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Volume 81, Issue IX NEWS

Observatory set to Open Doors

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Smolen family gift grants new tool for students to explore the stars. Page 7 FEATURES

Uncovering the World’s Happiness NPR foreign correspondent travels the world to see who is happiest.

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Campus of the Living Dead!

Humans vs. Zombies take over New Paltz with Nerf gun fun.


Hawks Rise to the Top Women’s Volleyball wins SUNYACS, NCAA tournament up next! Page 14 EDITORIAL

Adjuncts are Agitated Do part-time professors deserve full-time respect?

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At present, part-time faculty at SUNY New Paltz teach roughly 30.8 percent of classes on campus and make close to $3,000 per course. By Pete Thompson Copy Editor |

Both full and part-time professors are campaigning to improve working conditions for adjuncts at SUNY New Paltz, calling for salary increases, more office space and other improvements. The SUNY New Paltz chapter of United University Professions (UUP) spoke out during Campus Equity Week (CEW) to bring attention to what they consider low pay and poor working conditions. SUNY New Paltz President Steven Poskanzer, however, stands by the school’s pay standards and claims New Paltz’s adjunct faculty has higher salaries than adjuncts at most

schools in the area. President of the SUNY New Paltz UUP Chapter Richard Kelder stressed the importance of advocating for their cause of higher pay and better conditions. “Adjuncts are often not paid very well even though they contribute the same amount of work,” said Kelder. “We’ve been trying for years to improve pay and working conditions for our part-timers and adjuncts and our union has had some success.” A slight salary increase has been made and secure health and other benefits are now provided. The SUNY system’s policy requires an adjunct to teach

two or more classes in order to receive health insurance. However, Kelder said, “their compensation still lags far behind full-time faculty on campus.” One argument that Kelder stands by is that adjunct faculty should be paid the same amount of money per class as full-time professors. However, Poskanzer said that the qualifications for fulltime faculty are different and they require a nation-wide search, which is not the same for an adjunct. They’re not expected to serve the same kind of duties as full-time professors like advising, research and committees, and therefore shouldn’t be expected to receive the same

pay per course. Recently, New Paltz UUP Vice President for Academics Peter D. G. Brown, also a Distinguished Service Professor of German, composed a salary study which compares the salaries of individuals holding various positions from 1970 until today. “When adjusted for inflation, part-time faculty at SUNY New Paltz are today making only half of what they earned back in 1970, when there were only 100 adjuncts,” said Brown. While these salaries have decreased, the study shows that those of the administrative positions have increased. See Adjuncts pg.8

The New Paltz Oracle

University Police Blotter

Disclaimer: This is only a partial listing. For all incidents, please visit the University Police Department. Date: 11/06/09 Location: BVH Custodian reported that P/P’s unknown broke the plastic dispenser from wall of the men’s bathroom on the first floor of BVH.

established 1938


Pierce Lydon MANAGING EDITOR _________________

Julie Mansmann NEWS EDITOR


Zan Strumfeld


Mitchell Epstein SPORTS EDITOR _________________


Christian Marra CARTOONIST _________________

Sunya Bhutta Steven Casale Justin McCarthy Nicole Papantoniou Pete Thompson COPY EDITORS _________________

Elizabeth Damiano BUSINESS MANAGER _________________


Maxim Alter, Steve Arenius, Allie Bernhard, Jeffrey Canino, Emily Canty, Sarah Fine, Aramis Grant, Elexis Goldberg, Alec Horowitz, Sarah Hurd, Michelle S. Kramisen, Emily Kurland, Chelsea LaDue, Becky Longley, Lyndsey Lovinger, Jessica Mingoia, Jesse Ordansky, Jessica Ostrow, James Petrich, Casey Quinlan, Danielle Quitoni, Michelle Ravit, Regina Rivers, Shawn Rubenfeld, Jordan Siwek, Alex Silverberg, Sam Speer, Alison Stevens, Emily Sussell, Ashley Thompson, Pamela Vivanco, Harris Wichard, Kelly Young



Spot any errors? Let us know at

Incident: Petit Larceny Date: 11/06/09 Location: HDH Female subject reported that P/P’s unknown stole her unattended backpack containing a textbook, three notebooks, a folder and her prescription eyeglasses placed on top of lockers in HDH. Incident: Criminal Mischief

About The New Paltz Oracle The New Paltz Oracle is the official student newspaper of SUNY New Paltz. Our circulation is 3,000. The New Paltz Oracle is sponsored by the Student Association and partially funded by the student activity fee. The New Paltz Oracle is located in the Student Union Building, room 417. Deadline for all submissions is 5 p.m. on Fridays in The New Paltz Oracle office and by e-mail at All advertisements must be turned in by 5 p.m. on Fridays, unless otherwise specified by the business manager. Community announcements are published gratuitously, but are subject to restriction due to space limitations. There is no guarantee of publication. Contents of this paper cannot be reproduced without the written permission of the editorin-chief. The New Paltz Oracle is published weekly throughout the Fall and Spring Semesters on Thursday. It is available in all residence halls and academic buildings, in the New Paltz community and online at For more information, call 845-2573030. The fax line is 845-257-3031. The New Paltz Oracle holds assignment meetings every Sunday at 7 p.m. in the Student Union Building, room 401/405. Articles, photographs and illustrations are assigned to the pool of staff and contributors.

Incident: DMV Suspension Date: 11/06/09 Location: ROUTE 208/PENCIL HILL RD. M/N/S arrested for a suspended vehicle registration, and TOT’D to NPPD on arrest warrant. Incident: Disorderly Conduct Date: 11/07/09 Location: OM CIRCLE M/S arrested for urinating on campus property.

Volume 81 Issue IX

Incident: Drugs Date: 11/07/09 Location: LOT #37 F/N/S arrested for unlawful possession of marijuana and issued a PNG letter. Another F/S admitted to smoking marijuana and another F/N/S was issued a PNG letter. Incident: Village Open Container Law Date: 11/08/09 Location: OM CIRCLE M/N/S arrested for an open alcoholic container.

SUNY New Paltz University Police Department Emergencies: (845) 257-2222

Five Day Forecast Friday, November 13


News............................................... 3-7 Editorial............................................ 9 Letters.............................................. 10 Cartoons........................................... 11 Columns........................................... 10 Felice Bernabo.................... 10 Community Calendar....................... 12 The Deep End.................................. 8B The Gunk................................. 1B - 8B Sports ........................................13 - 16

Partly Cloudy High: 56 Low: 45 Saturday, November 14

Mostly Cloudy High: 57 Low: 47 Sunday, November 15

Mostly Cloudy High: 62 Low: 49

Don’t Be Shy!

Monday, November 16

Visit us online at Everyone is entitled to take one free copy of The New Paltz Oracle. If you need additional copies, please contact the editor-in-chief at x3030 or at

Few Showers High: 58 Low: 38 Tuesday, November 17

Few Showers High: 50 Low: 36

The New Paltz Oracle


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Influenza-Like Illness Comes Early in ‘09 Center Suggests Students Get Vaccinated to Stay Healthy

By Justin McCarthy Copy Editor |

The Student Health Center at SUNY New Paltz has reported a marked increase in students with influenzalike illnesses (ILI), which Dr. Peter B. T. Haughton, director of the center, has said are likely to be the novel H1N1 virus, the dominant flu virus this season. In its brief for the week of Oct. 25 to 31, the Centers for Disease Control reported that of the 14,151 specimens tested nationally that week, 3,889 tested positive for H1N1, constituting almost three-quarters of the tested ILIs. According to Haughton, the percentage of H1N1 among ILIs that have come through the Student Health Center is likely the same or higher, noting that New Paltz’s statistics are “not unique” compared to the national average. However, he said they may be slightly higher due to the increased risk of people under the age of 25. Out of 12 students with ILI symptoms, Haughton said, “at least 10 of them will most likely have H1N1.” Additionally, said Haughton, there is a gastrointestinal bug, called the Norwalk virus, which the center has been seeing more frequently as of late. “We also seem to be getting more people with gastrointestinal symptoms of nauseousness and vomiting,” said Haughton. While the Norwalk virus hasn’t been the dominant illness among students, it has led some students to seek higher medical attention. “Over the weekend, my doctor-on-call sent one person to the emergency room for rehydration because she’d been vomiting for 12 to15 hours and needed IV hydration,” Haughton said. This season, the novel H1N1 virus has dominated.


While influenza-like illnesses don’t surface until late November, the Health Center has seen an increase in cases. It can largely be attributed for the dramatic increase in overall ILIs the health center has recorded in the past few

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months, with two major peaks in mid-September and late October. Haughton said the center anticipates a third wave of ILIs as students return from Thanksgiving break. In previous years, the end of Thanksgiving break usually marked the beginning of increased ILIs, but that was because of the seasonal flu that annually circulates. For 2009, ILIs have surfaced significantly early, leaving staff members at the center to wonder how badly they’ll be hit in January when ILIs have normally peaked. “We were not seeing influenza-like illnesses in August, September and October. We just weren’t seeing them,” Haughton said of the records for 2008. The rise in the number of students entering the health center has put somewhat of a strain on its resources. To combat any further strains that could likely come once Thanksgiving ends, the center has given free flu vaccines to students. At a vaccine drive at Hasbrouck, about 350 students were vaccinated,150 received the nasal vaccine, while the rest received a shot. Haughton also said that on Nov. 11, another vaccine drive will be held targeting first-year students. Some students like Amanda Peters, a fourth-year business major, aren’t willing to receive the vaccine. “I don’t get vaccines that are so new to the market,” said Peters. “I’m personally confident that I have a strong immune system.” Haughton said, however, that this view of vaccines is counterproductive. “People in science are not going to push something that’s harmful,” he said. “It’s exactly the same mechanism that’s been used to make the flu vaccine for all these years. So, to be afraid of taking it just doesn’t make sense.” For more information about these efforts, contact representatives from the Student Health Center.

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News Briefs National Nearly half of all U.S. children and 90 percent of black youngsters will be on food stamps at some point during childhood, and fallout from the current recession could push those numbers even higher, researchers say. The estimate comes from an analysis of 30 years of national data, and it bolsters other recent evidence on the pervasiveness of youngsters at economic risk. ***** A Northwestern University professor and journalism students who spent three years investigating the case of a man convicted in the 1978 killing of a security guard believe they have evidence that shows prosecutors put the wrong man behind bars. But in the quest to prove his innocence, they may have to defend themselves, too. ***** Hurricane Ida, the first Atlantic hurricane to target the United States this year, plodded Sunday toward the Gulf Coast with 100 mph winds, bringing the threat of flooding and storm surges. A hurricane watch extended over more than 200 miles of coastline across southeastern Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle. ***** An Army chaplain asked mourners Sunday to pray for the accused Fort Hood shooter, calling on them to focus less on why the tragedy happened and more on helping each other through “the valley of the shadow of darkness.”

