WCSU to Celebrate Women’s History Month with Full Day Program

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On March 5 at 9:15 a.m. in the Student Center Theater on WCSU’s midtown campus, WCSU will host a full-day interactive program, “Celebrating Women Past and Present.”

Sponsored by the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury, the Danbury Public Library, and the Danbury Museum and Historical Society, and organized by WCSU Education and Literary Professor Dr. Darla Shaw, the day will include rousing and informative lectures and even a dramatic presentation at the Danbury Library.

“People who attend will be taken from being a Colonial wife to taking part in the Danbury Fair to fighting for women’s rights,” Shaw said. “Each program will be engaging and interactive. People who attend will come away with a better perspective of both the struggles and successes of women.”

Speakers at the conference will include: Terry Buzaid (author of “The Great Danbury State Fair”), Ann Rockwell-Lawton (program director of the Women’s Center of Greater Danbury), Velya Jancz-Urban (author of “Acquiescence”), and Lucy Beard (executive director at the Alice Paul Institute in New Jersey).

In addition to the lectures, at 2:30 p.m. at the Danbury Library, actress Gretchen Trapp will perform a dramatic presentation of “Women of Character, Courage, and Compassion; Sojourner Truth, Louisa May Alcott, and Clara Schumann.”

The event is free and open to the public. Lunch will not be provided. Attendees may bring lunch, purchase lunch at the WCSU Midtown cafeteria, or go to any of the restaurants surrounding the Midtown campus.

For more information, contact Dr. Darla Shaw at (203) 837-8412.

Oscars 2016 Recap: Notable winners & highlights

Alana Branch | Arts & Entertainment Editor

For film lovers, the academy awards is more than just glitz and glamour. It is often a platform for celebrities to talk politics and equally important topics such as equal pay for women. But mainly it is about the movies that touch us somehow like the best-selling novel turned heart wrencher, Room, or The Big Short, which tackled in the easiest way imagined the financial crisis in 2008.

One of the night’s most anticipated moments was comedian Chris Rock’s opening monologue. The recent controversy surrounding the lack of diversity among nominees was far from ignored. Rock cracked a few jokes, and while some were met with praise, others were immediately criticized such as the one referring to the 60s: “When your grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short.”

Another highlight was Lady Gaga. Following the Vice President Joe Biden’s introduction in which he discussed the White House’s campaign “It’s On Us,” which combats sexual assault, Gaga, who was nominated for “Best Original Song,” performed a piano rendition of Til it Happens To You. Then a group of sexual assault survivors joined her onstage towards the end.

Perhaps the most exciting part of the night was Leonardo DiCaprio winning his very first academy award for Best Actor for his daring performance in The Revenant. DiCaprio took the opportunity to point out the severity of climate change during his acceptance speech: “Climate change is real, it is happening right now. It is the most urgent threat facing our entire species, and we need to work collectively together and stop procrastinating.”

Other notable winners at the 88th Academy Awards include:

Brie Larson for Best Actress: Room

Best Original Screenplay & Best Picture: Spotlight

Best Adapted Screenplay: The Big Short

Alicia Vikander for Best Supporting Actress: The Danish Girl

Mark Rylance for Best Supporting Actor: Bridge of Spies

Alejandro G. Inarritu for Best Director: The Revenant

Best Animated Feature Film: Inside Out

Sam Smith for Best Original Song: “Writing’s on the Wall” from Spectre

For more on the winners, go to oscar.go.com.

 

 

Campus Dining Options?

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Since starting here as a student, many of us have seen campus food options in a perpetual state of flux. The disappearance of the Student Center’s Snack Bar which hosted an appetizing menu of fries, sandwiches, burgers and salad to the downsize and eventual elimination of the Warner Cafe which offered a comforting mix of breakfast sandwiches, bagels, muffins, and warm beverages, caused many students last semester to scramble for other food options. While Western Connecticut’s cafeteria food has a decent C on college.niche.com, college students can’t solely survive on cafeteria food and vending machines and many opt for popular off campus options such as Soho Pizza or to eat on Westside Campus which offers more exciting variety such as sushi and Mexican-style food bars.

