October 22, 2016

Skyrocketing Textbook Prices

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Image courtesy of Andrew Perez


by Andrew Perez

As student tuition continues to rise and haunt the economic lives of students, so does another unknown threat: textbooks. The prices of textbooks have skyrocketed and driven up the costs of higher education.

Here in John Jay, not all of the class textbooks professors require are available at the John Jay Library. Jared Mitchell, a senior at John Jay, spent $250 on textbooks. “I don’t use my textbooks often,” he said. “And I think teachers should choose the books with a student’s income in mind.” Jared smiled sarcastically and gave a deep breath. “If we’re paying a ton for tuition, the professors should be mindful of that. There should also be at least one reserve copy of each book requested by a professor available in the Sealy Library.”

According to the College Board, a student’s budget for textbooks and supplies are about $1,200 per year. In four years those costs can range anywhere around $4,800-$5,000. Textbooks are the unsung villain of a student’s economic life.

Janine Comodo, a junior at John Jay, said, “We need the PDF of textbooks to be leaked.” The prices of textbooks and the lack of use also haunts Janine. “I think that the prices of textbooks are unfair to students because we don’t utilize them the way we should.” Janine works full time and takes several of her classes online. “As college students, we have many responsibilities and bills to pay. The textbooks are very expensive, and it is putting us in debt.”

Students across John Jay widely agree that the prices of textbooks are absurd, and that professors do not use them enough to justify their prices.

Isaely Escarcega, a sophomore, bought ten textbooks, which cost $250 in total. “The problem is that we buy these textbooks and we don’t even use them. We pay too much to not use them enough.”

Although most professors require students to buy the latest version of a textbook there are a few professors who do not mind the older versions. Professor Dainius Remeza believes that if the skills and knowledge of the required subject has not changed much, then there is no need to buy the current version. “Some subjects require the latest, most up-to-date version, when new discoveries and technologies might significantly improve on existing knowledge or make earlier methods obsolete. You wouldn’t want your surgeon operating based on knowledge acquired from an early 1900s textbook.” Professor Remeza teaches a legal writing and legal method class in John Jay. “But in a class like Legal Writing, the skills we try to learn haven’t much changed since from the time I went to law school. So the text we use is the text I used at law school and the variations between the different editions aren’t significant.”  Professor Remeza also believes that the prices of textbooks are too much for students and that there is not enough consideration for them. Is the amount in controversy $500,000 or a million? The number grows as each edition is adjusted for inflation, but what we’re trying to learn–legal analysis and method, such as issue identification and distinguishing facts–these concepts remain the same. So I don’t ask students to pay $100 when they can get a practically identical textbook for $20.”

The deadline for tuition payment is a well-known choke hold to students. But so is the first day in class when students have been given their syllabus, and have to buy these textbooks. Textbook prices every year or so adds to the debt students go through for a continued academic education.

How To: Finding Internships


by Vaida Kanhai

At a school like John Jay College of Criminal Justice, students need to work hard to find out about what internships are available.

The hands-on experience an internship provides students can help guide them towards careers they will choose later on in life. A lot of the students at John Jay, however, do not know of the internship opportunities provided by the school. The lack of exposure for internships geared towards certain majors is an existing issue within the campus.

Students who are unaware of the internship programs, or the internship office, will certainly not get involved in career-based internships. For students who go straight to classes and then straight back home, the matter of what internships exist rely solely on first-hand communication between the college and the student. Although some students may attend informational sessions John Jay hosts, other students are especially indifferent.

Deeranie Ramgobin, a third year Forensic Psychology major said, “I see mostly psych internships, but it’s because I’m doing one at the moment at the 9/11 museum, so I purposely ignore the others for now, but I will be doing more psych internships in the future.” For some students, they are more aware of what internships are provided and jump at the chance of anything related to their area of study. However, not all students fit within the Forensic Psychology demographic, so the internships Ramgobin is aware of would not be relevant to these other students.

While some students have little difficulty finding internships for their major, others really have to work hard.

“If you don’t look for them, you’re not going to find opportunities,” said Oscar Polanco, a third year English major. “You have to put in your own research, otherwise you won’t find them.”

If students are having difficulty finding internships within the school, perhaps the issue isn’t the lack of opportunities, but the lack of communication. In order to apply for internships, students must be educated on what internships are available.

“Nobody talks about it or anything,” said Analisa Gouveia, a third year Forensic Psychology Major. “You get information from either the emails, the job fairs, or the professors; that’s it.”

That’s it.

