"Human Crisis at the Border: Local and Global Perspectives"

October 29, 2014  |  The Experience, Mike Wipper '17

Recently, professors, community activists and service members from our neighbors at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy recently met with Conn students to discuss a wide range of topics related to immigration in the United States. After giving a brief description of their role in the issue, the panelists met with students to hear their perspectives on immigration in a more casual environment, fostering dialogue and sharing of ideas. I spoke with Dr. Evan Haglund of the Coast Guard Academy. Working as a consular officer at the American Embassy in Ghana, Dr. Haglund was able to offer a unique perspective on being on the front lines of the immigration process into the United States. It was a great experience to have roundtable discussions with people holding such varied backgrounds and experiences with immigration.

Tags:   |  The Experience, Academics  |  The Experience, International  |  The Experience, Photography  |  The Experience, Research


From Camels to Skunks

October 28, 2014  |  The Experience, Alex Breakstone '16

As I was walking to my digital media evening class in Cummings Art Center recently, I heard rustling in the bushes along the sidewalk. As I got closer, I realized it was a skunk. I had to do some off-roading to avoid being sprayed. However, as I made a sharp left, there were two more skunks scampering across my path.

Over the past month or so, there has been an overpopulation of skunks on campus. It's a curious, fun little challange added to our College experience. Students and professors have conspiracy theories as to whether or not there is a hidden world of skunks underneath the College.

Walking to and from class, one may be pleasantly surprised by these friendly black and white critters. Residents of the Jane Addams residence hall have even named two of the skunks — Snowball and Oreo — that reside in the outside bushes. In a strange way, the surplus of skunks has brought our campus even closer together. Undoubtedly, each student at Conn has a story about the time they almost ran into a skunk!

While we may be a school of spirited Camels, we treasure our neighborhood skunks.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Miscellaneous  |  The Experience, On Campus


Fall Weekend: Connecticut College Alumni of Color Luncheon

October 28, 2014  |  The Experience, Calli Reynolds '17

Fall Weekend is always a very exciting experience. There are so many faces, both old and new, filling the campus. Friends and family of current students, alumni and even prospective students are among the crowd. In a weekend filled with events, I chose to attend a riveting discussion hosted by the Connecticut College Alumni of Color. 
Connecticut College alumnus Andre Lee '93 discussed his recent film "I'm Not Racist…Am I?" and what he hopes the film will achieve. As a current student here at Conn, I took an interest in the discussion for a number of reasons. In high school, I participated in a discussion about diversity that involved discussing, coincidentally, "The Prep School Negro,"  Lee's other film. As I sat there, enthralled by his perspective of race in the education system, I remembered my education before Conn. It had never dawned on me that I might one day meet him here.
The discussion made me think about moments when race was a factor in my schooling. Did an interaction turn out a specific way because of bias? The discussion with Lee got me thinking. I was one of a handful of students of color at my private high school, a school with many similarities to Conn. I began to analyze the social differences and reflect on how, from these many experiences, I've grown as a person.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Alumni  |  The Experience, On Campus


The power of purple

October 27, 2014  |  The Experience, Jordan Thomas '15

What do October and the color purple have in common? Both are associated with domestic violence awareness, education and advocacy. In honor of October being Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I recently went to a domestic violence awareness walk and rally in nearby Groton, Conn. The event was co-sponsored by Safe Futures, the domestic violence center in New London, and was appropriately titled "The Power of Purple."

All of us donned purple shirts and walked a 2.5-mile route in historic Groton. Some passersby applauded us, and a few cars even honked to show their support. During the rally portion, some survivors of domestic violence shared their stories. Connecticut Congressman Joe Courtney also spoke about the culture of violence in and beyond the southeastern Connecticut community. The rally ended with a final call to action on what we can do to change the future.

As Catherine Zeiner, the executive director of Safe Futures, said in the final moments of the event, "I see a safe future for southeastern Connecticut." With dedicated advocates, organizations like Safe Futures, and events like this walk and rally, I do, too.

Tags:   |  The Experience, New London  |  The Experience, Photography


Fall Semester: Midterms

October 25, 2014  |  The Experience, Calli Reynolds '17

There are two extraordinarily busy times during the fall semester: midterms and finals. October is the month for midterms. Last year, as a first-year student, I was still adjusting to college life in October, occasionally getting lost and still learning all the Camel lingo. Having a midterm so soon into the year was surprising, as they approached faster than I expected.
Fast forward a year: Midterms? They still are — and will always be — stressful, but this year, I was ready. I knew that as October approached, I would be forced to hunker down and study more, and I adjusted my plans accordingly. A year makes all the difference, better preparing me for the four exams I'll be taking over the course of two weeks.

