Month: September 2016


Jordan Hughes, Staff Writer

Football is something nearly everyone is a fan of. Here at Utica College, it’s basically a religion. Fans eat, sleep and breath football. This weekend, the Pioneers played their homecoming game against #24 ranked Cortland State. The team was off to an awesome start coming into Saturday’s game 3-0, one of the best starts in program history.

The team was off to a great start in this one as they were up 12-7 at the end of first half. With the help of senior running back, Ryan Burnett, and Juwan Wilson, the Pioneers were able to win 24-13 and improve to 4-0 with a big homecoming game win.

This was the true test for the Pioneers considering this was their first game against a nationally ranked opponent this season. The team was very optimistic going into Saturday. There’s something special about this team and it’s the buzz around town.

Senior wide receiver Jarred Beniquez, aided in the pioneers win with a team-high six catches for a solid 70 yards. Beniquez is within striking distance of the colleges all-time all-purpose leader, a top honor to achieve.

It’s not all about stats for these players; it’s about wins and losses as a team. A trait of non-selfishness is easy to see throughout the team.

“It’s more of a ‘we’ over ‘me’ approach from the top of the roster to the bottom,” Beniquez said.

Going into such a big game, it is easy to get distracted and uncontrolled with the atmosphere of a big game, not to mention homecoming. The team did a great job of playing together and staying composed, a big part of what head coach, Blaise Faggiano, stresses no matter the game.

The Pioneers are a team to not be taken lightly. Full of energy, they have some high potential to be a top contender for the Empire 8 title. After their win against Cortland, the team has surely put their name on the map.

“It shows people we’re not a program to underestimate,” sophomore running back, Louis Mongilia, said.

Mongilia is a newcomer to the Pioneer football team. He also plays on the baseball team as a shortstop. Football has always been a passion of his so joining the team this year was an easy decision for him to make.

Senior captain, Juwan Wilson, made his way into the Pioneers record books with his 10 tackles in Saturday’s game. If you haven’t seen Wilson play, it should be on your to-do list. Last year, he finished the season with 115 tackles. Currently at 32 tackles (third all-time), Wilson is on track to become the all-time leader in tackles by the end of the season.

“I just wanted to get a win for the program that has done so much for me in my life,” Wilson said.

Wilson says he owes he strength and determination to his late mother who passed away this year. Aiming to abided by his promise to be the man she raised him to be is what motivates Wilson on and off the field.

The overall feel of the team this year is something special, the players can feel it and so can the fans. The players have truly developed a strong bond along with a sense of playing for each other not themselves. With a 4-0 record, it seems pretty clear they will go far, but the season is still young, and we wish them the best

The Pioneers made national TV with one of the oddest interceptions anyone has ever seen. After bouncing off a few players, the ball was intercepted by sophomore linebacker, Dehstin Smart. The play made ESPN’s week four must see plays. This being the second time UC has been feature on ESPN in the past two seasons.

This game was a big win for the team. By defeating the #24 Red Dragons the Pioneers have inched their way to a potential national ranking. The team and program are very optimistic about this, but they are more focused on their next game against Ithaca College on Saturday.

The Pioneers play away this Saturday against a 1-3 Bombers team. The following weekend the team returns home to take on SUNY Brockport. The season is still young, but the community and the team have very high hopes for a successful season.


James McClendon, Editor-in-Chief

Thursday, Sept. 22, marked the first day of fall and for Utica College the next 48 hours would bring the beginning of another new season.

The bleachers were filled with students, but they were not there to see a football game. They were there for the Inauguration of UC’s first female president, Laura Casamento.

The ceremony began with Senior Associate Provost and Dean of Graduate Studies Robert Halliday announcing the members of the marching procession line as it entered Charles A. Gaetano stadium.

The procession was led by Professor of Management Thomas Rossi who served as the official Mace Bearer.

At the tail end of the procession line was Casamento. She entered the stadium to the sound of cheers and applause. Casamento waved to the crowd with both hands and gave the thumbs-up sign.

Members of the procession line slowly made their way to their seats and remained standing as Casamento walked down the aisle toward the stage. The National Anthem was then sung by student Taneill Davis.

