Tuesday, September 2, 2014  
The Charger Bulletin

Let Them Go, Let Them Grow

by Elissa Sanci | August 27, 2014

Cars lined the roads, students in red shirts pushed orange of baskets full of dorm material into elevators and teens stood around nervously as their parents fussed around. Yes, it’s that time of year again—freshman move-in day.

University of New Haven freshmen moved in to their dorm buildings Thu Aug. 21 with the help of upperclassmen students volunteering for Welcome Wagon.

“It was really nice having Welcome Wagon help move me in,” said freshman Matt Alvarez. His parents added that they were extremely impressed with how organized everything was and how smoothly move-in went.

“Welcome Wagon was fun,” said junior Samantha Higgins. “It was fun to get to know the freshmen and see how excited they were to move in.” Higgins added that she plans on volunteering again next year.

“I’m most excited to start making my first films as a college freshman,” said Alex Halfinger, a communication major who plans on focusing on film during her time at UNH. “I’m least looking forward to the lack of air-conditioning,” she added.

Freshman Sarah Henriques, a commuter student, says she’s most nervous about getting to her earliest class and finding parking each day. “I’m excited to make friends, go to class and learn new things.”

Throughout the day, students were encouraged to visit the New Student Resource Fair in the Beckerman Recreation Center, where campus offices and a variety of local businesses were present with tips and resources to aid freshman around both UNH and the New Haven area.

“Meeting and helping out all of the new freshmen was definitely my favorite part about being an orientation leader,” said junior Victoria Johnson. “There was a lot of satisfaction in making their transition to college easier.”

Owen Johnson, a Rhode Island native who moved into Westside, the newest residence hall, on Thu, said he’s most excited about not being home, to which his mother responded by laughing. When asked why he chose UNH, he replied “Because it’s awesome.”

Richard Rotella, Undergraduate Student Government Association president, said he’s pleased with the way Charge In went, and that he’s happy to welcome the new class to UNH.

“If I could give one piece of advice to the freshmen, I would say to keep an open mind and don’t judge what you don’t know,” Johnson said. “I know a lot of people who came into college believing certain things or carrying certain prejudices who completely turned their opinions around.”

Welcome Week continues on into the first week of classes. Each day, a variety of activities geared toward acclimating the freshmen and making them feel more at home are offered. Some of these events include programs to teach students how to do laundry, a hypnotist and a comedian.

“Get involved and remember to do what makes you happy!” said Rotella.

Math Zone gets a new course structure and director

by Samantha Mathewson | August 27, 2014

Yevgeniya Rivers seeks to create a more cohesive Math Zone environment with a revised course structure this year as new director of the program.

North Hall, Home to Math Zone is under the new direction of Yevgeniya Rivers  (Photo by Samantha Mathewson / Charger Bulletin Photo)

North Hall, Home to Math Zone is under the new direction of Yevgeniya Rivers
(Photo by Samantha Mathewson / Charger Bulletin Photo)

“The class now meets in Math Zone,” said Rivers.

Unlike the past, the structure of Math Zone now requires students to have an hour and 15-minute block in their schedule for seat time twice a week, just as any other course would.

“We encourage 10 hours a week total,” said Rivers, the new director of Math Zone. “Six additional hours should be spent at the student’s own pace.”

Math Zone launched at the University of New Haven in the fall of 2013 and is an innovation in mathematics education, merging e-learning technology with direct teaching methods to enhance student success.

Each student is going to have two teachers and one tutor assigned to their course.

The faculty will provide students with mini-lectures, support through guided practice and assistance with navigating the software. They will monitor student progress and guide them in the mathematics learning process.

“There will be a customized pacing guide,” said Rivers. “This allows students to finish early if they gain mastery points at a quicker pace.”

To utilize the customized pacing guide, students adjust the end date of their course, and the pacing guide adjusts the schedule of mastery points for them to let them know when they should complete the course.

Students will still have the option of completing their courses early or completing more than one math class per semester based on their own pace.

“It’s a big bonus for student-athletes with a travel heavy schedule,” said Rivers. “They can finish their schedules early. It is also helpful for students wanting to get it out of the way to work on other courses. It’s been done, but I think we will have more take advantage.”

The Math Zone department is working very closely with the Center for Learning Resources, the First-Year Success Center and the Academic Success Center to make sure students are on track to complete their course.

Rivers previously taught in NYC public schools in general and special education for mathematics. She also has experience with educational leadership.

“I was ready to move into a world that blended leadership and actual teaching,” said Rivers.

