observer THE OFFICIAL STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE
THE STUDENT VOICE
The GREAT DEBATE By Jonathan M. Williamson
Now The Voters Will Decide The Direction of the Country
#helpfindkara News -page 2
Americans tuned in to watch the Democratic incumbent and Republican nominee go after the issues – and each other. Certainly there was a clash of personalities on the stage. And pressure on both candidates to perform: President Obama suffered heavily in the polls after a soporific showing at the first debate, where Obama and moderator, PBS’s Jim Lehrer, were drowned out by an aggressive and well-prepared, if not entirely truthful, Romney. Up until then, a string of major political gaffes abroad, a Republican National Convention derailed by Clint Eastwood, and a damaging video in which Governor Romney Photo Credit: Shuttterstock.com
By the time this paper is in your hands, the November 2012 election determining who will be the next President of the United States of America will be less than a week away. With it ends one of the most contentious – and expensive – presidential races in recent memory, the kind that will likely decide the ideological trajectory of this country for years to come. For the candidates –President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney— the three Presidential Debates represented a final opportunity to make their case to the American people. And for the millions of undecided voters, they may be the tiebreaker in an election where every vote matters.
The three presidential debates and one vice-presidential debate took place over the month of October and covered topics as varied as the economy, the tax code, and domestic and foreign policy. Millions of
Wyclef Jean @ ECC Student Life -page 4
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BLACK FRIDAY Opinions / Editorials -page 6
J.K.Rowling’s New Book Arts -page 7
NaNoWriMo: NATIONAL NOVEL WRITING MONTH Would-be Writers Aim for the Stars in November
24-Hour Event Encourages Smokers to
By Alissa Lopez
interview with a West Caldwell ECC student who wishes to remain anonymous, one girl’s life with cigarettes is unveiled– pre- and post-addiction. With a lighter and pack of Camel menthols ready to burn, anonymous explains, “At first it was about once a week that I picked up a cigarette. However, I found myself smoking more often once final exam season came around… Then, other things happened in life and I was finding more excuses to smoke due to stress. Finally, I just accepted the fact that I was addicted and smoked 3 to 5 times a day.” Many addictions from coffee to cocaine begin with a laid back apcontinued on page 2 Photo Credit: Wintella Powell
Will you mark the end of a lifetime of smoking? November 15th is recognized as the Great American Smoke Out. First introduced 1974 by Lynn Smith, the publisher of the Monticello Times, the American Cancer Society sponsors the event. The GASO encourages smokers across the country to give up their packs of cigarettes for 24 hours. The idea is that many will quit smoking altogether. Once an addict accomplishes the challenge, a day without cigarettes can lead to a lifetime. As the 37th Annual Smoke Out, the movement aims towards instilling awareness and motivation within the hearts of young and old tobacco addicts. Always on the Thursday before Thanksgiving, the perks of commitment increase with opportunities to brag about newfound freedom from cigarettes around the turkey adorned table. Although the campus stands as a smoke-free environment, finding students with cigarettes in hand is frequent for ECC and virtually all college campuses and public high schools alike, despite the consequences. In an
By Kristen Williamson News Editor
Put Their Cigarettes Down Staff Writer
Photo Credit: Kristen Williamson
The GREAT AMERICAN SMOKEOUT 2012
Do you have a story you want to get out? Perhaps an idea you’ve been sitting on and haven’t found the time to pen, something you’ll write when you don’t have classes, jobs, other responsibilities...in other words, probably never. Then maybe this will get you started! November is National Novel Writing Month, 30 days in which would-be-writers are encouraged to type out 50,000 words of a novel. Nicknamed NaNoWriMo, it started in 1999 with only 21 people and has grown to include over 250,000 participants and over 36,000 winners. To win NaNo, you simply have to hit the word count by the last minute of November 30th. But this is no cake walk. NaNo challenges writers to type out roughly 1,667 words daily in order to make the word count, which is just under 12,000 words a week. 50,000 words may seem like a lofty number, but it only surpasses the limits of a novella, or a short novel, by 10,000 words. Any type of fiction is acceptable, whether it be original material or fanworks based off of an existing fictional world. The motto of NaNo, as stated by project creator Chris Baty is “No plot? No problem!” as it puts more emphasis on quantity over quality to
Essex County College 303 University Ave. Newark, NJ 07102
Photo Credit: NaNoWriMo
get people writing. And while extensive notes are allowed before starting, previous material is discouraged to ensure a proper NaNo experience. Upon discussing National Novel Writing Month with Creative Writing students at Essex, one question that comes up is, “What do I win?” to which the NaNo creators can respond with “Nothing!” There is very little reward for being a participant or a winner of NaNo other than walking away a novelist. However, Create Space – a self-publishing company of Amazon.com – provides NaNo winners with free printed copies of their manuscripts, either for their own use or to send to publishing companies. And quite a few NaNo winners have become published. Both Sarah Gruen’s novel Water for Elephants, a book that eventually found its way to the silver screen, and Erin Morgenstern’s Night Circus, which spent seven weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List, were originally started during NaNoWriMo. Perhaps you’ve decided you do want to write for NaNo and you’re curious how to start. continued on page 2
Photo Credit: Wintella Powell
Social Networks Help Find a Missing Girl By Tsahai General Features Editor
American Smoke Out continued from page 1
Photo Credit: WellCall Inc.
me, and that was what I hated the most.” Despite the fact that 1 in 5 deaths in America are attributed to tobacco use, people of all ages continue to smoke. Details within the report include health impacts, prevention efforts, and tobacco marketing which many point to as the biggest factor for adolescent smokers. Some call for a rise in cigarette taxes and restrictions in an effort to make the next generation of teens tobacco-free. The average Joe can take part in the effort by simply not smoking and expressing the many health concerns to addicts. “I’ve been cigarette free for about a year now, and honestly, you just have to find your own motivation to stop it. I didn’t like smelling like smoke, having yellow nails, and feeling tight in the chest. I also didn’t like the price of cigarettes- all of this along with the obvious health risks. All of those things caused me to come to the conclusion that it simply wasn’t worth it, and I stopped, after slowly reducing my intake. I have also found new, more effective ways to handle stress; like exercising and laughing with friends and family. Smoking is your decision, and so is quitting smoking,” explained anonymous. Word of mouth is the fastest method of communication in this day and age. Our interviewee agrees, “I would love to spread the word about it because a lot of people need support from others to gain the motivation to quit smoking.” To participate in this year’s GASO festivities, keep eyes, ears, and mouths open as all are encouraged to fight back against tobacco.
ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE OBSERVER
Despite being called National Novel Writing Month, NaNo is a global program, and there are guides in nearby areas who host writing parties, can help you if you have any questions, and encourage you to keep at it. The Northeast New Jersey area has over 3,000 members, and in the past has been one of the top 50 most active NaNo areas in the world. Other than that? Former president and co-founder of the currently online-only Original and Fanfiction Club at ECC Dixie Korley suggests that in order to finish by the deadline, you have to have as much content as possible when you start and “remember to completely cast away the critic inside you because he or she will find any possible way to stall you.” If you’re reading this paper now, chances are it is already November, so there’s no time to waste. Start that novel! The Original and Fan Fiction Club meets twice monthly. Though no longer active at ECC, the OFFC can be reached via their Facebook group: Original and Fan Fiction Club (Essex County College), where they maintain an online presence.
STUDENTS COMPLAIN OF RUDE SECURITY AND PROFESSORS, OVERCHARGED BOOKS By Lev Zilbermintz
Executive Editor / Student Life Editor
Tarrick Tucker has many leadership roles at Essex County College. He is a Student Government Association Senator; the Treasurer of the Hip Hop Student Association; Vice President of Project Taraa; and a work-study student at Urban Issues Institute. Right now SGA Senator Tucker represents students’ many concerns to the administration of ECC. Students have come to Tucker with complaints about textbooks; rude security; rude, disrespectful professors; and lack of credit cards acceptance by the Cafeteria. According to research done by Tucker, currently 85% of all faculty at Essex County College are adjuncts. Only 15% are tenured faculty. This number was verified to ECCO by multiple sources. Senator Tucker feels that the huge amount of adjuncts is threatening the graduation rate at Essex County College. As it currently stands, the graduation rate less than 10% of all students. Essex County College has over 10,000 enrolled students. In an email to ECCO, Tucker wrote, “Many student complaints were about the teachers being rude to them as if they [students] were not here to get an education. Teachers seem cruel, disrespectful, and lack organization when it comes to class and preparation.” ECCO research has found that as longserving professors retire, the school saves money by hiring non-tenured faculty. Tucker openly wondered whether some of the adjuncts were taking it out of students because of poor pay and lack of security. “There needs to be a serious conversation with serious action about all of these issues that may be affecting the graduation rate... continued on page 5
Photo Credit: Wintella Powell
-proach but eventually become overpowering for a person. “Every time I smell, see, or hear about cigarettes, I want one so bad it is almost uncontrollable,” explains anonymous, “What I do is take myself out of that situation. I just walk away. If I can’t see, smell, or hear about cigarettes, my mind will move away also.” Millions of Americans are affected by the smoking epidemic with teenagers recognized as the top contributors. According to the report released by the U.S. Surgeon General’s office in February, the first on youth tobacco use since 1994, 80% of addicts are hooked before they’re old enough to legally buy a pack. The same report explains how nearly 1 in 5 high school students smoke– a minor improvement over the 1990s rate of 1 in 3 teens. Teens today have learned more about the harmful effects of tobacco than any other generation. “Smoking made me dizzy, tired, lethargic, smelly, and unfocused. All I could think about was smoking. My grades suffered, and ironically, I was unable to focus… I also hated feeling controlled by cigarettes and my cravings. I was irritable if I hadn’t had a cigarette. I’m sure that had an effect on how my friends perceived me,” said anonymous. One’s personal, social, school, and work life can be altered entirely after the first taste of nicotine. Imagine how much time and money an addict throws away on a pack each day. Now, imagine how much closer he inches towards lung cancer and other physical damage with each cigarette. “It always called my name. No amount of cigarettes was enough. The more I smoked to calm my cravings, the more I craved them. I was a vicious cycle. I went through a pack every three days, and about a pack a day at the weekend. I smoked at 8 in the morning when I woke up...it was like my coffee. I smoked in the middle of class, in between class, after a meal, and one before I went to bed at night. It was a large part of my life. It controlled
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Photo Credit: Wintella Powell
“There is someone in my hour ecall 911” just In regards to “what’s before she disappeared. According to Twitter’s trending,” social networking feeds and statistics, the tweet was retweeted over is in this season and rising 33,000 times and the hashtag “#helpfindkara” in popularity. There have began trending in less than 18 hours. According to been many sites that have the Star Ledger and Time, in that instant, Alongi gone viral amongst the youth of today, and those gained over 100,000 followers. Being that Alongi same sites are replaced over time by a new “evwas from Clark, NJ, after she had gone “misseryone’s doing it.” Myspace was a site for people ing,” the Clark police received a flood of calls over the age of 18 to meet new people, and was with fake leads to the whereabouts of the teenage converted into a site for teenagers with the best girl. That same day, the station was flooded with graphics. It was then replaced by a site, Facebook, over a thousand phone calls, including those from designated for old classmates to reconnect. Facepsychics nationwide claiming to “see” Alongi, and book hasn’t yet found itself extinct. It has evolved this made the search all the more difficult. into a site revolving around the posting and liking The investigation took place promptly and of pictures and the promotion of businesses and the police could find no evidence of a break-in. designers through use of groups; on the other hand, They brought in the K-9, who found no other scent Facebook’s popularity is steadily decreasing. other than Kara’s; in addition, investigators found What’s truly trending now is a site with that a cab was called and picked up a girl matching actual trending topics: Twitter. Twitter essentially Alongi’s description. According to the Star Ledger, has topics open for discussion to anybody with K-9 units and the police traced her scent through the simple use of a hashtag (#). It is used by both the back of the house, the yard of a neighbor, and the common folk and the verified stars, almost as around the corner. After contacting the local cab, a happy medium between the two. You have the they found that the girl was dropped off at the Rahoption to tweet anything from your breakfast to the way Train Station. All the evidence led the police appearance of that man on the bus. On twitter, fol- to assume that the kidnapping was merely a farce. lowers feel connected to the stars by merely being Regardless, Kara’s popularity grew steadily. Some able to respond to their tweets, with or without a doubters did question, “Why would she tweet 911 reaction from the star themselves. instead of calling 911?” and “She left her phone In addition, regular users can become home?” It didn’t take long for much of her sup“verified” through growing popularity and having ports to turn against her and turn her newly trenda lot of followers. The more followers you have ing S.O.S into a joke, for example, “#Helpfindkara the more trendy you become. Friends compete and a therapist.” But, those who did feel the girl was in hope for retweets and replies from their favorite danger even went ahead to create a Facebook page verified users; in addition, they hope for the day for her in order to raise awareness. that said user will eventually deem them worthy According to updated sources, Alongi was of a “follow-back.” A retweet is a reposting of a found two days later, in Carney’s point, walking tweet sent by a user, verified or regular, with the down the New Jersey Turnpike. It was around option of adding commentary or leaving it as is, 4:30p.m, the following Tuesday, and they took for your own followers to see what you found Alongi straight to the hospital for evaluation. She to be entertaining, shocking, etc. Twitter has the returned home early Wednesday. capability of linking every aspect of real life into a Social networking has taken a serious simple tweet. Only on twitter could a teenage girl turn for the century. In just a few short hours, the report a break-in/ kidnapping and have it trending word that there was a 16 year old ‘missing’ spread nation-wide, in a manner of minutes. nationwide. Though there were many false leads, What? police and officials must agree that a social net Kara Alongi, 16 year old New Jersey work can lead to the finding of missing person if resident, tweeted at 6:12 p.m., on September 30, taken seriously.
