Fall Semester Closing Notes and McCann Center Update

As the semester comes to a close, there are lots to reflect on about this past semester and also things to look forward to for the upcoming spring semester.

One of the biggest things happening around campus this semester was the renovation at the McCann Center. With construction starting over the summer and a projected completion date set for the fall of next year, there are lots to look forward to for students who will still be around.

Darren McCormack, Associate Atheltic Director For Facilities and Operations, shared that the renovation is on schedule for a fall 2019 completion date.

“The renovation appears to be on schedule,” McCormack said. “Pylons, which will support the new building, have been drilled into the bedrock and the foundation has been laid down.”

From there, the framework of steel will be installed around the building, which should be completed around the middle of the spring semester. After that is completed, the building will be enclosed with walls and ceilings going up shortly after.

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Ariel view of McCann Center, from goredfoxes.com

The new building is going to contain many new features for current and future students to enjoy. Some of the highlights of the new building are going to be two new weight rooms, one on the first floor and one on the second floor. The one on the first floor will be reserved for student-athletes only, while the one on the second floor will be for the general student body.

Additionally, there will be artificial turf and additional meeting rooms for teams and other conferences/groups on campus as well as well as additional performance spaces for the dance ensemble and other performing arts groups on campus.

Perhaps the most notable addition will be a second basketball arena that will allow for more flexible scheduling for basketball practices.

As far as the facilities that are open now to students, such as the north and south field fitness, not much is going to change.

“We don’t anticipate that we will be changing the hours,” McCormack said. “Right now everything should stay the same.”

As of now, on basketball game nights, all of the facilities in McCann will be shut down, with students being able to utilize the South field fitness center.

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McCann Center Rendering, from goredfoxes.com

The Athletics Department has also been providing updates on their website, goredfoxes.com, where renderings for the new additions are also available for viewing.  

On the academic side of the semester, the Registrar has said that registering for the spring semester went well. All of the processes for registering for classes will remain the same for the foreseeable future.  

“For those students who have not completed their schedules, they may still come into the Registrar’s Office to do so,” said Kathy Coomes, Administrative Coordinator at the Registrar, in an email.

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Beacon Bicycle Menorah celebrates members of the community

This week, Beacon Hebrew Alliance (BHA) and BeaconArts partnered up to bring the community Illumin8tion, a public menorah-lighting ceremony located in Polhill Park.

This year, Illumin8tion presented the Beacon Bicycle Menorah, a giant menorah in which the “candles” are comprised of bicycle tires wrapped in colored lights. According to the Dutchess Tourism website, each night is dedicated to honoring different members of the community. The first night, which was last Sunday when Hanukkah began, was a celebration of the town’s educators, but on different nights of the week Illumin8tion will honor activists, first responders, volunteers, and other notable members of the community.

On Wednesday, the lighting was dedicated to the children of Beacon. Children and their parents gathered around the menorah and sang ‘This Little Light of Mine.’  The kids then formed a line leading up to the menorah, and passed the newly lit bicycle tire down the line to place atop the menorah. The activity was meant to show the children how they can work together to bring light into the world.  Then, the group recited prayers around the menorah. .

According to Ellen Gersh, the cantor from BHA, the idea for bicycle tires came from a local artist named Ed Benavente.  Benavente does a lot of work with recycled materials; in particular, he frequently uses bicycle parts in his art. Gersh said that Benavente first came up with the idea for the bicycle menorah about four years ago. Since then, the menorah has gained popularity throughout the community. Benavente even traveled to Washington D.C. to give a smaller bicycle menorah to President Obama during his tenure in office.

The event is meant to be a celebration of hope and light.  The Dutchess Tourism website reads, “Hannukah tells us that we can hope against all reason and sometimes, we will prevail. Sometimes, the mighty will fall before the weak, and sometimes, just a little bit of fuel will get us through the darkest night — or even eight of them, if need be.”