As the new director of Math Zone, Rivers will be overseeing curriculum, coordinating communication efforts and developing a student-centered environment for the teaching and learning of developmental mathematics.

“I want them [the students] to understand we are here to help them and create a collaborative environment,” said Rivers.

 

Change is a good thing

by Elissa Sanci | August 27, 2014

The University of New Haven has undergone major changes over this past summer, both physically and academically.

In an email to the campus sent out on Aug. 21, President Steven Kaplan outlined the different changes and renovations that students are expected to find once back at UNH for the semester.

Westside Hall officially opened its doors Aug. 21 to 350 freshmen residents. The 110,000 square foot hall includes classrooms, a dining room and a parking garage. The building is still under construction.

Bethel Hall underwent a major renovation, costing $3 million, according to Kaplan’s email. This renovation upgraded the residential suites and the building’s common lounge, and included a new roof and new heating and building controls. Most eye-catching of all, a new quad has replaced the parking lot in front of the building, and two new sets of stairs have been added leading down the hill to the new quad.

Upgrades were made to the study area of the lower level of the Peterson Library and a new sign was added to the outside of the building.

The parking lot at North Campus has been repaved and the addition of sidewalks should make traveling to and from main campus safer for students.

The Marketplace in Bartels Hall was renovated as well as rearranged, offering more variety of food and more efficient checkouts.

In addition to the physical changes made, UNH also added Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts as their sixth college. This now makes it possible for students to study painting, sculpture, drawing and illustration.

Construction on the Engineering and Science University Magnet School will begin soon to the west of Bergami Hall. ESUMS is “an interdisciplinary school for middle and high school students. Once completed, UNH students will have access during the evening to some of the state-of-the-art lab spaces there.”

One last change made involves the University’s campus in Tuscany, Italy. This fall it will be relocating to a “fully renovated, former sixteenth century convent on one of the nicest squares in the city of Prato,” said Kaplan’s email.

“All of the changes are really beneficial for our campus,” said junior Cara Demers, who works in the Admissions Office. “The campus looks really great right now, and I think it makes UNH more attractive to prospective students.”

UNH Marching Band Ready for a Super Season

by Ashley Winward | August 27, 2014

The University of New Haven Charger Marching Band just finished a grueling week in the sun preparing for their Fall 2014 season and their show entitled “Steel,” centered around Superman as portrayed in music.

A Charger Marching Band summer practice  (Photo provided by Ashley Winward / Charger Bulletin Photo)

A Charger Marching Band summer practice
(Photo provided by Ashley Winward / Charger Bulletin Photo)

The show will feature Five For Fighting’s “Superman (It’s Not Easy),” Three Doors Down’s “Kryptonite” and Daughtry’s “Waiting For Superman.”

With the band growing in both numbers and talent over the past five years, it is looking to be the best show the fans have seen at Dellacamera Stadium this fall.

Steel was actually an idea brought up by trombone section leader Stephen Shepherd last year, then developed by band director Jason Degroff and Keith Rego.

“I was a little hesitant going into the 2014 marching season with this specific show. I had the initial idea to do this sort of show this past winter, when I heard Daughtry’s “Waiting for Superman” on the radio, and wondered how cool that would be to translate it to the field,” said Shepherd. “I was surprised that I got such an exceedingly positive reaction from Jason when I first emailed him my whole idea, and I was even more taken aback that virtually every band member or fan liked the concept as well.”

Shepherd added that going through band camp and seeing how much the band members like the show is “truly very humbling” and makes him even more excited to see this entire show come to fruition.

With such a knowledgeable staff directing the band, it was no surprise the concept came together so smoothly. Under the direction of Degroff, drum caption head Omi Batan, Color Guard Caption Head Eric Babula and the numerous techs, student teachers and graduate assistants the band staff has nearly a dozen Drum Corps International titles under various groups in the DCI circuit.

Sophomore saxophone Mary Perucci was grateful for the staffs experience and work ethic. “The new staff is making a positive change in the mentality and overall moral of the band,” she said. “Sometimes there are situations that can become frustrating and it is really nice to have staff members who can keep their cool and help us push through and still accomplish what needs to be done.”

The talent doesn’t stop at the staff; the students joining have come with their own super powers as well. The band as a whole is now comprised of about five percent of the UNH student body, representing almost every major on campus. In five years, the band has grown 11 times larger, starting with 20 members and expanding to well over 200 now, making the UNH marching program one of the fastest growing programs in the country.