Chair of the Board of Trustees Mark Pilipczuk was responsible for officially declaring the instillation of Casamento as the president of UC.

“I firmly believe that as an institution we are equal to the challenges of a new age,” Pilipczuk said. “We are extremely fortunate to have able leadership to guide our way forward.”

As Casamento walked to the podium, she pointed and waved to the crowd of cheering students.

Casamento was then presented with the three official symbols of her authority as president of Utica College.

She was given the UC Institutional Charter, which officially established the school as an independent college and gives it the power to grant academic degrees.

Next, Casamento received the Presidential Seal. Chairman of the Presidential Search Committee Mark Salsbury was bestowed the honor of presenting the medallion. Pilipczuk then placed the medallion around Casamento’s neck.

Rossi then presented Casamento with the Mace of UC. The mace was a gift from the class of 1989, and according to the UC Inauguration webpage, it represents the unique mission of UC, which is to provide a college education that is accessible to all, liberal and humanizing, practical and purposeful.

Casamento began her speech by thanking the Inauguration Committee and the faculty and the staff at UC for all of their hard work, not only with the ceremony but on a daily basis.

Casamento also gave a special thanks to the students.

“To our students who have entrusted their education to this college, thank you for inspiring us every day and shinning so brightly,” Casamento said.

Casamento has pushed for higher graduation and retention rates and her speech highlighted the importance of this.

“When a student does not persist to a timely graduation, chances are we will have failed,” Casamento said, “he or she will have made an investment that did not pay off, and we will have made a promise that we did not keep.”

Casamento’s speech was moving for senior Elliot Coleman. Coleman’s role in the Inauguration was as a student representative. It was his job to be the voice of his fellow students and to provide a bridge between the students and the committee.

“The most impactful moment I can remember was when President Casamento said, ‘The world needs more Utica College graduates,’” Coleman said. “That truly meant a lot to not only me, but I am sure a lot of other students as well.”

At the end of her speech, Casamento was given another standing ovation. As the crowd applauded, she made her way down the aisle and led the procession back out of the stadium.

Just as she was about to exit, she gave a final wave and thumbs up to the students in the bleachers.

Social Media in 2016

Justin Cortes, Staff Writer

Ever since the dawn of the first computer, man has always wanted to better their ability to interact with one another. Throughout the generations, many websites and apps have come to bring people together. The first ever website that came out for social media was where people could submit a profile photo and make from others who have signed up on the website as well. But now time, people and technology are changing.

With the development of mobile devices, came apps, which would serve many different functions. For instance, Instagram, which is an app generated where you can share moments in either photo or video form, have people follow you and like or comment on what you post.

The most common apps to date are Snapchat, Facebook, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, Vine, Fuse and Whatsapp. These are currently the most used apps across the globe. Snapchat allows you to send small five to ten second videos or photos that delete themselves after being viewed. The app also lets you know if and when someone has screenshot your images.

Another set of apps used today would be the combination of the Facebook app and the Facebook Messenger app that allows you to link with any of your friends who have Facebook as well.

When asked, a majority of the student body made it quite clear that their favorite app to use is Instagram, which is an app used by a majority of people within the age brackets of 18 to 35 years of age.

Junior, Anthony DeSimone, stated, “Instagram is my favorite app because it’s both good and bad for today’s generations. The reason being that it connects people to each other by each of them sharing the moments where others could not be at whether it be local or oceans away, but it also generates a disconnect. People who think they have nothing, look at moments of other people who they think are living better than they are which is followed by the rolling emotions of depression. Weirdly enough, the paradox about Instagram is that the rolling depression can develop into motivation, a spark of genius, a start to peace, love and even a family.”


Robbie Slivinski, Staff Writer

The Board of Trustees have selected Laura Casamento as the next president of Utica College. On Sept. 23, she was inaugurated as the college’s ninth and first female president.

During her inauguration, classes were cancelled in order for students to attend. While the plan sounded fine in theory, the time that would have been spent in class wasn’t always utilized as intended.

“I feel relieved because I spent 12 hours at school yesterday on my only day off from work and night classes,” senior Jaimee Tran said. “I will not be attending the inauguration, but now have room to nap before a 10 hour shift.”