Illumin8tion will conclude on the last night of Hannukah on Sunday, December 9th.  BHA and BeaconArts will host a community Hanukkah party at 11, followed by the menorah lighting at 5:30. The final night will be a celebration of the community’s artists and musicians.

“I love seeing the community come together,” Gersh said. “In times of darkness, we have to have hope.”

Student-Athlete: Easier On or Off the Field?

Don’t be afraid to ask if you have questions- coaches, CSAE, professors, anyone they are more than willing to help you figure things out and make sure you can succeed,” says Beatrix Bradford, a member of the Marist College Women’s Rowing Team, when asked what advice she would give to prospective student-athletes.

According to NCAA.org, there are more than 460,000 student-athletes this academic year across the nation which is a record high number.  

So what is the reason for so many students participating in athletics?  Some may say it’s for the scholarship opportunities.

“More than 50% of parents push their children to compete at the collegiate level…because there is potential for money off the tuition price,” says Daniel Stevens, Athletic Trainer at Performax Physical Therapy.

According to marist.edu, Marist College sponsors NCAA Scholarships for 21 of Marist’s 23 men’s and women’s Division I programs.  

However, many student athletes say that it can be overwhelming being on both a sports team and being a college student.

At Marist College, most athletes, when in season, can have practice as early as 6 a.m. meaning they have to arrive at least by 5:50 a.m.  The early waking calls for an early night to bed, but due to homework and other projects, sometimes that can be hard to do.

“We practice for 3 hours everyday and that doesn’t even include lift, team meetings, film, and prehab/posthab. Not only is playing a sport physically exhausting it’s also mentally exhausting but we’re still expected to perform at the highest level in the classroom regardless of that,” says Stephanie Stone, Marist Women’s Volleyball.

So the stress of high performance on and off the court is inevitable.

Athletes don’t necessarily have to be roommates with other athletes but there are pros and cons to doing so.  A popular comment made by many athletes is that a pro to living together is you have the same morning and night routine such as when you wake up and when you go to bed.  Because of this, there is less worry of waking up your roommates and making them agitated.

But some athletes also say it’s good to have more than one friend group.  “I would tell a future athlete to make friends outside of the team. You’re with your teammates everyday and although it’s important to get along well with your teammates it’s also important to get that separation. A lot of times what happens/the emotions in practice or in a game get carried off the court,” says Stone.

“If anything, sports has helped me create a plan and stick with it which has been very helpful,” says Bradford.

 

Redhawk Native American Arts Council Visits

images.jpgLocated in 337 of the Marist College Library, The Center for Multicultural Affairs acts as more than an office. Each day you will see a host of students entering and exiting the office as they speak with the administrative assistant, Pam, and counselors, Iris, Mary, Angel, Karen, and Terrance. But there’s more than that, there is coffee, snacks, and bonding that take places for the students which gives this place a home away from home feeling.

 

Marist CMA is more than an office but rather it is a resource. In addition to their direct support academic programs, they also provide programs and activities on campus that are open to anyone.

These events promote cultural awareness, leadership development, sustainability and even career exploration. Throughout every semester they host and co-host a series of events like the Hispanic Heritage Event, Vietnam Night, Indian Culture Awareness Night, The Global Fashion Show, and many others.

For 10 years, Marist CMA has been working to create an inclusive and welcoming community of which all students are welcome to join.

On Wednesday night, in collaboration with the Office for Accommodations and Accessibility, Student Affairs, Upward Bound, and the Diversity Council, and Human Resources, Marist CMA hosted the Red Hawk Native American Arts Council performance. The Red Hawk Native American Arts Council is a Grass-roots Not-For-Profit organization that was founded and is still maintained by natives from New York and New Jersey in 1994. Their purpose is to educate the general population about Native American heritage.

Iris Ruiz-Grech, the Director of Marist CMA said that she was excited that the event could have been rescheduled after it had to be postponed on November 15th because of the snow storm.

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Member of the Redhawk Native American Arts Council dances as Marist students and faculty watch.

