March 30, 2015

Sociability Lost To Social Norms

By Fifi Yousseff

Staff Writer

Students leaving John Jay during community hour.

By: Jenifer Valmon Students leaving John Jay during community hour.

New Yorkers tend to distance themselves and avoid any interaction with others in public spaces such as the city streets, subways, and now college campuses.

A survey conducted on 26 John Jay students concluded that students are applying the rule of isolation from the streets of New York City to the John Jay campus and social life.

The majority of the participants recorded that it is unlikely for them to approach an unknown student around campus.

Author of “Here is New York”, E.B White writes New Yorkers norm of avoiding eye contact and conversations with others is a form of respecting personal space. However, some students on campus claim the lack of communication is due to John Jay College being a commuter school. “I only have a couple of friends at school. I just go to do my work and go home,” said Elvis Hernandez, 21, a John Jay student majoring in Criminal Justice.

For Renata Dragan, 21, a senior majoring in Forensic Psychology, socializing on campus seems to come natural for her. “For the most part I feel confident because, from my experience everyone I encountered was friendly.” Dragan and her friends from John Jay tend to share similar classes and go out to lunch together.

The importance of communication is essential in today’s professional work field. One student, in a survey response, felt that communication is crucial around campus because “you never know who’s gonna contribute to your future.”

Dragan is just as open and confident to socializing in city streets and subways as around college campus. “I get to meet new people and experience,” said Dragan.

Richard Ocejo and Stephane Tonnelat, authors of “Subway to Diaries: How People Experience and Practice Riding the Train,” explain distance between strangers is a result of security issues.

“I don’t feel like I need to socialize. The people I socialize with are more than enough,” said Hernandez. “You just made me realize that I don’t socialize because people come and go so what’s the point of going through all that trouble.”

According to Michael Argyle and Janet Dean, the normal eye contact between strangers should last approximately 3-10 seconds. “When glances are longer than this, anxiety is aroused,” they said.

Imani Stone, 24, a John Jay student majoring in Literature, disagrees with Argyle and Dean. Stone finds that eye contact “makes me feel like I am making them uncomfortable, but I’ll stare at someone in the eyes for an hour with no problems.”

Freddy Velez, a 21-year-old John Jay student, can relate to Argyle and Dean. “Well I get very uncomfortable making eye contact, I don’t do it for more than 3 seconds actually,” said Velez. “I get very shy and tend to look away a lot.”

By applying these New York social norms to a college campus, students are affected on a professional network scale. Isolation means a limited range of opportunities and connections.

Stone describes herself to be “antisocial” but claims it hasn’t affected her on a professional scale much. “Isolation affected my professional scale but not to much. I am still able to get involved in things as quick as a person that is more sociable,” said Stone.

A way to break out of these norms could include planning time to attend club activities. John Jay College offers a wide variety of clubs and organizations where a student may find something they enjoy.

Students also receive John Jay emails that can allow them to keep up with opportunities and events that occur throughout the semester.

Fearing the Unknown: Life After College

By Angeline Dominguez

Editor

College is a combination of very exciting and exhilarating things but what happens when it comes to an end?

In a survey taken by the John Jay Sentinel, five out of 15 students do not know what they are doing after college.

Olivera Jokic, an English Professor at John Jay states, “It is a huge transition for anyone. For most people it’s quite a shocking thing because you come out of something very structured and very scheduled and very disciplined, into an open field you don’t know.”

Students agree that life after college is overwhelmingly hard to think about as it is something that they have never experienced.

Linda Mitchell, a career development counselor at John Jay, helps students come up with a four year plan during college.

“I think many students are concerned with the fear of the unknown; not knowing if there’s going to be that job that they have their hearts desire,” stated Mitchell. “Not having that sense of certainty, of knowing that the opportunity is going to be there, not knowing if they are ready, that’s probably one of the critical factors students are struggling with.”

According to the survey, students feel like they are not prepared because life after college is something they have never experienced as they have spent most of their time in a structured environment that schools typically provide.

A John Jay student, who preferred to stay anonymous, said, “new things are happening to me, that aren’t really normal.”

Roughly it takes about 16 years to complete a basic amount of schooling in which you achieve a bachelor’s degree.

A student who majors in Police Studies at John Jay, and who prefers to remain anonymous, claims “who knows if I will get a job in my field of study.”