This semester, students returned from winter break to be greeted by a new campus dining option: Einstein Bros. Bagels in the Haas Library.  Einstein’s Bagels serves a host of tasty bagel options, sandwiches, muffins, cookies, hot and cold beverages. In order to evaluate the student dining options fully, I took to campus and asked a few students and faculty what they thought of this most recent addition to their menu.

Andrea, a senior, said she normally eats at Soho and Einstein’s, but that she prefers Einstein’s better, warns that one thing to beware of is the long wait. As several students have mentioned waiting up to half an hour for a bagel! This poses a concern to students rushing to class on time, so make sure to plan your meal times accordingly.  Yidieo Cruz, a sophomore, residing on campus has his meals scheduled methodically and currently splits his meals between the cafeteria food, which he occasionally gets tired of, Einstein’s, and Westside Campus dining options. His one critique is that Einstein’s might have been better suited to Warner Hall. After hearing several other suggestions to this affect from students, I went to the library to evaluate the situation.

While cafes in libraries are not unprecedented, location is important. Roseane Shea, adjunct librarian who has been at WestConn for ten years, comments that, “[there] is a lot more traffic, congestion, and noise, but that a café in the library is a great service to the students.” She also notes that everything is still in the evaluation stage and “we are currently still looking at what is most conducive to students’ study.”

The students in the library don’t seem to be bothered by it; many of them can be seen conducting study groups in the computer section directly across from the café. Some use ear buds as a tool to block out noise and stay focused. The computers that previously stood in the area occupied by Einstein’s Bros. Bagels were relocated to the back end of the library.

The Cyber Café is the only place where students are technically allowed to eat or drink, yet the presence of this new café has caused those ruled to be relaxed and harder to enforce.  It’s up to the student body to make sure the facilities are respected and kept clean. Overall students and staffed have ruled that this is a positive and delicious change around campus, and here’s to hoping there are more to come. Bon Appétit!

 

Writer: Victoria Arbour

Women’s Lacrosse Season Starts Up

This Saturday marks the start of the Western Connecticut State University women’s lacrosse season. The colonials are set to take on the Castleton University Spartans away at Castleton at 2:00 p.m.

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Photo taken from the WCSU Athletics page

The colonials will be looking to start their season off with a win against the spartans to boost confidence and team morale. This will only benefit them  in the long run.

Here is their schedule:

Sat., Mar. 05 at  Castleton    2:00 PM

Thu., Mar. 10 Worcester St.    7:00 PM

Sat., Mar. 12 Connecticut Col.    3:00 PM

Tue., Mar. 15 Farmingdale State    4:00 PM

Thu., Mar. 17 Mt. St. Mary (N.Y.)    7:00 PM

Wed., Mar. 30 Vassar    7:00 PM

Thu., Apr. 07  at  Ramapo    4:00 PM

Sat., Apr. 09 Keene St.     12:00 PM

Tue., Apr. 12 at  St. Joseph’s (L.I.)    4:00 PM

Thu., Apr. 14 Westfield St.    7:00 PM

Sat., Apr. 16 at  Rhode Island Col.    1:00 PM

Tue., Apr. 19 at  Eastern Conn. St.    3:30 PM

Sat., Apr. 23 at  Southern Me.    12:00 PM

Tue., Apr. 26 Mass.-Dartmouth    7:00 PM

Sat., Apr. 30 Plymouth St.     12:00 PM

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pokemon celebrates its 20th anniversary

 

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Photo from playbuzz.com

Pokemon turned 20 years old on Saturday, Feb. 27.

Even though the entire year of 2016 is set to celebrate Pokemon’s 20th anniversary, yesterday marked exactly 20 years since the Japanese franchise released its original Pokemon green and red versions.

Pokemon fans boasted about it using the hashtag #Pokemon20, throughout various social media platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Tumblr, Instagram, and Twitter.

