"News is the first rough draft of history."

The Voice of the College at Florham

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

Following debates, Giurastante elected new College at Florham SGA president

Showing good sportsmanship before the debate, Katelyn Lewis (left) and Gina Giurastante (right) shake hands.


LUCILA SPARKES
Advertising Manager

Last week, Gina Giurastante won the presidency of the Student Government Association.
Before the votes were counted, the SGA hosted a debate on Nov. 15 featuring Giurastante and her opponent, Katelyn Lewis, both juniors.
The two discussed issues that affect many students on the College at Florham campus, including tuition costs, club and organizational involvement and their proposed presidential plans.

Giurastante began by explaining that she felt qualified because she is currently a Resident Assistant and has many connections from this experience. She also believes that she works well with the current vice presidents.

Lewis, on the other hand, began by explaining to the audience how she is a chemistry major and has been involved with SGA since her freshman year. Lewis helped create a program with the library called “Studying Pays Off” and through her years of experience, she has gained connections with important FDU faculty.
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Campus community reacts to President Obama’s re-election

MONIQUE VITCHE
News Editor

On Nov. 6, America re-elected President Barack Obama with 332 electoral votes and 51 percent of the popular vote, according to the Associated Press. An informal survey found that campus reaction to the results has been mixed, with some students being happy with the results and some being disappointed.

Anastasia Noce, a senior accounting major, said that she didn’t vote for either candidate, but was very surprised when Obama was re-elected. She was told when the economy isn’t doing well, people vote for change. Noce continued by saying it doesn’t take four years to fix things.

With regard to the two candidates’ stances on the issues, Noce said she thought about other people – not just herself – when it came to issues such as Medicare, abortion and gay rights.

Peter Carille, a senior political science major, recalled the events of election night. “Florida, as usual, took a long time. I thought the race was close,” Carille said.
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Opinion: Wise American public gives Obama four more years

CHRIS BEDELL
Staff Writer

It was really a relief to see that the American people made the right choice on Election Day and re-elected Barack Obama. After several debates Mitt Romney failed to improve his image and continued on about the same old nonsense. He failed to offer the American people any clear specifics.

On Election Day it really hit me, though: Romney didn’t deserve the American people’s support on the simple fact that he didn’t feel that he owed it to the public to tell them where he stood on the issues. And, if he can’t even do something as basic as that, he has no business running for President of the United States.

One of the highlights of the election was something that Al Sharpton pointed out in one of his commercials for his “Politics Nation” show on MSNBC: “this election is not about Obama, it’s about your mama.”
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Opinion: Thoughts on the first presidential debate

CHRIS BEDELL
Staff Writer

Despite what some people might be saying about the first presidential debate, President Obama did not lose.

Obama might not have had the best comebacks against Mitt Romney, but at least Obama made it clear that fighting for Americans who are struggling the most is a must, in addition to continuing to advocate for the middle class.

Romney’s main problem clearly echoed throughout the debate. I still don’t know anything new about what Romney’s policies are and what their impact would be for America. Instead, he was his usual vague self.
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National voter registration day drive attracts high turnout

Students from Phi Sigma Kappa, Delta Phi Epsilon and Chi Upsilon Sigma register voters at the NAACP’s voter registration drive, in honor of National Voter Registration Day on Sept. 25. Photo by Kristen Bova.


REBECCA CALDERONE
Contributor

As election time approaches, the people of the United States are preparing to decide who they want to run the nation.
On National Voter Registration Day, Sept. 25, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and many other Fairleigh Dickinson University organizations made sure that College at Florham students were registered by holding a voter registration drive in the Mansion.

“Pretty much every organization has had a representative here at one point today,” noted sophomore Kayla Chirip.

The organizations involved with the drive included the NAACP, which hosted the event, various Greek organizations, the Student Government Association, the Straight and Gay Alliance and the Association of Black Collegians.

With a surplus of willing volunteers, as well as the most appropriate date, Brittany Coleman, a senior at FDU and head organizer of the event, was able to cover a lot more ground and make the event last longer.

“It’s a whole chain reaction of getting people involved … I find that my programs are successful because I reach out,” said Coleman. “By 3 o’clock, we had 100 people registered.”

This feat was accomplished by sending out representatives around campus handing out flyers. People could be seen at every building on campus as well as in-between, handing out flyers and relaying information to others walking by. The event was also extended from its intended hour-long run, to running from 12 to 8. This provided students plenty of time to register, no matter what their class schedule.
“My personal goal is to have 100 percent registration on campus. If you’re 18, you should vote,” said Coleman.

