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“We chose Kean as our wedding venue because overall, academia has been a symbol for us,” said Bollman

Wedding bells will ring at Kean Photo: AD Photography

Paige Bollman and Martin Alonso share laughs as they pose for their engagement photos.

By Monica Sudfield With loved ones among them at Thanksgiving dinner, Martin Alonso passes out copies of his poetry book “Treasures” that he wrote for his girlfriend, Paige Bollman. After he shares a few of his poems, he asks everyone to turn to page 23. There, written on a clean white page, is the question: Will you marry me? Bollman and Alonso met in 2014 at Middlesex County College while working on the Quo Vadis newspaper. Together they furthered their education at Kean University, where they are scheduled to marry on May 27, 2018 in the STEM building. “We chose Kean as our wedding venue because overall, academia has been a symbol for us. It is where we grew together in our relationship. It is where we started, and education has become something we have grown to appreciate,” said Bollman. Alonso graduated in May 2017 with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in English. He is currently enrolled in graduate school here at Kean to continue his education in communications. Bollman will complete her degree in December 2017, graduating Kean with a Bachelor’s in English-Writing and minor in communications.

As students who have taken Event Planning and Management with Professor Carol Stavraka, the couple was familiar with the space the STEM building provides for events. “At first, we joked about having our wedding here because they offer a student discount. But later, we saw the beauty of the building and couldn’t imagine a more suitable place for us to have our wedding as scholars,” said Alonso. Kean students and alum are offered a 15 percent discount when holding their weddings at either the STEM building or Liberty Hall Museum, said Zheng. She has been appointed the Alonso wedding where she will assist the soon to be married couple with their preparations. As the go-to person throughout the planning process, Zheng provided them with a list of caterers that Kean specifically requests for events planned on campus to choose from, in addition to recommended vendors for floral arrangements and dessert. The couple’s Kean pride are displayed not only through their location of choosing, but also through their officiant of choosing. Officiating the ceremony will be Dr. Fred Fitch, professor in the department of communications. Fitch has taught both Bollman and Alonso in the past. He is currently instructing the groom once again, as he is

enrolled in one of his graduate courses. When asked by the couple to officiate their wedding, he was happy to do it. “My students are important to me and this is certainly an important step in their lives,” said Fitch. “It’s a real honor.” This will be the second wedding Fitch has officiated of former students, but the first he has officiated here at the University. The Alonso wedding will be the 53rd wedding held in the STEM building since 2013, according to Mei Zheng, Professional Services Specialist IV in the Conference and Event Services department. The bride and groom will be kept on opposite floors in the STEM building where they can get ready before the ceremony, which will take place on one half of the sixth floor. The other half, in addition to the outside area of the facility, will hold the cocktail hour. After the ceremony, the reception will be held on the main floor of the building where Kean will supply tables and chairs. The soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Alonso have created a website where all their wedding details are posted. Information about the couple, bridal party, and groom’s party can be found on For anyone who is interested in planning an on campus event, please contact

Students weigh in on the new parking lot By Cody Louie Kean started off the fall semester by opening access to a new parking lot located at the former Merck site. Parking struggles are not foreign to commuters of Kean University. The parking lot features 500 new parking spots for students and faculty alike. With a valid Kean ID and Parking decal, commuters can get into the parking lot through a security checkpoint. In order to get to the parking lot, commuters should use the entrance located at the intersection of Morris Avenue and Green Lane. According to two students, Christina Temple and Gabriel Tirado, the lot is a bit far from the main campus with walking times of 10 to 15 minutes to most buildings. “It takes 15 minutes to get to class,” said Temple, a junior sociology major. “It has relieved the strain of parking, but it is not convenient.” She also noted that the parking lot spaces are a bit bigger compared to the others located on Kean’s campus.

In addition, she said that a trolley stop for the lot or even an opening in the fence would be a great help so that she could get to her destination faster. As it stands there is only one entry and exit point for the parking lot. “Different options are being discussed to bring the trolley to the new parking lot,” said Director of Media Relations Margaret McCorry. “For now, the trolley route has not been altered.” Tirado, a senior communication major had a similar issue with the lot. He said that he doesn’t like walking that far in order to get to his classes. However, he said “it is going to be my primary lot [and] it has definitely helped with parking problems.” The parking lot and 14 acres of the surrounding area are owned by Kean University so the lot abides by the same guidelines as all of Kean’s other parking lots. The guidelines can be found at Students are advised to register for a parking decal so that they can gain access to the lot. They can do so at:

Photo by Cody Louie

Students parking their cars in the new lot


September, 2017

Internship opportunities come with direction. And a course By Joshua Rosario College is meant to prepare students for a chance in a career of the student’s choosing, but is education enough? Internships help give students a taste of their aspiring careers. Internships allows students some experience before graduation day. At Kean University, the internship process runs more like a class. Before you can receive credit for an internship, you must have already completed 75 credits and at least a 3.0 grade point average. “No matter what job people are looking for they always look for prior experience,” said Jeremiah Sullivan, Public Relations Professor and Internship Coordinator. “ A lot of times internships are the best way to get [experience]” Sullivan explained that a student can receive three credits towards their degree. For his students, they meet once a month to discuss the internship. Every week they are submitting a journal through Google Drive, and a final paper. The journals are used to make sure they are actually getting the experience and if they are not getting the experience (or even not into the internship), the issue can be addressed right away. “At the end of the day, an internship should be mutually beneficial,” said Sullivan. “And the up most for the student it should be a learning experience that is closely tied to their area of study.” Outside of Sullivan’s office in the Center for Academic Success, his wall and door are covered with papers of different internship opportunities. While most are for public relation students, the communication department, which is also housed in the Center for Academic Success, has a wall dedicated to internship opportunities. In the Green Lane Building, Joanne Beiter, The Internship Director for the College of Business and Public Management helps with internships for marketing, accounting, finance, business, public management and

