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Nothing is More Valuable Than Knowledge

Lauren D’Amato Dies in Fiery Crash

- What’s Inside PTK Smoke Out Success page 3

Steven Draper Editor-in-Chief

Constitution Committee Bylaws page 4

BSU Meal & a Movie page 5

The True Mad Men Experience page 10 Drama Club Profile page 15

WestHELP Closure will Hurt WCC page 21

Photo courtesy of

Deaf Students Excel in Dance Club page 17


Baseball Preview page 28

Mr. Njikeng Goes to Washington NEED TO KNOW Wednesday Dec. 8

Thursday Dec. 9


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• Final Exam Schedules are now posted on the SUNY WCC homepage under the academics tab. Day class final exams and evening/ weekend




• The Faculty Student Association (FSA) is aiming to debut a pre-paid card for students to use at the cafeteria in the Spring 2011 Semester. • Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) disbursment checks are scheduled to be ready on December 13. Changes in regulations have held up the checks. • Deadline for Spring Semester Registration payment is December 16 at Bursars and/or MyWCC.

December 8, 2010

Josh Jenkins Copy Editor Many have seen Cameroon represented by their excellent soccer team. Sadly, we are only seeing part of the story played out on the world’s stage. On Wednesday, November 17th, I was granted an interview by my friend, Cyrille Njikeng. He had just returned from Washington, DC. The purpose of his trip was to speak before US Congress members about his own home country of Cameroon. He is a member of a New York- based group called Cameroon Action Movement (CAM). CAM works in concert with The Collective of Patriotic and Democratic Organizations of Cameroon Diapora (CODE). Cyrille strode into WCC’s Gateway Center with a big grin on his face. This look was echoed by his musical hero, Bob Marley, who beamed out from his belly.

Q: Tell me about your trip to Washington, Cyrille. A: It was just crazy… very exciting! I bussed down there with my friend, Simon Pemel, who is also in the movement. The conference never took place as it was planned. It was supposed to be a development-themed meeting with the Ambassador from The Republic of Cameroon, Senator Mark Begich and other US Congress representatives. We looked at that guy and found out that he’s actually from Alaska! Few French-speaking people even live there! I don’t think he even knows anything about the situation in Cameroon, so that was very strange. The meeting was supposed to take place at three o’clock, so I showed up at the Rayburn Office Building at two, along with the other members of CAM and CODE. At seven past, CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

Lauren D’Amato died early Sunday morning on November 28 in a flame engulfed car in Yorktown. She was 20 years old. Her parents said she had been in such a whirlwind of emotion on Sunday morning that they demanded she give them her car keys. She found a spare and sped off into the early morning night to meet her boyfriend of two years, Joe DeBellis. He could not be reached for comment. Lauren’s father, Michael D’Amato, pursued her and came onto the scene of the accident. Her 1995 Honda Accord had collided with two trees before coming to a stop on Hanover Street. According to friends, Lauren was out that night and may have been drinking. Whether she was intoxicated is still unclear. Her father was the second person to arrive at the scene and pulled Lauren from the fiery car moments before it became completely engulfed in flames. Responders tried to resuscitate her on the scene, but Lauren was pronounced dead after their attempts failed.

Lauren graduated from Yorktown High School in 2008 and was on course to graduate from Westchester Community College (WCC) in May 2011 with a degree in Human Services. She planned to continue her education at Hunter College in Manhattan. Lauren was also a Peer and Orientation Leader at the college and was actively involved with the Westchester Events Board (WEB). The Viking News learned of the loss on Monday morning after a campus-wide email was sent out by the Department of College Relations. Nina DeGiglio, a schoolmate of Lauren at Yorktown High and co-worker described Lauren as, “bubbly, always smiling...I’d come into work and we would just laugh for hours to get through the day.” Nina, like most, found out through phone calls and texts from people close to the family. “I was at a wedding and got a text about it. I was absolutely shocked.” Nina went on to say that Hanover Street, is notoriously difficult to drive. Lauren’s mother, known as, CONTINUED ON PAGE 8

Free the Slaves Founder Gives Sobering Lecture on Modern Slavery Victoria Smith Staff Writer Dr. Kevin Bales spoke here recently about the harsh reality of modern-day slavery. Bales is currently president of Free the Slaves, a movement created to spread awareness and diminish the effects of modern-day slavery. Although many are unaware of its existence, modern-day slavery is prominent in many cultures around the world, including our own. Introduced by WCC’s Dr. Farhad Ameen, Bales spoke about the reality of slavery today, the origins of some of the slavery in the past and how society can bring modern slavery to an end. He explained how the larger anti-slavery movement began. A PowerPoint slide appeared with the words, “it started with this undergraduate essay question: Anne liceat invitos in servitutem dare?” Roughly translated from Latin, this 1785 essay contest question of

Cambridge University meant, “Is it moral to enslave others against their will?” Bales explained that hearing that in modern day seems like a “no-brainer,” at the time the question was posed, slavery was present in the ways of then-typical society. The winner of the essay contest, Thomas Clarkson, started off as an ambitious young man, whose heart was set on success. As he wrote the essay, his heart became more and more involved with the ethical questioning of slavery. After winning, the student was offered many jobs, but turned them all down. The 22-year-old man wrote in his diary, “If everything I learned is true, then someone must take action to right these wrongs.” From here, twelve ordinary people began to demand the impossible, and it has since grown into larger movements as more individuals became aware of its reality. His CONTINUED ON PAGE 3



December 8, 2010

Mr. Njikeng Goes to Washington


we found out that the delegation from the Cameroon government had decided to cancel the meeting. Q: Why did they cancel? A: They saw that we (activists) were there and they backed out, because they knew their stories would be contradicted by our own. Q: What happened next? A: We (CAM and CODE) stayed around for the next hour, to be sure that they (government officials) didn’t sneak back in once we’d gone. All of the American government officials scattered, too. I don’t believe they were busy- they were just too busy for our group of Cameroonians. They didn’t want to hang around and witness an awkward scene between ourselves and the Cameroon officials. Q: Were you disappointed that you didn’t get to speak? A: We were frustrated, but some good came of the trip, after all. We felt that it was a victory, because we stopped them from lying to the world! Q: Do you think the Cameroonian Ambassador may come back and meet behind your backs? A: He might try, but we were told by Angelle B. Kwemo, who is a counsel to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, that we’ll be informed of any plans. Also, I met with attorney Melvin Hardy, who works with African expatriates like us. When we hear about rescheduling, we’ll be ready to go back, because we are fighting for our nation. Q: Let’s go back. Why can’t the Ambassador speak for you? What is going on in Cameroon? A: The Ambassador can’t speak for us because he is part of the corrupt Biya government. We are ready to let the world know what they are doing in Cameroon and in Africa, in general. We want to stop the Biya government from coming here and telling lies about what they are doing. They think they can make themselves look clean, but there are political crimes and political prisoners all over the country. So, they can’t keep running that way. When the World Bank grants loans to the country, it doesn’t ever reach the hands of people who are going to use it for economic development. The President and his family just make it disappear. Q: Let’s talk about the situation back in your home country. A: He (Biya) is only the second president in office since Cameroon became independent, fifty years ago. He has been in power since 1982. That’s why we say that we have only “paper independence.” It is a neo-colonial sit-

Members of CAM taking it to the streets. Keeping a clost eye is a member of the Cameroonian regime, along with five new video cameras. In the top left is a member of New York’s finest, cooling.

uation, where the French still rule through local black faces- their ghosts are still there haunting us. There is no guaranteed education, no healthcare system, the list goes on… Q: Like Haiti? A: Yes, like down in Haiti. They are not really free from the French who used to rule there. They are divided and confused and kept in ignorance. Real independence would be for us to be able to do what we want with our lives and our own nation’s resources. We want to use our voices without fearing for our lives. Cameroon has lots of potential industries that could be developed, like timber, gold-mining and fishing, but the government doesn’t do anything to industrialize the country. We have more political prisoners than any other country on the continent of Africa. Q: What do you know about your president, Paul Biya? A: He just has no love for the people of the country. The country recently got a development loan and he decided to buy a fancy new jet-plane for his family. He spends most of every year in expensive resorts in France and Switzerland, wasting the tax-payers’ money. Many of the people there are living on what equals less than one US dollar per day. Q: Is he afraid of his own country? A: I don’t think so- I think he feels that he’s just too good to spend time around us. Q: Our own news media dutifully reports to Americans

whenever Mrs. Obama buys a nice new dress. I suppose you don’t hear news like that on the ground in Cameroon? A: No! There is no freedom of speech granted to those out of power. You can’t say anything critical, because you might be shot by the president’s gang or imprisoned for the rest of your life. There is no freedom of speech, no free and open elections, just a nation ruled by intimidation, violence and bribes. Q: How has Paul Biya stayed on top for so long? A: There are many political parties outside of his own, but they do not form any effective opposition because each leader is bought off by him at just the right price. There is no main opposition effort. That is why Cameroon’s Diaspora community is so united against him. It’s just a government of corruption and killing. Q: Do you feel his influence from where you stand now? A: Yes, Biya knows about us and he wants to stop our voices, too. The former president of Cameroonian Action Movement (CAM), Jean Pierre Kamwa, sold us out recently. In exchange for a bribe, he turned in a list of our names and promised that he wouldn’t lead any more street demonstrations at the United Nations. We’ve been struggling to rebuild without him. This year, we marched on November 5th, in commemoration of his taking power. The Collective of Patriotic and Democratic Organizations of Cameroon Diapora (CODE) is a

Europe- based group that works toward the same ends, because we all want an end to the corruption that is damaging our country. Q: If you feel that France is the real problem, why not pressure them to stop supporting Biya? A: We have done that in the past, marching on the French Embassy, but we want to focus on educating the whole world. Biya and his friends in France can see us, but they act like they don’t care very much. So we want to gather US Senators and political science professors and human rights activists together. Then we will tell our story and not be so much in the margins.

Cyrille Njikeng - Many rivers are still left to cross.

Q: I’m sure your fellow countrymen were represented well, along with your Valhalla Vikings. Will come back you tell us about future developments? A: Yes, I’d be happy too. I want to speak, because there are so many people back home that would stand with me today, if they did not live in fear and if they had the freedom to do so. I would like to thank the American Government for allowing us to express our views on this situation. It is sad that only here can I say what I know to be true. Cyrille Njikeng can be reached at stalianhummer@ CAM can be reached at


December 8, 2010


Quiting is Easy — I’ve Done It 1,000 Times Students Pledge to Fight Their Burning Desires

Photo by Julia John-Scheder Students line up to hand over their packs of cigarettes and pledge to be smoke free. Friends of smokers also pledged to encourage a smoke-free lifestlye.

Julia John-Scheder Staff Writer The 18th of November marked the 35th Great American Smoke-Out day, which happens nationwide every third week of November. It is an event to raise awareness of the fact that an estimated 67.7 million Americans age 12 or older use tobacco products. The Smoke Out at Westchester Communiity College (WCC) was held at the Student Center and organized by Phi Theta Kappa (PTK). They were approached by Mrs. Gilroy, the head nurse at WCC, to organize an event to reach out to students to stop

which symbolized the tree of life. On there, students could post little apples on where they pledged to either quit smoking themselves, help others to quit or they could pledge to never start smoking, etc. To further motivate the students, the coordinators had organized a raffle for everyone who pledged. It was important for PTK to personalize the Smoke-Out event

for every individual student. The goal is to ban smoking from campus. As Jonathan Divon, President of PTK put it, “College is a place for academics. If you can’t follow the rules, stay home.” It may come as a surprise to most students, but smoking on campus is actually banned. Both the staff and faculty voted for smoking to be banned, as well as

the fire and health department on campus. Some of the students who stopped by on Thursday were offended and reacted by saying that it was their right to smoke. To counter, PTK answered that it was also their right to breathe fresh air. Mrs. Gilroy only agreed with that statement by saying, ”As a nurse it is my job to protect the students’ health.” She also added that the number of students coming in to her office complaining about asthma attacks has increased. These students say their condition worsened after they had to walk through a cloud of smoke to get to their classroom. On Smoke-Out Day, the students used cost calculators that show how much money quitters can save. Since neither PTK nor the nurse’s office where authorized to hand out nicotine patches, they gave out cards that had the New York State Smokers’ Quit-line number on it. There, quitters could get info and even free nicotine patches. To ensure a good outcome the members of PTK not only created a Facebook page to keep in touch with one another and also to generate a bigger outcome for the event. They set their goals

rather realistically since they knew that some smokers would be hard to convince. ”If we get one person to quit we’ve done our job!” said Johanna Croissant, treasurer of PTK. They were successful. One student even pledged to stop smoking while several others went to the nurse’s office to get more info about the dangers of smoking and second-hand smoking. There is no safe exposure to second-hand smoke, which is a Class A carcinogen. Such questions for Mrs. Gilroy included whether quitters would gain a lot of weight and where to get support. She advised them to join online support groups for people their age. There was also one incident were students did not react positively to the Smoke-Out. ”We had one person come over and flip over one of the cardboard posters and started yelling. But I can kind of understand smokers like that. These are facts that hurt you,” explained PTK President Jonathan Divon.

Helpful friends write down words of encouragement, to their recently smoke-free friends.. Numberous quotes were posted on the walls of the student lounge, for other students to read them.

