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Student Newspaper of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

Volume 74 Issue 11 For more content, visit us at:

North Adams, Mass.

Campus Center renovations almost complete

Students hit the polls On Dec. 6 and 7, the Student Government Association held a vote determining student opinion, and ultimately the SGA’s stance, on whether or not Public Safety officers should be armed with guns. According to SGA President Todd Foy at presstime, the turnout will exceed 400 votes.The results will be presented to the Board of Trustees at its meeting on Dec. 15. The results, not available at presstime for print, are available at theonline

By Chris Goodell Managing Editor

The Amsler Campus Center renovations are expected to be complete by the end of the semester and ready for student use by the start of next semester, according to College officials. James Stakenas, vice president of Administration and Finance, said the renovations will be substantially completed by Dec. 16, although some final touchups will still be needed. “By the very end of the semester, with a few exceptions, the Market Place will be finished,” Stakenas said. He hopes these exceptions, which include the C-store and the new Subway, will be completed by early next semester. “We have high hopes that the convenience store will be ready when we come back, and the Subway shortly thereafter,” Stakenas said. He added that the new bookstore will be open by the end of this semester, in time for finals and book buybacks.

Photo by Cara Sheedy Beacon Staff

Once the Market Place is open, students and faculty will only be able to enter and exit the cafeteria from the Market Place entrance. The doors near the athletic hall of the Campus Center that are currently being used will no longer be open for traffic in and out of the cafeteria. Stakenas also noted that the opening of the Market Place does not mean there will be to-go dining options, although discussions with ARAMARK are ongoing. The concern, he said, is that ARAMARK property such as dishes, cups, and silverware are less likely to be returned if they are allowed to leave the cafeteria. “ARAMARK has discussed opportunities for people to take out food, but they haven’t unveiled anything,” Stakenas said. Adding to student dining options will be the new Subway, where students can use either their declining balance points or Blazer Bucks, Stakenas said. He added that Subway will be open AMSLER, continued on Page 2

Faculty opposes Students for Sensible Drug guns, vote shows Policy club recognized by SGA By John Durkan Editor-in-Chief

The faculty opposed the arming of Public Safety officers, 110-13, according to a pair of surveys conducted by the Executive Committee of the Faculty Association. According to Faculty Association President Dana Rapp, the association sought responses by asking department chairs to conduct informal votes and by asking faculty to provide a “yes” or “no” response via email to the question “Should MCLA Campus Police be armed?” In the email survey, 68 responded

Faculty vote: Should MCLA Campus Police be armed?

Email responses:

– 59 (87 percent) responded “no” and nine answered “yes.” Of the 55 responses to the department chairs, 51 (93 percent) said “no” while four said yes. The Executive Committee of the Faculty Association was trying to understand how many faculty support or do not support the idea of arming Public Safety, according to an email from Rapp. Approximately 190 full-time and part time faculty works at MCLA. Rapp said the results do not reflect an official stance for the Faculty Association. The association has no official stance at this time.

Dept. chair responses:

Total responses:

Yes: 9 Yes: 4 Yes: 13 No: 59 No: 51 No: 110 BeaconMCLA MCLABeacon

Everything you wanted to know about caffeine Mary Redstone examines the popular finals stimulant Features, Page 5

By John Durkan Editor-in-Chief

Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) became the first political group recognized by the Student Government Association on Monday. The SGA ratified the club’s constitution, 10-1. SSDP President Brian McGrath and Vice President Phillip Santangelo stressed the importance of educating students on drug use. “We have recognized pamphlets in Health Services that stress abstinence, which is proven not to work,” McGrath said, noting that the group will create “better flyers” and discuss policies, including Good Samaritan laws and the War on Drugs. “We are neither a club that condones nor condemns [drug use],” McGrath said.

Santangelo said the club sees drug use as a health issue, not a legal issue. He recited the slogan, “Educate, not incarcerate.” According to McGrath, SSDP has over 150 chapters nationally. Santangelo said Williams College also has a chapter. The SSDP will next meet on Dec. 8 at 7 p.m. in Sullivan Lounge. Smoking on the Quad Senator Sarah DiMarino is advocating a smoke-free Quad. Currently, state law prohibits smoking within 20 feet from a public building. According to the Student Handbook, the Academic Quad is a smoke-free zone. DiMarino said the American College Health Association advocates a smoke-free campus, but said the goal is “unrealistic.” SGA President Todd Foy said

Harris passes 1,000 points Senior forward Chris Harris passes the 1,000-point mark in a 98-96 loss to RPI over the weekend Sports, Page 9


News Features A&E Sports Letters to the Ed.

2-3 4-5 6-8 9-11 13

he spoke with Director of Public Safety Joseph Charon about the issue. Charon said it’s unclear who is supposed to enforce the rule. Senator Brendan Peltier suggested making smoking huts to cover smokers during precipitation, but Senator Catt Chaput opposed student funds going towards that project. Currently, smoking is allowed 20 feet behind Bowman Hall, which does not include the picnic benches at the back entrance. DiMarino said the only covered spot available is by the Amsler Campus Center. Firearm update Foy announced the results of the faculty vote regarding arming Public Safety with firearms. Of the 123 full-time and part-time SGA, continued on Page 2

Campus Comment Commentary Comic Word Search Photo Essay

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Thursday, December 8, 2011


Campus Center renovations almost complete AMSLER, continued from Page 1

later hours than the cafeteria to give students another afterhours dining option. John Kozik, director of Dining Services, said the official hours Subway will be open are still being discussed, but confirmed they will likely be similar to the hours of the C-store. According to the College’s website, phase two of construction, which includes the renovations outside of the cafeteria, was planned to be completed by Dec. 1. Stakenas said construction was hindered by Hurricane Irene, which caused a delay in materials being shipped across the state, and by power outages in the Springfield area. When construction is complete, Stakenas said the new area will be a gathering place for

students equipped with tables, comfortable furniture, Internet access, and a coffee shop. “All it was before was a hallway,” Stakenas said. “[Now] it’s a well-lit, expansive space. It’ll be warm and inviting and comfortable, a gathering place we’ve never really had before in the Campus Center.” “I think this old building will finally have a new life to it because of this renovation,” he added. The new entrance to the Campus Center near Hoosac Hall provides handicap access and also has a concrete patio area. The area on the opposite side of the building that used to be an outdoor sitting and smoking area has been enclosed in glass, offering more indoor space and an entrance from the quad side of the building.

Photo by Dennise Carranza/Beacon Staff

Renovations continue outside of the Centennial Room in the Amsler Campus Center.

SGA approves More vegetarian options possible SSDP constitution By Nicole Knapp

SGA, continued from Page 1

professors polled, 110 voted “no” on the issue. “I’m not sure if the Faculty Association is coming to the [Board of Trustees] meeting,” Student Trustee Jaynelle Bellemore said. “I’m sure we’ll take [the results] into consideration.” Foy said he met with Charon on Dec. 1. Foy said he learned that if the Trustees approve arming Public Safety, the arming would not be immediate. Six to 12 months would be required for training and arming. Financial Aid Elizabeth Petri, director of Financial Aid at the College, informed the SGA about changes to the Financial Aid process that will make the process more difficult for students and families. “If your taxes aren’t done, you won’t be able to [file a FAFSA] right away,” Petri explained.

Staff Writer

Previously, copies of tax forms were accepted for verification. Now, students need to request a tax transcript. Coffee Kiosk Senate Chair Korinna Dennehey said next semester ARAMARK plans to provide a “coffee kiosk,” which will serve coffee and possibly baked goods to go. Dennehey also said the permanent ice cream station will contain no nuts. “Hydration stations,” which will rotate flavored water and provide an alternative to soda and juice, is next on the agenda for ARAMARK. Grilled Cheese Executive Vice President Stephanie Esposito said the National Residence Hall Honorary chapter raised $420 for the Resident Student Scholarship fund last week.

The Student Government Association (SGA) Food Committee and ARAMARK are working together to implement more food options for vegans and vegetarians. “The pushing is being done and it’s being done in a positive way,” Brendan Peltier a freshman and member of the SGA Food Committee said. Peltier said ARAMARK seems to be very accepting and the managers want things to change. He said ARAMARK wants vegans to be able to eat the same way meat eaters do; they want vegans and vegetarians to feel as full as non-vegetarians.

“They want to please the vegans and vegetarians,” Peltier said. “They’re pushing for it 100 percent.” Various soups, including sweet pea and vegetable, will no longer include bacon or meat products, making them available for vegetarians. The Grab and Go cart, which usually only has meat sandwiches, now also has lo mien and veggie packets. At the World’s Fare station in the Centennial Room, a tofu option will now always be served such as tofu tacos, tofu burritos, and tofu chicken wraps. Hummus is now available and there are wraps available at the salad bar. The new C-store will also have more options for vegetarians,

and the Veggie Delight sandwich will be served at the upcoming campus Subway. Peltier has talked to quite a few of the vegetarians on campus. He said about 5 percent of students are vegetarians on campus and not all of that 5 percent are true vegetarians, but they would still like that option. Peltier said in the past, there was nothing for such options. He thought it would be hard to get those options implemented, but it wasn’t. “It wasn’t a fighting battle,” he said. “They were very caring and understanding.” Learn more by checking out ARAMARK on Facebook or on their website at http://www. MCLA/.


Thursday, December 8, 2011


Undergraduate Research Program establishes new Advisory Board By Skyla Seamans Senior News Editor

The Undergraduate Research Program was recently established and a new Advisory Board appointed into the program at the College. The Director of the Program is Psychology Departmental Chair Maria Bartini and the Associate Director is Biology Departmental Chair Ann Billetz. “Creating an Undergraduate Research Program at MCLA is something I’ve always been interested in,” Bartini said. “Administration is greatly in support of the program and there is also huge support across campus. I hope to see this grow.” One of the Advisory Board’s responsibilities is to organize the Undergraduate Research Conference, which will take place on April 19 at the College. “Our goal is to create a culture of

undergraduate research on campus,” Bartini said. “We want students to truly know what it means and how to get involved. This is a part of their college experience that they have access to if they want to seek it out.” Other activities the board takes part in is organizing off campus conference participation and attendance by students; administering the student mini-grant program; coordinating faculty workshops on undergraduate research; and directing the Scholar Program, which is currently under development, Bartini said. The first faculty workshop is scheduled for Friday, Dec. 9 at 3 p.m. in Murdock 218. “These professional development workshops will encourage faculty to think about ways to engage in work for the conference,” Bartini said. “When I was an undergraduate, this type of work was unusual.

