October 31, 2014

Forget Your Party. Your Party Is America

By Denise Batista

John Jay’s Republican club invited former congressman turned author, Joseph DioGuardi, to speak. He came to John Jay to inform students on the problems he believes occurs within the government due to the financial scams that are hidden from the public.

 

DioGuardi plainly presented his main concerns with what he saw as the “unsustainability of our growing debt.” He came not just to present what he saw as problems but also to motivate students to make a difference. The event was funded through the club’s budget. Overall, they had $1,000 to spend for the semester.

 

He said, “America has the capacity to make more successful people and companies, you should be part of that. Don’t let anyone tell you different.”

 

A crowd of mostly republican students waited for his arrival, excited to learn more about his book Unaccountable Congress: It Doesn’t Add Up.

 

Danny Oliva, president of the Republican club, was happy to have a political figure to promote financial stability of the US.

 

Oliva said, “We always want to bring Politicians to John Jay. DioGuardi is not the most conservative republican.”

 

Oliva urges students to take more responsibilities and use resources that are available. Oliva, along with other members of the club, organized for DioGuardi to speak.

 

Eli Lubin, a member of republican club was excited to hear him speak and wants John Jay students to become more involved in learning of “His fiscal policies; how the federal government doesn’t show where the money is going, like DioGuardi said, the army and military doesn’t report where the money is going.”

 

DioGuardi mentioned how we must not let labels of parties like Democratic or Republican dust off the real problems within the government, which are due to deficit spending, “Forget your party- your party is America”.

 

DioGuardi covered what he saw to be problems with America’s fiscal policy, and how 895 billion went towards defense last year.

 

America’s defense is growing but government officials have set aside the real issues we are facing which are education.  Sally Abdel, a junior ideologically placed with a Democrat’s point of view, thought that instead of spending money on the defense budget, America should be putting more money towards education.

 

He said, “Education is always what US should invest in even if we don’t have the money; distributing money towards education is number one priority which all states should have.”

 

DioGuardi’s concerns lie in American tendencies of quantitative easing (spending) rather than producing. “America needs a sense of hungriness,” he said.

 

DioGuardi raised concerns about our currency.  “The dollar might collapse because we don’t have enough productivity,” he said.

 

“We got to be competitive; Brazil is there. South America is getting there. Look at Germany, they have one tenth of the workforce in the world and ten percent of the manufacturing productivity, they’re a tough country. Productivity. We must remain technologically superior and we have to prevent countries like China from stealing it. They don’t invest in money the way we do but they take it.”

 

Homeless Receive Habitat Of Choice

By Jason Chester

The Midnight Run Organization was started primarily for individuals who were either too sick or too weak to fend for themselves in homeless shelters. So instead, those who had nowhere else to turn chose the streets over the shelters. This almost seems counterintuitive at first.

“Shelters are worse than prisons,” Sarah Shattuck, president of the John Jay chapter of Habitat for Humanity’s club, said. She explained that unlike prison, there are no guards around in shelters to make sure nothing bad happens. It was only a little over a month ago when I walked into the Habitat for Humanity’s office wondering what they did. The humanities club hosts a midnight run every month except January. The club began to participate in the run almost immediately after its creation in 2010 but the Midnight Run, a separate entity, began in the mid-80’s. The founder of the run, who goes only by Dale, was once homeless himself.

Shattuck told me that the run involves going out to different locations to give food, clothing and toiletries to the homeless.

Declan Walsh, the director for Community Outreach, greeted me with a warm handshake and an honest smile. I told him I was interested in the Midnight Run, an event I was informed about through one of those general announcements.

Before joining the run, I had always perceived the homeless to be leeches of society that had every opportunity that I did. Shattuck said this was a “common misconception” and that “most of them are regular people, like you or I.”

But after that night, my view of the homeless changed drastically.

A Choice

 

Declan guided me to a room where sandwiches were already packaged and clothes were folded on a table and I took out the two shirts and one jacket I donated.

In the room there were two other young men. One was Declan’s son, Ceamus Walsh, (pronounced Shamus) a freshman in high school volunteering on a school night. Then there was Joshua Belmonte; his enthusiasm could be seen through his endless stream of words.

“It’s good we’re going out to feed the homeless, a lot of them out there are around our age,” was all I was able to catch from Belmonte.

Aside from those guys there were some women volunteering as well. Shattuck, Vidivel Espino, Gabrielle Maraj, and Caryn Quinteros.  We were later joined by two other guys, Joseph Vargas and Gerry Fervier. They were all John Jay students.

At 9.30pm we packed all the stuff up to be loaded up in the midnight run van. The driver Jace has been involved for 11 years; he was polite and kind, but straightforward.

Before we left, Shattuck gave us a pep talk; she thanked everyone for coming out. She said, “We have freedom when we go places. We have a choice” but for the most part, the homeless we would soon visit didn’t.

“Tonight, when we greet the people, ask them, what would you like? Whatever they need let them know they have a choice.”

The Tired and Hungry

 

When the van was loaded with coffee, chili, turkey and ham sandwiches with Swiss cheese and the toiletries, we were off to the first stop on 28th street and 11th avenue, which was a dark street corner with no one around.

