When confronted with a hypothetical scenario of non-consensual sexual violence at a party, fraternity members responded with clear ideas of consent and victim supports methods during Safety Begins With Us, a roundtable discussion with fellow students and faculty, coordinated by the Undergraduate Student Government.
Claire Price, acting president of USG, brought members of the university community together to take student understanding deeper and provide a more meaningful conversation about a UConn student’s rights in the gray areas surrounding sexual assault.
The discussion was held in small groups of members from the student community, as well as Greek life, university administration, women’s center employees, members from the Office of Diversity and Equity and Eleanor Daughtery, Associate Vice President of Affairs and Dean of Students.
The event’s organization allowed for small-group discussions of sexual assault scenarios told from the perspective of students in need and made the attendees more active in the conversation and naturally illuminated the key issues the university faces in a sexual assault or harassment situation.
The scenarios were explicit and directly involved drinking at off-campus parties, the position of a resident assistant as a mandated reporter and an advocate for their residents, as well as student-professor romantic relationships.
The key part of the discussion was the integration of student questions and opinions and the following conversations with university faculty who receive these reports of sexual violence or discomfort in class and then conduct investigations.
When asked what they would do in these scenarios, students voiced that they would definitely contact their direct supervisor or the school administration for guidance and a plan of action.
Members of Pi Kappa Alpha, a social fraternity at UConn, were an active part of the discussion and explained the importance of consent in situations where students’ judgment may be impaired.
The recently established Dean of Students Office is a crucial part of the focus on student well-being and administration support for those struggling.
“We are there to be responsive to student needs to make sure you’re not going through this alone,” Daugherty said.
Daugherty made it clear that the office was available to any student with a problem whether it is for academic services, confidential reporting or victim support.
Also available to students is the Office of Diversity and Equity, a specific office for the protection and defense of students’ rights and the advocacy against discrimination at the university.
Elizabeth Conklin, Associate Vice President of the Office of Diversity and Equity and Title IX Coordinator, said during Thursday’s discussion.
The event was in line with UConn’s recent efforts in the area of preventing sexual assault which has included the recent hires of more resources for student victims, as well as the accused, and even friends and other involved parties in situations of sexual violence and harassment.
Students responded to policing at Keene State Pumpkin Fest that resulted in one University of Connecticut student to be arrested and charged with a felony Oct. 18 in Keene, N.H.
This was the 25th anniversary of Keene State’s annual Pumpkin Fest.
“Approximately 200 officers from more than 20 law enforcement agencies assisted Keene police,” who made 84 arrests between 12 a.m. Friday and 8 a.m. Sunday, according to an article posted in the Sentinel Source, Keene State’s newspaper.
“They had a lot of law enforcement this year. We got a lot of emails from the university about how strict enforcement would be. The landlords went around and told the residents who usually have the parties that they couldn’t host them anymore,” Emily Card, a junior at Keene majoring in criminal justice said.
The number of arrests this year has decreased since 2013, when there were 140 arrests.
Keene police officer, Lt. Steven M. Stewart said there would be a further investigation according to the Sentinel Source.
“Keene got out of control because of the excessive police presence. In past years, college students would go to parties and it would generally be peaceful and fun. This year police showed up with riot shields right off the bat without good reason. The aggression of the police really set something off in the students,” Robert Caffery Jr, a senior psychology major said.
UConn student Ryan Dennehy, 21, was charged with a felony riot and released on $5,000 personal recognizance, according to the Sentinel Source.
Dennehy, who could not respond at this time, is scheduled to appear for an arraignment Jan. 6 in 8th Circuit Court District Division Keene.
“Everyone was forced out onto the streets. The police came to the parties and told everyone to leave. After that, kids went into the main streets and started breaking things. The police tried to disperse them with tear gas. It wasn’t pretty. It’s being hashed out that it was all the rioting students’ faults but the police definitely didn’t handle it very well with the time they had to prepare,” Joseph Burns a sophomore communications major said.
People were running all over the streets where fires had been started and police, who came in uninvited to parties shot pellets and tear gas at students, Roshni Patel, a senior, molecular and cell biology major said.
“Some students deserved punishment for doing things like throwing objects at cops and damaging property, but a lot of other students were unfairly treated and shot at for simply trying to get out of the mess and to safety. I think it could have been handled much better by both the students and the police force,” Patel said.
