To PAL or not to PAL?

BY CHRISTIANNA CASALETTO // DEC. 14, 2015 //

The Program for Advancement of Learning (PAL) has been making various changes to its program in the last few years.

Along with a recent change in directors, it is rumored that PAL has been considering implementing a tiered pricing system and providing iPads to every student admitted to the PAL program at Curry.

Director of PAL, Laura Vanderberg, said, “I’m not sure we can say what the changes would be because we haven’t even started down those paths yet….If best serving students is creating a tiered model, then faculty will be committed to that.”

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PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRY COLLEGE.

There is a noticeable decrease in students who stick with the PAL program all four years. Approximately 20 percent of each incoming class (roughly 130 students) are enrolled in PAL. Between all sophomore, junior and senior students there are about 190 students total, nearly the same amount as the freshman class alone.

Vanderberg said that the decrease in students after the first year is due to students becoming independent and realizing it is “developmentally appropriate” to get an education without relying on PAL.

“Our goal is to foster students to go to independence,” Vanderberg said. “We want for them to be able to function without us.”

The PAL program began in 1970 and was the first program in the United States to serve students with learning disabilities and attention deficit in higher education. In 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act legally obligated colleges to include students with disabilities in higher education, thus creating disability services.

Having disability services are a legal obligation, while including programs like PAL, are up to individual colleges. That all schools have disability services, according to Vanderberg, has made the marketplace much more competitive.

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The Curry PAL Building. // PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRY COLLEGE.

Programs at other schools may have a single staff or faculty member with a master’s or doctorate. Most programs are staffed by peer professionals, not by faculty, which is the big differentiator between Curry College and most other schools.

“We are still the only program in the country with a faculty body of professors who have doctorates and master’s degrees in areas that inform how we understand learning and cognition,” Vanderberg said.

The main question for students considering a PAL program is, who do you want to be taught by?

For sophomore community health and wellness major Sarah Elste, PAL was the deciding factor in choosing Curry College. She describes PAL as “an advisor on steroids.”

“The idea of PAL, at least for me, was that I was going to be in it until I didn’t need it,” Elste said. “My goal is to get out of PAL.”

Nicole Karan, a senior communication major, has been in the PAL program all four years. Karan has never considered leaving PAL saying, “If it wasn’t for PAL, I would be struggling with trying to keep up with my classes to this day.”

Junior communication major Jaclyn Clapps, a three-year PAL student, said she has considered leaving the program, but decided not to because she likes being able to schedule meetings with an advisor whenever she needs.

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PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRY COLLEGE.

Priscilla Carson, a freshman psychology major, expressed a different opinion of PAL, saying that she doesn’t feel that the program has lived up to the hype during summer PAL.

“The way they advertise it makes it sound a lot better than it actually is and the amount of help they say they will provide is not given,” she said.

Cost is also a big factor in whether or not students choose to stick with PAL. For example, Carson felt that the program is too expensive considering PAL students meet with their advisor twice a week and don’t receive a full extent of help.

Clapps disagreed. “It all depends on whether or not you use it. If you don’t think you need it anymore, then you don’t have to pay the extra money for it.”

However, Elste said that even after dropping the PAL program, students still have access to the accommodations without the cost. “Once in PAL, you’re kind of always in PAL — even if you’re not paying.”

Vanderberg believes that the program will only get better with time.

“Curry should be very proud of PAL,” she said. “It precedes civil rights movements in the United States. It was revolutionary in including students with disabilities and that’s something we can be very proud of.”

Public Safety Chief Now Armed on Campus

BY PETER NEWMAN // DEC. 12, 2015 // 

Director of Curry College Public Safety Brian Greeley has been granted the authority to be armed on campus. Among the 20 officers on staff, the chief is the only one who is currently authorized to carry.

Greeley has an extensive background in law enforcement and a long history at Curry College. Prior to Curry, Greeley served 27 years with the Massachusetts State Police as commander of the State Police Barracks in Milton and as an instructor at the State Police Academy. He has worked at Curry College for 11 years.

According to Greeley, officers carrying on campus is becoming more and more common.

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PHOTO BY PERETZ PARTENSKY, creative commons.

“More college campuses have become armed since Virginia Tech in 2007 than ever before,” said Greeley, referencing the infamous university shooting of April 16, 2007, when 32 people were killed and 17 were wounded by a single gunman.

