Phi Theta Kappa’s C4 Initiative

By SARAH GALZERANO and REBECCA KOLIMAGA
Staff Writers

Sarah and Michael Galzerano hold up the C4 Student-signed banner.

Sarah and Michael Galzerano hold up the C4 Student-signed banner.

Promises to yourself are undoubtedly the most important promises. You have given yourself an obligation that can reignite your determination for success. About six years ago, President Obama recognized that the national average for graduation rates at community colleges was decreasing, and he began the C4 (Community College Completion Corps) Campaign. Cumberland County College President, Dr. Isekenegbe, joined this campaign two years ago. Once a year, CCC’s Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) sets up tables around campus, and holds an event with guest speakers, to ask students to commit themselves to their graduation.

Five hundred students signed last year, but this year the goal is 1,000 signatures. Between 700 and 800 signatures have already been collected, and PTK and administrators are eager to reach their goal. Sharon Kewish, CCC English professor and PTK advisor, spoke about former students when she commented, “…they knew [college] was important, but they didn’t think about how they’re making a commitment to themselves, not to us, not to anybody else. They’re committed to themselves.”

Students that drop out of college could be facing financial, family, health, or academic issues. It could be a decision between going to work and going to class. A family member may need copious amounts of support, or a student’s health may not allow that student to attend class anymore. Some students have the ability to graduate, but they are struggling academically. CCC has resources such as Project Assist, EOF, tutoring, mentoring, and scholarships, but it isn’t always that simple. Sometimes students have to drop out, but it is imperative for those students to remember that they can always come back.

Kewish said, “It might be one year later, it could be four or five years later, but I’m always glad to see them come back.” Cumberland County College’s C4 Initiative is designed for students to make a commitment to themselves that they will graduate. There is no time constraint; students don’t have to graduate in two consecutive years. The promise that students are making are meant to drive them towards the future they want, despite how long it takes.

According to C4 Campaign and PTK, more than 3 million jobs are unfilled in the United States, because students are not obtaining the education or credentials needed. These jobs provide livable wages and yet they are unfilled. A college degree can close the gap between a student’s desired job and their current employment situation.

CCC Board of Trustees Chairman Keith Figgs expressed the importance of this pledge on Thursday, Oct. 30, at CCC’s C4 Initiative assembly. He said, “You’re still going to be wondering, ‘Am I going to get through these exams? Am I going to get through all these papers? Am I going to get through all of the course requirements?’ The answer is yes because you are committed.”

Your commitment is not only to graduation; it’s to your future. Some students are unsure of what they want to do after graduation or what they want to do with their degrees. Kewish said, “I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with it [her degree]. I wasn’t sure I wanted to teach, but I knew literature was going to be my focus.” Kewish had switched majors four times in her first two years of college, but she graduated with a degree in an area she loved, even though she was unsure how she would use the degree.

Student Social Service major, and PTK chapter president, Chelsea Charlesworth, was asked why she thinks it’s important to graduate. She said, “I think college completion is important because when you’re in college you are actually getting educated, you’re not just receiving a piece of paper with your name on it, saying you have a degree in this or that. You’re also learning a lot about yourself, which is important too.”

The C4 Initiative is not a promise to know what you want to do with your degree or your life. It’s a promise that you will graduate. A student’s signature on a C4 form represents their determination, dedication and desire to graduate.

College Expenses: Help is Available

By NYASHA HOLLEY AND PAMELA CARTY

Staff Writers

Scholarships: Looking for ways to pay for college? The Cumberland County College Foundation office provides over 60 scholarship opportunities and awards $500,000 annually.

Interested students should familiarize themselves with the scholarship page on the CCC website. From the home page on the website, click on “Quick links” and then click the dropdown menu and scroll until you see “Scholarships.” From there you can look over all of the current scholarship options available to you.

Students should read through the list and criteria to see which scholarships they qualify for and then fill out the application. The application is easy to complete online and you only need to complete it once, even if you are applying for more than one scholarship. There is no limit to how many scholarships a student can apply for and with an average award of $500, the money can really add up!

If the scholarship you apply for requires an essay or letters of recommendation, you may send any required documentation to Kim Ackerman at kackerman@cccnj.edu or bring them to the foundation office, in the Administration Building.

The majority of scholarships are awarded in April and students are notified in the beginning of May. At that time all recipients are invited to attend a ceremony which falls on the day before commencement in mid-May. This ceremony is where the donors and recipients get to meet and also where the recipients are honored for their achievements in front of their families and the college community. Students who are awarded scholarships must send a thank-you note to the donor, once they do that, the scholarship money is officially awarded.

There are emergency scholarships that can help students who are in danger of having to drop classes because of financial need as well as a completion scholarship which is for students going into their last semester and need help. If you are in crisis mode and need financial assistance, please contact the Foundation office to see if you are eligible for an emergency scholarship.