Experience ranges from drum corps champions to those marching for the first time. The group is a very inclusive bunch, helping each other along the way.

“It’s really overwhelming how large the band is now, and also how large my section is now,” Shepherd said. “This is my first season as a full-fledged section leader in college, and to lead a group of 12 musicians total is exhilarating. I learn just as much from my rank leader and section members as they do from me, if not more, and I think that’s a true testament to how great this band really is.”

While most members come in on their primary instrument, others take the challenge of learning new instruments and trying new things.

Sophomore Marissa Fujimoto is beginning her first season in the pit ensemble, and described her transition from Color Guard to Pit as a “new and exciting experience.”

Band camp itself is a week-long event every year, with 12-hour days, which include working on both the music and marching the show drill.

Afternoon blocks in the hot sun can be hard and staying healthy is imperative to keeping the entire production running.

Regardless of the mental and physical commitment, the members of the UNH marching band look forward to it every year. Chris Jenis, sophomore saxophone remembers his first band camp at UNH but looks forward to what’s to come.

“Well, I enjoyed this year’s band camp way more than last year because I am now a sophomore and knew everyone going in to camp,” Jenis said. “This year’s camp is something I looked forward to since the end of last year and it didn’t disappoint. I hope that this year can be even better than last year and judging by camp it will be.”

Band director Jason Degroff was also pleased with the band’s results in only one short week of coming together.

“The University of New Haven Band Camp was one I will never forget! In over 200 days of camps I have done, this one contained my best day ever and my most fun day ever!” said Degroff. “The band members not only worked hard, they worked smart. This addition to the Charger Marching Band will be one for the ages. Everyone will be proud of the way the Marching Band represents the UNH community. The support had been tremendous and we couldn’t do what we do without it.”

The band will be debuting Steel at the first home game against Westchester Sept. 6, but you can get a sneak peak during rehearsals from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays and Fridays at Dellacamera.

If you’re interested, they’re still looking for any musicians interested in joining. Any questions can be answered by Jason Degroff or the staff at marchingband@newhaven.edu.

5 Tips I Wish I Had Gotten as a Freshman

by Elissa Sanci | August 27, 2014

It’s hard to believe that this year marks my third here at the University of New Haven. I still remember how I felt as I helped my mom unpack my bags, staring at the campus that would become home to me for the next four years. I didn’t know it at the time, but I would go on to do some pretty great things, meet amazing people and make unforgettable memories.

Elissa-bw

Being a freshman is hard. You don’t really know what’s going on yet. You wear your lanyard with your keys around your neck, scared to put it down anywhere in fear of losing it. The feeling of being pushed into something you don’t quite know how to handle yet is ever-present; you don’t know where you belong yet, and it’s a scary feeling.

Everyone feels like this—everyone. Even the most confident kid has his doubts; I promise you that. But once you realize it’s okay to feel like this, once you realize that it’s normal to feel tentative and apprehensive, you’re on the right track to being just fine.

I wish someone had been around to give me that advice two years ago when I felt so unsure of myself. There are a lot of things I wish I had known then; here are five tips I wish someone had given me at the beginning of my freshman year.
1.Get involved: There’s a reason everyone says this; it’s true! It’s the best way to feel apart of something and it’s the first step in making UNH a new home.
Join clubs that interest you; it’s a great way to make new friends with the same hobbies and outlooks on life.

2.Stay active: I encourage you to stay active. Go to the gym, join a RecSports Team, the Quidditch team, or go to classes offered at the Rec Center. Do something to get your blood pumping. It’s good way to relieve tension when you’re stressed out, and it’s even better to fight off the Freshmen 15 (which is, in fact, a real thing).

3.Eat as healthy as you can: Like I said before, the Freshmen 15 is not just a myth, and if you’re not careful, it can creep on you before you even realize it.
You’re away from home for the first time, so it may seem like a good idea to have pizza for breakfast and ice cream for dinner. I’ll let you know upfront—it’s not. Forego the chicken fingers and fries for every meal and you’ll feel less sluggish during the day. A salad every once in a while won’t kill you, and you’ll even have more energy—promise.

4.Don’t forget to study: Remember that you came to college to go to class, to learn, and most importantly, to earn a degree.
It’s important to schedule time for studying, whether you do it in the library or in your room. Don’t forget to take advantage of the Center for Learning Resources (located in the basement of the library) if you’re struggling with any of your work.

