Students Want Better Communication About Crimes

BY CHRISTIANNA CASALETTO AND TYLER MILLIKEN // MAY 3, 2017 //

A number of Curry College students are angry about being kept in the dark about serious campus incidents this semester.

Students, faculty, and staff alike are trying to resolve tensions, and some issues. The Student Government Association hosted an open forum at its annual Town Hall Meeting; the college ran a “May Day” event that promoted a positive outlook on diversity; and various groups have hosted educational events on campus concerning topics such as race, environmental concerns, and LGBTQ+ discrimination. There were even student-led protests last semester about the need for greater inclusion and transparency on campus.

But although the college has implemented a new “bias response protocol this semester, the administration remains inconsistent in how and when it informs the Curry community — if at all — about serious incidents on campus.

Sexual Assault in Curry Dorm

(Editor’s Note: Charges have been dropped in this case.)

For example, on May 1, The Patriot Ledger reported that a Curry student was raped in her dorm room by a Hyde Park resident who does not attend the school.

Godson Derosena, an 18-year-old student at Northeastern University, was arraigned in Quincy District Court on Friday, April 28, on charges of rape and indecent assault and battery. According to the story, the Curry student reported the incident to Public Safety back on March 22. The assault occurred two days prior.

Public Safety contacted the Milton Police Department, as well as campus support services for the victim. However, the Curry administration chose not to notify students, faculty or staff about the on-campus assault at any point throughout the investigation or even after Derosena’s arrest. Derosena pleaded not guilty last Friday and was released without bail.

“The only reason I knew about the rape was because my dad called me yesterday about the rape, worried about what was going on on campus,” said Emily Travascio, a freshman Nursing major, noting that her father learned about the incident from local news reports. “For other events going on on campus, such as racial prejudices, the school is slow to react to these things. We never really know what is going on.”

“The value of knowing is so we can be safer and be better informed,” she added. “I do not think the college is doing a good job of informing us.”

Student Sending Death Threats

As was the case with the on-campus assault, most members of the Curry community learned about another incident only after it was first reported on by external news media. According to The Berkshire Eagle, a Curry College first-year student was arrested on Sunday, March 26 after sending threatening messages to six other Curry students.

The Berkshire Eagle article was published on Tuesday, March 28. The following day, Curry College Public Safety released a statement of its own via email to notify the Curry community about what happened.

According to Public Safety, six Curry students reported that a previously suspended student, Sean Baruch, 19, had sent them vulgar text messages. Two of the students reported receiving death threats that included images of a black handgun. Baruch reportedly communicated that he was coming to campus.

It is unclear why Baruch was previously suspended by the college.

Public Safety contacted the Milton Police Department and assisted both Milton and Lenox Police in an effort to locate Baruch, who lives in Lenox. Lenox Police found Baruch at home, where he was taken into custody. It was only upon his arrest that police learned that the weapon he displayed was a toy.

Baruch has been charged with threatening to commit murder, assault with a dangerous weapon and resisting arrested. He pleaded not guilty in Southern Berkshire District Court.

“If it had been deemed an immediate or ongoing threat, Public Safety would have issued an emergency alert or timely warning in closer proximity to the actual incident,” said Interim Director Paul L’Italien. “Even though an emergency alert or warning wasn’t required, because of the scope and seriousness of the circumstances of the incident, including the arrest, the College believed it was important to send a community notification.”

However, L’Italien noted that there was a longer than usual interval of time in implementing the community notification protocol “due to human error.”

Hate Crimes reported via the Curry Portal

On Monday, April 10, Public Safety alerted students through the MyCurry portal about two bias-related incidents on campus. Throughout the past two semesters, students have been informed of these issues through campus email.

The community message explained that “a student in the Mayflower residence hall reported that her room had been entered and vandalized by an unknown individual(s). The student, who identifies as a member of the LBGT community, indicated that her decorations, including one with LGBTQ pride rainbow colors, were torn down and rearranged to spell an offensive word.”