criminal justice. “We recommend they come to us. We hold seminars here to do their resumes, cover letters, Linkedin, and interviews,” said Beiter. “ We ask they at least get their resumes looked at and edited before they apply.” In the fall, the College of Business and Public Management host an internship fair, which this year will be on Thursday, Nov. 16. According to Beiter’s assistant, Stephanie Livia, emails are sent out three times before the semester, during the semester, and before the event. They pass out flyers and speak in classrooms. “One of the challenges is 70 percent of business students come in from community colleges,” said Beiter. “ So we have got to get those juniors right at the fall season and that has been tough.” Another issue Beiter sees is a lack of a resume ready for those who show up last minute. Beiter and Livia explain it is not an overnight process. “ You have to constantly be working on it,” said Livia. “ They will come to me and I’ll help them with formating, then they go home fix it up again, then they will sit down with [Beiter]” Both Beiter and Sullivan work along with Blanca Rosales-Ahm, Career Coordinator for the Office of Career Development and Advancement. The Office of Career Development and Advancement is open to all students seeking internships or help with resumes. The office is currently located in room 145 of the Nancy Thompson library.

Photo courtesy of Kean University

Photo by: Joshua Rosario

Above: Sign leading to Career Development office Below: Internship Director Joanne Beiter (Right) and her assistant, Stephanie Livia (Left)

Internship Opportunities for Communication Majors: Internship Opportunities for Business and Public Management majors:

“No matter what job people are looking for they always look for prior experience. Students always ask how do I get prior experience? I just graduated,” Jeremiah Sullivan, Public Relations Professor and Internship Coordinator. Prof. Jeremiah Sullivan and his Office

Tutoring Center moved to library as part of Learning Commons By Jennifer Padilla The Kean University (KU) Tutoring Center relocated to the third floor of The Nancy Thompson Library as part of the creation of The Learning Commons— an environment to provide multiple student needs in one location—according to Paul Croft, who is on special assignment for the project. “The Learning Commons includes the areas of writing, career development, circulation, referencedesk, student computer lab, and tutoring,” said Croft. The goal of the Learning Commons is for students to be able to access academic information, technology, research, professional development, and work with faculty and administration to obtain primary and secondary information resources, according to the KU website. As the new tutoring center is stationed in the third floor of the library, changes in appearance are recognizable. According to Jackie Langley, coordinator of the tutoring center, the dividers from the former tutoring center are being used . “Some of them are very dirty, but they are working on cleaning them,” said Langley. A significant portion of the third floor is now occupied by dividers, a waiting space, and a help desk. The tables and chairs that formerly filled the space have now been moved to the Grand Study Hall, making the area crowded with furniture.

“We are in the library,” said Langley. “So, we try to be quiet.” Senior and two-year tutor, Zachary Clark, said the new location provides a quiet environment. “It’s a huge change of scenery,” said Clark. “But the view is nice, specially when I come in the morning.” Taylor Martinez, math tutor and sophomore, said the new location doesn’t bother her. However, she also added that the internet connection is poor up there. “I heard the internet connection was going to be worked on in the upcoming days,” said Martinez. Clark admitted to hearing the same plan for the internet. Although the tutoring center sits on a new location, the same past practices continue, according to Croft. However, they are seeking into ‘Digital Library’ and ‘Digital Student’ in order to deliver the services to the student anytime and anywhere. What is going to be made of the old tutoring center and Student Development offices on the CAS building is a mystery. “The vacant spaces are currently being evaluated by a team of senior Kean management,” said Margaret McCorry, Director of Media Relations. Maria Perez, a CAS staff member whose office sits across the former tutoring center, said she heard a rumor about it becoming the new admissions office. “I don’t know what they’re doing with the old tutoring center,” said Clark. “But I would love to know.”

Photo by: Jennifer Padilla

Tables and chairs in the Grand Study Hall.

September, 2017


Immigrants, crime and DACA: A perspective By Dr. Connie Hassett-Walker In a Feb. 2017 speech to Congress, President Trump announced a new office – Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement (VOICE) – that, according to its website, would be focused on helping “immigration crime victims”. The President was elected on what some felt was an anti-immigrant platform -- characterizing immigrants from Mexico as drug dealers and rapists and building a wall along the U.S./Mexico border (which Mexico would pay for). On Sept. 5, the president announced an end to a program, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), that allowed undocumented young people (a.k.a. “Dreamers”) brought into the U.S. as children to remain in the country and not face deportation. The president also challenged Congress to take up the issue of immigration if they did not like his plan. The prospect of DACA ending no doubt struck fear in many of the 700,000-plus people protected under the program. But then a few days later, it was reported that President Trump had begun working towards a deal with Democrats to protect the Dreamers after all. The prospect of the president walking back his earlier assertions about ending DACA predictably led to sharp responses from the conservative outlet Breitbart (“Trump Caves on DACA, Wants ‘Quick’ Amnesty for 800K Illegal Aliens” ), and comedian Seth Meyers, who poked fun at the many twists and turns in Trump’s malleable approach to immigration. Shortly thereafter, Arkansas Republican Senator Tom Cotton reported that the president had called him to say there would be no deal on DACA. A main rationale for tightening up U.S. borders is to keep Americans safe from crime -- particularly violent crime -- committed by illegal immigrants. The underlying assumption is that undocumented individuals in the country commit more crime than legal residents. Let’s unpack this idea. Research shows that there is, in fact, no clear relationship between immigration and crime, apart from, in the case of illegal immigration, the inherent nature of having entered the country illegally. The Federal Bureau of Investigation ( FBI) annually publishes its “Crime in the United States” report, also referred to as the Uniform Crime Reports (UCR). The UCR presents the current and prior years’ index offenses, which include four violent crime types (murder, rape, robbery, aggravated

