Tor echo fall 2014 issue 1

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Tor Echo is the student publication of Alfred State SUNY College of Technology.

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    T O

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    By Britteny L. Monahan

    Today I was able to enjoy a friendly chat with the new president of our college, Skip Sullivan, in the

    Tor Echo suite in SLC. While we had scheduled an interview for the newspaper, we kept the conver-

    sation informal and comfortable. Relaxed in one of our suites armchairs our president was all smiles

    as I asked my questions. I asked him how he liked the campus so far, including the beautiful weather

    we'd been having, said with all intended sarcasm. He laughed, and said he'd lived in Michigan for

    some time and was used to cold weather and icy walkways, but sadly disclosed we would not be hav-

    ing a snow day in the near future. I asked what he'd been doing since he'd been hired and he went

    through his schedule, booked with meetings and events which he would attend. "I am very interested

    in getting to know the students..." he said, "Without the students there would be no reason for me to

    be here! They are the determining factor of a college campus." Although he is very new to Alfred,

    President Sullivan is well aware of the current struggle with the village and the new zoning laws they

    are attempting to pass, and agreed the students should become more involved if they wish to see

    change or be heard. He went on to say that his intention was to get to know as many people on cam-

    pus as he could. He has frequently been going to dinner at the Terrace with students and faculty in the

    hopes of getting to know the student body better as well as learn more about the campus itself and the

    many activities we host. His schedule is full of events such as Tunnel of Oppression, faculty senate,

    the Greek community and even upcoming sports events for our school's athletics department. "It's

    good to know where the school stands before we can go forward," he stated. I asked if there were any

    future plans he had in mind for our campus, and while he could not admit to any such goals he did

    warn of a possible '"Storm front" in the works. President Sullivan has also been in regular meetings

    and contact with Student Senate's president, Josh Altemoos, in regards to keeping up with the work-

    ings of the students and organizations. Overall my talk with our new president was a pleasant one,

    and I even learned about his favorite kinds of music, which he calls the three C's: County, Classical

    and Classic Rock!

    President Sullivan Outlines His Vision for the

    Future of Alfred State College of Technology

    President Skip Sullivan

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    Tor Echo / Spring 2014

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    RA Spotlight!

    Aaliyah Seelall

    AALIYAH SEELALL is a second year accounting major and Resi-dent Assistant in Mackenzie East. Aaliyah hails from Brooklyn, NY,

    and loves dancing, singing, drawing, playing tennis, and is proud of

    her African American and Indian heritage. When asked to disclose a

    fun fact about herself, Aaliyah says she has two baby teeth that will

    never fall out!

    What her RD says

    Aaliyah designs creative and engaging bulletin boards, as well as acts

    a mentor to the Track I RAs. The area where she really shines is in her

    community building and interactions with residents. She is trusted and

    respected by her residents and creates programs based on their wants

    and needs. Aaliyah is an excellent role model, both for RAs and her

    fellow staff members.

    Why she became an RA

    I personally felt that being an RA would help me "come out of my

    shell". It wasn't just a great opportunity but a life changing event that I

    personally believe has helped me in many aspects of my daily life.

    What she has gained from the RA experience

    I have been able to gain confidence and step out of my comfort zone.

    Being an RA has shown me responsibility, yet has helped me embrace

    college life and show my residents all that there is to enjoy. It has al-

    lowed me to show more sympathy to others when I have not previous-

    ly understood their circumstances, and has taught me many valuable

    lessons such as how to help and direct those around me while creating

    friendships.

    Her most memorable experience

    One time some students completely destroyed my lounge. The posters

    were ripped down, garbage was thrown everywhere and furniture was

    flipped upside down. I felt very overwhelmed and no janitors were

    available to clean it up. My residents had come to me and told me that

    they had found the mess and before even telling me, cleaned it up. It

    was so generous, kind, thoughtful (I'm sure I could use many adjec-

    tives) but the only word that truly felt correct for the situation was

    community.

