Farm for Yourself Lecture series starting this April



Photo from

If you are a backyard enthusiast, into permaculture, or looking to get into gardening, then you should attend the Farm for Yourself lecture series, hosted by the Jane Goodall Center and the Roots and Shoots club scheduled every Wednesday this April, starting April 6th, from 7-8PM in the science building atrium.

Every week, there will be discussions about permaculture ad community gardening, ranging from using animals to manage land, compositing and soil amendment, backyard beekeeping, and the importance of urban community gardens.

The event is designed to have students aware of community gardening and permaculture in the Danbury area.

“The garden serves food not only to WCSU students via the cafeteria but it also has given hundred of pounds of produce to local food pantries and homeless shelters,” said  WCSU student and garden manager for the Jane Goodall Center, Ashley Kenney.

The community garden is located next to the Science building.

“The whole essence of permaculture is working together to create something sustainable and long-lasting and these lectures aim to bring awareness to the plight of farmers, the problems with the American food system, and solutions for the future,” said Kenney.

The first lecture, April 6th, Dr. Whitney Freeman of Henny Penny Farm will discuss “Using Animals to Manage your Land.” During the next lecture on April 13th, Jess Wong from Holbrook Farm will talk about “Composting and Soil Amendment.” Stacy Murphy from Sweet Pea Farm will discuss “Backyard Beekeeping and Honey Production,” on April 20th, and the last lecture on the 27th, Ashley Kenney will talk about“The Importance of Urban and Community Gardening: What is Permaculture?”

The lecture series is free and available to both students and the public.


Colonials Play Tough But Fall to Mariners


On the left is the Western Connecticut State University Colonials warming up before there game on Tuesday March 28th.

By: Connor Falaguerra / Sports Editor

After coming off their first victory against Anna Marie, the Western lacrosse team falls to Merchant Marine 14 to 7. Western came out with confidence but with Merchant Marine at a 6-1 record, they couldn’t handle the pressure of Merchant.

The Marines came out fast with a four to nothing lead in the first quarter. But with 10 seconds left Nate Wilson  waited and scored a goal with exactly one second left on the clock.

The Marines extended their lead to 7-3 heading into halftime. Nat Wilson had two goals and Pat Coll of the Mariners had three goals in the first half.

In the third quarter Merchant started on fire extending their lead with four goals. They were leading 11-3. Wilson and Jesse Beatty scored two goals at the end of the third quarter but it wasn’t enough to cut the lead in half, Merchant lead 12-5 at the end of the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Coll scored two more goals to bring him to five goals for the night. Western scored two more goals but just wasn’t enough in the end. Wilson was the leading scorer for Western with three.

After this loss, the Western Colonials record is now 1-5 for the season. They will try to get back on track when they play their first conference match-up against Salem State on Saturday at Western Connecticut State University on the Westside campus on the WAC at 4:00 p.m.



All Hyped Out

Alana Branch | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Well, the comic book crazies have spoken. “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” was meh. Despite mixed to negative reviews, the highly-anticipated blockbuster topped the box office over the Easter holiday weekend, pulling in almost $500 million.

I think it’s safe to say that this movie fared way better than last year’s disastrous “Fantastic Four.” Then again, any movie – even an Adam Sandler movie (and I really hesitated to write that, by the way) is better than “Fantastic Four.”

Nothing hurts more than getting hyped up for a big time cinematic adventure (and it doesn’t help that there are numerous trailers that give way too much, plus merchandise) and then walking out of a theater and asking yourself, “So, umm… wow?”

I understand that all filmmakers can’t be like J.J. Abrams, who, back in January, pulled a Beyonce when he dropped the trailer for “10 Cloverfield Lane.” Sometimes less is more.

So should we be worried for upcoming blockbusters like “Captain America: Civil War” or “Suicide Squad”? Probably not, but at least for me, I try not to garner such high expectations.

If it’s good, then my day is made. If it’s great, then my week is complete before it even begins.

Besides, for some, and particularly movie fanatics, hype surrounding a film and its build up is what makes the cinematic experience that much more grand.

Did you see “Batman v Superman”? Did you enjoy it?

Men’s Lacrosse Team Looking to Build Momentum

By: Thomas Guardado0zu3flmcwi6x4ndf

The Western Connecticut State University men’s lacrosse team will face the United States Merchant Marine Academy at 7:00 p.m. tonight at the WCSU athletic complex on the West Side campus.

The colonials are coming off their first win of the season against Anna Maria College where they won 16-4. This win leaves the colonials with a current record of 1-4. With home field advantage tonight, the colonials are looking to build on that previous win and build momentum to start improving their record.

This will be no easy match though with Merchant Marine coming into this match up with a five game winning streak. Their record on the season is currently 6-1.

The colonials will have their first conference match this Saturday against Salem State.

