The road less traveled…

Danica Ceballos

From Coast to Coast: Fairfield Student to Bike 2,400 Miles for Charity

After a long day of classes and conflicts, Lauren Haviland ’15 shuffled to Gonzaga Hall for Glee Club practice at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 21. As she indifferently took her seat, she leisurely pulled out her iPhone and scrolled through her emails. When her eyes fell upon one email, her day and her future were completely changed.

Haviland received an acceptance letter to participate in the Bike & Build program this summer. The team will depart from North Carolina on May 13 and bike to California by July 21. Along the way, the group of 30 members will stop to build homes, while cycling anywhere from 60 to 100 miles a day, with only two full rest-days. The riders will sleep in houses with host families, as well as schools, churches and community centers. These hosts will also be responsible for providing their food.

“You can’t live without a roof over your head. The more I thought about it, the more I realized I wanted to be a part of this cause,” Haviland explained.

Part of the experience includes surrendering the luxuries that these riders are accustomed to. Though the one technological device they are able to bring is cell phones, service throughout the trip is predicted to be spotty.

The national nonprofit prides itself on raising awareness and money for affordable housing. Fourteen days will be dedicated to working with affordable housing organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, Rebuilding Together and small local housing nonprofits. The group will be building houses in cities like Chapel Hill, Calif., Little Rock, Ark., Colorado Springs, Colo. and Prescott, Ariz.

“She’s living my dream,” said her father Michael Haviland ’82. “We’re excited … we’re over the moon about it!”

Just last week, Haviland surpassed her requirement of raising $4,500 by $200. “We are deeply proud of riders like Lauren who are so committed to the affordable housing cause that she is willing to raise much-needed funds and spend over two months biking across the country,” said Justin Villere, Bike & Build’s director of operations and outreach. “Bike & Build provides the opportunity, but it is the riders who make the lasting impact in so many communities.”

Haviland described her pull to the program, saying, “It’s something that, for whatever reason, the first time I read about it, I thought that is something I want to do. It just clicked with me.”

Haviland is no stranger to hard work and intense exercise. With dreams of joining the Rockettes, Haviland’s dreams were quickly crushed in April of her senior year when she was diagnosed with patellofemoral syndrome, a recurring and painful knee injury. With a slight addiction to exercise, Haviland turned to any outlet she could find.

She tried swimming, lifting, spinning, yoga and eventually running. Her parents also influenced this road to recovery by encouraging their daughter to participate in their passion: cycling. Though her two older brothers, Tyler Haviland ‘13 and Mike Haviland did not want to join in on the family fun, Haviland and her parents made day trips out of biking from their home in Ridgewood, N.J., up the Tappan Zee Bridge. Enjoying family lunches amid the journey, these 60-mile weekend rides were always fun for Haviland.

In addition to this new-found love, Haviland discovered a way to connect her exercise to a familial cause. A few years ago, Haviland’s grandfather was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Because he resides in upstate New York, Haviland is unable to visit her grandfather as much as she would like to. Last September, Haviland participated in her first century ride, a 100-mile bike ride to support her grandfather and raise awareness and money for Parkinson’s Disease.

“My parents had more faith in me than I had in myself,” Haviland admitted. “They said I would be fine, and I was.”

When she returned from studying abroad in Spain last summer, she began her training for the century ride. Though she did not stick to a strict regimen, Haviland exercised daily. “It’s my stress reliever,” she said. “It’s my time.”

On the first Saturday in September, Haviland woke up at 6:30 to an unusually cold and overcast morning in Maine. “I was not prepared for it,” Haviland chuckled. “My legs were numb.”

As she prepared for her first long cycling feat, she noticed the beach shacks that were neighboring the humble hotel she was staying in. Eating a small bowl of oatmeal, Haviland explained the whole experience to be very humbling.

At 7 a.m., Haviland and her parents reported to the starting line. Soon into the race, Haviland’s family settled into a pacing group that helped to carry them along. A few times throughout the trip, the members stopped to refuel and rehydrate at the rest stops.

“The further into it you get, you just get a block. It flies by,” she said. As the day went on, the sun peaked through the clouds and the fog dissipated. When they completed the journey, the sun was shining and the temperature had reached the 70’s.

“It was really fun. I had never done anything like that and the community that the cyclists had is just very encouraging,” said Haviland. “It’s such a unique community that I was never exposed to.”

Haviland is proud of her accomplishment of completing the century ride and was inspired to apply for Bike & Build this summer. “One of the women told me that she loves Bike & Build and they host people all the time,” she explained, identifying the final push that encouraged her to apply for the summer experience.

The psychology and Spanish double major has always had a passion for service. While she is a member of Fairfield’s Health Professions Program studying occupational therapy, she also strives to live by the Jesuit values, specifically Men and Women for Others.

“Lauren is passionate and determined with everything she is involved in. Bike & Build is a program which encompasses two very important aspects of her life: fitness and helping others,” said Jenelle Abbatista ’15, one of Haviland’s best friends and previous roommates. “This is an ideal opportunity to help her grow and learn. I am so proud of her and I know it will be an incredible experience.”

In preparation for her big summer adventure, Haviland devotes at least one hour a day to working out at The Edge. If weather permits, she plans to hit the pavement for a long ride on Saturday for the first time this season. Haviland plans on devoting a few hours every weekend for her long rides of about three hours, traveling around 60 miles.

