October 24, 2014

Faulty CUNYfirst Launch Causes Misconceptions

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By: Angeline Dominguez

Staff

With the beginning of fall semester 2014, John Jay students experienced some difficulties with the switch from eSIMS to CUNY first. Late last March, students received an email from Robert Pignatello, Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration, stating the retirement of the eSIMS database and introduction to a new one, known as CUNY first. On Thursday, Aug. 28, 2014, the CUNYfirst website crashed, not allowing students to view their schedules or register for courses. “I had a lot of students who were upset, students who were registering late who al- ready had complicated situations to begin with,” said Professor John Staines. “It’s frustrating that I had students that were trying to get into classes kind of last minute and couldn’t, that was frustrating.” At exactly 3:02pm that day, Robert Troy, the school’s vice president of enrollment management sent out a memorandum to the John Jay campus community acknowledging the glitches going on with the CUNY first database. The following was stated: 1.Students will not be charged any change of registration fee during the drop/ add period (until Sept. 3.) 2.The university has extended the 100% tuition refund date until the close of business on Wednesday, Sept. 3. 3.Students can view their course schedules through JSTOP on the John Jay College homepage. Staines said, “Financial Aid has been relying on a database with numerous errors and, for reasons that I do not understand, we have had a difficult time getting the errors fixed.” During the summer, students claimed to have had outstanding balances on theiraccounts when viewed on CUNY first. 
“I called financial aid and they told me it was a glitch, that whatever is pending on my balance means that my account was already paid off, which was quite confusing to understand. I never had to go through this,” said Yesenia Matos a junior transferstudent at John Jay. Haddassah Yisrael, treasurer of the debate club at John Jay, claims that because of the switch over to CUNYfirst, student enrollment has dropped at the school. “This decline in enrollment created less money; all student organizations had to create budgets lower than their initial requested monies. Sitting in student council meetings was heart wrenching as I watched my peers struggle to remove events, materials, keynote speakers, as well as additional funds that were pertinent to the success of their team be abolished,” said Yisrael via email. On the contrary, Staines, who also stands as a new Major Advisor at the college said “I haven’t seen anything in anystudents records that were incorrect, that were a result of CunyFirst [but] that doesn’t mean there have not been.” Students have also been experiencing issues with having their credits being transferred from their previous schools on to their John Jay transcripts. “Frankly degree audit, the old database, is much bigger of a problem and that has been my source of problems, not CUNY first,” said Staines. CUNY first and Degree audit are two separate databases. It is not responsible for the mishaps students have had with financial aid and credit transfers. “I am infuriated that when I transferred, my AP credits and my mandatory english class credits did not come over,” said Matos. On the CUNY first website students are allowed to register for classes, view their account balances and transcripts.
Susuky Zambramo, a junior at the college, said, “It wasn’t too hard…not like everyone says. I’d rate it a six out of ten.” Despite the glitches that have been denying some access into these documents, Staines describes the school administration to be doing their best to respond to these problems as quickly as possible. “I feel like it gave people more access to their own personal stuff, it was easier. I don’t know what the frustration would be. Maybe it’s because they (students) don’t know how to use it or maybe it was because they were too lazy to even try to use it,” said Kevin Ramos, a junior at John Jay. “It’s [a] change, you have to adapt to, I don’t know why would someone would even complain about it.”

Graduates Receive Guidance

By: Rehana Sancho

Staff

The CUNY welcome center holds an information session for undergraduates hoping to attend graduate programs. The information session offers students information on graduate programs, application process, financial aid, and tips for getting into graduate school.

The CUNY welcome center is located on 217 east 42 st. in Manhattan. The center holds numerous informational sessions such as, a graduate school 101 session, an international students graduate session, and a variety of master’s programs informational sessions.

The welcome center hopes to inform students as much as they can before students enter a graduate program.