The New Paltz Oracle

Two Bylaw Amendments Passed By Justin McCarthy Copy Editor |

The student senate voted to approve bylaw amendments 5 and 7, while deciding to table bylaw amendment 6 in order to clarify some of the wording of the legislation and to compile some numbers. Having specifically defined and placed funding caps on conferences and trips, Vice President of Academic Affairs and Governance Brenna Fearey introduced bylaw amendment 5 in order to do the same for sporting events. The proposed bylaw defined sporting events as “any event or gathering that is physically competitive in nature,” and had two tiers to designate how much funding a sporting event could receive. As the proposed bylaw read, the first tier consisted of events with three or more members of a participating team; teams that fall in this tier could apply for up to $1,500 per team without exceeding $200 per person—a cap on funding which is lower than the cap on conferences. “I’m not really that comfortable with the $200 per person because I feel like we should send the message that we value sports,” said Sen. Hana Akimoto. “I personally would not mind putting it to $300 per person in tier one.” “I just feel like you guys might not have thought of every possible situation,” said Sen. Caitlin Ryan. “So, to put a cap on the price makes me uncomfortable.” Realizing some of the difficulty with the wording of the bylaw, a friendly amendment was passed to make the bylaw more specific—particularly by deleting the word “physically” from the definition of a sporting event in order to avoid any questionable issues in the future. The senate also agreed to raise the funding cap in the first tier to a maximum of $1,800, without exceeding $300 per person. Having revised the bylaw, the senate approved bylaw amendment 5. Bylaw amendment 6 was the next item on the agenda. Bylaw amendment


The senate approved bylaw amendment 5 and 7 at their general meeting on Nov. 11. 6 read, “All funding requests should usefully contribute to the program, sporting event, trip or conference.” The amendment also outlined programs and meetings. The part of the bylaw amendment that raised the most discussion was the definition of meetings. “Meetings shall be defined as a consistent assembly of persons for a specific purpose,” the bylaw amendment read. “These meetings are not funded with the exception of at most two general interest meetings per semester per club.” Sen. Jeff Fonda brought to the senate’s attention that bylaw amendment 6 would also impact the student senate. “Just so you guys know, senate is considered a meeting, so we wouldn’t be able to get food anymore,” Fonda said. This realization forced the senate to question the importance of food at cam-

***** President Barack Obama greeted Hamid Karzai’s election victory with as much admonishment as praise on Monday, pointedly advising America’s partner in war he must make more serious efforts to end corruption in Afghanistan’s government and prepare his nation to ultimately defend itself. World Briefs pg. 5

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pus meetings. “Sometimes, requests will have extraneous things that aren’t really important for the program to go on, including food,” said Fearey. Using a discussion she’d had with a member of Hillel as an example, Fearey said that the club orders pizza every week even though it is not necessary because “that’s just how it seems to work.” She said that there are times where a meeting is the same five to 10 people every week, getting two pies every week and that she felt they were leeching out of GP [General Programming] when it doesn’t necessarily impact the entire student body. Fearey argued that the provision for funding of two general interest meetings per semester per club was enough. She said that general interest meetings are “meant to draw people in,” making the funding for food appropriate. Funding for food on a weekly basis, she said, was an unnecessary cost. With senators arguing for and against the importance of food at meetings and others asking for specific dollar amounts of the overall costs, the senate ultimately decided to table bylaw amendment 6 until more information could be presented. Compared to the previous two amendments, bylaw amendment 7 was quickly passed. It didn’t take long for the senate to agree on the amendment, which defined the limits of the town of New Paltz in order to determine what trips constitute on-campus and off-campus. A map of the town was attached to the amendment and a provision was put in to ensure that the vice president of Student Association would update the map yearly. The next meeting of the student senate will be on Tuesday, Nov. 17.

The New Paltz Oracle

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Library Makes E-based Updates By Emily Herendeen Features Editor |

The latest updates to the Sojourner Truth Library (STL) include enhanced access to electronic databases. In the past year the library has added resources and made existing programs easier for students to utilize online learning tools. These changes include a redesigned Web site and reorganized databases to make them easier for students to use. According to Electronic Resources Librarian Colleen Lougen, the college has reorganized databases by subject or title and has given students access to a federated search engine that searches more than one database at once. To make research accessible, databases are also listed by course and areas of study under “Select an Area to Research.” Despite the fact that the electronic resources budget was reduced by 5.5 percent last year, the library is planning to add more streaming videos and e-books in order to remain up-to-date with the latest technologies. These updates come after the library added MediaSpace in the fall of 2008, which provides students and faculty with a large area to view videos and collaborative computer workspaces to conduct group projects Access to the “Films on Demand” database began in July, with over 5,000 streaming videos. They also added a virtual chat service called “Ask Us 24/7” which enables students to access academic librarians at any time of day, any day of the week. For student’s interested in online textbooks, the library has a test-trial until Dec. 9 with eBrary Academic Collection with over 46,000 full textbooks available from any computer. The library will look at the statistics and



Updates outlined for the Sojourner Truth Library (STL) will cost $14 million. student feedback of the trail to see if the library should purchase eBooks. STL does not have plans to purchase textbooks outside of eBooks at this time. Soon the library will create an additional space for students who seek research consultations and an area for group projects. The new room, to be located on the main floor of the Library, will “offer small to moderate-sized groups of SUNY New Paltz faculty and students a place to collaborate on projects that require access to resources and services that are only available in the library building,” said Lougen. Beyond databases, STL is also set to be renovated in the next few years. According to Library Director Chui-Chun Lee, the need for more space became apparent

in the early ‘90s with “collection growth and the rapid expansion of electronic databases and online services,” she said. Design plans to restructure and expand the library is expected to begin after contracts have been signed. The $14 million plan which was approved last May is to be started in 2011 and completed by 2014 by the firm Ayers Saint Gross Architects.The renovations will include more computer and meeting spaces that better assist in group projects and online learning. The overall aim of the project is to bring STL up-to-date and make it a more inviting environment for students. “Upon completion of the project, we hope that the library will become a hub for learning and research, as well as for cultural and social interactions,” Lee said.

Logo Change: A New Look for New Paltz By Sunya Bhutta Copy Editor |

The SUNY New Paltz logo will be redesigned as part of a branding initiative undertaken by the college. President Steven Poskanzer developed the brand marketing task force with Vice President for Enrollment Management L. David Eaton as its leader. The task force hired an outside consultant to do research on the consensus of current students, future and prospective students, faculty, alumni and the general population regarding their perceptions of what New Paltz was and is. Director of Media Relations Eric Gullickson is a member of the task force. He said the logo is not the only change that will be made. “It’s not just logo, it’s more about this larger branding initiative,” he said. “The logo is one piece of this whole effort to gather information through surveys and focus groups to find out what people’s perception is of New Paltz” he said. “Part of what came out of all of this is that we are a very dimensional and diverse campus.”

News Briefs

Administrators have attempted to change the image of SUNY New Paltz to try to communicate its strengths more effectively. There has never been any centralized marketing or promotional efforts on campus until now. The research showed that New Paltz is known primarily for its location and proximity to New York City. It had been previously reported by the Times Herald Record that the “SUNY” would be dropped from the logo however, this will no longer be the case. Gullickson said that the school is versatile in being referred to as SUNY New Paltz, the college at New Paltz or simply New Paltz. “People identify this campus primarily as New Paltz. They know that we are a state university, they know we are a part of SUNY so rather than leading with the State University of New York at New Paltz the concept is that we are going to be leading with New Paltz in the State University of New York system,” he said. Gullickson also said there is strength in identifying with SUNY because it is a respected system and that the new logo would simply

put less emphasis on it. This would allow New Paltz to have its own identity. The logo change is consistent with what other SUNY colleges have been doing. Schools such as Geneseo, Fredonia and Plattsburgh also identify with their locations. Gullickson said when one is talking about New Paltz one is talking about the village, but it is also identified as a college town. The new logo is currently in the final process of being designed by Stamats, a company which specializes in college branding. It will not be released until sometime in 2010 however, according to Gullickson there is no money in the budget for a grand revealing. “We don’t have any money to put towards a big splashy roll out which tends to happen when colleges, universities or institutions have a new image brand they want to promote,” he said. According to Gullickson, the changes will slowly become visible as they are integrated into new letterhead, redesign of the Web site, brochures, student handbooks and eventually the entrance signs.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Russian forces launched a major operation Saturday to capture Grozny, trying to push deeper into the Chechen capital as tanks and artillery hammered the city in one of the fiercest bombardments yet. Plumes of black and gray smoke rose over the devestated city as buildings burned out of control and explosions rocked the ground. Chechen fighters in bunkers amid the ruined buildings fired back at the Russians and clashes flared at several points on the city’s outskirts. ***** Iraq’s parliament ended weeks of debate Sunday and passed a longdelayed law paving the way for the planned January election to go forward, sidestepping a crisis that could have delayed the U.S. troop withdrawal. ***** In the face of Arab criticism of the administration’s recalibrated Mideast peace attack, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton moderated her praise Monday for Israel’s offer to restrain building settlements in Palestinian areas. ***** A suicide bomb killed 35 people near Pakistan’s military headquaters Monday while a second blast wounded several police, continuing a wave of terrorism that prompted the United Nations to suspend long-term development work near the Afghan border. ***** The embattled Afghan president pledged Sunday that there would be no place for corrupt officials in his new administration — a demand made by Washington and its international partners as they ponder sending more troops to confront the Taliban and shore up his government.

Compiled from the AP Newswire

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The New Paltz Oracle

SUNY System Steps Toward the Future By Mitchell Epstein Sports Editor |

The direction that SUNY will take in the next five years and how it will develop for the next decade will be determined during the next several months as Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher and others meet to discuss this in a series of seven statewide conversations. Zimpher is leading Phase II of a SUNYwide strategic plan, which is focusing on the direction and development for the system’s 64 universities and colleges. The second of those seven conversations took place on Wednesday, Nov. 4 at the University of Buffalo with a group of 200 delegates including SUNY New Paltz President Steven Poskanzer. Those delegates included school presidents, SUNY officials, faculty and even students. The second discussion centered on how to strengthen the education pipeline. “The education pipeline flows from early childhood through primary and secondary education, higher education, workforce and career development. Unfortunately, this pipeline is leaking and people are falling out at all levels,” Zimpher said in a recent press release. “[On Wednesday Nov. 4], a group of 200 delegates from across the SUNY system

discussed innovative strategies to plug those —to make sure New York’s education pipeleaks and help students travel seamlessly line provides a pathway to success for every along the pipeline.” student,” she said in the press release. The conversaThe strategic tion started with planning process the idea that every includes collecting observations, sugchild in New York gestions, ideas and state deserves the comments. It also opportunity for a involves a large dihigh-quality educaversity of people tion and preparation through those confor college, work versations, campus and life. Some key visits, open forums, questions that were — Gerald Benjamin social media and brought up included other forms of outhow to team up with reach. elementary, middle Zimpher wants and high schools in neighboring communities, how to strengthen to use social media, including Facebook, teacher education programs and how to pro- Twitter, YouTube, webstreaming, blogs and vide programs to help low-income families e-mail updates to connect with as many interested parties as possible. plan ahead for the costs of higher education. The series of seven statewide converZimpher, who became chancellor on June 1, emphasized that SUNY is uniquely sations started on Oct. 21 at Hudson Valley positioned to help New York’s education sys- Community College. The first conversation focused on ensuring economic vitality and tem in solving pipeline issues. “SUNY is a talent source for educators quality of life. These discussions come to a conclusion from early childhood through graduate school and we need to act as supply chain managers at the end of next February and the next five

“We have to provide the best education with the best means we have”

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will feature the themes of arts and culture, diversity and globalization, energy and sustainability, quality places and health affairs. Director of the Center for Research, Regional Education and Outreach Gerald Benjamin, who also teaches political science at SUNY New Paltz, is on the steering committee for the strategic plan and said synergy between New Paltz and the SUNY system is important. “We have to provide the best education with the best means we have,” Benjamin said. Benjamin added that Zimpher and the 200 delegates should not let the recent budget cuts that were made to the SUNY system affect any future plans. “You have to plan big. You have to have goals to marshal the institution,” he said. SUNY New Paltz President Steven Poskanzer said that he believes in the state’s plan and thinks it will be beneficial to both SUNY schools and the state. “I’m optimistic about the impact of this plan,” he said. “I’m still learning where it’s going to go and obviously the plan isn’t finished, but what I’m seeing so far is a very conscious effort to engage a broad statewide dialogue about what SUNY should be and why SUNY is important to New York State.”