Her greatest hope for this event was that students would learn about the Native American culture. The event was filled with dancing and singing as well as a wealth of information about the indigenous people.

 

 

 

“The hope is definitely awareness about the beauty and contributions of our Native Americans here in the United States,” said Ruiz-Grech. “I think it is amazing to be able to bring awareness to all of us about their importance since they were the first people in what is now called the United States.”

The council taught the attendees about the difference of tribes and also urged the audience to help their efforts by taking action.

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Cliff Matias (far right) and other members of The Redhawk Native American Arts Council

Cliff Matias is an artist, educator, photographer, hoop dancer, and actor for the Council. Matias is Kichwa and Taino. Throughout the performance, he sang, danced, and spoke to the audience.

 

When speaking about the importance of taking a stand he said that the use of Native Americans as mascots is highly offensive. He notes that universities have begun removing these mascots and so have some elementary schools although many remain resistant.

“In NYC, St. John’s University has changed their logo. So it is happening very slowly. It is only through conscious efforts and compassion and understanding of our young people, who are now moving into positions of change, we are seeing that these things are starting to take place,” said Mathias.

When pinpointing another specific change that he would like to see, he said that he believes that Columbus Day should be changed to Indigenous People’s Day.

Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and countless cities have changed. I would love to see more people of color joining in this struggle for indigenous people. In America, there were so many other atrocities that [Christopher Columbus] he committed,” said Mathias. “What about the fact that he introduced the Transatlantic Slave Trade, so how come not more of our African-American brothers and sisters aren’t joining us in that struggle. So we would love to see more. Also, American young people in general coming to stand with us.”

Students who attended this event were glad that they did. Caroline Kirsten, a Marist freshmen, said that she has gone to programs in the past where Native Americans spoke about their tribes. Despite this, she said that she never heard about their current situation.

“The greatest thing I took away was an understanding of the lack of resources and the lack of awareness. I feel like that is something that should be brought up much more,” said Kirsten. Now with this new knowledge, I want to help bring awareness. If there was any action to do so, I would love to be apart of it.”

On it’s special 10 year anniversary, Marist CMA continues to host a wealth of performances and events that expose Marist students to new ideas and cultures. Be sure to check out more of their events in the near future.

 

Local Bar Raided by Police, Liquor License Suspended

Pulsing club music quickly transitioned to the wailing of police sirens Friday night as local authorities shut down Darby O’Gill’s Food and Spirits in Hyde Park, NY, filled with underage patrons.

One hundred and fifteen minors were ticketed by the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA), with assistance from the Department of Motor Vehicles and the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office, for possessing a fake identification card that night at a bar frequented by Marist College students, according to an SLA report.

Three bartenders were also arrested by the Hyde Park Sheriff’s Office for serving alcohol to minors and unlawfully dealing with a child. The owner of Darby O Gill’s was not arrested that evening, but as of Dec. 5, Darby O Gill’s liquor license has been suspended. According to a representative, the SLA intends to permanently suspend the license.

“It defies understanding that this licensee has displayed an unconscionable indifference to the law by placing his personal profits above the safety of our youth,” said Counsel to the Authority Christopher R. Riano.

Undisclosed SLA investigators entered the premises Friday evening around 9 p.m. after receiving complaints of underage drinking at the bar. At this time, they witnessed 26 direct sales being made to minors.

Beginning around 10 p.m. the SLA investigators witnessed cabs beginning to drop off patrons, who they observed to be from Marist. An hour later, the DMV and the Sheriff’s Office shut down the bar and began checking IDs.

The investigators obtained an additional 46 statements from minors who admitted to consuming alcohol and stated that nearly 90 percent of the bar’s 200 patrons were under the legal drinking age.

“This is an egregious violation,” said Bill Crowley of the State Liquor Authority. “This isn’t a minor or two that just slipped through the door.”

The State Liquor Authority charged Darby O’Gill’s with 77 violations on Dec. 4, including 72 counts for selling to a minor, failure to supervise, serving in an unlicensed outside area, and failure to maintain accurate books and records.

