Friday, November 28, 2014  
The Charger Bulletin

An honest outlook on Greek Life

by Courtney Brooks | November 19, 2014

I have never considered myself a sorority type of girl; I am an introvert by nature, so the idea of being surrounded by a group of 30 plus girls made my anxiety go through the roof. And, after the horrifying pledging experiences I watched my friends go through at the university I attended prior to the University of New Haven, I had a bad taste in my mouth about Greek life altogether. However, after one of my best friends recently joined one of UNH’s very own sororities and shared her experience with me, my opinion on them has changed drastically.

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When my friend first told me she was going to rush, I am ashamed to say that I was completely unsupportive. I tried to convince her not to, saying it would be a waste of time and unnecessary stress that she didn’t need or deserve. She told me that she wanted to join because she wanted to be part of the bond that she saw all the sisters sharing and I, ignorantly, equated that to “paying for friends.” I thought if these girls really wanted to be friends with her, they would do so regardless of if she joined their organization or not.

What I failed to realize was that the whole process of joining a sorority was part of that bonding experience. As the weeks progressed, I expected my friend to be getting tired and annoyed of the process, but instead, she was falling in love with it and growing happier and more confident everyday. When I asked her about it she said, “This is one of the best experiences because not only did I get to meet the new members of my class, but I got to really know and appreciate the sisters of the sorority in a way I never thought I would.” She also described that, for the first time, she felt she could be truly herself without worrying about anyone judging her because she knew she had the support of so many great people behind her.

Admitting you are wrong is never an easy thing to do, but this is one of those times where I completely “put my foot in my mouth,” so to speak. Everything I ever said or thought about Greek life has been proven wrong through my friend’s experiences. It seems to me that at UNH, being part of a sorority isn’t just getting to wear your cute letters on a t-shirt or hoodie; it’s getting to be part of a supportive organization and building a bond with people who have the same values as you.

If you have thought about joining one but are too afraid or hesitant to take that next step, take my friend’s word that it will be the best experience of your life. I have watched her completely transform in a short amount of time thanks to her sorority and you could be next… who knows, maybe I will be right beside you!

Letter to the Editor: Sodexo student worker addresses statements made in last week’s opinion, It’s our meal money.

by The Charger Bulletin | November 19, 2014

By Ariel Pierce
Contributing Writer

As a student worker of Sodexo, I find it very amusing when students write articles about my workplace.

Most times my fellow employees and I take the constructive criticism and reevaluate our customer service, but as far as the article posted last week, there are a few holes in that story.

First, the C-Store does provide fresh produce. We get a delivery every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Recently, we started to purchase more, but when the semester first started the fresh produce didn’t sell as much.

Students always ask me if I can ask my boss to purchase items and most times I tell her; since I can tend to be a little forgetful (senior problems), I made a suggestion box. It’s been on the counter next to the Mentos gum and lighters for about two and a half weeks now; come in, check it out and make a suggestion!

We have had several, and since those suggestions have come in, my boss has purchased seven out of the eight suggestions that we received. Sorry, we will not be selling pregnancy tests, but we have purchased heads of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, peppers, squash, and celery. They go extremely fast, so on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday you should come in the morning – we are trying to get the ice back, stay tuned.

Moral of the story? Ask and you shall receive, if it’s possible. Our store isn’t that big, you know; we are a convenience store not a grocery store. I look forward to reading more of your articles and I hope that you will utilize the suggestion box that we have provided.

Why I can’t wait for snow

by Samantha Higgins | November 19, 2014

It’s the time of year where everyone starts dreading the weather forecast. They start praying that we are somehow going to turn into a tropical island and we won’t get even a flake of snow this season.

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But me? I am the total opposite. I am the person who waits and watches, looking for that little snowflake to indicate even the slightest chance of a snowfall. I am the one who remembers the days of being a little kid and wearing their pajamas inside out, in hopes of a snow day. I don’t hope for snow so that classes are cancelled, though. I hope for snow because it’s magical; the way it shimmers and just flows to the ground, the way the sun reflects off of it making it glitter no matter what time of day it is, and the way it makes hot chocolate almost a daily necessity.

It requires us to change our entire attire; we have to wear hats and scarves and gloves or mittens. We have to learn to set aside more time to get where we are going, like it’s helping us to stop being the fast paced people Americans are known to be, to stop focusing on where we are going and take the time to pay attention to how we are getting there, to just slow down and take in everything around us. Snow makes everything quiet and peaceful—until a major snowball fight breaks out, which will undoubtedly turn into a cherished memory that wouldn’t have happened without the snow, so why do so many people dread it?