5.But also don’t forget to have fun: Doing well in school is important, but so is having fun. If you put all your efforts into studying, soon you’ll run out of steam.
It’s important to relax every once in a while and spend time with friends. College is a balancing act and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you’ll get used to it and start making the most of your college experience.

College is tricky, but once you get the hang of balancing your school work and your social life, you’ll be just fine. The moment you begin to make friends is the moment all the aprehensive feelings fade away; it’s when the fun begins. The same goes for when you get back your first paper (the paper you pulled an all-nighter writing) and see a shiny red “A+” at the top.
Soon enough, you’ll get to the steps that overlook the quad, and instead of just looking at the quad, you’ll be looking at home.

CLR tutors received CRLA Level 1 certification and Outstanding Tutor awards this past Spring

by The Charger Bulletin | June 17, 2014

By Jodi Shydlo

Associate Director Center for Learning Resources

In May 2014, 15 tutors in the Center for Learning Resources earned their College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) certification. Cumulatively, the students, who were nationally certified as CRLA Level 1 tutors, have provided support in 17 subjects. In addition, four CLR staff members were recognized with CLR Outstanding Tutor Awards for exemplary performance and customer service.

Photo Provided by CLR

CRLA Level 1 certification recipients completed 15 hours of UNH-customized training under the guidelines of the CRLA. Below is a list of students who earned certification:

Paul Burinda, Grad. Computer Science and Music

Matthew Ciarletto, Computer Science and EASC

Kayla Fitzgerald, Chemical Engineering and EASC

Dylan Haenel, Biology and Marine Biology

Jessica Imperato, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics

Alaina Kaiser, Biology and Chemistry

Jenny Lam, Accounting and Economics

Shuran Liu, Grad. MBA

Jacquelyn Perez, Criminal Justice and Psychology

Catherine Pin, Math

Rachel Seggerman, Biology and Dental Hygiene

Aksel Thibodeau, Accounting and QA

Yiran (Ariel) Tian, Chemistry and math

Erika Vargas, EASC, Electrical Engineering, and Math

Alyssa Wynne, Biology, Chemistry, and Math

 

Outstanding Tutor Award recipients include:

Scott Alpizar, Outstanding Undergraduate Tutor

Paul Burinda, Outstanding Support Staff

Megan Fimbel, Outstanding Graduate Tutor

Mr. Robert Harvey, Outstanding Professional Tutor

Photo Provided by CLR

Photo Provided by CLR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations to all of our outstanding tutors!

Gender Neutral Bathrooms

by Samantha Mathewson | May 7, 2014

Gender neutrality is a national issue that campuses face when planning accommodations to welcome all prospective students.

male female sign

At the University of New Haven, “we need to think about being a university welcoming to all students,” said Rebecca Johnson, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students. “It is a national issue and we need to respond to it.”

Amber Crow, president of UNH PRIDE, said that establishing gender neutral bathrooms on campus was a combined initiative that started with PRIDE and was pushed through by the Office of Residential Life and the Dean of Students’ Office. Crow explained that during a meeting of the advocacy committee of PRIDE it was said that in member Mel Vitullo’s opinion, UNH wasn’t totally gender neutral and did not cater to students who don’t identify with the “normal” genders (male and female).

“So when we decided to get the ball rolling on increasing gender neutrality on our campus, we approached our club’s adviser, Dean Baker, about it. He kind of took over from there and really pushed the initiative with Residential Life and Facilities and the many other wonderful offices who were a part of making this happen,” said Crow.

Johnson explained she brought the issue to the facilities committee so that the campus could become a more welcoming environment for the community and provide options for students that are accessible and safe.

The Facilities Department then conducted a survey of the bathrooms on campus in order to locate single, one-person bathrooms that can be utilized as gender neutral bathrooms. After evaluating the campus, a list of available unisex bathrooms at UNH was created and can be found on the Intercultural Relations website: http://www.newhaven.edu/student-life/CampusLife_StudentAffairs/intercultural_relations/safe-zone.

Some locations of these bathrooms are on the first floor of Kaplan, the first and second floor of Maxcy and on the thrid floor of the Marvin K. Peterson Library.

On May 1, Johnson sent out an email to the university community notifying them of the update, stating, “in an effort to better meet the needs of the University community, attached is a list of restroom facilities on campus that are gender neutral. This means that the facilities may be used by any member of the University community, regardless of gender identity/expression.”

