Wednesday, August 27, 2014  
The Charger Bulletin

Compromise on the smoking ban

by Gabby Nowicki | April 30, 2014

Smoking is disgusting. I think it is one of the biggest turn offs and nothing good comes from it. This is just an opinion. Thousands of people still smoke whether they are aware of the harmful effects or not. On this campus alone, there are so many smokers. I’m shocked at how many of my friends smoke, whether it’s for social occasions or on the reg. I personally am against it, but it’s not my life so I really have no control over it.

Gabby-bw

There are rumors going around that the university is going to try and remove all smoking from the campus. This is a nice attempt from the university to help those that do not like smoking and to make the overall campus a healthier environment, but it is quite a long stretch. This ban would anger a majority of the student body and cause more issues than it would solve. What would be next? Completely remove alcohol even for those over age 21?

Instead of completely removing smoking from campus, they should just move the designated smoking areas further away from the buildings. I hate having to walk into my building and pass a bunch of smokers. My friend that lives closest to the door can sometimes smell the smoke in her room!

Also, I hate walking to my classes or Jazzmans and having to walk through a bunch of people smoking. I pride myself on never smoking, so why do I have to still suffer from it and risk getting second hand smoke?

The designated smoking areas should be moved to places where less people walk. Who cares if smokers complain that they have to walk further? You guys are the ones that choose to smoke so we are doing you a favor by putting the locations further away so that your lungs get some benefit.

Overall, it is stupid to altogether remove smoking on campus, and the university should just work to make it less noticeable.

A Letter to UNH, who is proposing a tobacco ban

by The Charger Bulletin | April 30, 2014

By John Kelly, Contributing Writer

Dear UNH,

Wednesday morning, I woke up and began my normal morning routine. I climbed out of bed, dawned my bathrobe, made myself a cup of coffee and packed a lip. When I my read email, I noticed one of the thousands of emails UNH sent out regarded a potential tobacco ban on campus.

This piqued my interested because I am an avid tobacco user. I dip tobacco; for those of you who do not know, dip is a form of smokeless tobacco that you place between your cheek and gums. It is very popular among baseball players, military members and rednecks. I have been dipping for three years now and it has become a part of my everyday life.

I am a Seaman (yes…Seaman) in the U.S. Coast Guard. I have dedicated myself to the service in defense of this great nation. Like most other service members, active or prior service, I enjoy my tobacco very much. A ban of tobacco would mean that I could no longer dip or enjoy a nice cigar on campus, where I currently reside. Like many of us, UNH is our home. We live here, go to school here, and have fun here. To tell an entire population of students and faculty alike that they cannot use tobacco, a legal product, is an insult. We are all adults here, capable of making the decision to use tobacco or not. I fully realize that dipping or smoking cigarettes is not a very healthy choice; it is a choice that us tobacco users have made. The idea to make campus a tobacco free place was most likely done in good faith with the intention of making the campus a healthier place. However, this decision impedes on people’s rights to make their own choices. If a tobacco ban were to be put into effect, smokers would have to go off campus to have a cigarette or cigar. They cannot even use an electronic cigarette, which is just water vapor and no smoke what so ever, indoors because the use of e-cigarettes (as they are called) have also been banned from use in buildings on campus. Forcing smokers to go off campus to smoke, especially at night, would pose a safety risk because this area is not the nicest place to be off campus. The idea of banning tobacco on campus seems very childish to impose on a group of adults.

Many students, tobacco users or not, are opposed to a tobacco free campus. The proposal was to ban tobacco from campus, but interestingly enough, the survey only mentioned smoking. There was no mention of dip, chew, snuff or other forms of smokeless tobacco on the survey. With that, I am not sure if the administration wishes to ban smoking or all forms of tobacco on campus. Nevertheless, they would be taking away a product that many of us enjoy, whether socially or on an everyday basis. This country was founded on tobacco; many of our Founding Fathers were tobacco plantation owners, including George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Patrick Henry.

Furthermore, Connecticut is extremely well known for their tobacco, which is used for wrappers on premium cigars. Connecticut Shade Tobacco has been growing in the Connecticut River Valley natively when it was discovered in 1630. Tobacco put Connecticut on the map, now many Connecticut schools, including the University of New Haven, are trying to ban the very item that is steeped in state heritage. If this ban were to pass, you couldn’t even enjoy a Connecticut wrapped cigar (one of my personal favorites by the way) on campus. The American Revolution was started over a two percent tax on tea, now organizations are trying to ban legal products. Now, I am not by any means saying that we need to start a revolution over this issue, but we need to stand up for our rights and what we believe in. Continue to educate yourselves about this topic and defend what you believe in.

