05 12 / 2013

December 5, 2013

By Tara Harris

The Black Studies program presented its fifth annual Treasures of Jazz concert featuring the Jazz Heritage Orchestra. More than 100 guests filled the auditorium in the Main Classroom Saturday night on Nov. 23 despite the wicked winds and frigid temperatures outside.

The Jazz Heritage Orchestra (JHO) was created by the late Dr. Howard A. Mims, former Black Studies program director. He and a few others established the advisory board and decided the mission of the JHO would be “to preserve and perpetuate the musical heritage of the great African American jazz masters.”

Dennis Reynolds, band director and member of the orchestra, has led the JHO to national excellence, as JHO is recognized nationally as one of the top orchestras in the country.
Students from the Dameron Institute enrolled in The Music Settlement jazz program directed by Glen Holmes opened up for the Jazz Heritage Orchestra, playing a few tunes by Thelonious Monk.

“The future starts with the youth,” said Reynolds after the exited the stage. He added, “Jazz will not die, it will continue on.”

The JHO was seated and began to play after an introduction by Dr. Michael Williams, Black Studies program director.

The titles of most of the songs performed were not mentioned, the orchestra would just “kick it.” A couple of songs the JHO named were “Gumba Blue” and “The Count Basie Remembrance Suite.”

Audience members seemed to know the songs that were being played by the way they clapped their hands in unison to the beat.

Almost every orchestra member had a chance to showcase their individual talent on their instruments. They displayed energy while they performed solos and they focused with attention to not miss a beat.

The vibe inside was warm and inviting. The audience bopped their heads and tapped their feet to the tunes.

“I love the way jazz music makes you move. I especially enjoyed the trumpet and saxophone solos. It was the best jazz concert I ever attended,” said Joshua Legard, information technology student at Tri-C.

They played upbeat songs then slowed things down with a mellow tune and picked up tempo with the next piece.

The JHO also had a couple of soulful vocalists, Michael Cady and Earlie Braggs, who performed blues tunes such as “Gumba Blue” and “Georgia”.

The audience showed their full appreciation by applauding and passionately cheering when the program was over.

The JHO have recorded two CDs titled “Bouncy with Benny” and “Steppin’ Out.”

The orchestra is available for appearances, workshops and seminars. For more information contact the Black Studies program at 216-687-3655.


05 12 / 2013

December 5, 2013

By Tara Harris

The Cleveland State Speak Up poetry club attended the 23rd annual Association for Black Cultural Centers conference (ABCC) at Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. Members of the Speak Up organization provided information.

The conference provides the opportunity for all of the cultural centers across the country to come together for workshops and seminars.

This year Speak Up was requested as the entertainment for the event. They had the chance to showcase their talents to colleges nationwide.

The conference included activities and workshops. There was a moment when an instrumental was played and the audience wrote their thoughts and feelings about the day. Also, an open mic portion where attendees were welcomed to recite poetry.
There was also a poetry slam including all the cultural centers but no one could beat Cleveland State’s own Speak Up poets.

The conference allowed them the chance to network with prominent people and form connections with other universities.

The special guest for the conference was journalist and author of “In My Place,” Charlayne Hunter, who was one of the first African- American students to attend the University of Georgia.

“It was great. The chance to meet the movers and shakers was inspirational,” said Dwayne Castleberry, Speak Up president.

They received compliments and met great people from all over and formed a bond with Purdue, Stanford, Ohio State University and others. Ohio State asked Speak Up to participate in the black heritage festival that Ohio State has every year.
Getting to the conference was a bit of a challenge.

Speak Up had begun their registration paperwork in July but were still pending as an organization with Student Life. Members had to pay out of their pockets to fund this trip.
Jake Streeter, Cleveland state alum and first student to ever major in black studies, also helped fund the trip.

Lambda Phi Theta collaborated with Speak Up to help and Dr. Michael Williams provided some funds as well. They are waiting to be reimbursed by the Student Government Association.

The benefits of attending the conference outweighed the challenges. However, Jeannise Andres, founder of Speak Up and advisory board member, thinks student should not be discouraged from attending beneficial seminars.

“Students should be encouraged and supported by Cleveland State to attend conferences when those students are trying to represent their university and become engaged throughout the community.”

