Andrew Fournier ’14, Staff Writer
At the latest Mack Meeting in Cascia Hall, student concerns toward dining service expansion were addressed, with the potential for O’Brien hall to be a new home for the Merrimack community to enjoy a meal in the near future.
With the congestion constantly at primetime hours of lunch and dinner, many students have been disgruntled by not being able to get a substantial meal for many reasons. The lack of seating
in Sparky’s Place and the limited number of alternative places on campus to eat, it was a main
issue which was voiced on Tuesday. Some answers were received in return, which included the
first floor of O’Brien hall to be renovated into another dining area. Junior Evan Sweet was extremely pleased to hear of this, “Seeing I am living in the apartments, it will make getting food a lot easier. More importantly during the winter months as well, having a place in close proximity is more appealing to me,” says Sweet.
Besides offering more seating, it would have the setup of what ZeBi has in the McQuade library.
President Hopey also noted that dorm space would not be affected and they will not be removed
once the change is permanent. If anything, it will help in clearing up a lot of the crowded space
in Sparky’s Place, seeing it is meant specifically for more of an area for seating. Current O’Brien Hall resident Ben Bahe is looking forward to the new addition.
“It would definitely be beneficial for people who cannot make it to the cafeteria during its
usual hours of operation. I personally believe students always want more variety on campus,” says Bahe.
So this along with all of the other information received at the Mack Meeting will keep it
interesting to see how the campus evolves over the course of the next couple years.
Mary Unis ‘14, Staff Writer
Merrimack College set their alarm clocks early on Veterans Day morning to celebrate an annual tradition of service. Students, faculty, and alumni gathered on a Saturday to participate in “Mack Gives Back.”
This event is a volunteer-based initiative geared toward giving back to local communities, schools, and public service departments. “Mack Gives Back” also helps students, faculty, and alumni to honor veterans and celebrate the Augustinian traditions that Merrimack has been built from; as it was just days before the birthday of St. Augustine himself.
This year, Merrimack had its largest number of participants yet, with an impressive 854 individuals joining in on service. Together, over 7,500 hours were tallied and the progress was documented through pictures. Particpants from Merrimack quickly took to everyone’s favorite social media outlets, Instagram and Twitter, to share their experiences by using the hashtag #MackGivesBack. Hundreds of pictures were collected and posted on the Merrimack College website to keep track of all the sites and services through a Twitter timeline of the days events. Students and organizations alike tweeted with pride as they shared pictures of their teams, organizations and peers. Participants were sent to surrounding areas to volunteer with everything from raking leaves to packaging meals.
Sara Hicks, the Director of Residence Life at Merrimack, was very pleased with the turnout. “It was so great to see the whole Merrimack community (students, faculty, staff, alumni, and others) participate in this event to help honor our Veterans and celebrate St. Augustine. People often talk about the sense of community that exists at Merrimack and a day like Mack Gives Back shows our community in action!”
Tianfan Chen ’16 Staff Writer
Thanksgiving break in England was a perfect week for me; this was until I began my journey back to Merrimack from Heathrow Airport in London. I had a great week in the UK because I love British culture and London is one of my favorite cities. In London, I bought a lot of paintings, souvenirs, creative little technology gadgets. I visited Scotland as well and felt the spirit of nature. I have been to London a few times in the past and my travels have always gone smoothly, I had never run into any trouble except for this time.
After a week of travelling around the UK, I was exhausted, my flight was at 9:30 A.M. After I landed, I needed to go straight to class after I got to America. I didn’t sleep the night before and was hoping that I would be able to get some rest on the plane. I repacked my luggage and put all my clothing in the big suitcase and all the souvenirs and antiques I bought in my carry on bag. After getting my luggage checked and waving goodbye to my friends in England, I went to the security checkpoint with my backpack and my carry on bag; here is where the nightmare began.
I bought a set of fake passports and currency which had countries like: France, Italy, America, England and China at Portobello Market, which is my favorite spot in London. I bought all kinds of artwork including paintings, little antiques and of course the set of fake passports. These passports and money are visibly very fake, and you can tell by just looking at it once. The head shot on the fake money can be made to hold anyones picture. In this case, I designed it to contain pictures of some of my good friends. I was going to give it to my friends as a gag gift for Christmas. Unfortunately, the fake passports got me into huge trouble when I tried to get through the airport security check point.
