Are we really safer?

Samuel Northrup, Staff Writer

Fox News reporter Judith Miller argued that the United States is safer after the 15- year anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2001.

Miller cited NYPD Deputy Commissioner for Intelligence and Counter-terrorism, John Miller, who said that despite “individual strikes,” such as the Pulse night club shooting in Orlando four months ago, there has not been a large-scale terrorist attack since 9/11.

Harold T. Clark Jr. Professor Emeritus of Human Rights Scholarship and Advocacy at Utica College Theodore Orlin echoed a similar belief on the possibility of another mass attack on the U.S.

“I think that we are more able to protect ourselves from outside terrorist attacks,” Orlin said.

To Orlin, the greatest immediate threat to American safety are reoccurring incidents of gun violence.

“The presence of so many weapons and guns certainly does not make us safer,” Orlin said. “From my perspective, what is of primary importance is the access to weapons and assault weapons. Weapons that are meant for military use are being used, whether discriminately or indiscriminately, to kill innocent people.”

Orlin’s concern is a valid one, as Gun Violence Archive, a not-for-profit corporation that provides information on gun-related violence, has found that 40,351 gun-related incidents, resulting in 10,361 deaths alone, have occurred so far in 2016.

Government and Politics Professor Nathaniel Richmond feels that the U.S. is safer because of the government’s improved ability to identify and stop terrorist plots from happening.

“I think we are safer 15 years after 9/11,” Richmond said. “For the most part, the government, I think, has gotten much better at putting the pieces of puzzles together to foil different plots. I think they have probably stopped a lot of plots that we may or may not have heard of. However, there are probably more people out there, or even amongst us, who wish to harm us after 15 years of war in the Middle East region.”

Students on campus have mixed feelings about the safety of the U.S.

Freshman Courtney Kennedy believes that while U.S. airports are safer, the presence of technology poses safety problems, such as cyber hacks, which were not nearly as prevalent 15 years ago.

“I’m actually not sure if we’re safer because of new, advancing technology, especially with what we saw with North Korea and Sony,” Kennedy said. “I think airports are definitely safer, but I don’t know if we are as a country.”

Freshman Antonio Scala shares Kennedy’s feeling that airports are safer, but thinks there is always a chance of something happening.

“I feel like we’re doing a better job in airports and keeping them safe, but it can still happen within the United States,” Scala said. “I think we are a little safer with the technology we have, but there’s still a chance something can happen again.”

Technology, while providing convenience, does pose a significant threat to security. While computers are an efficient solution for data organization, that same data is vulnerable to cyber hackers.

Dr. Richmond, while viewing cyber terrorism as a safety concern, pointed out that it is not a direct threat to life.

“I actually teach a class on international relations and cyberspace, and as one author put it, ‘no one ever died from cyber terrorism,’ directly anyway,” Richmond said. “Maybe people were radicalized who carried out attacks, but cyber terrorism, cyber war, these kind of things are part of the new Cold War we have going on with the U.S., Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, the big players in it. It’s here to stay. It’s a fact of life.”

While there may be different opinions on the degree of safety the United States has from terrorism, it is hard to deny the priority the U.S. government has put on national security since that morning in September, 15 years ago.

Black Student Union promotes unity

Kendal Santiago, Staff Writer

Since 1969, The Black Student Union (BSU) has been spreading awareness about the African-American culture. Members of the organization strive to promote diversity and unity on the Utica College campus by hosting both social and educational events.

BSU President Patricia Gortman is very excited and prepared for the upcoming academic year: “This year, BSU plans to do more than we’ve ever done before,” Gortman said.

Gortman is planning ahead for the organization’s popular annual events, such as their Halloween fashion show, “Freight the Fashion,” their Kwanzaa banquet, and “Apollo Night.”

Gortman decided to try something new for her second term as president of BSU. She has created a total of six committees within the organization. This will give members the opportunity to “choose which areas they want to shine in” (Gortman). Each organization will host events according to their committee, ensuring that the organization will have a greater variety of well-planned events.

BSU historian Gi Boone is equally excited for what BSU has to offer this year. As historian, Boone’s job is to take pictures at events hosted by BSU, and keep an organized collection of them for future members.