Speak Up organization continues to make appearances in the community and periodically host poetry readings at Noble Elementary school.

Speak Up gives a voice to the younger generation and allows students to become interested in reading,” said Takaya Williamson, Speak Up treasurer.

“We can possibly encourage them to attend college,” said Castleberry.
Speak Up will have their final poetry slam of the year.

The topic of the event is Words of Wisdom and special guests are expected. Poetry is a freedom of expression art form but Castleberry offers some advice.

“Be mindful of your audience and tailor content if necessary,” said Castleberry.
The event will be held Friday Dec.6 at 7pm in the Main Classroom 137.


21 11 / 2013

November 21, 2013

Nu Alpha Psi creates donation trees for foster children’s gifts

By Tara Harris

The sorority Nu Alpha Psi is accepting donations this holiday season for the National Youth Advocate Program for foster children.

Nu Alpha Psi was founded in the fall of 2007 by Lynn Torres. It is a sorority for non-traditional, mature female students. Their mission is to keep members connected with the university experience by providing opportunities through networking and access to social and academic resources.

The donations are being collected via giving tree. The giving trees are hand drawn by Torres’s daughter, Saline.
There are two giving trees on campus. One tree is located on the 2nd floor of Student Center on the bridge near the cafeteria. The other is in the Main Classroom in front of room 137 Black Studies program.

There are over 50 children asking for a small gift. On the trees there are ornaments and candy canes with information such as the child’s name, age, the specific gift they would like and where to return the gift. Donors can also return their gifts to Renee Evans in Black Studies.

“As the holidays approach let’s not forget about those in need. [The donations] will put a smile on the children’s faces and will mean a lot to them, the community and the sorority,” Lynn Torres said.

The donations are being collected until December 13th. Contact Nu Alpha Psi founder and President Lynn Torres for more information at 216-941-5846.

21 11 / 2013

Gov’t career fair opens doors to public service for CSU

By Tara Harris

The 6th annual Government Career Day was held in the Student Center’s ballroom on Nov. 14. The event was hosted by a consortium of seven universities including Baldwin Wallace University, John Carroll University, Notre Dame College, a few others and the Federal Executive Board.

There were over 40 employers from local, state and federal government including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; Cleveland Public Library; Cuyahoga County Department of Human Resources; Defense Finance and Accounting; Federal Bureau of Investigation; NASA; Ohio Department of Transportation District 12; US Department of Labor; US Marshal Service and a slew of others.

Cuyahoga County Department of Human Resources encouraged students interested in public service with the desire to make a difference in their communities to apply.

The requirements for these careers seemed to fit what attendees were interested in or qualified for.

“I want to make a difference and work with the mentally disabled or elderly and would prefer to work for the county or local agencies for the benefits they offer”, said Lisa Brown. a senior social work major at Cleveland State.

Karen Martin, graduate student from Keller University, wants to use her degree in human resource to obtain a job with the government.
“I received some good information from employers and I’m hoping for a government job because they seem more secure, even with the furloughs,” she said.

Some employers were seeking specific majors but most employers did not require a particular major. A few government departments offer internships to students.

Defense Finance and Accounting Service offers internships to college students and has 2,500 employees in Ohio and looks for those who are self motivated with high academics and the potential to become a great leader.

Ohio Department of Transportation’s (ODOT) duty is to serve the public and help them get to point A to B safely. ODOT hires 15-16 civil engineering interns in the summer according to the HCM analyst, Charity Stafford.

Peter Elliot, U.S Marshal of Northeast Ohio, was the keynote speaker for the event.

Elliot rhetorically asked the inevitable question, why anyone would want to work for the government with the multitude of cuts.

He assured everyone that the rewards are greater than the disappointments. “Every government position is special and very important. It’s a rewarding career that attracts the best of the best. Determination, enthusiasm and perseverance makes the ideal candidate,” he said.

Organizers put together workshops for attendees to help them look for jobs in the government sector.

George Buck from the Federal Executive Board, showed attendees how to navigate the usajobs.gov website where there are over 5,000 job postings listed. The website features a program titled Student Pathways that provides paid internships for students and jobs for recent graduates.

Buck also explained the website go government.org which helps people find the job in the government that will fit their interest and skill level. He offered the attendees the advice “Be as curious as you can in your job search and fail fast so you can succeed sooner.”

