COLLEGE NETWORK

By Randell Leak

During the fall semester, students and the faculty noticed something wrong with the Internet. Students, faculty, and staff couldn’t rely on it day to day, to complete their work. The problem was so bad that classes had to be canceled. “It began roughly around the beginning of  September probably the two weeks of September,” Bernie Castro, Executive Director of Information Technology. “We started to notice a spike in the amount of Internet bandwidth being used. It’s a combination of the high volume students are using these days, and also we have more classroom technology that’s using websites, courses, blackboard and cloud. We also have other software that is accessible through websites. But, I also see students, as I walk around using Facebook, Youtube, Netflix. We’re talking about streaming, that’s happening across our networks. So, the technology these days are all accessible through your mobile device or even if a student have a laptop around campus. As I walk around campus, that has been many of the causes due to Internet interference and inconcisive high volume internet traffic.”

“We are under the highest pressure,” Castro said. “I mean the job of being an IT person is a 24/7 365 days a year job. In my position, it’s hard to be on vacation, when I’m on vacation I stay connected with my cellphone, when I’m home I have to stay in tune. I’m always checking my email. We are a customer service department. So, if we are not providing this technology or the tools to improve student success or faculty success and the way they facilitate courses, then it is a concern if those things don’t happen. We have worked through it and I’m very lucky to have a team I can help get them focus, I’ll take the blunt of the complaints and I make sure that the troubleshooting is being done, but I am handling all of the communications and also all of the tomatoes that are thrown at you so to speak.”

Many people want to know how Bernie and his team are fixing this situation. “There are two circuits that come into the college, those fiber optics circuits have been laid underground. We had fiber optics, but these are two brand new circuits that can hold more bandwidth. So, basically its future proofing. If we need more bandwidth we can keep adding to the number of band width.

When asked how long it be for the network to be fully operational Castro stated, “Hopefully before the end of March we will see full increase of speed that we have purchased.” Castro went on to talk about the semester before the network issues. “To me the most shocking thing is the semester before we had zero issues, but when September came we had lots of connection activity slow down. So I’m still trying to piece that puzzle together. Are the students from the spring semester different from the new fall semester? Probably yes, but again we have the infrastructure in place if want to keep going up in faster speeds, larger bandwidth, we can do that. The challenge is the more speed we give the campus, the more speed people are going to want to use. So we have to watch out for that. Everyone wants to download and watch movies faster but we have to find that balance. We’ll see and our focus is student success so the bandwidth inside  classroom is more important than what’s outside in a hallway. We have to be careful and find that balance. If students are able to login and students are able to do their work, then that’s a job well done. In this industry, in my position, its a constant guessing game.

The improvements made from last semester shows how Castro and his team are helping solve the problem. Let’s all hope the network will be fully operated at the end of March.                             

 

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CCC-ROWAN POSSIBLE MERGER?

By Randell Leak

 

It appears that Cumberland County College and Rowan College at Gloucester County could possibly merge. Gloucester County Freeholder Director Robert M. Damminger and Cumberland County Freeholder Director Joseph Derella said the counties are finding ways to deliver the best services possible to their residents. “These preliminary discussions are just that, discussions,” Damminger and Derella said in the statement. “Each Boards of Trustees and Boards of Chosen Freeholders would be remiss if we didn’t continue to explore enhanced educational opportunities, reduction of higher education costs, and opening access by paving the way for an easy transition into a Rowan University.”

 

Even if the discussions are just “discussions,” that doesn’t stop students or faculty from asking questions. When asked on how they feel about the possible merger, most of the students were shocked. They didn’t know anything about the merger. “I think it’s pretty cool,” a student studying at Cumberland County said. “I feel like it gives more opportunities to students. I mean, what if you wanted to major in a class the CCC doesn’t have? Then what? So it’ll be cool to see more majors at the college.” With some students bringing the positive effects of the merger, many bring the negative effects. “What will happen to the students already in college? Will they still be able to attend?” Many students questioned this, trying to find an answer, “Will their financial aid change? Where will classes be? Who will be the president? What will happen to the faculty? If someone gets a scholarship to either CCC or Rowan, will that scholarship still transfer? When asked about the possible merger, both presidents from Rowan and CCC said they have no comment.

 

“While it is too early to speculate the outcome, we do support the concept of seeking new ways of delivering the best services to our residents, weighing all options, pros and cons and we look further to a continued conversation on this idea, which will be done in the most transparent of manners,” Damminger and Derella said.