Students took cost calculators that show how much can be saved once they quit smoking.

smoking. A table was set up in front of the cafeteria, directly in front of those glass windows that usually display posters of the risks of smoking, showing which organs are affected. Since the Student Center is where people congregate and meet, Phi Theta Kappa made sure they had information material, signs and posters to really catch the students’ attention. They also had a poster

Photo by Julia John-Scheder



AIDS Awareness Day Reminds Us to Play Safely

Constitution Committee Sets New Bylaws Bylaws Aim to Increase Transparency and Efficiency of SGA Committees Shelly Williams Copy Editor “WE THE STUDENT GOVERNMENT ASSOCIATION, BEING THOSE STUDENTS OF WESTCHESTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE ELECTED AND APPOINTED BY OUR PEERS, DEDICTE OURSELVES TO BE ACCESSIBLE, VISIBLE AND APPROACHABLE TO ALL STUDENTS IN WCC, TO BE SENSITIVE TO THEIR CONCERNS, TO BE THE VOICE OF EVERY STUDENT, AND BE COMMITTED TO BE A SOURCE OF INFORMATION, LEADERSHIP AND SERVICE. IN ADITION, WE STRIVE TO ACT AS A LIAISON TO THE ADMINSTRATION, THE FACULTY AND THE ALUMNI TO PROMOTE A GREATER UNDERSTANDING AND COOPERATION TO ENSURE A SYNERGISTIC RELATIONSHIP WHICH WILL ENHANCE IN A POSITIVE WAY THE EXPERIENCE OF ALL WCC STUDENTS. “ (SGA Constitution) The Student Government Constitution was amended by the executive board of the Spring Semester with approval by the Student Senate this Fall Semester. One of the new additions to the constitution, was a set of bylaws. These bylaws seek to govern over the committees executive boards run. The committees affected would be: programming, elections, constitution and budget among others. Before the bylaws were added, the committees were run by their presiding officers the way each wanted to run it. Each committees’ bylaws specify how to run the group, the way the committee will be form ed and who is qualified to join. Each committee has its own bylaws and the bylaw add definition. The constitution works for the student government and the bylaws are a form of micro-managing the committees. The bylaws aim to work as a backup to the constitution and is also abided by the constitution. A note highlighted was that there is to be no discrimination against anyone who is trying to join a committee. Equal opportunity and open access will be provided to any student. Also, every student is a part of the Student Government Association. If you

are a student on the main campus of Westchester Community College, you are a part of the SGA. Every student must pay a student activity fee when they register, by paying the student activity fee, you become a part of the SGA. “ALL STUDENTS OF WESTCHESTER COMMUNITY COLLEGE PAYING STUDENT ACTIVITY FEE ARE CONSIDERED MEMBERS OF THE SGA. ANY PERSON ENROLLED IN THE COLLEGE AND PAYING A STUDENT ACTIVITY FEE SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN FEE-FUNDED COLLEGE ACTIVITIES. ANY PERSON ENROLLED IN AN ACCREDITED COURSE SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATE IN STUDENT GOVERNMENT AND COMMITTEES (SGA Constitution).” There are specific circumstances that change the eligibility of a student to be an active member of the SGA. There are some students who do not pay the student activity fee. WCC students who are taking classes exclusively at an extension site are not required to pay the student activity fee because the extension sites do not normally offer any extra-curricular activities. If a student decides to take a course on the main campus but maintains the rest of the classes at an extension site, they will be required to pay the student activity fee. The Executive Board is now looking to change this. Another new part of the bylaws is the creation of the Parliamentarian position. The Parliamentarian would attend all SGA Senate meetings and be a living reference to all the technical laws as described in the Constitution. The Parliamentarian will not sit as a member of the executive board. However, he/she will be called to executive boards as deemed neccessary by the board. Member composition of the budget committee will also be cleary defined in the new bylaws. Curriculum Clubs will produce three members, Cultural Clubs two members, Special Interest Clubs two members, Drama/Fine Arts one member, and Publications one member. Nine members in total will preside over a budget for over 70 clubs and organization s on campus. Recently, the SGA has opened the Recording Secretary position on their executive

December 8, 2010

College Students continue to be the highest contractors of HIV Julia John-Scheder Staff Writer What is AIDS? It stands for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is caused by HIV. HIV stands for Human Immunodeficiency Virus. This virus, once you carry it in your body, attacks the T cells in your immune system, making it hard for the body to fight off sickness. Many people know that you can get HIV by having unprotected sex with a person who has HIV. Unprotected sex means having intercourse without properly using a condom. It can also be transmitted by sharing needles or getting a blood transfusion with contaminated blood. On the other hand HIV can not be transferred by kissing a person who is infected with HIV or getting bitten by a mosquito or any other bug. The only way to know or to find out if you are infected or not is by getting tested. December 1st is Aids awareness day. It started in 1988 to raise money, awareness and to educate people about the disease. This year’s theme for the day is “Universal Access and Human Rights.” The theme has been cho-

Stigma is one of the reasons why people keep spreading the virus because some just refuse to get tested.

drugs. According to UNAIDS estimates, there are now 33.3 million people living with HIV, including 2.5 million children. During 2009 some 2.6 million people became newly infected with the virus and an estimated 1.8 million people died from AIDS” states People raise awareness and show support by simply wearing the international sign for AIDS and HIV: the red ribbon. There are also events taking places all around the world like art show or marches where people can participate in. The number of people in the U.S. who were newly infected peaked during the 1990’s at


people will die of AIDS in the time it takes to walk from the STC Building to Administration slightly over 80,000 as well as the number of reported deaths due to AIDS at 50,000. Those numbers have leveled over the last 5 years to 38,000 and 16,000 respectively. Every minute of every hour each day about 5 people become infected with the virus. That means that there are about 7200 newly infected people every day. In a year that would be 2,628 000 new infections worldwide. Statistics say that 67% of males get infected through homosexual intercourse, 15% through heterosexual intercourse and 12% due to drug injection, where-

as 80% of women get infected through heterosexual intercourse and 19% of the infections in females are due to drug injections. (Source: Centers for Disease for Control and Prevention) This disease can not be cured, which is a reason why it is important to educate people how to prevent transmitting and spreading the virus. However, there are available drugs which do not cure HIV infection but prevent the development of AIDS. They can stop the virus spreading in the body and this stops the virus from damaging the immune system. These drugs cannot eliminate the virus from the body. Hence, people with HIV need to continuously take antiretroviral drugs. Getting tested is also vital in this process of preventing the death march of AIDS. There are different ways of getting testing. Either in the confidential environment of one’s physician or through an anonymous HIV test. There the tested person’s name will not be used in connection with the test. Instead, the person gets a code or number assigned to the test. This allows the individual being tested to receive the results of the test. There are no records kept that would link the person to the test. One of the worst things about AIDS is the stigma that is attached to the disease. This stigma is one of the reasons why people keep spreading the virus because some just refuse to get tested. They are afraid to be confronted with the eventual consequences once they might find out that they are HIV positive. In the end, AIDS should be considered just like any other lethal disease: a virus that destructs the biological organism.

sen because there still is a lot of work to be done for every infected person to have access to treatment, prevention and care. “In developing and transitional countries, 9.5 million people are in immediate need of lifesaving AIDS drugs; of these, only 4 million (42%) are receiving the

Photo courtesy of With an electron microscope, we’re able to see how the AIDS virus attacks its hosts cells.


December 8, 2010


Meal and a Movie Kick Starts Campus Holiday Festivites

Photo by Gabriela Loschi De Souza

Gabriela Loschi De Souza Staff Writer It was 11 AM, November 17th, when lots of students going through the Student Center Lounge started to smell something different in the air. Something that really caught their attention. Curiously, when they stopped to look at what was going on there, they encountered a hundred chairs, a big screen, tables and a huge meal. That was the answer for the delicious smell taking place at the Student Center Building. At that space and moment was the start of the Thanksgiving Lunch and Movie event, offered by the Black Union Students at Westchester Community College. Free. The celebration occurred from 11:15 AM to 1:00 PM, which was a time that enabled the stu-

dents to start up their participation in the event after classes in the morning. “It is important, because after all the studying we do, it feels good to be appreciated and rewarded with a meal. That is wonderful,” said Manoel Galan, one of the students enjoying the meal with friends. On an abundant table were macaroni and cheese, different kinds of breads, lots of salads, braised collard greens, turkey and beef brisket. Even so, one of the best parts of a traditional Thanksgiving comes at the end. For dessert, the students were able to choose between two kinds of pies: pumpkin and sweet potato. The movie shown was “The Blind Side,” based on the true history of Baltimore Ravens offensive left tackle Michael Oher. He was played by Quinton Aaron, while Sandra Bullock played his adoptive mother.

The exhibit’s organizers, Tasha Maynard and Nathalie Cosby, consider this movie a big hit to help celebrate the union, one of the main purposes of the event. “We did the lunch to give the students of WCC a Thanksgiving meal. Some of the students aren’t able to travel to see their families or to spend the holiday with them. So we wanted to make sure that even though they don’t get to spend it with their family that they at least could spend it with their WCC family. We picked the movie to bring unity together among the students, to show that they still have a family with us. The Black Students Union is about unity,” affirmed Tasha. Nathan Miller is one of the students that still remembers the seasons when he could celebrate with all family, but this year he was not able to spend the Thanksgiving with them. “My dad is sick,

so I am not spending the holiday with him. This is sad for me, so in this celebration, I have the opportunity to meet friends, which is very important. There are not so many events like that. I think it could be more times!” People generally enjoyed the event. Some teachers were there to help the staff or celebrate with their students. Erika Marquez, a new professor of sociology, was invited to the event, and she ended up helping to serve the meal. “I think it’s extremely interesting to see people socializing for the Thanksgiving. And this movie brings one more very important element: The race relation. It is an important moment to analyze, to pay attention to social relationships”. In fact, it was divided also into people who were supposed to spend the holiday with the family, groups of students, the curious and the professional food staffs. They found the initiative satisfying. The commentaries in general were very positive. That was the case with Michelle Isioye, 18, a psychology student: “I feel like it helps gather the students together…(it) keeps us out of

trouble. It’s always a funny event and also because of the movie. Thanksgiving represents unity and it brings all of us together”. According to the organizers, a hundred people celebrated with the lunch and the movie. Devin O`Rourke was having a blast while eating and having fun with friends: “I found the event very important because WCC has a big community, but it is not close at all, and events like this bring us closer!”. That was exactly the idea. The Black Union Students stand out for its famous events celebrating the union between students and the university staff. These events have become a great destination for “Westchesterites” looking for integration and fun. Drinking a soda and eating a huge variety of food with friends may be the best idea for those people who cannot spend the Thanksgiving holiday with their families. For those who can, celebrating the union with friends is one of the life’s greatest pleasures. A lot of them are now just waiting for the next one...

BSU had tasty pies for attendees of the Meal and Movie . Just in time for the Holidays.

Photo by Gabriela Loschi De Souza

Free the Slaves Founder Gives Sobering Lecture on Modern Slavery CONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE

“Free the Slaves” organization was inspired by Kevin Bale’s first book, “Disposable People.” Bales explained that slavery today is known to exist in every country aside from Greenland. In 2010, there are an estimated 27,000 slaves being held against their will. Contrary to the assumptions of many WCC students, modern slavery is in fact unrelated to race. 27,000 is a large number that so many are unaware of, but in proportion to world population, it is the lowest percentage (.004) of the people that has been enslaved in. Bales explained that the pool of potential slaves is larger than the number of people who are enslaved. After traveling and meeting victims of slavery, it all seems to begin with one question: “Want a job?” Hundreds to thousands live in extreme poverty

and vulnerability due to natural disasters, kleptocratic governments, the HIV/AIDS epidemic, etc. Slave-owners will drive to remote villages and offer vulnerable people jobs. Despite initial feelings of doubt in the man offering, they agree for the sake of their families. Bales put the WCC audience in the shoes of an enslaved person. “People go into slavery today because they do what you or I would do in the same situation. If our kids were hungry, if we were desperate to make a better life, and somebody really offered us something that looked beautiful or at least useful or… possible, we might just step right in.” It is not until they have worked in unsafe and dirty conditions without food or pay that they ask to go home and their requests are declined.

Tragically, a person’s freedom is taken away. Bales explained after adding in “the third leg to the stool” of the population explosion and vulnerable people, it becomes clear that a major reason for modern slavery is corruption, particularly police corruption. If enslavers use the force of weaponry and violence against individuals who cannot protect themselves, this could also mean living in a place where the law cannot protect them. So it seems that enslaving people has become easy. A statement for many of the attendees was that in the 1800s, a good slave was worth about $45,000, while today the average slave is worth $90, hence “disposable people.” When slaves were worth so much money, slave-owners considered them to be a large investment, and they

were taken care of. Today, slaveowners do not put much thought into a sick, or dying slave because they are replaceable. Bales said, “They’re just like Styrofoam cups; you buy them very inexpensively, you use them, you crumple them up, you throw them away.” Kevin Bales takes an economist approach in relating the value of modern slavery to be anywhere from 50 to 60 billion dollars per year, which seems like a large number. However, in global terms, “that is truly a small drop in the economic ocean.” Bales said the cost of getting people out of slavery includes that of liberating and helping them find their way, making sure they have resources to be selfsupportive, educated, dignified and no longer vulnerable to any future encounters with slavers.

This process can take up to two to three years. His presentation showed a family in India Bales had helped. The cost of their liberation was $150 per person, while a child in Ghana from the fishing industry costs his group $400 to free. The average cost of taking the 27,000,000 people out of slavery world-wide is roughly $400 per slave, which is $10.8 billion. In global terms, “It’s the amount of money America spends on chips and pretzels in one year, that is the amount of money America spent on blue jeans in one year, and it is the amount America spends on Valentine’s Day in one year.” Students agreed to become more involved in spreading awareness through word their families, peers, Facebook, and becoming involved in donating money to the cause.



December 8, 2010

Italian Club Celebrates American Turkey Tradition

Photo by Mark Vasey Members and attendees of the Italian Club’s Thanksigivng Luncheon thought the event was a success. The celebration of American holidays like Thanksgiving by other cultures is what the Italian Club sought to highlight in this luncheon. The Italian Club is used to larger scale events but this one was perfect for the holiday season.

Mark Vasey Staff Writer

The Italian Club had a Thanksgiving celebration on Wednesday, November 24, 2010. I was expecting to find only young Italian students, but instead was greeted very warmly by a deeply diverse group of members young and old. When I entered, the club was honoring the individual participation of club members. Rose-Marie Cherundolo is one of the members who were honored. She told me about her volunteer job serving as a curator for the Italian art exhibit for one month. The art exhibit was located in the Academic Arts Building. She also gave tours to students and explained the work in the exhibit. Rose-Marie told me that there were nine artists featured in the exhibit, including herself. All of the artists were of Italian heritage and the artwork was modern in style. The club president, Isabella Dimarco was very friendly and courteous. She offered me food and told me about the thanksgiv-

ing lunch that the club was putting on. The lunch was both a thank you to the members for their efforts in a bake sale to raise money for the Westchester Children’s Medical Center and an homage to American culture. Isabella stated the importance of American Culture to the Italian club. After all, the members are Italian Americans living in America. This was very nice to hear, because we often over-state the importance of the different ethnic groups that make up America, but in the end we are all Americans. It was refreshing to see how the Italian Club cherishes its bonds not only with its Italian roots, but also its American culture. I expected to find Italian food when I arrived at the club, but instead found turkey, corn and stuffing, among an array of other American Thanksgiving delicacies. This showed the Italian club fully embracing American heritage while also adding its own flair. The members were very nice and frequently offered me food. The Italian Club made me feel like I was at home. I was just a stranger coming into their

Thanksgiving feast and they took me in like a shelter takes in a homeless person. The food smelled delicious and was served buffet style. The people at the lunch sat and ate the tender tur-

key smothered with savory gravy. They looked to be fully enjoying their meals while talking casually among one another. It was a very pleasant atmosphere and I can’t wait to go back and spend some

more time with the Italian Club. If you are interested in getting involved with the Italian Club, their academic advisors are Professor Carlo Sclafani, Franco Maddolena and Angelo Branca.

Photo by Mark Vasey Lining up to knock it down.