Keene students walked around the next day picking up litter with five-gallon buckets, senior political science major Matthew Smoragiewicz said.
“A lot of kids were throwing bottles at the police and at one point they used those big metal donation bins for clothes to block off the street to stop the police,” Smoragiewicz said.
Following the riot, the board of Let it Shine, the non-profit organization who directed the festival posted on the official Keene Pumpkin Fest website Oct. 19, “Yesterday gave us many lessons; sorting them out and learning will take time.”
The most powerful Democrats in the state of Connecticut showed up to tell the University of Connecticut to vote, n Thursday night in the North Lobby of the Student Union.
These politicians included Gov. Dannel Malloy, Congressman Joe Courtney, Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman, State Senate candidate Mae Flexer, State Representative Gregg Haddad, Attorney General George Jepsen, Comptroller Kevin Lembo and probate judge candidate Barbara Gardner Riordan. Senator Richard Blumenthal also made an appearance, although he is not up for election. Each politician offered varying speeches to the all-Democratic audience of the North Lobby.
President of the College Democrats Marissa Piccolo, a copy editor at The Daily Campus, spoke first, and was the Master of Ceremonies for the night. She talked about how the Democratic candidates’, “commitment and dedication to UConn…is something that the other side does virtually none of.” She also admitted that the Get Out to Vote event took “a lot of planning.”
Sarah Fischer, a representative of the Graduate Employee Union spoke next, thanking legislators and politicians like Malloy for their support of the graduate students’ efforts to unionize.
“Governor Malloy stood with us in April, we’re standing with him now,” Fischer said.
As the first politician to speak, Gardner-Riordan gave a few cursory remarks about getting out to vote.
Students attending the rally came out to learn more about the candidates and to support their cause.
“I just want to be more informed on who I’m voting for. I already know who I’m voting for, but I think even more so, being here, seeing them, and supporting them is great,” 3rd semester political science major Heide Hernandez said.
The second speaker was “special guest” Blumenthal, who, despite not being up for election, came to the rally to support his fellow Democrats.
“I love being here before an election week,” Blumenthal said. “I remember standing here four years ago…we were bombarded by negative ads from my opponent…my opponent spent $50 million that election. But I had something money can’t buy. I had you.”
Blumenthal went on to tell the people at the rally that “this election, your future is on the ballot.”
State Comptroller Kevin Lembo came next. He used his time to talk about his lack of political experience prior to being elected, saying, “I’m a classic data nerd.” He also spoke to the diversity of Democratic opinion.
“You get 20 Democrats in a room, you’re gonna get 40 opinions,” Lembo said.
His pitch was made at the end of his speech, saying that if Democrats “turn the keys over” to Republicans, who have “no plan,” the same thing is going to happen that happened when Republicans were in office years ago: they’re going to dig a ditch and ask Democrats to get them out of it. He completed the metaphor by saying of the key candidates: “We’ve gotta hold on tight.”
Lt. Gov. Nancy Wyman took the intimate crowd to a new level by, providing energy with her excited, raspy voice, her characteristic everyman charisma and running to the stage in her heels as she was being introduced.
“Some people don’t know the governor like I know the governor,” Wyman said. “He sometimes says he has sharp elbows, but I’ve been with him. When people have lost their houses, during the storms, I’ve been with him. When people have lost their children in Newtown, I’ve been with him…He cares so much about the people of this state. I look at the comparison of Tom Foley to Dan Malloy…I put my grandchildren in the hands of this great governor, and I might think of moving as fast as I can if the other guy becomes governor.”
Attorney General George Jepsen was the next speaker. He continued on the theme of the importance of the youth vote, but also offered some interesting comments about Quinnipiac polling, positing that the Q poll “under-samples Democrats systematically.”
After a few words from Piccolo, Courtney took the stage. This is his sixth race for Congress in Eastern Connecticut.
Courtney spoke extensively of his close 2006 race, when, he argued, UConn was responsible for his victory, a victory that was claimed to be a loss by his opponent hours before the final results came in.
“They’re not gonna call an election until they see what Mansfield does,” Courtney said.
Courtney was the first speaker to talk about specific issues crediting the growth of downtown Storrs to the Malloy administration’s efforts.