Novel Writing Contest
Student Life FINISH ECC IN 3!!!
Completion Rally Project Aims to Inspire Students to Graduate
A Month of History Celebrating the Achievements of the Gay Rights Movement
Photo Credit: Kristen Williamson By Bryan A. Bruno President of ECC Pride By Sofia Medina
Assistant Dean Marva Mack with Miss Essex County College, Jennifer Obonna
President of Phi Theta Kappa
The College Completion Project rally was meant to motivate students to commit to completing their degrees within three years of enrollment. The rally consisted of a flash mob in the beginning, a video called “The Grind,” which motivated students to endure any challenges that may arise while trying to achieve their academic goals, information on the history of the College Completion Project, introduction to the Completion Team Facebook page, and recognition of students who have signed the commitment pledge. Additionally, we gave students information on what will be incorporated in the College Completion Project. It will include a tutoring program for those who need help academically and Completion Scholarships, which will be awarded at the end of each semester to help students financially to complete their three years of college. We also gave out green wristbands to all the students who had signed the commitment pledge, as a symbol of their commitment. The wristbands say “We’re committed.” Dr. Abdullah and Dr. Gibson shared
inspirational words, their thoughts included on the importance of community college completion, and they expressed their support for the College Completion Project. There were also two speakers; one was Amanda Benjamin, a past Phi Theta Kappa officer and an Essex County College Alumnus. The other speaker was Professor Lilisa Williams, a professional motivational speaker and past president of the Middle States Region of Phi Theta Kappa. The event was held in the Mary Burch Theater at Essex County College and was sponsored by the Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society Chapter at ECC- Alpha Theta Theta, in partnership with the Division of Student Success and Academic Affairs. I am very happy and grateful that this Phi Theta Kappa initiative of encouraging students to commit to completing their degrees has had so much support from Essex County College. All the support we’ve received has allowed us to expand our project and to have a greater impact on the student community at Essex County College.
SGA President Interviewed By Lev Zilbermintz
Executive Editor / Student Life Editor
Landia Lane, the President of the Student Government Association, shared her vision of Essex County College with ECCO, the student newspaper in September. Lane is a General Science major, but will be switching to Social Science. She is a nontraditional student who worked in finance as a trust officer for six years before enrolling at ECC. In her capacity as a trust officer, Lane managed the private wealth of 300 individuals and entities combined. Asked about creating more parking spaces for ECC students, Lane called it a “very challenging issue.” Solving the parking problem would require cooperation with ECC President Edythe Abdullah and her team, said Lane. The SGA also plans to appeal to Newark Mayor Cory Booker for support. Disabled/Physically Challenged Students is another issue that President Lane is tackling. For 2012-2013 school year, an SGA Senator has been assigned to be an advocator for disabled/ physically challenged students. The 2011-2012 SGA had no one to advocate for disabled students. Landia said, “One thing to fight for is wheelchair accessibility because that is a disability that everyone can see. … WE plan to help promote the rights of students with challenges one cannot physically see. Another problem that the SGA is looking to address concerns the surcharges from the ATM machines at ECC. Currently, any student who does not have a Bank of America or Wells Fargo card gets charged $2-$3 for withdrawing his or her money. As ECCO reported last semester, by comparison, at the Paul Robeson Campus Center, Rutgers-Newark students pay no surcharges for withdrawing their money. Landia told ECCO, “SGA is ready to find out details of the existing ATM vendors and then push to use companies that will have lower or no surcharges.” Getting the Cafeteria to accept credit cards is another issue that the SGA is working on. As was reported in the October 2012 ECCO, SGA Senator Tarrick Tucker interviewed Ivan, the Cafeteria’s Head Manager about meal plans. Ivan told the SGA that PIN pads were too expensive to do
business. A meal card would allow students to pay for their meals immediately. Rutgers, NJIT, and Seton Hall University are among several schools that have meal plans for their students. As reported earlier by ECCO, Ivan said that students would be charged $.17 per transaction. Tarrick Tucker, the SGA Senator, stated that he believed that seventeen cents per transaction was a fair price. He urged students to assist with creating a marketing plan with student input. Landia, the SGA President, said, “We want to get answers from the people in charge [of the Cafeteria] and let the students know, word for word, what is going on. I believe the students have a right to be “in the know”. Asked about the possibility of war breaking out between Israel and Iran, Landia did her best to reassure students. “…We have to make sure that those passions do not endanger the lives of others. The SGA is proposing to meet with school safety to conduct a seminar or drill to prevent events that happened at Columbine High School and Virginia Tech,” said the SGA President. Lastly, Landia talked at length about past SGA accomplishments. The 2011-2012 SGA, headed by Alton Drummond, created a proposal to create a Textbook Rental Program. The ECC Bookstore is now implementing the proposal. Students can now rent their books at a much lower cost. Research done by ECCO staff online showed that renting textbooks can cut the cost by anywhere from one-third to one-half. As a senator in the previous SGA, Landia worked to create the Mr. and Miss Essex County College Scholarship Pageant. Among many other community service events organized by the previous SGA was the Advocacy Movement, held last fall at Essex County College. Landia participated in all of these. According to Lane, the theme for the current academic year is “ECC Moving Toward Higher Ground. SGA meetings are held every Friday at 10 a.m. in the Clara Dasher Center. Depending on the date, meetings are held in either the second-floor conference room or the ground floor board room.
ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE OBSERVER
Essex County College held its first meeting of ECC Pride, the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. The 18th Annual Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans-gendered and Questions (LBGBTQ) History Month took place at Essex County College. An official ECC LGBTQ Awareness Day Luncheon was held October 18, with guest speaker Monroe France. October has become a month to celebrate the Gay rights movement. Participants soak up the rich history of the LGBTQ community while discussing and focusing on the struggles this particular community faces today. According to the official website for LGBT History Month, October was selected to commemorate both National Coming Out Day on October 11th and the first Lesbian and Gay March on Washington in 1976. In the past four decades the LGBTQ community has changed drastically. Life in this community has not always been as free and privileged as it is now. To live one’s life openly gay was to live a life as an open target, waiting for the abusive attacks of a closed minded society. Events as recent as the 1960’s exemplify the closed-minded prejudice. In 1969 the gay rights movement really took off with a bang when the NYPD raided Stonewall. The now famous and historic gay bar in Greenwich Village was raided on the morning of June 28, 1969, resulting in the violent arrests of employees and drag performers. This raid sparked days of riots where an estimated 2,000 people showed support for the LGBTQ community. Times Topic quotes, “That uprising awakened gay men and lesbians to the idea that they were being attacked as a group. That, in turn, awakened them to the idea that they needed to organize as a group.” Since the riots that sparked a movement much has changed. Many historical activists, writers, and artists have done their best to rid this country of the hate and injustice bestowed upon this community. They have created a somewhat more tolerant society. Through the work of brave men and women like Harvey Milk and Lilli Vincenz, our society has changed. These miraculous fighters had suffered personally to ensure tolerance for the LGBTQ community in this country. Harvey Milk, a politician, was assassinated at his office. One biography states that he was prepared for his grim fate, leaving a tape recording. On that recording Milk said, “If a bullet should enter my brain, let that bullet destroy every closed door.” Many may say that it is pointless or immoral to a have month dedicated to the history of this community. However, when one takes the time to think they will realize the gay cause is comparable to any other historical movement in American history. It is just like with the women’s suffrage and civil rights movements. A community of like-minded people stands up and fights their misgivings to create a better tomorrow. Through their deaths, losses, and suffering they have strived to make our society progress. Slowly, but surely, equal rights are being given to this movement as they were to the social movements of the past. The LGBTQ movement is progressing. Celebrating the history of the movement is just one more step in the right direction toward equal human rights. Essex County College’s Gay-Straight Alliance meetings are held bi-weekly in the Urban Issues Institute. Please send an email to essex.gsa@ gmail.com.
Student Life Hip Hop Activist Promotes Civic Awareness At ECC By Raymond Spencer
Photo Credit: Raymond Spencer
Photo Credit: Wintella Powell
Why Vote Wyclef? Is My Vote Important?
In October, hip-hop rock star and Haitian politician Wyclef Jean visited ECC for a day called “The Uwork Behind the Music Project.” This event was organized by the Newark Youth One-Stop Career Center and Essex County College. Amongst other interesting things, the forum included a civic awareness session; voter registration, and performing arts showcase by local artists. There also was a discussion with Wyclef Jean on the important role individuals play in the voting process. Students had to RSVP by email in order to have their names put on the list. There were only 30 seats available for student representatives. They day of the event, those responding had to pick up their tickets in the Clara Dasher Center. Security was heavy for the high-profile event. Prior to entering the event, held in Harry Smith Lecture Hall , Room 2131, participants had to register. They were checked against a master list and issued a blue wristband. The event began with a panel discussion on voting. Panelists included ECC President Edythe Abdullah; Dr. Gail Gibson; and Attorney Calvin Souder, an ECC Board of Trustees member. Later, Wyclef Jean joined the panel. Prior to joining the panel, Wyclef Jean held a press conference at the Africana Center. Due to his celebrity status, Jean entered the room followed by about 20 people. These in Jean’s entourage included President Abdullah; Gail Gibson; Africana Institute representative Jah Jah Shakur and BOT member Calvin Souder; Jean’s personal manager, assistant, and other people. During the press conference, Wyclef told about his troubled youth growing up in Haiti; coming to America as a youth; forming the group of refugees; and becoming an international star. Wyclef said that it was important to vote
Wyclef speaks with the Essex County College Student Government Association
in elections. Because of his Haitian background and youth spent in America, Wyclef wishes he could vote in U.S. elections. According to Wyclef, he cannot vote in U.S. elections because he is not a citizen, but a green card carrier. Following the press conference, Wyclef spoke to a Smith Hall almost packed by ECC students. President Abdullah introduced Wyclef to a thunderous applause from the young audience. After joking around and making everyone laugh, Wyclef proceeded to deliver a somber message to ECC students. Wyclef said, “Voting is a privilege that your ancestors died for. If you do not exercise this right, right now, when you have something to say about it, your voice will not be heard.” At one point Wyclef brought an ECC student on stage to tell everyone why he would not vote. The student said that as an immigrant himself, he had seens elections in his own country, and no matter who you voted for, nothing ever changed. For this reason, said the student, “why should I vote over here? Nothing ever changes.” Wyclef responded, saying that college students are the future decision-makers of this world.
The previous issue was missing page numbers, so at no extra charge, we’re throwing in more page numbers in this issue, absolutely free! Apologies to President BARACK Obama and Dean Steplight JOHNSON: we know how to spell your names, honest! We also apologize for misspelling the Qu’ran: this will be rectified in future issues.
Thus, in order to be effective, you must be involved. From Smith Hall, the venue moved to the Mary Burch Theater. There Wyclef performed a mini-concert for the attending crowd. The audience members came to life as they sang along to popular tracks well-known around the world. Local artists joined in the fun. Some sang, some danced, and some rapped to add even more excitement to this celebration of democracy. At the end of the concert, students felt more charged, more informed. They were ready to go out and register to vote. Also, students felt motivated to cast their vote on Election Day, November 6, 2012.