I had also bought a metal speaker with my souvenirs in my bag and it triggered the metal detector, this was what drew the customs officials to open my bag and check it. I responded with confident smile and said, “No problem.” I wasn’t doing anything wrong, nor did I have anything that was illegal in my bag. The officials smiled back until he opened my bag and saw the fake passports. The official dropped his smile and called one of his colleagues over to check with him. I start to feel like something was wrong and I tried to explain to them that the passports are all fake and I bought them from Portobello Market. They just simply said: “OK, just wait here.” Soon, 3 more security guards came and checked the passports and they checked it carefully.
I could tell from their facial expressions that something was wrong. They even used the UV lamps to check out my souvenirs. A few minutes later a security guard approached me, I thought that he was going to just give me back the fake passports and let me go. I was wrong–he told me that this is a serious issue and they have alerted the police, and the police are on their way here.
I was shocked and start to explain to them again where the passports came from. They said yet again: “OK wait here.” The police arrived fairly quickly and they were not helping at all. They asked the same questions as the security guards asked me and I gave them the same answers. After that the police and the security guards discussed for a while and gave me a brief run down on what they were going to do.
It was very difficult for me to understand the officer’s British accent, I could only decipher some serious words like “felony,” “they can’t deal with it”, and “some federal agents.” I started to worry about the situation, and thought it could possibly be a ridiculous joke. However, I remained calm the whole time since I know that I didn’t do anything wrong. The only thing I cared about was missing my flight, I shared my concern with a security guard and he told me that it would be impossible for me to catch the flight. They took me to a single room, about half hour later, a man came in with a white shirt, sunglasses and a briefcase. He asked the same questions that I had been answering by other people. I heard the word “serious” again, “forging government documents”, “laws”, “prison.” The situation made me frustrated. While he was talking, the luggage I checked in earlier was brought in by another agent. They started to look inside my luggage it but they failed to find anything but clothing.
Then these two agents began to interrogate me for about 20 minutes. Every bit of detailed information I gave was written down by the two agents’ notes in their notebooks including: where I am from, why I came to the UK, why I’m going back to the US, my parents’ names, etc. I had nothing to hide and I just answered the questions quickly and fluently. During the whole time the agents were taking notes and observing me cautiously. After the integration, they went out for another 10 minutes and came back and once again talked to me with their heavy British accents but I was able to catch the most important statement: “you are free to go!”
They have confiscated the passports and the money of course and I tried to argue with them by saying, “these passports cannot be more fake.” They said it was procedure and they had to do it. They also told me that this was the most special situation that they have ever encountered. I was free to go but I had to miss my flight. I contacted Delta Airlines and they offered me a late night ticket on Tuesday and finally I got home safely back to America. It was a long drawn out process that could have easily been avoided had they believed me at the gate.
ChoiWing Kong ’15, Staff Writer
Have you noticed some changes over the past few months at Sparky’s Place? Such as, more of a variety in the dining options as well as more hands on activities around the café? That’s all thanks Maegan Vinasco, who is the new retail/residential manager at Sodexo this semester. Vinasco is managing the Warrior’s Den Zest and Sparky’s Place. She has 8 years of experience working to improve school cafeterias, she is confident that she will be able to make some significant changes at Merrimack. Merrimack is the 4th college that Vinasco has worked on improving. Originally Vinasco managed three colleges around the Boston area, including the café inside the Cancer Research Building in Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Food supply on campus is always a hot topic for students to discuss. Vinasco is very pleased with the feedback she has encountered thus far. She embraces both positive and negative feedback from students; she is determined to reestablish the relationship students have with their dining experience.
When asked about acting on recent feedback she noted the following, “I am working to the best of my ability, some things are not possible, but I am doing what I can. If somebody came to me with an idea, I’ll try my best to make it possible,” said Vinasco. She has already observed the food in dining hall and considers there to already a number of different categories of food, including options for vegetarians: “the salad bar is wonderful, the cereal bar is great, I love everything here…food here is served well, and we have great employees behind it,” said Vinasco.
Moreover, she will listen to student’s feedback and hopefully provide more options for students to have. “I’m basically here for your guys’ needs. I want to let students know I’m your gateway to get into the offices. Email me, talk to me, I’m in dining hall all the time, I’m the one for students,” said Vinasco.