Colleges across the country have started to arm safety staff. In Massachusetts specifically, Bentley University and Babson College have armed safety personnel in recent years.

Many Curry students said they felt fine that Greeley would now be armed on campus.

“I think the chief with his past experience would be more than qualified to carry a gun,” said Catherine Payson, a junior nursing major.

Kelsey Tagen, a sophomore nursing major, said, “I can’t see any reason for our chief of Public Safety to not be armed and able to protect himself and the students.”

“He is a professional that has been trained to use a firearm,” said junior criminal justice major Jared Berman. “I think in the event of an emergency, it’s perfectly acceptable for our chief of Public Safety to carry.”

Austin Doherty, a first-year special education major, said he “feels safer” knowing that there is someone on campus armed and ready for an emergency.

Greeley being armed is just the first of many new safety precautions the College is taking this year. There has also been an increase in emails notifying students of safety concerns on campus, such as recent thefts.

When asked about the future, Greeley said that the next step is to increase the number of Public Safety officers carrying guns.

“The next step, if we decide to go in that direction, is having supervisors with the proper training,” said Greeley. “Then after they’re trained, having other officers armed with the proper training.”

Gregory Estes, Class of 2019 President and a first-year criminal justice major, said he doesn’t believe Curry faces the types of dangers that would justify a well-armed Public Safety staff. “Chief Greeley has had more experience in the profession and having every officer carrying is not necessary,” he said.

Matthew Coakley, another first-year criminal justice major and Class of 2019 Student Government representative, disagreed. “If they receive the proper training, I wouldn’t see why not.”

Hockey Team to Host Second Annual Teddy Bear Toss

BY ALANA SANTOS // NOV. 30, 2015 // 

The Curry College Hockey Team has started the countdown to the second annual Teddy Bear Toss on Saturday, December 5 at 4:30 p.m. The event will be held at the Max Ulin Rink in Milton, Mass. 

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PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRY COLLEGE ATHLETICS.

The team’s social media has been taken over by dozens of cuddly, fuzzy teddy bears. Every day a new photo of a player and their bear is posted to their Instagram account. There are also active countdowns to the big day on their Twitter and Facebook pages.

The hockey team has teamed up with TEAM Impact, an immersion program that matches sick children with local college athletic teams to host the Teddy Bear Toss.

When the Colonels score their first goal on Saturday, fans will throw their individual teddy bears onto the ice. The teddy bears are then collected and donated with the help of TEAM Impact to several charities to help children facing life threatening and chronic illness.

“This event is aimed to brighten these kids’ day around the holiday season.” Said sophomore Business Management major Ryan Fitzgerald. Fitzgerald plays forward for the hockey team.

“The ability to spread joy during the holiday season is a humbling experience,”said sophomore Business Management major and forward Shane Tracy. “It makes you more appreciative for what you have.”

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PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRY COLLEGE HOCKEY TWITTER.

The Colonels are looking to top last year’s donation numbers and donate more than 400 bears this holiday season. Fans have the option to bring their own bears to the game or to purchase bears at the door, while supplies last.

“Personally, I believe this event is significant for everyone involved. From the fans donating teddy bears to Colonels’ players, every individual involved should experience a feeling of contribution to a big cause.” said Fitzgerald.

For more information regarding this event, check out the Curry College Hockey Team’s FacebookTwitter and Instagram for a countdown to the event along with team updates.

10 Things All Curry Students Know To Be True

BY CHRISTIANNA CASALETTO // NOV. 12, 2015 // 

PHOTO COURTESY OF EMILY ARONICA.
PHOTO COURTESY OF EMILY ARONICA.

1. Our campus is extremely photogenic.

Have you ever seen an ugly photo of our campus? We have grassy green hills, huge trees that keep us cool in the summer and give us colorful leaves in the fall, and buildings that look like fairytale cottages and others that are high tech and modern. You can’t help but think that everything on campus is Instagram worthy.

Just check out the Curry College Instagram page and see for yourself.

2. The New England weather will always keep you on your toes.

Pack your parkas and your short shorts, because who knows what the weather will bring! Fall days range from sweltering hot to a dusting of snow. After last year’s record breaking winter, students never thought they’d wish for less snow days. Although, sledding down the Kennedy Hill on lunch trays and having snowball fights were winter highlights.

3. Walking to the Kennedy Building is a major form of torture.

The hill leading up to Kennedy will have you huffing and puffing for at least the first ten minutes of class. But, if you look on the bright side, you’ll see a significant improvement in your leg muscles by the end of your first year!

