Marine Science Seminar

On Wednesday November 18th the Marine Science program hosted its second seminar of the semester. David Golden from the New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife gave a presentation of the potentially beneficial reuse of dredged materials. Golden compared traditional dredging which leads to a net loss of sediment to a new dredge process which could add ecological and economic benefits by restoring marshes. Eroding marshes deposit sediments in channels, which then need to be dredged. Traditionally, the dredge material would be put in an area secluded from the marsh and the marsh restoration would not be addressed. The new process would combine the restorative needs of the marsh and the dredging needs.

Two sites have already experienced the new marsh restoration processes Golden described. Stone Harbor did not react well to thin layer deposition because it was mostly sand at this site, but dredged sand was able to accumulate and make a habitat for the birds who nest there. The second project was more successful with thin layer deposition. The site was in Avalon, and contained mostly fine materials like silt and clay. Another project is in the works at Fortescue. This project will have various types of restoration happening, all requiring a specific type of dredge to be used. Marsh restoration, dune restoration, and beach replenishment will all be attempted at Fortescue.

The seminar was extremely informative to attend. Presentations like this are very helpful to students because it gives students opportunities to learn of various projects going on related to their majors.

Marine Science Seminar: What Will Happen to the Marshes

The first Marine Science seminar of the year was hosted earlier in October. The seminar was hosted by the Marine Science program and it was on the future of marshes. Erin Reilly who is from the Barnegat Bay Partnership was the presenter.

This seminar focused on problems facing marshes, particularly the Tuckerton and Cattus Island marshes. Reilly also explained the methods by which employees of the Barnegat Bay Partnership would collect data, like using quadrats and transects. After collection of this data, elevation maps were created and outlined the marshes according the elevation. The classification of elevation were referred to as zones. Zone 1 had the lowest elevation, and zone 5 had the highest elevation. The low elevation zones could be considered possible candidates for a new process called thin layer deposition.

Thin layer deposition is when dredge is put on top of marsh in places where the marsh is suffering, either through sinking or erosion. Based on the elevation maps and quartiles completed, the Tuckerton and Cattus Island marshes could be candidates for thin layer deposition, but more data is needed. If these marshes are deemed appropriate for this procedure, additional funding is needed, because thin layer deposition is a costly and labor intensive process.

The information learned from going to this seminar was incredibly valuable. It is interesting to learn about marshes whether you are a marine science student or not. Marshes are incredibly important assets, especially in New Jersey, and more information needs to spread about them.

Freshman Move in Day!

On the beautiful day of August 28th, 2015, the remaining members of the incoming freshmen class moved into their new homes, Housing 2 and 3, at Stockton University. Move in times were staggered throughout the morning, starting at 8:30 AM. When students arrived at Stockton they were led to their rooms by enthusiastic Orientation Leaders. Those students who chose to go on S.O.A.R. (Stockton Outdoor Adventure Retreat) woke up that morning, anxious to meet their new roommates, floormates, and friends, but they also felt grateful for the lasting friendships that they made while on S.O.A.R.. This day was the beginning of Welcome Week, a college tradition used to welcome incoming freshmen to the place where they will hopefully be spending the next (and best) four years of their lives.

Heartbroken parents were assisted in the move in process by the T.A.L.O.N.S, a group of upperclassmen who also acted as “tribe leaders” at S.O.A.R. The move in day process was followed by the new students first meal plan lunch. Students used meal swipes and flex dollars to help them get used to how they will be acquiring food for the next year. This was also a good time for students to get to know the people on their floors and start new friendships. These new connections with floormates were moved to the dorms when mandatory housing meetings started at four. At these meetings students were able to meet their RAs (Resident Assistants) and learn the rules are expectations that are in place in the freshmen dorms. One of the majors rules was no alcohol in the buildings, housing 2 and 3 are dry. Punishments were explained and then students were given some free time after the meetings.