Although the students are on the receiving side of information for some opportunities, the information does not get across to all students. Some students fail to check their John Jay email addresses, where these emails are being sent out to, and others do not take interest or any part in job fairs that occur on campus grounds.

“People have approached me and told me about job fairs happening and I’ve seen flyers about internships; however, most don’t specifically target an English major, but it doesn’t affect me as much because I’m pursuing law in the long run,” said Alana Ally, a third year English major.

The majority of internship opportunities are expected to be geared towards Criminology and Law Studies’ majors at John Jay, though those are not the only programs available in the school, and students feel strongly that those are not the only internships that should be advertised. The programs at John Jay range from both Criminology and Law Studies to Economics and English.

The amount of internship programs that are on display should be the same for all majors.

“Mostly what they have are things for law offices or the government,” said Chiara Vasquez, a third year English major. The excess amount of criminology and law centered opportunities are helpful when dealing with the appropriate demographic; however, when students who are solely liberal arts based find no opportunities for these internships, then it becomes a pressing issue.

Working hard comes into play when the school doesn’t outright provide the students with internships. When tying to find something more focused on an opportunity for, as an example, an English major, Vasquez believes nothing will appear unless you go to the head of the department themselves.

Vasquez said, “Unless you speak directly to like the Head of the[English] Department, John Staines, it’s kinda difficult to get an internship through the school in publishing or something, like that; I would have to find it by myself independently.”

Finding an internship independently, however, is not always a bad thing. While the college strives to assist its students, staff and alumni, the college also encourages the act of free will. Finding opportunities for internships is similar to finding jobs. While the process may be confusing, the experience obtaining the internship can be beneficial in the future.

“It’s a learning process in itself,” said Will Simpkins, Director of the Center for Career & Professional Development. It is actually encouraged that students branch out and apply for work, for it better prepares them for their future.

Although John Jay does not have specific internships students are looking for, that does not mean the school is lacking in internships. Per year, there are over 800-1,200 individual openings that are posted to the John Jay Career website. Through this website, students are able to specifically search for what opportunities they want to delve into. The opportunities listed online range from positions in law offices, to working with nonprofit organizations.

If students are unsure as to where to go for internship advice, the college has an office in the New Building managed by The Center for Career & Professional Development. The office is located at L. 72 in the New Building. In the office, not only is it full with informational pamphlets and a polite staff, but recently, drop-in appointments have been made acceptable at any time. Peer counselors are available for quick fifteen-minute drop-in sessions in which they assist students in several areas. The sessions can cover how to write résumés and covers letters and also provide some basic interview skills.

For more information, stop by L. 72, The Center for Career & Professional Development in the New Building.

SAAC Ensures Student Athletes Have a Voice

Photo courtesy of Yesenia Colindres

Photo courtesy of Yesenia Colindres

by Yesenia Colindres 

Everyone’s voice deserves to be heard, which is why the Student Athlete-Advisory Committee at John Jay is committed to helping student athletes’ voices be heard by staff and executives. The Student Athlete-Advisory Committee (SAAC) sends one or two representatives from each team. Then the representatives meet with the committee and discuss any problems or concerns with each team or within the Athletics Department.

The Student Athletic-Advisory Committee promotes an exceptional student athlete experience. They try to help make student athletes feel like they can talk to Athletic Directors and other staff as well. The Committee also tries to build a strong relationship with one another and create a positive community.

The club aspect of SAAC was put into effect about a year ago and is now located in L2 in the New Building, in the area known as “Club Row.” The goal of the club is to try to bridge the gap between student athletes and non-student athletes. There’s a general belief that teams, especially in a school setting, tend to be inclusive and are even considered to be “cliquey.” SAAC is trying to change that image and help both groups to branch out and make new friendships and network with other people besides their teammates or their regular friends.

While building the bridge between the two groups could be a difficult task, SAAC President Jessica Jean (known to most as Jean) has many ideas and events to help bring student athletes and non-student athletes together. One idea is “fan vans,” which would help students that are looking to support and watch away games have a way to get to the game and back to the school. Fan vans would be especially helpful for sports like soccer and baseball, because their home games are never on campus but all the way at the fields on Randall’s Island. Another event is the annual potluck where students bring dishes representing either their background, culture, or simply just their favorite foods. SAAC sponsors coat drives and can drives, which are also great ways to meet new people. “You’re building those connections that last a lifetime because I’ve seen it happen from my freshman year to now,” Jean said. “It could be a little conversation or just giving your email and it can escalate into something bigger than that.”

