Autism Speaks U Finds a Home at Marist

Photo Courtesy: Autism Speaks U Website

Photo Courtesy: Autism Speaks U Website

Autism is the fastest growing development disability in the United States, with an annual 10-17 percent increase according to the Center for Autism. Yet it is continuously one of the most stereotyped and ill-informed mental illness throughout the country. Kaity Meagher and the rest of her executive board is hoping to change this culture at Marist College by founding their own Autism Speaks U chapter.

“Autism Speaks U is a branch organization off of Autism Speaks, which advocates, educates, and raises funds for autism research,” says Meagher, president and founder of the Marist chapter. “Autism Speaks U is different because it is a program specifically for colleges and universities across the country.”

Meagher, a junior psychology and special education major at Marist, was inspired to start this chapter following the tragic death of her lifelong friend Sydne Jacoby in November of 2011. Jacoby was a student at the University of Massachusetts and board member on their Autism Speaks U chapter.

“After a few months I knew that with her passion and mine, forming a chapter here was what I knew I wanted to do then more than ever before,” says Meagher.

Meagher started the process of getting support by talking with family, friends, faculty members at Marist and anyone else who could give her direction in this new journey. She approached the Education department, office of Special Services, Student Government Association and Student Activities, finding growing support all along the way. Soon enough she had a 12 person executive board, 500 plus signatures on a petition and 62 people interested in being a part of a this new organization.

“Kaity is really the one to thank for starting the club at Marist,” says Brianna Carey, executive board member. “She went around to different education classes and asked if anyone would be interested in being involved. From there, the long process with student government and college activities began.”

This process wrapped up in late November 2013 with Meagher receiving approval from the Student Government Association to officially hold meetings in the spring of 2014.

“I honestly was, and still am, amazed by the amount of support that we have received and that we are continuing to receive,” says Meagher.

Autism Speaks U was officially launched in 2008 and is a part of its parent organization Autism Speaks, which was founded in 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism. Since their inaugural event in 2006 at the Penn State University, Autism Speaks U has raised over 1 million dollars, according to the Autism Speaks U website.

While the majority of students who are drawn to this program are special education or psychology majors such as Meagher, for some there is a much more personal relationship with Autism.

“I have a connection with Autism from my own brother John was diagnosed at the age of three,” says Caroline Sullivan an executive board member. “There was no hesitation on my part in terms of wanting to help Kaity with the process of forming this club on campus.”

It is with this sort of dedication and determination combined with the need to continue to help and advocate for those who are not able to do so themselves which has lead to the success of the Autism Speaks U organization at a national level.

Even before the organization was officially recognized at Marist, Meagher and her executive board was hard at work planning different possible events for the spring. All of them, centered around the main goal of the organization: raising awareness and better educating students at Marist about autism.

The two major events planned for the spring semester so far are Light it up Blue on April 2nd, which is autism awareness day, and a Color Run/Walk across campus.

The Light it Up Blue event is an event Meagher has done before, but never with an Autism Speaks U chapter.

“We have done this event before here, lighting up the Rotunda blue, but I would really like to make this year’s event bigger and better than before,” says Meagher.

The second event is one in which Meagher is most looking forward to.

“The second major event we want to hold here is Marist’s first ever Color Run/Walk,” says Meagher. “I’m picturing it being all different shades of blue powder being thrown at participants, which would obviously make us as a chapter stand out.”

Recruitment Chair Jamie Landry also looks toward huge factor for the success of this organization and hopes to have different programs centered around gaining involvement.

“I hope to have a huge program at the beginning of next semester to let people know what the club is all about,” says Landry.

With the road ahead looking promising Meagher is nothing but excited to continue to grow this organization on the Marist campus.

“We want nothing more than to be a success on this campus, and to leave a lasting legacy for years to come,”says Meagher.

Jelly Belly Deli: the Food Destination you Haven’t Heard of

In my own opinion, eating foods at the same places can grow to be very unappealing to one’s appetite.  On the other hand, trying new restaurants could be worthwhile.

The first three years of college I chose to live on campus.  Whenever we grew tired of the food provided by the cafeteria, my friends and I would find food elsewhere.  We would order dominoes, Chinese food, and more often than not, we walk across the street to Campus Deli; at least before they started to deliver.

Living off-campus the past two years has exposed me to various appealing food establishments.  On the corner of Washington and High Street is Jelly Belly Deli.  According to Taylor Street resident Tashon Cromartie, “Jelly Belly doesn’t get the respect that it deserves. “

Cromartie may be right and suggests that the location is the cause of this hidden gem.  Senior Kyle Zeyher blames Jelly Belly’s location for its lack of existence to the Marist student.  “The common freshmen or sophomore would rather travel a short distance for their meals,” said Zeyher. “This makes places like McDonald’s, Campus Deli, and Red Fox Eatery ideal destinations.” Continue reading

A Foray into Modern Fandom

I’ve never been a “sports person.” When I was younger I participated in team sports the way all kids do. Partly because they were fun and they gave me the chance to see my friends on weeknights, partly because my parents suggested that I might like them. But, truth be told, I would rather have been at home reading a good book. I am still this way.

