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Monday, March 21, 2010 La Roche College • 9000 Babcock Boulevard • Pittsburgh, PA 15237 • 412.847.2505

Vol. 15, Issue 3

Fire alarms fail to alarm


by joe ziegler

n Feb. 2, fire alarms sounded in La Roche College’s Science Center, College Center and Academic Building. The response of students, faculty and visitors to those fire alarms has prompted La Roche College to begin

This is a very serious issue. We’re dealing with people’s lives. We are not trying to hassle people, but we’re trying to get them out of the buildings as fast as possible for their own safety. - Vice President for Administrative Services George Zaffuto

offering a series of training courses to help better educate the La Roche community on fire safety.

“It was not a false alarm, and it went off twice,” Vice President for Administrative Services George Zaffuto said. “We had to respond to that with the fire company and everything because it was real.” Zaffuto said, “There are rumors that it was a drill, and those rumors are not accurate. It needed to be responded to as a real alarm situation.” The fire company responded and encountered people exiting the building when they arrived, according to Zaffuto. “I think that they assumed that it was a fire drill. I think that people assumed that it was a drill and did not respond properly. We are trying to explain to people that it doesn’t matter what you think. If that alarm goes off, everybody except the responding people need to leave that building,” he said.

© Rebecca Jeskey

After two alarms sounded on Feb. 2, faculty and students waited outside the Academic Extension building. According Director of Public Safety David Hilke, the evacuation plans for La Roche’s facilities are located on the La Roche Intranet under the Office of Public Safety tab. Hilke explained general instructions for evacuating the buildings. “It’s basic. Get out of the build-

ing, remain 500 feet away. That way they’re clear of the fire department,” he said. He added that students and staff can relocateto any building that is not alarmed. “They can go outside, or they can go to another building,” see Fire Alarms, page 8

The effects of freedom Covering What does the Middle Eastern crisis mean for the rest of the world? by Michael Hassett


hough we may not feel it, we are experiencing exciting times. Turn on the television, and you witness the birth of freedom upon the faces of middle easterners as the shackles of tyranny and dicta-

The La Roche Redhawks men’s basketball team finished the 2010-11 basketball season with an overall record of 25-3. The Redhawks won the AMCC championship and AMCC tournament before being defeated 74-68 by Wittenberg in the first round of the NCAA Division III tournament. Forward Mike Dixon rises for a shot at the Feb. 16 game when the Redhawks defeated the Franciscan University Barons team. The final score was 75-60.

torship fall clanking to the ground. What is even more amazing is that this freedom has been seized from the old regimes by the restless youth within the country. What started as a public suicide from a desperate Tunisian computer scientist back in December, has turned the whole

Middle East upside down and put this tumultuous region back into headlines around the world. In the wake of now two toppled governments and a third well on its way, many wonder how far this will go and who and what it will affect see middle east, page 9

© Rebecca Jeskey

the costs

How to solve and avoid financial aid mistakes by rebecca jeskey


hen tuition costs increase and available aid decreases, sometimes the only thing students can afford is to drop out of school. Withdrawing from La Roche College was former graphic designer major Jamie Svaboda’s only option last semester. “Leaving La Roche was the only choice I had in the end,” Svaboda said. “I really loved being at this school, and I was devastated because I had been doing so well, and I enjoyed what I was doing.” Svaboda said that she simply did not receive enough aid for school. “I was trying to scrape by by making payments. I applied for tons of scholarships and grants and such, but nothing ever came of them, even though my grades are good,” she said. Svaboda, who left La Roche in fall 2010, said that her income was too high to receive state grants. “However, they assumed that over see financial aid, page 10

This publication reflects the views, attitudes, interests, and tastes of the writers, editors and contributors to The Courier. It does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the administration, faculty and staff of La Roche College.

Opinion 2

The La Roche Courier < March 21, 2011

Staring at the glow By Travis Thornton


ou’ve seen people staring at the glow while traversing the space between their cars and their classrooms, walking their dogs, driving their cars, and sitting in class. You know the glow I’m talking about. The glow emanates from a device that goes by many names: Some folks just call it their phone, and others refer to it by its brand name. But it gets used for a whole lot more than just making calls. For many of us it is less like a phone and more like a direct interface with distraction. Once upon a time, we were only able to stare at the glow in our living rooms. The size of a TV limited our ability to be distracted by the glow at any given time. But now we have distractions on demand, no matter where we are in the form of Smart Phones and lightweight laptops. We’ve gone from hundreds of channels of one-way programming in a fixed position and schedule to thousands of Apps and an interactive portal to the Internet in our pocket or backpack. As a result of this, many of us see no problem with accessing that entertainment whenever we please. Have you ever sent a text message during a riveting lecture from your favorite professor or while driving 65 mph on the parkway? Do you use

your laptop in class to take notes or to shop for shoes? Most of us find it hard to resist the sense of instant gratification we get when we want to be entertained and can access exactly what we want in seconds no matter where we are. It makes this technology extremely seductive, especially when you aren’t supposed to be distracted. Dr. Linda Jordan, director of College Writing at La Roche said that technology in the classroom has both its disadvantages and benefits. When students use their cell phones in class, she said, “They have made a choice not to pay attention by way of a very visible act. It’s not like they are just doodling on a notepad, they are doing something that everyone else can see. If you don’t say something, then it seems to be condoned from the front of the class, and then you have everyone sitting there texting, or on Facebook, or surfing the Internet.” At the heart of the issue, she said, “is that what’s going on in the classroom is not as compelling in the moment as what somebody might be saying to them in a text message.” But this power has its advantages, and professors can put it to good use. For instance, Jordan encourages her students to utilize Kindle’s free downloads of the works of William Shakespeare for her Shakespeare on

Film course. There’s an App for that if you don’t have a Kindle. Clearly, this technology has many productive applications across a variety of environments. I think most educators would agree with Jordan’s belief that students using technology during class is acceptable if it contributes to the discussion at hand. But there are definitely times and places where we should not be dis-

But there are definitely times and places where we should not be distracted. You can’t call a roadway safe if a majority of its travelers are texting and driving. You don’t want your surgeon on his or her Blackberry texting: Just made the first incision…LOL.

tracted. You can’t call a roadway safe if a majority of its travelers are texting and driving. You don’t want your surgeon on his or her Blackberry texting: Just made the first incision…LOL. It’s good to know that cell phone use at least stimulates the human brain. Dr. Nora Volkow recently published a study in the Journal of the



Rebecca Jeskey

Ed Stankowski

News Editor

Website Designer

Joe Ziegler

Drew Yeskatalas


Contributing Writers

Shay Badolato Kurt Hackimer

Caitlin Bahr Moriah Jamrom Therese Joseph Nick Merolillo Michael Sliman Travis Thornton

Sports Editor Brian Fischer

Outdoor Editor Michael Hassett

American Medical Association regarding how cell phone use affects our brains. During an interview on National Public Radio (NPR), she said her findings suggest there is an identifiable effect of cell phone use in the brain, but it is too early to tell what, if anything, that effect means health-wise. Despite the connectivity inherent in them, our relationship with our electronic devices may be altering our relationships with each other. It’s hard to say hi to a passer-by if they are staring at the glow. If a friend starts tapping away at their phone while you are talking to them, then you know they are only halflistening to you. People wearing headphones don’t care what you are saying. Some people can’t stop a cell phone conversation long enough to interact with a clerk behind a counter or a server at a restaurant. You’ve probably seen examples of this behavior. It’s obvious that communication and entertainment technology can truly enhance our lives and education, but we shouldn’t let ourselves become so involved in them that we become disconnected from the real world around us. Realizing we are distracted is the first step to regaining focus on what is actually important.