There are many different ways of registering, and the volunteers at the event made it very easy for anyone to do any of them. You could register to vote in your hometown, in Madison, or send in an absentee ballot, or a voting ballot mailed in instead of having to arrive at a voting booth. FDU is also providing transportation on Nov. 6 to anyone who needs a ride to the voting booths in Madison.

“It’s just about everyone voting, no matter what your political affiliation is … and the campus seems to think it’s important,” said Chirip.
The organizations banded together to see to it that everyone on campus was aware of the event; posters were made, people were on duty handing out flyers, and chalk was used on the walkway leading from the Student Center to the Mansion for such messages as “vote this way” or “vote today” with arrows directing students to the event.

Registering was simplified on campus for the students. The many organizations involved checked over registration sheets and saw to it that each one was mailed. This attention to detail and ease made it seem very appealing to students to be able to walk in, fill out a paper and leave.

“Through this event, we hope that people see how easy it is to vote … I’m hoping to break our generation’s feeling that their vote doesn’t matter. Technically, one single vote doesn’t count, but one turns into ten, and ten [into] 20; they do make a difference,” explained Coleman.

As Coleman and everyone else involved in the event worked hard to make registering an easy task for students at FDU, students should have no trouble being prepared for Nov. 6. Debate parties will also be held by Phi Sigma Sigma as the voting day draws closer, to inform FDU students as well as help them make their vote count.

First-time voters have range of concerns as election approaches

KRISTEN BOVA
Contributor

The presidential election is coming up in a little more than a month and there are many members of the younger generation that missed being of voting age in the 2008 election.

It’s been said that the 2008 election was a landmark one, and it was a hard election to not participate in. At last these new voters have the opportunity to tell the country what they think and can “finally make a difference.”

For a generation that has media at their fingertips, there are a lot of students who know nothing or very little about what’s going in politics today. Some students who are first-time voters in a presidential election at Fairleigh Dickinson University’s College at Florham had something to say.

For Corinna Mecca, a senior at FDU, being uninformed is not her problem with being a first-time voter in both a presidential and local election, rather, it is more of an issue of being unimpressed with either party or candidate. She is registered to vote and is eager to be able to have a say in this election. She explained that she was very disappointed that she could not vote in the prior election and “now I feel like I have the chance to make a difference.”

Mecca has been following the election, and to become an informed voter, she has watched recaps on the news of the speeches from both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Mecca explained that she is not a declared Republican or Democrat, and she still has no idea who will get her vote.

An important subject for Mecca is Medicare because, in the “real world,” they are taking large chunks out of people’s paychecks. Mecca further explained that she is definitely affected by politics in her daily life. As she cares a lot about what happens in this country, it disappoints her to see how uninformed the younger generation is. Mecca explained that many of them vote just based on the views of their parents, rather than finding views of their own. Mecca said that people are voting “just because they could.”

Matt Belford, a senior at FDU, has even stronger opinions. Belford is already a registered voter because he has voted in other elections, but this is his first presidential election. He said he feels “ambivalent” about this election. He also already knows where his vote is going.

As to which particular policies he is concerned with, Belford definitively stated, “economics” because they are the “backbone of our country and how it’s run.” He believes that politics does affect our everyday lives and there are a lot of issues to consider.

Belford explained that he absolutely cares about the outcome of this election, saying, “If you don’t care, [there is] no point in voting.”
He also agrees with Mecca that our generation does not have anywhere near the right amount of awareness about voting. This election is important, Belford stated, and he is happy to have a voice in it.

Belford considers himself to be politically active, but did not watch any of the coverage of either convention. Belford explained that it is a lot of “talk and bull—-, and it’s useless.” Belford said he thinks that the delegates are just trying to “buy people’s votes.”

Joe Purtill, a senior at FDU is another first-time presidential election voter. Unlike his peers he is not very excited to vote in this election, although he is registered with a political party. He explained that “he accidentally hit the accept button.” He was unwilling to disclose information as to which political party.

Purtill reiterated Belford’s earlier statement and said, “too much bull—-, lying, and too much deceit.” He explained that he does not know who he is voting for and there are no particular policies that he is especially concerned with. Still, he agrees with Mecca and Belford that politics affects us “every moment of everyday.”

Christina Larkin, a junior at FDU, is unregistered and not voting.

Larkin said she is not voting because she does not “follow politics” and she does not “agree with either party and [I] don’t agree with how they carry themselves.”

Larkin did not really feel like politics affected her life until the minimum wage was not raised. The minimum wage is really the most important issue to Larkin right now because, as a student who is working basic jobs, she sees her salary as fixed rather than increasing.