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New Observatory Constructed On Campus By Zan Strumfeld Arts & Entertainment Editor |

A new observatory on campus was completed this past summer near the soccer field at the southern end of campus. With only a few adjustments to be made, the observatory is almost ready for its grand opening. The planning process for the observatory began a few years ago when a past SUNY New Paltz president became acquainted with Jack and Muriel Smolen, a local couple. Jack Smolen was an avid amateur astronomer and had built his own telescope and observatory. The couple had owned a piece of land and decided together that when they died, they would give the observatory to the college as a gift. However, since the actual observatory was far from the campus, the college needed to decide on another way to order to make it convenient for students. When the couple died, President Steven Poskanzer spoke with the executor of the will in order to remian true to Smolen’s wishes by rebuilding the observatory oncampus for better convenience. When it was approved, they sold off the original piece of land and the proceeds then went to fund the construction and operation of the observatory. “It’s a really good thing to do that makes sense for us academically that we never would have been able to do otherwise,” said Poskanzer. “We never would have had the money to build an observatory otherwise.” Although full classes won’t be held in the observatory, it’s a great thing to have on campus instead of having to take a field trip off-campus. And, it can positively tie into with the physics department, which is getting more and more involved with astrophysics, which is the study of the physics behind stars. The only problem the campus had with the observatory was where to place it. “We looked at about five different places, back and forth, and the two places were the far northeast corner of Lot 28 across the street and the soccer field at the southern end of campus,” said Poskanzer. “Yet the problem with the parking lot is that we needed to turn off the light.”


The money to fund the observatory, which is located near the soccer field, was provided by the Smolens. Eventually, the school decided to place the observatory by the soccer field at the southern end of campus by Esopus Hall, where there is ample darkness, which is ideal for stargazing. “It basically is a very rudimentary building, a little nicer than a shed,” said Poskanzer. “It has a roof that slides off, literally when you look at the stars.” The observatory was designed by Michael Weatherly, an architectural designer for the college. “It’s utilitarian and very appropriate for its location next to our SUNY New Paltz athletic fields,” said John McEnrue, Director of Facilities Design and Construction. With completion of the observatory coming to an

end, the last thing that needs to be done is to add a row of lights that leads to the observatory. These lights will brighten the path to the observatory and then turn off in order to then use the observatory. When they are installed, there will then be a grand opening. “From previous experience, I’ve learned that observatory locations are carefully selected, as was done with the Smolen Observatory,” said McEnrue. “They have to be placed in locations free from the clutter of urban lighting and heat absorbing concrete or, worse, asphalt. Our new Smolen Observatory is located in the best possible location on the SUNY New Paltz campus.”

NYPIRG Distressed by Low Student Voter Turnout By Steven Casale Copy Editor |

As last week’s elections have passed, New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) members have expressed disappointment in student turnout on campus, despite efforts by the organization to motivate students to go to the polls. As is seen in many off-year elections, there was a lower wave of people at the voting booths. NYPIRG, a nonprofit organization ran by a student board of directors, rallied SUNY New Paltz students in a number of ways. Members called and texted students, rallied outside the Humanities Building and chalked the campus with the word “vote.” NYPIRG also used Internet-based tools, such as Facebook, to coordinate a student turnout in this year’s local elections. This year, elections in New Paltz included positions on the Ulster County Legislature, the Town Council, local judgeships and clerk positions. “I did see the low turnout,” said NYPIRG member and fourth-year student Maria Davila.

“I’m very disappointed in the supposedly progressive activist scene at SUNY New Paltz. I think the reason... was because students don’t realize how much their voice matters, and how significant voting is.” NYPIRG Project Coordinator Ariana Basco said that while her rallying efforts in town were met with good reception, the same efforts on campus were mixed. According to Basco, a number of students reacted negatively to the idea of voting, and she said that such sentiment is presumably due to the feeling students have that “[New Paltz] is not their home, but they are just going to school here.” Basco said that the low turnout was surprising considering that 1,300 students signed a petition to Gov. David Paterson regarding budget cuts, while only 100 students came to vote in the multipurpose room of the Student Union Building. “We are all affected by the outcome of the elections, whether one lives here for nine months of the year or 12,” said Basco. Students presented two sides to the issue. While NYPIRG noted that many students vot-

ed absentee in their hometowns, some students did not. “I’m registered in Westchester County and couldn’t make the drive home,” said fourth-year art history and international relations major Katie Cossolotto. “I feel that if Election Day were made a national holiday, then perhaps more people would vote [and] it would allow people to get out of work and school to exercise their right to vote.” Other students like fourth-year media management major George Selby stressed the importance on local elections and community awareness. Selby said that local government is “what affects us the most,” and that he voted to “protect his vital interests in the community.” The issue most important to Selby was the Ulster County Judge seat. “I voted against Don Williams who was running against Deborah Schneer,” said Selby. “Williams has… gone out of his way to put many non-violent drug offenders in jail, while Schneer was an advocate of treatment versus punishment when people get in trouble for drugs.”

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Selby said his opposition to Williams also stemmed from his prosecuting of former New Paltz Mayor Jason West’s wedding of gay couples in 2004 and the ignoring of evidence by Justin Holmes in Holmes’ lawsuit against the college. Although citizens over age 18 received the right to vote in 1972, the 18 to 25-yearold demographic is still the demographic that statistically votes the least. “[Students] think it’s OK to complain about this and that and then not get up from Facebook for 15 minutes to make this town a [better] place,” said Selby. NYPIRG has higher hopes for next year’s election, as Basco noted that a general election usually draws more voters, having said that next year “students will have more exposure to the elections through the media,” being that elections will include that of governor and senate seats. “The more students we educate, the more vote,” said Davila. “People need to realize that it is worth their time.”

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The New Paltz Oracle

Adjuncts Ask For Better Working Conditions Adjuncts continued from page one

According to Poskanzer, in 2008 adjunct professors taught 30.8 percent of the courses at the school. This number is the lowest it has been in years, as they taught more than 50 percent of classes a decade ago, said Poskanzer. He also said that in the ‘70s and ‘80s the school faced budget cuts and the school decided to save money by replacing more expensive full time faculty who made roughly $50,000 a year, with adjuncts who could be paid roughly $2,000 per course. “It is a very tempting thing for colleges to do,” Poskanzer said. “And it may be financially attractive, but it’s academically bankrupt.” According to Poskanzer, it has been a conscious effort of this administration to reduce the percentage of courses taught by part time faculty in order to “use fewer, but treat them well.” Historically, UUP has been calling for what Poskanzer called a 70-30 split as the ratio between full time and adjunct faculty. “We’re basically there, which is good, but we’re not done there yet,” he said, adding that ideally the school would get down to 25 percent. “We’d be a leader in terms of where we were which would be a good thing for a

place like New Paltz.” About five years ago the school set a base pay for adjuncts and decided to raise it each year by the same margin as the negotiated full time faculty raises. Poskanzer said adjunct salary is close to $3,000 per course, up from $2,800 a year earlier after a 3-4 percent increase. He also said that New Paltz pays higher than most schools in the area, including private colleges like Marist and Mount Saint Mary. “We’re good in terms of the market,” he said. “It’s not like other schools in the area are stealing away our faculty because they’re paying more.” However, some faculty members feel that adjunct pay is still too low. “Adjuncts are the lowest paid on campus,” said Brown, who has been involved in advocating for adjuncts for five years. “The people who teach in the classrooms are being paid less than those who clean classrooms.” Brown and Vice President for Part-Timers Yvonne Aspengren, an adjunct professor of seven years in the foreign language department, said the quality of education will suffer. “It’s increased the workload for everyone and class sizes have increased,” said

Aspengren. “Twenty-seven in a foreign language class is way too many, and now they’re really holding to the minimum as well.” This semester the minimum was not reached for the section of German Composition and Conversation 1, so Brown took on an independent study without pay so that the willing students needn’t bring their studies to an end. With a battle regarding salaries, Kelder said it is prudent to take the looming possibility of future budget cuts into consideration. “We’re going to continue to try and improve conditions if budget gets worse,” said Kelder. “If we have more budget cuts there is the possibility of less searching for full-time, which could translate to an increase in parttime.” In order for the ideal improved conditions and increased salaries, Brown took things to a basic level and said that the first necessary step is educating people. “We shouldn’t be delivering our education on the backs of exploited academic labor,” he said. However, Poskazner stood by the school’s pay. Although he said they are hardworking, valued members of our community. “We have nothing to be defensive about

Congratulations to the Spring 2010 New Paltz Oracle E-Board! Editor-in-Chief........................... Pierce Lydon Managing Editor................... Julie Mansmann Features Editor..................... Justin McCarthy A&E Editor............................... Zan Strumfeld Sports Editor........................... Pete Thompson Photo Editors.......................... Felice Bernabo Alec Horowitz Copy Editors................................ Maxim Alter Sunya Bhutta

Interested in joining the E-Board? E-mail for more details! Thursday, November 12, 2009

our pay or treatment of our adjunct faculty,” he said. According to Poskanzer, administrators are open to make adjuncts feel more engaged and appreciated. One such benefit is the healthcare offered to professors who teach two classes a semester. He said they try to ensure faculty teaches at least two courses in order to receive these benefits. However, the president said no matter how talented part-time faculty members are, they typically cannot connect with students in the same way full time faculty can. According to Poskanzer, this is mainly due to the fact that they are not on campus as often and are harder to adopt as mentors. Efforts were made to give adjuncts office space on campus so they could better meet with students. Three years ago, administrators created a space for adjunct offices in Wooster Science Building, and have shared offices for adjuncts across campus. According to Poskanzer, offices for full-time professors come first. “We don’t have enough space for full -time faculty right now. That’s got to be our first priority,” he said. For more information, visit

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Gunk

Zombie Apocalypse Arrives

By Zan Strumfeld A&E Editor |

There’s been something very eerie about walking around campus the past week or so. I’ve been feeling like someone’s watching me, watching everyone. Recently, I took a night walk and noticed two people crouched behind a bush by the Gunk. Before I had a moment to figure out what the hell was going on, a Nerf dart shot past my body, grazing my hair in an attempt to hit one of the bush hiders. I was nervous about how to react—should I have been confused that there was a kid in my philosophy class holding a Nerf gun with a bandana proudly fixed on his arm, aiming his gun at bush kids who had bandanas adjusted on their heads? With shivers creeping down my spine, I realized not to fear any longer… I was just an Innocent Bystander, bush kids were only Zombies and Nerf gun kid was a Human. Wait… what? There were zombies roaming around campus? And I shouldn’t have had any fear? Bandana-less, like I’ve always been, I returned to my dorm and realized I had just witnessed the most talked about game on-campus: Humans vs. Zombies. Feeling confused, lost, even left out, I sought out to find truth and reason. Upon doing so, I found David Lustig, a first-year history secondary education major, who started Human vs. Zombies at SUNY New Paltz. “My roommate was talking about Nerf gun fights and I wanted to do something fun with them,” Lustig said. “Goucher College had been running games with zombies since 2005 and I started looking into it.” With New Paltz being such a small campus, Lustig realized that it was the perfect place to play the game, essentially that of tag. Surprisingly enough, starting it was a lot easier than Lustig imagined. “I made a Facebook group and invited like six friends,” said Lustig. “Then they started inviting their own friends and I went away for the weekend and when I got back, the group had 150 members, and later to about 313.” So, with students interested and ready to get involved in the game, Lustig began researching the rules from He then gave out all of the information through the Facebook group. The rules are simple, sort of. Everyone starts out as a Human, wearing a bandana on their arm to differentiate between the Zombies who wear bandanas on their heads, except for the one appointed Alpha-Zombie, second-year Shaun Ben-Auri. It is his task to start off the war by eating Humans, just by touching them. Once a Human is tagged, he (or she) trans-

