Goodermote, Outside of Lacrosse

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On this crisp November evening at 5:15 p.m., Marist students have flocked to the gym to try and shed some extra pounds before they head home for their thanksgiving feast.  Some students were seen doing laps in the pool, while others were lifting weights and running on the treadmill.  Before entering the fitness center I needed to swipe in at the check-in desk located just outside its entrance.

Sitting at the check-in desk was Marist senior lacrosse goalkeeper, Craig Goodermote.  Goodermote, who is usually in the gym working out with his team, was watching students swipe their Marist ID’s.

Besides playing lacrosse at Marist, Goodermote also works as an Office Assistant/Front Desk Clerk inside the McCann Center.  At Marist, he is majoring in Information Systems/Computer Science and is expected to graduate in the spring.

Goodermote, who is going home for his final Thanksgiving break after his shift tonight, doesn’t know where the time has gone.

“I really can’t believe that I have one semester of college left,” Goodermote said.  “It seems like yesterday that I was a freshman and in a few short months I will be graduating.  I am going to enjoy the rest of my time here.”

To get the Flu Vaccine or to not get the Flu Vaccine? That is the Question

Flu season is in full swing and the familiar sounds of people sneezing, coughing, and sniffling can be heard almost everywhere you go. According to Flu.gov, approximately 5-20% of U.S. residents get the flu each year. Luckily for residents, there is a flu vaccine that “protects” them from getting the illness.

I can’t speak for everyone, but I was never an proponent of the flu vaccine. When I was younger I received the vaccine because I had to; but as I grew older things changed.

When I turned 12, I went to the doctors for a normal check-up and was convinced by the doctor to get a flu shot. Even though I was skeptical about it, I wound up getting it. When I woke up the next morning I couldn’t move; I had a fever, chills, and body aches. I wasn’t sure whether or not it was the vaccine or just a coincidence. Either way, since I have had that experience I have never been vaccinated again with the flu shot.

During the past few years I have seen more and more places offering flu shots.  I have heard more about the flu in the news.  I have heard stories of people dieing from the flu.  This has made me wonder, should I really be getting this vaccine every year? Is it really that important?

I have spoken to many different people about my predicament and have yet to receive a good reason on why I should be vaccinated. Having gone back and forth for years now, I have finally had enough. During this past week I turned to the professionals and listened to what they had to say about the vaccine.

Importance of the Vaccine

Dr. Rajesh Patel, a Pulmonologist at Eastern Suffolk Pulmonology in Riverhead, NY, had this to say about the vaccine.

The flu shot is very important to prevent getting a full blown “flu” in the first place. It can be very devastating, especially in the elderly, very young, and people who have heart, lung disease, and diabetes. Why? Most vulnerable folks will be so sick as to require hospitalization. And they can get bad pneumonia from it, and some even die.

So by getting the shot which contains a tame or broken down particles of the real flu virus, the person stimulates his own immune system to make antibodies (sorta like bullets against the flu virus itself ). Some people can feel as if they actually got the flu because of the side effects (aches and pains, sniffles, feeling lousy, low grade fever, etc). But this is nothing compared to the real flu, where someone can be really sick. Therefore, it’s better to get the shot, and prepare your immune system with the shot, for when the real live flu virus attacks your body.

Dr. Raymond L. Kepner, Jr., an Associate Professor of Biology at Marist College, also expressed his views about the influenza vaccine.

“It’s important to get the flu shot to minimize the possibility of contracting the flu and spreading it to others,” Kepner said. “In my opinion the benefits far outweigh the risks. To my knowledge there are no major risks associated with receiving the flu vaccine that have been unequivocally documented.”

Another advocate of the vaccine is Registered Nurse Connie Eisner.  Eisner is an Employee Health Coordinator at Saint Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie.

The flu can lead to pneumonia and exacerbate other existing conditions, such as Emphysema and Diabetes. Each year, unfortunately, thousands of people in the U.S. die from the flu each year Eisner said. While the vaccine is not 100% effective, it goes a long way in protecting people from illness and complications. The flu vaccine helps to prevent the spreading of the flu from one person to another. Most vulnerable are the young children, elderly 65 or older, pregnant women and those with heart, lung or kidney disease.

Advice for People who are Unsure about getting the Vaccine

Dr.Patel, and R.N. Eisner gave their advice for people like me who are unsure about whether or not to get the vaccine.

