Cleaning for a Cause

Katie Brandt

On Saturday October 22nd, Stockton’s Habitat for Humanity Club hosted a street clean-up on 10th Ave in Dorothy, New Jersey.  This was a one-time-only event that was open only to members of Habitat for Humanity.  The event was slightly difficult to get to.  There was no communal transportation system.  Everyone was on their own to find a ride or carpool to take them to the clean-up location.  Attendees were also not informed as to which end of the street they were to meet, so that was a semi-confusing situation.  Other than the difficulty of getting to the location, the experience was wonderful.  For me, this was the first time I had met any other members of Habitat for Humanity.  I found this event a great way to meet new people.  Everyone was so kind and happy to be helping the environment.  At first it was a bit concerning because it was raining, however, just in time to start cleaning, the rain stopped.  Attendees were supplied with gloves and trash pickers.  The members were split into two groups: one started at one end of the street and the other group started at the opposite end.  Any piece of litter that was found was picked up a taken care of.  Everything plastic, aluminum or glass was put in a bag.  Then, any other type of garbage found was put in a separate bag to distinguish between recyclables and trash.  We all walked together and talked about are life goals and interests.  The whole situation was moving.  It was amazing seeing a group of young college students bonding while helping the environment and the world around them.  This was not a mandatory event.  Each person that came decided to voluntarily come and provide community service.

Afternoon of Service

On October 13, 2016, I attended Stockton’s Afternoon of Service sponsored by Commuters on the Go.  The event was held from 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. in the Board of Trustee’s Room in the Campus Center.  This activity was comprised of two sections, one of which was volunteer service stations and the other being a reflection session.  As mentioned by group leader Zeal, there will be another event hosted later in the semester.

Upon arriving at the event, I noticed that there was not a large turn-out of volunteers.  Personally I found this shocking since I had heard that there was a great deal of volunteers at the Day of Service earlier in the semester.  Although I attended along with my friends, there were other attendees who I had not met before but now had to opportunity to work alongside of and meet.  The event consisted of three service projects scattered on three tables around the room.  The first project presented was a sewing project.  At this table, colorful fabric was used to sew together teddy bears and heart shaped pillows for children who suffer from cancer. Some fragmentary bears were left on the table from previous sessions and are able to be worked on at the next Afternoon of Service later in the semester.  The second project presented was a craft of making heart-shaped baskets.  The baskets are going to be given to the elderly in nursing homes for Mother’s Day.  As well, thoughtful messages were written on construction paper to be placed into the baskets.  Both the teddy bear and the basket projects were ones I did not partake in, yet, I did partake in the third project.  The third project was the creation of birthday cards for homeless families who are not financially able to purchase gifts let alone cards for their children’s birthdays.  The designs on the outside of the cards were left up to our imaginations whereas the inside of the cards were left blank.  The purpose of the card being blank on the inside was so that the families could personalize the cards for their children.

Following the volunteer aspect of the event, a brief reflection session was held.  For the reflection activity, each participant was given three post-it notes.  We were instructed to write down a person, an object, and a trait that we deemed important to us.  Randomly, we were to switch our post-it notes with someone unfamiliar to us and then to throw away one of the person’s post-its into a bin.  Then, we received our individual post-it notes and had to see which note was missing.  The purpose of the demonstration was to have people realize the detriments of losing something important to them.  For me, I was upset with the post-it note that was discarded and I cannot imagine what it would be like to actually lose it.  Overall, I found this event and dialogue session impacting and one that I wish to be a part of in the future.


Stockton Myths and Legends


Stockton Myths and Legends

Thursday, October 6th marked the beginning of University Weekend. Between movies, comedians, parades, and fairs, it was bound to be a busy few days. However, a small event on the crammed schedule caught my eye. Stockton Myths and Legends, hosted by Stockton alumni and staff. Unsure of what it could possibly be, I made my way to the event room. I grabbed a cannoli and sat down quickly in the second row, already late. Seated on the stage before me were people much older than me, talking to each other, fixing their microphones, and playing on their cellphones.

