Christmas in November

by Haley Dick

Staff Writer

Once Nov. 1 hits and Halloween comes to an end, many students switch gears to Christmas, neglecting Thanksgiving completely.

While this might be an outrage to some, many individuals start blaring their Christmas music through their dorm at the start of November, showing no shame at all. But who is to say that it is too soon?

“Originally I used to hate when people would listen to Christmas music before December, let alone Thanksgiving,” said Michael Slattery, a freshman at SU. “But now that I’m in college, I love listening to Christmas music, regardless of what time of year it is. It’s a good pick-me-up when I am struggling in a class or missing my friends and family at home.”

Freshman Megan Lucas shares a similar outlook.

“I personally think listening to Christmas music is fine before Thanksgiving, but it is crucial to wait until after Thanksgiving to buy and decorate a tree,” she said.

Hunter Schwarz takes an interesting stance in his article entitled “Why You Should Hold Off On Christmas Until After Thanksgiving,” arguing that we keep our Christmas spirit contained not only because it overshadows wonderful holidays like Thanksgiving, but because “too much Christmas can be exhausting.”

In her article on The Federalist, Heather Wilhelm creatively and aggressively expresses her strong opinion that Christmas be reserved for the day after Thanksgiving.

“You hear that, America? It’s not winter. It’s autumn. It is NOT EVEN, in fact, THANKSGIVING YET. Yet, year after year, we’re collectively jumping the gun on Christmas, bumping it up on the calendar just a teeny bit more, crowding not only Thanksgiving but now Halloween. In the future, will the wild-eyed mobs of Black Friday be released the day after, say, Fourth of July?” she said.

Wilhelm closes her article with a seemingly sassy remark, telling Americans to be patient and “just save it for the day after Thanksgiving,” making it safe to say that there are indeed people out there who do not support the early holiday spreading of cheer.

Regardless of when your personal Christmas caroling begins, there will always be people who are either with you or against you, so you might as well go all out…Christmas is quickly approaching!

Tech Time- Mac vs. PC at SU

By Kaydee Jones

Gull Life Editor

It probably does not come as a surprise that college students spend a lot of time on their cell phones—according to a 2014 Baylor University study, the exact figure is eight to 10 hours daily.

But as much as we love our smart phones, it is laptops and computers that are the necessity for students. Eighty-five percent of college students own a laptop, which outnumbers the amount of smartphone users according to a 2014 AMD survey of college students aged 18 to 26. The survey also found that 41 percent of students named their laptop as their most important possession.

Computers are obviously a necessity. So out of the two main options, PC and Mac, which is our campus more geared toward?

Ninety-five percent of SU’s 3,700 managed computers are Windows operated, according to figures from SU’s Information Technology department. Of the 3,700 computers, 200 are Mac’s, which make up the other 5 percent.

The Mac computers predominantly service the art and design classes and the PC computers are used for just about every other academic course, said Ken Kundell, the chief information officer for the IT department.

The reason for the discrepancy in Mac and PC computers on campus simply comes down to price, said Kundell. A Mac desktop computer is double the price of a Windows desktop computer, as Mac’s cost about $1,400 where PC’s cost about $650.

But Kundell said the Mac computers on campus are getting an upgrade to better equip classes that require a lot of processing and memory storage on their computers.

Kundell also emphasized personal preference as a factor in computer usage.

“Personally, it doesn’t matter to me,” he said.

SU sociology student Nia Smith said she has had both PC and Mac computers but prefers Mac.

“I’ve just always had Mac laptops so I’m used to them,” she said. “There is a learning curve, but once you get used to it they’re so easy to use.”

Sophomore Alex Heil disagrees that Mac’s are user-friendly. He said that Mac’s are too complicated and not worth their high price tag.

“Mac’s aren’t worth it,” he said. “They’re too fancy and I don’t know how to use them.”

Freshman Allie Rowland said that she uses PC’s out of habit. She also said she doesn’t have the time to learn a whole new interface.