According to CUNY’s graduate guide, CUNY is the “nation’s leading urban public university.” Gerry Martini, a CUNY graduate advisor and session host, explains to students before they enter graduate school that knowing and picking the right major is essential. Students aren’t allowed to switch majors as freely as they did in their undergraduate schools.

Martini explains the application process consists of an applicant statement, 2-3 letters of recommendation, an official transcript, and the required standardized test applicable to the degree.

He also warns that all programs expect their own applications. “Just because you qualify for one program doesn’t mean you will qualify for all,” explains Martini.

An application statement should be tailored towards the students perspective major. Martini advises, “no personal stories, the committee wants to know why you are good for their program.”

Students who are interested in a business major should highlight their business attributes, not just their perfect attendance record.

Letters of recommendation should be completed, preferably, by a professor who is in association with the degree of your interest. A professor in your field will know what appeals toward a panel of his peers, which is ultimately a plus for your recommendation letter.

Students will have to complete the standardized test that applies to their field. For most masters degrees you will have to complete the GRE, for a law program the LSAT, and for the medical program, the MCAT.

Getting a good grade on your standardize test can help if you don’t have the greatest GPA, or letters of recommendation, according to Martini.

CUNY students applying for a CUNY graduate program have some advantages. “Some of the graduate school’s professor are also professors in CUNY undergrad classes,” explains Martini. Having a professor write a recommendation that is al- ready known in the graduate system is a plus for a student.

The City University of New York Counseling Assistantship Program (CU- NYCAP) allows students, who have received a Bachelor’s degree from CUNY, to work part time on CUNY Campuses. Stu- dents are paid $10 per hour and can earn a total of $3,000 a semester.

Participants who work a total of 225 hours during the semester will earn tuition reimbursement for up to 6 credits.

CUNY also offers a Ph.D. fellowship for qualifying candidates to help financially with their programs. According to

CUNY, qualified Ph.D. students can receive a $25,000 stipend, free tuition, and low cost health insurance per year.

Jordan Swisher graduated from his undergrad several years ago but is looking into attending graduate school to receive a masters degree in English. Swisher ex- plains, “CUNY seems to be on par with other private graduate schools.”

Swisher expressed interest in that the CUNY Graduate programs are like “seven schools in one” making it an easier to add variety to his choice.

Martini explained, “CUNY English department is top ten in the country,” which is an added plus to attending a CUNY Graduate program.

Famous CUNY graduate alumni include Iyanla Vanzant, who graduated from CUNY Law in 1988 before she became an author, life coach and inspirational speaker, as well as Secretary of State/Joint Chief of Staff Collin Powell, who graduated from City College in 1958. New York Times published author, Hayden Herrera, who wrote the book Frida: A Biography of Frida, graduated from the CUNY graduate center with a Ph.D.

Ashley Venable, a Pace University graduate student and teacher for the Department of Education, is interested in CU- NY’s journalism program. “I love the fact that CUNY’s graduate classes are mostly at night, this way I can work and still have a large choice of night time classes.”

Graduate school requires a lot of planning. Swisher feels students should wait before joining because “real world experiences can help you when you apply for grad school”.

Pinching Pennies For Struggling Students

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By Mark Garzon

College can be expensive even after paying tuition and other school fees. In particular, necessities like textbooks, food, and transportation altogether may leave a hole in a student’s wallet. Despite this, there are ways students can save money on such expenses.

Students may find textbooks expensive. The National Association of College Stores states “The average college student will spend $655 on textbooks each year, but with a single textbook easily costing as much as $300, that total can easily be much higher” according to an article on the Huffington Post website.

Due to these costs, it is useful to know ways to save money on books. Jimmy Feng, a sophomore at John Jay, makes use of websites such as Amazon to find more affordable textbooks. “First, I check the prices on a couple of websites. This way I can compare prices and find cheaper books instead of paying so much,” said Feng. He explained one instance in which he was required to purchase a $90 textbook for his sociology class, but after searching was able to find a used copy online for $60. Feng stated, “Searching for used books is worth it, especially when you might not use that book a lot in class. You don’t want to pay full price and only use it a couple of times.”