Very Respectfully,

John Kelly

P.S: I was packing a lip while I wrote this.

 

Better school security needed in light of recent tragedy

by Kaitlin Mahar | April 30, 2014

The people in our country have many things that they believe should take precedence in the American legal system, whether it’s allowing gay couples to legally marry, providing healthcare to all U.S. citizens, or legalizing marijuana. While each of these issues should take some importance, there is one issue that should come before all the rest: safety in our schools.

Kaitlin - bw

On Friday, April 25, 2014, Maren Sanchez, a student at Jonathan Law High School in Milford, CT, was murdered after rejecting a boy’s invitation to prom. Her reason? She had a boyfriend. So, her killer, who had brought a knife into the high school, responded by stabbing Maren to death, after which the school went into lockdown.

Unnecessary violence has been running rampant in our school systems, yet this country has made little effort to stop it. Even after the Sandy Hook Elementary tragedy on December 14, 2012, many officials made promises of reform and making schools safer. Yet, there have been little to no efforts towards doing so.

I had the opportunity to speak to many local high school students about safety in schools after Maren’s death, and all of them agreed that their feelings of safety in their high schools, middle schools, and even colleges have decreased with the increasing acts of violence over the years. My sister and her friends, students at Trumbull High School in Trumbull, CT, marveled at the fact that many local high schools do not even have metal detectors. In many educational facilities, a student, or even faculty member, can literally walk into their school with a weapon, and never have anyone notice.

It should be mandatory for all schools to have security guards at assigned posts, metal detectors installed at entrances, and cameras everywhere. It’s unfortunate that students would inevitably have to lose some of their innocence in this way, but, at this point, it needs to be done. It may seem wrong to put students through all of that – some may say that doing so treats them like criminals. However, it is better to take all the precautions necessary, than for students and parents alike to think that schools, a former place of learning and safety, are now increasingly becoming one of the most common places of violence in America.

It’s a sad day when parents send their children off to school and are not absolutely sure if they’ll come back later that afternoon. It’s unfair that students have to worry about acts of violence occurring in their own schools. I understand that everyone has an issue close to his or her heart. Maybe it’s increasing safety in schools, maybe it isn’t. However, we need put our issues aside for a moment and make safety in schools our priority at this time, or else nothing will change.

While wearing a color for the victims and remembering the anniversaries may pay homage to all those affected, it doesn’t do anything to stop tragedies in the first place. Kids continue to die for no reason, and few things have been done to stop it or even prevent it in the future. A popular, albeit cheesy, saying by politicians, and pretty much all adults, is that “Children are our future.” However, if we continue to let these acts of violence go on in schools without even the slightest attempts at prevention, there won’t be many children, or future, left.

 

Breasts: understanding a national taboo

by Liana Teixeira | April 30, 2014

What’s the first thing that pops into your head when you think of breasts? A woman wearing a bikini on the beach? A porno clip? Maybe you picture a nude scene from a show like Game of Thrones. I bet in the five seconds it took you to create that mental image a woman breastfeeding didn’t even cross your mind. In fact, many would probably turn away if they saw a mother breastfeeding her child at a park or a woman walking down the street topless.

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Breast exposure remains extremely taboo in American society. I consider myself a rather progressive woman, and even I was shocked when faced with this recent situation.

Last week, one of my professors brought his wife and two toddler-aged children to class. His wife, who has experience with editing, was asked to review the first drafts of our final exam essays and provide feedback. As I sat down for my one-on-one time with her, one of the children became very fussy in her arms. After several moments of ear-splintering screams, the mother casually unzipped her jacket, rearranged her tank top and began breastfeeding the child while continuing to look over my paper. My eyes uncomfortably wandered to everywhere but her bosom; I just couldn’t believe that someone would be comfortable enough to start breastfeeding a child in the middle of a college classroom.

However, what surprised me most was not the woman’s casual attitude toward breastfeeding in a classroom, but rather my own, shocked reaction. I walked away moments later questioning why I had felt the need to look away, as if breasts were some private, foreign object. If I was so bothered by this, was breastfeeding in a public park, restaurant or at the beach as appropriate as I had once believed? Would I have reacted the same way if my professor had showed us a movie with a sex scene or nudity?

The uncomfortableness surrounding breast exposure in America ultimately stems from our history and upbringing. We are the products of a society rooted in puritanical and religious values, which have incidentally characterized breast exposure as obscene when unrelated to a sexual purpose.

