January 30, 2015

Dear Val

By Valentina Henriquez

Staff Writer

By: Angeline Dominguez

By: Angeline Dominguez

What kinds of foods are good during foreplay? – Jonathan Richards

 

Spicing things up with your partner is a good way to make your relationship more interesting, especially in the sheets. Adding foods during foreplay is a good way to do so.

Endorphins are natural substances sent to the brain during certain activities such as sex and exercise. You also receive endorphins from the foods you eat.

You want to first go for foods that appease your partner. For example, you can use fruits, such as strawberries, pineapples, or bananas.

One thing you must be careful about is you should try and stay away from oily foods. Not only can they potentially stain your sheets, but they can break down latex condoms as well as trap bacteria and irritants on the skin.

Sugary foods in warm climates encourage the growth of yeast and bacteria, which can possibly give your partner an infection. If you are going to use foods during foreplay, stay away from using them on external areas.

 

Here is a list of foods you can potentially use to excite your love life:

 

Chocolate

Strawberries

Whipped Cream

Peaches

Honey

Pineapples

Condensed milk

So You’re A Binger: How to Embrace or Overcome Binge Watching TV

By Keyunna Singleton

Staff Writer

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons

It’s past midnight. You have a five page essay due at eight in the morning, one you haven’t even started, and you are on your fourth episode of How I Met Your Mother. You, my friend, are a binger.

According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary a binger is a person that does something in excess over a short amount of time. Bingeing can take many forms, such as eating, shopping, dieting, exercising, even television watching. But, don’t worry, you are not alone.

A 2013 Netflix survey shows that “61 percent of about 1,500 online respondents say that they binge-watch TV regularly,” says Corrie Pikul from the Huffington Post. And a 2014 Annalect study “Tune In: The Impact of Binge Watching” states that “76% of TV streamers say watching several episodes of a great TV show is a welcome escape from their busy lives.”

Every now and then, we all can use a small escape from the responsibilities of everyday life, but bingeing is affecting men and women differently. In a recent Annalect study 21% of men admitted that binge watching has negatively impacted other areas of their lives, whereas only 8% of the women surveyed admitted the same. Binge watching can take away from reading, outdoor activities, studying, eating, and most importantly, sleeping. It also has a negative impact on social interactions, such as spending time with loved ones and hanging out with friends.

John Jay student, Jack Palleschi, 20, had just finished binge watching when he was stopped in the halls. Palleschi says he binge watches about 3-4 times a week on average for about 4 hours a day. “I just finished watching Breaking Bad, for the second time.” Both times Palleschi binged watch the popular series. “Each episode is about an hour long and I watch about 4 episodes a session,” he said. Although he binges on campus, Palleschi says his work or sleep is actually not affected by his bingeing.
Now if you ask me, a little binge watching never really hurt anybody. If you aren’t missing out on valuable hours of sleep, and your eyes are not deteriorating from looking at a bright screen for hours, then you should check out a few popular shows. Some binge favorites are: Dead Like Me, House of Cards, Arrested Development, Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad (of course), Dexter, and The Wire.

Emanuella Grinberg from CNN suggests watching shows with “ongoing narratives and gripping cliffhangers at the end of each episode” or you can go for shows that are “fun and breezy comedies like ‘Peep Show’ and ‘Silicon Valley,’ which require little investment of time or attention, but deliver big on laughs and entertainment.”

My suggestion is to start with the shows that are off the air. If they don’t have any new episodes coming out, then there’s less pressure to catch to up on the series.

Careful binge watcher, John Leebens, admitted that when he was studying as an undergrad, and even in grad school, he would stay up late to run through some shows. That’s not the case these days, but his bingeing days are not behind him.

Now he binges much more carefully and often times in the company of his wife. “We don’t ever binge through the entire weekend. We may do a couple on Friday night and all day Saturday, but on Sunday we do chores,” said Leebens.

To keep your habit in check, Michael Hsu from the Wall Street Journal offers this suggestion, “Don’t watch an episode to the end, because at that point, it’s almost impossible to resist continuing to the next one.”
Another big help is “disabling auto-play, a feature found on services like Netflix and Hulu that automatically starts the next episode in a series when the one you’re watching ends.” Often times binge watchers will try to do other things such as use the bathroom or prepare a snack in the seconds between the episodes.
Also try setting a timer on the Internet router or your television. By shutting off the internet completely you are even less tempted to stay up all night watching TV.
Binge watching should be reserved for holidays or stay-cations (when you have vacation time but you opt to stay in the house or spend the time doing things locally), and should not be done when it interferes with your life.
As Oscar Wilde once said, “everything in moderation, including moderation.”

