November 26, 2015

Cheap And Cheesy

By Rosibel Ventura

Contributing Writer

Around New York City, you find people who enjoy a slice of pizza everyday since it’s such a common meal in the city. The quality of pizza defers on the amount of money the consumer is willing to spend.

If you are looking for good pizza and are willing to spend the money, Pizza Palace on Dyckman street in Inwood is a good place to visit. For $2.25,  you can enjoy one of their plain slices; pay $3.00 and you can add any toppings.

The place opened 75 years ago and it has been part of the community ever since. Angulco Aura Soraya has been a frequent customer. “I’ve been coming here since I was a kid,” she said. “The guys are always great, the pizza is great and its been a good place to the community.”

Ingredients play a crucial part when making these slices. “We use our homemade tomato sauce which is great and we also use a lot of Mozzarella cheese,” Lucas Mackey said, a worker at the pizzeria. “Our toppings are killers too, we have Pepperoni, Chicken, and many other options too.”

Also in the vicinity of Dyckman street, Pizza Nova offers seating and other selections like wings, fries, and mozzarella sticks. For $2.50, you can get one of the plain slices; add a topping and you will pay $3.25. “We use a lot of fresh vegetables like mushrooms, everything we use is made here like our tomato sauce,” Jose Catalan, a worker at the pizzeria said.

The customers love this. “We have been coming here since it opened and the pizza is good, it feels fresh when you eat it,” Mello Jaques, a resident on the area said. “What makes it unique is that you don’t feel like you are eating grease, you can actually taste the flavors that go into it without feeling guilty.”

This old-fashioned place has red walls that can take you back in time. “You feel comfortable when you come because the treatment they give you is good,” Mr.Jaques said. “The style of the place is amazing.”

Another good option is Mariella pizza which has been around for 38 years in the city. For $2.50, you can kill the hunger and enjoy one of their plain cheese slices.

Their pizza, which has homemade tomato sauce and mozzarella cheese, feeds regular clients and students that make a trip to the pizzeria on their breaks. “We deliver to schools a lot and also to nearby offices,” Mr. Philis, a worker at the pizzeria said. “It is good to be able to serve the regular clients and the new ones that we get everyday.”

Imagine finding yourself hungry and with only one dollar in your possession. Luckily for you, there is the one dollar pizza at 2 Brothers, which are all over the city. There is way more sauce than cheese on one slice but the amount of crust and thickness of the pizza will fill you up completely and it’s a bargain at one dollar.

The people seem to agree with this. “We serve more than 25,000 slices at day,” Durango Reyes, the manager of the pizzeria said. “People come and go, they grab the pizza and head out.”

Janel Martinez, a resident of the area, enjoys the pizza when she can. “I come when I am hungry and can’t find any money or even after a night out,” She said. “The pizza is really good and filling.”

If on the other hand you have more money to spend for a slice of pizza, visiting Prince St. Pizza would be your best option. Located on Prince Street in SoHo, the pizzeria is a must go when you want to enjoy a good slice of pizza.

For $4.00, you can enjoy a Sicilian slice. It’s composed of a good amount of sauce and the right amount of mozzarella cheese. This squared-shaped pizza gives you the opportunity to enjoy the slice from whatever angle you want. The cheese is laid on top of the dough followed by the sauce, which, with each bite you take, you can taste the quality and freshness. The crust has the perfect crunch, where it is not too hard or too soft. The dough is fluffier and thicker than the others which leaves you feeling satiated. The cheese to sauce ratio enhances each bite making it the perfect slice of pizza.

“New York Pizza is the best pizza in the United States,” said Janel Martinez, a New York resident and pizza enthusiast.


“Ramen, Tacos, And Ice-Cream”

By Adam Poplawski

Contributing Writer

By: Adam Poplawski A glazed doughnut accompanied by an iced latte.

By: Adam Poplawski
A glazed doughnut accompanied by an iced latte.

Traditional food courts bring to mind sodium-filled teriyaki chicken and gummy Sbarro slices destitute of flavor and what awaits is congealed cheese on barely-warmed pizza and glowing chicken in a syrupy sauce.

Now, a new trend has appeared: upscale food courts are popping up all over the city. These food courts have fresh sushi, luscious lobster, and artisinal ice cream. Long gone are cheap eats and greasy meals. These food courts are not drab and gray. Instead, they are designed by world-class architects and designers. Workers from Midtown seem to be swarming to these diverse food courts. There are not too many eateries where you can get ramen, tacos, and ice cream at the same place.