Though Haviland admitted some hesitations for the upcoming trip, such as sleeping on floors and doing communal laundry, her emotions are dominated by excitement. “I think it is going to be a very eye-opening experience,” she said. “As much as they’ve told us about it, I’m really excited to just start.”

At the beginning of the trip, Haviland will dip the back wheel of her bike into the Atlantic Ocean. She is anxiously anticipating the moment at the end of her journey when she will dip her front wheel into the Pacific Ocean in San Diego.

Run for Refugees Brings Cornerstone Class to Life

As the beat of the Congo drum matched his steps, Dr. Bryan Ripley Crandall reached the pinnacle of the last hill in the 5K Run for Refugees this Sunday.

Team Cornerstone, as Crandall called it, consisted of 15 Fairfield University community members who raced in the seventh annual 5K to raise awareness and donate to refugees. The Fairfield team donated almost $320 to Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services. About 700 participants ran or walked through East Rock Park in New Haven on Super Bowl Sunday morning.

“A lot of people wake up on Sunday morning with dreams of nachos and cheese, pulled pork and beer,” Crandall posted on his blog on Monday. “We, on the other hand, woke up with a mission – an opportunity to bring good to the world in 3.2 miles.”

Assistant Professor of the Practice of Curriculum and Director of the Connecticut Writing Project at Fairfield, Crandall combined his passions of running, teaching and helping refugees in his English cornerstone classes over the past few years. Abiding by the phrase “scholarship in action,” Crandall explained that there is a responsibility that comes along with the privilege of receiving an education. He challenges his students to discover ways to use their knowledge to benefit people in third world countries.

While Crandall’s English curriculum is centered on the journey of refugees, he was pleasantly surprised last year when he had the opportunity to invite a relocated refugee to join his class. Chitunga Chisenga was selected as one of the students from Bassick High School to attend Fairfield for a class as part of a program between the schools. He was also one of the members of Team Cornerstone this weekend.

After interviewing Chisenga for the program, Crandall said, “I knew that my curriculum was designed for a kid like that.” Because of his experience of moving from Zambia to The Republic of Congo to Bridgeport, Chisenga was an important contribution to the class, according to Crandall. “Chisenga brought the reading to life,” he said.

Chisenga spoke to the Fairfield community last Tuesday as part of the memorial march during Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Week. In his speech, he described his struggles coming to the United States, but he also explained that his family in Africa is a source of inspiration. Chisenga said, “I made it to the U.S. and here, I can chase my dreams.”

Freshman Damien Quinn was another member of Crandall’s team. Quinn related the challenges that he faces in sports and in this 5K, in particular, with the struggles that refugees face. “It teaches you to work hard and rely on yourself,” he said.

One of Quinn’s favorite moments at the run was when the refugees sang the national anthem at the starting line. “That was definitely the best memory,” Quinn said. “I thought, ‘Wow, this is a really special moment.’”

Though Quinn admitted he did not know much about refugees before taking the class, he explained that Crandall has taught him a lot. “He’s so busy as a Fairfield teacher. It’s unbelievable that he takes the time out of his day to help other kids,” said Quinn.

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Earlier in the semester, Crandall invited Executive Director of IRIS Chris George to speak to his class.

IRIS is a nonprofit organization in New Haven that was founded by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut in 1982. The organization works with refugees in many ways involving housing, education, legal assistance and cultural understanding, among many others. Each year, IRIS works with about 200 refugees from many countries, such as Afghanistan, Congo, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Iran, Iraq and Sudan.

George was also in attendance at the run. “When the students saw Chris running alongside them after he came to speak, everything came together nicely,” Crandall said.

When reflecting on the event as a whole, Crandall explained that it would not have been possible without Helen Kropitis, operations assistant for the office of academic engagement, and David Sapp, associate vice president for academic affairs and professor of English, who coordinate cornerstone programs and supply funding for the grants. “They allow us to take the curriculum and make it come alive,” Crandall said. “I have nothing but positive things to say about the two of them.”

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Crandall organized an event with IRIS and Fairfield’s men’s basketball Coach Sydney Johnson. Relocated youth will be invited to attend a Fairfield basketball game with Fairfield students at Webster Bank Arena on Thursday, Feb. 13.

ING NYC Marathon Returns One Year After Sandy

New York City was filled with anxious competitors and excited spectators on Sunday as the 43rd ING New York City Marathon returned to the five boroughs.

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy caused the cancellation last year two days before the race was supposed to occur. Months later, the Boston Marathon bombing caused devastation at another important event for runners and fans alike.

After a year of setbacks in terms of marathon running, the ING NYC Marathon set a world-record number of finishers with 50,304. Many ran to raise money for charity and awareness. Some were dressed in full costume.

The top male finisher was Geoffrey Mutai of Kenya in 2:08:24, while the top female finisher was Priscah Jeptoo of Kenya in 2:25:07. Seven countries were represented in the top 10 women and six countries were represented in the top 10 men.

In response to the Boston marathon bombing, NYPD were lined all along the 26.2 mile course. Helicopters hovered low over the event.

Spectators could not get within the last 400 meters of the course without going through an intense security search. In addition, fans with backpacks along the course were often asked to open their bags to be searched by police.

In addition to the record for most runners, there were many monumental moments at the marathon. Jimmy Jenson was the first person with Down syndrome to finish the race. In addition, Jon Mendes, 93, was the oldest male runner to complete the marathon for the thirteenth time.