Today, students are expected to take part in undergraduate research. There has been a significant shift and it is branching out across all disciplines.”

“The conference is a wonderful extension of what students do in the classroom. It shows students what they are capable of doing.” - Ann Billetz In June, Bartini, Billitz, English/Communications Professor Rosanne Denhard and Dean Monica Joslin attended a threeday workshop at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Their goal was to develop an action plan to create the Undergraduate Research Program at the College.

Dr. Leibo warns students of global warming consequences By John Durkan Editor-in-Chief

Dr. Steven Leibo warned students about the dangerous consequences of global warming and offered insight on the past, present and future. “We’re living through it every day,” Dr. Leibo said during his presentation, ‘Saving Civilization: The Global Fight Against Devastating Climate Change,’ held at Murdock Hall 218 last week. “Unfortunately, we only have one planet and the experiment has already begun.” Dr. Leibo, an International History and Politics professor at the Sage Colleges, explained the changing relationship between humans and the Earth. He said humans once lived in small populations in a very erratic climate. After the climate stabilized about 15,000 years ago, people settled and populations rose. Up until the 19th century, most energy came from the living – animals, slaves and ourselves. Then, fossil fuels, “the energy of the dead,” shaped industry. That energy led to a 40 percent parts-per-million of atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration since the industrial revolution, Dr. Leibo said.. “We looked at a smokestack and said it was progress,” Dr. Leibo said. “We didn’t know.” Dr. Leibo explained that the increase of greenhouse gases, which carbon dioxide influences, in the atmosphere causes the earth to retain additional heat. Naturally, the atmosphere already retained heat. “It’s like having one blanket on and throwing on another blanket,” Dr. Leibo explained. He also said that the warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, leading to more extreme weather. Dr. Leibo

“All Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges attended the conference,” Bartini said. “The conference provided each team with time to learn how to institutionalize undergraduate research across campuses. It is crucial to provide students with as many opportunities as possible.” Bartini, Billetz, and Thomas Byrne founded the Undergraduate Research Conference in 2002, which was held in Sullivan Lounge with 18 students who presented posters. Today, about 250 students present in all different ways across campus, Billetz said. “The conference is a wonderful extension of what students do in the classroom,” Billetz said. “It shows students what they are capable of doing.” Denhard said undergraduate research is a factor in making students better prepared for graduate school and for their future careers. She has been assisting in the direct-

Staff Writer

Photo by John Durkan/Beacon Staff

showed numerous slides of drought and flood destruction over the past few years and credited the extreme weather to global warming. In addition to the weather, Dr. Leibo said glaciers and Arctic ice are melting, which causes rising sea levels and less surface area for the sun’s rays to reflect from. He explained that just one meter of sea level rise leads to 100 million displaced people. Furthermore, Dr. Leibo said world population is rising and India and China are rapidly expanding in industry. He believes governments need to step in to help curb climate change.

“If you believe in the science of global warming then you need to accept government regulation,” Dr. Leibo said. Dr. Leibo said some progress has been made between fuel efficiency and renewable energy, but more needs to happen. “Frankly, we’re not even where we were at in the 70s,” Dr. Leibo said. He said the United States is the only major country without an energy bill. Dr. Leibo encouraged students to fight for the future by attending rallies, expanding public knowledge and interest, and hold more presentations like his.

To view the whole story, which includes student projects, visit:

STAGE hosting first ‘Sextival’ By Jess Gamari

Dr. Steven Leibo presented “Saving Civilization: The Global Fight Against Devastating Climate Change.”

ing of the conference and encouraging her students to be a part of it since its establishment. “We Undergraduate Research Advisory Board members are ‘ambassadors’ campus-wide and across disciplines, as we encourage our colleagues and students to engage in this enormously significant highimpact learning activity,” Denhard said. Through research projects, students learn how to take a major project from the proposal stage to completion, Denhard said. “Along the way, they practice problem-solving at various stages and learn how to work both independently and collaboratively, both with peers and faculty,” she said.

Students Taking Action for Gender Equality, (STAGE) is hosting its first ‘Sextival’ on Dec. 10, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in Venable Gym. “A Sextival is literally a sex festival,” said STAGE President Brianna Vear. “It’s a fun way to talk about sex in a safe environment.” STAGE secretary Corinne Blake was doing research for the Women’s Center Newsletter for Women’s Rights when she came across the online newspaper for the University of Kansas. There she learned about the college’s response to anti-abortion billboards. The Kansas campus hosted a sextival to promote education for safe sex, and healthy relationships in a sex-positive way. “Events like this open the door to conversations about what is normally considered taboo,” Blake said. “People have sex on campus, but it’s not talked about.” Sextival-goers can expect classic carnival games, like a duck pond, but with a sexual theme twist, like the condom toss. Winners of the games will receive raffle tickets which can be turned in for a chance to win sex games or a gift card to Oh My, a sensuality shop in Northampton, Mass. Vear said there will be a whole table of free condoms and information, as well as food, goodie bags, and buttons. Some of the information will include con-

traception, how to be safe, the kinks, masturbation, and how to talk to sexual partners “It’s cool to use sex in the media, but you can’t talk about how we like it,” Vears said. “Loving yourself is just as important, although that is also seen as taboo. And it’s not just about heterosexual relationships, but homosexual as well. The BGLAD E-board is helping us out too.”

“Events like this open the door to conversation about what is normally considered taboo.” - Corinne Blake B-GLAD stands for Bisexuals, Gays, Lesbians and Allies making a Difference, also known as the queer-straight alliance on campus. The group’s E-board is helping STAGE by making a poster, creating tables and providing more information. “Safe sex isn’t just about using a condom or contraceptives,” Vear said. “It’s about communication with your partner about what you like or what you’re comfortable with.” “It should be fun. We want to make sure everyone who comes enjoys themselves,” Blake said. Anyone who wants to earn more raffle tickets should bring a canned good or 50 cents to the sextival, which will benefit the North Adams food bank. Tickets will be put in the raffle to win sex games or a gift card.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Foy of all Trades


Senior Todd Foy has been busy this semester working with students and faculty to make improvements and meet student needs By Hannah Sterrs

Special to the Beacon Popular video game Assassin’s Creed blares through the television speakers of Townhouse 91. Sitting on the couch is senior Todd Foy. Like any college student, Foy uses his free time to do the things he enjoys. Yet, free time is something he has little of. Foy is using the hours in his day to make a difference. He is not only MCLA’s Student Government Association’s President, he is also an Admissions Ambassador, a founder of the club Colleges against Cancer, a political science and public policy major. Foy had lived in Indiana, where he was born, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Connecticut before moving to what he calls his “hometown” of Hadley, Mass. He graduated from Hopkins Academy in 2008 before he came to MCLA in the fall of that same year. “What brought me to MCLA at first was the fact that it was small and it was cheap,” he said. “I also love the mountains. So, I was sold on this place.” For his freshman year, Foy was an English major. It wasn’t until his sophomore year he changed his major to his true passion, political science and public policy. He then added not one, but two minors: anthropology and social justice. “I actually started out as an English major and I was really into it,” he said. “But I took a few political science classes and really enjoyed it. So I switched my major to reflect what I hope to do after I graduate.” For his first two years at MCLA, Foy was the president of the Class

of 2012. His junior year, he was on the Student Government Association’s Executive Board and this year he has achieved the ultimate position: President. Every Monday at 6:00 p.m., Foy has to make the walk from his Townhouse to the Amsler Campus Center where his office is located. He then makes the walk to Murdock, making his way up the two flights of stairs to enter room 324. The rest of his Executive Board, Student Government Association Advisor Jenn Craig, and assorted students are waiting for the meeting to start. For the next hour or so Foy sits in the center of the long wooden table communicating with students, faculty and sometimes community members. The meetings generally draw a crowd of about twenty. They discuss issues that pertain to club budgets, student curriculum and more recently, bringing firearms to the MCLA Campus. Foy hopes to make a huge difference in the way that the school currently runs. “I think there are a lot of things I want to see changed, but I understood that I had to make them realistic,” he said. “First, I wanted to give SGA back to the students and make it work for them again. I think we’ve done this already. We had 12 open seats and filled 8 of them with students who’d never been in SGA before. We also just passed an SGA referendum that will allow students to vote on whether or not they support arming campus police. So I think that’s been a crowning achievement for me.” Foy, continued on Page 5

Photo by Cara Sheedy/Beacon Staff

Todd Foy, a senior at MCLA, is not only the SGA President, but an Admissions Ambassador and the founder of Colleges Against Cancer

Photo by Alexander Lenski

Spencer Moser, coordinator for the Center for Service and Citizenship, sits at his desk in his office surrounded by papers and work for his service leadership events.