Sports and Outdoors The La Roche Courier < March 21, 2011

Pirates lineup makes for promising future


by nick merolillo

n a city filled with champions, the Pittsburgh Pirates have struggled over the past 18 seasons. According to General Manager Neal Huntington, “It’s coming.” However, similar feelings of optimism have occurred in the past but ended with losing records. With division powerhouses such as Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis, the chances of a playoff run are unlikely once again in 2011. New Manager Clint Hurdle took the Colorado Rockies to the World Series in 2007.

While Hurdle has experience dealing with salary cap issues, bad reputations and losing baseball, it only took him five years to turn around a struggling Rockies club. It takes a certain type of coach to turn a franchise around, mainly by gaining loyalty and respect from the players through hard work and dedication. But it is not that easy, there must be talent on the field. In the upcoming 2011 season, the Pirates boast a solid lineup staring Jose Tabata, Neil Walker, Andrew McCutchen and Pedro Alvarez. The projected starting rotation for

the Pirates consist of Paul Maholm, Kevin Correia, Ross Ohlendorf, Scott Olsen, and Charlie Morton. This core pitching staff must focus on extending games. If they can average seven innings per outing as a collative unit, the Pirates chances will greatly improve. Also, the middle of the field is crucial for a weak pitching staff. Cedeno and Walker accounted for 119 double plays last season. This number placed them tenth best in the National League and should improve this season. Top relievers Joel Hanrahan and

Evan Meek will contribute solid innings from the Bullpen, but it is still too early to tell who will emerge as a closer. Chris Snyder relieved Ryan Doumit last season and should be the opening day starting catcher. The Pirates outfield, consisting of McCutchen, Tabata and Garrett Jones should prove to be a strong staple for years to come. This year will be interesting to watch because the Pirates are beginning to turn things around. If they keep this nucleus together, the Pirates could be looking at a playoff run within a couple of years.

Playing to win

Senior Michael Sliman wins Men’s Golf Player of the Year Award


by Brian Fischer

ow many times does an athlete set a goal for himself and actually accomplish that goal within one year? Since 1995, La Roche College has produced five Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) Men’s Golf Players of the Year, most recently this past fall. Senior Michael Sliman won won the 2010 AMCC Men’s Golf Player of the Year. According to Sliman, he had a good feeling when the season started. “I knew coming into the season, that I was one of the best golfers in the conference, so I set a goal for myself to win the player of the year,” Sliman said. Coaches within the conference decided the winner of the award. Sliman said he was in the top three every time he played this season, so it wasn’t hard for the coaches to pick. “Michael Sliman is one of the hardest-working athletes that I have worked with over the past 23 years here at La Roche College,” La Roche College Athletic Director and Golf Coach Jim Tinkey said. “He went from an 84.61 scoring average his freshman year to averaging 77.57 this past fall. That is simply incredible at this level.” Sliman didn’t place less than third all season, winning the Mt. Aloysius Invitational and coming in second in the Penn State Behrend and La Roche Invitational’s and AMCC Championship.

© Shay Badolato

Practice makes perfect: Communications major Michael Sliman achieved his goal of becoming Golf Player of the Year in 2010. Watching Tiger Woods golf on television gave Sliman the spark to pick up a club when he was 13. He began taking group lessons in middle school and continued playing in high school. As a freshman at Shaler High School, Sliman played on the junior varsity golf team and made varsity his last three years. “I feel like I’ve improved every year since I started,” he said. Practicing on your own, Tinkey said, is one of the only ways to succeed in golfing, and Sliman’s eight years of practicing and golfing paid off: He was named to the All-Academic team his last four years, All-Conference team his last three years, and receiver of the AMCC Sportsmanship Award his junior year. “Mike is the fifth La Roche College golfer to be named AMCC Player of the Year,” Tinkey said. “I couldn’t be any prouder of any one of our athletes.” As a communications major and avid sports fan, Sliman said he hopes to earn an internship with FSN Pittsburgh and work on behind-the-scenes broadcast productions. After graduating in May, Sliman said that he plans to continue competing in summer golf tournaments because golfing is his dream.

Redhawks finish season 23-2


by Brian Fischer and Joe Ziegler

he La Roche College men’s basketball team was 7-1 when Head Coach Scott Lang passed away on Dec. 10, 2010. The Redhawks finished the season by winning the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference (AMCC) championship with a record of 23-2. The Redhawks then won the

AMCC tournament with a semifinal win over Hilbert, 86-69 and a 55-53 win over Penn St. Behrend in the AMCC tournament final. 
 On Feb. 28, the Redhawks held a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA Division) III selection party on the recently dedicated Scott Lang Memorial Court. The Redhawks qualified for the national tournament by winning the AMCC conference tournament.

The Redhawks played Wittenberg at Marietta, Ohio on Friday, Mar. 4, and were defeated 74-68 and eliminated from the tournament. Assistant Basketball Coach and La Roche College English Professor Dr. Linda Jordan Platt said that after Coach Lang passed away everything was in question. “Coach Lang controlled everything. This was his basketball team,” Jordan said. “Coach Lang was in

charge of everything.” Jordan said that things as simple as, “How do we make game tape?” became minor issues. “We did what any family does when a loved one dies,” Jordan said. “You go through a period of intense shock and mourning, and everybody reacts differently. But then you have to go back to work.” And work is exactly what the see Redhawks, page 10 team did.


Globe: where fashion comes together


by Shay Badolato

he annual Globe Fashion Show will be held on April 4, 2011 in La Roche College’s College Center Square. The upcoming fashion show will focus on the individuals participating in the show, and there will be more international students participating, according to Anju Manandhar, a member of Globe. Manandhar, a senior at La Roche College, is the soul anchor of the club, bringing diversity and culture to the college. “We are going to have more international students. Expect more community involvement of people from the corners of the school,” she said. Manandhar said that along with international fashion, she wants American cultures to be represented. “I’m trying to get more American cultures represented, which people really think there isn’t a lot of cultures to be expressed in American, when there is so much,” she said. “It has the most diverse culture, and I would love to be

photos: bill paterson, design: Shay Badolato able to capture that in the fashion show.” Manandhar explained that the club allows individuals to show who their identities, cultures and traditions. “Globe, for me, stands for a place where people from different backgrounds can come and express their cultures, anything that they are passionate about,” Manandhar said. She added, “The goal of Globe should be to bring joy to the people who participate and not the audience. Because the participants are a huge part of it.” Aside from seeing people express their cultures, she said that her favorite part of the fash-

Blocking the blows How can you prevent and respond to assaults?

