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Student Newspaper of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

Volume 74 Issue 9 For more content, visit us at:

North Adams, Mass.

Firearm panel convenes By John Durkan Editor-in-Chief

A four-personal panel, moderated by Professor Don Pecor, shared various perspectives regarding potentially arming Public Safety with firearms. The panel opened up the Nov. 16 meeting, which attracted about 35 professors, students, administration and community members, by answering directly whether or not Public Safety should be armed. Then, a half hour was devoted to the panel answering questions from the audience. Gina Puc, who works in the admissions office, Commissioner of Public Safety at the North Adams Police Department John Morocco and student Alex Mukendi favored implementing firearms. All three shared the perspective that society is becoming increasingly violent. “Things have changed, not only in the United States, but across the whole wide world,” Morocco said. “People are getting more and more violent.” Morocco said when he first started over 40 years ago, fist fights would break out every night. “Today, the society has moved more and more towards violence today. If you have an argument, if someone brings a knife to a fight the next person brings a gun.”

Photo by Dennise Carranza/Beacon Staff

From left: Gina Puc, David Langston, Don Pecor, John Morocco and Alex Mukendi discussed arming Public Safety. Pecor introduced the topic and moderated the event, the others debated. Puc said she deals with prospective and students of a “post-Columbine” era. “These students had to go through school in times of heightened school security,” Puc said. She added these students attend high schools with armed campus safety guards and metal detectors. Mukendi agreed that national events need to be considered, as well local, such as the armed rob-

Above the waves

bery at the Flagg Townhouses last December. “I think the issues that happened the past few semester are warnings and warnings should be taken seriously,” he said. “Student lives were put in jeopardy, and thank God nothing horrific happened, but what if something had happened? Mukendi also discussed the opposition, referencing the $25,000 cost implementation and the per-

ceptions associated with Public Safety, as student Barry Sanders mentioned during the question and answer session, “intimidating.” Professor David Langston, in opposition, disagreed with the notion that crime is on the rise, both locally and internationally. Langston said the Clery Report indicates that violent crime is falling on campus. Nationally, Langston referenced a recent Steven Pinker book stating

that we are “living in one of the least violent time in human history.” Langston also said an important aspect of a college community should be “dedicated to face-to-face discussion and to debate.” “Coercive violence, along with the symbols of coercive violence,” Langston said, “are the anti-thesis of what a college or university should be appealing to when facing violations of civil behavior.” During the question and answer session, the topic of whether having an armed Public Safety force would make the campus safer was discussed. “I don’t know if having your officers armed is going to make your campus any safer,” Morocco said. “I know that having your officers armed would make a delicate situation or a life-threatening situation less dangerous.” “Society today dictates, unfortunately, this is something that a police officer has to deal with every day,” Morocco said. “He has to carry his gun in order to protect himself, his partner, and the people he’s sworn to protect. Is it going to make the campus any safer? I don’t know. I know that it should be some type of deterrent if anyone wants to come on campus and do something with [a gun].” For more info visit

SGA approves referendum Ballot to gauge student opinion on arming Public Safety officers scheduled for Dec. 6 and 7, time and place to be determined By John Durkan Editor-in-Chief

Photo by Brian McGrath/Beacon Staff

Mikaele Maiva and other performers from “Water is Rising” spoke to students about sustainability and climate change at the latest Green Living Seminar. FOR STORY - SCIENCE, PAGE 12 BeaconMCLA MCLABeacon

The Student Government Association Senate unanimously approved the referendum to gauge the student body’s opinion on whether or not to arm the Public Safety officers on Monday. This decision also struck the proposed third option, which allowed students to abstain on the issue. Voting will take place on Dec. 6 and 7. A time and place has yet to be determined. Senator Brendan Peltier suggested the voting time to stretch from 8 a.m. until the end of the class day. Peltier and Senator Jacob Fennel volunteered to work

all day, both days. Foy discussed the possibility of working with Robert Redcalf, MCLA’s new web manager, to implement an online vote. “We’re just exploring it as an option to get students out to the polls better,” Foy said. Foy explained that students would use their A# in a secure, vote-once system. Senator Jason Brown, who left early due to prior engagements, left a statement that mentioned his stance on striking the third option: “I wholeheartedly believe that the best decision this Senate can make is to offer the student body of MCLA a yes or no choice. I believe this is the most effective

Trailblazers drop opener to Sage College, 70-67

‘Furthur’ spectacular at Times Union Square

Sophomore forward Ramon Viches scores 13 points in the loss

Fans in Albany, N.Y. witnessed an amazing show on Nov. 15

Sports, Page 9

Arts and Entertainment, Page 8


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2-3 4 5 6-8 9-11 12

and reliable way to assess the opinion of the student body on this important topic.” Nobody disagreed. In addition, Brown’s statement urged the SGA to offer additional student-dedicated meetings held during a more convenient time when less or no classes are scheduled, such as Common Time. He also supported the publication of readily available neutral information about the topic. Senator Catt Chaput also suggested an SGA hosted Q+A session. President Todd Foy applauded the Senate for creating and passing this referendum. SGA, continued on Page 2

Campus Comment Commentary Editorial Comic Word Search Photo Essay

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Students sponsor Hunger Banquet to spark awareness By Skyla Seamans Senior News Editor

On Tuesday, Nov. 29, students from three classes in the Sociology Department and one in the Interdisciplinary Department will sponsor a Hunger Banquet for all interested students, faculty, staff, and community members. This interactive dinner, which takes place every other year, will be held in Murdock 218 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The entry fee is $1 or one nonperishable food item, which will be donated to a local nonprofit food pantry or soup kitchen. “The goal of the banquet is to demonstrate the social and economic inequalities surrounding the distribution of resources, including food and water, across the globe,” Dr. Sue Birns from the Sociology Department said. Birns’ Community Organizing class, Dr. Sumi Colligan’s Culture, Power, and Protest class, Dr. Nancy Muller’s Native American Peoples class, and Dr. Rita Nnodim’s Globalization class have all been collaborating on this event. “The Hunger Banquet is a forum for students in these classes to share their knowledge about global poverty and inequality, as well as the ways in which people around the world are working to bring about greater equity and justice,” Birns said. “In some ways, it is ‘Occupy Wall Street’ writ large.” “Participants will be assigned to the upper, middle, and lower classes and will be fed accordingly,” said Colligan, a Sociology professor. Ten people will represent the wealthy class and will receive a full course meal, silverware, and tablecloths. Twenty places will be given to the middle class, who will have chairs and a basic meal. The vast majority of par-

ticipants will sit on the floor and will be fed rice and water, she said. Students have written stories, which will be distributed to participants to read as the evening unfolds. There will also be three skits performed by students to demonstrate how people are either protesting for social change or how poverty and hungry plagues their everyday lives. “We hope to bring great awareness of the magnitude of inequality both nationally and globally to the community,” Colligan said. “People who suffer from inequality aren’t just passive victims; they are actively trying to bring these injustices to the public’s attention to promote change.” According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 925 million people do not have enough to eat and 1.4 million people in developing countries live on $1.25 a day or less. Only 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water. The world produces enough food to feed everyone, but many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow enough food or the income to purchase it. “The Hunger Banquet is a remarkable event,” Colligan said. “Students have worked exceptionally hard throughout the semester to bring these issues to the public and become educators for the campus along the way.” Senior Todd Foy said he attended the Hunger Banquet in fall of 2009 and found it to be a moving experience. “Most of us just ‘think’ or ‘understand’ that we are in a disadvantaged situation because the media or political pundits say so,” Foy said. “The Hunger Banquet helps us to really understand and see this first hand.” BANQUET, continued on Page 3


SGA approves referendum SGA, continued from Page 1

“What we were able to just do hasn’t been done in a long time,” Foy said. “I think we all gave back to the students exactly what we [needed to].” Nov. 16 and 17 meetings Dean of Students Charlotte Degen said the Nov. 16 and 17 community meetings format change to a panel will support discussion and perspectives, both for and against arming Public Safety. Both days will feature different panels due to scheduling conflicts, but the moderator and regional expert will likely remain the same, according to Degen. Extended Lbrary Hours Secretary Jake Powers said that extended library hours are “in the works.” He mentioned the possibility of Freel Library opening at 7:45 a.m., fifteen minutes earlier than the current time of 8 a.m. “[The sub-committee] seems really positive about that,” Powers said. The Library Advisory Committee, comprised of faculty, Student Trustee Jaynelle Bellemore, Powers and Senator Jamal Brown, also went over strategic planning. Powers also announced that a video downloading service to incorporate movies into classrooms is now available at the Freel Library website ( library). All College Committee update Public Relations chair Kate Moore said the committee passed new Sociology and Athletic Training packages on Nov. 10. The sociology major now includes a criminal justice minor.

The Just Aging class was also removed because four classes already covered the topic of aging and the class hasn’t been used in several semesters, Moore said. The Athletic Training package passed includes an emergency medical response course. RPS seat on its way? Foy said he discussed adding a Residential Program and Services chair to the SGA with Director of RPS Dianne Manning and SGA Advisor Jennifer Craig. The proposed seat would act as a “liaison between RPS and student government,” Foy said. Foy said talks have been made to add a student resident to the SGA for about two to three years. Amending the SGA constitution to add a student resident seat will be further discussed in the spring. Flu kit drive update Yvonne Camacho said the Class of 2013 sold 143 flu kits. More flu kits, which contain a disposable thermometer, tea, chapstick, hand sanitizer, cough drops, salt packets, a fever reducer, and facial tissues all packaged into an MCLA mug, are available at SGA Advisor Jennifer Craig’s office inside the Amsler Campus Center, room 318. Next, the Class of 2013 will sell flowers at the Dec. 5 Harlequin play. Club constitution updates Next week, the SGA will vote to accept the constitutions for the Gaming Alliance and the Education Club. The SGA meets every Monday at 7 p.m. in Murdock Hall 218.

The following is an unedited copy of the revised referendum approved by the Senate on Nov. 14, provided by SGA President Todd Foy.