I admit that midterms and I will never be friends, but they are no longer an unexpected guest.

(In case you were wondering: A year later, I do know most of the Camel lingo, but there are still moments where I learn about a new phrase, building or acronym. That's better than getting lost, right?)

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Academics  |  The Experience, First Year Experience  |  The Experience, On Campus


Harvestfest, through a photographer's eye

October 24, 2014  |  The Experience, Jordan Thomas '15  |  The Experience, Kirsten Forrester '17  |  The Experience, Laura Cianciolo '16  |  The Experience, Mike Wipper '17

harvestfest tent

Each year, Harvestfest is one of the most anticipated events at Fall Weekend, Connecticut College's annual parent and family weekend. More than 70 student clubs, academic departments and athletic teams set up shop, selling a wide array of Camel- and Connecticut College-inspired clothing, gifts and treats in a bazaar-like atmosphere. We asked the ConnCollegeLive Experience photojournalists to fan out and find the best and most interesting items for sale.


Laura Cianciolo '16

Harvestfest photos by Laura Cianciolo

  1. I first stopped at Coffee Closet’s table and purchased a caramel apple dipped in sprinkles — it was the perfect snack for the fall weather.
  2. Every year, I purchase a poster from The College Voice’s table, and this year I loved the hand-drawn map of campus.
  3. I stopped by Miss Connduct’s table and bought a few of their handmade cards for my friends who have fall birthdays.
  4. Conn’s chapter of Oceana was selling adorable keyboard protectors covered with fish and other sea creatures.
  5. Launch, Conn’s entrepreneurship club, was celebrating its first Harvestfest with brightly colored, delicious cookies shaped like spaceships.


Kirsten Forrester '17

Harvestfest photos by Kirsten Forrester

  1. Slavery Ends Today homemade cards: Simple and thoughtful, the cards have positive messages such as "You are beautiful." It's nice to have a few around for future gifts.
  2. Ski team flannel: Two words: so cozy! They're the perfect attire for Connecticut winters.
  3. Ski club winter hats: One, they complement the flannel for the complete New England winter look. Two, I love pom poms.
  4. Relay for Life Elephant frame: So cute! My favorite animal is an elephant. Images and statues of them cover my walls at home, so this frame makes for a great addition to that ever growing collection.
  5. The College Voice posters: You just can't go wrong with the image of a camel in a turtleneck sweater on your wall.


Jordan Thomas '15

Harvestfest photos by Jordan Thomas

  1. Cadenza, Conn's literary magazine, sold prints and shirts with a one-line camel design. The artist, senior Jennifer Jackson, drew the camel logo without ever lifting the pen from the paper. It's inspired by Picasso's famous work.
  2. The campus newspaper, The College Voice, had customized camel M&Ms — in Conn colors, of course!
  3. The Dance Club sold cute and functional tank tops with an adorable Camel in the corner — great for workout clothing!
  4. Forest Justice, the resident treehugger club on campus, sold tie-dyed t-shirts with the logo of a tree hugging a Camel. What's not to love about that?
  5. The college's chapter of Psi Chi, the Psychology National Honor Society, had brain-themed coffee mugs for sale. Since this is my organization and this one was my idea, I'm a bit partial to it ... but who wouldn't want a blue and yellow brain on their morning cup of coffee?


Mike Wipper '17

Harvestfest photos by Mike Wipper

  1. After hearing the faint sound Mariachi, I found myself at the club's table, more than happy to snack on some "chicharones," a traditional Latin American dish made from fried pork skins.
  2. Sprout! set up a free sample booth complete with hot sauces made from Conn's very own organic garden. My favorite is the spicy mango salsa.
  3. The campus chapter of Slavery Ends Today sold delightful greeting and birthday cards, which ended up being perfect as I still needed to buy my girlfriend a card for her birthday. All proceeds went to the organization that's committed to ending human trafficking.
  4. At the Men's Hockey team table, I purchased the perfect gift for my father, a hockey player himself: a bottle opener made from old sticks. 
  5. All around Harvestfest, I saw people wearing awesome friendship bracelets. I wandered around until I found the Dance Team's booth with bracelets covering the table. I must say, they were pretty stylish ... and they're hand-made!

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Clubs & Orgs  |  The Experience, Photography  |  The Experience, Traditions


Green Dot Family Feud

October 24, 2014  |  The Experience, Rebecca Seidemann '18


This past Thursday, the Office of Student Life and Think S.A.F.E., the College's sexual assault prevention group, hosted a game of Family Feud in Cro, our student center. Yes, there were prizes, though no Steve Harvey. First, second and third place teams won things like water bottles and bowls full of candy. 