4. You’ll constantly wonder if nursing students ever sleep.

Nursing students march around campus like soldiers in uniform in, only their wearing navy blue scrubs instead of camouflage. Chances are that when nursing students aren’t at a clinical, they are stowed away in the library, hunched over a stack of nursing textbooks.

5. The kitchen staff are some of the greatest people you’ll ever meet.

When you walk into the dining hall, you’ll feel right at home. Everyone knows your name and you know theirs. Otto, Mary, Laura, Roni, even Hassan – the gang’s all there! The staff are like a family; Jools is your cool aunt who slips you an extra piece of pie, Jason is your super edgy cousin who always has a story about some unbelievable adventure and Colleen is your mom who can cheer you up with a delicious sandwich and a smile. With their friendly faces and awesome personalities, you’ll want to get to know each and every one of these awesome people.

PHOTO BY BEAUTIFULCATAYA. // CREATIVE COMMONS.
PHOTO BY BEAUTIFULCATAYA. // CREATIVE COMMONS.

6. OMELETTES. ARE. LIFE.

There is nothing like rolling out of bed at 11 a.m. on a Sunday morning and sleepily making your way to the Stu just to wait in the Global Cuisine line for an hour. But it’s all worth it once you get handed a plate full of fluffy, cheesy, egg-y goodness. With tons of choices, an omelet is the perfect way to cure your weekend blues.

7. President Ken Quigley is a mysterious man.

Faster than a speeding bullet, President Quigley will be in and out of a room with a wave and a smile just as fast as he came in. When he is around, you can’t help but be captivated by his presence.

8. The Colonel is shrouded in mystery.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRY COLLEGE. HOMECOMING WEEKEND, FALL 2015.
PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRY COLLEGE. HOMECOMING WEEKEND, FALL 2015.

No, you do not pronounce it how it’s spelled. And yes, our mascot does look like the KFC guy, but who wouldn’t want to be associated with fried chicken?

9. The Bell Tower Clock is annoying, yet helpful.

Sitting prominently above the Levin Library, the Bell Tower Clock tolls and rings every hour on the hour for what seems like hours. It’s an “Old kill joy,” as Cinderella would call it. The tolls interrupt your dreams, but make sure you’re on time to class.

10. You spend all of your cash on coffee.

If someone asks you to go to P.S., they are definitely not asking to go by Public Safety. Although we don’t have our own campus coffee shop, we’re surrounded by great off-campus options. P.S. Gourmet, Marylou’s, Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts are great coffee stops right nearby to give you the caffeine fix you need.

Student Arraigned on Assault and Battery Charges

BY RYAN HATHAWAY // NOV. 11, 2015 //

A Curry College resident was arraigned on charges of assault and battery on Friday, Nov. 6 in Quincy District Court. The student was allegedly involved in a domestic assault on campus the night before when he shoved and choked a female.

PHOTO BY JUSTIN MCGREGOR // CREATIVE COMMONS.
PHOTO BY JUSTIN MCGREGOR // CREATIVE COMMONS.

Connor Trulli, 21, was released on personal recognizance. Dean of Students Maryellen Kiley said Trulli has received an interim sanction and is no longer living on campus. The student conduct process is still on-going, she added.

Milton Police were called on Thursday night by Curry Public Safety. According to police, Trulli fled after the incident but later returned to campus.

Witnesses reported to police that the 6’3″, 200-pound Trulli forcefully shoved the female victim backward into a wall, and that he allegedly had his hands around her neck.

In an email to the Currier Times, Kiley explained the decision not to send out a community notification after the arrest:

“Colleges are not required to send notifications when there is no ongoing or immediate threat deemed present, however, Curry College has proactively communicated with our campus community about certain serious situations. In such cases, these voluntary community notifications have allowed the College to seek assistance, when appropriate, for an ongoing investigation, to provide safety and/or policy reminders, or offer outreach and provide resources.”

Kiley added that the college’s Public Safety Department is fully staffed at 20 officers, and Curry is addressing the growing concern among students about campus safety.

“The College has increased its violence prevention and education efforts and bystander intervention programs,” she said. “Students are encouraged to communicate with the College about a friend in need of emergency assistance, or for support about other matters of concern.”

Kiley also stated that programs such as “Colonels Can Call” are resulting in an increased level of intervention and communication. She said this could result in an uptick in the number of incidents being reported.