Is Pumpkin Spice Worth the Price?

By Nicole Scaffidi

Contributing Writer

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons

Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Everyone is eagerly awaiting pumpkin and apple pies to carve into. That’s what everyone is excited for, right? John Jay students may have their own ideas on what their seasonal craving is, but they all wait on lengthy lines for their pumpkin spice lattes. Luckily for the students, John Jay has it’s own Starbucks right on campus. Pumpkin spice is unavoidable.

What is this fad all about? As famous brands use their marketing techniques to publicize pumpkin spice everywhere, it has become a new universal understanding that fall is here. Popular brands, like Starbucks, have helped expand the trendy flavor into a phenomenon that websites like BuzzFeed are constantly taking polls and/or publishing articles about.

From pumpkin spice oreos to pumpkin spice air fresheners and everything in between, the pumpkin spice sensation is out of control. Pumpkin spice is not just seasonal anymore but has become a newly suggested topic for intervention.

Thousands of hashtags are used throughout social media like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter daily by users who either brag about how delicious their pumpkin spice flavored latte tastes or to complain that pumpkin spice has taken over the meaning of fall. Popular social media memes regarding pumpkin spice include “Keep Calm and Pumpkin Spice Everything,” and “You’re the pumpkin spice to my latte.”

Faith MacKenzie, an out of state John Jay student, explains that pumpkin spice is not only a flavor but a flavor that reminds her of home.

“During fall, my mom and I would always grab pumpkin spice lattes on Saturday morning before we ran errands together. Now that I can’t see her until Thanksgiving, it’s more of a refreshing treat for me.” MacKenzie also said, “The price does add up for a college student, but it’s worth it. It keeps me awake during the long hours that I spend in the library.”

“I’ve even been late to a few of my morning classes from waiting on this coffee line in the morning.” Brian Twomey, a native New Yorker and John Jay student, explains that he is used to the coffee line size almost doubling when it’s pumpkin spice season.

“It’s just something that I’ve always dealt with, whether it was waiting for a hot chocolate as a kid or growing into the typical college student and grabbing a coffee to save me from falling asleep. For me pumpkin spice lattes make it easy because I am not a fan of regular coffee ”

Student athlete, Christina Perez, feels a little differently about the pumpkin spice fad as she said, “I’m not pumping 600 plus calories into my body for a flavor that I’m not too fond of. On top of that, I would never wait on a ridiculous line let alone pay for one of those.”

While social media and marketing companies advertise the popular pumpkin spice trend, bloggers and magazines are touching on the fad in a not so joyous and festive way.

These people are referring to pumpkin spice as being “basic” and that it is a “white girl” trend – mainly suggesting that this product is marketed towards women and may in fact be destroying our nations “manhood.” When asked, John Jay’s Twomey had no shame in his love for pumpkin spice lattes and suggested that he will continue to drink them.

The Legend of the Killer High Heels

By Darren Harris

Staff Writer

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons

Since the 1600’s the creation of high heels continues to be an ever evolving trend for men and women. There are different kinds of healed shoes such as the cone, kitten, prism, puppy, spool/Louis, stiletto, and the wedge heel, to name a few.

In the history of high heels, the trend has come and gone throughout the years. It wasn’t until the 1980’s that high heels started making a comeback in fashion and in everyday wear.

Jameka Johnson, a sophomore student says, “Not only am I in love with wearing a stiletto, but any type of high heel for that matter, and knowing that the high heel has been around for so long shows that it will continue to stand the test of time.”

To honor the history and many styles of the high heel, the Brooklyn Museum opened an exhibit to display the legacy and many styles of the high heels known as “Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe.”

Maria, one of the customer service representatives of the Museum states, “this exhibit pays tribute to the history of the high heel, and the contributions it has made to society, and educating people on the legacy behind the heel.”

The art exhibits features over 160 different historical and contemporary heels, that were donated by Chanel, Manolo Blahnik, Alexander McQueen, Prada, Pietro Yantorny, and Christian Louboutin.

In addition to the displays there are six short films, that served as a tribute to the high heel. The films were created by filmmakers Ghada Amer, Nick Knight, Rashaad Newsome, Marilyn Minter and more.

