Daily Archives: April 20, 2008
Back in 1999, when the senior class was 604 students, 600 students were allowed to live off-campus.
Now, since the construction of the apartment complex in 2000, only 400 students are released for off-campus housing. This number was established in an agreement between the town of Fairfield and the University administration through letters and correspondence.
“Meeting a limit on the number of students released took on particular importance following the court-ordered injunction limiting the size of social gatherings at the beach,” said Dean of Students Tom Pellegrino.
Pellegrino said a number of factors determine the number of students living off campus, such as property availability and limiting the number of unrelated people sharing a residence.
“The number of students released is also balanced against the number of students we predict will be living on campus each year,” he said, “which in turn is predicated on projections from both our enrollment office and from study abroad projections.”
Duane Melzer, whose first year as off-campus coordinator was in 1999, said the apartments could house 200 more upperclassmen on campus. He said if any changes were made to the number of students, it would decrease “as soon as admissions starts to hit more on target.”
“Personally I would like to see [the number] lowered,” he added.
With regards to complaints, 400 is a good number, but the senior year experience should be more connected to campus so upperclassmen can serve as mentors, Melzer said.
“Half the senior class is disconnected with the University, they come to campus just for class and that’s it,” he said.
However, Melzer said that, realistically, living at the beach senior year will never change. “As long as Lantern Point exists, I think there will always be students living there.”
Yet not all seniors that want to live off-campus are released. The class of 2009 is confronting this disappointment – 570 applied and only 400 were released.
Living off-campus senior year is not guaranteed and students sign a four-year residency requirement to live on campus. The student handbook says:
“All full-time, matriculated undergraduate students be required to live in one of the University’s student residences for the four, traditional undergraduate years.”
Upperclassmen can apply for off-campus housing by participating in the off-campus lottery, but “approval of such requests is at the sole discretion of the University,” according to the handbook.
Jason Downer, the associate director of residence life, said “considerably less rising seniors applied last year,” and about 400 seniors and 50 to 60 juniors currently live off-campus. He added that there haven’t been “wide variances” in the numbers from year to year and that seniors always have priority in the lottery.
Director of Housing Operations, Gary Stephenson, agreed that, “The number of seniors that want to live off campus this year is more than last year.”
Seniors have priority in the lottery and “if juniors have been released, they are part of a senior group,” said Downer.
He added, “Signing a lease is not a valid way around the lottery,” and neither are calls and complaints from parents.
“I talked to a handful of parents – only a couple have been extremely angry, others just want to understand the process,” Downer said of conversations with parents who have been “frustrated by understanding.”
With more students on campus and no addition of new facilities, overcrowding amongst seniors and juniors is unlikely and as Downer said, until upperclassmen overcrowding becomes an issue, Residence Life will not begin discussing the release of more students.
“We anticipate having students in the same locations they are this year,” Downer said. “We opened this year with 18 percent of the first year class in converted triples and if our enrollment numbers are the same again we anticipate the amount of triples will not go up.”
Recent problems with the housing lottery system inspired the formation of a committee which would help students gain more voice in the housing system. Molly Byrnes ’09, the student leader of the group, said, “A merit-based lottery has been considered but it is very hard to accomplish. You have to decide what points go where and who keeps track of all those points. While it has its advantages it also has a lot of details that people seem to forget about when they bring up the idea of the merit system.”
Rising seniors, or students in the class of 2009, are outraged they have been denied off-campus status and will be forced to live on campus their senior year.
“[It's] a right of passage – at 21 you’re old enough to live on your own, you shouldn’t have to live at school,” said Matt Rimmer ’09. “I’ve been screwed over three years in a row,” he added. Rimmer lived in a forced triple freshman year, Jogues sophomore year and Claver junior year, instead of a townhouse.
Jennifer Booton ’09 thinks it is unfair that some students are stuck with unfavorable housing more than once in their four years. She did not get a townhouse junior year nor was she released for off-campus housing for her senior year.
“I was told by students who previously attended Fairfield, including tour guides, that the townhouses were for juniors and the beach houses were for seniors,” said Booton.