A school day can consist of a lot and with the inauguration being held on a Friday, students did not seem at all interested in the event.

Weekends tend to be days to relax from a long week of school or the beginning to a three day, part- time job outside of school. Students who may have wanted to attend simply could not.

“I was aware of the inauguration because no matter where you were, it was all over school and the professors were talking about it in class. Also, if you are a commuter, you still knew because of the emails you got about it kept you in the loop,” senior Ryan Lupia said. “Classes being cancelled, I felt shouldn’t happen, even though a lot of students liked it and none of mine were cancelled. I still pay money to go to school to learn, so I think they could have had it on the weekend or planned around it better. Still, I am very excited about the new president and hope she enjoys every second of it.”

Some suggested having Casemento’s inauguration on the weekend would have been a better alternative.

“I don’t think it would hurt to have had the inauguration on the weekend or some other time instead of cancelling classes,” Administrative Assistant Dawn Santiago said. “I had to cover for someone in the office, so I could not attend myself.”

There was controversy about whether or not classes should have been cancelled. For some it was a great break from school, but for others it was taking away from their tuition and education. At the end, every class counts.

Homecoming Homogeneity

Mary Warfel, Staff Writer

Homecoming 2016 was held Sept. 23 through Sept. 25, celebrating Utica Colleges 70th birthday. This was a great way for students to get involved on campus with the multitude of events such as sporting events, reunions, activities and live entertainment.

Homecoming was much earlier this year than most, but actually it wasn’t intentionally meant to be this way.

According to the Director of Student Activities Joe Gutowski, homecoming is scheduled based on when a home football game is, on a weekend with good weather and one that is not too early, so families can still join in on the homecoming fun.

“Students get excited for homecoming because it is a great way to unify the college,” Junior Heather Knight said. “I love going to the homecoming football game on Saturday; it makes me feel more involved in my school.”

Homecoming is about the memories that will be made by attending these events; they create a life-long impact.

“I would say my favorite college homecoming memory would have to be the homecoming I attended my sophomore year, when Jerred Beniquez scored the winning touchdown in overtime,” Junior Shyane Jones said.

There were plenty of things for students to partake in, including a carnival, talent show, football game, post-game happy hour, live bands and food.

“My favorite thing about homecoming would be the fact that I get to be around all my friends. I always look forward to the activities that will take place, and the laughs and memories that will be made,” Jones said. “Being involved in homecoming activities has made students feel more connected with their college; it gives students a sense of school pride.”

Sophomore Rylee Meelan said, “I feel more a part of school when I’m involved in homecoming activities, because it’s one weekend where everyone is so happy and can get along, it’s all about having school spirit for one school.”

Students have fond memories from high school homecomings as well as college.

“I went to Greenport High school, located on Long Island. I was a cheerleader so I cheered during the game,” Jones said.

“But before the game, a parade would be held. We would walk through our town all the way to the high school and all of the clubs and sports teams and homecoming prince and princess would be a part of it. It would be this big thing and people would be on the streets cheering us on and following us to the school. I loved being a part of the parade it was a great way to get excited for the game.”

According to Meelan, homecoming creates great memories and a sense of pride.

“My favorite memory about homecoming was from my freshman year at UC when I got to experience my first actual big football game. It was really cool to see so many people in the stands and around the field supporting our schools team,” Meelan said.

Gutowski enjoys homecoming because it provides him with the insight on how the students act in this setting and how they all; alumni, students and faculty join together.

“As a student, homecoming was about building school pride and reconnecting with people, I have been a part of four homecomings here at UC and it’s great to see the students and alumni that come out for homecoming weekend. It gives me a chance to experience UC through their eyes,” Gutowski said.

Faculty Profile: Brett Orzechowski

Olivia Osipovitch, Staff Writer

By cultivating Utica College’s idea of journalism Assistant Professor of Journalism, Brett Orzechowski, has influenced a new way of the study to his students.

Before entering UC, Orzechowski had lived in a variety of places. Originally from Long Island, Orzechowski has also lived in North Carolina, then spent the last 10 years in Connecticut. With the decision of raising a family, Orzechowski and his wife decided to move back to New York State.

