October 22, 2014

College Initiative Program

By: Edir Coronado

Contributing Writer

One of the main issues with the prisonsystem is the recidivism rate. A New York based program has begun education programs in prisons, and with great success has allowed its participants to become contributing members of society. With 300 participants, only one returning to jail, and most students receiving a bachelors degree, it is safe to say that the program is showing results.

Ray Tebout, the director of counseling and mentoring at the program, explained how the College Initiative program allows former inmates to attend college by debunking some of the barriers they believe they will encounter.

Tebout understands the mix of different personalities the staff deals with and the obstacles both the student and mentor must overcome.

Some of the common obstacles Tebout sees among the younger students is the desire for instant gratification. He said the most common questions among these less experienced individuals are “why should I invest two to six years in school?” or “why not pick a trade or get a job?”

Tebout tackles these questions by providing evidence that an education will reduce the likeliness of a return back to prison. He also approaches this situation by helping the younger potential students in terms of long term goals.

Skeptical students are asked by Tebout to look at how much income they will accumulate over a lifetime rather than the short term. According to Tebout, a high school graduate can expect to earn an average of 1.2 million, someone with a bachelors can earn upwards of 2.1 million, and a masters graduate in the 2.5 million range.

These statistics gives the young students a different perspective on life and education.

Among the more seasoned individuals what is most commonly seen is the lack of knowledge when it comes to computers and technology. Many of the older students might have went to prison when the internet had not become such a big tool or when computers were not easily accessible.

Older generations of inmates face a major issue due to not being involved in a world that has rapidly become digitally influenced.

One 70- year- old student in the program, who asked to remain anonymous, has been in prison for more than 30 years. This individual had major issues with the use of computers. At the moment, he is currently finishing up his first semester, which is a huge success for someone who may have given up if not for the support that the College Initiative program has given them.

The program doesn’t only rely on its staff to support the incoming students, they rely heavily on peer mentorship. Through experience they have realized that a student is more likely to drop out of college during their first year.

This is why, after several months of working with a staff member, the students enter a peer mentorship program, where a fellow program participant with a 3.0 GPA and at least a year of college under their belt becomes a mentor to the new student. They serve as a support system for the student if they have problems with a subject matter or maybe a need to just vent about their frustrations with school.

Frustrations can include being the discrimination that they encounter because of their prison history. Tebout explained that the students within the program are scrutinized, “it is not necessarily the organization that is receiving negative feedback from the community, but the student themselves.”

Some reasons and common arguments of those opposed to an educational tactic towards the rehabilitation system often revolve around “we do not want to make smarter criminals,” according to Tebout. Tebout believes “we are not making smarter criminals, we are creating individuals with a different way of thinking.” His meaning is that when a person is exposed to education, he or she has the ability to create better options and make better decisions.

Tebout claims that if we were to look at our incarcerated in terms of employment, people can see that for many, selling drugs is the only job around. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons Drug offenses account for 48.8% percent of all incarcerated American. Homicide, Aggravated Assault, and Kidnapping offenses account for 2.8 percent of the prison population, sex offenses for 6.5 percent, robbery 3.7 per- cent, and weapons, explosives and arson account for 15.8 percent.

What the College initiative programs aims at doing, is taking this prison population, and showing them a different method of succeeding in life that they might have not been exposed to in the past.

The program has gained awareness through word of mouth and by sending their staff members to different location to speak about the program and the issues that they are trying to resolve through education.

Bookstore No More

By: Keyunna Singleton

Staff

Over the summer the John Jay administration prepared to welcome students and faculty to a campus without a bookstore. On Aug. 14 John Jay became the first CUNY campus to have a completely virtual bookstore.

One of the reasons the physical bookstore was removed from campus was be- cause of lack of sales. According to Patricia Ketterer, the executive director of finance and business services, there was a steady decline in sales from the bookstore over the years.

“The rent was not being made from sales or Barnes and Nobles commission,” said Ketterer.