Lumped into the message was a second incident. “A student who lives in the Lombard residence hall reported that the whiteboard on his door had been written on. The message, which was offensive and biased in nature, has been documented and removed, and the College has posted a notice about the occurrence of the graffiti in the location where it occurred, indicating intolerance for such behavior and asking for assistance in addressing it.”

“Prior to the new protocol, communications were inconsistent,” said L’Italien. “The ‘bias response team’ has implemented a consistent communication protocol this semester, which includes sending a Public Safety email to all students, parents, faculty, and staff if an instance of a hate crime occurs. That was not the case in the April 10 incident.”

L’Italien added that local law enforcement did not determine the incidents to be hate crimes, but that the “discriminatory behavior” will not be tolerated.

No one has yet to be identified responsible for the incidents.

Lisa MacDonald, assistant vice president of Student Affairs, said students in the two residence halls assisted the bias response team and Student Affairs staff in addressing “this unacceptable behavior in their community.”

“If an instance of bias-related graffiti or vandalism occurs, the response team will [from now on] post a notification to all campus community members on myCurry,” said MacDonald. “The bias incident response team is also in the process of expanding the myCurry Diversity page and implementing ongoing updates about bias-related matters.”

While it remains unclear what constitutes “bias-related graffiti” versus a “hate crime,” it is evident that many students are unsatisfied with the inconsistent communication on campus. If a bias incident merits public acknowledgment via a flier at the site of the offense, why does a sexual assault on campus merit no communication at all?

“I believe it’s definitely important to know what’s going on at campus, and it’s not a good look for Public Safety to be hiding these serious situations from students,” said Marvin Bony, a senior Business Management major. “It causes more harm than good.”

When asked about the recent sexual assault on campus, which he was unaware of, freshman Stephen Bascio was far more blunt.

“I am absolutely appalled,” said Bascio. “Curry was founded on communications, so why don’t they start communicating the things that matter most”

Men’s Lax Falls in Regular-Season Finale

BY JASON POMBO // APRIL 26, 2017 //

The Colonels faced off against the University of New England Nor’easters in what could be the last game for the senior class on the Walter M. Katz Field.

The rain compromised visibility and ran emotions high for both sides even before the opening whistle.

UNE began the game on a 3-0 run, converting on their first three shots. Sophomore Alex Zadworny then added two more goals to complete his hat trick with 1:20 remaining in the first quarter. That increased the Nor’easter lead to 5-1 after 15 minutes.

The Colonels clearly needed to make adjustments, and they failed to do so before they entered the second quarter of play. UNE began the quarter on fire and refused to let up as they piled up shots and pushed their advantage to 13-2 going into halftime.

The second half started out similar, but Curry showed some life. After letting up three straight goals to open the third quarter, the Colonels outscored the Nor’easters 4-3 over the last eight minutes of the third. Sophomore Devin Newell accounted for half of those to add to his 28 total goals this season, two shy of the team leader.

However, the fourth was much of the same with Curry struggling in the faceoff circle and defensive end. Newell registered his hat-trick goal with six and a half minutes to play in the final frame to cut the score to 20-8.

It would be the last goal the Colonels registered as the final whistle sent the 22-8 score, final.

That also sent their conference record to 3-5 which is still good enough for a tie for fifth place. With a 19-10 victory over Nichols College back on April 2, Curry owned the tie-breaker and walked away with the #5 seed in the CCC Tournament, scheduled to start Saturday.

 

@currycollegemenslacrosse on Instagram: Onto Saturday. CCC Playoff Game at Roger Williams. #WinTheDay #CCLax Repost @ccc_sports with @repostapp…Here we go! It’s #tournamenttime! Congrats to #CCCMLAX Regular-season Champions, @ECGulls. Check out the full torunament pairings relase at cccathletics.com (link in bio)…

However, that was still to be determined by the time the game ended and left many Colonels with a bad taste in their mouth.