“I like Mac’s, but I don’t use them,” she said. “I don’t see the point of switching over now. I guess its just a personal choice.”

What do you think about the Mac vs. PC debate? Comment below.

SU musical ensemble presents- “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”

A students perspective on the play

By Haley Dick

Staff Writer

Salisbury University’s musical theatre ensemble stepped outside of the box of societal norms and presented the community with a play surrounding love and relationships.

The play called “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change premiered at SU the weekend of Oct. 20. It was directed by Dr. Darell Mullins of the communication arts department with musical direction by Dr. William Folger, co-chair of the music, theatre and dance departments.

The original musical comedy book and lyrics were written by Joe DiPietro, and music was composed by Jimmy Roberts. The show is recommended for mature audiences. Freshman Caitlin Burke attended the play and shared her comments.

“The show was witty and enjoyable,” Burke said. “The scenes were based upon real life situations that couples go through when they are married.”

“Before arriving to the show, I didn’t know that the show would consist of small skits with many different characters that all tie together to one major theme. It was very funny, and the acting and singing was great.”

The point of the show is to portray real life relationship situations and evoke raw, relatable emotions. Act I of the play discusses the journey from dating and anticipating to love and marriage according to Rodgers and Hammerstein. Act II transitions into the hardships of marriage, as well as the lessons and emotions that come with caring for a child and the new in-laws.

DiPietro shared that he often gets asked what his new plays are about after writing them and with “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” his answer came with ease.

“People trying to connect,” he said.

Burke believes that the students of SU can only benefit from seeing the play.

“SU students should care about this show because of the real-world struggles and daily life they will experience in married life in the future,” Burke said. “It really gives a deep insight on all common issues marriage faces.”

While the opportunity to attend the play put on by the musical theatre class here at SU has passed, the play as a whole is frequently put on by multiple playhouses. It should be a priority to attend it at least once in your lifetime in order to learn firsthand the real-life highs and lows that come with the decision to get married.

Outdoor Club tops Recycle Madness for the second Fall semester in a row

Featured image via Amy Wojtowicz

By Kaydee Jones

Gull Life Editor

Salisbury students supported maroon, gold and green last Friday for Recycle Madness.

Red Square turns green once every semester for the Student Government Association sponsored event, where Registered Student Organizations and Registered Club/Organizations are encouraged to bring as many recyclables as they can to promote sustainability.

Dozens of campus organizations collectively brought 8,783 total pounds of recycled materials to Red Square last Friday, according to SGA Vice President of Sustainability Kobi Azoulay. 1,634 pounds of those recyclables came from the Outdoor Club, who received a $200 prize from SGA as the top donator.

The Outdoor Club is no stranger to Recycle Madness, as they were the top organization last fall with 1,050 pounds of recyclables.

The Flyer has reached out to the Outdoor Club for comment but has not received a response yet.

Other top organizations included the Garden Club with 1,439 pounds and the Math and Computer Science club with 619 pounds. The clubs received $150 and $100 cash prizes respectively.

The SGA did see a dip in the amount of recyclables donated as there were 8,861 pounds recycled in the spring semester.

“Despite the slight 77-pound decrease from last semester, Recycle Madness was still a huge success,” Azoulay said in an email to The Flyer. “Outdoor and Garden Club both had extra recycled material they could have brought, so it’ll be interesting to see who brings the biggest weight next semester during Earth Week!”

The average college student produces 640 pounds of solid waste each year and half of that is paper products, according to an article from Boston College.

 

Mr. Zeta: ZTA crowns The All-American Man

10/28/2014

BY MEGAN NEWCOMER
Staff Writer
@MeganNewcomer1

At this year’s annual Mr. Zeta competition, Sammy Brown won the audience’s and judges’ vote after his heartfelt story in the final round.

The story Brown told was in response to being asked why he thinks he should be Mr. Zeta and was about his personal experience with breast cancer.