Photo source: Facebook

Dr. Connie Hassett-Walker, Kean criminal justice professor

assault) and four property crime types (burglary, larceny/theft, motor vehicle theft, arson). These are presumably the sorts of crimes the president is referring to when he alludes to the threats posed by illegal immigrants. Trump has claimed that the “murder rate in 2015 experienced its largest single-year increase in nearly half a century.” In fact, the FBI’s UCR data show that index offenses including violent crime have generally decreased since 1994. There has been a moderate increase since 2015 in some violent crimes, including murder, rape, and aggravated assault. But property crime since 2015 has fallen. Violent crime in recent years hasn’t come anywhere close to the levels during 1989 to 1993, when violence skyrocketed. In 1992, violent crime nationally was 758 per 100,000 population, whereas in 2015 it was 373 per 100,000. Homicide peaked in 1993 at 9.5 murders per 100,000 population. In 2015, the rate was 4.9 murders per 100,000. There will always be examples of immigrants, both legal and illegal, who commit an act of violence which someone can drudge up, point to, and announce, ‘Here!! See? See what I’m talking about?!?’ However, these are not the majority of individuals. In fact, as some experts have pointed out,

undocumented individuals may be less likely than native-born Americans to engage in crime and end up incarcerated. If they break the law, they risk arrest and deportation. Nor will deportations of the Dreamers and other undocumented individuals likely reduce felonies (serious crime) in America. In studying the relationship between violent crime and deportation of immigrants, Dr. Jacob I Stowell, in his collaboration for Law and Society Review, “Addition by Subtraction? A Longitudinal Analysis of the Impact of Deportation on Violent Crime,” it was concluded that “if there is a relationship between these two social processes, it does not lend itself to simple characterizations.” Probably nothing that would lend itself to a 140-character tweet. Less well-publicized outside the criminal justice community – but certainly well-known within it – is that illegal immigrants are often criminally victimized. Data on the extent of undocumented individuals being victimized are harder to come by, as victims do not always come forward to report incidents, fearing arrest and subsequent deportation. Despite historically being a nation of immigrants, in practice, the U.S. has a long and complicated relationship with immigration, beginning in the early 1600s with the English pilgrims. Some (Dutch, Germans, Swedish, Quakers) came

voluntarily, while others (Irish) arrived as indentured servants or slaves (Africans). Immigration continued throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, with people both drawn to America by the promise of a better life, or fleeing poor conditions back home (famine, poverty, persecution). Willingness to welcome new arrivals has experienced ebbs and flows over the centuries, depending on various factors (e.g., the state of the economy). Supposed threats posed by immigrants are not often well-represented by politicians trying to win elections, nor do media portrayals accurately reflect the realities -the humanity -- of immigration in America. In looking ahead to future immigration policy, it is best to consult with both history and facts. Of two facts we can feel confident: we are currently in a low-crime period as per FBI data (counter to declarations of the opposite), and undocumented individuals are not disproportionately involved in violent felonies. As such, mass deportations will not noticeably increase safety. Dr. Connie Hassett-Walker is an Associate Professor in Kean’s Criminal Justice Department. She blogs about crime & justice and social issues at http://njcriminologist.blogspot. com/. Follow her at chassettwalker.

Mental health among college students By Kiara Mays With over 75 percent of mental health problems beginning before the age of 24, according to the National Alliance On Mental Illness, a conversation about the once taboo topic is being had across college campuses nationwide. A few of Kean University’s students and staff talk about the importance of mental health overall and why readily available counseling services on campus are becoming necessary. “I do believe there should be better and more efficient services for those who suffer from mental health disorders [on campus],” said Ymani Hawkins, 22, Senior, Interpersonal Communication Studies major at Kean. “As frequently as we tend to those with physical injuries and ailments, we should tend to those with mental disorders, issues, and the like.” As people become more comfortable with talking about mental health disorders, college counselors across the country are starting to see an increased number of students who are dealing with such issues come forward. “We see a variety of problems here,” said Carla Vitola, Program Assistant at Kean University’s Counseling Center. “We seek to help students transition, and adapt to life here at Kean because when people move here, it becomes hard for them to see their psychiatrist or counselor.” Being away from home for the first time and adjusting to college life can be difficult. Then comes in the rigorous

demands of academics and the ease of access to a variety of drugs and alcohol. According to Judith Green, director of the Center for Health & Counseling Services at Ramapo College, all of these things can lead to anxiety and depression as well as more serious psychiatric disorders. There is also the issue of students being unaware that there are counseling services available on their college campus, thus making it that more difficult to seek help if needed. “A lot of students come in here and say, ‘Wow, I didn’t even know this was here,’” said Vitola. Kean University’s Counseling Center, located at Downs Hall, room 127, offers a wide range of services, from stress management, depression, and bipolar disorder counseling to drug/alcohol screening, and group counseling, the center is available for use to all enrolled students of KU at no additional charge. Although more of a short term counseling center, if needed, longer term care can be provided as well as referrals to off-campus providers. A psychiatrist is also available by appointment every Monday, but more importantly, all records of the Kean Counseling center are private and confidential. “Because college is such a crucial time in my life and many other people’s lives, it’s nice to know there’s support if we need it,” said Keily Padilla, 20, Junior, PR major at Kean. For more information, questions or concerns, contact Kean Counseling Center at (908)-737-4850.