Darby O’Gills refused to comment.

A press release issued by SLA Wednesday afternoon alluded to the possibility of future consequences for any local establishment that does not comply with the legal drinking age.

“I want to commend the Members of the Authority for sending a clear message today that bar owners who knowingly serve alcohol to minors will immediately be shut down,” Riano said.

An atmosphere of fear and confusion clouded the bar, according to a male student who was present at the time of the bar raid. The student wishes to remain anonymous.

He said, “Around 11:20, all of a sudden all of the lights came on and the DJ stopped playing. And we were really confused, then we look up and there’s at least eight cops in the place.”

The student described police officers ordering patrons who were over 21 years of age to come to the front of the bar first. The remainder of the crowd was then organized into four sections and rigorously questioned by police.

By the time he was done being questioned, the student exited the bar around 3 a.m. and received a ride home from one of the numerous cabs waiting outside.

Minors were given traffic tickets with court appearance dates printed on them. According to the student, court appearances have already begun and will continue into next week, simultaneous to the college’s final examination period.

“Everyone has a court date and now a lot of people are getting scared because they don’t know if it could be more,” said the student. “I don’t know if it’s supposed to be an easy fine, I don’t know anymore. It’s really up in the air so we don’t know what to do.”

“I don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s very stressful. It’s not even stressful, it’s more like nerve wracking.”

Following the off-campus raid, panic ensued on campus Monday evening as police cars were spotted in freshman residence areas. However, this was the result of a reported robbery in a freshman residence hall, according to Resident Assistant Evan Mastriano.

The Office of Safety and Security at Marist declined to comment, stating the incident had nothing to do with the college.

Michelle Obama Takes Memoir on the Road

Former first lady Michelle Obama and moderator Michele Norris addressed the crowd at TD Garden Saturday night.

Photo courtesy of The Boston Globe

Looking around TD Garden, one thing strikes you about the crowd that is assembled on this particular Saturday night. It’s not the normal crowd for an arena that’s home to both Boston’s professional hockey and basketball teams.

Instead, the crowd is mostly female and extremely racially diverse. Their reason for being here is completely different: to see Michelle Obama’s new memoir Becoming, come to life.

Along with her book release, Obama also announced a tour to go along with it, where fans can gather to hear her stories in her own words. Boston is the fourth stop on her tour that started in her hometown of Chicago.

Boston holds a significant part in the Obama family storyline, where the discussion of Barack Obama running for president. Here in this exact spot, Barack gave his famous 2004 Democratic National Convention keynote speech which spiraled a discussion of Obama running for president.

Michelle, grounded as ever, didn’t think anything of the speech. Even afterward when all the chatter started, she didn’t think anything of it and was skeptical about Barack running for the presidency.

Everyone knows how that story turned out, but not everyone knows Michelle’s story.

In her memoir, Michelle talks about growing up on the Southside of Chicago, Illinois in extremely tight quarters with her brother and parents. It follows her through her schooling, with her being stubborn at a very young age.

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Photo courtesy of Barnes & Noble

In kindergarten, Michelle’s class had to read colors spelled out on index cards that their teacher held up. On the first try, Michelle got every word except for the last: white. Two of her classmates got all of them with their reward being a gold sticker. The next day, Michelle wanted to prove herself.

“The next morning in class, I asked for a do-over,” Michelle shares in her book. “I was quick to claim my trophy, though, heading home that afternoon with my head up and one of those gold-foil stars stuck on my shirt.”

That spirit followed Michelle through her college years at Princeton and Harvard University and when she hit the workforce.

That is until a man named Barack Obama came along and changed her perfectly laid out plans.

“He was the king of swerve,” Obama said at TD Garden on Saturday. That swerve led him all over the country, eventually landing in Chicago while Michelle was working at the same law firm that they met at.

The swerving led them all the way to the White House.

One of the hardest days was when the Obamas were leaving the White House before Trump’s inauguration, for different reasons other than the obvious one.

