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The Voice of the College at Florham

"News is the first rough draft of history." - The Voice of the College at Florham

New M.A. program to be offered

Staff Writer

Fairleigh Dickinson University has added a M.A. program in creative writing and literature for educators.
Martin Donoff, director of this new program, said that the M.A. is geared “specifically for high school teachers” to get their master’s degrees to study and teach literature and creative writing. Donoff also directs FDU’s existing M.F.A. in creative writing program.

The new degree consists of a low residency program in which students will spend three days living on campus. They will then complete coursework online. This allows students to maintain their current jobs.
The new program will begin in June 2010, pending New Jersey state approval, according to its Web site.
Students must complete seven courses. These consist of four writing/critiquing workshops, two literature courses and a foundation course, “Reading Like a Writer.” Specific courses include Poetry, Creative Non-Fiction, Contemporary World Litertature and Young-Adult Literature, among others.

Applicants must submit three copies of a personal statement about their ideas on teaching and writing, as well as any relevant work background. Writing samples and recommendations are optional.

“The primary aims of the program are to enhance the understanding of writerly and readerly issues and practices and the connections between the two,” according to the Web site. “In so doing, the program will enhance graduates’ abilities to teach both creative writing and literature.”

Students will receive critiques and feedback from not only readers but other writers as well. They also will receive feedback through their online courses.

Sixteen faculty members are going to be involved in the program, according to the Web site. All of them already teach at FDU at the undergraduate level and/or the M.F.A. program.

According to the Web site, the program costs $9,000 per year in the case of four courses and the one required residency.

FDU theater productions underway

Staff Writer

The Fairleigh Dickinson University theater department has begun the process of preparing for this year’s productions.

The first play, “Boeing Boeing,” tells the story of a 30-year-old architect and his affairs with multiple women, all of whom find out about each other, said Stephen Hollis, theater program director.
“It is a city play that has no right to be as funny as it is,” said Hollis.

Opening night is set for Wednesday, Oct. 7. The play will run to Sunday, Oct. 11, with repeat performances on Oct. 16 and 17.

Usually the plays only last one weekend, but the theater department wanted to try something new this semester.

“It takes time for word-of-mouth to spread, and we wanted to give the actors a few extra nights to get used to how the audience would react and which parts they would laugh at,” said Hollis.

The second play of the semester, called “Once in a Lifetime,” is set in the 1920s, said Hollis. “It is a group of out-of-work New York actors, and basically the condemnation of Hollywood,” he said.
Rosemary Glennon, a junior at FDU, is excited to be a part of the play this year.

“This play is hilarious. It’s really upbeat, very high energy, and the audience will get sucked into it,” she said.

Glennon, a theater arts major, is happy to get involved with the plays in any way, but this one seemed particularly interesting to audition for.

“It is a period piece with different dialect, and the guest director seemed interesting to work with,” she said.

Glennon explained that the actual acting in this play should be very good, and the end result is always her favorite part of working on a performance.

“Afterwards, when people believed your performance, believed that you were really the character you were portraying, when it actually moves people – that is the best part,” she said.

It will run from Wednesday, Nov. 18 until Sunday, Nov. 22.

“Sweet Charity,” the third play, will take place in the spring of 2010. It was created after the movie in the 1970s, Hollis said. It will feature songs such as “Big Spender” and “Rhythm of Life.” Opening night will be Wednesday, March 31.

“Who’s Life is It Anyway?” will be the fourth and final play of the school year, and will open the first week of May.

Hollis explained that it is a serious play about a man who gets into a car accident and becomes completely immobile. His brain is completely fine, but his body is completely useless. He is confined to his bed for the rest of his life, and wants to die.

“I was hoping that some classes could make this last play a part of their course curriculum by being required to come see it, like a Humanities class,” said Hollis.

According to Hollis, plays are chosen according to four specific criteria: Will they be able to cast them? Would anyone come see them? Is it a play with a large cast, so more students can be involved? Is it an overall good play?

Hollis said this year’s plays are all very different from one another. “It’s like ingredients in a cake,” he said.