Photo by: Kiara Mays

Counseling Center Resources


September, 2017

Tower Profiles: Henrietta Nwako By Cody Louie Henrietta Nwako is a graduate student at Kean pursuing an M.A. in communication studies and leadership. She is an alumni with a B.A. in public relations (PR) returning to her alma mater to master communication to become successful in today’s ever-expanding digital age. One of the first things that drew her to communication was the requirement for many job descriptions: good verbal and communication skills. “This heightened my desire to sharpen my speaking and writing abilities because I knew that mastering these skills was one way to be successful,” Nwako said. In an era which we are so interconnected to each other, she believes that she has an advantage over the competition. Her experience and skills within the scope of communication allow her to effectively communicate both digitally and in person. She has helped several different organizations as an intern. During her employment, one thing has always been the heart of a successful experience. Strong communication. Nwako talked about her time with two organizations in specific. First was Dun and Bradstreet (D&B), located in Short Hills, New Jersey which handles marketing insight solutions. The second was at the New Jersey Technology Council (NJTC), a nonprofit organization that connects people together. Both internships were in the realm of communication with D&B having a marketing oriented background. “I was so nervous because it was my first experience in the corporate setting and my public speaking skills were not as strong as they were today, so that was huge,” Nwako said. “They told us that we’d have to present our final project to the board of directors and team leaders.” At D&B she was responsible for the development and implementation of marketing and PR tactics. The aim of these are to gain market share, brand recognition and awareness. Since it was only her first year of college, Nwako felt as if she didn’t have the skill set to take on all of the new responsibilities. From day-to-day operations, customer interaction, and analytics she was able to learn by working closely with the sales and marketing solutions teams. “After I assimilated into the culture I felt a part of the team,” said Nwako. “I learned a lot in terms of corporate communication and how to think strategically and execute marketing and business initiative to support organizational objectives.” Nwako’s sentiments going into NJTC were a complete turnaround from her initial feelings of D&B. This time around she was excited to be responsible, no doubt due to her maturation as a scholar and an individual. “There were so many networking opportunities,” Nwako said. “I was able to gain so many contacts from just working these events.” She spoke about the eclectic range of fields that these

Photos by: Rebecca Panico

Above: TAR!K, left, and AM-85, perform in Little Theatre on April 11. Below: Paul Brushaber, of paul from the internet., performs in Little Theatre on April 11.

Photos by: Cody Louie

Henrietta Nwako individuals came from. She got to meet CEOs of different companies and people from various startups from all different professions. Nwako called it an “entrepreneurial experience at its finest.” At NJTC she learned how to work an event from the ground up. Everything that goes into the event such as planning the venue, caterers, vendors, lighting, where things go, workers, you name and it she learned it. But, the learning did not start at the internship itself for Nwako. She volunteered at one of their events before applying to get a feel for the way things ran and to see if it was something she truly wanted to do. “Internships are temporary, even if you hate it, stick it out. Something positive is bound to come from the experience,” Nwako said. “Go after something that’s exciting that you also know will challenge you. Often times I feel like we take the easy way out and become afraid of challenge so we dismiss certain opportunities without ever giving it a chance.” Nwako’s internship profile is a part of a new series at The Tower which highlights current and former interns at Kean! If you’d like to or know anyone who would like to participate please email Cody Louie at


Cougar’s Den upgrades: flat screens, weekend hours



WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 11, 6:00PM @ KEAN BARNES & NOBLE Book Signing and Reading: The Hindered Hand Join us as John C. Gruesser, Professor of English, Kean University, shares his recent publication, a co-edited edition of The Hindered Hand by Sutton Griggs, the most prolific African American novelist at the turn of the twentieth century. Dr. Gruesser is the author of Race, Gender, and Empire in American Detective Fiction; The Empire Abroad and the Empire at Home: African American Literature and the Era of Overseas Expansion; Confluences: Postcolonialism, African American Literary Studies, and the Black Atlantic; and Black on Black: Twentieth Century African American Writing about Africa



KEAN UNIVERSITY BARNES & NOBLE 1040 Morris Avenue Green Lane Bldg. Union, NJ 07083

By Cameron Beall Throughout the years at Kean University, the Cougar’s Den has been a preferred on-campus dining spot for students. The campus’s most attractive place to eat just became even hotter. The Cougar’s Den now has a sports bar (minus the alcohol, of course) and four huge flat screen televisions in the main dining area, along with some nice booth seating areas. “It’s a real cool spot to hang with your friends and get some good food, especially on football Sundays now that they’ve got the TVs,” said sophomore Isaiah Hogan. Last year, students would not have been able to watch football there on Sundays, being that the Den was only open MondayThursday. That was one aspect of the Cougar’s Den that many students disliked in past years. It is now open seven days a week, but closes at 6 p.m. on the weekends. “It’s now a place that offers entertainment along with food, and makes for a nice hangout spot during the day on weekends when campus is usually a little less packed,” said Junior, Selena Peters. While students are loving the additions to the dining area and new weekend schedule, others feel like there is still more to be done. “I think it’s a nice concept, but I still think it’s missing something to draw even more people in,” said a Cougar’s Den worker. Whether this is just a start to its changes or the finished product, the Cougar’s Den surely seems to be heading in the right direction of gaining more popularity and attention on campus.

September, 2017


Kean’s ASL club bridges deaf and hearing communities In American Sign Language (ASL), facial expression, eyebrow movement, and body language are essential in communication. ASL is its own language with its own grammar rules and sentence structure, making it different from other languages, such as English. In English, one can say “I’m annoyed”, but in ASL, one can express these feelings with visible motion. In addition to learning how to sign, students learn about Deaf Culture and the Deaf Community at Kean University. “A challenge for me when learning ASL was maintaining an awareness of my emerging skills and knowing questions are encouraged”, said ASL Instructor Jennifer Stack. “The Deaf Community is approachable and understanding; they embrace new learners of ASL. It is a refreshing aspect of this unique culture.” Kean University’s School of Communication Disorders and Deafness has an ASL department located in room 204A at East Campus. The diverse faculty consists of hearing and deaf instructors, and interpreters. Kean offers ASL as a minor degree. Students must complete 18 credits for a degree that includes courses like ASL I,II,III,IV, as well as three classes that lecture on Deaf Culture. There are currently over 175 students enrolled in ASL courses this Fall semester. Although students of any major are welcome to learn ASL, majors such as Education, Speech Pathology, and Special Education are among the few that will benefit from learning this skill. Students often resist learning this language because they may feel intimidated, shy, or afraid of the course load. “Students shouldn’t be scared to learn ASL”, said Jack Tomy, ASL student and Director of Public Relations for the ASL Club at Kean University. “It takes hard work and dedication, but once you start learning, you become receptive. It’s really something you enjoy learning”. Classrooms have up to 15 students and the chairs are positioned in the shape of the letter “U”. This is beneficial because professors are able to teach this visual language and help students advance their skill. Students also learn from their peers as the progress of the class is a group effort. “I am able to fully dive in and maintain connections and get involved with the