Senior Nick D’Innocenzo may have played his last game on the Katz field, but knows their work is cut out for them.

“It’s been a thrill to play here for 4 years, I’m going to miss it, and miss this program,” the Medway native remarked. “But we need to work harder,” he continued.

Head Coach Tim Murphy echoed his senior’s thoughts noting, “They all played hard today, but we need to go find a way to win one on Saturday.”

Curry finishes its season with a 9-8 overall record and a 3-5 mark in the CCC, flip-flopping last years’ 10-7 (2-6 CCC) record.

The Colonels will prepare to travel to the #4 Roger Williams Hawks for a 4:30 p.m. opening faceoff in the CCC Quarterfinals Saturday afternoon.

 

Softball Honors Seniors in Regular-Season Finale

BY TYLER MILLIKEN // APRIL 25, 2017 //

After being rained out over the weekend, the Colonels finally got the opportunity to honor their three seniors against the Salve Regina Seahawks at the D. Forbes Will Field.

It was the last chance for the three graduating members of the Curry Community to play the game of softball with a chance at a playoff berth on the line.

The three Colonel seniors from three different states. Marissa Bruno (left) of Milford, Conn., Mikayla Korona (center) from Bellingham, Mass., and McKenna Barlow (right) from Middletown, R.I. // PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRY COLLEGE ATHLETICS

It was of course a senior who got the starting nod for the Colonels and McKenna Barlow, of Middletown, R.I., took the circle for her fifth start of the season. However, the results were not exactly what she had hoped for.

The Seahawks’ ability to consistently make contact tormented Barlow, as she only picked up a single strikeout during the afternoon.

Curry’s offense failed to make any noise in the first game, as Salve Regina’s Kelsey Boarman dazzled in a complete-game shutout. Boarman allowed only one hit, while striking out and walking a single batter each.

The Seahawks pushed runs across in four different innings, with the help of some solid base running and steadily putting the ball in play. The Colonels seemed to be chasing hits all day, while Barlow battled to work through each inning. She did finish the entire game but not before surrendering six runs (four earned) on 13 hits.

The 6-0 final dropped Curry to 15-20 overall and 7-10 in the Commonwealth Coast Conference. That was a good enough mark to be hanging around sixth place, the final spot in the playoffs.

Once game two rolled around, junior Rebecca Black entered the circle for the Colonels, with the hope of ending the team’s four-game losing streak.

Despite a tough start to begin the day, Curry started the second game with some punch at the plate. In her final game on Forbes Field, Marissa Bruno added to her legacy by launching a solo home run to center field to start the bottom of the first. The captain rounded the bases only to be mobbed by her teammates at home.

However, the Seahawks formulated a response right away and pushed three runs across to steal the lead the Colonels just got. Salve added two more in the fourth and Curry could only get one more run across before seven innings were played.

Black got tagged with the loss in her 11th start to drop her record to 5-6 while giving up five earned runs on nine hits in her seventh complete game.

The Seahawks handed the Colonels a sweep to end their season on a five-game losing streak to cement their regular season record at 15-21 overall and 7-11 in the CCC.

At the end of the day Curry found itself in a tie with Gordon College for the sixth and final playoff spot in the CCC Tournament. The Fighting Scots traveled to Nichols College yesterday and earned a split to finish their season at 14-20 overall and an identical 7-11 in the CCC.

The one extra non-conference victory for the Purple and White nudged their overall winning percentage to .417, ahead of Gordon’s .412 to sit at the #6 seed.

However, that was still to be determined by the time the final out was recorded and there was a lingering cloud of emotion after the game.

“I’m trying not to cry right now,” Barlow explained, thinking about the end of her Curry career. “It’s tough, I had to put up a fight to get back on the team and everything…it’s crazy to think I was a freshman just four years ago.”

Despite the season ending on such a tough note, co-captain Mikayla Korona was optimistic about what the future holds after softball.