December 8, 2010


Sue Shumejda Says Goodbye Nathalia Bernardo Staff Writer Susan Shumejda, creator of the 25-year-old Women’s Forum, was recently honored at a retirement luncheon organized by colleagues and friends after 35 years of dedication to counseling. She was praised for her hard work and perseverance in helping others. Over 40 people came to honor her work with women and her accomplishments at the college. She created the Women’s Forum – an award-winning department – to be a welcoming place with an open door policy that supports services designed to ease and enhance the experiences of adult women students who had previously put their education on hold and later decided to restart at Westchester Community College. Many of those women sometimes had to deal with crises such as domestic violence, and Shumejda used all the resources

available to her to help them to go through that tough situation. Kevin Slavin, the recently retired Dean of Student Development and Support Services said, “Sometimes, Sue would take them herself to shelters and also open order of protection through attorney’s office.” The ideas that Shumejda put together in the Women’s Forum helped students to create strategies for a successful college experience and to assist with academic, personal and career goals counseling. She was always quick to help, and would offer:individual counseling and program planning; daily open-door office hours; referrals to on-campus and community resources; and newsletters. She also organized the Women’s Forum New Student Orientation; the Woman-to-Woman Peer Support Group; workshops, seminars, and guest speaker events; and The Workplace Culture Coaching which is a corporate mentoring program.

Judith Christ, Shumejda’s personal assistant at the Women’s Forum for 20 years, met her when she came to work part-time at WCC in 1991. Christ said, “It was more of a friendship than anything else. We shared our private lives; that is what you do when you work with someone for 20 years.” Even though they were not together at all times, they shared and discussed information about committees and meetings with students. Beth McGrail, Alumni Student Adviser at The Viking News would often visit Shumejda in her office while she was a student. “She was always there with a strong shoulder and kind and wise words,” said McGrail, who has known Shumejda for many years. She continued saying, “She [Sue] was especially helpful when my daughter began taking classes here too and we found that the campus wasn’t big enough for both of us. My daughter and I used to have a great relationship until we were both here taking classes and here we were, fighting all the time.

Sue took the time to see both of us together and individually too. She really helped us to work things out.” Shumejda hosted The Women’s Forum, Tuesday’s Tea at Two. McGrail explained, “Women would get together on Tuesdays at 2:00 for coffee, tea, cookies and conversation. It was a support group where everyone listened to one another. It was a great opportunity to know that we weren’t alone with our problems such as making the transition of going back to school and still being there for our families.” Shumejda also played an encouraging part between education and women. Julia Daniels, Assistant Professor and Assistant Dept. Chair of Behavioral & Social Sciences, met Shumejda in 2000 when she moved to Westchester with her husband. She remembered how Shumejda immediately encouraged her into looking into teaching at WCC as an adjunct. She said, “Sue is a woman who perseveres and accomplishes major goals, and all of the women here at WCC are in a better place because of her work. I am proud to have known and worked with

her.” When people were asked about the luncheon, they said it was a “beautiful event” in which they could share their experiences and hear all the amazing things Sue did for so many women at the college throughout the years. Another friend and colleague of Shumejda, Eileen Hart, the Division Coordinator, encapsulated the feelings of many when she said, “For decades Sue Shumejda has been the heart and soul of Westchester Community College ... Sue’s mantra was to do whatever she could to help make the educational journey successful for all with whom she came into contact. Her warmth, compassion, wisdom and humor will certainly be missed by those of us who were fortunate enough to work with her.”

Top: Dr. Ford and Sue Shumejda embrace one another at the retirement dinner. Dr. Ford has recently debuted a new program to increase diversity in faculty. Bottom: Sue Shumejda poses with her family at her retirement dinner

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December 8, 2010

Lauren D’Amato Dies in Fiery Crash


Catherine McLaughlin at WCC, works as a counslor at the Student Development and Support Services Department. Lauren was on track to follow in her mother’s footsteps to become a social worker. Her presence on campus was felt by many. Lauren worked at Dean Slavin’s office with Secretary CarolAnn Zavarella who said “Everyone here is reeling from the news...I haven’t slept since Sunday night. I feel horrible about it.” Zavarella went on to say, “I know the family, Lauren and Kelly [Lauren’s twin sister] worked here, I’ve been friends with Catherine [Lauren’s mother] since she’s been working here. We’re like a family here. It hit us hard.” Iskra Hernandez, a counselor and advisor at the Office of Student Involvement remembers Lauren as being “jolly, always smiling. Serious when she had to be and hard-working.” Her involvement with WEB was hands-on and whole-hearted. “She would volunteer herself for everything, the first one to raise her hand to do something,” said Hernandez. Sue Hoffman of the Office of

Photo courtesy of

Student Involvement recalls graduation day last Spring. “She was helping out with caps and gowns and I ordered pizzas for everyone. She said to me, ‘pizza?! that is so unhealthy, get us salad!’ She was into health and fitness, always looking out for others.” Lauren often hiked at Turkey Mountain Park in Yorktown. A roadside memorial has been set up where Lauren died on Hanover Street. Flowers, cards, photos, and a teddy bear that reads, “Dearest Lauren, may you be with the angels.” Lauren’s Facebook page has been flooded with messages from

her friends. Many recall their best memories with Lauren. One poster thanked Lauren for being her only real friend at Yorktown High and making school bearable. A wake was held Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at Clark Funeral Home in Yorktown. Lauren’s funeral is set to be held Thursday, Dec. 2 at St. Patrick’s Church in Yorktown. The D’Amatos request that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Westchester Community College Foundation at Hartford Hall, 75 Grasslands Rd. Valhalla, NY 10595.

Photo courtesy of, taken by Joe Larerse

Top Left: Lauren D’Amato’s 1995 Honda Accord. Witnesses to the aftermasth say the car was so mangled it couldn’t be recongnized as a car at all. Top Right: Catherine McLaughlin holds up a picture of her daughter at her Yorktown High School graduation in 2008.


December 8, 2010

Stress Rises as Finals Approach

Anxious Students Await the Posting of Finals Week Schedule Julia John-Scheder Staff Writer Faces hidden in books, packed libraries and stressed students will be a common scene for the next couple of weeks. As the semester comes to an end, it is time for our final preparations. Finals are coming up and everyone is eager to do his or her best. For some people, this time might be a slightly stressful one, because of all the studying and learning we have to do. According to, stress is physiologically defined as being “a specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism” or “physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension or worry.” Here are some tips and tricks to help students avoid stress and stay sane during this time. First things first- start early. Students are advised to begin reviewing the semester material way before the week of finals. Just browsing through notes and books can relieve the mind and bring back into memory some of the important things. Another important tip is to write down exactly what there is to study. It certainly does no good carrying around a mental list of stuff to do, because this clutter usually results in more stress. So make a list for every subject and write down exactly what you have to do. After you have a list, it can also help to split the learning material into small portions to avoid feeling overwhelmed. You can create a good study environment for yourself by making sure you have a room to study where nothing can distract you. Some people might find it relaxing to burn an aroma candle or oils. The scent of peppermint is a proven pick-me-up for the brain. For some people, it might also be helpful to recreate the testing environment. When studying, use the same light and sit in a room similar to where the test will take place. That way you will be fully prepared for

the atmosphere in which the final test will occur. Getting enough sleep and exercising are also techniques to boost your energy and improve your overall health. “I walk my dog to relax before taking a test,” says Kyra, a student here at Westchester Community College. Students who don’t sleep enough could face a dangerous cycle that might be hard to break. Lack of sleep leads to loss of concentration, forgetting to eat properly, feeling tired and shaky. Some try to balance the fatigue by drinking loads of coffee or other stimulating drinks only to end up at the nurse’s office. Our school nurse, Janice Gilroy, and her colleagues report an increase of students who either call or come in to the office because they are close to fainting during finals time. “There are a lot of students who come in with a lot of anxiety. Some of them are close to having serious panic attacks,” says Mrs. Gilroy. But this anxiety is mostly caused by sleep deprivation. The Heath Office staff says that during testing time, they also keep a few snacks and drinks ready for the students who come there because most of them simply forget to eat.

There are a lot of students who come in with a lot of anxiety. Some of them are close to having serious panic attacks

They also provide pamphlets with information about how to deal with anxiety, stress and panic attacks. If students have to stay up late to study, they can also get a healthy dose of sleep by taking short naps in the afternoon, which are proven to boost energy if not taken for too long. Cutting back on going out too late and drinking might also be advised. Although some people might think that alcohol is a temporary stress reliever, the long term effect is depressing, not uplifting. Studies have found that alcohol increases stress rather than helping to reduce it, because it stimu-

Photo courtesy of Students feel the stress coming on, due to papers, tests and final exmas.. Thankfully, there are ways to cope with the stress.

lates the production of certain hormones such as adrenaline. Falling asleep might be easier after having a couple of drinks, but alcohol actually disrupts and shortens sleep cycles. Cigarettes also harm your body rather than helping to reduce stress. Certain studies say that the nicotine in

cigarettes blocks some of the oxygen in your body from reaching the brain, so the brain struggles to function well. Also, since nicotine works as a vasoconstrictor, meaning it shrinks blood vessels, the heart has to work harder to pump blood through your body. That results in


a higher blood pressure. Those who feel the need to do something with their hands when they are stressed, should try using a stress ball that can help you relax, or just make a cup of tea, which includes various steps. Another student suggested tapes that teach you how to relax through breathing. She said, “I’ve started listening to these tapes and they really help. I’ve found that breathing really is key in order to relax for me. It helps you slow down too.” The final exam schedule is now available online at http:// There are two versions, one for daytime classes and one for evening and weekend classes. Anyone with conflicting exams can appeal to take their tests in the Conflict Room at a preset time and place.


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December 8, 2010

F E AT U R E S Move over Mad Men . . . Here Come

Lexington Ave. Sec’s in The City Beth McGrail Alumni Mentor


o bang your head against a wall,” said Mad Men mom, Betty Draper to her kids. I laughed and wondered how many times my mother and my friends’ mothers uttered those words when we whined that we were bored? I wax nostalgic watching AMC’s award-winning series Man Men which portrays the world of advertising and life during the early 1960s with a luscious mix of authenticity, fantasy and exaggeration. Authentic is the vintage make-up, hairstyles, and fashions; the wallpaper and household gadgets; TV shows, newscasts, and the music playing on car radios and phonographs – all of which stir memories of my childhood and teen years. At the office of Sterling Cooper, the furnishings with the venetian blinds, the old-fashioned typewriters, and multi-tasking secretaries brought me back to the days when I was a secretary at J. Walter Thompson Advertising from 1969 through 1972. It was not on Madison Avenue but on Lexington Avenue, nestled right above Grand Central Station. Secretaries carousing and canoodling with their bosses during after-hours parties as portrayed on Mad Men is something that happens only in the playful minds of the writers -- and the same thing can be said about the constant office boozing. With the stress of working in advertising in the real world, there were probably more Maalox bottles hidden in desk drawers than liquor. But the show is addictive and deliciously fun and evokes many memories from my days in advertising. I’ve been rummaging through old photos and diaries from those days and have compiled my story about when I was what you could call, one of the “Lexington Ave. Sec’s in the City.”

Sec’s on the First Day:

The date was July 7, 1969 and three days earlier, I turned 18. John Lindsay was the mayor, Nelson Rockefeller was the gov-

Above: The sec’s take me to lunch on my last day at J. Walter Thompson Co. Below: That’s me at my desk with my manual typewriter in my favorite location in Creative on 9-Square.

ernor and Richard Nixon was the president. I’d just graduated from high school, I was old enough to legally drink alcohol, and this was my first day as a secretary at J. Walter Thompson Company, one of the oldest and largest advertising agencies in the world. I got out of the train with some high school friends who were working there too, and walked through Grand Central Station and through the revolving doors which led from the station into the Graybar Building at 420 Lexington Ave. We rode up in the elevator and reported to personnel and they asked to see our social security cards. I didn’t have mine. They sent me home. It was the beginning of an awful day. I returned with my card a couple of hours later. They brought me to the Media Research Department on the tenth floor and I met my boss. He was the vice president in charge of media research and spot buying. He smiled at me for the first and the last time. When he called me into his office for dictation, I panicked because although I scored well in my high school stenography class, I had trouble reading my own writing. Thank goodness my friend Barbara worked in Accounts down the hall. I called and told

her to sit outside his office and secretly take dictation too. I then transcribed her legible notes and typed up his letters. I sensed he harbored a distain for my inexperience and I was miserable. I requested a transfer to another department and after a few months my wish was granted. They were sending me to Creative!

Sec’s in 9-Square:

Creative was smack in the middle of the ninth floor and was called the Square. It was bustling with fun, crazy, creative people. My bosses were copywriters and art directors. The secretaries typed commercials for radio and television spots. One of the best parts about being in Creative was doing more than just ordinary secretarial work. We would go to the screening room and rate new commercials. Sometimes we’d go on photo shoots with our bosses. Occasionally we modeled for storyboards and recorded faux radio commercials to present to the clients. For a Singer Sewing Company ad, five of us, all shapes and sizes, stood in a line-up wearing nude-colored leotards and looking miserable because we supposedly couldn’t find bikinis that fit perfectly in department stores. Directly below that picture, we stood in the same positions wear-

ing big smiles and perfectly-fitting bikinis that we supposedly sewed ourselves. Once I was honored to have been chosen to model for a new Pond’s skin product. Turned out it was for a pimple cream. Ego deflated.

Sec’s and Fashion in Creative:

Fashion in the early 70s ran the gamut. We wore mini skirts up to our thighs, the midi to the middle of our calves, and the maxi down to our ankles. Only in

Creative could we also wear hotpants, jeans and even overalls. While most secretaries had long straight hair and pale lipstick, there was one who stood out from the rest. Mad Men has voluptuous Joan -- we had lovely Linda. She was the office manager and looked like she’d stepped out of an early-60s Doris Day movie. Her dark hair was always pulled up into a French twist and her perfectly even bangs sat right above her dark eyes. She wore ruby red lipstick and rougedcheeks. She wore high-heels with pencil skirts. Sometimes she wore little matching sweater-sets or a turtleneck with a little chiffon scarf tied around her neck or a pretty blouse with a string of pearls. She had the poise of Jackie Kennedy, the wholesomeness of Sandra Dee, and had men walking into walls. I wondered why she wasn’t already married -- after all, she had to be at least 24. Most of the writers and artists were young and dressed more outrageously or “hipper” than those in other departments. Some wore bell-bottoms with cowboy boots and fringed vests – others wore velour sweaters and jeans. Tinted aviator glasses were in. Lengths of men’s hair varied and some wore afros. Some wore bow ties and pants with suspenders and had


December 8, 2010

11 apartment with two airline stewardesses who were working that night, so she invited me over. This was my first time spending the night with a friend who was not living at home with her parents. She prepared dinner while we listened to Van Morrison’s Moondance on the hi-fi. It was exciting to imagine being a single girl, sharing an apartment in the city. I’d gotten engaged to the boy nearly next door, but I wondered if I really even knew what love was? But this is what I’d waited for my whole life. That’s what girls did. They worked until they got married or at least until they had children. I envied Meryl who seemed a real women’s libber. I never knew a girl so independent. She had a pixie cut and huge brown eyes, a slender figure and enviable breasts. She was the first girl I knew who boldly went braless. One of my bosses liked her. I felt betrayed when they eloped and she quit her job. I guess I couldn’t blame her. That’s what girls did.