Referendum on the Issue of Arming Campus Police Student Government Association (SGA) December 6 & 7, 2011 To cast your ballot, place an “X” in the box provided next to the statement of your choice. Choose only one or your ballot will be thrown out. The issue of arming campus police has been discussed throughout the college campus. The MCLA Board of Trustees will now move to vote upon whether or not to arm the campus police. The results of this referendum will be used to convey the student position on this issue. Based on the college campus discussions and information provided, do you support the arming of the campus police? Yes, I support the arming of the campus police.

No, I do not support the arming of the campus police.

3 OccupyMCLA to take Scully to conclude advantage of N.Y.C. trip Brown Bag series News

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Scully will discuss the decline and importance of bumblebees in the Northern Berkshire County

By Jess Gamari Staff Writer

Members of OccupyMCLA are taking advantage of the scheduled bus trip to New York City in December. Residential Programs and Services (RPS) and the Student Activities Council (SAC) are sponsoring the trip which is open to all MCLA students to explore the city at their leisure. This could include holiday shopping, a Broadway show, or a chance to experience the Occupy Wall Street movement. Departure from Montana Street (behind the Campus Center) will be at 8 a.m. on Saturday Dec. 3 and students will depart the city at 7 p.m. sharp. Those wishing to sign up should bring exact change of $16 to Townhouse 89. Angelina Lesniewski is available on FirstClass for more details. The OccupyMCLA members have been taking their own vehicles and carpooling to New York City or Boston whenever their schedules allowed for it. The group was created by senior Walter Bouchard, and is completely student run. With a core group of 7 or 8, however, it is hard to arrange schedules to find one time that works for everyone, said senior Jonathan Logan. Soon after the first general assembly came midterms. “It’s difficult to be a traveling activist and student at the same time. It takes time and money for gas or train tickets, and there’s little time for homework. It’s possible, but difficult to maintain both responsibilities,” Bouchard said. Logan has visited the city a few times already and has seen how differently people protest. He said some people play music, while others prefer to march or shout their anger in the streets. The important thing happening is the exchange of ideas to generate energy and harvest support, he said. “Some people don’t know why they’re there, they just have a general sense something is wrong,” he said. “They can’t articulate why.” Bouchard attended other protest movements in the past, and was inspired to bring that energy back with him. He visited the Occupy Boston site in October. “It’s easy to stay informed online, but it’s a whole other experience to

By Skyla Seamans Senior News Editor

Tomorrow Caroline Scully will conclude the Brown Bag Lecture series of the semester with a presentation titled “A Survey of Bumblebees in Northern Berkshire County.” Previous Brown Bag Lectures have been held in the Smith House, but Scully’s lecture will take place in Sullivan Lounge. The lecture will begin at 3 p.m. and is open to all students. Scully is the Coordinator of the Berkshire Environmental Resource Center and Chair of MCLA’s Sustainability Committee. She will illustrate her Master’s thesis research, which she completed at Antioch University of New England, on bumblebees in Northern Berkshire County and where they are found in our landscape.

Photo by Cara Sheedy/Beacon Staff

Senior Walter Bouchard helped organize the OccupyMCLA group, which formed in October. see it for yourself,” he said. When in Boston, Bouchard said there are different ways to get involved. Activists can work at the different tents, or be active in solving issues to find methods of protesting, some of which include sitins at banks like Bank of America or the Federal Reserve. With the winter months and holidays coming, it is evident that some protestors will want to return home to spend time with their families. “It will wane a little bit. There will be impulses to spend time with families,” he said. “But there will be some hard-core people toughing it out. The idea isn’t going anywhere. Come spring or summer, it will bloom again.” Logan said many people are interested, but not as many are proactive. To fix this, Logan hopes

townspeople and politicians will support future meetings. On Nov. 15, Williams College sponsored a well-attended Occupy movement information session at Mass MoCA. Professors of Williams College and community members gave their opinion on the movement thus far. Bouchard said events like these are important because it gives a chance for people to sit down and share opinions. “The focal point of Occupy is to brainstorm and get people thinking about the inequality of the classes,” he said. “It’s a big step to bring it into popular consciousness.” The group primarily communicates through Facebook. Anyone interested is encouraged to follow OccupyMCLA for updates and future meetings.

Students sponsor Hunger Banquet BANQUET, continued from Page 2

He encourages students to attend this event because it educates students about real and specific issues, instead of supplying a broad overview. “I am excited and actually honored to participate in this year’s banquet,” he said. “The issues it focuses on are personal and impactful to me.” Junior Corey Sloane said he has been part of a hunger ban-

quet before and has found the event to be successful in raising awareness and entertaining an audience at the same time. “Hearing that there are people in the world who live off of less than a dollar a day and then seeing how many people are sitting on the floor as part of the lower class can really open peoples’ eyes to how the majority of the world deals with poverty,” he said. Sloane said the stories at this

event give details about more than economic justices, but also gender and racial discrimination and how these people deal with crimes, political corruption, and other social justice issues. Reservations can be made by contacting Dr. Sumi Colligan via FirstClass or by calling 413662-5472. Those without reservations will be admitted on a first come, first served basis.

“In 2008, I found ten different bumblebee species, including Bombus terricola, a bee that was once common but is now rare,” she said. “The talk will also touch on the life cycle of bumblebees and their importance as pollinators of both food crops and native plants.”

Brown Bag Lecture Caroline Scully presents: “A Survey of Bumblebees in Northern Berkshire County.” Friday, Nov. 18 3 p.m. Sullivan Lounge All are welcome


National/World News

Thursday, November 17, 2011

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Obama pushes Congress’ deficit panel to act now By Erica Werner Associated Press

WASHINGTON — Sounding increasingly frustrated as a deadline for action approaches, President Barack Obama accused members of a special congressional deficit-reduction panel of refusing to budge from rigid positions and find a solution to the country’s yawning deficit. And with Republicans unwilling to cooperate on his jobs bill, Obama said it might take a new Congress to get economic growth package done. “It feels as if people continue to try to stick with their rigid positions rather than solve the problem,” Obama said of the 12 members of the bipartisan deficit “supercommittee,” spreading criticism among Republicans

and Democrats alike, at a wideranging news conference Sunday night, capping an economic summit in his home state of Hawaii. “My hope is that over the next several days, the congressional leadership on the supercommittee go ahead and bite the bullet and do what needs to be done, because the math won’t change,” Obama said. “There are no magic beans that you can toss on the ground and suddenly a bunch of money grows on trees. We got to just go ahead and do the responsible thing.” Obama spoke as lawmakers on the specially created panel appeared deadlocked, with a Nov. 23 deadline fast approaching to find more than $1 trillion in deficit cuts or see harsh spending cuts triggered for a range of

federal programs including the Pentagon. The president rejected the idea of softening the triggering mechanism, as some have proposed, though he stopped short of threatening to veto such a move. Obama repeated his call for a “balanced approach” that would raise taxes on the wealthy and corporations while also making cuts in entitlement programs and elsewhere. Obama also defended his policies on Iran, struck back at criticism from the GOP presidential field, and addressed the fate of his stalled jobs bill as Washington politics followed him to Hawaii, where he’s on the first part of a nine-day trip aimed at building ties and finding economic opportunities in the fast-growing Asia Pacific.

NYPD clears Zuccotti Park of Occupy Wall Street protesters By Colleen Long Associated Press

NEW YORK — Hundreds of police officers in riot gear evicted dozens of Occupy Wall Street protesters early Tuesday from the park that has become the epicenter of the worldwide movement protesting corporate greed. About 70 people were arrested, including some who chained themselves together, while officers cleared Zuccotti Park so that sanitation crews could clean it. Police in riot gear filled the streets, car lights flashing and sirens blaring. Protesters, some of whom shouted angrily at police,

began marching to two locations in Lower Manhattan where they planned to hold rallies. Protesters at the two-month-old encampment were told they could come back after the cleaning, but under new tougher rules, including no tents, sleeping bags or tarps, which would effectively put an end to the encampment if enforced. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement Tuesday that the evacuation was conducted in the middle of the night “to reduce the risk of confrontation in the park, and to minimize disruption to the surrounding neighborhood.’’ He said after the cleaning, protesters would be allowed to return

but “must follow all park rules.” “The law that created Zuccotti Park required that it be open for the public to enjoy for passive recreation 24 hours a day,” Bloomberg said. “Ever since the occupation began, that law has not been complied with, as the park has been taken over by protesters, making it unavailable to anyone else.” Concerns about health and safety issues at Occupy Wall Street camps around the United States have intensified, and protesters have been ordered to take down their shelters, adhere to curfews and relocate so that parks can be cleaned.

New quake hits Turkey ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — A magnitude-5.2 quake early Tuesday shook eastern Turkey – already devastated by two powerful tremors, the Kandilli observatory said. The latest quake hit Van province but there was no immediate report of damage or injuries, state-run Anatolia news agency said. Its epicenter was in the village of Mollakasim, the observatory said in a statement. Previous quakes have turned Van, the provincial capital of half a million, into a virtual ghost town, Gov. Munir Karaloglu said Monday. He called for urgent relief aid for survivors. Last month’s magnitude-7.2 quake and a magnitude-5.7 quake last week flattened some 2,000 buildings, killed 644 people and left thousands homeless in the eastern province, where an unusually cold November is forcing survivors to endure even more suffering. Very few state-owned build-

ings in the capital survived the quake, Karaloglu told the staterun Anatolia news agency. Many residents have fled because they fear going back into their homes even if they are not damaged. “It is a ghost city,” said Karaloglu. “Almost none of the buildings are in use.” Karaloglu called on the country to show “even more mercy” in the face of mounting needs, ranging from housing to food and warm clothing. The remaining homeless were suffering through unseasonably frosty weather. The Anatolia agency cited weather officials as saying Monday that temperatures dipped as low as -15 degrees Celsius (5 degrees Fahrenheit) overnight in the town of Ercis, which was the worst hit by the first quake. Several countries, including the United States and Israel, have sent in tents and prefabricated homes.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


Bowman Darkroom reopens after month of work


Students in the Introduction to Black and White Photography class shared the Amsler Campus Center Darkroom with the Photography Club until recently By Ayaka Lanzoni