The game show was Green Dot-themed. Green Dot is our sexual assault and violence prevention program. In honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a number of sports and activities have been Green Dot-themed. The theory behind our program is that "no one has to do everything, but everyone has to do something." By connecting difficult issues of sexual assault, dating and power-based violence, and stalking to athletics and fun activities, we're working toward a necessary cultural shift. Increasing awareness enables bystanders to step in during "red dot" (problematic) situations. It promotes a safe and welcoming community. 

Given the theme, there were definitely some interesting sexual questions in our game of Family Fued. Though a little uncomfortable at first, we all sort of got used to the awkwardness of it in order to win points for our team. And, of course, it was all for a good cause. We learned things about safe, consensual sexual situations and, because of the survey section of the game, we also got a chance to see what our peers thought about certain situations. 

The night consisted of fun, games and prizes — though, not for my team — all in an effort to create a giant cultural movement against sexual assault and violence.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, First Year Experience  |  The Experience, Miscellaneous  |  The Experience, On Campus


Smith Dining Hall: a gem hidden in plain sight

October 24, 2014  |  The Experience, Oliver Ames '17

The dining hall within Smith House is one of those gems that hides in plain sight. I’d call Smith the most intimate dining hall on campus, one where you really know the employees and the people that frequent the tables every morning. Smith serves breakfast and a sandwich/salad lunch, which is perfect. I usually arrive between 8:30 or 9 a.m., although, as a regular, I've determined that 9 a.m. really is the perfect time of day to enjoy the environment. Those who rush too quickly to grab a quick bite before their 9 a.m. class have all left and those who have a 10:25 a.m. class haven’t arrived for breakfast yet (or, for that matter, woken up). Those left during that perfect moment between 9 and 9:45 a.m. are the kind of people that sit and slowly enjoy their breakfast over a good book, some last-minute homework, or that day’s New York Times (which, by the way, is waiting for students — for free — right in the lobby).
These casual mornings remind me a lot of Sunday mornings at home — everyone is clearly relaxed but they are all excited for the day ahead of them. That atmosphere helps me prepare for my long and busy days filled with classes, clubs and study groups.
I should also mention that early in the mornings, right when Smith opens, the employees sit at a table near the entrance and chat, listen to music softly and welcome the regulars by name. Their morning prep work is done for the moment and there is a brief window where they can sit and relax. During this time, most students swipe their own Camel Cards to enter. It's a moment when the Honor Code is in action, and when common courtesy and a "thank you" make for a great start to the day. 

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Tags:  |  The Experience, Dining  |  The Experience, First Year Experience  |  The Experience, On Campus



October 23, 2014  |  The Experience, Rebecca Seidemann '18

Last Wednesday, I was given the opportunity to visit "Lost At Sea: Shipwrecks of the Ancient World," an exhibit presented through the Classics Department. The exhibit is currently up at the Lyman Allyn, an art museum next to campus that the school works closely with. The exhibit consists of amazing, ancient artifacts that until recently remained, well, lost at sea. Also featured are some of the nifty-looking tools used to find artifacts, as well as some short videos about artifact-hunting.

The exhibit room that interested me the most, though, was a room full of live feeds from the Nautilus, a ship currently exploring undiscovered U.S territories in the Caribbean and Pacific. In front of the room, there is an iPad where you can type a question to a scientist on board the Nautilus and get a live response.

After a guided tour of the exhibit, I attended a talk by Dr. Robert Ballard, who led the team that discovered the Titanic. All of the artifacts in the exhibit were discovered by Dr. Ballard, who has a strong connection to the local community and the College. At the talk, he told us about how his fascination with the ocean began, how he fell into his career and, of course, how he found the Titanic. Dr. Ballard was an excellent speaker, and his exhibit was very interesting. I'm glad that I was offered the opportunity to attend.

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Tags:  |  The Experience, New London  |  The Experience, On Campus  |  The Experience, Research


A picnic at the Book Barn

October 23, 2014  |  The Experience, Kirsten Forrester '17

Enjoying a beautiful fall day, my friends and I headed to the Book Barn in Niantic for a picnic. After stopping at Fiddleheads to buy fruit, bread and cheese, I found myself completely enchanted with this used book store. It very much has a ragtag, fairy tale feeling. There are paths through overgrown gardens, pink flamingo statues, interestingly shaped buildings and eclectic furniture amongst stacks and stacks of inexpensive books in every genre. I dined atop an oversized checkers table, read in the shade and added a few new books to my collection for the next rainy day.

Tags:   |  The Experience, New London  |  The Experience, Photography


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