December 19, 2014

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.

 

Diversity Issues Strike Campus

The Creation of a Diversity Committee after conflict between John Jay organizations 

By Jenifer Valmon

Staff Writer

Diversity

By: Jenifer Valmon The Hillel Club at their event on Oct. 27, which offered food, music, and free items such as phone cases and sunglasses.

On Oct. 21, President Jeremy Travis of John Jay College for Criminal Justice sent two emails addressing the John Jay staff and student body. The first email was sent at 1:44 p.m., detailing the revitalization of John Jay’s Committee on Diversity. The second email sent at 5:36 p.m. expressed the president’s disappointment at hearing that some of the college’s Jewish students have felt intimidated on campus.

These two emails came at the heel of the “die-in” vigil hosted by the campus’ Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP), on Oct. 8.

“At John Jay College, we stand firm in our commitment to ensuring that every member of our College community feels welcomed and engaged in our justice-centered mission. Together, we will continue to make certain that our students can learn and enjoy campus life in a respectful and supportive environment,” stated President Travis in his second email.

Though it may seem that the John Jay Diversity Committee’s creation is an effect of the complaints of the Hillel Club, Kenneth Holmes, dean of students, confirms that the committee has been forming since the 2014 spring semester.

As previously reported, SJP’s event was held on the first floor of the New Building. The protest aimed for shock value by having people under blankets posed as dead bodies. The event was intended to bring awareness to the conflicts in Palestine as well as the civil conflicts in Ferguson, Missouri, after Michael Brown’s shooting and death by a white police officer.

Though the event was meant to draw attention to issues, it instead sparked new ones.

Diversity 2

By: Jenifer Valmon The food and giveaways offered at the Hillel Club event, including Hummus, and an “I-Heart-Israel” iPhone case.

“I found it very disturbing. It’s a disgrace to my religion because they don’t know the facts. They shouldn’t be saying the Israelis are the one’s who are killing,” said Margarita Okun, 29, a senior at John Jay.

The Hillel club at John Jay attended the event in silent protest of the SJP’s views and accusations. They attended peacefully “not as a counter but to create a two-sided environment,” said Yael Monselise, president of the Hillel club.

A video posted on YouTube five days after the event, Oct. 13, by Tomer Kornfeld, vice president of the Hillel Club, depicted the members of SJP as “hate mongering” and being misinformed about the Palestinian and Israeli states.

“On Oct. 8th, 2014, the SJP club at John Jay College held a die-in, which was supposed to be their call for “peace” and action, in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Well, here is a recap of some of their points,” read the video’s description.

The video listed different instances in the event in which the Pro Israel Movement believes SJP misconstrued facts or had incorrect information. The video shows a protester claiming that people are dying when we shop at Zionist companies such as Starbucks and Victoria Secret and she expressed her support for Palestinian resistance including Hamas.

The president of SJP, Susie Abdelghafar, stated in a previous article “we are not against Jewish people. We are against Zionist. But to fight for peace is hypocritical. We fight for justice,” in regards to SJP’s view on the conflict in Palestine.

“Timing was perfect in the sense that the diversity committee was in the works long before that event took place. I certainly don’t think it’s bad thing that they came out simultaneously,” said Holmes. “I chuckled… Putting together a committee like this and coming up with a charge it takes a lot longer. We started having the conversation before the spring semester ended.”

Diversity 3

By: Jenifer Valmon A posterboard at the Hillel Club’s event on Oct. 27.

The new committee’s goal is to figure out what are the issues that need to be addressed on campus such as gender equality and disabilities as well as how to diversify staff and the college’s curriculum.

Holmes has been dean of students since July 2012. President Travis appointed him to Chair of the College Committee on Diversity alongside 25 others including staff members such as Danielle Officer, Sylvia Maltabaum, and a number of students to represent the different areas of the campus’ population.

On Oct. 27, the Hillel Club hosted an event of their own. The event was held in the same place as the “die-in” vigil but had a different approach. The club played pop music while handing out chips and hummus as well as sunglasses and iPhone cases. They also had several large informational posters displaying facts about Israel.

