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: firstname.lastname@example.org
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!”
Attention seniors, if you thought the first semester flew by, just wait until the second. Time is not in our favor, nor does it seem to slow down for us to enjoy the remaining months we have to spend with one another. As we approach second semester, we must realize that there are only 5 more months (not including the month of winter break) of college life left.
Luckily for the seniors, Merrimack’s student council has annually arranged a “senior send off week.” From May 13-May 16, seniors are offered a variety of activities and events that help make their remaining days at Merrimack ones to be remembered. These four days before graduation consist of on and off campus events including a trip to Mohegan Sun, a night out in Boston at Jillian’s Bowling Lanes, Odyssey Harbor Cruise in Boston, a field day, barbecue, and carnival on Merrimack’s campus.
Leading up to graduation and senior week, the class of 2014 is also presented other great events. February 7 is the 100 days mark until graduation. This monumental event invites the senior class to celebrate their last 100 Days as Merrimack college students with dancing, music, and a cash bar. Tickets for 100 Days are $15.
Along with 100 Days to Graduation, is of course, the senior formal. This year’s formal will be at the World Trade Center, across the street from the Boston Seaport Hotel, where students are encouraged to stay for the night. The senior formal is another fantastic night of dancing, a cash bar, and friends. Senior formal tickets are $90 a person.
Class Council President, Marissa DePaolo urges all seniors to be present during all the great events planned. “ This year’s senior week events consist of a lot of thought and planning! As a council, we wanted to make sure senior week would leave a lasting impression on your experience here at Merrimack and remind you of your Merrimack family!”
Senior week packages are now available to be purchased. The package includes all events that take place between May 13 and May 16 as well as room and board on Merrimack’s campus for the week, and a free Merrimack senior pinnie! The package is $250 when ordered by December 13. Any payments received after December 13 are $300, so be sure to order yours soon!
For any further question, feel free to contact Marissa DePaolo, Kathy Vaillaincourt, or Allison Pukala.
Brendan Doherty’15, Staff Writer
Earlier this month on Fox News a story was reported about a concerned Andover resident, who discovered workers dumping sludge into a drain close to his home. The sludge made its way onto James Berberian’s property and made quite a mess. When he recorded what was happening with his camera he was approached by an employee and was asked why he was recording them, he stated his case and the worker replied that he had been dumping the sludge into that particular drain for years.
Berberian discovered a report dated 2010 stating the sludge contained levels of arsenic and was a “significant risk to human health.” He has since filed a federal lawsuit against Andover this past year. The town cleaned up Berberian’s property, but the issue still remains that the sludge potentially had enough time to seep into the grounds. This issue could potentially effect surrounding areas including Phillips Academy and possibly into the Shawsheen and Merrimack rivers.
In the first board of selectmen meeting he attended, Berberian attempted to bring up the issue but was denied a chance to speak. When the meeting was over, a FOX reporter attempted to speak to one of the selectmen, he referred them to speak to the town council but they had no comment either.
At the next meeting Berberian was allowed to speak but the selectmen read from a prepared statement saying that they were limited to what they could say due to the pending lawsuit, but they didn’t address the report of the significant health risk. They did however say that the drinking water was tested and is considered safe according to Massachusetts standards.
The report that was filed by the town said that the sludge was not the source of the contaminants and was not a risk to human health. However, CDM Smith did the report. The vice president of CDM Smith is a town official in Andover, raising a potential conflict of interest.
Only time will tell what the next steps of action will be. The Massachusetts DEP ordered the town to clean up Berberian’s property, who remains not satisfied with an earlier report from the town. They also stated that the toxic sludge is not a concern to the water supply as long as the sludge from the bottom of the tank doesn’t mix with the drinking water above it.
Brea Lucci ’13, Staff Writer
Growing up I always enjoyed making these cookies because it meant that I could press my thumb into the dough to make space for the delicious jam that would soon be baked into the cookie. This recipe is easy and fun for all ages!
3 1/2 cups flour1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract
3 sticks of unsalted butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
Powder sugar for decoration
Jar of strawberry, raspberry or orange jam (homemade jam is preferred)
Make sure that all the ingredients: eggs, jam, butter are all room temperature to make it easier for the ingredients to mix together. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and get a big bowl to mix butter, sugar, and vanilla. In a separate bowl have the flour and salt. Slowly incorporate the bowl with the flour and salt with the big bowl with the other ingredients. Mix everything together and get into a dough type texture. Take parchment paper and dump the mixture onto the parchment paper and roll to make flat disk shape, no exact measurement for flattening the mixture. Then cover in plastic wrap and leave in fridge between 30-40 minutes.