Immediately when you enter City Kitchen, you feel like you are in an open air space. Massive windows give a great view of 8th avenue, and the scent of fresh doughnuts is heavy in the air.

Jason, a patron at City Kitchen said, “It’s pretty good actually, and I’ve been to other food courts, but this one is nice because it has a variety.”

There are many different vendors at City Kitchen, but Dough sits in the forefront. A glass case holds hundreds of fresh doughnuts just begging to be eaten. Plain glazed ($3.00) is always a safe bet, but Dough offers more inventive flavors such as a Nutella filled doughnut, and a lemon poppy seed one as well.

The Nutella doughnut ($3.50) is absolutely packed with Nutella, and the second you bite into it the molten center spills out. It’s sweet and messy, but offers the perfect bite.The lemon poppy seed doughnut ($3.00) veers away from the super sweet Nutella doughnut by melding sweet and sour notes with neutral poppy seeds. A delicious doughnut that leaves you craving for more.

Dough started out in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn and expanded into the Flatiron district, but it has also opened an outpost at City Kitchen. The storefront locations are always packed with tourists and locals alike, and its City Kitchen stand shares the same quality.

A glazed doughnut might be the best way to experience the purity of a Dough doughnut. The not-too-sweet glaze crackles and sticks to your hands and lips. The doughnut itself is soft, pillowy, and pure. It’s light and yeasty, and has no bitter aftertaste or stench of old oil.

An employee at Dough, who chose not to give his name, said that most of his customers are tourists, and that there are various positives and negatives of working at a high-end food court.

He said, “Positive, is that you meet a lot of different people, because more people come to food courts in general, but the negative is that it gets really busy with way more people.”

Dough is not the only sweet player in the food court game. Ample Hills, a popular Brooklyn based ice cream shop, has an outpost at the Gotham West Market on 11th avenue.

Liam O’Brien, an “amployee” at Ample Hills Creamery’s outpost at Gotham West Market said, “It’s really nice if you have a bunch of high-end things in one place that you can sample.”

Gotham West Market is an expansive food court that utilizes its industrial surroundings as an inspiration for its interior. It is designed with a dark-colored wood and various steel beams inside. It is farther away from the central hub of Times Square, and noticeably less packed than City Kitchen.

O’Brien also talked about how spaces like Gotham West allow vendors that might not be able to afford actual storefronts on Manhattan expand and gain a little more exposure.

Ample Hills’ ice cream flavors are completely homemade. One of their most famous flavors, Salted Crack Caramel, is a flavorful caramel ice cream with pieces of chocolate and salted caramel covered saltine crackers. The crackers are a fantastic textural counterpart to the creamy ice cream, and the salt balances the sweetness from the caramel and chocolate. A small cup costs $4.25.

Although sweet treats seem to have plenty of great outposts in food courts, there are savory options available as well. Luke’s Lobster, a shop that sells lobster, crab, and shrimp rolls, has also opened up in two upscale food courts, the Todd English Food Hall at the Plaza, and the recently opened City Kitchen in Times Square.

Michelle, a resident of New York, referring to the Todd English Food Hall, said “I had no idea that this was even down here.”

Although it is a popular tourist attraction, it can be confusing to find. It is housed in the lower level of the Plaza Hotel with a demure street level entrance on Central Park South.

The Todd English Food Hall at the Plaza Hotel is a way to experience the high-end of the food court spectrum. Luke’s Lobster, an eatery where a small lobster roll will set you back $15, is a popular lunch spot for office workers and tourists alike.

Brittany Cabanas, a sophomore at John Jay, said, “I was introduced to Luke’s Lobster at the Plaza food court by a friend and loved how fresh it was, and how clean the space was.”

In addition to their lobster rolls, they also serve crab and shrimp rolls at a reduced price. The shellfish is served chilled on top of a toasted bun, then splashed with warm butter and a secret seasoning. It’s a unique bite that allows the shellfish to keep its integrity and stay perfectly cooked.

The Food Hall at the Plaza Hotel also houses Francois Payard and a branch of the Lady M cake boutique, specializing in layered crêpe cakes with creamy fillings, which you can try by the slice ($7.00). Francois Payard also offers a Hot Chocolate made with milk, cream, and melted chocolate ($5.00). The result is an extremely rich drink, one that must be sipped slowly and relished.

“It’s really delicious, but way too expensive and sweet too get too often,” said Nadejda Dimitrova, a sophomore at John Jay.

Venti Versus Veggie

By Michelle Valdez

Contributing Writer

By: Daysha McNair Students lining up at the juice bar in the New Building.