Spencer Moser and The Thing

MCLA Faculty member and coordinator of Center for Service and Citizenship brings together academics and activism By Alexander Lenski Special to the Beacon

Spencer Moser leaves his keys in the door lock, rushed for an interview. His winter coat, having just deflected some cold morning wind, hangs limp on the file cabinet beside the door. The desk, dark brown and crammed with various papers, doesn’t seem big enough for the endless network to which he quickly writes away, one email at a time. “My kids think I’m the mayor,” Spencer said laughing. “They say, ‘Oh, Daddy organized The Thing’.” The Thing, as it turns out, has another name: service leadership. He gazes above the two leather guest chairs, only one now vacant. A grin spreads across his face. “They get confused…they say, ‘you’re so mean to make the students do this’.” As coordinator for the Center for Service and Citizenship, Moser connects civic engagement with academics. He’s the one, in effect, yanking students out of bed on Saturday mornings, all for a good taste of community activism. North Adams mayor Richard Alcombright said Moser is right alongside the students, leading by example. His commitment serves as model to both the neighborhood and college. “If he asks you to get dirty, he’ll get dirty too,” Alcombright said. Spencer is wearing a multi-colored sweatshirt today. His room, dimmed by sitting on the north side of the building, is neatly organized into myriad experiences of his life. The glass picture frames hang on the edge of tables and desks. A red peace sign magnet clings to the metal filing cabinet, directly below “Go Solar.” Across his desk is the bulletin board, tacked to the wall by slogans against hazing, and the genocide of Darfur. Born in Malawi, Africa, and having joined the Peace Corps in

Benin in Western Africa, Spencer was brought up to appreciate different world views. His mother and father brought him along on their travels throughout the world, pivoting some sense of a global community. “Multi-culturalism taught me to accept other peoples’ beliefs,” he says. The idea of service leadership, blending community activism with academics, is fairly recent. In the past century the United States recognized the need for social programs that promote student, community, and volunteer involvement. Growing examples of civic leadership and volunteer programs sprouted roots in times of economic need, most notably Roosevelt’s Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. An explosion within the last two decades turned the phrase “service leadership” into an almost mandatory adaptation for colleges. With the creation of the National and Community Service Act in 1993 (, grants were warranted to schools whose actions aligned with both an educational and civic experience. The objective: use what you learn in the classroom to enrich the lives of your community. Spencer thinks North Adams is perfect for the job, particularly because MCLA seems to be a place out of context. “Some residents still see it as a sort of fortress,” he says. The city of North Adams and MCLA exist within a valley in which they are a unique, paradoxical pair. The school recently began construction on a $30 million Center for Science and Innovation, with $24 million to spare for other needs. North Adams on the other hand has historically struggled economically. Recent statistics show the city has a poverty level that is more than 130 percent the Massachusetts average, and the median

household income is nearly half. Kate Merrigan, the coordinator for North Adam’s United, Neighboring, Interdependent, Trusted Youth (UNITY) program, agrees with Spencer’s belief that a state university has a responsibility to address local economic and social issues. It has the resources, but just needs more involvement. “Spencer’s got a brain that’s in the habit of making connections…and there’s a foundation being put in place,” she said. According to a 2010 Planning Strategy Report, North Adams officials hope to overcome many internal problems, such as the high poverty level. Other social factors contributing, the schools are a main target of Spencer Moser’s ambitions. “The concept of higher education for kids in this area is not in the picture,” he says. Programs like Student Teacher In-Class Support, or S.T.I.C.S., and the Write Stuff, thrust MCLA students into an almost mentortype role. By volunteering, they submit time, patience, and a bit of wisdom to children, who in turn, look at them as if they were gods, Spencer said. “The kids love it. It’s opening their eyes to some place in the future.” His own children, Sawyer and Eva-Rae, are eclipsed by sunlight in a black picture frame on the edge of the desk. Spencer relaxes at the suggestion they might not choose the same path he decided to take. His wife, Valerie, smiles back a radiant face with her children in a frame by the window. An art teacher at Vermont Community College in Bennington, she works both day and night hours. Home life remains uncompromised. Moser, continued on Page 5


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Caffeine and you


How much caffeine is too much, where it comes from, and just why does it make that final paper seem so interesting? By Mary Redstone Features Editor

Caffeine. One molecule that helps you get up in the morning, survive early classes, plough through a paper, and makes chocolate that much better. OIt also does a lot more to your body than you probably know about. Caffeine is a central-nervous system stimulant which temporarily increases alertness. It is considered a psychoactive drug, any drug that crosses the blood-barrier into the central nervous system and affects brain function, but is specifically a stimulant. Nicotine and cocoa are other types of legal stimulant psychotropic drugs. Khat and coca however are not legal, and amphetamines are most frequently used for prescription drugs such as Aderall. The most common types of effects from caffeine deal with wakefulness and alertness; the user feels less tired, and thus more awake, and their concentration increases. This happens because caffeine blocks the receptors for the nucleoside Adenosine in the brain, which is responsible for promoting sleep and arousal levels which naturally decrease each hour a person is awake. Caffeine is also responsible for increasing dopamine in the brain, a neurotransmitter that deals with mood and attention span to at least make you happy while you’re forced to pay attention to the task at hand. Over the years, multiple studies have been conducted to determine whether or not caffeine can be linked to preventing various diseases. The results of these tests have shown that caffeine may be linked to a reduction in cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, and a delay in the onset of certain cancers. But like any other drug, there are also occasional effects that are not as beneficial. Caffeine has also been found to increase blood pressure, produce a lack in fine MOSER, continued from page 4

“At the end of the day, we cover for each other,” he says. “I’ve learned so much through them…and created so many allies.” These relationships at MCLA are his microcosm of North Adams. “It’s a quality of life thing…we don’t make a lot of money, but having that [game] trumps everything.” There are no visible pictures of Spencer in his room, but both Alcombright and Kate Merrigan acknowledge him as being a family man. She believes it is Spencer’s sense of humor, and ability to create relationships, that has been such a crucial role to her organization and the college. “He’s the first person I think of when I need something from the College. He’s the face of MCLA,”

motor functions that result in small hand-shaking, over-urination, anxiety, and trouble sleeping. Caffeine can also limit a woman’s chance of getting pregnant, but depending on your situation this could be a benefit or downside. The worst side-effect of caffeine may be the withdrawal symptoms – headaches, irritability, sleepiness at inappropriate times, lethargy beyond not wanting to write your final paper, depression and lack of concentration. They seem to last forever and can be reversed either by consuming more caffeine or waiting it out; after all, caffeine is addictive. The best way to combat withdrawal and come off of a caffeine addiction is gradual limitation, not cold turkey. The body will react more adversely if it is violently pulled from its source of caffeine. Instead, try cutting back a little each day or each week. So, let’s say you want all the benefits of caffeine but none of the downsides – how would you accomplish this? First you would need to know how much caffeine you’re drinking and how quickly you metabolize it. Caffeine is measured in milligrams (mg). An average dose of caffeine, a dose which produces the least amount of side-effects, ranges from 85-250 mg. High doses fall between 250-500 mg, and any amount higher can potentially produce caffeine toxicity. Average to high doses create the alertness and concentration previously mentioned, but elevated doses are more likely to cause restlessness instead of concentration and hyperactivity rather than alertness. Higher doses can also increase the lack of fine motor skill coordination and make hand-shakes progress to tremors. The amount of caffeine in each style of beverage can greatly vary, and even the amount within each type of drink contains varying amounts. The FDA lists the caffeine content of a cup of coffee

to range between 60 and 150 mg of coffee depending on the brand and roast; a cup of Starbucks brewed coffee has been measured to contain 160 mg of caffeine while a cup of Dunkin Donuts has 103 mg. So, if the average dose of caffeine is between 85 and 250 mg, that can translate to anywhere up to three or four eight-ounce cups of coffee. Once caffeine enters the bloodstream, through body membranes such as the mouth and the stomach lining, it has a half-life of about three to five hours. It only takes about 45 minutes for 99% of the consumed caffeine to be absorbed through these membranes. Caffeine then leaves the body once it is passed through the kidneys and filtered and urinated out. It also has a dieuretic effect, causing the body to expell more water as it passes out the caffeine, which also dehydrates the body. As soon as the caffeine has left the body, the brain’s neurotransmitters are allowed to return to normal, flooding the body with Adenosine to regulate sleepiness and giving the feeling of a crash in energy. The amount of time it takes to metabolize the caffeine from your body varies from each person – there is no universal metabolic equation like there is for alcohol. So it’s hard to tell if that fourth cup of coffee will be too much based solely on how much you have already consumed. The easiest way to tell how much caffeine is too much is to judge how you’re feeling. If you’re tired, unattentive and sluggish you could probably do well with a pick-me-up. If you’re awake, attentive, and determined to finish that project you put off until the last minute, you’re fine. If you can’t sit still, having trouble typing your paper through shaky hands, and you’re feeling anxious you should probably switch to water. You can’t go wrong with water.

she said. Three times a week, Spencer joins his fellow faculty and staff for a game of basketball. He leaves the heavy books of Jared Diamond on the shelf, and the pictures of his family, and the map of Africa, representing the collage that makes up a community, for one simple reason. He is a friend, too. The short, brown bookshelf, close at hand to Spencer, juts its novels and biographies out of the wall. The reading varies from the Navajos, to the Incas, and back to Gandhi, a top notch community activist. Other books grouped together are the Mole People, Garbage Land, and Germs, Guns, & Steel. Every text follows some narrative of the human race. “Academics should be used to better the lives of others,” Spencer says. “The goal is making a

positive impact.” Perhaps, as Spencer’s largest book on the shelf says, “The Impossible Will Take a Little While.” You may be the mayor, or the president, or a god, but somewhere in the middle, all that involvement might make you smile. The children in the Write Stuff program are amazed they can become journalists. A volunteer at the local elementary school becomes a shepherd for a whole class of students. The Thing becomes unified people existing in ways they thought impossible. And even if it doesn’t last forever, someone will remember the exhilaration, the attempt at hope. Spencer says the impact is infinite. “It’s hard to measure…one moment a year can be enough.”

Foy, continued from page 4

Jake Powers, a sophomore and Senate Secretary for SGA, has had the pleasure of working very closely with Foy in the past few months. Not only do they work together at the weekly Monday meetings, but they also have private Executive board meetings every Thursday morning at 8:00am. “Working with Todd has taught me so much. It’s such a big learning experience,” he said. “He has these leadership qualities that are hard to come by. I have learned so much from him in the past few months. I think he’s going to succeed in whatever career he chooses.” With high hopes in his mind and experience in his pocket, Foy has a hopeful outlook for the year. This past summer, Foy worked for Senator John Kerry in his Washington, D.C office. “I got the internship through The Washington Center, an academic internship program based in DC. I had a lot of help from teachers and such here, as well as a huge support system from my friends,” he said. “For awhile, it looked like I wasn’t going to be able to go. But friends from all over turned out to support me, emotionally and financially. It was an amazing experience, being there and working on social policy issues that I’d like to tackle later in my professional career.” While Foy exhumes confidence and professionalism in his daily life, he is not one without struggles. Foy has been legally emancipated from his parents since the age of seventeen. According to Cornell University Law School, emancipation is a legal mechanism by which a minor is freed from control by their parents or guardians, and the parents or guardians are freed from any and all responsibility toward the child. “I emancipated from my parents because they did not accept my sexuality,” Foy said. “It was hard, but it’s made me grow exponen-

tially as a person. I’ve put myself through college and earned every thing that I have. It’s a great feeling and I feel ready to take on the world when I graduate, because I already have to some extent.” Besides being the ever-important Student Government President, Foy is also a Student Ambassadors. You may see him walking around campus in his blue tour vest with a group several potential students. “I like to throw my own honest opinions into my tours,” he said. “I want to show students what this school has done for me, what it can do for them, and what they can do to change the things they don’t like or that don’t exist.” Foy is not only an inspiration to his fellow Student Government members, but to the whole MCLA community. “The first time I ever saw Todd I was amazed at how confident he was,” said Elaine Previl, sophomore and MCLA Orientation Leader. “He was so personable and caring. He didn’t know anything about my story or me but he cared. He cared about what I had to say. That’s a rare quality and I respect that immensely.” “I have this bookmark with a Winston Churchill quote that reads, ‘Never, never, never quit,’” he said. “When I’m feeling down or defeated, I just read that and think back on the past few years of my life. When it got dark, I just pushed harder and didn’t quit. It’s paid out every day.” The next time you’re walking through the Townhouse complex and you see Foy, whether or not he is in SGA attire, a blue tour vest or street clothes, make sure to say hello. In the words of Foy: “I work for you, the student. I go to events, lectures, or even just walk in the Quad and people know who I am and what I stand for,” he said. “They know I will do whatever I can to help them, no matter the problem. And knowing I have that power and reputation makes the position worth it every single day.”