Michelle shared a story of how the night before, Sasha, their youngest daughter insisted on having one last sleepover with her friends in the White House.

At the last minute, Michelle was trying to “push crying girls through the doors”. She was so frantic that she didn’t have the time to reflect on the last eight years in that house.

It didn’t hit her until the helicopter ride over Trump’s inauguration crowd when she let herself go.

“I had been crying for thirty minutes,” she said.

When she saw the crown from the ariel view something else hit her though, this time about the crowd.

“There were people of all ages and all backgrounds, and, the crowd…,” Michelle paused, then whispered the last little bit. “It was bigger.”  

BSU gives Thanks

 As the harvesting season was already amongst us and Thanksgiving was fastly approaching it meant that the end of the semester was in sight. As we go home to be with our families we leave behind the family that we have made here at Marist College.

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Marist students engaged in a game of Foosball.

For some students, the Thanksgiving holiday was first experienced here at school, as it is an American born and only holiday.

 

When the Black Student Union here at Marist College spread the word of their Potluck dinner that would be happening before the first-holiday break, there was a different reaction amongst some of its members. With the Black Student Union accepting students from all different types of backgrounds, races, and coming from different places around the world. Sophomore board member, Alycia, stated “From last year up until this year the number of international students we have within our club has grown tremendously”. Ranging from a variety of activities that the club participates in and around the Poughkeepsie community they value what they have within themselves before anything else. “You know some of these students have never heard of Thanksgiving until they get to Marist” said Alycia. “Me being Dominican but from the Bronx, I have always celebrated Thanksgiving and going home is something I look forward to” shared Alycia. With only two weeks of the semester remaining when we return from the Thanksgiving break, it would be pointless to return home internationally for such a short time. “Family is very important to me and thankful for the friends that became family while I have been here they mean a lot to me, so sharing my culture and giving them the opportunity to feel at home was important to us” added Alycia. 

  For freshman Da’Shon, who is an athletic training major said that “Leaving Marist for only about a week, I can’t lie it was kind of hard”. Da’Shon who was in attendance of the Potluck dinner was just so accustomed to his routine and being around the same people for the last couple of months that if it stopped it would feel weird. “I worked with football this semester sometimes throughout the week, I didn’t really know the guys but just being there you get that family vibe.

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Social activity is shared amongst the Potluck dinner guests.

I knew that Thanksgiving approaching just meant that this season had to come to an end sooner or later” Da’Shon shared. To many students, it seemed as if they were going to miss school and their friends after all. Besides the fact that day in and day out there are complaints about this and that, and how students should receive this instead of that, the feeling of togetherness was going to be gone once everyone made their separate ways back home. 

 

Senior international student, Nathalie, who is from the Dominican Republic enjoys the Thanksgiving holiday here in America while she can. “During this break we get, I got back home to my country because it is the only time I get to see my family again until the summer”. Nathalie shared. While countries outside of the United States do not celebrate Thanksgiving like we do as a national holiday, it is just another Thursday in the week for them in the month of November. Many students who come to America for the first time ever for a college education can get here and be in for a huge culture shock. Adjusting to how fast and rapid things move and how many different holidays different parts of our country celebrates. 

  The Black Student Union here at Marist College accepts any and everyone because it is who they are and what they stand for. Being thankful for the people that have crossed their paths while they all work towards reaching their lifelong goals.

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Friends gather around the table to enjoy the variety of different cultures’ foods.

Sharing and embracing one another’s cultures and telling stories along the way. The Potluck dinner was home to many students from a various amount of different ethnic cultures to come together and celebrate as one.

 

Unexpected Snow Storm Strikes Poughkeepsie

Last week, Robert Haley, a senior at Marist College, was expecting snow flurries.  However, he hadn’t anticipated the magnitude of this snow storm, which called for a “Winter Weather Advisory” in Dutchess County, Thursday night.

“I was shocked.  The forecast all week said we were going to get, like, just a few inches,” said Haley.