“To me that is very important because it allows future generations to see how much we evolved,” Boone said.

“I admired the fact that there was actually a group of students who looked like me and faced similar struggles that I went through,” said Boone when asked why she joined BSU. “I also saw the opportunity to make friends, which eventually, I did.”

Boone respects that BSU spreads love and promotes unity on the Utica College campus.

UC senior Alliyah McClellan is a new member of the Black Student Union. After attending a few events hosted by BSU, McClellan decided she wanted to be a part of the organization.

“I had obviously heard about the organization, but I didn’t know much about what they do on campus,” McClellan said. “I attended one of their jeopardy games, and a couple forums they had. I had a great time, and learned a lot at each event.”

McClellan encourages other students to join the organization. She has already made a few friends and has gained some valuable skills. She looks forward to not only learning more from her peers, but teaching her peers at Utica College through her own events.

“Although our organization’s name is ‘Black Student Union,’ we do not single out students. We have events that allow everyone to participate in,” said Gi Boone. The purpose and goal of the Utica College’s Black Student Union is to create a diverse and unified campus.

Regardless of one’s race, religion, or nationality, BSU welcomes everyone with open arms. If you are someone who is interested in the work of the Black Student Union, making friends, or just want to get a better idea of what BSU does, they hold their meeting every Sunday at 2 p.m. in North Hall basement. Be sure to keep a lookout for BSU’s upcoming events.

North Korea continues nuclear testing

Danielle Stoecker, Staff Writer

North Korea has continued to go through with their nuclear test, despite the fact that one of their only allies, China, seems to be getting more fed up with their actions. The government of North Korea conducted a nuclear detonation on Sept. 9 at the Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site.

The country’s previous nuclear test occurred back in January and it was followed by international disapproval. According to CNN, following the January test of a hydrogen bomb, punitive sanctions were placed on the North Korean regime. However, clearly these restrictions have not stopped the regime from continuing their nuclear development and tests.

The recent test was the fifth in a decade and the most powerful one yet for the team of scientists assembled by the nation’s dictator, Kim Jong- Un. With each test, the country is sending a message that it is strong and defiant. North Korea says its goal is to become a nuclear power; one with the means to threaten the United States with weapons deadly enough to cause severe damage.

“It’s definitely scary to think that North Korea is shooting missiles in our direction,” junior Megan Bradt said.

When asked, several UC students felt uneasy about the testing being done by North Korea. The tension between the country and the U.S. dates back to the Cold War and it seems to be rising once again, this time with more intensity.

“I do not believe that North Korea will attack the United States,” Assistant Professor of Government and Politics Jun T. Kwon said.

Kwon thinks that North Korea is only building up their nuclear program because they feel threatened by the United States. He thinks that the nation knows that if they tried to attack the U.S. that it would be a “suicide act.” They have seen the U.S. go into Iraq, Egypt, Syria and many other failing regimes and removed them from power. North Korea believes that if they develop successful nuclear weapons that the U.S. will not interfere with the country like they have in the Middle East and surrounding areas.

“I would be surprised if they didn’t feel threatened,” Kwon continued. “North Korea feels like it has to continue developing its nuclear capability as an insurance of survival.”

The U.S. continues to ask the nation’s only ally, China, for help when it comes to dealing with this situation. Kwon does not think that China will do anything to stop North Korea’s recent testing actions. He believes that China is nervous about the Korean Peninsula as a whole. Both North and South Korea border China to the east, so they do not want to interfere and cause even more tension than there already exists between the two nations. Many in China view the issue with North Korea as a dispute exclusively between the regime and the U.S., according to China’s Central Party School regional expert Zhang Liangui.

Kwon believes that the only way North Korea will stop its nuclear program is if there is a peace treaty created to establish that the U.S. will not get involved in N. Korea’s affairs. Until this is done, the country will continue funneling large amounts of money into their nuclear program and there will be no resolution.

70 YEARS YOUNG: Trax the moose gets hyped about homecoming

Miguel Reyes, Staff Writer

This fall, Utica College will be celebrating its 70th birthday during homecoming weekend, from Sept. 23 until Sept. 25. The weekend will be jam-packed with a full roster of live entertainment, special exhibits and activities, reunion-themed gatherings and sporting events.

