Stockton Student Sleep Out

On November 6th, Stockton hosted its first annual Sleep Out to raise funds for Covenant House. Covenant house is a nonprofit organization that provides care and services for homeless, abandoned, and abused youth who have no other place to go. Last month, I visited Covenant House for a class project and saw what an amazing place it was. When I heard about the sleep out I was more than willing to join. Sleep outs are hosted all over the US annually. They raise money to help combat homelessness and they help to show its participants what it is like to homeless by sleeping outside on a cold night.

Before attending the event, I heard horror stories of participants huddled together in their sleeping bags on a freezing, rainy night. Luckily for us, it was beautiful out all night. Most of the night, people were wearing jeans and t-shirts. I kind of felt like I was cheating because most nights aren’t this beautiful and people have to combat freezing cold weather. For the first half of the night, we played games and did other cheerful activities to get to know each other better. I almost forgot what we were doing it for. Around midnight, we went inside and there was a presentation. We were shown videos about people our own age who were struggling with homelessness and the positive impact Covenant House made in their lives. After the video, people I knew started getting up and sharing their own personal struggle with homelessness. After that, we went back outside and it was time to sleep. Most of us ended up pulling all-nighters because even though it was beautiful out it was much less comfortable then we were used to.

Before then, I always looked at homelessness as a faraway concept that affects people that I would never know. Now I know how prevalent homelessness is in my own community. The Sleep Out helped to open my eyes and now I am much more aware of a very important issue. About 20-30 people participated and we raised almost $1,000. I am excited to participate next year even though it might not be as beautiful out.

Stockton’s Sixties Concert

Stockton’s Sixties Concert is an event thrown by The Sixties class. John O’Hara teaches this class and was in charge of running this event. It took place in the Campus Center Theatre on Wednesday November 11th. The concert started at 6:30pm and ended at 9:30pm. The purpose of the concert was to take the audience back through time to an era where people charged for peace not war. I not only attended this concert for my personal enjoyment, but because I was performing in it with Stockton’s American Sign Language club.

The night started off strong with Barry Bender & The Peace and Love Museum. The music was sensational and the audience was wild. As the night went on special acts performed on stage. Singers from Stockton’s choral groups performed to guitarists and they were out of this world. Students from The Sixties class then performed an original dance to a mash of hits from the sixties and it was phenomenal. The night ended strong with numerous songs played by The Stockton Faculty Band. The band was surprisingly really good and it was enjoyable.

I along with fifteen members of Stockton’s American Sign Language Club were patiently waiting, in our front row seats, for the Stockton Faculty Band to play “My Girl.” We had been practicing how to sign “My Girl” for weeks and we were both excited and nervous to finally be performing it. Amy the announcer, a student in The Sixties class, introduced our club and we proceeded to the stage. The lights blocked most of the audience, but my heart was still racing. I knew the signs and I had practiced a hundred times, but being on stage was somehow different. The music started and the rest is pretty much a blur. I left the stage feeling accomplished and when I could finally see the faces of others all I saw were smiles which made me feel successful. Overall the night was incredible and I really hope they hold another concert next year!

David Sanger on Modern Global Politics

The final event I attended was David Sanger’s presentation on modern global politics. Sanger lectured about opinions, which were seemingly presented as facts, on the world and its problems and solutions. Sanger began as a journalist for the New York Times before he was named a Washington correspondent for the same publication. He covered global issues and governmental concerns directly from Washington, D.C. and around the world.
First, Sanger discussed America as the “world’s policemen.” He explained that he was with president Bush when the second plane hit the twin towers, and that we have maintained this role ever since. Then the Iraq War blossomed from this, which presented many problems for the United States regarding power. This, Sanger pointed out, would be the dilemma in deciding what to do today, regarding ISIS.
Sanger said that over fourteen years, America has come nowhere close to ending extreme Jihadism. He pointed out that sometimes, Americans want to be isolationists, and sometimes they do not. This is a fundamental problem in solving ISIS: we do not want to fight them, but we cannot ignore the present and ongoing tragedies. These conflicts lead to yet another concern of whether we would end up creating more terrorists if we fight ISIS. The concerns are endless.
In addition to ISIS, Americans face other problems. One problem is the post-Cold War threats of Vladimir Putin that remain adamant, although Russia would supposedly be an ally if we fight ISIS. Next, there is the threat of ISIS. Last but not least, cyber attacks remain the most threatening to America’s safety. There are many benefits to the cyber world, but many problems. Foreign hackers are considered to be the biggest threat to America, according to the head of the CIA and the National Threat Assessment. The lecture presented a scary picture of what America faces currently.
Finally, Sanger presented solutions. He discussed drone strikes, using Special Forces, and using a cyber attack against Iran. He proposed that there are easy steps we can follow to eliminate several threats to America and our homeland security, and ended the presentation on a positive note. The talk was informative, entertaining, and extremely interesting, especially for those interested in politics.