“In everybody’s life your athletics end, and my post-career will start soon,” the Bellingham-native remarked. “I’ve had a good career all in all from when I was little, to now. In my eyes I thought we fought till the end, but one team has to win at the end of the day, and it wasn’t us.”

At the end of the day’s celebrations, Head Coach Bruce Weckworth helped breakdown just what his seniors meant to him over the years.

“It’s devastating for us,” Weckworth put simply. “They’ve grown as young women from where they were as freshman to where they are today. This group…I wish I could coach them forever.”

The final games of the Commonwealth Coast Conference schedule consist of Wentworth traveling to Nichols which was scheduled for today, but rain has postponed it.

The CCC Tournament is scheduled to begin on April 28, and the Colonels will be waiting patiently for the final seedings.

 

 

Living a Life of Happiness; Remembering Dyanna Caribe

BY CHRISTIANNA CASALETTO // APRIL 25, 2017 //

The song “Smile” reminds us that no matter how dark a day gets, we should keep smiling in the hope of a better tomorrow.

Dyanna Maria Caribe smiled often. It was both a mask and a shield, hiding her pain and guarding against her fears.

“Smile, though your heart is aching
Smile, even though it’s breaking
When there are clouds in the sky, you’ll get by”

At age 11, while in the 6th grade, Caribe was diagnosed with arrhythmia, an abnormal heart rhythm. A few years later,

Dyanna1

in 2011, doctors discovered that Caribe’s heart was failing altogether. She had dialated cardiomyopathy, a condition that causes one’s heart to swell and limits oxygen to other major organs. Caribe needed an emergency transplant, and fast.

It happened on the weekend of Mother’s Day 2011. Just 13 years old, Caribe received a new heart.

“If you smile through your fear and sorrow
Smile and maybe tomorrow
You’ll see the sun come shining through
For you.”

“All of Dyanna’s doctors knew her as the smiling beautiful girl who never complained,” says her mother, Myrna Echevarria. “Never said she was in pain, although most often she was, and never complained that she needed to get her blood drawn weekly.”

Leading up to the heart transplant, Echevarria says her daughter’s biggest concern was the many other children who needed transplants. “Dyanna’s question was simple,” says Echevarria. “‘What about all the other babies waiting for their hearts? Can’t they get it first?’”

Caribe never forgot about those other kids. She would often volunteer at Boston Children’s Hospital during her vacation week, reading to the children on the cardiology floor or doing arts and crafts with them. She also decided to spread her message of leading a happy life.

Caribe took public speaking classes while at Revere High School, and most of her speech topics consisted of living life to the fullest and following your dreams.

“Wishing that you were happy doesn’t really make you happy,” said Caribe in one such speech. “You have to do something to make yourself happy.”

For her, that something was often music. She performed in high school talent shows and church choirs. Soon after entering Curry College in the fall of 2016, Caribe joined the school’s a cappella group Pure Vocals as well as the leadership program. Shy by nature, Caribe was slowly but surely breaking out of her shell.

“On her first night at Curry, Dyanna called me and told me that she sang karaoke,” says Echevarria. “For someone so quiet, it was an amazing feat for her. Dyanna told me that night no one seemed to hear her, but she kept going because she would always follow her dreams.”

“Light up your face with gladness
Hide every trace of sadness
Although a tear may be ever so near
That’s the time you must keep on trying
Smile, what’s the use of crying”

Dyanna Caribe passed away on Dec. 14, 2016, due to complications from a heart condition. She was 18 years old, and just days away from completing her first semester at Curry.