Special to the Beacon The Bowman Darkroom, located in the lower level between the two lecture halls, recently closed due to technical problems. Students in the Introduction to Black and White Photography class had to use the Campus Center Darkroom to complete their assignments. George Galli, assistant director of Facilities, said that he worked to solve the problem, completing the work on the neutralizing tank in Bowman last Friday. It re-opened on Monday for a final inspection by the plumbing staff. “The neutralizing was cleaned and is functioning well,” Galli said. The Bowman Hall Darkroom is now available for the Introduction to Black and white Photography students to use. According to Gillian Jones, the instructor for the class, there was a blockage in the pH neutralization tank within the sink, which students use for the class. Because of this blockage, water came up from the sinks in the lecture halls and also in the darkroom, flooding the darkroom and adjacent lecture halls. “The stones in the tank have to be properly disposed of and replaced before the sink can be used again,” Jones said. “While there are hazardous material buckets that hold used or exhausted developer, stop bath and fixer, water for rinsing film and negatives is flushed down the sink into the tank and treated before being allowed into the regular waste stream.” The Campus Center Darkroom, located right across from the elevator on the third floor, was being used by both students of the photography class as well as the members of the Photography Club. Jones said that the Campus Center Darkroom is smaller than the Bowman Hall Darkroom and is not able to accommodate as

Photo by Mary Redstone/Beacon Staff

The neutralizing tank in the sink of the Bowman Darkroom became blocked recently, making the room unusable to students. many students at one time. “Students were trained in the Bowman Darkroom and are more comfortable there,” Jones said. “The Campus Center Darkroom is a little difficult to navigate to with all the construction in the Campus Center, but if students take the elevator to the third floor it is right across the hall.” Kayla Degnan, a student in the Introduction to Black and White Photography class, said moving to the Campus Center Darkroom made things difficult at first, but she became accommodated to the new darkroom after awhile. “The Campus Center darkroom is definitely smaller, but nonetheless a darkroom,” said Degnan. “You had to simply look at where things were and it was not much different than the Bowman Darkroom.”

Tyson Luneau, the secretary of the Photography Club, had a different view on the extra usage of the Campus Center Darkroom. He said that increased usage of the Campus Center Darkroom has become problematic. “It is a very small space, so the increased number of users has restricted some of our club members from being able to do their work,” Luneau said. The Photography Club has its own materials purchased through their budget, while the Introduction to Black and White Photography class’ materials are provided by the English department. Because of the unavailability of the Bowman Hall Darkroom, the photography class’s materials had been temporarily moved to the Campus Center Darkroom and kept separate.

“Gillian Jones did bring a box of chemicals to the darkroom for student use. However, this does not guarantee that these students will not use ours, or worse, mix up our chemicals,” Luneau said. “The latter mistake will render our batches of chemicals useless and could potentially affect the development of our film.” Luneau added that he personally trains every club member about the development and printmaking of photos in the Campus Center Darkroom and the layout and location of materials. “We have had issues with club members’ film being dropped on the floor and ruined, as well as prints being scattered all over the darkroom,” Luneau said. “There has also been a major issue with excessive messes left in the darkroom. While this is not necessarily the fault of the photography class, we did not have these issues prior to their use of our darkroom.” Jones expressed further uneasiness about the Campus Center Darkroom. “There was some concern that the darkroom was not large enough for the additional traffic caused by my students and that they keep the Campus Center Darkroom clean,” Jones said. “I stressed to my students the importance of respecting the Campus Center Darkroom and they are especially sensitive of that.” Jones stated her students prefer the Bowman Hall Darkroom and that this past summer she renovated with new surfaces and additional equipment. Jones hoped that the Bowman Hall Darkroom would be fixed before the end of the semester so that her students can finish their final portfolios. “I’m grateful that facilities were able to fix it so quickly,” Jones said.

Campus Center Pool closing affected students and faculty, now open By Holly Johnston

Special to the Beacon “I love to swim laps, everyone has their way of exercising and this is mine,” said Ben Jacques, English professor at MCLA who has been deprived of his exercise regimen. “I haven’t worked out since the closing.” Lately, if you’ve wanted a warm swim in the school pool to escape the colder weather approaching, you haven’t been able to because the pool had been closed for over a month.

“The heater had some age to it, and broke down.” said Jimmy Sumner, second maintenance supervisor. “In order to run a pool efficiently you need to maintain a certain water temperature so people can swim in it.” Adam Hilderbrand, who is in charge of running the pool, said, “The pool’s heater was also effecting the water supply of the campus center. No one had any idea that the pool would be down for this long and it has affected my job as well as the life

guard’s.” Austin Bodzioch, a student at MCLA who signed up for a swimming physical education class, said, “My classes have been postponed for over two weeks. I’m still getting credits, but I’ve really missed a class where I could use my body rather than my mind. It gave me a balance. I’m looking forward to getting back in the water.” “The plumbers have finally fixed the problem,” said Tom Degray, in charge of the operation of the pool. “The tempera-

ture of the pool is up, and people will be able to swim again starting Wednesday, Nov.16.” The closing has affected many, but seems to have been less of a detriment to one. “I had completely forgotten about the pool, I much rather go there than the gym now,” exclaimed student, Cassandra McMartin, who has been reminded of the pool’s existence. Jacques is glad to hear of the reopening. “It’s my stress reliever, I’ve missed it.”

Mary Redstone Features Editor

Gotta Get Down on Black Friday Thanksgiving may not be the greatest holiday out of the year, nor is it my favorite, but it’s pretty high on my list. The placing of five days vaction is pretty close to perfect - it’s right at that point in the semester where you’ve become so frustrated by work that all you want, and need, is a few days to recharge. And, what better way to recharge than spending a day eating an excessive amount of food and sprawling out on the couch to watch all the football you could ever want? The best thing about this holiday to me is that it can’t possibly be any more commercialized than it already is. It’s a holiday that is surrounded by food, so you already have to run to the store and spend money on things. And, unless you count the B-horror movie Thankskilling, there aren’t any Thanksgiving movie marathons all over the television. However, Black Friday is slowly becomming a Thanksgiving tradition solely because it falls on the day after. For those unaware of this unofficial holiday, it is the day after Thanksgiving, a Friday, where stores like WalMart and Best Buy have almost obscene sales on everything from televisions to soap. If you’ve never been to WalMart at 3 a.m. on Black Friday, it’s worth the amusement even if you aren’t buying anything. I went last year, and I stood in line with a friend in the electronics department watching parents fight over baby clothes and grab wildly at video game consoles. Watching hordes of people clammor over on-sale electronics is the perfect example of what we have become as consumers, which is a sad statement for sure. However, I can’t help but find entertainment in the whole idea just because it is so absurd. Now, I’m not saying this year you won’t find me in lines at stores to take advantage of crazy sales, because I absolutely will be. But, I am not planning all of my shopping around this non-holiday. I also plan on doing a bulk of my holiday shopping at smaller stores and places online. I would advise everyone to do the same. Don’t boycott the big stores, because they have to make a living too, but never forget about the small stores. Sometimes a big store is the only place that has what you need, but a little one can have something you never knew you wanted.


Thursday, November 17, 2011


Press Poetry series opens to packed house By Andrew Hodgson Staff Writer

When Jason Peabody first envisioned his poetry series, he pictured a small group of poetry fans listening intently while local poets read their inspiring work. Last Thursday, Peabody’s first organized poetry reading was much larger than he expected. The first reading of the PRESS Poetry series generated such interest the event had to be moved from the small space at PRESS on Main Street to Gallery 51 to accommodate the 50-plus crowd that attended the event. “Having to move because of the number of people was difficult, but it shows that there need to be more [readings],” Peabody said. The reading began with PRESS manager Melanie Mowinski, whose poems mostly expressed her love of running. “I have been running more than half my life,” Mowinski told the group before she began to read poems about her experiences running. “Mad River Press” editor Barry Sternleib read poems that examined the forgiving nature of dogs and children. Much of his poetry also discussed war and peace and their effect on us all. The poetry

Kansas schools giving up on music Associated Press

Photo by Cara Sheedy/Beacon Staff

Professor Abbot Cutler reads his poetry in Gallery 51 at the first of the Press Poetry series. editor for Great Barrington based Orion Magazine, Hannah Fries, read a series of poems using the perspectives of women from mythology and history. English professor Abbott Cutler rounded out the evening with poems about his experience in Borneo in the South Pacific, as well as a poem about teaching. When asked what his favorite moment of the event was, Peabody said, “As Abbott finished we shook hands and I was in awe of being able to be the first to shake

Music at Williams releases late-fall schedule The Williams College Department of Music offers daily concerts between Tues., Nov. 29 and Tues., Dec. 13  on the Williams College campus. These free events are open to the public. As the days grow shorter and colder, we can all look forward to a feast and some solace before the solstice. Lucky music lovers in the region around Williamstown are again invited to a bumper crop of music. This late harvest includes concerts representing almost every aspect of music at Williams. Whether large ensemble, or small, solo or collective, jazz or classical, there is something for everyone:

Nov. 29 -Williams Clarinet Choir under the leadership of Susan Martula at 5pm. Nov. 30 -MIDWEEKMUSIC, the midday concert smorgasbord at 12:15pm. Dec. 1 -Peter Serkin, concert pianist in a solo recital at 8pm. Dec. 3 -WIPE, Percussion Ensemble in the ‘62 Center at 8pm. Dec 3&4 -Lessons and Carols with the Concert Choir in Thompson Memorial Chapel. Dec. 4 -Solo Flute Studio Recital with students of Floyd Hebert at 6:30pm. Dec. 5 -Taylor Halperin ‘14 jazz pianist with his small group at 7pm. Dec. 6 -Vocal Studio Recital with students of Kerry Ryer-Parke at 4pm. Dec. 6 -Trumpet Studio Recital with students of Thomas Bergeron at 7pm. Dec. 7 -MIDWEEKMUSIC, a tasty midday musical treat at 12:15pm. Dec. 7 -Jazz and Improvisation Recital with students of Andy Jaffe at 7pm. Dec. 8 -Small Jazz Ensembles with students of Andy Jaffe at 7pm. Dec. 9 -Alice Sady ‘14, piano performs Chopin, Brahms, Bach, Beethoven at 5pm Dec. 9 -Williams Symphonic Winds directed by Heidi Miller 8pm. Dec. 9 -Chamber Orchestra at Williams in Thompson Memorial Chapel 8pm. Dec. 10- Piano Studio Recital with students of Doris Stevenson at 2pm. Dec. 10 -Williams Student Symphony 8pm. Dec. 11 -Cello Studio Recital with students of Nathaniel Parke at 1pm. Dec. 12 -Violin Studio Recital with students of Joel Pitchon at 4pm. Dec. 13 -MIDWEEKMUSIC, a chamber concert of delightful diversity 12:15pm. Dec. 13 -Jazz Guitar Studio Recital with students of Robert Phelps at 7pm.

his hand after he read those poems.” “These interactions between mentors and young poets are what the series is all about,” Peabody continued. “[Cutler] was still in his poet mindset when we shook hands and I watched him snap out of it. It was inspiring.” After the event there was a reception held back at PRESS. The poets mingled with the audience, signed posters, and talked about their work. Peabody said he wants the reception after the next read-

ing to be in the same location as the reading to make it easier for everyone involed. The next reading in the series is set for Reading Day on Dec. 15, in hopes to draw out more students. “After all the work of finals I hope people will come to listen to great poetry and relax before finals,” Peabody said. The reading will include all new poets with a mix of local poets and faculty. Peabody also said the next event will showcase some student poets as well.