Human vs. Zombies, a new game of survival, kept students busy this week. forms into a Zombie, moving the bandana from his arm to his head. Lustig kept count of this through the use of index cards, where once a Human becomes a Zombie, he must record the time and slip it under his door, where he then recorded the information on an Excel spreadsheet. Time is important because a Zombie must begin eating Humans right away. If they don’t eat within a 48-hour span, they starve to death and are eliminated from the game. Surviving Humans, on the other hand, must fully protect themselves from Zombies. They are allowed Nerf guns and the use of socks as weapons. If a Zombie is shot with a Nerf dart or sock, they are “stunned” for 15 minutes, unable to feast. However, they are not disqualified for those 15 minutes, so if they are attacked again during that time, their 15 minutes start over. All of these rules are on a trust basis, and written out on the group’s Facebook page. This is clearly an easy target for producing arguments between opposing players, yet most participants are trustworthy and respect

the game. Also, all buildings and cars are safe zones, where the game can only be played oncampus or in town. It’s a scary world out there. Sitting in Hasbrouck the other night, nine variously sized guns were laying across the table around plates of food. All the Humans at my table, or really, my friends, stared down and pointed out Zombies. They knew very well that as soon as they stepped outside, all hell could and would break lose. They were prepared though, with hidden socks in their pockets, guns in their shoes and an eye out on every surrounding direction. This is exactly what Lustig wanted. Devising the game on-campus, the 150 participants spent Monday, Nov. 2 until Saturday, Nov. 7 playing the game. Although Lustig initially started playing the game, he realized that playing and being in control was too much work, and decided to quit after a few days. “When I was tagged, I walked alone for the first hour until I saw two other zombies and


we grouped together,” said Lustig. “I met four other kids in about five minutes. As corny as it sounds, I almost felt safer, welcome… it was a good feeling. In reality, the game promoted meeting new people.” To say the least, the war got intense and maybe even out of hand. A friend of mine said she was sitting in class, wearing a headband, and Humans went up to her asking if she was a Zombie. Since class is off-limits for attacking, they continued to glare at her and distrust her, even though she was not a part of the game. “Some people seemed like they were getting too into it, even cursing each other out,” said Lustig. “I held a meeting and even though I felt like I was chastising people that were older than me, I told everyone that it was just a game and afterward, the game just got better.” With only a few RA complaints, the school itself didn’t seem to say any negative comments to Lustig. Zombies continued on page 7B


Student Filmmaker Finds Success JOHN MINGIONE’S FILM MAKES IT TO MTV

By Allison Summers Contributing Writer |

It was early Saturday morning when John Mingione received the e-mail. After all the time dedicated and tedious editing—the hard work had finally paid off. Mingione’s short film, “Stockholm Syndrome,” had just made the top 25 category in the MTV-sponsored contest “Best Film on Campus,” and had a shot at winning grand prizes, including a trip to the 2008 MTV Movie Awards and a production deal with MTV films worth up to $25,000. Mingione, a 20-year-old communications and media major at SUNY New Paltz said he’s had a passion for filmmaking from a very early age. “I started making films when I was 8 or 9-years-old,” said Mingione. “I would steal my dad’s video camera and just make little movies of my sister or my room.” However, Mingione didn’t begin toying with editing until the seventh grade, after finding a program that would allow him to do so on his computer. “I began editing [videos] of family vacations and stuff,” he says, “but I didn’t know I would keep doing it. I just fell in love with it.” Throughout high school, Mingione steadily began developing his craft, recruiting close friends to act in short comedy sketches that he would write, film and edit. One friend in particular, 20-year-old journalism major, Ben Horney, has known Mingione since elementary school and participated in the production of many sketches, acting and providing ideas for scripts. “I started getting involved with the films in high school,” Horney said. “John would ask me if I wanted to help out, so I’d be in them a lot and I’d hold his camera for him and stuff like that.” Even today, Horney still plays an active role in assisting with film productions. “Ben is like the Clyde to my Bonnie,” Mingione said. “If [my work] is about 70 percent, sometimes it takes that extra 30 percent to just push you, and that’s Ben.” During his senior year of high school in 2007, Mingione scripted and filmed his first movie entitled “Stockholm Syndrome.” The action-packed, 20-minute-long thriller was based on an actual psychological phenomenon in which, over long periods of time, some hostages form


Mingione made it to the top 25 of 100 submissions in MTV’s “Best Film on Campus” contest.

emotional attachments to their captors. The premise of the film revolves around a young man named Brian and the search for his girlfriend, Katie, who’s been abducted by a man nicknamed “Bone Crusher,” a criminal notorious for kidnapping young women. Chaos ensues with the struggle to bring Katie home, and the film concludes with a shocking twist. “The concept for ‘Stockholm Syndrome’ actually came from a blink-182 song,” said Mingione. “I thought the [concept] sounded cool, so I researched it and I was surprised that something like that actually existed. I thought it would be the greatest idea for a movie.” Shortly after, Mingione posted his film on YouTube for the public to see. In the fall of 2007, Mingione got an e-mail from an MTV representative asking why Mingione had not entered “Stockholm Syndrome” into MTV’s “Best Film on Campus” contest. Remarkably, the representative had seen the film on, liked it and decided to give him a heads-up about the contest. It was only hours before the deadline, and Mingione had never even heard of the contest otherwise. He was completely shocked. “I don’t even know if the MTV representative was allowed to do that,” he said. “But it was really cool.” After some tedious re-editing, Mingione submitted the film to the contest, in which winners were determined through public voting. While the film did not win the grand prize, the fact that “Stockholm Syndrome” made it all the way to the top 25 category out of hundreds of film submissions was a remarkable feat for a high school production. Mingione was both shocked and thrilled when he first saw the results. “This was something I did in high school and all the other people in the category were probably third-year filmmakers who had budgets of thousands of dollars,” he said. “My film cost me about $20 to make, and I did it all with a handheld video camera and a tripod.” Soon after the contest, Mingione launched his own Web site, johnisfunny. com, which contains a variety of his films including some of his earlier sketch comedies, dramas, including “Stockholm Syndrome” and music videos of his band, “All I Can Say.” Things are looking up for the 20-year-old as he is in his third year of college at SUNY New Paltz. After the “Best Film on Campus” contest, MTV asked Mingione to film some footage around the campus as part of a new show called “What the Flip?!” The show provided 100 college students with Flip camcorders, requiring them to record short one-minute videos based on certain themes provided by MTV. MTV asked Mingione to film wherever he was at a particular time. “I think it was around 2:13 p.m. or something,” he said. “I guess they wanted to see what 100 different people were doing at that particular time on the date they gave us. I happened to be in an elevator. They then asked me to film some more random stuff, so I filmed parties and just my friends and I hanging out.” Although Mingione was not paid for his footage, he was allowed to keep the Flip camcorder. His footage is scheduled to air sometime in late 2009. When it comes to other filmmakers, Mingione admits he has a few that he admires, but none that he aspires to be like. “I definitely admire people such as Todd Phillips and Judd Apatow because they’ve provided us with some of the biggest comedies of our generation, such as “Old School,” “Superbad” and “Knocked Up,” he said. However, when it comes to his own filmmaking, Mingione is his own person, sticking to his originality and not trying to emulate anyone else. “I kind of just do what I think is funny. Usually after, other people find it funny too,” he said.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The New Paltz Oracle

Editor’s Edibles All cultures have perfected the dumpling—and Italy is no exception. Gnocchi—soft, pasta dumplings thought to have Middle Eastern origins, derive their name from “nocchio,” meaning “a knot in wood.” Traditionally made with potatoes, gnocchi have many regional variations, such as this one where new and old worlds meet. This vegetarian recipe brings in the autumn season with butternut squash and treats the tongue with a grassy finish of sage – it is perfect for a simple meal at home with friends. For the gnocchi: 1 butternut squash 1 cup semolina flour 2 cups regular flour 2 eggs ½ tsp chopped sage ½ tsp chopped oregano ¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus some more for brushing For the sauce: 4 Tbsp unsalted butter 15 sage leaves, cut in chiffonade Pinch sea salt Pinch black pepper To make the gnocchi: 1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 2. Halve the butternut squash lengthwise and remove the seeds and flesh. Rub each cut side lightly with olive oil and place down onto a baking sheet. Roast for 45 minutes. 3. When done, remove and scoop out squash from shells into a bowl. Allow it to reach room temperature. Meanwhile, lightly beat the eggs in a separate bowl. Mash squash into a puree, add eggs and mix. 4. Add cup of semolina flour to the mixture and mix, slowly add the second cup of regular flour as needed until you have a ball of relatively sticky dough. If more than two cups of flour are needed, then do so, but the third cup will also be used for dusting. Lastly mix in chopped herbs, nutmeg, pepper and extra virgin olive oil. 5. Flour a work surface such as a countertop. Roll a 2-inch ball of the dough into a log that is about the diameter of a thumb. Cut the log at 1-inch intervals, making little dumplings. Repeat this step until all the dough is used. 6. In a large pot of salted boiling water, add a few gnocchi at a time, cooking for about 6 to 7 minutes, or until the gnocchi float to the top. Remove with a slotted spoon, toss with sauce and freshly shredded cheese, such as pecorino. To make the sauce: 1. Heat the butter in a saucepan on medium heat until small brown pieces form, but butter is not burning. 2. Throw in the sage and season with some salt and black pepper. Cook one more minute, before removing from heat. For a more complex sauce, adding some chopped shallots, a dash of balsamic vinegar or some Parmesan also works nicely. Serves 4 By Steven Casale


The New Paltz Oracle

Happiness, Geographically


Geography of Bliss, a book by Eric Weiner was discussed on Thursday night in the CSB auditorium. The discussion caused spontaneous thought bubbles to form within my brain for over an hour. It made me ask myself over and over if what I comprehended as personal happiness was truly accurate. “There are two things you should know about me. One, I love, I really love to travel, and two, I’m a grump,” Eric Weiner said as he discussed his new best-selling book, The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World. The book, which has been translated into 14 languages was published by Twelve, a company that only publishes 12 books per year. Twelve graciously paid for Eric Weiner’s insightful quest for both the happiest and unhappiest places in the world. Eric Weiner has a longtime experience as a journalist and worked as a foreign correspondent for NPR, but was denied any money from NPR when he first pitched his book idea to them. He also lived and reported in developing countries, like Afghanistan and India. Besides his love for travel, Weiner embraces geography and topography, claiming that geography has gotten a “bum wrap” over the years because “prophets of placeless lands,” those considered to live in amidst Silicon Valley, try to convince others that we’re already aware of what geography is or what the term entails, since “we’re all interconnected with Wi-Fi and cell phones, and I think that’s wrong.” He informed the audience that ever since he was 5-years-old, he’s been in motion. Weiner unraveled the true story about how he and his friend, Drew, ran away from home but after walking a few miles away from his home, the Baltimore County Police brought them back home. It still couldn’t deter Eric Weiner’s aspirations of world travel, which ultimately led him into journalism. His voice reached high velocities across the auditorium, and he was full of so much wit and charm. But his grump side soon seeped through. “The truth is, I’m not a grump, I’m close to being a mountain tent. Some people question how I can be unhappy since I’m a bestselling author, [worked for] NPR, I’m good looking with a full thick head of hair, but I keep forgetting that I’m not on radio and I can’t keep lying,” said Weiner. Even throughout much success as a journalist, Weiner was well-aware of his “white noise of unhappiness” dating back to his birth in 1963, the same year Harvey Ball invented the “burning, nauseating yellow” Smiley Face. He said, “he never trademarked or copyrighted it, so he may have died happy, but not wealthy.” His personal unhappiness wasn’t


Weiner lectured students about his search for the happiest country in the world. pure cynicism nor was it directly caused by his time spent reporting from countries at war, like Iraq, Iran and Sudan, although he admitted he’s somewhat happier after completing his book. As a journalist, he was stuck spending a lot of time with unhappy people and only reported selective news and sometimes not reporting the whole story. Then, Weiner had an epiphany, or what he called “a light bulb moment, asking ‘Eric, what are you doing?’” He needed facts to write Geography of Bliss Weiner explained. He couldn’t just assume that places with warm, tropical beaches with umbrellas in drinks and a swim up bar were the happiest places in the world. When interviewing people, he simply asked “On a scale from one to 10, with one being miserable and ten being Oprah levels of happy, Oprah’s happy, right? How happy are you?”