By: Daysha McNair
Students lining up at the juice bar in the New Building.

The image of the harried college student gulping coffee to finish that all-too-important Psychology paper or to study for an impending mid-term exam is college lore. Now, how they keep up is changing.

A recent survey indicated that 6 out of 7 John Jay students would still choose Starbucks over Juice Generation, but new developments on campus and in America at large indicate that a cup of coffee may, one day, be a fresh pressed vegetable juice. The recent opening of a juice bar in the New Building is not only great news for the health conscious populace at John Jay but also reflects national trends, especially those in Manhattan. Our survey also indicated that 6 out of 7 students were aware of the juice bar, and at least half indicated a willingness to try it.

You can now also     get fresh pressed juices in a bottle at Starbucks, the bastion of coffee intake. Starbucks acquired Evolution Fresh, which produces a bottled form of fresh pressed juices to keep up with the emerging thirst for fresh juices.

Chris Bruzzo, general manager of Evolution Fresh says, “The juices are now carried in 5,000 Starbucks locations and 3,000 grocery outlets. The best sellers are two varieties of green juice.”

Evolution Fresh and the John Jay juice bar join the juicing bandwagon, which has already expanded companies like Juice Generation. Juice Generation has two locations within a few blocks of John Jay and thirteen citywide. According to a New York Times article, “Juice Bar Brawl,” companies such as Organic Avenue, which intends to double its number of stores, Juice Press, and Creative Juice are drawing high-end investors and well-known restaurateurs to this hot and highly competitive market. Investor’s interest in fresh pressed juicing has drawn comparisons to the intensity of Silicon Valley startups.

According to the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, the daily goal for fruit and vegetables servings has increased from 5 to 9 in the last decade. In a US News and World report article, “What the New Dietary Guidelines Mean for You,” Michael Greger, a physician and founder of, says, “Vegetables and fruits was the only category identified as advantageous and serving to help prevent disease.”

“For heart disease, certain foods are good; for diabetes, certain foods are good; for hypertension, certain foods are good,” he says. “Fruits and veggies are beneficial across all health outcomes and there is no limit to how much you can eat.”

These amounts can be tough for college students, so choosing the convenience of a smoothie or fresh pressed juice minimizes the struggle of carrying close to a dozen fruits or veggies around.

Because a fresh pressed juice extracts the juice from the whole fruit or vegetable, not keeping all of the fiber, while a smoothie, a blended drink, contains the whole fruit or vegetable, detractors to fresh juicing point to the high cost and loss of natural fiber. Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University, suggests, that “a simpler route to a well-rounded diet might be to eat the vegetables themselves, rather than as juice. It’s a lot of money, why not have a salad?”

In the John Jay survey, the responses were mixed, and one student even indicated that not only would he choose Starbucks but he would even choose the Vanilla Bean drink, a glorified milkshake!

Another mentioned that lack of familiarity with juice drinks’ taste might dissuade him from even trying. Luz Nunez, one of the survey participants, said that she knew about the juice bar and loved it, but stated, “I wish it would be open longer and more days out of the week.”

On recent visits to the New Building juice bar, the lines were happily short, but the quality of the juices was not as expected. The employee who made the smoothie indicated that she didn’t think many students were aware of JJ’s new Juice Bar. Another obstacle for John Jay’s juice bar might be that having knowledgeable staff offering fresh juices designed to specifically address various ailments is staple at in corporate juice bars.

Education and time are going to be necessary for the fresh juice world to conquer the familiar and much loved coffee, but it appears John Jay is joining this new national health craze.

Dress For Success Or Act The Part

By Garychka Sylvain

Contributing Writer

By: Garychka Sylvain Left:Josue Perez, Right:Rashad Mujumder

By: Garychka Sylvain
Left:Josue Perez, Right:Rashad Mujumder

Surveying the average classroom halfway through the college semester, one can notice the apparel of the students. There are students who are dressed in Nike or Adidas gym apparel with gym sneakers who look like they either just came from their morning workout or are about to head to it right after class. There are also the goofy-patterned pajama wearers who are ready to roll right back into bed. And for the vast majority, they are casually dressed, typically fashioning the jeans and t-shirt look. Not to say that they only wear jeans and a t-shirt, but they do put a little more effort than wearing pajamas and a little less than those who treat school like a high-end job that requires a suit and tie.