After the dough chills roll the dough into ball shapes; I like to use mini ice-cream scoops because its the perfect way to measure without worrying too much. Make sure you have an ungreased cookie sheet and press your thumb lightly into the middle of the dough ball shape and drop add jam into the imprint of each one. Do not add too much jam so that when it bakes it overflows. Bake cookies for about 20-25 minutes until lightly golden brown on top. When cooled I like to put powder sugar on top to add a bit more sweetness and then serve.
Best Buddies is an outstanding organization that was founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver. Since then it, has expanded to almost 1,700 middle school, high school, and colleges worldwide. This nonprofit organization pairs students with a buddy that has developmental disabilities. Merrimack College gives us the opportunity to join this program and a way to do service, be a part of the community, and most importantly to form friendships.
After being matched up with a buddy, you are expected to contact them once a week, and meet up with them at least twice a month; making you a “Peer Buddy.” Merrimack also gives students a chance to become an “Associate Buddy.” Instead of being paired with one student, you are asked to attend events hosted by Merrimack. Once a month, Best Buddies throws a party on campus that provides food, music, and different themes. This program gives students the chance to not only make a difference in their own lives, but in others as well.
To sign up for Best Buddies you go on bestbuddies.org and fill out a college member’s application. Once you are signed up you will be added to an email list and you will be updated on future events and meetings.
Roger McCormack ’14, Featured Columnist
Iran and the U.S.’s recent deal on permissible nuclear enrichment-a six month freeze on Iran’s nuclear program and mild economic sanctions relief- presents the necessity of diplomacy, with the proviso that the West would do well to err on the side of prudence and caution in the proceeding mediations.
The diplomatic accord focuses on stopping Iran’s nuclear program for six months for the purposes of eventually reaching a holistic agreement. The New York Times reports that “Iran has asserted repeatedly that it has the right to enrich uranium, a necessary step in producing nuclear fuel both for power plants and, at a much higher level, for weapons. The issue appears central to Tehran’s insistence that any talks on initial constraints, like the talks in Geneva, also acknowledge an end state for Iran’s nuclear program.” The Obama administration has been wary of granting Iran the ‘right’ to enrich uranium, and the early stages of diplomacy have been arbitrated by modest relaxation of economic sanctions.
Hawks in both the Democratic and Republican party view the easing of sanctions as a mistake, given their success in pressuring Iran to come to the table to hash out a deal. Their skepticism of the deal is inspired by the unmitigated fanaticism and racist rhetoric emanating from the Ayatollah Khomeini (He recently referred to Israel as a ‘rabid dog’) and mullahs of Iran, whose government adheres to an iteration of fundamentalist Islam. Public executions, for instance, are meted out to adolescent girls for “immorality.”
Despite this, pressing forward with harsh economic sanctions emboldens hardliners and provides a useful propaganda tool for the regime. Jeffrey Goldberg notes the paradoxical nature of sanction relief: “If China and India (and South Korea and Japan) decide that the U.S. is uninterested in reaching a deal, this will actually make the American task of keeping the sanctions in place much more difficult. And Iran will be in a better position to wait out international opposition to its nuclear activities”. The accord allows only a negligible easing of sanctions, thereby keeping the Iranian economy mired in sloth. The policy leaves in place restrictions on Iranian oil- a product that, if able to be sold, would create a flourishing Iranian market. The Obama administration views moderate assuaging of sanctions as creating an enticement to Iran for forgoing aspects of its nuclear program to acquire further sanctions relief. The Times documents the prudence and realism of this strategy: “Mr. Obama and his aides have argued that unless they give President Hassan Rouhani and his Western-educated chief negotiator, Mohammad Javad Zarif, something to take home and advertise as a victory from the first round of negotiations, there is little chance they will return to negotiate a second, permanent deal.”
Professor Padriac O’Hare of Merrimack College welcomes diplomacy: “I think the diplomatic effort to reduce and eventually halt Iran’s engagement in the kind of nuclear research that leads to possession of nuclear weapons is everything those of us who believed in Barack Obama have waited for. As James Carroll writes in the November 25 GLOBE, “John Kerry has firmly restored diplomacy to its rightful place as the referred way to resolve conflict…” This said, those of us who are passionate in support of the security needs of the State of Israel are vigilant, even while we – or at least I – reject the tired, reactive and uncreative policies of Prime Minister Netanyahu.”