“After being in the industry for a dozen plus years, it was time to take a deep breath and come back to New York State,” Orzechowski said.

Even though Connecticut treated him well, finding the position at UC, and being able to live in New York State made Orzechowski very happy.

A couple things really sparked Orzechowski love for journalism. Starting off as a sociology major at Nazareth College, and having only two classes before receiving his sociology degree, he was told this was not the right program for him. This led him to transfer to St. John Fisher.

“A lot of what I was writing in terms of research, and the projects I was launching were more narrative than anything,” Orzechowski explained. “That’s really why I transferred to Fisher.”

Growing up with a family of readers and writers, he felt he was destined to become one as well. He started reading everything he could in terms of long form journalism, especially what was known as the “new journalism.”

“Tom Wolf and Hunter Thompson; folks that really took journalism to the next level in the 60’s and 70’s, was really the reasoning for why I wanted to get into it,” Orzechowski said.

Starting off in traditional print, Orzechowski starting going into the direction of multimedia and data because that’s where the industry was going.

Orzechowski states, “A lot of everything has social underpins, which I think is important to tell.” Which carries over into his classes such as JLM 362, Watchdog Reporting, etc.

Starting with working in industry, he then switched academia. Teaching at Quinnipiac University from 2010- 2013, he taught students a particular emphasis on reporting stories using nonlinear, interactive digital media and public affairs reporting with a focus on data and analytics. Leaving Quinnipiac he went back to the industry then started back up with academia again at UC.

Orzechowski felt that his first year at UC was great. “I like it here, it’s fun,” Orzechowski said.

He is very fond of the fact that UC is a smaller liberal arts campus, and enjoys the demographic makeup of UC. He believes it’s a good mix of students from upstate, downstate, gender, and race, which makes up for a better teaching environment as well.

“I try to raise the bar in a lot of my classes, because I want my students to get the industry feel,” said Orzechowski.

Students really enjoy his no textbook requirement.

“He has a very different teaching style than what I’m used to,” Junior Malik Gayle said. “Also, no textbooks are always a plus.”

“I believe that he is an outstanding professor who will go above and beyond to ensure that his students understand every second and aspect of his lessons,” said Junior Daeshun Buseck.

He is very passionate with the fact that a lot of the students have something to prove. It enhanced his belief that “if you want to teach the next generation, it starts with the student.”

Falling for the weather change

Ben Mehic, Managing News Editor

Fall, or “cuffing season” as others call it, is the time to cuddle underneath a warm blanket in front of an electric fireplace with someone who you may or may not have met on Tinder, while freeing your bowels of all the pumpkin spice lattes you consumed earlier in the evening.

For Utica College students, fall is the time to embrace the change of season and the foliage that comes with it.

UC Senior Alison Brown is looking forward to wearing her boyfriend’s Ralph Lauren sweater, taking her dog Dooley out for walks and baking her apple cider cake.

“I like taking walks with my dog in the fall because he’s a Boston terrier and he’s got a mushed-in face. He can’t breathe in the summer,” Brown said.

Brown, who lives in her own apartment, has also developed a way to keep the electricity bill low now that the cool weather is approaching.

“I put heavy drapes on my windows to save energy,” Brown said.

Senior Sam Bentley considers fall to be her favorite season.

“I like crisp air and flannels,” Bentley said. “I enjoy watching the leaves change.”

As a noted Halloween enthusiast, Bentley has already begun thinking about the upcoming holiday.

“Halloween is a season. The temperature starts to drop and I get really Halloweenie,” Bentley said.

For other UC students, like Senior Joe Hunter, the fall serves as a reminder of a much simpler time.

“I really appreciate fall. It’s a nice break from summer and the overbearing heat, but it’s not freezing yet,” Hunter said. “I enjoys raking leaves. It’s a fun time. You make massive piles then you can channel your inner child and jump in.”

When he’s not diving into piles of leaves in the fall, Hunter spends time smelling his favorite candle, Mahogany teakwood, which was described to have the smell of an “earthy man” by Hunter.

“Summer is not really a time for candles. You’ve got your windows open to smell the outdoors,” Hunter said. “Fall is the time that you start lighting candles.”