It’s completely normal for bare-breasted women to be in strip clubs or sex scenes in movies and TV shows, but any non-sexual situation immediately receives backlash. In 2012, a woman named Jessica Krigsman was arrested for going topless while sunbathing on a park bench in Brooklyn. She cited the 1992 case People v. Santorelli which ruled that banning bare female breasts in public areas violated equal protection clauses, but the officers still arrested her. The charges were later dropped.

Though the law was clearly in Krigsman’s favor, the officers still felt the need to reprimand her for going topless. The decision to ignore Krigsman’s explanation seems less rooted in the officers’ understanding of the law, but rather their personal perception of breasts and their effect on the public.

In terms of breastfeeding, most states have passed legislation stating breast exposure in public (and sometimes private) locations is permitted for the purposes of breastfeeding. Connecticut, for example, has a statute forbidding any person from restricting the right of a mother to breastfeed her child. However, two states (West Virginia and Idaho) have no laws protecting a mother’s right to breastfeed in public, according to nursingfreedom.org

While clear laws supporting female breast exposure for breastfeeding and regular activity exist, social conventions prevent overall acceptance from being reached in American society. Many non-Western cultures and indigenous populations typically go topless without a second thought, and we’re all familiar with the European nude beaches. However, we’ve branded parts of the human anatomy as indecent when not fulfilling a sexual purpose.

As a society we glorify sex and not nudity, and this becomes particularly prevalent at colleges and universities, UNH included. There is a world separate from the one we see in those pretty, cookie-cutter university brochures – one consisting of drugs, alcohol and sex. College students remain in a confined, educational environment, and have little exposure to nudity aside from sex. Public nudity in any form on a college campus may spark initial confusion and natural surprise.

There’s a reason I looked away from a woman breastfeeding; I was unprepared for seeing such a scene play out on university premises. The media showcasing nudity primarily for sexual purposes also makes the issue of breast exposure even fuzzier. We are still living in a world of strict moral and religious values, and once we strip down that barrier, a better acceptance of non-sexual breast exposure and breastfeeding can be reached.

 

Hot Legs or a Hot Mess?

by Liana Teixeira | September 11, 2013

They’re long, tan and gleaming in the sunlight—two practically perfect, cylindrical objects posed at a slanted angle. One may look in the background and spot a tropical paradise or a swimming pool. However, these are not the legs of a woman enjoying a relaxing day by the water, but rather two hotdogs imitating its image.

Editor in Chief Liana Teixeira
Photo Provided by Samantha Mathewson

The “hotdogs or legs?” craze is the latest viral sensation to hit the social networking world. From Tumblr to Twitter, hundreds of people are taking time out of their day to carefully position hotdogs instead of eating them. Some people poke fun at the scenario by covering their actual legs with ketchup and mustard, while others remain confused as to whether the limbs in an Instagram photo really do belong to a human being.“Hotdogs or legs?” may have started off as innocent humor, but it draws attention to the even bigger problem of self-esteem and body image facing the county.

Once students start their first day of college (or even high school), they are exposed to an entirely different world, one filled with late night cramming sessions before finals, and dozens of social outings. Some students are so busy and stressed throughout the day, they may not even realize what they are eating, or how much.

Those jeans you bought two months ago may start to feel a bit tighter, as the “freshman 15” fright starts to set in. Some students even lose weight. The growing body insecurities among young adults are startling, with fad diets, eating disorders and extreme work-out regiments becoming normal methods of weight loss.

This constant obsession to feel beautiful is something engrained within our minds since adolescence, particularly women. It’s hard to feel good about yourself when the media presents celebrity bodies like gods of worship.

Everyone comes in different shapes and sizes: fat, skinny, short, tall, big-boned and petite. It’s genetics, plain and simple. And no, a thigh gap isn’t always included.

One of the great things about UNH are all the facilities and healthy food options available on campus. Do some cardio at the Rec Center, get a side of salad with dinner, or grab a protein smoothie for energy. Never resort to anything that makes you feel less than beautiful.

It’s sad to see that the few inches between thighs have become a symbol of a healthy lifestyle, and it’s even more disappointing to see them compared to processed pork sausage.

“Frank”ly, it’s gone too far. The “hotdog or legs?” image has had its 15 minutes of fame, and deserves to retreat back into the realms of cyberspace.

 

Life Without a Plan(ner)

by Samantha Mathewson | September 11, 2013

Plan. Execute. Succeed. Three words my uncle told me after I graduated from high school. I thought about these words the other day, and I realized while how simple, yet exact they really are.

Assistant Editor Samantha Mathewson
Photo Provided by Samantha Mathewson

Right now I am in the planning phase of my life. While I do believe I am in the processes of executing a plan I made for myself after deciding what I wanted to study, I don’t want to get ahead of myself, and lets be honest, I am still making it up everyday as I go along.