“Being forced to live on campus for my senior year feels like I am being forced to live in a jail cell. I feel like I am being jipped out of the true Fairfield experience, the experience that every perspective freshman looks forward to when they choose to come to this school,” she said.
Ninety-nine percent of the time, I can be found catching a breath of fresh air outside the back door of the BCC. I spend about 35 hours a week in the Barone Campus Center, and I love every minute.
My strange attachment to the Campus Center is no secret and, as an off-campus resident, The Mirror office has become my home away from my beach home.
Living at the beach is decidedly the best part of the Fairfield college experience, no question about it, but what is the big problem with hanging out on campus?
The large cement fortress is not a throwback to my underclassmen days, but rather a central location away from partying, distractions and the general hustle and bustle of the Point.
Like opening the wardrobe to find the secret land of Narnia, I have found many hidden places while exploring the 40,000 square feet of Barone. Did anyone know that there is a fifth floor above the dean’s office?
And, BCC regulars have first dibs on all leftovers – plenty of high quality Sodexho catering just handed to us because someone always orders too much. In this building, extra food is never thrown out before asking the familiar faces of The Mirror staff.
Though my commitment to The Mirror heavily influences the amount of time I spend in the lower level of the BCC, arriving at 8:30 a.m. is my choice. I feel fortunate to have a quiet place where I can peacefully do homework or check e-mails.
Instead of relying on my car as a place to keep books, eat lunch, finish my homework or wait for class, I set up shop in The Mirror office.
Leaving my car in the BCC parking lot and walking to class is not the end of the world.
Campus, for me, is not the alien planet it is for most seniors who speed toward the beach as soon as class is over. And I don’t get extreme anxiety the way many do if they arrive a minute too early and actually wait in their car until class begins.
My roommate says she makes up errands just to avoid the awkward 20 minutes in between classes.
Imagine the gas mileage that would be saved if seniors made it more acceptable to stroll through the BCC and perhaps take a seat in the comfortable chairs. But for the majority of the class of 2008, chillin’ in the BCC is completely out of the question.
So is eating in the cafeteria.
Though my meal plan days are over, I have eaten breakfast about five times “upstairs.” I miss Barone; it’s a place that is able to satiate the day’s craving with its wide variety of foods. Most students attribute the freshman 15 to the Barone cafeteria, but Chef’s Table, La Salsa and Village Bagel take a much more serious toll on a woman’s figure.
Still a major part of my college experience, the back door of the BCC is my on-campus niche. Everyone I know passes through these doors at some point throughout the day, and I love that meet and greet period of my day.
After four years, it’s refreshing that some things never change – the BCC is still the place to see and be seen.
Whether it is early in the morning, lunchtime or ridiculously late at night, chances are you can find me chillin’ in The Mirror>/i> office or smoking a cig outside the BCC.
I don’t care what all you seniors have to say; campus is still cool in my book.
The Seagrape epitomizes the social scene of Fairfield’s college students, and the staff is fully aware of this fact. It is no secret that the Grape is cherished and frequented by every senior at Fairfield. Year after year, alumni rave to incoming seniors that their fondest memories of senior year were at the Grape.
Whoever decided to open a bar directly across from Lantern Point was a genius, because no matter how awful the staff treats the students, no matter how long it takes to wait for a drink, no matter how ridiculously disgusting the bathrooms are, students will not choose risking their lives over having a good time. It just doesn’t make sense.
No college student wants to lose his or her license as a result of a DUI. Worse yet, no college student wants to risk his or her life in a car with a drunk driver. Seniors are fortunate to have the Grape, which is walking distance from practically all student beach houses. Convenience and camaraderie are the bar’s high points.
However, the staff has gone too far and challenged the students’ opinion of the highly esteemed establishment. When you cannot erase the memory of your best friend being locked in a choke hold and thrown out for doing nothing wrong, something needs to be said.
I would like to know, what did Fairfield students ever do to the Grape, besides bring massive amounts of business into the bar, put the Grape, and, as a result, the Fairfield Inn on the map, and give free advertisement by word of mouth? Moreover, there is nothing the student patrons did to warrant the horrible mistreatment I witnessed Saturday evening.