Sec’s and Harassment:

The year was 1973 and there were many changes. I’d been married for a year and I’d been moved

very short hair. Bill, a copy writer, was a conservative dresser. He was probably in his late 20s. He wore tweed blazers with suede elbow patches. He walked with a cane because of water on the knee and he smoked a pipe. He looked like a young Johnny Carson. My first day in the Square, he leaned on my desk and asked if I was a “good girl” or a “nice girl.” When I didn’t know what the difference was, he explained. “A nice girl is someone you have fun with. A good girl is the one you marry.” When he realized what a naïve young thing I was, he’d tease me about being a kid. So one day, I bought a pair of beige pumps and what I thought was a very sophisticated office dress. It was a shiny, red velour mini-dress with a sash. I couldn’t wait to show my parents. My father, who is normally a laid-back sweet man, went ballistic. “You’re not wearing that to the office!” I ran into my bedroom and slammed the door. I could hear my mother trying to calm him down. I did wear the outfit to work – just once. I received many compliments, but when I washed the dress in the washing machine --it shrank. I put it on my

old Patty Playpal doll, went back to my overalls and that was that.

Sec’s and Machines:

The first year or so at JWT, we used Underwood manual typewriters where you struck the keys briskly and forcefully. I really loved to type. I was good at it until we changed over to the IBM Selectrics. It took some getting used to because if you so much as brushed your fingers on the keys, they would whip across the page. Fixing the mistakes was a production when using six pieces of carbon paper and you’d have to correct each and every copy. One day, a miracle arrived and we stood patiently in a long line to wait our turn to use it. It was the almighty Xerox machine and we kissed our carbon papers good-bye! Of course, we all took turns pressing our hands, faces and other body parts on the flashing glass.

Sec’s and Smoking, Eating and Drinking: Just as on Mad Men, nearly everyone smoked. They smoked cigarettes, cigars, and pipes. I didn’t mind the pipes – especially the ones with cherry tobacco. Once, we smelled incense and someone smirked about an un-

successful attempt to cover up the smell of marijuana coming from an office. Lunch hour at JWT really meant two hours. Often we ate lunch in my friend Corinne’s boss’ office and we’d watch All My Children on TV. Sometimes we’d huddle in the hallway and swap books like Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex but Were Afraid to Ask, Lady Chatterley’s Lover and The Happy Hooker. On pay day, we always went out – sometimes to Arnold Constable, Alexander’s or Bloomingdales to shop. One pay day, a few of us decided to lunch at the bar where our bosses often went. We ordered a variety of drinks: Tom Collins, Sloe Gin Fizz, Singapore Sling, 7 and 7 and I tasted them all. Two hours later, I wanted to die and spent the rest of the day sleeping on the couch in one of my bosses’ offices.

Sec’s and Marriage:

It was 1971. I stood gazing at the Empire State Building from the window of my friend Meryl’s apartment in midtown Manhattan one evening. She was a new secretary in Creative. I was now 20 and she was 24. She shared the

to another wing in Creative. Unlike Mad Men, most of my bosses treated me with respect – except one. And she was a woman. She had a nasal voice and a potty mouth. She’d sit in her office with clients and colleagues and act like one of the guys. She smoked thin cigars. While I brought my other bosses coffee or lunch from the cafeteria or the coffee-wagon, she’d send me out twice a day to Chock-Full-of-Nuts -- rain, snow, or shine. It was a tense atmosphere and I was not happy there. One day I brought coffee for her and some clients. They were perfect gentlemen and thanked me. As I walked out, she called me back in and asked me to walk out again so they could enjoy the “view.” They looked as embarrassed as I felt. I was married and didn’t have to take this. It was time to concentrate on something important, like starting a family. So I decided it was time to leave. But JWT never left me. I have my boxes of photos and diaries from the good old days and friendships that will last a lifetime. Thanks, Mad Men, for reminding me of my own mad ad days.

Top of page: An actual ad for The American Red Cross that appeared in the NY Times featuring staff from JWT. That’s me in front with one of my bosses, the late Bob Roche, behind me. Lengths of hair and hemlines varied. Afros and aviator glasses were in. Above: That’s me modeling for a storyboard commercial for a skin product that combats zits as you sleep. Directly above: On left is my former boss, whom I called “Sir John,” an art director, deep in creative meditation. On the right is me with another former boss, Wynn Walsh, a copywriter, in his office holding one of our products, Listerine. Notice the venetian blinds -- just like the ones in Mad Men!



December 8, 2010

Take a Ride with Lil’ Rye SangHoon D. Lee News Editor Disk Jockey Lil Rye is a student on campus with a very active lifestyle. He is a student by day and music maestro by night. Using his musical prowess, he controls the crowd and makes them get down to his music. He hosts his radio show at the college’s radio station, which is located in the basement of the student center. You can check him out at that time on your radio dial at 88.1 FM Tuesday night from six to eight. Q: What inspired you to become a disc Jockey? A: I have been in the acting scene, dancing and doing tours and such. Through time, I just established myself to be a DJ. I watched DJ Skribble doing the Spring Break show on MTV and I really liked how he went about it. From there, I really wanted to be a DJ. My dad bought me a RadioShack amp and two stereo speakers and after that, it’s history Q: When did you have your first “shot” or “gig”? A: Yeah, I remember it was so unprofessionally done. I came with two garbage bags of lights,

Christmas lights and little other things. It was cool, because I had the crowd into my music and I loved the fact how I could control them. There were about 50 people at that party and I got paid 20 dollars and they called me back later. Q: What kind of venues do you spin at? A: Now I do like backyard parties and some of the largest clubs in the world. I have done Club Pacha and I have gone overseas and spun in the Bahamas and such. I DJed a Spring Break out there and it was cool because I lived out my childhood dream, in a way. Q: What kinds of music do you spin? A: I do an open –format, to appease all people in the crowd. My list includes: Hip-hop, Reggae, Reggaeton, 70s, 80s disco and little bit of rock. Doing various types of music makes me control the crowd. As a DJ, that is very important. You don’t want to bore the crowd. Q: How did you learn to master the turntables and other media to get your music out there? A: At first it was all selftaught, really. I am getting taught

by a few people now and that definitely helps. I think being around the music really helps. Now it’s all about experience from doing clubs and parties. Q: From your adventures in domestic clubs and overseas, can you tell us some of the celebrities that you have encountered? A: Through the parties, I know the cast of Jersey Shore, Juelz Santana, Jadakiss , Maino and other different celebrities. Q: What kind of equipment do you use now, coming out from your RadioShack amp and garbage bags? A: I try to use the throwback turntables. You know to bring back the old. I use Technics 1200 and 1210s. I use the program Scratch live and I use my MacBook Pro. I try not to use the IPod much because it doesn’t reflect yours skills as a DJ. Q: Explain to us some of your future plans A: My plans are to be on the radio. You can make something you love to do a hobby, a life, career and you’re living with it. I think it’s the best thing in the world. I will be doing a college tour pretty soon.

This year an amazing 858 transfer students finished college at Monroe. Maybe it’s time you made the move. Maybe it’s all the exciting in-demand degrees. Or the professors who actually work in their fields. Perhaps it’s the fully-furnished dorms equipped with WiFi, a computer lounge and fitness center. Or the classes that meet around your schedule. Whatever the reason, hundreds of motivated, career-minded students are taking their credits and turning them into marketable Associate or Bachelor’s Degrees at Monroe College. Transferring to Monroe means: • Generous transfer credit policy • Additional credit for military or academy training • Exciting degrees, in demand right now • Professors who also work in their fields • Unique Bronx & New Rochelle campuses • Fully furnished apartment-like dorms • Online & on campus class options Wednesday, December 15th, 9am - 7pm • Day, evening & weekend classes Call 1.800.55.MONROE to make a reservation • One-on-one financial aid & assistance


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December 8, 2010




ACES: Dragon Flush

James Benvenga Contributing Correspondent Westchester Community College is blessed with an extremely diverse student body. This diversity creates a natural curiosity to learn about others beyond ourselves. Asia is a huge continent. There is so much culture, history, tradition and important issues that are found in Asia. Almost half of the world’s languages and six tenths of the world’s population are located in Asia; this makes it a crucial player in the history of mankind. The purpose of the Asian Cultural Enrichment Society (ACES) is to reach out to those students who are interested in Asian culture. It’s an important goal, given that Asian culture exerts a huge influence on human affairs. We share our knowledge and experiences of Asian culture with members and non-members, alike. The club meets in the new Gateway Center in room 135. It has two regular weekly meetings. During Wednesday’s common hour the club goes over a specific “Asian Culture of the Week.”

new year of the rabbit. A stand out aspect of ACES is their fully functioning website ( The full potential of this club may never be reached, as there is almost an infinite list of possibilities for future activities, lectures, discussions, etc. The goal is to fit as much as possible in the limited amount of time we have, and to help people walk away with a greater awareness of Asian lifestyles, as well as the daily struggles, political and social problems that have been plaguing the continent.

Photo by Nick Genovesi ACES held a bake sale during Transfer Day. Some of the Asian good included, homemade sushi, rice balls, and ninja star cookies.

The discussioun is continued and broadened on Thursday’s common hour, with the help of visual aids. ACES is open to all persons on campus. It is open to students of Asian backgrounds and those who are just interested in Asian culture. There are informative

How ‘Maci’ Dealt with Pregnancy as a Teen Zackia Cabrera Staff Writer

Maci Johnson was just 15 years old when she had her first child, a daughter named Samantha. Now 37 she gives us the story on just how it happened. His name was Matilde Garcia. He was 25 years old and he was my neighbor. To me he seemed very handsome. I fell in love with him and he fell in love with me too. Then I wasn’t very careful and I became pregnant. I didn’t take care of myself. No one really told me how to take care of myself sexually, plus none of my previous partners ever wanted to use condoms and this one was no different. Plus when someone is in the height of pleasure they don’t think about things like that. You only think about becoming satisfied. I didn’t mind though because I was in love with him. I believe I became pregnant in a motel. I never had relations in his house or in my house. We went to private places. I’m really not sure. Actually I don’t know where I got pregnant or when. It was just something that hap-

pened. All I know is that I became pregnant between 14 and 15 yrs old and I had her when I was 15. When I found out I was pregnant everyone wanted me to get an abortion though the mere thought of it never crossed my mind until they told me about it. I wanted to have the baby and in that I had no support whatsoever from my family. I still had her and I’m glad but when you don’t have the support of your parents or your family being pregnant is a world of misery. When I first saw my daughter Samantha I couldn’t believe she was mine. I looked at her then I looked at my sisters baby who was around 1 at the time and I thought to myself I can’t be a mother now It’s not true. But it was. I don’t regret having my daughter in anyway but I guess what goes around comes around. She’s 21 now and she’s pregnant. She’s too young but she is old enough to make her own decisions now and I wish her the best of luck.

lectures held during meetings, round-table discussions and lively Asian games. It has even held a bake sale with quite a few uniquely Asian goodies. ACES offers a wide array of activities. Four billion people live in Asia, so there is plenty to talk about. Thanks to the weekly

meetings, there is enough time to discuss many of the major countries and even have question and answer sessions. So far, this semester, ACES has held a lecture on Indian sex trafficing, Asian themed film viewings, lessons on origami and plans on celebrating the Chinese

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December 8, 2010

From Don to Dean Weigand

Lianne Neiger Staff Writer Here at Westchester Community College we are lucky enough to have kind and understanding faculty members to turn to. Our Dean of Students, Don Weigand, is one such individual. His large range of experiences in the college and out has made him possess a wealth of knowledge that is rather handy if one is looking for advice. Luckily I was able to sit down with the man and gain some more insight into his multifaceted life. The first piece of information I learned is that Dean Weigand does not lack school pride. The man started his Undergraduate years in WCC back in 1970, after a high school experience that he

refers to as not so stellar. He admits that the time in high school had left him a bit discouraged concerning college education, and so he was in no rush to hop on campus. After first working as a cab driver, Weigand got swept into the Vietnam War, becoming a part of the army. The Dean does not divulge much information about his time there, but moves on to the discharge that was soon followed by a welcome change. One of his friends had decided to drive him to campus, where Weigand ended up having lunch with the Dean of Admissions and subsequently filling out an application to attend the college. Weigand jokes that he was stunned by the hurried acceptance—apparently the Dean accepted him on the spot—and he suggested for the Dean to have a closer look at his high school transcript, but the college back then had a policy of accepting any veteran. Starting off as an engineering tech major, Don Weigand then participated in a variety of campus activities. The guy ran a busy schedule. He got involved in the Student Counsel, the Veteran Club, the Football

Club, the Board of Governors, the Students Faculty Senate as well as becoming a chairperson of the Orientation Committee. But after finishing his undergraduate studies in the University of Bridgeport he came back to WCC in 1975, now becoming a member of the faculty. His exciting past in the school led him to seek a return path, and at first he agreed to work part time in the Activities Office. Soon after, however, his career took plenty of twists and turns. Following his work in the Activities Office, Weigand was then hired as a guidance counselor—a major step forward. He was then asked to take over the Veterans Office where he stayed for a number of years. As the numbers of veterans dwindled, though, he was the transferred to work in Financial Aid—which, from his tone of voice, must not have been as enjoyable. However he was reassigned into counseling and later became the Head of Counseling. Weigand speaks happily of his time as a counselor. He claims to have had greatly enjoyed getting phone calls from students and connecting with students

from the past. He still keeps in touch with a student from 1973, and has recently gone to a Hall of Fame dinner in which he saw his fellow football club members of the 1970’s. Weigand recognizes that there must have been some disappointments during his counseling stage, but he says that after all the years that have passed he cannot remember a single one that is truly significant. This is roughly the time when he met Kevin Slavin—the previous Dean of Students— whom Weigand understands has had a similar background to his. Both graduated the University of Bridgeport and, clearly, both shared a love for the school they hurried back to. Once Slavin had decided to retire, Weigand was offered his position. Though given the option to retire as well, Weigand says it really was not an option for him. “You can only travel so much. You can watch air move, grass grow…what else can you do unless you have a plan?” he says, explaining why retirement holds no appeal for now. In any case he seems to be more than content working as the Dean of Students. “This is an

exciting time,” he told me. There are new challenges for him to face every day, such as the struggle to have the faculty relearn the registration procedure due to changes in the system. But Weigand accepts his many future tasks as a part of what he calls an “evolving position”, which is something he is happy to take on as an elimination of monotony. After the questioning came to a halt, I asked Weigand if he had any message he wanted to add. He replied, unsurprisingly, with wise words. WCC is a place that provides opportunities for a host of people from different backgrounds and academic levels, he proudly stated. He encourages students to take advantage of this diverse environment. “Establish a life goal; make a short term development into a life-term goal…take advantage of all services available in the college”. He is aware that he cannot force students to study and he cannot push for results, but as a man who has had much of his life invested in this constantly developing school, he can only hope that we make our moments here count.