“Your downtown is a model for the smart growth of communities…and Dan Malloy was there every step of the way,” Courtney said.
Malloy spoke last and longest. It was the typical stump speech, starting off in a loose, off the cuff fashion, and becoming animated and passionate by the end.
Easing into the speech, he made two jokes regarding Haddad’s campaign against his cousin.
He also recognized the fact that voters can take advantage of same-day-registration if they haven’t registered before election day, a law that was passed under Malloy him.
Malloy explained that he isn’t afraid to tackle controversial issues – citing marijuana decriminalization as an example.
Before running through a list of accomplishments, he turned to UConn.
“When I became governor, UConn was one of the top 25 public universities. We’re No. 19,” Malloy said. “We have Next Gen on the way, and yes, we’re even gonna have water at the University of Connecticut.”
Then came the list of legislation. Minimum wage, labor unionization, the implementation of a housing department and policy, the implementation of an energy department and policy, the implementation of Obamacare, the addition of 70,000 private sector jobs, and the improvement of graduation rates in Bridgeport, Hartford and New Haven.
Malloy recognized how close the last election was, and implored UConn students and students within the Union that night, to vote and encourage others to vote next week.
Haddad and Flexer, two UConn graduates, finished the evening with more words encouraging voting.
“I was here before as a UConn student, never dreaming I’d be standing before you as a candidate,” Flexer said.
She also recognized work that needed to be done within the university, pointing to the sexual assault forum that she had attended earlier that day.
“Some of the administrators running the discussion I frankly thought were tone-deaf and defensive,” Flexer said to applause.
After the rally, 3rd semester political science major Erin Puglia addressed why she thought it is imperative to vote in this election.
“I think it’s a really important election, this year especially, because there’s such a difference in the candidates,” Puglia said. “All the Democratic candidates on the ticket this year do so much for UConn students…they hear the concerns from our (College Democrat) meetings and they take action.”
The UConn football team’s Homecoming game five years after the death of Jasper Howard will be a cause for celebration.
After 14 months of planning and six weeks of construction, a memorial honoring the former UConn cornerback will be dedicated at halftime Saturday against Central Florida.
Howard was a junior on the football team in 2009 when he was stabbed to death shortly after midnight on Oct. 18 outside the Student Union. Hours before his death, Howard had made 11 tackles and both forced and recovered a fumble in UConn’s 38-25 Homecoming win over Louisville.
“As a diehard UConn football fan, Jazz meant so much to me,” said Lisa Lowry of Prospect. “The way he played the game with guts and determination, the fire he had on that field, the way he lit up a room, the fact that he was always a favorite with the media because of his humor and personality, the relationship he had with the men’s and women’s basketball programs, that swag he carried on the field; those are all things that will always stay with me. Jazz symbolized everything that is good about UConn.”
Lowry is a long-time, avid supporter of the football program. She and her husband, Dan, have developed relationships with many players and other individuals within the program over the years.
One of those players is Kashif Moore, a wide receiver for the Huskies from 2007 to 2011. Moore was Howard’s best friend—he even wore Howard’s No. 6 during the 2011 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl, and through his senior season.
Together with Moore, the Lowrys began brainstorming ideas for a memorial to honor Howard in August 2013. Dan came up with the original idea for the memorial: a “6” that can be seen from the front and back, Lisa said.
Fundraising began earlier this year, with UConn hoping to raise about $30,000. The Lowrys led the fundraising efforts, and by October, their dream had become a reality.
Many former UConn athletes contributed money to the cause, but one donation that helped push the fundraising efforts over the top came from Randy Edsall, Howard’s coach. Edsall, who coached the Huskies for 12 years before leaving for Maryland in 2011, contributed the lead gift, UConn announced Sept. 30.
Following Howard’s death, Edsall had the difficult task of refocusing the Huskies and giving the UConn community something to rally around. UConn lost three straight games by a combined margin of 10 points, but ended the season on a four-game winning streak.
That streak started with a double overtime win at Notre Dame and resulted in a win over South Carolina in the PapaJohns.com Bowl.
“(Edsall) was a father to Jazz and every single one of our players and staff on that team,” Lisa said. “What’s more, he put the fans, the faculty, the students, the football program and the state at ease with the way he led us and comforted us during that horrible time.