Veterans Support Bernie Sanders at Ongoing Danbury Rallies

VFB2016_logoBy Eric LaRocca | Staff Writer

All local Bernie Sanders fans are welcome at ongoing rallies being held in order to support the Presidential frontrunner. The rallies will be held between 1 pm and 2 pm every Saturday at the Danbury War Memorial. The rallies are free and open to the public. The organizers ask that you wear your “Bernie gear.” The rain date for every Saturday rally is set for 1 pm on the subsequent Sunday at the same location.

For more information, go to:

Donald J. Trump and Hitler’s Rise to Power

Democrats and republicans alike have been getting into conflicts with each other that are unprecedented. Donald J. Trump was scheduled to speak at the University of Illinois at Chicago on March 11, but the event was ended early due to a breakout of fights that happened prior to the beginning of the rally.


While waiting for the event to begin, the crowd was filled with a flood of Trump supporters in “Make America Great Again” caps and sporting other Trump gear. Mixed in were hundreds of protesters that either rocked clothing reflective of their liberal agenda or signs showing their support for self-proclaimed democratic socialist Senator Bernie Sanders.

A highlight of the cancelled Chicago rally was a photo of an older Caucasian woman, who supported Trump, holding her arm up high conducting the Nazi Salute. The Chicago Tribune later interviewed the woman, and she said that she was simply teaching the meaning of the salute, insisting that she does not support Hitler, nor does she think Trump is like him.


The Chicago Tribune wrote: “…Donald Peterson, who insisted they were ‘not Nazis’ and absolutely not supporters or ‘saluting’ Adolf Hitler.”

Regardless, the question must be asked: is there a resemblance between Donald Trump’s campaign and Hitler’s rise to power?

Political figures across the globe are frightened by the parallels, such as Ted Cruz and former Mexican presidents Felipe Calderon and Vicente Fox. Senator Cruz used this association to increase political fervor against Trump in a recent GOP debate.

According to a blog post on The Economist (source), Cruz claims that he was distraught by the fact that Trump asks his audiences at rallies to pledge their vote to him by raises their arms up. Former Mexican President Fox blatantly stated that Trump was strikingly similar to Hitler in an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper.

“Today, he’s going to take that nation (U.S.) back to the old days of conflict, war and everything. I mean, he reminds me of Hitler. That’s the way he started speaking,” said Fox.

However, NPR reminds us that Trump is not and will not be the only person to be compared to the fascist German leader. In Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies, journalist Don Pittis says that the prolonged arguments result in some sort of analogy to Nazi Germany and Hitler. Trump’s rhetoric, such as anti-Muslim propaganda and classifying certain immigrants as rapists, ignoring that many U.S. citizens also rape, leads to questionable thoughts.


Nazism and Trump’s campaign prove to be alike due to the fact that a man at a Trump rally in Cleveland actually screamed at protesters, “Go to fucking Auschwitz.”

In January, Trump stood in front of a crowd of Jewish people and told them that Jews were all about money and making deals.

Anne Frank’s stepsister, Eva Schloss, wrote an essay regarding the Syrian refugee crisis saying that Trump is “acting like another Hitler by inciting racism.” She believes that fewer Jews would have died in the Holocaust had the world openly welcomed more refugees into the country.


So is Trump similar to Hitler? Holocaust survivors sure think so, and that’s some food for thought.

A letter from CSCU president about tuition increase

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Dear Students,

Over the last few months, I have visited each and every CSCU campus. It has been my honor and privilege to hear from students across our 17 campuses about your educational goals and experiences. I am working each and every day to make sure our schools are providing you with the best education possible. For that reason, I wanted you to hear this important news directly from me. I am recommending to our governing board a tuition increase at all of our institutions for next year. My recommendation are as follows:

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There are a few things you should know about what went into this decision:

  • Every year we nominally increase our tuition to address the growing costs for programs and services but never significantly enough to balance our budget or fully mitigate our deficit.
  • This next fiscal year the State of Connecticut, one of our largest funding sources, is experiencing an enormous budget deficit of almost $1 billion dollars. Our system is expected to be hit with a cut of at least $26 million.
  • This increase does not close our deficit. If we relied on tuition to break even, an increase of more than 7% at our universities and almost 11% at our community colleges would be necessary. Instead, we are analyzing all of our expenses to find ways to cut spending. We are not implementing raises that we are not bound to by contract, and we have a hiring freeze in effect.

I am fully aware that this is not the news you wanted to receive. Nor is it the news I wanted to be delivering. We spent a lot of time reviewing our budget options for next year. I believe this increase is fair given our current environment, and keeps our schools affordable so you are not burdened with crippling debt when you graduate.

Our colleges and universities are some of the best in the country. Although sacrifices are necessary, the high quality education that you expect and deserve is not a sacrifice we are willing to make. I know you already make sacrifices to come to our schools and I know that you are our future heads of state, engineers, teachers, entrepreneurs and nurses. I will continue to be an advocate and champion for our schools because I believe in our students, faculty and staff. Please contact me if you have questions or concerns at


Mark E. Ojakian, President
CT State Colleges and Universities

T-Shirts from The Clothesline Project are ready for pickup


Over 100 students voiced their support for the victims of sexual assault and domestic violence during The Clothesline Project’s national awareness event. The Women’s Center and Western’s CaRT team organized the event, which lasted from March 8 until Tuesday.

womensAccording to Rayna Havelock, counselor and advocate for the Women’s Center, the project is a way for victims and people who support victims to have their voices heard.