Why does it matter how students come dressed to school, especially on a college level? Going to school is a responsibility, but doesn’t hold as much weight as going to work. Anna Kolomeytseva, a junior at John Jay College, has work right after her classes end, so she usually wears slacks, blouses, dresses, blazers, and cardigans to school. “If I didn’t have work right afterwards, I wouldn’t come dressed like this,” said Kolomeytseva. “It’s uncomfortable.”

By: Garychka Edwards Shakeya Edmonds

By: Garychka Edwards
Shakeya Edmonds

So maybe dressing down isn’t so much as an issue as dressing up. In some cases students on campus have been seen dressing up, but not appropriately. Mini-skirts, short-shorts, low v-neck shirts, and crude language on graphic t-shirts, are only a few types of apparel on the long list of things that are frowned down upon to wear to class. Faculty member, Makeda Jordan, Associate Director of the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, thinks that some students are dressed nicely, but for the wrong setting. “If you think you can get into a club with your outfit, then it’s probably inappropriate to come to class in,” said Jordan.

Jordan believes that the best way to come to class is comfortable enough to learn, unless an individual is a student leader. “Student leaders are one step up above the average student,” said Jordan. “Nothing crazy, but business casual.”

School is not necessarily a place of business or professionalism. Students don’t have to come to school as if their are going to work at the bank. John Jay Senior and student leader, Benedicta Dorteh, wears comfortable clothing such as jeans, hoodies, and gym clothes. Dorteh is a student leader, maintains a 3.8 G.P.A., and is attending Georgetown Law School this upcoming fall, and her comfortable apparel didn’t hurt her learning experience or professional opportunities.

Though Dorteh contradicts Jordan’s statement about student leaders’ dress code, Dorteh does think there should be some guidelines on the general student bodies’  dress code.

By: Garychka Sylvain  Jillian Shartrand

By: Garychka Sylvain
Jillian Shartrand

“Use the grandma rule,” she said. “If you wouldn’t want your grandmother to see you in the outfit, then don’t wear it to class!”

John Jay senior Sebastian Ovalle wears a suit and tie every day to school. Dressing to the nine all the time is imperative to him. “A first impression is everything for networking,” he said.

Ovalle is a transfer student from BMCC and believes that his academic and professional experience at John Jay is significantly better due to his apparel. The way Ovalle dresses affects his academic interactions, including with professors.

“Professors treat me as if I’m the smartest person in the room not even knowing if I actually am”, he said. “I feel as though they treat me with a little bit more respect and professionalism.”

By: Garychka Sylvain Samantha Cortez

By: Garychka Sylvain
Samantha Cortez

Although Ovalle thinks his experiences in a classroom are better due to his apparel, some professors may disagree. English Professor at John Jay, Professor Heiman said that apparel doesn’t matter at all. What really skews a professor’s perception of a student is slouching, snoozing, or using the phone throughout class. “I pick up more on body language than apparel language,” said Heiman.

No one necessarily has to dress up all the time. Heiman’s advice to students is to know your audience. “If you’re going to meet the president of the college, then maybe it’s appropriate to agree to the conventions.”


United We Want To Stand

Student Groups Promote Unity

By Stacy Morales

Contributing Writer


Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons Haitian Flag

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons
Haitian Flag

The Center for Student Involvement and Leadership (CSIL) at John Jay College has been very successful in creating spaces where students with various interests, ethnicity, and ideas can come together and share what makes them an individual with their peers.

This has remained true for cultural clubs such as the Haitian-American Student Association (HASA) and the Dominican Students Association (DSA). Both of these clubs have worked together to combat the tension and negative dynamic between Dominicans and Haitians that has risen from the countries’ historically rooted controversies involving race, money, and power.

Taisha Lazare, a John Jay senior and President of the Haitian-American Student Association at John Jay, stated that “The Haitian-Dominican relationship varies depending on location. As an example, here in the US, we tend to get along and are able to live peacefully. However, in the island we share there is no such thing. The relationship is full of hate, misery and pain.”

Although the relationship between Dominicans and Haitians on John Jay’s campus is not as chaotic and students from both cultures are more accepting of one another, it must be taken into consideration that John Jay hosts a mix of American born and native-born Haitians and Dominicans. Therefore, perhaps not outwardly, but many of these students’ attitudes towards each other may still be influenced by the chaos and hatred occurring between the two groups back on their shared island.

In efforts to educate students about the issues plaguing both cultures and eliminate tensions, the Haitian-American Student Association has held various events throughout the school year intended to promote a positive cultural fusion.

“During the fall 2014 semester, both student organizations organized a panel discussion in which panelists–from social activists to college professors–have discussed the Haitian-Dominican conflict,” said Johnny D. Derogene, a senior and vice president of the Haitian-American Student Association at John Jay, in reference to HASA’s collaboration with the Dominican Students Association.