This method is recommended by The University Office of Computing and Information Services, which has provided a textbook savings “fact sheet” available on the CUNY website. It is accessible by visiting “University Resources” and then clicking “Student Life & Services”. The sheet is listed under “Scholarships and Financial Resources”.

This guide recommends various tips such as buying the EBook version of a textbook as it states they are often cheaper than buying the print version. The guide also lists numerous websites under each suggestion in order to find more inexpensive books.

A second option is using the campus library, which provides textbooks required by certain courses for free as well as books and journal articles. “We’re trying to save everyone money,” said Maureen Richards, a librarian at John Jay’s Lloyd Sealy Library. Richards said the library makes textbooks available to students through funds provided by the Chancellor’s Textbook Initiative. A search on the library website resulted in a total of 1401 textbooks that are accessible at the library.

Some of these textbooks are available in the reserve room of the library where students are able to borrow them using their John Jay ID card. These books have a loan period of generally three hours, but the student must remain in the library with the book, according to the library’s website.

Food is an additional expense students can save money on. The Tuition & Fees section on the CUNY website states that students living at home or with relatives could spend approximately“$1,148 on lunch” in an academic year.

Matthew Pascual, a sophomore at John Jay, takes into consideration the prices and nearby restaurants when it comes to saving money on off campus food. “I eat lunch outside of school, but I always think about what options I have so I won’t spend too much,” said Pascual.

Pascual explained how he looks out for lunch specials as they offer a good amount of food for a fair price. Pascual also stated that when he goes to restaurants such as the Olympic Flame Diner located on West 60th Street, he looks at the appetizers and purchases those over a full meal as they are cheaper and just as filling.

However, there is another option to save on food. Noorulaine Anwar, a sophomore at John Jay, brings prepared food from home and reheats it using the microwaves available at the Office of Student Life in room L2.71.00 of the New Building. She said that the microwaves allow students to save on food while also giving them the opportunity to bring their own meals. “You can save money and bring it from home and have nice, hot food at school,” said Anwar.

Another expense students face is transportation. According to the Tuition & Fees section on the CUNY website, students will spend an estimated “$1020 on transportation” during the course of a year. Because of this, managing transportation costs is useful in helping students spend less.

Students who commute on the subway can save by calculating the amount of trips and cost. Pascual stated that he takes the subway and spends $20 per week. He said that he pays per rides instead of purchasing a weekly or monthly MetroCard. “I don’t take the train that much so I don’t buy the monthly card because I would just be wasting money,” said Pascual.

The 7-Day Unlimited card costs $30 and the 30-Day Unlimited card costs $112, according to the MTA website. It is recommended by the website that customers should purchase the 7-Day card if they make at least 13 trips a week. The 30-Day should be purchased if at least 48 trips are made in a month. This should be taken into account before purchasing a weekly or monthly card, otherwise a commuter might actually be losing money.

When asked about the money he saves, Pascual said he finds it important because he can use it toward necessities such as his lunch for the week.

Feng shared a similar view in which he stated, “At the end of the day, it’s nice to have the extra money you saved to buy other things you might need. Even if it’s only a couple dollars it really counts.”

 

John Jay Loses Student In Harlem Explosion

By: Taja Whitted

Staff Writer

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By Taja Whitted

On a late afternoon in early March, public safety officers appeared at Professor Bettina Carbonell’s classroom. They wanted to know if Alexis (Jordy) Salas was inside.

“He said it was just a family matter, but then the other public safety officer came along and reported that they had checked and Jordy’s ID hadn’t been swiped. That detail stuck in my mind,” said Carbonell.

She did not know it that day, but it was later confirmed that he had been a casualty of the explosion in East Harlem.