Some of the decline in sales is due to the changes in federal laws pertaining to financial aid. One in particular states schools cannot mandate that students use their federal book vouchers at the school. Students were given the right to use the disbursement anywhere they pleased.

Another regulation enforces schools to ensure that students have access to their course reading lists and prices before the start of class. According to Mark Flower, business manager in the Business and Finance department, “the new online book- store adheres to this regulation and Barnes and Nobles didn’t.”

Although this year’s August sales exceeded last year’s, the administration is not as concerned with sales as they are with making sure that the students’ needs are met. “Our real drive is reducing the cost of books and having students prepared for class,” said Ketterer.

As the first CUNY school to have a fully virtual bookstore the John Jay student body feel like they are missing something. English major Nycol Martin says, “The biggest disappointment about not having a physical bookstore is feeling like we lost a part of campus.”

One of the other issues that Martin says she has to deal with since the change is getting her books on time for class. “I use go to the bookstore and get the book the day of and read it on the train. Now, it’s a 5-7 day wait.”

While some students like Martin feel cheated out of a piece of campus, others haven’t really noticed the difference. Sophomore Aaron Thomas says he stopped using the bookstore his second semester. “ I am much more comfortable using Chegg and Amazon,” said Thomas.

According to Flower, the online bookstore offers some of the features of Chegg and Amazon. In the sites marketplace, students have the option to purchase new or used books and rent books.

John Jay’s online bookstore links directly to CUNYFirst. “Every John Jay student can login to the bookstore with their CUNYFirst ID and the bookstore makes it easy to find the books required for their classes, because it is course specific,” said Flower.

Students also have multiple options for delivery when ordering from the online bookstore. From Monday-Friday between 12pm-3pm and 5pm-7pm students can pick up their books from the John Jay mailroom located at L2.66.00.

While some students question why they weren’t informed about the changes to the campus, Ketterer assures that there was in fact an email blast. “We couldn’t make the official announcement until the vendor was selected, which was around the beginning of June,” said Ketterer.

For students that need help navigating the online bookstore there is a table stationed at the atrium in the new building on Mondays and Wednesday until the end of the month with representatives from the bookstore that can help with questions and concerns.

Julie Kuljurgis, the account manager for the bookstore, says that the biggest problem they’ve had is transitioning. Kuljurgis was excited about some of the benefits that the bookstore offers, such as “year round book sell back and it doesn’t have to be a course book,” she said.

The bookstore is also willing to workwith campus clubs and organizations that may need to place orders for books. According to Kuljurgis, the online bookstore does accept purchase orders. In addition, the school’s contract renewal with MBJ will have the school’s new café, Lil J Café, located on 58th street and 11th avenue, sell merchandise, such as hoodies, and t-shirts.

The current online bookstore does not have an option for apparel or school memoranda but new contracts will fix this issue for the dedicated bloodhounds.

Ketterer confirms that within the month John Jay will enter into a contract with a different online company called “Advanced Online” that will sell John Jay merchandise.

John Jay may be without a physical bookstore, but they are not without options.

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”.

Are We Paying Too Much For Water?

By: Fifi Youssef

Contributor

 A John Jay College student spends approximately $10,000 a semester in tuition, classes, student fees, books, metro cards, and lunch. The money spent each semester can easily increase as the price of a bottle of water increases in the John Jay College vending machines. 

With the price increase in water and healthy food, obesity rate increases too.

The obesity rate in 1990 was 9.3 percent, and by 2003 the percentage skyrocketed to 20.9 percent. By 2012 the rate reached 23.6 percent.

According to F as in Fat, a project of Trust for America’s Health, and the Robert Wood Johnson foundation, as of 2012, “Thirteen states now have adult obesity rates above 30 percent, 41 states have rates of at least 25 percent, and every state is above 20 percent.”

John Jay College of Criminal Justice can play a factor in these numbers, charging $1.75 for a bottle of water in the vending machines, and a dollar for a can of soda. This can change if John Jay lowers these prices.