A group of music educators is encouraging grassroots advocacy to protect music programs in Kansas schools. Members of the Kansas Music Educators Association say they are fighting against a steep drop in funding for their programs. KMEA president Craig Manteuffel of Hays recently told the state board of education that budget cuts have hurt school districts across the state, although some suffered more than others. He says a 2010 survey conducted by the association found that since 2007, 185 music education positions have been dropped, including 124 positions eliminated in the 2009-2010 academic year. The Topeka Capital-Journal reports ( many of the 190 school districts that responded to the survey also reported reduced travel budgets, increased fees and teachers being asked to teach in subjects outside of their expertise.

Rare World War II footage converted to DVD after 65 years By Chris Carola Associated Press Edwin Fitchett, home movie camera in hand, had no plans to get close-ups of his boss that rainy, steamy day in the Philippines 65 years ago. He just wanted to capture the commotion of the Independence Day celebration in Manila. But the boss was Gen. Douglas MacArthur, supreme commander of Allied forces in the Pacific, and when Fitchett, a junior officer who was off duty, found himself within arm’s length of one of the world’s most recognizable figures, he took advantage. With his khaki uniform helping him blend in with the military photographers in the crowd, the 24-year-old second lieutenant eased his way into the throng of press cameramen covering the festivities on July 4, 1946, the day independence was declared. He trained his Kodak Model K on the American general who two years earlier had carried out his famous vow to return to the Philippines. “I felt a little queasy about it,’’ Fitchett recalled recently in the den of his home in Poughkeepsie, in New York’s Hudson Valley. “He could have banished me off to the moon if he wanted to.’’ Instead, he captured rare color footage of a hatless MacArthur, sans his signature corncob pipe and aviator sunglasses, chatting with newly elected Filipino president Manuel Roxas and other officials as Filipinos celebrate their first day of independence from the United States. The scenes are among the highlights

of “Ed Fitchett’s Army Memories, 1945-1946,’’ a 71-minute DVD Fitchett produced from the home movies he filmed while serving in the Pacific at the end of World War II. Much of his DVD resembles a 1940s movie travelogue rather than a wartime newsreel: young, shirtless American soldiers toss a football on a sunny beach; friendly locals wave from a dugout canoe gliding in front of a jungle waterfall; merchants peddle their goods on crowded streets. But the aftermath of the just-concluded war also fills many scenes, from battle-damaged government buildings in a devastated Manila to sunken Japanese ships dotting a harbor in Formosa (now Taiwan). Stored for the past 65 years in the basement of Fitchett’s house, the footage offers a GI’s view of street and country life in the Philippines and Japan not usually seen in official military films from World War II. “Not many people were interested’’ in seeing his Pacific movies once he returned from the war, said the 89-year-old retired dairy company executive. There was so much war news that most people had enough of it by this point,’’ Fitchett said. “My stuff didn’t impress them much.’’ Because the U.S. military prohibited troops from having unauthorized cameras in a war zone, such home movie-style films are uncommon, said Seth Paridon, manager of research services National World War II Museum in New Orleans. Black-and-white newsreels of the Filipino Independence Day ceremonies exist, said Nick Cullather, asso-

Photo courtesy of

Edwin Fitchett with his wartime camera ciate professor of history at Indiana University, but Fitchett’s film is the only color footage of the event he has seen. The film includes a brief glimpse of the U.S. flag being lowered during the ceremony while the Filipino flag is being raised, an image that appears on the Philippines’ 100-peso bill. With U.S. military censorship restrictions lifted, Fitchett had his camera sent from home, along with any rolls of Kodak color film his parents could find. Soon he was taking the camera along on sightseeing trips to Manila and the Philippines countryside, often in the battalion’s flimsy two-seater planes used as aerial spotters. His film also includes footage from a Japanese prisoner-of-war camp Fitchett commanded after the surrender. The prisoners included hundreds of Formosans and Koreans conscripted into the Japanese military as soldiers and laborers. The footage shows the POWs in their camp and later aboard the U.S.S. John L. Sullivan, which transported them back home.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


‘Urinetown’ begins on Main Stage By Nora Weiss Staff Writer

The last musical most MCLA students saw was probably the “South Park” episode that parodied Broadway productions: a 30-minute, sexually explicit satire on the subtext most musicals profess through song and dance. Students in the Fine and Performing Arts department will be doing a similar thing with their production of “Urinetown.” This fall’s Main Stage production opened yesterday and runs through Saturday with two showings that last day. With the “South Park” episode airing only a few weeks ago and the current financial problems in this country, “Urinetown” is about as relevant as Rick Perry’s “oops” moment last week. First performed in 2001, “Urinetown” became well-known with its premise that made deliberate fun of classic Broadway shows, as well as its direct parodies of capitalism, the American legal system, and basic social irresponsibility. Sound familiar? The musical follows several townspeople who endure the consequences of a 20-year drought that has made private bathrooms impossible to maintain and fund. People now have to pay out of pocket to use lavatories that are controlled by an unseen mega-corporation. Those who don’t pay are sent to the penal colony known as “Urinetown.” “‘Urinetown’ is a fantastic musical,” said junior Jackie Cough-

Shows to see to cap 2011 With about a month to go until New Years, if you need that show fix, there’s some awesome options out there. Disco Biscuits: 12/28, Best Buy Theatre, New York, N.Y., SOLD OUT Sold out doesn’t mean you can’t get in, but finding someone willing to part with a ticket might be difficult. After a lackluster Identity Fest run, the Disco Biscuits will play for the first time since September on Dec. 26. By Dec. 28, the rust should be shaken off and the dark and dirty Biscuits will take off. The New Deal: 12/30, Highland Ballroom, New York, N.Y., approximately $29+fees

Photo by Cara Sheedy/Beacon Staff

Fine and performing arts students will perform the musical comedy “Urinetown” four times from Nov. 17 to 19. lin, “not only for the music, but With the Occupy movement Sam Cournyn, who plays ganfor the fact that it is fantastically still relevant and picking up gly, man-child Tiny Tom. “It’s a hilarious. There won’t be a scene speed across the country, as well satire on both musicals and sowhere you don’t laugh.” as the race for the Republican ciety.” Coughlin plays the frustrated- presidential candidate getting Main Stage is giving students with-life warden of the poorest close, Main Stage’s production the good old “recession amendand filthiest urinal in town who of “Urinetown” couldn’t come at ed” ticket price: free. Students lives to control the public bath- a better time. Mirroring the is- can reserve their free seats by rooms with an iron fist. Cough- sues of today’s society is always calling the box office at 413lin revels in the fact that she is amusing (again, South Park), 662-5123. There is a showing not alone in playing such com- and those who do it with the tonight, Nov. 17, Friday and Satplex and real characters. utmost cleverness are often the urday at 8 p.m. as well as a mati“I’m really proud of the fact funniest. (Book of Mormon, nee on Saturday at 2 p.m. that we have an awesome and anyone?) talented cast,” Coughlin said. “‘Urinetown’ is meant to make “We have fun on stage, and so fun of everything around it, will everyone else.” even other musicals,” said senior

James Taylor to act on Colonial Stage Associated Press James Taylor is out to prove he can do more than write a catchy tune. The Grammy-winning singersongwriter is taking up acting after more than four decades in the music industry. Taylor is to play Bob Cratchit next month in a Massachusetts’ theater group’s annual performance of “A Christmas Carol.’’ Kate Maguire is artistic directr of the Berkshire Theatre Group. She tells The Berkshire Eagle she had to coax the 63-year-old Taylor into taking the role. Taylor’s wife, Kim, is returning for her second year as Mrs. Cratchit. Their two sons are also in the production. Maguire says she that to persuade Taylor, she told him how much it meant to her to perform on stage with her own daughter. The Taylor family has a home in the Berkshires.

Durkan’s Pick


The three piece electronica/jam band are calling it quits after a 12year career. And last year, same date and same place, The New Deal played a fun cover show. Rubblebucket: 12/31, Pearl Street Ballroom, Northampton, Mass., $20 adv. Amazing performers, close location and cheap. Solid pick. Phish: 12/28-31, Madison Square Garden, New York, N.Y. Go see Phish. Phish rules.

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James Taylor will be Bob Cratchit in the Colonial Theatre’s annual production of “A Christmas Carol.”



Thursday, November 17, 2011

‘Furthur’ better than ever in Albany By John Deming A&E Editor

John Deming A&E Editor

Jungle Work Each time seeing Furthur perform (Tuesday night being my third show) is stunning: the versatility of the set list, the old-school musicianship of Bob and Phil, and the talented group they have assembled to accompany them in performing their musical history. It is a continuation of the Grateful Dead, a band that proved versatile through the wear and tear and challenge of life on the road. This challenge would ultimately form different periods of the Grateful Dead, which saw six different keyboard players, and the up and down health and resurgences of their iconic and lovable guitarist Jerry Garcia. When I worked as call screener for the Grateful Dead talk show “Tales from the Golden Road” on SiriusXM it was always interesting to me listening to fans speak of their favorite ‘era’s’ of the Grateful Dead. The majority of emails received by our stations website were requests from listeners who wanted to hear their favorite live years of their 30 years on the road. Speaking to some fellows at a show this summer, I found they shared my love for late 80’s Dead featuring Brent Mydland on the keys. While I agreed with these guys, they loved this era because they were there, they were alive, and they followed the dead around to many shows in 1989 and 1990. I am part of a generation of Deadheads who were too young to know who Jerry was when he passed in 1995. We can go see Bob Weir’s band Ratdog, we can go see Phil Lesh’s Phil and Friends, and we could go see 7 Walkers, but the real deal is something we will never have the pleasure of experiencing. There is an element of sorrow in this for many, but while those golden days are gone, Furthur is carrying on that Grateful Dead tradition better than any incarnation since Jerry’s death. This is what is left for my generation, and it is an amazing and heart-warming gift that Furthur provides us, we get to see those great songs we all love in truly their most original vein since.

