April 19, 2015

Legacies Honored with Scholarships

By Daysha McNair

Contributing Writer

At 11am, Friday, Feb. 27, 2015, John Jay College hosted their 25th Malcolm/King Scholarship Breakfast in the second floor dining hall. This event has grown substantially since it started in 1990.

The scholarship breakfast was held to honor those who have laid the grounds for this event to happen, like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X. Ilyasah Al-Shabazz, Malcolm X’s daughter, was the guest speaker at this event.

There were rewards given to Scholarship winners. The Africana Studies Department offered this scholarship back in November for John Jay students who fit the academic requirement.

The application process consisted of writing an essay to discuss their commitment to public service, how they embody Malcolm X and Dr. King’s legacies, their idea of public service, service leadership, or community service is and how they feel it extends the foundation that Malcolm and King both laid for us. Dr. Crystal Endsley was part of the Scholarship Sub Committee and had the opportunity to be a part of the application process for students who applied.

“To make sure our students see themselves as empowered to advocate or to be activist beyond the classroom, I think it’s really important. Africana Studies requires both a commitment to action and also a commitment to theory,” Endsley said.

The Scholarship Breakfast’s long-running history can be attributed to the hard work of many individuals.

“The only reason why the Malcolm/King Breakfast has been so successful throughout the years is because there has been a set number of faculty and staff members that have fully been dedicated to the breakfast every single year,” said Maria Vidal, a coordinator from the Urban Male Initiative.

Students who have attended this event also share the same values as the faculty that were involved. Jamel Love, a McNair Scholar and a senior at John Jay College applied for the scholarship last year and says that the essay prompt asked “How does your current and future accomplishments- how are those in alignment with the legacies of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King?”

In his essay, he expressed his involvement in his church community and the high school students in the upper bound program at John Jay.

“I really touched on how helping students at the high school level, professionally, academically, and how important that is and instilling in young kids the importance of education and creating young leaders and giving the same kind of support that I received that wouldn’t be possible had it not been for the civil rights movement and the legacies of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X,” said Love.

Allura Casanova, another McNair Scholar at John Jay College, said that it’s the first year that she went to the event and she emphasized the importance of community service.

“I was looking towards this mentoring program for Hispanic students…helping them through high school… It’s high school Latinos that are struggling in school and you pretty much are the gateway into college making sure they’re on the right track,” said Casanova.

“Although I didn’t make it to the event this year, I think it’s really important. I wish I would have gone. I think it’s very important to maintain contact with people, with your community, and do everything you can try to help people, even if it’s just helping an old woman across the street or being about of your community board. It’s really important to give back because there’s a lot of indirect benefits we don’t see,” said Love.

 

Own Your Power: One Woman Show Speaks Against Domestic Violence

By Arianny Reyes

Staff Writer

In honor of women’s history month, the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership presented “Demerara Gold,” a show on the hidden price of immigration and domestic violence, at John Jay’s Black Box Theater on, March 12.

The show, written and performed by Ingrid Griffith aimed to empower women to break silence and speak up.

“I have to reveal a lot of what I went through to get that message across, speaking up, not being silent about things that are going on within your family and with you,” Griffith said enthusiastically.

Griffith has been part of productions such as “Ruined” by Lynn Nottage, “Buckingham” by Tina Andrews and many others. She was nominated for Best Solo-Show at the Midtown International Theater Festival and received an award from the Guyana Cultural Association of New York for “Heritage Journalism” in 2014. Ingrid teaches Introduction to Theater, Communications, and Civic Engagement at John Jay.

Demerara Gold is based on Griffith’s life experiences. She performed as 16 characters solo in a period of one hour and fifteen minutes. The first part of the show takes place in Georgetown, Guyana and then in Long Island, New York.

“It was really, really good. If she had people around her it would have been a Broadway hit, but the fact that she did it by herself and still pulled it off, that was great,” said Matthew Narvaez, senior at John Jay.