By Christian Medina

By Christian Medina

“I think that it’s ridiculous, especially in schools. Obesity is becoming a huge epidemic among young people and children, so the least we can do is make water more affordable, or at least at a reasonable price,” said Dianna Sriskanda, a junior in English. “The fact that we can buy soda for a dollar, and not water, can often be a huge problem since we know all college students are broke.”

Sarah Dawud, a 22 year old John Jay student majoring in international criminal justice, thinks otherwise.”I think a person can spend the 2 dollars if they really wanted water and not sugary drinks; however, being that it is addicting, some people would rather drink that than drink water.”

The Department of Health and Mental Hygiene Standards, suggests that lower calorie drinks should be sold 20 cents less than high calorie drinks.

They require that, “water be stocked in at least 2 slots/buttons per machine; Require water and seltzer be placed at eye level, or in the highest selling position. High calorie beverages should be placed farthest from eye level, or in the lowest selling position.”

Water is on the lower level, while sodas are on the upper level.

Water is on the lower level, while sodas are on the upper level.

Sriskanda finds this issue can easily be changed. “I think that water can be changed easily, like outside of school Poland spring water is a dollar, and in school we have a brand that is two dollars. So I think that maybe we could switch brands.”

The reason behind selling Aquafina water is because CUNY signed a contract with Pepsi Cola to sell only products from the Pepsi Cola Company, and Aquafina is a Pepsi Cola brand.

John Jay currently has The Answer Group Vendings, vending the college, and selling water for $1.75. Manger Alan Gold said, “All CUNY colleges are dictating the prices Pepsi Cola has set.”

However, William Mandile from Champion Vending USA, vendors to 11 CUNY colleges and Fordham University, sells the Aquafina water for $1.60.

“You have a vendor who’s taking advantage,” Mandile said,“What they’ll do is in between semesters they’ll jack-up the prices when no one is looking.”

Mandile explained that the prices are set from the company themselves, and that The Answers Group has a reputation for raising prices. “That’s their m.o.,” Mandile said.

In defense, Gold expressed that these accusations are both, “inflammatory and false.”

Compared to The Answer Group, Champions Vending speaks with the college, and once an agreement has been reached they post a notice on each of the vending machines explaining the reason for the increase. These notices will be left for approximately 3 weeks.

Other than the prices of water, the cafeteria food prices are also not helping. A salad costs no less than  $4.95 plus tax,  fries are $3.00 and a slice of pizza costs no less than $2.50.

“I know it’s like that outside of school, but I didn’t know it was that way in school. I think it’s awful, like this definitely contributes to obesity and all the other diseases people have,” said Sriskanda.

She went on to express, “Like I didn’t know pizza was almost three dollars cause in school a bowl of fruit is $3.75. So to know all the fattening foods are cheaper is horrible. And it definitely influences what people eat.”

Dawud, on the other hand, finds that it’s fine in a sense, since it’s up to the individual. “You get what you pay for. Pizza is satisfying, unhealthy, greasy and cheesy, an eye catcher, cheap and most definitely satisfying, but a salad can be very boring even though it’s healthy.”

Sriskanda proposed an idea in helping students eat healthier and lowering the obesity rate.

“Maybe they could come up with a coupon system. At my old internship every time you purchased a healthy meal (like salad or sushi) you got this coupon, and once you had 5-6 coupons you got a meal. Each coupon would equal about a dollar so if you had five coupons you could get a meal that was five dollars, and you could only cash in if it covered the meal.”

She thinks it would work because the students would feel as if they were getting food for free and it’ll encourage them

“It all comes down to whether you are willing to pay a few more dollars for a salad and if you are committed to a healthy life-style. Some people buy pizza because it’s faster than waiting to pick out what salad you want,” Dawud said.

One Billion Rising For Justice on V-day

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By Marckincia Jean

Contributer

On Feb. 13, John Jay College students gathered to perform a dance routine for One Billion Rising For Justice, a campaign aimed at combating violence against women worldwide.