“Voting is a privilege that your ancestors died for. If you do not exercise this right, right now, when you have something to say about it, your voice will not be heard.
Many readers were left hanging by “Continued On...”s which lead to nowhere. We promise we will [try] to not leave you in the lurch next time! Also in the last issue, the photo of Staff Writer Amber Rae was mistakenly attributed to Wintella Powell: this has been corrected. And finally, Managing Editor Christian Blair and Executive Editor Lev Zilbermintz were mistitled as Ad. Rep and News Editor respectively. By Jonathan M. Williamson
Photo Credit: Khadijah bint Costello
Enjoying Community Services By Khadijah bint Costello Marketing Director
The Muslim Student Association of Essex County College and Muslim Meal, a new organization, joined hands in feeding the homeless. On Saturday, October 6, 2012, the MSA and Muslim Meals gathered across the street from Pennsylvania Station in Newark at lunch time. We set our table and lunch was served. The volunteers served rice and chicken, fish and potatoes. The Real House, a private organization and Mecca Restaurant in downtown Newark donated all the food served on that day. We also had members of the community who came to help serve. It was a success and both groups are looking forward to doing it again. I want to thank all the participants, including Brother Nasihah Faruq and Sister Alysha from the Essex County College MSA. From the Real House, sister Shovanda and Liz, thank you for your efforts as well as our friends Sister Aisha Muhammad and Jenny. Special thanks to Ms. Martyse, from the Real House, and Mecca House for donating the food for such a special occasion. The MSA would like to have more volunteers, Muslims and non-Muslims equally. We are planning our next community service event for the month of November, dates will be announced. Until then Salaams to all.
ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE OBSERVER
Student Life ECCO’s Roving Photographer
Photo Credit: Wintella Powell
Meet Fernando Arias By Wintella Powell Photo Editor / Arts Editor
Photo Credit: Wintella Powell
Fernando Arias is the president of both Mu Beta Kappa, The Gentleman Fraternity Club of Essex County College (ECC) and Fashion Entertainment Board (FEB), and he is a soccer athlete. He works two seasonal flexible part time jobs, so that he is able to focus on his school work. He is a very active student here at ECC and loves the opportunities that ECC offers him. Fernando is an Electrical Engine Technology major. He is a member of the Electrical Engine Technology club. Fernando helped to create a concrete canoe as one of his past projects which was featured in the ECC Observer last semester and can be viewed on his Facebook. I asked him how he managed his time; he stated that he writes everything down in a planner so he knows exactly what has to be done. He mentioned that his parents are originally from South America and they worked very hard to give their children a better education and that is one aspect that truly motivates him. Fernando said “I watched my father working day and night, two full time jobs for the past seven years, since he got laid off from his job in 2003 because of the economic crisis.” He also watched his mother work a full time job for her first time in a country where she barely knows the language. Because of that, he barely see his mother during weekdays and his father can be seen during the weekend because he is always working. Fernando is so involved in so many things that they do not get that much time together. He has two sisters that graduated from ECC, Marisol and Romina. Romina is now working on her master’s degree in Education. Fernando stated that his sister took advantage of their parents sacrifice by Mu Beta Kappa and FEB president, Fernandio Arias getting a great education, and he is going to follow pursuit. I asked Fernando how he became so involved in the school. He simply stated that he always likes to be involved everywhere and that he learns from different experiences which could potentially assist him throughout his life and career. He also said one thing that is extremely important to him is when he gives his commitment to someone, he stands by it. He believes that standing by your word is an important characteristic to have in life. Fernando encourages all students to take advantage of all that ECC has to offer and noticed that sadly, many students do not. This past summer Fernando saw a flyer about an internship at Stevens Institute in Hoboken and he worked on electric research in such areas as how to disclose new solutions on simulators more efficiently. It is a part of a national program called Louis Stokes Alliance for Minorities and the professor who is involved is Nadezhada Lvov. Some of Fernando’s goals are to graduate from ECC, continue his education at a four year college as an Electrical Engine Technology major, as well as to make it to the division one team in his soccer career. His position in soccer is mid fielder or forward. The team right now has an average record but still have an opportunity to go to the Regional Nineteen play offs, October 22-27. The team goal is to go to the Nationals. Fernando has been on the team for two years, and enjoys it tremendously and is looking for a four year scholarship so he can show his parents that their hard work has paid off. In closing, Fernando wanted to personally thank Supervisor Gerald Hollaway, who is the advisor to the FEB club for the opportunity to join the Fashion Entertainment Board and for helping him to achieve his personal goals.
Student Complaints continued from page 2
“Would teachers be as rude as some of them are if they were getting proper pay and security that comes with it? “ asked Tucker. The Bookstore is another problem facing ECC students. According to Tucker’s research, students complained about being overcharged for books by the Bookstore. A related complaint was
that books were revised too soon for both students and professors. ECCO reported about Cafeteria concerns last issue. SGA Senator Tucker told ECCO that students were complaining about the Cafeteria not accepting credit cards. Lack of professionalism from ECC security was another common complaint. Students were complaining that security was rude and not
always helpful in locating lost items or giving accurate directions. Asked about his purpose, Tucker, said, “My purpose in running for the Student Government Association is... to bring justice and equality for all students as well as working tirelessly to address the concerns of the students to enhance our education with solutions.” Tarrick Tucker is a Social Science major with a GPA of 2.67 and a Fall 2013 anticipated graduation date.
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The Importance Of Thanksgiving By Amber Rae Photo Credit: Amber Rae
Every year on the last Thursday of each November, 50 million Americans travel home to reunite with their families and friends at the dinner table. They eat sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, collard greens, ham, and the infamous turkey. Some people may question why Americans still celebrate Thanksgiving after all of these years. After all, many who celebrate the holiday don’t give thanks for the bountiful harvest that was farmed for the season anymore. So what makes Thanksgiving important enough to declare as a national holiday? The best way to answer this question is to look at the evolution of this holiday. Before European settlers came to the new world, the Wampanoag would have harvest ceremonies in fall to hope and pray for good growth and fertility in the early spring. The real start of what Americans consider the “First Thanksgiving” happened in 1621 as a bountiful harvest, which lasted for 3 days. Pilgrims and Wampanoag came together after a harsh winter to give God thanks for the lustrous vegetation grown in the warm season. The Pilgrims were so grateful to the Wampanoag for helping them survive, that they all agreed to always protect one another. James W. Baker, author of Thanksgiving: The Biography of an American Holiday, calls the Plymouth Rock celebration “the historical birth of the American Thanksgiving Holiday.” It wasn’t until 1789 that George Washington proclaimed Thanksgiving as a national holiday. During this time, many Americans didn’t support Washington’s proclamation because they did not think Pilgrim hardships were worthy of a national holiday. Due to the disapproval of the majority, the holiday wasn’t regarded as significantly important. Sarah Hale, editor of “Godey’s Lady Book,” supported the holiday and felt that families should come together for Thanksgiving. She started a campaign in the 19th century to reinstate the holiday. In 1863, President Lincoln finally responded to Hale by reaffirming Thanksgiving as a National Holiday.