The mornings that I wake up and there is snow on the ground outside my window are the days that I am happy for no other reason than the weather. Snow is more than just frozen water—it changes everything around us. Sure, walking to class might be a little colder, but you can add layers of clothing to what you are wearing and stay just as warm as you would’ve, pre-snowfall. Having the option to layer clothes is better than sweating the whole day—you can only take so many layers of clothing off before society frowns upon what you are (or aren’t) wearing. I know we have only had a few flakes so far this year but already people are so bitter about it! And, sadly, the rain washed it away almost instantly anyway!

So I have a little Winter Challenge for everyone. Next time you hear it is going to snow, instead of getting angry or aggravated, instead of worrying about driving in it or being cold or whatever else ruins the magic for you, take a step back. Allow yourself more time in the morning to slow down and to notice the beauty of the glimmering snow on your way to classes, pick out some layers that will keep you warm outside but comfortable during class, find yourself a nice hat, scarf, and pair of gloves so that you aren’t freezing on your walk there, and invest in some hot chocolate with marshmallows. Don’t let some frozen water ruin your day; we live in Connecticut: it snows here, and if you get unhappy every time you see snow on the ground, you’re going to lead a pretty unhappy life. Instead, do those things and make snow days something you look forward to. I promise, snow isn’t that bad!

The five people you meet in (social media) Hell

by Kaitlin Mahar | November 19, 2014

Everybody’s familiar with that slight twinge of dread when they open up Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., and see an update from the one person they don’t want to see. You can’t unfollow them, because they really are a nice person, or because they’re your co-worker, or because blocking your mother is considered just plain cruel (and she’ll definitely bring it up every chance she gets for the next twelve years). Everybody is all too familiar with these people that you simply can’t escape, though you sure would like to.

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1. The Over-Sharer: Have you ever seen a video of someone teaching their pet to use the toilet, or read a bombardment of tweets giving a blow-by-blow of the movie the writer (Tweeter? Twitterer?) is currently watching? More than I’d care to admit. At least I didn’t waste my money by buying a ticket to go see Ouija. Still recovering from that pet video though.

2. The Throwback Thursday Fanatic: The distant cousin of the over-sharer, the Throwback Thursday Fanatics, with their many hashtags and minimum of sixteen photos that date back as far as two weeks ago, are the sole reason why we don’t go online on Thursdays. For those who can’t escape, it’s probably the reason why “Thirsty Thursday” is so popular.

3. The Emotional Wreck: Every post is something along the lines of “My life is terrible, but nobody ask me why. I don’t want to talk about it.” Which is probably not true—you’re just upset at the moment, and it’ll pass a few minutes after you’ve posted this self-pitying status. As for those posts claiming that “nobody cares”? Yeah, well, you got that one right.

4.The Political and Religious Aficionados: “Share this if you love Jesus. Ignore if you accept Satan as your eternal ruler and want your sister to go to hell.” “[Insert blatant political shots being fired here].” I’m glad you’re opinionated. Good for you. But stop. I love my sister, and she’s certainly not going to hell because I didn’t like and share that photo of Jesus. She’s going to hell for retweeting that photo from the Republican Teens of America twitter account.

5. The Meme Over-Users: I have a meme for you: Silence. It’s all over Myspace.

I don’t know about anyone else, but any time I see one of these people on my newsfeed, I’m ready to barf. Which is not a pretty sight for myself, or the general public. So, if you’ve read this article and believe yourself to be one of these repeat offenders, try to contain yourselves next time. For the sake of the general public. Think of the children.

The ugly truth of college life

by Courtney Brooks | November 19, 2014

While looking at colleges and going on campus tours many years ago, I heard something from one of the tour guides that really stuck.

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After telling him that I planned on attending that university, which, thanks to his misleading advice, I did for my freshman year, he smiled and said, “Welcome to the most expensive, longest party of your lifetime!” Unknowingly, with that one statement, he set my expectations for the next four years a little too high and I will never forgive him for it. I quickly found out, to my utter dismay, college isn’t one huge party and isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

College puts an immense amount of pressure on us to have “the time of our lives” because if we don’t now, we never will. Growing up, we always heard our parents talking about the “good ol’ days,” and now that we are experiencing them, it seems everyone over the age of 25 feels personally responsible to remind us that they won’t last forever, as if we haven’t already realized this.
Us college students are living in constant FOMO (fear of missing out) and are under the impression that if we don’t party our little hearts out now, we’ll live in misery and regret for the rest of our lives.