While I casually stood drinking a completely full drink after closing time, I watched my friend get physically abused and thrown outside the bar because he apparently was not obeying the bouncers when they said it was closing time. I was not asked to leave, although I remained drinking in the bar. And I was certainly not put in a choke hold. The bouncer blatantly chose to pick on him, for whatever reason, because of whatever high horse he’s riding.
Previously that same evening, other male patrons were violently thrown out of the bar. I don’t know the reason, but, in the small crowd of 30 students, I saw no altercations that warranted being kicked onto the street outside the bar.
Unfortunately, it is a fact that students will never stop going to the Grape. It is just too convenient; it saves us a ticket if we shut down our parties at 11 p.m. and go to the bar. Fairfield students have done nothing but endorse and promote the bar because we get to enjoy a good time close to home.
Consequently, our business has put staff members on a power trip, a power trip where loyal patrons are treated like insolent buffoons in spite of their innocence. This power is what deters students from speaking up about such incidents, for fear that they could be recognized at the door and not let inside. For years, incidents similar to Saturday’s have been brushed aside; it’s a hassle to make a formal complaint, and who would believe a student who was under the influence anyway?
There is no reason for the Grape staff to put a client in a choke hold when they would have calmly left, if kindly asked. Surely, there are students who drink too much, act like fools and abuse the 21-year-old privilege of alcohol consumption. However, the problem is not always with the misbehavior and attitude of a select group of students; it is also with the staff.
This problem needs to be addressed because the unfair treatment of innocent patrons is completely unacceptable.
As Fairfield police officers, the University’s student conduct policies and bouncers at college bars castigate belligerent students for their unacceptable behavior, the Grape staff must also be held accountable for their actions.
Blondes: Proud to be Loud and Wild
Urban outfitters has recently attempted to apply the classic slogan “Blondes have more fun” to everyone. But come on, let’s face it, blondes have, and will continue to have, the most fun. I am living proof of this argument. Don’t believe me? Ask my friends, parents, lawyer, The Mirror staff, even my professors; they’ll all attest to the incomprehensible amount of fun that is a blonde’s life.
Blondes were born to be wild. Anything from running red lights, to dancing on tables, to not understanding how Congress operates are acceptable shenanigans. While blondes are busy chatting their way through a party, brunettes are sitting in a corner practicing their sexy-pouty faces with each other.
Life shouldn’t require that much thought. Blondes make their presence and personality known and certainly do not get their feathers ruffled if the solemn brunette thinks they have one too many screws loose.
You can either enjoy the company of a blonde or begin your quest for the Holy Grail: the complex, hidden mind of a brunette. Don’t worry if you choose to take on the brunette, blondes are confident they have fun and quite frankly, don’t need to be hard-to-get and mysterious in order to be appealing.
Sure, many of the blondes at Fairfield are in fact “fake blond,” but they left the dark side for a reason: blondes are the life of the party. We can make light of any situation and can provide comic relief to any mundane conversation that some brunette has trapped us in a corner to discuss. Whether it’s their effervescent personality or the eye-catching color of a platinum mane, heads immediately turn when a blonde walks into the room. Guys and girls alike are drawn to the crazy blond girl who is most likely making dramatic hand gestures and laughing uncontrollably.
Although fun is subjective, blondes have an optimistic outlook on life that enables them to keep a smile on their faces, never have a bad day and avoid becoming bogged down with the heavy, serious, grounded thoughts of a brunette. So, lighten up, go blonde and have more fun.
To play on a familiar phrase: you are what you drink. You can often catch a brunette, similar to my charming colleague, drinking something standard and boring like a Captain and Coke, where as we blondes prefer something bubbly and glamorous, like a tall glass of champagne. Dom Perignon or Captain Morgan’s? You decide.
Brunettes: Subtle, Sophisticated Fun
The saying goes that blondes have more fun, but as a brunette, I would have to disagree. Although it is more likely that upon entering a party you will find a blonde dancing on a table, doing a keg stand or making a scene, I would have to argue that this does not necessarily mean that they’re having more fun. Brunettes simply don’t demand the center of attention in order to have a good time.
For some reason, blondes seem to think they have the party market cornered, but my hair color has never impeded my ability to have a good time.