Director of Student Activities Joe Gutowski explained how this weekend will determine the enthusiasm and energy that the school will keep throughout the semester.

“This is the weekend that everyone has been waiting for,” Gutowski said. “We are expecting one of the largest crowds we have ever had.”

It will be a historic weekend as UC opens its next chapter with the Inauguration of our ninth president, Laura Casamento, on Friday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. at Charles A. Gaetano Stadium. In case that there is any rain, the ceremony will move to Harold Thomas Clark Jr. Athletic Center.

The post-inauguration reception will take place in Clark Athletic Center immediately following the ceremony. If the inauguration rain location is utilized, the reception will move to Ellen Knower Clark Lounge in Ralph F. Strebel Student Center.

Family and friends can enjoy themselves at the carnival, which will take place in Clarke Lounge and back lawn, from 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. The event is for all ages and will feature rides, body painting and balloon artists.

To conclude the night, the Department of Student Activities will be hosting their student showcase from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. at Strebel Lounge. Everyone is welcome to come enjoy watching and listening to a variety of students and organizations that will perform live dances, songs and spoken word.

Matthew Lominy, member of Lambda Sigma Upsilon Latino Fraternity Inc., will be performing at the student showcase.

“This showcase will be a great addition to this weekend of events,” Lominy said. “It’s exiting to know that so many alumni will be able to see how UC continues to breed talented students.”

Erica Antoine, member of Hermandad de Sigma Iota Alpha Inc., will also be attending the student showcase.

“This will be my most memorable showcase yet,” Antoine said. “There is an extensive list of alumni that will be joining my organization on stage as we showcase what we do best.”

On Sept. 24, the weekend of events will continue with the Edith Langley Barrett Fine Art Gallery Exhibit, from 9:30 a.m. until 11 a.m. in the library concourse. The exhibit will include 19th and early 20th century Japanese raw silk trademark labels, accessible for free.

A walking campus tour will be led by a member of the admissions staff, giving participants a view of the most recent additions to campus. The tour will depart from Strebel Lounge.

The fun activities begin with the pre-game tailgate party from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. There will be huge tents across from the Cynkus Family Welcome Center near the tailgating area serving all beef hotdogs, veggie burgers, sides and beverages, sponsored by The Matt Brewing Company.

Following the game will be the post-game happy hour festivities for all alumni, students, families and friends, also sponsored by The Matt Brewing Company. This event will include food and drinks, the Great Gatsby Casino, carnival rides and Showtime in the pub from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Directly after, UCPB will be sponsoring “Price It Right” from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This will be an interactive game show including games such as real-size Plinko and Let ‘Em Roll for a chance to spin the wheel and win the final showcase.

Once the game show is finished, UCPB will continue with a pub night, featuring Ryan Quinn, a four-octave vocalist and talented guitarist, in the Pioneer Pub from 8:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Commencing at 10 p.m. and ending at 1 a.m., there will be a dance party hosted by the 5th and 10th year reunion classes and current seniors. All alumni, students, and parents are invited as the Senior Class and Reunion Classes of 2006 and 2011 present an old school jam-style party featuring Tim Kirkland ’06 and Addy De la Cruz on the turn tables.

To conclude this historic homecoming weekend, there will be an Alumni Awards Breakfast held on Sept. 25 at 9:30 a.m. in Clark Jr. Athletic center. All are welcome to join the UC alumni council in honoring the 2016 award recipients.

Students from all classes are preparing for this eventful weekend as they know it will be one filled with wonderful activities and bonding opportunities for all age groups.

Thirty years of tradition baked in East Utica

Briana Greco, Assistant Features Editor

Being a small, private business owner in Utica seems to be the new craze for many people in the community. The merit of owning your own business is a tremendous stepping stone to life, but the hard work and long hours definitely matter most when aiming to run a successful business.

In a city like Utica, small, family owned businesses thrive because of the accepting and supportive community it holds. Many individuals feel strongly about shopping at local business rather than national corporations.

“I love shopping at locally owned restaurants and stores. I feel like it’s a more personal experience, and why not give the business to local business owners rather than chains or corporate owned stores?” said Sophomore Allie Aceto.