Perceived American obstinacy on sanctions relief weakens the support of the international community and, in broadcasting stubbornness to even mild relief, creates an insular and anxious Iran. By leading the public’s scrutiny from the mullahs to perceived conspiracies of the U.S., Iran’s leaders are able to construe the country’s problems as the consequences of “imperialism,” thereby removing responsibility from a corrupt government. Tom Friedman of the Times notes, “Iran has lied and cheated its way to the precipice of building a bomb, and without tough economic sanctions — sanctions that President Obama engineered but which Netanyahu and the Arab states played a key role in driving — Iran would not be at the negotiating table.”
Consequently, wariness should dominate the diplomatic process, refusing to allow the slightest semblance of a ruse in the enrichment program. This would entail a provision for a rigorous inspection under the auspices of the United Nations, providing a guard against a regime that has repeatedly called for the destruction of Israel, as well as the “other” inhabitants of Samaria.
The cruel and foolish past involvement of the U.S. in Iranian affairs lead to a 1953 coup installing the Western backed Shah, whose repression inspired the later revolution of 1979. The latter revolution enshrined doctrinaire Islamic principles, values fostered by the ravages of the Shah’s years. Growing quickly disillusioned with the puritanical and despotic Khomeini, courageous Iranian dissidents denounced the regime and have grown to be an immense diaspora group, with five million Iranians living abroad. Examples of the reasons for the exodus abound: the most prominent, of course, being the radical principles of the ’79 revolution. The morbid sending of children to their deaths in Iran’s war against Iraq, under the guidance of decrepit and cowardly clerics, is merely another example among numerous (These clerics chose not to follow the children to their depraved and squalid fate).
The words of former National Security advisors Brent Scowcroft and Zbigniew Brzezinski (under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter respectively), fortunately carried the day: “Additional sanctions now against Iran with the view to extracting even more concessions in the negotiations will risk undermining or even shutting down the negotiations. More sanctions now as these unprecedented negotiations are just getting underway would reconfirm Iranians in their belief that the U.S. is not prepared to make any agreement with the current government of Iran. We call on all Americans and the U.S .Congress to stand firmly with the President in the difficult but historic negotiations with Iran.” Scowcroft, a member of a swiftly dying breed, the astute Republican realist, exhibits the need of avoiding the belligerence found among neoconservatives. This requires discerning diplomacy, diplomacy that could grant a historic accord, provided U.S. policy continues to be vigilant. However, the words of a young female Iranian dissident should not go unheeded:
“After 25 years of silence and oppression do the Iranian people only have the choice between the Savak(the Shah’s secret police) and religious fanaticism?…. Many Iranians like me are confused and in despair at the idea of an Islamic government. (These Iranians) know what they are talking about…. Often in countries like Tunisia, Pakistan and Indonesia, and in my own county, Islam, unfortunately, is the only means of expression for a muzzled people. The Liberal Left in the West should realise what a dead weight Islamic law can be for a society that is desirous of change, and ought not to be seduced by a cure that is worse than the disease.”
James Sardella ‘15, Staff Writer
The subject of this issue’s Most Interesting Person is Matthew Cleaves Joseph Hanson. You may recognize him around campus by his iconic thick facial hair. Originally from Salem, Massachusetts but current resident of Peabody, Massachusetts, Matt is a junior majoring in Psychology and minoring in Business. He is the younger of the siblings, the other being his 32-year-old sister Elissa who lives in Florida. Matt attended and graduated from Malden Catholic High School.
During his years in high school Matt threw shot-put for the Track & Field team and in his senior year he was given the rank of Field Captain. Now at Merrimack, Matt holds the Daytime Programming Chair position in the Merrimack Programming Board, is a committee member for Relay for Life, he is the Secretary for the Poker Society, was a member of the Orientation Staff for the Class of 2017, plays on the Ultimate Frisbee team, and if you have ever been to the on-campus apartments you may have seen him while wandering about because he is also a Resident Advisor. When asked why he chose Merrimack over other colleges, Matt replied, “I really like that the classes are small so there is more interaction with the teachers and since we are such a small school you could walk around and see friends. As much as I enjoy building new relationships I also enjoy having a ‘tight-knit family’ group of friends.”
You may be wondering why someone decided to get so involved in on-campus organizations. When asked about it Matt stated, “I do it because I enjoy meeting new people, I like to see people enjoy the school as much as I do through the groups I’m involved in, and I like to make a difference. I feel through all the involvement, we come together and enhance our own experiences here.” Out of all the clubs and organizations he is a part of, Matt began his journey into student involvement during his freshman year when he signed up for Ultimate Frisbee. Matt mentioned, “Since I enjoy the ability to do new things and meet new people, I wanted to keep doing that so I decided to look into what other involvement groups were offered at the college and it was all uphill from there.” Matt personally believes that he is enhancing his student years to the best of his abilities and he will continue to do so until the day he graduates.