The high heel is typically one and a half to four inches tall, but at the exhibit there are some heels that are close to six inches. Those were specifically designed for the exhibit. In some cases the height of the heel can cause serious cons. For example, the higher the heel, the more likley it will cause lower back pain, foot and tender pain, stress on the knee, and an unbalanced gait.

While some of the pros to wearing high heels is that it gives off this tall look of about five to six inches being the maximum in height

The high heel creates a stylish look for women in their appearance especially when wearing an evening gown, or skirt to a girls night out.

Despite the high heel sometimes causing an unbalance in the way wearers walk, in the same sense it creates good body posture that helps to straighten the length of the back to produce proper airflow. Heels also build confidence in presence and appearance.

“I believe, that depending on the heel, it can determine the women’s confidence,” said Evelyn Fair, a sophomore. “I absolutely believe that women should wear high heels once in a while, because it does boost their confidence and allows them to feel sexy and good about themselves.”

The high heel has been around for many centuries and will continue to inspire and be reinvented as designers find elevating ways to keep high heels trendy.

“Every women should have a fabulous pair of high heels,” said Fair.

To learn more about the pros and cons about the history of high heel, visit The Brooklyn Museums “Killer Heels: The Art of the High-Heeled Shoe” that will continue to run until Feb.15, 2015, located on the 1st floor of the Robert E. Blum Gallery.

 

The Criminalization of Style

The History and Effects of Sagging

By Jenifer Valmon

Staff Writer

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons

From the oversize baggy pants of the 90’s to the legging like, slim legs of the last decade, sagging pants have become a permanent fixture in Hip Hop as well as American popular culture. With mega stars such as Lil Wayne and Justin Bieber adopting the style, sagging pants are a part of the urban youth’s uniform, including John Jay students.

Fashions adopted by urban youths have been met with opposition throughout history. Gene Demby’s Sept. 11 post on the Code Switch blog, denotes the way in which urban street styles have been one of the main characteristics used to accuse certain individuals of being suspicious and criminal.

Demby draws parallels between the ways that the “zoot suits” of the Jazz era were synonymous with young Black and Mexican American delinquency in the 1930’s. And how saggy pants are responsible for labeling delinquency in the same group of individuals in the 90’s and today.

There has been a wave of backlash against the controversial fashion for decades with the most recent being the most forceful strike against this street style.

An unanimous vote was cast on the law against sagging pants, on July 15, in the city of Ocala, Florida. Council Woman, Mary Sue Rich, headed the vote.

Sagging your pants two inches below your waist in Ocala would have earned you up to $500 in fines and up to 60 days in jail.

“Everyone’s saying I’m targeting young black men. I’m black. I’ve been black for a long time, why would I be targeting black men? I would just like to ask one of these men, ‘What is the advantage of pulling your pants down so far?’” said Rich, on July 22, to Genevieve Shaw Brown of Good Morning America.

The decision was later overturned due to legal threat from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, claiming racial profiling of young black men and calling the law “clearly discriminatory” according to Catherine Mejia’s article on WESH.com.

Nelson Arroyo, 25, a senior at John Jay, admits to sagging his pants in the past. It portrayed him as “not caring about his appearance,” Arroyo said. Arroyo believes the look sells the “bad boy” persona, popular in mainstream media and attracts a negative kind of attention.

In 2010, New York Senator Eric Adams launched a campaign against sagging in NYC. In the campaign, he urged young men to drop the trend using billboards around urban areas, depicting enlarged pictures of the ill-fitting attire.

Adam’s went as far as asking School Chancellor Dennis Walcott to take the initiative to ban sagging in NYC classrooms, in his New York Post article on March 11, 2012.

“I sag my pants because I wanted to emulate the older men in my neighborhood, after I got to college it became clear that I would have to assimilate a little to adapt here at John Jay, but I didn’t necessarily abandon the idea because it’s all about a sense of style,” said Manuel Castillo, 19, John Jay sophomore and Urban Male initiative (UMI) mentee.

UMI is a campus based peer advocate-mentoring program. The program’s mission aims at helping students transcend obstacles usually attributed to being part of a minority, regardless of race or gender, but focuses on Black and Latino men. Black and Latino men have a lower graduation rate than any other group. The program provides social, academic, and personal support, as well as networking opportunities on campus.

Castillo has been a member of UMI since his freshman year and has found it to be a place to connect to his professors and to “overall better yourself.”

The fight against the popular style of dress has even reached popular television shows and social media outlets. One of the most memorable is the then 62-year-old Larry Platt’s audition on American Idol for the show’s ninth season. Platt preformed his original song “Pants On The Ground.”