The foundation office wants students to know that money is here for you. If you are having any problem with the scholarship process, please contact Kim Ackerman at kackerman@cccnj.edu.

Textbooks: For college students, books are of the most expensive necessities. Though there are some classes where the professor doesn’t make books mandatory, odds are that you will need a book for most of your classes. Chegg is a company that allows students to buy or rent used textbooks for prices much lower than in the school bookstore. For those who don’t want to carry around physical versions of the books, e-books are also available depending on the subject.

Chegg can be easily accessed on a computer or right on your phone. The app is free and you can make orders from your Smartphone. All you have to do is search for the book using the title, author or ISBN and decide if you want to rent the book or purchase it. Most orders are shipped within 24 hours and delivered within a week. At the end of the semester, it’s easy to return books by printing out a mailing label from the website and simply putting the book back in the box.

On Chegg, they also have a tutor section on their website which sets you up with an online tutor to help with homework assignments. There is also a question and answer section that allows students to interact and help each other. Another feature Chegg offers is a scholarship search engine that shows thousands of different scholarship opportunities that are available for application.

Having to put out a lot of money for a book that you’ll only use for a few months is a necessary evil, but fortunately Chegg is a helpful alternative and student resource.

Who’s Who?

By DANICA TOLLINCHI AND TAKYUA SAMUEL

Staff Writers

While being a part of the college is being a student and wearing your student IDs, not all students participate and buy one for each semester; though you should keep one in hand if you need to use something that requires a student ID At Cumberland County College. Anybody can be attending the college. Since there are so many different age gaps, it’s hard for us to differentiate ourselves. Therefore, the IDs are to purchase books each semester until recently this 2014 fall semester.

As a student we always need to research new things online for our papers. Even though most students use their textbooks for information many students use the Internet or the books provided by the campus library. Students that rent books from the campus library must present proof of their affiliation with the college. That’s when student IDs come into play. It is understandable that when renting books, they need to be reliable for their own rented property from the college. Some students don’t even carry a student ID until freshman orientation.

New students come around and they first enter college, faculty advises them to obtain one from the fitness center. When you’re at the fitness center, they verify your student status with your class schedule. Your class schedule is way for students to prove their identity on campus. After you show them your schedule, they take your photo and print out your ID right in front of you. The cost is only $5. But what are the chances of you pulling out your ID on campus anyway? It might just be a waste of money.

The CCC library is open to the public; it’s not just open to students. As a student on campus, we don’t need our student IDs for logging into the computers. For instance, I can go on the computer and look up any information desirable. The only use for a student ID is when printing out papers. After all, anyone can pose as a student on campus without realizing it.

Buying books is an exciting time for new college students. When I began my journey in 2011, I was told that I needed a class schedule to purchase textbooks. For example, to buy any of my books and prove I was a student on campus, all I needed was my class schedule. Furthermore, it’s been like this until this previous fall semester at Cumberland County College. As a student, I couldn’t believe they required us to provide our student IDs to purchase books for our classes. I realized that something needs to change. In the event of a negative situation, Cumberland County College would need a better system for identification.

Enforce student IDs on campus at all times would differentiate the students from the others. Also, students should carry their IDs on them at all times in cases of an emergency. No one bothers to pay attention, but now is the time to take action and be aware of each student that walks on campus. Everyone wants to be in a safe environment and we can do that by being more aware, and having our student IDs available. At CCC, we want to do the best we can to ensure our campus life is everything that we expected with the safety of our students being a top priority.

One-stop shops makes Xmas pop

By: REBECCA KOLIMAGA

As the holidays approach, people flock to malls in search of the perfect gifts. Crowded department stores, shops full of aisle after aisle of junk and high prices are discouraging. Christmas shopping is hard when you have no idea what your loved one wants or you can’t find something within your price range, but there are options that help sort through the junk and leave you with a great present for a great price.

Christmas is a time to show your love. Meaningful and personalized gifts are difficult to come across in most stores. Sites like shutterfly.com and thingsremembered.com make it easy to personalize gifts. Shutterfly allows you to put your own picture on mugs, plates, blankets, Christmas stockings and most other everyday objects. The high quality pictures look expensive, but photo mugs are only $14.99. Your family photos printed into a book with your own captions will put a smile on your loved one’s face.

Things Remembered offers specialty items with the option of engraving a special message. For him, there are pocket watches, bar accessories and business accessories that can be engraved with his initials or a loving message. For her, there are music boxes, jewelry and water globes that are elegant and beautiful. A tall, engraved glass vase starts at $25.00. Add a few flowers and your Christmas shopping for her is done.