The host walked over to a separate podium and began to speak. He introduced his distinguished guests one by one. Stockton Myths and Legends, he explained, was an event where the first members of Stockton College’s pupils and professors met to speak about what the college was like when it’s doors first opened. One professor left great money in a well established school to teach a liberal arts education to students, he felt, needed it more. Another handed in her application simply because she needed a job.

They described the early days as a combined effort between students and staff to create an education they both agreed on, implementing unorthodox courses such as women’s sexuality, classes in which they created isolation chambers, and others which were extremely unordinary for the time. They created clubs left and right, and the professors even played football alongside their students. It was, as they saw, an opportunity to construct the kind of college they thought the world needed.

While all in attendance agreed that the Stockton they taught at was wonderful and unique, a distinct separation in opinion arose, those who felt the university had strayed from its original platform, and those who felt it was the same place it always was. The perennial optimist of the group argued that the alterations seen were necessary for the University to grow and spread its ideals; his counterpart maintained that Stockton changed for the worse and had already conformed too much.

I like to hope that Stockton is still the place that they called home all those years ago, but who am I to say? The event was hilarious, enlightening, and gave me a whole new love for my school. As I shuffled through the double doors, University Weekend t-shirt in hand, I decided I would certainly be attending next year’s event too.


Eryn Swineford

Atlantic City Half Marathon

Early Sunday morning, my lacrosse team and I volunteered at the Atlantic City Half Marathon as the 2.5 mile refreshment team. I woke up at 5:00, put on an absurd amount of layers (morning temperature 42 degrees), and drove the half hour from Stockton to the main drag of the marathon. It was still dark and windy, but our team was in it together. As soon we realized the full extent of the weather, we immediately sent a few of our teammates on a WaWa run to get hot chocolate and bagels for everyone. Then we had to set up the tables and start pouring refreshments for over five thousand runners that would soon be upon us. I was working the first table of water with three other teammates and we had the entire table full of water before the race started at 8:00. Miraculously the first group of the fastest runners came past our table at 8:13! They were moving so quickly that nearly all of the water spilled out of the cup when I tried to hand it off. Then around 8:25 an enormous mob started moving towards us. I frantically started handing water to the runners as my other teammates poured more cups, but it was nearly impossible to keep up with the demand. Water was spilling everywhere, crushed cups were strewn around the road, and people were stripping layers off and tossing them aside. In the midst of all of this hectic action, runners were thanking us for encouraging them and cheering them on and telling us how much they appreciated the volunteers. It was at that I started truly enjoying the volunteer work. Our team bonded so much that we agreed to do it again next year!

Kristen Russo

University Weekend

             On October 7th, 2016, the Stockton Student Development was in the midst of its annual University Weekend celebrations. On this particular night, they were hosting Chris Distefano from MTV’s Guy Code in Big Blue. I had arrived early so that I could ensure a seat in the front. I was especially excited because I had never been so close to a celebrity before. As I made my way inside, those who had organized the event were handing out free t-shirts, which made me even more excited to attend the event. Who doesn’t love a free t-shirt, right?

            The night was an overall success. Chris Distefano was absolutely hilarious. He cracked jokes about the various majors of the students, his Hispanic wife and daughter, and even the elections. My favorite part of the night had to be when one of the students asked Chris, “Are you going to chop your balls off when you vote for Hilary?” to which he replied “You clearly haven’t been listening to me the whole night. My girlfriend owns my balls. Are you going to put your confederate flag up when you vote for Trump?” As freshman, I was at first surprised he could say that, but then I remembered college is a lot less filtered, and I really felt myself enjoying the event and appreciating college.