 

Gloucester County’s community college, re-branded three years ago as Rowan College of Gloucester County, with the total number of students in 2010 at 6,609 and with CCC’s total at 3,844, if the merger does happen then the total number of students will be approximately 10,500 students to serve.  And the faculty will be just as bad or worse. “There’s no way all the professors and teachers will be able to stay, so what will happen to CCC faculty. It’ll just be a mess,” a CCC student said when asked about their current faculty.

 

“Rowan University is growing at a really high rate, holds a designation as a Research Institution, and also maintains two medical schools. An opportunity to expand facilities and offerings does not present itself often, so taking the time to evaluate and consider options for the benefit of our students is important,” Damminger and Derella’s statement continued.

 

One idea discussed in a potential merger is possibly creating a “corridor of education and medicine along Route 55,” according to the county officials. Only time will tell if any of this merger is true. When asked for more information from CCC’s president’s office, Maryann Dombroski, Dr. Yves Salomon-Fernandez’s assistant, stated, “ she [President Salomon-Fernandez] is unable to give interviews at this time. Please note that the process is at a very nascent stage. We are awaiting guidance from others.”  

 

The only thing the people of Cumberland County can do now is wait and see how this possible merger affects them, positively or negatively.

To Cheer or not to Cheer?

By Andrea Butcher

Staff Writer

Cheerleading. One of the most popular sports for high school to college aged females. It is a fun combination of chants, jumps, stunts, and tumbling. Cheerleading can be found on college campuses around the nation and around the world. But it can not be found on the campus of Cumberland County College. There are many sports on campus, but cheerleading is certainly not one of the them. We have a step team. But step team is not cheer. They are two very different sports. Despite all of that, CCC is trying to rectify the issue they are working on combining step team with a cheer team.
The first step has already been taken. The ladies of the Divine Dukes, the college’s step team, have already received cheer uniforms. They received the whole nine yards: the top, the skirt, the undershirt, the socks, and the sneakers. To top it all off, the ladies even received pom poms. The Divine Dukes are proud of what they do and appreciate the idea of a cheer team. They just want people to know what step team is and how it differs from cheerleading.
When interviewing the Divine Dukes, the ladies defined step team is a type of dance in which they use their entire body as an instrument to create complex sounds with steps, claps, and words. Step differs from cheer in a few ways. Step is overall sharper in movement than cheer. While you need to be quite athletic for both sports, one would need slightly more muscle strength in their calves and arms for step. Also the ladies of the step team define themselves as more “down to earth and relaxed” than an average cheerleader.
The step team has a few opinions about the incorporation of the teams. Change is hard to deal with but not for the Divine Dukes. They are actually quite comfortable with the change, but do have one condition. They are fine with having the two teams put together, but they would like the combined team to “be considered a college sport with a budget from the athletic department”. However, they are aware that they may not receive that condition. Staying a club would mean that the Divine Dukes will not receive athletic recognition nor will they get a budget from the athletic department.
So Cumberland County College, you are commended on your efforts in bringing in a cheer team. Combining the step team with a cheer team is the first step in the right direction. If the school continues to build on this idea, a larger draw for the team will come in the future. It will continue to grow and become an entity that the college can be proud of. But for now, let’s support the current ladies of the Divine Dukes and help the change settle in.

CCC’s FPAC programming future plans?

By Mike Guilford

Staff Writer

Since 1995, the Frank Guaracini Fine and Performing Arts Center has entertained the community with dazzling shows in its mission to bring quality performances to Cumberland.