“The fact that he still has such a close relationship with the Howard family speaks volumes about Randy’s character. He’s a class act. I wish so much he could be with us at Homecoming on Saturday, and I know he does too.”
Other key individuals in the process of preparing the memorial include UConn President Susan Herbst, Director of Athletics Warde Manuel and Associate Athletic Director Mike Enright, among many others, Lisa said.
Plans for the statue were presented to K.G. Keena Memorials in East Hartford. The process would normally take 12 weeks, Lisa said, but it was completed in six.
“They are personally invested in this,” Lowry said. “They are season ticket holders going back to Memorial Stadium with a passion for UConn football, and Jazz had an effect on them.”
Howard had an effect on many people in the UConn community, and that effect is still felt five years later.
His effect is most felt, however, by one person in particular: his 4-year-old daughter Ja’Miya Tia Howard. Ja’Miya and her mother, Jasper’s fiancé Daneisha Freeman, will take part in the opening coin toss Saturday at Rentschler Field, according to Desmond Conner of the Hartford Courant.
Dan and Lisa didn’t know Jasper as well as they knew some of the other players, but through Moore they have developed a relationship with the family. Whenever Lisa looks at Ja’Miya, she sees a little bit of Jasper.
“(Daneisha and Ja’Miya) have become like family to Dan and me over the past few years,” Lisa said, “and every time I see Miya’s smile, I see Jazz. That smile has kept me going over the trials and tribulations of these past 14 months.”
With the month of October on coming to a close and Halloween upon us, many of its morbid themes can be found in the details of some of the cold cases that still haunt Connecticut.
Police still offer a $50,000 reward for any information regarding the death of Anne Caro on Aug. 28, 2005.
The reward was issued back in August 2008, three years after Caro was found strangled to death on her 37 birthday.
Other cold cases have amassed higher rewards for information, such as the investigation into the death of Suzanne Jovin, which has accumulated a total reward of $150,000 between the state and Yale University.
Jovin was a senior at Yale University back in 1998, and was discovered stabbed to death on Dec. 4 of that year.
In June of 2007, a special team of retired Connecticut State Police detectives were assigned to reevaluate the case.
The area of Greater New Britain now has a task force dedicated to solving the three cold cases of a serial killer, according to the State of Connecticut’s Division of Criminal Justice. “The Greater New Britain Serial Killer Task Force was established in 2014 to investigate these homicides. All three women were believed to have frequented the area in downtown New Britain bordered by Main Street, Lafayette Street and Washington Street.”
The task force even consists of a wide variety of different law enforcement entities, ranging from the local police departments to the FBI.
This case originated back on Aug. 20, 2007 after a hunter discovered human remains behind the back of a shopping center at 593 Hartford Road.
Police later identified the remains as belonging to three women: Diane Cusack, Joyvaline Martinez and Mary Jane Menard.
Although, cases like the unsolved 1996 murders of Champaben and Anita Patel demonstrate that the time of discovery of the victims can have little effect on the case.
Despite an almost immediate 911 call, the police still have not caught the party responsible for strangling both victims, and then burning their bodies.
“Investigators believe Champaben Patel was killed first, in the bedroom of her home. They further suspect that Anita Patel and her two children arrived at the house while the attack was occurring, and that Anita told the children, then ages 3 and 5, to leave the house,” according to the Division of Criminal Justice.
A woman was able to spot the children running from the house and called the police.
Other cold cases however, are not even equipped with the names of their victims, such as the March 14, 1986 case of an unidentified infant discovered in Fairfield.
The infant’s cause of death was determined to be strangulation, and that the present mutilation of the child’s face had occurred after death.
“The infant’s injuries appear to have been ritualistic in nature and may be possibly related to a religious practice known as Palo,” according to the Division of Criminal Justice.
Despite advertising certain rewards for information, these cases and many more continue to remain unsolved as another year passes by.
The UConn football team surprised many after putting up a fight against heavyweight East Carolina last Thursday night. Although they didn’t win, head coach Bob Diaco’s insistence on the Huskies improvement shined through. UConn looks to continue their promising performance in the Homecoming game this Saturday against University of Central Florida.