© Rebecca Jeskey

by Rebecca Jeskey magine you are alone, walking on a secluded road or in an empty parking lot. It’s getting late, the sun begins to set, and the sound of footsteps follows you. Turning around, you spot a man twice your size, heading in your direction. His unsettling nearness forces you to make a life-or-death decision: Do I run, or do I stay?


Forget martial arts, self-defense workshops, or taking up kickboxing. Protecting yourself effectively from a potential attacker relies on two basic concepts: awareness and distance. According to Larry Likar, department chair of the justice, law and security program at La Roche College, you cannot solely rely on self-defense techniques. “There are two basic factors that will often determine if you’re going

ion show is the way that people walk with their heads held high. “I love the look on their face, the look of pride and the look of joy and the look that you know, ‘This is who I am, and I’m so happy to be able to show the person that is me,’” she said. Manandhar, the former president of Globe, said she wants the club to continue its traditions and remain a place that anyone can relate to. “I want it to stay,” she said. “I want it to exist in the future when I’m not here.”

See the next issue’s recap of the 2011 Globe Fashion Show.

to be the victim. One is your selfawareness. That awareness has to be both on a micro and macro level,” Likar explained. “A macro level is a general idea of where you should and should not be during your daily life: certain areas, certain activities, certain times of the day, how you dress. There are certain factors that will already raise the potential for an interpersonal encounter that could result in violence.” Likar, a former defense tactics instructor for the FBI, described the micro level as a person’s own awareness when in the presence of a possible motivated offender. Distance, he said, is a primary factor in whether an attacker targets you as a victim. “Usually, an offender wants to get close enough to use what they normally regard as something they’ve been successful with before. That can be a punch. In some cases it can be a very hard slap. It can be a choke. It can be a body lift, putting you into a more secluded area. For example, a street corner to an alley,” he said. “But it all starts with distance. And they’ve got to get in that space.” To get closer to their targets, Likar noted that offenders often have a ruse, such as coming close enough to ask for the time or for directions. “They’re breaking into your offensive zone where your ability to respond is going to be pretty limited,” Likar added. “Distance is crucial. If you can’t manage distance to put yourself in the best situation, you’re going to lose.”

Likar explained simple tactics to extend distance. One technique is maneuvering so that an object blocks the attacker’s path. If you’re in an apartment with someone who tries to hurt you, objects such as tables, couches or large chairs, can increase distance. “That prevents a very rapid attack on you, which is designed usually to overwhelm you. If you see someone trying to bridge that distance, you’re in big trouble,” Likar said. “And that’s where the idea of self-defense is redundant. This is where people make a big mistake. People who usually win are the assaulters. Don’t rely on the techniques you’ve been taught to respond to the attack. Use an offensive maneuver.” According to Likar, a main problem with self-defense is that victims are often not capable of performing the techniques taught in classes. He said, “Do you really

If they [the assaulter] want to make a disabling attack on you, and you let them get in your space, and you made judgment errors, then actually, I don’t think self-defense can help you. Larry Likar, department chair of the justice, law and securiy program

have it in you to really hurt somebody? Can you do all those things and carry them out? If you’re not capable of doing that, it may be

see blocking blows, page 4


Advice from a professional Blocking Post-Gazette reporter teaches La Roche journalism students the art of story-telling by Michael Sliman


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writer informed students about storytelling, being a good person and the importance of accuracy, attitude, interviewing and good leads. Doug Oster told the students that storytelling is an essential thing for them to learn. “The most important thing that you can do is learn how to tell the story,” he said. “If you can put it into coherent terms so people can follow the story from beginning to end, you’ve done your job.” “Everybody has a story, and our job is to find that story, honor that person and tell it the right way,” Oster said. He added that whenever students are given an assignment they should always think, “What is the story?” Another important component in journalism is building a network of sources and friends to find stories. Oster said, “So many of my story ideas come from other people. The best way to build that network is by being a good person.” He said writers should treat other co-workers nice and try to make friends. Journalists that try to compete against other journalists rarely make it through the system. It is a good idea to help others whenever they need it. “Don’t be a backstabber, be a good person,” Oster said. Oster is an Emmy Award winning producer, radio host, writer, photographer and videographer. He is the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Backyard Gardener. Oster is the co-host/producer of the radio show “Organic Gardens” every Sunday morning on KDKA. He also appears on television every Thursday

on KDKA’s “Pittsburgh Today Live.” Oster, 51, has written three books on gardening, and he won an Emmy for his documentary, “Gardens of Pennsylvania.” The writer provided the students with some advice for being a journalist. He talked about the importance of accuracy in a news story. Oster said it is vital to get names and places right. “No matter how wonderful your piece is in the paper, whether it’s a caption underneath a photo, whether it’s a story,” the radio host said, “if the ‘i’ and the ‘e’ are changed in that person’s name, it becomes useless.”

Everybody has a story, and our job is to find that story, honor that person and tell it the right way. - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Doug Oster

He said that he always records interviews and uses Google to check the spelling of a person’s name. “There’s nothing worse than writing this beautiful story and having the name wrong,” Oster said. When writing a story, having the right attitude can help to make that story better. The videographer said, “If you look at it as it’s an honor for you to tell their story, it’s going to be better for everybody.” He said if a student doesn’t want to do a story and thinks it is stupid, their story will be terrible. Oster added that if a student looks forward to writing a story they will be happier and their work will be better. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writ-

er gave the students advice on conducting a successful interview. “The thing you have to do when you’re talking to anybody is make them feel at ease,” Oster said. “Your job is to get them to open up.” He said a journalist should make the interview feel like a normal conversation. Oster said it is a good idea to have four or five questions beforehand when interviewing someone. This will help if the person being interviewed is at a loss for words or if the interviewer is confused about something that they said. The Emmy award winning producer said the most important thing in the story is the lead. “If the lead isn’t good, nobody is going to read it,” he said. “If your lead is boring, most people are not going to get past it, and they’re not going to read it. You want them to read it.” A way that students could improve their leads is by reading newspapers. The Backyard Gardener advised the students to look at leads in the newspaper to see what could have made the lead better or why the lead was so good. The photographer offered the students some words of encouragement. Oster said that they should have fun with journalism, and this will make their stories better. “The best thing that you’ll ever do in journalism is stuff you come up with yourself,” he said. The writer added that it makes the job fun for students because they are interested in it. He said the students are going to make mistakes, and they need to learn from them. This will make them better writers. Oster’s speech took place at La Roche College during the 2010 fall semester.