“What we want is peace and coexistence. We are pro peace and pro Palestine but against Hamas. There can be a Palestinian and a Jewish Israeli state,” said Monselise.

The committee has created the “Justice for All” events aimed at exploring what justice means to John Jay students and to provide continual education for the community. The first event on Nov. 19 is a panel discussing hurtful versus hateful language and how the use of language can affect others.

This event is followed by social media photo-ops, giving the students a chance to express what “Justice for All” means to them. The justice for all events end with the screenings of “Enough is ENOUGH!: The Death of Jonny Gammage” and the award winning movie “Fruitvale Station.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

John Jay Mathematician Passes On

By: Fathema Ahmed

Staff Writer

 

Photo Courtesy of John Jay Website Maurice Vodounon

Professor Maurice Vodounon of the Mathematics & Computer Science Department at John Jay passed away on Wednesday, August 27 of an undisclosed illness. The John Jay community learned of his passing via email  sent out by Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Jane Bowers.

Vodounon lived in Riverside Drive with his wife and two daughters. His daughters are currently both in college. Professor Emerson Miller of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department remembers having one of his daughters in his summer class this past semester.

Vodounon received his bachelor’s in mathematics from the University of Niamey, in Niger in 1978. He obtained his master’s in Mathematics from Columbia University in 1990 followed by a second master’s in Mathematics Education in 1992. He completed his doctorate in mathematics education in 1994, also from Columbia University.

Vodounon was from Nigeria and one of few African Americans to graduate with a degree in the STEM field, “Black people are 12 percent of the U.S. population and 11 percent of all students beyond high school. In 2009, they received just 7 percent of all STEM bachelor’s degrees, 4 percent of master’s degrees, and 2 percent of PhDs, according to the National Center for Education Statistics,” stated the Huffington Post in an article.

The former chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science department Sydney Samuel also went to Columbia University for his education degree in mathematics. His advisor had recommended Vodounon for the position of lecturer when the department was conducting a search. The present chair of the department Douglas Salane was on the personal budget committee that decided to hire him.

“He made an ideal candidate because he could understand students, he got along with the students. At the time his versatility was good too, he was able to teach both Mathematics and Computer science classes,” stated Salane.

He had published works both in Mathematics and Computer Science including the textbook College Algebra, Technology and Cooperative learning Approaches which was published by Pearson Education Publishing in 2001.

He also had works in progress including “Perceptions Displayed by Novice Programmers Exploring the Relationship between Modularization Ability and Performance in the Java Programming Language” and “Analyzing the Effects of Graphing Calculator on Calculus course designed for Computer Science and Forensic Science Major” which were both under review for publication. Vodounon had several grants from PSC-CUNY to do his research.

“He was very personal, very warm, very pleasant mannered, every approachable. He was always very encouraging to me. He was doing a lot of work in the major at the time and he was always very versatile, continued Salane.”

Salane stated that Vodounon was able to teach both mathematics and computer science which made him versatile.

“Especially years ago we used to have five majors and we didn’t have the faculty we have now. It was very important. Maurice and I wanted to keep the major going, keeping these students with instructors in the class,” said Salane on why it was important for Vodounon to be versatile.

Along with his educational side Vodounon was also invested in his family, “He had two daughters who he was very, very proud of and as our families grew we would constantly compare notes and advice of what we should be doing, to help out each other. He was “very, very interesting,” stated Salane when asked about a good experience he had with Professor Vodounon.

“You look back 25 years and you’re sharing all these experiences, it’s like going back a lifetime. Your families go from little children to big children. It’s not part of the academic side of what we do but it’s part of the personal side,” continued Salane.

His daughters are currently both in college. Professor Emerson Miller of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department remembers having one of his daughters in his summer class this past semester.

“It was a pleasant experience having her in my class. She is very enthusiastic and motivated about learning, just like her father,” said Miller about having Vodounon’s daughter in his class.

Professor Vodounon’s illness eventually got the best of him. He was sick for about two years. He was scheduled to teach courses this semester, these courses were Math 108 and Math 141.