Thursday, December 8, 2011


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New Xbox Interface introduced By Ryan Nakashima

Associated Press Microsoft Corp. is rolling out a new interface for its Xbox game console, one that allows you to navigate through music, movies, TV shows and games with the wave of your hand or the sound of your voice. The interface, first demonstrated by CEO Steve Ballmer in September, is set up similarly to Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 operating system with a series of large panes showing content options. Xbox owners with the Kinect motion controller can swipe through screens by waving their hand in the air. It also responds to direct voice commands and incorporates Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. Windows phone users can control what to watch or hear by tapping on their portable devices. The interface will be available to Xbox users connected to the Internet via a download on Tuesday.

In a demonstration for The Associated Press, a Microsoft employee demonstrated how saying, clearly, ``Xbox. Bing. `Iron Man,’’’ brought up a selection of movies, TV shows, games and soundtracks related to the title. Saying “Xbox. Show. Movies,” brought up places to rent or buy the movie, including Microsoft’s Zune store, Wal-Mart’s Vudu, Netflix or pay TV channel Epix. Separate subscriptions are required for services like Netflix, and much of the content also requires being a gold member of Xbox Live, a connected Internet service that costs $60 a year. Microsoft expects to have pay TV channel partners, including those supplied by Verizon FiOS. There will be no broadcast partners, so fans of the ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox networks will continue to rely on standard set-top boxes or digital rabbit ear antennas for that content. Microsoft says there have been 57 million Xbox units sold around the world and there are more than

35 million users who have logged on to its Xbox Live service at least once in the last three months. It did not divulge how many Xbox Live users are paying gold members. Ross Honey, general manager of Xbox Live entertainment and advertising, said about 40 content partners were expected for the platform. Available apps from those partners will roll out over time. Other partners include the British Broadcasting Company, Hulu Plus, Disney’s online ESPN3 service, Ultimate Fighting Championship, YouTube and cable giant Comcast Corp.’s Xfinity ondemand subscription service. Many of the offerings require separate pay TV subscriptions or one-time payments. Honey said that many deals with content providers are still in the works. “As with any new technology that comes with the entertainment industry, it takes time,’’ he said. “What we have here is a start.’’

Neil Diamond, Meryl Streep honored at Kennedy Center Press Release

Dance Company Fall production

Dec. 8th, 9th & 10th @ 8 p.m. Dec. 10th @ 2 p.m. Venable Theatre To reserve tickets give the box office a call at 413-662-5123, or email

Neil Diamond, actress Meryl Streep, Broadway singer Barbara Cook famed cellist Yo-Yo Ma and jazz saxophonist Sonny Rollins joined in receiving the nation’s top award Sunday night for those who have influenced American culture through the arts. Caroline Kennedy, who hosts the show as part of a living memorial to her father, John F. Kennedy, acknowledged her personal connection to one honoree. In a nod to Diamond, she said he was “a Brooklyn lad with a gift of melody who grew into a solitary man, ‘reaching out, touching me.’” That was enough to draw big laughs as the crowd of celebrities and politicians recalled that Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline’’ was named for her. Smokey Robinson sang “Sweet Caroline’’ with help from Kennedy and fans brought in from Boston’s Fenway Park where it’s a favorite anthem. Lionel Richie, who sang, “I am... I said,’’ told The Associated Press he got into the music business because he wanted to be Diamond. “He’s a great storyteller,’’ Richie said. “He’s not an acrobatic singer. Basically he told the story in a very simple voice.’’ Classical music stole the show’s finale, though, with a surprise tributes from Stephen Colbert “Tonight we celebrate the greatest living cellist,’’ Colbert said “We chellebrate, if you will.’’ Ma, one of the best-known classical musicians, has played cello since he was 4. At age 7, he played for presidents Kennedy and Dwight D. Eisenhower. Now at 56, he is hailed as a musical ambassador to the world who has spanned styles from Bluegrass to sounds from the Silk Road with an ensemble he founded. Many of his

Photo courtesy of

Neil Diamond was among those honored by the Kennedy Center.

friends performed in his honor. Earlier President Barack Obama lauded the actors and musicians at the White House. “They have different talents, and they’ve traveled different paths,” Obama said. “And yet they belong here together because each of tonight’s honorees has felt the need to express themselves and share that expression with the world.’’ He said everyone has that desire for self-expression in common. “That’s why we dance, even if, as Michelle says, I look silly doing it,” he added to laughter. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton flew home between visits to Myanmar and Germany to honor the artists with a dinner Saturday night. After visiting the isolated Southeast Asian country also known as Burma, Clinton said such U.S. artists have worldwide influence by using their freedom of creativity. Streep, 62, has made more than 45 movies and won two Oscars in her career. Her movies have spanned Shakespeare and “Angels in America” to portraying chef Julia Child in “Julie and Julia.” Streep said she was in awe of the

accolades from the president and others. “Look where we are, look who’s here,” Streep told The Associated Press. “It’s overwhelming. I feel very proud.’’ Rollins, 81, is a jazz saxophonist who has shared the stage with Miles Davis and Dizzy Gillespie, among others. “America is the home of jazz. It’s what we started,” he said. “By the way, hip hop music is a part of jazz, believe it or not.’’ Friend Bill Cosby marveled about how he has heard Rollins’ distinctive sax around the world in Greece, Hong Kong, Italy _ and found so many people who knew the musician’s work. “All over the world, Sonny Rollins,” Cosby said. Benny Golson and Herbie Hancock joined in playing some of Rollins’ tunes. Fellow sax player and former President Bill Clinton said earlier that “His music can bend your mind, it can break your heart, and it can make you laugh out loud,’’ Clinton said. CBS will broadcast the show on Dec. 27.

7 DownStreet Art on Ice a mixed bag of fun A&E

Thursday, December 8, 2011

By Nora Weiss Staff Writer

North Adams ushered in the holiday spirit Dec. 1 with “DownStreet Art on Ice,” which included a lit up Main Street and crowds of people beginning their holiday shopping. For another year in a row, with the assistance of DownStreet Art, Main Street became an active place long after the sun went down. Stores were open late into the night, while restaurants like Jack’s Hot Dogs served food well-past normal closing time. Gallery 51 opened its annual “99 Cents and Up” sale with inexpensive art and other gifts. Everywhere was climbing with holiday activity; even the front windows of all the stores were in competition with each other for best holiday scene. MCLA’s Allegrettos made their way up and down Main St. singing carols while decked out in holiday hats, and the College’s jazz band performed under the stars. “This is our first performance at DownStreet Art on Ice,” senior Dan McDermott, a trombone player for the jazz band said. “The synergy of getting to participate in DownStreet Art has been a really good experience.” The jazz band from MCLA was not the only new thing to hit the streets of North Adams for this holiday celebration. PRESS Gallery had its doors open for the first night of the

Photo by Will Casey/Beacon Staff

Students fill up Gallery 51 in celebration of “DownStreet Art on Ice.” exhibit “Patterns and Pressure.” The exhibit featured MCLA students’ prints from Intro. to Design and Concrete Poetry with their exploration into lines, shapes, and rhythm within compositions and artworks. MCLA students were not just involved within exhibits and performances, but many were

“The synergy of getting to participate in DownStreet Art has been a really good experience” -Dan McDermott

walking from store to store, enjoying the late business hours and discount prices on holiday gifts. Gallery 51’s “99 Cents and Up” show presented customers with great options to bring home for the holidays like bags, jewelry, and photography. The least expensive item at the “99 Cents” show was free. A group of Occupy Wall Street followers retold the story of how they would screen print Occupy shirts for free, despite how tired they would get. After a while, other protestors joined up and helped create these free t-shirts for those who were running out of clothes during the movement in New York City. “It was interesting to see the artwork,” sophomore Kayleigh

Bob Weir reschedules solo tour dates By John Deming A&E Editor

Grateful Dead front man and rhythm guitarist Bob Weir has rescheduled a slew of solo acoustic shows originally scheduled for earlier this year, including a stop at Pittsfield’s Colonial Theatre. Originally scheduled to play in August and September, Weir, 64, postponed the majority of his appearances citing “unforeseen circumstances,” as well as a demanding schedule with his current band Furthur, which also features Grateful Dead alum Phil Lesh on bass. According to All previously issued tickets will be honored. If you can’t make the new date, refunds are available through Dec. 31, 2011, at the original place of purchase. Weir was a founding member of the legendary San Francisco based band the Grateful Dead who split up in 1995 after the death of guitarist Jerry Garcia. He has also led side projects such as Bobby and the Midnites, Kingfish, The Other Ones, and his longtime touring band RatDog.

Brand said. “I’m definitely going to come back to buy gifts.” According to Jonathan Secor, director of Special Programs at MCLA, the “99 Cents” show had already sold hundreds of items.

