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“Are you pioneering for change?” was the question of the weekend on Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1, 2014, when 25 students and a small group of administrators, staff, and faculty rode an Alfred State bus to the Beaver Hollow Conference Center for a two-day Diversity Retreat. The group was led by Liz Raterman, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, assisted by Matt Brown of the Department of Residential Life. Joining them as Facilitators were Greg Sammons, Spencer Peavey, Matt Ryan, Kathleen Hobson, and Brian Quinn. The Retreat explored issues of self identity, starting with introductions and sharing of experiences. Each participant – including leaders and facilitators – brought a “show-and-tell” object that she or he presented while telling a story of their own. These ranged from photos to rings to souvenirs to incorporation papers; but almost every item evoked stories or memories of family, friends, and/or significant events in the speakers’ lives. Larger issues were discussed, too. A presentation of Jane Elliot’s “Angry Eye” video, in which blue-eyed people are discriminated against and put down solely on the basis of their eye color, elicited a long discussion of the origins, effects, and even inanity of racism. Greg Sammons led that discussion. The group then braved the frigid cold for a gathering around a bonfire where s’mores were made and rapidly consumed. Saturday was equally full. Breakfast started at 8:00 and by 9:15 Kathleen Hobson was leading the assembled group in an exploration of “My Identity: My Journey” wherein participants were given the opportunity to identify with a number of short, one-sentence attributes, such as “Stand up if you have brothers and sisters,” or “Stand up if you have tattoos.” Those are straight-forward, but some took more courage to acknowledge, such as “Stand up if you ever cheated on a test,” or “Stand up if you ever hazed someone.” Part of what made participants comfortable in this revealing exercise was the invoking of “Vegas Rules.” That is, what was said in Beaver Hollow stayed in Beaver Hollow. Spencer Peavey led a small group project called “Learning About Others’ Journeys,” which led naturally into a role-playing activity. The premise was the old cliché about walking a mile in another person’s shoes – an effective method to learn to understand, accept, and embrace difference. The group as a whole agreed that the Diversity Retreat was a rousing, eye-opening success. Friendships were formed, observations made, and insights achieved. The venue was warm and accommodating, and the food was delicious. Plans are underway for a second annual Diversity Retreat in early 2015. 1

Tor Echo / Alfred State / Spring 2014 / Issue 3



2014 Diversity Retreat a Success


More than 150 students from Alfred State, Alfred University, University of Buffalo, Genesee CC, Houghton College, Jamestown CC, and Niagara University gathered in the Student Leadership Center here on campus for the NYLEC Leadership Conference on Saturday, February 23. Programs included “Leading by Service,” “Can You Hear Me Now?” and “A Life of Social Justice.”The day included a poster session and several of the Leadership Suite groups held open houses to exhibit their civic engagement projects. Above,Tyler Fox of the Interior Design group proudly shows off works of Alfred State’s architecture and interior design students at the STAR Center table.


THEM OLD WINTER-IN-ALFRED COMMUTER PARKING BLUES AGAIN Have you ever experienced the job of finding a parking spot in the commuter parking lot? I have, every day. It’s definitely a job especially during the winter. When driving up the road, you look on the side for parking spots. If you’re lucky you can find one, but that doesn’t happen too often. Then you make your way up to the main commuter parking lot. You drive towards the entrance and you don’t see any spots.You’re thinking “Today I am going to either have to park up near Orvis, all the way out in the boonies and walk clear across campus in 7 degree weather. Or I might be incredibly lucky and find a spot on the other side this parking lot.” Driving into the lot, you notice a few open spots, but they aren’t big enough for your car to fit. The lines are covered with snow so no one can park in the correct places. Cars are all over the place.You notice cars are actually parked in snow banks. Unfortunately, now you can’t park in this parking lot. So you make your long journey up to the Orvis parking lot and attempt to find a parking spot not clear out in the boonies of Alfred. The commuters understand that we are allowed to park in any parking lot, except Faculty and Staff lots. But if you are me, I have a very hard time finding parking in Upperclassman parking. Most of the time, the lots are already full. Especially on the days where I get to campus at eleven in the morning. The only open spaces are up in the Orvis parking. During the winter, these lots are not cleaned up very well. There are times when I have been stuck in a snow bank and it has taken me five to ten minutes just to pull my car out. I spoke to another commuter recently about the parking here. “I don’t like it. I hate having to get to campus a half an hour to an hour early just to get a good spot so I am not walking from Orvis in negative degree weather. It would be nice if they were stricter on the people who park in the commuter parking lot that aren’t supposed to. I have noticed multiple cars in the lot that are NOT commuters, taking the spots that I could use. It’s frustrating.” So, what if Alfred State put in another commuter parking lot close to campus? It