One Billion Rising is an international campaign in 207 countries that advocates for justice in issues pertaining to violence against women. According to their website, onebillionrising.org, Feb. 14 has been referred to as V-Day since 1998, and addresses that 1 in 3 women, or one billion women worldwide, will be raped or beaten during her lifetime.

The song “Break the Chain” is the theme song of the One Billion Rising global organization. Tena Clark wrote and performed it, and Debbie Allen choreographed the dance routine.

The song is fast paced and intense, and the dancers learned and rehearsed the routine by watching the “Break the Chain” YouTube video projected onto a screen in John Jay’s Black Box Theater. The dancers further rehearsed the routine at home or during their spare time.

Every student dancer was actively engaged, confident after many rehearsals and wore white John Jay College t-shirts. Thirteen dancers, all women comprised of ten students and three professors. There were only a handful of audience members, and every one of the participants were present despite the snowstorm that day.

The dance routine illustrates women’s determination to reclaim her body and resist confinement. “No more rape, incest or abuse. Women are not a possession” is a lyric that sums up the song well.

Gabrielle Salfati, a graduate Forensic Psychology professor at John Jay, not only specializes in the study of violence against women, but she also trains police officers, equipping them with methods and strategies that lead to quicker arrests.

Through her work, Salfati educates students about violence against women, while at the same time enabling police officers to better protect victims from their perpetrators.

The One Billion Rising campaign has built their foundation on these two main principles of education and activism.

The campaign empowers women and men to rid themselves of shame and humiliation by sharing their personal stories of survival. They also seek to have legislation passed that tackles issues of discrimination and inequality while protecting the victims and prosecuting the perpetrators.

Through dance, worship and protest, victims and families demand justice and assert a sense of safety in both private and public sectors. On Feb. 14, groups of people all over the world gathered in their communities to rehearse and perform a specific dance routine.

Professor Salfati seeks to “make students passionate about justice and advocating for justice.” She wants to ensure that students do not simply seek to reform the criminal justice system, but also “make sure that the system works well and make sure that people are safe.”

“Education opens up dialogue, gives people permission to talk about sensitive and important issues in a safe environment,” she added.

“Real education happens when you share ideas,” said Salfati. She emphasized that professors should help students practice what they have learned.

Salfati said the researching and actual event planning was difficult, but since it was an event organized by students, professors were even more encouraged to follow through with it.

“But it was worth it,” Salfati said. She would like to “make people aware, en- gaged and committed” to this cause.

Professor Elizabeth Hovey helped organize this event after attending The Vagina Monologues in the spring of 2012 and, from then on, she wanted to hold such an event on Valentine’s Day. According to the NYU Law website, The Vagina Monologues is a theatrical production based on a book that exposes issues pertaining to women, self-esteem, and oppression.

The Vagina Monologues is also an organization that provides financial aid and ongoing resources to women and men who are subjected to poverty and violence.

Hovey emphasized that, “Power only gets limited when people stand up to its abuse.”

Hovey said that the event was held at John Jay on Feb. 13, because most students do not have Friday classes, and many of them will not attend the public performances in the Hammerstein Ballroom, Grand Central and Times Square.

Nassima Ouaaz, a junior at John Jay College, said, “Dancing is used for political action and activism. For it to hit policy, it first has to capture the attention of the public.”

Ouaaz has previous dance experience. “Dance is one of my forms of catharsis,” Ouaaz said. “I dance to let loose, to let go of my oppression.”

“People are triggered by dance,” she added. She went on to say that there must be an emotional connection between the song, the dancers, and the audience.

The dancers, having backgrounds from all over the world, came to represent their country as well.

Marina Sorochinski, a John Jay College graduate student pursuing a PhD in psychology and law, said via email, “I think seeing millions of other women stand and dance side by side may help some victims.”