“We had thought that he had overcome his illness. During the time that he was sick he didn’t take time off, he was still teaching. He was being treated for the illness but whatever it was came back, stated Salane.”

Maurice’s family is currently planning a memorial service. Information about the service will be sent out to the John Jay community about the service as soon it is received stated Bowers.

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion Faux Pas

By: Darren Harris

Staff Writer

Summer is almost over and the season is beginning to change to fall, and along with the change of season, fashion seems to follow right along.

The summer fashions have seen a tremendous outburst of color such as violet tulip, freesia, white, placid blue, sand and dazzling blue in
jeans, shorts, blouses, shoes, and accessories.

So, what are the fashion mistakes to steer clear from when transitioning your wardrobe from summer to fall?

According to womens-fashion.lovetoknow.com, one of the biggest mistakes women make during the fall season is “mixing prints,” where “florals don’t complement plaid, and paisley doesn’t work with polka dots.”

This column is not saying not to wear prints, but instead, ensure that you’re going to wear a solid color that will complement the print blouse of your choice.

Priscilla Sanchez, a John Jay student, said “every girl should have a cute print top, but they shouldn’t overdue it, and that seems to be the issue i have noticed a lot on campus is the print can sometimes overpower the entire outfit.”

Another fashion mistake during the fall season according to www.gurl. com/fashion-mistakes-faus-paux is “not layering properly,” and the importance of layers for the morning, afternoon, and evening outfits.

New Yorkers tend to experience the emotions of the weather changes, and it’s important that they layer properly through the day.

Barrie Nulman, a John Jay student, said “I always try to wear a good amount of layering during the fall season, because I know that the weather can change during the day, and it’s essential that I wear layers that not only complement my style but also the New York weather.”

What about snow or rain boots? Should you bring an extra pair of shoes to change into once you reach your destination? During the fall season, New York City can experience large amounts of rain and snow that can often kill even the most pre- pared fashionista. Rain or snow boots can conflict with the style of an outfit if they aren’t form fitting to add to the appearance. In a recent poll at John Jay, 85 percent of students voted that it is easier to keep their rain or snow boots on throughout the day instead of changing into shoes. Students, such as Denise C. Taylor, hassle with keeping on wet boots. “Although it is easier to just keep the boots on, they become difficult to walk in, and really kill the look on a girl’s outfit,” said Taylor. In this case, looks come over comfort. According to John Jay student Marcela Nash, “style outweighs comfort any day and it’s just a fashion nightmare to wear rain boots that do not compliment someone’s outfit.”

If a person decides to wear rain or snow boots, then try to choose a neutral color that can be worn with multiple outfits. Fashion is always evolving and changing, and it’s important that fashionista’s stay on top of their wardrobe to ensure that they don’t become fashion victims during a season that often demands you to choose between comfort or style. Looking at the trends that are perfect for the fall and winter seasons, such as robe coats and dresses over pants, one must be

careful with these looks as they can make or break an outfit. There are statement making trends this fall season, and if

you’re selective yet fashion forward with your style, you’ll be making heads turn.

Men’s Do’s and Don’ts

By: Jenifer Valmon

Contributing Writer

For those of you who enjoyed the hot days of summer, withdrawals are likely on the way. No need to break out the box of tissues or shed tears for your favorite summer shorts, because fall is around the corner, and I’ve got just the right tips that can help revamp your wardrobe.

Nick Carvell, from the UK GQ magazine, reviewed the fall trends of 2014 in London.

According to Carvell, biker jackets and mankets (yes, mankets) are going to be this fall’s male trend. Mankets are the scarf/cape hybrid worn by Paul Galvin, an Irish soccer player and fashion columnist for the Irish Independent News- paper, as a sort of overcoat.

Corey Stokes, of www.complex.com, noticed trends in New York to be sweater layering and “techy, fleece outer wear.” Both Carvell and Stokes were able to agree that “scarfs that weigh as much as three babies,” also known as mankets, are going to be big for the fall.

But the question is: Who is wearing a manket in the “move or get run over” city of New York? If you need to stop the doors from closing when you’re about to miss your train, mankets can be the perfect accessory for the fashionable subway surfer.