In between mandatory events many “ice breaker” games were played. Games such as ride that pony, wap, and all my friends and neighbors, were implemented as a way to ease the tension of a new group of anxious people. These ice breakers seem silly and tedious but are actually essential to the group dynamic. Icebreakers were a major part of keynote speaker Troy Stendes presentation. This presentation was used as an ultimate icebreaker, students I spoke to credited it as their, “favorite welcome week activity” and “a really good way to get everyone  to participate, without making it lame to get involved.” Stende combined fun activities with team building to create a fun environment that students felt comfortable.

After a long, new, day, students were finally free to do what they pleased. Some students went straight to bed while others chose to hang out with the new friends they made. Either way, move in day can overall be considered a success with the freshmen class beginning welcome week in Osprey style.

Osprey Ball 2015

Saturday, October 10th, 2015, was the third day of Stockton University’s University Weekend. The day was a cool 64 degrees and the campus was abuzz with excitement for the evening’s main event, the Osprey Ball. The morning was started off with the Stockton Parent & Family Association breakfast in the campus center event center. Breakfast was followed shortly by the men’s alumni soccer game.

But the excitement didn’t stop there. After a good game of soccer, the parade began. Different student organizations had the opportunity to design golf carts to represent each of their groups. Groups such as Stockapella and the Disney Association had floats in the parade which were designed throughout the week by members of each organization. The parade flowed through the crowds of students, faculty, alumni, and families who came out to show support this university weekend.

After a plethora of sporting events and a carnival in the parking lot of Big Blue, the night was topped off with the 2015 Osprey Ball. Everyone in attendance was dressed to the nines in their best clothes and arrived with all of their friends in the Campus Center Event Room at 9 P.M. The DJ kept a steady stream of mode11215849_10205000033112932_8852062462560408203_nrns hits such as Fetty Wap and classics like Respect by Aretha Franklin. The dance floor was packed as students Hit the Whip, Hit the Quan, and did the Cotton Eyed Joe. As the night moved on students were able to take photos in a photo booth and enjoy a large spread of desserts and sodas.

Overall the Osprey Ball just may have been the highlight of University Weekend. It was an awesome way to get everyone together to have a good time. This year’s University Weekend was clearly a massive success and I cannot wait to see what they have in store for us next year.

Kappa Sigma Wing-Bowl

On Tuesday November 17th, Kappa Sigma’s Xi-Rho chapter hosted their annual Wing Bowl event. The event was held at JD’s Pub and Grill in Smithville, which is approximately ten minutes away from campus. Although it was a fraternity sponsored event, it was open to everyone, whether or not they are involved in Greek life. Tickets for the Wing Bowl were sold in lower D Wing near the computer lab wing.

The night of the event was very exciting. Many people filtered through the pub enjoying wings and each other’s company. Kappa Sigma brothers were stationed throughout the cozy pub helping the night move smoothly. If students did not purchase tickets during tabling, which occurred on; Thursday, the twelfth, Monday, the sixteenth, and Tuesday, the seventeenth, they had the option to buy them at the door for the same prices, five dollars for six wings, or for ten dollars, students could participate in an exhilarating wing competition to win some cool prizes. The winner of this year’s Wing Bowl was Aaron Reader, a Kappa Sigma brother. The contest challenged anyone interested to eat ten chicken wings as fast as possible.

The money raised by the event went to Kappa Sigma’s philanthropy, the Military Heroes Campaign, and totalled $1,031. This charity works closely with organizations such as The Fisher House to help aid thousands of veterans and their families in America. I believe that this event can be considered a success. The fraternity gained positive exposure to possible rushes and towards the school and they were able to raise a decent amount of money to donate to a positive cause.

Covenant House Sleep-Out

On Friday, November 6th, 2015 Stockton held their third annual Sleep-Out.  This event was sponsored by Covenant House, an organization in Atlantic City dedicated to providing food and shelter to the homeless youths who come to their doors.  By youths, I do not mean just children; people my age stay there as well.

