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.


Get your hands dirty at Pottery Boot Camp


For anyone who is interested in honing in on their crafting skills, it’s not too late to sign up for spring classes at CCC’s Clay College! Located on High Street in Millville, the Clay College offers noncredit classes to anyone interested, student or not. Annual pottery classes of multiple levels are offered in the spring including: Intro to Pottery, Advanced Pottery for Adults, and Intro to Pottery Wheel. Pottery Boot Camp will be available for the first time this spring. Whatever your skill level is, you will be able to find your niche at the Clay College.

Intro to Pottery classes run from May 23 to June 27 on Monday evenings, 6-9 PM. It costs $135 to register with no previous experience needed. According to flyers advertising the courses, “[Intro to Pottery] explores hand-building techniques such as pinch, coil and slab, and throwing on the pottery wheel. Glaze, firings, and studio access are including in this six-week class.” This class is best for people that want to begin learning the craft or are just looking for a creative activity to try.

Advanced Pottery for Adults begins on May 18 and winds down on June 29. Classes are from 6-9 PM on Wednesdays and costs $190 total. “It is a seven-week course is for the more advanced student who already has some knowledge of creating pottery. Ceramic processes and techniques will be covered while developing student’s individual work.” Clay College will provide some of the necessary materials, but TBD materials will be up to the students to obtain themselves.

Intro to Pottery Wheel is another beginner’s class, but this one focuses solely on pottery made on a wheel rather than hand crafted items. This class runs from May 31 to June 28 on Tuesday’s from 6-9 PM. Classes cost $135. As advertised, “students will learn through weekly demonstrations and hands-on instruction how to make basic forms on the wheel.”

Pottery Boot Camp is the Clay College’s newest class. It is a four-week intensive class that teaches beginning hand-building techniques and a quick lesson on the wheel. This class is ideal for people who don’t have the time to commit to a regular class. However, it is limited to 10 available spots for prospective students. This class takes place on Saturday’s from 1-4 PM between April 30 and May 21. It is the least expensive of the classes, costing only $125.

As an added bonus, participants will receive two months of studio time during the months of July and August for absolutely free, along with their purchase of any of the classes provided. To gain more information or sign up for a class, visit

4 Woman writers to check out this summer


Here are four award-winning ladies who are challenging the literary world with their courageous stories, denouncing the stereotypical view of female authors. Alysia Harris, Nicole Krauss, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and Andrea Gibson are four authors you do not want to miss.

Alysia Harris is a renowned spoken-word poet and former member of the performance collective, The Strivers Row. tells readers she has performed in seven countries and as part of the winning teams in the 2007 CUPSI and Brave New Voices competitions. Her lines evoke emotional response; “Hoes, boppers, and skanks. What’s in a name, but a whole lot of rape culture?” Harris meshes elegance, honesty, grit, and current culture to bring her poems to life. Her newly published chapbook, How Much We Must Have Looked like Stars to Stars, is already award-winning and highly coveted by fans.

Nicole Krauss has been named by The New York Times as “one of America’s most important novelists.” Her internationally best-selling books have been translated into 35 languages and her novels Great House, The History of Love, and Man Walks into a Room, have all won or been finalists for numerous awards. In 2010, Krauss was chosen by The New Yorker for their “20 under 40” list. She proves herself worthy of her laudable title with her intricately woven and always surprising stories. Krauss’ books share common themes such as memory, how people recover from great losses, and exploration of the inner self.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian author and winner of multiple awards, including the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction. She has written three novels, Purple Hibiscus, Half of a Yellow Sun, and Americanah, and myriad short stories. Her compelling novels tackle issues dealt with by her own people such as political instability and the Nigerian Civil War, as well as love and personal unrest. She is a celebrated TED speaker and feminist; a woman who, according to an interview with The Guardian, “doesn’t seek to upset critics, but does so willingly if that’s what it takes.”