Y.A.A. ‘Passion for Fashion’ show

Assistant Editor

Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Young Alumni Association recently held a fashion show, and the audience seemed to love it.

The theme of the night was “Passion for Fashion,” and audience members learned ways to assemble outfits for the workplace.

This event was held to help fund a student scholarship. There was a silent auction and those proceeds are going to help children in Bogotá, Colombia. During the reception, as young alumni and current students were walking in, they were welcomed by Andre Burke, an enthusiastic pianist and a freshman at FDU. He played contemporary music like “I Love College” by Asher Roth.

After the reception, the crowd of people anxiously waiting to see the fashion show walked into Lenfell Hall, where there was a long runway going across the entire hall with chairs on all three sides of the platform.

Before the fashion event began, Karen Giargina, a senior at FDU, sang the National Anthem. After that, various speakers came to give advice and talk about their experiences in the workplace and how fashion plays an important role. For example, Tiffany Andrade from Miss New Jersey USA 2008 mentioned how fashion sets how first impressions are made.

“If one looks good on the outside, it instills confidence on the inside,” said Hope M. Field, the event chair.
The main purpose of this show was to prove that education and fashion are elements of success.

Quails, Posh Boutique, and Lauren B supplied the clothes that helped make that night a success. There were 84 looks presented at the show, more than enough options for audience members to get ideas of what is appropriate attire in the workplace. The first set of walks was office wear. Some of the notable looks included a grey dress with a long sleeve grey blazer.

For the men, a grey striped suit complemented the model very well. Most men in the show had a variation of a striped suit.

The second set of walks were casual wear, so it was a lot of loose flowy tops, and men in jeans with some type of appliqué or design on their shirts.

The last set of walks was dressy/formal wear. According to the audience’s reactions, those were the best looks of the night. Most of the women were in long, silky dresses and the men were in suits. A notable dress in those looks was a champagne colored silk charmeuse dress with black lace and crystals.

Because the event had a great turnout, the Young Alumni Association plans to hold this event again in the future.

Greeks recruit for fall semester

Design Editor

It’s an exciting time of year for FDU’s Greek organizations.

This past week, the fraternities and sororities began recruiting their newest members. Recruitment began Sept. 16 with a “Meet the Greeks” event, where potential new members could meet representatives from the Greek organizations at the tables they had set up.

During “rotations,” potential new members were able to spend 40 minutes with each sorority, and then 40 minutes with the sorority of their choice on Friday evening. Phi Sigma Sigma Recruitment Chair Beth Holbrook expressed her excitement about the all-Greek barbecue being planned.

“It’s just all of us getting to know one another. No one wears their letters to the barbecue, and it really promotes Greek unity,” she said.

Holbrook also stated that recruitment was moving from an informal event once a year to informal/formal recruitment in both the fall and spring semesters.

FDU Greeks revealed many different aspects of Greek Life that inspired them to join.
Holbrook said, “I got so much more from pledging than I thought I ever would. Phi Sigma Sigma has given me a sense of sisterhood, lifelong friendships, great networking opportunities, and unforgettable experiences.” Mark Mattera, a brother of Tau Kappa Epsilon, said, “I was attracted to the possibilities of leadership. I knew it would open doors for me and get me involved.” Mattera is now the president of the College at Florham’s Inter-Greek Council. Mattera also noted that fraternity recruitment was somewhat different than sorority recruitment, as potential brothers could be invited into the fraternity at any time during the semester.

From the pool of potential new members, each sorority looks for women who fit their values.
“Phi Sig looks for the ‘girl next door,’” said Holbrook. “Ideally, she would be active and studious. We want to feel that she can contribute to and take from this sorority.”

Theta Phi Alpha sister Jennifer Reed described the ideal Theta Phi Alpha sister as “an independent, strong, classy woman who can still be silly with us. At the Greek barbecue, we had a cartwheel competition and many girls were eager to participate. That ability to be silly is what we look for in potential new members.”

Invitations were extended to women on Monday, Sept. 21.