Deaf Community, but the challenge is not being too over-eager and putting myself in situations that my skill set is not ready for,” said Tomy. Many hearing students get their start with ASL through different outlets, whether it be media, personal connections, or individual interest. ASL has grown rapidly in the arts recently. For example, the Freeform television series Switched at Birth, and other series such as Dancing with the Stars, America’s Got Talent, and Broadway musical Spring Awakening all feature deaf people. ASL Coordinator Marybeth Imsho is a self taught, Kean University alumni who was mentored by other professors in ASL. “Something that hasn’t been done until recently in the department is holding classes during the summer, taught by Professor Stack and myself and Saturday classes this semester taught by Deaf professor Matthew Runyon”, said Imsho. The ASL club focuses on bringing awareness to the language, Deaf Community, and Deaf Culture. They want to create a bridge between the deaf and hearing communities to bring them together. Anyone is welcome to partake in this, those who are interested and those who are already involved. The ASL club also promotes the department to the student body. Although instructors also promote, they felt it is important for students to get involved in “picking up the baton and running with it”. There are Deaf events held in the North New Jersey and the New York area and some being held here, at Kean University.

Image source: Jack Tomey

The logo for the ASL Club at Kean University.

On November 10, 2017, comedian Wink, who is a Child of Deaf Adults (CODA), will perform in the Little Theatre at the Miron Student Center. This year the club is also being prevalent in their use of social media. Anyone interested in learning and being a part of this community can head

“A challenge for me when learning ASL was maintaining an awareness of my emerging skills and knowing questions are encouraged”, said ASL Instructor Jennifer Stack. “The Deaf community is approachable and understanding; they embrace new learners of ASL. It is a refreshing aspect of this unique culture.”

over to their accounts on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Kean University’s American Sign Language Club @kuaslclub on Facebook, @kean_aslclub on Twitter, and @ku_ aslclub on Instagram. Meetings are held during college hour (3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.) at East Campus room 145. Learning sign language allows for a stronger community where different people can come together and go beyond the ability to communicate, but to work and create together. There have been students that have turned their skill in sign language into a career, but many have been able to apply it to their other passions in life and have developed a sense of compassion and empathy towards Deaf Culture. “Students no longer view deaf people with sympathy, but have a greater understanding and instead show interest in interacting with them and being a part of this community”, said Tomy.

Kean University Department of Public Safety police blotter By Cody Louie The Kean University Police Department daily blotter contains incidents and crimes reported to the police. It has been edited and condensed by The Tower. For the month of Sept. there were 37 incidents of found property, nine instances vehicles were towed, and 16 motor vehicle accidents among other things.

Sept. 4 - A deer was stuck in fencing near Kean Drive around 2:00 p.m. It was later freed by the fire department. Sept. 5 - A summit woman was arrested around 9:00 a.m. for possession of controlled dangerous substance (CDS) paraphernalia on Morris Avenue. At about 4:00 p.m. a Roselle woman was arrested for contempt in the vaughn eames lot. A person was trapped in an elevator in Sozio Hall at 8:10 p.m. and was released after the doors were pried open. Sept. 6 - In the Freshman Hall around 11:00 p.m. unknown assailants shoved a female in the hallway and then tried to follow another into her room. Sept. 8 - On Conant road at 12:45 a.m. a street sweeper had a vacuum attachment on it which caught a sewer grate that caused damage to the brick sidewalk. Sept. 11 - At 10:02 p.m. a Lavalette man was arrested in the UC Hall for possession of CDS. Sept. 12 - Around 2:10 p.m. an unknown person wrote graffiti on the inside of one of the stalls in the women’s bathroom in CAS. At 10:28 p.m. a person jumped over the counter in Auntie Ann’s. Sept. 15 - A Piscataway man was arrested in Rogers Hall at 4:13 p.m. for possession of CDS. Sept. 16 - At 12:36 a.m. an unknown person committed theft by deception at Whiteman Hall. The unknown person took a victim’s food from a delivery person. At 4:41 p.m. an unknown person of the Salisbury University football team broke a light fixture from its foundation.

Police Blotter

By Rafaela Teixeira


September, 2017

The numbers behind America’s opioid crisis

Department of Communication Kean University Center for Academic Success 1000 Morris Avenue Union, NJ 07083 Telephone: (908) 737-0470; Fax: (908) 737-0465 Email:;

The Tower is an independent, laboratory newspaper of Kean University’s journalism option in the communication major program. It is published monthly through the regular academic year and supported by advertising and the Department of Communication. The Tower is not responsible for claims made by its advertisers. The Tower is a public forum and is free from censorship and advance approval of content by the university administration. The Tower staff is responsible for its content.

Photo: Craative Commons

Opioids can potentially kill nearly half a million people across America over the next decade if the crisis of addiction and overdose accelerates.