“I would encourage everyone to receive the vaccine. It is safe: it is not a “live” virus so one cannot get the flu after receiving the vaccine,” Kepner said. “Anyone who lives in a close community–such as a college campus–would be vulnerable to contracting the flu from contact with others who are ill with the flu.”

“It depends on what risk factors you have. If you are likely to get exposed to the virus (being in a dorm or campus where everybody gets the flu, diabetic or with any lung or heart problems), then better get it before its too late,” Patel said.  “It’s better to prevent it to begin with, rather than suffer badly.”

Skeptics of the Vaccine

Dr. Michael Smith with Carolinas Natural Health Center answers this important question for your health.

Dr. Amy Myers, the Founder and Medical Director of Austin UltraHealth, a functional medicine practice in Austin, Texas, wrote an article about the lack of effectiveness of the vaccine.

According to a study in 2008, the influenza vaccine was only 59% successful and benefited only 36% of the healthy children over the age of 2 who received it. Another study from 2008 indicated that the number of children’s doctor visits or hospitalizations did not differ between vaccinated and non-vaccinated children measured over two consecutive flu seasons, suggesting that the influenza vaccine had very little effect on children’s overall health status. Additional studies show that flu vaccines do not prevent influenza transmission to the patients of healthcare workers (Myers).

Another skeptic of the flu vaccine is Dr. Joseph Mercola.  Mercola is a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at the “Dr. Mercola Natural Health Center” in Schaumburg, Illinois.   In one of his articles,  Mercola talks about how the vaccine is “unnecessary and ineffective.”

Not only do flu shots weaken your immune system, expose you to toxins, and cause allergies and other adverse reactions, they don’t work. Besides being fraught with complications, flu vaccines simply don’t work to decrease flu incidence or flu mortality. Flu vaccinations keep coming up short in study after study—way short—when it comes to having any measurable impact on what matters most, which is reducing illness and mortality from the flu. After the largest flu-vaccination campaign in Canadian history, a Canadian-led study concluded that vaccinating nursing home workers had no effect on confirmed influenza cases among the homes’ elderly residents. In fact, in April of 2010, Michael Osterholm, director of the national Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), publicly admitted that flu shots don’t work in the elderly.

Finally, there is Dr. Randall Neustaedter.  Neustaedter is a specialist in child health care and has practiced homeopathy and Oriental medicine for over 30 years.  Neustaedter is known as one of the biggest skeptics of the vaccine and doesn’t think it works.

“Everyone knows about the flu and the flu vaccine. What people do not know is that flu vaccines are nearly useless in preventing flu, they will cause the flu, and they often result in nervous system damage that can take years for the body to repair,” Neustaedter said. “Other nations chuckle at Americans’ infatuation with the flu vaccine.”

Neustaedter went on to say that, “Flu vaccine manufacturers are notoriously inaccurate at predicting the appropriate viruses to use in an individual year’s vaccine, rendering the vaccine ineffective. Those most at risk of flu complications probably share a higher risk of adverse reactions to the flu vaccine as well.”

Verdict

Based on speaking to some health professionals and reading what other had to say about the flu vaccine, I have found the answer to my “question.”

I have decided that I still will not get a flu shot.

The doctors I spoke to that were “pro vaccine” talked about the elderly, people with other diseases, and young children; I am neither of the two.

Meanwhile, the skeptics of the vaccine provided numbers and studies which further led me away from getting the shot.

#Marist: Six Trends for the Week of November 11th-November 18th

The week of November 11 on the Marist Campus, was a week which included sports championships, a special visit, changing of the leaves, class registration and even a special birthday.

1. Marist Football Clinches the PFL Title

The Marist College football team set a school record on Saturday with their 8th win of the year.  The Red Foxes defeated Mercer University 33-7 at Tenney Stadium to earn a share of the Pioneer Football League Title.  Senior quarterback Chuckie Looney had 245 yards of total offense with three touchdowns, while senior defensive lineman Terrence Fede finished with half a sack to tie Marist’s single-season record with 12.5 sacks.

2. Adrian Wojnarowski visits Marist

Yahoo Sports NBA writer and best-selling author spoke to students and the public in the Marist College Student Center on Thursday.  Wojnarowski is best known for his work with Yahoo Sports, where he is renowned for breaking NBA stories. Wojnarowski also serves as an NBA insider for the NBC Sports Network. He was named “Columnist of the Year” in 1997 and 2002 by the Associated Press Sports Editors. At the talk, Wojnarowski spoke about his career and also took questions from the audience.