“Each sorority on campus has a different way of extending bids. Phi Sig goes to the girl’s door to chant and give her a poster,” said Holbrook.

Once invited, women were offered to participate in “open ritual” to give them an idea of what the sorority is like and listen to speeches by members.

“Open ritual is where our morals, values, and creeds come from. Every chapter of every sorority participates in the same ritual, so even though we may be scattered across the country, we still have a strong bond,” said Reed, who is also the Ritual Chair of Theta Phi Alpha.

Director of Student Life Sarah Azavedo said that formal statistics for recruitment were not yet available, as continuous open bidding, or “COB,” will be taking place until early October. A final count of new members will not be available until that time.

Public safety starts school year with new vehicles

Staff Writer

Walking to her 9:55 class, Lauren Brazier, a junior at FDU, steps carefully to avoid a giant mud puddle in the crumbling pavement by Barclay Hall. For many students living in the Village, walking to class on a rainy day means jumping potholes and hoping your shoes don’t get soaked before you reach the road.

By the Mansion, a Public Safety officer stays dry despite the rain, under the cover of a brand new 2009 Dodge Charger. Another officer nods as he drives by in a 2009 Dodge Durango.

“While students have felt the serious effects of the recession and paving projects have obviously been put on hold, Public Safety seems to have gone unaffected. Where did the money for flashy cars come from?” Brazier asked.

Provost Kenneth Greene explained that the College at Florham has two separate budgets — one for facilities and one for capital projects like the plaza recently built by the recreation center and the new entrance to the turf field.

Public Safety has a budget of its own, and money for new vehicles is put aside each year.

“What happened is that that money was not touched for three or four years, and the older Public Safety cars were constantly needing repairs, which became quite costly,” said Greene.

“It just made sense to get new vehicles. The money had been put aside and they were purchased at a discounted rate because Public Safety vehicles qualify for state pricing,” said Assistant Director of Public Safety Glenn Gates.

The cars were purchased at Warnock Dodge Dealership earlier this summer and were immediately put to use.

“The cars run almost 24 hours a day, so it is necessary they remain in good shape. The small electric cars purchased last year are inefficient in the winter time because running the heaters drains the battery after just a short time,” said Greene. “We were able to purchase the new cars with all the heavy duty equipment included at a state price.”

Brazier isn’t the only student who has noticed the new Public Safety vehicles.

“When our tuition is raised by thousands of dollars each year, I would like to see our money put towards something that benefits students,” said Leah Rainer, a junior sociology major.
Over the summer, some big projects left the university with less money to spend on things like paving and landscaping.

An unexpected water pump break cost $1.2 million to fix, Greene said. And the heating and cooling system in Dreyfuss was another $400,000 expense.

Both students and administration, including Public Safety, are affected by the struggling economy, and changes have been made at all levels.

H1N1 flu vaccine to be available to all students

Staff Writer

The H1N1 flu vaccine, which will be administered free later this semester, already has 96 students signed up to receive it. The Wellness Center will be distributing them with help from the Pequannock Board of Health.

Concerned students who have signed up to receive the shot include Sam Hickman, who is a freshman.
“I have asthma, so if I got the H1N1 flu I would end up in the hospital,” he said.

Some students are reluctant to get the shot, including one who said, “I don’t feel the risk is high enough to receive the vaccination.”

Students have expressed their belief that the flu has been exaggerated in its severity, but Hickman believes it is necessary to over-hype it because people would not take it seriously otherwise.

“You have to always prepare for the worst,” says Shirley Smith, director of Student Health Services.
The H1N1 vaccine is not a live virus, so a person receiving it will not come down with any illness. Smith said there is no written data on the side effects of the H1N1 vaccine yet, but added that people who have been tested have not reported anything unusual. A person receiving any shot may experience tenderness at the injection site and a slight fever, but both of these are not harmful.

Smith recommended that if a student feels ill at all, he or she should go to the Wellness Center.
So far, most of the cases the Wellness Center has seen have been the common cold, Smith reported.

Along with the H1N1 vaccine, the Wellness Center has made the seasonal flu vaccine available to students in an effort to curb sickness. If a student is receiving both, they should be given a month apart to increase their effectiveness.