In addition, students are unsure of the career path that their major could provide for them.

“There’s this sort of suspicion that everybody will be disappointed, that nobody will get what they really wanted and that whatever fantasies you had about dignified life with enough money, doing things that are meaningful, that make you happy… that, that’s just not going to happen and it’s probably true, but that’s part of growing up,” stated Professor Jokic.

According to the survey, part of the struggle of not being prepared for life after college comes out of the frustration from not being able to find internships and opportunities that correlate to the major they are studying.

Sanah Afsal, a junior majoring in Forensic Science, finds that the emphasis on certain majors has overshadowed the Science department.

“In a college that is based on Criminal Justice, I feel like the science students are forgotten. The school generally sends out a lot of emails for other majors but for science, there are not ways to get involved,” said Afsal. “Essentially the lack of guidance in this aspect makes me feel unprepared.”

Students’ also feel that the lack of preparation derives from the unfamiliarity of living a life where one only works.

Professor Jokic feels that “things constantly change, that one of those sort of defining features of the modern world is constant change and that part of what happens is that peoples’ identities and peoples’ self perception and fantasies of what they are and what they should be, are kind of ripped from them because the world changes, the economy changes, and professions or the kinds of identities are sort of being given and taken away. One of the things you can learn in college is that you are a part of that process.”

The idea is that college is there to help you prepare for the life to come once those 16 years of schooling ends, depending, on your career path. Students hope that working hard to reach the end of those 16 years will guarantee them a job.

“Life continues and in some ways your tolerating all this pressure in order to live this magical life afterwards that everybody is saying is coming because you’ve completed your degree and its not coming in that way,” said Professor Jokic. “It’s a continuation of the world in which you subject yourself to pressure so that you would get other things that you might want to like, your constantly looking for new things to like, and that’s probably why we’re in college.”

TRANS-itional John Jay

By MG Robinson

Contributing Writer

By: Ryan Durning The gender neutral bathroom located in the teacher's lounge of the new building.

By: Ryan Durning
The gender neutral bathroom located in the teacher’s lounge of the new building.

John Jay has created an LGBTQ Task Force to tackle gender sensitivity issues that plague students in the school’s diverse community. The task force consists of students, faculty, and staff from the John Jay campus who handle issues such as name preferences in the classroom and gender neutral bathrooms.

The LGBTQ community faces many social and political issues that hetero-normative people do not face and take for granted. In addition to social and political issues, transgender students also face administrative issues at their colleges.

Transgender students at John Jay College often require their professors’ rosters to reflect their preferred names in order to avoid that awkward and potentially embarrassing moment when the professor calls the roll on the first day of classes. In addition, transgender students’ e-mails and identification cards that do not reflect the student’s preferred name or preferred gender can also prove to be uncomfortable obstacles for transgender students.

But perhaps the biggest and most controversial issue facing transgender students is the use of the most gendered facilities in our society, namely restrooms and locker rooms. The insecurity and uncertainty of which bathroom or locker room to use is a nerve-wracking and reoccurring experience, since one’s gender may not necessarily match the body in which one was born. It is common for transgender students to forgo using campus bathrooms altogether for fear of re-living an awkward experience.

In order to accommodate transgender students, John Jay College is also transitioning.

A new CUNY policy has made it easier for students to have their preferred names used on rosters and for their official John Jay student e-mail addresses. According to the John Jay 2014-2015 bulletin, although the preferred name is not a students legal name, the college understands the importance of preferred names and they will be admitted for use on all school documents except official documents such as transcripts and diplomas.

According to Adam Stone, Registrar representative, prior to the new CUNY policy, students had to obtain very expensive legal name changes in order to have their preferred names reflected on school documents and e-mail addresses. Some departments, including DoIT, which is responsible for student e-mail addresses, were still unaware of the changes.

Adam Stone said he would be “following up with DoIT” and that “ this was a very new policy and people are getting used to a new procedure.” Stone added, “CUNY did a great job…[and there’s] a great combination of faculty and staff that continue to advocate for an underrepresented population.”

To address the bathroom issue, John Jay recently converted three previously gendered restrooms into gender-neutral restrooms. According to an e-mail from the John Jay LGBTQ Task force, there are now three gender-neutral bathrooms. One is located in North Hall, just beyond the double doors adjacent to staircase “B.” Another gender-neutral bathroom is located on the second floor of the T-Building, just to the right of the elevator lobby. Lastly, the gender-neutral bathroom in Westport is located on the first floor, past the turn styles, and just beyond the door to the right.