If Matt were to give advice to any student, Merrimack or otherwise, he would say to them, “No matter where you go, it may be weird at first to get involved mainly because you may not know those people you’re going to be with but if you stick with it, learn your group, make a difference, and further the involvement of yourself and the involvement of the group you will not only increase how great your college experience is but you might also brighten someone else’s day and cause them to do the same.” Be on the lookout for Matt around campus. If you don’t see him going from class to class, you can usually find him running Wacky Weekday events for MPB on Main Street, throwing around with the rest of his Frisbee team, or just hanging out and keeping the peace over in the apartments.
Ashley Yenick ’14, Copy Editor
Tucked away in the Zinga Shopping Center on Turnpike Street across from Merrimack stands Tripoli’s Bakery & Pizza. Other students had raved about Tripoli’s, and it sparked my curiosity to try what they had to offer. Tripoli’s Bakery currently has 4 stores across Massachusetts in North Andover, Lawrence, Salisbury, and Seabrook. Not only does Tripoli’s allow Merrimack students to use their Mack Cards, they also offer limited delivery to Merrimack (with a minimum order of 8 slices of pizza) and you can order online or by phone. Tripoli’s specialties include breads, cakes, cookies, pizza and pastries.about
The pastries and breads are made fresh daily, and the pizza is made fresh to order. Walking into Tripoli’s, you’ll be astonished to see the display cases in the bakery section filled with homemade pastries, cakes, and cookies. Serving customers for over 80 years, Tripoli’s knows a thing or two about making great food. I was able to taste-test a Whoopie Pie from Tripoli’s bakery. Filled with crème and topped with powdered sugar, this sweet delight was definitely one for the record books. Since it’s so close to campus, it would be a great treat for either after finals or after class. Tripoli’s gets an A+ from us!
Tripoli’s North Andover Hours/Location:542 Turnpike Street North Andover, MA 01845 978-682-0003 Saturday-Thursday: 8:30 am-11pm Friday: 8:30am-1 am
Tia Roy ‘15, Staff Writer
Nicole Curtis may be the one to display #1 on her soccer attire, but she considers the number to be representative of her entire team. The NCAA Division 2 Women’s Soccer Team holds a strict motto: “We hold each other accountable for our actions, always” explains Curtis, which is something that is continuously noticed during their performance on the field. As the women push hard for individualistic goals during the season, they are all playing to make it one spot higher than the teams they play against each season. Playing since she was just 6, Curtis has blown away her coach and her team this season with incredible saves in her goal keeper position. Curtis, a senior from Billerica studying Athletic Training, recognizes those who have supported her from the beginning and those who she will never forget as she graduates in just a few months. This athlete opens up about what the sport of soccer means to her, and how her team means even more.
Q: Could you tell me a little bit about your team and your successes thus far?
A: We have a pretty young team made up of a lot of starters who are doing very well, I feel so comfortable with them playing front of me. To be honest, I wasn’t fully confident about my position and abilities this year, however all of the support from my team and the new goal keeper coach changed that real fast. There are saves this year that I don’t think I could have made last year. I think it is the support that I have been given this year that really makes the difference.
Q: Out of all sports, why did you choose your sport?
A: I think I was just good at it; I loved that it was in the fall and it was a very team oriented sport.
Q: Do you enjoy being part of a team? What is your favorite part about being part of a team?
A: Coming into college I had 30 automatically good friends which isn’t something everyone has. We constantly we push each other and we want each other to do well so we are playing and working to our highest potential.
Q: How old were you when you started playing?
A: I started playing soccer at 6, but started playing goalie at 12. It wasn’t really soccer, it was running around kicking a ball but it was called
Q: Is there anyone you model your skill set or gameplay after?
A: My goalie coach takes so much of her time and life to make me a better player, and I want her to know that I am responsive to her instruction, and I appreciate the hustle of my entire team.
Q: Is your sport harder than any other sport?
A: Soccer brings in all components of other sports into one. Football you don’t need endurance because you don’t need to run, and you aren’t being slide tackled in volleyball. All sports have their hard aspects but there are many that go into soccer.
Q: Do you have any rituals you do before you play?
A: I always put my gear on my left leg first, and then the right. After warm-up, I will re-tie my cleats even though they are fine. I listen to the same songs on the way to the locker room, and my water bottle is always on the right side of the net.
Q: What is your most memorable moment?