Check out this link to see a collection of posts about #Pokemon20.

Students here at Westconn also celebrated its anniversary by Instagram videos and posts on social media.

Westconn student Christina Sangkasinsoo created an Instagram video about #Pokemon20.

The anniversary of Pokemon’s original release made fans reflect on how the game impacted their lives.

“As the years went on, I saw how pokemon was changing, not just show or game wise, but how it was changing me. Whether it was teaching me lessons on how to overcome problems with your friends, or even how one person, no matter who they are can make a difference in this world,” said Westconn student Kyle Struski.

MewTwo, a grayish purple Pokemon taught me that life should never be taken for granted. As a child, I didn’t like MewTwo but after re-watching Pokémon, I’ve learned how wise and ‘human’ pokémons truly are. This quote from MewTwo, ‘“I see now that the circumstances of one’s birth are irrelevant. It is what you do with the gift of life that determines who you are,’ is proof that we can learn from cartoons,” said Sangkasinsoo. 

“Pokemon will always have a special place in my heart. It taught me numerous morals and lessons; sometimes life will not go the way you want and you will have to deal with hard times. You will make friends, rivals, and enemies along your journey. The friends will be there to support you, the rivals will bring competition, and the enemies will try to drag you down,” said WestConn student Jonny Aliwalas. 

As apart of this special time for Pokemon fans, Pokemon is expected to release various games, merchandise, and even creating a Pokemon20 website.

Pokemon also released a commercial during the Super Bowl with the slogan, “Train On.”

You can celebrate Pokemon’s 20th anniversary all year long on the Pokemon20 website; the website is scheduled to bring new features and opportunities throughout the year of 2016.

 

Loud Party Time Will Pay A Fine

Mayor Boughton is proposing a fine for residential parties that are regularly rowdy. The $250 price tag on a loud bash is part of an attempt to squash people causing road congestion or public disturbances in quiet neighborhoods.

Mayor Boughton is proposing a fine for residential parties that are regularly rowdy. The $250 price tag on a loud bash is part of an attempt to squash people causing road congestion or public disturbances in quiet neighborhoods.

“Our new ordinance strikes a balance between having a good time and protecting the rights of all people,” says the mayor.

The problem extends as far as police, fire, or ambulance services being unable to access roads in the event of an emergency. Specifically targeted are repeat offenders at addresses throughout the city known for disturbances.

The occasional party or celebration is fair game; unless of course the matter of noise persists at the location.

“The City of Danbury encourages people to enjoy their homes and their property. We do become concerned when people engage in activities that disrupt the right of quiet enjoyment of their neighbors,” Boughton says.

The law is scheduled to be addressed at a public hearing in March, just in time for Spring and Summer party seasons.

Girls Achieve Grapeness With Sigma Delta Tau, Jewish Women International, and OPI

Grapeness2015_HandsGrapesJessica Pascale  | Opinion-Editorial Editor

It’s an all-too-common story: boy meets girl, they fall for each other, and everything is fine- until little by little, the relationship becomes toxic and violent. Once it gets to that level, it’s very hard to not only get out of it, but to find support. Jewish Women International (JWI) recognized this as a problem, and has made it part of their mission to not only support victims of domestic violence, but to find ways to educate the public on ways to prevent it from happening in the first place.

To achieve this goal, they teamed up with Sigma Delta Tau, a national sorority, to find ways to get their message across. It was a partnership made in heaven. One of the things that Sigma Delta Tau stands for is empowering women, which collaborates nicely with Jewish Women International’s goal of protecting women and their rights. The two organizations have worked together in numerous ways to raise money and awareness for these causes. One of the most successful things to come from this partnership is Safe Smart Dating, a program created to bring awareness to college campuses about healthy relationships, dating violence, and sexual assault. Jewish Women International works with Sigma Delta Tau, as well as Zeta Beta Tau fraternity, to bring this program to various college campuses across the nation.