Mott has run his business for years based on hard work and a true passion for what he does. These characteristics relate to the success and patronage he has acquired through the years. Mott states, “Nothing has come easy. Owning your own business, you are forced to face a lot of decisions that can affect your customers and your employees. There are great rewards, but also lots of sacrifice.”

Mott’s bakery is now located at 9270 Kellogg Rd in New Hartford. Salvatore’s Bakery and Bagel shop serves breakfast and lunch, with an array of Italian specialties to choose from. They sell bagels by the dozen, fresh bread made daily, along with Italian cookies and pastries for dessert.

Sophomore, Jillian Holmer said how her and her family are regular customers at Salvatore’s Bakery.

“My mother will always pick up fresh bread from there for breakfast, and I have gone in a few times myself now because of the great quality of the products” said Holmer.

Many people in and around the community have been shopping at Salvatore’s Bakery for years and most express they continue to because of the inviting aspect of the business. Paying it back to small, locally owned business keeps the money right in your community, allowing everyone to prosper.

FALL-ing in love with reading this season

Meghan Fellows, Staff Writer

The change in season is upon us. Cooler nights, heavier blankets and all things pumpkin spice are on the horizon. With this change, there is a certain stillness that occurs when the nights get longer. More and more people embrace the calm and reach for a good book. Whether it be fiction, or a comic book series, reading under lamp light with a lit candle is much more comforting when it’s a tad colder outside.

Cassandra Raynor, a Utica College junior, believes that with fall upon us, more people are reaching for chilling reads.

“I like vampirey stuff,” Raynor said. “Vampires in love. In my English class, we’re reading The Shining by Stephen King. I think in the fall people want to read more horror because of Halloween.”

She states that fall is a little different because you’re assigned more reading for your classes, instead of being able to read leisurely. When you do get a chance to read leisurely in between class and work, it’s a great way to relax.

Raynor recommends Compulsion by Allison Brennan.

“I haven’t finished it yet, but it’s about this girl who starts falling for this guy,” Raynor said. “She has a bad feeling about him, but she goes for it anyways. I still fall back on The Fault in our Stars by John Green though. I cried when I first read it.”

Creative Non-fiction professor Suzanne Richardson says that reading in the fall is overall just a better experience.

“In the summer, you don’t want to sit still. You want to be out and about, enjoying the weather,” Richardson said. “Fall and winter are more conductive for reading. Reading is more reflective for people in general when they can focus on it more. There’s good reflection inside the self, as well as in the world when you’re indulging a good book.”

Richardson had a handful of good book recommendations for students;

Excavation by Wendy Ortiz is a book about a young woman involved in a romantic relationship with her middle school teacher.

“The author of this memoir does a great job of not being the victim,” Richardson said. “It’s an example of exchange of power in any sexual relationship.”

Four Legged Girl, a book of poetry by Diane Suess, is about coming of age in New York City.

“The girl in the book is a part of this male dominated punk rock art scene,” Richardson said. “It’s a collection of poems about trying to break through and be noticed in the male centered world as a female.”

Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll is another memoir about growing up in NYC; the upper part of Manhattan.

“It’s a very raw story. There are darker parts, contrasted with innocence,” Richardson said. “The author goes through times when he knows he is making bad choices. He is trying to understand his sexuality, and his talents while growing up.”

Richardson said that she “likes to feel uncomfortable” when she reads.

“I teach literature of addiction, I teach memoir,” Richardson said. “These are people telling deep personal stories of their lives, and usually everyone has a secret. I like rawness-especially in memoir. Things that aren’t formally polished; a little jagged.”

Emily LaSalle, a junior nursing student, is reading a Jodi Picoult novel that follows the same theme of rawness that Professor Richardson enjoys.

“Mercy is about a husbands love for his dying wife. It’s about the sacrifices he is willing to make to help her die with dignity,” LaSalle said.

Fiction can hit a personal nerve just as much as a memoir. If the writing is pure, even fictional characters can have the same resonance as if they were living and breathing just like authors of memoirs.

Whether you like deep and intense memoirs or fiction that takes your hand and leads you into a different world, the fall is a comforting time to ascend into yourself and learn through reading. Take the time to put down your Biology book, and pick up something that can give you inspiration as soon as you read the first line.