    Tor Echo / Spring 2014

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    Tor Echo Staff Editor-in-Chief: Britteny L. Monahan

    Treasurer: Karla Chun Reporters: Ingrid Amaya, Kaylie Cytrowski, Tyreek Davis, Tony Grande, Sarah Jastrzab,

    Lynette Lockwood, Ali Q. Moore, Stephanie Pembleton, Angel Torres. Advisor: Dr. Brian Quinn

    Copyright Tor Echo 2014

    Editorial

    THIS IS OUR VILLAGE, TOO

    For all of our faithful readers and for all of the students of Alfred State, I hope you read this and I

    hope you take this matter to heart. For some time now the Village of Alfred has been trying to pass

    zoning laws making it impossible for students to live in certain areas in town: students who cannot

    afford to live on campus or students who wish for privacy and independence. Even students who have

    been living off campus for years are in danger of losing their homes due to the zoning laws and their

    restrictions. As a college town it is a well-known fact that the town thrives on the income the students

    provide for local businesses, and without the students there would be no town, or at least the town

    would not be as successful as it is currently. The Students also provide services that benefit the vil-

    lage, such as cleaning and community service. Local fairs and festivals sponsored by the college and

    the students also provide entertainment for the local residents and their families. While it has not been

    said out loud, it must be said here within this paper, the village of Alfred's residents are attempting to

    segregate its residential students, forcing them into pre-determined zones, taking away their right to

    choose where they are able to live. There is no true reason why there should be such a law, which vi-

    olates our civil rights, and the village board has yet to give a satisfactory reason for the law. The vil-

    lage has tried to placate us, the students, with the promise of twenty available houses for the student

    residents to reside; however, it was recently revealed by a local landowner that only six of these

    houses are suitable to live in. The students of Alfred State College have always had a hard time find-

    ing a way to live off of campus, having to go through paperwork and strict regulations. Many stu-

    dents do this in order to afford both school and living expenses, since they do not earn enough in stu-

    dent loans to pay off the expenses of living on campus and in the dormitories. Unfortunately, many

    students remain unaware of the current situation regarding the new zoning laws, and while a handful

    of student organizations have attempted to get the word out and rally student support, the struggle has

    been hard and our future remains uncertain. Jason Rodd, a former student of Alfred University, has

    helped lead the fight against the village board and the new zoning laws since 2013 and while his in-

    formation and passion for the cause is solid, it is up to the students to stand up and take charge. We

    cannot remain silent while others take up our fight, because it us, the student who are affected and

    who should take responsibility and raise our voice in objection to these unjust motions against our

    rights as fellow residents of Alfred.

    ABritteny Monahan, Editor-in-Chief

    CELEBRATION OF SERVICE

    On January 23rd, 2014 in Alfred's Village Hall, a group of five individuals were awarded the Spirit of Service for their excellent service to the community. Following in Martin Luther King Jr's footsteps these students, faculty members and members of the community of Alfred have gone above and beyond to serve others and their causes, encouraging equality, social justice, community and service. Tor Echo congratulates these compassionate individuals for their self-lessness and hopes that their acts of kindness have paved a road for others to follow in their footsteps, for the future benefit of the community and all of Alfred.

    Winners of the Fourth Annual Alfred Spirit of Services Awards were Miguel Torres De Le-on, Alfred University student; Nancy Kohler, Alfred University Equestrian Center Director; John Ninos, owner of the Jet and Terra Cotta in Alfred village; Dr. Brian Quinn, Alfred State College; and Josh Stellrecht, a student at Alfred State SUNY College of Technology.

    The Spirit of Service Award recognizes and celebrates those in the greater Alfred community that demonstrate a strong commitment to serving others. This award is intended to honor those who are actively living out the principles that Martin Luther King, Jr. stood for including equality, social justice, community, and service. Eligible nominees include students, faculty,

    and staff at Alfred State and Alfred University as well as community members.

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    Editors Note: With Tunnel of Oppression starting this week, it seemed like a

    good time to re-visit a proposal submitted by the Commuter Council last se-

    mester.

    Help the Homeless Here!