However, there was a time when President Roosevelt tried to change the holiday’s date to the second-to-last Thursday in November. He felt the holiday should be earlier so that Americans can have a longer holiday shopping season. Popular opinion disagreed with Roosevelt’s views and the date wasn’t changed. In 1941 Congress finally sanctioned Thanksgiving as a legal holiday. Since then, schools, government offices, and other businesses close so families can come together, cook, and enjoy each other’s company for the weekend. So, why is Thanksgiving important? It allows families to come together to eat, laugh,
and talk. Many families also acknowledge to one another what they are thankful for. The majority of the year is full of business and academics, but Thanksgiving starts off the holiday season so that people remember why family and friends are so important. Even though people may think that many Americans can afford a large meal, there are still many of us that cannot. There are still many people who cannot provide a great feast and warm clothes for their families. It is strongly encouraged that people help one another by providing and donating food and warm clothes during the holiday season. If you know of someone who needs to be around food and family support, invite that person to your celebration. If not, at least try and give a few hours helping at a local soup kitchen or food bank this year. If the Wampanoag did not help the Pilgrims, there would never be a traditional Thanksgiving. Remember to thank the people in your life that have helped you this past year.
Illustration credit: Karl Vetter
BLACK FRIDAY : BEHIND THE SCENES
By Tsahai General Features Editor
During the month of November, people always look forward to the end of the month. College kids, especially those who dorm, long for Thanksgiving break, the day they return home, and stuff themselves with home cooking until they are nauseous. Thanksgiving is a day for families to come together and possibly even reunite. After feelings of home sickness and longing have been expressed and the food has been digested, there is a new objective. People line parking lots and sidewalks while waiting for the stores to open at midnight. Their mission: Black Friday. Today, to the shoppers, Black Friday is directly associated with the word “Sale.” To the sales associate, Black Friday is the day where the workers miss out on sales and remain on their feet for hours at a time; Bottled water is kept handy for throats that grow hoarse from greeting and upselling; breaks are non existent due to the need to ‘attempt’ to keep the sales floor clean. Tired feet aren’t the only feet to worry about on Black Friday. While opening the doors to the Walmart in Nassau County, NY, sales associate, Jdimytai Damour, was trampled to death by the crowd forcing their way through the double doors. While the doors shattered, co-workers made attempts to reach, but they too found themselves trampled and left with minor injuries.
“People line parking lots and sidewalks while waiting for the stores to open at midnight. Their mission:
a mother pepper sprayed the competition as she raced through the ‘competition.’ She pulled the stunt throughout the entire store and was even able to slip away before police arrived on the scene. During this time, the chaos continued in South Carolina, where a woman was shot in the leg, as thieves stole her purse, outside of Myrtle Beach. Many people associate this with the end of the sales year; the end of a disappointing sales year is marked in accounting books with “red,” with losses boldly standing out from the page. In this perfect storm of opportunity, retail vendors
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Beneath the relentless feet of the mob, Mr. Damour validated what Police Officers and Bus Drivers had believed since the 1960’s; on Black Friday, when people are offered opportunity, it brings out the worst and most dangerous side of them. With pepper spray and guns, the Black Friday violence grows more intense as we near present day. Just last year, in Los Angeles,
delight in the chance to take deep cuts on items that had been written off as losses and begin their new sales year in the “black” with profits. Enterprising men and women awaken at the crack of dawn and earlier after a night of merriment to brave the weather and morning rush for a chance at their favorite goods at prices that they couldn’t hope to get any other day. Buyers are happy. Sellers are happy. Everyone gives thanks for the chance to begin the year with their own stories of retail success.
School of Adult and Graduate Education (SAGE)
ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE OBSERVER
“The Casual Vacancy” By J.K. Rowling Politics, Scandal, and Drama: The Dark Magic of the Real World A Book Review by Jennifer D. Anandarajah Staff Writer
Photo Credit: Jennifer D. Anandarajah
Not your typical Rowling tale.
ONCE: The New Musical Photo Credit: Wintella Powell
Fans of the world-renowned Harry Potter series who have been waiting with bated breath for J.K Rowling’s new book are in for a big surprise with “The Casual Vacancy.” It’s out with the wizarding world and in with the real world as Rowling reveals her first novel for adults, stepping into terrain that is the mirror opposite of the magical universe she spent almost a decade and a half creating and weaving together. Although the novel lacks the magic of Harry Potter, there is a gripping essence behind Rowling’s portrayal of a very real and dark world, filled with vices galore, and despite a few shortcomings, the novel does an excellent job of targeting issues such as class and social distresses, focusing on the need for humanity to care for those less fortunate, written with a dramatic flare that is all Rowling. “The Casual Vacancy” is set in the fictional English town of Pagford, which is shaken by the sudden death of Parish Councilor Barry Fairbrother. The event serves as a catalyst for his enemies - all vying for control of the vacant seat left on the council by Fairbrother’s passing - to put into motion their own plans. Mollison, who heads the late Fairbrother’s rivals, views the Fields, a local housing project as well as Fairbrother’s childhood home, and the methadone clinic, as eyesores that only stand in the way of the Pagford he yearns for: an idyllic, picturesque utopia of sorts, devoid of poverty and strife. The ensuing events focus on the conflicts that erupt between Mollison and
Fairbrother’s defenders. The plot of the novel is at times stilted, although Rowling is quick to regain the flow. Her meticulous attention to detail, which would have been charming in Harry Potter, is somewhat tedious in “The Casual Vacancy” and initially serves to distract from the seemingly muddled jumble of plot and characters. However, despite these minor faults, Rowling does an admirable job of keeping the reader focused on the issues at the heart of the novel. The explicitness of the work can be a bit unsettling, but only serves to stress that this novel is most definitely for adults. “Glistening in the grass beside her feet, like the gossamer cocoon of some huge grub.” Rowling’s ethereal description of a condom, although poetic, may not sit too well with some readers, especially those who have been immersed in the world of Harry Potter. Although not used gratuitously, the raunchy quotations may come as a splash of cold water to the face in how blatantly Rowling employs them. However, the somewhat vulgar seductiveness of the text only adds to its lurid appeal. Within a twisting, turning, and at times jumbled plot of sex, rape, drug abuse, self-harm, and suicide, Rowling seeks justice for those who compose the world that Fairbrother defended, and Mollison seeks to erase from existence, targeting the humanistic vices of avarice, pride, and lust for power in a novel that, though lacking the magical aura of Harry Potter, carries with it a dark charm that is sure to entice many readers.