I originally learned about this event from a representative from the Covenant House during Day of Service. My roommate constantly reminded me that she was going throughout the week.  I decided on the night of the event to sign up and go with her (I do not recommend that anyone wait that long if they can help it).  To sign up, I had to search for “Stockton Sleep-Out” on Facebook.  After scrolling through the related posts, I eventually found a link to the official website for the event.  From there I signed up for the event and set up a sponsor page so that my friends on Facebook could donate funds towards our goal.  Certain set amounts of money paid for clothes, food, heating, etc. for those living at Covenant House.

The event itself took place at the Lakeside Lodge near upperclassmen housing.  There we signed an attendance form and waited to be divided into tribes.  I was not placed in a tribe with any of my housemates, but it was easy to make friends with the people in my tribe.

The first challenge we went through was a “box hunt”, where we would search the upperclassmen housing area for cardboard boxes.  The tribe who collected the most boxes won.  We could only carry one box per person and there were not enough for everyone.  We would have to sleep on them later once the activities were through. Realistically, a person who is homeless does not always find a safe, comfortable place to sleep at night, so I feel like this is a parallel.

The second challenge was comprised of six little contests: an egg toss, three-legged race, a hula hooping contest, a scavenger hunt where the supervisors kept removing chairs as it progressed, undoing a human knot, and a crab-walking contest.  Not everybody got to participate in everything; each event only needed four to eight people.  I don’t know if I can draw any parallels between the games and homelessness.  Mostly, they were for our entertainment and to keep us awake.  I suppose that if I think about it, both involve limited resources and difficulty adjusting, but that is a very weak simile and I am not committed to it.

Probably the most important part of this event was the presentations brought to us by both the Covenant House and by the supervising staff. Before this event, I’d associated being homeless with being completely broke and having no place to stay at all. Then one man introduced me to the concept of “couch hopping”; his mother had been sick and it was difficult to pay her medical bills and eventually I think they lost the house. He would end up staying with different friends and constantly switching between. Another woman’s house had burnt down and her family had to stay at a hotel until they could either afford a new house or repairs to the old one. Though these people had a place to stay, both went a significant amount of time without a home.

I feel really bad now for having taken my home for granted. The Covenant House is still raising funds on their website, so people can still visit and donate money. As I said above, this money will go towards food and resources for the youths of Covenant House. I sincerely hope that too many more people will not have to go through such hardships in the years to come.

Globalization Lecture Series

The lecture I attended was part of a lecture series called “Globalization lecture series: Language and global culture.” It was hosted by Dr. Lois Spitzer and she talked about if making English a global language I a good idea and what the advantages and disadvantages are to having a global language. She talked about why English would be the best choice for a global language and not any other popular languages. She described what we may lose with a globalization of one language but also what we would gain. The main point in this presentation was the concern for culture around the world and the impact it would have on all these different cultures that exist.

The reason for wanting to make English the global language is not because of how many people speak it but because of how widely spoken it is. If it was decided by how many native speakers there are of the language we would all have to learn Chinese. But Chinese is not the native language of many countries. English is the native language of almost fifty countries in the world.

The main problem with a global language, and making other languages die off is the loss of cultures. In many languages across the world there are unique words that we do not have words for in English. So we would lose all those unique words which will then develop to a loss of culture. Losing all these cultures will be very bad for the future of the world. There will be nothing for kids to learn about other countries. If we all spoke the same language we will all eventually fall into the same culture. There will be no differences between countries so there will be nothing interesting to study anymore.

A global language does have some benefits though. It will help to communicate better in business markets and fields of research. If a German scientist discovers something he can easily share it with the rest of the world because everyone will have the same language. There will be no more confusion in business markets and no more miscommunications. But along with a global language should come a global currency if we are doing it to make things easier. We will not have to convert Dollars to Yen or Pounds anymore so there will be no mistakes in those conversions and no money lost.

Stockton Soccer Game

On Friday, September 11 the men’s soccer team went up against Rensselaer. Both teams entered this game with an undefeated record (Stockton 3-0 and Rensselaer 4-0) to begin the Stockton Seashore Classic.