Since the majority of people who eat at Sparky’s are students, Vinasco really likes to listen to student’s opinions about what they want. “I’m going to remake the menu, so if students come to me before next semester we can talk about what you guys want. I’m the voice of the students. Everything takes time, but I will definitely work for it.” Also, Sparky’s will begin to offer jobs to students. “We are looking for reliable and responsible students to have a part-time job here.”
So far, Vinasco really likes her job as Merrimack’s manager at Sodexo: “I really like the school and the people here. Everyone knows each other. I’m trying hard to remember everyone’s name.”
Vinasco encourages students to come to her office to talk about the dining options at Merrimack. Feel free to talk to her, her office is on the right side in the entrance of dining hall. Email her if you have any ideas to share at: email@example.com
Merrimack welcomes you Maegan!
When you make an effort to look nice for a presentation and they don’t even get to you………..k
— Erin☀ (@hillea) December 4, 2013
Got a blueberry muffin and there were too many blueberries in it #damn
— Matt Hanson (@Ultimatecleves) December 4, 2013
Squirrels are an instant mood changer
— Liz Markham (@liz_markham) December 4, 2013
Its a lot easier to be negative! Challenge yourself and be positive! Life’s good baby!
— Chooch (@Choochciullo) December 4, 2013
Gentleman suit up
— sandwich (@itsjaylefay) December 4, 2013
Apartment RA requested officer to the back of Apartment G- Tower for malicious damage. RA states they can identify the individuals who caused the damage
Student called in fight outside J-Tower. Units dispatched
1:39 Hrs Sergeant on scene requests AFD be notified for male with laceration to forehead
1:40 Hrs AFD has been notified
1:41 Hrs Sergeant requests officers to intercept subjects involved in altercation walking through O`Brian
1:43 Hrs Officers off with subjects in O’Brian quad
1:52 Hrs Officer reports non student will be transported to hospital
2:03 Units Clear
Degan West RA called for alcohol assessment in room. AC in route
00:43 Hrs officers are off at DW
00:49 Hrs sergeant requests NAFD for unresponsive student
00:58 Hrs Sergeant Reports NAFD is on scene
1:25 Hrs subject transported to hospital. Units clear
A & B
Resident student came into Police Department to report a past assault and battery
Officers are responding to D Tower to follow up on some information received regarding possible drug activity
Res Life called reporting a complaint from a student about someone in the New Houses knocking on doors for a survey
Student made noise complaint from a room in Warrior Village. Caller stated that people were stomping around and being loud
12:53: Units on scene
1:02 Spoke to students who had been playing video games with level up high. Residents compliant
Employee called to report an incident he had with a suspicious male that he believed to be a student. This male got in his face and pushed him with his chest. Sgt. responded to Cushing to talk to caller. While student was speaking with caller student came into MCPD and spoke with officer about incident.
Sgt. Advises 3 non students have been placed under arrest. Antonio Reyes of Salem has been arrested for trespassing. Mariah Terrill-Avery of Lynn was arrested for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Desmond Terrill- Avery of Lynn was arrested and charged with trespassing, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Colin Flannery ’14, Staff Writer
A guy walks into a bar with his pet monkey. He orders a drink and while he’s drinking, the monkey starts jumping all over the place.
The monkey grabs some olives off the bar and eats them, then grabs some sliced limes and eats them, then jumps up on the pool table, grabs the cue ball, sticks it in his mouth and swallows it whole.
The bartender screams at the guy, “Did you see what your monkey just did?” The guy says, “No, what?” “He just ate the cue ball off my pool table – whole!” says the bartender. “Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me,” replies the patron. “He eats everything in sight, the little twerp. I’ll pay for the cue ball and stuff.” He finishes his drink, pays his bill, and leaves.
Two weeks later he’s in the bar again, and he has his monkey with him. He orders a drink and the monkey starts running around the bar again.
While the man is drinking, the monkey finds a maraschino cherry on the bar. He grabs it, sticks it up his butt, pulls it out, and eats it. The bartender is disgusted. “Did you see what your monkey did now?” “Now what?” asks the patron.
“Well, he stuck a maraschino cherry up his butt, then pulled it out and ate it!” says the barkeeper.”Yeah, that doesn’t surprise me,” replies the patron. “He still eats everything in sight, but ever since he ate that damn cue ball he measures everything first!”