cast will play their instruments in the background and in the shadows, both contributing to the scene and mood but not taking focus. A Theater Review by Karl Vetter Once isn’t your typical love story. Staff Writer The love story isn’t so much a romance Once, showing at the Bernard B. Jacobs between Kazee and Miloiti but instead a theatres on Broadway is this season’s must see love of living. Miloiti is the inspiration musical. Once is a new musical adapted from that revitalizes Kazee at a moment when the 2006 Indie film, Once. Once is a love story he was heartbroken. She teaches him that bridges love, music, and respect seamlessly to love his music and to believe in it. through music. The story focuses on an Irish street During her quest to share his music with musician vacuum repairman (Steve Kazee), later the world, she asks the bank loans man: dubbed Hoover Fixer Sucker Guy and a Czech “Are you proud to be Irish? It’s not a difflower selling immigrant (Cristin Miloiti). The ficult question.” She inspires people and main characters go through several hardships and channels the characters around her to their lives are turned around and brought together work together to get his songs recorded. Photo Credit: oncemusical.com by their love of music. Even at a time when everyone was fight From the second you enter the theatre you are taken to Dublin, ing amongst themselves, she lets out a loud yet firm, “For just a few moments Ireland. Before the show starts, you are welcomed to go on stage and buy keep the shit talk inside yourselves!” and you are taken aback because of her beers and spirits; even mingle with the cast as they perform a complimentary shy, gentle demeanor. pre-show 15 minutes to curtain time. Although, the stage has a simple design, The show takes a reflective turn when Kazee brings up their wouldthe lighting constantly transforms the atmosphere. The stage is designed to be relationship. Kazee says to her, “Isn’t this unfinished” where Miloiti imitate an Irish bar and the mirrors are worn with personality. responds, “But we haven’t even started.” Kazee and Miloiti are to an extent The musical score has many songs from the movie, including the star-crossed lovers, because they are still tethered to their lost loves. You 2007 Oscar award-winning song “Falling Slowly”; and new songs added by know in this moment that everything she has done was for him not for them. the original songwriters. Kazee plays guitar and Miloiti a piano (which she She genuinely restored his ability to love and his music almost selfishly as insists you must always say “hello” to before playing, it’s not a joke.) The she makes the mature decision to have them each finish their unfinished busientire cast is musically talented playing a range of instruments which include ness. a banjo, mandolin, violin, and a ukulele. Not only do they constantly play Once does not have a cliché happy ending that you were hoping for, throughout the performance, they even play while dancing across the stage but the last heartache the characters share is beautiful as they perform a duet with flawlessly executed choreography. In addition, at times, the supporting of “Falling Slowly.”
Photo Credit: Wintella Powell
Must Have Fall Looks By Yasir Lee Contributor
Fall is coming sooner rather than later, and in order to put our best foot forward, we have to retire the cut-off denim shorts and flipflops and revamp our wardrobe. Here are 5 must have looks for Men and Women this Fall 2012 that are chic, weather-appropriate, and won’t make a dent in your wallet: Leather One of the most surprising and quirky fashion trends that’s making a comeback is leather, and I’m not just talking purses and boots. T-shirts, sweaters, and even hats are being made out of leather, and they all add a classic, clean touch to any outfit. One of my favorite leather looks for women is this edgy Kate PU Leather front tee from boohoo.com.
Photo Credit: boohoo.com
Pair this tee with a simple pair of jeans and plain boots, and achieve the couture runway look for only $30. And Fellas, check out this awesome leather jacket with vintage patches, available at the unbelievable price of $49 at zara.com. This is an absolute steal, and works well with virtually anything in your closet. Tan is also the safest color for leather-clothing newbies because the color is very flattering and easy to pull off. Animal Motif Ditch the tribal print we all loved last season, and get into this hip animal motif that’s sure to turn heads. A red gazelle print short sleeve shirt, available at topman.com for $52, adds a fun twist to your closet. Match ESSEX COUNTY COLLEGE OBSERVER
with a pair of khakis and neutral-color oxfords, and you can make a boring formal outfit whimsical and funky. The orange zebra heart print rolled sleeve zip up chiffon blouse from sheinside.com is a great find that will help all you ladies bring out your inner Zooey Deschanel. This totally cute blouse hits all marks with its eye-popping orange color, and adorable grazing zebras. To keep up the super-girly appearance, try this with a black pencil skirt and red flats, or maybe even heels to spice up the whole ensemble. These will even make “the New Girl” jealous! Geometric Jewelry I don’t know why simple-shaped jewelry is so appealing, but it just is! So check out some pieces which are a throwback to our preschool days. blue triangle studs at asos.com are modern, sleek, and cutting edge, giving you an exciting twist whether being worn in a professional or casual setting, and they’re only a bit more than $17. Or give a gold geometric cube ring from windsorestore.com a try. Futuristic and daring, their rings are practically being given away at the low price of $8.90.
U P C O M I N G EVENTS
NOVEMBER November 3rd: FEB Children’s Fashion Show • 18th Annual Children’s Fashion Show November 8th: National Peanut Butter Lover’s Day! • 12pm-3pm Dasher Student Center: Come enjoy the PB&J bar while supplies last. November 10th: Wellness & Health Expo • 10am~5pm Smith Hall: Conference sponsored by the Africana Institute. November 12th: Last Day to Withdraw from Fall Semester Classes
November 13th: EoF Transferring forum • 3rd Floor Multipurpose Room: Meet and greet students and reps from various colleges. Many former ECC/EOF students join in to tell you what senior college is like, and how to succeed there! November 14-15: Military Appreciation Drive • Show your support to our Troops. Take a minute to write a letter or donate.