“Pants on the ground, pants on the ground. Looking like a fool with your pants on the ground,” begins Platt’s song.

The more recent being, the “pull your pants up challenge,” famed by Malik S. King’s YouTube video, posted on Aug. 29.

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons

In his video, similar to the ice bucket challenge, King challenges a number of friends to pull their pants up. He also claims that conversations in black communities should move away from racial profiling and he says, focus more on what we are doing to contribute to the problem by re-evaluating the way we present ourselves.

King’s comments prompted a discussion on CNN’s show “The News Room,” two days later. The commentators included political commentator Marc Lamont Hill and Tara Setmayer.

In their discussion Setmayer agreed with King’s notion that the sagging pants contribute to racial profiling by saying “in the real world presentation matters.”

Hill, on the other hand believes that there is no connection between sagging your pants and black people being criminalized. He also debunks the jail origins of the fashion as urban legend.

“The truth is before black people pulled their pants down they were still getting locked up. My concern is, that if we continue to tell young black men that they can’t behave or dress or otherwise demonstrate their way out of police oppressing, then we’re blaming the victim here,” said Hill.

Florida is not the first or only state to legally attack this style of dress. New Jersey also passed a law that banned the fashion at Wildwood boardwalks with fines ranging from $25 to $200.

In this land of the free, women seem to be more free to choose what they would like to adopt as their style . Although many women’s fashions carry specific stereotypes, none are punishable by law at this moment.

“It’s ludicrous to me. Society has this view of what the average person should look like and anything that does not match that look is demonized by society. I’m a person that enjoys expressing who he is and if someone decides to do that [sag], that’s their choice,” said Castillo.

 

History Strikes Democratic Party

 

By Davon Singh

Staff Writer

Democratic donkey 1

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons

Last Tuesday was the Midterm Election and if you’re a Democrat it was bad. Actually bad is the nice way of putting it. The Midterm election was a bloodbath, shellacking, a landslide victory, a political typhoon, a tidal wave and various other synonyms to those words.

Republicans won every aspect of the election. In the Senate, the Republicans gained 8 seats, giving them a total of 53 seats. In the House of Representatives they won 24 seats, giving them a total of 244 seats. The Democrats have 46 seats in the Senate and 186 in the House respectively.

You may be wondering why there was such an increase in Republican representation; I mean this is the same party that has broken our government for the past 6 years, and denies scientific facts like climate change.

First off, the Democrats ran the worse re-election campaign ever.

The second reason is history. According to NPR “history tells us that midterm elections are bad — sometimes very bad — for the party that controls the White House.” In 1986, Republicans and President Ronald Reagan lost the Senate to Democrats. In 1994, President Bill Clinton felt the wrath of voters when both the Senate and House were captured by Republicans.

The third reason was Voter I.D. Laws. These laws require some sort of identification in order to vote. As of today 34 states have Voter I.D. Laws. Why? To crackdown on the terrible problem of voter fraud.

Voter fraud is a huge problem. Take for example a five year period during the Bush Administration, 196,000,000 votes were cast and there were 86 cases of voter fraud. Not 86,000 cases, but 86. That is a grand total of .00004 percent of votes cast.

The problem here is not voter fraud but the fact Republicans cannot get certain groups of people to vote for them. And instead of trying to appeal to these groups, it is just a lot easier if these groups were not allowed to vote at all.

The fourth reason was voter turnout. According to the New York Times “The abysmally low turnout in last week’s midterm elections — the lowest in more than seven decades — was bad for Democrats, but it was even worse for democracy. In 43 states, less than half the eligible population bothered to vote, and no state broke 60 percent.” Low voter turn out benefits the Republican Party. Midterms are dominated by older conservative voters.

There was one common policy of all the Republicans voted in. They all ran on the platform of repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) aka Obamacare. Yes, after over 50 failed attempts in the past, they are going to try one more time. At this point repealing Obamacare would be political suicide. Over 10 million people now have healthcare because of Obamacare. Yeah, have fun repealing that. Even if a resolution to repeal the ACA got to President Obama, he could just veto it.

Another staple of the Republican platform was reigning in government spending. Which is just as huge of a problem as voter fraud.. This year the federal deficit is $493 billion. The deficit is yearly losses. The national debt is a collection of those yearly losses. According to Forbes “For the record, $483 billion is $197 billion below the almost $680 billion deficit recorded in 2013.