By Dr. Josh Palgi Drug overdose is the leading cause of accidental death in the United States with 52,404 lethal drug overdoses in 2015. Opioid addiction is driving this epidemic, with 20,101 overdose deaths related to prescription pain relievers and 12,990 overdose related to heroin in 2015. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, every day “more than 90 Americans die after overdosing on opioids”. Opioids are a class of drug that include the illegal drug heroin. Synthetic opioids such as Fentanyl, and pain relievers are available and can be legally obtained via prescription. Some examples of prescription opioids include oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, morphine, and various others. Opioids work by lowering the number of pain signals in your body sends to your brain. They also changed how your brain responds to pain. Doctors often prescribe opioids to relieve pain from toothaches, injuries, surgeries or chronic conditions (such as cancer). Opioids are substances that rely on opioid receptors to produce “morphine” like effects. Medically, opioids are primarily used for pain relief including anesthesia. Other medical uses include suppression of diarrhea, suppression of cough, suppression opioid-induced constipation, treating opioid-related disorders and reversing opioid overdoses. Rates of prescription drug misuse among college students grew from 8.3 percent in 1996 to 14.5 percent in 2006. The overdose rate among teens has doubled between 1999 and 2015. In 2015 alone, there were 772 deaths between the ages of 15 and 19. Opioids can potentially kill nearly half a million people across America over the next decade if the crisis of addiction and overdose accelerates. Deaths from

opioids have been rising sharply for years and the number of overdoses have killed more Americans under the age of 50 than anything else. The number is growing to 100 deaths a day due to opioid overdose and will continue to rise to over 250 if potent synthetic opioids like Carfentanil continues to spread rapidly through the streets. If this prediction proves accurate, within the decade, deaths from opioids could reach up to 650,000. That’s almost as many Americans as will die from breast and prostate cancer! Opioids are now ranked among the biggest public health challenges with drug overdoses now the leading cause of death. Although opioids are an important part of a physician’s ammunition to help relieve pain, they are widely abused. Physicians need to recognize potential dangers. It’s important to understand the extent to which they are prescribed and try to find way to curb the outreach to the population. CVS Pharmacy is battling the opioid epidemic with a new prescription plan that limits new patients to a new seven-day supply. The drugstore will also reach out to doctors about prescriptions that seem to be excessive and put a cap on daily dosages. The company officials said, “CVS will also provide better counseling to its patients, and pharmacists will discuss the risks of dependence and addiction.” When it comes to combating the nation’s opioid epidemic, former President Barack Obama wanted to spend one billion dollars on new treatment programs. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have both talked about the ravages of addiction and the need for immediate solutions. Since then, Congress has passed a package of legislation to prevent overdoses and improve recovery programs.








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Students cook together in new food club By Micayela Konviser A new club on campus is bringing students together to cook. Sophomore, Mary Linen, 19, started Good Eats last semester hoping to help other students. Linen loves cooking and wants to share her skills. “I started this club for other people because I really think that not a lot of people know how to cook and it’s really important,” she said. “We’re adults and after college we’re gonna be out on our own, if you aren’t already.” Every other week members of the club meet at the kitchen in Rogers Hall and use teamwork to create new dishes. “The way I do it is that I give everybody a certain piece of the recipe we’re doing and then we bring it together,” she said. “You need to work together to make the recipe work.” Diana Espinal is Linen’s roommate and said when Linen cooked for her, she enjoyed it, so she joined the club to learn to cook like her. Espinal said her favorite thing about the club is making the dishes and eating them. Her favorite dish the group made together was pasta. “It was so delicious and I was so excited when I got to eat the leftovers,” she said. Good Eats meets weekly, alternating weeks between CAS 250 and Rogers Hall on Oct. 4, the club will be meeting in Rogers Hall. Linen got into cooking as a child. “When I was little, as soon as I came home from school, I used to watch Rachael Ray all the time,” she said. Linen said she taught herself how to cook, and draws inspiration from many different places including “a whole bunch of cookbooks” and watching her parents. She encourages everyone to join and is happy to accommodate any dietary restrictions. “I always ask people if they’re vegetarian, or if they’re allergic to anything,” she said. “I’ll be more than happy to find alternatives to things, like to bread or anything, it doesn’t matter. The point of the club is to help people, you know.” Linen says that members of the club all have different experiences with cooking. Some join because they love to cook, others do not know anything about cooking and join to learn. “I feel good knowing I’m not the only one in the club who is trying to learn how to make food and I feel good knowing I’m learning to cook,” said

Photo by: Mary Linen

93 Students signed up for Good Eats at Kean Day.

Espinal. No need to buy fancy cooking equipment or expensive ingredients to join, Linen ensures that everything cooked during club meetings is accessible to anyone at Kean. “We’re all college students, we have budgets, so I’m not going to spend one hundred dollars on groceries because I know the average person isn’t going to do that,” she said. “I want it to be stuff that Kean students can realistically buy for themselves.” The club currently has 35 members and got 93 new sign ups at Kean Day. Any student at Kean can join the club. Linen says that most people who join either want to learn how to cook, or love to cook and want to spend time cooking with others. Linen hopes to become a funded group and has a few fundraisers she is hoping to conduct this semester. She plans to provide food for an event hosted with the film club on campus, and have a cook-off next semester. “My goal is to become a funded group so that I can have a restaurant style soup kitchen for the homeless,” she said. “I want that to be our big event.” She hopes to use the club to share her passion for cooking with others. “I just really want people to learn how to cook because I love cooking and I’m just like passing it on to everyone else,” said Linen. To find out more or to join Mary Linen’s Good Eats club, email Linen at