Jace and Shattuck left to see if there were homeless people hanging around on the corners, while the rest of us waited in the van.

A few minutes later they returned with a group of about 20 homeless people.

There were mostly men with a few women in the crowd. I was surprised by their appearances. They didn’t look homeless. I expected the deranged types you see on the trains and laid out in street corners begging for change. But surprisingly, they were all sane and well kept. I wouldn’t have known they were homeless if I was standing next to them on the street.

They really were just people who for some reason or another had fallen on hard times and were thankful for what we were doing.

We began distributing the donated food, toiletries and clothes from the back of the van, which was where I was located. I felt good that I was able to give them something that they considered valuable.

Fervier, Belmonte and I worked together. Because Fervier and Belmonte were more experienced, I just assisted them whenever and however I could. And when I saw the clothes that I donated being handed out, it made me feel like I had made a small difference, especially when I saw a guy looking at the shirt like it was made of gold.

The next stop was 26th street and 6th avenue. There was a bigger crowd there but still the same set of polite calm individuals. When we first drove up, the crowd rushed over to the van and peered in through the windows like children opening gifts on Christmas morning.

They were excited to be getting new clothes and fresh food and who wouldn’t be?

The third and last stop was on 28th street and 9th avenue. There was a group also waiting for us there.  It was the same situation, except here there were more women than I expected.

They reminded me of my mom. It was eerie, looking into those maternal faces. I did my best to give them anything they wanted. Maraj was running around making sure she took their orders for whatever clothing they needed and got back to me.

I think, right there it hit me:

All the dance clubs, the girls, the hip-hop songs, the comics books, my hobbies, meant nothing compared to standing here and helping out those who were in need. Everything came down to sharing. I could have as many things as I wanted, but sharing was what brought me the most joy.

Shattuck seemed to embody this idea the most. After the last midnight run in February, her club was out of money, so the majority of food brought for this run was provided through her own funding.

She gave her time and money, while the majority of us wouldn’t even give these people a thought.

“We can learn a lot from them,” she said.

 

 

 

John Jay Goes From Slow To Fast

 

 

By Diana Lydia

The average John Jay student carries up to three wireless devices.

The drastic increase in the use of wireless devices this semester resulted in the much needed expansion of Wi-Fi on March 1st, 2012.

The Department of Information Technology (DoIT) at John Jay, headed by Praveen Panchal, studied trends in the usage of the wireless network at John Jay for the past five years. They noted a gradual increase in the wireless link up from 500 devices per day to soaring 2,500 per day even before the creation of community hour. The department sent out a general email stating the need for expansion due to the over usage.

Both the Math and Science Resource Center (MSRC) and Laptop Loan Center have witnessed students flocking in to use computers and laptops.

“It gives me something to do on my never-ending breaks,” said John Jay Senior George Davidson.

Davidson represents a new wave of students that are going to the MSRC to use their open computers.

The new MSRC has removed blocks on social networking sites and YouTubewhich might explain the new wave.

Now a minimum of about 200-300 students use laptop loan center plus the students in the MSRC daily and then another 2000 bring devices from home. You don’t need to be a MSRC tutor to know that’s a lot.

Omatie Ramrattan, a sophomore, said, “With the amount of time I spend at John Jay, I might as well bring my laptop and get some homework done.”

Three years ago, when plans for the New Building were being finalized, the DoIT department stepped in to create a facility which was more technologically advanced than originally planned. The infrastructure of the New Building was created keeping in mind the overwhelming demand for a stronger wireless network, a network which the old building was not capable of handling.

Once the building was completed, it was time to implement the expansion plan. The expansion enables students and faculty to connect multiple devices to the John Jay Network without slowing the network down.

According to DoIT Network Manager, O’Neil Hinds, “The expansion simply fills the needs of faculty and students at John Jay, providing them with the latest in Wi-Fi technology.”

As a result of the expansion, student are not only able to connect multiple devices to the network with ease but are able to keep those devices connected to the Wi-Fi until their password expires, saving the student the hassle of having to connect to the wireless network every time they step into the building.

This expansion, like every other IT upgrade, was conducted during “downtime,” which is determined by studying the patterns of usage during the day. Downtime usually occurs during the late afternoon, early evenings or on weekends, when the majority of the students are not present in the building. During this expansion, the college Wi-Fi was disabled so IT could make the necessary changes.

Alicia Ramoutar, a senior and Math teacher’s assistant at John Jay welcomed the change as a sigh of relief.

” I constantly use Blackboard and with the network being so slow, it was hard to keep track of things and some places in the old building barely had a phone signal; at least now I’ll be able to get work done faster,” she said.

While some students take positively to the change, others haven’t noticed any changes to their network connection.

According to Matthew Angeles, a sophomore, the change makes little to no difference, “I can’t tell what the difference is. There are still some places where the Wi-Fi on my phone won’t catch a signal.”

Overall, students showed mixed feelings towards the expansion. Some welcomed the change, hoping it would make their lives easier while others barely felt that change had taken place.