A: I think most recently, it was our win over AIC (American International College). They were undefeated this season, and we came out and played the most perfect game of soccer that we could have ever played. I made a few saves but it was the team as a whole that made the win. They all rushed onto the field and celebrated. Our attitudes spread like wildfire.
Q: If you could play a different sport, what would it be?
A: If I could play a different sport it would probably have to be lacrosse. It’s played outside on the field, and in my opinion an outdoor sport is the only way to go. I wouldn’t do well playing a sport that was very individual oriented, like track or golf. Having your teammates there to support you and motivate you if probably the best feeling in the world.
Q: Who watches games?
A: This year my team and I had an awesome fan base. Of course my mom and my grandmother come to almost every game, home or away. We could be playing four hours away in New York and they’re both there to cheer me on. I’m very lucky. Also, this year there have been a ton of really influential administrators at Merrimack who have come to watch a few games. It gives me such a great sense of pride that they’re taking time out of their day to come watch myself and my team play soccer in the gold and navy.
Q: Why should fans watch you play?
A: I don’t know why they wouldn’t! Sometimes, as much as I love being a part of the team on the field, I wish I could just sit up in the stands and watch my team play.
Q: Do you consider the sport you play, a big part of your identity?
A: Absolutely. I’ve played soccer ever since I can remember and it truly is a part of every decision I’ve ever made; where I will attend college, what courses I take and how I have to manage my daily schedule. Soccer has also identified me as a person through all of the amazing people I have met throughout my soccer career.
Q: If you could play or do your sport anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
A: I would love to play soccer in Germany, specifically the Olympiastadion. This stadium was home to the FIFA World Cup in 2006 as well as the stage for the famous Zidane’s head-butt, which will be forever remembered by avid professional soccer fans. To play in Germany, where a lot of my heritage derives from would be a dream come true.
Q: Would you have done anything differently in your college career so far?
A: I wish that I had gotten involved in more than just soccer and my Athletic Training major earlier. I love all of the staff and administrators on the third floor (of the Sak) and my years at the Mack would have been so much different if I had gotten involved from the beginning, instead of waiting until senior year to be involved.
Q: What advice would you give a student that wants to stay fit and active but is not on a Merrimack sports team?
A: The new gym in the Sak is pretty high-tech, I’m super jealous that I can only use it for one year. If you’re not a gym person, join some sort of intramural team, it’s a fun and easy way to make friends, and it allows you to compete in a sport that you love and stay fit and active. Stays fit and exercise because you want to for you, not to be in competition with others.
Sean Talbot ‘15, Staff Writer
Allison Pukala is in charge of the Merrimack Shuttle Transportation Services, a new system used to help students get around Andover safely.
Q: What is the shuttle called and when does it start?
A: The Merrimack Shuttle and it has been in place since last Spring.
Q: Where does the shuttle take you?
A: Andover Train Station, CVS, Market Basket Plaza, The Loop
Q: Does it cost money?
A: It is free to Merrimack Students
Q: What times will the shuttle be running and on what days. Also where will the shuttle pick you up/drop you off?
A: Times haven’t been decided yet but Friday -Sunday pick up at Cascia Hall
Q: How many people will it fit?
A: It is a normal Merrimack Van so 10 or so people
Q: How often will the shuttle run? Every half hour/ hour?
A: Times have not been set up for next semester but will be announced when students get back to campus in the Whats Up and on OSI’s twitter @Merrimack_OSI and on flyers around campus.
Addition Winter Break Information
For the Holiday Break students can request a shuttle to the Andover Train Station or the Logan Express at the Woburn train station here
and current shuttle info is here
On a side note: OSI is looking for more van drivers as well – students who are 20 years of age or older (sorry, no exceptions!) can email Allie Pukala at Pukalaa@merrimack.edu for an application.
Jimmy Callens ‘14, Staff Writer
For anyone who has had bone issues, help is on the way! Those who don’t have enough bone to support dental implants, who are missing bone due to a birth defect, or who have suffered bone-damaging injuries, the bio-patch could be the solution. Scientists at the University of Iowa made the bio-patch. It is an implantable collagen patch seeded with particles of synthetic DNA. The DNA instructs the patient’s own cells to produce the appropriate proteins necessary for bone growth. The patch takes on a scaffolding-like structure and is shaped to the size needed for repair. The activating protein is PDGF-B, which enhances bone regeneration.
The patches were tested on the skulls of animals in a period of about 4 weeks. The patch-animal results were then compared to that of the control group (those without the patch). The researchers found that the plasmid-seeded bio-patch grew 44 times more bone and soft tissue in the affected area. That is 14 fold higher than the affected area with no manipulation. The patch is said to be unlikely to cause an immune response, and should be relatively easy to produce in large amounts.
