Housing Application Accepted, then Later Denied for 400 UConn Students

More than 400 students were mistakenly told via email that they would be eligible for on-campus housing next semester.

The email that was sent was intended to be sent to the more than 9,000 students that were guaranteed housing for the fall 2015 semester, according to Housing Director Amy Crim.

“When I sent out the email, it inadvertently included about 417 students who were technically on the waiting list,” Crim said.

The original email said students were eligible for fall 2015 housing and included information about pick times based on earned credits.

Crim said she noticed the mistake while the email was still sending and immediately sent a secondary email with the subject line: please disregard the previous email.

One of the students that received the secondary email was Alix Dittmore.

The correction email read: “The email you just received from our office with credit information for selection was sent to you in error. At this time, you are not eligible for housing selection. Our apologies for any confusion this has caused.”

Crim said most of the students who were confused were those who did not know they were on a waiting list and only found out through the mistake that they were not automatically eligible for on-campus housing.

Dittmore said she received the original email and the correction email about 10 minutes apart.

“I applied for on-campus housing and as a commuter I’m immediately put on a wait list,” she said.

When she received the correction email, she was disappointed and posted about it on the Facebook page UConn Buy or Sell, where several students “liked” her post and commented that it had happened to them as well.

Those students who were mistakenly emailed were never taken off of the waiting list, Crim said. She said if anyone is taken off of the waiting list and eligible for housing, they will be notified, but if students would like to inquire about any changes in their status they should contact ResLife sometime in April.

“I wouldn’t say students were angry about conflicting emails, they were just looking for clarification,” Crim said. “I felt terrible for the mistake.”


Conboy likely victor in USG presidential election

Although no votes have been cast, most students can safely predict that MCD senator and chair of the Student Development Committee Rachel Conboy will seize victory in the election for Undergraduate Student Government President, as Conboy is running unopposed.

“I looked at my experience across the board, not just in USG but outside of it as well, and I saw that my skills and knowledge enabled me to be the best,” Conboy said.

Conboy is popular among many students, particularly in the cultural centers on campus, but she says it was one member of USG that really drove her to run for president.

“A younger member said to me, ‘I hope you run for president,’ and that really pushed me over the top,” Conboy said.

Given that there was a potential for many senators to run for President, many students might be puzzled by why only one made the decision to run. Conboy says that past presidents set a high bar for the position, and most senators appreciate how hard the work would be.

“USG doesn’t attract a lot of people to elections. We’ve seen past presidents, and we see how hard they had to work,” Conboy said. “There were other potential candidates, but they dropped out.”

Some might be concerned that the lack of any strong competition might reduce any mandate to lead USG, but Conboy does not consider that to be the case.

“I think I have a clear mandate, but that includes leading on issues that need to be addressed, such as the low number of people that run for president,” Conboy said. “It can be harder to justify my position to the student body, but I think, transition-wise, it’s very good, because I can hit the ground running.”

After the presidential debate Tuesday night, in which Conboy was the only candidate answering questions, Conboy says she encountered a student who had concerns about having only one candidate to vote for.

“After the debate, well, more like a Q & A than a debate, a student came up to me and expressed his concerns, but then he said he probably would have voted for me anyway, which was a relief,” Conboy said.

As for the lack of publicity surrounding the debates for president and other executive positions in USG, Conboy says there was a variety of factors that limited the debate’s exposure to the student body.

“There were multiple factors that affected the publicity of the debate. Student Activities had made a lot of changes to policy so fewer people were disqualified, because no one likes that, but the focus on policy meant there wasn’t as much time to advertise,” Conboy said.

When asked if the lack of competition was a sign that USG Senators were becoming less engaged or less interested in moving into executive positions, Conboy defended her fellow senators and said the lack of an opponent was not a sign that USG as a whole was faring any worse.

“The presidency is a role, but there are other executive positions, and there are multiple candidates running to be the undergraduate representative for the Board of Trustees,” Conboy said. “There are many senators looking to rise and morale has not been lowered.”


Modern Lysistrata Production Offers Fresh Take on Old Play

Connecticut Repertory Theater’s newest production, Lysistrata, demonstrates how antiwar could still be patriotic, and a select few got to preview the show Thursday night.

It was still a rehearsal, but it was the first time an audience would see the performance. The creative directors sat amongst the audience, taking careful note of the details of the production.