If you live anywhere within the five boroughs and commute to class, biker jackets are the right pick for you. They are versatile and more practical for the active John Jay men.
Biker jackets can be worn as a casual piece with a pair of sneakers,denim pants and a white t-shirt, or it can be used to bring a little edge to a pair of slim trousers and a button down shirt. Either way, little effort is needed to put together a stylish outfit.

Black is always a safe color to choose but if you want go for other colors try to keep it neutral. Look for dark indigos, dustybrowns, and shades of hunter green. These colors will allow you to mix and match when creating the rest of your look. It will also make it easier to find the right layering pieces when the temperature drops.

Leather is ideal for longevity, since it wears very well and usually looks better with time, but nylon or cotton blends will do the job while being gentle to your budget.

Whether John Jay men will wear mankets or biker jackets, only time will tell. Whatever you choose, remember to make it work for you, regardless of your style. Don’t kill yourself to follow the trends and end up fashion road kill.

Bookstore No More

By: Keyunna Singleton

Staff

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Veterans at John Jay Explain The Pros and Cons of Service

 

By Simone Isaac

Staff Writer

 

Armed Forces 2

 

Tuition, sign-up bonuses and travel opportunities await those who join the military, but not everyone is suited for it said Welby Alcantara, John Jay’s Veterans Affairs Coordinator.

Alcantara, a Marine veteran, said the reasons vary as to why people join.”It is important to know one’s reason for joining the military.”

E4 specialist, Claudine Solomon, currently stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas, said she joined the Army to provide for her family in a tough economy but does not plan to renew her contract.

“I was raised in Bed-Stuy,” said Latoya Clarke, 29.

Clarke joined the Army to show that good things can come from Bed-Stuy. After serving eight years on active duty, she is now a reservist recently deployed to Afghanistan.

Others join the Army so it can help them go to college.

32-year-old veteran Jason Spencer, a Jamaican immigrant, joined the National Guard because he wanted his college tuition paid. Horrified by post 9/11 rescue operations, he joined the US Army and served eight years receiving his citizenship in the process.

“I had feelings of patriotism after immigration,” said Yevgeny Gershman. A John Jay alum and Russian immigrant, Gershman enlisted with the National Guard before becoming an Army reservist.

Joseph Moore, a senior studying Security Management at John Jay, said that he joined the National Guard to protect his country post 9/11 because he, too, felt a sense of patriotism.

Adam Baumel, a sophomore and Political Science major also at John Jay, joined the U.S. Navy impulsively: “I wanted money for college, to see the world and to force me to grow up faster than I was in college,” he said.

Another benefit is traveling, a sentiment expressed by Moore and Alcantara. Spencer has been to Hawaii and Iraq.

Solomon said that salary is guaranteed twice a month despite sick leave absences.

“The basic salary sucks,” said Moore, “but the perks add up.” Benefits such as a monthly living stipend and free medical care add up to a better take-home salary.

A financial incentive, also known as a sign-up bonus, may be offered to join the military depending on the need of the service and the recruit’s specialty,  Alcantara and Gershman explained.

Low-interest-rate housing loans are available to military personnel, whether active, reservist or veteran. The Montgomery GI bill, established in 1944, provides tuition for college and graduate school for those who enlist. Spencer is now in college and Gershman has his Masters in Criminal Justice. Clarke can use her benefits to pay for her son’s college education or that of another family member.

Members indicated that one never leaves the service the same way he or she entered. Recruits learn discipline, loyalty, respect, sense of duty, courage, integrity, honor, and the determination to rise to leadership. Gershman attested that he lost his fear of public speaking.

Drawbacks to enlisting in the military can include emotional stresses from selfless service, for example, fear of death while deployed during wartime and separation from family for long periods of time. Baumel said that he missed both of his grandparents’ funerals and his best friend’s wedding due to military missions. Gershman said that one’s body belongs to the service. Vaccinations, including trial vaccines, are not optional.

Spencer, Clarke and Solomon said that they missed their children’s developing stages. These estranged relationships can remain for many years because sometimes the familial bonds are not repaired even after retirement.

