Before the “Marist Tree” can glow on Instagram, Marist grounds crew work to light it up

The wind rages at roughly 15 mph outside of Marist College’s chapel on a Friday afternoon. Timoteo Perez, a middle-aged Hispanic man, is slowly elevating himself on a mechanical lift to about midway on the school’s massive holiday tree. He grabs each branch individually, wrapping each one with a line of lights.

“I’m usually higher on the tree at this point during the day, but it’s only me today and the boss told me not to go any higher than halfway,” says Perez.

Along with his co-worker Aurelio Tapia (who called out sick on this day), Perez has been working on this tree for the past seven years. Every December, the tree radiates throughout the campus, signaling the end of the fall semester and the beginning of the holiday season for the community.

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Behind-the-scenes of David Yellen’s Inauguration with LDJ Productions

At approximately 1:51 p.m. on Saturday afternoon, David Yellen stood on an imposing, dramatically lit stage upon the basketball court of the McCann Arena and was officially sworn in as the fourth President of Marist College.

Exactly 24 hours before this moment, a team of five technicians pull in unison at steel chains that hoist a massive lighting system up to the rafters. Equipment is being filtered in from side entrances and loaded onto forklifts, while cables are being run from an operating booth to the stage. Meanwhile, Marist students unfold rows of white chairs and neatly arrange them in dozens of rows.

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Newly renovated Office of Accommodations and Accessibility offers aid to physically disabled


The newly renovated Office of Accommodations and Accessibility. Photo by Andrew Auger

In coordination with Marist College’s celebration of Disability Awareness Week, the newly renovated Office of Accommodations and Accessibility officially opened its doors for the first time this past Thursday. The opening follows a week of lectures and hands-on demonstrations meant to educate the campus on physical and learning disabilities.

“The goal of this week was to not only get people familiar with our offices, but to see if we could put them in the shoes of someone with a disability and help them understand what that person goes through,” said Assistant Dean of Student Life and Development Patricia Cordner.

Formerly known as Special Services, the workplace makeover in Donnelly Hall gives the program a new exterior look. The accommodating functionality of the office towards people with physical disabilities, however, is nothing new.

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Hidden Gem: Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion

Last week, student reporter Maddie Garcia published a piece on The Red Fox Report about one of the actresses working at the Headless Horseman Haunted House attraction in Ulster, NY.

That attraction is listed as the top haunted house experience in the country by several major publications, but its almost $50 price tag and location over of the Mid-Hudson Bridge make it a bit of an investment of time and money for Marist students. For a cheaper and closer but still spooky alternative, look no further than Kevin McCurdy’s Haunted Mansion.

Located south on Route 9 in Wappinger Falls, McCurdy’s has been a seasonal attraction in the Hudson Valley area for exactly 40 years. The ghoulish experience is designed by ImaginArts Studios, the company behind intricately designed activities such as the Guinness World Records Museum in San Antonio, TX. ImaginArts works with Dutchess County Parks to get the attraction up and running every year. Continue reading

In the midst of a transitional period, Marist security and administration reflect on college community safety

In the wake of the recent attacks on Chelsea, N.Y., and Seaside Park, N.J., the nation feels a sense of bittersweet relief that the potential 42,000 combined members of those communities escaped those attacks without a single casualty. By comparison, Marist College is home to only a fraction of those totals, but the over 6,000 members of the community still live in a world where the news is littered with reports of mass school shootings and domestic terrorism.

In these times, security remains a key component of college life, particularly at Marist over the past 12 months. The school has had a handful of high-security incidents and events and is also going through a transitional period. As President David Yellen assumed office from the hands of Dr. Dennis Murray in early July, Security Director John Gildard also announced his retirement after 14 years in the role and over 25 years working with Marist. Dozens of qualified individuals convened as members of a national committee who interviewed over 120 candidates for the vacant job, eventually settling on John Blaisdell, the Associate Dean of Students at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn. Blaisdell will assume the position in the middle of October, with Senior Assistant Director of Security Al Aldelrahman acting as director in the interim time.

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Hudson River Housing helps homeless through hot & cold

The bunk beds and fan-cooled housing corridors of Webster House. Photo by Andrew Auger

The bunk beds and fan-cooled housing corridors of the Webster House . Photo by Andrew Auger


The temperature reads 86° but it feels like 91 as Friday rush hour traffic roars in both directions on route 9W in Newburgh. Standing near the side railings at a busy intersection are two men, approaching oncoming traffic with signs that read, “Need food and water. Please Help.”

Eddie, an older African-American man with missing front teeth, and Chez, twenty years younger than Eddie with a frailer figure, stand here for about an hour a day. Both stay hydrated with water, utilizing the shade of the nearby woods and the turnpike underpass. The money that is donated to them by the passing drivers pay for meals at the local Burger King.

These two reside just miles outside of Poughkeepsie, but their situation is a reality of almost 1,500 other homeless individuals in the Hudson Valley area, a problem that is made even more complicated by extreme weather conditions.

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