“Men put down weapons; women use brains; world peace!” says the main character of the play, Lysistrata. The storyline follows her determination to end the war and fulfill a vision.

Lysistrata was written in 411 B.C.E. by Greek playwright Aristophanes, who was famous for his comedies. The play was inspired by the Peloponnesian War and intended to be a commentary on the long and drawn out conflict. It was written after a huge Athenian loss left many men dead and many women widowed. Feeling a huge impact from this, Aristophanes imagined a character who would go to extremes to end the war.

The character Lysistrata encourages women to take up a role in stopping the war, and an overarching theme of the play is empowerment of women.

“I think the play shows how both genders play a role in the nation and it’s not about who’s important but about what makes you happy,” said Kobe Weiss, a 2nd semester engineering major. “And I think what makes people happy is not having war.”

The plan: a sex boycott. That’s right, the women deny their husbands (and themselves) sex in order to stop the war.

Though the play is old, the humor is far from conservative. In fact, the show isn’t intended for young audiences. Filled with giant phalluses, vulgar language, and sexual commentary, the production notes compare the play to the modern example of comedy found in “South Park” merged with the satire found in “The Colbert Report.” Thursday’s crowd, filled with an older audience consisting of parents and supporters, enjoyed the production all the same.

The CRT production of Lysistrata had an American twist to it. The center of the stage hosted the Acropolis Saving Bank, and the names of towns and cities were all derived from Greek names but with their own comedic flares like Spartanfield and Athenville.

The show combined pop culture references like Sir Mix-A-Lot and included a patriotic goddess, and dramatic slow motion fight scenes.

The show didn’t come together without significant effort, however.

Goeff Ehrendreich, the set designer, put together the entire set of the show for an MFA project. He said the production began right after winter break ended.

After the preview, the creative directors, backstage crew and all the actors and actresses stayed later to fix any and all problems before the opening night.

UConn Club Boxing to become a Club Sport

10/06/08 - Boxing Club Grabs by Matt LinThe University of Connecticut Boxing Club is working to become a club sport in order to fight in national competitions by this time next year.

UConn’s Boxing Club plans to hire a new coach, train in the fall and compete in the spring as a member of the National College Boxing Association.

“There are a lot of members who want to compete but we haven’t had the opportunity or the resources. But being a club sport would give us more support from the school,” Shaina Forte, president of the Boxing Club and junior nursing major, said.

The new coach will be Michael Campisano, who is currently the assistant coach for boxing at the Coast Guard Academy, Forte said.

Forte said each practice will consist of conditioning, followed by Campisano’s instruction on the proper technique and form of boxing and then sparring between members.

Though the club is co-ed, sparring partners are paired up by experience level, and then height and weight just like in a real match.

As of right now the club is open to anyone and practices twice a week in the Hawley Armory.

Becoming a club sport and joining the NCBA will grant the team membership to fully equipped boxing gyms off campus.

UConn will compete against other schools in the national competition including Tennessee, Army and the Coast Guard Academy.



UConn researcher convicted of sexual assault

Marcus Giotto, a 51-year-old University of Connecticut employee, has been convicted for sexually assaulting a 24-year-old developmentally disabled woman.

Giotto was the manager of the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory at UConn since 2008. He also is listed as a doctor, had a radio broadcast on UConn’s WHUS station and was an adjunct faculty member at Quinsigamond Community College in Worcester, Massachusetts where he taught earth science and chemistry.

University Spokesperson Stephanie Reitz told the Daily Campus that Giotto submitted his resignation on Feb. 20. Before this, he was on paid administrative leave. While at UConn, his annual salary was $79,274. He was originally hired as a postdoctoral student in 2006, and was named lab manager in 2008.

Giotto could spend up to 10 years in prison for his crime, and he must register as a sex offender. He was convicted in Massachusetts. His specific conviction was meted out on Feb. 6, and it consisted of two counts of indecent assault and battery on a person with an intellectual disability. The initial charges were of four counts of indecent assault and battery on a person with an intellectual disability and one count of open and gross lewdness.

The woman and Giotto knew each other, but the nature of their relationship was not specified.

Giotto has been put on house arrest and is being monitored with GPS until his official sentencing date on Mar. 2.

Lunar New Year Celebration to bring friends together for the holiday

The fourth annual UConn Lunar New Year Celebration will be held on Feb. 28 in the Rome Ballroom to celebrate the 2015 Chinese New Year.