When Brown was ten years old his mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer.

All of the 18 participants in the competition came prepared with knowledge of Breast Cancer Awareness facts and a talent to perform.

Members of Zeta Tau Alpha are constantly exposing the community to breast cancer awareness, as their philanthropy is to promote breast cancer education and awareness.

The Mr. Zeta event was held in efforts to raise money to support the ZTA’s cause. The girls charged $5 per ticket and sold t-shirts and hosted an auction. All the proceeds will go towards the cause.

To encourage breast cancer awareness, the sisters of ZTA also had guest speaker and survivor Ginger Muscalli. Although she could not be there, she recorded a video of her story so the girls could share it with the audience.

Muscalli explained how she was 43 when first diagnosed. She was healthy, did everything right and was confused when they first diagnosed her. She explained how her reaction to the diagnoses was, “Why me?”

Muscalli, however went into this stage of her life ready to battle. She had young kids and made sure that she wasn’t the “sick mom.” She said she immediately shaved her head after treatment and wore a wig constantly to make sure her kids saw her as they always would.

Her fight pulled off and she won the battle.

14 years later, Muscalli was diagnosed again, but this time she said she knew exactly what to do.

“We need the support of each other,” Muscalli said. “The promotion and fundraisers, everything helps.”

One of the ZTA sisters, junior Erica Lease, shared her personal story, also. She joined ZTA strictly for their philanthropy because when she was ten years old, her mother died from breast cancer.

“I want to make a difference,” Lease said. “I want to help save as many lives as possible because I don’t want anyone going through what I did.”

Lease hopes to spread the awareness so that people can detect any sign early to prevent someone from going through what she went through.

Life Vest Inside at Salisbury University to participate in flash mob

11/4/2014

BY MELODI GAUS
Staff writer

A new registered student organization Life Vest Inside (LVI), is organizing “Dance for Kindness” to kick off World Kindness Week.

“We are there to raise awareness of what we are doing and to have some fun while we do it,” said Andrew Vogelsang, group leader and club president of LVI.

LVI’s mission is “to empower and unite the world with Kindness.” LVI is dedicated to empowering people, building a person’s self-esteem and spreading kindness.

The students who brought LVI to Salisbury wish to make the world a kinder place and they are starting with Salisbury.

The worldwide flashmob will begin on Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. at Salisbury University. The dance will take place in Red Square.

To the secretary and vice president of SU’s LVI there are different meanings for the flash mob. Secretary Esther Cortez and vice president John Merz, thinks that dance helps to connect people.

“In a world with war, there’s not many things people can unite on besides music and dance,” Merz said.

Vogelsang said that he hopes the kindness inspired by the flash mob will help change the world.

Cortez said that as a Latina, she feels dance helps bring people closer together.

“In those eight minutes (when we dance), stereotypes of physical appearance and gender disappear,” Cortez said. “It’s like, in those minutes I’m just trying to learn how to dance.”

To register for the flashmob, go to http://www.lifevestinside.com/dfk/. From there a link to a video teaching this year’s dance will be emailed to participants.

Outdoor club members Skydive in Ocean City

11/4/2014

By KRISTOPHER PRICE
Staff Writer

The Outdoors Club took on the ultimate outdoor adventure as a group of their members went skydiving in Ocean City this past weekend.

The idea of going on a skydiving excursion has been around since the beginning of the semester; however, it was unclear whether it would come to fruition because of the cost.

Secretary Megan Liechman was able to come up with an affordable option for the group.

“I heard they had Groupons online for skydiving trips, which were accepted by two local airports in Cambridge and Ocean City,” Liechman said. “They looked cheap, so I got the emails of everyone who was interested at one of our meetings.”

Eight members of the club decided to pay $200 each and took the opportunity to jump out of the airplane.

After signing waivers, the group went through a training session. The one thing the instructors emphasized the most was ‘Arch,’ or better known as tandem skydiving. Each person would be strapped to a professional skydiver who would handle the operation of the parachute equipment. What each rider had to do was arch their bodies, heads, shoulders and legs backwards.