“Most recently, earlier in the spring 2015 semester, HASA hosted a second event with The Black Institute (TBI) in which many Haitian activists, and politicians such as NYC Council Member Eugene Mathieu, Assembly Woman Rodneyse Bichotte, and a lawyer from the Haitian American Lawyers Association of New York (HALANY) came to John Jay to speak about the history of Haitian immigrants, particularly in the Dominican Republic.”

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons Dominican Flag

Photo Courtesy of Wikicommons
Dominican Flag

When asked about the hateful and violent crimes that occur between Haitians and Dominicans, none of the three HASA executives failed to mention burning flags, physical harm to people of both cultures, and very recently, the removal of citizenship to Haitians born in the Dominican Republic.

According to the Huffington Post, in 2013, a Dominican constitutional court made a ruling that revoked citizenship from children of Haitian migrants. The ruling applied to people of Haitian descendant born after 1929.

Tarisha Augustine, a junior and secretary of the Haitian-American Student Association at John Jay, labelled this occurrence as a “despicable hate crime supported by the government.”

Taisha Lazare and Johnny D. Derogene also did not agree to the removal of citizenship to people of Haitian descent in the Dominican Republic.

“Being stripped of your nationality, something you identified as since birth is not only wrong but downright dehumanizing,” said Lazare.

“I consider the denial of Dominican nationality to thousands of Haitians who were born and have lived in the Republic Dominican for generations, as being hateful” Derogene continued.

The executives of the Haitian-American Student Association at John Jay all agree that the conflicts occurring between Dominicans and Haitians on their native island needs to be addressed. But they also want to continue promoting a positive dynamic between the two groups on campus.

“We want to go against the odds and show that we are intolerant of ignorance here and that we wont create walls between the two groups like back home” said Augustine on the clubs’ plans to continue holding events in which they educate students about the issues plaguing their country, while promoting a positive cultural fusion.


“Safe Space”: A Home Away From Home

By Valfrie Claisse

Contributing Writer

The cliché says it. Learning institutions are a second home for students. A home necessitates comfort and safety for its dwellers. And so follows that schools and college campuses should as well, hence the functional term “safe space”.

But what exactly defines a “safe space”?

The idea of a safe space in American colleges has been a contentious point lately. In John Jay College, there had been situations where student activities had clashed with administration policies, and had its share of controversy afterwards.

That public institutions are subject to the current social norms of speech and conduct is a fact that colleges have battled and has been battling since. Asked how they put themselves amidst the fine line, members of the John Jay community expressed agreement on a balanced approach.

Timothy Stroup, professor of Philosophy and one of the longest-tenured faculty member at John Jay, reflected on his experience over the course of his career on how he designs the decorum of his classes.

“I do encourage tolerance as a starting point and a general virtue of class participation, but not as an absolute good,” Professor Stroup said.

Darya Neviarovich, a John Jay senior, sees the line between creating a safe space for students as well as a balance of having to deal with other ideas inside and outside the classroom. “I think that the college should monitor student activities around the campus so that there would be no anti-Semitic, anti-gay, and other hateful remarks around the campus,” she said.

But while she believes that colleges have a duty to provide a comfort zone for students, Neviarovich also sees being in institutions with strict policies such as outright censorship is “like being raised in a laboratory.”

Ankit Mehta, a senior John Jay student, stressed the contrast in the atmosphere of different colleges when approaching issues. Mehta transferred from New York Institute of Technology (NYIT) two years ago.

“NYIT is not like that. It’s all about facts, facts, facts, but this college is more subjective,” said Mehta, in speaking about the differences in learning environment and how they set up students for a different kinds of tension.

“It defeats the whole purpose. People go to college to get a different perspective on things. It allows people to view the world in a different way,” he continued.

The reflection provided by the John Jay community points to a preferred balance on the fine line between the freedom of expression and a campaign against harmful ideas and activities. A letter from the Center for Constitutional Rights to President Travis asked him to reflect on John Jay College’s mission statement as being an educator of “fierce advocates for justice” in response to the regulations placed upon the Students for Justice in Palestine’s vigil last fall.

On what the active factors are in this ever-present intellectual clash, Professor Stroup provides an insight: “Two important principles are at stake:  the right of free speech and the need to minimize hurtful speech.  Neither of these principles are absolute, and the problem is balancing them.  If we stress too much avoiding discussions that offend people, we’ll be failing to fulfill our duties as educators and students to analyze all aspects of an issue.”