I don’t see anything particularly wrong with sports. I don’t hate them, really, I just don’t understand what all the fuss is about. I am unenthusiastic about them, bottom line. Sometimes I even find them sad. Every year these teams of talented athletes compete with each other to prove they are the best at what they do. They put everything they’ve got into this competition, they live for it. And someone wins and someone loses. And the losers dust themselves off and try again next year. And we call ourselves fans, and sit in front of our TVs, and put our faith in these people who we have never met. And sometimes they let us down, and sometimes they don’t. Either way, year after year, we humans define ourselves by these groups of people who have nothing to do with us, and it is this fandom that disturbs me.

On one side of the spectrum, we see "Daisy", who wonders how non-sports fans survive.

On one side of the spectrum, we see “Daisy”, who wonders how non-sports fans survive.

Continue reading

Goodermote, Outside of Lacrosse


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

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

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

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

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

Blue Collar Red Foxes, The Men Behind the Women’s Team

Here at Marist College, the women’s basketball team is undoubtedly one of the most notable sports teams found on campus. The team is a traditional powerhouse, having reached the NCAA Basketball Tournament every year astoundingly since 2007. Now, while the members of the women’s team are generally recognized throughout campus, there are other contributing members, whose names may be less recognizable.

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Marist Students Stress Over Capping

photoIt’s 5:15 p.m. on Monday November 25. Casey Niper is done with classes and could be heading home early for Thanksgiving, but instead is currently making her way to the James A. Cannavino Library to work on her capping presentation.

“It has taken over my life,”said Niper, a senior majoring in International Business at Marist College, of her capping presentation.

Niper noted that after months of working on her final capping paper, lately she finds herself at the library for hours a day, at times from early afternoon until the library’s closing time, which is 2 a.m. on most days.

At Marist many students spend the years leading up to their final capping assignment stressing over the project, and when the time comes to finally buckle down and do it, the pressure seems to consume them. Considering the assignment is a final presentation of what students have learned throughout their time at Marist, many feel a need for absolute perfection.

As the semester winds down, many seniors will be in the same position as Niper, filling the library seats as they utilize every last second they have to perfect their capping presentations before the moment of truth comes and they finally have to show their work.

“As much stress as it has caused me, seeing the finished product will be worth it,”said Niper.

Freezing weather arrives in Poughkeepsie

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The bitter cold has arrived a bit early in Poughkeepsie.

At around 5:19 p.m. on Nov. 25, the temperature was down to 31 degrees. One Marist student, seen drinking coffee on the main floor of the Hancock Center, thought she had a few more weeks of fall weather left.

“I can’t believe it’s this cold out already,” said Marist senior Ali Klaben. “I mean I know it’s almost December, but I don’t think anyone is ready for this kind of cold yet.”

Klaben, a native of Tully, N.Y. is no stranger to freezing temperatures, as her hometown, located in northern New York, often experiences harsh winter weather.

Nonetheless, it’s never easy adapting to the cold weather.

“It doesn’t really make it any easier,” she said. “I’ve lived there for a while now, but when the temperatures start to drop like this, there is nothing that will prepare you for it.”

“I’m sitting here procrastinating the walk back to my car, so no, I’m definitely not a fan of this.”

Thanksgiving Break Generates Mixed Feelings

It’s that time of year when Thanksgiving break signals the end of the semester; at least for some like fifth-year senior Bartley Leneghan who took his last class of the semester earlier today, while for others the break brings the emergence of finals week.

Leneghan had previously completed the majority of his courses over four years at Marist which made him eligible to walk in last summer’s commencement ceremony giving him the opportunity for an early exit the following semester.

As Leneghan was taking his final lap around campus he said, I have so many memories here that will never get old.  It’s going to be weird coming back here as an alum.  But, everyone’s time comes.” Continue reading

Marist Security is on the Clock Even when you are not Here

Although many students return home to celebrate Thanksgiving with they’re families, there are several students who live great distances away and are forced to stay at school. That means if students are here, so is Marist Security.

Thanksgiving week is finally here which different things for each of us. Turkey, stuffing, pie, and football make it up for most us, but for many Marist Security officers it is a regular work day which brings many of the same issues that come up when classes are in session.

“The campus is pretty close to dead, but I think that makes the students who stay feel like they can get away with anything.” Said Joe Kitson, a Marist Security officer. “The worst I have seen was when a girl who was doing laundry bent over and a bottle of vodka fell out of her laundry basket right in front of me.”

Kitson said that there are always more than a few incidents like this every year, but who can blame them with no body on campus people need some way to entertain themselves. As for security at least they stay busy if they cannot be with their families.