Slavin No Longer Slaving over Pressures of Deanship Beth McGrail Alumni Mentor Semi-retirement apparently agrees with Kevin Slavin, former Associate Dean of Student Personnel Services, as he enjoys the best of two worlds. One of the first things he did was join a gym and drop 12 pounds and following this interview, his plan was to play golf and then work out for an hour. “I’ve never been in better shape in my life,” he said with a smile and a playful flex of his biceps. “I work out three or four times a week.” He had planned to retire at the end of this semester, wanting to leave while still an effective administrator. He said, “It’s been almost 40 years. It’s time to let somebody else take over.” But Slavin was offered an incentive program last summer and it was to his advantage to retire then. His wife, Rita, who also works at the college, wasn’t happy at first with his decision to leave, but Slavin said she’s adjusting. He said, “I make dinner, I do the laundry and the food shopping. I boil spaghetti, grill hamburgers and salmon, and pick up Chinese take-out.” These are things he’d never done before. He added,

“She didn’t like me retiring, but now I‘m a househusband.” Although he’s no longer a dean, he continues teaching Business Organization and Management two nights a week as he’s done for the past 37 years and counsels student athletes in his new office in the Phys-Ed Building. He works up to 15 hours per week. Slavin was actually a Marketing Major student here in the mid-60s. In 1964 he graduated from high school and admits that he was not the best of students. He applied to WCC before the days of open enrollment, and was rejected. After some interviews, he was told if he did well during preparatory summer classes, he could attend in the fall – which he did. Slavin calls himself a late bloomer, “a typical community college student.” He said, “Once I started getting good grades, nothing succeeds like success . . . I enjoyed getting good grades. I became a good student.” Whereas in high school, he didn’t get involved in anything, Slavin said, “Once I came here and got my second chance, I got involved in everything.” He was the chair of the Programming Committee, the Orientation leader, part of the Student Senate and

Former Dean Kevin Slavin

he worked for the Dean of Evening Division, Angelo Delgrosso. During those years, WCC had a fraternity called Kappa Sigma Kappa (KSK) and Slavin was vice president. He graduated in 1971 with an A.A.S. and continued his education at the University of Bridgeport for his Bachelors in Secondary Education Business and continued there to earn his Masters in Counseling and Higher Education. Ironically, he was nicknamed “The Dean” at his Bridgeport fraternity because of he was known as “the level-headed fraternity brother who handled all the problems with the administration.” Slavin smiled as he recalled his younger brother making him a

plaque in school which read: The Dean. One summer, after he’d taught high school Phys-Ed for three years, he returned to WCC to visit. He calls it a “matter of being in the right place at the right time” because he was told, “There’s a job opening. You’d be great for it.” He was offered a choice of two positions – either Assistant Dean of Evening Division or as Counselor in Student Activities. He accepted the latter and counseled for three years. He became the Coordinator of Student Activities for another three years and then spent the next 15 years as Director of Student Life. For the past 17 years, he’s been the Associate Dean of Student Affairs. During his tenure as dean, Slavin was known for his composure under pressure. He always maintained a cool and calm persona and upbeat attitude under the most stressful conditions. He explained that when a student or faculty member was angry at him, he never took it personally. He realized they were angry at the situation and not at him. He looked at disparaging moments as teaching moments and hopefully negative experiences could be turned into positive experiences for the students.

He was gratified when the most difficult students, turned around to become very active and involved students. “That’s why I try to never give up on a student here. Sometimes you have to hit bottom before you go forward.” Moving forward himself, Slavin’s contacted “The Guiding Eyes for the Blind,” a program where you take puppies and learn how to socialize them to be guide dogs and prepare them to work with the blind. He hopes to someday become a seeing eye-dog trainer. Slavin, who loves nature, walks 10-15 miles a week on wooded hiking trails where he prefers walking alone to “open up my mind.” He plans to continue working as an adjunct and counselor for as long as his wife works at the college. When she’s ready to retire, he’ll retire on a fulltime basis too. Slavin says that retirement has been a big transition. “Coming to the same place full-time for almost 40 years is an adjustment period as to your flow of life,” he said. “However, it’s going more smoothly than I thought it would. Because I’m still here part-time, it makes it easier. It’s part of the weaning process.”


December 8, 2010


Club Profile: Drama Club

Drama Club members had a heavy involvement the recent production of The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940. The drama club works with cirriculum courses to expand on credit courses. The performing arts department has seen a great increase in interested students. Productions like The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 show the many aspects of what it takes to put on a full theatrical show.

Lianne Neiger Staff Writer Kiah Thomas, president of Westchester Community College’s Drama Club, is proud to be a part of a group bursting with activity. Though past semesters may have shown some lag for the club, the current semester, according to Kiah, has allowed for plenty of advances. Drama Club meetings, occurring every other Wednesday, are quite involved for members. After getting settled, they discuss future workshops that help them gain insight into the theater arts. Of course, there is no better way to learn about different aspects of drama than by going to see live shows. Therefore, attending Broadway shows as well as local ones is a topic often explored. A current addition is a potential focus on a web series that will feature the Drama Club. For this, they will need to obtain connections with the school’s film department and perhaps the Playwrights Club as well. To everyone’s general delight, food is shared by all.

To raise knowledge of and morale within the club’s activities, members go out to advertise. They attend a range of events or shows and spread the word using posters, bake sales and fundraisers. These methods have helped to draw in some more members to the club, which Kiah seems ecstatic about. “This semester we had a very consistent amount of people show up,” Kiah happily says. She

A current addition is a potential focus on a web series that will feature the Drama Club.

gives credit for this good turn-out to her vice-president, Gianna. She has been able to bring in more African American students—a refreshing change of dynamics, according to Kiah.

This tightly-knit group of people now has much to look forward to. A trip to go watch “A Christmas Carol” at the Westchester Broadway Theater is being planned. An opportunity such as this is, in the club president’s opinion, exciting, especially considering that one of the previous productions’ directors will be playing the role of Scrooge. The members are happy to be able to show him some support. Competition in the region between performing arts is also something that cannot be ignored. Pace University and Purchase College are well known for their arts and perfoming arts programs. Many Drama Club members continue their education at one of these schools. Between going out to see shows, plans for a web series, and a talk show in the spring, the Drama Club is keeping itself busy.



December 8, 2010

Bryant Park Filled with Holiday Spirit

Photos by Beth McGrail

Café-style tables and chairs are abundantly scattered throughout the park for those who want to sit, eat, relax or read. Beth McGrail Alumni Mentor


ryant Park in New York City is bustling with holidayspirited people looking to shop, skate, eat and make merry. Lamp posts wrapped in garland and about a hundred holiday kiosks are weaved in and around the park making it look as inviting as a winter wonderland. Some kiosks twinkle with trinkets and jewelry, while others tempt with aromatic lotions and potions, handmade garments, exotic serapes, and eyecatching crafts. The food kiosks offer everything from delectable chocolates, to crepes, candied apples, kettle corn and a variety of international food. Children clamor to ride the French-styled merry-

go-round called, Le Carrousel, whose beautifully painted animals rotate to French cabaret music. Next to the ride, during the day on weekends, are brightly colored folding chairs where kids and the youngat-heart can sit and participate in magic shows. A huge draw to the park is The Pond where ice-skating is free. For those without skates, there are rentals for $13. Café-style tables and chairs are abundantly scattered throughout the park for those who want to sit and people-watch, read a book, chat with friends or eat their brown-bagged lunch. Near the Fountain Terrace at the southern end of the park, is The Southwest Porch which boasts an al fresco lounge equipped with free-standing heaters. On a raised boardwalk-like platform, planks of lumber stand and support an airyroof consisting of widelyset slats and long strings

of little lights. Within this framed area are wooden porch swings, Adirondack chairs, and wicker seats and tables, many of which are canopied under huge yellow umbrellas. Here people can order specialty snacks, soups, salads, sandwiches and drinks from “Wichcraft” or just relax and eat and drink nothing at all. There is also a bar where tempting libations such as spiked apple cider, orange-liqueur hot chocolate or Irish coffee are sure to warm the soul. One of the best features on the “Porch” is situated directly in front of the bar. It’s the round, freestanding, mesh-covered, stone fire-pit encircled by a ledge, where those lucky enough to snatch one of the chairs around it can place their food and drinks and stay toasty as the sun goes down. When darkness falls, the entire park looks as glowy and romantic as a

Kiosks are filled with aromatic lotions and potions, handmade garments, exotic serapes, and crafts .


December 8, 2010


French-styled merry-go-round called, Le Carrousel, rotates to French cabaret music.

Thomas Kinkade painting come-to-life. The jewel of the park is the Christmas tree near The Pond Ice-skating Rink. The park is located between 40th and 42nd Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenue behind the main

branch of the NYC Public Library. For a list of vendors and calendar of events from now through Jan. 2, 2011, check their website at or call 212-661-6640.

The Southwest Porch offers an al fresco lounge equipped with free-standing heaters, porch swings and cozy firepit.

Dancing to the Sound of Silence Ralph Edouard Staff Writer Kasmira Patel and Latasha Nelson dance to the music of silence. Kasmira Patel has a passion for dancing. She has been dancing ever since she was ten years old. Kasmira danced at weddings, in temple, New Year and holiday celebrations. Dancing is a major part of Kasmira’s culture -- Indian dancing, also known as Raas. Raas is when sticks are used to make sounds or to twirl while dancing. Raas, along with many other popular Indian dances such as Hudo, Tipponi and Dandiya, are performed mostly at weddings, gatherings and Navratri, which is a very poppular festival in the region of Gujarat India. The festival is within a nine-day period, a period in which the region of Gujarat is in their most festive mood. With all the dancing Kasmira has done within the past nine years, she has never experienced the wonders of being taught how to dance. While Mr. Pegans’ Salsa On Two was going on, she happened to walk by which was when she became interested in wanting to join the Salsa On Two club. To most, Kasmira’s interest might sound ordinary. Even though Kamira is hard of hearing, she was determined to take the advantage

of the opportunity to be part of the Dance Club. As determined as she was, she did not want to do it alone. The help of many would be needed. Latasha Nelson, Kasmira’s friend, agreed to join with her. Kasmira and Latasha have known each other ever since high school -- not the best of friends, but very good friends. Even still, the help of some very important people would be needed. Their families play a very important role in terms of support.

A combo of Sign Language, Persistance and Dedication helped Kasmira Dance to the Beat They describe their parents as being very supportive and proud. Their two sign language interpret-

ers, Virna Vannoni and Mr. Pagan, also play a major role. They do their best giving direction, teaching and helping Kasmira and Latasha reach their maximum potential in their desire to learn how to dance salsa and the culture of salsa. The two describe their sign language interpreter, along with Mr. Pagan, as being very patient. Without a background in dancing, Latasha Nelson was convinced by Kasmira to join although she also joined out of curiosity to know what it is like to be

a part of a dance class. At first, Latasha Nelson was really undecided. With the help of her translator, Mr. Pagan, and the members of the Salsa On Two dance club, she has really grown an interest and a liking in the style of dancing. Latasha and Kasmira’s most favorite part of being in the Salsa On Two club is the partner dancing. Because Latasha is deaf and Kismira is hard of hearing, it takes a lot of patience to learn the moves. With the patience and help of Mr. Pagan and their sign language interpreter, they are able to learn the moves and excel at an easy pace. One strategy that Kasmira used to learn the steps is that she counts the steps in her head and carefully observes her peers. According to Mr. Pegan when introducing Kasmira and Latasha’s story, he described the two young ladies as being determined, hardworking and very self-motivated. The two young ladies don’t receive any special treatment. They are doing great and progressing along with everyone else. At times, it can be very humorous when Mr. Pegan is doing gestures to teach a move. Everyone gets a laugh out of it, then it’s back to work.



December 8, 2010

Lianne Neiger Spellbound by Potter

Photo courtesy of IMDB Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson return to reprise their iconic roles. Audiences were treated to stellarar performances by the three young stars.

Lianne Neiger Staff Writer

As a member of the generation to grow up along the adventures of Harry Potter, I’ve always enthusiastically anticipated the opening nights of each new movie and book to come out in the series. Many like me felt a bit lost and empty after quickly finishing the seventh and last book of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. We had trouble imagining a replacement for the magical world that J.K. Rowling had so skillfully spun for us all. Whereas before we still had the successful movie franchise to rely on, the Harry Potter movie experience is now coming to a halt as well. The first of the final two movies--a result of splitting the plot of the seventh book into Part 1 and Part 2—has already made its way into theaters everywhere. Predictably, box-office sales took off. The waiting lines for tickets at the midnight opening were newsworthy and fans (including me) could feel the hype. After having seen the film in its premier night, however, I came out feeling as though the excitement wasn’t entirely deserved. I went into the cinema knowing that the newest installation of the series is pretty long for Hollywood standards, with a duration

of 2 hours and 30 minutes. At the time that seemed like a positive. But even through the joy of seeing one of my favorite book series play out on screen, I could see how some people could end up frustrated. The movie, for one, had a strange pacing. It seemed as though there was a constant fluctuation between loud and dramatic scenes packed with action, explosions, and wizard battles followed by calm and quiet dialogue-filled moments. Thus, whereas some parts were exciting the others ended up a bit boring in contrast, or anticlimactic. I know that if I had brought my father along with me he would have easily fallen asleep during those slow segments. Furthermore, the film served to narrow down its audience. Part of what made the previous movies so successful was its ability to not only reach all age groups, but also its ability to bring in an audience of non-readers. In the past, those who have not read the books—though perhaps missing out on the finer details—could still feel wrapped in the storyline. Not so true for movie seven. With introductions of many new characters that appear very fleetingly, and countless other name-drops throughout the film, an audience with no previous knowledge of the books will struggle to under-

stand references. Several individuals have confessed to me their difficulty in keeping up with the movie, for evidently the movie was constantly dropping new information on the viewers. Too much confusion is never a positive thing for movie-goers. Another factor that generated some heat with the viewers is the stretching of the story. The reason that the filmmakers gave for their halving of the last book into two is that condensing such a lengthy book into one movie would have forced them to drop too many necessary subplots. With two

movies they said that they could stay truer to the books…and incidentally make more money in the process. But one couldn’t help noticing that all the true action—all the most interesting bits and pieces—were largely left for part 2. Though part 1 was interesting in its own way, I could help agree with a neighboring viewer who said to his friends “So basically this was all just a setup for the next film”. Fortunately the movie had its share of saving graces. It does stick to the book for the most part, as was promised. The few chang-

es made were not crucial, and still portrayed what was meant to be portrayed. The lengthy film was also filled with emotion, both uplifting and disheartening, which left me teary-eyed in various instances. When an audience is able to have an emotional connection with a movie, it is indeed a mark of success. There is something to be said for a decade-long cinematic journey. Us viewers now feel as though we somehow know the actors and the characters they portray in a personal manner. When we see the early movies come up on television we feel nostalgic at how childishly innocent they once were. Now that Daniel Radcliff, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint are all in their twenties, we feel like proud parents. The three actors have infinitely matured as both people and actors on film and off, and it is difficult to not be fascinated by these very successful now-adults. The affection we feel for them has greatly added to the attraction of seeing the films, and is another one of Deathly Hallow’s positive aspects. Everything having been said and done, though, I still feel some turmoil concerning Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Many have condemned the split into two parts as being a box office trick, and I am still not convinced that this notion is entirely wrong. Though the movie had its interesting points and was certainly enjoyable to its steadfast fans, it still left me with the feeling that I’d paid to go see an advertisement for the next movie. Do I regret having gone to see it? No, but that’s due to my devotion to the story more than anything else.

