Fall '23 Issue No. 6

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The Signal

Vol. LIII, No. 6

https://www.tcnjsignalnews.com/

Serving The College of New Jersey since 1885

November 17, 2023

Swae Lee makes ‘Unforgettable’ visit to the College First-year housing

requirement will not be enacted

Matthew Kaufman Managing Editor

Photo courtesy Elizabeth Gladstone

Swae Lee held the audience’s attention for all of his set.

Liz Ciocher Arts & Entertainment Editor The College’s College Union Board came together to put on their second fall concert since the Covid-19 pandemic with Swae Lee, rapper and member of Rae Sremmurd, performing on Nov. 9. In addition to last year’s Yung Gravy concert, Swae Lee’s performance and CUB’s hard work in production have proved that even after our years of concert hiatus, students at the College have maintained great enthusiasm. “New Jersey knows what’s going on!” Swae Lee said, addressing the

crowd just moments after he arrived on stage. With a setlist including hit songs like “Come Get Her,” “Swang” and “Black Beatles,” students had a great time with the performance held in the Recreation Center. “I’m a big Rae Sremmurd fan, so I had a great time,” said sophomore special education and math major Christopher Canellas. “The concert’s song selections were really nice; it was a nice set all together.” According to CUB, the concert sold upward of 1,800 tickets, filling the rec center with students shoulderto-shoulder surrounding the main stage. Tickets were admitted for

general admission only, allowing students to secure their spots on a first come, first served basis. Doors opened at 7:30 p.m., flooding in students who had been lined up along the Rec center’s sidewalk in wait for the concert. Some members of the audience had been waiting in line for as long as 4 hours. “We got in line at 3:30,” said elementary special education psychology sophomore Kaitlyn McGowan, who was first in line with her friends. “We did it for the vibes, it’s always the best concert experience at the front.” see CONCERT page 16

The College will not enact a residency requirement for firstyear students next year, Kelly Hennessy, assistant vice president of student development, said in an emailed statement. The announcement comes after members of Residential Education and Housing (ResEd) presented to Student Government and the Residence Hall Association (RHA) last month, soliciting feedback from the student representatives. “The input we received from the Residence Hall Association, Student Government and other stakeholders proved to be invaluable in the comprehensive review process,” Hennesssy wrote in the email. “After careful consideration, we have concluded that it is not the right time to proceed with the establishment of a First Year Housing Requirement.” The proposal had received a mixed reaction from students, who were concerned about the economic pressure the requirement would place on commuter students. see HOUSING page 16

Students reflect on attending a PWI Breaking down TCNJ’s finances Delmis Vargas Correspondent

The College’s undergraduate student population is overwhelmingly white, with the breakdown being 60% white, 17% Hispanic/Latino, 11% Asian and 5% Black/African Americans. Being a minority at a predominantly white institution, commonly referred to as a PWI, can come with many challenges, fears and disadvantages. These challenges sometimes arise right after arriving at campus, due to factors such as culture shock. “At first it was a little bit jarring coming from a place that was very diverse, and it was a little uncomfortable,” said junior kinesiology major Tyrese Gilbert. Many students of color at the College come from diverse areas, and the stark changes in

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environment and diversity can be overwhelming and add to the pressure of fitting in and finding community. This can manifest itself differently in every person of color’s college experience at a PWI. “I think being on a team (track and field) and dorming helped with community,” said Gilbert. “I feel more comfortable now that it’s my third year, and it was easier to acclimate than I thought it would be.” Although some may not have trouble finding community, it may not be the same for others. “You can attend classes, do all the things that you’re supposed to do, and by every college metric, you fit in, but in the larger sense of being able to build a community around yourself, you can’t do that,” said Aayush Gandhi, a junior biology major. see PWI page 16

Mike Sherr Editor-in-Chief Matthew Kaufman Managing Editor

Following his semester-long “listening tour,” Interim President Bernstein will soon announce new initiatives designed to ensure the College’s long-term financial sustainability. Ahead of these announcements, Interim Treasurer Richard Schweigert and Interim Associate Vice President Mark Mehler sat down for an interview with The Signal to break down the College’s finances, including its budget, debt, state funding, tuition, and room and board. Revenue The College receives revenue from three main sources: tuition, state appropriations, and room and board. The biggest proportion of revenue, about 85%, comes from tuition and room

and board. Revenue sometimes falls short of expectations. In an email last month, Bernstein announced that the College had overestimated anticipated revenue for FY2024, because “tuition, fee and housing revenue fell short of projections,” leading to a shortfall of $20 million. The administration addressed this shortfall by reducing costs and drawing $5 million from its reserves, which are intended to be used during emergencies. The College has previously increased revenue by raising tuition, but Schweigert acknowledged that the College’s tuition is already relatively high. “I think we’re all aware that the price point is probably at a point that you all aren’t enjoying and probably haven’t been enjoying for a while,” Schweigert said, “and so that’s the challenge and dilemma.”

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see FINANCES page 3


page 2 The Signal November 17, 2023

State agrees to tentative verbal contract with union Ally Uhlendorf News Editor

The College’s branch of the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) has reached a verbal agreement with the state and college presidents on a new full-time contract, as well as a new adjunct faculty contract, after nine months of back-and-forth negotiating with the state. The deal was reached on Nov. 3. “I am delighted that we finally have what seems to be a fair and reasonable contract,” said interdisciplinary business professor and union member Susanna Monseau, “and I am very grateful for the hard work of our negotiating team in getting us there.” None of the following contractual agreements have been officially documented in writing, nor have they been ratified by the union’s members. An agreement with the state is in principle, according to biology professor and AFT President Matthew Wund. Full-time employees will receive a 3.5% cost of living increase in each of the four years the contract will be in

Full-time employees will receive a 3.5% cost of living increase under the deal. place. In addition, a 13th step will be added to the salary guide. “The step system is an additional way that full-time employees accrue raises for time served in their positions,” Wund explained.“After a certain amount of time in their position, employees move up a step to a higher salary. We had previously had 12 steps, with some members frozen at this step for 5-10 years or more. This 13th step provides an additional opportunity for advancement.” More protections for non-tenured teaching professionals, such as lecturers or

clinical specialists, will also be in the new contract. Finally, a substantial raise in the rate of pay for summer, winter and overload teaching will be provided. Previously, when full-time faculty have taught in the summer or beyond the contractual obligation, they have been paid at a rate lower than the standard salary. In the new adjunct agreement, a 30.5% increase in adjunct salary over the four years of the contract will be added. Adjunct pay will now match the pay that full-time faculty earn for overload teaching. Due to this salary increase, the adjunct negotiating team

Photo courtesy of Matthew Wund

agreed to guarantee availability to students for guaranteed office hours outside of the classroom. “This is a great recognition of the work many adjuncts have been doing for free, and of course is a real benefit to students,” Wund said. The next step of this process is for the state to provide the final version of both contracts. Once the agreement is written and finalized, “[The union] will then present these tentative contracts to our members for a ratification vote,” Wund said. “We will be strongly encouraging our members to ratify them.”

Elementary education majors will only need 30 credits starting in fall 2025 Briana Keenan Staff Writer Starting in fall 2025, students at the College enrolled in the elementary education program will only need 30 credits, according to Tabitha Dell’Angelo, interim dean of the School of Education. This change does not impact secondary education majors. Under chapter nine of the New Jersey Department of Education, the proposed policy would allow many students in the program to take eight classes in their dual major instead of 10, but there are some exceptions, according to Dell’Angelo. The two extra courses would leave room for students to take electives, though many of the details are not yet finalized. “We have, in the state of New Jersey, a high need for teachers of Spanish,” Dell’Angelo said. “The Spanish major will require the full dual major.” Students that enjoy taking more classes in their dual major can use the electives to do so, but this change would also allow for students to explore other classes that they may not have been able to take. “There’s so little flexibility,” Dell’Angelo said of the current

curriculum. “It’s kind of a heartbreak to not have any room to explore something that you might just be passionate about.” Those that are already enrolled in the elementary education program at the College will finish the program they started, according to the interim dean. This change will start for all incoming students in the fall of 2025. The classes that can be used as electives are not yet known, but the School of Education is looking into several options. “There are some more education classes that could really benefit students,” she said. “There could be more classes in art and music, better utilizing technology, utilizing AI…we don’t really know yet.” The electives can also be used as credit towards other degree aspects, including a master’s, certifications and minors. “TCNJ allows you to take up to two or three graduate courses as an undergraduate for undergraduate tuition,” she said. “So now, you can use those electives and start getting your [English as a Second Language] certification, or do a different minor.” Current students reacted to

The School of Education at the College.

the change and commented on their current program. “I want to expand and venture out more,” said Brianna Littler, a freshman elementary education and English major. “Like, if I wanted to take a psychology course, just to spice it up, that would’ve been nice.” “I definitely would have preferred that chance because I feel like this would have given me more space in my schedule,” said Marissa Pagnillo, a freshman elementary education/special education and psychology major. “It’s a lot to juggle with finding classes in both majors and worrying about the requirements for the core classes.” “Even as a freshman, I am

Photo courtesy of Brooke Zevon

worried that I am not going to have enough time to take all of my required math classes,” said Miranda Fabiach, a freshman elementary education and math major. Dell’Angelo expressed the uncertainty of change, but feels that this one will benefit students at the College and prepare them for future employment. “We know that students are really happy with our current program and employers are really happy with our graduates, so the idea of change is a little anxiety producing,” she said. “I think that if we can get past the anxiety of change, this will be a positive evolution of the program.”


November 17, 2023 The Signal page 3

HOUSING / Decision announced Continued from page 1 Delaney Smith, president of RHA and a junior journalism and professional writing major, said that she was glad to see the requirement would not be going into effect yet. “I think they made the correct decision,” Smith said. “If they had implemented it, you would see a lot of commuter students not be happy with the decision.” In a follow-up email to The Signal, Hennessy explained that the decision not to go ahead with the plan was based on the feedback received from students, as well as the burden that implementing such a plan would have placed on ResEd’s staff. “The Residential Education & Housing team has dedicated considerable effort to craft a meticulous exemption process,” Hennessy said, “which involved extensive consultations with various stakeholders and benchmarking against similar requirements at other institutions. At this time, the process would be time intensive and take away from other areas of focus.” She also reiterated ResEd’s belief that “a residential experience

positively contributes to student persistence to a degree” and said that the team will continue to strengthen the College’s residential system. While there are no current plans to implement a first-year housing requirement in upcoming years, Hennessy added that it is still possible for ResEd to re-examine a need for this policy in the future. The other new housing policy that ResEd presented to students, a differential housing cost based on room occupancy, will be going into effect next year. The exact pricing structure has not yet been decided.