Jean has seen a number of positive changes in SAAC throughout her four years as a student athlete and SAAC member. These changes include more students coming to meetings, involvement from coaches, and getting the club to be more open. The word is being spread by Jean that, “Even if your coach didn’t tell you to come, even if you’re not a freshman or a captain, it’s open to everyone,” you can also bring friends who aren’t student athletes because, “everyone is welcome here.” 

Student athletes have a positive reaction to SAAC’s efforts. Jennifer Pace, a senior and one of the captains of the softball team agreed it’s a great way to network and make new friends. She went on to say, “In the end you’re supporting the Athletic Department and giving back, and I feel that’s really important especially as D3 players.” Jennifer went to SAAC’s first meeting two weeks ago and described it as a general meeting. Items discussed include the potluck, can donations, getting support for sports from other athletes and how to get non-student athletes involved.

Sophomore Devika Prashad is a new member who joined because it seemed like a great way to represent athlete’s and have them all become “one big team.” She added that “It’s a great way to get involved with the community and services provided at John Jay.”

SAAC’s second meeting on October 5th was even more successful than the first one. According to Corey Berg, Assistant Athletics Director for Academic Success, Compliance, and Eligibility, attendance at the second meeting was doubled from the first meeting. Corey, along with her coworkers Gabby and Tony, as well as the Executive Board really want to help change the perception of SAAC. She also said that not only does the club strengthen the relationship between student athletes but it “strengthens our bond with the College and also gets others at John Jay more interested in what we’re doing on/in the court, field, range, and pool.” The club has their meetings and events planned out for this semester and hopes to collaborate with other groups on campus, making for an exciting and successful year for SAAC.

The next few meetings are scheduled for October 19th, November 2 and November 19th in Haaren Hall in room 431 during community hour.

Creative, Professional Expression Through E-Portfolio

Image courtesy of Stephanie Calderon

Image courtesy of Stephanie Calderon

By Stephanie Calderon

Everyday, someone is applying for an internship, job or opportunity but, in order to do so, they need to stand out from the crowd; John Jay has begun to introduce a perfect way to stand out to employers–E-portfolio.

E-portfolio can be considered a crossover between Linkedin and Tumblr, giving students the opportunity to be creative with expressing how they have spent their 4 years in college to be qualified for any job they apply for. It can also be used to put together a portfolio for graduate school. “This is a way for students to showcase their achievements, both inside and outside the classroom,” says Daniel Auld, Director of Learning Technologies & Support.

“The point of e-portfolio,” says Auld, “is for students to have a professional website where they can make it according to their personality, and don’t have to be afraid of it coming off as unprofessional, such as tumblr or instagram.”

The program was first offered to only students that had a first year or transfer seminar with a professor that wanted to use e-portfolio. The professors used this to replace Blackboard as a way for students to upload assignments, peer review, and so much more. However, after a fund was given to the program from New York State, it was expanded to all the students within John Jay.

There are many benefits of a student having an e-portfolio. Auld says, “This is the one place to put everything. It allows the student to be able to present themselves to their potential employer or application reviewer for an opportunity in a way that is much more personal than a resume and cover letter.”

An example of this is Magdalena Oropeza, a student here at John Jay whose dream it is to go to Law school. One of the steps to completing this dream is applying to the Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program, a competitive law school prep program in which you have to compete between numerous other students for the program. When Oropeza applied for the program, she attached her e-portfolio link, just in case the reviewer wanted to know more about her before the final decision. When Oropeza was called for an interview, the interviewer said “she loved her e-portfolio, and spent 30 minutes on it versus her usual 3 minutes per application.” 

Brenda Almaraz, an e-tern with Student Academic Success Programs, has also used e-portfolio in a way that has helped her throughout her Academic Journey. E-portfolio was introduced to her during her first day of classes her freshman year with LLS Professor Jodie Rory and her English Professor Carmen Kynard. She learned about how e-portfolio could help her. In her English class, she was one of 9 “WebMasters”, which ultimately helped her to learn more about e-portfolio, which led to her falling in love with the work. Once she heard that a position was available to work with students, teaching them about e-portfolio, being a role model with her own portfolio, she knew that it was just something that she had to do. 

“Being an e-tern and having an E-portfolio has helped me with approaching faculty since I’m really shy and embarrassed when talking to more important faculty members,” said Almaraz. “It allows me to create a community with my peers and relate to them in a way that I wasn’t expecting.”

But are we the only students that uses this that makes us unique? “A lot of other campuses are also beginning of use e-portfolio, which means competition when applying, so the more that students are using their E-portfolio, customizing it with their passions, using the resources that we have here to help them make it as amazing as it can be is what will help single them out during the application process,” said Auld. Magdalena’s and Brenda’s experiences are only the beginning of what different types of opportunities that you can have.