Photo courtesy of IMDB


December 8, 2010

Rihanna’s Newest Album Shows Fans a Flirtier Side


Let Us Get ‘LOUD’

Candy Frazier Managing Editor

Who’s ready to get LOUD? Bajan songstress Rihanna’s new album titled LOUD debuted on November 16,2010, and took absolutely no time to make it to number one on the iTunes charts. By around 10 a.m. the artist announced on her twitter “LOUD is already No.1 on iTunes.....I love my navy! #whosloud?” With both of her singles “What’s My Name” featuring Drake and “Only Girl In The World” both being on the top charts there’s no wonder why “LOUD” quickly made it to number one on the morning of its release. Rihanna’s “LOUD” is a complete turn-around in comparison to her previous album “Rated R”; which was a darker album, with

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songs about break ups and being “Stupid in Love.” Rihanna’s new album has a fresh and flirty feel, singing songs like “Cheers(drink to that)” in which it says things like “don’t let the bastard get you down, turn it

around with another round”. Rihanna’s confidence is exploding in her new album. In her “Raining Men” featuring Nikki Minaj, where miss confidence sings “men be falling like the rain so we ain’t running out” Rihanna

clearly isn’t stressing herself with any guy. As in her previous album, the 22 year old has no problem expressing her sexual side with song like “S&M” and “Skin” where she sings things like “ al-

most there, so baby don’t stop what you’re doing” dare I say more? The songstress even goes back to her islander roots with her song “Man Down” which is a song about, well…murder, with a Caribbean undertone and rhythm. “LOUD” seems to hit all aspects of a females mind. Although Rihanna’s album exudes confidence and sexuality, she still has those songs about heart break. With songs like “California King Bed” and “Complicated”, which both seemingly discuss the confusing matter of being in love with someone who in turn doesn’t quite feel as strongly for you. All in all its great to see that the singer is in a far happier than that of last year judging by her album. Even looking at the cover one can see the difference. With the singer decked out in flowing dresses, flowered blazers, and frolicking through roses; in comparison to barbed wire corsets and devil horns, the cover goes perfect with the album. So go out and get “LOUD”!

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December 8, 2010

I Am Hu-Man

Do Stay

a Poem by Dionne Hutchinson

a Poem by Lianne Neiger

Is it the color of my skin that determines the level of my education Is it the thickness of my accent that determines my life ambition. Is it the shape of my face, or the length of my legs, that determines if I can run. I rise from the chains that held me The chains that bound me The chains that stripped me of my humanity The chains that stole my identity, my family Yet I triumph over the labels they put on me.

me Yet I triumph over the barriers that withheld me. I rise from the shower that burned me The shower that choked me The shower that consumed me The shower the scarred me Yet I triumph over the number that was put on me I am an overcomer A survivor An Achiever A Winner A Believer I am Hu-man.

I rise from language that controlled me The language that reduced me The language that restricted me The language that prevented

Come play, my dear For love and fear. Come shoot the darts At tattered hearts. And spin the wheel With nerves of steel: The only way to Top the charts. Come traipsing through The hall-of-mirrors, Laugh so hard your eyes will tear Or Join the roller-coaster feast; We’ll sip tea as you climb the beast. We may not catch you if you fall, But all in all— With all— And all— We hope that you’ve enjoyed your stay. Come play, my dear. Come play, come play.

What May Come to Pass a Poem by Lianne Neiger Soap is dashed across my face, Water traces useless arms. I’m sprinting from the latest race Pained by future mankind harms. And then the world will find me blind When time’s our only path of sight— When shadows dwell in empty minds I’ll be the one who shakes with fright. I gave them pearls of yesterday, They washed them in the oily scum Of what the present has to say Of morrow’s beating, bleeding drum.


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West HELP Closure Will Hurt Students and the Community Molly Stazzone Staff Writer

In 1991, homeless families and pre-school children where moved into new homes. These homes are called West HELP. Over one thousand families have lived there in the past 20 years. Now, due to high costs to the county the shelter may close down. This event is going to happen in the year 2012. Last month, the Greenburg Town Supervisor, Paul J. Feiner sent a letter asking president of Westchester Community College, Dr. Hankin to take West HELP and make dorms for the students of the college. Some students that would like to be anonymous said, “They didn’t want dorms at the campus.” Another student said, “The campus will become dirty, and the tuition will go up.” I’m not sure why the county would want to abandon West HELP, and kick out all the homeless people living there. Where would these people go? Will the county find another place for

Photo courtesy of WestHELP has locations all over the country. Without the support of the County and State, WestHELP will likely shut its doors.

them? Jon told me, “They are against dorms, because this is a community college. A lot of people live in the area.” Eric said, “Putting houseless people on the streets isn’t right.” I agree with leaving the shelter alone rather than dorms. I wouldn’t want to live on cam-

pus because I’m used to driving to school and then driving back. Also, with the increase in tuition, the dorms and college classes would become too expensive for students. West HELP holds 108 apartment rooms, which over-look a courtyard. The Town Supervisor stated in his letter, the fair rental

plan will be competitive to students. I talked to Melissa, Stephanie, Nathan and all three of them were against dorms at WCC. They told me, “I don’t want to dorm at WCC.” Nathan said, “I like homeless people, and I wouldn’t want anyone to leave their shelter. “ Melissa thought “Tuition will go up, and increase income.” Stepha-

nie told me, “I wouldn’t want to live on WCC.” A lot of people are opposed to building dorms on campus. Furthermore, people are upset that the county wants to close down a homeless shelter. West HELP has services that help people physically, financially, and emotionally. Like everybody else, homeless need to get their education and their lives on a positive track. The county and Mr. Feiner should really take a step back to discuss how these people would feel, and where they would go after realizing they have a year until leaving West HELP. Closing down West HELP would leave homeless people and students angry and upset. It would just be a bad idea. For the students, closing the shelter and building dorms will raise the tuition amount. It would also make the campus more crowded and dirty. The homeless people would have nowhere to go after what was their home for 20 years is turned into party-central. Dorms are great to have, but not when it involves taking away peoples homes.

Put Down the Ice Cream, Pick up a Gym Membership. Candy Frazier Managing Editor Step on your scale, stare at the number and sigh in frustration. Or put on your favorite jeans and wonder why they’re fitting a little snug in certain areas that they maybe weren’t last year. These instances could all have something to do with the fact that we’re living in “fat America,” -- a country plentiful with things such as fast-foods restaurants, Chinese take-out, donut shops, etc. In a country where everyone drives to get to their destination, or takes the elevator rather than walking up two flights of stairs, there should be no surprise as to why everyone is gaining weight. Statistics show that over the past 20 years, there has been a dramatic increase in the percentage of obesity amongst the people of America. According to the National Institutes of Health, one of the factors that contribute to weight gain is the ample amounts of food consumed dur-

ing the holiday season. Although a pound or two may not seem like much, on the contrary, that one or two pounds in five years multiply to become much more. Studies show that eight out of 10 Americans over the age of 25, are overweight, and nearly 34 percent of American adults are obese. To be obese and overweight may sound the same; however each term takes on its own definition. According to WebMD, a health and medical website, obesity is a disease where one contains an excess proportion of total body fat. One is considered obese when their body weight is 20 percent or more over the average body weight for someone of that age group. To be overweight, is generally having more body weight than is necessarily healthy. One of the leading causes of preventable deaths in America is obesity with smoking taking first place, overweight/obesity coming in second, and following are: high blood pressure, physical inactivity, high dietary salt intake, along

with a few others in which all seemingly tie into being obese or overweight. An estimated 300,000 deaths occur yearly following the obesity epidemic. Of the 300,000, 16 to 33 percent are children or adolescents. With such a large number of deaths being caused by something that seems so easily preventable, one may wonder how or why someone could allow something such as becoming obese to happen to them.

One is considered obese when their body weight is 20 percent or more over the average body weight for someone of that age group. Becoming obese/overweight isn’t as easy to avoid as it may seem. These developments come from things like poor eating habits, which depending on your environment can’t always be pre-

vented. In lower income areas, people are forced to eat what is around them -- which are typically inexpensive fast- food places serving foods containing high caloric counts; are chemically preserved; high in fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Another cause of this disease is over-eating or binging. This typically occurs because of boredom, or the need for comfort. When one has nothing to do or look forward to they tend to eat. Being stuck in the house all day, one may find themselves frequently visiting the kitchen. Also, if there is a family history of obesity, it is more than likely that the person will become obese. It is a trend that trickles down the family tree. The parents ate whatever they wanted, didn’t exercise and then raised their children the same way. What can also cause obesity are certain medications with side effects causing weight gain. Other reasons are stress, family and peer problems, low self-esteem , depression and sometimes even life-changes like

divorce, moves, deaths or abuse. With life-changes, one finds themselves eating to fill an unrecognized void. Ways to avoid becoming obese/ overweight are eating well and exercising. To eat well doesn’t mean to only eat veggies and salads, and snack on nuts, and that’s your meal for the day. It is okay to have an occasional burger, but why not substitute the fries for something healthier like a vegetable? This way you’re getting your protein from the burger and you’re still having a daily vegetable. This also doesn’t mean you have to skip out on dessert. However, to have something like a double fudge brownie with a scoop of ice-cream every night isn’t going to help. As far as exercise, one doesn’t have to be at the gym every day of the week. In fact you don’t have to go to the gym at all to get the exercise you need. Take a walk around the block a few times, try playing a sport. Or you can even take the stairs instead of waiting on the elevator.

December 8, 2010



Inbox Causing Incoming Collisons

The Viking News 914.606.6768

Students won’t lift their heads up from their phones to watch where they’re going Nikki Luchesse Staff Writer Not only do we have to dodge goose poop on our way to class, but also each other! Walking-and-texting students are becoming more of a nuisance than the pesky geese. Yesterday I witnessed a male student walk into a wall while texting and a walk-n-text headon collision between two female students who laughed, and apologized to each other, and then continued to walk-and-text their separate ways. While inside the Palisades Mall in Rockland County last week, I sat on a random bench to enjoy a latte and I observed the shoppers. To my fascination,

I counted eight out of every 10 passing people were either walkn-text bandits talking on their cell phones, or simply holding them. It was then that I realized how much time people actually spend on their cell phones and that I would never be able to have a college campus bill passed on walkn-text rebels. Okay, so I admit I’m guilty of the walk-n-text wickedness as well, and I’m sure I’ve annoyed other students myself, but what’s the deal? Why have the Millennials become so fixated on only socializing with the people they know through their cell phones all day instead of getting to know the people in their community? The world is becoming very compartmentalized in that: If we don’t know one another, we don’t care to know one another, unless we need to know one another. Perhaps, the negative side to the invention of cell phone texting capabilities is that it has made us verbally anti-social in some respect. For instance, when I sold life insurance, I never even saw my boss or spoke to her over the phone. Any important information that needed to be communicated, we’d text instead, all day

long. I never knew when my boss was in a bad mood, nor did I get a pat on the back for a job well done thus, the necessary formal business relationship was never built, and we never really knew each other. In most millennial relationships, whether romantic or casual, it seems that having texting capabilities is mandatory and if texting is not available, then most

The negative

side to the inven-

tion of cell phone texting capabilities is that it has made us verbally

anti-social in some respect.

likely that relationship will not be as successful if it were available. Last semester, I knew a student who only communicated with me through text and every time I passed by him on campus he could never say “hello” because

his eyes were on his cell phone screen and his fingers were tapping away. In some respects, he was missing out on real life. When people feel uncomfortable in any social situation, their cell phone can be an escape method if they’re unable to leave that situation physically. In waiting rooms, and similar circumstances before the invention of cell phones, people would have a casual conversation about random topics. In this day and age, we don’t give anyone the chance to do so, and no one will ever know if that waiting room patron would have been able to brighten their day, inspire them, or give them helpful information. We don’t have to verbally speak to anyone anymore to get any information promptly communicated to them. I’m not exactly sure if this is advancement or a set back. What I do know, however, is that I enjoy a warm “Good morning” exchange between my colleagues day to day. I guess that era has come to an end.

Fellow Students: Get to the Academic Support Center Justin Sherman Staff Writer I am currently a student here at Westchester Community College (WCC). This is my fourth semester here. As a student in high-school, I used to do absolutely nothing but play baseball. In high school, I was an average student, at best. When I came to WCC, I thought it was like the thirteenth grade of high-school. Now I know that it is not at all like the thirteenth grade. WCC has changed my outlook, not just on my school-work, but also as an athlete and as a human in the world. WCC has meant a fresh slate, a new start in the world. There are great qualities about this school. One of my favorites is the Academic Support Center. The Academic Support Center’s main location is to be found below the library, but there are branches all over the campus, as well. The Academic Support Center is broken into different wings, and it has a tutoring center for every subject: English, Science,

Math, Writing, etc. Students come to WCC because of financial difficulties, grades, or to catch up on other academic fields. The Academic Support Center is a thing of beauty. All of the tutors in the center are trained to know the material pertaining to what you are trying to learn in your classes. Hours of opperation vary, but are pretty extensive. All of the tutors in the Support Center are either currently professors here at the college,retired professors with great track records, or wellqualified experts. Even students gettinghelp in other areas can be tutors. While I was doing math homework in the Academic Support Center, I got a chance to ask some students for their opinions of the institution. The first student I spoke with was Kamoy Haughton. This is Kamoy’s first semester here at WCC and she is a frequent user of the Support Center. I asked Kamoy, “What do you enjoy about the Support Center?” She answered, “Me and my friends study together all the time here and there is always a profes-

sor here to guide us.” Another student that I spoke to was Dante Hyatt, who frequently uses the Academic Support Center. I asked Dante, “If the Academic Support Center ever gotten taken away, how would you react?” Dante replied, “If the Support Center got taken away, half of the students you see in here would fail!” When I came to this school, I needed help. I came to the Support Center and did all of my homework and really listened to these tutors. I increased my GPA and my athletic skills by coming to the academic support center frequently. I guess you’re all wondering, how can you increase athletic skills by coming to the academic support center? Well, I’ll tell you: It gave me a great work ethic. A great work ethic is the key to life, whether on or off the baseball field. Ask a billion questions and they want a billion more! Where else can you get that? People, the really crazy part of this is that this resource is

available for FREE! This is paid for with your tuition dollars. These tutors are meant to help you. The Support Center network is probably the greatest in the whole United States. No school in America can give you the help that the Support Center does. The sign on the doors of the Support Center could just say “FREE HELP!” I am no Harvard student. I am not the smartest kid on the planet, but I’ve become better in everything in this school because of the Support Center. The Support Center is actually a thing of beauty. WCC is about starting fresh and being more ambitious. Students, I am asking you to go to the Support Center, just once, to see how it is. Take five minutes and just check it out. Being only a student, I realize that I can’t make every student go. People, make that first step and remember the good old saying, “You don’t know how good something is until you try it!”