would mean getting to class on time and not having to drive around for ten to fifteen minutes to find parking. What would be even nicer is if they could plow the parking lots better so that the lines could be seen so people can park accordingly. People can take up to two or three spots without those lines. I find it hard to believe that with all the people on campus who work for the school, can’t take the extra time to plow out the parking lots nicely. I recall one time when the campus made all students move cars out of the lots so that they could plow them thoroughly. That was one time, though. What about doing this at least once a week? I understand there are things that could prevent this, but it would make being a commuter a little less stressful. Maybe, since there is so much land on the campus, ASC could build an indoor parking lot. Now, this seems outrageous and kind of drastic. But if you think about it, campus faculty wouldn’t have to plow it and worry about no parking spots. There are at least 700 student commuters on campus and maybe approximately 100 commuter parking spots and one big commuter lot. That doesn’t seem right. These students drive from all over, some driving up to an hour to campus. When arriving to campus, depending on the main roads, they might already be late. Now they have to find parking spots. That takes up more time. The ratio of commuter lots to upperclassman parking lots is not fair. As commuters, we still pay to go to school here. We should be treated just like everyone else. We should have more than one or two parking lots. And people who live on campus should have some decency to not park in the lots meant only for commuters. I’ve noticed a campus police giving out tickets for those who aren’t supposed to be there, but yet, there are STILL some that park there. If the ticket fines went up more or they became stricter about it that could help. These suggestions are only meant to make the commuter experience more enjoyable. — Brooke Smith

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A Word from the Editor: Mid-terms and Stress Hey everyone. I wanted to step in and say hello for a moment and talk about the stresses of maintaining academics in school, mostly because I know this is a very stressful time for all of us in college at the moment, with mid-terms coming up and eventually finals. Thankfully we get a nice break next week but we still find ourselves overwhelmed by the many things surrounding us. Aside from homework and the demands of our majors, we also try to balance our social lives, friends and families. It is not an easy task, and we often fail to achieve the time-management skills we are so often advised to become masters of. Take a moment, and breathe. I know as well as any of you how hard this task is to perform on a daily basis. Some of us are consumed by our academics and forsake our friends and families in an effort to overcompensate, while others simply procrastinate and goof off until it is too late to correct our mistakes. I know it's hard to achieve balance with both. I advise everyone reading this take a moment and consider what is important in their lives at the moment. We all want to do well in school, and we all want to relax and enjoy time with our friends. Study, ask for help if you need to. As college students our primary objective is to do well in school and earn the degrees we are striving for. But also, please take a moment to relax, take a break from reading for ten minutes, or stretch. Thanks for reading, everyone, and good luck with Mid-terms! — Britteny Monahan Tor Echo Staff Editor-in-Chief: Britteny L. Monahan Treasurer: Karla Chun

Staff: Ingrid Amaya, Matt Cooley, Kaylie Cytrowski, Tyreek Davis, Jacob Freedman, Tony Grande, Sarah Jastrzab, Lynette Lockwood, Ali Q. Moore, Stephanie Pembleton, Jordyn Riethmiller, Brooke Smith, Angel Torres. Advisor: Dr. Brian Quinn Copyright Tor Echo 2014 4

Welcome New Greeks!

On behalf of the Greek Senate Executive Board we would like to welcome you in to our Greek Community. We know that each of you will do wonders for both our school and your houses. We look forward to working with you more as the semester goes on and hope you had a great Heaven Day with your new families. Welcome, welcome, welcome, to the best family you would never find anywhere else! Tor Echo / Spring 2014 5

RA Spotlight: MATT C O O LEY

Matt Cooley is a first year Resident Assistant in Shults Hall majoring in Adolescent Education. Matt, who hopes to become a teacher in the future, enjoys playing soccer, staying up all night to play video games, and spending time with his twin brother Mark. Matt hails from Trumansburg, NY. What his RD says: “Matt has been a great addition to our staff! He is always willing to help others, and goes above and beyond in his duties as an RA. His passion for the position definitely shines through!” Why he became an RA: “I feel like I can make a difference in my community, and I love to help others sort out their problems. I would say why I became an RA is the thing I enjoy most about the position. Helping people and building community is what I find most rewarding.” His advice for future RAs: “Be confident and get to know your residents. By knowing your residents it makes it 100x easier for you to do your job effectively.”