3. Marist in the Fall

As the fall season continues, Marist students enjoy the changing of the leaves and the amazing sunsets.  Here are a couple of photos taken during the week:

https://twitter.com/jenna_miller_/status/401093487166500864

4.  Women’s Volleyball Wins a Big Game

The Marist volleyball team had a 3-2 victory (21-25, 25-27, 25-20, 25-22, 15-4) over Rider on Sunday.  With the win, the team earned a share of the MAAC season championship.  The Red Foxes enter the MAAC tournament Championships as the No. 2 seed.  The Red Foxes will take on Iona this Saturday at Alumni Recreation Center (ARC) in Loudonville, with a time to be determined.

5.  Happy Birthday Marist Poll 

On Saturday, a celebration was held for the 35 year existence of the Marist Poll.  The poll began in 1978 as a Marist College classroom project for a course in voting behavior.  The Marist Poll partnered with local NBC News in 1989 and the Washington bureau of the Wall Street Journal in 2011.  Most recently the Marist Poll and HBO sports teamed up together and looked at attitudes toward concussions in football.  The poll was featured on “Real Sports” with Bryant Gumbel.

6.  Registration Problems

Class Registration continued this week for sophomores and juniors.  Registration still proves to be a frustrating process, a process which gets students talking.  Getting locked out of classes and having to get override forms signed is a common trend year in and year out.

Marist Buildings: The Originals, The Removed, The Renamed

MUST VIEW: LINK: A Photo Slideshow of Marist Buildings of Old and New

How it All Began

According to A Lasting Ideal in a Changing World: A History of Marist College, by Dennis J. Murray, the Marist Brothers purchased land from Thomas J. McPherson located along the Hudson River just north of the Poughkeepsie City limits, on February 28th, 1905.

Murray went on to say that the Marist Brothers made several alterations to adapt the land to their liking. Three years later, the Marist Brothers purchased a 110-acre estate.  This land, which was owned by Edward Beck and known as the Bech estate or Roselund Estate, was sold to the Marist Brothers in 1908.

John P Murray, a member of the Coudert Brothers law firm, loaned the Brothers the money to purchase the Bech property. Murray then realized that the Marist Brothers had not obtained legal permission to the 1905 purchase. Three days before acquiring the Beck property, the Marist Brothers paid Brother Zephiriny and his sister $100 for the McPherson property.

Throughout out the years Marist College has gone through many changes and renovations; buildings have been removed, buildings have been built, and some buildings have remained the same.  In fact, there are only three buildings that remain from the original campus in 1908. Continue reading

As the Advising Period Begins, Class Registration Looms

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A long month of planning, decision making  and anxiety, will ultimately lead to frustration amongst Marist College students, once again.

This week, students will begin meeting with their academic advisers to talk about course selections, in preparation for the Spring 2014 class registration period; a period of the semester, which students dread more than anything.

Although course selections do not take place until November 6th, registration has increasingly become a topic of conversation across campus.  Every year, students get all worked up, and continuously ask themselves the same questions:

What if I don’t get into this class, what am I going to do? Or, what happens if there are only 8 AM classes left and I don’t want to wake up that early? Or, what if I am required to this class, but I looked on ratemyprofessors.com and the reviews were horrible? What do I do then?

Who knew that something, which seems so simple and easy, could become so stressful and taxing.  Continue reading

Being Told You Can’t, Doesn’t Mean You Stop Trying

“Early is on time, on time is late, and late is unacceptable!” This was the motto that Dan Ventricelli followed when he was young, and is the same motto, that he continues to follow today.

Daniel Ventricelli Jr., now in his third year at Marist College, attempted to walk on to the Marist College Baseball team his freshman year. Unfortunately for him, things didn’t go the way he wanted. When cuts were announced, Ventricelli found out that he would not be a part of the team. “It hurt inside,” said Ventricelli. “Being told you can’t play something that you enjoy, hurts, but that was the fuel I used to work harder.” And work harder was exactly what he did.

Having played baseball since he was a little kid, Ventricelli didn’t want to stop playing the game he loved. He knew that in order to try and make the team the following year, it would take a lot of effort and determination. Getting better and improving was something that Dan was committed to doing. “I literally went to the gym every day and played on a competitive summer ball team,” he said. “I ate healthy and was focused on the small things that I needed to improve on.” Continue reading