Building an Alliance

BY ERIN POWERS // DEC. 5, 2011 //

The quote on the top of the flyer read, “Life is more than the sum of its parts.” Those interested to learn more made their way to the Student Center, where a new student group hosted a showing last month of the 2005 movie “Transamerica.”

The Gay, Straight Alliance, or GSA, has returned to Curry this semester after years of inactivity. The group showed “Transamerica,” a comedic yet touching film that explores gender dysphoria, as part of the national Transgender Awareness Week, Nov. 12-20, while also hosting a discussion about the movie’s various themes.

In search of a social support group, Alexander Koch decided to create his own and led others in the resurrection of Curry's Gay, Straight Alliance. // PHOTO BY ERIN POWERS

Freshman Alexander Koch is the force behind GSA’s resurrection on campus. He said he was inspired to restart the student club after flipping through Curry’s Student Handbook, which listed GSA as an active student group. He sought out more information from Student Activities, but learned that the listing was a mistake and that the club had long been dormant.

He and some friends quickly changed that.

Lynn Zlotkowski, the college’s academic success coordinator, and Robert Mack, manager of the Academic Advising office, are both advisors to GSA and help the students figure out logistical planning for events and community outreach. According to Zlotkowski and Koch, the GSA’s main purpose is to serve as a safe and comforting environment where students—regardless of their sexuality—can talk and listen without being judged in any way. The group plans to hold various events throughout the year, including a holiday party before the semester break, in an effort to bring students together and allow diversity to flourish on campus.

“It’s an opportunity to break down some stereotypes and give students a chance to meet people that are going through the same things as them,” said Zlotkowski, who’s in her first semester at Curry. “Or just the opposite; they can meet people who are going through things that they might not understand at all.”

Koch, who is gay, lived in Germany his whole life until he decided to pursue his college education in the U.S. He said he has found the Curry community to be kind-hearted overall. It’s something of a departure from his former life overseas.

“Germany has many gay rights and hate crime laws, but there are not many supporting organizations, and those that exist are more of a political nature and are not aimed at teenagers and young adults,” Koch said, adding that he was looking forward to attending college in the United States, where there are many support groups for young gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people.

One thing that is significant about Curry’s chapter of GSA is that it is not just for students who are gay or bisexual; straight students are also members. As of press time, GSA had about 12 members, according to Koch, and about a quarter of them are straight, he said. Starting Thursday, Feb. 2, the group will meet biweekly in the Student Center’s Small Meeting Room from 6:30-7:30 p.m.

“Curry has a long way to go as far as accepting the LGBT community,” said Zlotkowski, “but the revival of GSA is certainly a good first step.”

Shakes Stir Excitement in Hafer

Even though winter is nearing, the Hafer Cafe is successfully selling loads of f’real milkshakes and smoothies to students and faculty alike. // PHOTO BY ASHLEY BUCKLEY

BY ZACHARY WEISS AND NICK IRONSIDE // DEC. 5, 2011 //

Some milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard, but a new machine by the company f’real has students and faculty alike flocking to the Hafer Café.

The “magical milkshake machine,” as the company calls it, blends prepackaged shakes and smoothies. The milkshake flavors include chocolate, cookies ‘n cream, vanilla, strawberry, and Reese’s peanut butter cup. The smoothie flavors are strawberry banana mango and blueberry raspberry pomegranate.

“I love them,” said Jessica Leary, a freshman nursing major. “I get the chocolate milkshake. They’re just really good. I’d like to see them added to the Student Center.”

For now, the lone f’real machine is located in the Hafer Café. Each shake or smoothie costs $3.99, which hasn’t been cost prohibitive for too many folks. According to Irene Whooten, a Sodexo employee who works in the café, they sell about 50 of the drinks per day. “They are a novelty on campus, and we’re the only place that has it,” she said.

According to the f’real Web site, they’re also available on other college campuses in the area, including Emerson, Suffolk and UMass-Boston.

“They give students the choice of a little something extra,” said Axel Cruz, a freshman criminal justice major. “And they taste delicious!”

Curry Gets Evaluated; Welcomes Public Commentary

A NOTICE FROM CURRY COLLEGE // DEC. 5, 2011 //

Curry College will undergo a comprehensive evaluation visit March 4 through March 7, 2012, by a team representing the Commission on Institutions of Higher Education of the New England Association of Schools and Colleges.

The Commission on Institutions of Higher Education is one of seven accrediting commissions in the United States that provide institutional accreditation on a regional basis. Accreditation is voluntary and applies to the institution as a whole. The commission, which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, accredits approximately 240 institutions in the six-state New England region.

Curry has been accredited by the commission since 1970 and was last reviewed in March 2002. Its accreditation by the New England Association encompasses the entire institution.

For the past year and a half, Curry has been engaged in a process of self-study, addressing the commission’s “Standards for Accreditation.” An evaluation team will visit the institution to gather evidence that the self-study is thorough and accurate. The team will recommend to the commission a continuing status for the institution. Following a review process, the commission itself will take the final action.