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Tor Echo / Spring 2014 7

Seeking the Perfect Sub — Or Just a Quiet Night at Work By Jordyn Riethmiller Alfred seems like quite the small and quiet little town doesn’t it? Here at Alfred State, most of us experience the campus life that our school has to offer. And trust me, I know how you feel. From past experience, I know that weekend life on campus can be pretty boring. I lived on campus for my first year and to be honest, I hardly left my dorm room (I know this is the case for many of my peers). But since then, I have experienced so much more that Alfred has to offer me. My second year here, I moved off of campus and found a job downtown. These big adjustments have really opened my eyes to what Alfred can really be like. Now, don’t get me wrong — I love going out for a night on the town with my best girlfriends, but downtown Alfred becomes a crazy party central on most Friday and Saturday nights. I experience this craziness in two different ways. Inside Uncle Alfred’s Sub Shop waiting for a rush of intoxicated customers, or outside walking past my place of employment with a slight sigh of relief that I don’t have to work on that particular party night. It’s quite the experience, trust me. During class days, we tend to walk by our peers on campus with a smile, a polite greeting, or maybe some of us just prefer to keep to ourselves. We focus on homework, getting to class on time, and we wonder how we will get all of our work done. Our school week can be stressful, so I completely understand where the weekend’s madness comes from. Unlike a campus “hello” on Friday and Saturday nights when I am working, I normally get two extreme responses from my peers. Response one being a very energetic as well as enthusiastic greeting usually coming from classmates that I had never spoken to before (I like this one because really, who doesn’t like making new friends?). Then there is response two. This one involves rudeness, garbage throwing, insulting demands regarding sub orders, and general mess making (making my job much more difficult). I will just say that I think that response number two could very well have to do with the alcohol consumption of those particular individuals. Just so you know, I’m not complaining. I truly just want to give you, the reader, a little taste of what might possibly be a different view on Alfred. I will tell you one thing though, I love seeing weekend life downtown and I do hope that when the time is appropriate, everyone gets to experience it. Not only is it fun, but it’s free (not money free, but spirit free). This is college, the time of our lives! Sure, I might have to pick up some garbage or deal with some jerks, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Now I have stories to tell — and lots of them. Ones about working on the nights that I wish I could be out having fun, as well as stories about my fun times in downtown Alfred. So, by all means put your shoes on, leave your dorm room, and get out there and see what this quiet little town has to offer. Tor Echo / Spring 2014 8

Tor Echo / Spring 2014 9

SHULTS HALL TO BE RENOVATED By Matt Cooley Shults Hall calls itself a “Health and Wellness� building although it has little to offer students wishing to be fit. But it will soon be getting the gear to make exercise even more accessible to the residents. Renovations will most likely be started in January, 2015. These renovations will include a fully remodeled lounge, with work out bikes, free weights, and possibly treadmills. Yoga mats will be available, and the space will also be used for dance work outs, yoga classes, and other forms of exercise. Mirrors will be hung up, the windows will be tinted, and a state of the art sound system is planning on being installed along with a TV. This is just one of the many new renovations. According to Matt Ryan the head of Residential Life the recreation lounge on the ground floor will also be renovated with new decorative panels, furniture, and a pool table. The kitchen will be gutted and the cabinets, counters, and sinks will be replaced. A new ventilation system will be implemented to prevent setting off the fire alarm. The lounges will be equipped with microwaves, new furniture, lighting, and cabinets. As for external renovations, the front entrance of Shults will be revamped with new glass windows. The greyish pillars on the front of the building will be repainted, and the dumpster near the card-swipe door will be moved and hidden behind a decorative wooden panel. For outdoor exercise, when the snow is finally gone, there is thought of building a basketball court. Anyone up for some one-on-one? Meet me at Shults in 2015! Tor Echo / Spring 2014 10

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Tor Echo is the on-line newspaper written and published by the students of Alfred State College.