He quoted several historians and philosophers regarding happiness, including Aristotle and Henry Miller and dwelled on how Americans perceive happiness with wealth or that the happiest places in the world must be someplace warm, like the Bahamas. Weiner continuously repeated that his theory on happiness is based on absolutely nothing, except what he’s observed from interviews with people around the world. In Geography of Bliss, his first trip was to meet Dr. Ruut Veenhoven, the head of The World Database of Happiness located in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Before Dr. Veenhoven could reveal the happiest places, he explained that the least happy places were categorized into two groups. The first group of least happy places Weiner discused is sub-Saharan Africa, for what he said to be “obvious reasons.” He re-

“There are two things you should know about me. One, I love, I really love to travel, and two, I’m a grump” -Eric Weiner

Thursday, November 12, 2009

peatedly disputed the statistic that the poorest of the poor are not the happiest of people because of living in impoverished lands. He also disputed that Thailand, “the land of smiles,” is not all what it seemed. He also advised the audience that staying in high-priced, glitzy five-star hotels only insulate and isolate one discovering the country. Weiner considered Russia and former Soviet states, adding that he’s not being insincere, but former Soviet Union countries such as Ukraine and Belarus are a part of the unhappy mix. Latin America was considered “surprisingly happier” due to the amount of close-knit families, even if there was “less income or NARC officers.” Eastern Asian countries such as Japan and China were labeled not as happy by Weiner. He mentioned that these some of these countries economies are booming, however, the price of happiness didn’t matter because the people of these countries believe in relational happiness, or in achieving happiness by connecting with those around you instead of personal happiness. Lastly, Eric Weiner insisted that money does not define happiness, but an increase in income can help boost your happiest. The country’s climate also doesn’t matter, noting that Dr. Veenhoven encouraged him to visit Iceland and Denmark, despite their cold climates. He admitted that one factor in regards to Iceland’s happiness might exist because Icelanders “drink like fish,” but only on the weekends. According to Weiner, he was told that there are so many unknown forces of creativity coursing through Iceland with musicians and artists (Björk, for example). When he met an Icelandic music producer named Lars, Weiner went straight for the anecdotes when Lars told him that Iceland embraces failure, while America embraces failure only when there’s a success story. Another country, less cold, but extremely isolated is Bhutan. In Bhutan, Weiner met fellow friend and confidant, Karma Aura, a Bhutanese villager and Buddhist who advised him to contemplate death everyday for at least five minutes. Weiner bargained with Aura, telling his audience that he thinks about death for two-and-a-half minutes instead. Weiner used best-selling author, John Grisham, as an example since Grisham received 17 rejected manuscripts before he was finally published. Overall, the mood among the audience didn’t drop to abysmal lows; there was enough satire and cultural innuendos to create boisterous roars of laughter across the room. On a final note, Iceland is now bankrupt, but Weiner shared a personal e-mail from an acquaintance that expressed that there was anxiety over the economic crisis but the community remains closer than ever simply by talking to every villager or inquiring about one’s day.


The New Paltz Oracle

Thursday, November 12, 2009


The New Paltz Oracle

Poets Provide a Slammin’ Time


The room is packed. Some people look anxious while politely eyeing the competition. Supportive friends are loyally glued to their chairs, not knowing what to expect. On Thursday, Oct. 22, SUB 100 was filled with close to 200 people. “This is not a fucking poetry reading at Barnes and Noble. If you like what you hear then snap, make noise, punch the person next to you. If you don’t like what you hear, then punch the person next to you,” said Brian “Omni” Dillon. The second Open Poetry Slam has begun. The top 12 competitors move on to the second round that takes place on Nov. 12 and then the winners form the New Paltz Slam Team. To make things more nerve-racking for the competitors, so many poets competed that the single open mic night was split into two separate nights. Additionally, the competitors have to win the hearts of five randomly selected judges from the crowd; there is no room for favoritism here. At the end of each performance, the judges dash a score onto the board that ranges from one to 10, and then the organizers of the event drop the lowest and highest scores and proceed to average the remaining scores together. By no means is this a silent judging. The crowd shows their approval or disapproval of the scores with a chorus of boos, whoops, jeers and claps. The rules are simple: every poem must be original and poems must be under three minutes long, otherwise points are deducted. Don’t expect this to be your average po-

Close to 200 people came out to the SUB for the event.

etry reading. The poems performed are delivered with the intensity of a dramatic monologue. Eden Connelly was one of the featured poets of the night. In one poem she compared love to a car crash, and while tapping her fingers on her chest she observes, “One heart can stop beating in one person’s chest/ and yours will pump on like muscle/ the second time/ I loved a boy like the sun was in his stomach but...” Connelly curls her fingers in the air and enunciates all of the “s” sounds in her poem, and then she leans in slightly towards the audience and in a softer voice said “…I learned that love could leave us in the middle of the night.” Her voice warbles as she said this, and then in


rising crescendo of anger she spits “and your lungs will keep breathing just to spite you” the crowd goes wild and a “Damn” interrupts her outraged silence. In another poem she alliteratively assaulted the audience with lines like “cliff ledge linger hold hold me/ behind your back back/ remember me.” Each poet varies as much as the flavors of different spices. One of the competitors, Thomas Bair, performed his piece with an intense roaring voice that demanded attention. He discussed varying ways to fill loneliness, disappointment, relationships and more things than can be named in this article. He took the floor in an understated black sweatshirt and performed his piece with the intensity of an oncoming

hurricane. “…Once she brought a boy to meet her mother (who wore a rosary around her neck and seriously considered naming her first daughter Jesus) and her mother wouldn’t look at him and cursed in Spanish and the boy was Peruvian…,” said Bair. By no means is politeness a prerequisite for Slam Poetry. Some people may whine that some of the poems sound too much like prose, but different styles of poetry incorporate rhymes, sound more like poetic prose, or came off as rap-like that there was something that was engaging for everyone. Slam Poetry is slowly recreating the excitement of reading poetry and returning it to the mainstream. We live in an exceptionally visual culture. We no longer experience text as just black ink on a page nor are we limited in solely thinking in words. Slam Poetry appeals to numerous and different people because it speaks to us in our visual language and in the way that we think. The pull of Slam Poetry is in its emotionally charged performance. Although not all of the performers did as well as others and some were fairly nervous going up, but damn, most of them were amazing. It’s apparent that these Slam Poets are the voices and conscience of our generation. There was such a diverse range of issues that were discussed that night that varied from familial relationships, romantic relationships, rape, religion, gay rights issues and even one poem about a bizarre gathering of guests at a Halloween party. With its infectious ability to attract so many different types of people Slam Poetry is paving the way for poetry to make a comeback.


By Jillian Borde Contributing Writer |

On Sunday, Nov. 8, the seventh annual Envied Fashion Show debuted with designers from New Paltz and students on-campus displaying their work on the runway. Alumni and founders who had participated in Envied before came to support the event. The runway was triangle shaped and had models posing at each corner. The set was professionally made with spotlights and a DJ spinning music. “It takes an average of a year to actually plan and set up the show, ideas, themes, models, designers and everything else that goes along with show planning,” said President of Envied Fashions Jovan Layne, who was appointed last December. The doors opened at 5 p.m. and the line filled up on the second floor Student Union Building (SUB). Security guards frantically organized the crowd to keep things calm. The models and designers did a last minute fitting for the show. Just as the show was about to begin, as tradition, the large group

of student models, Envied Executive board (E-board) and student designers prayed for a smooth and successful show. The crowd was excited and the SUB multipurpose room was full. Once the DJ started playing music, everyone in the crowd got excited and started dancing and clapping to the beat. The designers included Wendy Chan, ANU, First Choice and De Lux. The day of the show proved intense for the E-board, designers and models. “Some of us were nervous, and some couldn’t wait to be on the runway,” said model and first-year undecided student, Galdiany Desroches. “We had to spend the whole day practicing, getting fitted, and being assigned to outfits. It was a beautiful experience and modeling was great. I had a great time and would do it again.” “Everything before hand, especially the day of the show, is very hectic, but when everybody’s in their clothes and about to go on stage, that’s when the relief comes in,” said student designer and third-year Kierra Chapel.


Wendy Chan, ANU, First Choice and De Lux were some designers at the show. Last year’s Envied president and recent New Paltz graduate, Kim Arango attended the show as well. “I am proud of what this year’s president and his E-board have produced. The execution was nearly flawless,” Arango said. “From the DJ and his foot stomping tunes, and the enchanting models to the eye

Thursday, November 12, 2009

provoking fashion.” Fans of Envied look forward to the show every year. “I’m excited to see what next year’s president has in store for the fall of 2010,” said Layne.


The New Paltz Oracle


By Sunya Bhutta

Copy Editor |

While channel flipping through all the basic networks, I found that there was nothing remotely interesting on TV. It was a series of reruns, boring soap operas and ridiculous reality shows. I was just about to give up and turn the tube off when suddenly I came across some familiar faces on WNPC, the campus TV station. I was instantly intrigued, and not just for the purpose of watching my peers perform, but because I genuinely found it refreshing. So much of what we watch on TV is produced by people we will never know, and probably never meet. The WNPC is run entirely by SUNY New Paltz students, so the people we see on TV are also the students we see every day in our classes or around town. Melissa Hernan is a fourth-year journalism major and the English news director for WNPC. You might have seen her anchoring the news a few times on one of the WFNP channels three, six, eight or 20 if you live off-campus, but there is so much more that comes with her job title. Hernan is responsible for producing the news, deciding what stories to cover, picking anchors and controlling all other production aspects.

“It’s not nearly close enough to what the real world is like, but it gives you that experience you can’t find in a classroom” Hernan said. Right before going on camera, Hernan shuffled through her notes, fixed her hair and adjusted her posture. She didn’t seem nervous at all, and with confidence and concentrations she said, “let’s do this.” The camera rolls and the sound is on, Hernan is ready to go. “I still get nervous, even though I have been doing this for so many semesters,” Herman said. However, that nervousness is not apparent once she takes the stage. Her serious voice and tone appropriately emphasize the right words without hesitation and her facial expressions virtuously correspond to the stories. Even if she stumbles her words or messes up a sentence she doesn’t lose focus or concentration, she humbly apologizes and politely asks for a re-take. Hernan’s passion for broadcasting was inspired by the story of Edward R. Murrow in the movie “Good Night, and Good Luck.” “He was a crusader, he was a normal guy who fought for something he believed in,” she said. “He went up against [Sen. Jo-

Hernan was inspired by the movie “Good Night, and Good Luck.”

seph McCarthy], one of the scariest people in that time, and did what he was supposed to do as a journalist. There is nothing more inspirational than someone like that.” Experience leads to success and Hernan has dedicated a large portion of her time to her future career. She has interned at News 12 Long Island TV station and has covered local news and events in New Paltz. “I have been a part of the TV station since my freshman year and it’s probably the best decision I made while being here,” she said. “It teaches you a lot about yourself. You just grow in ways you don’t necessarily think you would because you’re put

Thursday, November 12, 2009


in situations that you’re not always comfortable facing.” To get involved at the TV station, or if you are interested in helping out with a taping, contact a staff member at Hernan encourages more student involvement and wants the TV station to create its own identity. “You don’t have to be a media student or a part of the department to help out. All you need to do is check out the Web site or stop by the SUB 315. Start talking to people and we will train you,” she said. “You can participate as much as you want.”