“It’s very successful again,” Secor said. “These art pieces are nice for students to bring home.” The “99 Cents and Up” show will be featuring more items to sell through Dec. 30. DownStreet Art on Ice presented community members and students with the advantage of shopping opportunities they may not have realized before. “This whole event is to try and encourage people to shop locally for the holidays,” senior Lo Sottile said. From antique stores to pet supplies and homemade chocolates, DownStreet Art on Ice gave us a lot more than the basic holiday cheer. By getting people to explore the shops on and around Main Street and purchase holiday gifts at a discount price, DownStreet Art was able to highlight the fact that North Adams brings a lot more to the table than people think.

Pitcher’s Mound Pub Open 7 days a week

Now offering:


Saturday Nov. 10: DJ Elixer Music kicks off at 9 p.m. 21 and up with proper I.D? Looking for something fun to do next semester? Sign up for one of our leagues!


Pitch League Wednesday

Dart League

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sticker with a College ID Photo courtesy of

Bob Weir will perform in Pittsfield this April.

Bob Weir Solo Acoustic Dates 04/24/12 Bijou Theatre Knoxville, TN 04/26/12 Jefferson Theater Charlottesville, VA 04/27/12 F.M. Kirby Center Wilkes-Barre, PA 04/28/12 NYCB Theatre at Westbury Westbury, NY

04/29/12 The Colonial Theatre Pittsfield, MA 05/01/12 State Theatre Portland, ME

Every Thursday Night is TRIVIA with “THE MACHINE” Pitcher’s Mound

21+ ID after 10 p.m.



Thursday, December 8, 2011

Harlequin’s Musical Revue tears the roof off By Mary Redstone Staff Writer

John Deming A&E Editor

Jungle Work I’ve been writing columns for this publication for a while now, and since my Beacon career is coming to an end, I think a little personal reflection is in order. I have spent a good portion of my time here on page eight playing the crotchety Andy Rooney role, lambasting everyone from Lady Gaga to multiple Kardashians, but I would like to use this swan song to talk about the real A&E that I have encountered at MCLA. At no time in life can a person feel more free or inspired than when they are playing music. Whether it is a career or a hobby, one thing is for sure; it’s a way of life. And in my four…okay five years at MCLA, I met some of the finest musicians a man can play with. Average Joes who just had the remarkable sense about them to take an interest in meaningful music, and the inspiration to make use of their own musical upbringings through conversation. This conversation included rhythm patterns as well as the spoken word, as we all taught each other a thing or two about our personal favorites, and introduced each other to new sounds and styles. Music is amazing because it never stops teaching, and the musician never stops learning. Every person who picks up a guitar and plugs in, or plays a harmonica till they are out of breath has something to learn and something to teach. When I came to MCLA I had not touched a pair of drumsticks in years, but through watching these folks I met in basements and front porches on the surrounding hills, I eventually felt it was time to join in. I rediscovered the personal achievement that accompanies playing your heart out. I have these folks to thank for coaxing the sleeping giant out of his layer and bringing me back to something I love. Of all my accomplishments through my college years, this reemergence of musical passion is debatably my finest. While I have heard and given my fair share of personal criticism to this institution, one thing is for sure: this is the place where I found my band members, and a place where I have played music with a multitude of musical characters. For that, I owe thanks. So while you’re here folks, make the best of it, you might just discover there is inspiration in the craziest places; holding a Godfather in one hand and a guitar in the other. As Warren Zevon once said “Enjoy Every Sandwich.” That’s all folks. Strength, muscle and Jungle Work to you all…

“Musical Theater has a way of making you feel better,” Tyler Prendergast said during his duet with Jacqueline Coughlin “You’re the Top” at Harlequin’s Musical Revue. “That’s why we do it.” Harlequin held their ninth annual musical revue this past weekend in the Church Street Center, featuring 21 songs from musicals and musical movies such as “West Side Story” and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog”. Without the aid of microphones on stage, all of the performers had to rely on the power of their voices to convey their music. They stepped up to the challenge and delivered with strong, powerful vocals, especially when there was an ensemble involved. The first song, “Age of Aquarius/ Let the Sunshine In” from “Hair” showed how powerful the ensemble could be, repeatedly coming to the front of the stage and singing together in harmony. Strong ensembles were used throughout the night in pieces such as the medley from “The Muppets Christmas Carol”, “Gee, Officer Krupke”, and “Sit Down You’re Rocking the Boat”. The women of Harlequin shined frequently throughout the night. “Bring on the Men” from Jekyll & Hyde showed off their talent as they wooed and seduced the helpless men before them. “Ladies Who Lunch” had Annie Ho-

Photos courtesy of Mary Redstone/Beacon Staff

From left, Sam Cournyn, Jessie Wright, Joel Praino, Jimmy Dunn, Jeff Bliss, Jesse Clark, Annie Hochheiser, Kate Stanton and Jessica Atanas in the senior performance of “For Now” from “Avenue Q” chheiser, Lauren Feeney, Brittney Prendergast in “You’re the Top”. Gerber and Jacquelyn Gianetti Later, Coughlin returned, this stumbling in mock inebriation time with Jonathan Kinney, to while maintaining perfect pitch. perform “Pa-Pa-Pa-Pa-Papageno” During Act 2, Gerber returned from Mozart’s “The Magic Flute”. for “We Are Women” to playfully Cournyn and Mary Marcil sang compete with Jessica Atanas for Sweeny Todd’s “A Little Priest”, the two of them juxtaposed with Ben Balon’s attention. Not to be outdone, the male-cen- their respective knife and spoon. tric acts were equally talented and On a serious tone, Quincy Goodimpressive. “Gee, Officer Krupke” win and Brycen Waters graced the featured seven Harlequin men stage with a heartstring-tugging taking on roles from West Side version of “Lily’s Eyes” from “The Story. Sam Cournyn had a cameo Secret Garden”. There were a handful of solo as Officer Krupke as he, donut in hand, chased the misbehav- pieces throughout the evening ing boys off the stage and into the as well. Senior Jeff Bliss took the stage to perform the Avenue Q aisles at the end of the number. The evening also featured many number “Purpose”, while Atanas duets, starting with Coughlin and gave a jaw-dropping performance

C. Ryder Cooley’s Xmalia coming to Venable Gym Press Release

A lonely mortician, who summons the animals back to life for her Graveyard Cabaret, hosts this entertaining tragedy about extinction on January 25. Performed with taxidermy animals, aerial movement, mesmerizing video and bitter-sweet songs about the Tasmanian tiger, the Pyrenean ibex, and the Xerces butterfly. C. Ryder Cooley weaves together songs on the accordion, ukulele, and singing saw with projections and movement, revealing a terrain of lost dreams and phantom memories. C. Ryder Cooley is a visual artist, musician and performer whose work has been shown around the country including DownStreet Art, Club Helsinki and Proctors. She has performed in numerous bands, including Fall Harbor, Jug Stompers, The Darklings, Corner Tour, and Down River. For more information contact: Jonathan Secor at or 413-664-8718.

of “I Believe in Love” from “Hair”. Christine Pavao’s rendition of “Moments in the Woods” from “Into the Woods” was both playful and heartfelt as she contemplated what to do about the dashing prince on her mind. All of the pieces embodied the passion of a musical, but some took it to new heights and crossed into a silliness that bordered on wonderfully campy. “Everyone’s a Hero/Slipping,” from “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog” was full of jokes, including the line “Justice has a name, and the name it has, besides justice, is Captain Hammer.” Later in the evening, “Cabin in the Woods” from “Evil Dead: The Musical” took the silliness even higher, with Jimmy Dunn and company happily singing about going to an abandoned cabin in the woods for spring break, blissfully unaware of the perils that wait at said cabin. The evening finished with “For Now” from Avenue Q, featuring all of the Harlequin seniors. This was their moment to steal all the attention as seniors for the last time, and they certainly did. Each senior was highlighted, and at the very end they unfurled a goodbye-banner signed by each of them. Harlequin’s spring production this year is “Little Shop of Horrors”. Details concerning auditions will be announced soon.

Editor’s Pick

Fall’s Finest Albums The holidays are coming, and whether its a present for your folks or something for the ride home, everyone needs some new music. Here is this week’s pick from among 2011’s finest releases

Merle Haggard “Working in Tennessee”

Genre: True Country (not Jason Aldean pop-country)

Photo courtesy of

To buy tickets:call 413.662.5204 General Admission: $10 MCLA Alumni: $8 MCLA faculty and staff: $5 Members and MCLA students: FREE

At 74, Merle Haggard, one of America’s legendary outlaw poets/ highwaymen is back with an album chock-full of stories of workers down on their luck, romance, and digs at Nashville’s current country-pop trends. Haggard also mirrors his old friend Johnny Cash with a take of “Jackson” that includes his wife Theresa.


Thursday, December 8, 2011


Harris crosses 1,000 point mark Senior Harris hits milestone; Trailblazers go 1-1 in Southern Vermont tournament over the weekend By Brendan Foley Sports Editor Men’s basketball has gotten off to a rough start to the 2011-2012 season, going just 2-5 in their first seven games. However, even at a time when the team is not performing up to expectations, there are still victories to be had. On Sunday night, senior Chris Harris crossed an important threshold, scoring his 1,000th career point. The senior from Dorchester has been a starting player for his entire career at MCLA, playing 24 games as freshman and averaging 8.6 points per game and 5.5 rebounds per game. Those statistics would skyrocket as Harris continued to work his way through the Trailblazer’s ranks. Sophmore year, Harris appeared in every single one of the team’s 25 games, and ended the year with an average of 15.3 points per game and and 7.1 rebounds. He kept the momentum going into his juior year, appearing in 27 games and racking up 12.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game.

Harris, a Business Admin. major, has also twice been named to the 2nd team All-MASCAC team. He earned a spot during his sophomore and junior years. The 1,000th point came early in the second half of the annual Souther Vermont Tri-State Shootout Tournament. Unfortunately, Harris’ milestone would not be enough to give MCLA a win for the night. Although the Trailblazers were up at the half-time, Harris’ basket would mark the beginning of a run by the opposing team, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, who proceeded to put up 10 baskets, with MCLA only answering with two of their own. The game would remain close, with each team pushing harder and harder for the win, but RPI was able to squirt out with the win, ending the game with a final score of 98-96. Turnovers were a particular problem for the team, as they managed to turn the ball over to RPI an aggresive 30 times, a season high for the team. MCLA had better luck the follwing night, in the consolation game of the tournament. Playing Southern Vermont themselves, the team managed to emerge with a thorough victory, com-

Photo by Ian Grey/courtesy of

Chris Harris passed the 1,000 point marker early into the second half on Saturday’s game. ing out ahead with a final score of 83-75. Particularly impressive was the fact that four of the Trailblazers finished with points in the double digits. Vernon Cross led

the night, surging forward with 15 points. Trailing close behind were Harris and Tyriq Rochester with 13 points apiece, and Bilal Shabazz with ten. The basketball team will not

begin MASCAC conference play until January, so this rough start could be meaningless to the overall conference record. The Trailblazers will next play on Saturday at SUNY Canton.