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Photo courtesy of Matthew Kaufman

Cromwell Hall

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FINANCES / Expenses expected to grow Continued from page 1 Former Treasurer Lloyd Ricketts expressed a similar sentiment to The Signal in 2022, saying “The College is not trying to balance the budget on the backs of students when it comes to running the operation.” Expenses Along with general operating expenses, the biggest expense the College pays for is compensation for all faculty and staff, accounting for 2/3 of expenses. Expenses grow every year with inflation, according to Schweigert. This “mandatory inflation” is accounted for in the College’s annual budgets. The College’s budgeting practices under Interim President Bernstein will be more fiscally conservative, a departure from previous administrations that prioritized growth, according to Schweigert. Budget planners will wait to receive revenue before deciding how to spend it, as opposed to previous years where planners have used projected revenue to approve new spending. The recent deal between the College’s faculty union and the state is also expected to grow expenses in future years, according to Dave Muha, the College’s associate vice president for College

advancement and chief communications and marketing officer. The tentative agreement includes a 3.5% increase in cost-of-living expenses for faculty and a 30% increase in pay for adjuncts. Current Debt Moving forward, the College is looking to address the overall debt burden of around $340 million that it faces, according to Mehler. The debt load, which has been refinanced several times, is set to be paid in annual installments of $13 million until FY2026, when the College will begin paying $26 million per year. Most of this debt has been accumulated from the construction of new buildings. The state does not pay for capital projects such as academic and residential buildings, leaving institutions to either pay upfront or finance the construction with debt. “Well over a decade ago, they stopped funding and taking care of buildings at higher ed institutions,” Schweigert said. “So there was lots of borrowing that went on.” “The debt goes back to the early ‘90s,” Ricketts said in 2022. “Normally when you issue debt, it’s a 30 year debt… so you have a 30year repayment period.” In order to prepare for these debt payments, the College has been setting money aside each year

specifically to save for the jump in the debt service. “[The savings will] get us through 7 of the 10 years of payments until 2032,” Schweigert said. State funding A smaller portion of the College’s revenue comes from state appropriations. Every June, state legislators in Trenton vote on a budget appropriations bill that outlines what agencies receive what amount of funding. The College, being a public entity, has to go through the same process where it requests operating funds from the state. The College requested roughly $30.6 million for FY2024, the current fiscal year, and the state ended up appropriating about $32.5 million for “institutional support.” “That was very much appreciated,” Schweigert told The Signal, regarding the $1.9 million addition. For decades, the College’s expenses rose due to inflation but state appropriations remained relatively stagnant. In FY2003, for example, the state paid for about 49% of the College’s education and general budget, according to a presentation made at last year’s budget hearing. In FY2023, however, the state paid for only 27% of the College’s budget.

“The state themselves could cure [the College’s projected deficit], but I remind people that the states have their own sets of challenges,” said Schweigert. “To some extent, they’re backing out of higher education.” In other years, the state cut overall funding as well as specifically for the College. In 2009, state budget cuts painted a “very somber proposal for public higher education in New Jersey,” Former College President R. Barbara Gitentstein wrote in a campus-wide email at the time. While overall higher education spending has stagnated, funding allocations are not equal among state colleges. Eight public New Jersey institutions receive more state funding than the College per student. Rowan, for example, received double the College’s allocation per student in FY2023, collecting $8,000 per student compared to the College’s $4,000 per student. Mehler acknowledged this discrepancy and noted that the College routinely lobbies the state for increased funding and demonstrates its strong outcomes among students. “That’s a great question,” said Mehler, “because we’d like to know, too.”


page 4 The Signal November 17, 2023

Pro-Palestinian students speak out on campus Victoria Gladstone Managing Editor

As the war continues in the Middle East, students at the College in support of Palestinians are voicing their thoughts and hosting protests on campus. On Oct. 25 and Nov. 8, students supporting the cause marched through the main pathway through campus, between Alumni Grove and the bronze lion statue heading towards Trenton Hall. Fliers passed around at each event featured the title “Students for Justice in Palestine,” which states it’s a national organization that’s “coming soon” to the College. A speaker of the protest noted that the organization is still in the process of getting recognized. It read: “We aim to develop a student movement that is connected, disciplined, and equipped with the tools necessary to build grassroots momentum for Palestinian Liberation.” The student organizer of the protest stated the goal of the protest was “to encourage those who support Palestine to speak up and be the voice of those who have no voice.” Before the protest began, the speakers discussed some guidelines to follow when marching

peacefully and what to do in a dangerous situation. In addition, the speakers talked about their own personal goals with speaking at the event. “To raise awareness among those who are unaware or indifferent to the situation, to urge them to research more and care more,” they said. “To have them realize that even though this is happening on the other side of the planet, we are all human who deserve to be treated like humans, and that we must collectively strive to avoid being bystanders at this critical time.” To start off the march, three main speakers wearing face coverings recited speeches as well as call and response chants. “From the river to the sea,” the speaker chanted. “Palestine will be free,” the crowd answered back. Several events have already taken place on campus to educate members of the community about the Israel-Hamas war, with both the College’s Chabad and the Muslim Student Association hosting events on Oct. 12. The Israel-Hamas conflict began on Oct. 7 after a Hamas-led raid on Gaza City. Since the war began, over 9,000 Palestinian people and over 1,400 Israeli people have died, according to AP News.

Photo courtesy of Aiman Shaikh

In between marches, student speakers recited chants and spoke about the Israel-Hamas war.

While there is not too much clarity on the conflict taking place in the Middle East, it is certain students at the College will continue to use their voices. Protestors who attended the event covered their faces with masks and declined to be interviewed. One of the only protestors who was willing to be interviewed shared her personal connection to the current conflict. “I personally know someone in Gaza currently and it is heartbreaking to hear the stories of the destruction and terror she and millions of others like her must go through every day,” said senior graphic designer major Aiman Shaikh. “These marches are cru-

cial for spreading awareness of the Palestine crisis and giving a voice to those who are denied one by mainstream media.” Large-scale student protests held on college campuses, including Rutgers University and Columbia University, are calling for a ceasefire on both sides of the conflict. Students attending the protest held at the College marched for similar reasons. “I’m hoping through making our voices heard, we can put pressure on the government to demand a ceasefire and to provide much needed humanitarian aid to everyone in Gaza,” said Shaikh.

Cop Shop: Rec center theft, rabbit harassment and a student exposing himself (again) Liz Ciocher Arts & Entertainment Editor The Signal and Campus Police work together on a weekly basis to inform the campus community about crime on and around campus. All records given to The Signal are public records and do not contain personal information. Some information provided may be triggering for some students. The following instances have all occurred on campus within the last three weeks, with a steady decline as the holiday season approaches. All incidents are listed chronologically. Oct. 27: Yet another student exposes himself Following the recreational ingestion of an edible, a student residing in Cromwell Hall took a leap from his bed onto a table, shattering a coffee mug in the process. The shattered mug cut many inches down the student’s hand, giving his friend an inclination to call Campus Police after noticing how much the cut was bleeding. Campus police arrived to find the student with blood soaked on his shirt, pants, socks and body, along with some blood on his head. The officer left the student’s room to call an ambulance from the hallway, where the student followed him and dropped his pants, exposing himself. The exposed student ran in circles and jumped around in the hall-

way. When the officer attempted to detain him, the student reached for the officer’s genitals. He immediately put the student in the prone position, handcuffed him and called for backup. During the entirety of the interaction, the student spoke completely unintelligibly, communicating mostly in grunts, growls and the occasional shout of a racial slur. Upon the arrival of backup and the Ewing EMTs, in an attempt to load the student in the ambulance, he continued his reaching and grabbed for the EMT’s and responding officer’s genitals as well. Once properly restrained, the student was successfully transferred to Capital Health Regional. He received two ‘B’ summons for his behavior for Lewdness and Disorderly Conduct. Though it is unclear to The Signal for how long, the student was directed to leave Cromwell for breaking the ResEd Policy. Oct. 30: ‘The New of College Jersey’ Merch stolen from Rec Center A call was reported to Campus Police from an employee at the Recreation center to file a stolen property claim. The missing property were defective baseball jerseys

and hats with the letters ‘TNCJ’ in their print. The caller did not intend to press charges, but was adamant about the items being returned. The caller had also received photographs of students wearing the defective merchandise outside a student’s house on Pennington road, which they sent to Campus Police. In an attempt to retrieve the merchandise, an officer went to the house in the photos and talked to a student residing there. The student didn’t have any knowledge of the situation, but assured Campus Police he would be in contact with his roommate about any possible involvement. At 9 a.m. the following morning, a box containing the stolen property was found outside the Campus Police department. Officers returned the property to the Rec center, along with a screenshot of security footage that properly identified the returner. No charges were filed against any of the students involved. Oct. 31: Pet rabbits result in harassment Campus police received a call from a student living off campus alleging harassment from her roommates. According to the student, the harassment stemmed from issues revolving around her

pet rabbits, but even after bringing them back home, the harassment continued. The student was suspicious of her roommates entering her room without her permission, and to prove this, set up video cameras to record any activity when she was not home. The footage captured a person in a mask coming into her room and taking the cameras down. The student is suspicious of the mask-wearer to be her roommate and her roommate’s boyfriend. Because the offense happened off campus, Campus Police directed the student to Ewing Police as well as submitted a care referral for the student. Oct. 30 - Nov. 3: Boots on Cars There have been three issued tire boots on three different cars for their unpaid parking tickets. When a car is found parked without a permit, they are issued a $50 ticket. When three tickets are issued to a vehicle and go unpaid, they are susceptible to receiving the boot tire. Boots were issued in Lot 2, 6 and 17 to a Ford Fusion, Mini Cooper and Toyota Camry, respectively. The Fusion had a balance of six unpaid tickets, the Mini Cooper of five and the Camry of three, resulting in 14 unpaid parking tickets toward the College.

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Features

PWI / Students of color share experiences at PWI

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone

Students of color can feel isolated from their peers who cannot relate to them.

Continued from page 1 Aside from struggling to find a comfortable place and being welcomed in, there is sometimes a disconnect when it comes to having shared experiences, or rather a lack of shared experiences. It can be exhausting for students of color to have to translate an experience to a nonPOC that cannot understand it, because they have not had to face those race or ethnic-related struggles. “It can feel isolating sometimes, when no one sees anything from your perspective, you can feel alone,” said Omar Roldan, sophomore finance major. “It’s hard finding people

that relate to the struggles I go through, and when I try to explain, I feel like they don’t really understand.” Additionally, the small class sizes at the College can increase that disconnect and turn real life issues that POC face into debates.

“[I’m] consistently noticing that I’m the only person that looks like me in a class. Then I feel kind of small in a class, and I notice it; it feels off.” - Tyrese Gilbert, junior kinesiology major Not only can being the only

POC student in a classroom feel uncomfortable, but when issues faced by them or people of their communities become a topic of debate, it can be dehumanizing. “You go to a class about racial violence and to learn about the issue to do a deeper dive on how it impacts society, and at a PWI, you’re almost forced into a ridiculous defense of ‘hey, maybe racial justice does exist in a primarily white society’,” explained Gandhi. Etsub Gezahagne, a sophomore biology major, said that while such instances can be emotionally taxing for POC students, there are clubs and organizations that can help them feel more comfortable. “I’m a Bonner scholar and within Bonner it’s very diverse, a lot of my friends are in it, and Bonner’s events show a lot of different perspectives; it is very intersectional,” said Gezahagne. “I feel like I belong.” Although student-run organizations such as BSU, NAACP and Union Latina have helped bring POC students together, there is still the question of what the College itself can do to support POC. “If there’s more diversity in the rate of professors, then students can relate more to the professors,” said Gezahagne. “There’s like a disconnect in what you’re trying to experience

and what you’re trying to learn.” “I feel like they could do more to ensure that POC voices or concerns are voiced,” said Roldan. “When you’re voicing your opinions from something that doesn’t affect you, it’s coming from a privileged point of view.” Although the College may have a long way to go to make POC voices heard, that does not take away the pride that being a POC at a PWI has. “I feel it’s a special thing,” said Roldan. “It’s definitely an eye-opener to what the real world is. You see new experiences, and it prepares you for what’s actually out there. It’s definitely a sign of strength, in my opinion.” “There’s so much history and emphasis on your culture, on your shoulders lie hundreds of years of culture and you’re bringing that to [the College], and the merging and mixing of them is something I really, really like to see,” said Gandhi. While many students of color have expressed a mixture of positive and negative experiences, regardless of what those experiences are, it is crucial for POC students to feel safe in a place that they call home and be able to freely express their history, culture and who they are as individuals.