The New Paltz Oracle


By Samantha Basile Contributing Writer |

Lil’ Wayne re-crowned himself as the king of hip-hop this past week. On Oct. 28, the lyrical genius put out yet another mixtape titled No Ceilings. With over 100,000 downloads from Web sites, such as, the rapper released songs that were nothing less than perfect. Mixtapes are the future in rap music, thanks to Lil’ Wayne. Ever since the rapper was signed to his record label Young Money Entertainment, he has released a myriad number of them. Mixtapes are comparably the same as albums, yet they are not released in stores for sale. These mixtapes are available online, legally and are free to download. Lil’ Wayne has released numerous mixtapes such as The Drought and Dedication 3. With all this free music available to virtually everyone, Lil’ Wayne was able to build up his fan base which was the main reason his album, The Carter III, was such a great success. On one track the rapper says, “People ask me: Why do you give out free music? Why do you do this? His answer, “Because I’m Weezy. I’m different.” The fact that he gives out so much free music makes his fans want to buy his albums, which is why he can be considered one of the greatest rappers among hip-hop community today. Wayne’s odd yet clever lyrics are the highlight of his mixtape along with the perfect beats that go with it. The rapper used old and new beats throughout the entire mixtapes, such as the beats from “Death of AutoTune” and “Run This Town,” which are a few popular songs Jay-Z recently released off of his new album The Blueprint 3. Lil’ Wayne put his own spin to these popular songs using lines such as, “C-A-R-T-E-R, put the beat in

ER” and “Young Weezle flow needles I can thread shirts.” These lines illustrate Wayne’s unique way of rapping; one of his best traits as an artist. One of his best tracks on the mixtapes is “Watch My Shoes.” In this track, the rapper spits his finest lyrics within four minutes and 39 seconds. His lyrics are raw, upfront and real and the flow is original and extremely catchy; a perfect combination unraveling an unforgettable song. Lil’ Wayne also featured some of his fellow Young Money Entertainment rappers, in order to promote their music. Tyga, Jae Millz, Short Dawg and Gudda Gudda are just a few of the other rappers that can be heard on tracks like “Break Up” and “Poke Her Face.” The song “Break Up” is also a favorite among fans due to the extreme amount of bass present in the song. Lil’ Wayne took the track from R&B singer Mario and made his own remix to it. The song starts with Lil’ Wayne, then progresses to rapper Short Dawg then Gudda Gudda finishes up the song with his verse. Short Dawg and Gudda Gudda deliver solid verses featuring some lines like “All about my bills like Buffalo” and “Flow harder than an anvil.” On this mixtape these two artists show fans that they are here to stay in the rap industry. Their talent shines through the verses. Another artist that has paved their way in the music industry is a female rapper named Nicki Minaj. She brings a fresh face to the world of female rappers and carries along a side of attitude that makes her stand out among the rest. “Please, you can never compare to me, all these bitches is scared of me, I am who they couldn’t even dare to be” is just a taste of what Nicki Minaj brings to the table as an artist within the song “Sweet Dreams.” The addition of these rappers is the icing to the cake; another reason why this mixtape is

My Morning Jacket will be appearing on the show “American Dad” on Nov. 22. The episode is called “My Morning Straitjacket.”


Lil’ Wayne released a mixtape on Oct. 28. so great. With strong uncut lyrics, memorable beats, promising talent from other artists, and of course, the rapper himself, Lil’ Wayne has proven to his audience that he is a force to be reckoned with. Fans of the rapper were extremely excited when this mixtape was released, yet are questioning if this will be the last album we hear from him due to his recent jail sentencing this past month. He was found guilty due to gun charges and faces up to a year in prison. There have been rumors that Lil’ Wayne will release his newest album, The Carter VI, by Christmas 2009, but until then it will just be a waiting game. For now, we are hoping the best for Lil’ Wayne and are anticipating what is next to come from the “best rapper alive.”

Humans Prevail in Zombie Attack Zombies continued from Gunk Front

“I’m trying to keep out of the school’s hands,” said Lustig. “The game was meant to be run on-campus, not by it.” With so much success from the first game, Lustig is planning on having the game run about three times next semester, starting on Feb. 1. He plans on having about 200 people participating this time, but is asking for donations of $1 per person in order to be able to buy Nerf guns to place around campus during the game, and even have prizes for winning players. Luckily, for everyone, the game took a short 12-hour break from Friday at 8 p.m. to Saturday at 8 a.m., where bandanas were removed and breathing was normal again. For one night, Zombies and Humans could party together, laughing and smiling, knowing that their short lived friendship wouldn’t matter when the sun came up and war was back on. Friends turned their backs on one another, Zombies asked regular/innocent humans to give them signals if Humans were coming— the air was filled with planning and deceit. Some even considered locking themselves in their rooms in order to survive, only eating Ramen. Lustig said once the weekend hit, many Humans hid inside their dorms in order to survive, and realized that all Zombies would die if this stayed the case. So, he devised a plan to have all surviving Humans meet him at the quad, and whoever didn’t get eaten on their way to the safety zone would win the game. Human survivor Ben Campbell, a third-year BFA painting and

Making Music History

drawing major, enjoyed his time with the game. “It was very time consuming, but I met a lot of new people,” Campbell said. “It was a very interesting experiment – it changes your whole mentality of your schedule when you’re trying to get to class and there are all these zombies around.” On the other hand, after only lasting as a Human for three days, second-year education major Steve Stieglitz was taken to the other side. “It was awesome. The game lasted 24/7 and I had fun playing it and thinking about it,” said Stieglitz. “It was frustrating being a zombie at first because I had spent all this money on Nerf guns and I couldn’t really team up with my friends anymore. But I met others and had fun.” The game finally ended Saturday night, and, as it always should be, Humans prevailed and won the battle. I must admit I’m relieved. My friends are back, without any constant nervous feeling or their heads always turning, on-the-go, and the word ‘zombie’ isn’t brought up in every other conversation. Was it fun? Hell yeah it was. Even I, Innocent Reporter, enjoyed seeing Zombies jump out from behind benches to attack distracted Humans, or seeing three Humans attack my Zombie friend in front of the SUB. With the new and obsessive Zombie movement, the nation-wide game, Humans vs. Zombies, is finally over. Now we can all go back to wearing bandanas to represent gangs.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Of Montreal’s Kevin Barnes and The Hold Steady’s Tad Kubler are auctioning off “Mixtape Shirts” on eBay to benefit a creative writing nonprofit organization. The shirts are available in three different designs, “Best Love Songs,” “Best Breakup Songs” and a “blank” design.

:: Gorillaz are working on another opera, now with graphic novelist Alan Moore, who wrote “V for Vendetta” and “Watchmen.”

:: After days of speculation and a nasty Twitter post, it has been confirmed that Steven Tyler is not quitting his band, Aerosmith.

:: Director Robert Zemeckis hopes to redo the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine” movie from its original 1968 animated film into a performance-capture 3D digital production.

:: Dave Matthews, Red Hot Chili Peppers, John Mellencamp, Wilco and Crosby, Stills & Nash are just a handful of the artists set to pay tribute to legend Neil Young at the 2010 MusiCare’s Person of the Year gala on Jan. 29 in L.A.

All information derived from, and


The New Paltz Oracle

This Week in the Deep End:

Jamie Naftel

NAME: Jamie Naftel ART: Large format photography YEAR: Fourth year MAJOR: BFA Photography INSPIRATION: Edward Weston FAVORITE ARTIST: Edward Weston DREAM: Become a travel photographer and get paid to travel the world


Thursday, November 12, 2009

The New Paltz Oracle

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Editorials represent the views of the majority of the editorial board. Columns, op-eds and letters, excluding editorials, are solely those of the writers and do not necessarily represent the views of the New Paltz Oracle, its staff members, the campus and university or the Town or Village of New Paltz.

Although adjuncts make up roughly 40 percent of the SUNY New Paltz teaching staff, the policies regarding them are becoming worse, and they’re trying to make it known. Both adjunct and fulltime professors are speaking out against what they feel are unfair working conditions. While this is an important issue on campus, it’s not something that all are necessarily aware of. This is why we must advocate for increased awareness of the poor policies and conditions faced by adjuncts and contingent faculty members One of the main problems professors want to make known is that salaries for adjuncts have dropped by as much as 49 percent since 1970, while those of administrative positions have increased. Even worse, the top pay for adjuncts was at a time when there were very few working on the SUNY New Paltz campus, compared to the multiplied number now receiving half of the original salary. In turn, this has caused the adjunct to become the lowest paid position among faculty and administration on campus. We’re not saying that adjuncts should be shot up past higher paid positions, but they should at least be making as much as they were in the 1970s. From 1970 to 2008 the pay for adjuncts has dropped from $5,486 to $2,802, adjusted for inflation. There is a different standard of living now, and if professors are still complaining, the school needs to adjust its policies. A salary cut close to 50 percent is something that should not be suffered by any position, especially those in charge of enhancing our education. Five years ago SUNY New Paltz initiated a pay system for adjuncts, naming a base salary and raising it each year by the margin negotiated for full-time pro-

fessors. This was a step in the right direction by the administration, but if professors are still dissatisfied, it clearly isn’t enough. As an E-board, we’ve all had pleasant experiences with adjuncts so we want them to stay and be happy. We want to support them since we truly would like to have them remain here teaching our classes. Many of them are great professors who’ve provided us with exceptional lectures and from whom students have plenty to learn from. The bottom line is that we need improvement for adjuncts in order to uphold the standard of our education. This may also be causing potential adjuncts to look elsewhere, denying students the possibility of a good education

from a well-qualified instructor. Students also suffer when their professors are denied equal rights – and even equal office space. It’s difficult to properly speak to and discuss progress throughout the semester when a professor must resort to scheduling hallway meetings around class time since the lack of an office makes office hours impossible. It’s always beneficial to have the experience of real world professionals that adjuncts can provide. Some adjuncts are working lawyers, journalists, practicing nurses and more. In certain fields students need to learn from the people working in them, from adjuncts, and we need to keep them satisfied to keep them here. This is a national movement to better the current policies and include more

benefits with the adjunct position. It lacks job security, academic freedom, benefits and unemployment insurance amongst other things. Thankfully the SUNY system provides health insurance to anyone teaching two or more classes, but this is not the case at all universities. Adjuncts are also prevented from collecting unemployment over the summer months, although it is the only profession with this hindrance. Some may have other jobs, but this can be a major problem for those who don’t and require more security. From Oct. 26 to 31, the United University Professions (UUP) Chapter at SUNY New Paltz participated in Campus Equity Week (CEW) to shed light on these unfavorable conditions for both students and faculty who were previously unaware. In order to take part in the biannual, national week of action, a table was set up in the Jacobson Faculty Tower as a means of outreach. We commend them for this. The first step in improving the situation is educating others on the subject, and that’s just what they set out to do. This is something that is relevant to both faculty members and students, and all were welcome to stop by for a quick discussion or briefing on the situation at hand. Of course, there is still the ever-impending possibility of budget cuts to take into consideration. This has led to larger classes and a heavier workload for adjuncts, which are not being compensated for. Just because the budget is tight it doesn’t mean that administration should not be urged to right its wrongs, especially when heavy demands are placed on those being wronged. Bad teaching conditions are bad learning conditions, kids, so keep this cause alive and do your share by spreading awareness and advocating improvement in the policies for your professors. It will benefit you just as much as it will them.

How have your experiences with adjunct professors been? Do you think they deserve a higher salary and better working conditions? Letters to the editor can be submitted to or via mail to SUB 417 by Sundays at 5 p.m. We ask that letters are no more than 250 words, for spacial limitation issues. We reserve the right to edit letters for length and letters may not be printed if they are slanderous or offensive. Letters are printed at the discretion of the editor-in-chief. Thursday, November 12, 2009

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COLUMNS My Television Love Affair Felice Bernabo Photo Editor I love television. There is no doubt that I do. It’s a one-sided love, yes, because I know television doesn’t love me. If it did it would keep the shows that I love and want to watch on. It wouldn’t cancel them before the season even finishes. I find it’s always my favorite shows that get cancelled. I’ve come to a point where I can’t tell whether it’s that I have terrible taste

in shows and like the garbage that no one else likes which is why they get canceled or whether it’s that I like the good shows and everyone else loves the garbage and everyone watches those, so they stay on and don’t get canned. I like to believe it’s that I have a good taste in shows and don’t like the garbage that doesn’t get canceled. In the past six years that I have actually been watching television beyond PBS with my parents, I can’t even count on both my hands how many shows I have loved that have been canceled. Most of the shows get axed after one season, generally only consisting of about seven or eight episodes. One of my favorite shows that I, for some odd reason, fell in love with after one episode got canceled after eight episodes of pure genius. Apparently I was the only one who thought it was pure genius and one of very few who watched it. Over the past year there have been 10 shows that I enjoy watching that have been

cancelled, most of them after one season but a few after two or more seasons. Now it’s easy to say that I do watch too many TV shows (I mean seriously, how many people actually even watch enough shows to say that 10 shows they watched were canceled?), but with the Internet and easy access to pretty much all TV shows, how can I not? I spend hours on end watching shows online. This pretty much means that nothing I ever need to do ever gets done. I always end up watching my favorite shows that were cancelled and once I watch one episode, I have to continue watching the rest of them. Eating up hours of my time, basically wasting hours of my life to this love, or really to this obsession that I have with television. I’m not entirely sure what it is about television that I love so much. I think it’s the fact that for a large amount of time, I can become part of another world. Someone would say that I can do the same with a book, which is true, but to me television is easier on the

brain because I don’t have to use so much imagination or so much brain cells in order to understand it. It’s easy, that’s basically what it is. It’s a very easy outlet to get entertainment from without having to really use your brain cells. Basically, that’s what I enjoy about it most. I do just love television. I don’t really have much of a way to prove it but to say that I love it enough to write a disorganized, badly written and just basically nonsensical column about television. Although, is that really what it’s about? Though one would not be able to tell, Felice has love for things beyond just television. She loves books, films, sailing, photography, music, doodling and being responsible by not letting these things get in the way of her work. It’s tough, but hopefully these things won’t get in the way of her graduating in 2012.