She went on to say, “Giving them power and will to fight against the abuse and violence can help them understand that they are not alone. It may, and I hope it will, empower some of the victims to seek help and seek justice for themselves and others, and stop the cycle of violence.”

A sophmore at John Jay, Marlen Ayala said, “I was afraid at first, but it made me feel confident to know that I am doing this for a good cause.”

Eve Ensler, the actor, playwright and activist who started One Billion Rising For Justice and V-Day spoke at John Jay on Jan. 27. She encourages dance as a means of expression due to its boundless nature.

Ensler said we need to share the stage for all of our causes. “Part of what, I dream, happens,” Ensler said in her lecture, “is that we all begin hooking up our stories.”

She has problems with this country’s training. “If you’ve gotten yourself through the door, good. You’re done,” Ensler said.“But that’s not the truth. The truth is, until we all get through the door, we’re not done.”

CUNY Service Corps Opens Opportunities

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By: Angeline Dominguez

Contributor

On Thursday, Feb. 12, the CUNY Service Corps held an information session in one of the lecture halls at John Jay College, for students during community hour.

As a part of the Service Corps, one will be able to get paid a set amount of $12 per hour for 12 hours weekly.

As Director Noel Blanchet describes, in some cases you will be able to find a site that, if permitted, will allow you to receive credit for some courses you are taking within the semester. Now, after enlisting in the Service Corps, 20% of John Jay’s students are receiving credit.

Due to weather conditions about ten to fifteen people were spotted at the event, including Blanchet. Everyone sat quietly with nothing but a sheet of paper and a pen in front of them, patiently waiting for the session to begin.

Blanchet welcomed everyone to begin and thanked students for attending. She then continued on for a full ten minutes explaining the purpose of the Service Corps.

‘CUNY students and faculty and staff members wanted to help, but there was no way to kind of get them together,” Blanchet said. “They wanted to develop something where they could have students ready and faculty and staff members ready to just send one email and have them come together and do something like sandy relief,” she said.

The CUNY Service Corps started in the fall of 2012. They currently have 719 Service Corps members, not only from John Jay College, but also seven other participating colleges, such as Lehman College, Borough of Manhattan Community College and many others. By fall 2014, they plan to have 850 spots filled. Since Feb. 3, 94 people have attended the sessions.

The CUNY Service Corps requires a one-year commitment that begins every fall semester. You have to be a full time student and must have a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or above with at least 24 credits.

Students are given five choices of the job placement of their preference and of those five choices, depending on your application, will determine your placement. After close consideration it is imperative that students understand that they are not always subject to the placement of their choice, but almost always is granted one of their choices.

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Quincy Pennix, a senior at John Jay, found a job at the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commision. He began his participation in the Service Corps when it first began. Pennix spoke from experience, “If we’re selected, we’ll be doing something that [has] never been done in the city…doing community service projects…doing something like this and making money. That’s a great thing.”

Pennix and Blanchet described the Service Corps as a learning experience. It is open to students who want to help out the community and want to be a part of something big, as the Service Corps is CUNY-wide. Last year 500 applications were submitted to the Service Corps, but only 200 were accepted. This year more than 500 applicants are expected but the amount accepted is decreasing to about 125.

The Service Corps opens opportunities to network, learn new skills, and allow you to gain knowledge about how to function in a professional environment.

Being a part of the Service Corps can be looked to as a “leg up” as Pennix put it in a previous interview. It can be a useful token to help guide you after you graduate and are ready to begin your career path.

“It’s definitely changed me in different ways,” Pennex said. “They’re willing to help you, if you’re willing to show that need for help.”

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.

Outlook vs Gmail

By Mark Sohan

 

John Jay College students find Microsoft Outlook frustrating despite the Department of Information Technology saying it enhances the CUNY experience.

Students who check their school email may already know Microsoft Outlook is their email client.

John Jay College uses Microsoft Outlook because the technology adviser committee selected it as the standard email client for CUNY in 2006.