Olivia McMullen keeps Jamal Brown plays above the rim everything in check By Bobby Beauchesne

By Kayla Koumjian

Sports Writer

Sports Writer

Many students on campus have increased their skills at multitasking since the start of their college career. As for senior Olivia McMullen, multi-tasking is her expertise. Not only is McMullen a member of the number one conference ranked women’s basketball team, she is also a Biology-pre professional major, an e-board member of MCLA’s Student Athletic Advisory Committee, and a co-supervisor of intramural sports. “I think that is one of the most important things that I have learned while I have been here, is make connections and enjoy yourself,” said McMullen. The senior has made many connections with all sorts of people on and off campus. If MCLA, however, wasn’t as welcoming to McMullen when choosing a college, she may not have came here. “I chose to come to MCLA because it was small and made me feel at home,” said McMullen. “The girls on the basketball team were extremely welcoming when I came on visits, and I really liked Coach McGovern’s style of coaching.” McMullen is from Broadal-

When Jamal Brown checks into the game, it is time for the crowd to stop playing Angry Birds and pay attention. When he walks out onto the court, the Trailblazers know he can change the game single handedly. Brown made an immediate impact last year for the Trailblazers, his first in an MCLA uniform.

He averaged 11 points and 7 rebounds, mostly coming off of the bench. He also managed to shoot 53 percent from the floor. The way that he plays makes fans and opponents take notice. Brown has the rare ability to play above the rim. He can use his athleticism to snare impossible rebounds and convert on tough chances. BROWN, continued on page 11

Photo by Dennise Carranza/Beacon Staff

Olivia McMullen, #30, is a senior who has come to master multitasking in order to achieve her goals. bin, New York and attended to Broadalbin Perth High School. Along with basketball, McMullen played soccer since she was in first grade. She was very pleased with her choice to play basketball and attend MCLA. “I am happy with my decision, MCLA allowed me to play basketball and go to school at the same time,” McMullen explained. “I knew coming out of high school I wanted to continue

playing, and if I went anywhere above D3 I would not end up playing.” McMullen has been on the Trailblazer’s women’s basketball team since her freshman year. She has improved as a player since her first years as a college student. Photo by Ian Grey/Courtesy of MCMULLEN, continued on page 11

Jamal Brown knew from an early age that he could play at a college level.

Sports 10 Athletic Director Scott Nichols observes his past of MCLA athletics, comments on future Thursday, December 8, 2011

By Kaitland Hager Sports Writer

As a new winter sports season gets underway, Athletic Director Scott Nichols makes the change from fall to winter smoothly. Instead of leaning against the chain link fence at soccer games, a huddled figure at the far end by the MCLA bench at the Ron Shewcraft Field, any basketball fan can find him just inside the doorway of the Amsler Campus Center gym, cheering the ‘Blazers on. His obvious love of sports is what got him into college athletics. Originally a graduate of Boston College, Nichols majored in business. Once he graduated, he started coaching recreationally. “I was the kind of sports fan that, if the sport was in season, it was my favorite,” Nichols said. After coaching for a while, Nichols fell in love. He realized he wanted to be a college coach and applied to Springfield College, to get his doctorate. He graduated in 1991 and jumped headfirst into the coaching world. He ended up in the administrative side of athletics and spent the fall of 1990 to the spring of 1996 as the Assistant Athletic Director (ADA). In July of 1996, when a job opened up at the College, Nichols threw his hat into the ring and was hired. “I had been an ADA for six years and I felt ready for a new challenge,” Nichols said. As Athletic Director, Nichols wears many hats. “I handle supervision of staff, game management operations, marketing and fundraiser,” Nichols explained. “Game management operation includes the gen-

eral oversight of the game, hiring officials, scheduling, and hiring staff for games.” Just like the year flows from sport season to sport season, Nichols calls 2011 a year of transition. “Good seniors graduated [in the spring of 2011], but now we have young student athletes coming through again and the future is bright,” Nichols said. “It’s exciting to see the success of fall sports.” Nichols credits the coaching staff for all the recent success in MCLA’s sports programs.

“We have a great coaching staff across the board. They’ve committed to the student athletes and their success on and off the field.” “We have a great coaching staff across the board. They’re committed to the student athletes and their success on and off the field.” That doesn’t mean Nichols is content with succeeding and coming to a standstill. With 2012 just around the corner, Nichols has plans for the coming year. Next summer he hopes to address the drainage of the fields at the Joseph Zavattaro Complex, a problem that has affected the softball and baseball teams more and more with the passing years. “The soccer field is pretty good,” Nichol said, referencing the new benches and the athletic training

Photo by Cara Sheedy/Beacon Staff

Athletic Director Scott Nichols has greart ambitions for the future of MCLA athletics and its resources. shed by the press box. to make the locker rooms more MCLA. Nichols knows, personalThe Amsler Campus Center accessible in hopes that they will ly, how hard it is to find part-time gym floor has also just been re- be used to their full extent. coaches. His idea involves paid done in time for the end of the Administratively, the Athletic assistant coaches who also get to volleyball season and the start of Training space will be moving take classes. the basketball season. and enlarging to meet the student “I believe it will enhance the Nichols hopes to install wind demand and the regulations of pool of coaching talent that way,” screens on the fences around the the Commission on Accredita- Nichols adds. It will also keep the baseball and softball fields. Ad- tion of Athletic Training Educa- bond between alumni and the ditionally, for the 2011 season, tion (CAATE). college strong. the softball field will feature new In the coming years, Nichols His plans are long term. They fencing on the dugouts. also hopes to institute a graduate will take time to accomplish, but He’d eventually like to see lights assistantship. the outcome will be worth it. at the Zavattaro Complex, so late “There are many student athReady to take on a challenge afternoon games can be sched- letes who want to come back and when he accepted the job at uled without worry about run- help out,” Nichols said. “As coach- MCLA, Nichols is still ready to ning out of daylight. He’d also es and as assistants, too.” take risks and face challenges tolike to see the renovation of the Nichols believes they should be day. As the seasons change, so will locker rooms. Because of other a part of the sports program again Nichols’ change with it. construction on campus and the and be mentored by coaches. For now, fans can see him at the subsequent shift the entire college Many student athletes who work basketball games. has made, the locker rooms have with teams as part of the coaching In the spring, look for him become used for storage of the staff will only keep the job as an standing near the dugouts, cheersports equipment. Nichols plans internship before moving on from ing MCLA on.

Women’s basketball get off to strong start in 2011 season with 4-2 record By Brendan Foley Sports Editor

The women’s Trailblazers are off to a fairly incredible start to the 2011 season with an overall record of 4-2. However, it is the way in which the team is winning that is so momentous. MCLA defeated Johnson State on Monday night with a final score of 85-39, absolutely trouncing Johnson in their own court. Alie Dobrovolc led the team with 21 points for the night, while three of her teammates also finished in the double-digits. Dobrovolc was named to the All Tournament team in Norwich over the weekend. Senior Jen Wehner finished second in the night with 17 points, while Lucy Tremblay finished the night with 12 points and Danielle Beauchamp contributed 10 points

to the effort. The Lady Trailblazers are coming off of one of their strongest seasons in recent memory where they reached the ECAC quarterfinals. At this time in the season last year, the team also had a record of 4-2. The past week has not been all positive for the Trailblazers. Over the weekend the team travelled to Norwich to play in the Norwich Hockenberry Classic. The team dropped the first game in the tournament on Saturday night, falling to Bates College 87-69. This despite Dobrovolc putting up an astounding 22-point effort. MCLA led at the half with 4036, but in the second half Bates went on a 12 point unanswered run, which put the Trailblazers in a hole they could not recover from. Not helping the MCLA effort was the number of turnovers,

Photo by Kathy Weglarczyk/Beacon Archives

The women’s Trailblazers trounced Johnson State 85-39 on Monday night. with the Trailblazers making 27 over the course of the game.

The Trailblazers had better luck on Sunday, where they defeated

the University of Maine- Fort Kent, 83-56.


Thursday, December 8, 2011

McMullen works to finish strong her senior year MCMULLEN, continued from page 9

Brendan Foley Sports Editor

Here in Massachusetts, we love to have someone else to blame for whenever one of our beloved sports’ franchises goes into the toilet. It gives us comfort in difficult times to know there is always someone else at fault for bad times. Nowhere is this more clear than with the Boston Red Sox, who fell into the toilet in 1919 and remained there for 86 years. And for many of those 86 years, everyone knew exactly who to blame: that fat jerk Babe Ruth and the stupid owners who stupidly traded him to the stupid Yankees and brought the stupid curse down on us. Yes, mystical curses from fat, dead baseball players. A real shining moment for the city of Boston. Honestly, that’s up there with that time people saw some Mooninite light-brights and called in a terrorism threat. But you know what was really disgusting about the whole ‘Curse’ thing? You know, besides the obscene numbers of TV and book deals that came out of it? The most shameful thing is there was a figure in a position of power who managed to irrevocably taint the Red Sox franchise and legacy, someone genuinely deserving of scorn. His name was Tom Yawkey. He owned the Red Sox from 1933-1976, the longest single stretch that any owner has ever possessed a team for. FUN FACT: The Boston Red Sox were the last team to ever field a black player in the MLB. By the time Elijah Green took to the field in 1959, TWELVE YEARS had passed since Jackie Robinson. Yawkey’s era also saw the team trading away numrous prospects, including Reggie Smith who went to have a career with over 2,000 hits and 1,000 runs. And yet, Yawkey isn’t demonized in the media. His name isn’t cursed out by fandom or uttered as a curse word on the streets. No, he’s immortalized by the walk outside Fenway Park. Because it’s so much easier to just blame one-in-a-million moments of bad luck, isn’t it? That’s easy and fun! Darn Aaron Boone, Bucky Dent and Bill Buckner! But institutional racism? Institutional racism that ran unchecked for decades? No, that’s hard to deal with. That requires courage and self-awareness and genuine contrition. That requires an awareness that we build our own curses. And where’s the fun in that?