The next day was the street fair, which I was excited to bring my family to. It was nicely organized and there were many vendors to buy food from. Unfortunately, I had missed the parade due to the rain, but it was nice to see what was left of the event. Perhaps for the street fair next year, student development might consider having the vendors in a closer proximity as the trucks and table were spread out from each other. This made the event space look quite empty. Other than this, it was a fun event to the addition of the weekend, and family enjoyed it as well. It left me excited to see what is in store for next year. (Nudar Chowdhury)

The Adobowl

On October 22nd, the Pilipino American Students Association of Stockton (P.A.S.A.S.) visited The College of New Jersey for the annual Adobowl with District 5. Filipino club spans the nation and are divided by sections called districts. District 5 is the collection of colleges, universities and vocational institutes within South Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. The name Adobowl is derived from the filipino cuisine called adobo. This event is where filipino clubs participate in games and food with other students.

Although I arrived late to the event, I still came in time for the games. The teams were randomized after signing up (5 dollars per student, 2 dollars per alumni) and were not categorized by the school you were in. I missed a few team-oriented games like popping another teams’ balloon that are tied to their ankle, and egg tapping. Luckily, I made it just in time during the preparation of tug-of-war. Assigned to the black team, we had to coordinate with each other to pull on the rope at the same time. Our superior pulling skills made it the finals, but were ultimately taken down by the blue team in a very extended war. The last game was a board member trivia relay where one member from each team must race from one side of the recreational center and find the picture of the board member who was the answer to the question.

By the end of the day, all the teams experienced a “thanksgiving” dinner together. The food consisted of pizza, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, banana-chocolate cake, and drinks. We ate and exchanged contacts with each other and were able to experience the filipino community that we seek to preserve. The Adobowl was a fun-filled event that I wish for others to experience as well.

Forsythe Wildlife Refuge Clean Up Event

On Saturday, October 22nd S.A.V.E. (Stockton Action Volunteers for the Environment) travelled off campus to the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge to volunteer in a litter cleanup event. Although the chilly weather and rain may have deterred some people, S.A.V.E. met in the Campus Center that morning at 7:45a.m. to drive to the refuge. When we arrived, there were little open parking spots showing that a whole community came together despite the fact that it was a rainy and dreary Saturday morning. Each group of people that arrived were given pickers, recycling and garbage bags/buckets, gloves, and a road to clean up and make beautiful again.

Although we were not given that much of an area to clean, (especially compared to other trash clean ups I have done in the past) we found a decent amount of items that belonged in a landfill or a recycling plant, rather than on the side of a road. S.A.V.E. did a very thorough job, cleaning up everything that they saw. Glass bottles, plastic, and paper trash were more of the common litter gathered. Among these common trash items, S.A.V.E. collected more unusual items such as two full paint cans and a tire.

When we finished, we brought everything we found back to the Wildlife Refuge to be disposed of properly. After that, the men and women running the event offered us hot coffee and light refreshments, which was very kind of them to do. They also gave out free sweatshirts for those who participated in the event.

Overall, this event was very rewarding. It is very important for people to take pride in their communities and the planet to keep it clean. Making a difference and volunteering is so worthwhile, and being apart of events like these are what make my day!