Gender Neutral bathroom located on 1st floor of Kaplan Hall (Samantha Mathewson/Charger Bulletin Photo)

To go along with the gender neutral bathroom initiative, Wanda Tyler, Director of the Office of Intercultural Relations, explained some of the content featured in the Safe Zone training that UNH, along with many other universities nationwide, provides to the campus community.

The mission statement of the UNH Safe Zone Program is to create a safe environment for anyone who is questioning their sexual orientation or wishes to celebrate differences in sexuality, sexual identity, and/or gender identity.

One aspect of the program deals with LGBT (standing for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) issues and how faculty, staff and students can be allies for this community. The training allows participants opportunities for expanding their minds so they can be understanding of the experiences of others.

“For someone who identifies as transgender, decisions about their housing situation and which restroom to use can be challenging to make,” said Tyler.

Transgendered individuals feel, see and associate themselves as being one sex, while they may have been born a different one.

“When they look in the mirror they may physically be a woman, but have a personal, internal sense that they are male and see something like facial hair,” explained Tyler. “Those of us who are not part of the trans community need to be understanding of what it might be like to be in their shoes and understand the transition some may be undergoing.”

Tyler also explained a word that she was taught that has, in her opinion, cleared things up. “Cisgender is used to describe or label those that are not transgender,” said Tyler who went on to also clarify that “LGB” identifies sexual orientation, while the “T” identifies gender identity where the physical appearance may not match what one feels psychologically.

Mario Pierce, assistant director for housing and operations at the UNH, explained that the exact signage of the bathrooms has not been decided yet, but they are currently distinguished as “unisex” with a male/female figure on the sign. However, the decision has been made to include gender neutral bathrooms in not only the newest residence hall currently being built, but in all buildings from now on.

“We will have to take a look at what is governed by code [regarding sinage for the bathrooms],” said Pierce, “but yes, code now requires unisex (or gender neutral) bathrooms in facilities.”

According to Johnson, as the campus expands and facilities are renovated, the list of gender neutral restrooms on campus will be updated.

Since gender neutrality is a wide spread issue, Johnson also mentioned some other universities that are taking actions to address this issue. The examples she provided included New Mexico State University and Brown University, who have implemented either, or both, gender neutral bathrooms and housing.

Wesleyan University in Connecticut had a Genderless Restroom movement of their own, where bathroom signs that normally read “Men” or “Women” had been torn down and replaced with a paper sign that read “All Gender Restroom.” This sign included pictures for everyone. Wesleyan University also has had gender neutral housing for several years.

Caitlin Pereira, Area Coordinator First-Year Areas, agreed with both Johnson and Tyler that gender neutral bathrooms give all students a safe bathroom facility on campus and that, “it is especially important for students who identify as a gender that differs from their biology.”

For UNH, the next step will be gender neutral housing. “I am very optimistic that we will end up with some sort of gender neutral housing in the future,” said Pereira who has done a lot of research on the topic. “We are at a point nationally where trans issues come up, and having gender neutral housing would provide an inclusive environment.”

PRI

Pereira continued to explain that gender neutral housing would be an option for those students that wish to participate in it because “the comfort level goes both ways.”DE strives to work with the ORL to implement gender neutral housing for students who require it.

“While I personally am not directly affected by gender neutral bathrooms on campus, I am excited for my friends and club members who are. We in PRIDE are very excited about this transition and hope that because of it, our campus will expand on gender neutrality,” said Crow. “My hope is that the introduction of gender neutral bathrooms on our campus will provide a safe environment for UNH students.”

First female wins Last Man Standing

by The Charger Bulletin | May 7, 2014

By Alyssa Mackinnon, contributing writer

Monday, April 21, a contest was held to find the University of New Haven’s The Last Man Standing. First prize was $1000, second $500, and third was $250, and over the course of a week 20 people competed to win these prizes.

The first event was bull riding, where the longest time that someone was able to stay riding was 48 seconds, and the bottom two competitors were taken from the game.

The next event was a timed campus knowledge test made harder by planted accomplices in the audience shouting, singing, and pen clicking to distract test takers. The bottom two people were again eliminated.

The third event was an obstacle course involving racing around cones, hoola-hooping 15 times, and then racing through an inflatable maze. The fourth day consisted of a challenge in which a shirt was tied in a knot and frozen into a block. Challengers then had to break the shirt out of the ice using only their body heat and available elements. The last three competitors were eliminated.

The final challenge is traditional; each of the seven remaining contestants precariously stood on a cement block for hours completing varying tasks while remaining standing. Tasks included spinning in circles, lifting a leg with your eyes closed, and standing on one leg.