It’s also $930 billion, that is, close to $1 trillion, less than the largely recession-caused $1.4 trillion deficit in 2009.

The Congressional Budget Office projected in early 2009, that is, before the start of the Obama administration, that, because of the recession, the deficit that year would be $1.2 trillion. Thanks Obama.

So here we are, stuck with a party that has broken our government and obstructed President Obama on every possible front. The best possible way to sum this whole mess up is a great quote from former President Bill Clinton “the American people believe, a majority of them … that a divided government may work better than a united government.

Compassionate Conservatives

By Jay Cruger

Staff Writer

Republican elephant

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons

This year the Republican Party made a wave in the midterm elections of historic proportion. The Republican Party won 53 US Senate seats, 244 US House seats, and even here in New York, Republicans made significant gains at the state and federal level. These results speak for the voters loud and clear; a rejection of the Democratic Party and President Obama’s agenda.

These results managed to make history in many places. It almost reflects the landslide made four years ago, only this time, the influence was broader and the quality of the candidates increased our quantity.

The biggest difference between this midterm and 2010 was the Republican goal; retake the United States Senate. After extreme factions in the party cost this opportunity in 2010 and 2012, the Republicans were determined to mind their manners and shut out extreme rhetoric that cost them victory time and time again.

Thad Cochran turned back the Tea Party in Mississippi, Lindsey Graham won in South Carolina, Mitch McConnell destroyed his opposition in his primary, and all around it was assured there would be no “Todd Akin” Republican to make an ill-timed remark about social issues or make any egregious blunder costing yet another Senate takeover. Indeed, most of the candidates who ran were more centrist conservative or center-right, appealing to where most of the country is.

The wave was brought out by the concern of voters who felt the President had either not done enough or was taking the country in the wrong direction. The results reflected on the Democratic candidates at home. According to the Washington Post, two-thirds of voters say the country is seriously on the wrong track, the second-highest “wrong-track” number in exit polls since 1990 – and both parties own it.

While the Democrats struggled to manage this reputation and disassociate themselves from the White House, Republicans targeted those in the middle class, in the language of “Compassionate Conservatism.” “Over the last several years, median household income in this state has declined by over $4,000,” said Rep. Cory Gardner, the Republican Senate candidate in Colorado. “In fact, it’s been since 1999 that middle-class wages have stayed the same.”

The Democrats bragged at the end of every month about declining unemployment, but Republicans pointed out that this number did not represent people who are so discouraged that they have stopped looking for work. This was a Grand Old Party (GOP) talking point in Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, and Kentucky; all states with Republican Senate victories.

The reason for the Democrats defeat was not all focused on domestic policy, though the bulk of the election was decided there. Republicans also ran on a tough foreign policy, particularly opposition to the White House’s treatment of Israel and increasing defense spending. Lee Zeldin rode these points to victory on the East End of Long Island in New York, becoming the sole Jewish Republican member of the House.

Republicans made inroads with minorities in the country, by doing what those communities were waiting for them to do—talk to them. In Georgia, Republican Governor Nathan Deal emphasized the state’s progress toward reducing the number of African Americans in prison. Thad Cochran saved his political life by reaching out to African Americans who were outraged at the racially charged rhetoric used by his Tea Party primary challenger, Chris McDaniel.

Mia Love of Utah will be the first African-American Republican Woman elected to Congress, and Tim Scott the first African-American elected to the US Senate from South Carolina. Republicans won 36 percent of Hispanics, who made up just eight percent of the electorate. The Republicans in Upstate, New York nominated and had elected the youngest, female member of Congress in history, Elise Stefanik, who won by double digits.

Despite this success, voter turnout was still relatively low, at 36.3 percent. Low enthusiasm during midterms has historically been the trend. Despite this, voters in large numbers appear to know the country is not doing well, but it remains unclear if the Republican wave can be kept into the presidential election.

Compassionate conservatism revived the Republican Party to a win of historic levels, and the only strategy is to continue this center-right mantra for the Presidential battle in 2016. The Republican Party clearly still has more gaps to bridge in the “Under 40” and minority demographics, but a foundation and standard was set with this election.

Supreme Court Refusals Benefits Same Sex Marriage

By Yasmin Winston

Contributing Writer

Recently the Supreme Court has refused to rule against the issue of same-sex marriage cases, giving victory to those in a few states who were eager to tie the knot.