The public is invited to submit comments regarding the institution to:

Public Comment
on Curry College
Commission on Institutions
of Higher Education
New England Association
of Schools and Colleges
209 Burlington Road, Suite 201
Bedford, MA 01730-1433
Email: cihe@neasc.org

Public comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution. The commission cannot settle disputes between individuals and institutions, whether those involve faculty, students, administrators or members of other groups. Comments will not be treated as confidential and must include the name, address and telephone number of the person providing the comments.

Public comments must be received by March 7, 2012. The commission cannot guarantee that comments received after that date will be considered.

Fuss About the Bus

BY BRENDAN CRONIN // DEC. 5, 2011 //

Those big gray buses make getting around campus a lot easier, but many students are questioning whether they’re worth the wait.

Some students have been complaining about the shuttle buses’ overall service, as well as not knowing who to complain to. In interviews with numerous students, a recurring theme was that the shuttles are often full. As a result, those who had been waiting for a ride are left waiting, or must then walk to their destination. Either way, those students often arrive late.

“It takes a pretty long time,” said freshman criminal justice major Derek Degon. “And you’re almost better off walking or you will waste too much time waiting for it.”

Shawn Neenan, a senior criminal justice major, said there simply aren’t enough shuttles on campus. “If it’s raining and the bus is full, they sometimes pass by,” he said. “They just don’t come around as frequently as they used to.”

Public Safety oversees the shuttle service, and Chief Brian Greeley said he’s aware of some of the complaints. “On Fridays, there is only one shuttle bus. And on one occasion, the one driver decided to take his lunch break at 4 p.m., leaving several students at Mayflower stranded on a rainy day.

“The biggest complaint was them taking too long in between bus stops,” he added. “In other words, at times, both buses were at the same stop when they should have been staggered.”

But those are hardly the only problems, say students. The shuttle will sometimes sit idling outside Mayflower in the morning, creating unwanted noise. Other students said they have seen the shuttles “hiding” on the South side of campus and in the parking lot next to the tennis courts.

For other students still, erratic driving has been a particular issue this semester. “I know of one driver that constantly flies over speed bumps and just drives crazy,” said Jamie Cleveland, a freshman early childhood education major.

Greeley said he appreciates and welcomes the feedback, and has worked with the subcontractor, Cavalier Coach Trailways, headquartered in Boston, to fix them.

“This semester, I have received seven complaints regarding the shuttle,” he said. “Every one of the issues was brought forward to Cavalier company supervisors and was resolved. I even had their supervisor spend several days on campus to observe their drivers. We have met with the supervisor and the drivers and reiterated what the expectations were.”

More Than Meets the Eye

BY KELSEY HOWAT // DEC. 5, 2011 //

When most people first think of Chris Barrow, they think of his size. After all, the sophomore stands 6 feet, 7 inches tall and weighs 280 pounds.

But there’s far more to Barrow than meets the eye.

Chris Barrow, a 26-year-old sophmore on the men’s basketball team, can be heard regularly on the campus radio station. The 6-foot, 7-inch foward often plays soft rock.

The 26-year-old—that’s not a typo!—came to Curry from the U.S. Navy, via Massasoit Community College in Brockton. After he was put on academic probation at Massasoit, Barrow chose to enlist and spent four years serving his country. “I was able to travel to a lot of cool places, like Australia and Dubai,” he said, adding that the Navy is now paying for his education.

Barrow left the Navy in 2008 and worked for a year before returning to college. He said he originally came to Curry to play football, a sport he had never even played during his high school or younger years.

“It was weird. One day someone (in the Navy) asked me if I had ever played football,” Barrow said. “I said no, but he told me it would be a good sport for me to play and I should play.”

And just like that, a football player was born.

In the 2009-2010 school year, Barrow traveled west on a one-year partial football scholarship at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo. But Barrow said he wanted to be closer to family and friends—he’s a native of Brockton—and started to look at schools on the East Coast. That’s when Curry came into his view.

It certainly didn’t take long for those at Curry to notice Barrow. While sitting in the Student Center last year, someone from the men’s basketball team—a squad that was lacking some size—asked him if he’d consider playing. Barrow simply practiced with the team last season, but is now on the active roster as a power forward/center. He doesn’t get much playing time for the Colonels, who were 2-4 (1-1 in conference play) as of Dec. 3. Junior Sedale Jones leads this year’s squad with nearly 19 points per game, followed by sophomore Lambros Papalambros with nearly 14 points per game. Jones, a guard, is the team’s leading rebounder, at slightly more than 5 per game.

When he’s not playing sports or in the classroom, Barrow can be found working in the campus radio station. The communication major said he hopes to have a career in radio.

Lauren Hawkins, a senior resident assistant in 156 House and SCRH, which is where Barrow lives, said he is likely to do great things in his life. “We will know his name in the future,” she said. “He comes off really scary,” Hawkins adds, citing his size. “But he is really nice.”