October 21, 2016

Social Success

By Stephanie Garcia
Staff Writer

There are several options for students to find something that sparks their interest. According the the Journal of College Student Development, “The greater the student’s involvement in college, the greater will be the amount of students learning and personal development.”

Being engaged on campus as a student leader, athlete, club member or peer ambassador gives you knowledge that gives you experience outside of the classroom that you can use after college.

being able to articulate your thoughts, knowing to interact with peers, having the courage to network, leadership skills. You learn these traits by being involved and engaged on campus.

What student involvement refers to is the amount of energy that the student devotes to the academic experience. However, there are plenty of factors that affect how the student spends their time on campus. Ahighly involved student could be one who devotes time to studying, spends time on campus, participates actively in student organizations, and interacts frequently with faculty members and other students.

Makeda Jordan, Associate Director of the Center of Student Involvement and Leadership believes that by being engaged on campus is really allowing the student to get the biggest bang for their buck.

When asked about why some students only go to school and then home, Jordan says, “sometimes they don’t have a choice. They have to work full time, they have small children at home or they have a family member they have to take care of.”

“Fiur years ago, there were less than 40 clubs and now we have over 50 clubs. We’ve been able to tally the space usage,” Jordan continues. “Student club and organizations are utilizing these spaces to have events; if they’re having more event that means that students are more involved. Club executives complain that they don’t have space to do more,” Jordan continues.

Abdul Alrobaye, a junior and forensic psychology major said in his freshman year he had no interest in the school and just went straight home after his classes. In high school, he was a class clown and very social around the school, however, when he came to John Jay he felt shy and reluctant to engage on campus.

John Jay was not his first choice of school, however, he had to stay due to his family’s wishes. Alrobaye didn’t know anything about what events, club or organizations that the college had to offer so he chose to go home after classes every day. In his second semester, he had a long break in between classes. Alrobaye decided that he should make an attempt to be involved around campus. He went to an event for the Arab Student Union. He met tons of people and started to build connections with the executives and member.

The following semester, he became secretary of the Arab Student Union. “Advantages of being engaged on campus, it’s keeping you aware of what’s going on. The key to being active on campus is to have breaks in between classes. As well as if you have nothing to do off campus, stay on campus,” said Alrobaye.

When you participate in an on-campus activity you’re getting the full educational experience,” Jordan says.

CSIL is about finding a community on campus, whether it’s a sports team, club or student organization. You find like minded people share the same passions and interest as you do.

Growing Pains

Faculty Union’s Long Road to a Contract

By Parish Maynard
Staff Writer

Photo Credit: Parish Maynard PSC Secretary Sharon Persinger Speaking at November 19th's PSC Mass Meeting at the Great Union Cooper Hall in New York.

Photo Credit: Parish Maynard
PSC Secretary Sharon Persinger speaking at November 19th’s PSC Mass Meeting at the Great Union Cooper Hall in New York.

Five years without a contract. Six years without a raise. The Professional Staff Congress of CUNY continues to provoke Chancellor Milliken and CUNY management as the negotiation for a new contract continues.

Indeed, there are over thousands of teachers, 408 full-time faculty members and 896 part-time faculty members in John Jay, but it barely covers four percent that make up for the 25,000 faculty members of CUNY represented by the PSC union. Negotiations have taken place for a better part of six years, but union members predetermined their decisions when coming to CUNY.

“We chose this frustrating, poorly resourced, under resourced, exhausting place of work,” Barbara Bowen, PSC president, said. “Yet, we all have different mindsets, and different beliefs and that’s why we are all here, that’s why we came to CUNY to make a difference.”

On Nov. 19, over 800 members of the PSC gathered for a mass meeting at the Cooper Union Great Hall in New York City. The attendees discussed the reasons for their fight, invited a student to speak on their behalf, showed videos of other unions expressing support, and talked about their next move.

With one of those moves potentially leading to a strike, members were asked to vote for or against strike authorization at the meeting.

“We will take our demand for a contract not only to Chancellor Milliken, but to Governor Andrew Cuomo,” Bowen said. “We are not voting to go on strike, this meeting is a vote in plans to authorize a strike, but it is about being prepared if we are going to move forward and do it.”