LRC date auction: Inspect your product before purchasing

© Shay Badolato

Freshman Jack Camerson bares it all at La Roche’s date auction on Feb. 10 in the College Center.


continued from page 4 worse for you. If they [the assaulter] want to make a disabling attack on you, and you let them get in your space, and you made judgment errors, then actually, I don’t think selfdefense can help you.” Joshua Ryer, a martial arts instructor at the Ryer Academy in Shadyside, also said that self-defense classes cannot fully guarantee successful defense. Like Likar, Ryer explained that defending oneself boils down to the will to strike back. “It’s hard for me to say if a student will fight back,” Ryer said. “It’s gonna take a real situation to arise to see if they have it or don’t.” Ryer’s self-defense workshops emphasize both awareness and maintaining your physical condition. “It helps the potential of being able to protect yourself,” he said. But in most cases, an attacker is stronger and bigger than his or her victim, according to Likar. “The attacker has a big edge,” he said, “Action beats reaction most of the time.” You should always assume you’re weaker than the other person, according to Likar. “In most cases, assume you’re going to fight someone bigger and stronger. It’s preferable for most people to not try and confront that force.” If victims choose to fight back, Likar said that the eyes and neck are the only two areas of the body that most people can use to disable someone. “If you can hit somebody really hard in that Adam’s apple, that will often be an effective technique,” he said. “Everybody’s eyes have the same vulnerability, but you have to have the will to use that technique. Usually an attacker who has assaulted someone before and was successful, knows about this stuff. They read about it. They may not attend martial arts classes, but they’ve probably been in a lot of fights. And they have some interest in it. They may actually shield their face. If they figure you’re going for their eyes, you’ve raised that level.” He added that targeting the groin is not always effective and that clothing can soften the blow. Similarly, some people are surprisingly resistant to attacks, he said. One of Likar’s classes in professional responsibility demonstrates the case of Rodney King Jr. and how many blows of the baton he withstood. The former FBI instructor said he recommends carrying pepper spray but that attackers can sometimes withstand them. “It depends on the seriousness of it. Remember it’s going to affect you also at close range. If you’re going to use a spray, you should be using it at a distance and the shield off technique,” he said. “We don’t have instantaneous sprays. But the presence of the spray with distance, you are now at least in control, and that’s what you want to be.” Ryer, on the other hand, advises against carrying sprays. He said, “For a lot of those tools to be effective, the person needs to be right in front of you, which is what youre trying to avoid to begin with. It’s detrimental to the process.” see blocking blows, page 6


The last minute internship experience

by Moriah jamrom eering into Midnight’s glass cage, my hands cupped around my eyes, I stared at the sleeping cat, waiting for it to move. Calm and relaxed, I scribbled into my notes. Black short hair, I continued. Already out of material, my next stop was her file. In there, I could hopefully find medical records and behavioral reports to expand the profile.

P “

Three and a half years towards a professional writing degree led me here: staring at cats through a glass wall, using their cat mannerisms to describe their cat personalities.

For one internship credit, I write 220-word biographies of cats at a local animal shelter. Through the manila folder, I thumbed over a foster report and her vet records. Medical bowel issue. Prescribed special diet, the veterinarian scrawled next to a flattenedout animal-shaped drawing. Intrigued, I dug deeper. A hand-written note from her former foster told the truest tale of Midnight’s trouble. Midnight the cat has uncontrollable bowel movements up to 15 times a day. She rarely makes it to the litter box. Midnight needs bathed daily. Foster listed many tactics she attempted to deal with the over-goer, but finally had to resort to keeping Midnight in a cage with a litter box

close by. At the bottom of the cage, Foster wrote: “She is the sweetest, most loving cat I have ever met.” I recalled my interview when my boss told me, “If there’s something undesirable about the cat, include it, but try and put a positive spin on it.” Positive spin? There is nothing positive about cat crap. This is a story about internships, procrastination and expectations. The truth is, I had three whole years to find a decent writing internship— The Post-Gazette, The Trib, City Paper, Pittsburgh Magazine? Heck, pretty much everywhere needs some kind of writing intern. The problem is, for spring internships, most require you apply over the summer. And summer came with many moods: Laziness? Yup. Procrastination? Sure thing. Indifference? I had it. So instead, over Christmas break between two senior semesters, after one failed attempt responding to a creepy Craigslist ad, I managed to find my internship on a half-forgotten tab on the shelter’s website. My boss was so excited that someone applied and emailed me back right away. She told me that volunteers usually write bios, but never really all that well, and was excited to have a writer to help out. And, to be truthful, I was kind of excited too. Three and a half years towards a professional writing degree, I had taken many classes in which I wrote profiles. I’d written about animals before: Dogs, Piranhas. Cats couldn’t be so bad. Plus, I’d be using my writing to help a homeless animal out. That isn’t so bad. My first day, I was asked to write about Charcoal, a fluffy, gray, and friendly neutered male who “had a great story.” His story: due to cataracts and glaucoma, both of his eyes had to be removed. As I sat at my portable desk on my portable computer, I wrote his plight, adding, “Most of the time, Charcoal just looks like he’s sleeping.” After only three blinks of my curser, I held the backspace bar all the way to the

Blocking blows

continued from page 5

And sometimes, unsafe situations turn even more dire. The attacker can have a weapon, which often leaves the victim with little or no options. When confronted by a robber or an attacker armed with a weapon, Likar explained that victims are better off complying. He said, “When you see a weapon, and you know there is nothing you can do, and they’re asking for money or valuables, don’t look at them. Give them whatever they say, and hope that’s all it’s going to take.” Likar noted that it’s important to avoid eye contact with someone who has a weapon.

© moriah jamrom beginning and started over. At the end of day one, I realized every member of the domesticated feline species does the same thing: sleep, eat, play. And from those three things, my boss expects me to write cutesy pleas to convince cat-loving suckers that this particular domesticated feline is special enough to be adopted. Three and a half years towards a professional writing degree led me here: staring at cats through a glass wall, using their cat mannerisms to describe their cat personalities. I often see other interns from other departments being dictated a list of tasks, most of which are completed in the copy room. I, though, drift through and endless sea of cats, which often have moderate to severe behavioral problems, and have to sell them, via 220-word biography, to potential adopters. I’ve adopted a certain formula to get myself through having to describe 12 cats a week. First paragraph: List all of the animal’s cutest qualities—it likes to play with string, has a patch around its eye, likes to sleep. Second: BANG, hit them with the bad news—it doesn’t like to be petted or held, it hates other cats and children, missing half its tail. Third: Bring it home with that cute-

sy plea—“Please, come to the shelter to meet Fluffy, the misunderstood sweetheart.” At the end of every weekly fourhour shift, I meet with my boss who gives me feedback. She tells me she likes my bios, explains what she’s changed and why, and asks me if I have any questions. I smile and decline, return my swipe key, and, as soon as I’m out of view, run to my car. So, I’ll write to you in my format, a special plea:

Moriah Jamrom is a white female who loves to sleep, eat and play, especially with shoe string and laser lights. Some of her most endearing features are her cardigans and sarcasm. Although sweet and playful, Moriah is often lazy and procrastinates. When given a deadline, Moriah will wait to almost the literal last moment to complete necessary tasks. Please, choose your internship wisely, and apply for it in a timely manner so you don’t end up writing about homeless cats.

“Be careful of eyes. We’re animal also to some degree – even in our species, eye contact is very dangerous. For most animals, eye contact is challenge. It also may bother someone to look into your eyes or look them in the eyes,” he explained. “They may think you’re memorizing their face.” In most cases, Likar said attackers often look for control and power over their victims. “Don’t try to escalate it by looking at them, talking too much to them. Some of them like to intimidate. They like to see you afraid. Give that to them. That’s good for them,” he explained. “What they don’t want to see is someone who is too hostile, combative and a threat to their power.” Ryer said he thinks society needs to put more of an emphasis on learning self-protection. “I think you need to have a balance. You don’t want such a defensive mindset that it overwhelms your life, but people should be more stern.”

