Disabled Student Urges College to Remove Carpeting in Residence Halls

BY KELLY LEWICKI // FEBRUARY 15, 2019 //

You may have noticed the addition of some four-legged friends to our campus community.

Isabella Scott, a freshman Biology major, is legally blind. She was born with a juvenile form of macular degeneration. “It’s genetic, and started showing when I was around 8 years old. It affects my central vision, as well as some of my peripheral vision.” According to Scott, it can be explained as if someone were to put a thin layer of Vaseline over your eyes, preventing you from seeing clearly.

For the last year, her guide dog, O’Hara, has been by her side, giving her the independence she’s always wanted.

“I put all of my trust into her four paws.”

Scott takes pride in having always taken care of O’Hara entirely on her own. But since moving onto campus, she has discovered a challenge to taking care of a dog in a college dorm room: dogs sometimes have accidents.

While service dogs are extremely well-trained, house training included, accidents do happen. And when that does happen, Scott is left to try to clean it up. And each time she can’t, she faces up to a $50 cleaning fee.

“Although I have some vision, I will still explain it this way: Imagine putting a blindfold on and then being asked to clean throw up off of a rug,” she said.

The color and material of Scott’s carpeted floors make it even more difficult for her to see what she is doing. Ultimately, Scott would like Curry College to move away from carpeting in its residence halls altogether, saying they’re generally unsanitary to begin with.

Jen Maitino, the director of Residence Life & Housing on campus, said while she is in favor of the move away from carpet flooring, it would be costly. “Certainly, it would not be cost-effective to go in and rip everything out all at once, especially in areas where it was recently replaced,” said Maitino. “However, it would be worth exploring how we approach alternative flooring as spaces come up for carpet replacement.”

The basement levels of a number of residence halls on campus — Mayflower, State House, Main House, and others — are already not carpeted, but some student leaders on campus feel it would be unfair to relegate disabled students to those undesirable rooms. Basement rooms are usually not carpeted due to moisture issues, which can cause mold and other allergens. 

“Students with disabilities should always be prioritized in regards to housing and accessibility within our campus,” said Student Body President Rachel O’Donnell. 

Although Scott has created an online petition to raise awareness of the issue — she is about halfway to her goal of 200 signatures — there doesn’t seem to be much progress being made on-campus in starting discussions about how to make the changes she seeks.

When asked about her knowledge of the campaign, O’Donnell revealed, “Unfortunately, until you are asking right now, there hasn’t been any mention of the petition or campaign to remove carpet from floors in [residence] halls during our student forum. Every Wednesday from 2-4 p.m. we meet in the Large Meeting Room and discuss various student concerns and topics, and this should most certainly be one of them.”

For more information about Scott’s petition, go to change.org

Meat It or Beat It

BY ALEXANDRA LANDRY // FEBRUARY 14, 2019 //

I have been a vegetarian for three years now. How I came to this lifestyle is a weird story, and I’ll spare you the details. Just know that I can’t eat any meat or I will get really sick. And I mean really sick.

At Curry College, my biggest concern is cross contamination in the preparation and serving of foods in the dining hall. If I eat a veggie burger at the Flame station, I worry about it being cooked on the same grill as the burgers, chicken and “Stu dogs.” If I get pasta at the Firzeni station, I’m worried that the spoons in the marinara and meat sauces may have been switched by accident, or that some of the meat sauce splashed into the marinara.

If I get a wrap at the Deli, I’m acutely aware of the fact that every sandwich is cut with the same knife. If I get an omelet, I’m worried about mine being cooked in the same pan as someone who ordered ham or bacon in theirs.

The food at Curry, as is the case at most colleges, will never compare to a homemade meal. But I’ve found it extremely difficult to eat in the Student Center dining hall the last three years. 

I know what you’re thinking. Yes, I could stick to the salad bar, but sometimes the salads have bacon mixed in. I once accidentally got corn chowder without reading the ingredients, thinking it was a safe option. Turns out there was uncured bacon in it.

It got to the point where I wasn’t using my meal swipes at all because I was so afraid to take the risk of getting sick. I wasn’t eating, yet I was spending money on a meal plan that I wasn’t even using.