As a seven year old, she was left back in Guyana with her older sister and two grandmothers when her parents come to America like many other families in search of a better quality of life, but upon arriving the little girl’s life turns upside down.

The family feels a separation which Ingrid lives in full flesh as she realizes their relationship is tearing apart because both her parents have to work and barely have time to dedicate to her and her sister.

Chavel Guzman, senior and psychology major related to Griffith’s story. When Guzman’s parents came to the United States, she had to stay with her grandmother.

“I cried every time I heard my moms voice over the phone.” Guzman added, “Separation sometimes does a bigger harm to the family.”

As Griffith’s parents continue fighting, she is torn between keeping the violence a secret and speaking up in order to save her mothers life from her father’s iron hands.

“Do not encourage or allow for domestic violence to keep happening. It was a big deal in my family and we were so secretive about it.” She added, “I behaved different in school because I was keeping a secret. I did not have a lot of friends because I was from a different culture. It took me a long time to open up and start to speak up,” Griffith said.

Domestic violence can happen to anybody regardless of race or gender. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, domestic violence is the third leading cause of homelessness.

Statistics in the National Domestic Violence Hotline show that 24 people per minute are victims of abuse, about 12 million per year, including men and women.

“Stay true to yourself, listen to your heart, do not lose your soul. You do not need to make all the friends in the world,” said Griffith. “Own your power, your truth, your own gold.”

 

 

Not Enough Rows In Club Row

By Angeline Dominguez

Editor

By: Jenifer Valmon Students using the cubicle space which houses six different student organizations.

By: Jenifer Valmon
Students using the cubicle space which houses six different student organizations.

John Jay’s “hub,” where clubs are able to plan and hold their organization’s events, commonly referred to as “club row,” currently has 18 club rooms of which 39 clubs share, but with 53 student organizations, some club members have mixed feelings regarding the dwindling space.

“John Jay college as a whole has a space crisis. It’s not just students, it’s faculty and staff that are going to shared spaces because John Jay is growing, the student population is growing, the faculty and staff is growing, which is a good thing but as far as the space, it causes concerns because we’re outgrowing the space that we’re in,” said the Associate Director of the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership (CSIL), Makeda Jordan.

CSIL encourages students to join organizations as a way to become more involved with their interests, but as clubs continue to grow, space continues to shrink.

There has been a recent relocation of student organizations located in club row, leaving some clubs limited to a cubicle space at the entrance of club row, L2.70.00.

“It’s a home for student organizations, it wouldn’t do the student body any good by limiting the number [of student organizations]. A room doesn’t necessarily define you,” said Danielle Officer, the director of CSIL.

SEEK Society, a student organization at John Jay, was recently moved from the cubicle space to room L2.70.25, sharing the room with another student organization, Graphic Novels Club.

“I’m excited. Sometimes I can’t believe it, we finally got a club room, we do have a lot of members and never really had a place to gather,” said Paola Castillo, vice president of SEEK Society, regarding her feelings of moving into a room.

SEEK Society was first recognized in the fall semester of 2013. According to Castillo, the club has close to 200 participating members. They had spent about two and a half years without an official club room.

“It was really annoying because we were assigned to this little space, which we didn’t even feel comfortable using because it’s always packed,” said Castillo. “I think you need a room because it’s a place where you are welcomed, where you can hang out and post stuff on the wall. It’s not something that you need-need but it’s important because if people are looking for you, they know where to find you.”

Castillo believes that being persistent was the key to helping her club get a room, but according to Officer, the process has nothing to do with persistence.

The process is based off of seniority. “The ethical thing for us to do is…order. So if you’re in compliance and you keep meeting compliance and you’re the next student organization on the list, you’re the next one to get it [a room],” said Officer.

To meet compliance, you are meeting the guidelines to be recognized as an official John Jay student organization.

“Some clubs keep their same room. The minute that a room becomes available, we move a student organization in,” said Officer.