Andrea Gibson is a spoken-word poet and activist for gender and LGBTQ issues who prefers to use they/their pronouns rather than she/he. They have six published works including The Madness Vase and their latest book, Pansy. shares Gibson was the first winner of the Women’s World Poetry Slam. In an interview with, Gibson tells that they prefer to write and perform collaboratively with musicians. Gibson is raw and truthful in both their poetry and activism. They write about weighted issues such as rape, gender norms, war, and bullying as a way to start a dialogue that so many people try to avoid.

With their honest depictions of life from the woman’s point of view, these authors and poets are not afraid to speak for themselves and countless others who seek to change female writing into a truthful discussion instead of the usual frills.

Are you anti-college?


Staff Writer

The notion that traditional college is not for everyone is rapidly becoming part of mainstream society, but what about the idea of an anti-college? Anti-college is the opposite of traditional schooling, yet still higher education nonetheless. There are many people who believe this type of schooling is more beneficial for prospective students, but due to the short amount of time anti-schooling has been in effect, it is hard to know whether or not it truly is a better way to handle education.

In 2012, the Make School was founded on the idea of allowing students to learn and create without the pressure of grades and tuition fees. The only one of its kind, Make School has become a prototype of experiential learning with eyes heavily watching to see whether it will succeed or flounder.

Advocates for Make School and budding replications include the founders of PayPal, Virgin Airlines, and EBay. These are all people who didn’t go to college, or they themselves have dropped out. CCC’s Professor Kevin McGarvey thinks that these founders and geniuses like them are more readily available to support nontraditional ventures like Make School seeing as they flourished in this type of environment and felt that they didn’t need college.

Make School was co-founded by Jeremy Rossman and Ashu Desai. According to, Rossman and Desai were high school friends who, after each spending a year at MIT and UCLA, respectively, decided to take a semester off and explore the process of creating mobile apps. Rossman describes Make School as “a college replacement for founders and developers.” reports they only have 50 spots to offer to prospective students each two-year program. There is only a 10 percent acceptance rate, but Make School is not for every major. The school specifically teaches classes in software engineering and computer sciences. According to McGarvey, “Make School is for people who are already at the top of their game. There are thousands of students who need the guidance a professor provides to point them in the right direction. Most people don’t just “know” these things; they have to be learned.”

What prospective students find so alluring is that Make School requires no upfront tuition. In a year where student loan debt is at 1.2 trillion in America ( and the cost of tuition is at an all-time high, people are desperate to keep themselves out of monstrous debt. It is not until after graduating from Make School and acquiring a “career” that you are required to begin paying for your schooling. No official tuition rate has been released, but as stated on, students will pay 25% of their salary each year until the cost is covered.

Make School gives no grades. There are no tests or homework. Rather, they focus on project-based learning. Depending on the rapid advances in the technological world, students learn based on what is happening right now. In an interview with Seeker Stories, a YouTube channel that produces short documentaries, Rossman described their core philosophy: “…if you teach the same thing two years in a row, it has got to be wrong because computer science as a field and software engineering as a discipline are moving so fast.”

This new twist on education has raised the bar for effective learning, but McGarvey thinks colleges have nothing to fear. “Don’t count colleges out yet. Students learn to think critically; they discover ideas and concepts that hadn’t occurred to them before. They become individuals who can make rational decisions and think for themselves. For so many, college is a rite of passage into adulthood.”

There is no one right way for a person to learn, similar to the question students ask themselves, “Am I a visual learner? Auditory? Kinesthetic?” McGarvey stated, “The best and brightest rise to the top regardless. But that’s a small number of gifted people. Most of the rest need a push, a nudge in the right direction, some moral support when things become overwhelming. Those are some of the things a college like Cumberland does best.” And it’s true. The best type of schooling for an individual is based solely on said individual’s personality.

Make School offers students another alternative to traditional school. With diverse types of schooling popping up like this, it is clear to see that people are taking school seriously; something that can only cause our country to progress more rapidly.