My plan was to attend the University of New Haven, study communications, and become a journalist. Along the way, I have since picked up a double minor in Environmental Science and Photography. If that’s not a lot to handle, let’s toss in the fact that I am a three-seasoned athlete, the assistant editor of the Charger Bulletin, and a member of a couple clubs on campus. My life would be unmanageable without a plan(ner).

If there is one thing I rely on more than anyone or anything in my life, it is my planner. I have my life plan, and now to execute that plan successfully, I depend on the sanity my planner provides for me by keeping me organized.

While my planner is an inanimate object that doesn’t do anything other than provide blank spaces for me put all my thoughts, I would be lost without it. I write everything I have to do down. That way I will not forget, or fall short of completing a task. I cross things off as I go and accomplish what I have planned, and sometimes, to make myself feel even more accomplished, I add things I have done that weren’t originally on the list.

I don’t know how people stay organized without a planner. It is not possible that you remember everything you have to do, and if your classmate won’t be honest with you, I will. It gets annoying after awhile, when you keep asking them (them, being who wrote it down when the teacher assigned it in the first place, so they wouldn’t forget like you did) what the assignment is, and when it is due.

A planner as simple as mine does not come at a high cost, and has definitely paid for itself with how many times it has saved me; the sad thing is it has only been two weeks of school so far.

If you think I sound crazy, consider other planners, outside of a simple notebook that’s used daily. On a broader level, many people hire planners (people, not inanimate objects) to organize their lives; wedding planners, vacation planners, and even secretaries. Now if you think about it like that, maybe you can understand how truly important a plan(ner) is, and how sensible I sound afterwards.

So take a couple seconds to write things down, stay organized, and it will make executing your plans a little more easy, and the success also that much easier, and just as, if not more, rewarding.

In Time

by Samantha Mathewson | September 4, 2013

Well it’s that time of year again where all of us arrive back on campus and the new comers embark on their first, and maybe most exciting or scariest, adventure to date. One thing we all have in common, regardless of what year we are, is we all realize summer is over.

Photo Provided by Samantha Mathewson

The funny thing about life is the amount of time we have. I don’t know if any of you have seen In Time, staring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried, but it features this interesting concept where time is their form of currency instead of the paper we give value to today.

To citizens in this world a simple second can make the difference of a lifetime, where in ours a penny has little to no value anymore. So what would you do for an extra second? Whether it is on the beach down south during the vacation you took this summer or in your comfy bed, in your own room at home, I can image when you woke up for your first class of the semester you will be wishing you could close your eyes and rewind to that point in time.

There are a lot of things that can happen in a single minute, but the bottom line is that time can not be stored, or saved for later, made up, rewound, fast forward or even paused. Like money, we can’t just add more hours to the day, or the value of it would be lost. There are only 24 hours in a day, seven days in a week, 52 weeks, 12 months or 365 days in a year, no matter how you look at it.

The only thing we can do is live in the moment, enjoy it, and make the most of it. Ask yourself what is worth more, time or money? Basically, it all comes down to how you spend it, so take advantage of every second for all its worth, because while we don’t exchange minuets for a cup of coffee, we sometimes waste seconds regretting something that has already happened and can’t be changed.

Enjoy the time you have at UNH, take a couple extra minutes to look over your test or homework before you hand it in, meet new people and enjoy time spent with them, get involved around campus, and instead of sleeping the day away, go on an adventure in this new found place we all call home for nine months of the year.

Even though you are in a rush to reach the ultimate goal and get out of here with a diploma in your hand, you will never get these years back. We can’t live in a single moment forever, nor can we speed up to graduation, which may seem like a really far destination, but with patience time will fly, and before you know it summer will be back again and you will be wishing it was today instead.

 

 

Graduation is Coming

by Elizabeth Field | May 8, 2013

It’s May already? I’m graduating in two weeks? How did time pass by so fast, especially in these last few months? For some of you, these next few weeks mark the end of your college experience and for others just the beginning.

Working with Liana on these last 26 issues has been an absolute pleasure. Despite her telling me that when we first met she instantly thought, “I’d never be friends with that girl” (I will never let that go), we’ve developed such a strong friendship and amazing working relationship. Thank you Liana for putting up with my poor singing, crying, and constant dancing…sometimes all at the same time. I hope we’ve continued to serve the Bulletin and hold it to the same high standards as previous editors. Mostly, though, I hope we’ve created a paper which may have sparked in some feelings of fondness or anger, but ultimately made students want to pick up an issue each week.