“You can write on a t-shirt however you feel. And it’s really a therapeutic thing to be able to do something creative and put your voice out there,” said Havelock.

The t-shirts are ready for pickup at 105c in Higgins Hall Annex. Students who want their t-shirts can email Havelock at to arrange for pickup.

clothesline9Jalyn Walton is a junior at Western majoring in communication studies. Walton volunteered to help with the Clothesline Project.

“Seeing the different ways students here expressed their support and awareness of victims of sexual assault and domestic violence was eye opening,” said Walton.

“I think that keeping the shirts hung up was a great idea. It is a reminder to us all that there are people who face these issues everyday and with our help we can be a voice for someone who decided to stay quiet,” she added.


PARASITE: another success for Eric LaRocca

Alana Branch | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Eric LaRocca, a writing major at Western Connecticut State University, enjoys burgeoning success as a playwright. PARASITE, a one-act original play that he wrote several years ago and was first performed at the Best of Fresh Blood Festival in New York City by La Petite Morgue in July 2014, was recently produced by Love Creek Productions for the Winter Chills Festival, also in New York City, in February 2016, and it was performed at The Producers Club Theater.

The play, LaRocca says, is “essentially about the degeneration of a relationship.”

And if you’re a fan of the body horror subgenre, then this is the play for you.

You could check out the video below of LaRocca’s interview (almost nine minutes long) with La Petite Morgue, the NYC-based horror theater company.


One word to describe how it feels to have his words and characters jump off the page and onto the stage?

“Terrifying. Nothing else gives me as much anxiety,” he answers.

Despite the play no longer being performed (for now, anyway), his success story couldn’t go unnoticed by the WestConn community. For all majors, when you work hard, success, no matter how big or small, will follow.

parasite love creek

In the photo: On stage during a production of PARASITE is Fiona Grouazel as Lucie, and Janel Tanna Smietanna as Anna.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s got the whole package

Though it was almost 12 a.m. on a Sunday night, the world burst into excitement as the beloved Titanic star finally won his first Academy Award on Feb. 28.

And to say that the world was thrilled is an understatement – the win nearly broke Twitter as users flocked to social media to express their excitement for Leonardo DiCaprio, generating more than 440,000 tweets per minute.

So what is it about him that the world loves so much?

“I first saw him on a TV sitcom called Growing Pains. His voice hadn’t even changed yet,” recalls Kathy Essner-Kuhn, 50, of Gulfport, Miss. “I’ve seen him grow up. He has evolved into an amazing actor.”

And he did – in 1994, the late Roger Ebert, the world’s most famous single film critic, rated What’s Eating Gilbert Grape with four out of four stars.


DiCaprio in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape”

“Leonardo DiCaprio, who plays Arnie, the retarded kid brother, has been nominated for an Academy Award, and deserves it,” Ebert wrote. “His performance succeeds in being both convincing and likable.”

Shiny S. Patel, a Political Science major who was born about a year after Ebert’s review, excitedly explains her fascination.

“Leonardo DiCaprio is the best because you’re guaranteed quality when you see him in a film,” she says. “His dedication to social issues like global climate change and minority rights – both of which are directly applicable to me – show that he has intellect beyond the movies.”

Patel explains that DiCaprio’s attractiveness stems from his passion and diligence as an actor, but then pauses and says, “Plus, he’s honestly one of the sexiest men my eyes have come across.”

“He is handsome,” Essner-Kuhn agrees. “He’s filled out a lot [since Titanic].”

In March, he was voted by Glamour as the “Sexiest Actor Alive” for the second year in a row. People magazine also voted him as the “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2006.


DiCaprio as Jack Dawson in “Titanic”

Mani Cavalieri, a Quora user, comments on what makes DiCaprio so attractive.

“DiCaprio’s real debut to society was in Titanic, where he was cast to play the pretty male love interest,” he writes. “Titanic became a huge cultural sensation, and DiCaprio happened to fit a certain look that was popular for teen heartthrobs in the 90s – so that pretty much cemented him in society’s eyes as a pretty young heartthrob.”

International Movie Database (IMDB) describes DiCaprio as one of the few actors in the world who has had such a diverse career, stemming from “humble beginnings,” starting out with sitcoms and low-budget horror movies.

When he finally won his award for Best Actor, the humble star did not cry for victory and demand that the Academy apologize to him for taking so long, but he urged America to “support leaders around the world… who speak for all of humanity… for those people out there whose voices have been drowned out by the politics of greed.”

It’s not just about brains or beauty, but also about being a decent person. Leo’s got it all, and America loves it.