The oldest woman to run in the marathon was 86-year-old Joy Johnson who raced the ING NYC marathon for the 25th time. Unfortunately, she fell near the 20-mile mark and later died on Monday while sleeping in her hotel room.

Fairfield alumni and family members ran while many students flocked to the city to watch.  “I love the atmosphere of being at the marathon,” stated Deirdre Simms ’16. “Everyone is upbeat and always smiling. It’s such an honor to watch these people run!”

Sophomore Kathleen Woods added, “I was really impressed by the determination on all the people. It made me excited to do it one day.”

Rankings Don’t Define Fairfield’s Value

Normally in a college setting, students are defined by numbers. In this case, Fairfield University is, too.

A number of rankings have been released, placing Fairfield alongside some of the most prestigious colleges in the United States. One of the more important rankings, according to Fairfield, posted on the homepage of the university website, is the 2014 Kiplinger’s Personal Finance ranking that listed the school in the “100 Best Values in Private Colleges.”

One of the main components of the report requires an understanding of the word “value.”

In a recent New York Times article, titled “Lists That Rank Colleges’ Value Are on the Rise,” Ariel Kaminer wrote, “There is no agreement on how to measure the value of a college, and there is no agreement, or anything even close, on what value is in the first place.”

According to the Kiplinger ranking, value is defined as “academic quality and affordability.”

Assistant Vice President of Administration and Student Affairs James Fitzpatrick ‘70 expanded on these qualifications, saying: “I think everyone, in terms of administration, wishes they would go away because in many cases, this says nothing about what potentially Fairfield University could offer students, but the reality is that nowadays there are rankings that are out there.”

While Fairfield ranked 97 out of 100, the contrasting criteria present different perspectives on this specific rank. The criteria for determining value in this survey include: admission rate, student per faculty ratio, four-year graduation rate, total cost per year, average need-based aid, average non-need-based aid, percent of non-need-based aid and average debt at graduation.

Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Rev. Paul J. Fitzgerald, S.J., explained: “Some schools, like Yale and Harvard, do extremely well because they are the top of the top. At Fairfield, you don’t have to be the top one-half of one percent to get in, but four years later, people have really stepped up their game.”

While the report defines value as focusing on both quality and cost, five of the eight specified qualifications related to money.

“Dollars-and-cents tabulations … are the fastest-growing sector of the college rankings industry, with ever more analyses vying for the attention of high school students and their parents who are anxious about finances,” said Kaminer.

Questions were directed to Dean Karen Pellegrino as a representative of financial aid and admissions, but she was unavailable for comment.

Fitzgerald addressed financial aspects, saying, “Only about 15 percent of our students pay full price, while 85 percent of our students are receiving institutional financial aid.”

However, in an informal survey of 192 Fairfield students, 74 percent stated that they consider their enrollment at Fairfield a big financial sacrifice for their family, and 58 percent said that they are concerned about their student debt after leaving Fairfield.

Junior Alex Harrington commented on his financial outlook, saying: “I’m terrified of the debt that I face after college. Realistically, it’s going to take me well into my adulthood to pay my loans off. However, at this point, I don’t doubt my decision to take the debt on at all.”

While both Fitzgerald and Fitzpatrick admitted that, as a school with an income dependent on tuition, Fairfield needs more endowments. Fitzpatrick added, “Of the 15 Jesuits schools that were listed, we were third in terms of lowest student debt” at $28,507.

According to the survey, about half of Fairfield students check updates on the university’s rankings. However, a common theme, both among students and administration, is that Fairfield University is about much more than numbers. Eighty-nine percent of survey participants stated that they have evolved as a student throughout their time at Fairfield.

“Coming to Fairfield has exposed me to another world that I never thought was possible. Through the courses I’ve taken, the people I’ve met, and the various programs I’ve been involved in, I have become a well-rounded and globally aware person,” stated Emily Sawyer ’14.

“It’s safe to say that after finishing at Fairfield with my Master’s in English education, I will be more than ready to enter the workplace and the world.”

At a quick glance, being placed 97th may appear to be a low ranking; however, this score was determined out of thousands of colleges, Fitzgerald explained. He also said it would be beneficial to rank higher but that is not the main focus.

“You can make strategic choices as a university to increase your rankings, but you may have to go against your principles and your values to do that,” said Fitzgerald. “We’re trying to hold really true to our mission and to our identity, which is also to give first generation college students an opportunity.”

Fitzpatrick added: “I don’t think that day-in and day-out, we have the time to worry about these. I think they afford us a snapshot of what others may think of us using some generic classifications, but I don’t think they tell the whole story, and that’s what worries me.”

In the past few weeks alone, the Fairfield community has seen a range of rankings, including: “Best Values in Private Colleges” and “Best 295 Business Schools.” With all of these reports, Fairfield monitors the effects of the rankings, as well participation in such surveys.

“I think we should continue to participate in these types of surveys,” said Fitzgerald. “Students … would look at several different rankings and then look at the methodology of each of the rankings and see why we might be 97 on this list … then, you sort of have to mash them all together. But then you also come to visit … and you say ‘Yes, this is the right place for me.’”

Consent is not enough: aspire for enthusiasm

It’s Friday night and you and your girlfriends are ready for a great time. After a rough week of stressful nights studying and long days filled with less than intellectually stimulating classes, you cannot wait for happy hour. After a great dinner and drinks with the girls, you continue your night with some cocktails and fun before heading out to the bar.