Center for Student Success provides non-content-related guidance By Catherine Gonzalez Features Editor

Housed in Roscoe West Hall, the Center for Student Success (CSS) is home to free resources intended to help students get through college smoothly. “We offer academic advising, which helps students with their self-skills, such as time-management, study skills [and] note-taking,” said Chinasa Thorpe, a student support coordinator and the liaison to undesignated transitional students. CSS also works closely with students in specific cohorts, such as pathway students. “Pathway students are non-matriculated students, and they were previously before this year known as provisional students,” explained junior kinesiology and health science major and peer academic coach Kira Govindaraju. “They pretty much take an IDS (Interdisciplinary Studies) class to matriculate into [the College].”

Govindaraju, who was once in the Pathway Program herself, met the peer academic coaches while in the program and applied to become one as a sophomore. “After I matriculated into the program, I ended up working as a peer academic coach,” Govindaraju said. Peer academic coaches assist students of any major with class and scheduling techniques. “I help with note-taking skills, study skills, time-management skills, registering for courses, Add/Drop/Swap, how to prepare for your advising meetings–all those types of things,” Wachter said. “Really supplying academic support in areas that’s not content-related.” The College’s Tutoring Center, which does provide content-related support and is also housed in Roscoe West Hall, is not a service provided by CSS. Thorpe said that CSS is frequently confused with the Tutoring Center. “We do not help with

the content area. We just help with the self-skills.” Despite being different services, they often combine forces. “We work together, we collab a lot, we share a lot of the same students,” explained Thorpe. Thorpe, focuses on assisting Undesignated Transitional Students. “[They] are students who’ve been dismissed from their major,” said Thorpe. “I provide a lot of tips and tools, I provide them with comfort, I provide them with hope so that they can pass or find the major that is particularly for them, and that’s going to satisfy them, and that’s going to bring them happiness at the end.” Thorpe finds it particularly fulfilling when students continue working with CSS beyond when they are required to. “Even though they have their own school or they have their own faculty advisor, they still come back for support,” said Thorpe.

Photo courtesy of Shane Gillespie

Lion statue near the Brower Student Center.

Senior deaf and hard of hearing, elementary education and integrative STEM education major Brooke Wachter, a peer academic coach at the College, finds similar fulfillment in working with students. “My favorite part of being a peer academic coach is honestly just seeing the progress a student can make within the 30 minutes of talking with them,” said Wachter. “Giving students that extra help that they need [and] being able to have them walk away with a smile on their face saying, ‘I feel supported, I feel like I’m walking away with more information,’ is everything for me.”


page 6 The Signal November 17, 2023

Placement matters: Student teachers reflect on teaching experience Victoria Gladstone Managing Editor

Each semester, hundreds of education students are placed into schools whether it’s their first or their last in-school experiences. Student teachers in their internship experiences have reported a vast difference in their overall experience in their districts, depending on where they were placed. Among other things, student interns have found that support from cooperating teachers, access to teaching resources and student engagement all play a large role in the positive experience of a new teacher. This semester, I am teaching in a seventh grade literacy classroom in Grover Middle School, located in West Windsor-Plainsboro, which is the fourth best school district in New Jersey, according to Niche. All things considered, I would call myself lucky to be where I am placed. Not only do I have a supportive cooperating teacher who is an alumnus of the College, but I am in a classroom that is lively and engaged in what they are learning. As I spend more time with my fellow education majors who are placed in schools around New Jersey, I have begun to notice the stark difference between overall teaching experiences depending on where they are placed. Each school district is unique, with their own set of readily accessible resources and level of needs from the students. Other student teachers, like se-

nior mathematics and secondary education major Michelle Ebel, that are placed in West Windsor-Plainsboro also have had good experiences working in the district. Ebel’s class in High School South is equipped with several whiteboards, a main computer for teaching, a projector and a document camera. In addition, all students are given the choice between using an electronic textbook on their Chromebooks or a physical copy. With ample resources to use to teach, Ebel was able to focus on “[learning] how to get more comfortable in front of a classroom full of students.” In Bordentown Regional High School, where senior English and secondary education major Isabella Michaelis is placed, the resources are “plentiful,” she said. The district is ranked as the 116th best school district in New Jersey. According to Michaelis, every student is issued a Chromebook and school planner. On top of this, each classroom is equipped with two whiteboards, a projector, an iPad for hallway passes and an extensive library. Michaelis noted that while this semester has been challenging due to rigorous school work, she felt supported and welcomed by the school district and its students. “My cooperating teacher acted as my mentor and wanted nothing but success for me,” said Michaelis. “The students allowed me into the classroom with respect.”

Some student teachers at the College, like Ebel or Michaelis, have had overall positive experiences when they are working with school districts that yield high test scores. Unlike many other student accounts that relate to schools with high proficiency, senior English and secondary education major Ally Tobler is currently teaching eighth grade literacy at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School in Trenton, a school system not even ranked on Niche’s website that was given an overall score of D+. While Tobler is someone who “aspire[s] to teach and live in an urban setting in the future,” she describes some of her first teaching experiences working in an urban setting as “demanding,” with several obstacles in her path. Tobler noted her pride in finishing her unit with more than half of her students receiving passing grades on their final assignments. In MLK Middle School, all students are issued iPads that give them access to Google Classroom, their main domain for classwork. Tobler stated there are positives and negatives to the technology used for the students. “On one hand, they facilitate access to Google Classroom for the students at school and at home,” she said. “However, I’m contemplating their impact on student engagement and academic performance; this is sometimes negatively affecting their grades and participation.” While it can be hard to get full class novels in this district,

Tobler’s cooperating teacher is working towards getting a full set of “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins for her next unit. She added the lack of supplies is one of the challenges of working in Trenton. “Each school environment is unique, and my lesson plans differ significantly from those in other schools,” said Tobler. “Urban districts like Trenton present distinct challenges, particularly in resource availability.” Oftentimes Tobler finds herself teaching alone to her students, even without a substitute teacher. “The occasional absence of my cooperating teacher (due to health issues), often unannounced, presents its own set of challenges, especially as a student teacher who might not have managing skills yet,” said Tobler. “When I was teaching my two week unit my cooperating teacher was absent for a few days so I did feel slightly discouraged because it is very hard to keep a class controlled when you have very little experience with classroom management.” “Many 8th-grade students in Trenton read at a 4th-grade level, posing additional hurdles,” Tobler added. “Understanding professors makes a significant difference; however, some struggles with professors in planning units have been experienced. Overall, with supportive professors, success and productive units in clinical [one] are achievable.” Read more on the website!

Alumni Adventures: From biology to forensic anthropology

Photo courtesy of Beatriz Garcia

Garcia (third from the left) outside of the William M. Bass Forensic Anthropology.

Isabel Batista Correspondent Beatriz Garcia, a ’23 graduate from the College, is working to get into graduate school in a field that many people have not heard of: forensic anthropology. Garcia was initially an international studies major, but didn’t

feel like it was the right field for her. She became a biology and anthropology double major with a minor in history the next year. “Although I had interest in [international studies], it wasn’t something that I saw myself doing,” Garcia said. “I always had a passion for biological sciences and also for learning different cul-

tures.” The College provided Garcia with research opportunities and the ability able to explore many disciplines. Her main focus was biological archeology. “It’s a different side of medicine that is not really talked about because usually when people think about medicine, it’s how to treat patients,” Garcia said. “Each bone tells us a life story that we’re able to piece together.” Garcia is currently looking to apply to graduate school, most likely for forensic anthropology. Since forensic anthropology is a competitive field, many need to seek high levels of education to succeed. Most who follow her path have PhDs. She needs to go to a field school and have handson research experience, which the College has already helped with. “It’s very tough, but very rewarding,” she said. Garcia did a lot of research at the College with her archeology projects and also got an internship at the University of Tennessee

right after graduating. There, she worked in the forensic anthropology sector and studied at their famous “body farm,” known as the Forensic Anthropology Center. Some work included researching how to advance anthropological branches in forensics, helped with the body donation program, and aided in death investigations. “It’s not for everybody,” she said laughing, “but definitely fun.” Garcia had many supportive professors during her time at the College. Dr. Jared Beatrice and Dr. George Leader from the anthropology department “really gave their all to their students,” helping her traverse the anthropological world and apply herself. After completing graduate school, Garcia hopes to work as a forensic investigator. “There are no linear paths for anything; you can start as an international studies major and end up working in a forensic field,” she said. “I’m taking it one step at a time.”


‘1989 (Taylor’s Version)’ is not good Lake DiStefano Staff Writer

When I sat down at midnight on Oct. 27, to listen to Taylor Swift’s latest re-record, I was nervous to say the least. The three re-records released as of then were all live-instrument heavy, and therefore the challenges of a purely electronic reproduction were unknown to me. I was worried that there would be a noticeable downgrade between the originals and the Taylor’s Versions for this one. I hate that I can say my fear was completely justified — if not prophetic. On a fundamental level, “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” fails as a re-recording, with some of its tracks being far worse than the originals. The album unfortunately begins with one of its biggest missteps, that being “Welcome To New York (Taylor’s Version).” The second the synths begin, it is downhill from there, as this track has one of the worst mixes I’ve ever heard. Swift’s vocals sound unsupported, and the synths almost smother them. The chorus in particular sounds awful. It’s less like a wall of sound, as seen in the original, and more like disparate shards of sound being forced together. Moving into “Blank Space (Taylor’s Version),” we are introduced to a few

problems which linger across multiple failures on the record. As a song, “Blank Space” is very lyrically driven, with the humorous line delivery selling the song’s satire of Swift’s public image. This cannot be achieved when the chorus is so overwrought with reverb. It is to the point that her vocals are falling apart, and as seen in the previous track, the synths overwhelm the singer’s already fragile vocals. The last chorus showcases what is arguably the biggest issue with the record – the ad-libs. Ad-libs are extra vocal flourishes typically added to make the sound of a chorus larger. As a record, “1989” uses these to make its songs’ choruses have progression, despite the repeating lyrics. On the original songs, their choruses are always larger than the last, with each song’s final chorus creating a sense of climax with its copious amounts of ad-libs. “Blank Space (Taylor’s Version)” has a last chorus where every single ad-lib is buried in the mix, to the extent where it sounds exactly the same as the first one. It makes the song more monotonous, and frankly, less interesting. There is a case to be made for “Style (Taylor’s Version)” being the worst re-recorded song she’s done as of date. It falls victim to the same problem as the last

track, with the vocals and ad-libs in the chorus sounding uninterested in the story the lyrics desperately want to portray. Of course, there are some unique problems with the song — mainly being the electric guitar. The electric guitar makes up the song’s intro, and continues throughout the rest of the song. It is essentially the beating-heart of the track. So, the song suffers enormously when the electric guitar not only sounds different, but it honestly sounds weak and bad. On top of this, her vocals on the line “you’ve been out and about” also sound glitchy for seemingly no good reason. “Out Of The Woods (Taylor’s Version)” is so close to being a great re-recording, but its final chorus goes beyond burying the ad-libs, to completely silencing them. This is especially bad on this track, since the song’s chorus is basically the same two lines being repeated over and over again. The lack of ad-libs to distinguish each chorus is only worsened by how the lyrics for each verse develop the story, only for each chorus to sound exactly the same in response. The song also starts a new and unfortunate trend on the record in the form of the overuse of auto-tune. On the climatic “I remember” in the bridge, the auto-tune added makes the vocal too airy to hit in the way it’s meant to. It feels sanitized

and stripped of all the emotion a natural vocal strain would have provided. “I Wish You Would (Taylor’s Version)” accentuates previously seen problems, with its electric-guitar being weak, on top of the chorus having so much auto-tune that it loses its peppy nature. Guitar riffs seen in the original are almost inaudible now, and as a consequence the song is less dynamic. Fan favorite “New Romantics” is also a strong contender for the worst re-recording, as well as being a microcosm for everything wrong with the project. It begins with a laughable amount of auto-tune, too the effect of Swift sounding almost robotic. The pre-chorus sounds less like a choir of voices, as beautifully depicted in the original, and more like children whining. The synths in the chorus are too loud, so you can barely hear Swift, and the ad-libs are smothered and begging to be able to breathe. In summary, “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” fails to replicate the magic of the original, with technical mishaps and subpar performances that make the listener wonder what happened in the studio when attempting to remake these classic songs. So despite any desire I have to support Swift, I simply can’t accept worse versions of songs I’ve loved for a decade.