While deployed, soldiers must develop a mental barrier to distance themselves from thoughts and memories of loved ones to keep themselves sharp on the battlefield.

The possibility for alcoholism, drug use, memory loss and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD, are among other long term and potentially permanent effects of serving in the military. “My drinking increased when I returned, to numb the pain and cope with the insanity of war,” said Spencer.

However, these effects are dependent on several factors. One of which is the branch of the military one served in, for example, the Army, Coast Guard, Navy, Marine, National Guard, etc. Other factors include deployment, and whether the country is at war. Even the rank and specialty one has when enlisting is another factor- a surgeon will not be as easily exposed to combat action as a footman will.

Clarke and Spencer said civilians do not understand veterans, and readjusting to civilian life can be difficult. People seem to be so casual and care-free and don’t seem to understand the fragility of life. Spencer said, “Civilians don’t appreciate what they have because they have never walked in the shoes of military personnel or a veteran.”

All interviewees agree that one needs to be mentally and physically prepared, seize the opportunity if possible, prepare to be tested, remember that one’s body belongs to the service, and financial opportunities vary and can be generational.

Military personnel understand the emotional turmoil and trauma each may face. They support each other in various ways. Spencer primarily hires veterans in his restaurant.

Five of the seven interviewed emphatically said if they could go back in time, they would serve in the military. Moreover, they each gave words of advice.

“Go for it,” said Spencer. “Do as much as you can because you don’t know when you can check out.”

Gershman said to “consider motivation” and determine your preparedness to make the ultimate sacrifice of your life.

Baumel said to do research and carefully analyze what recruiters say.

Moore said to ask about experiences in the field, regardless of active duty, reservist or veteran. He said, “It is a lifestyle, it’s not a 9-5.”

Rock The Vote at John Jay

 

Rock the Vote-Natalie Morel

Photographer: Natalie Morel

By Raul Sanchez

Staff Writer

The Office of Student Life, Urban Male Initiative, Woman’s Center, and Student Council presented J.J. Rocks the Vote, Sept. 19 and the event was held in the New Building’s Atrium from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

JJ Rocks the Vote is an approximate one month campaign seeking to encourage John Jay students to register and practice their right to vote. The campaign uses social media such as twitter to build momentum amongst the student body. The campaign coordinators also host tabling events for the student body in the atrium.

Several students lined up around the JJ Rocks the Vote table in the atrium, many of whom looked confused. Some were inattentive to what was taking place. The event was squeezed right in between two other event tables and the event that was promoted via social media and the school website was identifiable by one poster board behind the table.

Kiara Sanchez, a 19 year old junior studying Forensic Psychology said, “Aren’t half of these people no longer running? Who’s running now?”

Six tables were scheduled [set up] this month in anticipation of the upcoming election. The next one [event is] being held in the New Building’s Atrium [from] Oct. 1-3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Noticing the event taking place was simply not feasible if one was behind the first row of students. The occasion was also being staffed by one student, which led to more confusion and less interaction.

Event staffers were providing students with informative material regarding the upcoming election. Some of the literature provided focused on CUNY wide student voter initiatives, while others, such as rock the vote included information regarding John Jay student voter initiatives. Most importantly a front to back, black and white one page flier was provided listing all fourteen mayoral candidates; twelve of whom were no longer in the running at the time of the event. The outdated informative material caused confusion amongst students.

Sanchez stated that she did not vote in the primary elections, nor was she registered to do so. “I don’t think I would vote, it’s always the same,” she said. “I’ve never seen someone meet their promises. I’m tired of all the broken promises.” Sanchez later expressed disappointment with the JJ Rocks the Vote event, as she felt there was little clarity regarding the event for students.

“I first thought this was for student elections, not the actual city elections,” said Ms. Sanchez. She continued to share that the event campaign’s outreach and promotion strategy was poor, and that improvements and reevaluation of the current methods of promotion was wanted and needed.