The list she refers to includes the date in which a club first became recognized. To be given a room solely relies on whoever became a club first.

What is now the cubicle space for clubs at the main entrance of club row used to be staff space. Four staff members were moved to share one room, L2.70.14, in order to allow more space for the new organizations.

By: Jenifer Valmon The hallway of club row with 18 rooms, housing 39 out of 15 clubs.

By: Jenifer Valmon
The hallway of club row with 18 rooms, housing 39 out of 15 clubs.

The CSIL staff still hold multiple rooms within club row, and Castillo sometimes wishes “that all the coordinators were in one room.”

Currently, six clubs share the cubicle at the entrance of club row. Though the small space can be cramped, some students enjoy the social aspect.

“I like the cubicle because its very interactive. You always see people. You’re always meeting new people. I have no issues with the cubicle, I don’t want it to change. Its not in my interests to get a room,” said Kierra Spears, an active member of the Youth Justice student organization.

There are two conference rooms available for students organizations to use when they have meetings or events, located in L2.70.03 and L2.70.13. Student organizations are also allowed to rent out classrooms all over John Jay “as long as the event fits the space you want to rent out,” said Jordan.

Plans to alleviate the space strain in club row are in progress.

According to Officer, “We have future plans for things that we want to do down here, but there are some ideas about how we are going to change things so that we are able to put in more desk and table space.”

Homeless Campout

By Jade Jetjomlong

Staff Writer

By: Ryan Durning Cardboard houses built by students in the atrium of the New Building.

By: Ryan Durning
Cardboard houses built by students in the atrium of the New Building.

 

 

At noon on March 9, in the John Jay College atrium, dozens of cardboard scraps piled up sitting within a “Caution” tape barrier. These cardboard boxes would be the floor, walls, and ceiling for the 26 John Jay students who would be “homeless” for the next 24 hours.

Entitled “24 Hours Campout: A Night Without A home,” the chaperoned event was sponsored by the Office of Community Outreach and was set to show “a demonstration of homelessness conditions” to the John Jay community while providing willing students with a small feel for what it is to sleep with very little luxuries that are taken for granted on a daily basis, such as a bed, pillows, or blankets.

According to the most recent census of John Jay, there are almost 200 students in John Jay College who claim to be homeless, a number that can never be 100 percent accurate since many are afraid or embarrassed to claim homelessness. In all of New York City, homelessness is at an all- time high with 59,000 men, women, and children that are homeless according to the Daily News.

A large portion of homeless people are veterans from all branches of the U.S. military. The event was organized to raise awareness mainly for homeless veterans and homeless students.

“We hold veterans to such high standards and we treat them like heroes that they are but when we see them in the streets, we do nothing and that’s ridiculous,” said 23 year old John Jay Senior and Army State Guard Reserve, Jose Castro. Castro is the current senior representative in Student Council and a service project coordinator for community outreach. All coordinator’s have to participate in 250 hours of community service and then coordinate event, and being in the military, this project was a prime choice.

“These are people who risk their lives for this country, and the government spits them out to fend for themselves and offer limited help,” said Veronica Acevedo, 21, junior at John Jay. “These veterans deserve a lot more than to be out in the cold, starving, and with a high chance of battling a mental disorder like PTSD.”

Along with sleeping on the floor overnight, the participating students also created their own personal spaces, or “homes,” using the cardboard boxes provided.

During the daytime, students who were camping out and students who wanted to show support prepared sandwiches and survival kits for a food run to homeless people around Columbus Circle, as well as writing letters to elected officials to draw attention to the problems associated with homelessness.

“I really have to commend the improvising a lot of homeless people have to do in order to make themselves a little warmer when they’re caught sleeping outside,” said Acevedo. “Creating a decent cardboard hut was a good amount of work and I had resources like tape and string that homeless people may not have access to.”