The place affectionately known to Grateful Dead fans as “The Knick” was full Tuesday night, but not with the lineup of yesteryear beating it on down the line; no, what is now known as the Times Union Center in Albany featured two of the Grateful Dead’s original members with their ever evolving touring band Furthur. Featuring Phil Lesh and Bob Weir on their four decade tenure of bass and rhythm guitar, these two lead the band in carrying the sound and the spirit of the San Francisco pioneers hallowed to so many. From the opening burst of “Here Comes Sunshine” and through its climactic choruses, a set list of marvels started to unravel as Phil dragged out the base line into a beautifully transitioned “Row Jimmy” that featured guitarist John Kadlecik in the spotlight as he tore through a string bending Jerry-esque solo. John would spend much of the evening wowing the enthusiastic crowd of dead heads with his Garcia mirroring vocals on classic songs like “Dire Wolf” and the beautiful ballad “Stella Blue.” The highlight of the first set was Bob Weir taking center stage to sing a mind

Photo courtesy of

Bob Weir, rhythm guitarist of Furthur, during a show at Times Union Center Tuesday night. rocking “New Minglewood Blues” and again for a bluesy “Loose Lucy” that featured a strong vocal arrangement with backup singers Sunshine Garcia and Jeff Pehrson. Bob and Phil have been performing music on the road for over four decades; since they are pieces of American rock history, it is no surprise how comfortable they are on stage as the ambiance of their sound and visual displays seem to shine upon them and fill the arena. Phil Lesh is a steady old war horse; at 71 he still is able to hear those spaces in each song where he can fit in mind blowing scales

and drop his ‘bombs’, while Bob switches out guitars and hacks away at them, his hand meeting every fret at one point or another. This ability to fill a bottomless pit of sound is Furthur’s tradmark. Joe Russo drums himself into a constant flow of perfectly placed symbal crashes and drum rolls that sounds at times like the work of two. Songs like “That’s It for the Other One” feature this percussion tornado as a multitude of speed changes and pace changing jams explode into each verse. Not uncommon to most Furthur setlists were the covers. The Beatles cover of the evening, “Here Comes the Sun,” was a beautiful in-

terpretation as each element of the band rang in at once. Jeff Chimenti added intrinsic layers of piano and organ, jumping from keyboard to keyboard throughout this and every song. The second of the evening’s covers “All Along the Watchtower” was Furthur at their finest; Bob’s vocals, Phil’s bass progressions, and Kadlecik and Chimenti’s trade-off solo’s made this Dylan classic a highlight. And “like an angel, standing in a shaft of light” Bob found himself under the ominous blue lights to sing perhaps his finest song. “Estimated Prophet” the mys-

Multicultural Student Society provides fun and diversity By Nora Weiss Staff Writer

There is a lot to discover with the diversity and different cultures of our peers. From variations on traditions during the holidays to different foods that bring families to the dinner table, the Multicultural Student Society (MCSS) continually highlights the importance and fun of diversity here at the College. “Diversity is important on campus because variety brings something new to students,” said Kayla Hollins, president of the MCSS. “Our campus is a great place to learn new cultures all while creating a new one.” Creating is important to MCSS, especially when it comes to creating traditions and culture, as well as tacos. Yes, tacos. In celebration of the Hispanic culture and the understanding of the hungry culture of college students, MCSS recently hosted a taco bar. Donations from students were given to Hurricane Irene aid. “Our club holds multiple events in order to show diversity on campus,” said Co-Vice President Avery Tiner. “We welcome anyone who wants to join and we try to encourage them to help come up with new

ideas for events.” MCSS has held other events like its annual “Sushi in Sullivan,” as well the third installment of the annual fall pumpkin carving contest. MCSS dives into culture constantly, trying to encourage other students to appreciate a tradition, or activity they otherwise would not have become familiar with.

“We welcome anyone who wants to join and we try to encourage them to help come up with new ideas for events.” “One of my favorite MCSS events,” Hollins said, “is ‘Uniting MCLA One Journey at a Time’ (UMOJA). It’s usually the first week of April.” “MCSS hosts a whole week of events that feature diversity. We have a variety of events such as trivia, scavenger hunts, tie dye, and trips to Six Flags. This is a really fun week for us and this year we plan on bringing it big!” Joining MCSS is just as easy as participating in their events; the group has weekly meetings Mon-

terious, glorious, prophetic masterpiece was brought out to a roar from the crowd as Bob cocked his head up, and from under his gray beard belted out, “My time coming anyday, don’t worry bout me no.” As we rose with Bob to glory, John squeeled out a solo that built anticipation to a peak. As rainbow strobes shot down on the audience, “Uncle John’s” happy musical demeanor provided a collective sing along to end the show. An extended encore was presented to the crowd of balding fans who remember the glory days and the dread-headed young faces of those who never were lucky enough to see Jerry Garcia play. “Not Fade Away” tore the roof right off the Knick as the crowd took over singing and clapping as the song drifted off. “Brokedown Palace,” one of the Grateful Deads oldest and most beautiful tunes, was brought out as a lullaby farewell for the endearing Albany crowd. “I love you more than words can tell,” Bob sang. if one looked at the faces of the thousands there it was evident; the feeling was mutual.

Editor’s Pick

Fall’s finest new releases

The holidays are coming, and whether its a present for your folks or something for the ride home, everyone needs some new days at 9 p.m. in Sullivan Lounge, music. Here is this weeks pick according to Tiner. from among 2011’s finest releases “Anyone can come to our meetYo-Yo Ma/Stuart Duncan/ ings,” she said. “Students can simply attend one meeting to see if they Edgar Meyer/Chris Thile: want to join; we don’t pressure anyThe Goat Rodeo Sessions one.” Hollins added that every meeting has a theme. The recent meeting’s theme was “Learn a Language with MCSS,” where members gave brief showcases of different languages from a variety of heritages. “During an open house freshmen year, a previous e-board member convinced me to join,” Hollins shared. “Being half black and half Genre: Bluegrass/Classical white, I was slightly destined to be a Price: $ 11.88 part of multicultural club. I wanted Perfect for: Lovers of to join because I’m from New York Country, jazz, Bluegrass City; the place just oozes culture. I and classical music. Also figured some of my experiences at home would help me in the club.” NPR listeners... Members of MCSS see the importance of diversity amongst students Yo-Yo and the gang on campus and the joy in expericover the entire bluegrass encing new cultures. genre with this tightly “I wanted to get involved on campicked and strummed pus,” recalled Alex Mukendi, copiece of labratory made vice president. “I joined MCSS for two main reasons: one, because I perfection. wanted to be involved and two, to contribute to our school’s growing cultural diversity.”


Thursday, November 17, 2011

2011 Men’s Basketball season begins on Tuesday with loss


Starts new season with hard-fought loss against the visiting Sage College in non-conference game By Brendan Foley Sports Editor Men’s basketball began their season on Tuesday night with a disappointing loss against Sage College. The non-conference game finished with a score of 7067. The Trailblazers took the court with twenty minutes to go before the game started and launched into their warm-up drills. The crowd of students and the greater MCLA community trickled in to fill up the bleachers, while the speakers blasted them with a playlist that ranged everywhere from Eminem to the Backstreet Boys.

With eight minutes left to play, a strange, manic energy took over both the crowds and players alike. With only seconds to go before their season officially began, the ‘Blazers huddled at mid-court

GAMEDAY With: Dillon Wager Men’s Trailblazer’s Junior Goaltender Dillon Wager has played in thirteen games this season and started in ten of them. Dillon has played for over 1,250 minutes in this season alone and knocked back 68 shots on goal. explains just how he does it in this week’s GAMEDAY:

Photo by Dennise Carranza/Beacon Staff

The 2011 Men’s basketball season started with a loss against Sage College. Before gameday, I like to get my mind right even the night before, when it comes to a game, for my team and for the coaching staff, my mentality is to give everything I have to help secure a victory. So the night before [a game] I go to sleep a few hours earlier than usual, to rest my body and thoughts to clear my mind and think about what has to be done the following day. In the morning I am woken up with a playlist from my iTunes that sets me in the perfect mindset to close into a competitive day ahead of me, all focus on whatever team we are playing. I always shower before a game, no matter what time of day, I just have to feel fresh and clean before

a game. Once I leave my Townhouse, the headphones are on. I grab a quick bite to eat and I head to the locker room where its all business. You will not see me giggling or smiling or talking about the past week of anything tht has happened, all focus on getting the win. I try to pump the team up pregame huddle by saying some inspiritional words letting the rest of the team know how each game is equally significant and to keep your heads in the game no matter what happens throughout.

Photo by Ian Grey/Courtesy of

Dillon Wager (#1) stood with the rest of his team at the beginning of the 2011 season.

and rocked and chanted as one, psyching themselves up for the game ahead. The starting line-up was introduced to the roars of the gathered fans, which mixed with the bellowing voice of the announcer and the chanting of Sage players in their own huddle, mixed to create a deafening cacophony. Finally, the game itself got underway, with number five, Vernon Cross, stepping up to take the opening tip-off. Sage won the tip-off and proceeded to take an early leave. The visiting college played extremely aggressive basketball, waiting only a few minutes before launching into full-court presses to harass the MCLA players. Both teams struggled to connect with the hoop throughout the night. The first basket of the game was Sage’s with 18:06 left in the first half. MCLA immediately responded which prompted huge roars of approval from the gathered crowd. Sage took an early lead, and proceeded to play a very physical, intense game. They drew numerous fouls and again and again were brought to the free-throw line for penalty shots. This was probably best repre-

sented when mid-way through the first half, MCLA junior Richard Johnson launched into the air to try and halt a Sage lay-up, only to come down on top of the unfortunate opponent’s head, leading to two free shots. The player causing the most trouble might have been the single smallest player out there. Sage junior Jeff Stopera stands at only five foot six inches, yet throughout the night he used his smaller status to swipe away the ball from the Trailblazers mid-dribble, or to sneak up and cause interceptions without notice. The Trailblazers were able to early on capitalize on some of Sage’s show-boating. At one early point, two Sage player’s attempted to go for an off-the-glass alleyoop while alone in MCLA’s zone. They failed, and MCLA was able to easily reclaim the ball and take it back up the court for a basket. Sage continued its aggressive play on the defensive side as well as the offensive, swarming any MCLA player who went for the rebound.

