Spring Into the new Semester

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Published January 20, 2017
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The Montclarion
Students begin the semester amid cloudy skies. Photo Credit: Rebecca Hash
Students begin the semester amid cloudy skies. Photo Credit: Rebecca Hash

Students begin the semester amid cloudy skies.
Photo Credit: Rebecca Hash

In the first few weeks of the 2017, new things have already started to happen at Montclair State.

During winter break, students volunteered in numerous programs from Buddies of New Jersey, St. John’s Soup Kitchen, St. Peter’s Haven Food Pantry and New Eyes for the Needy.

Sally Golding, Volunteer Manager at New Eyes for the Needy, said, “We are thankful to have had student volunteers from Montclair State assist us with sorting donated glasses for overseas distribution. They were quick to learn our sorting techniques and completed a lot of work for us. We welcome any students who would like to give back.”

Winter break also allowed the opportunity for a small group of faculty and students to travel to upstate New York for the Adirondack Variety Trip. On this annual trip, participants are treated to long hikes on the beautiful snowy mountains, skiing, snowboarding and many more entertaining activities. This year, students were able to go dog sledding on a frozen lake and greet with the dogs before heading off to their next adventure.

Additionally, the Montclair State administration brought NEST directly to the phones of students with a new mobile app that is available for IOS and Android devices.

Another new thing that 2017 has brought is the passport service that Montclair State’s post office has started to offer at the beginning of January. Nyieta Charlot, study abroad coordinator at the Global Education Center, said that “having the office on campus will make the process easier for anyone, not just students, but staff and faculty. Now people don’t have to go off campus and can get their passport done while they do their normal activities.”

In addition, next week, for the very first time, Montclair State will hold a winter graduation ceremony on January 23.
Now three days into the new semester, the gloom of Tuesday’s pelting rain and Wednesday’s overcast skies has not deterred students from looking forward to all that 2017 has to offer.

For Kristine Bushong, a second year graduate student studying student, she is looking forward to graduating this year. While she enjoyed winter break, Bushong is happy to be back at school and has enjoyed the classes she’s had thus far. Bushong hopes to “keep up [her] work ethic and finish out strong” for her last two semesters. Bushong said in the new year, she strives to try not to let the negativity in the world affect her positivity, which she says is centered around politics. “It’s hard to have an opinion nowadays,” Bushong said. “It’s hard to express yourself.”

Marlene Cerqueira, a junior English major, commented on how empty the campus appeared to be during the first few days of the new semester. Not sure if it was due to the weather or another cause, Cerqueira said she thinks everyone is still settling into the new semester and the new year and it’s too early to tell how classes have been so far. However, she said that her professors have been very helpful by telling students that they could purchase older versions of textbooks required for classes to save money.

The spring semester for Cerqueira also means serving as president of Montclair Miracles, an organization that raises money for the Children’s Specialized Hospital in Clifton. While she said there hasn’t been a lot of advertising done yet for other organizations’ events on campus, she’s looking forward to anything the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) or Student Life at Montclair (SLAM) has planned for this semester.

“I always have a goal,” Cerqueira said regarding the new year. “I think being realistic is one of them.” She added that she also wants to focus on being happy and being in the moment.

Camilla Agosto, a music and composition major, expressed her excitement for 2017. “I’m excited to see what the new year brings,” she said. “I know a lot of people are hesitant especially with our new government, but I think that if we face 2017 with an open mind, then we bring out positivity and good things can happen.”

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