November 15th: Pep-Rally • 2:45 P.E.B. (Gynasium): Show your college pride! Live Music and Basketball Game to follow!
November 2012 WOMEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE 4th Sun. Rockland CC – Scrimmage 12Noon ECC Gym 10th Sat. Howard CC Tournament 7:30pm Howard 11th Sun. Howard CC Tournament 1pm Howard 15th Sat. Passaic CC 5:30pm ECC Gym 17th Sat. Salem CC 12Noon Salem 20th Tues. CC of Morris 5pm CC of Morris
November 28th: Winter Wonderland • 11am-2pm 2nd Floor Forum: Holiday Tree Lighting, Music, Chocolate Fountains and much more. Let’s bring in the Holidays together. FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT THE OFFICE OF STUDENT LIFE AND ACTIVITIES IN THE CLARA E. DASHER STUDENT CENTER Room 101, or call (973) 877-3208
November 2012 MEN’S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE 3rd Sat. Howard CC Tournament 5pm Howard 4th Sun. Howard CC Tournament 1pm Howard 9th Fri. Montgomery College 7:30pm Montgomery 10th Sat. Baltimore CCC 2pm Baltimore 15th Thurs. Passaic CC 7pm ECC Gym 17th Sat. Salem CC 2pm Salem
The Great Debate
WE Want to Know What YOU Think!
continued from page 1
Photo Credit: Wintella Powell
was secretly recorded calling half of Americans freeloaders to a closed group of wealthy donors seemed to have all but doomed Mitt Romney’s chances at the White House. Initially, the president seemed unwilling to take the Governor to task for his record as a venture capitalist, or his videotaped remarks about the “47 percent of Americans who don’t pay income tax and refuse to take personal responsibility and care for their lives” – a mischaracterization which includes the retired, who don’t pay because they have no income, soldiers on active duty, who are exempt because combat pay isn’t taxable, and families that don’t earn enough income to qualify for income taxes, but still pay state income tax, sales taxes, property, payroll, and local taxes, to name a few. The second and third debates however were a marked shift from the first: in this one, both candidates came out swinging. The president cited amongst his accomplishments ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, killing terrorist Osama Bin Laden, carrying out the economic stimulus that prevented the economy from falling into another Great Depression, saving the auto industry from bankruptcy, signing the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay for Women Act, and passing a historic (albeit controversial) Health Care Act which expands coverage to an additional 30 million Americans. For his part, Governor Romney criticized the slow rate of economic recovery, offering instead an economic plan he claims relies on large tax cuts for the wealthy without raising them for middle-income taxpayers. Romney argues that Obama isn’t doing enough to spurn on job growth: but leaves unsaid the fierce intransigence of a Republican dominated House of Representatives, which has voted to stop the President at every turn, filibustering job bills, and even holding the nation’s credit rating hostage. But for most folks, “tone trumps content,” remarks David Folkenflik of NPR.org. There are more than a few studies that suggest that debates don’t really change the outcome of a race – because though the debates do provide new information to viewers, very rarely do they change minds. But in spite of historic precedent, it certainly seems like the debates may have at least changed the momentum of this race. Though the numbers have since tightened to a dead heat, the rebound Governor Romney received from the first debate – a swing as large as 12 points by a Pew poll’s reckoning -- puts him ahead of the president
November 20th: Thanks-4-Giving II • 11am-3pm Dasher Student Center: Buy a Dinner, give a dinner! All proceeds go towards care packages for ECC students in need.
by a hair in many states, and squarely in striking distance of the Oval Office, though he still has of this printing an uphill battle in the Electoral College, where the President holds a clear advantage. And although the debates may not be likely to change minds, it’s inarguable that they provide some of the most memorable moments in a long, long campaign: people will remember Big Bird, binders full of women, and bayonets, even if the talk of tax exemptions, diplomatic relations on foreign soil, and Dodd-Frank: the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, flew over many viewers heads. Unfortunately for the American people, context was not provided during the debates for many of the more esoteric elements of the discussion. Even so, it’s important to try to inform one’s choices at the ballot with research, says Professor Linda Carter of the ECC Criminal Justice Program. At the Essex County College’s Student Government Association and Student Life and Activities office sponsored Presidential Debate Watch & Luncheon, students had the opportunity to rewatch the first debate. Professor Carter spoke briefly to the audience on the importance of understanding the sometimes confusing language of politics – and drove home just how important the vote in this election is, mentioning in particular the Supreme Court nominations whomever is president after the election will make, which will determine the fate of women’s reproductive rights, and the Voting Rights Act, to name a few. But Carter also talked about the vote on a state & local level: mentioning that in this election there will be a referendum on the New Jersey ballot for a $250 million dollar bond that, if it passes, will go to supporting better facilities at New Jersey Colleges – including Essex – something many would not have known if they hadn’t attended the event. And of local school board elections – which ultimately determines what money goes back to local communities—Carter says you’ll hear not a peep, but they are no less important than the national one to ECC students living in the community. At the end of the day, you’re voting for more than just the president in this election. With both candidate’s wildly divergent paths for the future, you’re voting on the scale and shape of your government itself. Will it be Obama’s, which favors government spending to help pump money into an ailing economy and fighting income inequality by providing safety nets for those who fall? Or will it be Romney’s, which favors free market principles and tax cuts over government intervention? Come November 6th, we’ll learn – and then know – how much those votes mattered.
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OBSERVER The Student Voice of Essex County College Essex County College 303 University Ave. Newark, NJ 07102 firstname.lastname@example.org Editor-in-Chief Christie Marie Avila Managing Editor Christian Blair News Editor Kristen Williamson Features Editor Tsahai General Student Life Editor Lev D. Zilbermintz Arts Editor Wintella ‘Quin’ Powell Photo Editor Wintella ‘Quin’ Powell Staff Writers Alissa Lopez Amber Rae Jennifer D. Anandarajah Karl Vetter Raymond Spencer Marketing Director Khadijah bint Costello Layout Design Editor Jonathan M. Williamson Contributors Sofia Medina Bryan A. Bruno Yasir Lee Humanities Faculty Co-Advisors Eileen DeFreece Jennifer Wager