuables or prized possessions. In the mind of the depressed person, these actions are attempts to allevi- ate the burden on their loved ones once they are gone. of being a help to someone who is severely depressed to the point of suicide, is intervening once you are sure that ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE OBSERVER Academic Counseling Services If you need counseling or know of someone who does, please visit: essex.edu/studentlife/ services/counseling/ The department is staffed by an outstanding group of dedicated and deeply caring professionals. If you are aware of a crisis during a time the counseling department is not open, there are resources in the community that can help, such as the suicide help line that can be reached by calling 4- Did you vote in the last presidential election? Yes No 5- Did you vote in the last midterm election? Yes No 6- Do you plan to vote in the next presidential election? Yes No 7- Do you plan to vote in the next midterm election? Yes No "The Pulse" logo design credit: Juniel Spruiel 800-273-8255 PAGE 5 FEBRUARY 2012 OPINION Excessive ATM Surcharges at ECC ATMs By Christian Blair Editor-in-Chief Big Bad Deal for considering charging their customers $3 per month to use their debit cards. Thankfully, those plans were quashed by overwhelming customer outrage. But some Essex County College (ECC) students are feel- ing a Wells Fargo squeeze of a different kind --by way of prohibitive ATM surcharges with every card dip. The Newark campus cafeteria does not take plastic so when you are strapped for cash and rushing between classes, your only recourse is one of the two nearby ATMs. That is, if you can afford it. ECC students without a Wells Fargo debit card are charged a whopping $3 surcharge for every transaction. Add that to the fee their own bank charges for using another bank's ATM and the withdrawal be- comes very expensive. "It's ridiculous," says Social Services major Latonya Graham, " I just paid $5 for taking out twenty bucks! You want to get lunch, but you have to pay this ridiculous fee." The only other option is the Bank of America main building in the Newark campus. It comes with a $2 surcharge, which seems like a great deal by direct comparison only. Jessica Corado, a Psychology ma- jor, says she'll accept the fee her own bank tacks on but the ATM surcharges go too far. Corado said, "Not everybody has a Bank of America or Wells Fargo ac- count." Other students have learned to bring the cash they need, or they travel off-campus and avoid the ECC ATMs completely. Pilal Abdul-Qawi, a Social Sciences major, walks four blocks away to his own bank just to save himself the surcharge. "I don't want to pay those fees," he says. Social Sciences major Vanessa Munoz says she'll often walk out to the Rite-Aid to buy something with a fee-less "cash back" option or, "I won't buy anything and just starve till I get home." These students might be interested to know - that only two blocks away, inside the Paul Robeson age (Figure 1.) is a $20 withdrawal at the ECC building of Rutgers University, the ATMs have no sur- charges. As you open the door to Robeson, you are Wells Fargo ATM on 10/18/2011 and the second image (Figure 2.) is the same amount taken out at boasts "65,000 Surcharge Free ATMs." As advertised, the Rutgers Wells Fargo ATM on 11/2/2011. a $20 withdrawal (even with a PNC bankcard) deducts precisely $20 and nothing more. Imagine that. Okay, so we're comparing apples and or- Fig. 1 a surcharge is a completely different animal. The real head scratcher comes right around the corner, where kiosk that doesn't charge students a dime. Fig. 2 Illustration credit: Leonita Rexha You'll note these two students are being hit by their own bank (PNC) to the tune of $2.50 at both ATMs. You can't do anything about that. Well, you can, but you'll have to vote for stronger representatives in Congress. Good luck on that. While researching this story, some questioned whether ATM surcharges were legal on college cam- for consumer protection is United States Senator Robert Menendez. He explains, "These fees are legal, even on student campuses." All that's required is that the ATM discloses the fee before the transaction is completed, "often done via a sticker on the front of the ATM or a prompt on the screen." The crucial difference, and the point of this ar- ticle, is that while the Rutgers student suffers no ATM surcharge, the ECC student is jacked twice -- once by their own bank, and once more for an extra $3 by Wells Fargo. It might be tempting for the reader to conclude that Wells Fargo is pulling a fast one on ECC, but it's not that simple. Dr. Joyce Wilson Harley is the new Execu- tive Director of Administrative Services at ECC. She believes the likely scenario is that Rutgers has negoti- ated a "consideration" with their vendors that keep the ATMs in Robeson Hall free of charge. This is some- thing ECC can pursue as well. "If the contract is up soon, we put the RFP (Request For Proposal) out. That gives [the banks] notice that we are looking at others and that brings them to the table." However, "If [the contracts] have longer legs then we call them in and have a conversation," said Harley. Greg White, the Wells Fargo Community Bank Presi- dent for the Metro New Jersey Area was on vacation when contacted for comment and Wells Fargo's North- ern New Jersey Regional President, Lucia Gibbons hasn't yet returned phone-calls. However, Fran Durst, a spokeswoman for Wells Fargo's Northeast division, contract time. As it turns out, the reason why the cafeteria does not offer debit or credit card purchases is another unfortu- nate contract. The vendor, Metropolitan Food Services, is not currently contractually obligated to provide a debit/credit payment option. When we spoke this past November, Dr. Harley mentioned that the Metropolitan Food Services contract is up at the end of the school year. Whether talking about the contracts with the banks or food services, she says she is interested in "ne- gotiating differently with any vendor," on the next go continued on page six TAKE YOUR HIGHER EDUCATION even higher earn your bachelor's degree Once you've earned your associate degree and are thinking about continuing your education, a great place to consider is DeVry College of New York. 