Everyone has a different college experience, but at the root of it all, I hope you have all made the most of your time here at UNH and have seen yourself grow academically and spiritually. I know that I would not have traded the last four years of my life for anything. My time at UNH has allowed me to have so many wonderful experiences that have enriched my education and sparked my research interests, which have lead me to enter an international Master’s program this fall.

Serving as a staff member of The Charger Bulletin for all these years has helped me develop my voice as a writer, learn some serious time management skills, and forced me into caffeine addiction. Although this paper frequently plagues my nightmares, it will always hold a special place in my heart. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had within the paper all of these years. I am especially appreciative to everyone on our awesome staff that has week after week proved their dedication to this publication.

I hope that all you readers enjoy the many changes The Charger Bulletin underwent this year. I send my very best wishes to the incoming Editor-in-Chief Liana and Assistant Editor Sam. I have no doubt that you both will do a phenomenal job, and I look forward to seeing your progress next year! Congratulations to the Class of 2013 – we survived!

Until Next Time

by Liana Teixeira | May 8, 2013

Well, here it is…the last issue of the Charger Bulletin for the year. It’s an odd feeling to tell you the truth. No more editing, no more article lists, not spending my Sunday afternoons cooped up in the Office of Student Activities. Although this comes as a huge sigh of relief with finals approaching, I’m going to miss working at the newspaper on a daily basis. As I’m writing this, I realize many of the people (hopefully) reading this editorial are seniors, are my friends, are people I won’t see on a daily basis once classes resume in August.

One of these fantastic people is Elizabeth Field, the current Editor-in-Chief. When I received the position of Assistant Editor last spring and met Liz for the first time, I had no idea we would form such a strong friendship (if staying up until 2 a.m. and singing Taylor Swift at the top of our lungs whilst editing the newspaper doesn’t make us soul sisters, I don’t know what does). I could never have gotten through every twist and turn that has come our way this year without Liz’s help and guidance throughout this entire process. As much as it saddens me to see her graduate and move to Ireland for grad school, I am confident she will succeed in anything and everything she does in the future.

We have come so far and accomplished so much in the past year; we have seen Charger Bulletin grow and expand in ways we never thought possible. To me, Charger Bulletin was, and still is, my pride and joy. I have spent more hours this year slaving over my office desktop than I have on actual schoolwork. And while some may see this as a problem in the long-run, I am thankful to have the opportunity to produce something I am truly passionate about. I came to UNH knowing I wanted to work toward a career in journalism, and being a part of the newspaper has only made my experience at UNH that much more enjoyable.

Looking back on this past year, I find myself overwhelmingly grateful for the opportunity to be Assistant Editor and even more grateful to be named next year’s Editor-in-Chief. Also, I would like to congratulate Samantha Mathewson, who will be the new Assistant Editor for the 2013-2014 school year. I know, without a doubt, that she will be a great asset to Charger Bulletin and bring a new, creative perspective to the newspaper.

Good luck during finals everyone, and have an even better summer. Until next time, loyal readers.

Challenge Accepted

by Samantha Mathewson | May 8, 2013

College is the time in your life when you finally get to make decisions for yourself, and one of the those decisions is what you plan on studying to later get a career in the field of your choice.

When coming to the University of New Haven, I planned to study communications and photography so that I could later become a photo journalist. However while that was my initial choice, it opened the door to so many amazing opportunities that I never could have expected.

I have studied abroad in one of the most beautiful countries (Iceland) for photography and photojournalism. I might be biased because that is the only country outside the United States that I have visited, but it truly and surreally is beautiful. It gave me a medium to work with that I would have never been able to predict or expect to receive in a classroom. It has further interested me in pursuing a career in travel writing and photography, because I am sure there are many more beautiful places in this world outside of Iceland.

Now I am welcoming my newest adventure. While I am staying in the U.S. for this one, I am just as excited about it. I knew I wanted to start writing for the school’s newspaper when I first arrived as a freshman. In addition to it being one of the many steps along the path to later becoming a journalist, it has strung the right chord, not only in preparing me for the future but truly finding what I love to do. I will be the Assistant Editor of the Charger Bulletin next year, and this is a risk I am more than willing to take.

This position will be challenging and it will be hard, but most of all it will be fun. I look forward to my late nights of putting a paper together for the study body at UNH. I encourage everyone to welcome a challenge. Make something that is easy just a little more complex, simply because it will test you. When you see that you can overcome that, you will soon see that you are more talented than an A on a test could ever prove to you.

Sliding by is fine for high school. But we are all in college now, and it is the time to take risks, welcome challenges, and either fail miserably or succeed to great lengths you never thought possible. I promise that if you want something bad enough, you can achieve it; personally, getting the Assistant Editor position is proof of that

 

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