The students had a variety of cardboard creations ranging from four walls and a roof, to strategic positioning of just a roof, to being as simple as laying their sleeping bags on top of the cardboard.

The 26 students who attended varied from freshmen undergraduates to graduate students of all different ages. As part of the event, the students present were asked to gather around and tell their reason for participating.

“Some people came up to me and asked, ‘why are we pretending to be homeless’ and ‘why are we inside.’ I tried to tell them that we are not here to play homeless, we are here to raise awareness, to get the students thinking about things,” said Castro. “I had to ask them, if we did this outside, who would we have an impact on? It would only impact the few of us who did it, but if we are doing this in here, where everyone can see, we have more of a chance to educate and impacting more people to think differently or to do something about it.”

By: Ryan Durning Fernando Andrade holding a makeshift homeless sign.

By: Ryan Durning
Fernando Andrade holding a makeshift homeless sign.

Some students spoke about how they used to be homeless, how they knew friends who were homeless, and even how they were never homeless themselves but see men and women struggling everyday to stay warm and find food; but no one ever pays attention to them. No one wants to help. “There are different types of homelessness and no type should be underestimated,” said Acevedo, reminiscing about a peer sharing their own homeless story.

The night was finished off with the presentation of “The Pursuit of Happiness”, a heart wrenching film about the struggle of a man and his young son overcoming poverty and homelessness through perseverance and hard work.

After a hard sleep on the floor, students woke up to sore backs and fatigue. With classes to attend or jobs to go to, the homes were broken down by noon on March 10. The day carried on as usual, but hopefully with fresh eyes and insight.

“A professor made his class come by and although they were being reluctant and didn’t really want to be there they still learned something about what was going on,” said John Jay Junior and President of the Haitian American Student Association, Taisha Lazare, 21. “I think that made his[Castro's] point come across because that is what he wanted and I think it was successful that way.”

According to Castro, there were only around 10 students who participated in the camp out last year, but this year there was more than double that amount and at the Homelessness Awareness Panel hosted the next day, there were students from John Jay, New York University, University of Albany, and Brooklyn College in attendance.

For more information on how you can make a difference, or if you are interested in making donations, please contact [email protected] or stop by the Office of Community Outreach in New Building room L.71.14.

 

Three Tickets Too Short: Senior Hustle for Graduation Tickets

By Fifi Youssef

Staff Writer

The black market begins for tickets to the graduation ceremony for John Jay College of Criminal Justice

Many graduates are frustrated due to the fact that each student will only receive three tickets for guests. This year’s graduation will be held at The Theater at Madison Square Garden (MSG) on Wednesday, June 3. There will be two ceremonies separated by majors. The first ceremony will start at 10:30am and the second will begin at 3:00pm.

According to the Madison Square Garden site the indoor arena seats 18,200 people while the Theater itself seat anywhere from 2,000-5,500 people. However, the Associate Director of Office of Student Transition Program, Tiffany Ontaro said students only get three tickets because the ceremonies will be at the Theater and, “we graduate over 3,000 students each year,” and “seat about 12,000 people.”

Maximo Morel, 21, a senior majoring in criminal justice, expressed his anger and said, “It’s dumb. Some people are the first graduate in their family and it’s a big thing so a lot of families want to go.”

“New York doesn’t have a larger venue than this,” said Ontaro. “If we go to a baseball stadium just as NYU or Fordham does, our students wouldn’t be able to walk across the stage and we know our John Jay students want to walk across the stage.”

Coordinator of the Office of Student Transition Program, Christie Graziano, said, “Last year’s graduation was held at the Jacob Javits Center which is a ‘large open entertainment center.’ It’s an empty space where we had to set up the chairs and the stage. It has no fixed seating like The Theater at Madison Square Garden has, so there is no way to compare the Theater at Madison Square Garden with Javits,” said Graziano.

Siddiqur Rahman, 21, majoring in forensic psychology is a graduating senior who doesn’t plan on attending the ceremony. “I want to go to graduate school so attending this graduation is frivolous,” said Rahman. “In my opinion, I’m expected to graduate from college so it’s not really much of an accomplishment for me.”