Distracted driving: It can wait

By Mallory Johnson

Staff Writer

Distracted driving consistently ranks as one of the traffic safety issues at the forefront of many drivers thinking. Each year, more than 80 percent of drivers in the annual AAA Foundation Traffic Safety Culture Index cite distraction as a serious problem and a behavior that makes them feel less safe than they did five years ago. Federal estimates suggest that distraction contributes to 16 percent of all fatal crashes, leading to around 5,000 deaths every year.

Many distractions exist while driving, but cell phones are a top distraction because so many drivers use them for long periods of time each day. According to NOPUS (National Occupant Protection Use Surveys), at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving. A number that has held steady since 2010. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported that in 2012 driver distraction was the cause of 18 percent of all fatal crashes – with 3,328 people killed – and crashes resulting in an injury – with 421,000 people wounded.

The average time your eyes are off the road while texting is 5 seconds. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded according to VTTI (Virginia Tech Transportation Institute). Forty percent of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger, according to a 2006 Pew survey. According to UMTRI, (University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute) twenty-five percent of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive.

Twenty percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.

Ten percent of drivers of all ages under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration drivers in there 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found that text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted.

Eleven percent of driver’s aged 18 to 20 who were involved in an automobile accident and survived admitted they were sending or receiving texts when they crashed. Several high-end cars now feature “head-up displays” that show instrument and navigation information on the windshield so you don’t have to look away from the road. Other cars connect to your phone’s voice control function, allowing you to place calls, send texts or search the Internet.

These solutions, however, could make the problem worse. A head-up displays keeps our eyes looking forward, but it directs our attention away from the road ahead of us. A just-released American Automobile Association report found that commonly used voice-controlled, in-vehicle information systems not only consume mental resources while in use, but also continue to distract well afterward.

A study by psychologist Cary Stothart and colleagues, published this year, showed that merely being notified of an incoming message, without even reading it, can impair phone users performance on an attention-demanding task. Twenty-nine percent of survey respondents said they have used voice-activated technology while driving during the past six months according to

Among the 573 adult drivers surveyed, nearly seven out of 10 thought their brain was distracted for only up to 10 seconds when completing an in-vehicle task, such as dialing a phone number or changing a radio station.

Eighty-eight percent, however, said they think other drivers are “very distracted or somewhat distracted” when using a device to talk or text.

Until hands-free systems can be improved, AAA is advising drivers to avoid using all the systems offered by phones and cars so they aren’t as distracted behind the wheel.

To Vape or Not To Vape? By Russell Garvey, Jr., Staff Writer

To Vape or Not To Vape? By Russell Garvey, Jr., Staff Writer

Smoking e-cigarettes, or Vaping, is fast becoming the standard for smoking. E-cigarettes were initially invented to be a replacement for conventional cigarettes with the intention of quitting. This has not been the case. Andrew H. Lee of the Department of Otolaryngology at Columbia University Medical Center, reported “that “vaping” does not associate with successful quitting.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there is no evidence determining that electronic cigarettes can help you quit smoking. “Smokers will obtain the maximum health benefit if they completely quit both tobacco and nicotine use,” also reported by the WHO.

The modern e-cigarette, invented by Chinese pharmacist Hon Lik in 2003, consists of a mouthpiece, a tank, a heating element, a microprocessor, and a battery. The e-cigarette commonly uses the heating element, or atomizer, to vaporize the fluid, called “e-liquid” in the tank. “e-Liquid” typically consists of propylene glycol, glycerin, water and nicotine.

Consumers believe that e-cigarettes are better than regular cigarettes due to the assumption that there are less chemical additives in an e-cigarette. This is partially true because the only harmful part of e-liquid is nicotine. But nicotine is associated with cardiovascular disease, increases blood pressure and heart rate, effects fetal brain development and has a psychological and physical dependence on the user. The average cigarette can yield between 0.5 mg to 1.5 mg of nicotine. The e-cigarette yield can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but on average is closer to about 2 mg of absorbable nicotine.