“A very important part of the Lunar New Year is being able to celebrate it with friends and family and I believe this will be the perfect opportunity for everyone to get together and have a good time,” Chinese Undergraduate Student Association (CUSA) Chief Organization Officer and 8th semester Accounting Major Tony Yu said.


Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) Chief Organization Officer and 6th semester Political Science Major Garrett Grothe agrees with Yu.


“My favorite part of the new year is what it represents. It’s a time for family and friends to look forward to a prosperous new year,” Grothe said.


Both the CUSA and VSA organized and planned the event, which is free to both students and non-students.


Representatives from Vietnamese and Chinese student groups from other universities, such as Baruch College and UMass Amherst, plan on attending the celebration, as well as members from the regional affiliated organization, the Intercollegiate Vietnamese Student Association, Grothe said. Many students choose to bring family and friends to the event as well.

“We try to incorporate as many cultural aspects of the Lunar New Year as possible,” Grothe said. “We do this by showcasing many of the traditional performances while at the same time providing the Lunar New Year atmosphere for students and their families, giving them an authentic experience.

The celebration will start at 6 p.m. and will offer traditional Chinese and Vietnamese dishes, including a full roast pig, steamed vegetable potstickers, chicken lo mein, rice, pork and fresh fruits.

There will be many performances, which include different types of Vietnamese and Chinese dances; the lion dance, Chinese opera, kung fu and tai chi demonstrations and a fashion show, showcasing traditional Vietnamese and Chinese attire.


“My favorite part of the celebration is the lion dance because it is a really interactive performance and gets the audience really excited as well,” Yu said. “Lion dances are traditionally performed during the Lunar New Year and are said to chase away ghosts and evil spirits to bring good luck into the new year.”

Livelook app to alter the social media landscape at UConn

Described as “Yik Yak with video,” a new app at the University of Connecticut developed by two roommates may significantly alter the social media landscape, both on college campuses and beyond.

“Livelook” was first conceived in Spring 2014, after Michael Grant, a senior Marketing major, and Jack Gernet, a senior communications major with a minor in business, saw their Snapchat pages fill with videos of students celebrating UConn’s NCAA men’s and women’s basketball championships.

“Livelook was an idea we came up with in the Spring, because our Snapchats were full of celebrations. So you had a few of these videos, but people could only look at them once they were posted online, after the fact,” Grant said.

Similar to the popular anonymous social media app Yik Yak, Livelook will allow users to post content anonymously, and view content based on location, but while Yik Yak is focused primarily on text, Livelook will instead allow users to post 10 second videos. Though the app is currently limited to the iPhone on the Apple store, Grant hopes to expand the availability of app through increased marketing.

“We’ve applied for the UConn IQ grant, which is $15,000, and if we get it, that will all go towards marketing. We’re hoping that more people will use the app, and more people will see the benefits,” Grant said.

While most social media sites and apps are focused on everyday life, Livelook is centered around events, not only on college campuses, but around the world.

“Livelook is focused on major events. When you look at events like the Fergusson protests, most of the video comes from CNN or other news sites, who can put their own spin on the video,” Grant said. “Livelook is more like a livestream, and provides unbiased footage.”

Yik Yak’s popularity has not come without issues. The app was widely derided for what many people saw as enabling cyber bullying, especially in American high schools. That lead to a “geofencing” policy that prevented people from using the app in certain areas. Grant suggested that Livelook will include options to flag videos and other ways to remove them from the app.

“Every video comes with the ability to flag that video. Once a video is flagged, one of our moderators will look over that content, and decide if it’s acceptable,” Grant said. “In addition, our voting system, which is similar to Yik Yak’s, will allow people to vote videos up or down, and if a video gets to negative five downvotes, content will be deleted.”

Regarding cyberbullying specifically, Grant says that the nature of Livelook will reduce the risk compared to other social media, saying that there was no way that they could manage content before it is posted.

“I’m not worried about cyberbullying, because video is just different from text. If someone’s taking a video of you, you can look and see them taking that video, you can see who’s responsible,” Grant said.

In reference to the future of the app, Grant is cautious, but indicated that the more people that use Livelook, the more people that will benefit, and a more global audience will especially help generate interesting content.

“As for the future, we’re going to take it day by day. We’re getting more people on Livelook, and as we get more people, more people will benefit from it. I hope that we can eventually have Livelook all over the world,” Grant said.