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It was published in May, 1963 along with this introduction by Colin W. Bell, Executive Secretary of the American Friends Service Committee. "From Birmingham jail, where he was imprisoned as a participant in nonvio- lent demonstrations against segregation, Martin Luther King, Jr.has written the letter which follows. It was a response to a public statement of concern and caution issued by eight white religious leaders. The letter speaks powerfully of one of the great freedoms --freedom from racial discrimination -- which is rooted in our religious faith and which our nation has stood for in principle but has not yet established in practice. It is an eloquent expression of the non violent approach to the restructuring of our social order."- Colin W. Bell The Public Domain Original First Version of Martin Luther King's Letter From The Birmingham City Jail "...I guess it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say wait. But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers brothers and sisters with impunity; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an air-tight cage of poverty in the why she can't go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her little eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see the depressing clouds of inferiority begin to form in her little mental sky, and see her begin to distort her after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you; when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging your last name becomes "John," and when your wife and mother are never given the respected title "Mrs."; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tip-toe stance never quite knowing what to expect next, and plagued with inner fears and outer a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into an abyss of injustice where they experience the bleakness of corroding despair. I hope, sirs, you can understand our legitimate and unavoidable impatience." - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Read the entire letter as well as other letters and speeches by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Martin Luther King Online The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Public Domain Resource Site http://www.mlkonline.net count are the excessive surcharges, free brand- ed water bottle aside, Wells Fargo is basically exorbitant surcharges on ECC students may be detrimental to their marketing plan. Gaug- ing student reaction to the surcharges, the banks may be teaching the unintended lesson that neither Wells Fargo or Bank of America deserve your business in the future when they clearly do not have your back today, when you need it most. Dr. Harley says the six-foot-high ATMs in the main building should not be con- strued as an endorsement of those services by the college. Just as a shopping mall may have one or more ATMs for the convenience of their customers, the ATMs that are on campus are merely vendors providing a service under contract. However, one would assume an edu- cational institution to have a greater obligation to negotiate contracts in the better interests of its clientele than that of a mall to its transient customers. Rutgers has managed to work out agreements that provide ATM service with- out surcharges but ECC is burdened by the perfect storm of two poorly negotiated con- tracts: a food vendor that doesn't take plastic, and banks that levy sky-high surcharges. The result of this leaves ECC students as a mere afterthought, outweighing any intended con- venience. What do you think? Are these sur- charges acceptable for the convenience? Should the food services offer card swipe pay- ment? Do colleges have a higher obligation to students than that of convenience store to its customers? Voice your opinion in the next issue of the ECC Observer by sending a Letter to the Editor. Email firstname.lastname@example.org Why aren't you writing for us? It s time to get your work published Big Bad Deal services, acceptance of credit and debit cards is, "one of the criteria upon which respondents will be evaluated," said Harley. As the Student Government Associa- tion held its Advocacy Movement panel in the cafeteria pit on November 30th, 2011, a table was being set up beside the Wells Fargo ATM. Representatives of the bank were giving away Wells Fargo water bottles and other incentives to any student who signed up for an account. I spoke with Frank, one of the representatives at the table, who declined to offer his last name. When asked if he thought it was fair of Wells Fargo to charge Essex County College students who weren't Wells Fargo customers three dollars per transaction, Frank offered, "this is standard". When I informed him that Rutgers students, with or without a Wells Fargo account, paid no surcharge, he declined further comment. When I attempted to take a photograph of their table, they yelled for me to stop and covered their faces. I respected their wishes, returned my camera to its case, and went on my way to the Advocacy Move- ment where students and community leaders were decrying, among other things, the role of in our economic free fall. Granted, the ATMs provide a conve- nience but they are also massive advertise- ments for the banks. The school offers the banks access to thousands of potential cus- tomers every day. But this is hardly a choice you make on the merit of the bank itself. When your only alternative to signing up for an ac- ECCO: THE STUDENT VOICE RETRACTION We ran a piece in the Decem- ber 2011 issue titled, "ECC World AIDS Week". Shawna Barr, a panelist at the event, called to our attention