As you’re dancing with the girls, you see a cute guy across the room. You start dancing and have a great time. Flash forward two hours. Somehow you ended up in his bed, lights off and having a little too much fun.

Before you know it, he pulls out a condom. You hesitate for a minute, think about how long it’s been since you’ve done this before and figure, why not?

This is consent. Not rape, consent. Not a crime … technically no one has done anything wrong. You were fully conscious and so was he. But when you wake up the next morning laying next to this guy whose last name you can’t even remember, you wonder why you said yes in the first place.

Now consider option number two. The beginning of the story is still the same. You’re at the bar, dancing the night away.  As you lean up against the bar, you bump into someone and turn to see it’s the guy you’ve been crushing on since sophomore year.

You can feel your heart beating faster and you start over-thinking everything you say and do. When he offers you a beer, you think, “Um yes. I could use any kind of liquid courage at this point.” The conversation goes well and you’re having an awesome time.

As the lights come on, he grabs your hand and asks you to come back with him. You agree, obviously, because you’ve only been dreaming of being alone with him for … like ever. After more light-hearted conversation and flirting, you find yourself hooking up with him. You still have butterflies in your stomach and can feel his heart racing too.

When he wants to go a little farther, you don’t hesitate. This time, you know. You know this is something you’ve always considered in the back of your mind. You know that when you see him again in The Stag, your heart will still skip a beat. You know with confidence that this is something you want to do.

This is enthusiasm.

Society has made consent and enthusiasm one and the same. Clearly, they are not. They have different implications, different consequences and an array of feelings and emotions attached to each.

In the college culture, there is this unspoken idea of “blurred lines” in regards to sexual activity. Take, for example Robin Thicke’s song, encouraging sexual activity regardless of the situation: “I hate these blurred lines. I know you want it. … But you’re a good girl. The way you grab me, must wanna get nasty. Go ahead, get at me.”

Like most Fairfield students, I am just as guilty as anyone of blasting this song on the radio and singing and dancing to it at The Grape, but what are we really promoting? Why are so many of our popular songs degrading toward women?

These lyrics make the first situation of consent seem completely common, completely okay and even completely desired. Let’s be honest: It’s not.

Consent can be filled with hours of discussions with friends, regretful tears and sometimes, a confused sense of self. It wasn’t thought out or considered before.

From a guy’s perspective, I’m sure they disagree with me by this point, doubting that girls are lying in bed with them thinking, “Hmmm, do I really want to do this?”

Let me clear this up for you. No, we don’t do this. Well, at least all of the women I’ve talked to don’t. I’m sure there are some out there who have the capacity to think this deeply in the heat of the moment, but I sure don’t.

Anyway, girls all have lists. Sorry boys, but it’s true. We have our guys that we would hook up with. We have our crushes, and we even have those boys who we think are so adorable and would make the best husbands but who we couldn’t imagine even holding hands with.

“Consent is really too low a bar. Hold out for enthusiasm,” tweeted author Rachel Vail as a recap of her son’s college orientation. This tweet has been widely circulated as part of a campaign to create awareness of the college culture of consent versus enthusiasm.

I’ve retweeted it, and I think you should too. Girls, I’m sure you would rather enthusiastically agree to sexual participation. And guys, trust me when I say you want your girl to be enthusiastic. The repercussions are much less severe and much more enjoyable.

In the past, college students have been warned about rape with the anti-date rape slogan, “No means no.” The idea of consent versus enthusiasm takes that slogan to the next level.

Rather than simply receiving a “yes” in regards to sexual activity, this campaign identifies the need for enthusiasm and desire. The slogan is outdated and it’s about time to start raising our standards.

Persephone Magazine writer Elfity explained, “The idea of enthusiastic consent is quite simple. In a nutshell, it advocates for enthusiastic agreement to sexual activity, rather than passive agreement. … To give enthusiastic consent isn’t exactly to scream that you want it at the top of your lungs; it’s more that an unsure or hesitant yes is not enthusiastic consent, and needs to be considered.”

The need for enthusiasm challenges the rape culture. It creates a need to communicate boundaries between partners. It also ensures that a simple yes is not a good enough answer and that there must be a mutual desire to participate.

According to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, “approximately two-thirds of rapes are committed by someone known to the victim. Seventy-three percent of sexual assaults were perpetrated by a non-stranger, and thirty-eight percent of rapists are a friend or acquaintance.”

With such high numbers, a more defined line is required to determine when sexual activities are okay. By eagerly claiming that the sexual activity is permitted, both partners make a conscious decision that will, hopefully, not be regretted in the morning.

Consent versus enthusiasm factors in feelings that will come after the deed is done, rather than focusing on living in the moment.

I don’t want to simply consent to anything. Not my dinner, not my spring break plans, not my major and certainly not my sex life.

I want to decide what I do, when I do it and whom I do it with. Consent isn’t good enough for me. I choose enthusiasm, all the way.)

Food service contract out to bid

In 1982, Fairfield’s administration met to narrow down their five options for food service providers. After intensely debating between the two final companies, Sodexo was chosen over Saga Dining Services. Over 30 years later, Fairfield is beginning the process to renew the 10-year contract that has been in place since then.

Fairfield announced that the food service contract with Sodexo is out to bid and a new contract will be instated for the 2014-15 school year.

Assistant Vice President of Administration and Student Affairs James Fitzpatrick was involved in the 1982 decision and identifies a significant difference between then and now.