The Supreme Court refused to hear cases from the states of Indiana, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin – all states who were keen on keeping their ban on same-sex marriage. Same-sex marriage is already legal in the District of Columbia and 19 states. If the court continues at this rate, six more states could have their ban lifted.

“I am in favor of equality. I agree with same-sex marriage,” said Dr. Rob Faunce, a current English, Interdisciplinary, and Gender Studies professor at John Jay. “I think, as an employee at John Jay, I take the procedures more seriously. It’s not just about simple requests for equality and dignity; it’s also about fair dispensation of law and jurisprudence.”

Some people do not agree with the idea of two individuals of the same sex walking hand in hand down the street. The fear is that the tensions that rise amongst communities in spite of the court’s ruling, makes this decision an issue for some people.

“The ruling of the Supreme court could stir up violence and problems between two groups of people who have different views. I don’t think we need that right now,” said Khoshnoor Paracha, a Humanities and Justice major at John Jay.

As someone of the Islamic faith, morally, she did not agree with same-sex marriage but believes that it is an individual’s choice and should be left up to them.

“Marriage, to me, is a sacred union of two individuals, the sanctity of which is orchestrated by the Divine. Marriage in essence cannot be divorced from the notion of religion; and being a nation that boasts separation between Church and State,” said Talha Shabaz. “I perceive this to be a blatant contradiction. Marriage is not, and should not be a legislative matter that state government and/or the federal government should be intervening in.”

Individuals against same-sex marriages are arguing that the idea of marriage is something religious and should therefore be left that way. They believe that marriage should not separate from a governing entity, however, with such a ruling by the Supreme Court, it is showing otherwise.

For Devyn Serrano, a female-to-male transgender and secretary of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) club at John Jay said, this change has been “long overdue.” Yet, in spite of his support of this decision, he believes the Supreme Court’s ruling was not a wise one.

“I think the Supreme Court overruling these laws can become a problem because it’s like borderline dictatorship. It’s more of a relationship problem that needs to be resolved between the court and the state so that issues like these can be resolved,” said Serrano.

Although many see the rulings on same sex marriage by the Supreme Court as a step in the right direction, they are also worried of the issues it will cause between the rights of individuals who are not in favor of the decision. Ultimately, the opinions of those in favor and against are rights that rest on them individually.

“There’s supposed to be equal rights for everyone, its important for people to be comfortable, to be who they are. It’s amazing to see how far we’ve come, I just love it,” said Anthony Forbez, a junior at John Jay and member of the LGBTQ community.

 

 

Professor Majic Sheds Light On Sex Work Field

By Rehana Sancho

Staff Writer

sex work politics

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons The cover of Professor Majic’s latest book, which can be found on Amazon.

Professor Samantha Majic, assistant professor of political science at John Jay, has unleashed a new wave of feminism and open-mindedness about the sex industry here on campus. Strutting down the halls with her high heels and often very fashionable outfits, Professor Majic has cast a spell on many young women who hope to follow in her advocate footsteps.

Professor Majic is teaching a class titled “Women and Politics” for the Political Science Department. The lectures include topics about the many types of feminist theories, such as radical feminism, liberal feminism, socialist feminism and modern feminism. The course also sheds light on some controversial feminists such as Beyoncé, and well noted modern political women, such as Michelle Obama and Hillary Clinton, as well as other women in politics, both national and international.

At 36 years old, Professor Majic has received four degrees; a B.A from the University of Toronto, two Masters Degrees from both York University and Cornell University, and lastly a Ph.D. from Cornell University. She had written one book, “Sex Work Politics: From Protest to Service Provision” and is co-editor of another, “Negotiating Sex Work.”

According to the University of Pennsylvania Press, “Sex Work Politics” is “an excellent, important book. Samantha Majic’s detailed community research will transform our views of sex workers as well as our understanding of the potential for nonprofit community organizations and social movements to achieve lasting political change.”

Professor Majic based her research in California where she worked with the St. James Infirmary (SJI) and the California Prostitution Education Project (CAL-PEP). She worked with sex workers, volunteering, interviewing and grasping an overall understanding of how and why they became a sex worker. Majic came to the conclusion that “all sex workers aren’t victims,” and centered the thesis of her book around the understanding of why sex work should be decriminalized.

Majic argues that sex work should be decriminalized with policy considerations that would equate to safe and healthy sexual practices for both the sex worker’s and their clients. However, Majic is not advocating for total government intervention, because sex workers should have a say on how they want to be governed based on their experience with the sex trade.