“I didn’t know it was an explosion, I thought it was an earthquake or something but when I woke up it was on the news and I live six blocks away,” said Simone Whitaker, a criminal justice major.
Salas, 22 and a transfer student at John Jay College, was confirmed dead on March 14. His death was the result of an explosion on Park Avenue and 116th street in East Harlem on March 12. According to a New York Times article, the explosion was a result of “small gas leaks below the pavement.” Two buildings collapsed that day with eight in total confirmed dead.

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By Taja Whitted

On March 20, almost two weeks after the explosion, family and members of the East Harlem community arrived at the Ortiz Funeral Home to mourn Salas.

Inside Chapel B laid a mahogany casket decorated with yellow ribbons and swirls of blue and yellow roses next to Salas’s wedding photo and other significant moments in his life.

The chapel quickly filled to capacity with many squeezing in while others lined the stairs down to the second floor lobby, all waiting to say goodbye to their brother and friend.

Pastor Thomas Perez, head of the Spanish Christian Church, started the service by saying, “every time he greeted me it was with a big hug, he filled a special place that will not be filled again.”

Before the ceremony closed, guests were invited to share memories they had with Salas. They painted a picture of his many attributes: caring, fatherly, loving and occasionally mischievous. One friend recalled the moment Salas gushed about his future wife, leading Jennifer Salas to speak of their young romance. They had met at the age of 14 and soon became best friends. When they grew older, their love for each other turned romantic and they got married. “I remember when I told him he would be a father,” she said in a gentle tone, “he cried with joy.”

Jennifer Salas continued fondly talking of Jordy and his beloved dog Dash. The mourners took relief in laughing at the things young men do with their dogs. Stories were told of sleepovers and fatherly moments. His mother was the last to speak and her words quieted the room.

“We had a close relationship. He liked nice things, sneakers, t-shirts, like an ordinary boy, but if a friend liked something of his he would just give it to them,” said Rosa Salas.

Kenneth Holmes, the dean of students, Lynette Cook-Francis, the vice president of student affairs, Professor Carbonell and former English professor Margaret Tabb were in attendance. “It was so wonderful too that the pastor asked if there was anyone in the audience who didn’t speak Spanish…so I raised my hand and said ‘do you speak Spanish Marnie?’ said Carbonell, referring to Professor Tabb. “She said no.”

From that point on the service was translated and many were able to fully understand the depth of Jordy’s character.

“He was very active in his church. He was well loved in his community, very giving, loving husband, Sunday school teacher, soon to be father, loving brother, good friend and it was surreal for me to sort of get to know him after he passed away and what a great person he was,” said Holmes.

While Jordy’s friends and family knew him well, at school he was very quiet. Each semester professors are immersed in a class filled with personalities, some who need more encouragement than others to break out of their shell.
“After some point you get to know everyone, but Jordy was quiet so by now and it’s only a couple of weeks later he might have said or done something,” said Carbonell.

Carbonell explained that Jordy’s fresh arrival at John Jay hadn’t given him enough time to connect with other students.

At his funeral she took note of his involvement in the community. “You could see his life at home and with the church probably took up a lot of his time, so I don’t think he really had a chance to form relationships here,” she said.
Back at campus students contemplated ways to remember their fellow colleague and whether John Jay was doing enough. For Forensic Psychology major Kelley Peluso, they were.

“I thought it was nice that they sent out the email. It had everything I needed to know,” said Peluso.

Peluso is referring to an email that was sent to the student body by Cook-Francis on March 18, it stated the date of Jordy’s funeral and where to send donations.

Some, however, believed more could be done, like Criminology major Eric Colon.“I don’t think John Jay is doing enough possibly to help the family instead of sending an email,” said Colon.
To remedy the unease, Student Council President Clinton Dyer explained that there are plans in the making.

“We are working on having a vigil to happen in front of the 9/11 memorial. Right now the family is putting him to rest and we wanted to give them some time so that we can have them at the memorial,” said Dyer.