“Thirty years ago, I felt very comfortable that the university administration could handle this process on our own. The food service industry, specifically college dining, is really now a complex animal,” Fitzpatrick said.

To select a new food service provider, Fairfield is working with The Rochelle Group Ltd., a consulting firm that deals with college and university dining operations and specializes in Quality Assurance programs and contracted dining.

Along with this group, students from different campus organizations will be asked to give their opinions on Fairfield dining services.

“This is a great time to have the food contract out to bid, especially with all the transitions the university has decided to make,” said FUSA President Alex Long ’14. “To see the administration acting on one of the most pressing issues over my years here — and I’m sure many before me — brings a sigh of relief to our organization.”

The process will begin the week of Oct. 14 and Fairfield hopes to announce the successful bid company by March 1.

While there has been some controversy recently regarding Fairfield dining services, the administration explained that this process has not been implemented for a specific reason.

Fitzpatrick said, “There’s nothing that has occurred that prompted us to push a panic button and say, ‘We have to do this.’”

Sodexo was informed about the food contract bid in early September, meaning that every dining event and update planned for the year was decided on before they knew about the potential change.

Sodexo’s General On-site Manager Bryan Davis explained Sodexo’s outlook by saying, “Our goal as the dining partner on campus is to approach our services with a mindset of continuous improvement. We don’t wait for a contract to expire to make improvements; rather, we take a strategic look at our operation each year and plan ongoing changes to keep our program and our team fresh.”

The process of finding the right dining company for Fairfield has many aspects. It begins with The Rochelle Group providing an assessment based on observations and interviews with students, faculty and administration. They will also review operational data.

The information will be summarized in a report, which will become an outline of what Fairfield is looking for from potential food service providers. Companies will then present to a selection committee.

“Although a formal Request for Proposal process can be stressful and challenging; in the end, it presents an opportunity to take a step back and take an objective look at our operations, and the potential options for what the future can be,” said Davis.

While many have a positive outlook on the change, there is another aspect that must be considered: the workers.

The union that represents Sodexo’s hourly staff, Local 217, will be informed throughout the process. Once a decision has been made, Local 217 will work with the selected company to “insure a fair transition to the food service provider who has been awarded the Fairfield University account,” according to Ted A. Mayer, vice president of The Rochelle Group.

The selected company will be permitted to interview management staff from Sodexo to “determine if there is mutual interest in beginning a new employee relationship with the new food service provider.”

This factor seems to be the most unsettling part of the potential change.

“What students don’t understand is that Sodexo has two parts: the suppliers of the food, and the employees that prepare the food. The part I would be upset over is having to see all of the employees go. They are all great people who really do care about the students and bring a great source of energy to Barone,” said Beth Greenwood ’15. “Being a person with a food allergy, I know firsthand how helpful, understanding and trustworthy they are.”

According to Davis, the workers should not be concerned about losing their jobs.

“We work hard to communicate how the process works and to keep everyone informed so that there are no surprises. In the end, the dining team can be assured that their jobs are secure.” He continued, “Typically in these situations, the front line team jobs are not impacted no matter what the outcome is.”

Fitzpatrick agreed, saying, “I would be very surprised if, for whatever reason at the end of this process we were going to a new company, I would suspect that the overwhelming majority of union workers would probably be retained by the new company. Regarding the administrative contract staff, that’s really going to be an individual decision between the worker and the company that was successful in the bid if Sodexo is not successful.”

While Fairfield’s dining service will be transitioning, Sodexo and the administration explained that their focus will remain on the students. Despite mixed reviews from the student body, many are content with the current food provider.

Freshman Nolan Parsley stated, “Sodexo is what gets me through practice every morning because I know that I get to have a great breakfast right after. It’s a good variety of meals and I’m always looking forward to the many flavors of ice cream.”

Throughout the remainder of the school year, the process will be on-going and the announcement in March will be highly anticipated by many in the Fairfield community.

Davis explained that despite some uncertainty, Sodexo is prepared and excited to participate in the selection process. He said, “We understand the impact that dining has on the campus culture and the role our meals have on student health and wellness and success. We take that responsibility very seriously. We recognize that contractually, we are a guest on campus and that we need to earn our place every day through great food and great service.”

Her Cocktail: College Relationships

College relationships are hard, even if you’re in an amazing one. If the couple is perfectly content with their relationship, who’s to say that the roommate or the best friend is happy with the way the two are handling their interactions. It seems that in college, the relationship extends much further than two people.

Of all my friends, I can only think of two couples in exclusive relationships at Fairfield. While the statistics vary from school to school, I have some ideas as to why Fairfield’s dating culture is the way it is.

Most guys at Fairfield fit into one of five categories. While not all heterosexual men at Fairfield find themselves solely living out one of these stereotypes, for sake of argument, here are my thoughts.

We all know that Fairfield is known for its hook-up culture. The guys that take part in these activities every weekend will be called the “player”. This type of guy is not interested in any kind of relationship. He likes to have a good time drinking with his friends and finding a girl to hook up with, no strings attached. These guys are emotionally unattached and just trying to live up the college experience.

Next we have the “dater”. This type of guy is serious boyfriend material. He gets to know girls on a personal level and seems genuinely interested. But, as he becomes more comfortable with her and closer to a relationship, he backs out. This guy only dates girls but is afraid of commitment.

In addition to these two types of non-boyfriends, there are three other types of guys that do get into relationships…but it isn’t as peachy as it sounds.