Other graduating students share a similar point of view of graduation. Anthony Trobiano, 22, majoring in English, also plans to not attend the ceremony. “Graduation isn’t important to me because I don’t feel the need to showcase something that I achieved,” said Trobiano.

Both Rahman and Trobiano will be selling their tickets. “I will be selling my tickets for a minimum of $50 each,” said Trobiano. Rahman, on the other hand, is selling two of his tickets for a minimum of $70 each. His third ticket will be given to a friend of his with no charge. “Friendship isn’t something that I can put a price on,” said Rahman.

“I don’t think it’s ethical,” said Ontaro, regarding students selling their extra tickets. “We give them to you for free. You earned this why would you have to pay for it.”

Fake tickets were an issue at last years graduation. “Last year, a lot of students were selling fake tickets and we knew which ones were fake and they’d get caught at Jacob Javits,” said Ontaro. “A handful of students bought fake tickets. I’ve had students last year come to my office crying saying they spent $100 dollars on a ticket then find out its fake and I couldn’t do anything about it.”

Unaware of the limit in tickets and the first to graduate in his family, Raymond Collazo, 29, Philosophy major, said, “I didn’t know I was only able to have three people attend, now that I think about it I would have to limit the amount of people that would have wanted to see my graduation to three. I probably would have wanted more than three tickets.”

Other than fake tickets, students should also be aware that morning graduation tickets do not work for the evening ceremony and vise versa. “MSG has a barcode on their tickets and when it’s scanned it’ll show it’s the wrong ticket,” said Ontaro.

According to Collazo, selling tickets shouldn’t be a big deal, “If students don’t need three tickets and everyone is allotted three tickets, I suppose it’s not that bad that students are selling them. At the same time it’s a bit ridiculous that this is turning into a way to make money for these students. I wouldn’t pay for that amount for extra tickets, I am just going to suck it up and accept that only three people can come to my graduation,” said Collazo.

 

 

CUNY Reconstructs Gender Titles: Say Goodbye to Mr. and Ms.

By Valfrie Claisse

Contributing Writer

 

A John Jay student wearing a nametag demonstrating the lack of gender titles.

Photo Courtesy of Angelo Picca A John Jay student wearing a nametag demonstrating the lack of gender titles.

When attempts to uproot deeply seated traditions are in place, controversy arises.

In the United States, addressing people in formal settings—“Ms.” or “Mrs.” for women and “Mr.” for men—after a “Hello!” is a practice that is as traditional as using ketchup and mustard on American hotdogs. But a policy is in place to do away with the titles we use to fully construct someone’s formal identity for our everyday social interactions.

On Jan. 26, the City University of New York (CUNY) Graduate Center issued a new policy advising the faculty and other staff members to avoid using the titles “Ms.,” “Mrs.,” and “Mr.” when addressing students, effective during the spring semester.

“Effective Spring 2015, the [graduate center’s] policy is to eliminate the use of gendered salutations and references in correspondence to students, prospective students, and third parties,” reads the memo sent through email to all faculty and other staff members, on Jan. 16.

The policy was announced in an internal memorandum signed by the Graduate Center’s Interim Provost Louise Lennihan. In the memo, Lennihan encouraged professors to stick with the official names of students, or use the preferred names without the gendered salutations, particularly in official correspondence, as The Wall Street Journal first reported. This would include “all parts of any letter including address and salutation, mailing labels, bills or invoices, and any other forms or reports,” the memo states.

The policy is part of CUNY’s latest effort to create a safer and non-discriminatory learning space for students. Addressing the issue of gender discrimination in college campuses, the policy is aimed to achieve a gender-inclusive environment. The current use of the heteronormative titles, CUNY argues, excludes recognition of transgender students and those who identify outside the gender binary.