    By Stephanie Pembleton Head of the Emergency Homeless Assistance Plan

    For many college students, the rising cost of tuition and the tough economy have rendered students helpless as they struggle every semester when the college bills come in. For students who are stressed financially, this time becomes even more difficult, as they struggle with hunger and sometimes homelessness. With this being said, there are not very many places available for stu-dents who are homeless or may become homeless at some point throughout the school year.

    For students, it is very hard to find housing in a rural com-munity such as Alfred. Students who cannot afford off-campus housing or do not have the requirements to get a housing waiver from the school are stuck with an unfair decision. Unless they can get loans or grants, they are forced to come up with the mon-ey to live in the residential halls. There is no option for a student who cannot pay this fee or may be listed as a commuter and needs a place to stay, even if it is only for a couple nights at a time.

    When discussing this topic with Commuter Council, we dis-cover an amazing opportunity and a new cause. I attended DYouville College in Buffalo, New York before coming to Al-fred State College and they had a concept fairly similar to ours. Every semester, the college has extra rooms that are not being used by students. On Alfred State Colleges website, the cost of Room and Board with an 18 meal-plan is $11,580 per year. This means that per day, students with this plan pay less than $60 a day for these services.

    If we implemented some method in which the school could rent out the extra rooms throughout the residential halls for rea-sonable prices, we might be helping out some of our fellow peers who have nowhere to turn to. In addition, Allegany County is one of the poorest counties in the state of New York. At Alfred State, we pride ourselves on our community service and leader-ship activity and this could be the next step forward!

    Tor Echo / Spring 2014

  • 6

    Whether it be the act of trying to connect to the lists of possibilities of things that could be going on on cam-pus to simply trying to find the time to see it and keep interest, Student Announce seems to be at the center of the student disposition when it comes to figuring things out. Having been here for a few years, I've come across this message in my student inbox multi-ple times, more so than I can count personally, and have found myself contemplating the list of possibili-ties as I tried to iron out what my weekend was going to be. But as the years began to pile up on top of each other and my stay in Alfred has become more and more lengthy and event filled, I found myself drifting away from what used to be a haven for my event op-portunities, finding myself acting on a whim and play-ing it by ear.

    To check the issue of Student Announce, I per-formed a survey that took my adventure to the voices of the students who use the Student Announce email. Time and time again, I found that the perspective view of the students was that Student Announce wasn't something that they would use primarily to get a grip on events that go on on campus. Ultimately, people have expressed that there is a bunch of glitches and knick knacks that come with using Student Announce, ranging from their inability to keep interest in the re-petitive source of information to simply not being in-terested in using the alternative means, finding it bor-ing, not quite so eye catching, and a range of other thoughts about the email. There are some people who even stated that they click the email to get it out of their Inbox Active Messages, and in that, they never even look at the list.

    It goes unsaid that the idea of Student Announce has the potential to be the greatest means of infor-mation to be given to the students of Alfred State Col-lege, but how it is executed is serving as a hindrance to its growth. Of the people I surveyed, many of them expressed views and ideas of how they could make Student Announce better for the campus as a whole. One perspective was that Student Announce should be shifted to social media sites, like Facebook and Twit-ter, where instead of receiving the seemingly repetitive emails, you would receive a post or update about an event that is coming up in a timely manner, and could make it more exciting or interesting to use. With this perspective you could advertise digitally with the ut-most efficiency, using pictures and video in your events as well. Another perspective that was put forth for the enhancement of Student Announce is to liven up the email in and of itself. The way that it stands at the moment, every student receives a list in bold blue lettering over a plain white screen, which isn't eye catching, and to a few people who were surveyed it hurt to read. If the designers of the email made the ac-tual email stand out from a design standpoint, people may be more inclined to actually use the email.

    All in all, Student Announce is our campus' way of getting out its information. Organizations across the campus utilize this means in hopes of bringing people into their events. But without consideration of people's response to the email, how can we truly use this email to its greatest potential. And so, I pose this analogy: Why travel a thousand miles on a bicycle when you could have the same journey in a car?

    A Student Takes a Serious

    Look at Student Announce

    By Ali Q. Moore...