Colleen Quinlan ‘15, Staff Writer
On Wednesday, November 20th Merrimack celebrated the kick off for Relay for Life. Relay for Life is an organized, overnight community fundraising walk. It is a 12-hour event where team members are constantly in motion to raise money towards the American Cancer Society. It is a family-friendly event that provides food, games and activities as well as having key moments during the events. For the opening ceremony it kicks off with the Survivors Lap, where all cancer survivors at the event take the first lap around celebrating their victory over cancer. From there we have the Luminaria Ceremony, it is a special event that takes place after dark where we remember those whom have lost their life to cancer honor people who have fought cancer in the past and support those whom continue to fight. Candles or glow sticks are lit and place inside a personalized bags, which are place around the track.
At the kick-off students were able to play games, buy t-shirts, sign up to create teams and talk to some of the committee members for any questions that concerned them. The four chair members this year include, Bridget Gilroy, Ben Knox, Victoria Ellis and Brianna Decina. But it does not stop there; they have sub-committee head that have a role in activities, food, recruitment chair and their general committee. The Relay for Life theme this year deals with the 90’s. “We are trying to make cancer a thing in the past, just like the 90’s,” Gilroy says. Relay has grown since Gilroy was a freshman, with only 25 members on the committee to now there being over 100 students it has grown increasingly. “Everyone is there for a good reason, everyone is there for each other and can relate to one another. We are fighting back against a disease that has affected our lives,” says Gilroy.
Some of the fun events that take place during Relay are, Frozen T-shirt Contest, Jail Break where you put your friends in jail, Musical Chair Scavenger Hunt, and Mr. Relay, a brief talent contest.
“We are all so passionate aggressive to fight back against cancer, it comes naturally to get excited for an event like that” Gilroy says. Gilroy also states that it is supposed to be a positive event, you are fighting back a negative in your life. “We do remember what happen to us in the past, but we also celebrate now with the doctors and researchers who are looking for a cure”.
Relay for Life will be taking place on April 4th from 6 p.m.-6 a.m. in the MPR located in the Sakowich Center. This year goal is raise $50,000 and to so you can fight back by joining or creating a team as well as donating to the American Cancer Society by going to their website: www.relayforlife.org/merrimack.
Karamarie Joyce ’15, Editor-in-Chief
A big difference between navigating your home kitchen to your school cafeteria is knowing how to make use of what is available to you. At home if you don’t like what Mom cooked for dinner, you know your kitchen well enough that you are able to find different ingredients to make something more desirable to your taste.
The same goes for Sparky’s Place, here is a list of tasteful treats that can easily be made right here at school:
English Muffin Pizza
Toast an English Muffin (or bagel) Add tomato sauce from the pasta bar Sprinkle shredded cheese on the English Muffin from the salad bar
Place the pizzas on the grille, but you must hold the top up!
Grab a quesadilla shell from the sandwich bar
Add shredded cheese from the salad bar
Add whatever you want for toppings
Toast in the grille
Half cup chocolate/vanilla soft serve ice cream
Spoon full of peanut butter
Fill the rest of the cup with chocolate milk
Stir to perfection
Ice Cream Floats
Fill plastic cup halfway with vanilla soft serve
Pour Root Beer over the top.
Try with vanilla and Fanta as well as Coke and chocolate Cream Floats
Ice Cream Sandwich
First heat up two cookies on a plate in the microwave – located next to the toaster
Then add a scoop of your favorite ice cream in between
BBQ Chicken Melt
Collect two pieces of bread from the sandwich line
Followed by two pieces of chicken from the grill
Chop up the chicken into small bite size pieces
Spread the chopped chicken along the bread
Add cheese from the condiment
Spread BBQ sauce among the contents on the sandwich
Place under the panini press until cheese has melted
Collect a scoop full of fries from the grill section
In the salad line take three scoops of the shredded cheese
Spread over the fries, microwave for 45 seconds until melted
Buffalo Chicken Salad
Prepare a salad of your choice
Collect a piece of chicken from the grill
Chop up the chicken and mix in a separate bowl with hot sauce (located at condiment station)
Pour contents into salad using second bowl to shake the flavor together
One piece of grilled chicken
Cover in pasta sauce
Sprinkle shredded cheese
Let heat under the panini machine until melted
Grab a plate of plain pasta (any noodle will do)
Add parmesan cheese, broccoli, carrots, salt, pepper, and olive oil
Create your own soup
Fill a bowl halfway with pre-prepared soup
Walk to the salad bar and add in beans and vegetables
Add rice or pasta – available most nights by pasta station
Microwave until hot
(located in the salad bar during breakfast hours)
Combine plain yogurt with sliced fruit, cereal, and honey
Use a transparent glass and layer the ingredients for the most impressive effect
(On the cafeteria’s taco night)
Fill a bowl with iceberg lettuce
Make a fiesta salad by adding beans, salsa, and sour cream
Crumple two taco shells in the salad
Layer beans and cheese on the bottom of a bowl
Microwave until melted
Dip in potato chips, toasted pita bread, or tortilla chips
Bread, peanut butter and jelly are all avaible to you by the toasters
6:30 That’s a wrap from the Mack Meeting, which turned out to be a smashing success. President Hopey spent nearly 90 minutes addressing issues and answering questions. Some new and exciting changes were presented, and Hopey promised a second meeting in the spring. Check out the highlights below. Feel free to comment with questions and thoughts below or find us on Twitter @MCBeacon.