University Weekend Street Fair

The morning of Saturday October 8 had the makings of an unpleasant day—the sky was a bleak shade of gray, and the forecast of rain all day proved to be accurate, with a fair amount of rain falling from the sky. This assumption proved to be wildly inaccurate. That day was the third and biggest day of Stockton’s University Weekend, an annual event which serves as a chance for family and alumni to visit the campus and enjoy a wide variety of fun (and mostly free) activities. What made the 8th special was their large Street Fair, which featured a wide variety of vendors. This event was sponsored simply by the university, as one of the many activities for University Weekend (including a semiformal dance, the Osprey Ball, that evening). My family wasn’t able to attend, but I had the pleasure of going to the Street Fair with my visiting boyfriend. I was shocked by the large amount of vendors they had. However, it was mildly disappointing to see many empty tables that would’ve had Stockton clubs and organizations as their vendors. The inflatables, which we were both looking forward to, were also unable to be used. With the somewhat heavy rain, these were both understandable. The weather was manageable, as long as you had a jacket and umbrella, which we thankfully had. However, there were still many outside vendors. Some of these included various food trucks serving tacos, sandwiches, and potato products, as well as food tables featuring pretzels and cinnamon rolls, clothing and jewelry vendors, and even the Camden Aquarium, which had a mobile aquarium where you could see and touch starfish, stingrays, and even sharks. Inside the Campus Center and Big Blue, there were performances from Stockton’s dance team and acapella groups, respectively, which were both excellent. The university also had tables set up in dry areas, giving away free items as well as selling University Weekend t-shirts. Overall, the event was well organized and put together. All of the vendors were high quality and very friendly, as were the Stockton clubs and organizations that were in attendance. The rain did put a bit of a damper on things, and it would’ve been nice to see more of the clubs that signed up represented at the Street Fair. It is hard to make an event of this sort rain resistant, but some better planning on that end would’ve made it even better. Possibly with more tents, or moving the tables inside of the academic building. The people that were there, though, were very amiable, and it was a great environment to be in. Though the weather was less than ideal, I had a great time shopping, eating, and petting sharks (which I never thought I’d do in front of I Wing). The organization of the event and the people still made the day enjoyable, despite the dreary weather, and I can’t wait to see what they do next year.

Osprey Ball

The event I attended on Saturday October 8th was the 21st Annual Osprey Ball. It is a yearly semi-formal homecoming event held in the Campus Center Event Room that is put on by the Office of Student Development. The tickets were 5 dollars until the end of September, then went up to 10 dollars on October 1st.

The dance went on from 9pm-1am. There was a photo booth, a DJ, and refreshments available for all the attendees at no additional cost. There seemed to be a good turn-out, and everyone there seemed to be having a good time. There was a dance floor in the center of the room with tables set up around the edges of the room for people to eat and relax, and there was plenty of space for everyone who attended.

The dance was really fun. I was able to bring my boyfriend down and a lot of my friends were at the dance as well. The ticket was well worth 10 dollars thanks to the inclusion of the food and the photo booth. There was a nice variety of food, there was enough for everyone, and it tasted really good. They also had cake and drinks. The photo booth line was long but worth the wait. The pictures turned out nicely and the little props they provided you added a lot of charm.

It was also nice inside the event! I love seeing people dressed up, so I really love semi-formal dances. The DJ was good and the music kept everyone dancing. The people there had good energy and everyone seemed to really be having fun, which made you want to stay and keep dancing. I thought the event was very well put together and I’d happily go again next year.

La Chancleta Dialogue Session

By Celine Fleenor

On October 11, 2016, I attended a dialogue session entitled “La Chancleta: Discussing Discipline vs. Child Abuse”, which was hosted by the Latin American Student Association and Lambda Tau Omega Sorority, Incorporated. I was a little apprehensive about going since I am not of Latin American descent, and I don’t know much about the culture, but I found the session to be very interesting and informative. To start off, we talked about discipline in different cultures and the expectations that parents have for their children in different countries such as the United States, New Zealand, and China. Different members of the organizations shared their stories about their own discipline growing up and different factors that played a role in how they were disciplined such as gender, age, the presence of siblings, and if it was their mother or father giving the punishment. Then we discussed the fine line between discipline and child abuse, and when the punishment has gone too far.  They also brought in a Stockton alumna from the Lambda Tau Omega Sorority, who works as a social worker, to weigh in on the conversation. She talked about how she deals with cases where families need counseling due to child abuse. Some children even need to be removed from their homes because of abuse situations. She talked a lot about how she can’t bring her work home with her otherwise she gets too attached to the cases and the children involved. Props to her for being brave enough to be a social worker, because I could never. All in all, I thought this dialogue session was very informative and I’m really glad that I took part in it. It was great to discuss such a universal topic and learn about different cultures in the process.