Student Artists In The Limelight

By Timothy Wilson

Contributing Writer


By: Derek Edwards Left to right: Erik Muniz, Nicholas Dakers, Howard Borden, Makeda Jordan, Derek Edwards, and Jalls Civil Jr., accepting award at the CSIL Award dinner.

By: Derek Edwards
Left to right: Erik Muniz, Nicholas Dakers, Howard Borden, Makeda Jordan, Derek Edwards, and Jalls Civil Jr., accepting award at the CSIL Award dinner.

There are many up and coming artists at John Jay that many people did not know about until recently because of the buzz they are receiving. John Jay Radio is one of the main networking organizations at the college. If you want to start meeting people and engaging in new things, the Radio Organization is the perfect place for you to do so.

Howard Borden, president of the Radio Organization, felt that the Radio is a meaningful part to the culture of John Jay. “The organization was founded immediately after John Jay became apart of CUNY and I knew this because my aunt and godsister attended John Jay so they informed me about some of the history of the organization. They were also one of the main reasons I decided to join this organization,” said Borden.

The main goal of Radio Organization is to help student artists. Of course they don’t just help anybody. According to Borden, he has to see that you are serious about your craft. This means you need a resume or a sample of your work whether it be singing, rapping, etc. Also, he stated that first impressions are everything.

A rapper who has been assisted by the Radio Organization had a lot of good things to say about them. “The Radio Organization has helped me get into and perform at various shows at John Jay, and by giving me that opportunity, my fan base has grown tremendously,” said Jalls Civil a.k.a. “Jay King”.

They recently held an event in which many different people performed. There were rappers, song writers, and even people who did spoken word poetry. The artists felt this was another great opportunity to get themselves out there and they loved Radio for giving them a chance to showcase their talents.

By: Derek Edwards Erik Muniz practicing his DJ skills.

By: Derek Edwards
Erik Muniz practicing his DJ skills.

The Radio organization doesn’t only assist artists. They also engage in activities during community hour. Once this semester they hosted their live radio show during community hour playing music and hosting interviews with select individuals. “I do remember that day during community hour. They were playing music and they were conducting interviews. I enjoyed when they played hip hop and rap throwbacks, reggae and soca. It really livened up the place,” said Lisa Ford, a student at John Jay.

Another student, Melissa Drouillard, said that she also enjoyed them interacting and making community hour a more comfortable and enjoyable place to be.

The Radio Organization is starting to grow tremendously. “If anyone wants to join the Radio Organization, all you have to do is attend two meetings and contribute some of your time to the events being coordinated so that we know you are dedicated to the cause,” said Borden. The president  also wanted people to know that “it is important to know where your money is going, and since we are an organization for the students we get a budget which we put towards events to help students in John Jay showcase their talents and for the enjoyment of the students who just want to watch. We try to be productive with the budget so you as students don’t feel we are wasting your tuition,” said Borden.

The Radio Organization is a great opportunity to meet new people and coordinate events for John Jay. If you want to join, head on down to Club Row, located in room L2.70.24, and speak to the president Howard Borden.


Lights, Camera… I’m Late

By Daysha McNair

Contributing Writer

Day in and day out, John Jay students are up against finding a seat in the cafeteria, or even gaining access to floor because of film production setups or some event that leave students feeling a bit out of the loop.

“It’s great that the school is famous for its beautiful campus; it’s going to be in a lot of movies and commercials. It’s great to see them on television. At the same time, it does hinder quite a bit from our school experience because it becomes a hassle getting to classes and lounging around the school,” said Kyle Roberts, a John Jay junior.

Other students do not mind sharing their campus with the film sets and appreciate it more when they see it on television. “It doesn’t really bother me… it’s cool to see how they can transform John Jay and when you’re watching SVU and you see them walking down John Jay’s steps,” said Nadejda Dimitrova, a student and treasurer of the Habitat for Humanity club.

Some students also expressed their concern for having to share their space with the production sets while paying for tuition that only seem to rise.

“They have every right to be here because they have paid the school,” said Susan Abdelghafar, student.

Yet, Abdelghafar felt mostly disdain for the constant film crews. “It’s really difficult for students to get to their classes and they can’t because film crews are filming in that area and you have this automatic defense mode where the student is like ‘this is my school and I have every right to go to my classroom without any issues because I pay tuition.”

Abdelghafar’s opinion was common among many students who said that they would mostly likely feel more at ease if they were informed about where the money is going. “It would be great to know how this is helping our school… I would feel a little better and be more okay with it than I am now,” said Roberts.