Majic believes that people should think more broadly about sex work. She feels like a “poor women sexuality is policed,” and that there is an assumption that all sex workers are either criminals or victims. “sex workers are not just women who have been stuff in the back of a truck,” explains Majic. According to Majic, people often confuse sex work with sex trafficking which is when a person, involuntarily, is coerce into the sex trade by another person or group. Some people are making a personal decision to become a sex worker.

Majic

Photo Courtesy of John Jay Website Professor Samantha Majic

To introduce her research and open the floor to sex work conversation, Professor Majic spearheaded the “Sex Work Initiative” forum this fall in the Moot Court Room here on campus. Through six diverse events such as a book talk, film screenings/debate, and panel discussions with people who are involved in the sex work industry, students were exposed to an alternative view of the sex work field.

Students listened to excerpts and brief summaries of Professor Majic’s book, “Sex Work Politics: From Protest to Service Provision.” Majic explained that sex workers aren’t just prostitutes, they are also escorts, pornography stars and exotic dancers; people who choose to make a career or make money using their bodies.

After attending three of the sex initiative forums, Hadassah Yisrael, a sophomore, explained she felt like she was given a one on one experience other professors seldom offer. Yiseral explains that the forums were thought provoking. “Our ideas of sex workers are usually procreated by the media,” said Yisrael. “This is the best event I seen from a professor.”

After the forum, Yisrael said she is eager to take one of Professor Majic’s classes because of the testimonies she heard from the former sex worker at the event, and Professor Majic herself. “The world is so heteronormative. It doesn’t allow for fluid identities,” explained Yisrael. “I believe taking a class of her will allow me to continue to explore what I’ve learned from the forum.

M.G Robinson, a junior, is a student in Professor Majic’s “Women and Politics” class, “I have been so inspired by not only the forum, but the feminist theories she has introduced me too.” Robinson explains that meeting congressional woman Helen Rosenthal, in class, showed her that Professor Majic actually cares about her cause and her students.

But the females on campus aren’t the only people being influenced by Professor Majic, Abran Acosta, a junior, explained. “I never looked at politics as a gendered field, but learning about how long and hard women have fought for their rights, beyond suffrage, I can’t take the little things for granted anymore.”

Acosta went further to say, “Even though I don’t always agree with what she says in class, I do agree that the information she provides, to these classes full of women will increase women’s involvement in politics and ultimately increase gender equality.

Professor Majic’s research, classes, and forums has created a platform to discuss issues such as sex work and women’s equality. Whether or not everyone agrees with her research, judging by student’s reactions and her jammed packed forums, Professor Majic is providing John Jay students with three things they love; controversy, open-minded debates, and a source for inspiration.

 

Ebola Prompts CUNY Protocol

By Fathema Ahmed

Staff Writer

Ebola

By: Fathema Ahmed The largest isolation center within Haaren Hall, in room C22. This room was previously a dressing room but has been converted in case of an outbreak.

The City University of New York (CUNY) is working with the city to be prepared in case of an Ebola outbreak in CUNY schools, even following the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s guidelines.

On Thursday, Oct. 6, CUNY Chancellor James Milliken sent out a memorandum to Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Finance and Administration Robert Pignatello about Ebola preparedness.

“Although the Ebola threat to the CUNY community is small, the University has taken a number of measures to minimize risk. We have been communicating with public health agencies; our Infectious Diseases Committee meets regularly to ensure that our campuses are prepared for contingencies; and campus representatives are briefed at various forums, such as the University’s Risk Management and Business Continuity Council,” stated Milliken in his memorandum. “We have also been working with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which has prepared a guidance document for colleges and universities and an Ebola evaluation algorithm.”

According to the CUNY website, each CUNY campus has a liaison who is in charge of dispersing information and abiding by CUNY guidelines on screening for and responding to any potential issues. The office of the Chancellor asked each college to appoint a liaison, and President Jeremy Travis appointed Pignatello to be the campus liaison for John Jay.

“We’ve been coordinating on a local effort to be prepared in case we have a case of Ebola. We’ve had three meetings, sometimes with phone calls where the campus representatives all gather together, talking about what’s going on and what’s happening in different campuses,” said Pignatello in regards to how he is coordinating with other campus liaisons.

“The risk for members of the CUNY community to be exposed is viewed as low but the consequences if someone were to get ill are very high, so it was taken very seriously, ” continued Pignatello.

