The mysteries of Quick Response Codes

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These Quick Response Codes (QR codes) were put up on the Dyson Center lobby. – photo by Kyle Hannafin

The lobby walls in are filled with Quick Response Codes, which may convince you that the building has taken on the role of an automotive industry.

Quick Response Codes (QR code) were created in 1994 by a Japanese automotive company named Denso Wave. Their initial purpose was for the company to track their vehicles during manufacture. However, today they have become useful for coupon use, social media links and apparently educational tasks.

Marist College students Edward English and Jowel Rosario were seen in the Dyson Center lobby asking for people’s interpretations of QR codes, which they had in hand. English and Rosario were performing a set of tasks for their ‘Learning through Technology’ class being taught by Professor Kathleen Vigil. Vigil handed students QR codes and sent them to find out how they can apply QR codes for educational purposes. At 5:20 p.m. in the Dyson Center, the tandem was asking five people what they thought the QR code was.

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The Margaret M. and Charles H. Dyson Center. -photo by Kyle Hannafin

Groups conducting the class project became heated when another group passed by. “What are you guys confused or something?”, a fellow classmate said. Marist College educational majors apparently take their group projects seriously. They seem to be on a quest to be the alpha group of the class.

‘Movember’ latest addition to Marist’s community service resume

The wolverine-esque mustaches that are sprouting throughout campus have a specific purpose, and staring is welcomed.

“With a mustache you become a walking, talking billboard,” said Anthony Hamlin, Marist’s sophomore first baseman.

The Marist College athletic department, behind the baseball team’s Nick McQuail and Anthony Hamlin, has embraced “Movember”, a movement benefitting men’s health. Raising awareness and education regarding men’s health is a vision that Movember prioritizes.

Movember is one of many initiatives taken by Marist’s student body to benefit the community and society as a whole. Marist’s baseball team began this organized campaign, led by then fifth year senior Eric Helmrich, last November to raise money for men’s health issues specifically prostate and testicular cancer. The team raised $3,082 but is hoping to surpass that total this Movember. Hamlin established that the goal is to set a new donation high for this year. In order to do so, Hamlin and McQuail presented Movember to the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC).

The SAAC is comprised of representatives from each Marist athletic team, which enabled the entire athletic department to become united behind the cause. The message was well received by members of the SAAC, who are nominated to their positions by showcasing leadership skills. “What made it special was that the guys actually planned to partake in the event and weren’t just there to preach about it,” said Ken Walshak, a senior member of the SAAC, of the presentation.

Players and coaches of Marist’s football, swimming and lacrosse teams are among those who have joined the movement. “It is nice to see a male team really get behind and support something with the whole athletic department,” said Elizabeth Donohue, Marist College Associate Athletic Director and Senior Woman Administrator. “It compliments a lot of the community service and good work that our athletes are already doing.”

Marist has traditionally served the community through events and organizations that cater to men and women such as heart1, breast cancer awareness games and Mentors Against Violence Prevention. However, Movember’s purpose and goals focus solely on addressing men’s health issues. This is of significance to Movember because traditionally men tend to hide their health issues either out of embarrassment or to preserve their ‘toughness’. The American Red Cross found that in the United States, 24% of men are less likely to go to the doctor compared to women.

But the movement encourages women or “mo sistas” to serve society as well. “A mo sista supports the power of the mustache and is dedicated to supporting the mo bros in her life throughout their mustache-growing journey,” Movember’s website reads.

Growing mustaches is an effective physical representation of the movement and helps to explain its rapid growth in popularity. “All of a sudden in the month of November you see a bunch of these guys walking around looking like werewolves,” Donohue said.

Mo bros are motivated by the knowledge that they are bringing attention to the poor state of men’s health. There are plenty of statistics that provide evidence to this claim. In the United States: one in two men are diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and one in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer.

Movember was started by 30 “mo bros” in Melbourne, Australia in 2003. In 2012, the movement grew to over 1.1 million members in 21 countries including: Singapore, Hong Kong and the Czech Republic. This year’s Movember campaign has 248 registered teams from colleges and universities in the United States.

To donate to Marist College Athletic’s Movember team page.

Focus on the film: local theaters prioritize value over aesthetic appeal

The Roosevelt Theatre and Silver Cinemas at South Hills are both stuck somewhere between the 1950s and 1970s. These two theaters are not the most aesthetically appealing to the modern eye, but they do appeal to the budgets of moviegoers throughout the mid-Hudson Valley.