It may just take a bit more work to make believers out of them.

 

Ten-Page Essay? $108, Please

By Aya Abdelmoamen

All student names have been changed to protect their identities. Even though their names are made up, their stories are real.

When an essay is due, students have very few choices; they can choose to either write the paper or receive help. The most alluring of choices, however, is hiring someone to write the paper for you.

Tempted by the advertisements of professional essay writings, students lose control of their essays to companies that often employ writers of a Master’s or Doctorial standard.

Claiming to write original top notch essays from scratch, Andrew, an employer at the professional writing site samedayessay.com, says that there are 3000 writers, from the US and the UK, who are willing to compete for high salaries. A three-page undergrad paper is $66.84, and that is if you are ordering 10 days before your deadline. If you want your paper within 24 hours, a three page is worth $108.84.

“There are 200 students coming for help every day. One customer usually orders from 5-7 papers every term,” said Andrew. According to Andrew, samedayessay.com writers have been in the writing field for more than seven years, and are well experienced. Andrew declined to give his full name.

Yaser, a sophomore, bought an essay from customwritings.com; he described the process of receiving his effortless paper in one statement, “it’s like ordering sushi and finding it on your doorstep, that’s just how easy it is …. Except I kinda have to dumb it down a little so it wouldn’t be too suspicious.”

 

The Allure of Buying Papers

Students sometimes delay their college work load because of stress.

“I feel pressured because I procrastinate,” Aaron, a full time student, said. “But that’s because I have a bunch of college work, a full time job at Subway, family issues, and on top of that I have to worry about my papers.”  Aaron purchased three papers from samedayessay.com.

The companies that market professional essays promise students that their identity will not be revealed, which makes it comfortable for students to purchase the essays without the fear of being caught. Dan, who has purchased two papers already, says, “Those essay writer people won’t ever rat out anyone, you don’t even have to give them your real name for them to do your essay.”

Students say that they rarely have the extra time to sit and write the papers that their professors assign. The English Department Chair, Allison Pease says, “It is often students who have received low grades on papers early in the semester that then turn to plagiarism, because they feel it is the only way to raise the grade in the class.”

Catherine Kemp, a Philosophy professor, said that students resort to such services if they are taking a course outside their major and think that they “‘don’t know what the professor wants’, and that a made-to-order assignment will get them a better grade.”  Students often order their papers in order to meet deadlines.

These questionable companies convince desperate students that they can help them with any type of service work, including research, thesis, and term papers.

According to Jane Gilon, a representative of essaywriter.org, it is mostly college and university students attending to such help. “We only write papers from scratch,” she said “only original papers.”

Professors Fight Back

Professors, however, are catching onto students, who are buying their papers online, and some have even developed methods to identify these fake papers. According to Kemp, professors are well aware of students that are plagiarizing. “Many of us try to devise assignments that will make using canned papers impossible,” she said, “it’s the reason I require so much in-class writing and in-class essay exams.”

There have been students who have been caught for using such services, and their plagiarism has led them to receiving academic punishment.

“The penalty is an F for the assignment and being reported for plagiarism,” Kemp says. Furthermore, websites, like Turnitin.com, are strong weapons against these fake essays.

Turnitin.com is a website that many professors use to detect plagiarized work. The writers of these fake essays claim that their papers are one-hundred percent original, but that is not always the case.

According to Adam Wandt, who is the Deputy Chair for Instructional Technology of the Department of Public Management, “Turnitin.com makes it much easier for me to spot plagiarism.”

“These services might advertise their work as original work, but in their sloppy writing, they plagiarize a little bit,” he said, “turnitin.com is so good at picking up shortcuts these professionals use.”

Professors are definitely aware when their students plagiarize, because the writing styles of these professional writers differ from the writing styles of the student. “Professors are very intelligent when it comes to knowing that that student couldn’t have written that paper,” he said.

Just recently, professor Wandt caught a student who purchased his paper. When questioned about the paper, the student could not identify the writing as his own. “He understands not a word,” Wandt said.

When students are caught plagiarizing, there are two possible outcomes: temporary suspension or expulsion.

One student describes his plagiarism experience as horrid. “I felt like I was getting arrested and hadda’ go through this whole process with my professor,” Sebastian said, a sophomore. “I’m never gunna’ do that again, for real.” He further explained that his professor gave him an “F” for the course, which will now be a permanent figure on his transcript.

The Alternative

The writing center is a much safer alternative to these paying services, but students continue to complain that going to the writing center requires too much time from their busy schedules. “I don’t need help with my paper, I just don’t got time to write it,” William said.

John Jay offers its students unlimited and free tutoring sessions for both undergraduate and graduate students who need help, a privilege that many outside of the college academia do not have. The tutors in the writing center are trained to help students with the writings specific to their discipline.

With one call or visit, students can schedule an appointment to the writing center. It is unfortunate that some students do not have the “I’d grab it while you can, since it’s free!” drive, as professor Kemp puts it.  Students prefer to order the fake papers because it’s the easier alternative, as Dan says, it’s like “one-two-three.”