6:20 President Hopey wrapped up and spoke with several students individually for about 15 minutes. The Beacon took a moment to clarify one specific reveal: the new dining plans in O’Brien.
President Hopey said that all options would be explored, including removing housing on the first floor of O’Brien Hall. He did stress, however, that “no public plans are ready to be revealed, but nothing is being ruled out right now. It should take place within the next few years.”
6:04: A New Model for Deegan West Fireplace Lounge
President Hopey unveiled a new plan to redesign the Deegan West Fireplace Lounge. The renovations will take place over winter break.
His presentation included a slide show with blue prints of the design as well as high tech previews of what they think it will look like.
The design includes a new entryway from the patio area on Fenton Road that leads to the athletic fields, new very comfortable looking couches, upgraded TVs, and an upgraded kitchen area. There will also be a black wall to be used for projection systems for movie nights or game nights.
Will There be a New Football Stadium?
“Yes, if someone gives me $5 million. But seriously, we have to have two graduations now and only give out four tickets. We want to have an outside graduation, and that’s the biggest thing we need a stadium for. Not that football isn’t important, but there are also other needs of a stadium.”
Any Plans for the Townhouses?
Yes. Not this summer, but likely by summer 2015 Hopey is planning on townhouses being torn down and acknowledged how run down and out-of-fashion they are. The plan is for buildings similar to the new residential village to sweep across campus, replacing the townhouse area.
More Course Credit:
A student asked why he is charged the same amount of tuition for taking three classes as four. Hopey didn’t have an answer, but thought it should be changed.
He also said plans are in the works to allow students to take up to six classes without being charged an overload fee. Presumably, four would still be the norm.
As it stands now, students are allowed up to 19 credits per semester without being charged additional fees. The problem stands because all classes on campus are four credits, so one more class isn’t feasible without an overload fee.
Free Housing for RAs
Most schools don’t have a scholarship or a paycheck for being RAs, Merrimack does. So Hopey advised that it’s a different model at Merrimack, where students don’t receive free housing but rather scholarships and paychecks. The pay scale has also increased every year for several years.
Why is $16,500 the most students receive in scholarships, but athletes get free rides?
There are two types of aid: merit and need. Merit is based on academics, etc. The most you get for that is $16,500. You can also receive scholarships based on need, which is calculated second. Most athletes do not receive full scholarships, and the majority would be better off with an academic scholarship than their athletic one.
The college has also increased aid from $18 million to $38 million in the past three years alone.
5:40: “Phase 1 of the Agenda was about building new dorms, a health and science center and everything that has already been happening.
Phase 2 is about adding even more faculty, and adding things important to student experience. We want a bowling alley, which I’ve been trying to get since I’ve been here. It’s adding things like Dunkin’ Donuts, which we now have. That’s Phase 2. It won’t all be done or be here by the time you’re gone, but when you look back and see how much better Merrimack is, even better than it is now. Your degree will be worth even more. The pride of our alumni is important and adds so much. That’s what this will do for you in the future. That’s Phase 2.”
“We’re adding more and more faculty, adding more support – increasing advisers, investing in the math and writing center, adding more folks in campus ministry, things like that. All those things make a difference to your life as a student academically. We’re trying to give you the best possible experience, and that starts at the forefront with academics.”
5:12 p.m. We’re underway.
“Three years ago when I came, the college put together something called the Agenda for Distinction and that was about moving Merrimack to build an environment that students want to come to…
We’ve built new dorms, new science labs, and everything is doing quite well.”
Hopey is asking for questions and we are underway.
How many people like their advisor?