Reflections from New York

On October 17, 2015, about 30 students from Stockton studying Greek and Roman art, history, culture, and languages journeyed to New York City to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, with a focus on their Cypriot collection. With monetary assistance from the Dean and Zoe Pappas Fund for Greek Art and Architecture, students, faculty, and members from the community spent the day amongst great pieces of Greco-Roman art and immersed themselves in the lives of the ancients. We traveled from the Cypriot Bronze Age, to Pre-Classical Greece, to High Classical Rome observing the artistic innovations of awe-inspiring times.

In the Cypriot art, we could see the Eastern influences of the Egyptians, Phoenicians, and later the Turks. We stopped and admired the great stone sarcophagi and the ornate scenes depicted along the sides. The Greek influence appeared in the mythological scenes on the sarcophagi and the statues of Herakles and Geryon, along with the “archaic Greek smile” that adorned the statues of unknown men. Most of the statues even still retained a few specks of their original paint, giving us an insight into how the statues may have originally appeared. Wandering afterwards from room to room, age to age, we circled funerary monuments made to celebrate the deaths of those who led the most lavish of lifestyles. Along the way we stumbled upon the smallest trinkets of everyday civilians sharing space with the armor of battle-worn soldiers. We stood alongside the likenesses of emperors, heroes, and gods, such as Marcus Aurelius Antoninus, Augustus, Alexander, Homer, Socrates, Hercules, Fortuna, Apollo, and the Graces. The Museum impressively uses its layout to intersperse many aspects of life to show the diversity of ancient culture. As students of Greco-Roman languages, we were particularly drawn to the various inscriptions in the galleries to test our mettle through translating these ancient texts.

After our visit to the ancient past, we ventured deeper into New York City to Ithaka Restaurant to experience an authentic Greek dinner. Over the expanse of three hours we enjoyed five courses of exquisite Greek cuisine, including stuffed grape leaves, tzatziki, taramosalata (Greek caviar), loukaniko (Greek sausage), pastitsio, and loukoumades (Greek donuts). Just as our cups and plates were never empty, so too did our eclectic conversations never cease. Sitting in such a festive and genuine atmosphere gave us a look into the modern lifestyle of the descendants of the people we came to know at the museum.

Ultimately, our trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art opened our eyes to the art and splendor of the past and our hearts to the culture and people of the present. We spent the day learning, teaching, and reveling in the glory of a past that will continue to inspire us and others for years to come.


On October 29th, two days before Halloween, the Wellness Center and Drug and Alcohol Peer Educators hosted Lolla-No-Booza, a fun and informative event spreading awareness about the dangers and facts of drugs and alcohol. The event was held in the Campus Center Event room from 7:00pm-11:00pm and there was food, games, and a ton of prizes for students to win. This year’s theme was “Freakshow,” a perfect fit for the week of Halloween. Inside the room all those who were working the event were dressed as clowns and other circus-like characters in spirit of the theme. There was even someone walking around on stilts. Right outside the Event Room there were two people juggling bowling pins.

The attendees walked in, many dressed in costumes, to table after table of fun games for students to play: water pong, spinning wheels, knocking down cups with balls, and more. After each win, a student would get a raffle ticket and be entered to win one of the numerous prizes baskets donated by various vendors. The long table of prizes seemed endless. In addition to the multiple carnival-like games available to play there was bull riding as well as a photo booth for students to capture all of the night’s memories.

Even if students didn’t have much luck with the raffle, they still were able to get free things because as the event was coming to an end, students received plastic cups filled with coupons to nearby restaurants. No matter how the night turned out, everyone ended the event a winner.

The Open Race Panel

The Open Race Panel was the first dialogue session I attended at Stockton. It took place on November 2, 2015 at the Campus Center Theatre. I am involved with the club F.E.M.A.L.E.S., a student organization dedicated to the empowerment of women, and they directed me to attend the panel in place of our weekly meeting. I do not normally like talking about race because it is a touchy subject, but being an African-American at a white-dominant university, I know I would benefit from addressing the issue head on. The panel featured a diverse mix of six students and faculty representing various backgrounds. It was interesting to see everyone on the panel’s viewpoints on the same topics, viewpoints that were so in sync with those of other civil rights leaders. From the get-go the panel was very thought provoking and it made me feel more cultured and knowledgeable about society.