The PSC’s first vice president, Michael Fabricant, explained the structure behind negotiating for a new contract. “We fight for better adjunct faculty job security,” Fabricant said, “We want a contract where the working conditions for full time faculty are reduced.”

Fabricant also stated that students are affected by this fight. “Wages have consequences on the quality of education for our students,” Fabricant said. “We fight for wage increase which will have implications on quality higher education and a quality public education in order to better our students.”

With the government on the verge of a $15 an hour minimum wage increase, Fabricant mentioned that it fails create a critical investment to the one institution that provides the ladder of education to be able to provide more than a $15 an hour minimum wage.

In the meantime of fighting for a new contract, Sharon Persinger, treasurer for the PSC, made mention of the progress the PSC has made so far.

“Eligible adjuncts have access to health insurance, funded on an ongoing basis,” Persinger said. “Negotiations, lobbying rallies, permanent paid parental leave for full time faculty members, and bargaining sessions were things we have achieved in 18 months.”

Persinger made mention of the current contract campaign revving up since the fall semester began, starting with rallying in front of CUNY Chancellor James Milliken’s home on Oct. 1.

Then the PSC continued on Nov. 4 with a rally in front of the CUNY administration building to offer a new contract. On that night, 54 faculty members were arrested in a show of civil disobedience. Professor David Winn, an assistant professor at Hunter College, teaching for 35 years, called what the PSC is doing unique.

“There has been no serious intent on the part of the chancellor,” Winn said. “There is no political will on the part of the governor, and we are willing to take risks like this civil disobedience act or going on a strike if they don’t come to their senses.”

One of those arrested, James Davis, a tenured professor teaching English at Brooklyn College, said he is disgusted over the negotiations so far, but inspired by what took place two weeks ago outside CUNY’s administration building.

“Our union is insulted, our students are being disrespected, and our union is being harmed” Davis said. “Two questions came to mind on that night were when would it feel right to break the law, what the stakes are, and what the consequences are likely to be.” Davis stated that it is important to recognize how much power the union has and what role we play in our national conversation of public higher education.

“We’re fortunate to have a union,” Davis added. “The PSC has a long history of effective and progressive unionism.”

Jeremy Travis, president of John Jay College, said he hopes this situation will soon be put to rest. “This standoff has sapped the energy of the college,” Travis said. “We need to get this behind us.”

African-Americans Evolving in Comic Books

By Alex Guzman

Can you think of a comic book or graphic novel whose central character is black?  Have you ever read of a black superhero that is not merely a sidekick, or an irrelevant character? Last month “Heroes in Black: Race, Image, Ideology and the Evolution of Comics Scholarship” was an event held at the CUNY Graduate Center on 34th Street and 5th Avenue in Manhattan. Professor Jonathan W. Gray, an assistant professor of English at John Jay College lead this talk.

White characters, like Superman and Batman, are more prevalent in comics than black protagonists. There were differences in their upbringings and how they became superheroes, but almost all of them were white. Black superheroes, like Luke Cage, were not always painted in the best light. Even though Cage was the main character in his comic, he was born of the exploitation of black people in the film industry. He portrayed the archetype of the big buck.

“Early black characters faced moral quandaries [and were] placed under the gaze of white superheroes [and] popular culture,” Professor Gray said. Compared to the 1970’s, black characters now embody fewer stereotypes.

The African riots and the Black Panther movement heavily influenced Cage’s character when Luke Cage comics first came out. But after his disappearance for some time, he reappeared with the rise of Barack Obama as a state senator.

The new Luke Cage looked different from how he used to look in the 70’s, which gave off a less extremist image, according to Gray. His new costume helped him to better fit in as a member of society rather than being associated with a specific ethnic group. He was now integrated with the black working class, rather than the black power movement.

Gray quoted Scott Buktaman, who said that young scholars say that comics pay special attention to non-traditional superheroes. Gray also quotes Scott McCloud, who claims “universality of the cartoon image” as a “white, heteronormative, masculine subject.”

Gray spoke of neo-liberalism and the introduction of the first black comic book characters to appear on their own.

“In 1975, Marvel creates four iconic black characters,” Gray said. He speaks of the Black Panther, Storm, The Falcon and the aforementioned Luke Cage.