So on those cold and rainy nights where we would much rather be curled up in bed binge watching Orange is the New Black, we find ourselves huddled together in an overcrowded, sweaty frat basement trying to convince ourselves that one day we’ll look back on this as our glory days… sigh.

We looked forward to living on our own and finally being free from our parents all throughout high school but no one prepared us for the expenses that came with that freedom. We have officially reached the age where asking our parents for money is frowned upon but we are way too busy with classes and clubs and sports to generate any sufficient means of income leaving us in the one constant state that never changes throughout our four years: we’re broke. Sure, a night at a bar downtown sounds like a great idea… until you remember that you either have no money, need to spend what little money you do have on next weeks supply of Ramen Noodles, or would rather save your money for the years of debt you are facing after graduation. Which is why you end up in that same frat basement, this time trying to convince yourself that one day it will all be worth it.

Speaking of age: we are mostly young, twenty something year olds trying to figure life out one day at a time. Usually, we are so stressed out we can hardly differentiate up from down or left from right, yet this is the time we are forced to make decisions that will affect the rest of our lives. It’s hard enough trying to decide which pair of sweatpants to wear to that 8 a.m. class, never mind trying to decide on a career to which we will be bound for the rest of our days; it’s terrifying, to say the least.

If I could, I would love to find that tour guide who claimed that college was just one long party and find out exactly what world he was living in, because it wasn’t this one.

College is far from that; it is a life changing experience, and there is something positive to be said for that, but it is not a party. It is a journey filled with hard work, stress, tears and fears, and if you’re lucky, a few good parties.

Haters gonna hate, hate, hate on Taylor

by Kaitlin Mahar | November 12, 2014

For the love of God, leave Taylor Swift ALONE. Does this sound familiar to Chris Crocker’s infamous Britney Spears-related YouTube tirade? Good, then you better buckle up.

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Last week, Taylor Swift debuted her newest album, 1989, and she has been met with an abundance of praise, as well as some biting criticism. I would say everyone’s entitled to their own opinion, but there should be some kind of clause in there that stipulates that you’re not entitled to your opinion if it’s stupid.

Feel free not be a fan of Taylor Swift’s music, or even Taylor Swift herself; personally, my loyalty doesn’t particularly lie on either side of the Swift debate. What I do disagree with is how people can be so judgmental and critical over the fact that Swift’s sound has clearly changed. Artists grow and change all the time, and Swift is no different, so it’s ridiculous to critique her for “not sounding country anymore.”

A prime example of this hypocrisy would be Miley Cyrus, who I would consider to be on an equal playing field with Swift.

When Cyrus chopped off her locks, ended her engagement and began running around with foam fingers, whining about how she “can’t stop and won’t stop,” she was considered by many to be revolutionary. While the overuse of her tongue and twerking eventually caused her to be the butt (no pun intended) of many a joke, she was initially embraced for completely breaking away from her formerly bubblegum pop-country vibe Disney set up for her.

Another prime example is Kid Rock. The dude went from rap to country. Country. He’s about as country as all the girls from Connecticut who go see Luke Bryan at the Civic Center wearing their crop tops and high-waisted shorts are. Yet, nobody even thinks twice, even though Kid Rock is not exactly one of the world’s musical geniuses. (His claim to fame is Pamela Anderson. That’s it. I’ll just leave it at that…)

If Taylor Swift sounded absolutely terrible, then sure, maybe these arguments would be valid. But she doesn’t.

Like it or not, Swift’s new sound is changing music, and you can’t deny that she’s putting in a lot of hard work. Maybe you’re just really not a fan of the music, but given the amount of people who just love to hate Swift and her god-awful awards show dance moves, I don’t think everybody truly hates her new sound. They just hate her.

If everybody—even the FCC—can forgive Miley Cyrus, why not give Swift a chance?

It doesn’t mean you have to prance around in 1950’s era clothes and date a member of One Direction. It just means that her sound is currently changing how the world views music, like her or not, and, if you consider yourself a music aficionado, it might be worth it to figure out the root of your criticism and give the album a fair shot.

Not that Swift particularly cares what you think. Haven’t you heard? She’ll just shake it off.


What I learned from growing up with a disability

by Caitlin Duncan | November 12, 2014

When I was seven years old, I failed my hearing test. I was diagnosed with sensorineural hearing loss and began wearing two hearing aids shortly after. Over the past twelve years of living with this disability, here’s what I’ve learned.