certain factual inaccuracies and misquotations. The ECCO faculty advisors and the entire editorial staff apologizes for causing any distress to Ms. Barr and her family. CAMPUS WRITERS & PHOTOGRAPHERS WANTED Pick up a staff application at the ECCO newsroom located in the Newark Campus Clara Dasher Student Center - Room G03 ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE OBSERVER PAGE 7 FEBRUARY 2012 arts Staff Writer It will always watch you with its red beaded eye. Hear every word you speak and whisper, feel every move you make. It knows every single thought you think inside your very own head. There is no sanctuary from comfort. Not even in your own body. There the mysterious girl from outside, they'll dis- cover secrets that were better left uncovered. To say that Incarceron was beau- tifully written will not cover it all. Even though the story was wonderfully writ- ten out, the way the words formed did not where I had to go back and re-read it, just to understand what I had read. Now this may be because I was tired when I read it, but either way I still had to go back every few pages. But when I say the story was beauti- fully written, I mean the general idea. A prison that controls you and gives you life is something that we can all learn to fear. But without spoiling, there were certain parts that made me hesitate to liking it even more. For some very odd reason I really hated the fact that they saw little animals. Now for everyone who has read this, you will understand what I mean. I am talking about Claudia and Jared, when they see the who have no idea what I am talking about, go read the book. But that part really bugged with the story. I mean if you were able to see the animals, should you not be able to see the others? The characters are well written out, full of life and emotions that make you want to get to know them more. Catherine Fisher plays with your own emotions, making you feel pity for certain characters and then despise them a second later. Every character you meet has a pivotal role to setting the story forward, so it was impressive that they were all third dimensional. The novel is action-packed and full of thought provoking incidents that make you wonder if everything is happening by accident, or if it was all planned out. Both the world outside and the world inside the to see what is real and what is an illusion. Break out your sketchbook It s time to get your work published is no way to escape from the clutches of this monster. Incarceron controls you. You are Incarceron. Imagine a prison, like many states put together controlled by itself. Imagine be- ing trapped inside the prison for your whole life and wanting to see what is out there. If there is an outside. You are now Finn, a young boy who wants all of this. He has heard stories of one man, Sapphique, leaving the prison, but he does not know if they are true. He would do anything to leave and he's Incarceron by Catherine Fisher is a captivating tale about escaping something CAMPUS COMIC ILLUSTRATORS WANTED Submit your artwork to the ECCO newsroom located in the Newark Campus Clara Dasher Student Center - Room G03 Illustrator credit: ECC Alumni, Leonita Rexha ECCO: THE STUDENT VOICE that allows him to communicate with the outside world, he starts to learn the truth that where everything they learned is thrown he was never told. With the help of Keiro; his away and one question pops up. Will they oath brother, Attia; a slave girl, and Claudia; ever be able to escape Incarceron? Choosing Identities: Acceptance in Charles Chestnutt's "The Wife of His Youth" By Jonathan Williamson Contributing Writer Answers to December Crosswords In African American author Charles Chesnutt's 1899 short story "The Wife of end: "Shall you acknowledge her?" Should the light-skinned, educated, and formerly enslaved Mr. Ryder acknowledge the aged, dark-skinned, and illiterate Liza Jane, who� though part and parcel of the life he has left behind�has been searching for him loyally her and move on with his new existence, his light-skinned beau, and reinvented racial identity? The answer, from the text, would seem clear. "He should have acknowledged her," echoes the light-skinned Mrs. Dixon, along with the other guests at Mr. Ryder's Blue Vein Society. For those that do not know, "Blue Vein" societies were organizations formed after the Civil War era. They were made up of (usually) free-born, upper class mixed- race blacks whose skin had to be light enough for their blue veins to show through. Ryder's stated expectation of this very answer reveals the heart of the story: to deny her is to deny not just his past, but the collective one of formerly enslaved African Americans at the end of the 19th century. Having come to this conclusion, it is likely he would have presented the wife of his youth to them no matter what the response. Instant Valentine's Day Card catch me if you can skinned blacks engaged in "the upward pro- cess of absorption" into white "high" society and dark-skinned blacks of "servile origins [with] grosser aspects" in the post-slavery era in the United States are established early on in the short story. Ryder himself expresses a denial of the latter. He does this having to meet with persons "whose com- plexions and callings in life" were beneath the standards of the Blue Vein Society�he even argues for more social rigidity. "[The dark-skinned blacks] would welcome us, continued on page two Illustration credit: Stacey Almonte ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE OBSERVER PAGE 8 FEBRUARY 2012 sports Men's Basketball Schedule February 2012 2nd 4th 7th 9th Asa College - NY Salem CC Delaware Tech CC - Stanton Raritan Valley CC 7pm 3pm 7pm 7pm Home Home Home Home Photo credit: Wintella Powell Women's Basketball Schedule February 2012 2nd 4th 7th Asa College 5pm Salem CC 1pm Delaware Tech CC - Stanton 5pm Home Home Home Photo credit: Wintella Powell ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE OBSERVER