Where Have All the Voters Gone?

Dear Editor, I would first like to thank the staff of the New Paltz Oracle for their recognition in the most recent Op-Ed of NYPIRG’s fight for student rights. I also very much appreciate the call to arms issued to the students, encouraging each and every individual to take responsibility for fighting the budget cuts. The truth is that it is up to each of us to work for the greater good of the whole and we must all do so in order to make a big impact. I would secondly like to recognize the Student Association E-board and senate for their hard work in organizing the rally that took place on the Student Union concourse on Thursday, Oct. 29. The rally was SUNYwide and organized by the Student Association Assembly, which members of the SA E-board

and senate had attended the weekend prior to the rally. The rally would not have happened without the SA E-board and senate. Thank you to the E-board and all the senators who fulfilled their roles as student representatives by raising awareness about and revolting against budget cuts that are having seriously negative effects on students and the quality of public higher education. It is our civic duty and resposibility to one another, as well as to ourselves, to participate in our political system in order to make effective changes. Be pro-active instead of re-active! Part of being pro-active is voting. Only 20 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds vote. Local elections were last Tuesday, Nov. 3, and just over a measley 100 students voted on campus. Now let’s compare that number with the 1,300

students that signed the Student Association’s petition letter to Gov. Paterson telling him we can’t afford any more budget cuts. Where were those 1,200 students on Election Day? Too busy? Lacking knowledge of local politics? Well guess, what all you I-don’t-involvemyself-in-politics-screw-the-system-my-votedoesn’t-count non-voters, if you took the five, MAYBE ten minutes, it would have taken you to vote and just gone and done it and then the politicians would be taking care of students and not cutting the higher education budget. When it comes time for the budget plan to be drafted, the politicians look at which demographics have voted and gotten them elected. In order to be re-elected, the politicians make sure to take care of the people who are consistent voters and if students were consistent voters instead

of nonexistent voters, then at budget time the students would be taken care of. So while it is great, wonderful and fantastic that SA and NYPIRG have teamed up to fight the budget cuts, it is not just about how we react to the cuts, but rather it is about being active and aware in your everyday life. Everything is connected and politics is a big web of interdependence, just like everything else we experience. Write that letter, make that phone call, have that enlightening conversation and know through all of it that every little step taken adds up to make a big splash, but only if we all work together. Peace and Love, Ariana Basco NYPIRG Project Coordinator

Equality for Transgender Individuals Dear Editor, This one concerns trandgender surgery coverage under health insurance. It is time to lobby the New York Legislature to require all health insurance companies to completely cover for sex-reassignment surgery. There are a handful of students on-campus who believe they were born in the wrong body, and I am one of them. I suffer periods of stress and anxiety because I have not yet had the operation done. The more pressure that is put on the gov-

ernment to require full coverage for this procedure, the more likely they are to rule in favor of my idea and relieve the pain that we transgender individuals experience. For those of you reading this article, please consider lobbying our legislature to consider my proposal. Thank you, David Zornetsky Dear Editor, When it comes to LGBT issues, there

seems to be a conflict between religious fundamentalism and the fourteenth amendment to the Constitution. Religious fundamentalists are violating this amendment, which guarantees equal protection to everyone, regardless of who or what type of people they are. The Constitution comes first and religion comes second. Those that disagree do not understand this. Freedom of religion does not give anyone the right to oppress others. The same thing was used to defend slavery, segregation and not giving women the right to vote. The church and

Thursday, November 12, 2009

state are supposed to be separate, and their not being so has poisoned our lives ever since this country was founded. Fundamentalism has no place in American society, and those who discriminate against anyone with a certain sexual orientation or gender identity do not deserve any rights themselves. Thankfully, Obama is in the White House, and he just might change things for the better. Thank you very much, David Zornetsky

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Christian Marra Cartoonist Christian once drew a comic for his high school newspaper, but it was rejected. Swearing revenge, Christian came to SUNY New Paltz and became a visual art major. When he’s not drawing comics for the newspaper and running the New Paltz Gaming

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Do you have cartoons that you want to see printed in the New Paltz Oracle? Send them to us at!

Society, he is drawing in his sketchbook and playing video games with his friends. He also posts all of his comics on for further ridicule. Christian does not enjoy long walks on the beach if it is too hot out.

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COMMUNITY ANNOUNCEMENTS The New Paltz Oracle Final Story Meeting November 16 7 p.m. in SUB 401/405 Come to our weekly story meeting to write stories, take photos and draw cartoons. This is our last story meeting of the semester. Contact: Friends of the Gardiner Library Jewelry Sale November 14 11 a.m. - 4 p.m. in the Gardiner Library The Friends of the Gardiner Library are holding a previously enjoyed jewelry sale in the Gardiner Library community room. The hundreds of donated items include estate and costume jewelry plus loose beads for crafting. Many beautiful pieces will be available at prices that can’t be beat. The Library is located at 133 Farmer’s Turnpike in Gardiner, NY. For further information call the library at 255-1255 or check the Web site at www.gardinerlibrary. org. Expert to Speak About Local Native American History November 14 7 p.m. at the Dubois Fort Visitor Center on Huguenot Street Dr. Eugene Boesch will be the featured speaker for a talk titled Understanding Past Native American Cultures in the Hudson Valley Through Archaeology, which is part of the organization’s Second Saturday Lecture Series. The presentation is being offered in celebration of Native American Heritage Month. Boesch will examine Native American cultures and adaptations in what is now known as the Hudson Valley. He will trace history from the area’s earliest occupation by humans, at least 13,000 years ago, to the period of initial European exploration. Changing climate, particularly the end of the last ice age, as well as population movements, resulted in the development of many prehistoric cultures and diverse ways of life. Slides and Native American artifacts will be employed during the presentation, followed by a question and answer period. A $3 donation is suggested. “Questionable Authorities” An AllProfessor Rock Band Plays Saturday Nights @ the Terrace November 14 9 p.m. – 12 a.m. at the College Terrace Come check out Questionable Authorities! Bring your friends along as you watch your professors perform in their very own rock

band! Enjoy free weekend entertainment @ the College Terrace! Free drinks and desserts will be served. Mini Ridge Hike November 15 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at the Minnewaska State Preserve Join a park naturalist for this eight-mile mini Ridge hike along the Castle Point and Hamilton Point Carriageways. Enjoy stunning views of the entire Hudson Valley and the mysterious Palmaghatt Ravine, one of the oldest hardwood Hemlock forests on the east coast. Pre-registration is required. For more information and to register for programs, please call the Park Office at 845-255-0752. Reception for Artist Staats Fasoldt November 15 3 – 5 p.m. at the Gardiner Library A reception for artist Staats Fasoldt will be held in the community room of the Gardiner Library. Watercolors and oils by Fasoldt inspired by the Hudson Valley are on display in the library until Dec. 29. Fasoldt received a Masters in Fine Art in painting from SUNY New Paltz and has taught at The Woodstock School of Art for 25 years. The library is located at 133 Farmer’s Turnpike, Gardiner, NY. For further information call the Gardiner Library at 255-1255 or check the Web site . Eating With the Seasons Workshop November 16 6 – 7 p.m. in Elting Gym 113 Learn safe and effective ways to detoxify your body and mind, develop an understanding for basic ayurvedic principals and how eating with the seasons can positively affect your life. Our monthly Nutrition workshops are designed to offer students, faculty and staff the unique opportunity to work directly with an experienced Holistic Health Councilor from the Institute of Integrated Nutrition. Each workshop is structured in a way that allows attendants to participate in the discussion and cater the information to their individual needs. Camille Hebert, graduate of the Institute of Integrated Nutrition covers a variety of topics forefront in the nutrition field and offers participants realistic and approachable methods to help guide them on a path to greater health and wellbeing. EvoS Presents: A Revolutionary Night of Research, Rap, and Spoken Word

November 16 6:30 – 9:30 p.m. This year’s revolutionary EvoS event will showcase many of the creative aspects of the Evolutionary Studies program. Brief research presentations from EvoS students who’ve obtained grant money for their projects will address topics such as the evolutionary function of sleep and the relationship between a woman’s hormonal cycle and her humor preferences. This event will also include evolutionary-themed spoken word/slam poems performed by New Paltz’s award-winning Slam Team. The highlight of the Revolutionary Night will be a one-hour rap performance by renowned rapper, Baba Brinkman - who’s developed a series of highly publicized raps that deal with evolution. Bekah Wolf: Beyond the Rhetoric, The Realities of the Israeli Occupation and Prospects for a Just Resolution in Palestine November 22 at 2:30 PM at the United Methodist Church in New Paltz An American-Israeli, Bekah Wolf is a graduate of New York University with a Master in Sciences in education from Long Island University. She co-founded the Palestine Solidarity Project, an organization based in the West Bank village of Beit Ommar and dedicated to supporting popular, non-violent resistance to the Israeli occupation. The event is cosponsored by Middle East Crisis Response. For more information visit Rebel Palooza!!!! November 19 7 - 10 p.m. at the College Terrace Little Rebellion launch party with free food, raffles and lots of fun. Featuring musical guests Absolut Acapella, Sexy Pitches, Male Call and Sophia Wortzel. Open to students, alumni and faculty. Go to for more information. Join the University Police Committee The Student Association is looking for students to become part of our University Police Committee. The committee is meant to improve relations between students and the police and to raise awareness around campus about relevant issues such as police conduct and the recent assaults on and around campus. Any interested students may contact Abe Uchitelle at

To submit an announcement write down the name of the club/event, date, time and location. Then e-mail it to All submissions are due by Sunday at 5 p.m. Submissions are printed at the discretion of the editor-in-chief.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

OASIS OASIS is a student-staffed counseling and crisis intervention center and telephone hotline. OASIS volunteers are trained and supervised by the Psychological Counseling Center to respond to anonymous telephone calls and walk-in requests for support, information and referral. Peer crisis intervention is provided in college-related areas such as academic stress, loneliness, sexual orientation, suicide, drug and alcohol-related problems, relationship and family conflicts. OASIS, located in the Deyo Hall basement, room G13C, is open from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. while classes are in session, and the extension is x4945.

HAVEN HAVEN of OASIS is the studentstaffed hotline and walk-in center, supervised by the Psychological Counseling Center. HAVEN volunteers provide support, information and referral for students who have been the target of rape, attempted rape or any unwanted sexual experience. HAVEN is located in the Deyo Hall basement, room G13c and is open from 8 p.m. to 1 a.m. while classes are in session, and the extension is x4930. Call or stop in when classes are in session. The 24-hour HAVEN beeper is 845-455-6093.

Campus Escort Call x3338 for an escort from anywhere on campus to anywhere on campus. 9 p.m. to 2 a.m. every night. Not a taxi service — for safety, not for the lazy!

Safe Rider Need a ride home from the bars? We provide FREE rides home or back to campus please give me a call at 845-834-2213.

Facilities Management Having facilities related issues? Please call x3301.

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Hawks Players of the Week For the week ending on Nov. 8

The Women’s Volleyball team was selected as the Hawks players of the week for the period ending on Nov. 8. New Paltz won the SUNYAC Championship last Saturday for the first time in the history of the program. The Hawks earned a first round bye after finishing the regular season at 7-1 in the SUNYAC East Division. In the semifinal round, New Paltz swept Brockport 25-22, 25-18 and 25-23. In the championship game, the Hawks defeated Cortland 2516, 25-11 and 25-18. New Paltz advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season and second overall. The team has a 22 game-winning streak and has won 30 of its last 31 matches. New Paltz travels to NYU on Thursday to face Roger Williams in the first round of regional tournament play.


