September 10, 2009 Volume CXXVI Issue 1

Freshman asks, PHA or Anderson Hall?

By KHANT MINN
Staff Writer

When I first moved in to the PHA building, I did not know what awaited me there. I did not know that I would be the only freshman in the building and that I was going to face more challenges than other freshmen in finding friends to hang out with. I did not know that I would always have to be on the lookout for someone I can have meals with and that my weekend nights would be more lonesome than most of my fellow freshmen’s.

I was so thrilled by the prospects of becoming friends with so many new people and fascinated by their hospitality that I failed to see the whole picture—that I have been thrown into a different position from the rest of my class. Everyone in the PHA house is friendly and welcomes me warmly. They are very helpful, some to the extent I have not even imagined. Jared, who lives right across me, took me to RadioShack to buy things that I needed. My roommate lets me use his Ethernet cable and even bought me an adapter for the socket of my extension cord. I feel like I am an important guest whom they are obliged to take care of, but the thing about being a guest in a house is that you will always be treated as a guest.

A guest is always invited to join a conversation but never gets to participate in a family meeting. A guest is always asked questions but treated only as a curiosity. A guest is always invited to the dinners but never gets to prepare the dinner. Most importantly, when the party is over and everyone retreats to his room, a guest is always alone. When you cannot be a host even where you are living, it is more difficult to go over to another house and be a host there. If I want to hang around with my fellow freshmen, I can go to the Anderson Hall which is about a four minute walk from PHA, which is locked most of the times. But then again I would still be a guest. And even if I do not mind being a guest among the students of my own class, it is still a disadvantage to go all the way from the south campus to the north campus to meet with friends and classmates.

Ryley, who shares the same experience as me, said, “As a freshman in Pierce, I’m really missing out on meeting students of my own age, and that is a critical part of the college experience.” Apparently, she feels that she is kind of isolated because the upperclassmen already have their own friends and do not really seem to be interested in making new ones despite all the help she gets from the experienced upperclassmen whom she can always ask about the professors, campus information, etc. It is only natural for her to feel isolated because she has not even been able to enjoy her meals in the Caf because she has not been able to “interact” and “become friends” with other freshmen. The fact that she is shy in nature does not help either.

Even for an extrovert like me, it is an exhausting exercise to look for someone to sit with once I am inside the Caf. Normally, students come to have their meals in pairs or groups. I always wonder why I do not belong to any of the groups out there. I always wonder why I always have to ask whoever I see in the dorm whether he has already had his lunch or dinner and if not, whether he wants to go with me. I always wonder how other freshmen find their own groups and stay together during weekends and why I am not one of them.

It is probably because I have not exerted sufficient effort in terms of socializing. Or probably because I am isolated—to borrow Ryley’s word—by being put into an upperclassmen dorm. Whatever the reason is, it is the price I have to pay for all the benefits, help and kindness I get from the people of PHA. There is a question I asked Ryley and have not heard from her yet. If you were given a choice, would you rather live with upperclassmen or freshmen? I know it is some sort of a trick question because whatever her choice is, it is going to upset the other. If I were asked the same question, my answer would be my ideal dormitory is where there is a balanced ratio of freshmen and upperclassmen to help them transition smoothly into college life both academically and socially. Remember, during orientation, we have two leaders for each group of freshmen, don’t we?


Simply to Go, simply amazing

By EVAN HARRELL
Staff Writer

I walked into the Caf expecting Simply to Go to be simply a no-go. I honestly thought the food would be old, there would be no variety and that I would not be writing a positive review. I thought I would walk out of there with half of a bologna sandwich and an apple. What I got, however, was another lesson about not judging books by their covers.

Immediately as I walked in, the welcoming “How may I help you?” lady greeted me in a bonnet and an apron. Since I was new to this, I asked for some help, and as I should have guessed, it was as simple as the name implies. As easy as 1-2-3, I grabbed a bag and began. Perhaps the only thing I did not like about my Simply to Go experience was my indecisiveness. They had so many choices that I was standing there for five minutes just choosing my Number 1. I ended up with beef stroganoff, a baked potato, a Yoplait yogurt and a Sierra Mist.

Now, if you are expecting a five-star meal du Cordon Bleu, you’re probably going to be let down. But if you want a good meal that is quick and convenient, you should try Simply to Go. Hannah Maloy, a sophomore, used Simply to Go a few weeks ago because she was pressed for time. She said, “It was much better than I expected, honestly. I really enjoyed it.” She also appreciated the variety and said she would probably use it again. She gave it a 7 out of 10. Likewise, my overall opinion about Simply to Go is a good one. They have a wide variety to offer, the food is fresh, and it is quick and easy.

They also have three locations for more convenience: the Caf, the C-Store and the Mulberry Café. The cover of this book says it all; you get a to-go meal that is both simple and convenient when you’ve got class in a few minutes or you just want to go back to your dorm. But, for whatever reason you use it, don’t be as predisposed to disliking it as I was.

Don’t judge Simply to Go until you simply go.


Looking at GC under the lens

By SEAN MAY
Staff Writer

In today’s society, what associations do we make with an image as simple as a camera?

Thanks to our fascination with such virtual meccas as Youtube, Facebook and Twitter, we as a nation see the camera as a portal to the rest of the world, as a non-judgmental medium that we can say or do anything in front of, a good friend that we take everywhere with us and don’t do anything without. Perhaps you finnd that last bit to be an exaggeration, that only photographers actually carry cameras with them wherever they go. If so, consider the camera or camcorder option on your cell phone or other mobile communication device.

There is no doubt about it: we are absolutely obsessed with getting ourselves bathed in the limelight. Why then, do we hide our faces and shy away when the cameras are mounted to walls and referred to as security cameras? Why do we feel comfortable letting complete strangers look at pictures and videos of our personal lives, yet begin talking about Big Brother when authorities dedicated to our safety use these devices to keep us and our community safe? These questions may bring to mind images that seem detached or removed from the daily lives of us GC students, but the proposed video monitoring system in the Bookstore and Grille areas of the student center is an issue that should narrow the scope and strike closer to home.

The reason for this system is that it would allow for 24-hour access to the Grille area, thereby opening new vistas of possibility for the area’s use. Not only would this create a central hub for all of the GC night owls, but an easy and manageable meeting place for any club, team, or association in need of late-night activities, i.e. study groups. If anybody at all feels like this would be an invasion of their personal privacy, I remind you that the Grille is public place. What could anybody with a sense of decency do in a public place which the monitoring of could be considered privacy invasion? In most cases, the real reason people despise the electric eye is due to the fact that it makes them selfconscious and aware of their own actions. If somebody is abiding by the rules, what should they be afraid of?

It’s not as if the people who would be watching the monitor screens are faceless individuals in dark suits and sunglasses, wearing receivers in their ears reminiscent of an action-spy movie. Most of the people at GC know that the Campus Safety officers are pretty cool people and that they only care for our safety, which is exactly what the cameras would be for. I say that this video monitoring system is a good idea. I think that the installation of these cameras shows that the college has more trust, rather than suspicion, in its students and that we should celebrate this contribution instead of grieving and moaning over our own personal insecurities.

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