The first thing they addressed was the offensive discussions on YikYak, an anonymous college campus centered social media outlet, about the role of UBSS. UBSS stands for the Unified Black Student Society. Students at Stockton anonymously posted comments on YikYak questioning the significance of an all-black club, stating that if there was a white student society it would be called racist. I was immediately overjoyed by the powerful responses of the panel as they passionately fought the white privilege induced argument. They clarified that UBSS welcomes all races and has members of various racial backgrounds. Also they made it known that there are numerous white student societies on campus from Student Senate to the Stockton Entertainment Team that are not explicitly exclusive of minorities but rather implicitly unwelcoming. The panel stated that clubs like UBSS and those for Caribbean or Latino or Asian students are especially important to have on white-dominant campuses because they provide safe havens for minority students to interact with people of their kind, enhancing the overall feeling of belonging.

Following that discussion was one on the Black Lives Matter movement. Black Lives Matter is a civil rights movement that highlights the importance of black lives in light of the recent atrocities involving police brutality, racial profiling, and killings of African-Americans. It raises awareness of the fact that media does not cover the murder of people like Trevon Martin and Michael Brown with the same air of importance as whites, suggesting black lives do not matter as much as white lives. The panel discussion focused on the vandalism of a Black Lives Matter sign in front of a nearby church. With white graffiti, someone wrote “All Lives Matter”. This quickly sparked a discussion on the panel who all agreed “All Lives Matter” is a misunderstanding and white privilege concoction. Of course all lives matter but minorities need to be raised up so that it is clear that their cultures are equally as beautiful and important as white culture.

Other topics the panel talked about included: white privilege, culture appropriating, and the history of slavery. I would encourage everyone in the student body to go to the next race panel because race is so necessary to talk about. If we can understand each other’s struggles the world can become a more tolerant and inclusive place.


On October 29th, Stockton held Lollanobooza, a Halloween dance party. Being held on a Thursday, which are notorious party days, it served as an alternative to partying in a safer, alcohol-free way. Students were encouraged to wear costumes, as there was a contest for the best costumes. The night was filled with games, dancing, prizes, and of course, free food.

One of the most popular games of the night was the bull riding. Though there was no actual bull, an electronic bull simulated a realistic experience of riding one. Some students managed to stay on for a few seconds, or even minutes, but most flew right off as soon as the ride started. Another popular feature was the photo booth. Students could take pictures with their friends, use fun props, and receive a two four-panel copies of their pictures. Fortunately, there was no limit to how many times students could use it, so those who came with a large group of friends could use it until everyone had their own picture to take home. A third feature that students enjoyed was the face/body painting and temporary tattoo station. Students who wanted to add a face to their costume could do so, or instead get small, festive Halloween-themed pictures, such as candy corn or ghosts, painted where they so choose. The temporary tattoos were colorful and metallic, and there were even Stockton tattoos.

All in all, Lollanobooza was a fun night that hopefully saved students from its alcohol filled counterpart(y).

Sixties Concert

On Wednesday, November 11, 2015, Stockton University held its Sixties Concert in the Campus Center Theatre. Starting at 6:00 PM and ending at 9:30 PM, the event featured the performances of first Barry Bender and Friends, featuring 1960s classics such as “The Times They Are a Changin’” by Bob Dylan, “Dear Prudence” by the Beatles, “The Tin Man” by Barry Bender, and “Friends of the Devil” by the Grateful Dead. Student performers then performed several songs, including “Yesterday” by the Beatles, performed by Marianna Alshay.  After the student performances, the Stockton Faculty Band played many highly-anticipated songs. One such song was “Land of 1000 Dances” by Chris Kenner. This particular song featured student dancers. Other songs performed by the faculty band included “In the Midnight Hour” by Wilson Pickett and “Mustang Sally” by Mack Rice. There were also special performances of The Temptations’ “My Girl” by Stockton’s American Sign Language Club and Mary Wells’ “My Guy” courtesy of Carol Pacentrilli.