September, 2017


New coach, new players, same goals By Sara Ridgway The Kean University men’s soccer team opens the 2017 season with a record of 4-3-1, under newly named head coach Peter-John Falloon. For the past nine seasons, Falloon coached at Division II Bloomfield University. He was a goalie for the Kean men’s soccer team and graduated after the fall semester in 2005. As per the Kean University Athletics website, in the 38 games he played he collected 149 saves. The preseason poll ranked Kean as seventh in the New Jersey Athletic Conference (NJAC) in August of 2017. The team closed the 2016 season with an appearance in the first round of the NCAA (National Collegiate Athletic Association) Tournament when they received an at large bid unexpectedly a week after thinking their season was over. Junior midfielder Erick Reyes said that after reaching the NCAA Tournament the team knew they were moving in the right direction for the future of the program. Although they lost in the first round, the experience gave many of the players a taste of what the National Tournament is all about. “[It] starts with the NJAC,” Reyes said, “we also have very high expectations for our conference; every game is a dog fight. But that takes patience [and] grinding out results one game at a time.” Junior goalie Bryce Horn added that after ending seventh in the conference last season, the goal for 2017 is to land within the top three, as well as giving up the least amount of goals in the conference. “We have the talent to win the NJAC, but it’s all on us,” Horn said,” we need to work for it and it will come.” The team welcomes twelve freshmen to its roster this season, some of which were called upon when senior players were forced to be out on injury during the early games of the season. Senior midfielder Nicholas Sica added that the freshmen and underclassmen are important components of the team this year. “A lot of them have been handed important roles in the team and are expected to step up and fill in the roles of the guys who graduated,” Sica said. “So far they are adapting well and I’m looking forward to them progressing throughout a long season.” Freshman back Russell Hoffer who recently made his transition from high school to college soccer notices standout differences between the two, including the gap in skill level and athleticism there is. “Everyone on the field is noticeable quicker, faster and stronger,” Hoffer said. “In high school soccer there is always a weak link teams try to expose but in college, everyone is more or less on the same level.” He also added that in college, the players exhibit more passion and will to win on the field as opposed to during high school games. Hoffer has started and played in all seven games so far this season and contributed a goal in overtime to lead the Cougars to a 2-1 win over the University of Southern Maine on Sept. 9. Although the freshmen are new to the program, the upperclassmen have been helpful in their process

Jay Sgaramella holding his prestigious award

Photos by: Larry Levanti

Junior goalie Bryce Horn

of becoming a part of the new program, specifically on the field. “Playing with new players is hard enough, but their constant reminders of where to be on the field, where to pass and so on, make the game a lot easier,” Hoffer said. Horn describes this season as being very different from past seasons due to the graduating of 13 seniors and the adjustment to having a new coach. “We have a very young but very talented team this year and it is taking a little longer than usual to get the chemistry flowing with everyone being new to one another,” Horn said. Reyes agrees that although the chemistry of the team has changed, it has changed in a positive manner. “It is almost as if the underclassmen of the last two years have carried the torch and spread the spirit of the team to the newer guys,” Reyes said. “We can all joke around and have fun, but when it comes to training and game day, it’s nothing but business.” Acclimating to a new coach can be difficult, but Horn has experienced this three times in his three seasons in the program. “So I guess you could say that I am used to it, but you really never get used to it,” Horn said. “One of the biggest affects it has on the team is that the new coach doesn’t know as much about the team and the players that he is now coaching. Therefore, it takes some time for him to see what is best for the team and time is something we didn’t have a lot of before the season [started].” In the past three seasons, Sica has also had three different coaches, being a transfer student from Long Island University - Brooklyn and then playing for Kean his junior and senior year. “Being given a leadership role with each coach, getting comfortable, then it changes again; it

definitely is a stressful process but an important part is to buy into the new coaches philosophies as quick as possible,” Sica said. “If the team buys in and works relentlessly to blend to the changes, then the team should just focus on performing and getting results.” The team’s next home game is Sept. 30 against conference rival Rowan University at 1 p.m. “We are taking everyday one day at a time,” Sica said. “With such a new team we are still learning from one another and looking for a positive result each time we step on the pitch. Putting all our energy and focus on each separate team until the day we are on the road to another first round game in the NCAA’s.”

Junior midfielder Erick Reyes

Photos by: Larry Levanti

Perkins ready to bring back swimming to Kean By Greg Patuto After 14 years of being dormant, the women’s swimming program will resume as a varsity sport for the 201718 school year. In June, Kean hired Barbara Perkins as the head coach who will coach the team’s first season since 2003. Perkins started out as an assistant at Indiana University where she coached three 2016 Olympic gold medalists. During her time there, she helped Indiana finish 9th and 10th in the NCAA Championships. She spent her last year as an assistant coach at Montclair State University. Being the head coach at Kean is something that means a lot to Perkins. “I feel honored and also challenged to do my best,” Perkins said. “I thrive under pressure and want to make this a successful program.” Swimming has not been offered at Kean since 2003 because of renovations being made to the pool inside of the D’Angola Gymnasium. “At that time, we did not feel right to offer a sport without access to a suitable swimming facility,” said Director of Athletics Jack McKiernan. “The plan all along was to eventually return the program back to varsity once the renovations were completed.” Bringing back a program after all this time is not an easy task and is something

that will take hard work and dedication from both coaches and players. Kean has some recruits on board that can help build the team back up. “[Recruiting] is one of my top priorities this year,” Perkins said. “I have had some recruits on campus and some that are coming to the Open House.” There are many things to look forward to whether you are a swimmer, coach, or fan. Coach Perkins sees this as an opportunity to be a mentor for the team. “I want them to believe they can do incredible things in the pool and in the classroom.” The expectations for this season are to be competitive, build a strong program for the future, and to grow not only as swimmers, but as students. “This season, I want the team to have a lot of fun and make some new traditions,” Perkins said. “I am excited to see how people will improve over the season and I want every single swimmer to learn something about themselves.” The Cougars will begin their season with a conference matchup against Ramapo College on Saturday, October 28 at 2:00 PM.

Right: The swim team returns to Kean, photo by Greg Patuto

Junior midfielder Erick Reyes

“I feel honored and also challenged to do my best,” Perkins said. “I thrive under pressure and want to make this a successful program,” said Perkins.



