July 28, 2014

Th[Ink] About Your Future

By: Rehana Sancho

Contributor

By Aruj Ali

By Aruj Ali

With celebrities like Lil Wayne, Rihanna, and Justin Bieber showing off their body art on places like their necks, arms, and faces, it is easy to see why young adults outside of Hollywood are increasingly turning towards the tattoo culture. However, students may be unaware of the long-term consequences of having a tattoo that may no longer appeal to the future you.

Although tattoos are seen as an artistic expression of one’s self,  should students be aware of the side effects of having a permanent ink on their skin? When a young adult decides to become tattooed, important factors like future career paths, placement of the tattoo, and understanding how the image they wish to portray in their early twenties may affect their future.

Scott Jones, developer of tattooinfo.net, a website that provides information for tattoo newbies/hopefuls, explains tattoos can be priced in various ways. Although some tattoo shops may have an average hourly rate of $80-100, or are based on the size, and placement, may all factor into the price.

Tattoos are expensive and priced at the discretion of the prospective artist. Artists should also have valid tattooing license, a book of previous work and sanitized work tools . Before getting a tattoo, try to be informed of the process and the removal.

Britney Debnam, a recent graduate of Sarah Lawrence University, came to John Jay to interview for a job with Teach for America. Debnam was modestly dressed in black stockings, a white shirt, and a black blazer to mask any visible tattoos. Debnam has five tattoos; three are visible and are about six inches in length. One is placed on her foot, which is why she can’t wear nude stockings.

Debnam says every one of her tattoos are “little photos” of her past, but she does regret a few of her tattoos because they were last minute decisions, based on temporary emotions.

Debnam feels like students who are thinking about getting a tattoo should think about where they will be in next few years and how having tattoos may affect them. Although she regrets a few, she’s still in love with her two white ink tattoos.

The tattoos are a question mark and a comma, a homage to her days as her school’s newspaper editor. Both tattoos  are  mostly invisible until you look closely.

Professor Alexander Long By Aruj Ali

Professor Alexander Long
By Aruj Ali

John Jay Career Counselor, Barbara Young, admits employers will not always ask you about a tattoo, but if they see one it will be noted. Young, a Baruch Alumna, who holds a master in Public Administration, says if you have a tattoo, do research on the company’s personal appearance policy.

Young advises doing research will prepare you for what the company is looking for in an employee. She tells students,”If you’re going for a job at MTV, tattoos aren’t a problem,” but to also be wise and do your research.

Young explains the purpose of an interview is to “assess the image” after reading someone’s resume. So knowing the company will give you a better understanding of what they expect. Young’s advice for tattooed students? Don’t offer information unless asked for information about the tattoo. This way you’re not drawing more attention toward the tattoo than necessary.

Jordy Frias, John Jay junior, feels students get tattoos because of social pressure, family members who have tattoos, friends, and celebrity influences. “Tattoos are a commitment,” Frias said and, “they prevent you from your choice of certain jobs like the State Troopers and NYPD.” According to the NYPD website, they prefer non-visible tattoos, but if you do have a tattoo you have to be prepared to explain their meaning.

If someone is faced with the decision to remove an unwanted tattoo, there are a few options. The safest way to remove a tattoo is through a doctor. One procedure requires surgery, and another is the laser removal, which is the most popular method.

According to WebMD, 50% of all people who get a tattoo will have it removed by the laser method. The laser method sounds like a bug zapper, it beams a laser at the inked area, breaking the color down, which will eventually be absorbed by the skin. Although this method is one of the most effective, not every one’s tattoo will be completely removed, some will just have a faded scar look to them.

CNN featured an article on their website called “How to safely get a tattoo removed.” Expert dermatologist Dr. Paul Jarrod Frank  explains the minimum cost to have a small tattoo laser treatment ranges from 80- 100 dollars, and on average clients will have to have 5-12 treatments, maybe more depending on the coloring of the tattoo. Having a tattoo removed can cost you more than you initially paid to have it drawn on your skin.

By Aruj Ali

By Aruj Ali

An alternative to getting a conventional black or multi-colored tattoo would be to try a white ink tattoo. Debnam has two, a question mark, and a comma on her right hand in between her thumb and index finger. Although still noticeable if you look closely, it can be easily overlooked.