Although there are a lot of students that are excited to be using this tool as a way to stand out, but not everyone sees having an e-portfolio as a benefit. One student said, “The only reason that I know what an e-portfolio is is for my job. I believe that it is a waste of time because of how much work it takes to maintain it and constantly update it.” Not everyone see e-portfolios as a tool, but more of a obstacle that they must go through to pass a class or complete for work.

No matter what the opinion of the student, e-portfolio is available for all students with their John Jay email, through the site: johnjay.digication.com

The Importance of the Budget at John Jay

By: Yarubi Espinal

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced at the beginning of the year at the State of the State address the budget cut that he was proposing for the City University of New York. However, on April 1st he set back on the 485 million cut he had mentioned but other changes that would impact John Jay were made in the place of it.

Governor Cuomo had stated not to fund CUNY or Medicaid and leave these for the city to take care of. Late last month the governor’s administration saw themselves in the spotlight for this issue, they sought to not pursue this any longer because of the pressure of CUNY and different types of protesting groups.

CUNY and SUNY tuition won’t be increased. Nevertheless, a tuition increase was proposed by Cuomo but he realized it was “politically difficult” to make it happen because of student’s feedback.

Although the cut didn’t happen generally as it was proposed, an immense chunk of the money requested wasn’t granted. CUNY was given $21 million, and $16.6 million was to make sure all the fringe benefits are covered. They asked for $29 million which is a $12.4 million difference, with 4.7 million for SEEK.

“I believe the government isn’t giving education the importance that it needs” said Miguel Leon, a student at John Jay. “it’s outrageous that other things of less importance get funded without a doubt.”

According to the budget list a billion dollars is spent on “Miscellaneous” things. What is worse? The fact that these “Miscellaneous” things are not classified to the public, or that it is being unnecessarily spent?

“I’m a student that receives financial aid, including TAP and I’m also a part of the SEEK program” said Emely Rodriguez, nearly in tears.”If I wasn’t a SEEK student I probably wouldn’t even be here speaking to you. To know that they could be getting more money than what they receive means that they could help more students like me and it’s sad nobody is seeing it from that perspective.”

The Percy Ellis Sutton SEEK Department, which stands for Search for Education, Elevation and Knowledge is located in the Haaren Hall building, fouth floor. The purpose of SEEK is to help students who are considered to be financially or academically disadvantaged to have a higher education at John Jay College. SEEK at John Jay is a small community with a little more than 500 students on campus. At the beginning of each semester the program gifts the students $500 dollars for books. These students are provided with many resources like the SEEK computer lab, Academic Support center for tutoring, and many activities all year round. They are each assigned a counselor for their 4 years in the program. In a nutshell SEEK offers students the attention and the focus on their academic development that regular students don’t get. Therefore, they tend to be more successful than the non-SEEK students at the college. This is a program that has earned acknowledgement and are still not rewarded for the work they do with the proper amount of funding.

“It is more than simply money!” said Professor Martha Hernandez. “Politicians fail to realize that these are the future of this city, of the state and the nation overall. We won’t give our students the proper education without the proper resources. Also, having the right amount of portion from the budget ensures students that we won’t have another tuition hike.”

Regardless of the tuition staying the same and the new changes in funding, Cuomo said these adjustments and the budget for CUNY does not include labor costs. This impacts the probabilities of a new contract for CUNY professors and staff. The amount for back pay is $210 million.

“I don’t think increasing the tuition is the correct way to go nor do I think leaving it the way it is is right” said Julia Palesco, a senior student at the college. “To put a burden that strong on a young adult who just came out of High School. Colleges are basically urging us to get a job while we’re in school, I’m not saying this is a bad thing but it’s obvious that you won’t have the same development as if you were only dedicated to school”

According to the Association of Institutional Research working 20 or more hours a week on or off campus negatively affects student’s grades. Therefore, if the tuition were to be raised more student’s would be working which may cause a negative distraction to their academics.

Why Student Parking Leaves Your Pockets Starving.

By: Shawn Narain

Some students wake up in the morning, notice they’re running late and have the option of driving to school to save some time. You get in your car, get your music going and you’re on you way. You start counting down every minute as you get closer and closer to school. However once you arrive here the line to the parking garage seems endless and you don’t get any leeway since you are a student. You are so close to class yet so far.

This is the case for Joshua Castellanos every morning as he drives to school. “I know we all have to get to class but it’s a pain in the ass to try to come here on time and then still be late for class when you are right in front of the building”. Students find it difficult to park at other parking garages, as well being that the closest ones are right in between 10th and 11th Ave on 59th street.