which the Giants made the playoffs and won their wild card game, they are 2-7 and filled with disappointment. Sure, a lot of the blame for the record can be placed on the fact that Daniel Jones has missed time due to injuries, but even with Jones as the starter, the team has been 1-6. While the Giants have not put the best pieces around their quarterback to help him succeed, the time has come for them to move on from Jones and to draft a quarterback with their first round pick in the upcoming National Football League (NFL) Draft. Daniel Jones has shown slight growth in each season as the quarterback of the Giants. His passing numbers have been similar during each year of his career, but his turnovers have decreased significantly year after year and his rushing numbers have gotten better, too. All of this growth accumulated into a big 2022 season for Jones, where he led the Giants to the playoffs, throwing for 3,205 yards and 15 touchdowns while also rushing for just over 700 yards and seven touchdowns. This good season convinced the Giants into giving him a four year, $160 million contract. However, the Giants miscalculated the continued growth of Daniel Jones. After a pretty good rookie season, his passing stats have not seen a ton of growth. Even after his good 2022 season that earned him the big contract, he

only had 200 more passing yards than he did in his rookie season and had 9 less passing touchdowns while having played three more games. The biggest factor in Jones’ leap he made from year three to year four was his new head coach, Brian Daboll. Daboll has been known as a bit of a “quarterback whisperer” after he helped take Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen from a very raw prospect to a superstar when he was the offensive coordinator in Buffalo. In the first year Daboll got to work with Jones, the young quarterback put together his best season up to that point. However, it seems as if Daboll has gotten all that he can out of Jones and he has hit his ceiling as a player. So far this season, teams seemed to have figured him out, as his turnover numbers are back up and his passing yards and touchdowns are way down. Now, with Jones out for the season and the Giants already having a 2-7 record, it seems very likely that New York is going to end up with a top pick in the 2024 NFL Draft. This draft is going to be filled with great quarterback prospects, with around 10 different names having been mentioned as first round picks in different mock drafts up to this point in the season. If the Giants are at the top of the draft, which seems inevitable, then it is going to be very hard for them to pass

up on one of the many great quarterbacks that will be available to them. A chance like this may not arise again for the Giants in a long time. A healthy Jones is too good of a quarterback to keep them from having a high draft pick, a draft this rich with quarterbacks will not be seen for years to come. The Giants will have a very high pick, and Daboll will want a new quarterback of his choosing to work with and mold into the player he wants him to be. One scary aspect of this move would be the massive contract that Daniel Jones just signed. He is currently in year one of the four year $160 million deal. However, only the first two years of this deal are guaranteed, so the Giants could easily get out of the contract after next season by cutting him or trading him. Even coming off of his recently torn ACL, Jones showed enough talent last season for a new team to consider trading for him and giving him a second chance in a new spot. For the Giants, though, they will not have a good enough team to compete for the Super Bowl any time in the near future if Daniel Jones does not show any signs of further improvement after his injury and if they pay him $40 million per year. The situation is ripe for them to draft his replacement and move on from Jones at the quarterback position.

It’s time for the Giants to move on from Daniel Jones

Photo courtesy of Flickr

Giants quarterback Daniel Jones.

Eddie Young Sports Editor In the second quarter of the Giants’ Nov. 5 game against the Las Vegas Raiders, quarterback Daniel Jones tore his anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), which will keep him sidelined for the rest of this season and potentially for the beginning of next season. This occurred during his return to the field after being out of the three previous games due to a neck injury. After a 9-7-1 season last year, in


page 8 The Signal November 17, 2023

Keeping up with Kim Kardashian’s performative activism

Riley Eisenbeil Staff Writer

Kim Kardashian strikes again with The Skims Ultimate Nipple Bra — letting her privilege and blindness to real-world issues show. On the brink of Palestine crumbling, stories highlighting marginalized voices being banned and the ongoing climate crisis, celebrities like Kim Kardashian are showing they care more about making money than using their millions, or billions, of dollars to effectively enact change. Kardashian’s newest Skims product is a bra with built-in nipples and her reasoning for it is simple: let’s do our part in battling climate change. Sounds great, right? Well, not exactly. “I’m not a scientist, but I do believe everyone can still use their skillset to do their part. That’s why I’m introducing a brand new bra with a built-in nipple so no matter how hot it is, you’ll always look cold,” said Kardashian in an Instagram reel posted last week. “Some days are hard, but these nipples are harder. And unlike the icebergs, these aren’t going anywhere.” In the reel, Kardashian is seen wearing rectangular glasses and a form-fitting nude two-piece outfit with her new nipple bra underneath. She is depicted working in an aesthetic-looking office, pointing to a bra diagram, all while making jokes about climate change. The stylistic choices aim to present her as professional and trustworthy, though it’s primarily a marketing ploy. Some Instagram users have called her out for this in the comments section. “Weird to use the climate crisis as a marketing tactic,” said @naomiyates_.

Photo courtesy of IMDb

Using the climate crisis as a marketing strategy is proof of just how out of touch celebrities like Kardashian are.

“SKIMS using the climate crisis as a marketing tactic is greenwashing at its finest,” said @pamela__ea. “We are literally living in [a] dystopia,” said @noodle.niamh. While some suggested marketing this towards breast cancer survivors would have been a better way of advertising, that’s not how Skims did it. Using the climate crisis as a marketing strategy is proof of just how out of touch celebrities like Kardashian are. She has the privilege to joke about it because the effects of it will not personally impact her — or if they start to, she has the safety blanket of a disposable income. In hopes of “doing their part,” Skims noted in the caption of the aforementioned reel that they are donating 10% of sales from this new bra to One Percent For The Planet, an organization that partners with businesses and commits to “donating at least 1% of annual sales directly to environmental organizations… in hopes of ensuring our planet and future generations thrive,” according to their mission statement. While donating a portion of the funds

from a sale is common and is better than nothing, that mindset is not enough when it comes to the climate crisis. The bra retails for $62 and only $6.20 of it is being donated. The amount the company is donating is seemingly nothing compared to the $750,000 they are estimated to make in sales this year and the $4 billion value it has accumulated, according to USA Today. Even if they donated more, money can only do so much. Good For You, a thorough rating system of ethical and sustainable fashion, rates Skims at its lowest possible ranking titled “We Avoid.” In an article posted to their website discussing how ethical the company is, they noted that the brand’s frequently asked questions section highlights they have “removed all plastic and non-recyclable materials from packaging and replaced them with FSC recycled paper boxes and compostable, eco-friendly bags.” They use a “film packaging” that says “I AM NOT PLASTIC” on the front when it is still technically made of plastic. The site, as well as commenters on Instagram, have

called the brand out for this exact thing: greenwashing. Greenwashing is a deceptive marketing tactic where an organization focuses more on appearing eco-friendly in their marketing than on actually reducing their environmental impact. In an infographic carousel co-posted on Instagram by users @Impact and @Environment, they wrote, “We wouldn’t need a climate-proof bra if the world’s wealthiest didn’t have such a large carbon footprint.” They noted how 57 flights in Kardashian’s private jets emitted 4,268.5 tons of carbon emission while the average gasoline vehicle on the road emits about 4.6 tons of carbon every year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. While Skims has the potential to make a substantial impact on helping the climate crisis, Kardashian is not exactly setting them up for success in that area. Her actions appear more driven by image and publicity rather than genuine long-term change. By using climate change as a reason for her new bra, she is trying to pull viewers in to make them believe she holds the same values as the general public — what’s scary is that it is working in some regard. “Kimberly’s by far the best marketer of the year,” said @shiff.fu on Instagram. Other commenters had a similar approach saying Kardashian is a genius and that she is a “girl’s girl.” Moving forward it is important to hold public figures accountable for their actions and encourage them to use their platforms for meaningful, sustained impact rather than merely for personal gain or reputation enhancement since that is not going to solve anything.

Fatphobia remains prominent as the new ‘Mean Girls’ trailer debuts

Riley Eisenbeil Staff Writer

now,” as “Pop Culture Crisis” YouTube star Mary Morgan wrote in a post on X. Morga was not the fan online to Content warning: Mention of eating share this opinion. One user known as disorders @defnotcybrdivr continued with the bigotry by writing, “they ACTUALLY Paramount Pictures recently released made regina george fat omg,” in a post the trailer for its movie adaptation of the on X that has since been deleted. Their 2018 Broadway musical “Mean Girls.” bio on X indicates their body mass index, While many fans are excited to see the which Yale Medicine has described as an newest musical-movie rendition of Tina inaccurate tool to determine if someone Fey’s original 2004 comedy film, some is “healthy” solely based on their height folks online have voiced harsh criticism and weight with no regard for other factowards specific cast members saying tors, along with the quote “still fatphobic they were not what longtime fans expect- af.” ed — to put it lightly. To be blatantly fatphobic and to be The trailer was released on Nov. 8 and proud of it is not only concerning and featured stars like Christopher Briney damaging to other viewers, it is ignofrom “The Summer I Turned Pretty” as rance at its finest. While there are many Aaron, Jenna Fischer from “The Office” fat-positive accounts online, comments as Cady’s mom, Jon Hamm from “Mad and accounts dedicated to spreading Men” as the health teacher and Auliʻi fatphobia are all too common. Cravalho from “Moana” as Janis. Also Fat is not a bad word. Being fat is not featured playing their original roles from a bad thing and it is not directly linked 2004 are Tim Meadows as Principal to being unhealthy. Plenty of fat people Duvali and Fey as Ms. Norbury. live long, healthy and happy lives. Yet Reneé Rapp, famously known for her many people still view being fat as a bad role on “The Sex Lives of College Girls” thing and therefore still use it as an insult starred as Regina George on Broadway to bring people down, or to project their from 2019 to 2020 so it only made sense own problematic insecurities onto others. to have her play George in this. HowevThe issue still at bay though is that er, fans online disagreed and are coming Rapp is not fat by any means, yet she is at Rapp saying George is “mid and fat bigger than the thin beauty ideal set by