The autumnal equinox is officially upon us. Wrinkled pumpkins that share a resemblance with the Republican Presidential candidate and people who are way too old to be trick-or-treating will enter our lives. UC students, though, are ready for the change.


Tobias Neto, Staff Writer

This past weekend, Utica College’s womens soccer team took on Elmira College and came out with a victory on the road. The team exploded in the second half with three goals to end up winning the game 4-1.

Since it was an Empire 8 Conference game, this means they are 1-1 in conference play. UC won its first contest of the season and saw its record change to 1-7 overall. Elmira’s record dropped to 0-6-1 and 0-1 in Conference play.

UC forward Xiomara Rodriguez reminisced about a game this year at SUNY Poly. A battle throughout the entire game that showed the strength between both teams to see who will pull out the win. This game endured full out determination and the scoreboard could not explain the effort put out by the players.

UC hasn’t lost to SUNY Poly in five years and trying to keep that streak alive is a task that sounds difficult because the other team is not trying to keep that tradition of losing.

“Coach told us to keep our heads up, ‘you girls played hard and put everything on the line to pull out a win. Unfortunately, you girls fell short,’” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez was hurt after the game because the effort she put in, along with the rest of her teammates, felt like enough to come out with the victory.

Another game that brings an interesting story is the game at SUNY Potsdam. The team felt they came in with the wrong mentality. In the first half, they let up goals and were not playing hard on defense. They looked like they needed something to rejuvenate their energy in the second half and play better.

In the second half, UC shocked the other team with the tremendous fight to get the team back into the game. This was looking like the greatest comeback the soccer team has ever had until a late goal by Potsdam ended the game. The womens soccer team would end up losing 5-2.

“If we would’ve played the entire 90 minutes like we played in the second half, we would have come out with the win,” Rodriguez said.


Maggie Reid, Staff Writer

YSLPP is a collaborative project between UC and the Utica City School District and was established in 1993. Each year, more than 350 students are served through this program from grades 7 to 12. Students are nominated by UCSD teachers in the sixth grade. The students chosen are those who have shown potential for success but who may not fully achieve it due to social and economic risk factors. It is a year-round program with access to tutors, college visits, career path visits and community service. Since the beginning, 55,000 hours of community service has been completed.

“I was proud of him. He put spotlight on the programand the city itself. That shows a true leader and I couldn’t think of someone more deserving than Ben,” Executive Director of YSLPP Pamela Matt said. “He has a true passion for the individual student. He would drop what he was doing to help a child he was interacting with. They trust and respect him and don’t want to let him down. It’s a rarity to find an individual like that. He lifts them up.”

With this award, the YSLPP was able to bring in Anna Maria Cirrincione, also a UC grad, for staff training on diversity. Cirrincione is currently the interim director of multiculturalism and diversity at SUNY Cortland.

With this training, the staff was able to become more knowledgeable on how to support more diverse backgrounds, how to respond to their needs and how to work with those individuals. Packages of NY state approved professional development programs were also purchased.

According to Atwood, the way to make an area grow is by investing in its education. Young Scholars helps to make accessible a future that was once perhaps beyond their imagining.

“There is such great work going on in Utica. Some of the best educators are from here,” Atwood said. “This is such a great recognition on behalf of all those educators.”

UC to Host Annual Banned Book Read-In

Public Invited to Read Passages From Hundreds of Banned Books, Defend First Amendment Right

UTICA, N.Y. (Sept. 26, 2016) Utica College will host its annual Banned Book Read-In on Wednesday, Sept. 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Ellen Knower Clarke Lounge located in the Strebel Student Center. During this time, the public is invited to join UC students, faculty and staff as they read passages from hundreds of banned, censored and challenged books.

The purpose of this event is to defend the first amendment and stand up for everyone’s right to read. The Banned Book Read-In is held in commemoration of National Banned Book Week (Sept. 25- Oct. 1).

 This national campaign celebrates the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Board of Education Island Trees v. Pico, which prohibits a school board from removing books from a high school library for political reasons.

Some popular books that have been challenged or banned include The Great Gatsby, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Catcher in the Rye and The Lord of the Flies.

For more information on UC’s annual Banned Book Read-In, contact Janis Winn, librarian, at (315) 792-3351.