Faculty interested in the genuine success of their students would hate to see them succumb to such plagiarism services. “I hate the idea that students, who are already paying good money to learn, would pay more money not to learn by having someone else write their papers for them,” said Allison Pease.

 

 

Moms-To-Be Juggle Works, Books And Bonnets

By Natia Tukhareli

On a Monday night, sitting in his Brooklyn office leaning back in an office chair, Doctor Andrew L. DeFazio specializing in gynecology took off his glasses and rubbed his eyes. He seemed to be mentally skimming through his pregnant patient files with a serious face. “I try to see what their family structure is like, a lot of times they will have a family member or a friend with them,” said DeFazio. Additionally, he pays attention to his patients’ marital status because 10% of them are single.

Angela Yoctor, who attends Kings Borough Community College and works full time at Daffy’s said, “Struggling through five classes and working full time is hard, but getting close to my due date and realizing I will be a mother is a lot to juggle.” With her due date approaching quickly, she is very anxious to have her baby, but her studies will have to be put on hold for at least a semester. “I am saving up as much as I can and am working overtime in order to provide for my child, but my grades have dropped significantly.”

Expecting parents are struggling to simultaneously cope with the combined stress of pregnancy, school and work, all of which are important in different ways.

Sitting in Starbucks while sipping water, Alla Saple, a senior at Hunter College said, “I’m not trying to make excuses for myself, but only those pregnant will understand how hard it actually is to carry a human being inside your body while concentrating on school work.” Mothers-to-be are unaware of what to expect before and after their pregnancy, because everyone is affected differently. Some feel nothing during the nine months while others tend to get sick, dizzy, nauseous, and get stripped of any type of energy.

Shopping in Babies R’ Us while holding onto a pink teddy bear and a fluffy blanket, a student of Hunter College and a single mother-to-be Maria Serenio said, “he did his thing, got me pregnant and disappeared from the top of the earth. Therefore, I am left all alone to give birth and raise my child without a father, but I will not let that stop me from acquiring the education I need in order to give my daughter a better future.” Working at Charlie’s Leather and at Mirage Diner, taking classes while receiving no family or partner support, Serenio is stressed more than ever before. Despite it all, she refuses to get an abortion because she believes it is a blessing to have the ability to bring a life onto earth, even though the timing is way off. Serenio believes, patience and hope will bring her good things in life, and therefore, she is naming her daughter Patience as a symbol and a reminder.

When mothers are left to choose between their studies and children, kids hold higher priority. Nevertheless, in order to ease the struggle, the Women’s Center at John Jay College of Criminal Justice is planning a workshop to support the needs of pregnant students and new parents which will begin in the Spring of 2012. “The group will be broadly defined so that pregnant students can feel less uncomfortable in John Jay’s academic environment,” said Professor Yukins, the Director of the Women’s Center in a written statement. New parents will receive the attention and assistance they deserve, while having to balance the intense demands of both their children and studies.

Jose Guzman, laying his hand on his partners belly and smiling when feeling the kick of the baby, said “I am afraid I might be in the middle of class while my girlfriend is giving birth.” He wants to be next to his little family at every second of every minute but he also has school to worry about. On the other hand, Stephanie Catechise from Queens Borough Community College said, “I don’t want to be in the middle of class once my contractions start, and most definitely I don’t want my water breaking while listening in on a lecture.”

More students are taking time off from school in order to work and support their families. For those brave enough to keep and raise their children, studies are no longer top preference. “I have friends willing to help me raise my daughter, but how much can I really lean on them?” said Serenio. “Everyone has their own problems and I cannot wrap mine around their necks.” Once Patience is born, Serenio’s life will undergo major changes and her baby will take over as top priority. “Bye ,bye school, at least for a little while,” said Serenio.

These soon to be parents are worried about their futures and the difficult task of raising their newborns. However, they have all agreed to return to school once they get back on their feet in order to support their families and excel in their college education. “As soon as my daughter is old enough to go to Kindergarten, I am off to school,” said Diana Rodriguez from New York University. Some predict two or three years while others expect to be back in within the year.

Skimming through the pages of her history book, Saple said “I just have to deal with things, it was my choice to get pregnant, have a kid, go to school and work all at the same time; no one said life was going to be easy, this is just another obstacle I have to overcome to become a better person and a mother.”

 

Green Fashion Costs More Green

By Zina Paschal

English: A model on the runway in clothes at a...

Image via Wikipedia

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Everything we do has an impact on the environment, so developing chemicals and materials that don’t produce negative discharge is definitely worth it,” said Clem Von Holstein, a sales employee at Patagonia.

With the rise of environmental groups and green awareness, many clothing companies have adopted the idea of producing clothing made of organic materials.

However, along with these fibers and materials come higher prices. But is it worth it?

Many people believe that the price is worth the cause while others tend to think that it is too expensive.

Patagonia is one store that believes that going green with their fashion, in the name of saving the environment, is worth the higher prices.

Yvon Chouinard, an environmentalist, started Patagonia. He specialized in outdoor clothing and gear with the use of organic material and recycled fibers.