To increase the chances of not catching any diseases, students should wash their hands regularly, not touch their eyes, nose, or mouth, stay home at least 24 hours after a fever, and cover their mouths when coughing.

The Wellness Center is gearing up for a busy season. The health care providers that work in the Wellness Center are also on the list to receive the flu vaccines, as they come into daily contact with all kinds of viruses.

“Right now we are flu prepared,” said Smith.

Mixed feelings on Vick’s return

Sports Editor

Michael Vick is making his comeback to the NFL after serving two years in a federal penitentiary and losing over $200 million for charges of running a dog-fighting gambling ring. When Vick first signed with the Eagles the move concerned many not only in the general public but also in the Eagle fan community.

From listening to talk radio many of the fans seemed more concerned about the possibility of PETA protests at games, but one fan took the Vick signing to a completely different level. According to the Philadelphia Daily News, “One fan is so mad at the Eagles that he is literally selling his loyalty to the top bidder. An item for sale on eBay is headlined, ‘Ex Philadelphia Eagles fan needs a new team to follow.’ It includes the following explanation: ’Disgruntled ex-Philadelphia Eagles Fan is looking for a new team to follow for the 2009 Football Season. Now that they have signed Michael Vick, I have zero desire to follow the Eagles this season, and until he is released from being an Eagle, I will no longer root for them.’”

Now enter Giants Stadium, where the Eagles were playing the Jets in a preseason game on Sept. 3. Just walking through the parking lot there were signs that some people were there in full force ready to unleash their own personal wrath on Vick. In front of one of the main parking gates someone had a hearse all decorated in flowers with a sign that read “Eagles R.I.P. M. Vick!”

Inside the stadium things were relatively quiet at first except for the normal cheering for the Jets players. Once Vick first ran onto the field all that silence changed instantly, as the crowd erupted into a loud chorus of boos. Now, it is normal for an opposing player to get booed, but not like this. This being a preseason game and all, every other Eagles players got virtually ignored; the crowd seemed to be waiting on Vick to enter the game to unleash their venom on him. Throughout the game you could hear periodic chants directed at Vick such as “Who let the dogs out? Vick, Vick.”

Not everyone in the stadium booed Vick; obviously Eagles fans cheered or sat quietly, but there were a surprising number of people wearing Jets jerseys who were cheering for him. They were just drowned out by the much louder boos. When talking to individual fans it was a different story. The number of people who thought Vick deserved a second chance was about 70 percent of those who were interviewed. The 30 percent who did not think he should be back in the NFL had much stronger opinions and much more anger and passion.

There were jerseys that summed up that person’s feelings perfectly. There were many old Falcons Vick jerseys and a lot of Virginia Tech jerseys, where Vick went to college. People wearing those jerseys were all cheering him and showing their support. There were, however, some jerseys that showed their displeasure with Vick. There was a 12-year-old kid with an old Falcons jersey saying “Con-Vick-Ted.”

The young kid, Ryan Gavin, got the jersey from his mom, Debbie. When asked if they felt he deserved a second shot and if he has paid his debt to society, Debbie Gavin answered, “Hell no, he is an a—— and he deserved to be punished more. He doesn’t deserve the right to be able to make millions of dollars or be praised and cheered. Maybe it’s just the dog lover in me, but I think it’s disgusting what he did.” Ryan echoed his mom’s answer. There was a second son, Jeff Gavin, 14, who disagreed with his mom and brother but all he would say was, “I don’t like what he did, but I think he deserves a second shot.”

There were others who agreed with Debbie and Ryan Gavin. One Jets fan, Andy Raines, said, “He doesn’t deserve to be back. He should have a lifetime ban. He lost the right to play in the NFL.” The people who disagreed with him being allowed back pretty much all said similar things; simply put, they thought what Vick did was disgusting and there was nothing he could do to redeem himself. There was only one Eagles fan interviewed who felt that way; others were glad Vick got another chance, but were more worried about how he was going to fit in to the team.