At the end of August 2017, that mission could be in jeopardy as non-academic performances for the 2017-2018 year have been placed on indefinite hiatus. The future for the Luciano Theater is unknown.
All is not lost, Deborah Bradshaw’s stellar sellout offerings will continue as academic programming would not be impacted. Scheduled for a November debut, Bradshaw’s production of Godspell is sure to dazzle audiences, with its messages of kindness, love and peace and a parade of hits like “Day by Day” and “Learn Your Lessons Well.”
However, she will do so without support of Assistant Director of Theater Programming, Christopher Totora, who served as Technical Director since 2004. Totora will continue his career as Technical Director at the Mandell Theater in Philadelphia. The decision to place future programs on hiatus was made in conjunction with Totora’s departure by campus administrators, however, the program has been in jeopardy for several years now as programming failed to make a profit. Continual decline in enrollment, annual shortfalls in budget for the performing arts, lack of awareness; the program was already primed for the chopping block. Running a skeleton crew of volunteers and part-time staff the program was left with no fat to trim to stay afloat, despite departures from the box office manager and Totora.
Things have changed since the program’s inception 20 years ago. Competition from renovated theaters such as the Levoy in Millville, 8 miles from the Luciano, as well as the renewal of Landis Theater in downtown Vineland act as stiff competition for a theater situated almost equidistant from two rivals.
Also, down the road from the Luciano Theater, is the Cumberland Players, within a short 10 mile radius of the Luciano theater are three competitors vying for limited patron’s attention with similar content.
In a perfect world, an oversaturation of the arts would be seen as a boon and business would be booming, unfortunately things don’t always work out the way they should. As theater managers at Luciano reported difficulty even giving tickets away to patrons.
It’s tough to point toward a single cause for the discontinuation of programming but the lack of public interest could point toward one culprit: limited marketing.
Given limited amount of public attendance and the success of other programs in the area, it would be reasonable to speculate that awareness of the programs existence was limited at best.
The original mission of the theater was to attract people with quality programming who wouldn’t normally visit. Volunteers, working for the theater act as advocates, bringing visitors to campus promoting CCC.
Children were bussed in frequently from schools to experience the wonder of theater. Director of theater programming at the Luciano Theater, Beatrice Hughes, remarked on the impressions of children coming to the theater for the first time; “The doors opened and their expressions were just WOW! before the show even began.”
Hughes mentions how she will miss seeing their cute faces on campus. The program was a great tool to attract younger generations of students to CCC. It showed what they’d have available as they grew, promoting college accessibility through the arts.
The college plans to reevaluate the future of the FPAC program during the 2017-2018 year, to see if there is a new direction it could take.
Without private funders to help buttress the program; as other theater programs in the county have access to, it may be difficult for the college to shoulder the burden of operating the theater alone, leaving the future of the College’s theater program unknown.

Prepare Ye for CCC’s Godspell

By CODY HIGINBOTHAM

Staff Writer
GODSPELL FORMATTED.jpg

Prepare Ye, The Way of the Play. This year at Cumberland County College, the drama club will be performing the Stephen Schwartz musical Godspell. This broadway classic, follows God’s holy son Jesus as he takes followers on a journey through many biblical events, while putting a 70s disco spin on it.
The show is directed by Broadway-veteran Deborah Bradshaw. “When I was choosing the fall musical, I thought Godspell would be a nice way to bring people together during the tumultuous time in our country, through its message of peace, love and community,” Bradshaw said.
The plot of the musical includes various passages from the Holy Bible, ranging from the story of the Prodigal Son to the journey of Noah and the flood. “The story is based on the book of Matthew in the Bible and the stories are told through familiar parables. The first acts focuses on the formation of a community of followers of Jesus. Act II follows the Passion Story, through stories of the interrogation of Jesus by the Pharisees, the Last Super, interspersed with stories and teachings of Jesus,” Bradshaw stated, regarding the musical itself. Originally, CCC has only done musicals in the winter or spring season, as most schools typically hold them around that time. It wasn’t until recent years, that the school started doing fall musicals.
Bradshaw shared, “We began doing a fall musical and spring play to accommodate different personnel schedules. I actually like doing them this way!” Last year’s fall musical was the interactive puppet production Avenue Q, making this years musical an interesting change since the previous year.
The musical features some of the most catchy and entertaining songs from a musical including the ballet “Day by Day” and the upbeat-rhythmic “We Beseech Thee”. Regarding her favorite song, Bradshaw replied, “It is hard to choose but I love the song By My Side.  It is a beautiful commitment to Jesus and the harmonies are full and lush”
While the musical only has three named characters that drive the plot, being Jesus, Judas Iscariot, & John the Baptist, the show can include a number of cast members as possible in the ensemble, with some shows casting as few as 10 actors to others casting an incredible 70 actors. Since most of the songs don’t specify who has to sing that song, this gives ensemble members a chance to sing for the audience.
Bradshaw is also no stranger to acting in the play either, “I did this show as a performer many, many years ago. I am still in touch with my cast mates. When I posted that I was going to direct this production on Facebook many of them immediately contacted me with wonderful memories. (1979)”
The performances will be November 16-19, at 3pm on the 19th, 8pm on 16th & 17th and 2pm & 8pm on the 18th. The admission prices ranges from $12 to $17. Be sure to come and see this spectacular production, because “It’s All For the Best.”