“This wasn’t promoted well,” Sanchez said. “I had no clue this was happening until I passed by and asked people. Next time they should reach out to students regarding the cause.” She also went on to explain that announcing the event on the school website was not enough to promote an event properly: “I go to the website, but not all the time. The website isn’t exactly that great either.”

Other students also seemed to have very little interest in the political reform or in the JJ Rocks the Vote campaign. “Mayoral campaigns don’t seem like a big subject to me, none of the candidates amuse me,” said 18 year old freshman, Lissette Zayas. When asked if she was registered to vote or planned to vote or register she said, “No. I don’t plan to. Politics is unfair; more transparency and honesty is needed.”

John Jay faculty member and event organizer, Katherine Outlaw was asked to be interviewed on scene but stated she was too busy and must be contacted in advance for interviews.

The next JJ Rock the Vote tabeling event is scheduled to be held on October 1, 2, and 3 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the New Building Atrium. Students can follow [events] @JJCStudentLife on twitter for further information. General Elections will be held on Nov. 5 and polls open at 6 a.m. and close at 9 p.m.

 

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English Chair Takes Helm of Undergraduates

By Jeffrey Nunziato

Staff Writer

Allison Pease (2)

With the flick of her hand, Allison Pease opened the door of her office; the new Interim Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Pease, previously the chair of the English Department, was promoted this semester to Interim Dean of Undergraduate Studies, a role that she described as, “Sort of daunting, but really exciting.” Pease sees this new position as a great opportunity to positively affect the education of undergraduate students—14,000 to be specific.

She received an M.A. and Ph. D. in English Literature from N.Y.U., authored Modernism, Mass Culture, and the Aesthetics of Obscenity in 2000, and Modernism, Feminism, and the Culture of Boredom in 2012. Pease also served as an editor for the Victorian Literature and Culture journal for seven years. Her long list of credentials helped her to be selected as the Interim Dean.

Valerie Allen, who served as Deputy Chair for Pease before the promotion, spoke highly of her colleague, “Allison was an excellent chairperson.” Allen is now the new Chairperson of the English department, replacing Pease. Coming into this role, Allen emphasized the amount of pressure that comes with a new position as well as replacing someone who excelled. Both Pease and Allen stressed the excellence of the supporting staff in the English department.

Pease’s new position comes with new responsibilities, as she moves from a professor in a classroom, to managing the studies of a large number of students. However, with a larger scope comes a larger reward. As the Interim Dean, Pease’s main job is to retain students at John Jay. She has set a goal to retain more students this year: “My goal is to retain 1.5% more students this year than we did last year, which amounts to keeping at John Jay an additional 200 students who might otherwise walk away from college this year.”

Although she has only been on the job for two and a half weeks, she has been extremely busy in trying to improve the system at John Jay.

Pease has already experienced what some would call a victory, “They were about to give up on having students declare or re-declare their major in their sophomore year.” Pease believes that it’s an important growth process as a student enters college and decides on what they want to do for their future. Because of this, Pease just recently finished negotiations that will, “have students re-declare before the CUNY First transition takes place.” She went on to say, “I know it’s a small example, but for me I feel that I’ve done one more thing that keeps the educational process in place.” If Pease had not pursued negotiations, students would have been unable to re-declare during the transition process.

Whether she likes the new position over the old one or not, Pease is focused on results. As she is the Interim Dean, John Jay is in the process of searching for a permanent Dean. Pease is spending this year to “learn whether I can be effective in this role.” With her recent victory, Pease is looking to permanently take this position only if she is effective. “If I don’t believe I can be effective, I will happily step aside so the college has the best possible person in the role,” said Pease.

Despite the new position and her recent victory, she does miss her old position. “Just coming up to speed and understanding how things function is overwhelming,” said Pease.

Pease found that, while her new position is rewarding, it is a different kind of reward. “I really love working with students, it’s just incredibly gratifying,” Pease said. “I became a professor because for me, college was transformational. I felt that I became a person in college, and I felt that if I could become a part of that process for anyone, it would be one of the most amazing things on the Earth.”