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1.There are genuinely mean people in the world.
I’ve heard it all. I’ve been called every mean name in the book because of my hearing loss. I’ve signed onto Facebook to see people referring to me as “Deaf Girl.” Guys have overlooked me because they don’t want to deal with my disability. I’ve had friends go behind my back and say the meanest things about me. Adults have even told me my dreams aren’t valid because of my disability. I’ve endured all of this because of a disability that I can’t help.

2. The people mentioned above are not worth it.
After dealing with people like that, I’ve learned that they aren’t worth my time. If they are that miserable about their own lives, they sure as hell aren’t worthy of being in mine. People will try to bring others down to make them feel better about themselves; I don’t need that in my life.

3. There are genuinely good people in the world.
As much as I’ve dealt with bad people, I’ve encountered the most amazing people, as well. There are people who are completely willing to accommodate me as much as possible. My best friends are willing to take phone calls for me, put captions on movies, and go out of their way to make sure I’m hearing them okay. Little things like that mean the world to me. The smallest gestures mean the most to me.

4. People don’t want to see others succeed.
Not to brag, but I was an honors student in high school. I graduated with a rank of 33 out of a class of nearly 400 students and a GPA of 3.9. Despite my hard work and dedication to success, people always claimed that teachers cut me slack due to my disability. I was into theater in high school, as well. Each time I was casted, people whispered behind my back, saying I didn’t deserve the part because of my disability. People will never be happy for others.

5. I am not an inspiration.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone tell me I’m brave for getting up each day and living life. While it’s a very kind statement, I am not an inspiration. I live a normal life, just as anyone else does. Getting up each day and living my life doesn’t make me brave; it makes me a 19-year-old college student, who has big dreams and will do anything to achieve them. And this leads me up to the last thing I’ve learned…

6. My disability doesn’t make me any less of a person than someone else.
As I mentioned before, I’ve been treated horribly because of my disability. I’ve been pitied, bullied, ignored and overlooked because of my genetic make up. Somehow, I got stuck with this disability and there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it. I’m not ashamed of it at all. I am still a person, regardless of how much hearing I have. I am a perfectly capable, functioning member of society.
Growing up, I thought my disability meant I was ugly and not worth it, but I’ve finally realized how untrue that is. I am a person, and I am completely worth it, disability or not.

That Awkward Moment

by Courtney Brooks | November 12, 2014

While stuck in the rainy day gloom that’s been looming over campus the past few days, binge watching my favorite chick flicks for hours on end, I got to thinking a lot about relationships. These thoughts were provoked by a line in the movie That Awkward Moment, after the insanely gorgeous ladies man, Jason (Zac Efron), screws up yet another relationship with his dream girl due to his fear of commitment.

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“A relationship is being there for someone when they need it most; that’s all it is,” said Jason’s ‘dream girl.’ To some, this may be just another cheesy quote from a typical girl movie, but to me, it says a lot about how our generation views relationships.

Like Jason, many of us have lost sight of what it truly means to be in a relationship, whether that be with a significant other or a friend. It seems that we place more value on the “image” of our relationships than we do the actual meaning of them. We look to websites like Buzzfeed and Elite Daily to tell us what our boyfriend or girlfriend should be doing for us, whether we are dating a “man” or a “boy,” why it is better to be single in your twenties, or why settling down is the right move for you. These are actual names of actual articles found on these sites and it’s sad that our generation, especially us girls, are guilty of spending more time scrolling through them than we are actually experiencing the people we have around us.

A relationship is really simple: it’s being there for the people you love when they need you. However, we’re the ones that try to complicate them. It’s not about who has the hottest girlfriend or whose boyfriend leaves flowers on their doorstep. It’s not about how good you and your best friend look in that Instagram picture you just uploaded or, believe it or not, even the number of “likes” you’ve received.

A relationship is about who you turn to when you really need someone. It’s the girl who stays in with you on a Saturday night because you just lost a football game and you’re too upset to go out. It’s the boy who wipes your tears when you find you out didn’t land that dream internship and you feel as if you future is ruined. It’s your best friend who gets out of bed at 2 a.m. because that party just got shut down and you have no ride home. It’s about who picks you up when you’re down, who has your back, and who sees the potential in you when you can’t see it in yourself.

We’re college student; we’re young, but the relationships we form now and the memories we make will last a lifetime. Shut down that laptop and close that Instagram—they’ll always be there but the people around you won’t. Appreciate the people who appreciate you and be there for them when they need you. Love them. Cherish them. Hold them close. Because like the movie says, that’s really all it is.