Back to school blues

Mary Warfel, Staff Writer

As students return to school from summer vacation, they may face challenges such as figuring out their new routine, time management, social interactions, and sports teams. Some students have developed certain strategies that make the introduction to the fall semester more manageable.

In the beginning of a semester, students may feel an overload of information that can make students anxious after a long break.

“Staying organized and being on top of your game will help you adjust getting back to school,” said Junior Marissa Hajec “The first week is definitely the hardest because professors are throwing a lot of information at you at once.”

Santiago balances the excitement of school and the stress of it all, while keeping her social life by doing homework with her friends.

“I balance school, homework and my social life by going out to coffee with my friends. This way I am still with my friends and being productive,” said Santiago.

For some students, it can be difficult to get to class on time after a long break. According to Hajec, getting used to a new schedule can be challenging. “The hardest thing about being back in school is adjusting to your new schedule,” Hajec said, “You have to make sure you are getting to school on time; that way you aren’t late for class.”

For new students at Utica College, it may be difficult to know what to expect out of their classes and how to develop techniques to make the transition back to school bearable.

Freshman Gia Santiago finds that being systematic has helped her immensely, “I have an agenda to write everything down and to keep me in check and I have folders for each subject so I know where everything is all at once. Also, I have sticky note reminders of what needs to get done,” said Santiago.

Along with the challenge of getting re-adjusted to school, there are many things that students look forward to as the semester begins.

Sophomore Gabbi Lukovich looks forward to coming back to school, but finds it difficult.

“I look forward to hanging out with my friends and catching up with them,” Lukovich said, “But the hardest thing about being back is leaving my family and my friends from back home.”

As overwhelming as it is to adjust back to school, students think of the benefits of starting off the semester right.

Senior Aria Luppino says it is crucial to stay organized and on a schedule. “Getting ahead of my assignments in the beginning of the semester keeps me organized,” Luppino said.

“Even though college is difficult, I do enjoy the challenge of school and then seeing good grades as a result at the end of each semester.”

Netflix vs. Hulu

Jacqui White, Staff Writer

Netflix and Hulu play important roles for college students. If the student is at school without a TV, they can use Hulu to watch the episodes they missed the previous week. With Netflix, the student can watch episodes of past seasons or movies. The main difference between Hulu and Netflix, according to, is that Netflix has more options, but Hulu lets you stream recent shows quicker.

UC student Ulysses Sepulveda, has both Hulu and Netflix. “Netflix is easier most of the time, because it has way more stuff, and there’s no commercials,” Sepulveda said

Sepulveda also likes Hulu because he can watch episodes that he missed from the previous week before the new episode comes out.

“On Netflix, I watch Narcos, which isn’t on Hulu. Netflix has a lot of cool shows that are exclusively on Netflix, so I would miss out on seeing them if I primarily watched Hulu,” Sepulveda said.

If he’s not watching Narcos on Netflix, Sepulveda likes to watch American Horror Story, The Walking Dead and The 100 on cable. “That’s what I like about Hulu. I have some night classes so I might end up missing the shows I wanted to watch. With Hulu, I just need to wait until the next day to watch them.”

UC sophomore Shantia Hunt only used Netflix. “I watch a bunch of shows that are either on their fifth season on TV, which means I can watch old seasons on Netflix, or binge watch shows that are done that I missed out on,” Hunt said.

Like Sepulveda, Hunt watches shows that are only on Netflix, like Stranger Things. “I didn’t realize that everyone had already watched the show, so I had to watch the whole season quickly so no one would spoil the season ending for me,” Hunt said. “It kind of sucks that when I miss the season on TV, I have to wait almost a full year for it to get on Netflix, but that means I can watch a lot of episodes during the week before the new season starts again on TV.”

If Hunt isn’t watching Netflix, she said that she likes to watch Ink Master and Bob’s Burgers on cable. UC Health Studies Major Carly Tebolt, has neither Hulu nor Netflix. She uses Putlocker, which is basically the free version of Hulu. The streaming website isn’t illegal since Tebolt does no downloading of the shows she watches.

As of right now, Tebolt is just watching Leverage on Putlocker. “I finished NCIS: LA and I’m all caught up on The 100 for when the new season comes out on TV,” Tebolt explained.