Located around the periphery of the CC Theatre were many poster displays made by students in John O’Hara’s The Sixties class, highlighting many events and issues of the decade, such as the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the first lunar landing, and the start of the Vietnam War. There were also several posters portraying the lifestyles of hippies and beatniks and their role in the anti-Vietnam movement. I feel the poster that struck me the hardest was one concerning the Kennedy assassination and its impact on the American people. The poster showed Americans acting in response, showing their patriotism as well as their grief for their President. One statistic on the poster was that 175 million people tuned in to watch the heartbreaking event. Also pasted onto the poster was the classic photo showing John Jr. saluting his father while at St. Mathew’s Cathedral in Washington D.C. This image helped to portray the sadness facing the country in the days following Friday, November 22, 1963.

Stockton’s Sixties Concert was not only a success, but it was also informative and inspiring. It taught me a lot more about the societal issues facing the United States during the decade of the 1960s and how it affected the country at large. In particular, it taught me how the assassination of President Kennedy shook the nation.

Lolla no Booza

On October 29th, 2015, I attended the highly anticipated “Lolla No Booza” event in the Campus Center. Lolla No Booza is one of the most frequently talked-about events at Stockton (at least, that’s what my brief time here has led me to believe.) It’s essentially a large party that promotes abstinence from drugs and alcohol on Halloween night, which is regularly considered a night where many teenage and college students drink heavily. Hosted in the Campus Center event room, I rounded up a group of friends and left to arrive at 8 PM, about an hour after the event started at 7 PM.

The theme of the event was “Freak Show,” and the attractions outside the Event Hall really showed that. There were jugglers, people on unicycles, jugglers on unicycles, clowns, and so much more. Clubs were also tabled outside promoting their messages, handing out candy, and setting up small games. After acquiring a few lollipops and Tootsie Rolls, my friends and I got our hands stamped and entered the Campus Center.

The first thing one notices is the sound. It was ridiculously loud in the event hall, with a large dance floor in the middle. There is definitely a market for loud music and dancing to strobe lights in the dark, but I am not part of that market. There were refreshments on our immediate right, with pizza, chips, lemonade, and water, typical of a Stockton event. Even inside the event room, there were some games around to play, but for no prizes or anything similar. Around the dance floor on the opposite side of the event hall was vaguely the same thing. My friends and I got separated a few hundred times, naturally, and eventually regrouped on the other side of the hall. Many of them wanted to stay for a long time and dance and play games and do things like that, but my one friend and I weren’t so keen on doing so. We decided to enjoy some games, grab some refreshments, and leave. One game in particular we played for a bit was Angry Birds, in which I shot a ball from a large slingshot at a tower of blocks in hopes of knocking down the pig plush on top of it. After failing miserably for a good twenty minutes, we decided it was too loud for us, grabbed our drinks, pizza, and gift bags, and left.

The gift bags came with a number of coupons, cups, discounts, and other cool stuff that I didn’t particularly expect it to have. It was a nice surprise to end the night with. As my friend and I left the event, I came to the conclusion that Lolla No Booza is definitely a great event for many people to have a great time with their friends. I, however, am not one of those people.

Let’s Go to The Movies

As you walk into the cool dark room, the first thing you notice is the overwhelming smell of freshly popped popcorn. Next, is what you see. Rows of chairs fill half of the room, leaving a large space to lay out blankets and pillows for a picnic. You follow the line to the make-shift concession stand. You receive a bag of popcorn, a soda, and candy. Then you find your seat. Whether in one of the chairs, or on the floor with a group of friends, you settle in for the next 2 hours. Then it starts, the opening credits, followed by the feature of the night. For this particular night, Ant Man was playing. Most people were a little skeptical about a superhero the size of an ant. However, the audience was pleasantly surprised.

As the group watches this Marvel masterpiece, they are immersed into the world of Scott Lang. You rejoice when he defeats the villain, proving everyone who doubted him wrong. The action sequences were filled with thrills and humor. The awkward, yet cute, budding romance between the main leads, Scott Lang and Hope Pym, was something everyone could enjoy. The villain even had some great lines and was enjoyable to watch. However, he was no Loki. The character development of the main lead, from a criminal to a hero, was something that I feel everyone could relate to. To show that you don’t have to be born a hero, to be one.

When the movie was over, and the credits roll, you slowly get up, bringing all leftovers of your movie meal to the trash. Then you gather your things, and head back to the dorms. You think back to the movie, and how it made you feel. How good it felt to get a break from the stresses of school, and how nice it was to escape into a new world. How it feels to know that even though you are just a little college freshman, you can become great, just like Scott Lang. That even the ordinary can become extraordinary. As you depart your friends, you make promises to do this again next week.