BASKETBALL, continued on page 10

Women’s cross country team ends season at NERC on Saturday By Kayla Koumjian Sports Writer

Women’s cross country finished their season this past Saturday at the New England Regional Championship at Bowdoin College. The team placed 48 out of 51 teams. Freshman Danielle Sylvester finished first for MCLA and

261st overall. Head coach, Rob Colantuono, is very proud of the improvement of all his athletes saying, “I measured this seasons success on how hard they worked and how each player improved since the beginning of the season.” XCOUNTRY, continued on page 10

Photo courtesy of

The 2011 women’s cross country team finished on Saturday.


Thursday, November 17, 2011


Kaitlyn Dano weathers Women’s cross country races at the ups and downs Finishes four years with team proud of accomplishments By Kaitland Hager Sports Writer

Kaitlyn Dano would say that soccer is a larger part of her life. In fact, she would go so far as to say it’s a huge aspect of her life. “The only reason why I ever decided to come to college was so I could play soccer,” Dano said. An athletic training major who joined the Naval Guard her sophomore year, Dano finished her time as a leader, with MASCAC regular season championship title under her belt. A four-year women’s soccer player, Dano came out of Schoharie, NY and began her career with the ‘Blazers as a freshman and played in all 18 games that season. She spent most of her time in the backfield, a force against opposing teams. She got her start in soccer much earlier than that, though. “I’ve been playing soccer since I was nine,” Dano said. “What got me started was my older brother’s coach. He noticed that I was athletic and asked me if I wouldn’t mind playing on an all boys’ team. In my town there wasn’t a girls’ team for my age group.” Soccer has been there for her from that moment on. “I have noticed with soccer I get out what I put in,” Dano said.

“If you told me that as a senior in high school, I would have thought you were crazy and said there’s no way I’m going to college.” So Dano put in everything she could and more. Balancing soccer, an athletic training major’s schedule and joining the Naval Reserves in the fall of 2009, Dano had to learn how to give as much as she could to all three major parts of her life. Being a student-athlete is a challenge no matter the standards, but adding the Naval Reserves to her life, Dano had to focus hard on staying on top. “Being a student-athlete had its ups and downs, but overall it has been good,” Dano said. “It helped me learn things that I could never learn on my own. Especially with my major I have had to learn time management.” Dano came away from her busy college schedule with a good life lesson: there is more to life than soccer. She still credits soccer with getting her to college

Bowdoin College Come in 48th out of 51 gathered teams XCOUNTRY, continued from page 9

Photo by Dennise Carranza/Beacon Staff

Kaitlyn Dano has fought hard to be a powerful force on the Trailblazers her entire time on the team. though, giving her the chance to learn that lesson for herself. “If you told me that as a senior in high school, I would have thought you were crazy and said there’s no way I’m going to college,” Dano said. Though college play is more intense, Dano loved the competiveness of the sport. In a high school system where mostly everyone made the team, Dano enjoyed working hard to earn her spot. It eventually led a leadership spot on the team in her senior year. Even from the backfield, Dano’s presence and attitude carried through the team. She cites it as her biggest accomplishment on and off the field. “It wasn’t until this year that I realized how much of a difference one person can make on many,” she said. “As a freshman I tended to be shy and I did not want to talk to anyone. But this year, I fell into the type of leadership role where I knew others were depending upon me every day.” Her leadership role might have stemmed from her training in the Naval Reserve. In the fall of her sophomore year, Dano left MCLA for a brief stint to start her boot camp training. She missed playoffs that season and most of her spring semester, but returned to MCLA standing taller. The balancing act was a little harder to handle but Dano did it gracefully.

“It’s a lot of traveling and I feel as if I never have a ‘normal’ college weekend. But it’s worth it as I have made numerous friends that would help me with anything,” Dano said. Dano has her future to look forward to. The plan tends to change but she wants to focus on finding out what really interests her. One of the upsides to being an athletic training major is that it is part of a growing field and it leaves her options open, especially since she is minoring in biology and coaching. What she does know is that she likes keeping her hands busy. A bit of a “greasemonkey”, Dano admits that she loves to work on cars. Keeping busy is exactly what she’ll do. In her own words, “How many girls do you know that can do an injury evaluation on you, speak in medical terms, and then be able to change the oil in your car?” Her well-roundedness will be just another defining factor of her character as she graduates in the spring. It will be another layer of the person Kaitlyn Dano has become in her time at MCLA. Dano will be able to say that soccer was the only reason she came to college, but it wasn’t the only reason why she left with a degree.

Senior Captain Caitlyn Culver agrees with her coach about the team’s success saying, “The success of the team went really well. Individually everyone improved from week to week.” Culver is also grateful for the coaching she received from Colantuono saying, “His coaching is what made us better runners this year and we all stayed healthy for the whole season which is something that is hard to do for runners.” The team had eight players this year which consisted of two freshmen, three sophomores, one junior, and two seniors. Eight is the minimal amount of players to have for a cross country team in order to compete. “We weren’t sure if we were going to have enough girls this year,” said the coach. “We started preseason with six kids, then two more ended up joining.” Fortunately for the team, they were able to compete and they grew a very strong bond. “The team chemistry was perfect. We all got along everyday and never had any problems,” explained Culver. “The first day of practice we all clicked and it only got stronger. We are all really good friends.” The head coach agrees with his captain and enjoyed watching them become closer. “One of the highlights of the season was just watching them grow as friends,” said Colantuono. During a meet at UMass Dartmouth, the team had to stay over on a Friday night and drive home the next day. The ride home was supposed to be a three and a half hour drive, but because of a snow storm, it turned into eight hours. “They had to push the van, but no one ever complained and they

made the best of it,” Colantuono said. Caitlyn Culver will be graduating in the spring semester and will miss her teammates and coach, but she will also miss practicing. “Another thing I can honestly say is that I will miss the hard practices,” she said. “ They are awful when you are doing them but when I got done I always felt so accomplished.”

“The team chemistry was perfect. We all got along and never had any problems,” explained Culver. Along with holding great practices, coach Colantuono is doing a lot to turn the program around. “I’m starting to recruit a lot of Berkshire County members,” Colantuono said. “I’m also mailing a brochure and a card with a note from the team members.” Culver is confident in her coach improving the cross country program. “With coach still being around, the team will absolutely only get better,” she said. She also went on to say, “His plan is one day for MCLA to win MASCACs. How he trains us and with the recruiting he is going to do, the program will most definitely become bigger and better.” Coach Colantuono and Culver have a strong belief MCLA’s women’s cross country program will continue to improve and become better than it ever has before.

Photo by Ian Grey/MCLA.EDU

The women’s cross country team ran hard in their final meet of the season on Saturday.



Thursday, November 17, 2011

Dot Houston: A Life in Athletics By Bobby Beauchesne Sports Writer

Brendan Foley Sports Editor

Penn State Problems Here’s the thing about the Penn State scandal: any rational, ethical person will react to the stories of what happened with disgust and shame and anger. It’s just the basic human reaction to the atrocities that were committed and were allowed to be committed. But let’s all of us be VERY careful about how we proceed with the handling of this story. No one wants another Duke’s lacrosse scandal. There’s an obvious difference, of course. There, the players were completely innocent and were rail-roaded by a crazed DA and a mentally unstable woman’s delusions. Here, with this case, there can be very little doubt that this scumbag is guilty and deserves every measure of punishment that can be dished out. Jerry Sandusky needs to go to jail, and anyone who is found out to have been aware of his actions needs to be canned right out of a job. But we need to stick to the facts. We need to stick with things that can be proven. Not rumor. Not conjecture. Not “educated guesses.” Facts. Stone-cold facts. Because there are kids here. Not just the victims, who don’t deserve to have to listen to tabloid journalists (or mainstream journalists, for that matter) try to oneup each other with different tales of abuse and violence. But there’s also the students at Penn State, and also the numerous members of the faculty, athletics programs and greater Penn State community who have nothing to do with the football coaching staff and are as sick and blind-sided as the rest of the country, if not more so. If something were to happen along those lines here at MCLA, God forbid, I’d know that I wouldn’t want myself lumped in with the perpetrators. I wouldn’t want my school to have it’s name tarnished forever because one teacher or coach was a pervert. The good far outweighs the bad. Let’s find the guilty, and punish them to every inch of the law we can find. I’ll happily stand in that mob. Heck, I’ll bring the torches and pitchforks. Well, the torches at least, pitchforks are kind of ahrd to come by nowadays, and the economy being what it is… But let’s leave the innocent out of it. Let’s limit the blast are so that only the truly sick and disingenuous get burned. Anything else would be a miscarriage of justice.