The game started out slow, having the first goal coming at minute 41 with a penalty kick by Clevon McPherson giving Stockton a 1-0 lead heading into halftime. Unfortunately this would wind up being Stockton’s only goal of the game. As we entered the next half, McPherson received a red card so Stockton had to play down a man. Rensselaer was able to score on the following free kick. It took just a few more minutes for them to score their second goal, bringing the score to 2-1.

Even though the Ospreys were playing down a man, they still put up a good fight toward the end, with their total of 10 shots throughout the game, but Rensselaer’s goalkeeper Ryan Nealon did a great job protecting his goal. The last few minutes were full of suspense as Stockton consistently came closer and closer to making the game tying goal, but they were just unable to overcome the fact that they were down a man. The Osprey’s suffered their first loss of the season to start the Stockton Seashore Classic. They can only hope to be better prepared for their next game against Mary Washington.

SAE Roadside cleanup

On the morning of September 19th I was lucky enough to be involved in Sigma Alpha Epsilon’s roadside cleanup. SAE is a fraternity that is recognized on the Stockton campus as the Rho Sigma chapter, since 2012. Their philosophy is the Children’s Miracle Network and they pride themselves as being “true gentlemen”.  Since SAE is the fraternity that I would like to be a part of second semester I decided that going to this rush event would be very beneficial to me, especially since it was community service based. A rush event is an event held by a fraternity (or a sorority) and is used as a way for current brothers and sisters to get to know future members.

The morning of the event was beautiful. The sun was shining and it could not have been a better day to go make the community better. We met together at the Dunkin Donuts in the Campus Center. This is where they explained to us the basis of what will be going on that day. They told us how it will be a good time and how beneficial of an experience it will be. They got me all ready to help out the community. The brothers and other potential rushes like myself were able to bond over picking up trash on the side of the road. Each of us were given a job, my first job was to hold the garbage bag to make picking up trash easier for someone else. Later we switched jobs and we were able to have fun out of the whole thing. At the end of the day though, most importantly, the streets were now a lot cleaner thanks to the brothers of SAE.

A Night of Rocky Horrors

The air is cold and dark on Halloween night at Stockton. Many people went home but those who stayed are building anticipation for the Stockton Theatre Club’s performance of Rocky Horror Picture Show. As guests enter the room, there are many actors and actresses in costumes to greet them and guide the guests to their seats. The actors do not go about interacting with guests normally. There are conversations with crude humor and laughter. Each guests who has not seen Rocky Horror Picture Show before that night is labeled as a “virgin” with a large, red letter V on their foreheads. There is a prop table with an array of items in the corner, where audience members can grab one to two props to use during the show. Once everyone makes their way to their seats, the shenanigans of the night begin.

Before the production begins, the actors and actresses around the room gather audience members to play games on the stage. The first game is played with coconuts. Players must partner up with a person they do not know, and start by holding a coconut between their bodies at the stomach. The goal is to move the coconut, without using hands, up one another’s bodies so that it is held between the partners’ necks. Players wiggle awkwardly against one another to move their coconuts. Some succeed and others drop their coconuts, letting them roll onto the ground below. After everyone returns to their seats more crude comedy and laughter fills the room, and more games are played. Once 8:15 p.m. arrives, the actors reside to the corners of the room and the production begins.

The lights dim and a movie reel begins on the screen. As the movie plays, actors dressed like the characters on screen act out the scenes on stage. The actors mimic lines only by moving their lips, all of the singing and speaking comes from the sound in the film. It is an interesting way to portray the story, but very entertaining for the audience. Throughout the production, the audience is asked to use their different props in certain scenes to add interaction. The actors walk and dance through the audience as they perform, some sitting on laps and some pulling audience members up to dance. The whole room feels whimsical and fun. Each actor does an excellent job at portraying their characters and each audience member gets into the story enthusiastically.

When the show ends, the audience is in uproar. Cheers and laughter show how well of a job the actors have done on stage. When leaving, the actors continue to interact with guests, keeping the fun atmosphere alive. The Stockton Theatre Club has, yet again, put on a fabulous show. The audience leaves feeling happy and carefree, on their way o enjoy the remaining hours of Halloween night.