Student’s Departure Plans Hit a Snag in the Road

Sophomore Ben Hayes stands next to his car, which suffered a flat tire right before he planned to head home.

Sophomore Ben Hayes stands next to his car, which suffered a flat tire right before he planned to head home.

Preparing to return home for Thanksgiving Break is never without a few bumps in the road. Or, in the case of Marist College sophomore Ben Hayes, an actual flat tire.

For Hayes, a sports communication major at Marist, this was the first semester that he was able to bring his car to Marist. He lives approximately four hours away in Duxbury, Mass., about forty minutes from Cape Cod. His 2005 Jeep Cherokee Laredo – a car designed to withstand uneven terrain and climates, if the commercials are true – had not had a single service problem over the course of the semester.

At least, not one that Hayes noticed until it was time to leave campus this afternoon.

“I had everything packed in my room, and was actually taking out the trash when I noticed the flat in the front left tire,” Hayes, a Gartland resident, said. “And to be honest, I just stood there for a second unsure of what to do.”

This slight misfortune was exacerbated due to the fact that Hayes was not only driving himself home; he had four other seats reserved for his Marist friends: two from Cape Cod and two from right outside Boston, which would have extended his overall driving time to about six hours.

“It was a bummer at the time, because I haven’t been home since August. All I want to do right now is go home,” Hayes said, but was luckily able to laugh it off. “None of my friends were upset. We’re going to go out to dinner tonight and then leaving early in the morning.”

There was, however, one more slight bump in the story – Hayes had no idea where or how to fix a flat tire. Fortunately, the Mobil gas station across the street had the resources available to adequately fill up his spare, which Hayes then had to switch out.

“That was a pretty stressful situation, not going to lie,” he said. “I was crouched down in the gas station parking lot with a flashlight, talking to my dad as he tried to work me through it. I accidentally tossed some random capsule away in frustration and then had to go find it in the dark. Plus, you’ve been outside today – it’s freezing.”

Even though this was not exactly how Hayes expected the beginning of his vacation to start out, he noted that at least the tire is now fixed, the car filled with gas, and his belongings all packed away. For some Marist students, there are still classes tomorrow and the idea of driving home is shrouded by however many hours are left remaining in the classroom.

“It was a misstep for sure, but I still get to go home early tomorrow morning, and that’s good enough for me,” Hayes said.

But – for those of you gearing up to head home for this short holiday break – do something before you depart: check your tires.

Short is Sweet: Dominating in a Sport Where Height Matters

The 2013 Marist Volleyball Team. Photo Credit: Marist Athletics.

The 2013 Marist Volleyball Team. Photo Credit: Marist Athletics.

The Marist College Women’s Volleyball team huddles up before the opening set of every match, raising their hands skyward. In a sport where height provides an invaluable advantage, the players’ arms stretch well over six feet.

But, if you look closely, you’ll see a hand in the huddle that doesn’t quite reach the others. It belongs to Brooke Zywick – the team’s libero – standing at a mere 5’4”.

Liberos are generally the shorter members of the volleyball team, but Zywick knows that her tiny stature is rare at the collegiate level.

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Weak grad forum showing raises questions about Marist students’ future choices

The Career Services Center at Marist provides resources for students pursuing both academic and professional programs after undergrad.

The Career Services Center at Marist provides resources for students pursuing both academic and professional programs after undergraduate study.

On Wednesday, October 23 Marist College held a Graduate School Forum where fifty graduate school representatives congregated in the new Student Center Multipurpose Room. For three hours Marist students were invited to speak with the representatives to help gain valuable insight into the graduate school application process and programs. Pat Taylor – the head Graduate School and Fellowship Advisor for Marist College – made clear of what a great opportunity this was for any student contemplating further education.

And yet, no one came.

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Local Establishments in the Hudson Valley Support Breast Cancer Awareness Month

The Pour House Restaurant in Poughkeepsie is one of the local Hudson Valley establishments who are supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.

The Pour House Restaurant in Poughkeepsie is one of the local Hudson Valley establishments who are supporting Breast Cancer Awareness Month this October.

If you have the chance to look at the Mid-Hudson Bridge at night during this month, you may notice that that it’s glowing pink. That’s no coincidence: October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and the thousands of pink lights on the structure is just one of the ways that the Hudson Valley is spreading awareness about the disease.

1 in 8 women in the United States will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetime. It is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in women, and the second leading cause of death in women, only narrowly trailing behind heart disease. Because of the growing impetus to fund research and services associated with breast cancer, October has become a month filled with philanthropic opportunities at many different establishments.

Two Poughkeepsie restaurants – The Pour House and The Derby – are both among these places who are supporting the cause this month. The restaurants fall under the same ownership but have both found success through utilizing a couple of different month-long promotions that they’ve attempted to endorse on social media. This October, 25 percent of the proceeds from dinner on Saturday nights at The Pour House, and from dinner on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights at the Derby will be donated to the national awareness organization American Cancer Society (ACS). In addition, the two restaurants have created a special “pink drink” cocktail list where $1 from every cocktail sold will be donated to ACS at the end of the month.

Lauren, the hostess at The Pour House, said that the two promotions have gone over pretty well considering that it was the first time that the restaurants had tried it.