Dorothy “Dot” Houston has been on teams her whole life. Whether it is basketball, softball, or field hockey, she has loved the competition and camaraderie. Now, she is on the biggest team of her life. Houston is the assistant athletic director at MCLA. She works side by side with coaches, players, assistants, and administration to help MCLA field competitive teams and develop young minds. Just like a sports team, it takes a concerted effort from every individual part to produce results. Houston knows firsthand that being a student athlete is not easy. To compete in college while pulling sufficient grades takes great time management and an unwavering competitive spirit. College seasons are long and intense, and it can take a toll on the body and mind. While at Springfield College, Houston played softball and basketball. She knows that playing sports in college is a privilege that only a fraction of kids get to experience. Houston has used her experiences in sports to shape her life and career. “Sports have allowed me to pursue something I’ve always loved. I am very passionate about the values one can receive through sport. Now, personally, it is about health and wellness for life.” After college, Houston naturally wanted to pursue a career in sports. She became a coach and started a family. As her kids began

took some time. I am very proud to see the progress we have made and hope we can continue to make strides in the near future.” In a few short years, MCLA has added several new sports programs, built a state of the art turf field, and performance on the field is enjoying great success. Houston refuses to take individual credit for this. “This has been a team effort – a team is only as strong as its individual players. These include current President Dr. Mary Grant, Dean Charlotte Degen, Athletic Photo by Will Casey/Beacon Staff Director Scott Nichols, our curDorothy “Dot” Houston is assisrent and past coaching staff, adtant director of athletics. missions and most importantly to grow up, coaching and recruit- our current and former studenting forced her to be away from athletes.” Houston has seen the sports home. Also, her husband was programs grow in on field perlooking to attend graduate school formance as well as in the classin the Albany area. Little did she room. The student athletes here know, opportunity was about to have also performed community come knocking. service in North Adams and the “I was interested in coaching at Berkshires. the college level – there was a part She counts these as her best actime coaching position here in complishments while at the colsoftball and basketball.” lege. Her proudest moment athSince she loved these sports, and letically was watching the MCLA coaching was what she wanted to women’s basketball team win the do, MCLA seemed like a good fit. MASCAC Championship in 2010. At the time, she did not think Houston enjoys her responsibilof being an assistant athletic director. She gained experience at ities at MCLA. She has grown as the College, made connection a person as well as professionally, and eventually worked her way and she credits this to her posiup to the position of assistant tion at the college. “Through attending conferences athletic director. Houston knew and networking you meet some that sports at MCLA went much great people who share the same deeper than just the playing field. passion and give good advice as “Educating the administration you attempt to move forward with on the values of sport at MCLA your life choices. ” and how it can help to recruit, retain and connect with alumni


(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

Women’s Basketball 11/22 @Becker 11/27 Williams 12/2 @Bates

7 p.m. 4 p.m. 4 p.m.

Men’s Basketball 11/18 vs. Suffolk @Endicott 11/19 TBD @Endicott 11/22 Keene State

8 p.m. 4 p.m. 7 p.m.

Men’s basketball loses season opener against aggresive Sage team BASKETBALL, continued from page 10

With eight minutes left in play, a strange, manic energy began to take over both the crowds and players alike. There was no way of telling where it began. Suddenly, while the players on the court were trying to stop a Sage offensive push, the bench began a cheer of defense, which fed into the crowd who began to cheer “DEFENSE! DEFENSE!” again and again and louder each time. The Trailblazers on the court took charge, eating up the difference to come closer and closer to taking the lead for the first time all night. When sophomore Mitch Scace drilled a three, the crowd went into hysterics. They cheered even louder only seconds later when sophomore Vernon Cross drained another three, putting the ‘Blazers up for the first time all game, 2625. MCLA remained in control for the rest of the first half, finishing the half with a five-point lead of 39-34. They remained on top for much of the second half as well, at one

point leading by as much as eight points with only seven minutes to go. But Sage refused to give any corner, and embarked on a last minute run, scoring 14 points to the

Trailblazers two. A final salvo of baskets by the Trailblazers was not enough to make up the difference. The men’s Trailblazers will next play in a tournament at Endicott College. Their first opponent in

the tournament will be Suffolk College. MASCAC conference play will not begin in earnest until January.

Photo by Dennise Carranza/Beacon Staff

Connell Brown went head-to-head with Sage on the Trailblazers opening night.


Thursday, November 17, 2011


South Pacific to MCLA By Nicole Knapp Staff Writer

Performers from Water is Rising joined a panel of students, faculty, and staff in Murdock Hall on Monday evening to discuss sustainability in an event entitled, “Global Warming and MCLA: A Panel Discussion about Sustainability on Campus.” The panel included Caroline Scully, sustainability coordinator and chair of the Green Team; Jonathan Secor, director of special programs at MCLA; Nancy Nylen, from the Center of EcoTechnology in Pittsfield; John Kozik, director of dining services at MCLA; Jason Brown, president of the Environuts; and Environmental Studies Professors Ben Kahn and Daniel Shustack. Scully said that since the year 2000, some of the action taken on campus towards sustainability has included new controls on boilers, lighting controls, automated thermostats, and studying transportation issues. All these things are accounted for in carbon footprint. “You have a tremendous amount of power here at MCLA,” Scully told students, adding that they can always speak up and talk to the institution about changes. Kozik, who works with ARAMARK, talked about what the company is doing to contribute to sustainability, including recycling cardboard, using green chemicals in cleaning, and the Green Thread commitment.

By Vladimir Isachenkov Associated Press

Photo by Brian McGrath/Beacon Staff

Performers from Water is Rising discussed sustainability with a panel of students, faculty and staff on Monday, Nov. 14. “We’re very conscious of what we do and try to blend in with everyone else to make it a success,” he said. Mikaele Maiava, dancer, choreographer, and artistic director for Water is Rising, said that back home in Tokelau, they are pretty much sustainable except for energy. However, they are facing drought and a state of emergency was declared a month ago. Climate change and global warming has already caused them to experience rising sea levels. It took Water is Rising 10,000

Mountains limited spread of fallout from Fukushima By Malcolm Ritter Associated Press

NEW YORK — A map of radioactive contamination across Japan from the Fukushima power plant disaster confirms high levels in eastern and northeastern areas but finds much lower levels in the western part of the country, thanks to mountain ranges, researchers say. The mountains sheltered northwestern and western parts of Japan as radioactive cesium-137 emerged from the power plant and blew downwind, the scientists said. Cesium-137 is just one of the radioactive materials that came out of the plant, but researchers focused on that because it’s particularly worrisome. It lasts for decades in soils, emitting radiation and potentially contaminating crops and other agricultural products. The research, published online Monday by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows estimated levels of contamination. It did not investigate implications for health. The researchers, from Japan, Norway and the United States,

Russian craft blasts off for space station

said the levels they estimated would severely restrict food production in eastern Fukushima Prefecture and hinder agriculture in neighboring provinces. That outcome is already recognized in Japan, where regulators monitor food products from those areas for contamination before they are cleared for shipment. The Fukushima Dai-ichi plant, 140 miles (225 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo, was heavily damaged in March when it was swamped by a tsunami triggered by an earthquake. A second report, investigated levels of radioactive cesium, iodine and tellurium on the surface in east-central Japan. Such materials are airborne after a nuclear accident and fall to the ground when it rains. While the power plant incident began on March 11, the study linked ground contamination in the Fukushima prefecture to a March 15 rainfall, and contamination in Tokyo and some other areas to a March 21 rain. In addition, there is growing concern about radioactive “hotspots’’ found in Tokyo and elsewhere outside Fukushima. The Japanese government has taken responsibility for decontamination.

miles to reach Massachusetts from the South Pacific. Maiava said they catch wisdom from traveling and go back to the island to do something for the people. To him, it’s about human life and saving those lives. He said he wanted to encourage activists that what they are doing is more than climate change. Rather than just sitting in classrooms, people can learn from culture; the arts and science can work very well together, he said. “I think that art has the power to change,” Secor said, adding

that not everyone is an environmentalist, but that people can use the talents they do have. Maiava said he wanted to congratulate MCLA for doing something. “What you are doing is actually making a change for us,” he said. “For happy people like us.” Water is Rising began and ended the event with a performance. Maiava closed the discussion by telling the panel, “Together we are and together we strive for what’s good and that is what’s best for all of us.”

Two states can seek punitive oil damages By Kevin McGill Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge has ruled that Alabama and Louisiana can pursue punitive damages against BP and other companies involved in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster that killed 11 people and spewed millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier denied efforts by BP PLC and several co-defendants to dismiss the two states’ federal complaints. The judge upheld their right to pursue punitive damages and other compensation under general maritime law and the federal Oil Pollution Act. Barbier’s ruling, dated Monday, was not a total victory for Alabama and Louisiana: He dismissed some claims in the lawsuits that were based on state laws. The judge said many issues in Monday’s ruling had been dealt with in an earlier order, including a provision that said maritime law was applicable in the case and that the Oil Pollution Act did not block claims under maritime law.

He said punitive damages may be available under maritime law because “the States have alleged physical injury to proprietary interests and the other elements pertinent to negligence and products liability claims.” Barbier also said the states can continue to seek damages under the Oil Pollution Act. However, he blocked claims each state sought under various state laws. “The court is respectful of the states’ desire to exercise their police powers and punish those who pollute their waters,” Barbier wrote. But he noted that the source of the oil that damaged several state coastlines was not in any of those states, and he outlined several legal reasons why claims under state laws were pre-empted by federal law. Barbier added that federal law should be sufficient for the states to recover the costs of removing the oil, saying, “Although the court does not decide at this time issues concerning liability or the extent of liability, it certainly appears that the States are eligible to recover all of their removal costs under OPA.”

MOSCOW — A Russian spacecraft carrying an American and two Russians blasted off Monday from the snow-covered Kazakh steppes in a faultless launch that eased anxiety and fears about the future of U.S. and Russian space programs. The Soyuz TMA-22 lifted off as scheduled at 8:14 a.m. (0414 GMT) Monday from the snow-covered Russian-leased Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to carry NASA astronaut Dan Burbank and Russians Anton Shkaplerov and Anatoly Ivanishin on a mission to the International Space Station. The launch had been delayed for two months due to the crash of an unmannned Progress cargo ship in August. It cast doubts about future missions to the station, because the rocket that crashed used the same upper stage as the booster rockets carrying Soyuz ships to orbit. NASA warned that the space outpost will need to be abandoned temporarily for the first time in nearly 11 years if a new crew cannot be launched before the last of the station’s six residents fly back to Earth in midNovember. Russian space officials tracked down the Progress launch failure to an “accidental” manufacturing flaw and recalled all Soyuz rockets that had been built from space launchpads for a thorough examination. A successful launch of a Progress ship last month cleared the way for the crew to be launched. The crew said they trusted the Soyuz, a workhorse of the Soviet and then Russian space program for more than 40 years. “We have no black thoughts and full confidence in our technology,” Shkaplerov told journalists before the launch. The new crew are to arrive just in time to keep the orbiting station manned. The three crew members currently on board the station are set to return to Earth on Nov. 21. Another crew launch next month is to take the station back to its normal six-person crew mode. The 39-year-old Shkaplerov and 42-year-old Ivanishin are making their first flights into space. Burbank, 50, who will take over command of the space station, is a veteran of 12-day shuttle missions in 2000 and 2006. The three men are to remain aboard the space station until March. Even in case of an engine failure like the one that led to the Progress crash in August, a Soyuz crew would have been rescued by an emergency escape system. But any further launch trouble would have prompted NASA to rethink the space station program, that now relies exclusively on Russian spacecraft after the retirement of the U.S. space shuttle fleet in July.