Students in need of a gender-neutral bathroom in the New Building “are able to use the single-user, gender-neutral bathrooms in the faculty and staff dining room on the second floor. The Faculty and Staff dining room is located between the cafeteria and the entrance to the J-Walk, on the south side of the building. The bathrooms are located toward the back of the dining room on the right.

The issue of gender-neutral locker rooms proves to be more challenging to fix than gender-neutral bathrooms. According to Carol Kashow, Director of Athletics, students who require gender-neutral locker rooms may use the locker rooms on the 3rd floor of the T-Building for “lock-up” and the gender-neutral bathrooms in the T-Building to change. Kashow stresses that this is only a temporary solution.

However, talks for a permanent solution are ongoing. Kashow expressed her concern for student safety, stating, unlike bathrooms that have private stalls, there is “no privacy in locker rooms.” There is fear that a gender-neutral locker room may attract “curious people who do not belong there…how do we identify who belongs there?”

Kashow also stated that John Jay “wants to accommodate students in the most safe manner and it will take education and thought.” In a display of her commitment to “education and thought,” Kashow has invited Dr. Sue Rankin, an expert in gender-neutral facilities at Penn State University, to campus in April 2015 to continue the discussion of gender-neutral locker rooms.

The LGBTQ task force is committed to working toward making the campus the most comfortable college experience for students in the LGBTQ community and says it m will continue to strive for gender equality on campus.

 

Re-designed Website Receives Mixed Reviews

By Matthew Williams

Staff Writer

The front page of the redesigned John Jay website as of Feb. 24.

The front page of the redesigned John Jay website as of Feb. 24.

The newly redesigned John Jay website, launched by the Marketing and Developing Department on Monday, Feb. 2, has received mixed reviews from students on campus.

Dil Zaman, a Criminal Justice major at John Jay, says, “ It’s different, yet not difficult to explore.” Zaman also stated, “I only use it for blackboard and the calendar,” which can be found at the top of the webpage along with links to the library, email, and directory.

The website, which took 18 months to complete, sports a new color schemed page equipped with a bigger and brighter font, as well as new organization of links that includes exploring undergraduate majors, visiting directions, and an “I Am John Jay” video of students who were interviewed on what they like about the college.

There is also a section dedicated to social media feeds such as Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube. This section displays John Jay related account’s tweets, videos from the John Jay Youtube account, and posts from the John Jay Facebook page. Some students find value in this new feature. “It’s a better way to link the students to each other,” said Corine Corbett, a senior at John Jay.

While explaining the reasoning behind the website’s new design, Rama Sudhakar, chief communications officer at the Office of Marketing and Development, said, “We needed a responsive design for our college website so it can be viewed effectively on mobile and tablet devices.”

Even though Sudhakar and her team had good intentions, there are still some problems with students navigating the new mobile design. Courtney Wail, a freshmen says, “I find the mobile version even more confusing than the desktop version. You have to think a step ahead to know where things will be.”

On the other hand, the brighter background has scored positive feedback. “It’s brighter and keeps me more awake,” said Corbett.

Another feature that is receiving positive reviews is the new email tab at the top of the page. Rochelle Walker, a sophomore says, “I like it. It makes it easier to find the email on the website now.”

In the first week of the website’s release, it experienced some problems, as was predicted by the marketing team. The site had broken links and video playback errors among other bugs that had to be worked out. As of today, these problems have been corrected, and the web page is up and running normally.

If any students are having problems with the new website, contact the Marketing Department via [email protected]

“We encourage feedback from students regarding the new website,” Sudhakar said.

 

No Means No: CUNY Blows The Whistle On Sexual Misconduct

By Fathema Ahmed

Editor

On Jan. 20, Title Nine Coordinator and Director of Compliance & Diversity, Silvia Montalban, sent out an email informing the John Jay community on the City University of New York’s (CUNY) new policy on sexual misconduct. The new policy, also known as Title Nine, states that sexual harassment, gender-based harassment and sexual violence is prohibited against any CUNY student, employee or visitor.