The jump was delayed for several hours due to high winds.

“I was frustrated,” Liechman said. “I’d spent all that time organizing this. I didn’t have time to sit around.”

The group took advantage of the Ocean City boardwalk to kill time and grab some pizza while waiting.

As the day passed, everyone was concerned that they might have to reschedule; however, the staff called and said they could jump.

No one in the group had ever been skydiving before.

“I was nervous,” freshman Nicholas Harriau said.

They were in groups of two, and were all taken up 10,000 feet.

“It hadn’t really hit me until I got into that plane,” Leichman said. “I was terrified. I forgot I was afraid of flying.”

The plane cabin was small, barely big enough to hold five people, pilot included. However, there were great views of Ocean City.

After ascending for five minutes, the plane reached 10,000 feet and it was time. The skydiving partners strapped their rider to their harnesses. Then the cabin door opened.

“When the door to the plane’s cabin opened up, I realized just how high up I was,” Harriau said. “It was scary.”

The wind outside was roaring as each rider fell through the air traveling at over a hundred miles per hour.

The tandem skydiving partners were in control during the entire fall.

“It was like a huge rush, with the wind blowing in your face,” Haltoa said.

The freefall gave the riders an unique experience.

“It was surreal,” Leichman. “You felt like you were floating, and you were so high up everything beneath you looked like a photograph. We jumped at sunset which made it even more beautiful.”

But the freefall feeling didn’t last long. After about a minute the parachutes automatically deployed, leaving the riders hanging in the air, slowly drifting to the ground, still several thousand feet up.

All members safely landed without crashing into anything. After this experience, the members of the Outdoors club are considering taking another jump.

“I’d like to jump from 18,000 feet between now and my senior year,” Harriau said.

The others shared similar opinions on taking a higher jump.

“The freefall didn’t last long enough,” Haltoa said.

Leichman is not opposed to organizing a second jump as a club function.

“If I can get people who are interested, we can do it again in the spring,” Leichman said.

The Outdoors club meets on Mondays at 7 p.m. in Henson 113.

Through the eyes of a Scotsman: U.S. vs. Scottish Halloween

11/4/2014

BY DANIEL SHIELDS
Staff Writer
@danielshields94

The growth of Halloween in North America has been attributed to the arrival of Scottish and Irish immigrants in the States in the late 19th century. As a Scot in America, it would be rude of me not to take part in the festivities and compare them to my experiences from back home.

I was keen to see how Halloween differed from across the pond, if it did at all. The celebration is an exciting part of the year for anyone below the age of around 10 in Scotland and without Thanksgiving, it bridges the gap between the end of summer and the beginning of the Christmas season.

Halloween then re-emerges as an excuse to dress like a dafty (an idiot) and party in the later years of high school and into college.

In my years at primary (elementary) school I enjoyed many Halloween parties, with prizes for best pumpkin carving, best costume and among other games in an evening often held in the school gym hall. A favourite game of mine was always the apple bobbing, or ‘apple dooking’ as it is called in Scotland, the word ‘dook’ coming from the Scottish term to dip or plunge.

Although the concept is the same in Scottland, the Scottish term for trick-or-treating is ‘guising,’ relating to the act of going from door to door in disguise.

A universal attribute of Halloween, is of course the carving of pumpkins. This practice is as popular in Scotland as it is in America with families and friends carving faces and patterns into pumpkins and displaying them with a candle inside.

It seems Halloween is the lone and best opportunity for American students to dress in costume.

At university in Scotland, Halloween is just one of a number of nights in which people will dress up to go out.

Although Halloween is the only recognized occasion in which it is expected that people will dress up, things like sports team nights out and birthdays may well also have a costume theme. It is fairly normal to see a group of students dressed in costume in the bars and nightclubs in Scotland on a night out.