Pease does worry that she won’t be able to work with students directly the way she used to as a dean, but she looks forward to making changes in the office. “If I could make some small change here in this office, that actually allows 100 more people to graduate than otherwise would have, then even though I won’t feel that experience the way I would as a professor, 100 more people will.”

Some might wonder, what is a typical day for Allison Pease? Well, there are phone calls, emails, more emails, meetings, and some more emails. By the time Pease is done with her meetings, she will have upwards of 175 emails waiting to be answered. “It’s constant emails, and constant meeting with people to make sure that everyone is focused on our goals and our goals include students being academically successful,” Pease said. While that sounds simple, the process to accomplish these goals can be complex. “I’m kind of shocked at how hard it is,” she explained. The scope of Undergraduate Studies is broad—from honor programs, general education programs, all the way to working with the Center for Advancement of Teaching, in order to find the best way to educate the students at John Jay.

She considers her first year as dean a success if John Jay is able to get more students back next year. “If we have more students next year, then we will have succeeded,” Pease concluded.

Somehow, throughout her busy day of phone calls, meetings, and hundreds of emails, she was able to find time to sit down and tell someone just how many things she has to do.

 

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Westport Fight Leads to Stabbing

By Benjamin Passikoff

Ahmed Jaradat contributing reporting.

At 11:10 A.M. today as John Jay College students prepared for a 3rd period research class in room 107 of Westport, a student attacked another with an 8-inch serrated bread knife.

“There was an incident,” risk management and ethics manager Ryan Eustace said. “One student was arrested. One student went to the hospital.”

The altercation occurred before the professor had arrived for class.

It is not clear how long the fight lasted, but the assailant was taken into custody by NYPD officers and the wounded student was taken to St. Luke’s Hospital across from Harren Hall.

Toppled chairs in Westport 107 after students rushed out and down the stairs away from the fight. By 12:15 P.M. the door to 107 was locked.

 

Professor Maria Volpe, a professor of sociology at John Jay, was on her way to meet Kate Szur, who is senior director of Student Academic Success Programs.

“I was twenty minutes early to my meeting,” Professor Volpe said. “There were all these students rushing out of the building.”

According to Professor Volpe, one of Szur’s student peer leaders had taken control of the security desk, as the Public Safety officer had chased after the assailant towards 10th Avenue.

“I heard some skirmish,” Szur said. “I was on my email, trying to finish my work. We came down to ask security what happened.”

Stephanie Zomer, a John Jay Health Services employee and member of Student Academic Success Programs, whose offices are in Westport, was one of the first responders to scene.

“The students came screaming out of their classroom saying that a student was just stabbed,” Zomer said.

Zomer ran down the stairs, out of the building, and towards 10th Avenue. As she reached the corner of 56th Street, she saw Public Safety had subdued the assailant on the corner of 55th Street and 10th Avenue.

“By the time I got there, security was holding him down, and people from the streets were holding him down, and the guy that actually got stabbed was holding him down,” Zomer said. “So I got the guy that was bleeding all over the place-I took my shirt off right away and I wrapped it around [his wrist].”

The Counseling department provided with fresh John Jay work out apparel as a replacement for her bloody clothes.

“He had a really deep laceration on his wrist, and his bone was out,” Zomer said. “I was trying to put as much pressure on it as possible. I just had blood all over me from trying to get it to stop bleeding, but it just wouldn’t….”

Blood drops on 55th Street and 10th Avenue.

 

The two students were in the same class, but, according to Zomar, the victim did not even know his assailant, or why his assailant attacked him.

Professor Volpe and Szur remained on the scene with Zomer and waited as a public safety officer took her statement in a back conference room of Westport.

Dean of students Kenneth Holmes was proud of the speedy rate of response. He was involved in a behavioral intervention meeting with members of his office, Public Safety, and college council, when he heard the news.

“When we heard about the situation, the assistant director for security went to initially take care of the situation, then counciling went, then I went,” Holmes said. “It was the ninth response from the college community in hearing about it, and getting the information to all of the different ears of the university that needed to respond.”

According to a letter from President Travis, the student who was cut did not sustain a life threatening wound. It is expected that St. Luke’s will release him today after treating his injury.