“We don’t do moral victories,” Diaco said. “But at the same time the team can see the improvement, they can feel the improvement. They know that what we are doing is working, what we are putting in, and the investments made. They can see areas of improvement that they can make each week, and that there’s more to give, more to do, so that gives you even more hope that we will soon be executing and seeing the results on the scoreboard.”
Like East Carolina, UCF will pose a threat to the Huskies on both offense and defense. The Knights have a strong backfield with lots of experience. Diaco described the team as having “a veteran grizzle” and that the Knights play defense the way he likes to watch it be played. UCF’s veteran backfield also allows them to experiment on offense. With quarterback Justin Holman and a strong offensive line, the Knights pose a double threat for the Huskies.
This threat will be especially prominent now that senior cornerback Byron Jones is out for the season with a shoulder injury. Without his experience, UConn’s back line consists of four freshmen and a sophomore. Although Diaco admits that the team does not have any other option, he is confident in his young talent.
“We definitely need to maintain an intense focus on what our players can do against their players,” Diaco said. “So we obviously are going to have to do some things to put our puzzle pieces in place to defend their plays.”
Although the matchup puts UConn’s inexperienced back line at a disadvantage, Diaco said he wouldn’t have it any other way. The team will look to rely on sophomore cornerback Javon Hadley, along with freshman Jon Green and Brice McAllister to step up and lead.
“They are coming along,” Diaco said. “Hadley is a trained corner so he’s worked it, he’s trained it; he’s done it for a long time. He hasn’t done it really here in college football, but when you watch him play he is a trained corner. So as a young guy at least there’s a volume of practice reps and time that he has been at that position, so that’s helpful.”
Despite the challenges the team faces, the Huskies are excited to come back home after a month of road games. Diaco said they are looking forward to their homecoming and joked that maybe “absence makes the heart grow fonder.”
“We are so excited,” he said. “Hopefully, you know, there will be a nice crowd out there. We will be appreciative of anyone that comes and cheers hard for the Huskies. We are excited to get back in the stadium, in our locker room and on our field… and like I said, hopefully not being at home for a month has not turned the lights off on the fan football experience.”
Kickoff is set for Saturday at noon and can be seen on CBS Sports Network.
What better thing to do as an adult on Halloween night (other than make questionable decisions while dressed up in possibly offensive costumes) than sit down with a few friends and watch horror movies? They ideally encapsulate the very essence of fear! Good horror movies are not just based on the supernatural – they are microcosms of peoples’ fears in everyday life, while simultaneously providing their viewers with a sense of escapism, unless, of course, you’re watching a terrible horror movie.
Below listed are five films that, however terrifyingly bad they may be, are not actually scary in a good way. They will not only destroy your faith in the film industry but also empty your faith in humanity. If you’re looking for something scarier to do during Halloween, try saying Bloody Mary three times to a mirror.
NOTE: “Troll 2” is not on the list. That doesn’t even count as a horror movie–it’s just funny. Look it up for a good laugh.
No. 5: “Shrooms” (2007)
As evident from the title, this is not a movie to be taken seriously. Just when you thought the “slasher movie about abandoned teenagers in the wild” trope was dead in the ‘80s, it came back again–this time with hallucinogenic drugs!
The film follows a group of college students who travel to Ireland for whatever dumb reason. As they follow their Irish guide into the woods (always a great idea), they ingest psilocybin mushrooms in order to trip. However, one of the members ingests a deathcap mushroom, which gives her premonitions of the group’s demise, with many of the members dying gruesome deaths.
Rife with overdone teenage tropes, cringe worthy dialogue and barely passable effects, “Shrooms” does not even attempt to disguise how cheaply produced it was. I still don’t know why I finished watching the movie after one of the characters, a cheap caricature of the “gym bro” stereotype, started showing off his biceps to the other characters.
I cannot imagine any hallucinogenic drugs changing a viewer’s experience of this movie to something positive.
No. 4: “Hansel and Gretel Get Baked” (2013)
To be fair, this movie, like “Shrooms,” doesn’t take itself seriously. However, the movie had a lot of missed potential. First, here are a few important things to know about the plot.