Editor-in-Chief Steven Draper Managing Editor Candy Frazier News Editor SangHoon D. Lee Sports Editor Andre Aivazians Copy Editors Shelly Williams Josh Jenkins

Art Director Joe Khan Staff Writers Natalia Bernado Greg D. Cash Safiya Davidson-Guilliams Nick Genovesi Dionne Hutchinson Dora Jelensky Kassandra Lopez Shay Mc’Lennon Lianne Neiger Rehan Sabri Molly Stazzone David Uyehera Mark Vasey Gricel Vettese Jheneal Walters Morgan White Victoria Smith

Photo & Graphic Illustrator Patricia Villate Chief Photographer Sergio Villatoro Student Alumni Mentor Beth McGrail Faculty Adviser Eric Luther

The Viking News is published bi-weekly by WCC students Letters to the Editors can be submitted in the following ways: email: in person: Student Center - Rm 020C


December 8, 2010


Online Classes v. Lectures Candy Frazier Managing Editor

Stars Molly Stazzone Staff Writer These days, it seems that pretty much anyone can make him or herself famous on the internet. It’s all about determination, dedication, talent and self-promotion. In 2005, founders Steven Chen, Chad Hurley and Jawed Karim created, a video website in which people post videos of themselves or others. Viewers then watch these videos and comment on them. YouTube also teams up with MTV to promote music videos and shows. Even networks like CBS are part of the organization. YouTube and the internethave helped music artistJustin Bieber and computer -nerd Mark Zuckerburg become noticed by millions of viewers. Rachel Aebig said, “In the year 2010 it has become much easier to become famous via internet. Two prime examples would be Mark Zuckerburg, who created Facebook, and became famous worldwide. The next example would be Justin Bieber, who created YouTube videos and became a famous pop singer.” Justin Bieber was “found” by Usher and signed by Def Jam Records. He never ceases to amaze his fans with his smooth moves and catchy song lyrics. Mark Zuckerburg can be found on YouTube also, but he is the owner and founder of Facebook.


com, which has 60 million accounts and growing. The movie The Social Network is based on his history as a Harvard student looking for the next big thing to hit the social networks. Becoming famous on the internet is all about determination and talent. The entertainment business is super competitive. “Music and talent on the internet is the next big thing,” said John Stark. Kristen Peterson told me, “There is more technology available, but it all depends if someone famous discovers the person it is very competitive.” It’s like that saying, “A million to one.” A person can try their very best to get famous and go to Hollywood. A lot of other people are in the same position as that same person. Therefore, the companies and businesses that hire musicians and dancers are looking for a certain type of body, voice, or personality. Aspiring artists can still get noticed by their fans on the internet. When people on YouTube watch videos, they can comment on what they like and dislike about the performance. YouTube. com also has subscriptions that could help a new artist get known for his/her performances. Kristen Peterson also added, “Millions of people watch YouTube and it may help them become recognized quickly. It may

work for some people, if they have some talent.” This is true because if people like what they see they will watch it. I think this is why television broadcast talent shows like: America’s Got Talent, American Idol, and So You Think You can Dance. Americans like the excitement and entertainment others have to share. The key words to succeeding in competitive entertainment are determination and dedication. Music artists, dancers, models and more have two things in common: they love what they do, and they work hard at whatever the next big thing is in their lives. A student at Westchester Community College said, “You just have to put yourself out thereand people will respond.” My opinion is that the best achievers are those who work hard to fulfill their dreamers. It may not be a flat and smooth ride to the top, but loving what you do and doing what you love makes it all worth it at the end. It seems like is here to stay. People are always going to watch videos of people trying to make it big in show business. Just remember dedication, determination and a little bit of luck can make anyone famous. Never give up hope. Everyone has some talent in them.


Online classes have made a complete turnaround in the world of education. Statistics show that there has been a 17 percent jump in the number of students taking online classes from the year 2008 until now. With such a hike in percentages, the question of whether online classes or on campus classes are better comes into play. Many students are under the impression that by taking online classes, their work load would be less than that of a student who was taking classes on campus. However, this is a common misconception. Considering I have never taken online classes, students here on campus who have done both were helpful in giving their opinions on which they thought was easier to pull through. The increasing percentage in students taking distance learning courses rather than on campus could also circle around the fact that they would be able to attend school at any time during the day or night. There are many students who work and/or have a family to take care of so waking up every day to go to school every day isn’t something that can fit into their daily schedules. However, online classes would be ideal for someone in such a situation. The convenience of going to class at either two o’clock in the afternoon, or two o’clock in the morning is what appeals to students taking distance learning courses. Although this way of attending classes makes it easier for a person with a busy schedule to attend school, one must consider that this doesn’t mean that the

courses or work itself are actually easier. The lectures rather than oral, of course are all text base lectures. This in turn, can make it difficult for a student who sometimes needs more explanation of what is expected from them or for a student who doesn’t like reading as much. Another problem that may occur with online classes is if a student is having trouble understanding an assignment, they can’t simply ask the professor during class because there is no actual class time. With distance learning courses, another misconception may be that due to the lack of a set schedule for when classes will be held, one may believe that professors are more lenient with deadlines and that the opportunity to hand in assignments is at anytime you want. However, much like an assignment given on Blackboard, deadlines in distance learning courses hold the same standards. The problem regarding assignments issued online is since there is no actual time where you meet with your professor it is easier to fall behind in class. When one misses a few assignments it becomes difficult to keep up during the rest of the course. After finding a student who had done both, I asked if he would be willing to take online classes again and he stated, “No way, it was just…wack. It’s not the same, I focus more if I can sit in class and hear my professor giving the lecture, rather than having to read all the information you’re expected to learn during a semester.” Therefore, when taking online classes one should consider whether attending the class would be easier for them, rather than how easy the work would be.


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Chatting with the Decider

On November 8th, National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) aired an interview with former President George W. Bush. It allowed The Decider to promote his alleged book, Decision Points. You are looking at a written promotion of that televised promotion of his written promotion of his own leadership. According to Merriam Webster, derivative is an adjective used to describe things formed by derivation- as in, a derived word. It seems a fitting word for this piece. That’s word. “Everybody knows that you live forever/ Once you’ve done a little line or two,” Leonard Cohen once claimed. So here, for your health, are a few raw and uncut Presidential dandies: “Let’s talk about waterboarding!” “Yeah, it did, sometimes. I said some stupid things.” “So I’m drunk at the dinner table at Mother and Dad’s house in Maine. And my brothers and sister are there. Laura’s there. And I’m sitting next to a beautiful woman, friend of Mother and Dad’s, and I said to her out loud…” “Yeah, and my wife.”

“That’s right.” “I can’t read it… You- you’re gonna have to read it… Thank you for doing that (chuckle).” “Yeah. Isn’t that interesting?” “Detached and uncaring. No question about it. And…” “Yes I do (remember it)… He called me a racist… I didn’t appreciate it then. I don’t appreciate it now… I resent it. It’s not true, and it was one of the most disgusting moments in my Presidency.” “I’m trying to regain a sense of anonymity.” “I’m gonna be dead, Matt, when they finally figure it out.” NBC is owned by General Electric, manufacturer of parts for the F16 fighter jet ( The interview, for the 18 million who chose to watch that live dancing program, can still be found at msnbc.msn. com. Film of the interview was produced by Jim Bell, who recently lost 50 pounds. His secret was skipping the meals prepared by celebrity-chefs on the set of his “Today Show” ( The Bush memoir is available from Crown Publishers for $35. That means that only five hours’ honest work can put this great piece of “inside baseball” under the tree (or bush) of a loved one.

what will you do? Originally from Ghana, Dzifa fell in love with New England and RWU on a summer visit when he was in high school. Following in the footsteps of his aunt and uncle, Dzifa majored in Legal Studies, which prepared him for internships with the attorney general’s office and at the Norton Rose law firm in Paris, France. Of course, Dzifa was as busy on campus as he was off campus as a member of Mock Trial, SOAR Leadership training, a writing tutor and a DJ on WQRI. Dzifa is putting his hands-on knowledge to work. What will you do?

One Old Ferry Road • Bristol, R.I. 02809 (800) 458-7144 • (401) 254-3500

discover yourself

Josh Jenkins Copy Edior

December 8, 2010

Sugar, Spice and Everything Taxed Sanghoon D. Lee News Editor Our federal and state governments are trying to cut down on the amount of sugar and artificial sweeteners American consumers consume. Due to the rise of obesity and fat-related health issues, our governments are worried about what people are nourishing themselves with. The fast food industry has made a big mark on the way people eat these days. There have been lawsuits brought against the big fast- food corporations, but a lot of the cases were judged to be irrelevant or spurious. Each of these food corporation offer large sized meals and large cups of soda. Soda or Pop has been a favored American drink for generations. It all started in pharmacies and eventually moved into little stores for individuals. Soda companies have created a lot of different flavors and various mixes to appeal all types of suckers. During the last 50 years, the American people seem to have moved away from eating in their own abodes. There are has been a depreciation of home- based cooking as people have more

money in pockets to eat out on a regular basis. A lot of technologies and advancements in our society have made it easier to just find a restaurant that cooks for us. One of the worries in the United States is the lack of family time in each household. The traditional view of the American family has changed over the decades and so has the way people nourish our bodies.

Due to the rise of obesity and

fat-related health issues, our governments are worried about what people are nourishing themselves with.

How does the government plan to stop people from taking in sugary Frankenfoods? They have passed legislation that taxes the


consumer each time they go after the sweet drinks. This is like the “sin taxes” already applicable to alcohol and cigarettes. There are about 22 states that have put a tax on the soda. Some states want to tax you a penny for each ounce of soda that you drink. There are a lot of ways that the United States government and other institutions want to control our lives. Each year, lots of people are admitted to hospitals or health centers with illnesses. It’s not clear whether eating fast food and drinking sugary drinks are the direct causes of the growing epidemics. One of the major problems encountered with sugary drinks is “hyperglycemia.” That is the term for when the sugar levels in a person go over the normal average. Hyperglycemia can lead to diabetes, which is a very serious disease. Diabetes can affect anyone, from infants to the elderly. That is when a person has a high bloodsugar level and can’t process it out sufficiently. According to the International Diabetes Federation, there are about 26.5 million Americans living with diabetes. They estimate that by the year 2030, the number will be at 36 million.

Class of 2010 Ghana Legal Studies and French



December 8, 2010

Voice of Valhalla: In Memory of Lauren D’Amato Jessica Chen I cannot forget your smile, your laugh and your voice. The first official OL/PA meeting, Taconic retreat, mail box, mafia, summer training, and the first peer advisor meeting. Lots and lots memories of with you. I will miss you and won’t forget you.

Above: Lauren (center) poses with friends Lauren Stedman (left) and Megan Faye (Right) Right: Lauren (left) poses with pals Jessica Lynn (center) and Megan Faye (Right) Next Page: Lauren (second row, second from the right) takes a group shot with the Orientation Team of 2010-2011. All photos courtesy of

Cassie Scanlon Lauren was the type of person you always wanted to be around. She was energetic, funny and real. She was an honest, downto-earth girl, who just wound up always being the life of the party. She was beautiful inside and out. What I remember most about Lauren, though, was her ability to be beautiful and feminine, but also strong and assertive when it was needed. She was one of the most vibrant individual’s I’ve ever met, tons of energy, love, creativity and strength. For the world to have lost her is an absolute

Mal Mahedy Lauren’s charismatic personality was magnetic, as was her smile, which I could always rely on to cheer me up. Perhaps my favorite memory of Lauren was the story of her meeting Drake and the way her face lit up with mere mention of his name! I will never forget making our infomercial together on our retreat. Lauren was one of the greatest Orientation Leader/ Peer Advisors ever. I am forever grateful to have had the chance to get to know Lauren. I will never forget the great times we shared.

December 8, 2010



Voice of Valhalla: In Memory of Lauren D’Amato Dominic Tedesco

Sophia Yu

One amazing memory I have of Lauren was

It was last May when I first saw you at the

when we found out who our partners were

cap and gown distribution day. I was just

for orientation. The whole group had to run

amazed how much positive energy you

around the entire campus looking for clues.

had. When your “gold” came out you

At the last stop, we had a piece of paper with

shouted “Alright guys, this is not working

our name and the name of a character. Each

out. Why don’t we do it this way?” and

character had an opposite or pairing partner.

divided sections by numbers and assigned

Mine was Prince Charming, and I had to

them to each of us! You always had a huge

find my opposite. My opposite/partner was

smile on your face, which made everyone

Cinderella, and when I found out Lauren had

happy. That was just you: bright and

Cinderella, I jumped so high in the air with


excitement. From there, we started an amazing friendship and bonded so much during orientation and peer advising.

Phebe Mathew Lauren, my smiling girl. She was a lively positive friend of mine. She always had constructive comments. I miss you my friend! Even my son, Danny, who saw you only twice, says that you were fun to be with and he says that he’ll not accept that you are no more! So R.I.P., Lauren. We believe that you are still with us!

Slyvia Gaj

Janet Ortiz

Something that I will never forget about

One experience with Lauren that will forever be

Lauren was her attitude toward life. She

in my mind is one of all of us at the Orientation

was one of those people that would smile,

Leader/Peer Advisor Retreat over the summer. She

no matter what. My favorite memory of

was such a pop of personality in our group and

her was when I first met her. She always

I really got to see how outspoken she was which

repeated how she loved the artist Drake. I

added to her appeal. Her honesty and love for

remember at our retreat she was the person

those around her is what I will never forget and

that lit up the room and filled it with

what saddens me is that she was only in my life

laughter. She will be forever in my heart.

long enough to make me realize how much she will be missed by all!