Sonat Amilcar, the manager for one of these parking garages stated that two years ago John Jay did have a contract for student parking arrangements for $14.00 as the early bird special instead of $15.00 which is the regular rate.
“We didn’t find the arrangements with the students to be profitable and it brought too much stress for the property and the operations here.” This quote was presented to many students and raised a few eyebrows. “How could it not be profitable? The student body is massive.” said Anthony Smith. This dilemma has been going on quite a couple of years now. Students are not pleased and parking attendants are not either.

As MTA fares increased students find their own ways to travel to school which include car pooling. Rocky Ramotar who is a recent graduate from John Jay commented with his tactics with his friends when he was attending John Jay. “ I remember that endless line early in the morning but what we decided to do was car pool with a bunch of friends and split the bill.” Rocky was curious while he was attending John Jay as to why parking was so expensive as well. He didn’t look into it much but just found ways to make it easier just like a lot of things students do to adjust.

Sonat Amilcar stated that there is no chance he would consider bringing back the contract for the same reasons of it not being profitable. A lot of questions and opinions have been raised from this one quote from the manager. “Adjustments and alternatives are one way but its about time students speak up, college is expensive as is, we need to go after ways to make it cheaper on us especially when it comes to motives of transportation.”

Raveena Ramoutar who is a student at John Jay, felt strongly about the parking situation. “Having late classes makes us girls feel worried sometimes to take the train. You never know what can happen. That’s why I drive to class I know safety comes at a cost but it seems fair to have a student discount for parking here.” Driving to school seems to be a safer alternative to students in comparison to taking public transportation.

John Jay College also has a say in the parking arrangement, Ryan Lopez who is a Public Safety Officer stated “Students pass by the front desk throughout the day and ask to have their parking receipts stamped but we have had complaints that they have not worked towards a discount.”
Imagine getting a gift card to a store only to find out that it isn’t valid? Vanessa Johnson who is apart of the Public Safety Department commented on the status of the contract “ We know that it was revoked 2 years ago and that based on the manager’s (Sonat Amilcar) stance on the subject it was not working out.” This does not mean there aren’t anymore parking garages that offer discounts for students. However, it does take away the leisure of being in closer proximity to arrive to class on time during the rush.

The parking arrangements near John Jay has continued to be a topic for quite some time now. Students have created hacks such as carpooling like Rocky suggested. The profit for the business raised questions for student and their doubts, But what about students like Raveena who drive to feel safer? Well, according to Sonat Amilcar in regards to returning the discount contract “No Chance” the student body seems to have alternative routes of opinion in regards to that answer.

The Secret Lives of Bed-Stuy House Cats

By Martin Joseph

In Bedford-Stuyvesant, small business owners are finding a new source of cheap labor within the homeless population. These workers are usually tasked with killing mice in basements and open lots. They happily work for $1.25 a day, as long as it is paid in cat food.

Hugo is an orange cat who works at La Bellaca, a bodega on the corner of Hancock and Tompkins. “He comes and goes” said Fernando, the owner of the store. Hugo kills mice and rats in exchange for one can of wet food a day, usually generic, and a warm place to sleep. Hugo is not a pet, however according to Fernando ; he has no collar or permanent home. He can usually be found burying his feces next to any one of the trees within his territory on Hancock street between Marcy and Tompkins.

Fernando first met Hugo, “About a year ago”, when a romance between Fernando’s former feline employee resulted in a pregnancy. The small grey cat had been a family pet for years. She wore a collar and came to work with Fernando every day. Fernando offered the kittens to neighbors but sadly they were never born. In late February, the pregnant cat was with a broken neck. She had been struck by a car.

After her death, Hugo became Fernando’s main employee. He usually shows up three times a week in the mornings and works for an hour or so until returning to the streets. He rarely catches anything, but Fernando is satisfied with Hugo’s work. Fernando said, “the smell keeps them away.”

Hugo’s employment has been contested of late. A young cat named Demitry has been encroaching upon his territory. “He doesn’t like to be inside,” said Fernando about Demitry the cat. Fernando believes that Demitry may have been a house cat at one point but he chose a life on the streets. Demitry is larger and younger than Hugo and has begun challenging his territory. The ferocious feline refuses to be pet and will enforce that policy with a bite.

Tensions have been building for a some time now. Fernando suspects that Demitry has only recently come to the neighborhood. Hugo has defended his territory against Demitry on few unknown occasions. Hugo left uninjured every time but Demitry has lost the tip of his ear and shows scars on his face and shoulders. In a standoff which was witnessed on April 17th, Demitry backed down from a confrontation but the struggle is far from over. “He comes here sometimes,” said Fernando about the black cat.