President Hopey posed this question to the audience, and followed it by asking how many students had had troubles in advising. Several hands raised throughout the crowd for both questions.
He wants to establish a way to make advising easier, and make students feel comfortable switching advisers if students are unhappy with their current academic advisor.
Rugby should be a varsity sport, club sports can’t use athletic training room, tennis team struggles.
A tennis player brought up a lack of funding on the team and a concern over an ability to compete. The team needs six girls to compete, and with the graduating seniors won’t have enough players to compete. Several recruits have already been lost.
Hopey said he was not aware of the financial struggles, but did stress that tennis is just as important as any other sports.
He also didn’t know anything about a lack of use of the athletic training rooms for club athletes, and referred the question to athletics.
A female Rugby player mentioned there was only a handful of schools with varsity rugby programs for women, and it is defined by NCAA as an emerging sport. She says that funding and benefits will be presented due to Title IX requirements. Just wanted to let Hopey know. He was happy to hear that and advised her to talk to the athletic director.
Dining Hall Space
A student raised concerns over space at Sparky’s place during prime dinner hours.
Within the next two years, Hopey announced the first floor of O’Brien Hall will be converted into a dining area. Hopey did not clarify if that meant the lobby area where there is currently a kitchen space, or if that means dorm space. The likely answer is that dorms will not be removed.
“As we move forward, we’re likely going to take the first floor of O’Brien Hall as sort of a dining hall. Not necessarily a dining hall, but more of a seating area.”
Music Major in the Future?
Let me say this about music and the arts: It is very important to me personally, and definitely to the institution. I want a marching band, I think that’s important for the school, it’s a pride thing. If there is enough of a demand for students that want it, then we can address things. But will there be a music major, or even a practice space designed for music in your time as a student? Probably not. These things take time. We can add it to surveys sent out school-wide to gauge interest.
Education Major Class Scheduling
A student raised concerns over classes only running during certain semesters and how that caused problems for her schedule. Hopey advised her to go to her Dean, who is present, to oversee the issue because he did not have an answer.
This is the issue: It’s basically free. Everyone parks here. We’re trying to be sustainable and more green. This is the great debate: do we charge fees to add more cars? Do we add more parking and take away green space? If we want to build a garage, that costs a lot of money we want to spend on things like a new field, new dining halls, a music program, etc. We know there’s lots of spots, but I also know half of you drive across campus to get places. I have my own parking spot, and people are in it half the time. I understand your concerns.
At the end of the day, we think there’s enough spots on campus. What we will probably do is that if students have a job or a priority, we may change spots around because it’s closer and more convenient. Students have asked for that, and we want to do that. It’s not the best answer in the world, but unless students want to pay $2,000 for parking a year we won’t have a garage.
A black student was told that Merrimack is not an equal opportunity school, and is concerned about diversity and the fact that she has never had a black professor.
Hopey assured her that Merrimack is equal opportunity, but pushed that he does not hire faculty, fellow faculty members do. He has had several conversations lately given the topic, but stressed that there are not many applicants in the pool that apply for jobs at Merrimack are from diverse backgrounds.
5:00 p.m. Pizza is served! The building is starting to fill up, but don’t let that stop you, there’s plenty of room. Several esteemed guests – including hockey coach Mark Dennehy, Vice President Fr. Ray Dlugos, and Director of Residence Life Sara Hicks – are all here.
No sign of President Hopey yet, but the guest of honor should be here soon.
2:25 p.m. It’s all eyes on President Hopey this evening.
Hopey takes the stage in Cascia Hall at 5 p.m. for his annual Mack Meeting. For those who are new to the event, the Mack Meeting usually takes place once or twice a year and is an open forum for students to ask questions of President Hopey about anything relating to the college. In the past, other notable members of campus staff and administration, including members of the IT team, representatives from Sodexo, Student Government, and Police Services, among others, have been in attendance to better answer questions that Hopey himself may not have the most involvement in.
Be sure to show up a few minutes early for a number of reasons. First, in the past questions have typically been written down on pieces of paper — even anonymously, if you so choose — and collected before the forum begins. Sometimes Hopey has a prepared statement, others he jumps right into questions. Regardless, get your questions in before it starts for the event to run as smoothly as possible.
In addition, students receive THREE Ultimate Warrior points just for showing up, so you’ll want to swipe in before the action has started. Even cooler? There’s a door prize you get entered to win if you’re one of the first 100 students there. We don’t know what that prize is, but Merrimack loves to give away iPads. It could be a $5 Dunks card, too. It could be anything, we don’t know, but neither will you until you show up and win it.
Finally, there’s FREE pizza. Need we say more?
See you at 5.