Students who experience any act of sexual harassment are advised to go to either the Title Nine coordinator, Office of Public Safety, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and/or Dean of Students or Resident Life staff. An investigation will follow after the victim files an incident report. The investigation should be completed within 60 days of the complaint being filed; necessary measures will be taken after the investigation is complete.

Title Nine refers to a civil rights law that is a portion of the United States Education Amendments of 1972 that was effective on June 23, 1972. It states that no person in the United States can be discriminated based on gender. CUNY’s version of Title Nine that was effective Jan. 1 expands on this law.

Each CUNY College has an employee who has been appointed Title Nine coordinator. The Title Nine coordinator for John Jay, Montalban, works with the Director of Public Safety and Risk Management, Kevin Cassidy, and Women’s Center Counselor/Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Response Advocate, Jessica Greenfield who works under the Office of the Vice President of Student Affairs.

“The thing is to get people to understand that anything that they find is uncomfortable for them, any kind of events or situation that they come across, that they can come and ask questions, it doesn’t have to be a full-blown complaint, but they at least can go find out that something can be done if they feel something inappropriate happened to them,” said Montalban, regarding her coordination with Public Safety and the Counseling Department. “Public safety refers them to me, or because they decide to come directly to me or because the counseling office becomes aware of somebody who’s concerned about something.”

After the incident is brought to Montalban, it is then investigated. The Title Nine Coordinator’s findings are taken to the President of the college who then decides whether or not the allegations are accountable. If the allegations are found to be true the matter is then taken up with the Dean of Student Affairs who then decides what disciplinary actions should be taken.

“I listen to see what the nature of it is, then I ask them to give me more information as to anybody who may have witnessed it or anybody that knows more about it,” said Montalban on the investigation process. “I’ll review all kinds of evidence, access credibility, because sometimes people think that a he said, she said, or she said, she said, doesn’t matter which gender, but people think that there’s just two people and no witnesses, so it cancels each other out and we can’t do anything and that’s wrong. I want people to have faith in the process.”

In order for an investigation to take place, the victim has to be affiliated with CUNY.

“We would take seriously even a complaint that occurred off campus when it involved two John Jay students or a John Jay student and another CUNY student. We’re here to offer help and resources to our students,” said Montalban.

Students are advised to report sexual misconduct to public safety or to the local precinct. There are eight buildings at John Jay. These buildings are the New Building, North Hall, Haaren Hall, Westport, Macaulay Honors College, the 54th street Annex, the BMW building and the New Yorker Hotel. Although the eight buildings are all covered by the new CUNY policy, they are covered by three different precincts. North Hall and Macaulay Honors College are covered by the NYPD 20th precinct. The Midtown North precinct covers the other buildings with the exception of the New Yorker hotel, which is covered by the Midtown South precinct.

Public Safety gets involved when there is a threat to safety. “We just investigate the facts, we’re the investigative arm of the Title Nine policy,” said Cassidy. “If something is reported to us we investigate it, pass it along to legal, legal then in turn passes it along to various governing bodies within John Jay, we’re not the judge or the judge’s advocate in this case.”

Greenfield would get involved when a person is in need of counseling, “I’m the person who’s more the victim’s advocate, I explain to people what their options are, who helps them connect them with resources, whether they’re internal like supportive services on campus or somebody wants to go get counseling at an outside organization, I help people with that and then I talk to them about their options in terms of reporting if they want to make a report with the Title Nine coordinator or they want to talk to the NYPD.”

Students also feel that the new policy is effective, “I am satisfied with the current policy because on top of the fact that they’re following protocols to aid victims in seeking justice, they are also taking in to account the mental and physical health of victims,” said John Jay sophomore, Kadeem Robinson. “I appreciate that CUNY understands that sexual misconduct is in no way tolerable or accepted.”

Another student feels similarly about the policy “I think it’s for the better because there needs to be a line drawn between what is appropriate and inappropriate. The policy elaborates on each definition,” said John Jay senior Nicole Brandao.

“I think it’s good that it’s being reinforced, I think it’s excellent that it’s being bought back to life and that everyone is becoming a lot more educated and more aware of Title Nine and how the reporting structure works and what should be done because a lot of times people are misinformed or individuals are misinformed of who to report these sexual incidents to or where they should go, “ said Cassidy.