A brunette has no problem playing flip cup, carrying on a conversation and keeping her blond friend from dropping her phone in her beer all at the same time.
We have no burning desire to drink our beer upside down or cause a commotion when we enter a room. A sexy, sultry brunette always turns a few heads with very little effort. The fact is that it doesn’t take a lot for us to look sexy or mysterious when we are standing next to some blond chick who is jumping all over the place like she forgot to take her meds.
The best part of the Fairfield blonde and brunette battle is that half the people representing the blonde side are actually brunettes. Have you been leaving your bleach in too long ladies? Go back to your roots! Even if you think you’re having more fun, you’re still a brunette at heart. Those luscious brown locks add an alluring charm that’s hard to resist.
Although my lovely blond friend has a point, that blondes can get away with uncontrollable laughing, dramatic hand gestures and dancing on tables; so can most mental health patients. Is this really a resemblance you long to share?
According to some, navigating the mind of a brunette is a difficult, and sometimes impossible, task. I personally have never had an in-depth conversation about pollution or the state of our country’s educational systems while playing beer pong, but I also rarely hear myself saying, “Oh my God, I look so much better in that shirt.”
If that makes me boring, then so be it.
We may be more subdued and our fun might not be as obvious, but we are no more serious than any blonde around. We go out and relax and take it slow because we don’t need to be wild and crazy to attract attention.
We simply have no desire to have people describe their most idiotic acts as “brunette moments.”
Can’t find a parking spot? Stuck in the library for yet another night? Too broke to go out this weekend? Upset that Jack Frost brought the winter chill back to Fairfield?
So many complaints, not enough Stag pride!
FUSA President Hutch Williams ’08 plans to add a life-size Stag statue to campus that will remind students to have a “Stag-positive” attitude toward life at Fairfield.
“[Stag-positive] sounds like a cheesy phrase. It’s not so much a campaign – it is a way of life. It’s a great way to be, not just about athletics but academics,” said Williams.
Seeing the aesthetically pleasing monument in the traffic circle in front of the Barone Campus Center will stir Stag pride in students and alumni, added Williams.
The stag, or male deer, is about 8 feet tall from leg to antler, 5 feet long and 2 feet wide, according to Jessica Supranovich, manager of the Action Wildlife Foundation.
Given the size, the campus and available funds, a “stag statue committee” will decide if marble, bronze or another material is appropriate.
The cost of a statue 8 feet tall and 5 feet long would be a “bloody fortune” because it depends on the artist, the cost of the material and the amount of detail, said Carter Boyajin, wife of New Fairfield sculptor David Boyajin who has built similar size bronze statues.
“You’re talking $100,000 in bronze, for sure,” said Boyajin.
Williams said the statue project is “more than an idea, but a work in progress,” and the administration feels it is very important to get the statue done right. When it is on campus, administrators said, students should be able to look at the statue and be proud.
“In any project like this, we try to find donors interested in the project. However, we would not be seeking funds until the planning process is complete,” said University President Fr. Jeffrey von Arx.
“With the completion of the Kelley Center, it’s time for us to look at landscaping and design improvements in the center of campus, especially in the circle at the end of the boulevard, which might well include statuary,” von Arx added.
Williams said he is excited about having a committee dedicated to the statue idea.
“[Either von Arx] or someone else high up is going to set up a committee – ideally of people in the administration, fundraising, alumni house and students – in the near future,” said Williams. “You could call it the ‘stag statue committee.’”
According to Vice President for Student Affairs Mark Reed, the idea of having a stag statue is not a new one.
“Some alumni in the past have talked about it. I think FUSA, under Hutch’s leadership, has brought a renewed sense of school pride and spirit to Fairfield. Therefore, I’m not surprised that Hutch and his team are thinking about this,” Reed said.
In conjunction with keeping an open-mind, “students will be proud to be at Fairfield, the best university in America,” and students who are Stag-positive will enjoy things more, said Williams.
However, some students think the statue is not worth the money.
“Maybe it’s more inspirational to upperclassmen because it symbolizes their years here. But is it worth $100,000?” asked freshman Chris Albino.
Monique Thomas ’07 agreed.
“I think it’s a waste of money,” she said.
So, what would students want instead?