 “We’ve tried to spread the word about this promotion through social media, and I think the ‘pink drink’ idea has been the most successful idea. It’s only been half a month, and the pink alcohol that we use to make the cocktails is halfway gone,” she said.

Likewise, The Derby has also found that this promotion is a good, fun way to spread awareness and raise funding for breast cancer research. “People are definitely coming for the cocktail specials,” said Jonathan, bartender at The Derby. “All of the bartenders keep track of the drinks sold on a ledger behind the bar so that at the end of the month we can donate all of the proceeds.” When asked if either restaurant would do this promotion again, he said: “Absolutely. Hopefully we’ll continue to get more local consciousness next year, and work on our social media so that more people know that we’re doing this. We might even add or change the promotions; but supporting this cause will definitely happen again.”

 As with every cause, however, it is extremely important to know where exactly the proceeds are going. Breast cancer awareness groups in particular have come under fire in recent years – most notably the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, which is the largest and best-funded breast cancer organization in the nation – for “pink-washing” in their campaigns; this term comes from the use of using pink ribbons and other symbolically pink merchandise to supposedly promote breast cancer awareness, when in reality the brunt of the endorsements are made to promote sponsors who may be linked to unhealthy lifestyles or companies who deceptively benefit more than the charity. The American Cancer Society, as another example, spends 40 cents per each dollar on administrative costs, with the majority of that money going to the headquarters in Washington D.C.

That is not to say that these large companies are fraudulent; they do a fantastic job of spreading awareness on a national scale and fund millions of dollars for research and services on a constant basis. Both Jonathan and Lauren, when asked why their owner chose American Cancer Society to donate the proceeds said it was because ACS puts so much emphasis on funding research for a cure for metastatic breast cancer, which is so necessary.

Other establishments in the Hudson Valley, such as Beacon’s Hudson Valley Beach Glass, chooses to support local awareness groups. Kathleen Anderson, an employee for the company, said that they choose to support many health-related causes on a local scale. This October, they are combining their tenth anniversary with the desire to raise funds for breast cancer by releasing two limited edition colors of their hand-blown glass: rose quartz pink and pearl pink, of which 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to the Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation.

 “Hudson Valley Beach Glass has been working with Miles of Hope for over four years now,” said Anderson, “but this is the first year where we’ve expanded on our normal fourteen colors and added the two pink tones. They’re not easy to make, and so what we’ve made now will be it for October. But they’re been very well-received thus far.”

The local company also uses various pieces collected throughout the year and donates them to be bid on at silent auctions that benefit breast cancer research. On one occasion they even created pink pint glasses for a charity event that was put on by Miles of Hope. Supporting this local non-profit organization, said Anderson, was a no-brainer. “As a local company, we understand the importance to support other local organizations. We know that by doing this we are not only supporting their cause at a local level, but that the benefits from the cause will help the local people that we see every day.”

Miles of Hope Breast Cancer Foundation – a nonprofit public charity founded in 2004 by Dana Effron and Cathy Varunok – is the main foundation dedicated to services associated with breast cancer awareness in the eight counties of the Hudson Valley. According to Pari Forood, Executive Director of the foundation, Miles of Hope was founded by two women “who wanted to see the effects of their work on the Hudson Valley.”

Forood also echoed Anderson’s sentiment about supporting the local nonprofit groups, saying that “people want to know that their money is helping their neighbors, their family, their friends. Orginally you just supported a charity and you didn’t know or care where the money was going. Now, supporters are smart. Miles for Hope only spends 17 cents per dollar on administrative costs, and we’re very proud of that. I think the people who choose to donate to use are, too.”

Fishkill’s Dazzles Salon certainly looked for this emphasis on local support when starting their online marketing campaign to support breast cancer this month.  “For every gift certificate sold online this month, $5 will be donated to Miles of Hope,” said Rose, an employee at the salon. “My bosses were very particular about who we wanted to donate to, because this is our first time trying out a promotion of this kind. In the end, we chose local.”

Whether establishments across the Hudson Valley donate on a local or national scale, Forood applauds all of the efforts that have been made this October to spread awareness of this cause. “Ultimately, if you’ve done your research, and you are supporting this fantastic cause, you cannot go wrong,” she said. “All of these places have done a phenomenal job of raising funds for research and services in both effective and appealing ways, and at the end of this month with their help we will be one step closer to finding the cure for this disease.”

The best way to ensure that local establishments will continue to support this cause for years to come is to utilize them. So, if you’re in need of a haircut, or if you want to try one of these “pink drinks” over dinner, do so knowing that you will not only be benefitting yourself this month, but a much larger cause.

View of the Mid-Hudson Bridge. Photo by Gillian Foss.

View of the Mid-Hudson Bridge. Photo by Gillian Foss.

Weekly Recap: 7 News Stories Students Should Be Aware Of

It’s midterm week at Marist College, and so most students will be found holed up in the James A. Cannavino Library, poring over multiple textbooks and blocking out the rest of the world by listening to the latest Jay-Z song on their iPods. With stress and fatigue taking a prominent role in the scheme of this week, it’s too easy to ignore the world beyond the  “Marist Bubble”. So how does one study and remain informed on the ever-changing status quo of the world?

Well, we’ve made it easy for you. In the past week, there have been 7 standout news stories that every student should be aware of.  Whether politically driven on a domestic or international basis, or focused on disease prevention, they cover events that have profound influence across the world.

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