An email was sent out to the college in October 2013 from the Senior VP for Finance and Administration, Robert Pignatello, with regards to the Space Rentals and where the money are being allocated.

The space rental revenue is collected through the non-profit corporation, John Jay College Auxiliary Services Corporation, whose main purpose is “to support educational, social, cultural, and recreational activities for students, faculty, and staff.”

“The Corporation’s revenue is derived primarily through vendor contracts for the bookstore, food services, vending, rental of space on the roofs of our building to cell phone providers, and rental of College facilities,” Pignatello’s letter says.

However, since there has been a decreasing market in book sales, the college revenue has also been decreasing. Hence, space rentals are intervening to replenish the funds.

“Over the years, the College has relied on the Corporation for significant support.  Further, due to the current changes in the text book marketplace, revenue the corporation has normally received for its operations from book sales has decreased.  Thus, revenue from the film and TV rentals has helped to replace book store revenue.”

“Auxiliary Corporation Revenue has increased more than 76% since fiscal year 2011, totaling almost $3M in fiscal year 2013. Total expenditures for fiscal year 2013 were $2.6M.  The Corporation has no employees but its support goes to offset certain salaries which helps the College financially.”

The funds are not only helping the college financially, but is also used to support students in scholarships and honors programs.

“The Auxiliary Services Corporation provided approximately $300,000 to fund student scholarships and support for the honors program.  In addition the many College events benefit students.” Patricia Ketteter, Assistant VP for Financial Services.


A HIGHer Education

By Mai Reyes

Contributing Writer

By: Daysha McNair Popular caffeinated beverages.

By: Daysha McNair
Popular caffeinated beverages.

It’s finals week, and the end of the semester is upon us. Students aim to end the academic year on a high note, both figuratively and literally.

Many John Jay students—as well as many college students—who wish to remain on track with the stack of final exams, papers, presentations, and the other requirements at the end of the semester do just that. To perform better in spite of the stress and anxiety, their remedies consist of a cup of Starbucks, a Red Bull, a pop of Adderall, or worse, a combination of all.

Drug and substance abuse remains to be a sensitive topic among many, both young and old. For some college students, it’s an under-the-table kind of thing that they may or may not be so loud about.

Three friends, Nedelin, Margaret, and Michelle were hanging out on the 6th floor lounge area during community hour. With a can of Coke in her hand, Margaret reflected on her past experiences with coping mechanisms during times like midterm season or finals week.

“From my past experiences on taking a substance to help me study, my academic results ended up as C’s,” Margaret, a Forensic Psychology major at John Jay, said. She now only drinks coffee and soda for taste and prefers not to take anything to help her study.

Nedelin, also a Forensic Psychology major, shared that she knows a friend who must take Adderall in order to attend school and focus on her studies. “She will not be able to function without it. She must be put in a separate room to take her exams because she easily gets distracted.”

Nedelin’s personal experience included being tipsy on alcohol. “I had plenty of energy to study and thought I was able to retain all information from the previous night of studying. The next day, I forgot and couldn’t remember anything when the alcohol wore off,” she said. “I would never do it again. Nothing stuck to memory after spending a whole night studying.”

Michelle, a Criminal Justice major, said, “I am in support of students taking supplements or substances to help them study, like energy drinks, but not drugs of any kind. I prefer to drink Monster, Red Bull, or coffee or any combination of them because they help my energy stay even throughout the day in order to study and have the energy to commute back and forth from New Jersey to John Jay.”

Nedelin, Margaret, and Michelle, as it turns out, share the same story with a lot more John Jay students.

A recent John Jay student survey found that 93 percent of students rely on some type of a substance or supplement as a study aid in order to meet academic demands. The high number of John Jay students who rely on these substances are at a high risk of developing an addiction and sporting a toe tag at the morgue.

Out of the 100 students surveyed, 26 percent said they use energy drinks to help them stay up while they study. 17 percent use alcohol to help them cope with stress, and 15 percent said they use other substances such as over-the-counter drugs like Stay Awake while studying. Some of the most popular supplements are Stay Awake and NoDoz. The survey also showed that 13 percent of students take prescription drugs like Adderall, Modafinil, and Ambien to help them focus and regulate sleep.

“As tasty and as helpful as caffeinated substances are, students don’t havemuch of a choice in avoiding them,” said Dominika Szybisty, a senior at John Jay. “The accessibility has both its draws and drawbacks.”