This characteristic is shared by both theaters, which is a strength for the Roosevelt Theater but a mere reality for South Hills. “I always choose to go to Roosevelt because of its cheap prices. Even though Roosevelt is outdated, it is more appealing especially if you are going to see a scary movie,” said Rebecca D’Antuono, a Marist College junior. Luckily, to the advantage of college students, who quarrel at the idea of paying upwards of $11 for a movie at the Poughkeepsie Galleria that they will pirate or stream online in the following weeks, these two theaters share another characteristic; they are both cheap. Continue reading

Ushering in success: Jeff Bower, Marist’s men’s basketball coach

Jeff Bower warms up to the press at his introductory news conference. – photo courtesy of goredfoxes.com

Jeff Bower warms up to the press at his introductory news conference. – photo courtesy of goredfoxes.com

In the history of the NCAA, few Division I men’s basketball programs have experienced a worse season than Marist’s 2009-2010 campaign.

The Red Foxes went 1-29 under coach Chuck Martin that season. Bleacher Report, a popular online sports outlet, published an article in February of 2011 titled “College Basketball: The Worst Seasons in D-I History”, which ranked Marist’s 2009-2010 performance number 10 all-time. As a result, the Marist community’s excitement and attention has been rightfully focused on Marist’s women’s basketball team who have experience consistent post-season success.

Enter Marist’s new men’s basketball coach Jeff Bower, who is set to use his experience of the game to propel the Red Foxes toward similar success. Bower brings a plethora of experience in the collegiate and professional ranks to a Marist program that last appeared in the NCAA tournament in 1987 when Bower served as an assistant to long time head coach Dave Mcgarity.

Continue reading

Farmer’s markets are the ‘new kid on the block’ in minds of college students

Every Thursday afternoon until Halloween Marist students are given the opportunity to become educated consumers of local produce on campus. The role that food plays in our daily lives is immense, which is why students should become educated about healthy eating habits.

The mid-Hudson River Valley is littered with farmer’s markets such as Meadowbrook Farm and Wilklow Orchards. The annual farmer’s market at Marist has been running on a weekly basis since August 29. However, a majority of students scurry past the vendors without paying any mind. “I feel bad walking past and not buying anything,” said senior Doug Ainscow.

Joe Baldwin, owner of Earth to Table, has a knack for overcoming this trend by attracting students who are willing to lend him their ear. Baldwin has committed his life to farming and spreading knowledge about agriculture. “I wish I could shut the country down for one day to teach about agriculture,” he said. Baldwin’s passion for food education embodies the culture of farmer’s markets.

Buying vegetables in season at farmer's markets will ensure freshness. Photo by www.porterfarmsandnursery.com

Buying vegetables in season at farmer’s markets will ensure freshness. Photo by http://www.porterfarmsandnursery.com

Baldwin’s Earth to Table stand at Marist is a microcosm representative of the benefits of buying from local farmer’s markets; and it is a symbol of his mission: “To provide fresh, wholesome produce, better lifestyle education, planting of community gardens, Stevia education, weight loss through correct eating and teaching what people should grow, eat and cook for healthier living.”

The college-aged audience is not ideal for promoting local farmer’s markets and healthy dieting, but it can appeal to everyone. Being that we are college students, it is likely that our billfold is thin. The majority of produce sold at farmer’s markets cost less than they would in a conventional grocery store, according to the Neighborhood Farmer’s Market Alliance.

Not to mention that the quality and variety of produce at farmer’s markets trumps that of grocery stores. This is a fact that not many college students are aware of. “I’m so cheap. I should buy from them, but I am more intrigued than anything,” said senior Ken Walshak.

The conflicting nature of information regarding food and diet related topics confuse and frighten a majority of our society. Walking around a farmer’s market is a relatively strange experience since we are exposed to a commercially dominated food industry. The simplicity of “eating real”, which is the slogan of the Food Day movement, diminishes the conflicting arguments about dieting. Eating produce in favor of processed foods will lead to better health. Earth to Table’s mission statement embodies this claim.

Although Marist’s Farmer’s Market will be shutting down on October 31, students don’t have to venture far in search of local produce. Meadowbrook Farm and Wilklow Orchards are both within 12 miles of campus. According to employee Trisha Greco, Meadowbrook grows an overwhelming amount of squash. The varieties include: yellow, winter, acorn, spaghetti, delcota and butternut. She added that students should buy from farmer’s markets rather than supermarkets because produce is always fresh and grown on the property. Marilyn Zaiman, an employee of Wilklow Orchards, said that popular produce choices during this time are apples, tomatoes and pumpkins. Wilklow picks these items right off of the tree, said Zaiman.

Apples are a staple of in season produce for the fall. Photo by Kyle Hannafin

Apples are a staple of in season produce for the fall. Photo by Kyle Hannafin

Meadowbrook Farm is opened seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. year round. Wilklow Orchards maintains a roadside stand from Labor Day through Halloween. Wilklow also has “Green Markets” running at Vassar College from June through October with a year round stand also operating in Manhattan.

Join in and celebrate Marist’s own Food Day celebration on October 24th from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.