societal norms so folks are not backing down. Unfortunately, this is not the first time Rapp was subjected to body shaming and fatphobia. She was 19 when she moved to New York City to join the Broadway scene. At the time she had an eating disorder and it was only worsened by the people in production. She shared in an interview with The Guardian that folks, “would say some vile f****** things to [her] about [her] body.” When it got worse and started affecting her personally, The Guardian shared that her parents flew to the city to pick her up and pull her from the show. She has been very open about her eating disorders and mental health online as she shared that she “suffered in silence for so many years” and does not want others to feel obligated to do the same. Other critics of the trailer have flat-out said the cast is ugly. One user on X, known as @gracelessdream, reposted an update from @FilmUpdates about Briney playing Aaron along with the statement, “the new Mean Girls film said, ‘we’re not going to cast a single attractive person in this movie’ and really stuck to that.” Though the post highlighted Briney, plenty of commenters defended Rapp. “Don’t SPEAK on my girl Reneé EVER again,” wrote @punkrxckjo-

nas. “Renee rapp is literally gorgeous please delete,” wrote @madsz6180. “???? MY QUEEN RENEE,” wrote @ barbarameastman. Unfortunately in the current climate of social media, almost everything is subject to hate. Only time will tell if fans can look beyond physical appearances and appreciate the musical movie for its ode to both the original film and the Broadway hit, but for now, people will continue to hide behind screens and be outwardly hateful. Regardless, the movie is set to release only in theaters on Jan. 12 and features well-known aspects of the original film like Cady’s scary bride costume gone wrong, weird sex education lessons in health class and the notorious burn book. It will combine plot aspects of the 2004 movie with musical hits from the Broadway show for a brand new ‘Mean Girls’ viewing experience.

Photo courtesy of IMDb

Almost everything is subject to hate on social media.


Editorials

‘Fall back’ is harmful to college students Isabella Darcy Opinions Editor

Most of the U.S. lost an hour of afternoon sunlight on Nov. 5, during the transition from Daylight Saving Time (DST) to Standard Time. Since the early 20th century, most of the U.S. has set their clocks forward in the spring, and then turned them back in the fall. This practice was once for the better, but it is no longer worth the hassle and negative effects. In March, 1918, the Standard Time Act was passed with the purpose of gaining more hours of sunlight and to cut down on fuel spending during World War I. The war ended, but adjusting clocks bi-annually stuck. Following this outdated and unnecessary practice has consequences, especially for college students. Adjusting clocks interrupts sleep and daily routines and can even be detrimental to one’s health. When what is commonly known as “fall back” occurs, the transition is obvious on college campuses. With less sunlight in the afternoon, comes less foot traffic around campus. In the first half of the fall semester, an afternoon class may end while it is still light out, giving students time to participate

Turning clocks back 1 hour can negatively affect college students.

in outdoor activities after class. After turning the clocks back, however, that same class might end after the sun has already set, making outdoor activities less accessible. Thus, losing an entire hour of sunlight in the afternoon can impede on students’ schedules, especially for those who take afternoon classes. The switch to Standard Time occurs in the middle of the fall semester when most students have a routine that they are used to. Those with routines are likely to have specific times that they wake up and go to sleep. Individuals who maintain the same sleep and wake times after the transition to Standard Time are essentially going to bed and

Photo courtesy of Flickr

rising an hour earlier according to their body’s internal clock. Internal clocks continue running on the same 24 hour cycle whether we are in DST or Standard Time. This means that one’s sleepwake cycle can be thrown off by changes in clock time, which can result in disrupted sleep. Dr. Rajkumar Dasgupta told CNN that disturbances, like poor slumber, to the body’s internal clock can trigger cluster headaches. A cluster headache is a very painful type of headache that occurs in frequent attacks. Students who experience recurrent intense pain from cluster headaches may have trouble paying attention in class or completing assignments. This

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could result in less retention of information and lower grades. Along with physical health, “fall back” can impair one’s mental health. It is believed that the shorter, darker days of fall and winter lead to seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that occurs during a certain season of the year, most commonly fall and winter. “The body naturally makes more melatonin when it’s dark,” according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. “Melatonin, a sleeprelated hormone, also has been linked to SAD.” Depression can make it difficult to get out of bed, be socially active or even eat, let alone perform well in classes. So, SAD has potential to negatively impact two of the most significant aspects of college: academics and social life. Days are going to get shorter in the fall and winter no matter what — because of the Earth’s orbit around the sun — but “fall back” expedites the process. “Fall back” can disadvantage individuals who adjust their clocks, especially college students. We should allow the clocks to remain unchanged, instead of adjusting them, in order to lessen the potential negative effects of shorter days during the fall and winter. Isabella Darcy Opinions Editor Eddie Young Sports Editor Aliyah Siddiqui Nation & World Editor

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Texas county bans helping women travel for abortions Ailya Khan Staff Writer Lubbock, Texas, a county close to the New Mexico border, has passed an ordinance banning people from assisting women to travel to get an abortion, despite abortion being legal within the county itself. This “travel ban” serves as another attempt from conservatives to restrict abortion access and female autonomy since the fall of Roe v. Wade. Lubbock now joins three other Texas counties that have all passed similar anti-abortion ordinances, and is the largest of the four. The county has a population of about 317,000 residents, outnumbering the others. The abortion travel ban is designed to be enforced through lawsuits filed by private citizens against people who “knowingly transport any individual for the purpose of providing or obtaining an elective abortion, regardless of where the elective abortion will occur.” However, the ordinance solely applies to people helping a pregnant person travel to receive an abortion; the pregnant person themselves would not face legal liability. Nevertheless, the ban intensifies obstacles for pregnant women seeking reproductive and abortion care. The legal mechanism of private lawsuits was also used by Texas to

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

A county in Texas banned people from assisting women to travel for an abortion.

enact a strict abortion law in 2021 before the U.S Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, allowing the state to prohibit all abortions at about six weeks from the patient’s last menstrual period. Although the abortion patients themselves were not to be penalized, the state relied on the actions of private citizens, allowing anyone who performed or facilitated an abortion to be sued. Legal scholars explain that this ordinance was crafted to be enforced by private lawsuits and specifically prohibits police or county officers from enforcing it, as a way to avoid immediate court challenge as the nature of such an ordinance is unconstitutional, according to the Texas

Observer. The ordinance also violates constitutional law regarding interstate travel. Citizens of the United States are entitled to travel freely between states, a notion that has been upheld in many previous Supreme Court rulings, like Shapiro v. Thompson. Justice Brett Kavanaugh supported this perspective by sharing a short statement on his opinion of the constitutionality of the ban. “May a state bar a resident of that state from traveling to another state to obtain an abortion? In my view, the answer is no, based on the constitutional right to interstate travel,” Kavanaugh said. Texas already has one of the most

restrictive abortion bans in the country, forcing many Texans to travel far out of state, and even at times out of the country, to access an abortion. The ordinances were drafted by Mark Lee Dickson, an anti-abortion activist, and Jonathan F. Mitchell, the former solicitor general of Texas who is also known for creating the state’s 2021 abortion ban. The Lubbock County Commissioners adopted the travel ordinance in a 3 to 0 vote. Dickson has been adamant about his hopes for an abortion free America, and he illustrated the importance this new ordinance holds in attaining that. “These abortion trafficking ordinances really are the next stage in an abortion-free America,” said Dickson. Although these ordinances do not forbid a pregnant person from traveling to receive abortion care, as they serve more as formal declarations than a legally binding law, they will cause harm to people in need of an abortion. The travel ban has received much criticism, being denounced as an unnecessary measure to expand control over reproductive freedom, which is already tightly restricted in Texas. Many Texans may not have the means to independently arrange transport for themselves, and this ordinance will increase barriers to essential reproductive health care.

November 2023 election results across the nation Shaim Akhtar Staff Writer On Nov. 7, the United States held key elections for political offices and judicial courts in multiple states. The election was a significant indicator of policy changes, including those related to abortion and education. In New Jersey, the election for the direction of the General Assembly and Senate was on the ballot with constituents voting for either Republicans or Democrats. Fast forward to today, and the majority of voters in their respective districts overwhelmingly voted for Democrats, allowing them to gain one seat against Republicans. Furthermore, in the General Assembly, Democrats increased their majority to 51 seats, with Republicans losing five seats. Thus, the state government shifted further towards Democrats, as evidenced by the losses for Republicans. Similarly, Virginia found itself in a critical electoral battleground as it hosted elections for State Legislature and Senate, with both

political parties vying to secure control of the state’s government. The elections in V.A. were pivotal for Republicans to enact restricted abortion policies by flipping the senate. Although election results for the state are still ongoing due to the counting of mail-in and absentee ballots, Democrats managed to maintain their majority in the Senate, while Republicans gained a seat. However, Democrats gained three seats from Republicans in the state’s legislature, tipping the balance towards them. Democrats now hold majorities in both the state’s legislature and senate, leading to any policies on abortion restrictions to be prevented because of Democrats’ pro-choice policies. Pennsylvania also recently conducted a crucial election for a supreme court seat, determining the delicate balance between conservative and liberal justices, with implications for abortion rights and voting policies in the 2024 presidential elections. Democrats championed the reelection of liberal judge Daniel McCaffery, em-

phasizing his support for abortion rights and less restriction on voting policies for mail-in and early ballots. Conversely, Republicans backed conservative judge Carolyn Carluccio, endorsing her positions favoring abortion restrictions. As votes continue to be counted, the preliminary results strongly favor Democrats. In the Republican stronghold of Kentucky, gubernatorial elections took center stage as incumbent Democratic Governor Andy Beshear aimed for a second term, facing a challenge from Republican Attorney General Daniel Cameron. Despite both candidates expressing pro-life stances, as reported by Spectrum News, they diverged on abortion policies, with Beshear advocating for more relaxed restrictions and Cameron pushing for stricter measures in the state. Democrats found relief as Beshear successfully garnered support from a significant number of Republicans, securing a second term as governor. In Mississippi, the gubernatorial elections unfolded with incum-

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

2023 elections occured on Nov. 7.

bent Republican Governor Tate Reeves contending against former Democratic Nettleton mayor Brandon Presley. The clash between Presley’s pro-choice stance, advocacy for higher employment benefits and lower healthcare costs and Reeve’s political experience and conservative backing in the state created an intense electoral battle. While the vote tabulation is ongoing, the unexpected closeness of the election surprised Democrats, with Presley losing. Although Democrats achieved victories over Republicans regarding policies on abortion and voting rights, it is crucial to recognize that the path to the 2024 presidential election is still a considerable distance away.


November 17, 2023 The Signal page 11

Xí Jìnpíng, Gavin Newsom meet, discuss climate crisis Paige Gould Correspondent Unexpectedly, the California Gov. Gavin Newsom visited China’s president, Xí Jìnpíng to discuss climate change action. Soon thereafter, Newsom intrigued Chinese officials as they discussed opportunities to deliver climate crisis action mostly due to California’s robust economic market. The U.S.–China trade system benefits from California’s unique multi-billion dollar economic ties to China by trading high technological innovations and goods; Newsom used this relationship to bolster a stronger collaborative effort to combat the climate crisis. Newsom also discussed his decision to invest in increasing California’s dependence on carbon neutral energy sources. Together, California and China made a declaration to commit to reusable energy sources, as expressed by The Independent, with, “offshore wind, advanced energy storage technologies and zero-emission vehicles.” Whether this new policy will be enforced remains to be seen, but the initiatives taken are encouraging. President Xí also expressed concerns that the black market smuggles fentanyl through China, exports to

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Newsom visited Xi to discuss the climate.