In the survey, 11 percent of students said they have used Caffeine Powder, an overlooked deadly substance. A spoonful of caffeine powder is equivalent to drinking 70 Red Bulls in one sitting.

According to experts, one should avoid having more than 600 milligrams of caffeine in one day. To put that into perspective, one grande Starbucks coffee (16 ounces) has about 330 milligrams of caffeine. A 12-ounce Diet Coke has 45 milligrams.

Because caffeine is a drug, its effects can vary from person to person depending on weight, medications, and overall health, according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“Students who juggle multiple roles can be easily drawn to substances to help them cope with stressors on a daily basis. Economic hardships, working many hours, attending to family, as well as the demands for time to study can easily lead to dependency,” said Lin Anderson, an extern at the Department of Counseling on campus.

Marijuana was preferred by 10 percent of the students to help them relax and cope with stress during exams and finals, but one percent of the students used cocaine or heroin. Several said they use a combination of these substances when the time to focus for final exams comes.

These substances alone can cause harm, and taking a combination of these can be deadly. Severe caffeine overdose can cause fast and erratic heartbeat, seizures, vomiting, diarrhea, and disorientation.

Be aware of your habits and your choices when reaching for an easy A.





Doubling Up on Intro to Literary Studies

By Deborah Guterman

Contributing Writer

By: Darya Neviarovich The course materials for a LIT 260 class.

By: Darya Neviarovich
The course materials for a LIT 260 class.


At John Jay, English major and minor requirements include LIT 260, Introduction to Literary Studies. As a prerequisite for 300 and 400 level literature classes, LIT 260 is expected to introduce a slew of topics, including poetry, plays, short stories, novels, and defining characteristics of literary genres. The English Department is now questioning whether such an ambitious class is to the students’ advantage.

“It’s a question born of a concern that LIT 260 tries to do too much and be too many things to too many people,” said literature professor Helen Kapstein at John Jay.

John Staines, professor and major advisor for the English Department, added that they’ve been “finding 260 doesn’t always give everybody the stuff that they need to succeed in the 300 level courses,” which is why the discussion exists at all.

Among other English professors, Professor Kapstein is polling students on whether their LIT 260 class felt rushed, as the Board will soon discuss whether to make the course two semesters long instead of the current single semester.

Because this decision is in its beginning stages, the logistics have yet to be worked out. But a few things seem clear: having two classes as prerequisites instead of one would add another class, another three credits’ worth of time to the English major requirements, making it a total of 39 credits instead of the current 36.

LIT 260’s role as a prerequisite would have to be looked at, especially as it applies to majors versus to minors “because it (260) is the only course required for both majors and minors, and for some students in the English major or minor. It’s the only course they’ll have in common with their peer group,” Kapstein said, emphasizing why 260 being a requirement for both majors and minors is an important quality to keep. “Clearly we want some sense of community, we want people to have some shared experience, we want them to have some shared skill-set coming through our department.”

Staines and Kapstein agree that, no matter what they do with the course, they won’t be simply spreading the existing material over two semesters. Rather, they would be dividing and supplementing the intended topics more to thoroughly teach each one.

Despite the professors’ assurance that splitting the course would not make it easier, not all English students are in favor of such a change. In fact, most English majors are vehemently against 260’s divide.

“I think it’s gonna be easier for students if it’s broken into two,” said Alexa Clifford, an upper junior at John Jay who has already completed the 260 requirement for her English BA. She agrees with what the English Department seems to intend, but “I think that’s going to be the problem,” she adds.

“The class was hard but I feel like if they continue—the school—they continue to baby their students, nobody is ever going to push themselves,” said Clifford.

“They should not do that,” agreed Alina Serkhovets, a graduating English major senior. “Since it’s a high class already, you are already at least a sophomore or a junior when you’re taking it, so you can handle the workload.”

Creating a compromise, a sophomore at John Jay, Jade Baird, said that they “have one set of people who take the course in one shot and get it over with, and…a second set of people where if they want to split the course, they can split the course. It’s up to the student to pick.” He compared his solution to high schools, where “you could take Trig for one year, or you could take it in 2 years to get ready for the regents.”

Because 260’s rushed state has been brought up to the English Department on numerous occasions, while some students are decidedly opposed to making it any more lax, clearly not all of them agree. Though a compromise like Baird’s might be the most pragmatic, the English Department will, at the end of the day, make their decision based on what they see fit, not only on students opinions but also on what they think will help students get the most out of 260, and therefore the English major or minor, as possible.

This discussion, however, is just beginning to bud.

“We haven’t committed at all as a Department to doing this,” said Kapstein.”