In fact some of the nightclubs and bars at home will have fancy dress themed student nights at different times throughout the year, with cheaper entry fees and drinks promotions which are offered to anyone who takes part in the dress up theme.

Funny enough, an ‘American frat party’ is one of many themes that Scottish nightclubs may use to attract customers to their club or bar, with club goers decked out in snapbacks and red solo cups. I think these nights might be a bit of a let-down when I go home thanks to my experiences of the ‘real thing’ here in the States.

There are many similarities in both cultures and the way in which they celebrate Halloween in both countries. It is clear that very few students care much, if at all, for the reasons why they are ‘celebrating’ the occasion of Halloween.

In most cases, Halloween is nothing more than an excuse to go out and party, with the added bonus of being able to get dressed up, pose for pictures and have fun with friends.  My experiences over the weekend were very similar to the parties I have been to previously this semester. If it were not for everyone being dressed up, I do not think you’d have been able to tell it was Halloween at all.

The next date for me to look forward to is Thanksgiving at the end of the month. It is something I have never experienced before and I am excited to see what it’s like and how it compares to celebrations at home.

The holiday is unlike anything that is celebrated in Scotland and is certainly much larger in terms of importance and observance than most national holidays at home. It will definitely be interesting to take part in yet another ‘first’ for me in my time in Salisbury. It is just as well I like turkey I guess!

Stand4You organization hosts a Day Without Stigma carnival

11/4/2014

MEGAN NEWCOMER
Staff Writer
@megannewcomer1

Stand4You members lined up throughout GUC’s Link of Nations Hallway on Tuesday looking for students and members of the Salisbury University to take a pledge; a pledge to end the silence of mental health disorders, to listen about mental health without judgment, to treat every person as capable and valuable and to speak out against stigma.

This pledge was taken for the A Day Without Stigma Carnival, an event put on by SU’s Stand4You organization. This was not an event solely for people affected by mental illnesses, it was an event for the entire community.

“We hold this event to promote education and awareness about mental health,” said Brittany Hines of the Salisbury University Health Department.

At the carnival, Stand4You acknowledged comments and phrases, such as, “you’re crazy” or “that’s crazy,” that are often said without the speaker realizing the impact they can have.

Both of these phrases can embarrass or shame those around the speaker who are suffering from psychiatric disorders and discourage them from revealing their pain and seeking care.

Mental health is not always viewed the same as other illnesses and is frequently viewed in a more negative light.

Stand4You Suicide Prevention Coordinator Anisa Diab explained that people are discriminated against when they have a mental illness and that it is important to recognize that a mental illness is just one characteristic to a person that he or she should not be defined by.

“This is the first year that we’ve held this event, but we would like to continue to do this every year,” Diab said.

Across many of the tables was information and resources, including warning signs of depression and ways to intervene if one is suspected of being suicidal.

Another tool used by SU for mental health awareness is the online “At-risk for college students” tutorial.

In this tutorial, participants are put into an online simulation of a situation where he or she is experiencing seeing a friend with mental illness symptoms. Likewise, this tutorial explained the ways to catch these symptoms and encourage friends to seek help.

The carnival also promoted becoming an advocate for mental health.

There are many ways to get involved in promoting mental health awareness. The first step is taking the pledge to end the silence. Though one does not necessarily have to join any organization, a student can be the person that speaks out for the cause.

In addition to all resources and information, the carnival held more entertaining activities, such as a Positive Photography Booth to learn about Active Minds as well as an art exhibit with the theme “View Mental Health, Know the Facts, No Stigma.”

A difference can be made if a community as a whole strives to make the difference, Stand4You asserted. No one person can change the attitudes, but one person can lead a community to change their attitudes.

Stand4You leading this change. The group says their purpose of holding events like these is to change the attitudes of how people in the community view mental illnesses.

More information and education will be available at the “Know the Facts, No Sigma Conference” this upcoming spring on March 19.