First, we have the “ladies’ man”. With a wandering eye, this Fairfield guy is a flirt without shame. Even with a girlfriend, the ladies’ man is always a little too friendly with other women. Though he might come off as a great boyfriend, as the relationship continues, his true colors shine brightly.

Next we’ve got the “mama’s boy”. This guy’s heart will always be in his hometown. His family has much say in his school life, no matter how much he denies it. If his mother doesn’t approve of his true love, she’s done for.

Last is the hopeless romantic. You know that couple in the library canoodling or those two lovebirds holding hands at the stir-fry station? This is the type of guy I’m talking about. He’s with his girlfriend and her friends 95 percent of the time and should probably work on improving his own social life.

These five types of guys make dating pretty complicated and very emotionally draining.

From my amateur analysis, it seems that the “open relationship” is the most common at Fairfield and has been gaining popularity since the beginning of the school year. With freshmen leaving their hometown relationships to seniors wanting to keep their options open, this type of relationship is the most convenient and realistic.

But what exactly is an open relationship? Basically, the couple does not define themselves by common relationship standards. Rather, they set their own rules and adapt them according to their feelings and experiences.

Regardless of my opinion on the topic of Fairfield relationships, the statistic that 60 percent of Fairfield students will find their spouse here is still a daunting reality for all students. So, I guess Fairfield guys are doing something right.

With all of this speculation of Fairfield relationships set aside, everyone, girl or guy, will always have “the one” in the back of their mind. Whether it’s their high school sweetheart, their best friend, the cutie across the room in your calc class or that basketball player that you cheer for from afar, the one you’re meant to be with is always on your mind, and if they’re lucky, in your heart.

Maintenance staff: ‘This is our last straw’

This Saturday was filled with excitement for many students as they headed off to celebrate the annual Clam Jam. When they drove out of Fairfield’s main gate, they realized that it was also a monumental day for another campus group: the department of Facilities Management.

Students and Fairfield residents cheered and honked when they saw about 35 people at the main entrance rallying with signs saying, “Jesuit values?” and “Help my daddy.”

In an effort to fight for better pay and job security, the maintenance department, along with Local 30 International Union of Operating Engineers, has been conducting negotiations with the Fairfield administration.

[Read "Maintenance staff fights for job security," published in our April 10, 2013 issue]

“We’re not people any more, just numbers,” said Pat Bike. He has worked for 16 years at Fairfield and is one of the four members on the negotiating committee.

Though the University was willing to offer a one-year contract, the maintenance department refused to agree to such a short-term contract. The staff decided that they could let their voices be heard by rallying.

Tim Craig, representing the department of carpentry on the negotiating committee, explained that such a rally would not have occurred five years ago. “VPs used to come up and joke around with you, but we don’t even see them or know who they are. It’s totally different,” he said.

Photo taken by Danica Ceballos/The Mirror

Photo taken by Danica Ceballos/The Mirror

Associate Professor of Politics Dr. Jocelyn M. Boryczka is one of the faculty members who have been working closely with the maintenance department to help them get their message out. Boryczka is the president of the Fairfield University chapter of the Faculty Welfare Committee.

She explained, “Tell us why we are having cuts in our pay so we can move together as one Fairfield. That’s why we’re here today. We’re here to stand with all of those at the University who are looking for fairness and justice.”

The members of the maintenance department stressed that they love Fairfield and are disappointed that it has come to the point that they need to rally. “They don’t want to negotiate in good faith. We’ve written a letter to Mark Reed. We’ve written a letter to Fr. Von Arx and this is our last straw. We’re just trying to get out here and draw some publicity,” said Bike.

“We need your support,” said electrician John Minopoli. About 20 maintenance workers and their family members were present, along with a Local 30 representative, faculty and their families.

Craig’s wife and daughters were there to support his efforts. Craig explained the impact that his pay has had on his family. “We didn’t have money to put away for a college education. That was the deal to come here,” said Craig. Some staff members make 14 dollars an hour, making it difficult for many to pay for cost of living.

“We live in Fairfield County. I’ve been working a second job for eight years to support my family. I have not seen my kids grow up,” Craig said.

Craig’s 16-year-old daughter, Julia Rodriguez, proudly stood with her sign and explained why she decided to participate in the rally. She stated, “It’s important to me because it’s important to my dad … He’s not doing it for him; he’s doing it for other people, which is really inspiring to me. …If he loses the tuition exchange that kind of loses a ride for me to college.”

Boryczka represented the faculty, saying, “We are here to support the maintenance workers in the struggle for their first contract negotiated here as a union. The Fairfield welfare community stands behind them in all of their efforts because we are one Fairfield, and we are very interested in putting the fair back in Fairfield in terms of having workers, employees and faculty treated equally and justly.”

Dr. Anna Lawrence, assistant professor of history, said, “It makes sense to me that they should fight for a fair living wage and Fairfield County is not the easiest place to live.” Lawrence also brought her daughter to support the staff.

Ten-year-old Emma Bass-Lawrence held a sign in front of campus and explained, “My poster says ‘Put the Fair back in Fairfield.’ … [My mom] said they can’t really feed their families so I guess that’s not really fair. ”

Though students did not attend the rally, the maintenance department and their supporters expressed the importance of student involvement and understanding of labor issues.

“I think students should know that the overall impact of the way that the administration is engaging with faculty and the maintenance and professional staff at the University impacts the overall value of their education,” said Boryczka. “That all of us are here, year after year, before you guys get here and after you graduate and we’re deeply invested in the University.”