Both Demitry and Hugo can be found in the middle of the block at various times. The trees, however appear to have been claimed by Hugo. Demitry usually slinks in the guitar, hiding under cars apparently biding his time. For now, Hugo is the alpha cat pf Hancock Street between Marcy and Tompkins. He is not old yet and appears to be in his prime ti the untrained eye but the day may eventually come when Demitry has his revenge , however Hugo has defended his throne thus far.

Cats can also be found working around the corner in an empty lot. Brothers Fred and George, work in the lot keeping rodents at bay. Their pay comes in the form of wet food served in a foil takeout container. The abandoned buildings provide graffiti artists, a canvas as well as a dry place for  the cats to sleep. Though the fence is high and would be a prison for most humans, the cats can come and go as they please through the spaces in the fence. Neither Fred nor George have been seen outside of their fence due to the competition. Demitry has tried  to take their jobs as well, but the brothers were witnessed repelling the invader late one April night.

Demitry appears to have an unpaid position in a construction site across the street from La Bellaca though this has yet to be confirmed. He sprints towards the site when he felt threatened and works his way between the wooden wall of the construction site and the iron bars of the neighbor’s place.

John Jay Vets Get Their Marching Order

By Allan Parker

“TIME TO MOVE OUT!” A phrase familiar to every Soldier, Marine, Sailor, and Airmen who’s ever served in the armed forces. Normally associated with a Drill Instructor wearing a round brown “Smokey the Bear” hat barking orders at the top of their lungs to “Shut the F… up, ruck up, and move out”.

To many of John Jay’s veterans, this usually meant swinging a 50 to 100-pound ruck-sack onto your back in 100 degrees plus heat, grabbing your rifle and patrolling through a deadly hostile environment with automatic weapons fire whizzing by landing too close for comfort.

Many endure this to proudly serve the country while motivated by the belief that you’re doing your part to spread democracy and helping to free innocent people from the yoke of tyranny.

Servicemen and women alike have had similar experiences, both positive and negative, and have returned home with the expectation of returning to school to complete their education. Many seek out the “American Dream” promised to those citizens of this great country who have sacrificed all in the name of honor, duty, courage, integrity, commitment, selfless service, and respect. Yet there are still major issues that need to be addressed for veterans at John Jay.

Due to the temporary closing of North Hall at the end of the spring 2016 semester, the Veterans Association Club will be forced to relocate to Haaren Hall in the New Building. Marc Harary, Director of John Jay’s Office of Space Planning, said “It’s up to CUNY Central to determine its future use at this time.”

Though most vets are grumbling about the move, everyone is grateful for the new accommodations including Elaina Ferguson, a Student Veteran, who said “It’s unfortunate that we have to leave our current spot. It’s private and laid back. In between classes I have a place to hang out, study for a test, use the computers, and talk with other vets who can relate to both the good and bad challenges we face.” She also said, “I hope the new space John Jay gives us is big enough to fit us all in, so we can have privacy when we have our meetings.” A notable motto of servicemen “adapt and overcome” has been encouraged in spite of the situation.

The offices of the Veterans Association, headquartered in the third floor of North Hall, has been an oasis for recently returning veterans who are making the adjustment back to civilian life.

Gary Tsai, Vice-President of the Veterans Associations Club said, “Veterans hear of the club sometimes through personal knowledge of the Veterans Administration or word of mouth from other vets and they come check us out” Tsai explained.

“Our doors are open to everyone, not just to student veterans but also to all students who are offspring or siblings to those who are currently serving or have served, and also to anyone who wants to find out about the military way of life. Everyone interacts to tell war-stories, how they’re personally coping with stress, job networking, sharing vital information, goals, dreams, and hopes for future plans. Everyone’s welcome.”

One worry is the new office space being allocated for the veteran’s club itself. Richard Pusateri, the Military and Veterans Services Manager at John Jay, thinks “The new space will make us more visible. Overall it’s a much more attractive location with better lighting that makes it more inviting to vets and family members of vets. Where we’re at now is tucked away and hidden, the new space allotted will increase awareness to people that we’re here and remind those of the services we provide. If someone needs advisors or counselors for whatever reason, it’s much easier to just walk them down the hall and seek out whatever is required. I think this will better suit our needs”.

Though larger in overall square feet than most of the other clubs, the Veterans Association Club is more than just a club, not to mention its membership is deeper and more diverse than any other club.