Campus Comment

Thursday, November 17, 2011

What are your plans for the Thanksgiving break? “Pretty much just hanging out, playing Nintento, etc!”

“I am going home and hopefully having a family Thanksgiving dinner.”

- April Rose Spring, 2012

- Laura Underwood, 2012


The Beacon

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“I’ll be relaxing, working on stuff, and visiting family.”

“I’m going to Boston to celebrate with my family.”

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“Spending time with my boyfriend and probably going home.”

“I’ll be going home to visit with family and friends.” - Alexandra Keaton, 2012

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Thursday, November 17, 2011



Does the student body’s opinion make a difference? Chris Goodell

Managing Editor


’d like to think that the higherups at MCLA truly value student opinion. However, sometimes it seems as though those who make the decisions only want our opinion as long as it coincides with theirs. For the past six months, the hotbutton topic on campus has been the potential arming of Public Safety officers. The College has done its part to hold meetings on the issue, but the timing of these meetings calls into question whether student opinion is actually a priority. The issue was first brought out last spring, shortly before summer break. A few brief meetings were held, but the topic was still in its infancy, and when more meetings were held throughout the summer, the majority of MCLA students were unable to attend. Now, the first wide-scale meetings that will present both sides of the argument in a debate-style dis-

cussion are being held at times that are, frankly, not very convenient to a lot of students. Holding meetings that are designed to gauge student opinion at 3 p.m. on a Wednesday and 11 a.m. on a Thursday sends the message that the College isn’t really interested in student opinion at all. Of course there will never be a time that is convenient for everyone, but there are times that are certainly more convenient than the times chosen. Isn’t the purpose of Common Time, for example, to provide a time no students or professors have class, and could perhaps engage in a community event such as this? Even holding the meetings at night, say 7 p.m., would exclude far fewer students than holding the meetings in the morning or the middle of the day. Of course this would mean some administrators and College staff would have to stay on campus later than 5 p.m., but for an issue of such importance, I think it would be worth it. It’s also very unfortunate that a 3 p.m. meeting makes it nearly impossible for The Beacon to cover,

write, and edit the story in time for this week’s issue, which goes out at around 5 p.m. the same day. I would hope that this is just a coincidence rather than some attempt to shield the press from covering an important, controversial issue in a timely manner. When the issue was what kind of restaurant were getting on campus, student input was highly encouraged and publicized, to the point where email surveys were even sent out to all students. Although the College claims to want the same type of input now, their actions seem to be sending a different message. We’re fortunate our Student Government Association has taken up the task of administering a referendum to gauge student opinion on the subject, but even when SGA takes an official stance, will it have an impact? I hope I’m wrong and that students really will have a say in whether or not Public Safety officers will be armed. Something tells me the decision has already been made.

Is a liberal arts degree worthwhile?

John Durkan Editor-in-Chief


ure, the end result of a liberal arts degree can be priceless. After all, if I were to sell this concept to a potential student, I would tell the prospect that becoming a well-rounded individual is important – no, essential – for his or her future, as well as of the future of society. Without skipping a beat, I would insist that people who can think creatively and critically, which a liberal arts education will achieve, are necessary for solving the many problems facing the world today, and therefore highly sought after in a struggling job market. And of course, this is mostly true (I’m not sold on the jobs part). But at what cost and what effectiveness does MCLA achieve this vision of a satisfactory liberal arts education and preparing students to compete? And if the liberal arts education model is failing or ineffective, is it even MCLA’s fault? (Spoiler: I don’t think so.) Is it the student’s fault?

Let’s look at the price. Based off of the MCLA website, an estimated yearly cost for in-state students, including room and board, totals to $17,125 yearly. In four years, not including the inevitable rises in fees and such, that comes out to $68,500. So, not counting grants or parents paying or loan interest, you’re starting off close to 70 stacks in debt. Based off that $68,500 figure (probably a lot more, I mean, it’s debt and grows rapidly), that’s a pretty tough sell to make for critical thinking and creativity (oh, and I guess a well-rounded education). I’ll concede that some classes and teachers are amazingly inspiring – Issues in Journalism with Jenifer Augur, World Religions with Matthew Silliman, and American Literary Survey with Mark Miller (mostly based on the demand from Miller and Silliman to think critically more so than the content) stick out as worthwhile classes. And I’ll concede going to school has equipped me for my hopeful occupation, but at the cost and uncertainty, banking on hitting red at a roulette table feels like a better option in hindsight. But many professors fail to inspire. And many classes feel like a forced attempt at overly broad studies with little critical thinking and more busy work. Perhaps the concept of paying to be well-rounded

for four years seems ridiculous with the availability of information and thought-provoking conversation on the Internet and other media for a much cheaper price. After all, if you want to learn about science, get a magazine subscription. It’s cheaper and lasts much longer than a one semester core course. Read history cheaply on Wikipedia or go to the library. Study and discuss literature on your own. Read a newspaper for civics and opinions. Follow your interests in all fields on your own. It’s endless, cheaper and more effective than limited options by way of the core regiment. It’s 2011, there’s no reason to acquire debt to learn. And if that reason is simply to get a job, isn’t that missing the point of a liberal arts education? Maybe I’m just bitter. When your future offers you another year of less-than-inspiring classes for a hefty price and uncertainty of success for a low-income dream job in a staggering industry where you’ll never earn enough to live outside of a studio apartment and enjoy the world because of wage slavery, you turn out that way. Add in the possibility of holding that costly MCLA degree with a job possibly acquired five years ago straight out of high school and well, then there’s not much to look forward to. Just unnecessary bills, taxes and waiting for the end of the world. Hopefully, I’m wrong. Hopefully.

Religious influence overpowers America Tano Holmes

Foreign Correspondent


rom a nearby cathedral tower a deep gong sounds the hour, a reminder of the church’s once strong influence throughout Germany. However, nowadays, a very small minority of Germans actually go to church or claim to be Christians. While morality and spirituality are greatly valued here in Germany, the need to go to church or to adhere to specific religious texts is not important for most Germans. The idea that the Bible is the exact word of God and should be taken literally is essentially non-existent here. It is very interesting to me, as a Christian (open and non-exclusive), to observe people who have no religious affiliation act more morally and empathetically than some people who claim to be true Christians. The influence of religion in the United States permeates the media and education system as well. The ban on nudity or sex on television and minimal sex education can be credited to Christian val-

Tano Holmes writes weekly for The Beacon from Heidelberg, Germany, where he is studying abroad ues of abstinence before marriage. Also interesting to note is that these restrictive methods have not stopped the United States from having the highest teenage pregnancy rates of any country in the developed world, with a rate of 55 teenage pregnancies out of every 1,000. In Germany, where there are no such restrictions, the pregnancy rate is 13 out of every 1,000. An interesting irony exists in the United States with the separation of church and state: the American government maintains that the two entities must be separate, although religious rhetoric often dictates public policy. One of the better examples of this is gay marriage and the continuing discrimination against it. The logic almost always stems from the Bible, and states that marriage is a holy sacrament exclusively between a man and a woman. Strange that interpreted biblical scripture directs how the government makes and maintains laws. Jedes verbindung zu gott ist persönlich.


SGA, keep the voting system simple please The SGA should not consider an online voting system


o far the Student Government Association has done a wonderful job putting forward the student referendum regarding the arming of Public Safety officers. With little time allotted, the SGA swiftly put together a referendum, intelligently fired down the “don’t care” option and in a brink of time will collect ballots before the final, decide-all Board of Trustees meeting on Dec. 15. But, one last question remains – will the vote be the traditional check-the-box or an online vote? If the Student Government Association wants to attract the most voters, an online voting system should not be considered. First, the Internet could be useful – a quick vote count, a vote-once system, and a universal distribution to the body via FirstClass. But believe it or not, emails get read and forgotten (the I’lldo-it-later-but-then-forget syndrome) or simply ignored. Plus,

not everyone checks their FirstClass on a regular basis. Also, systems break. Just the what if the voting system doesn’t work? The last month or so of referendum work goes in vain and student input will fall silent. On the other hand, if a student is waved down and asked to vote when en route to class, how can that go wrong? The referendum takes a second to read and a second to check off. Printed information can be provided as well. If someone doesn’t want to vote, they can say no thanks and move on. Something tells me this issue is a little bigger than that though. With a dedicated SGA ready to hold down the post all day and encourage students to vote, face -to-face communication works best. The Internet can be utilized though. SGA can send the entire student body a reminder to vote on either Dec. 6 or 7, the time and location, and informative links about the issue. ( is a good start for that.)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

For Fun


By Aurora Cooper To view previous comics, visit:

Candy Word Search



Word Search courtesy of


Thursday, November 17, 2011

Photo Essay

“Your Ticket Should Say urinetown!” A Musical By The MCLA FPA Department Photos By: Cara Sheedy

Above: Jackie Gianetti as Little Sally pleads for a penny from Mr. McQueen played by Erik Dabrowski. Center: Little Sally and Officer Lockstock, played by Jackie Gianetti and Tom Leidenfrost comically describe the key plot points of Urinetown. Below: The cast of Urinetown search for everylast penny that Rigth: Jeff Bliss playing Bobby Strong stands on the stairs as Hope Cladwell played by Melody Rolph listens to what Bobby’s heart has to say. will allow them to use the very desired public bathroom.

Above: Mr. McQueen played byErik Dabrowski, Caldwell B. Cladwell played by Robin Russell and Senator Fipp played by Joel Praino, plot a scheme to fill their pockets while the folks of Urinetown’s bladders fill.

November 17, 2011 - Issue 9  
November 17, 2011 - Issue 9  

The student newspaper of the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, MA.