New York has been forced to handle a case of Ebola itself. On Wednesday, Oct. 23, the New York City Department of Health and Hygiene reported a case of Ebola in a medical aid worker. The next day, New York City doctor Craig Spencer, 33, was confirmed to be the first and only person in New York State of having the Ebola virus after returning from Guinea; one of the countries in West Africa that has been affected by the virus.

He worked there for five weeks with the humanitarian-aid organization “Doctors Without Borders,” treating victims of the deadly virus. Spencer spent 19 days in isolation at Bellevue Hospital where he was treated. It is not known whether the experimental drug and blood plasma from recovered Ebola patient Nancy Writebol, 59, made a difference or whether his body killed the virus on it’s own. Spencer was released on Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Shortly after Spencer was confirmed of having the Ebola virus, Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, announced that anyone that had direct contact with Ebola patients in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone had to go through a mandatory quarantine for 21 days. On Wednesday, Oct. 26, Cuomo announced that people coming from West Africa that did not show symptoms would be allowed to stay home for the allotted time, and that health care workers would be checking in on the patients twice a day to monitor their symptoms.

CUNY also has created isolation centers in the event of someone having the Ebola virus at CUNY. If a patient shows symptoms of Ebola and has traveled to an affected area, or had contact with someone with a confirmed case of Ebola in the 21 days before the illness, the patient will be placed in an isolated room, ideally with a private bathroom. The New York City Health Department will be contacted to guide the college through the process and to tell them what to do next.

Ebola 2

By: Fathema Ahmed The private bathroom for the isolation center located in C2201 of Haaren Hall.

John Jay College has identified an area in each of the college buildings and public safety officers, and health office employees have been trained in how to respond in the event that a member of the John Jay community were to show symptoms of the virus. The main isolation center is in the health office, which will be used during business hours. Unlike New York State regulation, the quarantine is not forced.

“The use of the isolation area is voluntary, you can’t make someone go into an isolation center, but if they present themselves with one of the risk factors, we would invite them to go into the isolation center to evaluate the situation and they would be willing to come in and then basically take over,” said Pignatello regarding forced quarantine. “We can’t force someone from John Jay to stay against their will, so that’s why we would contact the department of health and they would evaluate and follow all appropriate rules and regulations. They’re the ones whose guidance we would follow.”

Pignatello advises that students get a flu shot in order to avoid the confusion of whether someone is infected with Ebola or the flu, as flu symptoms are similar to that of Ebola.

According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, some symptoms of Ebola include, but are not limited to, fever, headaches, joint and muscle aches, nausea, weakness, diarrhea, vomiting, stomach pain and lack of appetite. Flu symptoms that are common with Ebola are fevers, headaches, aches, diarrhea and vomiting.

“Symptoms usually appear eight to 10 days after exposure but may appear anywhere from two to 21 days after exposure. People only become contagious after they begin to have symptoms. If a person does not develop symptoms within 21 days after exposure, he or she is not at risk of Ebola,” stated the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene on their website.

According to the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, you are not at risk unless you traveled to Guinea, Liberia or Sierra Leone and had direct contact through broken skin or your mouth, eyes or nose with bodily fluids such as blood, vomit, urine, feces and sweat of a person infected with the virus or a person who died of the disease.

“This is not a disease that is well known to people and not a lot of people know about how it spreads, how to contract it, how to tell if someone might be affected. We had the federal government through the CDC (United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), the state department of health and the city department of health all put out information. A lot of it is identical, but a lot of it is similar,” said Pignatello on how John Jay is making students aware of the disease.

“There is a lot of information that is on the college’s website and the college has put up posters and flyers and so forth, about what we know about Ebola, about what we know about getting infected,” continued Pignatello.

While there are protocols at CUNY, there are students who are not aware of them. “I didn’t know about the protocols. If I knew about it I would feel that CUNY realizes that it’s a big issue and they’re doing something about it,” said Crystal Santos, a freshman at John Jay.

“You should be reminded that there’s this disease like Ebola out there. You should always be sanitary. In classrooms they should educate a little more about it. We use it as a joke because we’re not as educated about it,” continued Santos.

The CUNY homepage has an Ebola information link that it will continue to update. The link connects to different Ebola resources.

“We don’t want to overreact. We want to take reasonable precautions. That’s part of the challenge, the challenge here is to protect the safety of the people in our community and at the same time preserve and protect the privacy rights of everyone who might be suspected of being unhealthy. It’s not our job to diagnose people, we’re not doctors,” said Pignatello.