Carbonell had Jordy in her LIT 260 class, an introduction to literary study. Before his passing, Jordy had turned in an assignment based on the short story “Everyday Use” by Alice Walker. The tale covers an African American family and the quilt they have handed down through generations. It is essentially a story of heritage.“That paper has taken on a whole new meaning to me and it’s a good paper, and it is very promising in terms of who he would become as an English major, as a writer. He wanted to be a lawyer so there’s that part…” said Carbonell as she folded her hands onto her lap.

For Carbonell, it was a slow realization that she had lost one of her students. “I heard nothing about the building collapses that day and it wasn’t until I got home that night and it was late…I was watching the 11 p.m. news and I saw the story and at that point they weren’t mentioning any names…for some reason I woke up the next morning knowing that those two things were connected,” she said.

Even though Jordy is gone, and his family mourns for him, he is around. He exists in them, his unborn son and a piece of writing that will be treasured for times to come.

“So you know there are traces I would say, there are traces of Jordy,” said Carbonell.

Violent Explosion Claims One of Our Own

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By: Jeffrey Nunziato

On March 12. two buildings exploded on Park Avenue in East Harlem.

Among the unaccounted for in the explosion was a John Jay student, and soon to be father, Alexis (Jordy) Salas.

An email was sent out from Lynette Cook-Francis, vice president of Student Affairs, informing students of Salas’ unaccounted status on March 13.

Salas has been confirmed as a victim of the explosion as of March 14, in an email sent by Cook-Francis.

According to the email, Salas was a 22 year old junior, living with his wife and parents in their apartment on Park Avenue. He was a transfer student from the Borough of Manhattan Community College and “was an aspiring lawyer and dedicated Sunday teacher.”

Salas’ wife, Jennifer, is five months pregnant.

Francis-Cook stresses that anyone affected by this tragedy may seek out the counseling services available to the entire campus. The Counseling Services Office can be found in L.68 of New Building, or can be reached at 212-237-8111.

Bloodhounds Under .500, but Still Playoff Bound

 By Kevin Cruz

 

Coach Fenn in the middle of a huddle at a Men's Blooudhounds home-game.

Coach Fenn in the middle of a huddle at a Men’s Blooudhounds home-game.

 

The John Jay Bloodhounds Men and Women’s basketball teams are headed to the CUNYAC Championship tournament, despite both being under .500.

Even with the disappointing seasons, by their standards, both of the coaches think they can compete with any team.

The Bloodhounds are in seventh place out of nine teams in the conference with a record of 7-9 and overall record of 9-16.

In the preseason Men’s basketball Head Coach Otis Fenn told the John Jay Sentinel that he’d hope his team to improve on defense and that defense was the key to success, but hasn’t lived up to expectations. The Bloodhounds are fourth worst in the conference in points allowed.

The Bloodhounds have allowed 76 points per game to opponents this season compared to the 72.8 points per game, from a season ago.

The team has blown several second half leads, one of which came against Hunter College on January 29, which they squandered a lead in the final two minutes of the contest.

Coach Fenn thinks the team is better than what the record indicates. “I’m not pleased with our record. We are better then our record shows…we can’t finish games.” He added that opponents haven’t really beaten them this season, because the Bloodhounds have beaten themselves.

When asked why things haven’t gone the way they expected this season? Coach Fenn emphasized the missing of leadership.

“When you are missing two all stars [Isaiah Holman and Jamar Harry]…one who is an All-American [Harry],” said Fenn. “Those are two big missing pieces.”

The roster this season has been shuffled, as the Bloodhounds are not ending the season with the same team that they started with. Coach Fenn was really counting on having Jamar Harry for the latter part of the season, but Harry could not make his way back for personal reasons, forcing the Bloodhounds to continue to fight without him.

Coach Fenn also hoped that he would have guard Michael Howard this entire season, but, after two games, Howard was a no show for the remainder of the season. The Bloodhounds also lost Choban Cheema, Darell Robinson and Juniad Saeed this season. The Bloodhounds did add Calvin Ingram to fill in for the second half of the season.