21 11 / 2013

Skyler charms CSU students

Sklyer performed at Cleveland State University on Wednesday Nov. 13, in the Student Center.
The baby-faced up and coming artist performed like a true professional. He performed songs from his album “Restless Heart,” which releases in December but was available to students for $10.
His album includes songs titled, “Crazy For Her”, “I Don’t Want to Leave”, “You Don’t Have To Go”, “Teenage Hearts”, “Writing on the Wall” and more. His favorite song is “You Don’t Have To Go.”
Skyler held the attention of the room with his soft playing of the guitar and youthful but soulful voice. He was accompanied by Lars who played the violin.
The internet may classify him as a pop artist but Skyler said, “My genre is unclassified. Too good to classify.”
His lively down to earth personality engaged the audience as he spoke to the crowd and told a few humorous anecdotes.
“Cleveland is awesome. No fooling,” he said as he neared the end of a song.
He acknowledged people as they took pictures of him he said “I’m DTS, down to selfie.” The audience chuckled.
He offered fans to meet and take pictures with him and Lars after his performance. He also offered people to tweet their pictures of him to @Skylertunes.

24 10 / 2013

BY Tara Harris

October 24, 2013

The 16th annual education abroad fair took place last week in Main Classroom. There were many program providers who represented their companies and provided useful information to students considering traveling abroad.

Some of the providers present were AMIDEAST Education Abroad, API Study Abroad Programs, Arcadia/Alliance for Global Education, Cleveland State College of Business faculty-led programs, GlobalLinks Learning Abroad, Institute for Study Abroad- Butler University, KEI Study Intern Abroad, Modern Language Studies Abroad (MLSA), Panrimo, Semester at Sea and SIT World Learning.

Each program is unique and gives students the opportunity to experience life at college in another country.

Semester at Sea is a floating campus; an actual cruise ship where students travel the world and earn college credit. The ship was built in 2002 and includes nine classrooms, a library, fitness center, student union, medical center and more academically sponsored by the University of Virginia. They receive over $4 million in aid to help students get the funding they need.

SIT world learning offers opportunities for undergraduates to travel to Africa, Europe, Latin America and other places. Their missions are social justice, basic human rights and community and service engagement. SIT matches Pell grants up to $5,000.

KEI, the Knowledge Exchange Institute, offers internships and will honor tuition rates of other universities. The tuition includes housing and a prepaid cell phone. All classes are taught in English.

Global Links provides travel arrangements to countries in the Pacific such as Fuji. Global Links offers payment plans and numerous scholarship opportunities.

Cleveland State offers many programs for students to engage academically outside of the country.

Cleveland State’s College of Business faculty-led programs offers a trip to China Each year has a different spin, and this year is The Smart Phone Trail. However, the deadline, Nov. 1, is quickly approaching. They also have a trip to England this December. The newest trip they offer is to Munich and Amsterdam, where focus is placed on international field experience in management.

Amideast is based out of Washington D.C and programs are in the Middle East, such as Egypt, Jordan and Morocco. They focus on Arabic language learning and cultural immersion, where students live with a host family and learn to live in their culture.

Students were intrigued by the information they received.

Sara Al-nimer, a mathematics and psychology major, is interested in traveling abroad within the year.

“I like to learn about opportunities available and explore the options,” Al-nimer said.

A few of the programs are also open to graduate students.
Modern Language Studies Abroad (MLSA) is one of them. With programs in Spain, Costa Rica, Italy and France, MLSA offers opportunity to study abroad for little as one month in the summer or up to a year.

Panrimo offers programs in eight countries and a personalized internship search to match the client’s exact need. Their services are available to any student or recent graduate.

This fair was brought to Cleveland State thanks to Harlan Smith the newly appointed Executive Director of the Center for International Services and Programs (CISP).

The purpose of CISP is to provide excellent internationally-focused service to the campus community. The service mission of the center pertains to special populations, like international students or international research personnel.

In addition, the Center serves as a primary hub for campus-wide international programs, initiatives and endeavors, like study abroad advisement and international agreement development and implementation.

“I think that my own professional duty or purpose is to serve as a combination Chief International Officer, International Student Advocate, Study Abroad Cheerleader, General Immigration Geek, and International Risk Expert. That’s perhaps not the most elegant way to describe one’s role or purpose but I see myself as being of value to the campus community in these particular areas,” said Smith.