Mexico, to be sold back to the states, further worsening the fentanyl epidemic in the U.S. by increasing opioid overdose–related deaths. Newsom stressed the need to strengthen the U.S. and China’s relationship to combat high priority issues. The governor’s office steered Newsom away from the discussion of China’s persistent pro-democracy protests and human rights violations in Tibet, Tawaiian, Hong Kong and Xīn Jiāng. As explained by AP News, Newsom later expressed solidarity with the official U.S. policy and affirmation of the “one China policy.” This policy allows the United States to acknowledge the People’s Republic of China as the legal government of China, and Taiwan is a part of mainland China. The U.S. maintains official relations with PRC

while being Taiwan’s largest unofficial supporter with a growing military presence as PRC grows more hostile towards Taiwan’s self-governance. Newsom’s talks spark hope that, in November, President Xí and President Biden will assemble to talk at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit. As emphasized by Politico, the domestic policies of the U.S. and China do not align with their distinct agendas. For example, this summer, President Xí refused to meet with President Biden’s climate envoy, John Kerry, saying, “China’s commitment to the climate crisis will go the way we plan it to go at our own pace.” This highlights the high tensions as reducing carbon emissions now would stave off the most detrimental and categorically catastrophic climate crises to come. The destiny of the climate crisis depends on the policies put forth by both the U.S. and China to ease the effects of climate catastrophes to the most disproportionately vulnerable places. The differences between these two countries have become contentious, making the path to tackling the climate crisis arduous. Provoking an amicable relation among nation and states is what is needed to mobilize an international effort to combat hazardous carbon emissions for the hope of a better

future. In hopes to release tensions abroad, maybe the students at the College can release tensions locally as they reflect on their budget. As the College leans more toward solar energy sources and reaches the seven year anniversary of the EV charging stations, the solar-powered tables students use to charge their electronic devices has become a popular study and hangout spot on campus. All this to say that the College has become more ecologically aware of the impacts of climate change in attempts to mitigate it. But, are there more things the College can commit to that will lower carbon emissions? Based on the Climate Leadership Commitments, the College should track and regulate; fuels, animals, fertilizers, chemicals, utility consumption or air travel paid by the institution (including the two-round trip tickets for the interim President to enjoy coach seats on airfare and ground transportation to visit family in California every month). Taking these factors into consideration, the College still has a long way to go. Moving forward, in order to resolve the climate crisis, collaboration, compromise and understanding is needed between all parties involved whether it be between the U.S. and China or the College’s students and the College’s administration.

Troubles in Venezuela 2024 presidential elections Rajika Chauhan Staff Writer

As Venezuela gears up for a landmark presidential election in 2024, the country’s path towards a legitimate democracy remains hindered by ploys on the part of the government in power. A primary contest to decide on a candidate to run against current President Nicolas Maduro in next year’s elections was held on Oct. 23, with opposition leader Marina Corina Machado winning 93% of the vote. In a reversal of agreements, the Maduro government is now resorting to undemocratic forms of interference to contest the opposition’s conduct of the primary. The country’s Supreme Court, populated by mostly government appointees working on behalf of Maduro, ruled to annul the results of the primary on Oct. 30. Reuters reports that the attorney general has additionally opened an investigation of 17 members of the commissions that organized voting, alleging violations of electoral functions, identity theft, money laundering, and criminal association. Maduro came into power in 2013, following the death of Hugo Chavez, the socialist revolutionary who entered the nation into a new era of governance at the turn of

the century. Chavez’s ‘Bolivarian Revolution’ brought into the fray a system of government coined in his name “Chavismo,” a left-wing populist political movement which sought to reconcentrate wealth in the hands of the nation’s poor and working class. Venezuela has struggled significantly over the past 10 years of Maduro’s rule, experiencing hyperinflation as oil prices plummeted. According to ABC News, this economic devastation has led to the mass-exodus of more than seven million Venezuelans, almost a quarter of the nation’s population, in one of the most dramatic refugee crises in the Americas. Maduro has faced further allegations of dictatorial and despotic behavior, apparently ordering the extrajudicial killing of political enemies and using corrupt tactics to maintain his stronghold on power. The NYT reports that Maduro began his second term after a decisive victory in the country’s 2018 presidential elections, which were declared fraudulent by the United Nations and European Union. The U.S. imposed strict sanctions on Venezuela under the Trump administration, motivated in part by its failures to control the influx of migrants into the U.S. and the undemocratic activities of its gov-

ernment. Restrictions eased under President Joe Biden in response to certain concessions made by Maduro, including an agreement to accept Venezuelan deportees from the U.S. and release political prisoners, as stated by Reuters. Chief amongst these agreements was a deal made between the Maduro government and the opposition in Barbados earlier in October, with a commitment to hold a fair and free election in 2024. That agreement included protections for the opposition’s primary, a stipulation the government has now apparently reneged on. The primay elections were organized without any official government support, managed by civilian groups with polling stations established in homes, parks and offices. Machado, a veteran politician and center-right candidate, won the majority of the vote. Her popularity reaches across economic and generational lines, and she has begun to appeal to even the nation’s economic poor, a sector which usually leans strongly in favor of Maduro. The government has banned Machado from running in a state election for 15 years over claims she did not declare her assets and income as a legislator, an allegation likely made in efforts to silence an increasingly compelling threat to Maduro’s power. Machado has maintained

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Nicolás Maduro opposed election results.

a hardline in her campaign promises, vowing to bring members of Maduro’s government to justice for alleged human rights abuses, privatize the state-owned oil company Petroleos de Venezuela and restructure the nation’s debt. These positions make it unlikely the government will allow her a just transition into power, despite the likelihood of her winning national support. In a statement, the U.S. State Department issued a strict warning: “The United States and the international community are closely following implementation of the electoral road map, and the U.S. government will take action if Maduro and his representatives do not meet their commitments.” Despite the odds against her, Machado has refused to show signs of backing down. In both public face and through action, she has remained staunchly on the path to overturning Maduro’s power come 2024.


CONCERT / Rae Sremmurd’s Swae Lee delivers memorable concert Continued from page 1 Holly March, an early childhood special education math sophomore, was one of the friends waiting with McGowan. “We crocheted, brought a speaker to listen to Swae Lee and brought some snacks for the wait,” she said. Once the doors opened, student DJs Wilmer Amaya and Matt Richardson each played a 30-minute set to warm up the crowd for Swae Lee’s entrance. At 9:05 p.m., Swae Lee took the stage, opening with “No Type.” The crowd was immediately responsive, their excitement and energy matching the rapper’s highstrung enthusiasm. Throughout his entire setlist, students could be heard singing with Swae Lee, verse-for-verse. “Everyone that showed up truly

did SHOW up, with an indescribable energy,” said CUB Executive Director Stefan Stojanoski, a junior English secondary and special education major, in an interview with the Signal. “Swae Lee was an incredible performer and held the audience’s attention the whole time, an overall 10/10 show.” While Swae Lee did run the show with his discography, crowd engagement and occasional basketball free-throws in the rec center’s hoops, the success of the event couldn’t have been possible without the dedication and hard work of CUB’s student members. “Our whole team got to the Rec center at the early time of 7:30 a.m. and stayed through until 1:30 a.m. Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone Swae Lee ran the show. for cleanup,” Stojanoski said. “The whole time I only saw dedication, In addition to physically predrive, excitement and joy from all paring the Rec center and stage for the cubbies working.” a concert, CUB is responsible for

lots of behind-the-scenes elements in making the concert happen. Even with such a long day, Stojanoski credits CUB’s live board for a smooth execution, the associate board for above-and-beyond help, and the executive board for communal support and aid. “From our executive board to our amazing associate board, our little community comes together to make the day a true success!” said Stojanoski. “I could not be more proud to be a part of such an incredible organization comprised of so many dedicated people!” In Swae Lee’s goodbye, he promised the crowd with a new album on the way and took selfies with crowd members’ phones as they were handed (or thrown) to him. “I’d say hype was the best word to describe it,” said Canellas.

New Beatles song finished with help of AI 50 years after the last George Harrsion passed away after a fight with lung cancer in 2001. Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr are both still alive. McCartney, Harrison and Starr originally attempted to record “Now and Then” during the 90s, according to The Verge. The four reunited to work on previously written, but newly recorded songs that would soon appear on the Beatles Anthology Album series. This series includes four albums and 10 hours of music. Lennon had left behind several demos, recorded shortly before his murder, that were used to produce his vocals on these songs post-mortem. These demos included “Free as a Bird,” “Real Love” and “Now and Then.” The first two were successfully produced by layering musical components and more vocals with Lennon’s, which allowed for them to be released with the Anthropology albums. However, there were technical issues facing “Now and Then” that could not be fixed with the technology of the time, so the band members decided to leave

the song behind. “In John’s demo tape, the piano was a little hard to hear. And in those days, of course, we didn’t have the technology to do the separation,” McCartney said in a mini-documentary about the song. In 2023, however, McCartney and Starr decided to revisit the song. “It took almost a quarter of a century for us to wait until the right moment to tackle ‘Now and Then’ again,” McCartney said. The inspiration came from Peter Jackson and his “Get Back” documentary, in which his team was able to “split all the different components into separate tracks based on machine learning,” according to The Verge. “We can take a performance from Get Back, separate John and George, and then have Paul and Ringo add a chorus or harmonies,” Jackson told The Sunday Times. With the help of this AI technology, Lennon’s voice and aspects of Harrison’s guitar playing are featured on this brand new track. All four Beatles were able to contribute to the making of this beau-

tiful song, allowing for fans to have one final goodbye to the full band. The production of this song not only provided the public with a new song from one of the most renowned bands of all time, but also has opened up a world of possibilities for AI in music, giving artists and producers many more opportunities to create their artwork. The use of AI seen in this song is not the only way the tech has changed the music industry; it has also changed the way songs can be edited, mixed and mastered. Apps such as Landr, Cryo Mix and iZotope’s Neutron that are AI-driven have the ability to analyze tracks, balance audio levels and remove noise, according to The Conversation. AI has also begun to be trained in understanding song composition. According to the Musicians Institute, the software behind AI-generated music is able to create custom songs based on mood, preferences and biometric data from the user. Read more on our website!

R S T W

Band Name: Hot Bagels Album Name: “In Your Area” Release Number: 3 Hailing From: Minneapolis, MN Genre: Alternative

This issue, WTSR highlights some of the best new music that the College’s own radio station, 91.3 WTSR, puts into their weekly rotation. This issue’s WTSR reviewers: Rosa Chang and Allison Silver!

Although I struggled to understand the lyrics sung by the lead vocalist, their voice certainly fits this genre. However, the second track “Bug Crawl” wasn’t as great, the lead vocalist sounds whiney and the track fell flat. I really liked “Comphet the Song” but unfortunately

it doesn’t have a clean version. Overall, I wish the vocals were a bit louder on each track, so that I could make out what the lyrics are, since the instrumental was too loud at times.

ly memorable. Sullivan’s delicate vocals stand out amid a number of slow and repetitive tracks. Sullivan’s lyrics and instrumental tracks are interesting, but each song feels as though it could have been shortened by a minute or two. “A Little Hello,” has the most energy of any of the album’s tracks; it is relatively exciting and invites the listener to remain listening. The third track, “We Held Up The Sky,” has a haunting, romantic sentiment to it that translates well into the music.