Haley was correct, the forecast hadn’t foreseen the severity of this storm.  In fact, on Monday the forecast predicted 2-4 inches. Then, on Thursday the forecast was raised to 4-8 inches.  However, this still wasn’t indicative of Thursday’s snow fall. In fact, Poughkeepsie accumulated up to 12 inches of snow, and some neighboring communities, such as Fishkill, saw up to 14.5 inches of snow.

“The storm ended up being more intense than we thought…The forecast we put out is based on the best science and the best analysis we have,” said meteorologist Ray O’Keefe in an interview with the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Many students and residents in the Poughkeepsie area were caught off guard by the  unexpected snowfall last Thursday. And, like Haley, it appeared that students and residents struggled to drive safely during the storm.

“It was mayhem on the roads.  I actually was hit by a car that couldn’t slow down in time in the snow.”  Haley continued, “But there were accidents left and right. Everywhere. The roads were definitely not safe.”

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Snow plows attempt to clear the roads during Thursday’s storm.  (Photo courtesy of poughkeepsiejournal.com)

This being said, not everyone was had unfortunate experiences due to the snow, especially Marist students.  

“I was ecstatic.  I had a project due Thursday night, but my class got cancelled.  This was a blessing in disguise,” said Matthew Bannon, 22, a student at Marist.

Bannon, like many others, was happy to see classes cancelled on Thursday night, as well as throughout Friday.  Other colleges in the area closed their campuses, as well, including Vassar College, the Culinary Institute of America and Dutchess Community College.

Some students even decided to make their snow day by sledding on campus.

“Me and my friends went sledding on the hill behind behind Hancock.  It’s really steep,” said Will Smith, 19, a sophomore at Marist. “Hey, I may be 19, but I can still enjoy the snow.”

 

Himmelberger Legacy Marches On

Those who entered Fusco Hall the night of Nov. 9 were met with the sounds of triumphant and patriotic marching music. The monsoon outside failed to prevent a crowd comprised of both young and old faces from gathering to hear Art Himmelberger share his knowledge of music’s role in the setting of World War I.

Himmelberger serves as the Director of the Marist College Music Department and Director of Bands. He has been a member of the Marist faculty since 1986.

Since becoming director in 2001, Himmelberger has expanded the Marist College Band from its original two trumpet players to the approximately 150-person group it is today.

Himmelberger’s story extends well beyond his time at Marist. He is also a veteran of the United States Army and, throughout his service, found ways to marry his passions of music and the military.

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Himmelberger taught audience members about the role of music in World War I on Nov. 9

During the Vietnam War, Himmelberger was an undergraduate student attending the University of Michigan. He received a student deferment that allowed him to continue his studies, but afterwards he was to be entered into a lottery to determine whether he would be drafted.

“A lot of my classmates at Michigan became draft dodgers because Ann Arbor was very close to Windsor, Canada,” said Himmelberger. “The night the draft lottery [aired] on TV, I saw them pack up their rooms and they went over to Windsor, stayed there during the war.”

These peers were among the as many as 60,000 American men to cross into Canada to avoid being drafted for the war.

Rather than gambling his fate, he auditioned for three of the Armed Force’s special bands and eventually enrolled to play in the United States Army Field Band in Washington D.C.

“I call it the Cadillac of the service,” said Himmelberger.

Himmelberger was among the more than eight and a half million Americans to serve in the Armed Forces during the Vietnam War, as stated by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He was not among the more than three million to see combat.

At 21 years old, Himmelberger travelled with the band around the country, going as far as Alaska, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands. Their purpose was to rouse the spirits of the American people at a time when citizens participated in demonstrations and burned the nation’s flag.

“I was on the road 200 days a year,” he said. “Get up, throw me on a bus, play a concert, get back on the bus, go play another concert. [But] it was a wonderful experience.”

Himmelberger dedicated three and a half years to the service, and afterwards became a public school teacher in his home state of Pennsylvania.