“Hansel and Gretel Get Baked” is a cheap knockoff of the classic ‘Hansel and Gretel’ tale, but unlike other versions of the story, this one revolves around two stoner siblings, Hansel and Gretel. In the film, they meet a grandmotherly marijuana farmer – secretly a witch who attempts to kidnap them and steal their life force to remain immortal.
While “Hansel and Gretel Get Baked” sounds entertaining and well targeted to a stoner audience (despite the “Bates Motel”–like convoluted plot), the movie dragged on like a marijuana time warp. Dialogue revolving around marijuana, while mildly amusing at first, practically overwhelms the movie, whose opening song begins with the words, “I wanna get high with you; you wanna get high with me.”
“Hansel and Gretel Get Baked” had potential to create actual scares while maintaining a good sense of humor about stoner culture, but it instead relied on brain-dead weed humor, which runs dry very quickly. Add in cheap effects, lifeless acting from the leads and a random appearance by a past-his-prime Cary Elwes: this film is definitely one that stoners and other people will want to avoid.
No. 3: “The Wicker Man” (2006)
“OH NO; NOT THE BEES!!!!! NOT THE BEES!!!!!”
Does anything else need to be said? “The Wicker Man,” the 2006 remake of the 1970s original, stars Nicholas Cage, a police officer who travels to a mysterious island in order to find his missing daughter. As Cage’s character bumbles through this island, punching a woman while wearing a bear suit, having inexplicably loud outbursts and generally depicting Cage Rage, he begins to uncover the truth about a group of neo-pagans on the island and starts to connect the dots between them and what happened to his daughter.
This film happens in a world where there is no logic. Cage’s overly enthusiastic acting of his character, while amusing at first, slowly descends into flat-out unbearable, given the constant yelling. Other characters in this movie are about as subtle in their acting as Cage–just as ridiculous with their line delivery and unbelievable in dialogue.
I wish I could say more, but people on the Internet have already lambasted this movie enough with numerous memes, references and video edited clips of scenes from it.
No. 2: “Leprechaun: In the Hood” (2000)
I swear: this movie is real. I could try to explain how bad it is, but here is the first paragraph of its current Wikipedia entry for its plot summary:
Los Angeles rap artists Postmaster P. (Anthony Montgomery) Stray Bullet (Rashaan Nall) and Butch (Red Grant) accidentally free a Leprechaunthat was imprisoned by record producer Mac Daddy O’Nassas (Ice-T) 20 years earlier.
Having seen this movie, I cannot understand how someone took the time to pay attention and write down a full synopsis. I still don’t know what really happened. It’s a repressed part of my mind that does not need to be reopened.
No. 1: “Hocus Pocus” (1993)
Okay, so frankly this is just something that I put at No. 1 as a way of grabbing peoples’ attention. In terms of actually having a coherent plot and semi-convincing actors, this film is certainly better than all the ones listed and not even a real horror movie. Sorry, Ice-T, you are probably part of the worst horror movie ever.
However, let’s be serious. Watching this movie in 2014 is like listening to an old Cyndi Lauper album. None of the cultural references made by characters within the movie are relevant or even funny. Hooray – more trite ‘90s high school stereotypes that “Boy Meets World”already did better! Their attempts to captivate the audience with aspects of the supernatural, illustrated through its three teenage witches as antagonists, also run dry.
My colleague, Emily Otten, who will probably be disappointed in me for saying such heresy, writes in her article a gleaming sunshine-and-rainbows review about the glorious nostalgia and humor “Hocus Pocus” brings to its audience. I disagree – what she perceives as nostalgia, I view like hearing an Aaron Carter record today. Maybe this movie meant something back in 1993, but what message does it send that still resonates with people today outside of some vapid and unoriginal statement of “Believe in yourself” or something equally beaten to death by other teen movies?
Besides, isn’t this movie a little dark for children to watch with their parents? The film revolves around modern day high schoolers and their efforts to stop three teenage witches, the Sanderson sisters, from absorbing the life force of children. The witches, one of whom is played by ‘90s teen darling Sarah Michelle Gellar, plan to use the life forces to stay young forever. “Hocus Pocus” even begins with the three witches, originally from the late 17th century, about to be hanged by an angry mob.
If a movie is too grim for children, too hackneyed for adults and irrelevant for today’s generation of teenagers, what exactly is its purpose? Do something better with your Halloween.