Photo courtesy of Flickr

The Beatles released their latest song fter 50 years with the help of AI.

Aimee Bulger Staff Writer

The Beatles released their final song after over 50 years, titled “Now and Then” on Nov. 2. The song is a bittersweet ballad of missing someone you love, but knowing they are never far from your heart. The song’s producers used artificial intelligence technology to create this song and allow for all four members to be featured. This beautiful song is not only impressive due to the band being broken up for quite some time, but also because there are only two living members remaining. John Lennon was murdered in 1980 by a man claiming to be a fan, and

NEW NOISE

Band Name: Mol Sullivan Album Name: “A Little Hello” Release Number: 1 Hailing From: Cincinnati, OH Genre: Indie-pop Mol Sullivan’s debut EP is an interesting listen, but nothing immense-


November 17, 2023 The Signal page 13

TCNJ Musical Theatre presents ‘Into the Woods’

Alena Bitonti Staff Writer

This season, the College’s student-run TCNJ Musical Theatre presented “Into the Woods” in the Don Evans Black Box Theater. The show ran for five sold out performances on Nov. 1, 2, 3 and 4. With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the classic musical intertwines the plots of various Brothers Grimm fairy tales, including characters taken from “Little Red Riding Hood,” “Jack and the Beanstalk,” “Rapunzel,” “Cinderella” and more. The show is tied together by the main story of a childless baker and his wife on a quest to begin a family. After being visited by a witch, the couple is sent on the task to retrieve four items before the blue moon in order to be granted a child. The show began with the Prologue, introducing main characters including Little Red Ridinghood played by Megan Hurley, Cinderella played by Ella Malatesta, the Witch played by Skylar Yannello, and the baker and his wife played by Eric Soltys and Aniela Erwin. The number ran seamlessly on opening night, until an unexpected issue with the sound system left on stage performers without musical accompaniment during the end of the song. Rather than missing cues or stumbling over choreography, the cast displayed a level of professionalism and finished the number in harmony.

Photo courtesy of McKenna Super

Exceptional singing and emotional acting by the performers made the story come to life.

The iconic characters continued to captivate the audience, while the exceptional singing and emotional acting by the performers made the story come to life. The sound issues persisted and struck again before the number “Giants in The Sky,” leaving freshman AJ Mun, who played Jack in the production, to sing it completely a cappella. “I thought I had missed my cue or done something wrong,” Mun said. “I knew that when I chose to start singing without the track that I would have to keep it up for the entire song. Luckily the audience was very supportive.” Although it wasn’t a typical rendition of the song, Mun managed to finish it without any musical backing and impressively showcase his talent. The cast eventually took an im-

promptu break as the technical crew worked to solve the ongoing difficulties. Cinderella’s self-centered step family, played by Isabella Moitoso, Angelina Grippaldi and Sarah Dzurillay, returned to the stage during the pause to engage with the audience. The trio remained in character as snobby and self-centered, humorously asking if there were any “princes” in the audience. This created a unique connection between the cast and audience in order to keep the magic of the show alive. The technical issues were soon solved and the show resumed with “Agony,” a comical duet featuring Cinderella’s Prince played by Robert Burgess and Rapunzel’s Prince played by Alec Ferguson. The princes attempted to one-up one another as they sang of the respective woman they were pursuing. The

two performers successfully blended both humor and charm in order to entertain the audience and create a memorable moment in the show. The cast continued to deliver an outstanding production with renewed determination. Despite several bumps in the road, they were able to persist and show their resilience as performers throughout both Act I and II. The cast combined many emotions in order to illustrate both the uplifting and dark points in the plot. Standout performances included “Stay With Me,” “On the Steps of the Palace,” “Moments in the Woods” and “No One Is Alone.” Final bows on opening night were finished with a standing ovation from the crowd. Overall, the show demonstrated talent, professionalism and a commitment to an outstanding production. Being a student-run production and program, TMT members take on the responsibility of overseeing every aspect of the show. In the meantime, they have created special relationships with one another. “I feel very welcomed by everyone in the program. It’s really great to meet a lot of people who have the same interests as me,” said freshman Liana Rodriguez who played Granny and Giant’s Wife. The organization will be performing “Something Rotten” for their next musical. More information to come.

A Real Housewife of New Jersey hosts Lyric Theatre show at TCNJ Catherine Gonzalez Features Editor

Jennifer Aydin from “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” hosted the Lyric Theatre sold-out “Broadway Open Mic Night” in the Don Evans Black Box Theater on Nov. 11. Aydin opened the event by singing “All That Jazz” from “Chicago.” “Jennifer is killing it,” said freshman undeclared arts and communications major Ava Milsom, a member of Lyric Theatre who performed “I Will Never Leave You” from “Side Show” with her twin sister, Emma Milsom. Members of the College’s Lyric Theatre class are students of various different majors at the College. They performed solos and duets that they had prepared for weeks in the Lyric Theatre class leading up to the event, with a well-rounded setlist ranging from sentimental ballads like Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” to operettic, mysterious songs such as “When the Night Wind Howls” by Gilbert and Sullivan. Other tunes were from pop-

Photo courtesy of Catherine Gonzalez

Jennifer Aydin from “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” cracking jokes.

ular musicals that include “Legally Blonde,” “Grease,” “Smash,” “Little Women” and “Mamma Mia.” Audience members also got a chance to perform, putting their names and the title of the song they wanted to sing into a drawing that took place live at the event. “My favorite part was watching all the audience perform,” said sophomore mathematics and secondary education major Aidan Hulse, who is part of Lyric Theatre and performed “Top of the World” from “Tuck Everlasting.” “I loved seeing the new talent that we have out here, and it’s always so fun to

see somebody spontaneously do it. It’s amazing.” The setup of the room also encouraged audience participation and engagement, with tables surrounding the stage and a clear view of Lyric Theatre’s piano accompanist, Peter de Metz, who sight-read each of the audience’s song choices. Among active participants in the audience were Aydin’s youngest daughter, Olivia, and Aydin’s brother, Steven Altinel. Altinel also performed at the event, singing “Climb Ev’ry Mountain” from “The Sound of Music.” It was through Altinel’s connec-

tion with Nathan Brewer, the director of Lyric Theatre, that Aydin ended up hosting the Open Mic Night. “So my brother, Steven Altinel, has his musical theater program, the LIMTF (Long Island Musical Theatre Festival), and Nathan is his partner in that, and Nathan just asked him to ask me, and I said ‘yes,’” Aydin told The Signal. Aydin said a positive experience working with the members of Lyric Theatre, who put her at ease. After the show, attendees got the chance to take photos with her. “Today was the first day that I’ve ever had to experience with them, and I have to tell you, they’re extremely patient, which I appreciate, and they’re professionals,” said Aydin. “They keep it light, so it wasn’t as nerve-wracking as I thought it would be, so it was great. Good support system.” Milsom shared that Lyric Theatre will soon get to work with another renowned figure. “We [are] going to get to work with Jason Robert Brown, a really famous Broadway composer, later in the year in February,” said Milsom.


page 14 The Signal November 17, 2023

Netflix beautifully adapts ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Anothony Doerr, and it adapted the book beautifully. A quote from a distant mentor and a lesson so relevant, “The most important light in the world is the light you cannot see,” was a continuous sentiment across the four episodes. Set during World War II, the series follows Marie-Laure (Aria Mia Loberti), an exceptionally intelligent blind teenager aiding the war effort through her illegally coded broadcasts, and Werner Pfennig (Louis Hofmann), a GerPhoto courtesy of IMDb man soldier and radio prodBailei Burgess-Simmons igy tasked with finding and Staff Writer killing Marie. When Paris is invaded, On Nov. 2, Netflix released Marie and her father flee to the miniseries “All the Light We Cannot See,” based on the Saint Malo, seeking refuge

amongst family. Marie later finds herself left alone by her family in their attempts to aid the war, so she takes up broadcasting to help British and American troops. Werner, on the other hand, was raised in an orphanage with his sister. His entire life, he had an affinity for radios and was able to build them using spare parts in just minutes. Against his will, he was thrust into an elite Nazi military school to be honed into a weapon for a team tasked with catching and executing illegal broadcasters. The two, seemingly unrelated, youngsters came from challenging backgrounds, but their childhood escape was the same radio broadcast: shortwave 13.10, an illegal

French station, employed by a man known as “the professor.” On that station, he spoke truths of the world, hoping to educate children, encouraging them to be free thinking and teaching them of peace in times of great unrest. His mentorship would become the driving force behind both Marie and Werner ’s rebellion. In a show rife with the horrors of wartime, cruelties of the Nazi party and characters too good for their world, it is hard to believe there is any light at all. However, “All the Light We Cannot See” does an appreciable job of balancing the grief and gore with romance and hope. Read more on our website!

Netflix beautifully adapts ‘All the Light We Cannot See’ death on Sept.1, dropped on Nov. 3. The album includes 14 tracks, with collaborations from Preservation Hall Jazz Band, Angelique Kidjo, Will Kimbrough, Lennie Gallant and Emmylou Harris. As reported by Variety, Buffett managed to release a total of 30 studio albums throughout his life since 1970. His signature sound has remained unwavering since he embarked on his musical journey with the release of his first album, “Down to Earth.” In 1977, he released “Margaritaville,” an easygoing anthem celebrating a carefree island lifestyle. The song enjoyed an impressive 22-week run on the Billboard chart, reaching a peak position of No. 8, propelling Jimmy Buffett into the national spotlight,

according to Buffett’s website. Following these early successes, let’s delve into some of the standout tracks from Buffett’s latest album. Some of the ones that particularly resonate with me are “University Of Bourbon Street,” “Bubbles Up,” “My Gummie Just Kicked In,” “Equal Strain On All Parts’’ and “Mozambique.” Buffett has a knack for kicking off an album in style, and he pulls out all the stops with the opening track, “University of Bourbon Street.” The unmistakable jazz vibes come to life, courtesy of the illustrious Preservation Hall Jazz Band, whose lineup boasts an impressive array of instruments: tuba, clarinet, drums, trombone, saxophone and piano. This tune bursts forth with a lively infusion of New Orle-

ans flavor, drawing inspiration from the vibrant sounds of the city. “Bubble Up” is the next track, filling you with hope. The acoustic notes, a gentle guitar strum and drum beats create a soothing melody. It might bring a tear to your eye, touching on seeking refuge when life feels overwhelming. It’s like a warm, reassuring message from Buffett, reminding us that even if our ship falters, a little saltwater heals all wounds and things will be alright. “My Gummie Just Kicked In” transports you to a lively scene, sure to get you dancing. Backed by Paul McCartney’s killer bassline and spirited drum beats, this track keeps the energy high. Read more on our website!

ular horror films in participating theaters throughout the month of October in the spirit of Halloween, including the director ’s cut of Ari Aster ’s 2019 masterpiece, “Midsommar.” The showing of “Midsommar” was announced to be on Oct. 25, and I bought my ticket the day it was announced, waiting excitedly to finally see my favorite movie of all time in theaters. There is a massive difference between the theatrical release of “Midsommar” and the director ’s cut. The theatPhoto courtesy of IMDb rical release of the film has a Maia Venuti runtime of approximately 148 Staff Writer minutes, whereas the director ’s cut is 171 minutes long Production company re-reand has a lot of extra footage leased some of its most popand scenes that were complete-

ly deleted from the theatrical release. You can only see the director ’s cut by purchasing a copy of the collector ’s edition of “Midsommar” from the A24 website.a As a proud owner of the collector ’s edition of the film, I have seen the director ’s cut probably just as many times as I have seen the original. The director ’s cut is not much different but does a far better job at showing the cyclical nature of the characters Dani and Christian’s toxic relationship. It reveals the true age of Maja, one of the girls in the Harga commune that is obsessed with Christian and also has far more humorous moments from Mark, the comedic relief character. Having the opportunity to see the director ’s cut in the-

aters was a once in a lifetime experience, one that many fans were so excited to see. On Oct. 25, I made the 40-minute solo journey to the Neshaminy AMC in Bensalem, Pennsylvania dressed as Harga-esque as I could. Almost shaking with excitement, I took my seat and chatted with the group behind me about the director ’s cut, as they had never seen it, and listened to how excited they were to get an entirely new perspective on the film. As Nicole Kidman’s iconic AMC announcement ended and the film began, I was beaming ear to ear as the opening song, “Prophecy,” began to play. All that excitement changed very quickly. Read more on our website!