Entertainment Critter


The La Roche Courier < March 21, 2011

A spicy taste of Korea


by caitlin bahr

orean food is a bit of a mystery to most La Roche students, except for students actually from Korea. Kimchi, is the most well-known food export from Korea, used in every dish at just about every meal. Kimchi is fermented cabbage covered in a spicy red pepper paste. It is both pungent and spicy, which is a theme that carries over into the rest of Korean cuisine. The Green Pepper, located in Squirrel Hill 2020 Murray Ave, is a new restaurant that serves home-style Korean food. The menu has items that appeal both to American tastes and Korean tastes. I went with three other La Roche students to sample the food.

©Caitlin Bahr

Squirrel Hill’s Korean restaurant, The Green Pepper, invites patrons to please their palates with every zesty bite. Featured above is the popular dish Spicy Bullgogi, a meal with thin strips of beef mixed with green onions and garlic. The first dish was dwen jang guk (된장국), which is a soybean paste soup. Guk means soup, and is a common dish. With clams, hard tofu, spinach, green onions, and cabbage, the soup has a nice variety of food in every bite. The other soup dish was yukgaejang (윸계), is a shredded beef soup. Filled with green onions, garlic, scrambled eggs, bean sprouts, red pepper paste for the spice, bracken, taro stems, and cellophane noodles. It was a spicy dish and served very hot but cooled off by the end. The spiciness of Korean food is a slow burn that builds in intensity. It’s okay to sweat because most people do, from the temperature of the soup and the heat of the spice. To help cut the heat, one can put rice in the soup. You can eat the soup with a combination of chopsticks and one very long spoon, which are normally the only utensils needed for any Korean dish. Yukgaejang (윸계) is also said to be a good dish to eat for health and hangovers. The next dish was spicy bullgogi (불고기) and regular bullgogi (불고기), were non-soup dishes served in bento box style (a tray separated into smaller compartments). Both are very popular dishes. While the regular bullgogi ( 불고기) has no spice at all, is a dish with thin strips of beef mixed with green onions and garlic. The last dish was a seafood pancake called, pajeon (파전). Made with a lot of green onions that also make for good presentation, it had squid, clams, and octopus, served with soy sauce for dipping. It was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. Served pizza-style, we each had two pieces. And for dessert, we had a clear sweet rice drink called sikhye mixed with some rice and a few pine nuts. The sikhye was sweet and was refreshing after a large spicy see Korea page 9

questions By Moriah Jamrom

Dear Moriah: This is my first time away from home, and I really miss my dog. What can I do on or off campus to be around dogs and help ease my homesickness? -Mrs. Fido

©Moriah jamrom

Dear Mrs. Fido: Understandably, it’s difficult to be away from the comforts of home. And there’s nothing more comforting than a family pet. Unfortunately, getting home to see that pet can be difficult while living on campus. Since there are no pets in dorm rooms, a fine option is to volunteer with local homeless pets. If you can’t regularly get home to be with your family pet, why not get your fix by helping out an animal in need? Animal Friends on Camp Horne Road offers opportunities for anyone over 16 to volunteer to socialize cats and rabbits and older than 18 to walk dogs. You can start volunteering to handle cats and rabbits after an orientation followed by one class. If you want to volunteer to walk dogs, Animal Friends requires you attend the same orientation and then two classes. The shelter uses the Open Paw training method. Open Paw dictates how the animals are trained. By having a uniform training style, it’s easier for the animals to learn to break bad habits, therefore bettering their chances of finding a

home. So, learning the Open Paw classes are necessary. Once the training is completed, volunteers can come to Animal Friends any time from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day. If you’re a morning person, though, you can come at 7 a.m. to give the dogs a muchneeded early morning walk. There are no sign-up sheets or schedules. So, when you decide to volunteer is up to you. In addition to walking all the dogs want, volunteering is a good opportunity to meet new people in your free time and get your mind off of being homesick. Having volunteer work on a resume never hurts, either. Contact Animal Friends Volunteer Coordinator Kevin Brezler at 412-847-7037 to sign up for orientation. If your schedule is too hectic for a volunteer commitment, sometimes, the animals will come to you. Clubs sometimes organize events and arrange for animals to visit La Roche from The Humane Society or Animal Friends. Watch for e-mails and postings around campus.

Who the %#@! is Arcade Fire?


by Kurt Hackimer

t is the question on the tip of every tongue, or tweet as the case may be, from Kathie Lee to Dog the Bounty Hunter: Who is Arcade Fire and how did they win a Grammy? The question is such a hot button issue that a website,, has been created to follow the many concerns. Potential viewers of that website should be warned that because this issue is so heated, many of the posts on that page are not safe for the easily offended. Yes, many people are very upset that Arcade Fire’s 2010 album “The Suburbs” won this year’s Grammy for Album of the Year. And, really, who could blame them? After all, “The Suburbs” did not contain a solitary number one single, nor have they been played regularly on any Top-40 radio stations. Not to mention that they have roughly 8,300,000 less Twitter followers than fellow Album of the Year nominee Lady Gaga. Seriously, they have less than 127,000 followers on Twitter. Who could give a Grammy to a band who

is less popular than MC Hammer? No wonder former sex icon Tawny Kitaen tweeted that “they sucked.” Well, luckily for the Arcade Fire, this year’s Grammy selection committee valued the quality of the music rather than an artist’s popularity. And, of the five albums nominated for Album of the Year, “The Suburbs” was far and away the best. Who is this mysterious band that released the best album of 2010?

Luckily for the Arcade Fire, this year’s Grammy selection committee valued the quality of the music rather than an artist’s popularity.

Arcade Fire is a seven-piece indie rock band based in Montreal featuring the husband and wife performing duo of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne. They are joined by Butler’s brother, Will, Richard Reed Parry, Tim Kingsbury, Jeremy Gara and Sarah Neufeld. Many of the band’s members are multi-instrumentalists, frequently switching between a bevy of instrusee Arcade Fire page 9


Lecture v. technology

What is the best teaching technique in the classroom?


by therese joseph

n the world of education, there is a constant discussion over the best teaching methods. Today, this discussion considers technology use in the classroom. In addition to the varying views over basic techniques, there is now a discussion over whether technology is to be included or excluded from the classroom. “In the old days, college teaching was simply straight lecture,” La Roche College History Professor Dr. Edward Brett said. “In more recent times, there is much criticism of that.” According to La Roche College’s Department Chair of Communication, Media and Technology, Dr. Jeff Ritter, technology provides the greatest opportunity for every subject right now. Ritter said, “Anything you want in the world you can find today, more easily than ever before and bring it into your classroom to engage a student.” Students also notice the increasing presence of technology in education. La Roche student Emily Powers said, “I think the inclusion of technology is very important in today’s classroom because technology is all around us nowadays. Every corner you turn someone has an iPad, iPod, or a smartphone. So why not bring technology into the classroom?” However, not all professors feel the need to include technology use in the courses they teach. “Professors have to find the way that best suits them,” Brett said. “There are people who are really, by nature, not good lecturers. Some other people are dynamic. They have that charisma. So you have to do what’s best for you.” History minor Devin Patterson explained that the best teaching style depends on the subject at hand. “History, for the most part, is a subject that does not require discussion, which allows for lectures,” she said. Brett said for his classes, lecture-styled teaching works better. “And I think my student evaluations seem to indicate that the students in my class like it because my evaluations are always extremely good,” he added. Patterson, a student in Brett’s History and Culture of the American Indian said she likes Brett’s

teaching methods. “The class gets through more information in one day with him lecturing than we would if the class was based on participation from the students,” she said. Others may disagree with Brett’s approach, finding lectures to be an ineffective way for students to learn.