Children are difficult to please on Christmas morning, but fatbraintoys.com makes it easy to find fun toys for children of any age. You can specify your search by age, baby to 18, by gender and by price. Also, Fat Brain Toys has a section dedicated to children with special needs. The categories include autism, blindness, ADD/ADHD, Cerebral Palsy, speech and language delay and hearing impairment. Toys are chosen specifically for children with these conditions. Toys such as brainteasers, arts and crafts, outdoor toys and bath toys appeal to any child. Orders of any size have a $3.99 flat shipping rate.

It’s hard to give some people a gift that surprises them, but bitsandpieces.com is full of unexpected gifts. Bits and Pieces features puzzles, but they have gifts and gadgets that are unique and useful. There’s a melting Dali clock for the art lover, a working historic Storm Glass for the historian and a plant pulley to help water plants that hang too high. A set of nesting dolls is only $16.99 and with themes like endangered species, dogs, monkeys, sea life and zombies, there is something for everyone.

There’s a geek in most of us and thinkgeek.com caters to that. There’s merchandise for The Big Bang Theory, Doctor Who, Game of Thrones and Marvel. There are themed mugs, lights, apparel and pens, but also replicas from various T.V. series. Stackable Tetris lamps and 3D sidewalk chalk are only the beginning of the cool things at Think Geek. A set of 4 Dexter 16oz glasses for $5.19 allows you to save money and give a great gift.

Online shopping saves stress and saves money because websites are time savers and cost-efficient; cheaper options are often sold online. A shopper can browse through items that are sorted by price, department, gender or age, buy it and have it shipped to them. Online browsing allows you to filter through all of the unwanted junk. You can browse through categories or filter your search so you can find noteworthy gifts at reasonable prices. Unique gifts don’t have to be expensive gifts; holiday shopping doesn’t have to take hours. Companies like Shutterfly, Things Remembered, Fat Brain Toys, Bits and Pieces and Think Geek make it easy to find the perfect gifts at an affordable price.

Ebola Facts: believe it or not

By SARAH GALZERANO
Staff Writer

What is Ebola, other than a word that we’ve been hearing about a thousand times a day recently? According to The Washington Post, a U.S. top disease detective called Ebola a “painful, dreadful, merciless virus”, which is why so many people are so afraid of it. The media has been running threatening headlines of a disease that too many of us know nothing about. Okay, sure, there are reasons why it might seem “scary”, but what about the reasons why it shouldn’t worry us?

First, Ebola is way less contagious than other diseases we’re familiar with. According to The Chicago Tribune, numbers show that AIDS and Malaria are far more deadly, and American medical professionals are sure that Ebola will not become an endemic in the U.S. as it has in Africa. To contract Ebola you need to come into direct contact with the bodily fluids (vomit, sweat, blood, urine) of an infected individual.

Ebola is said not to be an airborne disease. Many of us know this, but are still weary. Just how easy could it be to come into contact with Ebola? Direct contact in this sense means that the virus would have to enter your body, through a cut in your skin, nose, mouth, eyes, or privates. It is also possible to become infected through touching a contaminated surface. According to Vox Media Inc., some people who have Ebola never get sick enough to infect others, while others are considered “super-shedders” and are highly infectious.

It’s pretty simple how to avoid Ebola, especially if there were no Ebola victims in your community. We live in New Jersey, so we shouldn’t be afraid of the outbreaks in Texas, unless they continue to spread.

Of course what is somewhat scary about Ebola, is its symptoms. About 50 percent of people that become infected with this disease end up dying. Survivors return to their normal lives after months of recovery that can include hair loss, muscle weakness, fatigue, migraines, and eye and liver inflammation. Again, according to Vox Media, “More often than not, Ebola strikes like the worst and most humiliating flu you could imagine. People get the sweats, along with body aches and pains. They run a fever. Then they start vomiting and having uncontrollable diarrhea.”

Why are some people that are so far away from Ebola, worried about it? A survey conducted in early October from the Pew Research Center, gathered the information that about 11 percent of Americans were “very worried” about contracting Ebola, and 21 percent were only “somewhat worried” about being exposed to the virus. The virus itself has not yet ravaged the United States, but the word has. The Los Angeles Times stated, “It seemed the only thing more contagious than Ebola were the rumors spread about it.” LiveScience worked with David Ropeik, a consultant in risk perception, who said, “Something that is new is scarier because people don’t have past experience with it, and they don’t know how it will play out. That’s why Ebola may seem scarier than the flu (which Americans have experience with…”

So are any of these people that seem so frightened by Ebola, CCC students? I asked Kelsey Frazier, “Are you afraid of Ebola? Why or why not?” to which she said, “No. I feel like the media is making it a bigger deal than it is. We have more people in America dying from cancer or the flu, but no one seems to make a big deal about that.” I also asked Jason Morroni, the same question, to which he said, “No. Ebola is only threatening in places that have less access to medical treatment.”
Should we be afraid of Ebola? Let us at least not be afraid of the word, but the disease itself. As long as the virus is not near us, yet we still remain careful and hygienic, we’ll be safe.