At first glance you would think you were walking into a mountain climbing store. Behind the counter hangs a huge picture of the Patagonian Mountains, located in Argentina. Coats and jackets cover the walls and serve as decorations for the reddish bricks. Fleece sweaters and vests of all sizes from kids to women to men cover the racks of the store alongside flannels of all colors.  One can tell that this store is different from others just by the feeling of the material between your fingertips.

Von Holstein said, “Working at Patagonia is one of the best things that have happened to me.”

He is also an environmentalist, so he strongly believes that stores like this are essential in helping to protect the planet.

The way organic clothing is produced does not contribute to the depletion of natural resources. Stores like Patagonia use resources such as cotton and wool to make their products. The quality of the clothing tends to be more appealing because the material is richer in color. It also feels softer to the hands.

American Apparel is also a supporter of green fashion. With their oversized hats, infinity scarves, lace dresses, high-waist leggings and pants, and grandpa sweater, the stores brings you back to the 80s. The colors of the clothing play as highlighters, which illuminate the store with loads of vintage charisma. The majority of their cotton t-shirts, sweaters, and dresses are made of organic fibers and cotton, which is used for its sustainability.

Rachel Masters, an employee at American Apparel said, “It is always better to use less and although it is more expensive to produce organic clothing right now, it will pay off in the future and will help the environment.”

She is all for her store carrying organic t-shirts and sweaters.  Many people may step into American Apparel and may only focus on the bright colored scarves, body suits, leg warmers and t-shirts without being aware that most of the apparel is made of organic cotton. After all with their 80s vibe, the green thought doesn’t automatically pop into your head. This goes to show how clothing can still be fashionable and trendy with a good cause behind it.

Eric Kunevera, an employee at American Apparel, believes that since the clothing is made “right,” meaning organic, one does not have to feel guilty about wearing organic clothing. Kunevera believes that organic clothing gives customers choices and a variety in clothing. “Carrying organic clothing in our stores allows customers to choose between regular clothing and organic,” said Kunevera. “We even have customers who specifically ask for organic tees and if we do not have them, they do not buy.”

While there are many who are for fashion going green, some do not understand or see the impact that it has on the environment. Collin Powers, a shopper at American Apparel said, “I think organic clothing is good but I do not know what impact it has on the environment.”

Although he shops at American Apparel, he doesn’t do it for the organic aspect of it. He simply likes the clothing.

Not everyone will understand how such a small article of clothing can contribute to sustaining the environment.

Seanella Abraham, a student at New York University and frequent shopper has no hopes in the fashion going green process. Although she shops on a weekly basis, according to her, she does not keep an eye out for organic clothing. Like Powers, she also does not see how this helps the environment.

“I do not think organic clothing helps the environment and it doesn’t really matter if fashion goes green,” said Abraham. “There are millions of other things that are affecting the environment so buying expensive clothing because it is eco-friendly it is not going to make a difference on the environment.”

It is clear that this student has better things to worry about besides the environment.

Emari Parsons, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and also a savvy shopper said, “Going green just makes everything expensive and people will buy things that are not organic because it is cheaper.  Only people who are environment friendly will contribute to the whole organic fashion stuff.”

Organic clothing is pricier than regular clothing so many are discouraged to buy it.

Again, is it worth it for fashion to go green? Environmentalists and people who have the money to purchase organic and eco-friendly clothing will support the cause while others who do not have the money won’t.

“There’s no point in organic clothing or fashion, it’s just a waste of money,” said Parsons.

 

Undocumented Students Struggle In CUNY

By Stephanie Montero

All  student names have been changed to protect their identities. Even though their names are made up, their stories are real

“I attended school in Harlem from 1st grade to high school and I believe I still have much more learning to do,” said Lugo.

Although CUNY schools allow undocumented students to attend college, not a lot of people are aware of this policy.

Fernandez, a student at John Jay College, said, “Wow, I didn’t know that illegal students are allow to attend college. I thought they couldn’t attend because of financial aid. It must be very tough for them to pay for tuition. I have to pay for tuition on my own so I feel their pain.”

Undocumented students who attended a New York high school for more than two years and have contacted a state college within the five years of receiving their diploma, are qualified for in-state tuition. However, they do not qualify for financial aid programs.

In a press release, Chancellor Matthew Goldstein noted that he is working on getting undocumented students who attend CUNY aid from the New York State Tuition Assistant Program.

The only types of financial aid that an undocumented student can receive are private scholarships. For instance, on almost any scholarship website, such as scholarships.com, it would indicate that only U.S. citizens or legal residents can apply.

Lugo, a junior at Baruch College, is an undocumented student who receives no financial aid nor was she eligible for any scholarships due to her immigration status.

Lugo came from Guatemala illegally when she was four years old with her parents and her two cousins. She went to elementary school and graduated high school with a 96 average.

“I don’t understand why I couldn’t get any scholarships, when I was well qualified for all the scholarships that were being offered to other high school students,” said Lugo.

She did community service and achieved honors in all four years in high school.

“I have to work two jobs and babysit my younger brothers in order to pay for Baruch College,” Lugo said. I’m studying journalism and I would like to become a journalist.”