We [Americans] think education has to be entertaining. ‘Hey Professor, entertain me. If you entertain me and make this fun, then you’re a good teacher.’ And that’s crap, this is destroying America, in my opinion. History Professor Dr. Edward Brett

Ritter stated, “The objective in a classroom should be to keep the student’s mind active. Just listening isn’t really enough to learn the material. You listen with the objective to start using that material and then to actively start thinking.” Unlike Ritter, Brett said he finds opposing methods to lecture more ineffective. “Some people say what you should do is give an assignment from the book for the students to read. Then you break them into groups, and you have them research that chapter or whatever you have to read. And then they present it to the class. But what I found,” Brett said, “was that what they were presenting to me was extremely simplistic and often filled with errors. But almost totally void of any kind of analysis.” As a result, Brett said he decided upon retaining the tradition of lecture-based education. “I want to make sure they get my expertise, and they can take it and do something with it on their own,” he said. “If I don’t use that as the nucleus of my class, then they’re not getting it. They might as well buy the book and discuss it own its own.” On the other hand, Brett recognized that lecture might not be the best method for all subjects. He stated, “In certain fields, you have to use other methods. You couldn’t do just straight lecture in

interior design or graphic arts or communication. You have to have some of these hands-on kinds of things. I’m talking primarily for history.” Likewise, though a supporter Brett’s lectures, Patterson admitted the same method would not work for her Writing for Advertising and Media class taught by Dr. Janine Bayer. “In this case, technology is absolutely necessary to show the class how some commercials work and how some don’t,” she said. Powers, also a student in Ritter’s Internet Social Networking class, said she enjoys Ritter’s inclusion of PowerPoint slideshows and video clips because the visuals keep her attention on the material. One main criticism of lecture-based teaching is its lack of attention towards visual learners. History and Political Science major Adam Davis admitted it would be nice to have a visual of what Brett describes. Similarly, Patterson said, “I do wish that Dr. Brett would use more visuals, especially when he is talking about battles or Native American movements. I think that maps would help me keep movements separate in my mind rather than just writing down that one tribe moved from southern Oregon to Oklahoma.” Ritter said he is a firm believer that a professor must vary the media used to address all types of student learners. He refers to this method as creating a multisensory classroom. To him, this means using a couple videos, some in-class reading, some discussion, some writing and some presentation, done by the student and the teacher. “It’s always got to vary,” Ritter said. “Some students in the middle of a video go ‘I can’t follow this. I don’t know what’s going on. I can’t follow this.’ Some students just can’t.” Brett, however, disagreed. He said students should adapt themselves. “I can’t say, ‘Oh well, that teacher is doing that, and that’s not fair to you because you’re not good with visual stuff. No, you have to adjust yourself and learn how to do that,” Brett continued. “You have to learn how to be a complete student. You see Lecture v. technology, page 11

Fire alarms

continued from page 1

Hilke said. “We get a lot of complaints about it being cold outside, but that doesn’t matter. People need to leave those buildings.” Fire doors separate the Academic Extension Building and John J. Wright from the Science Center, College Center and Academic Building, according to Hilke. Both sections operate on a separate alarm system. Hilke also said that when evacuating a building it is important to use the nearest safe exit. “We had people walk past five exits to go out the front door of the college center,” Hilke said. “People get in the mentality of going out the same door they came in, and they need to be aware of their surroundings. That’s why exit signs are there, and that’s why they are lit up.” Hilke said that an alarm telecommunications center monitors La Roche College’s fire alarm systems continuously all year. “There are two phone lines, so if there is ever a phone issue, there is dual coverage on that as well,” Hilke reported. “It’s a good system.” He said the alarm telecommunications center, or ATC, makes two phone calls after alarms are set off. The first call is to contact the fire department about the active alarm on campus, and the second call notifies Public Safety. According to Zaffuto, Public Safety and Facilities Management report to him, and the two areas share responsibility for handling future fire alarms. “We are jointly giving those two areas responsibility,” Zaffuto said. “So, you

will see more of a presence with facilities people helping get people out of the building in a timely manner, helping anyone with a disability. We are making a number of adjustments to keep people safe.” Earlier this year, Public Safety said they conducted four fire alarm tests, one in each of the resident halls. According to Hilke, La Roche announced the Bold Hall fire alarm, which was pulled on Sept. 24, and 113 people were successfully evacuated within five minutes of the alarm. The other three alarms in Mahler, Schneider and Peters, were unannounced, but, all three buildings were also successfully evacuated in less than five minutes, according to Public Safety records. La Roche has begun to hold informational sessions to combat the poor response of students and faculty to the College Center fire drill. The first session, held on Feb. 11, featured a presentation by Dan Stack, the McCandless Township fire marshall and was open to anyone in the La Roche community. According to Zaffuto, morning and afternoon time slots were offered and 68 people attended the sessions. Zaffuto said, “This is a very serious issue. We’re dealing with people’s lives. We are not trying to hassle people, but we’re trying to get them out of the buildings as fast as possible for their own safety. That’s our motivation.”



continued from page 7

meal. In Korea, many people often drink sikhye in the saunas ( or jimjilbang). Every meal also came with side dishes known as banchan (반잔) depending on the restaurant the number of side dishes can range from three to 12 and up. At the Green Pepper, the number of side dishes was around three and included kimchi (김치), chapchea (잡채), bab or more commonly known as rice (밥), shredded radish in vinegar, cubed radish covered in spicy red pepper paste, a half an egg dipped in soy sauce, and potatoes in a sweet brown sauce. Chapchea (잡채) is a noodle dish, with green onions, carrots, garlic and some salt. It is a nice change from the majority of spicy dishes. It is also a dish that, for most Americans, is the least intrusive. The cubed radish was nice in the way that it added crunch to the main soup dish, which ismostly soft. Rice is just as common as kimchi and is a staple found in most Asian food. Depending on the night you go, the banchan (반잔) can be different, but you can always expect kimchi and rice. Beef and pork are the most popular proteins in Korean food. Garlic is a common spice found in most dishes. It could be subtle or in your face, and I recommend carrying gum with you after you eat Korean food. If you’re a vegetarian, The Green Pepper prepares dishes without meat.