Fall 2017 Must-see Movies

By CODY HIGINBOTHAM
Staff Writer

Lights, Camera, Action. 2017 has had many events and headlines, but one of the things that stand out, have been the movies. The year has been full of critically and commercially successful films in the past few months. In late February, actor director Jordan Peele, introduced the world with his horror thriller directorial debut film Get Out, about a young African-American who takes a visit to the family of his caucasian girlfriends, however once he arrives, he soon realizes that he shouldn’t have come at all. The film earned a 99% on Rotten-Tomatoes, and is a strong contender for awards season. In mid-March, Disney released a live-action adaptation of their 1991 animated film Beauty and the Beast. The film has since become the years highest grossing film.
SUPERHERO MOVIES
The year has been called the superhero movie year, as the year has at total of 8 movies related to superheroes. One of the most popular films that have already been released is Logan, the 10th film in the X-Men film series. The film follows an elder Logan/Wolverine, as he and a sick Professor X discover a young mutant named Laura, who turns out to be Logan’s genetically cloned daughter; however, the trio soon find themselves having to go on the run from dark forces who are planning on capturing Laura. The film was a major success with audiences and critics, stating it to be the best X-Men movie yet. The summertime also had two successful superhero films for both Marvel and DC. First was Spider-Man Homecoming, where Tom Holland’s Spider-Man finds himself up against the Volture (played by Michael Keaton). This film was praised for it’s light tone, visuals, and acting; specifically Tom Holland. CCC student Adam Clark commented on the film, “Spider-Man: Homecoming blew me away. I loved it” The next film was Wonder Woman, which showed the titular hero’s rise to heroism and battle in WWII. The film became DC Extended Universe’s most successful film and the it’s director Patty Jenkins and star Gal Gabot were praised for brining the character successfully to film.
MOVIES COMING SOON
In the weeks to come, more anticipated films are still on their way. The most anticipated among fans is Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi. Premiering on December 18th, the 8th film in the Star Wars franchise will follow Rey as she continues her Jedi training. Another film to come is The Disaster Artist, a film about the making of the 2003 film The Room, which is considered to be so bad it’s good. staring James Franco as Tommy Wiseau.
OSCAR BUZZ
With the many successful films and anticipated films to come, there’s been a lot of buzz for the Oscars. This event awards the best in cinema and this year has some films that have been constantly considered “Oscar Worthy”. Whether it’s for a category like Best Actor, Best Director, or even Best Picture, the predictions just keep flowing. One summer blockbuster that’s a high contender is Christopher Nolan’s war drama Dunkirk, most viewers say it could be the film that earns Nolan his well deserved Best Director Oscar. Other contenders include, Kathryn Bieglow’s Detroit and the previously mentioned Get Out.

To Cheer or Not To Cheer?

Cheerleading. One of the most popular sports for high school to college aged females. It is a fun combination of chants, jumps, stunts, and tumbling. Cheerleading can be found on college campuses around the nation and around the world. But it can not be found on the campus of Cumberland County College. There are many sports on campus, but cheerleading is certainly not one of the them. We have a step team. But step team is not cheer. They are two very different sports. Despite all of that, CCC is trying to rectify the issue they are working on combining step team with a cheer team.
The first step has already been taken. The ladies of the Divine Dukes, the college’s step team, have already received cheer uniforms. They received the whole nine yards: the top, the skirt, the undershirt, the socks, and the sneakers. To top it all off, the ladies even received pom poms. The Divine Dukes are proud of what they do and appreciate the idea of a cheer team. They just want people to know what step team is and how it differs from cheerleading.
When interviewing the Divine Dukes, the ladies defined step team is a type of dance in which they use their entire body as an instrument to create complex sounds with steps, claps, and words. Step differs from cheer in a few ways. Step is overall sharper in movement than cheer. While you need to be quite athletic for both sports, one would need slightly more muscle strength in their calves and arms for step. Also the ladies of the step team define themselves as more “down to earth and relaxed” than an average cheerleader.
The step team has a few opinions about the incorporation of the teams. Change is hard to deal with but not for the Divine Dukes. They are actually quite comfortable with the change, but do have one condition. They are fine with having the two teams put together, but they would like the combined team to “be considered a college sport with a budget from the athletic department”. However, they are aware that they may not receive that condition. Staying a club would mean that the Divine Dukes will not receive athletic recognition nor will they get a budget from the athletic department.
So Cumberland County College, you are commended on your efforts in bringing in a cheer team. Combining the step team with a cheer team is the first step in the right direction. If the school continues to build on this idea, a larger draw for the team will come in the future. It will continue to grow and become an entity that the college can be proud of. But for now, let’s support the current ladies of the Divine Dukes and help the change settle in.