The Bloodhounds’ co-captain Kendall Jordan thinks the team could have done better. “I’m very disappointed on how the season has turned out. We had higher expectations going into this season.” When asked what was different from last season to this season, Jordan blamed team chemistry as the key reason for some of the team’s failures. “The chemistry and communication has fell off and it has caused problems.”

Korede Griffith, the team’s second leading scorer, said the team has really been tested. He noted that the Bloodhounds had to fight through the season and have won some great games, but have lost some really ugly ones.

“This season has been a reality check and it has hit us every game,” said Griffith on why the team has not found the same success from last year. He had the same view as Kendall Jordan. “The chemistry was not there,” Griffith said. “We got the different pieces we need to win, but we just can’t put them together.”

The Lady Bloodhounds also have not met their own expectations this season, as they finished on to the sixth place in the CUNYAC conference. The Lady Bloodhounds hold a record of 6-10 in the CUNY conference and 9-16 overall.

Coach Ramirez, head coach of the team, is not content with just getting in the CUNY championship tournament. She believed her team could have done so much more this season. The amount of talent on this team is not reflective of the record the team has posted this season.

Coming into this season, Coach Ramirez believed her team would not finish lower then second in the conference. “I honestly believed at worst we would have the second seed. I expected big things this season especially from Jamecia Forsythe.”

Coach Ramirez, who is in her sixth season at the program, has posted her third best season since arriving at the program in 2008. Under her command, the Lady Bloodhounds have only posted two winning seasons in conference, but that does not stop Ramirez and her coaches from pushing for success.

“It’s frustrating and disappointing being in the sixth spot. We have been close to beating good teams, but it’s time to get it together.”

Like the Men’s team, the Lady Bloodhounds have gone through some roster changes through the season. Tamara Johnson, who is tied for the team’s third leading scorer, missed some games this season. The team has also lost Tiffany Rodriguez and Kaitin Fitzgerald for personal reasons.

The CUNYAC championship tournament gives the best eight teams from the conference the chance to be crowned conference champions. The John Jay Bloodhounds Men and Women’s teams go in ranked sixth heading into the conference tournament.

In the Men’s tournament, the rankings are:

1)    College of Staten Island

2)    York College

3)    Baruch College

4)    Brooklyn College

5)    Lehman College

6)    Hunter College

7)    John Jay College

8)    CCNY

In the Woman’s tournament the rankings are:

1)    College of Staten Island

2)    Baruch College

3)    Brooklyn College

4)    Lehman College

5)    Hunter College

6)    John Jay College

7)    CCNY

8)    York College.

College of Staten Island Men’s head Coach Tony Petosa, who is in his 23rd season at the college, has lead his teams to back-to-back championships in the CUNYAC. The CSI Dolphins are undefeated this season in conference play (16-0).

When asked about winning back-to-back championships Coach Petosa said he was “not impressed. The past means nothing it’s what we do in the present.” Coach Petosa said it wouldn’t be an easy road back to the championship, as there are some very good teams in the conference.

On the other hand, Coach Otis Fenn believes in his team’s ability to compete. “We will be in every game. There is not a team in CUNY we can’t beat.”

Coach Fenn would be really proud if his team could win a championship, especially this year. “It’s not so much for personal reason, but for the program itself. A championship would mean respect for the program and have people fear to play us.”

As for the women’s tournament, College Of Staten Island Woman’s Head Coach Tim Shanahan leads his Lady Dolphins into the CUNYAC tournament in the top spot.

In only his second season, Coach Shanahan has taken his team to the top of the rankings in the CUNYAC, improving the team’s record every year since he took over.

“It’s all about the girls…good to be the number one seed for the first time in seven years at the school. It’s a great thing, [but] the prize is winning the tournament,” said Coach Shanahan when talking about this season’s success. Coach Shanahan says it won’t be an easy road to the championship because the CUNYAC is so balanced that any given day any team can win.