I met with Residence Life in December to cancel my meal plan for the spring. I explained how critical it was for my health that I not eat meat, and was told to reach out to a dean as they have more “power” when it comes to making these decisions.

I didn’t hear back for more than a month — even after three emails.

Finally, I was told this decision would have to go to Disability Services since it was a health issue. Keep in mind, we had already moved back in for the semester. After providing a doctor’s note and explaining how this has been an issue I’ve been dealing with for three years, I was finally granted the cancelation of my meal plan.

In the past three years, the workers in the dining hall have tried to be accommodating, which I greatly appreciate. But Curry needs to take into greater consideration the needs of their students. Not only those who are vegetarian, but those who are kosher, vegan, gluten free, or who have with any other dietary restrictions.

The student should always come first. Always.

Women’s Basketball Grills the Gators

BY CHASE MARTINO // NOV. 18, 2018 // 

The Curry College women’s basketball team was very opportunistic in Thursday night’s home game versus Pine Manor. The Colonels forced 33 turnovers, and scored 41 points off of them, in a convincing 77- 53 win.

Curry dominated the whole night for its first win of the season, bringing its record to 1-2. The Colonels jumped out to a 21-8 lead after one quarter, and kept rolling the rest of the game. The Gators fell to 0-2.

“We were very aggressive in forcing mistakes and we were able to capitalize on the turnovers, which helped us get a must-needed win,” said coach Fran Elms.

Freshman Peyton Perine led Curry to its first win of the season. // COURTESY OF CURRY ATHLETICS

Peyton Perine and Emily Irwin led the way offensively, scoring 20 points and 19 points, respectively. Perine was an efficient 56 percent from the field on 9 of 16 shooting, and added 4 rebounds and 4 steals.

“I just felt like I was in a groove,” she said. “My teammates definitely helped me get so many good looks.”

The Colonels played smart basketball and worked the ball down low for a good portion of their points, scoring 34 in the paint. This, paired with the 41 points scored off turnovers, were the two biggest factors that led to the blowout win.

Curry’s Amanda Leal finished with 13 points.

Pine Manor’s Kristen Harris led the way for the Gators with 12 points, while two of her teammates, Arielle Harrell and Oceane Tabbak, ended the game with double-digit turnovers (12 and 10, respectively).

  • Neither team scored any fast-break points.
  • Pine Manor held a 1-point lead with 8:10 left in the first quarter. It was the Gators’ only lead of the night.
  • Curry had 23 more field goal attempts than Pine Manor.

Elections Are Won By Those Who Show Up

BY PAUL GRIFFIN // NOV. 2, 2018 //

With midterm elections on Tuesday, Nov. 6, candidates’ get-out-the-vote operations are in full swing. The question, as it is every two years, is whether young voters will actually turn out at the polls.

It’s no secret that many young people choose not to vote. In the 2016 presidential election, only about 49 percent of millennials — those ages 18-35 that year — reported to have voted, according to the Pew Research Center. That’s about 20 percentage points less than the baby boomers (people ages 49-72), of which 69 percent voted in the election.

At Curry College, voter apathy is even worse. According to Student Government Association President Rachel O’Donnell, only about 25 percent of the student population voted in the latest SGA election. Students could vote through the Curry portal, meaning they didn’t even have to get out of bed to cast a ballot. “It seems to be a generational thing,” says O’Donnell.

Curry Psychology professor Eric Weiser says it’s understandable that many college students are slow to engage in politics.

“Young people, 19, 20, 21 who are in college, are worried about exams,” says Weiser. “They’re worried about papers, they’re worried about friends, what they’re gonna do with their lives. They’re not as worried about things that influences political attitudes like taxes.”

Weiser says he doesn’t see a lot of political engagement in his students, but reiterated that it was typical for college students to be less engaged than older voters. A study out of Tufts University in Medford, Mass., last year reported that voter turnout among college students in the 2016 election actually increased by 3 percentage points, to 48 percent, compared to the 2012 election, but that too is well below most categories of older eligible voters.

Professor Andrew Horn of the English Department believes that today’s students aren’t particularly engaged in politics because they don’t see how it connects with their lives.

“They feel as though they have nothing at stake,” says Horn, who remembers the feelings of impending doom when he was an undergraduate student during the Cold War. “We were all absolutely convinced there would be nuclear war between the United States and Russia, and that we were going to die.”