Arcade Fire

continued from page 7

ments from the viola to the glockenspiel. And some semblance of respect has to be given to an award winning band that actively features a hurdy-gurdy, right? One should not read the label indie rock as something inferior to rock bands on major labels. This is a band who, upon the release of “The Suburbs,” sold out Madison Square Garden on two consecutive nights and broadcasted the event on YouTube to an audience of 1.8 million people. Also, upon its August release, “The Suburbs” debuted at number one on multiple national charts, including the United States’ Billboard 200. They have toured the late night talk show circuit, collaborated with rock legends such as David Bowie, and contributed music to the soundtrack of the hit film “Where the Wild Things Are.” With a list of accomplishments such as theirs, how has this band slipped under the radars of so many music fans? It could be that, unlike the other Best Album nominees Eminem, Katy Perry, Lady Antebellum and Lady Gaga, Arcade Fire is not on a major record label. “The Suburbs” was released by Merge Records, and independent record label owned and operated by Laura Ballance and Mac McCaughan. Started in 1989, Merge began as an outlet for Ballance and McCaughan to release music from their band Superchunk. Over the years, it has grown to feature such notable indie artists as She & Him, Spoon, Neutral Milk Hotel and The Magnetic Fields. While the Merge roster has expanded significantly since the late 80s, no band has been as successful as Arcade Fire. In 2004, Arcade Fire’s debut album “Funeral” was the first Merge record to break into the Billboard 200. Arcade Fire’s follow-up, “Neon Bible,” debuted at number two on that list and eventually would become Merge’s first number-one ranked album. Arcade Fire receiving this award is not only important for the band and the record label, but it is important to independent music in general. They represent this generation’s first young rock band, a band who was influenced by the likes of Depeche Mode and The Flaming Lips, to win an award of this magnitude. Their winning Album of the Year despite not having frequent radio play or major label affiliation opens doors for countless other immensely talented bands who the general public has never heard of. So who is Arcade Fire? Well, at this moment, they are the best indie rock band on the planet. And it is relieving that they are being recognized as such.

©Caitlin Bahr

Both pungent and spicy, Kimchi embodies the fiery flare of Korean cuisine. Kimchi, the most well-known food export from Korea, is a fermented cabbage covered in a spicy red pepper paste.

Middle East continued from page 1 as the protests and unrest spread like wildfire to more Islamic dictatorships. These worries seem not to have taken major root in many of America’s youth, but as more people hit the streets abroad and the price of gas steadily increases, many may begin to pay more attention. With the supposed end of these governments, we are compelled to look at how these governments were forged and contemplate why they didn’t stand the test of time. Sociology Professor and humanitarian, Azlan Tajuddin said that these protests are the end result from United States’ policy abroad. According to the author of The Cold War: A Very Short Introduction, Robert J. McMahon states that as the Cold War developed, the Soviet Union and the United States scrambled to influence as many third world nations as possible. From this influence, Tajuddin said that the United States hoped to gain oil and natural resources. To help facilitate this agenda, the United States established western friendly regimes. One example is Iran. Tajuddin said, “This blatant hypocrisy is nothing new to American policy; this hypocrisy can be traced all the way back to the birth of America. From our flawed policy towards the Native Americans, to the atrocities committed to African American slaves, American policy has only protected the economic interests of the American elite.” He added, “These crises are clear outcomes of our flawed foreign policy which is an outgrowth of the corruption in the United States.” To some Americans, this denunciation is a bitter pill to swallow and holds true for Jim Werbaneth, political scientist and professor. He said he believes that these protests were engendered because of an unresponsive government and not the result of American policy. Werbaneth stated, “The Egyptian government refused to acknowledge the needs of the populous, especially the educated youth.” Furthermore, with unemployment at an alltime high, Egyptian, Tunisian and Libyan societies were stagnant. With little upward mobility and little economic stimulation, the masses were exhausted and restless. This, coupled with the governments blatant self-servitude, pushed the masses over the edge. So what does this mean for the region? According to Tajuddin and Werbaneth, these revolts are a good sign. Egypt was one of the

strongest dictatorships in the region with a predominant Islamic dominance. According to Tajuddin, “These protests have come from a secular grassroots movement with secular endeavors, most prominent being the labor strikes in Suez.” Werbaneth expressed concern for secular Egyptians. He explained, “I fear that Islam may suck them in and silence their movement.” He said he believes that the secular mass is a major piece to the puzzle that will help promote a more representative government down the road; however, he believes that Egypt has a long way to democracy, which he bases off of his experience with the fall of communism in 1989. Like the Soviet Union, he added, this region will have to go through the many stages before democracy is achieved. “Every authoritarian Islamic nation is in danger,” Werbaneth said. “The way things are looking, a domino effect is definitely possible, if not probable.” Tajuddin said he is not so sure. Though this is a good sign, he fears that the military will be reluctant to relinquish power. “If all goes well, he said, “we can be hopeful that Egypt will lead the process of democratization. At this point and time though, one cannot be certain of the outcome.” With the future uncertain for the Middle East, many have formulated opinions on what America should do, if anything, to help facilitate the democratic policy. Tajuddin and Werbaneth are no exception. “It is imperative that the United States rethinks its foreign policy. People do not hate Americans but its policy,” Tajuddin said. Along with foreign policy reformation, Tajuddin said it is crucial that right-wing Republicans do not retake power. “If they do take the presidential seat,” Tajuddin stated,” they [Republicans] will revert back to Mubarak-like ways. Policies cannot be executed simply for personal gain. Republicans don’t agree.” Werbaneth explained a different approach to Egyptian policy. He said he views Egypt as a potential ally and that America should cultivate a relationship with the military to strengthen bonds. He said, “Egypt is the largest, most powerful, Arab nation. In essence, it is the cultural nucleus of the Arab world and is the largest Arab recipient of American aide. By retaining engagement with the military, America can give stability to Egypt, which is the prime objective, followed by democratic influence.”


Financial Aid

continued from page 1

half of that income was going to my tuition, and it was definitely not. Most of it went to gas, books and extra supplies. Graphic design majors spent so much extra money on supplies,” she said. “So I was stuck with what little basic loans I could get and just made payments on everything else.” After exploring other funding options through La Roche’s Financial Aid office, Svaboda still could not cover tuition costs. “I usually was able to scrape by with payments,” she said, “but this semester just overwhelmed me.” She added, “Financial Aid was generally helpful. They showed me some of the [Parent]Plus loan options and the big loan companies, as well. None of those options really fit, though, because of family circumstances. Basically I had nobody that was willing or able to cosign for me.” Svaboda said that she thought her financial woes were over once she received a scholarship through Student Accounts. “Unfortunately, due to a lot of ‘mix-ups,’ and a lot of waiting around, I never received it this year.” Svaboda’s financial troubles aren’t uncommon among students, according to Financial Aid Director Sharon Platt. Platt cited the state of the economy as a main factor that affects funding. “When people lose their jobs, and they have less money to work with,” she said, “what they can contribute to paying their tuition is less. Financial aid may not necessarily keep pace with that.” Students file their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) applications for the following school year based on the tax returns for the year in which they apply, Platt explained. For instance, students this year will file for the 2011-12 academic year using their 2010 tax returns. Income fluctuations can often arise after students have already filed their FAFSA applications. “Sometimes over the summer, a parent can get laid off, parents could get separated. Some students will come in and say how much money they made the previous year, but that they’re not mak-