The CUNY Graduate Center is the first learning institution in the country to mandate such a directive aimed at gender neutrality.

It is also the grounds where new policies are occasionally tested before a potential, full-fledged implementation to the undergraduate branches within its system. This means that even though the policy has only been issued to the Graduate Center for now, many John Jay undergraduates are already affected, especially those who consider going to the university for their graduate studies after atending John Jay College.

The policy and its implications are all the more meaningful for students who already do not conform to the gender norms.

Upon learning about CUNY’s new policy, Kadeem Robinson, 18, a John Jay sophomore, was more than passionate and thrilled at the prospects: “It’s very exciting because they are finally taking into consideration gender nonconforming people. It’s good that they are finally accepting the fact that there’s not just male or female, that there’s more to it.”

Matthew Matos, a sophomore at John Jay, maintains a neutral stance on the necessity of the ban of the gendered titles.

“I understand how people could get offended by using these titles, but then again, it’s also been used for long as a form of formality,” said Matos.

While Matos thinks the traditional courtesy titles are harmless, some students believe that “Ms.,” “Mrs.,” or “Mr.,” along with any other titles, are just as important to people’s identities.

“For me I see the titles as equal. I see race the same as gender, because this is something that means a lot to somebody,” Robinson said.

“The effects [will] create a more comforting base for students to express their identities that they haven’t ever had before,” said Devyn Serrano, vice president of the LGBTQ and Allies club. “The policy will publicize the school as a safety zone that will not butcher their preferred names and pronouns the way some of their lives already consist of.”

Despite the good intentions of the university, the response to CUNY’s newest policy ranges from skepticism to strict disagreement, with the policy itself and with the way CUNY has handled its endeavors of moving past being a gender-exclusive institution.

Some members of the faculty at the Graduate Center expressed varying concerns about the policy.

From a semantic standpoint, linguistics professor at the Graduate Center Juliette Blevins told the Wall Street Journal that she “would like to do everything possible to foster a gender-inclusive learning environment on campus.”

“However, I do not believe that prescriptive language policies should be a part of that effort.” she said.

Olivera Jokic, an English and Gender Studies professor at John Jay College, weighed in on Professor Blevins’ statement, saying that “to prescribe what language change people will adopt usually doesn’t work like that.”

While she agrees that the policy is progressive, she insists on the line between the heteronormative man-woman gender binary and the role of language itself in society.

“You don’t pretend that it is the language. It’s not the category itself. Removing the language will not necessarily mean that gender has been removed.”

Kathlyn Salazar, a junior at John Jay, doubts the need of a language policy. “There’s no necessity for such a policy,” Salazar said. “One can just advise another to say ‘don’t call me ‘Ms.,’ and I think that’s efficient.”

The policy instated by CUNY has both supporters and detractors, but the ban of the heteronormative titles becomes all the more important, especially as the country undergoes steps towards gender equality. The most recent is the issue of same-sex marriage, which the Supreme Court will decide in late April this year whether marriage equality is a constitutional right.

Political correctness is another concern among those who disagree with the policy.

Scott Tankersley, a John Jay senior who volunteers as a peer ambassador at the Women’s Center, responded to the typical claims against policies directed toward gender equality. “If believing that treating non-binary people as human beings that they are is political correctness, then call me politically correct,” Tankersley said.

As the nation continues to work against gender-based inequality in many aspects of people’s lives, college campuses are taking initiatives in addressing these issues. In John Jay, the opening of the three gender-neutral bathrooms earlier in the semester is part of this campaign.

Gender, as it shows, remains to be a critical category that we as a society use to assign identity and expectations on people.

Considering the initial failure of the policy to gain support and successful implementation, Jokic offered a consolation in favor of the new policy in place.

“We’ll just figure out other ways. What the interest is to have a comprehensive way of dealing with gender and figuring out a way to make it not matter anywhere,” said Jokic. “But we don’t have that yet.”

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.

 

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.”

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.