However, he found his life as a teacher in public schools to be underwhelming. Underpaid and struggling to make ends meet, especially upon the birth of his daughter, he additionally played in 3 small city symphony orchestras to help pay his bills. In 1983, the time he stopped teaching in Pennsylvania, teacher’s salaries were $21,935 in current dollars.

Himmelberger went on to become a full-time member of the band at the United States Military Academy at West Point. While at West Point, he designed halftime shows and special events, including celebration activities in Germany upon the deconstruction of the Berlin Wall.

He recounted performing for military heroes, former Presidents, and kings and queens of European principalities.

During his 26 years at West Point, Himmelberger rose to the rank of Sergeant Major.

“My military experience was certainly much nicer than those soldiers who had to serve in combat,” said Himmelberger. “I had dear friends that were not so lucky as I. I had talents and I figured out how to use them to my benefit.”

In addition to his role at West Point, he taught at Marist as an adjunct professor in the evenings.

“[Himmelberger] just loves this country,” said senior band member Caroline Carrano. “The Army regiment definitely comes across in rehearsals sometimes.”

Himmelberger was first introduced to music when he was two years old. He often accompanied his father, a percussionist aspiring to be a professional musician, to community band rehearsals, sitting on a bench his father created for him.

As a boy, Himmelberger always dreamed of attending West Point, following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, who served in both World Wars. His daughter also went on to serve in the Army.

Himmelberger has coordinated numerous events on campus concerning the wartime history of America, including the upcoming “Echoes of World War I” concert on Dec. 2. The proceeds from past concerts were donated to veteran organizations.

“Art calls us his ‘children’ and never fails to remind us that he loves each of us,” said Carrano. “Even through long rehearsals we know we are appreciated for our hard work.”

Transforming Campus Culture

This past year, Marist has sought many physical improvements to its campus, but now, administrators are after atmosphere of the college.

Ranklin & Associates Consulting, a consulting group specializing in college settings, has been contracted to conduct this survey. Ranklin & Associates has previously conducted similar climate surveys for schools like Syracuse University and Ithaca College. They are responsible for working with Marists’ faculty, staff, and students in order to thoroughly complete this survey.

David Yellen, Marist President, addressed the Climate Survey in a letter to the campus. He said, “I consider this climate survey to be an investment in the College’s future, an opportunity to have a positive impact and help create a more inclusive campus.” He also believes that Ranklin & Associates will “ensure full transparency and to provide a more complete perspective.”

But what is a campus’ climate? When many hear the word climate they think of our

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A slide from the Marist presentation on Campus Climate

earth’s climate, instead of on a smaller scale by considering the climate of our community. Campus Climate is defined by Marist faculty as “the current attitudes, behaviors, and standards of faculty, staff, administrators and students concerning the level of respect for individual needs, abilities, and potential.”

The climate of a campus is measured by “personal experiences, perceptions, and institutional efforts,” as defined by Ranklin & Associates. Thus, this is the perfect opportunity for students to voice their true, anonymous opinion of Marist College. However, although many students have been unwilling to fill out the survey. The reason seems not be because they don’t care, but that they don’t want to find the time to take the actual 10 minute survey.

In a last minute effort, faculty and staff have pushed for students to complete the survey, in order to get a full and accurate reading of Marist. Weather it be handing out candy to survey-completers on election day, or sharing the survey in class Facebook groups, there has been a huge push for survey completion.

Assistant Dean and Lecturer, Professor Molly Reddish, gave students class time to complete the survey, if they wished. Although they were not forced to take the survey, giving busy students a chance to contribute their opinion on their own institution is beneficial for not only themselves but also the college as a whole.

In order to gain a complete understanding of the campus’ climate, staff and faculty at Marist were also given a separate survey.

The climate survey is now closed, but upon assessment of the survey, Ranklin & Associates  will provide “ a report narrative of the findings based on cross tabulations selected by the consultant; frequencies, percentages, means and standard deviations of quantitative data; and content analysis of the textual data.”

This survey is a step in the right direction for Marist, and will better the campus for future classes to come.