One Eagles fan said, “I wish he went to another team; I just don’t know how he fits in with the team.” Jermaine Reed, another Eagles fan, said, “Hell yeah he deserves another shot; he’s just not with the right team.”

Others disagreed. One fan, Josh Eagen, said, “I’m glad he is getting another shot and he probably won’t get much playing time, but he is with the right team with Andy Reid and [Donovan] McNabb, they will help him down the road.”

A Giants fan named Brian Anderson said, “I don’t agree with what he did, but Donte Stallworth killed someone in a DUI and got 20 days in jail, Leonard Little killed someone in a DUI and got another DUI years later and never got more than a four game suspension, so yeah as much as I don’t like him being on the Eagles he deserves to be able to work and football is his job.”

A Jets fan named Kathy Mitchell said, “As a player Vick is a great talent. As a person I think it’s terrible what he did, but he paid his debt to society. As long as he doesn’t get in any more trouble I’m fine with it.”

Office of Campus Life now in effect

Design Editor

Change has swept through the Student Center at FDU’s College at Florham. Over the summer, the planned changes for the Student Center have become realities – not only with the addition of the Office of Campus Life, but also with a completely new setup for the clubs and organizations that call the Student Center home.

Last December, Dean of Students Brian Mauro announced that the Student Center would be undergoing some changes in the upcoming year. “It drives me crazy to walk past the Pub and see the doors closed and the lights off all the time,” said Mauro. “The Student Center should be a place where students want to come and spend their time, not just a breezeway for people to walk through to and from classes.”

The dean expressed his desire for the rooms in the Student Center to be utilized by students on a regular basis, such as studying and watching television in the Pub and holding classes in places such as the Wroxton and Sammartino rooms.

The project Mauro proposed included relocating many student groups, such as FPC and FDU’s WDFM radio station, and merging the offices of Residence Life and Student Life into the Office of Campus Life. “By partnering the two together, it creates a one-stop shop for most student needs. Having everything together in one office would stop students from getting the ‘run-around,’” said Mauro. “The Office of Campus Life will absolutely be a frontline for student interaction.”

Students, however, are somewhat confused by the location of the main Campus Life office. “I think the placement of the Campus Life staff is a little unorganized,” said Mackenze D’Orsi, who added that some employees’ offices are in different locations. “It sounds like someone would have to run all over campus to talk to the people they need.”

It was also noted that while Julie Mazur and Eric Range’s offices would still be in the Campus Life administration offices, the rooms left empty from the move would be utilized as much-needed storage space. Still, the lack of space is a worrisome concern for both the dean and the organizations located in the Student Center.

“If money were no object, we would definitely add more space for student groups, clubs, and activities, but for now, everyone is going to have to learn to work together and use the space effectively,” Mauro said. “Thankfully, the Metro holds most of their meetings at night, and FPC holds most of their meetings during the day, so the two organizations shouldn’t have too much of a problem regarding their shared spaces.”

Mauro also sees the renovation as a positive change for lesser-known campus organizations, such as the campus radio station, WFDM. “By strengthening academic ties with the radio station, they will be able to boost their foothold as a club on this campus,” said Mauro.

Naturally, the project has seen its fair share of issues. “The whole process is going much slower than we expected,” Mauro said. “But it is important that we proceed judiciously.”

While students are still apprehensive about the changes, they do remain optimistic. D’Orsi, who is also the president of the Florham Programming Committee, said, “The truth of it is, nobody likes to give up their territory. We’re creatures of habit here, and nobody really welcomes change, but I think this will have positive results. I really enjoy our new office – we have a great office space and conference room. I’m maintaining a positive outlook about the whole thing, so right now I really don’t have anything negative to say about the relocation.”

At the moment, Mauro does not have any future plans for the Student Center.

“This is a big enough transition for the Student Center right now,” he said. “For now, the plan is to re-evaluate at the end of each year and see if we need to make any corrections.”

Nader comes to FDU

Staff Writer

The College at Florham welcomed consumer advocate Ralph Nader to campus this week.