Smith enjoys helping students and working with colleagues who are just as passionate as he is.

“I think the thing that I enjoy most about my work is that my CISP colleagues and I get to help students reach their goals, dreams, and aspirations. Their excitement and enthusiasm rubs off and I often find myself excited about their excitement,” Smith said.

“I am where I am today because of my own international college experiences, so I know that it just takes one committed professor to make a true difference and one special opportunity or scholarship to turn one’s life in a different direction,” he said.

Smith said his future successes at Cleveland State will be built upon the accomplishments of the Center directors who have come before him, George Burke and Dr. Holm led the CISP for many years with distinction and he hopes to be so fortunate.

“I’m also very lucky to have an experienced and committed team of international education professionals as colleagues and members of the CISP team, including our colleagues in International Recruitment and Admissions. In my short few months here, I have been privileged to be part of the University of the Free State “Leadership for Change” Program. I enjoyed hosting the students from South Africa immensely and Dr. Donna Whyte’s hearty welcome and collegiality got me into the Cleveland State mix in a hurry,” he said.

Cleveland State’s international portfolio is strong and poised for further expansion. As with all things in higher education, the continued strength and future growth will depend on resources.

“Education abroad participation is one of the key areas where we have the ability, perhaps even the imperative, to grow. I also think that we have to explore the natural nexus that exists between the efforts of our diversity partners on campus and the work being done at the CISP – there are great partnership possibilities there,” said Smith.

Visit the CISP office in the Main Classroom suite 106 or Cleveland State’s website for more information.

24 10 / 2013

Parking solutions for students in need

October 24, 2013

BY Tara Harris

For the group of students who drive to school to attend classes, parking on Cleveland State’s campus may be a hassle for some. If a wad of cash was not shelled out at the beginning of the semester for a parking pass or to try their luck with a scratch off parking hangtag, finding a convenient parking spot may require a significant amount of time and effort.

Thankfully, there are a few places students can pay to park on campus and in the surrounding area of Cleveland State without a parking pass.

If you prefer to park at meters

There are 25 new electronic meters on the south side of the street on Chester from East 20th to East 22nd streets. The new meters accept both debit and credit cards with visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover logos. These new electronic meters were set in place by the city of Cleveland as a pilot program consisting of 90 days to see if the students would find them useful, according to Reginald Matthews the manager of on street parking for the City of Cleveland.

“These electronic meters are convenient but Cleveland State should have underground parking so everyone could park for free,” said Derek Cupach an environmental science major as he feeds the new meter.

The truth is that most of the meters found on Cleveland State’s campus offer parking with one-hour maximum parking limits, like the 27 meters in front of the Wolstein Center.

Thankfully, there are four-hour meters along East 18th street, starting between the law and business buildings. The string of meters continues to the intersection of East 21st and Payne, and down Chester all the way up to the recreation center.

Parking at one of these meters may allow students to remain more engaged in the classroom instead of constantly wor-rying about the adverse effects of being parked next to an expired meter.

“I think it’s fair to pay, but the amount [st-udents] must cough up for a parking pass is ridiculous. The worst part is that they’re not even guaranteed a spot,” said Chelsea Bride, advertising ma-jor who parks on campus twice a week.

Bride prefers to park at meters because she has evening classes and the meters aren’t monitored past 6:30pm.

“I have night classes and the only parking I can find is typically is on Payne between 21st and 25th,” she said. “I usually have to drive around till I see a spot and sometimes I park further away than I’d like.”

If you prefer to park in parking lots

There are multiple private parking lots close to campus. A few are on Carnegie across from the Wolstein center. One lot is $4 for the entire day and has over 100 parking spaces. Also, there is a lot next to that one which is $3 for the whole day and has 80 spaces.

There is a third lot adjacent to that one which is also $3 for all day, but only holds about 50 spaces.

Dave Fergusson, accounting major who parks at the private lot across from Wolstein center would prefer to park at meters if they had a grace period because “It would be helpful so we [students] wouldn’t have to rush to the car right after class,” he said.