“I think that I have grown in many different ways as a player since I was a freshman. Coach has really helped me develop many different skills and strengths in the post, as well as defense,” McMullen said about her improvement. During McMullen’s junior year season, she started 13 games and averaged 17 minutes per game. She also averaged four points per game along with four rebounds. This year, the women’s basketball team has played six games thus far. Their record is 4-2 and the team has won their previous two games in a row against FortKent and Johnston State. McMullen has started in all six games and this season is averaging 23 minutes per game. She is also averaging 5.5 points per game and 6.7 rebounds.

Along with basketball, McMullen will miss the close relationships she has made with her teammates over the years when she graduates.

“I will miss this team so much when I graduate. A lot of them have become my closest friends,” McMullen said. “I will miss this team so much when I graduate. A lot of them have become my closest friends,” McMullen said. “I think it would be impossible not to miss them, we spend every single day together for five and a half months.”

Fortunately, she still stays in touch with many of her old teammates and knows it will be the same with her current teammates after she graduates. “I still keep in touch with the girls I played with in the past three years, so I know when I graduate I’ll still be in touch with the younger girls,” McMullen said. She also had some advice to give to her younger teammates saying, “Enjoy your time here while it lasts, and get involved not only in athletics but in the campus community as well.” The next women’s basketball game is at Hartwick College on Friday, Dec. 9 and their next home game, on Wednesday, Dec. 14, against Smith College. Be sure to come out and support McMullen and the rest of MCLA’s women’s basketball team.

Brown battles for top spot on men’s Trailblazers BROWN, continued from page 9

“I wouldn’t say basketball is my favorite sport, but it is the easiest to play. My favorite sport is ping pong,” Brown said when describing what he likes to play. Jamal Brown was born and raised in Springfield, Mass. When he’s not volleying back and forth in ping pong, Brown is a versatile athlete who can play a few sports at a high level. He had originally planned on playing football at Morgan State in Baltimore, but because of financial reasons he chose MCLA. Brown did not play basketball at Springfield Commerce High School, instead choosing to focus on football. Brown is a natural athlete who

“I always felt I could play college sports. I was always one of the best athletes on my teams growing up.” can pick up new sports fairly quickly. “I always felt that I could play college sports,” Brown said. “I was always one of the best athletes on my teams growing up.” Since basketball was new to him, Brown gained little exposure to college coaches. “I think my height and lack of exposure is why I am playing at the D3 level,” Brown said. “I believe that I could play at any level.” Brown’s confidence shows both on the court and off. He believes that he can do anything that he puts his mind to. Being at MCLA has given him the outlet to pursue new things and be successful. Not only is he a budding hoops star, but he has taken on a new sport as



(As of Press Time)

Men’s Soccer framingham salem worcester westfield bridgewater mass. maritime MCLA fitchburg



8-8-3 12-7-0 8-8-2 10-7-1 6-7-3 2-12-1 5-10-1 3-12-1

5-1-1 5-2-0 4-2-1 4-2-1 3-1-3 1-5-1 1-5-1 1-5-0

Women’s Soccer worcester westfield bridgewater fitchburg framingham salem MCLA mass. maritime



13-5-1 15-3-1 11-7-1 10-6-2 8-8-1 7-7-3 6-10-1 2-13-0

5-2-0 5-2-0 5-2-0 4-3-0 3-3-1 2-3-2 2-4-1 0-7-0

Volleyball All westfield framingham worcester bridgewater MCLA salem mass. maritime

Conf 6-0 5-1 4-2 3-3 2-4 1-5 0-6

15-20 19-13 13-17 8-22 12-21 3-17 0-28

Men’s Basketball All fitchburg Salem Westfield Framingham Bridgewater MCLA Worcester


7-1 6-2 6-2 4-5 2-5 2-5 2-5

0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0

Women’s Basketball All Photo by Cara Sheedy/Beacon Staff

Jamal Brown (00) rarely shows his serious side, preferring to have fun on and off the court. well. Brown joined the recently founded Men’s Rugby Club this year in addition to playing basketball. Jamal Brown’s talents are not confined to the athletic field. He is a senator for Student Government Association, as well as chairman of the Library E-Board Committee. Brown is determined to do whatever he puts his mind to. In SGA, he was instrumental in the movement to get the library’s hours extended on the weekdays. Brown and other athletes were not satisfied with the library’s previous policy. Between games and practice, many athletes could not squeeze in time to study at the library. The extra time allows Brown as well as other student athletes the time to go to the library and take advantage of its resources. With all of these responsibilities, one might think that Brown would get overworked and be stressed out. He is actually quite the opposite. “I rarely show my serious

side,” Brown jokes, “I am always smiling and laughing. Before basketball games, a lot of guys have their rituals and get really serious. I am all smiles before the game and I am very loose.” While he may not be serious before the game, when the whistle blows he is all business. He saved one of his best performances last year for the most important time. In the ECAC Tournament quarter final game last year, he tallied 24 points and 11 rebounds for the Trailblazers in a win against Anna Maria. Aside from winning a conference championship, Brown also has some lifetime goals that he hopes to accomplish. “Aside from basketball, this year I’m focusing on making the Dean’s list as well as getting accepted to grad school.” Brown said about his academic hopes. That might be a lot to ask from a kid that competes in two sports as well as SGA. Do not count Jamal Brown out. He has the confidence and attitude to make it all happen.

fitchburg bridgewater framingham MCLA Worcester westfield Salem


8-0 4-2 4-2 4-2 3-4 3-5 2-5

0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0

Women’s Basketball 12/9 @Hartwick 6 p.m. 12/14 Smith 7 p.m. 12/30 @Southern Maine 6 p.m. Men’s Basketball 12/10 @SUNY Canton 1 p.m. 12/13 @ NY University 7 p.m. 12/31 @Catholic 4 p.m.

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

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Corner Apartment with some extra large bedrooms and a large living room, front porch, great campus view, 5 bedrooms 6 bedrooms, large entryway and living room, front and back porches, open stairway design, kitchen with pantry, large rooms 5 bedrooms, large entryway and living room, front and back porches, open stairway design, kitchen with pantry, large rooms 6 bedrooms, large entryway and living room, front and back porches, open stairway design, kitchen with pantry, large rooms 4 bedrooms, large entryway and living room, front and back porches, open stairway design, kitchen with pantry, large rooms 4 bedrooms, large entryway and living room, a larger kitchen, pantry, front and back porches, fireplace, open stairway design, 4 bedrooms, large entryway and living room, a larger kitchen, pantry, front and back porches, fireplace, open stairway design Beautiful French Doors, Extra large fireplace w/mirror with shelves on both sides, extra shelves and storage, 5 bedrooms 2nd Floor Corner Apartment with great entryway, extra large bedrooms and view of campus, the largest kitchen of all, 5 bdrm Corner Apartment, a huge porch, the nicest woodwork, a large but cozy living room, 3 bedrooms, one with a private entrance.

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Call 664-9400

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For Off Campus and On Campus Students

Campus Comment

Thursday, December 8, 2011

What are you looking forward to over winter break? “Working, so I can have money.”

“Christmas and seeing my family.”

- Julian Todisco, 2015

- Kyle Giroux, 2013


The Beacon

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- Alex Butfilowski, 2015

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Letters to the Editor

Culture of Freedom: We must be the hammer to the nail


believe my 7-year-old nephew’s comment at the dinner table last night is enough testimony to the ridiculousness and insane conversation to which our campus has been immorally subjugated within the past half year. He turned his soft green eyes to me, after listening to the babble of my less knowledgeable partner. “But Alex, why wouldn’t the police have guns?” Seven years! A boy his age already understands that our culture of freedom (a term the opposition chooses to manipulate) necessitates certain tools, however lethal, to preserve the lives of others. Though he does not yet understand the hypocrisy of the public unions (we’ll leave that for dessert!), he at least acknowledges, unlike the minority on this campus, that it is the obligation of our public officers to serve and protect with every weapon possible. The arming of these officers would cost taxpayer money, I’m ashamed to admit. But out of man’s natural evil, a tendency to violence, I prefer control. I applaud the College’s staging of the two panel meetings this year, complimentary to the two in the spring. They were placed in close proximity to one another, allowing ample time for students to attend and for the naysayers to voice irrelevant complaint. Not many attended, only leading me to the conclusion that many students, having the wisdom of my nephew, believed the answer obvious. One panelist said on the last day, the second day, what other panelists were merely dancing around. “The gun is to the officer as the

hammer is to the carpenter.” We do not live in a “culture of fear.” That is the opposition’s naïve argument. Nay, it is a culture of freedom, safeguarded by the rule of the majority, the backbone of this country. Those who seek to abuse freedom, like the idiots whose violent acts we hope to stifle should they ever arrive on campus, deserve to lose freedom with their lives. The gun for MCLA, as anywhere else in society, symbolizes the end of corruption, the beaten attempt at undermining American values: family, church, and community. I’ve heard rumor that self-defense tactics, communal activism for mental illness awareness, and designated classroom strategies in case of an attacker, should have been considered. HA! If the armed campus officers at Virginia Tech couldn’t stop a killer, what makes you think petty activism can? And again and again from an English professor has been this myth, some invisible piece of literature no one can seem to produce, that says we live in a society of less violence. MCLA did not need to waste time teasing the naïve and ignorant dreamers. What more needs to be said about our culture? The arming of our safety officers doesn’t go far enough! Imagine. The enemy close at hand, masked. He assumes transparency. But you’re ready to act; your culture of freedom demands you act, swiftly and by instinct. In the name of safety, why wait for others to take the glory? Alexander Lenski, ‘12