Commuter Connections: What it’s like to be a ‘bury native attending SU

11/11/2014

BY EMILY BAQIR
Staff Writer

A common question that any college student gets asked is “Why that school?”

The answers vary; it has a great nursing program, I thought the campus was nice, it was the nicest school I could afford and the list goes on.

As a Salisbury local that attends Salisbury University, I have noticed a little extra emphasis on the “why” when I am asked that question. I will admit that SU was not my first choice. University of Maryland College Park was, and if it were not for a lack of funds, I would be there right now.

However, as the first semester of my junior year quickly comes to an end, I am not afraid to admit that a massive part of me is happy UMD did not work out.

Despite SU not being my be-all, end-all of universities, once I began I saw that it was not bad at all. I liked my classes and professors, mostly. I chose to remain living at home, so it is nice seeing my dogs, family and high school friends on a regular basis.

Plus, what many students do not realize is SU is overly accommodating for their commuter students.

SU has a service for just about everything. There is the University Writing Center, the Center for Student Achievement, Career Services, Health Services and even a nutritionist.

When SU saw a need for a service for its approximately 6,000 commuters, Commuter Connections was created.

Commuter Connections, located in Room 222 in GUC, was designed to give commuters the same experiences and benefits that those living on campus have. It was a way to bring together students who have commuting in common and to show them they are not alone.

One program in particular, the Commuter Assistance Program, was the ultimate form of that.

“We introduce the commuter freshmen to the program during Orientation 101,” Commuter Connections coordinator Shannon Henry said. “These freshmen commuter students are paired with experienced commuter students and act as a guide and or resource for them during their first semester.”

Students are matched based on majors and interests to give the freshman student a like-person to learn from.

The Commuter Assistance Program is not the only thing that Commuter Connection offers. It also has a commuter breakfast series in which commuter students gather for breakfast and catch-up and a commuter lunch series in which commuter students are taught valuable lessons, such as how to get involved on campus and how to make the most of a study abroad experience. In addition, Commuter Connections also offers tips and advice for living safely off campus and how to be a good neighbor.

Another Salisbury native, Kelsey Reichenberg was happy about her change in schools as well.

She originally attended Radford University in Virginia with a dance major but returned home when she injured herself. Once back in Salisbury, she started at SU and rented an apartment with friends.

“Although Salisbury University was not my first choice in schools, I have no regrets with transferring here,” Reichenberg said. “I enjoy being close to home and in an environment that is familiar to me. I have also had a great experience in Zeta Tau Alpha, working in the University Writing Center and working in a lab in TETC. I would not change anything.”

When I began SU as a freshman in 2012, my mother tried passionately to get me to sign-up for the Commuter Assistance Program. I refused, believing that I would be spending four long years at SU and then never think twice about it.

I did not think I needed a connection to my school, and during my freshman year, I did not have one. I should also add that during my freshman year I was close to miserable.

It was for those reasons that Commuter Connections was created.

“It is so easy for students who have no connection to their school to begin to falter in their classes because they do not have that support and eventually drop out,” Henry said.  “Additionally, we want all students to have access to the Salisbury University experience. To fully experience what it means to be a Sea Gull.”

The efforts of campus organizations, like Commuter Connections, are important and worthwhile. Some would say that not all the experiences college students expect would be fulfilled though.

“The only disadvantage of attending SU as a Salisbury native is the difference in my true college experience in comparison to my friends who attend out-of-state schools or other schools across Maryland,” said Reichenberg.

Like Reichenberg, I too feel there is a small hole in my college experience. While my high school classmates are miles away from home, experiencing life outside our hometown, I am still in the place I was born and raised, in the same house with the same parents, not that I want different ones or anything.

Don’t get me wrong, I love SU and am extremely happy that I ended up there. While I am all for students leaving the nest and going to school outside their hometowns, I would not hesitate to advocate for staying.

Even though it may have taken a little longer than I would have liked, being a Salisbury local attending SU is pretty awesome.