September, 2017

Kean field hockey looks to keep the success going

Photos by: Larry Levanti

Kean Field Hockey looks to keep their early-season success going. As the all-time leader in points and goals-scored, Krista LaMaina (center) attributes a lot of her success to her team. The Cougars look as if they are carrying last season’s momentum into this one.

By Craig Epstein Coming off of a year where they finished with a program-best 18-4 record, the Kean University field hockey team looks to keep the ball rolling. Not only did they jump out to a 8-0 record, but they have reached various milestones along the way as well. Whether it’s head coach Leslie LaFronz reaching her 100th win or senior forward Krista LaMaina setting the record for both points and goals scored, it looks as if the Cougars have picked up right where they left off. Coming up just short in last year’s Eastern College Athletic Conference Final to Muhlenberg College, the Cougars are looking to claw their way back and finish the job. And with seven of their first eight wins coming by the way of shutout, they are proving to be a force to be reckoned with. Coach LaFronz credits reaching 100 wins to both her team and to Kean’s support system.

“I am just grateful to be able to work with such amazing young student-athletes every day,” said LaFronz. “We have such a great support system here at Kean so any accomplishment is shared with the people around us.” Krista LaMaina’s 2016 season saw her earn both a New Jersey Athletic Conference and ECAC First-Team selection, as well as National Field Hockey Coaches’ Association All-Region SecondTeam and ECAC All-Tournament Team. Not only that, but she also led her team in points (57), goals (24), and game-winning goals (7). And with setting the record for both points and goals scored only eight games into the season, LaMaina has ample opportunity to leave her mark in a big way in regards to her collegiate field hockey career. “These milestones mean a lot to me, especially because I was able to accomplish them due to my amazing team,” said LaMaina. “I wouldn’t have been able to reach these goals without the help of

my team and especially my sister.” The Oaklyn, NJ native went into greater detail as to why she attributes a lot of her success to her sister. “My sister has assisted almost all of my goals and if it weren’t for her I wouldn’t be where I am today.” Coming into the year, the Cougars were selected fourth and received one first-place vote in the 2017 NJAC Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Just recently, they moved into the NFHCA Coaches’ Top 20 Poll. Although they are coming off of a highly successful season and look to be carrying the momentum into this one as well, the Kean University field hockey team are taking absolutely nothing for granted. “Going forward, my team and I are looking to have as successful a season as last year,” said LaMaina. “The team is definitely going to be making a statement this year.”

NJAC’s dark horse begins season with winning record By Sara Ridgway The Kean University women’s soccer team was named as the New Jersey Athletic Conferences (NJAC) “Dark Horse” upon being ranked fourth in the preseason poll for the 2017 season. The term “Dark Horse” refers to a team in the conference who, based on previous success, has the potential to reign supreme among the competition this season. Senior midfielder Mallory Noordeloos, a 2016 all-conference player, feels that it is a big compliment to be named the dark horse of the conference and serves as motivation. “To us, it means that we are not given enough credit for how good we are and that we are completely underestimated,” Noordeloos said. “This season we plan to surprise the conference teams and win games they don’t think we can win.” The team has nine returning seniors who are leading the cougars with its current record of 7-2, 2-0 in the NJAC. Included in the returning senior squad is senior defensive back Shannon Brown who was also a 2016 all-conference selection. Head Coach Brian Doherty who has embarked on his 19th season of leading the Cougars, has high expectations for his players, both on and off the field. He looks to the seniors as an extension of the coaching staff, bringing with them an understanding of the team’s core beliefs, values and goals. “My expectations every season are that the players first are good teammates and people,” Doherty said, “then that we all give our best every time we step on the field and enter a classroom.” But even with a large senior class, the underclassmen and rookies of the team should not be overlooked. Doherty says that all of the freshmen players have contributed to the team’s early success. As

per the Kean University Athletics website, all freshmen players have seen playing time so far this season. “Our freshmen and underclassmen have come in very strong and are a very large asset to our team this year,” Noordeloos said. “We’ve had two freshmen score in overtime games to beat Lycoming and Stockton and we’ve had a large amount of underclassmen that put in a lot of minutes and work very hard.” The team opened its season with a 3-0 win over Emmanuel College followed by two losses to the University of Scranton and Fairleigh Dickinson University Florham. After this, the team rallied off six straight wins, two of which went to overtime, to lead to their current winning record. Noordeloos describes the team as being very deep, meaning that they not only have a strong starting line, but have strong players coming off the bench throughout games. She added that because of injuries, underclassmen have stepped up to fill in larger roles on the team and in the process proved to be assets to the winning team. Doherty feels that so far this season, his seniors are leading the team in the right direction. “I attribute our success to having a large group of returners who know and understand my expectations, our style of play, the in’s and out’s of the conference and who have a lot of experience dealing with pre-season and the non conference games we play at the start of the season,” Doherty said. Besides the team’s connection on the field, Noordeloos believes the chemistry of the team this season is the best it has been as compared to her past three seasons at Kean. “I think a lot of it comes from the seniors, there’s nine of us and we all get along very well,” Noordeloos said. “We

Freshman Adrianna Mouzakis has scored two goals so far this season.

like to have fun and joke around with each other and coach which I believe is the reason we have such a strong culture and bond this year.” Overall, the goal for this season is to reign as NJAC Champions, and being named “Dark Horse” of the conference is serving as motivation for the team to reach this goal. “To get there we know we have to give 110% every day whether it be at practice or in a game, improve daily, be fully committed, maintain team chemistry and most importantly, stay consistent,” Noordeloos said. The team’s next home game is Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. against conference opponent William Paterson University.

Photos by: Larry Levanti

“I attribute our success to having a large group of returners who know and understand my expectations, our style of play, the in’s and out’s of the conference and who have a lot of experience,” Doherty said.

The Tower - Sept. 2017