December 8, 2010


SPORTS On The Pitch Hall of Fame 29 Bowling 30 Mens Soccer 30 Orange CC Swarm 31

Baseball Team Looks Forward

Photo by Debby Marchesani

Justin Sherman Staff Writer The Westchester Community College Baseball (WCC) team finished last season with a record of 23 wins, 23 losses and one tie. The WCC Vikings

play in the National Junior College Association (NJCA), in the Region 15 Mid Hudson conference. The Vikings had some ups and downs during the season, but managed to finish third overall in the Region.

Three players took the honor of winning an All Region athletic award in 2010. graduating outfielder Andy Mendez, who had a Regionleading 58 stolen bases in 61 attempts and was the team leader in batting average (

.414) won the honor of being one of three First Team All Region outfielders. The ace of the staff for the Vikings, graduate Stephen Lambert won Second Team All Region starting pitcher by racking up 53 strike-outs in 68 innings going 6-2. Shortstop Chris Orlando, a graduate of Putnam Valley High School and the current 2011 captain for the Vikings, won Second Team All Region as well, having a batting average of .389 and being in the top five in the region in hits and RBI’s. The Vikings baseball team had a sour taste in their mouths after the loss to Rockland Community College in last season’s regional playoffs. There will be some key factors for them to win a region title this time. Some players missed playing because of injury, like current captain Rich Reilly. He had been a walk-on in the month of January. During the course of the season, Rich

played first base and caught, as well. During a game against Sullivan, fresh from the Florida spring training trip, Rich broke his wrist.One unfortunate pitch hit him and made him sit out the rest of the season. Rich will be the 2011 captain for the Vikings and is looking to have a bounce back season. Another player looking for a bounce back season is current starting catcher Jessie Calcagni. Jessie took over for Rich Reilly because of injury, and blossomed into a key player for the Vikings. Some of the players have high expectations, including co-captain, shortstop Chris Orlando. I asked Chris, “Where do you see the team finishing this year for 2011?” He answered, “It all depends on timely hitting, and keeping errors to a minimum. I don’t see why we can’t win the region if we just do those things.” There are some big losses CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE



December 8, 2010

Baseball Team Looks Forward CONTINUED FROM FRONT PAGE

Photos by Debby Marchesani

in the pitching area for the Vikings, which could be a key factor to winning. The hitting in this line up is stacked. From the leadoff hitter to the ninth, everyone has some pop. This fall, there was a preview of what the line-up is going to look like in the spring 2011 season, and the team put some crooked numbers up on the board. This fall, the Vikings played some four-year schools as tune-ups for the spring. These included Pace and Manhattanville colleges. The Vikings beat both of them and hit very well all throughout the lineup. There are some sophomores to look out for in Spring of 2011. Outfielder Justin Sherman, who hit .376 with two home- runs and 35 RBI’s as a freshman will be in the middle of the lineup. Also, infielder Pete Gordon has transferred from Rockland Community College with a batting

average of .342. After the 2010 spring season, Head Coach Billy McClure went out recruiting during the offseason and brought in an impressive class. Some freshman to look out for in the 2011 spring season are Mike Delacy, Tyler Gurman, Pat Farina, Andrew Mancusi and Jeremy Lewis. Third baseman Mike Delacy, a graduate of Harrison High School, will likely hit in the middle of the lineup. Outfielder Tyler Gurman comes to us from Lehman High School. Utitly player Pat Farina, a graduate of Mahopac High School, will most likely be at the top of the lineup. With all the offensive power, the Vikings have some incredible speed. Freshman Andrew Mancusi is a Westlake graduate and Jeremy Lewis comes from Mount Saint Michaels. Overall there is a ton of optimism coming from the players and the coaches. Head

Coach Billy McClure said that the key to winning it all will be “…hard work, like anything, with less errors and timely hitting….. We are as good as any other team. It’s just ‘who wants it more.’” The key factor for success for the Vikings will be the pitching. Will it hold up? There are some players that will be critical elements of the pitching staff, like sophomore pitcher Tom Northcutt from White Plains High School and sophomore pitcher Sandro Ferreira, a transfer from Sullivan. Will the defense make the plays that they are supposed to, and on the offensive side, who is going to be clutch in tough spots this season? The Vikings start their quest for a region title in January with offseason conditioning. Do the Vikings have what it takes to win as a team? We will just have to wait and see in March.

After the 2010 spring season, Head Coach Billy McClure went out during the offseason and brought in an impressive recruiting class. Some freshman to look out for the 2011 spring season is third baseman Mike Delacy graduate of Harrison High School who will likely hit in the middle of the lineup and Outfielder Tyler Gurman a graduate of Lehman High School, utitly player Pat Farina a graduate of Mahopac High School will most likely be at the top of the lineup. With all the offensive power, the Vikings have some incredible speed, freshman Andrew Mancusi a Westlake graduate, and Jeremy Lewis a Mount Saint Michaels Graduate. Overall there is a ton of optimism coming from the players and the coaches. I asked Head Coach Billy McClure “What do you think the main key is to winning a region title this year?”

Coach Billy said, “Hard work, like anything, with less errors and timely hitting….. We are as good as any other team, its just who wants it more.” The key factor for success for the Vikings will be the pitching, and will it hold up? There are some players that will be should be key factors for the pitching staff, like sophomore pitcher Tom Northcutt a graduate from White Plains High School, and sophomore pitcher Sandro Ferreira a transfer from Sullivan. Will the defense make the plays that they are supposed to, and also on the offensive side, who is going to be clutch this season for Vikings in tough spots? The Vikings start there quest for a region title in the month of January while the team will be having offseason mandatory conditioning. Do the Vikings have what it takes to win as a team? We will just have to wait and see in March.


December 8, 2010



1971 Football Team & 1984 Basketball Team 5th Annual WCC Hall of Fame Ceremony Honors Two Championship Teams, Len Spina and Larry Massaroni Andre Aivizians Sports Editor

Old friends and teammates reunited on November twentieth for the Westchester Community College Fifth Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony. The event, which took place at Juliano’s Caterers in New Rochelle, was set to honor and induct Larry Massaroni, Len Spina, the 1971 WCC football team, and the 1982 WCC basketball team in to our Hall of Fame. The event itself had an aura surrounding it making it feel like an old Italian wedding. The pasta, Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra did help. With friends and family gathered all together at big round tables, it seemed as if no time had passed. All of them eating, laughing and speaking together, as if they had seen each other just the other night. Rekindled friendships and reunited teammates were all around the packed banquet hall sitting and drinking, sharing memories from years past, accomplishment in the present and their hopes for the future. It was very clear that the years separating these athletes had not affected their bonds and companionship. The ceremony began with a speech written by Dr. Joseph Hankin. Although he was not there to give the speech himself, one could feel his presence in the room as his speech was read aloud. Everyone sat quietly, trying to grasp every word. When it came to an end, there was a heartfelt round of applause. After the speech had been read, the first inductee came up for his award. Len Spina, WCC’s head member of the Mechanical Technology Department and the head coach of the women’s softball team. He gave a humorous speech that included his gratitude for all of those who helped him along the way. He was extremely grateful for the recognition. His speech was greeted with much applause from everyone. Soon after the applause

Sergio Villatoro for The Viking News The 1971 Football team accepting their Induction Awards at Juliano’s Restaurant in New Rochelle, NY.

had died down, another speech was given from Donald Weigand honoring the 1971 Football team, better known as “The little team that could.” He shared with everyone the struggles the team had gone through as they tried to gain recognition from the school, and how they struggled to find a coach. His story concluded with fond talk of 1971, the year they achieved the impossible by beating the top-seeded St. John’s in the Schafer Bowl. After the speech had concluded, Don Weigand ushered the football players up to the front of the room, where they all lined up and stood tall and proud, beaming at the crowd with wide smiles of happiness and rosy cheeks of embarrassment. They then were given

Attendees dined and wined with Honorees, catching up on old days. honorary plaques by Mr. Weigand. One by one, they all spoke, recalling the fond moments they had spent together, on and off the field. One common thread kept coming back in all of their speeches and that was the coach who had led them to victory, Tom Comenzo. They all had great admiration for their coach and spoke highly of him in every way possible. After their speeches had finished, they all stood even

taller and prouder for their pictures. People scrambled back and forth, trying to get every possible angle and as many as possible. Some even went up to the players and asked for their autographs. Soon, however, the noise and commotion settled, making way for the next team, the 1982 basket- ballers. Much fewer in number, the team gathered at the front of the room where they were greeted by their coach and current instructor, Ralph Arietta. He stood at the podium, smiling at the players he had led to the “final four” in the National Tournament. His speech was short and humorous but was filled with admiration and care for the players on his team. He went on to

The 1984 Basketball accepting their Induction Awards at Juliano’s Restaurant in New Rochelle, NY.

Sergio Villatoro for The Viking News

congratulate them and hand out plaques. After his speech, the players gave a few of their own. Much like the football team, they all spoke of the trials they had faced and the friendships that had been made along the way. At the end of all their speeches, the players joined together to give Coach Arietta his own plaque. Coach Arietta stood patiently brimming with anticipation and when they players turned, they revealed a signed basketball from all of them. He accepted the gift with gratitude, as everyone began to encircle the team and take pictures. Again after the applause had died down, the roomed filled with anticipation again with everyone waiting to see who would be awarded next. When his name was announced, everyone applauded with great respect and love. Larry Massaroni, the Athletic Director and Assistant baseball coach, was given a warm welcome by his friends and family. He stood there with a smile. As the applause died down, he began to speak. Much like Coach Arietta’s, his speech was filled with humor and fond memories ranging from his youth when he was a professional baseball player to his current position here at the college. He thanked everyone who had given him the award and all who had attended the event. However, the most memorable moment came not from the speech but from a letter written by Yogi Berra, his former Yankee’s manager, who “sent out his best wishes” for Mr. Massaroni. At the end of his speech, Mr. Massaroni was given a standing ovation as he walked over to the table to sit with his family. All in all, the night was a great success for everyone who attended and after over almost 40 years of waiting, it’s about time these teams and faculty member finally received recognition for their efforts and constant, undying workmanship.



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The Vikings’ bowling season will begin with a game against Shippensburg on the first weekend of December. The Vikings will play all the way through winter break. Their goals for this season can be easily summed up with four words: we want to win. The first title they want to earn is the Region XV championship, just like in 2007, when they were invited to the Sectionals. This way they could earn important individual honors and move on to win awards at the National Junior College Athletic Association Championship, which they have won twice before. Their ultimate goal is to get enough points at the nationals in the beginning of March. This way they would get points to compete in the United States Bowling Congress Collegiate Sectionals, which are to


11/16/10 11:32 AM

take place in March 2011 in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The path to glory also leads through Buffalo, NY. As coach Hauck put it, there is only one way to reach their goals: “To do this we must be consistent, learn to adjust and be able to deal with sport oil patterns.” Sport oil patterns, according to, are the types of lacquer applied to the surfaces of bowling lanes. He also wants to improve the team’s ability to adjust to different competitors. They need to stay focused and concentrated when facing a difficult team. To make sure they stay on track the team practices every Tuesday and Wednesday afternoon at the AMF lanes in White Plains. With coach Hauck’s successful history as coach, including three Region XV Coach of the Year awards, it sure will be an interesting next season.

Men’s Soccer Jheanel Walters Staff Writer

• Pre-Physician Assistant


December 8, 2010

The 2010 – 11 season of Men’s soccer ended early but well for the Vikings. The team placed third in the Mid Hudson Conference, sixth in Region XV and finished with an overall score of 8-7. Head Coach for over seven years, John Kakavas is expecting more for the next season. “We have a good start to build on. Most of the team is coming back and with the one year experience, they can be better next year.” The season starts in the second week of Sept. 2011, but practices begin the third week in August. With players Rodrigo Satizabal and All-Conference chosen John-Pierre Ricketts and Luis Barajas not returning, the team is losing some talent because their two years are up. However, Coach Kakavas is already working on replacing those players who are leaving. “Flyers will be posted at the beginning of the Spring semester,” he said. “Hopefully we can have more talent coming in as well.” Last year,

over 38 players tried out for the team, resulting in a “more balanced talent on the field,” something Westchester Community College students witnessed at home games. The Vikings start a typical season with three tough games and according to Kakavas, its three really good teams. “We usually get stuck with Ulster, Monroe and Nassau.” He is hoping though that his team finishes more of their chances and puts teams away from early on in the games, and that they make some improvements. Earlier comments from previous interviews with players, suggest that the team didn’t play as united as they should have and this is one problem their coach is eager for them to work on. He said, “The team needs to have a better attitude and start coming together in the games.” Returning for next season is Captain Aaron Cuevas and a majority of this year’s team but new players are needed. “There are good soccer players at WCC, but for some reason or another, they don’t try out for the games,” said Kakavas. His advice to those who will be trying out is, “Give it your best shot. Play 100 percent on the field whether we lose or not.”


December 8, 2010


Lady Westcos Swarmed by Orange County

Sergio Villatoro for The Viking News

The Lady Westcos played a hard fought game against Orange County in November. Although the Westcos trailed closely for the majority of the game, they couldn’t overcome the pace controlling Orange County.

Safiya Davidson Staff Writer The Women’s Basketball team had their game against their rival Orange County on Nov. 23. This was their second game of the season and they hoped to dominate in this game like they did in their first game which they won on Nov. 4. “This game is very important to the team” said Co-Captain Jessica Biggs before the game began. Jessica has been playing for two years and this is her first year being captain. When asked what she expected from the game that night, she responded, “I want us to work hard the whole game.” The second captain, Felicia Clay, who has also been playing basketball for two years and is also a first year captain, expected her team to, “…play together and have great communication skills throughout the game.” The game which was a

home game started a bit late but when it did start it started off with a bang. All the players were demonstrating good team work with the Westcos scoring an amazing three-pointer shot. But at the end of the first period, Orange County was in

As the game progressed into the second period, each team battled against the clock

the lead with 14 points. As the game progressed into the second period, each team battled against the clock working together to accomplish a single goal: to win. There were some great shots

made and defense started to strengthen as the game progressed, by the Westcos. The second period score was 10 for WCC and 22 for Orange County. In the third period, the Westcos came back strong and hard and made some amazing shots which brought up their score considerably. Both teams played hard until the end, and as the clock ticked down to the last minute of the game, each team picked up the pace and pushed hard. But the victory went to Orange County with a final score of 59 for WCC and 63 for Orange County. All the ladies played well, but co-captain Jessica and teammate Uniqua scored a total of 35 points of the teams final score (Jessica-19 and Uniqua-16). I thought they really pushed themselves to the limit for the team. The game was very intense and exciting and the Westcos put up a good fight and even though they lost. The

team work and determination that I witnessed on the court during the game, shows they will have no problem coming

Basketball Lady Westcos:59 Orange CC: 63

out on top. The avid fans in the audience agreed with me also. One fan stated, “Even though they lost, the game was exciting and they put up a good fight.” I wish the Westcos ladies good luck with the rest of their season but I don’t think they really need it with their talent.



December 8, 2010

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The Viking News: Issue 5  

Issue 5 of the Fall 2010 Semester

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