Gray remembered how, in one comic, The Falcon is fighting an enemy while Captain America watches. He claimed that this “endorses militant black masculinity, [which] mirrors and mimics that of the reader.”

Gray mentioned that many considered The Falcon who was the true hero of that comic. He explained how “this displacement of course is incomplete [because] The Falcon has never had his own comic book.”

Gray looked at his audience to read their reaction, and continued, “I began to see Superman as a punk, that Superman didn’t relate to replenishing the earth, like Huey Newton and other people did,” Gray said. “In essence, Superman is a phony and a fake. He never saved any black people in this country in any comic book stories.”

The last of Gray’s PowerPoint slides was of Luke Cage. In this interpretation, Cage was a more humanized multicultural member of society, and not so much a member of one ethnic group specifically, as he walked with his white wife, pushing his multiracial infant son in his stroller.

Professor Gray is teaching The African-American Experience: Comparative Racial Perspectives in the Spring 2014 semester.

NewsFeed: Trying To Find Houses For The Formely Incarcerated

Police handcuffs

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Even out of prison people with a criminal background still cannot seem to get a break. For the formerly incarcerated finding a home can be difficult especially when landlords can choose to bar such individuals. A toolkit or guide was developed by Fortune Society and John Jay College Criminal Justice to help people with a criminal past to find education and housing.  National Reentry Resource Center presents a webinar that reviews the toolkit as well as other findings to aid people with criminal histories.

Sources- National Reentry Resource Center

NewsFeed: The Crime Report Developed A Top Ten List for Criminal Justices Stories of 2011

crime reporting

Image by BryanAlexander via Flickr

The Crime Report, published by the Center on Media, Crime and Justice at John Jay College of Criminal Justice,with the help of contributors and bloggers complied a list of top ten Criminal Justice stories of 2011. The stories were according to The Crime Report to be significant and interesting in terms of Criminal Justice. Topics on the list include changes in corrections, re-evaluating the reliability of eyewitnesses identification, and redefining what rape is.

Source- The Crime Report

NewsFeed: Murder Is Down, But Why?

English: A federal agent making an arrest duri...

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This year alone New York City has experienced its third lowest homicide rates of 502. The lowest being in 2009 of 471 and the second being in 2007 of 499. The decline in homicide is also more significant or sharper in the city than anywhere else in the nation. Mayor Bloomberg attributes the decrease to the work of police and fire departments but experts are not too sure about that. Experts such as Andrew Karmen, sociology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, attributes the decline to the current lifestyle of young adults. Karmen believes because young adults from ages 18 to 24 are attending colleges,  they are less likely be murdered then young adults that do not attend college.

QuickLinks: Law School

Best Schools for Public Service

the National Jurist

Murder Mystery

The Long Island serial killings of women prostitutes have become a mystery even being called “the Gilgo Beach Murder mystery.” Many experts believe that there are multiple killers due to the number of victims, the different methods used in disposing the body, and the number of years that separate the murders. Louis B. Schlesinger, Professor of Forensic Psychology at John Jay College of Criminal Justice believes there is only one serial killer. Despite the number of victims and the gap in years between the first murder and the last, 15 years, he still believes there is one murderer. In response to the reason why the victims were dismembered in the past but are no longer, Schlesinger  explains that

English: Knife Fox Italiano: Coltello Fox

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the killer must have just realized that it was too much work and decided to switch up his methods.

NewsFeed: Tuition Hikes Approved

English: City University of New York system logo.

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The CUNY Board of Trustees approved tuition increase by a vote of 15 to 1. The vote will increase CUNY four-year colleges to $6,330 in the year 2015-16. This means that the tuition will increase annually by $300 until 2015. The student protests which erupted earlier this month was organized to prevent such a thing from happening. Protesters argued that a majority of CUNY students were low-income minorities that would be devastated by the tuition hikes. University Official countered that argument by saying, that because of state and federal aid 44 percent of CUNY undergraduates pay no tuition. The Board also approved $5 million in aid for low-income students.



Source: NY Times


QuickLinks: John Jay offers Human Rights Minor for Fall 2012


United Nations Human Rights Council logo.

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The Human Rights Studies minor
John Jay College of Criminal Justice