Controversy Over Statue

By Arianny Reyes

Staff Writer

Last December, faculty and students were introduced to a statue in memorial of first Chief Justice John Jay in the Kroll Atrium to remind students about Jay’s legacy and as a means to recognize his achievements.

“As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of our College’s founding, it is fitting that we have on campus a life-size statue of our namesake John Jay,” said Chief of Communications Officer Rama Sudhakar. “The location is fitting as its standing in the large atrium where you enter the college, on the steps where students and other members of our community gather, so it becomes part of our daily lives on campus,” she  added.

Despite the school’s best intentions, its location has created controversy amongst students. On one hand, some students claim the statue fails to create a positive impact. On the other hand, other students believe it is in the wrong place.

Rabel Polanco, a junior at John Jay says, “The location of the statue does not give it enough attribute. It doesn’t look professional.”

The five foot, 10 inch bronze statue cost $125,000 and was funded through a combination of private donations and rental income from private events held on campus, according to Sudhakar. It was sculptured by Ivan Schwartz at Studio EIS, in Brooklyn,  who has done works such as the Signers’ Hall Gallery at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.

Students like Manuel Castillo have suggested other locations for the statue such as the Jay Walk, or the entrance of the New Building. Castillo, a sophomore, also concern about the administration’s use of money.

Castillo claims that buying the statue was a poor use of money, which could have been used to help students with financial struggles or organizations in school that help students with financial difficulties such as the Petrie Student Emergency Fund. “They don’t understand what a modern day student goes through. They struggle with bills and have to be near broke to receive help,” said Castillo.

Petrie, located in the New Building, Room L.68.00, helps students with Metrocards, food vouchers, housing assistance, medical care and much more that could be a burden in the students’ academic success. For more information you can visit www.jjay.cuny.edu or go to the Counseling Department.

Despite negative claims and disagreement on the statue’s location, Criminal Justice student, Allison Gristki says, “It shows the significance of the school and what it stands for, justice and peace.”

Situationships: New Era of Love on Campus

By Dudline Pierre

Contributing Writer

Image Courtesy Wikicommons

Image Courtesy Wikicommons

In recent months, college students are getting involved in relationships that aren’t actual relationships. With the high demands of college, many students find themselves being with someone without actually having to deal with the stresses of a relationship. Many college students have full time jobs and are full time students, taking up to five classes. To add a relationship to the equation seems a bit excessive. Nowadays, students with all these responsibilities get into situations where they deal with a partner or many partners without having to make any commitments.

In the past, it has been said that the man is the one who doesn’t want to commit in a relationship. These days many women aren’t up for the commitment either. “I think our generation has been through too much and people are scared”, says Chantal Castanon, a 22 year old John Jay student. Her take on the issue is that women often have a fear of getting hurt, so they’d rather keep the relationship as simple as possible. A “situationship” can be seen as an agreement between the two people involved. Both have an understanding of each other’s needs, but also keep their distances.

Another view on situationships is that they are a form of sexual relief. After a long week of exams and writing, college students just want to make the stress of their studies go away. “I just worked and studied all week, it’s the weekend I want to get loose,” says Chantal. During the week, her and her “partner” speak rarely if at all, as they are so caught up with their day to day lives. When they get some free time, they contact each other, spend a little time together and then go back to their individual single lives. In their four years of college, students are attempting to find themselves and their purposes.

Carlos Garcia, 21, is another student at John Jay who believes that people our age aren’t sure about what they want. He says that, “college is the point in life between being an adult and a kid.” His view is that college students are confused. Garcia also says that in college, students—particularly men are encouraged to be free, party and have multiple sexual partners. These students use college as an excuse to not settle down with one person.

“How does together feel so alone, like I’m a stranger in my own home.” This line is from a song titled, “Situationships” by rapper Fabolous. Situationships can be seen as the new way of defining relationships for today’s generation and are even influencing musical artists. One can see that the concept of a situationship is not only affecting those in the college environment, but people who do not attend college as well. Though situationships are a form of free attachment, there are often times where the people involved want something more. The idea of a situationship is to be able to do what you want at no costs, while essentially dating someone. But there are some young adults who still take the idea of a relationship seriously.

Joneal Mason is a 19 year old who attends Queensborough Community College. She has been involved in situationships and said that “though it sounds ideal for a busy college student, I would rather have the real deal.” Mason doesn’t like the fact that the person has the leeway to do whatever they want with whomever they want and she doesn’t have the right to be upset about it. After her past experiences, she says that getting attached to someone you know isn’t yours is unhealthy mentally, physically and emotionally.