After nearly three hours of standing, Alyssa MacKinnon was the first female to win the competition in its five years running with Kyle Kostka taking second place and Vince Yau taking third.

 

One Day Without Shoes raises awareness for impoverished children

by Elissa Sanci | May 7, 2014

In conjunction with TOMS, University of New Haven’s Habitat hosted their annual One Day Without Shoes event April 29 in the Alumni Lounge. UNH Habitat is a student organization focused on providing volunteer opportunities to university students and improving the community.

Student signing traced foot (photo provided by Katelyn Clark)

Student signing traced foot (photo provided by Katelyn Clark)

TOMS Shoes, a for-profit company that designs and sells shoes based on an Argentinian design, started One Day Without Shoes seven years ago. When TOMS sells a pair of shoes, another is given to an impoverished child.

“One Day Without Shoes is the annual day when we take off our shoes to raise global awareness for children’s health and education,” states the TOMS website.

Originally, One Day Without Shoes was to take place on the Bartels Patio in the Academic Quad from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. However, due to the weather, the event was relocated in the Alumni Lounge in Bartels.

“I think it’s a really great way to raise awareness, and it’s such an important event on campus, so I’m glad they were able to have it despite the weather,” said sophomore Kaitlin Mahar.

Free t-shirts were given to the first 100 people, and there were multiple chances to win gift cards, including one for TOMS products.

“The event was a good way to celebrate One Day Without Shoes. We didn’t have the turn out we usually do because the event was moved to the Alumni Lounge, but the participants we did have had a great time,” said Katelyn Clark, UNH Habitat’s Sargent-at-Arms. She explained the event usually takes place on the BSAC Patio, which garners much foot traffic, but the Alumni Lounge is more tucked away.

“UNH Habitat and the co-sponsors of the event had a great time and we look forward to holding the event again next year,” Clark added.

The event was co-sponsored by SCOPE, EMS Club, PCMA, WNHU and the Photography Club.

 

Newly renamed Bucknall Theater holds first musical, Spring Awakening

by Ashley Winward | May 7, 2014

Alumnus William L. Bucknall Jr. was in attendance at a sold out opening night in the theater newly renamed in his honor just a few weeks ago.

Final scene from Spring Awakening of cast singing "The Song of Purple Summer" (photo provided by Heather Konish)

Final scene from Spring Awakening of cast singing “The Song of Purple Summer” (photo provided by Heather Konish)

In the first major performance since this renaming, the University of New Haven’s Theater Department put on five performances of the rock musical, Spring Awakening. While known for being a controversial musical with a 17+ age recommendation on its publicity, the seats were packed to see some of UNH’s best and brightest perform.

Spring Awakening is based on a play of the same name by Frank Wedekind, which was banned in Germany for a long time due to its content and portrayal of topics such as abortion, homosexuality, rape, child abuse and suicide. The show tells the tale of a group of adolescents growing up in Germany trying to deal with the trials and tribulations of puberty amongst other feelings new to them. Best friends Melchior Gabor, played by Junior Keith Watford, and Moritz Steifel, played by Junior Zackary Grabko, are the focus of the story, dealing with sexual frustration, intimacy, and love. Steifel is plagued by erotic dreams at night and in trying to help, Gabor writes an essay about his sexual knowledge that makes Steifel even more shaken.

Meanwhile, Wendla, played by both Kiera Terrell and understudy Amanda Schumacher, is dealing with her own exploration of sexuality, trying to learn where babies come from and battling her inner struggle between love and the ways of the church; a common thread for many characters in the musical.

Through ensemble numbers like “My Junk” and “Touch Me,” each actor and actress truly shined as well as worked together as a cohesive unit. The story has a not so happy ending with the group plagued by death and suicide leaving young Gabor to rethink his views on life entirely.

Being such a heavy-content driven show, it was a difficult performance for actors and audiences alike. Members of the university’s victimology and counseling staffs were available at each show and informational pamphlets on some of the production’s topics such as rape and abuse were available in the lobby. Also after each performance there was a “talk back,” where the actors came out and answered questions from the audience about putting on the show as well as the various topics in the show.

Five members of the cast and crew have already been awarded for their participation in the show. Watford and Grabko were nominated for the Irene Ryan acting award at the Kenedy Center College Theatre Festival with additional nominations in musical theatre for Damianis Eusebio (Ilse), Set design for Heather Konish and Alec Smith for Stage Management. The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival is a national program started in 1969 and involving over 600 academic institutions throughout the country.

 

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