Nicotine is highly addictive and can be compared to heroin and cocaine when it comes to addiction and physical dependence. Withdrawal causes anxiety, irritability, anhedonia (the inability to derive pleasure in activities that are found to be usually enjoyable) and minor tremor symptoms for several weeks after disuse.

In another study by the FDA’s Division of Pharmaceutical Analysis, studied the ingredients in samples from two of the leading producers of e-cigarettes. These samples were found to contain diethylene glycol, a chemical used in antifreeze, and several other carcinogens, including nitrosamines.

In an article by Dr. Rachel Grana, Ph.D., titled E-Cigarettes: A Scientific Review, she stated that the “vapor has been found to contain flavors, propylene glycol, glycerin, nicotine, tiny amounts of toxicants, carcinogens, heavy metals, metal nanoparticles and other chemicals.” Nicotine breaks down into several other toxic chemicals.

One of the larger risks warned by the FDA when it comes to e-cigarettes, they are sold without legal age restrictions and are sold in fun flavors, such as chocolate, marshmallow and mint. Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D., commissioner of food and drugs recently reported, “The FDA is concerned about the safety of these products and how they are marketed to the public.” The newest trend in “vaping” is building your own e-cigarette and making your own e-liquid, which can be bought online with no concern for the users age.

The FDA wants parents be mindful of what your children are doing and make them aware of the health risks and marketing ploys that will come their way when it comes to e-cigarettes.

“Vaping” is a craze and is harmful just like cigarettes and has no proven fact that it helps quit smoking. It has only become an easy to acquire and socially acceptable alternative.



Staff Writer

Back in September, Emma Watson made her first speech as the U.N.’s newly appointed Women Goodwill Ambassador. She called for men around the world to come together and support women and their quest for equality, thus moving the spotlight for the feminist movement from lifelong, inspirational women advocates back over to some men.

This is only highlighting just how much more weight a man’s opinion has than a woman’s in today’s society. The entire campaign is unnecessary and, while any positive light brought to this cause is good for the movement, this is not revolutionary in any form, and not exactly helpful. Why go to men when many women across the world still aren’t on board? “Feminist” is still a dirty word and men and celebrities spontaneously finding respect for the movement shouldn’t be the catalyst to changing that.

A throng of famous, rich men (finally) stood up and declared support for feminists—Well, not exactly. A throng of famous, rich men got a piece a paper, wrote down the hashtag for HeforShe, took a picture with it, and posted it to twitter with maybe a full sentence of explanation. Perhaps the most annoying part of these ego-fueled displays would be the unnecessary and trite defense of “I’m a son to a mother,” or “I have a daughter of my own!” Well good for you, gentlemen, but is that really what it takes for you to display respect and common decency for women as whole? Because it really should not be.

A big problem lies with the education of those rushing to support this platform. These men know very little of the struggle faced by women—who are not Emma Watson—across the globe. If they did, they’d realize a piece of paper and feigned support for the next big movement would certainly not suffice.

Even Watson’s own path to finding feminism is one tinged with privilege. She recalls being called “bossy” in school, and it would be that which would catapult her into her passion for women’s rights, after questioning “gender-based assumptions”. This is not meant to discredit Watson completely; she’s a well-spoken, educated woman who is using that and her fame to raise awareness for a campaign that is important to not only her, but the world as a whole. It’s simply that if something groundbreaking is going to happen, groundbreaking effort has to go into it. With such a large issue, half-hearted attempts at raising awareness aren’t going to help much of anyone.

Watson, though, has the right idea in her approach. She wants to dissociate the word feminist (and the movement itself) from the idea that it’s just a wild congregation of man-haters bent on destroying patriarchal society and would want nothing more than to rid the world of men all together. It’s important for those uneducated in the issue to understand that’s not what it’s about at all, and that it is rather a campaign for gender equality—something that does not exist in our current time. The world is a much, much less safe place to be on every level if you’re a woman.

Proving this of course would be the men threatening to kill Watson for simply making this less-than-revolutionary speech. Men and their fragile egos should not be what Watson chooses to cater to during her break into advocacy, because the need for a man’s approval is contrary to the entire movement.