Of course, young people have plenty at stake in this midterm election. For example, a ballot referendum in Massachusetts asks voters to decide whether there should be strict limits on how many patients a nurse can care for at any one time. Voting “yes” would impose a patient cap, which would arguable require hospitals to hire many more nurses, while a “no” vote would maintain existing laws and rules.

“This is going to directly effect me when I graduate,” says Yasmina Resendes, a senior Nursing major at Curry. “I agree there should be a limit on how many patients a nurse should care for, but I don’t like the way this [referendum] is worded.”

“I think I’m more motivated to vote because Question 1 directly effects what I want to do for my job when I graduate,” says sophomore Nursing major Olivia Francis. “My nursing instructors have really been trying to inform us about how this would affect us, but they try to avoid pushing us one way or another.”

O’Donnell of the Student Government Association says it would be great if students could vote in state and federal elections on campus at Curry. “I think a lot more students would vote if it were more accessible,” she says.

Ultimately, though, voting participation comes down to engagement. If students don’t understand what’s at stake, for them personally or for others, they simply won’t put in the effort to cast a ballot.

Says Curry English Professor Karrie Szatek, “No matter the situation, you have to be able to bring it home.”

Colonels Hockey to Open Conference Play

BY MEGHAN RIVERA AND JOE TAFT // NOV. 1, 2018 //

The Curry College men’s hockey team opens conference play tomorrow night when it travels to Worcester, Mass., to face Becker College. The Colonels and Hawks will have little time to rest after the game, with a rematch Saturday night at the Ulin Rink in Milton.

Curry freshman Vladimir Cibulka will get his first collegiate start in goal. The Colonels enter Friday’s contest 1-0-1, having won the Buffalo State Tournament in New York last weekend, with junior goalie Justin Ketola earning the tie and sophomore goalie Cody Murch getting the title-game win.

“We have three goalies that we are confident in, so that’s a strength for sure,” said Curry coach T.J. Manastersky.

Three seniors lead this year’s team, with Zach White serving as captain and Lionel Mauron and Mack Heisinger as assistant captains. White was among the team’s leading scorers last year, with 17 goals and 15 assists. Mauron added 30 points, including 20 assists, and Heisinger had 16 points as a defenseman.

PHOTO COURTESY OF CURRY ATHLETICS

The Colonels’ roster features a lot of diversity this year, with players from seven different countries. Manastersky said preseason captains’ practices and the recent trip to upstate New York definitely brought the players more together.

The diversity, “it’s incredibly positive. I think it’s fun,” said the coach, now in his seventh season at Curry. “It opens up everyone’s eyes and you learn about other people, cultures, countries, and ways of playing hockey. The challenges come back to the communication…You’ve gotta check for comprehension.”

Becker enters Friday’s game 0-2, including an 8-1 blowout against Assumption College. But even though the Hawks are predicted to finish last in the Commonwealth Coast Conference, according to the preseason coaches poll — Curry was ranked fifth out of eight teams — the Colonels aren’t planning for an easy few days.

“Any given night you can lose to anyone and you can beat anyone,” said Heisinger, “so it really doesn’t matter what their record is.”

“They’re aggressive, they’re fast, and they play up-tempo,” added Manastersky. “We have to stay disciplined, but we also have to be ready to match their intensity.”

Senior forward Corey Schafer leads Becker in goals thus far with two, while freshman forward Caleb Labrie and sophomore defenseman Christian Leon each have two assists on the young season. The Colonels should get plenty of chances to find the back of the net, as the Hawks defense has allowed a whopping 107 shots through just two games.

Curry’s offense has been well balanced thus far, with five different players scoring goals. Freshman center Michael Curran, who co-leads the team with two points (1 goal, 1 assist), was recently named conference rookie of the week.

  • Curry students in need of a ride to the Ulin Rink in Milton Saturday night can catch a free lift on the “fan-wagon.” It leaves the Student Center at 4 p.m., and the game begins at 4:50.
  • Friday night’s game at the Worcester Ice Arena begins at 7 p.m. The game can be watched online through a live video stream.
  • Curry finished last season 17-8-1 (11-6-1 CCC), while Becker finished 5-18-1 and came in last place in the CCC (3-15).