Unlike the other clubs, which classify by national pride, entertainment, special interests, sports, and hobbies, the Veterans Association Club encompasses all of those characteristics.

The Club invites students of every race, creed and color of law enforcement, first responders (which most are), musicians, athletes, student scholars, chess masters, comic book enthusiasts, all sexual orientations and everything not mentioned under the sun. Because of the Club’s sizable numbers, classroom max capacity, and possible fire code violations, the association will not be able to lodge a substantial portion of its membership during meetings and events.

Another significant concern is the privacy factor in regards to the separate and combined gender support groups for male, and especially female veterans, who have closed door meetings to tackle issues exclusive to their needs. Female veterans above all will be impacted by this change of venue, because they may be forced to hold privately run meetings away from the familiarity of the Club, inviting civilians into their setting.

In the Club’s present site, separate and combined gender meetings are held furnishing the forum to freely vent frustrations without incident or judgments. Both male and female vets have had unique experiences, which only professionals or other vets can relate.

According to Jose Comulada, President of the Veterans Association Club, “We’re all appreciative and thankful for John Jay’s understanding”. Still some feel special consideration should be extended since it’s not only a club, it’s an association that performs outreach to fellow student veterans. Jose says it best “The Veterans Association Club is the only place where vets help vets”.

For more info, go to the Veterans Association Club at Haaren Hall Room 228.

Summer Bodies Made In The Spring

By: Anna Gevorgyan

With summer approaching, the panic of having the “perfect summer body” ensues, then and this question pops: “Will I keep up with the challenge or drop it quicker than the last New Year’s resolution?”

The beach body preparation becomes a trend at the end of winter and all the way through spring. Gyms get more memberships during this period than any other time of the year. Jillian Aga, 32, a receptionist at Lucille Roberts, meets all the new members, who are signing up for Lucille Roberts. When new members are asked for the reason they joined the gym, most say that they want to be prepared for the summer. Aga said, “Yeah, we get a lot more new members, but the thing is that they don’t follow through.” A majority of people who sign up for monthly membership quit the gym after the first month

It is a concerning trend, as working out can be a good way to escape the real world and prepare your body for the summer. Setting up a goal and working towards achieving it can also take away the stress of schoolwork and work problems.

John Jay students can avoid this issue by working out at the school’s fitness center on the sixth floor. The fitness room is available for all students attending John Jay.

Although the fitness center is small, some students like it. Savannah Davis, a sophomore who works out every day, is confident about her plan. She is motivated and ready to take on the challenge of the season by getting ready for the summer. Davis is happy with John Jay’s fitness center. She said, “They provide workout routines as well as free access to the gym.” Having free access to a gym is having one less excuse for not working out. During spring, when the weather is slowly getting nicer, girls begin to workout and prepare their bodies for the summer, which gets them motivated and excited. They buy all new gym workout accessories and post a couple of pictures of them working out with the hashtag “gymLife” or at least something similar to it. Then the trend slowly dies out. Usually, girls who were already in shape, stay working out even after the trend is completely gone, and everyone else’s gym attire is peacefully resting in the back of their wardrobe.

Working out is not the only essential to the “getting ready for the summer body” trend. A healthy diet or a healthy meal plan is considered a big part of the challenge as well. For college students, keeping up with a healthy meal plan is harder than it seems. The school is full of cheap junk food. A slice of pizza may cost $1.75 but a salad may be $10.00. In addition to the healthy food being expensive, preparing a healthy meal takes time, which college students don’t have. Julie Campos, a junior who is preparing for the Army, agrees that eating healthy for a college student is pretty hard. She works out in school almost every day. Campos said, “I’m not too confident on eating healthy because I don’t stick to a routine. And I also love eating junk food and take-out, believe it or not. Plus I don’t have time to be making stuff at home, so I just eat out because it’s easier.” Going to school in Manhattan, John Jay students are trapped in the city surrounded by not so healthy and tempting restaurants.

The increased focus on fitness forces most girls to follow up, and make a plan of their own. Mariel Zavala, a junior in John Jay, works out at the school’s gym Monday through Thursday with two of her friends. She said, “I’m feeling confident because it turns into a bit of a competition between us, and we encourage each other to keep going.” Girls are known to be ambitious when working out and setting a goal. They usually work out with friends, which may make working out easier and more fun. “It’s harder to maintain motivation when working out alone,” said Zavala.

Another trouble with students and eating healthy is the weather. While weather and food might not seem to have any connection, Mariel Zavala disagrees. She said, “It’s getting warmer out, which means going out more, making it difficult to be picky about what you eat.”