Coach Ramirez has high expectation going into the CUNYAC tournament. “My expectations is to take the whole thing,” she said. Coach Ramirez said the team has come up short in many areas, but things came together as the season came to a close and other teams better look out for the Lady Bloodhounds.

CUNYAC Tournament takes place from Feb. 22-28. The Men’s Bloodhound head to Jamaica, Queens to faceoff against #2 York College on Feb. 22. The Lady Bloodhounds head to Brooklyn to face off #3 Brooklyn College on Feb. 23.

Female Basketball Player Breaks Records

 

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By Keyunna Singleton

Staff Writer

Jamecia Forsythe, of John Jay’s Women’s Basketball team, is set to have record-breaking season.

Forsythe, a senior and second year captain, is projected to surpass a 1000 points and 1000 rebounds for her career.She is 31 points and 78 rebounds away from the milestone.

The 21 year-old would be the first John Jay student, and the third female athlete in the NCAA CUNY conference to do this.Forsythe has played for the team since her freshman year and became team captain as a Junior.

“It hasn’t hit me yet that I’m going to be the first ever John Jay student to do this,” said Forsythe. “I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but I can’t wait for it to happen.”

Nonetheless, her ultimate goal is to win a championship. Something she has targeted since becoming a Bloodhound.

“I want a chip first and foremost,” Forsythe said.

To reinforce the idea of winning into her team, she draws from Ian Terry for inspiration. Terry was the winner from season 14 of “Big Brother”, her favorite reality show.

According to Forsythe, Terry says, “If you can plan it and you can see it then you can have it.”

She refers to this quote to focus her game, especially when preparing to play against Baruch College. Baruch’s basketball team is the six-time CUNY conference champion.

“Someone has to stop them, why not us?” said Forsythe.

It’s been 21 years since John Jay’s women’s basketball team has won a championship and Forsythe believes that the opportunity is waiting for her.

Her mother, Joan Forsythe, is “delighted” by her daughter’s passion, though there was a time when it affected their relationship.

Joan Forsythe, a mother of four, refers to her only daughter as “Mecia”. “I did not always want Mecia to play basketball,” she said. “I wanted her to be regular.”

After seeing how much her daughter loved basketball, she wants to see her “go all the away.”

Forsythe’s mother used to worry about her daughter’s distant traveling and staying late at practices and games.

“She used to go alone,” she said of her daughter, while other parents would drop their daughters off and pick them up.

Because she had to work, often two jobs, Forsythe did a lot of traveling on the buses and trains by her self. Ms. Forsythe admits to asking her daughter not to go to practice at times.

Forsythe always declined. “She never, never, never missed a day even if it was cold or she was sick,” Ms. Forsythe said.

“Sometimes she would be so sore that she would have to eat in bed. But she always keep up with her school work,” she said.

Forsythe has been an excellent student since grade school. Graduating second in her class in junior high and high school, her mother finds her drive and determination admirable.

Back at John Jay, her coach Diane Ramirez says “I love her like she is my own daughter.”

Ramirez refers to Forsythe as “the hardest working student athlete I’ve ever had.”

Forsythe plans to continue her education at medical school after she graduates in May. She encourages anyone that has a goal in life to pursue it, no matter the obstacles. “If you have a love for something, don’t let anything stop it.”

First Red Carpet Halloween Contest at John Jay

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On Oct.31 Student Transition Programs partnered with the Office of Student Life to bring John Jay their first ever Halloween Costume Contest where students strutted for three main prizes and titles.

Everyone gathered in front of the JJ Café to watch friends and colleagues walk and in some cases crawl across the red carpet.

Once everyone had their chance at fame, the judges announced the winners for the most scariest, creative and extravagant costumes.