She is one of the many students that attend school and receives no assistance to pay for college. The hardship of paying for school is a sacrifice that Lugo is willing to make. Lugo said, “I wake up at 4 AM to go babysit and then at 3 PM I run to tutor two kids on the Lower East Side. After I’m done babysitting the kids at 7 PM, I rush to campus, to go to my 7:30 PM class.”

Vasquez, a junior at Lehman College, came to the United States with a visitor’s visa. His visa expired and he decided to stay here.

He paid out-of-state tuition for the first semester because there was an issue with his status on the Lehman College financial aid computers.

“There was an error in the system and I was being charged out-of-state tuition,” Vazquez said.

Lugo said she had to work even harder than a resident of New York to pay for school. “That meant that I had double the charge of what I originally was going to pay,” said Vasquez. “I didn’t want my classes to be dropped because it worked perfectly with my job schedule so I paid what the school told me to pay.”

“After bringing in a copy of my high school diploma, missing a day of work, and waiting three hours on the stupid one stop line; I finally got my problem solved.” Even though their problems get resolved they have to go through a headache. “They changed the status to in-state-tuition and I got my money reimbursed. I went through such a hassle to go to school,” said Vasquez.

Velez, a freshman at Lehman College, is also an undocumented student that makes sacrifices to attend college. Her mother earns $300 a week and works an eleven-hour shift, six days a week in a fruit stand in Washington Heights. Since her mother doesn’t make enough for the household, Velez has to work too.

She works in a Lower East Side hotel as a housekeeper. “I have to pay for tuition, a babysitter for my baby girl, and help mom pay the bills in the apartment,” said Velez. “Sometimes I just want to scream and run away but I know that all these sacrifices will pay off.”

Some faculty and administrators acknowledge the hardships undocumented students have to face. Carolina Bank Munoz a professor at Brooklyn College and author of academic journal article called “A Dream Deferred: Undocumented Students at CUNY” acknowledges the difficulties that undocumented students face when attending college.

“I believe that undocumented students should receive financial aid such as state and federal loans. Having undocumented students take loans will benefit the government,” said Munoz.

She mentions that CUNY was tuition free back in 1987.

“Many students come up to me because I teach immigration laws and they ask for legal help for themselves, parents or siblings. They also ask me if I know any lawyers that could help them,” Munoz said.

“I hope that the future generation would be able to receive financial aid and not go through my headache,” said Velez.

 

Ron Paul Has Supporters In John Jay

By Vipul Rana

 

Congressman Ron Paul at an event hosted in his...

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Ron Paul, considered the underdog by many people, is currently polling second in Iowa. Paul, the Republican Presidential candidate is becoming more and more popular among voters and John Jay College students are part of this wave of new supporters.

The Republican Party does not have a representative in the presidential elections as of now; however, we do know that Barack Obama has the Democratic Party’s nomination. Among the potential Republican candidates with Paul, are Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman Jr, and Rick Santorum.

Paul stands outs among these candidates because he has adapted to the strategy Obama used during his successful run for the oval office: cater to young voters.

Paul, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is a member of the United States House of Representatives from Texas’s 14th district. He has made multiple attempts to run for the presidency between 1988 and 2008. He has been well known for his libertarian stance on many political issues, often differing from his own party’s traditional positions.

In the past, Paul did not run under the Republican ticket, rather he ran under the Independent Party. Paul, a physician, is not your typical politician due to his profession. Usually, politicians have a background in political science, law, and philosophy. However, this unique character may help him overcome some challenges he has faced both past and present: limited media attention; and lack of Party support.

Despite little coverage by the mainstream press, Paul is attractive to young voters.  According to facebook, he currently has approximately 631,989 likes on his page. But voters like Hector Bradley said, “Ron Paul is totally ignored by the media and his political party seems reluctant to get him the attention a candidate needs.” Those 631,989 likes do not seem to attract Republican Party leaders. Party leaders are reluctant to support those candidates who do not abide by the Party’s ideology and Paul’s libertarian views are extreme for conservatives and party leaders.

The isolationist and libertarian views Paul has do not look too favorable to the Republican Party. His differing stance on many issue from those of the Republicans’ has created a lack of media support. Bradley said, “Ron Paul is a realist and therefore the media is not going broadcasting his views and ideas.”

Currently, throughout Paul’s bid in the 2012 elections, Paul has experienced the same lack of media support, prompting listeners to see him in a different way, not as a candidate but an individual who is making a series of comments and notes on issues.

Paul’s isolationist agenda for the Federal Reserve can create a cash flow, which can then be allocated into resources for the middle class. Paul wants to balance the budget regarding America’s economic state, addressing the purpose of the Federal Reserve, and provide more attention to the challenges that middle class family’s experience. Freshman Angelica Huratado, 21, who just completed a research paper on Paul said, he “represents the middle class, providing representation for them.” Huratado continued, “The Federal Reserve contains hardworking money from the middle class, yet it’s being transferred to the Federal Reserve Bank and the money is being dispersed among the rich class.”