Safe Smart Dating is not the only JWI and Sigma Delta Tau collaboration to become nationwide. In 2013, JWI and Sigma Delta Tau started the Girls Achieve Grapeness campaign to help end domestic violence. This campaign operates on the fact that people who are empowered grow into strong individuals who will not tolerate abuse in any form. They would also take on the initiative to inform others about this issue, and hopefully get it to end. To achieve this, the two organizations partnered up with OPI to create a shade of purple nail polish to sell on college campuses. It debuted in October of that year for National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The campaign became so successful that every year, OPI launches a new shade of purple nail polish to contribute to the cause.

Western Connecticut State University’s chapter of Sigma Delta Tau sells this nail polish every year. For 2016, they are selling two different shades of purple that OPI has released- one light and one dark. It will be available to purchase until February 26, at $10 a bottle. All of the money raised from the sale of these nail polishes will go directly to Jewish Women International to continue in their fight to end domestic violence.

Veteran Nikon Photographer to lecture at WCSU

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WCSU Gallery Talk will feature veteran Nikon photographer, visual artist, product manager and educator Mike Corrado at the Visual and Performing Arts Center on the Westside Campus on Thursday, March 3 at 6:30 p.m.

The lecture, hosted by the Department of Art, will be held in room 108 and Corrado will talk about his successful career, spanning 36 years.

“I am completely connected with seeing and capturing photographs and unique moments every single day,” Corrado said. “I’m excited to be a part of this business, working for one of the greatest technological leaders [Nikon] in photography today and working with the best visual artists on this amazing planet.”

His visual achievements have been critically acclaimed and range from portraits to wildlife and musicians.

The public is welcome to attend and admission is free.

Alana Branch | Arts & Entertainment Editor

 

WCSU professor publishes Vietnam memoir

Alana Branch | Arts & Entertainment Editor

514Zskr4wrL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgDr. Edward Hagan, a highly-esteemed writing professor at Western Connecticut State University, recently published his first memoir called To Vietnam in Vain: Memoir of an Irish-American Intelligence Advisor.

He points out that it doesn’t follow the conventional narrative and believes Vietnam to be an “important part of contemporary consciousness.”

Hagan served in Vietnam from 1969 to 1970 as a U.S. advisor to the South Vietnamese Regional and Popular Forces in the Mekong Delta. He knew such events that occurred needed to belong on paper.

“World War II is the conventional war in the minds of many,” Hagan noted.

Many people consider Pearl Harbor as the U.S. entry into the war, but “major events had already taken place,” he continued.

Hagan has authored and co-authored many books and written numerous articles on war literature and Irish literature.

For a copy of his memoir, go to Amazon or to your nearest bookstore.

 

 

 

WCSU Men’s Lacrosse Team Season To Kick Off

The Western Connecticut State University men’s Lacrosse team kicks off its season today at Vassar College.

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Last year the Colonials did not have the greatest of seasons finishing off with an overall record of 6-12. They will be looking to finish off with a better record this season with hopes of finishing higher in The Little East conference.

Here is their schedule:

Wed., Feb. 24 at Vassar                                4:30 PM

Wed., Mar. 02 at Kean                                 7:00 PM

Sat., Mar. 12   Scranton                                 12:00 PM

Wed., Mar. 16  at Skidmore                           4:00 PM

Tue., Mar. 22  at Anna Maria                         5:00 PM

Tue., Mar. 29  Merchant Marine                  7:00 PM

Sat., Apr. 02   Salem St.                                 4:00 PM

Wed., Apr. 06 Farmingdale State                 7:00 PM

Sat., Apr. 09    at Keene St.                            1:00 PM

Wed., Apr. 13 at Mt. St. Mary (N.Y.)             7:00 PM

Sat., Apr. 16    Mass.-Boston                         1:00 PM

Wed., Apr. 20 Eastern Conn. St.                   7:00 PM

Sat., Apr. 23    Southern Me.                          12:00 PM

Tue., Apr. 26  at Mass.-Dartmouth             7:00 PM

Fri., Apr. 29    at Plymouth St.                      4:00 PM