Both the maintenance department and the University are attempting to raise awareness of labor injustices by holding a May Day event. In honor of International Worker’s Day and the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, the Faculty Welfare Committee will sponsor the event outside of the Barone Campus Center on May 1 from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

The day will be based on the theme “We are one Fairfield.” According to Professor of mathematics Irene Mulvey: “This is about workers over all, on campus, around the country and around the world.”

Fairfield reacts to Boston Marathon bombing

Early Friday morning, Kate Hehn ‘14 woke up in her McInnes apartment, excited for the upcoming weekend. At 8 a.m. she packed up her Ford Taurus, proudly displaying a bumper sticker saying “26.2 Boston Marathon.”  After safely arriving at her home in Chelmsford, Mass., she could not wait to head to Boston for Marathon Monday. “The whole weekend was awesome. It was the best weekend ever,” Hehn said, “And then, this happened.”

On Tuesday afternoon, President Jeffrey P. von Arx sent out a school-wide email announcing that one of the victims is a relative of a Fairfield University community member.  He stated, “These tragedies so close to home remind us of how fortunate we are to live and work together within a community of compassion and solidarity.”

A Prayer Service for Healing and Hope was held in Egan Chapel of St. Ignatius Loyola on Tuesday night and on Wednesday afternoon there was also a Mass to honor the victims of the bombings.

In addition to the Fairfield family that was directly affected, there were numerous students and alumni at the event as both spectators and volunteers.

Hehn has never missed a Boston Marathon. It has been a main event for her family throughout her life. With her grandfather living four houses from the starting line, her dad and uncle ran the marathon for years. This year was Hehn’s sister Cara’s seventh consecutive year racing. “It’s just a huge thing in my family, and it’s weird to think that now it’s definitely never going to be the same,” commented Hehn.

Assistant Vice President and Boston native James Fitzpatrick ‘70 explained that he was originally supposed to be in Boston for the Red Sox game on Monday. Because his plans fell through, he was still on campus when the bombing occurred.  “With so many of our students and alumni from Massachusetts, you realize what a special day Patriots Day is,” said Fitzpatrick. “It is the most magical day in the commonwealth.”

On Friday afternoon, Hehn and her dad picked up her sister at Logan International Airport, where signs welcomed all of the runners. Saturday’s exposition at the John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center on Boylston Street was a fun-filled event, according to Hehn, where the runners and spectators prepared and celebrated the upcoming race.

Fitzpatrick explained the marathon, saying, “People in Massachusetts really don’t get involved in who wins. It’s the majesty and excitement of the runners of all types and ages, in wheelchairs and crutches, and veterans, people running to raise money. It just covers the spectrum as to why people are in Boston for the day.”

On a chilly but sunny Marathon Monday morning, 27,000 runners gathered in Hopkinton, Mass. to begin the marathon. “It was a perfect running weather,” said Hehn.  After seeing her sister off at the starting line, the Hehn family waited for her in Wellesley, the halfway point.

Still filled with excitement, they refreshed her with some Gatorade and cheered her on as she continued on her way. Next, the family headed to Boston College at mile 21.  Hehn’s sister refused to stop at this point and pushed on to finish the last five miles. “Cara saw us before we saw her, and she was just waving her arms and came over to us. She was so excited,” said Hehn.

The last point where the Hehn family cheered for their runner is near the finish. Normally, the Hehn family parks in the Copley parking lot; however, this year, they parked down the street.  While Hehn and her mother rushed to congratulate her sister, her dad searched for a parking space.

At the corner of Hereford and Boylston streets, just before the final stretch, Hehn explained that her family moved through the crowd to the final waiting area to find her sister and celebrate her successful time. When they found her about 15 minutes after she finished, they headed off to lunch.

All of sudden, Hehn heard a terrifying noise. “It sounded like a building falling down or like a huge construction crane falling, and everyone in the street … stopped and looked at each other.”

She continued, “Everyone knew what everyone else was thinking, but no one said anything.”

Startled and somewhat on edge, Hehn and her family continued walking down Stuart Street. “It was a little bit eerie. Then, a second one went off and I looked at my dad,” Hehn explained. “I said to him, ‘Dad, that was kind of scary. Do you think that was …’ and I didn’t even have to finish my sentence. I just saw the look on his face.”

According to Hehn, everyone looked up, searching for a falling building or smoke. Paramedics and police rushed to the scene. Hehn and her family went into Copley. “No one really knew what was happening at this time.”

Meanwhile, about five miles from the finish line, Campus Minister Jocelyn E. Collen ’06 was waiting for her cousin and his wife to rejoin her after completing the race. Collen’s relative finished the marathon four minutes before the bombs went off. “Thank God they are both okay. But it felt like September 11, 2001, all over again,” stated Collen.

Another Fairfield student, Amanda Green ’14, was trying to contact her brother and father, a Boston police officer. “My dad and brother were not together at the time so I panicked because nobody heard from him. It was scary not knowing if my dad had been hurt in any way,” said Green. “Luckily, an hour later, my mom heard from him to know he was safe, and later on I was able to talk to him myself. I’m so relieved that my family did not get hurt, but I am still in shock with what happened. … It’s unbelievable that someone would do something like that.”