Unlike the majority of Republican views regarding the current wars in Afghanistan and on terror, Paul has an anti-war message. Paul’s isolationist agenda can further be seen through his concern with issues regarding the United States foreign involvement. Paul wants to isolate the United States to the confines of its borders and not worry about other countries like Iraq and Afghanistan.  This idea attracts voters like John Cusick, who said, “Ron Paul believes in non-interventionist. Therefore, he wants to pull back our troops from around the world and protect our own boarders instead of having 900 bases around the world in over 150 countries.” Cusick notes that Paul is a candidate that does not believe in pouring out all our resources into issues outside of our borders.

Many voters believe that the importance of having a figure that can stand up and represent peace, like Paul, has shown through his anti-war views will greater allies and relationships.

Voters like Salahdine Baroudi who is from the Middle East, said, “Ron Paul could be a great fit to represent the United States to foreign countries, while creating or strengthening the relationships with them and strengthening our national security.” Paul’s vision on national security and foreign policy is that America needs to abandon the idea of acting as the world’s policeman. Not only will acting as a police nation deplete the country’s resources, but also cost the country a huge sum of money, allowing no financial flexibility.

The issue of Healthcare in the government has been an ongoing conflict as the Democrats and Republicans have failed to reach a partisan resolution. Paul wants to cut the medical field away from the federal bureaucrats and provide lower costs, and make available an increase access to a larger network of doctors. Paul is firm that the nation’s health care crisis fails to provide freedom and in stead uses force on individuals.

The uniqueness of Paul’s background as a physician would qualify him to have a strong voice regarding the Healthcare conflict the government is experiencing. Paul’s background also catches the attention of Richard Hundertmark, who said, “his background in the medical field can serve valuable for our healthcare crisis.” There should be a trustworthy relationship between patients and doctors so that doctors can provide effective and efficient medical care.

Not everyone is excited about Paul. Jessica Mejica, 22, a self identified Republican said, “Ron Paul is not really a Republican! He is a liberal, more to the left than to the right!” Paul has not quite won majority of the people. His own party support has challenged him for many of his stance. Yong voters like Mejica have become tough on candidates especially those from the party they support. One would think that before a candidate tries to win other voters, he must win those who support his party first.

Paul Narkunas, an Assistant Professor of English, said, “Paul has an incoherent philosophy based on willful thinking and faith in a free market system that denies social inequalities.”

 

Racial Profiling

By Alexis To
Staff Writer


“I see my fellow Asians typically in Brooklyn on 8th Avenue, Chinatown, and Flushing being stopped by police officers to be questioned and searched,” said Jacky Wang, a junior at Queens College.

 Asians are negatively stereotyped and because of racial profiling, they are wrongfully assumed to sell bootlegged merchandise to customers. Asians are often stopped by police officers if they see them carrying large luggage or bags because they have the suspicion that they may be selling fake designer merchandise.
“I was stopped by a police officer and I refused to let him search me, and I was taken to the precinct,” said Stuart Lee, a 4th year high school student. The police stopped Lee and asked him to be searched because of the way he dressed: cap, baggy jeans, and loose shirt, which fit the description of a how a typical thug would dress. When he was taken to the precinct they searched him. After their search, they found a pocketknife that is used to open bottles and peel fruits and he was charged with possession of an illegal weapon. He was sentenced to one month of community service for an item that is used to make his life easier
 Margaret Chin, City Councilwoman of Chinatown proposed a bill that will make it a misdemeanor to buy fake designer merchandise. Those who are charged with buying fake designer merchandise can face up to one year in jail, as well as a possible $1000 fine. This will heavily impact the Asian community in Chinatown because Canal Street is known to have many venders selling fake designer merchandise. If this law gets passed, then Chinatown will be a target for police officers to racially profile anyone passing.          
Some think that stopping and searching is wrong because it limits an individual’s freedom. “I feel that stopping and searching Asians by racial profiling is wrong because then police are able to search people in Chinatown and give them fines for wearing fake products if Ms. Chin’s bill is passed,” said Wilson Chen, a sophomore at Brooklyn College.
Jian Wu was stopped and frisked in the Bronx while coming home alone late at night. “I have been stopped by a police officer a while ago for possession of illegal narcotics,” said Jian Wu, a Chinese local who lives in the Bronx. The reason the police gave him for them frisking him was because he was alone in Bronx at night. After the search, Jian was found clean and was released without charges.
Many recent immigrants don’t know their rights. “Asians that get stopped and searched by police usually don’t know their amendment rights because they believe that police have the power to do as they please,” said Edward Lin, a senior of College of Staten Island. The Fourth Amendment protects individuals against unreasonable searches and seizures by police officers. This means that police officers are not allowed to search people without a reasonable suspicion. Those who do not know about the Fourth Amendment typically submit to the police and let them search them because they believe that police officers have the authority to do whatever they want. Immigrants that came from China believe that police officers in the U.S. can search them the same way as police do in China.
The situation is particularly stressful for illegal immigrants because they are afraid of being stopped and question by police officers.
“Illegal immigrants have a huge fear of being stopped, questioned, or searched because they don’t have any legal identification on them,” said Eliot Wu, a sophomore at Hunter College.
The main reason illegal immigrants are so scared of being around the presence of police is because of their citizen status. They are scared of being deported. When a police officer stops to search them and they are unable to show any form of identification of themselves, they are taken to the police station. Once they are taken to the police station, they are forced to identify themselves or they may face harsher convictions for identity fraud or for being unwilling to cooperate with police. If the police find out they are illegal immigrants, there are sent back to their country and face severe punishment, unless they are married to a U.S. citizen.
 It’s a problem all over the city, not just in Chinatown. “No matter where you go-Toys ‘R’ US, Best Buy, Walmart-racial profiling will still exist because of the mentality that if people dress or look a different way, then they might be a possible threat to the community,” said a police officer in the 68th precinct that was wished to remain anonymous.
“Personally, I don’t use racial profiling, but if I get a call and the individual or group fits into the description, then I have no choice but to search them,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green Fashion Costs More Green