Girardin Mondesir is a 20 year old student at Hunter College who feels the same. He suggests that people put themselves in a trap and end up chasing something that isn’t there. Mondesir feels that those who choose to involve themselves in a situationship have a lack of maturity. “It’s a taste of paradise being away from the books, but it gets you nowhere almost always.” The pressures from work and school allow for college students to want to have a freeing feeling. According to these college students, they want the relations without having to carry the burdens of a relationship. Essentially, they want to enjoy themselves away from the responsibilities of life at no one’s expense. Situationships are a way for students to have fun, experiment with what they want and grow as young adults.

Unveiling History

By Noemi Baez

Contributing Writer

By: Yanel Escobar

By: Yanel Escobar

On Dec. 8, John Jay College of Criminal Justice unveiled their first ever life-sized statue of the United States first Chief of Justice, John Jay. The bronze statue stands at a height of 5’7” and a weight of 670 pounds in the Lynn and Jules Kroll Atrium of the New Building. The statue was revealed during community hour with live music and refreshments for the students. The unveiling of the statue was featured in Monday’s edition of the New York Times, noting the words of John Jay’s president, “John Jay is our forgotten Founding Father, one of the greatest New Yorkers, who helped create our democracy, our students, who are devoted to the common good, will be inspired by his example.”

 

Classroom Etiquette: To Eat or Not To Eat

By Jonathan Richards

Contributing Writer

By: Ryan Abdelhafez

By: Ryan Abdelhafez

Ever been too busy to get breakfast and spent your first two back to back classes thinking about what you’re going to eat when class is over instead of the lecture? Or been satisfied in class but couldn’t focus because of someone four feet away from you was obnoxiously slurping on a bowl of chicken noodle soup?

Even if you’re a freshman you’ve probably experienced one or both of these at this point of the semester. So the question now is whether it is better to stay hungry and courteous to all around you at the expense of your focus? Or eat in class and be focused at the expense of someone else’s?

Before you answer that question you have to consider the food policy. You may or may not have noticed the sign in classrooms with a big picture of a drink and some food with the caption “No food or drink allowed”. That goes from small snacks that people may see on a daily basis such as fruit, candy, chips, or even a protein bar, that are tolerable to most people, to full meals people occasionally see like a burger with fries, pastrami sandwiches, or chicken salads.

This policy is not just to spite students. This policy is there to promote a healthy clean environment inside the classroom that many students, and professors alike, haven’t contributed to maintaining. Wrappings, boxes, crumbs, and bones are some of the things that are left behind by the people that won’t take the time to clean after themselves which goes against the clean environment that students should have the opportunity to learn in. “What are the janitors here for?”

Gashi, a third year student at John Jay, only recently found out that such a policy existed. “Whether or not I ate in a classroom never depended on a laminated sheet of paper plastered on the wall when I first walk in the classroom. It has always been left up to the professor that I had at that time. If I had a professor that said we are allowed to eat, I damn well had my pizza or whatever I felt like bringing to class in class, but if the professor didn’t allow eating in that class then I didn’t eat, but even those professors didn’t mind water in the class.”

“It’s hard for me to stay focused when hungry,” Edwinson Matias a Junior said “I’m pretty sure many people would agree that when you’re hungry, focusing on anything becomes a task.” He was exuberant while expressing this.

It’s not hard to see why he and other students feel so passionate about this topic. Since there is only 10 minutes to get from class to class, excluding community hour, students don’t have much time to even grab a Snickers.

“I can understand not bringing out a home cooked meal or something too smelly, but I’m not allowed to have even a rice krispy or something to quell my hunger and help me focus better? We don’t need a food policy, we need more time in our mornings, and in between classes,” said Matias.

Students aren’t eating in class because the food is good, they eat because without food their focus would drop, and consequentially, their grade will follow as well. although eating in class has the opposite effect to some students.“It’s distracting,” Luke Dure a sophomore at John Jay stated while shaking his head. “I know it’s hard to focus in class on an empty stomach, but having an empty stomach and having someone near you chow down on their BLT from subways is even worse.