Nader spoke about “Health Insurance and Health Care: The Battle in Washington” on Tuesday night. He also spoke Wednesday at a conference presented by the Rothman Institute in a panel discussion.

Nader is a founder of Single Payer Action, which seeks to provide comprehensive health insurance for Americans. Other groups that he helped start include the Center for Auto Safety, Public Citizen and student Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), which operate in more than 20 states.

While working with lawmakers, Nader was involved in creating the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
According to Dean Geoffrey Weinman of Becton College, James Barrood, director of the Rothman Institute of the Silberman College of Business, came up with the idea to bring Nader to campus.

“Becton College was planning on a Hot Topics panel on the health care issue, and when Jim [Barrood] offered us the opportunity to sponsor Ralph Nader’s lecture on September 15th in Dreyfuss Auditorium, we were very pleased,” said Weinman.

Having Nader appear free and open to the public is a unique opportunity. Weinman believes that Nader has been a strong voice for the consumer for many years, and that health care is essentially a consumer issue, as well as an ethical one.

A follow-up Hot Topics event on health care will take place Tuesday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. in Hartman Lounge in the Mansion.

Goodbye FDU Mobile, hello FDU Smart

SMART Communications, a web-based safety and communications system that works through cell phones and e-mail, has been a part of the FDU community for the past three years.

Most students know of SMART Communications through FDU Mobile, a mandatory program all resident students were required to have, which was only carried through Sprint.

At the start of the 2009 fall semester the program was no longer only available through Sprint, but through all mobile phone carriers.

“Students initiated the change. Students didn’t like the mandated FDU mobile phones. SGA on both campuses expressed frustrations. The students spoke, we listened and changed,” said Stuart Alper, Rave employee and project manager of FDU SMART Communications.

Other than making the program optional, not much has changed. Students who opt to continue using the program will still be able to access the various applications offered.

SMART Communications stands for “safety and mobile academic resource technology.”

Alper said the system does a lot of things, including accessing Blackboard from your phone. Students can have it programmed to notify them when their professors leave an announcement or post a grade to the site.

Alper explained that during heavy exam times students will no longer need to always be within five minutes of a computer. SMART Communications technology now allows students to receive class related alerts via text or e-mail.

“You can choose what classes you would like to subscribe to as well as what method you would like the message delivered to each class,” said Alper.

The SMART Communications Web site lists other applications that are available and has step-by-step directions for them.

Rave Guardian is still available to students, if they choose to continue using the program.
The application is used to “make your safe campus safer,” said Alper.

Rave Guardian works by creating a profile with information including someone’s height, weight and eye color. After a student confirms his or her cell phone number, he or she then creates a pin number for communicating with Public Safety.

If that student ever feels unsafe on campus, he or she can activate an alarm using the pin number and telling Public Safety where he or she is going and how long it will take to get there. If the student does not deactivate the alarm, Public Safety will begin to search for the student.

“You can leave a message saying your name, what you are wearing, where you are going, your room number and your roommate’s name. This way, if you do not pin out by the activated time, Public Safety can notify Florham Park police and they will be able to know your description, whereabouts and can call your RA and roommate to see if they have been in contact with you,” Alper said.

While Guardian has been available to the FDU community for three years, the only real change was that students now only have to make a phone call to activate it and no longer have to rely on global positioning, which only Sprint phones have.

In case of an emergency, there is a panic number to call which will send Public Safety to help. Students can register their cell phones and create Guardian accounts online.

“I think the Guardian and panic dial features are an excellent way for students to feel secure. FDU SMART Communications has really made a name for themselves with this service,” said Melinda Pinto, SGA president. “I think every student should take the initiative to learn more about the programs.”

In addition, phones that look similar to payphones have been installed on each floor of every residential building on campus. They are free to use and can reach any four-digit extension on campus.

There are 15 other features in the SMART Communications system. They include a program that allows students to study up to 100 questions on the go, and another program that allows students to participate in classroom polls held by their teachers.

Clubs can create individual groups that would allow them to communicate with each other the same way they do using WebCampus.

For more information on FDU SMART visit https://www.getrave.com/login/fdu.