Bridget Sarco, a junior in John Jay who is also in with the working out business, found a way to lose weight fast. It’s not easy but it’s fast. She said, “Recently I’ve started replacing my meals with smoothies.” The idea of drinking all the meals one eats in a day may not be too pleasing, but it seems to be working pretty well. Alongside her diet, she works out and stays active. She said, “I’ve been doing the whole smoothie thing for 4 days and I already lost 5 pounds with the help of working out.”

Everyone is trying to find an easy way out, without realizing there is no easy way out. Most college students already feel tense and stressed and live life catching up with schoolwork. The general belief is that the harder you work the better it is. When the working out trend hits, it adds another task on the student’s to do list. Maintaining a workout routine and staying on track with schoolwork, while having a job on the side, is not supposed to be easy.

Karla Pimentel, a junior in John Jay, is keeping up her workout routine. While being in the army and full-time student, she is also an athlete, which gives her the advantage of being used to working hard. Despite her usually overloaded everyday routine, she thinks achieving a fitness goal should be tough.

“If it’s easy, then you ain’t doing it right,” said Pimentel.

Academics Vs. Jobs

By: Kristie Londono

Picture being a full time student. This consists of reading assignments, projects, midterm exams, final exams, presentations in between, PHEW! It can be a handful. Now picture being a full time student and working two jobs! It is a big responsibility, however there a few John Jay students that are experiencing this.

It is often heard of students to have one job, but there are a few students that are working in two for multiple reasons. In college, students must focus on passing their classes by following their syllabus and completing their assignments. The question is how are they able to manage working over forty hours and being a full time student?

Heading to work after school, then traveling to the second job afterwards, is what Julie Campos is experiencing. Campos, standing in her Junior year, works forty-eight hours on average in Gap inc. and Adidas , both as a sales associate. It became difficult for her to handle five classes, “In the beginning it wasn’t bad,” she said. “But then it got a bit harder because I’ll miss readings and fail a couple of quizzes.” She decided to work in both jobs because she enjoys the environment and the different vibes they each have, however it is difficult for her to stay awake in class due to the lack of sleep. “If you want to work two jobs while attending school, be careful because your mind and body gets affected dramatically in a bad way, so make sure you make time to sleep,” she said.

“I’m very sensitive with the fact that students need to work to support their family,” Professor Cheryl Franks stated. John Jay professors are important in this situation because they must understand that students have obligations outside of school and they have to focus on their personal life as well. Professor Cheryl Franks, teaches courses such as Human Rights and Justice, Diversity, Ethnic and Race relations, etc,. She is also a social worker. She acknowledges students responsibilities as she recalls working three jobs as a college student. Her primary focus is to compromise with her students “I try to assess students that have jobs, I say ‘let’s try to figure this out together.'”

Ashley Duongtran works full time in the Office of Military and Veteran Services at John Jay College and a part time customer service associate at Men’s Warehouse. She faces difficulties managing both jobs and school. She assist military veterans to transition from the military life to school life. She also wanted to assimilate into the New York lifestyle after moving from California, these are the two reasons that made her work both jobs. “At times I get really frustrated with the lack of time I have to juggle both homework, school and work,” She said in an email. “Sometimes I really wish to have a day just to relax and just become a couch potato.” 

English professor, Jean Mills does not like the idea of students working in two jobs. She believes they should quit and focus on their studies, but she grasps that it is just an ideal. “The reality is that students often have to work in order to not only support themselves but also sometimes their families, while getting an education,” she said in an email.

Christine Gancayco, junior, is a full time student working twenty hours a week in Game Stop and fifteen hours a week in a law firm. Because she works both jobs, her time with her family is limited. “I am able to be with my friends more than my family because my friends are in my classes,” Gancayco said. “The only time I see my family is during dinner since I go straight to work from school.”

In comparison, sophomore student, David Pinedo, works full time in Walgreens and part time in Pizza Hut. He also has a limited time with his family. Cramming all his assignments in a short amount of time impacts his school performance as well, “It is time consuming, I focus more on work than school,” he said.

Full time students who are working an overload of hours are at risk for a variety of issues. This includes medical conditions due to lack of sleep, lack in their social life and their academic performance is affected.  It is important for students to consider their school performance because it can impact them in the long run. Many careers are now focusing on a high GPA and a degree higher than an associates. In the past, a high school diploma or a GED was a necessity, now a bachelors and masters are the main focus.

For all of the different reasons of having two jobs, students must understand compromising is essential as well as time management, “Make sure you prioritize what is important to you and make a schedule to make time to study, homework and sleep,” Campos said.