If you prefer to park in a garage

Cleveland State allows students to park in certain garages for an hourly rate with restrictions. (Visit the Parking tab on Cleveland State’s website for more information). Often times when there are events partaking on or nearby campus, some garages may be closed to accommodate the attendees of said events.

It is unfortunate that in addition to maintaining the level of discipline that being a successful student requires, students have to muster up the energy to obtain parking spots.

“The parking passes are way too expensive, if I’m running low on money one week, it’s cheaper for me to stay at home and skip class, said Caitlin Jones, senior anthropology major, who parks on campus five days a week. “It’s also unreliable about where you’ll be able to park and I had horrible experiences parking…or trying to park, I should say, in the designated garages the few times I’ve had a prepaid pass,” she said.

Students agree that parking passes aren’t very affordable and pose other problems and are full of good suggestions on how to improve parking at Cleveland State.

“Parking passes should be cheaper; significantly cheaper. There was a student in one of my classes who ended up dropping because he couldn’t afford to pay for parking; and that’s just not fair. Truthfully I can’t afford to pay for parking on campus either and it’s really stressing me out. I spend $30 a week paying for parking. That’s over $540 a semester. It’s absurd,” said Peacenlyn Wells, linguistics major.

“Prices need to be streamlined. Speaking specifically about parking meters, there is an astronomical difference between using a meter on Chester Ave than using a meter within the boundaries of campus such as the meters by Health Sciences. We’re talking about a quarter getting 30 minutes on Chester Ave compared to less than 15 minutes within campus,” said Jones. 

“It is just not convenient to park. “I transferred from the University of Akron and everyone parked for free and there is not a lot of parking close to the main campus here, there should be a free parking deck close to campus,” said Fergusson.

It is well known that students consider the parking situation on campus a problem and are eager to alleviate stress when given the opportunity to vent and express their emotions.

“This college makes enough money from us as it is. I’m a transfer student from LCCC. There are $13,000 students who attend that community college and parking is free. Wells said, “When I was a student there, I attend a number of President forums and he has stated many times that parking is free and will remain free because students shouldn’t have to worry about not being able to attend class because they don’t have money for parking.”

“I think that parking should be able to be grouped into tuition. I think it’s stupid that they charge a mandatory $25 dollars for a RTA pass that a lot of students don’t even use, I would rather have that money put towards parking. Parking at Cleveland State is just a mess,” said Jones.

Parking passes also aren’t worth buying if students are only on campus a couple times a week for a couple hours.

“Parking in the evening during the hours of 4 and 6 p.m. is a total nightmare. All of the TESOL Teacher Education classes are in the evening, because this class includes Graduate Students who work doing the day. Also, some of them are only on campus one night a week, so why buy a parking pass?” Wells said, “So all of them including myself park in the Main Garage, however this poses a problem because there aren’t enough spaces for all of us night students to park.”

She continued to say, “I don’t have a parking pass either, so I use the MG pay lot and there have been many nights where I’ve had to literally drive around in circles looking for a spot up to 30 or more minutes are wasted doing this. This has caused me to be late to class; this has also caused me stress. There have been times where, I drove around in circles, in the garage, that I got a headache and went home; in turn missing my night class. It’s like this every semester in the MG Garage for the night class students who don’t have parking passes.”

Students also mention the fact of from receiving parking tickets due to the parking time restriction.

“I have gotten a parking ticket for parking meter time expired. I have two tickets now in the office that I have to pay,” Wells said.

“I sometimes use the hourly lot underneath the student center. My last class ran a few minutes late due to an exam, and I got back to my car five minutes late to find a ticket already on my windshield,” said Jones.

Free parking Options

Unfortunately, there aren’t many options for parking for free unless you want to want to walk a great distance or are able to park in the evenings or weekends at meters.

Payne Avenue near the Asian market offers free parking and
Street meters are free after 6:30 Monday through Friday and all day on weekends

The parking director of Cleveland State, Ben Rogers, said he is short staffed and does not have time to answer any questions or make any comments at this time.

17 10 / 2013

Check out my work and the work of my classmates

17 10 / 2013

My life is under construction. “There is always work to be done and work is never done.” Tara Shacole Harris

My life is under construction. “There is always work to be done and work is never done.” Tara Shacole Harris

10 5 / 2013

Heart of steel

Photo by: Tara S Harris

Heart of steel

Photo by: Tara S Harris