Even just a small sampling of students at the College at Florham shows that there are differences among young voters when it comes to their knowledge of politics and concern about the process.

Opinion: ‘Mr. Pinocchio’ and the 47 percent

CHRIS BEDELL
Contributor

Mitt Romney’s latest blunder is just outrageous. How dare he insult 47 percent of Americans.

That’s pretty condescending of him to criticize the fact that people who are struggling to stay afloat occasionally need government help. What is supposed to happen? Are struggling people just supposed to struggle all by themselves?

I don’t think so. People ultimately need to be self-sufficient but sometimes you can do everything you can and that still isn’t enough – so there’s nothing wrong with the government helping people.

The Republicans need to stop their stereotyping tactics and realize that just because some people are struggling to find jobs, does not mean that they are lazy. If Mitt Romney and the Republicans had it their way, people who are struggling would just wither away.

The most sickening aspect, though, is that letting people who are struggling fail and sink while the wealthiest Americans continue to prosper off the backs of the poor and middle is almost comparable to Social Darwinism.

Last time I checked, though, this is America and we do not live in a dictatorship.

The bottom line is by Romney’s 47 percent comment this is just more proof of how he is out of touch with the poor and middle class, meaning that he does not even care if he cannot connect with that demographic.

He is also not helping his own campaign by blatantly admitting that there is a substantial percent of the electorate that’s out of his grasp.

The most laughable aspect about his comment, though, is that he also tried to play the other side of the coin at one point.

For example, during the campaign Romney mentioned how he wasn’t worried for people who were struggling since there are programs to help them. He must have been pretty desperate to pander to the left in that instance. Yet at the same time he criticizes Barack Obama for government spending.

Romney cannot have it both ways. Either he thinks that it is okay for the government to have a role in people’s lives or he believes that the role of government needs to be reduced. Of course Mitt Romney will never make up his mind.

He seems to change his opinion based on which way the wind is blowing. America does not need a President who will simply do what’s best politically.

This is by no means Romney’s first flip-flop, though. He was pro-choice before he was more pro-life. Not to mention he was also more favorable towards gay marriage before he moved to the right on that issue.

And you cannot forget what MSNBC revealed in the last few weeks: he had four different positions on Libya.

Having four stances on an issue is impressive even for Mitt Romney.

America is also still waiting for Mitt Romney to explain how Bain Capital shipping jobs overseas helped the American economy let alone makes him qualified to be President.

All of the evidence of him being wishy-washy points to his bigger problem of how he has not come out with enough specific plans about what he would do when he’s president.

People talk about how there are smoke and mirrors with politics, well, his campaign definitely qualifies as smoke and mirrors if he doesn’t want any transparency.

Romney’s nose will probably grow another few feet before the election, though. Just as in the fairytale how it is obvious when Pinocchio is lying, it is also obvious when Romney is lying.

I guess people love a good fairytale, though. Hopefully America will see through his facade and realize how Mitt Romney loves to act like Pinocchio.

Members of the FDU community promote civic engagement

ALEXIS CAMARENA
Senior Editor

The College at Florham is not what one would call very politically charged or a campus bustling with activism. However, with the presidential election just weeks away, and with campaigns in full swing, campuses across the country are beginning initiatives to encourage students to register to vote and to inform young voters.

FDU is no different.

According to The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE), 18 to 21 year olds make up 21 percent of the voting population, a demographic that remains “largely uncultivated.” In fact, New Jersey itself has 8.8 percent of the new, eligible voters this year, also according to CIRCLE.

This semester, in preparation for the upcoming election, and in an effort to cultivate this important demographic, the Office of Campus Life is facilitating an ongoing initiative to register voters on campus. The initiative is spearheaded by Matt Krayton, the new Campus Life coordinator.

Krayton, an FDU alumnus, was offered this new position after working with Alumni Relations at the Metropolitan Campus.

“I felt a certain affinity for this campus,” he said. “I had a lot of campus pride. I tried to come back here and connect alumni with different engagement causes.
“My philosophy has always been that as a university, you’re a community, and you’re a part of that community for life … so whether you’re a freshman just starting out your college career, or whether you’re 50 years out of school, it doesn’t matter; you’re still a part of the FDU community.”

As a part of that philosophy, Krayton is committed to bringing FDU to closer to the neighboring communities of Florham Park, Madison and Morristown.
“My job is to connect the student body with the surrounding community,” he said.

However, Krayton’s focus of civic engagement is presently on encouraging students to vote.

“The voter registration drive was something that we started last year … that’s something that, again, was a part of my efforts to bring alumni into the fold. The idea was to bring alumni on campus, train them to register voters, and then help train the students to register voters,” he said.