It’s our meal money

by Samantha Higgins | November 12, 2014

The C-Store is a convienent “grocery store” of sorts, but not all students’ and their dining dollars are considered when stocking the shelves.

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I don’t know about everyone else, but I enjoy eating fresh produce regularly, and not just apples or bananas like you get at Bartels.

I like to get vegetables; I like to make my own salad or just have some nice raw vegetables to snack on occasionally. But the C-Store rarely has fresh vegetables, and the ONE time I saw that it did, they were so old that when I picked it up I almost threw up from how moldy and soft it was—I think it was supposed to be a cucumber. And the fruit that they do tend to carry has been there for weeks and you can see the mold growing on it when you go in; it’s disgusting.

Why do we get dining dollars if we don’t even have the opportunity to get the food that we want or need? Why do we have to fit a walk down to Shop-Rite, to use real money—that no college student has in excess—to get the food we need because the C-Store carries an abundance of varieties of chips and ice cream but only has old fruit for those who want produce?

Why doesn’t the C-Store have the option for us to tell them what we want? This way, they can be better geared towards the needs and desires of the students. They could have an online site or a box with comment cards in the store; something where we can request what we want to tell them suggestions. I know I am not the only one who has complained about the C-Store; people complain all the time.

By giving us the opportunity to ask for what we are looking for more students can get their money worth of their dining dollars and the C-Store can be more effective on campus. It’s not a bad idea.

You always hear of the “freshman 15” but I personally try to eat healthier at school because I control what I eat. So when I can’t get fresh foods to eat on campus, it makes me feel like I am wasting money on a meal plan, a meal plan I am forced to have since I am a residential student. I don’t think it is asking for much, for some fresh produce to be in their every few days for those of us who don’t eat at the campus dining halls or don’t want to microwave our food every night.

College is a time to learn how to live on our own and cooking is one of those things to experiment with now. However, this is something we can’t do if we are stuck using the C-Store because we are in a bind for money and the C-Store doesn’t supply adequate foods to cook from scratch.

The C-Store has changed from last year to this year, and I’m sure it changes every year, but this is an opportunity to help the students even more.

I’m no stranger to ice cream but I’d like to make something nutritious for my dinner before I have to face the dilemma of which of the dozens of ice cream flavors I want for dessert. And popping something into the microwave for four minutes isn’t my idea of a nutritious meal—even if it is organic or gluten faree.

Indoor Cycling: the type of exercise that bring a newly inspired clothing trend

by Courtney Brooks | October 29, 2014

Lately, it seems that people are more obsessed with working out than ever before.

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This fall, instead of sweaters and boots, the rising trend seen throughout campus has been workout clothes paired with a cool pair of Nike Free Runs, while our Instagram newsfeeds are covered with “fitspiration” photos.

This rise in exercise is not just a phase; it is a result of the growing varieties of the many different types of exercise offered to UNH students at the Rec Center. One workout in particular that is quickly gaining the popularity of many students and faculty is indoor cycling.

Indoor cycling is done on a stationary bike in a fitness studio. The workout is typically around 45 minutes long with a few breaks added in.

Throughout the indoor cycling class, an instructor guides the participants through various stages on the bike, ranging from warm-ups and slow climbs to uphill sprints. The atmosphere is very upbeat with loud music motivating you the whole way through.

Jackie Hinrichs, one of UNH’s very own indoor cycling instructors, fell in love with the exercise because of the speed, the sweat, and the dedication to working out. “Spinning [indoor cycling]  is one of the most rewarding cardio activities you could ever possibly do,” she said.

Here are her top three reasons why you should give it a shot:

1.For those of you who get bored doing the same workouts on a treadmill or elliptical day after day, substituting in a indoor cycling class is a great cardio workout. In a typical indoor cycling class, you burn about 500 calories, which is much more than you would burn on the treadmill for 45 minutes. Also, you control the tempo of the class because the bikes have adjustable tensions, so you can always try to burn more!

2.If you’re looking to get that perfect Kim Kardashian “bubble butt” look without doing 1,000 squats a day, indoor cycling is the workout for you! This workout targets the glutes and the legs and helps build muscle and tone up.

3.Working out is always more enjoyable when it is done with a friend. Having someone next to you motivating you makes you work harder and the time pass faster. In a indoor cycling class, you are never alone.

Aside from the encouraging instructor, you are always surrounded by people with the same goals as you that push you to succeed. It is a great environment to be in!

If any of this appeals to you, Jackie, as well as all the indoor cycling instructors at UNH encourage you to try out a class. Beginners and experienced riders all welcome!

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