The 26-mile mark

The 26-mile mark. Photo by Matt Boley ’13

Senior Matt Boley was at the 26-mile mark when the bombing occurred. “My thoughts and love go out to those who lost their lives, those who were injured, their families, the city of Boston and all of those affected by yesterday’s tragedy,” Boley said. “I’ve got my sights set on running Boston 2014, and I know I will not be alone in the pursuit of that goal.”

As Hehn and her family left Copley, she wondered to herself, “Why is everyone acting so calm?” They navigated out of Copley, returned to their car and immediately turned on the radio. “Cara and I were just in disbelief in the back of the car,” she said.

When she returned home, Hehn received text messages and phone calls from family members, friends and even acquaintances. Tearing up, Hehn said, “I feel so blessed that Cara finished and that we were able to find her. The timing was just a gift from God that we were okay. It was really scary.”

Frank Spano, Graduate Assistant Athletic Trainer, stated, “As a Northeastern alumni and someone who called Boston ‘home’ for five years, it was both shocking and saddening to see the news coverage of the Boston Marathon bombing. It really serves as a reality check that life is short, and therefore, one should try to appreciate and enjoy life every day.”

Junior Carolyn Kosewski lives outside of Boston and has dreamt of running the marathon since childhood. Despite the bombings, she still plans on pursuing her dream. “I know crossing the finish line of the Boston Marathon is a runner’s dream. One of the most important days in so many people’s lives was turned into a day of terror,” Kosewski said. “As someone who has aspired to qualify for the race since I was young, I am so heartbroken.”

Hehn agreed, saying, “It’s hard because the marathon means more to me and my sister than anything else … We’ve never missed one our whole entire lives. Now, Marathon Monday is never going to be the same. ”

‘Immigrant’ and ‘American’ are synonymous

The United States of America: the melting pot where people of different regions and cultures mix together and blend into a scrumptious delicacy.

This melting pot has recently been renamed the salad bowl, insinuating a mix of people that maintain their own identity and contribute a unique spice that gives the salad a satisfying flavor.

Sometimes though, our desire for food is tainted by one unwanted ingredient: illegal immigrants.

“Who deserves to be a U.S. citizen?” questions Elizabeth Cohen in her article titled “Should illegal immigrants become citizens? Let’s ask the founding fathers.”

The founders’ answer was simple: “People who immigrated and spent years building lives in this country deserved citizenship,” states Cohen.

Answering this question is not as simple today. This recycled debate is constantly being fought. Since the beginning of our history, we have dealt with the issue of immigration. Everyone wants to live the American Dream.

But do Americans want everyone? When the pilgrims came here, they took the land from the Native Americans. Our country’s foundation is based on immigration: people coming into this land and integrating their beliefs with those of the inhabitants.

Interestingly, the immigration issue began in 1805 when the Supreme Court was faced with the first case over citizenship, according to Cohen. Since then, there has been much discrimination toward immigrants and debate over whether or not people should be allowed to live in the United States. Some of the most identifiable cases include the Irish, Asians, Africans, and now Hispanics.

Cohen refers to the court’s attempt to create a “temporal formula: time + residence + good moral character = citizenship.” Yet, there are still a significant number of people living in America who qualify to be citizens and have not gained full citizenship.

With four boys under the age of seven, my grandfather (tito) came to the United States with a work permit, visas for his family. At 6 years old, my dad, along with his three brothers and both parents, legally crossed the border to the United States from Mexico. If there is any proper way to immigrate, that is it.

Cohen refers to the idea that the “probationary period would ensure that immigrants shed the ‘prejudices’ of their former regimes, exhibit ‘that zest for pure republicanism which is necessary in order to taste its beneficence’ and acquire civic knowledge that would make them good citizens.

My dad has not received full citizenship. He went to college in the Unit- ed States. He began his own business in the United States. He has worked hard every day. But becoming a citizen is a complicated and lengthy process. Now, tell me he doesn’t deserve to live here because he is an immigrant from Mexico. If he doesn’t, then who does?

Mexicans are so geographically close, yet so politically far from becoming a part of the United States. The desire for a better life can result in family separation because of the political obstacles.

Often, the father leaves Mexico to work in the United States. He then sends whatever money he can back home to his wife and children. Many people debate that these immigrants are removing resources from the country that should be saved for citizens.

How many United States citizens would willingly work in the ceaseless fields under the blazing California sun, often getting paid less than minimum wage and picking fruits and vegetables for the rest of us to enjoy? When we can find enough Americans to replace the efficient and hard-working Mexicans, then we can discuss getting rid of these so-called foreigners who “solely take from our economy and provide nothing in return.”

I am a zesty necessity in this flavorful salad bowl that we call the United States of America. Tortillas, chips and salsa are staples in my daily life. Most of my family speaks Spanish, and Catholicism is at the center of our beliefs. Each of these family values is ingrained in my Mexican heritage. It is somewhat more complex when I factor in my mom’s Irish heritage. This mixing of cultures is the epitome of America.

“Over time, people who are liv- ing somewhere are transformed into citizens by that experience,” says Cohen. While that might be true, it can be argued that in the United States, part of being transformed means keeping our past alive, making our country diverse.

Cohen’s article also claims that “denying … naturalization or selling legal status only to people who can afford high fees and legal expenses doesn’t make our border-control and immigration laws stronger. It makes them unfair.” While it is important to know who makes up our country, we must decide how we will do so. That decision will impact every individual and every family trying to gain access to the United States, as well as those already here.

I take pride in both of my cultures. Yes, I am an American. I am also Mexican.

I am a descendant of immigrants, and that is what makes me American.

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