By Zina Paschal
Staff Writer
“Everything we do has an impact on the environment, so developing chemicals and materials that don’t produce negative discharge is definitely worth it,” said Clem Von Holstein, a sales employee at Patagonia.
With the rise of environmental groups and green awareness, many clothing companies have adopted the idea of producing clothing made of organic materials.
However, along with these fibers and materials come higher prices. But is it worth it?
Many people believe that the price is worth the cause while others tend to think that it is too expensive.
Patagonia is one store that believes that going green with their fashion, in the name of saving the environment, is worth the higher prices.
Yvon Chouinard, an environmentalist, started Patagonia. He specialized in outdoor clothing and gear with the use of organic material and recycled fibers.
At first glance you would think you were walking into a mountain climbing store. Behind the counter hangs a huge picture of the Patagonian Mountains, located in Argentina. Coats and jackets cover the walls and serve as decorations for the reddish bricks. Fleece sweaters and vests of all sizes from kids to women to men cover the racks of the store alongside flannels of all colors.  One can tell that this store is different from others just by the feeling of the material between your fingertips.
Von Holstein said, “Working at Patagonia is one of the best things that have happened to me.”
He is also an environmentalist, so he strongly believes that stores like this are essential in helping to protect the planet.
The way organic clothing is produced does not contribute to the depletion of natural resources. Stores like Patagonia use resources such as cotton and wool to make their products. The quality of the clothing tends to be more appealing because the material is richer in color. It also feels softer to the hands.
American Apparel is also a supporter of green fashion. With their oversized hats, infinity scarves, lace dresses, high-waist leggings and pants, and grandpa sweater, the stores brings you back to the 80s. The colors of the clothing play as highlighters, which illuminate the store with loads of vintage charisma. The majority of their cotton t-shirts, sweaters, and dresses are made of organic fibers and cotton, which is used for its sustainability.
Rachel Masters, an employee at American Apparel said, “It is always better to use less and although it is more expensive to produce organic clothing right now, it will pay off in the future and will help the environment.”
She is all for her store carrying organic t-shirts and sweaters.  Many people may step into American Apparel and may only focus on the bright colored scarves, body suits, leg warmers and t-shirts without being aware that most of the apparel is made of organic cotton. After all with their 80s vibe, the green thought doesn’t automatically pop into your head. This goes to show how clothing can still be fashionable and trendy with a good cause behind it.
Eric Kunevera, an employee at American Apparel, believes that since the clothing is made “right,” meaning organic, one does not have to feel guilty about wearing organic clothing. Kunevera believes that organic clothing gives customers choices and a variety in clothing. “Carrying organic clothing in our stores allows customers to choose between regular clothing and organic,” said Kunevera. “We even have customers who specifically ask for organic tees and if we do not have them, they do not buy.”
While there are many who are for fashion going green, some do not understand or see the impact that it has on the environment. Collin Powers, a shopper at American Apparel said, “I think organic clothing is good but I do not know what impact it has on the environment.”
Although he shops at American Apparel, he doesn’t do it for the organic aspect of it. He simply likes the clothing.
Not everyone will understand how such a small article of clothing can contribute to sustaining the environment.
Seanella Abraham, a student at New York University and frequent shopper has no hopes in the fashion going green process. Although she shops on a weekly basis, according to her, she does not keep an eye out for organic clothing. Like Powers, she also does not see how this helps the environment.
“I do not think organic clothing helps the environment and it doesn’t really matter if fashion goes green,” said Abraham. “There are millions of other things that are affecting the environment so buying expensive clothing because it is eco-friendly it is not going to make a difference on the environment.”
It is clear that this student has better things to worry about besides the environment.
Emari Parsons, a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, and also a savvy shopper said, “Going green just makes everything expensive and people will buy things that are not organic because it is cheaper.  Only people who are environment friendly will contribute to the whole organic fashion stuff.”
Organic clothing is pricier than regular clothing so many are discouraged to buy it.
Again, is it worth it for fashion to go green? Environmentalists and people who have the money to purchase organic and eco-friendly clothing will support the cause while others who do not have the money won’t.
“There’s no point in organic clothing or fashion, it’s just a waste of money,” said Parsons.