Jasmine Lee Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Apple Music

Jimmy Buffett has consistently stayed loyal to his tropical, country-influenced style. His feel-good, yet bittersweet, final album, “Equal Strain on All Parts,” keeps Buffettt’s spirit alive. Buffett’s final studio release, completed before his

Midsommar Director’s Cut: A disappointing dupe


November 17, 2023 The Signal page 15

TCNJ football falls short in season finale to Christopher Newport

Photo Courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone

Senior quarterback Trevor Bopp on a pass. Joseph Caruso Staff Writer The College suffered a tough 27-21 loss in their final game of the season against Christopher Newport University. This win in Ewing gave Christopher Newport the NJAC title for this season. The climax of the 2023 season had arrived for the Lions, in an all-or-nothing affair with the Captains of Christopher Newport. On a night where seniors were honored pre-game for their contributions, the Lions looked to cap off a successful season, riding four wins in a row com-

ing into the night, and playing for a share of the NJAC. Christopher Newport sat atop the conference, having won three of their past four coming into their first and only match with the College. The Captains got on the board first with sophomore Gunner White taking a screen pass 7 yards for the first touchdown on a pass from senior quarterback Matt Dzierski, who threw for 58 yards without an incompletion on the drive. Dzierski’s first-quarter barrage continued on the next drive, as he found sophomore Trey Hayes for a 27 yard touchdown strike, and with a missed ex-

tra point, Christopher Newport was up 13-0 on the Lions with just under eight minutes having elapsed. The College did not wait around however, as they got on the board with a defensive touchdown on a 56-yard interception return for a touchdown by junior defensive back Amir Vick, bringing the Lions back within one score. The Lions carried their momentum into the second quarter, where senior quarterback Trevor Bopp hooked up with sophomore wide receiver Ryan Gill four times for 73 yards on a single drive, before connecting with senior tight end Thomas Burke for an 8-yard touchdown, giving the College their first lead of the night by one point. After a few punts exchanged and a monstrous goal line stand by the Lions, the College headed into the half leading 14-13 over the Captains. A Christopher Newport opening drive field goal got the scoring started in the third, but the Lions struck back with a bomb from Trevor Bopp which resulted in a 59-yard touchdown catch by senior wide receiver Malin Jasinski, putting the Lions back in front 21-16. Bopp would finish with 280 yards along with two touchdowns. The Captains would come down and convert another

field goal before the third quarter closed, bringing themselves within just two points of the Lions. The College played bend but did not break defense all night, holding the Captains to field goal after field goal, but the Captains broke through with Gunner White’s second touchdown of the night with just 1:14 to go in the game, putting Christopher Newport up 25-21. White would finish the game with a superb performance, totaling 127 yards and two touchdowns. Needing a touchdown on their final drive, the Lions threatened in Captains territory, but Bopp threw an untimely interception, his second of the night, to Christopher Newport’s Noah Martin, effectively ending the game. As they did all year, the College showed resilience in difficult spots, but ultimately fell short in the game and, as a result, in the NJAC, where Christopher Newport came out on top of the conference, securing a spot in the playoffs. The Lions will look to build off a strong year next season, but the departures of key seniors Bopp, Burke, Cole Groschel and Ryan McGuire will make that difficult. Nonetheless, Coach Goff will look to make his eighth season with the College a memorable one.

Women’s soccer NCAA tournament run stopped short as they fall to Tufts

The College in their pregame huddle.

Joey Bachich Staff Writer The College’s women’s soccer team won their first-round NCAA tournament game over Johnson and Wales, but lost in the second round to Tufts. The tough loss ended their season, as being eliminated in the first weekend of the tournament was not what the Lions had planned or expected.

first goal from junior marketing major Victoria D’Imperio, who headed the ball into the back of the net in the 17th minute. Johnson and Wales kept the game in the middle of the field with 11 fouls in the half trying to slow down the potent Lions offense. The second half started with a quick goal by fifthyear statistics major Lindsey O’Keefe 5 minutes into the period. The Lions controlled the rest of the game, capping it off with a third goal and secPhoto courtesy of Elizaeth Gladstone ond of the game from D’Imperio. A 3-0 win sent the Lions into the second round, where First round matchup they played against Tufts UniAfter an emotional NJAC versity. championship win, the Lions rolled into the NCAA tournaSecond round matchup ment on a high note. Johnson The Lions season hung in and Wales University was the the balance as they hosted first challenge for the Lions, Tufts University in the secwho hosted the first round ond round of the NCAA tourmatchup. nament. Tufts turned the tide The Lions in typical fashion early against the Lions, grabcame out of the gates hot with bing the first goal from a cora ton of pressure and got the ner within the first 8 minutes

of the game. The high-flying offense cooled off in the first half, but not without a great effort by fifth year business major Ava Garay, who headed a ball that just barely missed the net. Later, fifth-year journalism major Emma Pascarella had a great look at a goal that was blocked in front of the net by a Tufts defender. The second half was a tough one for the Lions, who let up two quick goals in the 55th and 56th minute of the game, but they did not go down without a fight. Junior marketing major Rachel Burkhard hit the crossbar on a corner, and soon after, junior education major Allie O’Keefe missed the top corner on a free kick by inches. The final whistle blew and the Lions season came to a close after a fantastic year, which included an NJAC title and an NCAA tournament win.


Women’s cross country wins Metro Regional, Chen qualifies for NCAA tournament

five finished between 10 and 20, making it very hard for any other team to win this race. The first runner to finish for the College was freshman Naesha Gadie in 10th place. Only 0.4 seconds behind her was the Lions’ second finisher, senior Cassidy Quinn, who beat out the next finisher by only 1/10 of a second. They finished with times of 22:35.7 and 22:36.1, respectively. The next runner to finish for the College was senior captain Salini Iyer, who finished in 14th with a time of 22:48.7. Iyer was Photo Courtesy of Shane Gillespie followed close behind by seThe College’s women’s cross country team took home a Metro nior Katherine Rice, who was Regional Title. the fourth to finish for the Lions in 16th place and had a time of 22:57.8. Eddie Young two seasons. Coming in 5 seconds later was Sports Editor On the men’s side of the field, sophomore Brandon Chen fin- the fifth and final point scorer The College’s women’s cross ished third in the competition, for the Lions, senior captain Emcountry team took home the leading the Lions in a third ily Hoegler. Her 20th place finNCAA Metro Regional Cham- place finish. The team narrowly ish and time of 23:02.9 shut the pionship at Rowan University missed out on an at-large bid for door on any possible comeback on Nov. 11 to earn an automat- the NCAA championship meet, for the opposition and guaranic qualification to the NCAA but Chen qualified for the race teed the win for the College. Championship meet, which will individually with his top seven They finished with 68 points, which was 18 higher than second take place next on Nov. 18. finish. The victory was the College’s The victory for the women place Stockton, who had 86. Chen, this year’s NJAC Rookfirst regional victory since 2003. was a great team effort. No runie of the Year, was just two tenths This win adds to an already im- ner finished in the top seven, so pressive trophy case for the Col- none of them would have qual- of a second behind the second lege this season, as in their last ified for the individual NCAA place finisher. He still put tomeet they won the NJAC cham- championship race if it were gether a personal best time of pionship for the second time in not for the team’s victory, but 24:56.7 with an absurd 5:01 av-

erage mile, which was more than enough to help him clinch a spot in the upcoming NCAA tournament individual meet. “I’m excited for this race and to see what I am capable of,” said Chen, a seconday education and mathematics major. Also performing well for the College’s men’s team were senior captain Brian Micco and junior Matt Granizo. They finished in 12th and 16th place, with times of 25:18.8 and 25:27.0, respectively. These performances helped the College in their third place finish as a team with 91 points, just 13 behind the champion, Haverford College.

“I feel really lucky to be able to represent [the College] at the national level” - Chen, a secondary education and mathematics major

Chen will join the women’s team on their trip to Dickinson College on Nov. 18 to compete in the NCAA championship meet. Chen will race against the best Division III runners from across the country at 11 a.m., while the women will compete in their race at noon.

Men’s basketball wins season opener against Goucher College TCNJ Athletics Schedule:

The College breaking their huddle.

Aidan Mastandrea Staff Writer The College’s men’s basketball team opened their season with a win against Goucher College on Nov. 8. Sophomore forward Matthew Solomon was the star of the show as his triple double led the Lions to a 76-66 win. This was the first look at the new Lions, who lost many of their heavy

Photo courtesy of Elizabeth Gladstone

contributors to graduation a year ago. The first half was tightly contested. Goucher came out of the gates hot, hitting five out of nine 3-point attempts in the first half, while the College shot only 25% from the 3-point line in the half. Even with the Lions offense not firing on all cylinders, a 3-pointer from fifth-year transfer James Beckwith had the College’s deficit

at only two points heading into the halftime break. The second half is when Solomon took over the game on all levels. He controlled the glass, scored inside and found open teammates for buckets. Goucher had no answer for the 6-foot-7 sophomore. Solomon finished with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists on the night, giving him a triple double. The Lions’ head coach Matthew Goldsmith played a nine-man rotation, including having freshman guard David Alexandre log 24 minutes. Despite the lack of experience across the board, the College hung in and took Goucher’s best punches. Goucher stumbled and the Lions found their footing in the second half, gaining control of the game as the time ticked down. A late run from the Gophers made it interesting, but an exclamation point dunk by junior forward Matthew Okorie sealed the victory for the Lions. The College will only look to improve as the season progresses and the players become more comfortable.

Men’s Basketball Friday, Nov. 17, 5 p.m. Home vs. St. Joseph’s Univesity Brooklyn Women’s Cross Country Saturday, Nov. 18, 11 a.m. NCAA Championship at Dickinson College Swimming and Diving Saturday, Nov. 18, 11 a.m. Away at USMMA Invitational Men’s Basketball Saturday, Nov. 18, 3 p.m. or 5 p.m. Home vs. Wells / Hunter Women’s Basketball Saturday, Nov. 18, 5 p.m. Away at No. 6 Scranton Wrestling Saturday, Nov. 18, all day Away at Arm Bar at the Armory in Albany, NY Women’s Basketball Tuesday, Nov. 21, 5 p.m. Home vs. Rutgers-Camden


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