The winners are :

 Most Scariest : Jason

Student: Albert Andrews  

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Most Creative: Sexi Kitten

Student: Enyer Jimenez

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Most Extravagant:  Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke

Students: Jesse Baez and Illiana Cervantes

Miley cyrus robin thicke

 

Challenging Petraeus: Students Protest His New Role at CUNY

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By Qendresa Efendija

Staff Writer

Students protested in front of Macaulay Honors College to prevent military control of the City University of New York this past Monday, Sept. 16

The protesters were barricaded by fences and monitored by policemen as they waited for David Petraeus’s arrival, the four star general and former director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

Among those protesters were members from the CUNY internationalists club, students without borders from Queens College and anti-war activists, along 35W 67 St., with signs that read “David Death Squad Petraeus.”

The police took extra security and safety precautions by not allowing anyone near the entrance due to last Monday’s occurrence when students harassed Petraeous walking down the street. Petraeus, scheduled to teach his class at 3 p.m., arrived 40 minutes earlier in a black car that dropped him off exactly at the entrance.

Petraeus teaches his seminar style class entitled, “Are We on the Threshold of the North American Decade?” every Monday. His online course description reads “students will examine in depth and then synthesize the history and trends in diverse public policy,” but the protesters outside the walls of Macaulay Honors College read Petraeus as a war criminal inside CUNY to increase military influence.

A request to attend one of the seminars to gain a better understanding on Petraeus’s teaching and influence as an educator was denied by Grace Rapkin, Director of Marketing and Communications at Macaulay college, who marked down which media stations were covering the protest.

Students and professors expressed their first amendment rights chanting, “1,2,3,4, Defeat U.S. imperialist War, 5,6,7,8, Patraeus out we can’t wait!” The hate streaming from the demonstrators was targeted toward the military and its interference with the city schools’ education system.

Sandor John, professor and activist, from Hunter College said, “CUNY is not a hunting ground for military officers. It is a place to learn and express students’ ideas.”

John, with a family history in the military, opposes all military programs such as the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) that was also ousted in 1971 through protest. The military however still targets CUNY schools as recruit centers. John believes that appointing Petraeus to teach was a political decision and not an academic one.

In the midst of the protest was CUNY student, Farhaan Fhoss, chair of the Revolutionary Student Coordinating Committee at Queens College (RCC). He missed class that day to be a part of the protest. Fhoss’s job as the chair member is too build ties with other CUNY committees. While Fhoss explained how similar the committee gathers students together to protest against Petraeus, the crowd broke out into a chant of “What is revolution for? Class, struggle, people’s war.”

Different speakers such as William Crain from City College of New York, with a peace sign button attached to his blazer,  and John Arena from College of Staten Island took turns saluting everyone that came out to support the students and faculty of CUNY. They then continued reciting with the crowd, “General Petraeus you can’t hide, we charge you with genocide!”

This lighter campaign accompanied by a mixture of students and professors encouraged everyone to spread the word for Tues. Sept. 17th’s fundraiser called for by the Ad Hoc committee against the institutionalization of CUNY. The protesters handed out flyers for this event to by-standers, who would stop and stare at the commotion. The flyer read and called out to, “CUNY students, faculty and staff; city workers, teachers and other unionists; immigrant rights activists and opponents of racist repression and imperialist war should all come out together to protest the billionaire/war criminal gala.”

These students felt that this demonstration was necessary in order to protect freethinking in CUNY schools without the government’s involvement, learning in a city school where there is already heavy government involvement.

 

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Honoring John Jay’s Fallen Heroes

 

 

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Courtesy of Ben Passikoff

 

On Sept.11 2013, John Jay’s memorial hall was filled with students, professors, and members of the community to reveal the 9/11 memorial sculpture; a beam that remained from one of the World Trade Center towers.

Since 2001, many have observed a moment of silence in memory of those lost, but now we have a space that is sacred.  Known as John Jay’s fallen heroes, it is dedicated to the 67 members who were lost and formerly belonged to the John Jay community.

For more information you can visit the 9/11 Sculptures homepage.

 

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Courtesy of Ben Passikoff