Wellness and Recreation Events and Activities Spring Break Costa Rica Expedition 2010 General Interest Meeting: Tuesday, Nov. 17, 7 p.m. Room 200 in the gym. Expedition Mission Inspires and develops leadership, compassion, responsibility, respect for the environment and commitment to serve through adventure-based wilderness experiences led by the most skilled, safety-conscious staff. Hike miles up mountains and through cloud and rainforests surrounded by exotic plants and animals – see monkeys, sloths, parrots and maybe even the endangered tepezquintle. Stay with local families in villages deep in the rainforest and experience a completely different lifestyle. Raft down Class III/IV rapids that slice right through tropical forests. Learn to surf in warm water breaks on the Pacific coast. Leave the familiar and take the adventure. • Challenge and Adventure • Compassion and Service • Social and Environmental Responsibility • Character Development • Learning Through Experience Contact Keith Kenney at kenneyk@ or 845-257-6956 for more information.

Hiking Trip Date: Nov. 14

Time: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cost: $15 Location: Mohonk Preserve Contact: Keith Kenney Visit the Web site: recreation Sign up for a great spirited hike through the Mohonk Preserve. Professional guides will lead the way. There is a 20 student maximum.

Eating With the Seasons Workshop Monday, Nov. 16 at 6 to 7 p.m. Learn safe and effective ways to detoxify your body and mind, develop an understanding for basic ayurvedic principals and how eating with the seasons can positively affect your life. You have to sign up. So either call Director of Wellness and Recreation Keith Kenney or sign up on the Wellness Workshop sign up page.

Interested in Getting a Health Assessment? If you want to know where you stand, health assessments are available using the Wellness and Recreation’s Polar BodyAge System. It’s an assessment tool, which tells an individual how their chronological age compares with that of their “body age.” The more healthy the lifestyle and the more fit you are, the lower the body age.

The Polar BodyAge System can assess the following: body fat, weight, body size, flexibility, strength, blood pressure, cardiovascular, heart rate, nutrition, stress, lifestyle, disease risks and more. It can produce an individual profile summary of yourself and e-mail it to you along with specific nutrition, wellness and workout recommendations.

Interested in a Personal Training Session? Do you want to workout, but don’t know where to begin? Are you interested in an initial fitness consultation and assessment? Are you interested in talking to a certified personal trainer who can answer your fitness and wellness questions? Then, sign up for personal training sessions. You will get an initial assessmentm, a personal training session and you have the option to sign up for up to three personal training sessions. It’s free as long as you’re a student or a current Athletic and Wellness Center member. Just fill out the Wellness and Recreation personal training form and return it to Elting Gym Room 220 or 207.

Interested in a club sport? Visit our Web site recreation/clubsports.html to see the list of all club sports and contact information.

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To reserve a facility or field for your club sport please contact Coordinator of Intramurals Joe Deck at 845-257-2343, or or go to Elting Gym Room 206.

Become a Fan of Wellness and Recreation on Facebook: NPWellnessRecreation The center is open daily. It is open Monday to Thursday 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday 1 to 9 p.m. Students, alumni, faculty, staff and faculty and staff families can use the center’s facilities. A valid ID card is needed to use the center. If your ID card is broken, go to the ID/ Meal Plan office in SUB 100.

Attention Group Fitness Participants: 7 a.m. Cycle classes have been cancelled on Mondays, Thursdays and Fridays. Cycle with Corinna has been added to Mondays at 12 p.m. Tuesday’s 12 p.m. Cycle class has been moved to 7:30 p.m. Yoga Level 1-2 with Sarah has been added to Wednesdays at 5 p.m. Cycle with Lauren Z. has been added to Thursdays at 7 p.m. Friday’s 12 p.m. Cycle class has been moved to 3:30 p.m.

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The New Paltz Oracle

Hawks Weekly Sports Update By Pete Thompson Copy Editor |

The Women’s Volleyball team is heading to the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season. The Hawks’ opening round opponent will be Roger Williams University of Bristol, RI. The match will take place at the New York University campus on Thursday at 3:30 p.m. in the Coles Sports Center. The team won the 2009 SUNYAC Championship earlier in the week for the first time in the program’s history. The Hawks defeated Cortland’s Red Dragons in straight sets in the SUNYAC tournament finals. The Hawks quickly took a 3-0 lead in the first set, but Cortland rebounded by scoring eight of the next 11 points and had an 8-6 advantage. The Hawks came back with a 10-9 lead and took it from there to end the set with a 25-16 triumph. The Hawks dominated the second set by winning 20 of the next 26 points after a 5-5 tie. They won this set 25-11, establishing a 2-0 lead. The teams battled back and forth in the third set, but a 12-6 run by the Hawks resulted in a 25-18 finish. Fourth-years Brittany Coyle and Ali-

son Kiernan tallied nine kills each, with seven coming from second-year Melinda DiGiovanna. Fourth-year Stephanie Bova earned a double-double with a game-high 34 assists and 14 digs on defense. Third-year Dana Kindelmann had a game-high four blocks and Kiernan added three. The defense was led by second-year Loren Crabbe with 18 digs. First-year Michelle Jacobson added 10 digs. The Hawks improved to 32-5 overall and have tied the 32-win school record set last season. Bova and Kiernan were selected to the All-Tournament team and Coyle was named tournament Most Valuable Player. The Men’s and Women’s Swimming teams swept Oneonta at the Hawks’ SUNYAC opener last Friday. The men defeated the Red Dragons 152-108 and the women won 154-102, earning their first wins of the season. Four pool records were set by the Hawks against Oneonta. These came from the men’s 400-yard medley relay in three minutes, 42 seconds, third-year Jessica Lester in the 200 freestyle (2:01.71), the women’s 200 freestyle relay (1:44) and the men’s 200 freestyle relay (1:31.1). The women’s team won 10 events and finished second in eight more. Third-year Marissa Morris, third-year Becky Baker,

first-year Yuka Suzuka and third-year Allison Wells won the 400 medley relay in 4:14.80. Lester, first-year Katina Lown, third-year Kate Genovese and second-year Allie Moorhead finished second (4:22.61). On the men’s side, the men won eight events and placed second in 12 more. A team of second-year Jesse Sweeney, thirdyear Rob Webb, fourth-year Stephen Cozzolongo and second-year Corey Lomas won the 400 medley relay in 3:42.58. The Hawks’ second-year Marc Battisti, third-year Keith MacDonald, first-year Sam Gaynes and third-year Billy Papetti finished second (3:51.91). New Paltz fell to the Coast Guard last Saturday. The women’s meet came down to the final 400 freestyle relay, but the Coast Guard finished first and earned a 136-126 win over the Hawks. The men fell 167-92 to the Bears. The Men and Women’s Cross Country teams competed at the ECAC’s, which took place Saturday afternoon at Williams College. The women placed 25th out of 39 teams and the men placed 34th out of 43 teams. Fourth-year Alexandra Berenis led the women’s side, finishing 102nd with a time of 25:54, with first-year Christina Bar-

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tonicek placing 118th (27:08). Caitlin Feeley finished 137th (27:32), with third-year Joanna Goldfarb 11 seconds behind in 147th place. The top five was rounded out by firstyear Saira Kahn who came in 158th place (28:14). On the men’s side, third-year Daniel Caruso finished at 30:41 and placed 174th, while first-year Greg Hanusch came in 16 seconds behind placing 186th. Second-year Doug Templetion finished in 191st place (31:02) and first-year Michael Montero placed 213th (32:05). The top five was rounded out by first-year Ethan Cohen who placed 248th (33:34). The team will run its final race of the season at the NCAA regionals at Geneseo on Saturday at 11 a.m. The Men’s Soccer team had two of its players honored and named to the SUNYAC Men’s Soccer All-Conference teams. Second-year James Altadonna earned a spot on the second team with 24 points, including 11 goals and two assists. His 11 goals were the most for the Hawks. Second-year Tommy Garafola was named to the second team for the second year in a row. He accumulated 12 points during the season with two goals and eight assists.

The New Paltz Oracle


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Yankees Buy Another World Series, Salary Cap Needed By Mitchell Epstein Sports Editor |

Wednesday, November 4: The day the New York Yankees bought their 27th world championship. The Yankees, with their exorbitant $208 million payroll this year, took full advantage of the dysfunctional, broken system that is Major League Baseball. While their spending is legendary, New York reached a new stratosphere last off season after spending close to half a billion dollars on long-term contracts for three players: Mark Teixeira, C C Sabathia and A. J. Burnett. Where would the Yankees be if one of those three were not on their roster? They would not be in the World Series, let alone the playoffs. All three played a key role for them in the regular season, where they won a league-leading 103 games. The Yankees cannot be completely faulted for their excessive spending though, as they are just a product of a sport that has no salary cap. The main aspect that separates the MLB from the NFL, NBA and NHL is its lack of a salary cap. Why should the MLB be different from all the other major professional sports leagues in North America? That is a puzzling question that does not have a legitimate answer. Baseball should have a salary cap to create more parity and a

more competitive environment. Yes, having the highest payroll every year does not guarantee a championship, but it gives the Yankees a much greater chance of winning than a team such as the Pittsburgh Pirates, which had a frugal $25 million payroll this season, or about one-eighth that of the Yankees. To put that amount in better perspective, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez made almost $8 million more than the Pirates entire 25-man roster this season. Even the staunchest Yankee fan would have to find an issue with that. Pittsburgh set a modern day record this year by having their 17th straight losing season, the first team to ever do that in major professional sports. While Pittsburgh is an embarrassment of an organization, a salary cap would at least give them a better chance to compete in their division, which features teams with three of the top 13 payrolls in baseball. Some might say just look at the lowbudget Florida Marlins, who won the World Series in 1997 and 2003. But what some might not remember is that the Marlins were completely dismantled after those championships, trading away key players or letting them become free agents instead of paying them. If a salary cap was in place, Florida

might have been more competitive in each season following their title victories. The Marlins were also an aberration. In the last six years, each team that captured the World Series, in order: the Boston Red Sox, Chicago White Sox, St. Louis Cardinals, Red Sox again, Philadelphia Phillies and Yankees had among the top 10 payrolls in baseball in the years that they won. A trend is clearly present here; a team with one of the highest payrolls usually wins the World Series. That is a problem because this is not just a difference of a few million dollars in spending, but $50 million or more in many cases in comparison with the lower-budget teams. Major League Baseball has problems in addition to the lack of a salary cap, such as past steroid use among players and poor calls over and over by umpires. The salary cap issue is the one that can be most easily solved though. Just set a payroll amount that no team can exceed in a single season, such as $100 million. While this would mean that players would have to make a concession, lower salaries, they should be able to get by fine with $10 million instead of 15 for example. Baseball players owe it to the fans to make a concession anyway, after many of them used illegal substances before random drug testing was in place. Some of them

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would not even command the salaries that they now earn without performance enhancers, the Yankees’ Rodriguez for one. Let’s see the Yankees, the New York Mets, the Red Sox and all the other highpayroll teams compete with a salary cap like teams in all the other major professional sports leagues do. It’s about time baseball gave fans what they deserve, a truly competitive sport. However until that is done, teams like the Yankees could just buy a greater chance of winning the World Series. Who wants to see a sport that is not truly competitive? A highly competitive environment adds more fun and excitement, but that has been missing from baseball. Maybe one day baseball will be like it was in the past, where year in and year out teams actually earned their championships on a level playing field. For the sport’s sake and the fan’s interest, hopefully that day will come sooner than later.

This column does not represent the views of The New Paltz Oracle, its staff members, the campus community or university.



Women’s Volleyball Heading to NCAA Tournament, Play Begins Thursday


The New Paltz Oracle Volume 81, Issue IX  

Volume 81, Issue IX of The New Paltz Oracle. Printed November 12, 2009.