Joseph Laub, a member of John Jay’s Department of Information Technology, believes that Microsoft Outlook unified John Jay’s services.

“Microsoft Outlook makes it easy for students and faculty members to use one username and password to log into many of the college’s services such as email, Wi-Fi, campus computers and online library,” Laub said.

Some students do not agree with Laub. Francisco Cinta, a junior, said “I cannot figure out how to get my John Jay email account on my phone.”

“I find the John Jay email to be frustrating because each semester you have to go through the whole process of forwarding it to your primary email,” said senior Orayne Williams.

In fact, some students would prefer that John Jay use GMAIL instead of Outlook, “I would love if John Jay used GMAIL that way it would be easier to check my main email and school email in one app,” Abdoulaye Diallo, a senior, said.

Today, there are more enterprise email clients available. If John Jay desired, it would be possible to change the colleges email client to a new one.

“A change in email service would mean having a different username and password for each of John Jay’s services,” said Laub. “John Jay does not have a high budget as other colleges.”

John Jay uses email as the primary way for professors to communicate with students, but getting school email on mobile devices can be difficult for some. “It sucks. I cannot get the John Jay email on my phone, so I don’t get notified when my professors email me,” said senior, Sarah Guillet.

For students who are able to use Microsoft Outlook on their mobile devices, they find it useful, “It’s pretty convenient because I can make sure the professor got and received my message,” said Marcos Colon, a junior.

Some find Microsoft Outlook to be professional, “I think John Jay should stick with Microsoft Outlook since most if not all big corporations and businesses out there use Outlook and thus it gets students familiar with the service once they get into the work force,” said junior Marcos Colon.

Texting could be the best way for professors to get information to students outside of the classroom.

Within the last ten years, texting has become extremely popular. Colleges could adopt texting in favor of emails. It is possible to send one text to multiple recipients, so professors could text all students with one text message.

Texting is already in place within the CUNY system, as “CUNY Alert” texts every student regarding emergencies. Luis Lara, a senior, said, “I would definitely prefer professors use texting instead of emails.”

While some John Jay students continue to have issues with Microsoft Outlook, some still prefer it for it’s professional layout.

How Safe Are We At John Jay?

By Alana Albert

 

Reports of shootings in public areas are rising. You hear about them happening in malls, schools, churches, and other places where we think we are safe.

Recently, according to a November 5th, New York Times article, Richard Shoop walked into a New Jersey Mall, pulled out an AK 47 assault rifle, and shot into the air.

Though no one was targeted or injured, the shooting scared shoppers. It caused them to run and hide in fear for their lives.

Situations like this cause people to wonder about their safety in public areas.

Shootings are not the only safety issues to be concerned about. Stabbings are also an issue. And one was reported right on John Jay’s campus.

According to a March 21 Sentinel article, there was a stabbing in the West Port building. Two students got into a fight. The cause of the fight is unclear. However, it resulted with one student being stabbed and the other being arrested.

Many students found out through an email. Some found out through friends, but  others found out from being in the building. The article reported that students were screaming and running out of their classrooms.

“I remember getting an email about it. Back then I didn’t have any classes in the West Port building, but I was like, what if that happened in the hallway while I’m walking with my son?” said Daphnie Gonzalez, a sophomore and history major.

“The situation was handled very well,” said Ryan Eustace, John Jay’s Risk Management and Ethics Manager. The situation Eustace is referring to is the assault that occurred in march 2013.

Eustace did not give details about the incident. However, he did say that the assailant was arrested, and the student who was injured was sent to St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital.

“The situation was a tragedy. However, it is a good learning experience. It helps officers to understand how to handle these situations better. Because situations like these on our campus are very rare”, said Eustace.

An October 3rd, Sentinel article stated: the most common crimes on campus are larceny and harassment. The article also stated that “the most common threats are for professors dealing with a co-worker or students upset about grades.”

Though shootings do not occur and though stabbings are rare on John Jay’s campus, they are still crimes. These types of crimes can cause some concern for students and faculty members’ safety.