Almost all students suffer from that same problem of hunger during classes but not all of them have the leisure to fix it, and it isn’t fair to those who can’t. Plus no one wants to hear someone smacking on any food, I don’t care if I just had thanksgiving dinner, I’d still lose focus, and at least an empty stomach is quieter. It’s all about equality to me.”

Students like Dure disagrees with Matias and Gashi, for them it’s harder to focus while eating or hearing someone eat. The food policy has a clear intention but students have either taken it out of its original context, with a grain of salt, or never heard of it in the first place. What has been put there to keep classroom clean has been turned to an attack on the focus of the students.

It’s arguable whether it is better to be hungry for another hour or have to deal with someone munching on popcorn near you, but the debate shouldn’t be between students on that subject, it should be on whether the food policy is effective or not. Seeing that students follow this depending on the professor, it can be said that it isn’t.

 

Does Catcalling Cross the Line or Is It a Compliment?

By Valentina Henriquez

Staff Writer

By: Ryan Abdelhafez

By: Ryan Abdelhafez

“Hey yo ma, you lookin’ real sexy right now, let me holla at cha fo’ a sec’”, a guy, about 20 years of age, yells to a female who walks by showing cleavage.

‘Catcalling’ : it happens all over the world, from New York to Paris … to the campus of John Jay. But what causes guys to catcall, even though it can legally be considered sexual harassment?

“Society seems to think that me wearing less clothing seems to be an invitation,” says Ieasha Galloway, a student of John Jay, who has been catcalled multiple times both in the streets and on John Jay’s Campus.

“There are times when I wore sweatpants and guys thought I was approachable,” says Crystal Rodriquez, who has experienced catcalling both in the streets and on John Jay campus. Crystal believes it has little to do with what a woman wears.

Sexual harassment, according to the New York State office of the attorney general is, “a form of gender-based discrimination, [involving] unwanted sexual context [one of them being] sexually offensive remarks or jokes…comments (either complimentary or derogatory) about a person’s gender or sexual preferences”. Catcalling falls under this category, yet it is not seen as a crime until it becomes more frequent by the same person, or involves physical contact.

John Jay’s Department of Public Safety defines behaviors similar to catcalling under the heading of “Hostile Environment.” Offensive comments that form an uncomfortable setting for students, commenting on physical attributes, using crude or offensive language and demeaning or inappropriate terms like “babe” are all considered a form of sexual harassment under the CUNY Policy Against Sexual Harassment.

Being a Criminal Justice school, John Jay College gives off the impression that most of its students are aware of many of the NYS and NYC laws. “In this country we are given the freedom to express ourselves however we wish, so it is not right to take advantage of someone who is exercising their right to free expression,” says student Anthony Auson.

Auson was caught off guard, however when asked if girls who wear more revealing clothing are more subject to sexual harassment. Auson said “The way society is today, yes, although I don’t think it’s right.”

Aldin Radoncic, wearing a Captain America shirt, agreed. “Girls who wear more revealing clothing are more prone to sexual harassment. There are guys who think they’re that kind of person.” He was asked to further elaborate, “Let’s say a girl is wearing short skirts, revealing tops. It is more likely that guys assume she is a slut, or skank and she wants to be catcalled.”

According to Buzzfeed media, several countries around the world have banned women from wearing clothing that makes them more susceptible to sexual harassment.

In Uganda women have been banned from wearing miniskirts. Closer to home, a school in Michigan banned its female students from wearing leggings because they were deemed too “distracting” for male students.

It seems fortunate that there are no restrictions on women’s clothing at John Jay but it does promote a policy against sexual harassment.

In fact, not all women find catcalling a form of harassment. In her story, “Hey, ladies—catcalls are flattering! Deal with it,” Doree Lewak gave the message that it’s ok to catcall. For Lewak, catcalling gives her confidence. “When a total stranger notices you, it’s validating,” she wrote. “Before I know it, winter will be upon us again and it’s not easy turning heads when you’re up to your neck in Gore-Tex.” But Lewak’s take is not the norm.

Off campus, protests against catcalling are happening, giving the message that what women wear shouldn’t suggest consent. Blogs and non-profit organizations such as Price of Silence and Hollaback! Price of Silence states, “We call street harassment the gateway drug to further forms of violence against women…This perception dehumanizes women to a perceived ideal of subservience. We need to create a standard of human rights which protects equality to public space.”