This Thursday, April 27, a memorial service will be held in her honor outside the Student Center starting at 7:30 p.m. The event is a celebration of Caribe’s life, and it will include a candlelight vigil, spoken prayers, and a performance by Pure Vocals. Curry Spiritual Life Director Terry Hoffman, Caribe’s residence assistant, Karissa Ferraro, and Caribe’s friends organized the event.

dyanna4
On the International Day of Happiness, the Wellness Council gave out “Daisies for Dyanna” in honor of Caribe. // image credit: BeWellAtCurry //

After attending the funeral service last December, Michele McGraw, coordinator of substance abuse and wellness education at Curry, learned that Caribe’s life motto was “my future is filled with happiness.” Inspired, McGraw took the message back to the college and led a series of educational sessions on ways to lead happy and healthy lives. Tied to the International Day of Happiness on March 20, McGraw’s group also handed out flowers — “Daisies for Dyanna” — to students around campus.

“Dyanna centered her days around making sure she was getting the most of out of her life and truly doing things that made her happy and inspiring others to find their happiness,” says McGraw.

It’s a lesson that has deeply touched those on campus who knew Caribe well.

“Never take anything for granted, and never treat anyone with less than kindness,” says Ferraro. “Enjoy life as much as you can.”

“You’ll find that life is still worthwhile
If you’ll just smile”

Serra Grabs 100th Career Point in Win Over Dean College

BY TYLER MILLIKEN // April 19, 2017 //

The men’s lacrosse team overwhelmed the Dean College Bulldogs, dominating time of possession and shots en route to a 15-7 non-conference win at the Walter M. Katz Field.

On a windy, spring night, both sidelines were brimming with energy before the opening whistle even blew. However, it was the Colonels’ constant pressure from the get co that put the Bulldogs down early and set the tone for the rest of the game.

Curry’s physicality highlighted the first few minutes of play with 6’ 3” sophomore defenseman Dakota Sanders delivering huge hits all over the field on a few different Dean Defenders.

Senior Jack McMenomey put the Colonels on the board first with a bounce-shot after sophomore Devin Newell placed a perfect pass in front of the net with 10:51 remaining in the opening quarter.

By the end of the first quarter, Curry owned a 4-2 advantage thanks to the offense’s seamless communication. Once the second quarter started, the Colonels began feeding their scorers with multiple shot opportunities on each drive.

Curry was able to net a trio of goals before halftime to extend their lead to 7-4. The Bulldogs continued to scratch their way back but were failing to successfully move the ball.

Coming out of the halftime break, the Colonels’ persistent attack finally toppled the Dean Defenses.

Curry registered three goals in third before adding another fistful in the fourth quarter. The Bulldogs failed to match the Colonels’ firepower and could not keep up with the parade of shots finding the back of the net. Only three more shots found twine for Dean over the final two frames.

Serra Score
Junior Matt Serra leads the team with 28 Goals through 15 games. Photo Credit: Curry College Athletics

Most of the fourth quarter was all academic with the margin being too much for the Bulldogs to overcome. McMenomey and classmate Brandon Flaim secured their hat tricks in the third and fourth quarter respectively, pushing their goal totals to 25 and 11 each.

Junior Matt Serra also registered his second point of the game in the final frame, grabbing his 100th career point with a goal on the man-advantage.

Once the clock ran out, the final score read 15-7 and the final shot chart had Curry outshooting Dean by a 54-30 gap.

It marked an important win for the Colonels, who improved their record to 9-6 overall.

After picking up the victory, Newell described the team’s mentality heading into a non-conference competition like this one.

“These types of games just have to be treated like a conference game,” Newell explained. “We seem to do pretty well because we keep the right mindset. It’s just a big mental thing.”

Coming off a big team win, Flaim reiterated that the squad has but one goal with only two games left before tournament time.

“We’re focused on heading into the playoffs. We need one more win in our conference to get home field advantage,” Flaim noted.

While looking ahead to that tournament play, Head Coach Tim Murphy explained the mindset he wants his players to get into.

“We just need to have some fun,” Murphy remarked. “That’s the name of the game for us heading down the stretch. It’s important for the guys to remember why they want to play this game.”

Curry gets to have some more fun this Saturday as they travel to Newport, R.I. to face off against the Salve Regina Seahawks for a Commonwealth Coast Conference matchup starting at noon.