Because of the reports of theft and the stabbing that occurred in March, some students feel unsafe at John Jay.

“I can’t trust nobody,” said Jessica Collins, senior and humanities and justice major.

Though some people on campus feel unsafe, there are students and faculty members who trust the security management.

I feel that way because I am relatively confident in the punitive powers of John Jay safety procedures,” said John Pittman, a psychology and humanities and justice professor, when asked why he felt safe at school.

John Jay security management work hard to protect students and faculty members. And it shows in numbers.

For example, John Jay is one of the safest colleges in CUNY. According John Jay’s 2012 crime log, the most reported crime is theft.

Some colleges have more crimes reported. There are reports of theft, aggravated assault, burglary, motor theft, drug arrests, drug violations, and liquor violations.

According to Kingsborough’s Community College 2012 crime log, there were two aggravated assaults, one motor vehicle theft, one burglary, one sex offense (forcible), one liquor arrest, five liquor violations, four drug arrests, three drug violations, and three illegal weapon possessions were reported.

Medgar Evers 2012 crime log reports seven aggravated assaults, five drug violations, three robberies, and one burglary.

Lehman college 2012 crime log reports one drug arrest and one liquor violation.

And John Jay’s 2012 crime log shows only a few reports. Two burglary reports. And one report of aggravated assault. This information does not include the incident, that occurred in March 2013.

These crime logs are broken down into four categories: on campus and off campus crimes, public property, and on campus residential crimes. The crimes reported here are crimes committed on campus only.

“SafeI feel safe,” said Suad Omeragic, a senior and humanities and justice major.

John Jay may be one of the safest colleges because it has several types of security management. Not a lot of students know that there are different security managements.

“I noticed the different uniforms. I see the ones with the light blue shirts and the ones that don’t,” said Gonzalez, when asked if she knew about the several types of security managements.

There are public safety, private safety, and peace officers. Each are trained to handle certain situations in the school.

Charles Nemeth, a member of campus safety and advisory committee, professor, and chair of the department of Security, Fire, Emergency Management, said there are not a lot of colleges that merge these types of management.

Nemeth has devoted his entire career to study and practice law. He believes having private security in our school is important.

Private security is devoted to serving students. Some of the private security members are students. The difference between private security and public safety is “public safety has more power than private safety officers,” said Nemeth.

Peace officers are the ones who wear a similar uniform to police officers. “They can make an arrest but they do not have weapons,” said Eustace

Private safety officers are able to check for ID and help you with small needs. When intense situations occur, like stabbings or shootings, peace officers can assist private and public officers until police officers arrive.

Before everyone was stopped, but now John Jay students are priority,” said Nemeth

Nemeth elaborated and said that before the new management, everyone was stopped. Students and faculty members were treated the same as non-campus members.

In order to keep us safe here are some things John Jay’s security management wants students and faculty members to know: if you see suspicious activity, contact the public safety department. Avoid empty rooms or areas in the building.

Always keep your personal and valuable items close by. For faculty members: if you have to leave your office, make sure you lock your door before you leave.

If you leave the school late at night, walk on well-lit streets. Avoid alleys or entry ways. If you feel threatened, you can request for a public safety officers to escort you.

For students or faculty members who still feel unsafe, well known Alumni and former CUNY public safety officer Yance Vargas says via email, “Be alert to any dangers. Know the closest exits. If a safe exit is not available, safely make your way to the nearest office or classroom and secure the door. Most importantly, especially in today’s age, people are advised to silence their devices to avoid attracting attention, and call 911 when it is safe to do so”.

There are emergency phones throughout the campus. If you have an emergency, you can dial 8888 to contact public safety.

John Jay’s security management is doing everything they can to make the school, students, and faculty members feel safe.

If you would like more information about the college’s security management or access to the annual security report, you can stop by John Jay’s public safety office in the New Building. Their office room number is L2.61.00.