ing that much now,” Platt said. When these problems occur, Platt added that students and parents have the option of filling out a Special Consideration form. According to Platt, the form requires students to explain their financial status. “They tell me why they’re going to experience the decrease in income from the calendar year, what happened, when did it happen, and then I ask them to estimate their income for next year,” she said. “And then those come back here to me, and I see if I can help them and get them more money, somehow.  It doesn’t always work, but sometimes it can.” However, Platt explained that applying for financial aid by the set deadline is crucial in avoiding funding troubles. She said, “When students don’t file by the deadline, they miss out on some types of financial aid that they could have otherwise received if they had filed early.  We’re trying to get the word out that you need to file your application early.” The deadline for FAFSA applications is May 1. Students must complete financial aid applications by this date in order to receive the best grants available. “The Pennsylvania State Agency has a deadline of May 1. And if you miss their deadline, they rarely go back and reward late applicants,” Platt said. Aside from grants, Platt said that students can receive additional aid from La Roche College’s financial aid office. “We have other types of financial aid here in the financial aid office that we award – some grants, some loans,” she said. “Work study falls under that category.” Work study, however, is not applied to your financial aid account.   “You have to earn that [money] like a regular job,” she added. “You get a paycheck.” Svaboda, who reported that she plans to return to college at The University of Pittsburgh, said she recommends that students explore every option available. She said, “If the financial aid people don’t seem to be helping, contact other people, your teach-

ers, people from the internet, other students. There’s always someone willing to help.” Here are some steps you can take to cover the costs of tuition:

Apply for the FAFSA early “You might’ve missed out on a $4,000 grant that you would’ve qualified for, and now you’re not getting it because you applied late,” Platt explained.

Give yourself enough time to complete alternative loan applications “You have to give yourself enough time to get all of that paperwork done,” Platt stated. “If we process the loan, we know that loan is not going to come until September.  But if we certified it, then we know that it’s been approved and know that money is coming in.   It will show up as pending financial aid on your bill.”

Follow-up by double-checking receipts and awards letters “If you get a financial aid awards letter from us and you get you’re tuition bill and don’t see two of your awards, there could be a problem,” Platt said.

Student should also verify the alternative loans they receive. Platt explained that the College certifies loans for the fall and spring. Sometimes students run into problems when the lender of the alternative loan disburses the full amount too early. She said, “Student Accounts doesn’t hold anything on your account unless they receive written permission from the student. We certify the loans for the fall and the spring.  Half of it’s supposed to come in for the fall, and half of it’s supposed to come in for the spring.  And if it’s all disbursed early in the fall, and then the student doesn’t come back in the spring, we have to try and recoup that money. It just creates a snowball mess.” She added, “That typically should not happen.  It happened this year with a couple students, and we’re still trying to figure out why.”

Notify the financial aid office if you add or drop classes or change residency “If the student didn’t check with us first, there could be incorrect charges. Say the student changed dormitories – there are different charges for different dormitories,” she said, “So, if students are considering, they should check with us first so they have a better idea of what’s going to happen to their financial aid.”

Sign up for payment plans to cover account balances La Roche offers tuition management plans that students use to cover balances they cannot pay immediately with a check or cash. Sign the new promissory note if you haven’t already “Going to direct lending this past year has been a challenge for both students and the financial aid office,” Platt stated, “because every student has to sign a new promissory note, even returning students. That was a challenge trying to get the word out. Their loans are never on their account of they don’t sign the promissory note.”

Check with student accounts if you do not receive a tuition refund Platt said that financial aid gets credited to your student account right when the add and drop period ends. Within two weeks, you get your refund.

Apply for loans with a cosigner Interest rates are lower when students have a co-signer, according to Platt. “There is a co-signer release option. After the student makes 48 payments, the co-signer can be removed from that loan,” she said. Platt also explained that the College cannot always control the dollar amounts for the funds students receive. She said, “On a student’s financial aid letter, we have to put gross amounts, so when the funds actually come into the college, they deduct fees from that. The net amount of a student loan is a little bit less.”


continued from page 3

Less than a week after Coach Lang’s death, the Redhawks traveled to Carnegie Mellon, a place Jordan said the team does not usually play well, and won 75-60.

“If there had to be a perspec-

tive for [the team] that would help carry them through the year,” Jordan said, “that was the game where they established that perspective.” Jordan described the scene at CMU as being almost life a home game. “We were at CMU, and the

fans were all from La Roche. It was our students, parents, basketball alumni and that was a big help. That was a huge help. They’re a remarkable bunch,” Jordan said. After the CMU game, the Redhawks won at Mount Union with a shot in the closing seconds, and a few weeks later they beat the defending AMCC champions, Medialle, on the road. La Roche took first place in the conference when they defeated

Penn St. Behrend on Feb. 7. Down by 20 with 12:47 left to play, the Redhawks came back to week against Pitt-Bradford a week later.The Redhawks continued winning and finished the regular season 23-2. “Winning that Carnegie Mellon game set us on that long winning streak,” Jordan said. “It helped everybody start to define how things were going to go from that point on, we were in pretty good shape

after that. Was it grief? Was it passion? Determination? Or just raw courage, I don’t know. If I had a name for it, I’d be lying” On Feb. 26, the Redhawks beat Penn St.-Behrend 55-53 to win the AMCC tournament. “His [Coach Lang’s] expectations of them, what he taught them, laid the foundation for them to have this wonderful season,” Jordan said.“But it also laid the foundation for them to survive without him.”


Lecture v. technology

continued from page 8 have to know it all.” Such adaptation can be found in Brett’s History and Culture of the American Indian class. Davis, while he still uses a pen and paper to take his notes, also brings his laptop to class. He said having his laptop there allows him to view the images on Google if he wants to supplement the lecture. The inclusion of technology within the classroom is not without its flaws. Ritter admitted that when technology is dysfunctional, you have to prepare a backup plan. If a professor is not prepared, it can harm the students’ education. Patterson said, “I have been in classes where dysfunctional technology played a detrimental role in the learning process. In Western Civilizations I, we watched documentaries in almost every class, and more often than not, the DVD player would malfunction.” She added, “It took serious time away from what we could be doing in class. As a result, we didn’t cover as much as we could or should have.” Consequently, she said some of the material on her test was never covered in the class at all. “We [Americans] think education has to be entertaining. ‘Hey Professor, entertain me. If you entertain me and make this fun, then you’re a good teacher.’ And that’s crap,” Brett said. “This is destroying America, in my opinion.” Brett referred to European education as a model for America. “The European thing is, no matter how boring the teacher is, it’s the amount I learn that counts.”

© Therese Joseph

Education isn’t entertainment, according to History Professor Dr. Edward Brett. In fact, Brett’s previous professor at Rutgers University once told him that a European student would rather have a boring teacher who gives him work than a teacher who tells good jokes and provides watered-down knowledge.

Brett added that the ideal solution is to try and find a balance between the two. He said, “No matter how good I am, they’re gonna fall asleep. So you have to intersperse [lecture] with certain things.”

Interested in writing, layout or photography? The La Roche Courier needs writers for news articles, feature stories, sports coverage and entertainment. Photographers, illustrators and page designers are always wanted. If you are interested in joining our staff, please contact our editors.

The March 2011 issue of The La Roche Courier  

La Roche College's student newspaper

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