“We also want to make sure that the students are informed about the election … registered or not, students [often] feel they can’t go into a poll booth and make an informed decision.”

Krayton is also informing students about their voting rights, such as an out-of-state student’s right to vote in the precinct that his or her university is in, which in the case of FDU students on Nov. 6, will be in Florham Park’s sixth precinct at Ridgedale Middle School.

“A lot of students think that they have to go home to vote, but New Jersey law gives students the right to vote where they live at school, a fact that we’re trying to inform students about,” he said. “You are here for four years, you have a vested interest in what goes on in your community, you have vested interest on a congressional level and on a residential level.”

Campus Life is just one body supporting this cause. The newly inducted FDU student chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is also using the voter registration initiative to bring on-campus groups together.

The NAACP fights for the right of all people, even though there’s a misconception among people that it’s just for black people, said the chapter’s vice president, senior Brittany Coleman.

“We’re on this campus to do community service, to help inform about a lot of issues that people may not know a lot of information about … [such as] about voter registration, about judicial areas, about education, about health,” said Coleman. “What we’re trying to do is set up a bunch of programs that will help our FDU community, and as well have FDU reach out within the community.

“The NAACP’s campaign this year is ‘This Is My Vote,’ and nationally they are asking all the youth and collegiate chapters to do an event for National Voter Registration Day,” said Coleman.

The event was scheduled for Tuesday, and while the NAACP chapter primarily sponsored it, it was co-sponsored by the Office of Campus Life.

Several other organizations also were scheduled to assist at the event, including Phi Sigma Sigma, Zeta Beta Tau, Tau Kappa Epsilon, Delta Phi Epsilon, Phi Sigma Kappa, the Student Government Association and Straight and Gay Alliance.

“We [the NAACP] decided as an e-board that a drive encompassing Greek life, [the Office of] Campus Life … would be better for the FDU community, as well as for reaching out to different people,” Coleman said.

Opinion: My evaluation of the Republican presidential primary

AYINDE J. STEVENS
Staff Writer

I have come to the conclusion that, after 20 debates, nine primaries and five candidate dropouts, the Republican Party’s quest to reclaim the White House has become nothing but a three-ring circus with four clowns. One mean, one clueless, one crazy and one paranoid.

You might have thought this primary would be over and done with before Super Tuesday. Instead, at press time, we were left with a sideshow that is neither appealing nor understandable.

Let’s start with the mean clown.

Newt Gingrich is like the pesky weed that grows in the crack of a sidewalk and refuses to die. It’s as if he never got the memo. The pros for Gingrich are that he is a charming Southerner, filled with big ideas and sharp wit. He’s able to connect with people.

His cons are too long to list. For one, he is responsible for denigrating the Congress. When Gingrich first arrived, Congress was a civil place where members of Congress on opposite sides could debate each other and have a beer later on. Gingrich led the charge that dismantled the civility that was once sacred in the U.S. Capitol halls.

Next up is the clueless one: Willard “Mitt” Romney.

Romney looks like the American dream. I’m serious. He has a beautiful wife and family, a dream home and a successful business.

His problem: he doesn’t know when to shut up. Granted his gaffes are taken out of context by the media, but you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand that Romney is just not good at this.

Either that or he should just get a better speechwriter.

The sad fact is that he should be next in line for the nomination. After all, Sen. John McCain was denied the nomination before finally getting it, but Romney has twisted himself into someone that, if you had looked at his position four years ago, you would wonder, where did that man go?

Now there’s Tweedledee and Tweedledum, or the paranoid and the crazy, Ron Paul and Rick Santorum.

Both men have barely wavered in their positions and don’t have too many issues or skeletons in their closets.

The reason for Paul’s personality is because he is a child of the Great Depression.

Economic instability terrifies him, although many of the stances he has taken would lead us into a depression 20 years down the road and in these tough times we need to prove that we can still produce and export and not shut ourselves from the rest of the world.

Sure, it sounds tempting, but it will not work in the long run.

As for Santorum, his views on women’s rights are so far to the right that no woman in their right mind would vote for him, but it wouldn’t surprise me if they did.

His disdain for same-sex marriage is so well-known he went so far as to say he would annul all gay marriages.

In the end, the remaining candidates have a tough road ahead in terms of proving who the best is. The Republicans have had a long-standing tradition in terms of marching in lockstep with each other, but in this election there has been an effort to bring in new blood.

In short, the candidates are missing the big picture and, as a college student, I see no reason to vote for them. Obama may not be a saint, but he still looks better than the clowns on the right.