Debnam states that the white ink tattoo feels “more personal” to her because it’s only visible to her most of the time. Along with the white tattoo, she has another that says, “Ain’t I a woman,” a quote from female pioneer Sojourner Truth. Debnam explains that Truth, an abolitionist and activist for women’s rights, was one of her only female role models while she was a young girl, which is why that quote is special to her.

Frias tells students to ask themselves, “What is the meaning of this tattoo and is it my personal choice?” Young’s advice is to first, “Try a temporary tattoo, it can be removed.” This way you can see if a tattoo is right for you.  Debnam warns maybe, “wait until you know who you are before getting a tattoo because  corporate America likes conservative.

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

sexy kitten

 

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

 

Students earn right to walk and maybe keep walking.

Though John Jay boasted over 3000 graduates this year, from ages 19 to 71, not all of them were there.

Imagine how long it would have taken.

Senator Charles Schumer was announced by John Jay’s President, Jeremy Travis, as the surprise guest. Much to the delight of the rumbustious crowd of graduates, Schumer improvised by ripping his speech and speaking off the top of his head.

 

 

What was more delightful for the students though, was the fact that they got to take their walks on the stage while getting their name called.

It was this year’s graduation that may have not permitted graduates to get their name called but students fought and regained that priveledge. 

Daniel W.( who chose to only give the first letter of his last name) earned his Masters in Public Administration in two years, though it could have taken one. Though he didn’t have a preference of getting his name called or not, he still thinks students should do the “march”.

Isaiah Roman, an undergraduate with a degree in Criminal Justice was much more exuberant on this day.

“It was a long day to get here…it took me 7 years, had our ups and downs.”

He was relieved to be able go across the stage in his wheelchair and get his name called .  To not have your name called on graduation wouldn’t be right he said. “Thank God for those who fought. We earned this moment.”

Roman congratulated the class of 2013 but also had a message for future graduates who might also have to face the same problem of not getting their names called at commencement. “Just keep fighting like the way we did.”

Commencement and Graduation

By Aya Abdelmoamen, Din Gjidija, Navita Nauth, and Stepanie Rivas

The John Jay administration decided to keep the graduation walk after all. Graduating seniors will now be able to have their names called individually as they walk across the stage.

On Feb. 25, Thomas Stafford, Interim Vice President of Student Affairs, announced that the 2013 graduating class would discontinue the traditional ceremony of having students walk during commencement. The proposed changes included shortening the ceremony and instead have students collectively stand up by graduating degree.

In an email to John Jay Students and Faculty, Stafford said, “In attempts to make the ceremony shorter and more enjoyable, changes have been made…The recipients of a particular degree will be asked to stand together as their degrees are conferred by the President…Students will also have an opportunity to take an individual photograph with the president at the end of the ceremony.”

The ceremony changes eventually gained popularity with the student body. In a survey of 100 John Jay students, 67 students said they were opposed to the changes, 24 said they supported it, and 9 said they didn’t know or didn’t care.

After the Student Transition Programs organized and hosted town hall meetings, students started to voice their anger about the new graduation schedule. They fired away with questions and comments about their disapproval. Manny Singh, junior, said, “I disagree with it because my family would love to see me on the stage and for the change to happen it would be taking away a special moment from me and my family.”

Petitions started to go around the school in attempts to change the decision. As a result, on March 19, President Travis sent out an email to students and faculty stating that the administration would restore the practice of calling each student by name during the ceremony.

Tameisha Laudat, senior, feels more confident about her achievement now that she will have her moment at graduation once again. “I feel like it’s the best thing to do because after four years of college, [students] want to be recognized for their accomplishments and hearing their names is one of them.”

However, there are still a few who think the changes were for the better and that the administration should do something about the length of the commencement ceremony.

Executive Director of Student Affairs, Paul Wyatt, explained some of the chaos that goes on during graduation. “Some go back to their seats, some take off, some go back to their seats and then moments later would take off, creating a traffic issue,” he said. “I’ve been at John Jay for 30 years and I’ve seen about 30 graduations here and it just gets progressively worse.”

But Students still believe that graduation is their time, no matter the length of the ceremony and that those few moments on the stage help to enforce all their hard work they endured to reach this point.

“It is an individual accomplishment for me [to walk at graduation] because I work full time and I go to school at night…I don’t know all these people in my political science major so that individual day is mine, for me,” Yannira Sauceda, senior, said.