Should you live your life unplugged?

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CCC students give an example of cell phone posture.

By PAMELA CARTY
Staff Writer

Being addicted to technology, more specifically to your cellphone, and being constantly plugged into social media can be extremely harmful to your well-being.Technology addiction can have negative effects on your mental, physical, and social health, and by cutting back and occasionally unplugging from the endless stream of information, you can improve your life in a multitude of ways.

The constant distraction of being connected to social media interferes with actual socialization. Have you ever gone out to a party and watched people around you stare at their phones? The irony of this situation is real. The purpose of a party is to mix and mingle, to meet people and to enjoy the many aspects of socialization. Often times, people are so busy posting pictures on their Instagram or Facebook profiles, showing their followers what a “good time” they are having, that they are actually missing out on having a good time. Having a conversation with a person who is endlessly checking their phone, is infuriating and makes the offender look extremely rude. Do not be “that guy.”

Human beings need to have face to face interactions, we need interpersonal exposure to understand and connect to other people. Next time you are at a party, or any social situation, do your best to connect and have conversations with those around you. If you feel the need to announce your experiences, you can always post them later when you are alone but keep in mind, the new cultural need to document our every thought and encounter is making us really boring and annoying people. Constantly checking your smartphone for texts, messages, e-mail, your bank account balance, the score to the football game, your ex’s Facebook status, and to see if anyone retweeted your super funny tweet, is bad for you. Living in the moment and appreciating the people and experiences we have in our lives is far more rewarding than living though social media.

Your body’s posture when you are looking at your cell phone is unhealthy, according to the article “OMG, you’re texting your way to back pain” by By Jessica Firger from http://www.cbsnews.com, “People spend an average of 2 to 4 hours each day with their neck bent at an unnatural angle while shooting off emails or texts. That’s 700 to 1,400 hours a year. The success of social media has led to an epidemic of bad smartphone posture”. It is important to be mindful of your posture, especially when using technology, just reducing the amount of time you are hunched over your phone can help reduce any long term effects, or even better, put your phone down and get outside and take a walk with a friend.

Online socialization has a dark side. Cyberbullying and trolling are everywhere and are effective at upsetting and hurting people. The anonymous aspect of social media allows people to strike out with having to face their targets, giving them the sense that they won’t be caught or punished for their actions. Since the people who are out there doing their best to ruin someone’s day, find satisfaction in knowing that they did. The best way to deal with it, is to totally ignore their messages, tweets and posts. Resist the urge to reply to the haters, do not log on or respond, or even read their post, in other words, don’t feed the trolls. Living your life fully and happily is the best revenge you can have.

Quiz! Time Management

By: Taylor Duffield

Finals are right around the corner, so the school load is starting to pile up. Take this quick quiz to evaluate your own time management and organizational skills:

1. Do you have a designated study environment to complete school tasks?

A. I have a specific place where I go to study and finish homework that I chose because it lacked distractions.

B. I study in a specific kind of environment that I know I am the most productive although it is not a specific location.

C. Where I choose to study is completely random and usually just where ever I happen to be at the time.

2. Do you record dates for quizzes, exams, and presentations?

A. My calendar lists dates for both short-term and long-term assignments.

B. I have noted key dates on my calendar for mid-term and final exams.

C. The course syllabus provided by the professor is the only way I keep track of upcoming obligations.

3. Do you create a weekly priority list of how you plan to utilize your time?

A. I have planned out how I will use the hours of each day of the week for studying, personal care, sleep, and recreation.

B. I know at the start of the week which days I must focus on school work and which days are my time.

C. I usually go with the flow and I accomplish my tasks as I find the time.

4. Do you often find that you have missed or forgotten about an important deadline?

A. I cannot remember the last time I have failed to submit an assignment on time.

B. Once or twice an assignment has slipped my mind and I was unable to complete what was expected of me.

C. Last semester I was unable to meet my deadlines on three or more occasions.

5. Do you use your spare time to study such as: waiting in line, walking to class, eating alone, or commuting to class?

A. I carry flash cards or pocket notes on me and use them to study when I find the extra time while I’m away from the books.

B. Occasionally when my mind is not occupied, I’ll do a quick mental review of the information I’ve been learning/studying.

C. I prefer to separate study time from other activities in order to prevent myself from mental exertion.

Mostly A(s): You have exceptional time management skills. You go above and beyond to secure your success in college. So long as you keep up your outstanding habits, there is no cause for alarm.

Mostly B(s): You could work harder to ensure you are succeeding in college. Although your time management and organization habits are getting you by now, it may catch up to you in the future. Be sure to continue to improve on your skills.

Mostly C(s): You desperately need to reevaluate your organization and time management skills or else risk your chance for success! It’s time to reassess your priorities and be sure that your education is at the top of that list.