“Build a bigger cafeteria with better food,” said Sarah Teixiera ’08.
Julio Martinez ’07 suggested that a “welcome sign” might look nice.
“[The statue] would have no influence on me. I think that he (Williams) should raise the money and invest in something else,” said Martinez. “We already see enough animals here, who wants to see a fake one?”
The Mirror faced administration censorship for the first time in its 31-year history when hundreds of copies of the Orientation Issue were pulled off the stands during the second freshman orientation in June.
Deirdre Eller, the former director of new student programs, asked members of the Orientation Board to remove the issues of The Mirror from the stands, according to Matt Dinnan, the associate dean of student activities.
Dinnan said Eller was responsible for the orientation program and must have deemed some of the material inappropriate for her to take that action.
The content in question appeared in Andrew Chapin’s (’09) column and the “He said/ She said” section of the issue by Dan McClorey ’07 and Meg Donlon ’07, according to Vice President of Student Affairs Mark Reed.
“What I may find objectionable, however, is not necessarily a sufficient reason to authorize the pulling of an issue of the student newspaper,” said Reed, who is the only administrator who can authorize the pulling of an issue of The Mirror.
“While I would not rule out the possibility of pulling an issue, the circumstances would have to be rather severe to cause me to make such a decision,” said Reed.
Reed said the student newspaper is granted full control of its content.
However, Dinnan said the “information in the issue was not discussed with Ms. Eller prior to the orientation session.”
“My recollection is that [the orientation issue] wasn’t a regular publication, but a special issue which is worked on collaboratively between the editorial board of The Mirror and the Office of New Student Programs,” said Dinnan.
Ryan Blair, the editor in chief of The Mirror, said a meeting never occurred between offices, nor was one expected.
“To the extent that I am informed, The Mirror has never collaborated with any member of the administration on a question of content in its 31 years of publication. The thought of an independent newspaper seeking approval from a school administrator is preposterous,” said Blair. “There was absolutely no collaboration with New Student Programs for last year’s issue, and the same rang true in June.”
He was quick to criticize the move.
“The action taken by Dierdre was rash, unfounded, and wholly unprecedented,” said Blair. “It was an assault on the opinions of students and on the notion of a free and independent press.”
“The editors, including myself, saw no problem in publishing Ms. Donlon’s, Mr. McClorey’s, and Mr. Chapin’s opinions,” said Blair.
James Simon, faculty adviser to The Mirror, said it was the first such incident in his 10 years as adviser to the newspaper.
He said the only comparable incident he knew of occurred in the mid-1980s when the administration suspended funding of the paper due to an off-color April Fool’s story.
“On private college campuses, the administration has the right to block distribution of any type of material, including the campus newspaper. But when a school takes such a step, it only attracts national attention as the kind of place where freedom of expression is limited,” he said.
Columnist Andrew Chapin did not see an issue with his column.
“I never anticipated that [my column] was going to be such a big deal,” said Chapin.
Chapin said he scheduled a meeting with Dean of Students Tom Pellegrino to discuss the matter.
“[Pellegrino] sent me a letter expressing his displeasure. He said that what I wrote could be construed into other things, like if lying to a dean is OK, then so is lying to a teacher,’” said Chapin.
FUSA President Hutch Williams ’08 said he was “in the zone” during orientation and didn’t realize the issues were pulled at the time, but figured administrators had made the decision for a reason.
“I trusted that there was a legitimate reason for it. [The papers] were taken away due to some content,” said Williams
Katie Boutros ’08, a member of the orientation board, took some of the copies off the stands.
“We were really busy, but someone told me that The Mirror had to be pulled. We didn’t think about it,” said Boutros.
Pre-freshman at orientation also didn’t think twice about the absent Mirror issues, some not even realizing The Mirror existed.
“I don’t remember anything about it; I might have glanced at one lying on a table,” Claire Franczyk ’10.
Mike Gianelle ’10 and Steve Zande ’10 said they didn’t even know The Mirror was the student newspaper.
One student who read the issue didn’t remember much.
“All I remember it saying was how it’s good to be a freshman girl. I don’t remember thinking anything was negative,” said Jesse Rogan ’10.