A big thank you for the little actions

hank you, to the janitors, teachers, staff, and students, who share a smile as I walk past them on any given day. This small connection can brighten up my day even after all my toast has burnt, my socks are wet, and my nose is cold. I hold on to that smile in my mind for as long as I can. Thank you, to the people who wait to keep the door open for a moment as I rush to class behind them. You care about someone other than yourself and for that instant of recognition and respect, I appreciate it. Thank you, to the people who glance at my jewelry, dress, or shoes and are nice enough to say, “I like that.” You do not act jealous, you do not act hateful, and because of this, I smile. Thank you, to the students sitting next to me who ask how my day has been. It may not have gone too well, but the fact that you ask makes it that little bit better. Thank you, to the people in townhouses that offer a place to crash whenever I need it, supplying the extra pillows and blankets. Thank you, to the people who write random comments on my Facebook just for the heck of it. Thank you, to the people who run to give me a hug, instead of standing where you are, or thinking you’re better than everyone. Thank you, to the people who welcome me at my new job with open arms and thoughtful questions. Thank you, to the classmate who

picked up my pen after I dropped it and said, “There you go,” with a smile. Thank you, to the woman who gave me an extra 3 cents to pay for coffee, as I needed it before my morning class but had empty pockets. Thank you, to the person who didn’t laugh when you saw me stumble, and instead simply asked if I was alright. Thank you, to the person who let me in front of them in line because she saw that I had fewer items. And when she was forced to wait for 10 more minutes when the register froze, she gave me an understanding smile and said, “Don’t worry about it, it’s fine.” In a world of high-tech devices and attention given to material items, it can be easy to forget that “giving” means more than material things or gifts which might just sit in the return isle. It means giving of yourself, your empathy, your effort, your ideas, your patience, and going the extra mile. It’s the extra two seconds it takes to say “good job” or even just a “hi.”  It’s standing up for someone who’s being bullied, when it’s not the coolest thing to do all the time.   It’s giving as much as you take, and not taking more than you give.  It means living by the golden rule.  And that doesn’t cost a dime. Marissa Zelazo, ‘12

Editor-in-Chief John Durkan

Photo Editor Cara Sheedy

Managing Editor Chris Goodell

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Thursday, December 8, 2011



The lost slogan says a lot about MCLA John Durkan Editor-in-Chief


long time has passed since this school’s slogan read on the lines of, “A public school with a private atmosphere.” (I can’t find it documented to say that slogan is exact and I’ve spent far too long and crossed far too many state borders to ensure that this is “my College, right from the start” to remember such a seemingly petty detail.) So anyways, when and why did MCLA give up on showcasing that private school feel? Possibly, liberal arts – which top-of-the-line private schools like the nearby Williams College and Amherst College – is going out of style. But why? You can start by examining the STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) Pipeline Fund, administered by the Department of Higher Education and established by the Economic Stimulus legislation in 2003. Essentially, this bill says that schools will receive more state money for pursuing the science fields. The College couldn’t ignore this opportunity, that’s for sure. How would MCLA compete with other schools for students without a stateof-the-art Science Center? If we

don’t build one, we’ll lose all the science prospects to, let’s say, Bridgewater State University, who will complete its own $98.7 renovation and expansion project on it’s math and science building next year. (We’re not really unique to other public schools, we chase the money too – as we should.) On that note, the project is pretty much free money (well, free taxpayer money anyways, I’m not quite sure if free money really exists) from the state for more educational resources and one hell of a PR campaign. The groundbreaking ceremony, the public officials and the governor rolling into North Adams – it was just a big show and whole lot of free press for MCLA. All two of the local newspapers slapped a free ad on the front page for MCLA. Local news stations were there. Every story must have screamed, “Come to MCLA, we’re innovative!” It would be really bad business not to build this three-story, 65,000-foot Center for Science and Innovation (hopefully this school breeds a scientist who can come up with a catchier name too. I’m thinking something on the lines of Durkan Hall). From an academic standpoint, this whole STEM thing is wonderful. The sciences are by far the most important fields heading into the future. Technology solves problems. Medical science expands life expectancies. Practical applications of science makes life easier. You can’t have your iPad without science. And it’s interesting to learn explore the deep depths of the world on a microscopic level.

But what about the rest of the departments? The English department, which personally drew me into the College, seems to be shrinking more and more. The arts must be a mainstay because of the proximity of Mass. MoCA and the city’s dedication to art, but you have to wonder if that’s the only reason the school is dedicated. (Oh, and wasn’t this a teaching school at some point? Things fall to the wayside all the time I suppose.) But is it possible to keep science, English and art all relevant? I think so, but the school needs to expand its student body so each department can be funded well enough to operate. And odds are that means a more crowded cafeteria and maybe a need for more on-campus housing (or to the student body’s delight, an end of the three-year residency and meal plan requirement, which could make this a win-win). The private school liberal arts feel is already fading fast. In just two years this school’s focus will be science. But with expansion the school can save all its attractions, but the small school appeal that still separates us from the rest might be lost forever. Thanks to The Beacon’s Editorial board, staff and advisers for making this semester one of the most enjoyable experiences of my life. Thank you Jen Augur for encouraging me to pursue in writing and print journalism. (It’s not dead yet!) And most of all, thanks to you, the reader, for making all of this possible.

Keep up the dining improvements, add to-go options Chris Goodell

Managing Editor


s the new improved Campus Center is set to be unveiled, I think it’s safe to say that the renovations were well worth it. For all the student complaints that are heard around campus, it’s hard to argue that a brand new cafeteria and completely re-done marketplace weren’t worth the temporary inconvenience. However, one thing that could still be done to help improve the campus dining experience even more is to implement a system that would allow students to take food out of the cafeteria. While it may not seem like a terribly important issue to some, the

convenience of grabbing food on the way to class could be the difference between a student choosing a meal plan or not. Everyone needs to eat, but not everyone has the time to sit down and enjoy a meal in the cafeteria. The other side of the argument is a valid one: if dishes are allowed to leave the cafeteria, they’re unlikely to find their way back. I’m not suggesting that dishes be allowed to leave, but rather advocating the implementation of specific to-go containers, like the ones used at lunch in the past, before the renovations and the redesigned meal plan. One issue with this might be that disposable containers may not exactly be environmentally-friendly and would go against the College’s green initiative. If this was found to be the case, then perhaps reusable containers would be a better option. However, this begs the question: if dishes are unlikely to

be returned to the cafeteria, why would reusable containers be returned? Well, perhaps they need not be. Rather than returning the containers to be washed, let students “rent” containers by the semester and be responsible for cleaning them and bringing their containers with them when they wish to eat on-the-go. A small container fee (very small) of say, $1.99, might be worth it to some students for the convenience of being able to take food with them. If ARAMARK never sees the container again, well, that’s what the fee is for. They could even make the fee a sort of security deposit that would be returned to students at the end of the semester to provide an incentive for students to bring the containers back. Dining at MCLA has certainly improved, but let’s not stop here.

Head out and explore the world around you Tano Holmes

Foreign Correspondent


hey say that every person is a door to a new world, and as my time studying abroad is coming to a close, I must agree. I have had the opportunity over the course of these last four months to not only continue learning German, but also learn bits and pieces of many different cultures from all around the world. I have learned a few words in French, Italian, Russian and Swedish, as well as west coast slang. These are general statements of what I have learned strictly through personal experience, and in no way represent all members of any country or culture. I have learned Americans are often perceived as loud, rambunctious, arrogant, and ignorant of world events by people from other countries. Compared to many other nationalities, there are times this may be true. While some Americans make fun of the British accent, the British make fun of our accent (and yes, we have one). I have learned although Sweden is essentially a socialist country, it still has a monarchy, and the King of Sweden does not like being king. I was informed that “hella” in Bay-area slang is the equivalent of “mad,” in East coast slang and “hyphy” means to “rage.” I have come to realize what I consider temperate or warm, my roommate from Arizona considers freezing. Through my experiences hanging out with some of the Russian students, I have come to see many of them are extremely good at chess, speak better Eng-

Tano Holmes writes weekly for The Beacon from Heidelberg, Germany, where he is studying abroad lish than almost anyone else I have met in Heidelberg, and have incredibly high alcohol tolerances. I was told by a French student who I lived with in the dorms with a level of humor, that complaining is a national pastime in France. From what I have witnessed from the other two French students I have lived with, she might be right. I knew Switzerland had three main languages and a fourth minor language but I did not know each part of Switzerland has a distinctly different culture based on the spoken language there.

“It has been truly incredible to be thrown into such a melting pot of diversity, and I would highly suggest it to every college student.” All in all, this has been an experience based around continuing my German education, but it has also become a way for me to learn a little bit about a variety of other cultures. This would be hard to accomplish in any setting other than living and going to school with people from more than 15 different nations. I have made friends here I will never forget, and many of with whom I have made plans to visit, either here in Germany, or where they live. It has been truly incredible to be thrown into such a melting pot of diversity, and I would highly suggest it to every college student.


No smoking? What? S

GA Senator Sarah DiMarino advocated a smoke-free Academic Quad. (Well, apparently it’s already a rule in the Student Handbook, available online at, that is ignored – as it should be – and has also been protested in the past.) So what now? Ideally, the school can compromise. The best way to do this would be a sheltered smoking area on the quad (not on the beloved Freel Stadium as that would interfere with Frisbee and Wiffleball). Other schools do this. The shelter can be as simple as a lean-to (like the ones at Berkshire Commu-

nity College) or a classy gazebo. That way, the smokers have a nice between-class smoke spot and the oversensitive can avoid the smoke. An awful idea would be to impose a smoke-free campus. In short, it’s the exact opposite of a compromise. Plus, people like to smoke. It’s unhealthy, that’s too bad. But sending them behind Bowman Hall (20 feet behind, not even on the picnic tables, by rules) and treating students and faculty like second-rate citizens isn’t right either. In fact, it’s wrong. Smokers are people too, let them smoke in peace, and preferably, within a close proximity to class.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

For Fun

To view previous comics, visit:

Winter Word Search


By Aurora Cooper



Word Search courtesy of


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Photo Essay

Gallery 51’s Reindeer Mascot greets guests and welcomes the carollers.

ICE Artists sold many pieces at Gallery 51’s “99 Cents and Up” opening.

On Dec. 1, downtown North Adams held its final celebration of 2011 with the annual DownStreet Art on Ice.

For story - See Page 7 Arts and Entertainment

Students observe the prints at the PRESS gallery’s opening of “Patterns and Pressure.”

December 8, 2011 - Issue 11  

The student newspaper of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts.