Editor’s Note

We made it! This week is the last issue of The River Reporter and the stories were better than ever. There is an editorial on domestic violence, as well as an article on seniors mixed feelings as their last few weeks at college come to an end.  With the swine flu epidemic sweeping the country, what does it mean for our community? One of our reporters checked it out. Speaking of our country, with the recession we are in, is cheap now trendy? Also be sure to check out the student-teacher profile of Tim Wall a student at Marist who has anything but a normal routine compared to most college kids. All in all it has been a successful semester of reporting with lots of interesting topics cropping up, thanks for reading!

-Amanda Lavergne


Twitter Thrives on Mobile Technology and Real Time Updates

Summer is over and college students are making their way back to campus.

Summer is over and college students are making their way back to campus.

By: Stephanie Espina
Evan Williams went to “Burn the Floor” last night and it was fantastic. David Ortiz is eating lunch with a headache at work. Lance Armstrong made it to Paris and thinks it will be good to spend time on some old training roads. Most internet users have heard of Facebook and Myspace, but Twitter seems to be making a name for itself in the social networking realm. It answers a simple, tempting and ambiguous question: “What are you doing?”
Combining the elements of a typical social networking site and utilizing mobile technology as its main source of distribution, Twitter has made it possible for people to directly communicate with many friends at the same time. Just how many friends? A ton.
“Everyone uses the service differently, which is one of the reasons it’s become so popular,” says technology blogger and Twitter user Ed Kohler in a recent blog. “Over time, you’ll figure out who’s using Twitter in a way that’s interesting to you,” he says. One of the beauties of Twitter is that you can schedule “off hours” so your phone or inbox of choice is not too overwhelmed with incoming status updates. “This is useful if you have friends who like to do some drinking and Twittering late into the night, or if you have friends in different time zones,” says Kohler.
Once you are a registered user on Twitter.com, you are given the option to “follow” interesting strangers, companies, media outlets, celebrities or personal friends. Once you have established which profiles you would like to receive updates from, you will then choose the method in which you would like to receive that information. For the not-so-text-savvy, this might be a good way to start learning more about mobile updates and making use of the power of texting. Once you have an update you would like to share, text the Twitter site by texting the number “40404.” Keep in mind that the body of the message cannot exceed 140 characters and that Twitter will broadcast to all of those lovely “followers” of yours. If you would rather not receive text updates and if you do not have a big text plan you can send updates traditionally through the Twitter website or via instant message services like AIM or Google Talk.
You can even follow Twitter co-founder Evan Williams. In a recent TedTalks video podcast, Williams spoke about the importance of using a social tool like Twitter. “The fundamental idea is Twitter lets people share moments of their lives whenever they want…by sharing these moments as they’re happening it lets people feel more connected and in touch despite distance and real time,” he said. What the creators didn’t anticipated according to Williams, were the additional uses that evolved from this particular system. “It seems like when you give people easier ways to share information, more good things happen.”
You will be notified whenever the people you are following are sending a Twitter update. You can also subscribe to other Twitter user’s updates by clicking the “ADD” link on their profile page. If you choose this option, this does not mean they can receive your updates just because you interested in them. Twitter is less about posting or tagging pictures an more about simply updating users on what other users are doing or experiencing on a daily basis. The content you wish to provide can be informative, strategic in guiding your Twitter followers to particular action or realization or it can merely serve as an expressive outlet after an eventful day.
Additionally, if you log onto “Summize.com” you are able to search any event, issue or topic and see who is there sending a “tweet” about it on Twitter.
“I can see how an outlet like Twitter can be useful for all kinds of people,” said Harriman resident and father of two, David Ortiz. “I get updates from the New York Times [and] the New York Yankees but I also follow faithful bloggers who use twitter to increase their fan base,” he said. “If you like fast communication, getting updates on information you are interested in and promoting yourself or ideas you think other people should know about, then there is no doubt Twitter is for you.”

The Bamboozle: A Reporter’s Bittersweet Account

By Emily Dalrymple

The ferris wheel and large crowd on Saturday. Photo from thebamboozle.com

The ferris wheel and large crowd on Saturday. Photo from thebamboozle.com

The Bamboozle is a 2-day festival held at the Meadowlands Sports Complex in East Rutherford, New Jersey. This year, the festival was sponsored by the Wonka candy company, State Farm Insurance, Zumiez, and several others. The weekend featured two promising headliners – Fall Out Boy and the return of No Doubt.

For this reporter, Bamboozle has become a tradition. I have been making my way down to the festival for four years now. This year was definitely a change of pace. The festival was set up in a different manner than the last few years. Stages were moved around and the overall layout of the festival was a lot smaller. Stages were cramped together and there was often an overlap between bands.

Thomas Dutton of Forgive Durden with Greta Salpeter

Thomas Dutton of Forgive Durden with Greta Salpeter

Saturday night, I watched Forgive Durden perform “Razia’s Shadow” and was surprised that I could easily hear Third Eye Blind playing on the nearby stage. Forgive Durden did not disappoint though. “Razia’s Shadow” is a concept album featuring various singers from other bands. Rather than attempt to sing all of the vocals themselves, Forgive Durden brought a few of their famous friends with them including Greta Salpeter and Bob Morris of The Hush Sound, Dan Young of This Providence, Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter, and Fred Mascherino of The Color Fred.

International Superheroes of Hardcore. Photo by Jered Scott, taken from altpress.com

International Superheroes of Hardcore. Photo by Jered Scott, taken from altpress.com

Saturday also featured some other special guests. Cobra Starship brought All Time Low’s lead singer Alex Gaskarth on stage. New Found Glory disguised themselves as superheroes and played under the alias “International Superheroes of Hardcore.” The band played heavy metal songs about wearing seatbelts and their own favorite superheroes. Toward the end of their set, the band accidentally revealed their identity and played two cover songs.

International Superheroes of Harcode after they revealed their identity.

International Superheroes of Harcode after they revealed their identity.

The biggest special guest of the evening was Journey. After months of internet buzz that the eighties rock band would be making an appearance, the festival’s creative director Linc Thomas brought Journey out as the unidentified special guest. They played four songs and had attendees ranging from teen to adult singing along to all of the words.

One of the highlights of Bamboozle is the ability to meet members of your favorite bands whether they are doing a featured autograph session or if they are just walking around the festival checking out their friends. Shwayze, The Cab, Boys Like Girls, and Fall Out Boy are just a few of the bands who had their own featured autograph sessions. One of the strangest features of the day was the autograph signing by internet sensation Chris Crocker – only famous for screeching “Leave Britney alone” in a YouTube video.

While Fall Out Boy was the featured headliner of the day, there were other bands who made more of a presence. Gavin Rossdale, former lead singer of Bush, was one of the best performers of the day. I expected to only hear his solo material, but Rossdale fulfilled my wish and played two popular Bush songs. His performance was dead on and was definitely the highlight of my day.

Fall Out Boy had the last performance of the day, ending around 11:30. Their performance was good, but nothing new or memorable. As I left the venue that evening, I was tired, but eager to see what was in store for Sunday’s performances.

I made the decision to leave for Bamboozle a few hours later on Sunday. The morning did not feature any bands that were of particular interest. Sunday was also rainy and cold. When I arrived, the mood of the day was different and thousands of people tried to stay warm and avoid the rain in ponchos.

I ended up only seeing 4 bands on Sunday – 3OH!3, Sum 41, Rise Against, and No Doubt. 3OH!3 was not as interesting or as fun as I had hoped. After listening to some of their songs, I expected more energy and more fun. Maybe it was my own fault. After all, I wasn’t very happy in the rain.

Sum 41 was excellent. I did not know what to expect and after Deryck Whibley announced his level of intoxication, I was hesitant to expect anything exceptional. Luckily, the band sounded great, but ran over time by ten minutes. This wouldn’t be bad except that it proceeded to put the entire event behind.

No Doubt

No Doubt

Rise Against was not really a band that I would have wanted to see on my own. I can say that they were good and as far as I could tell, those around me definitely enjoyed their set. I was waiting for No Doubt. When Rise Against ended their set, I inched up toward the front of the stage just to see a band that I had been waiting to see for as long as I remember.

Gwen Stefani. Photo from thebamboozle.com

Gwen Stefani. Photo from thebamboozle.com

No Doubt did not disappoint. After singer Gwen Stefani announced that this was only their second show together after five years, it opened the door for them to make mistakes. But No Doubt did not make a single mistake that night. The band was flawless and seemed like they had never stopped performing. Stefani was all over the stage, even climbing up the side and running out into the audience. No Doubt was definitely a great way to end the weekend.

Now the title makes reference to the weekend being bittersweet. After all the fun I had, this reporter’s car wouldn’t start and I was stranded in New Jersey for the night. The next day, I met a very nice and funny cab driver by the name of Joe. I explained the situation to him and he left me with one of the best quotes.

“You got bamboozled at the Bamboozle.”

By Ashley Posimato


One Kara Dioguardi + 38 “That was the BOMB dawg”’s – 50% of Paula Abdul’s competence x 1 infamously honest “absolutely dreadful” Simon Cowell =  American Idol Season 8, a showcase of quite possibly most talented selection of contestants yet.

From Kelly Clarkson to Carrie Underwood to Adam Lambert (unless Bill O’Reilly has anything to say about it), American Idol has continued to impress its audience, “debuting January 14, 2009, as the number one show on television,” according to Nielsen.

Photo by: David Kiely BusinessWeek

Photo by: David Kiely BusinessWeek

Photo by: idolmania.com

Photo by: idolmania.com

But as the amateur competition grows stronger, the professional entertainment that recently consumes the results shows, leaves a lot to be desired –and after Paula’s performance Thursday night– a lot to be understood.

The first guest-entertainer that failed to upstage the Idol hopefuls, spent the majority of his performance suggesting we “blame it on the a-a-a-a-a-alcohol.”  But after that disappointing performance, Jamie Foxx has no one to blame but himself.

Foxx appeared on American Idol to mentor the top 5 finalists as they prepared to take on songs from The Rat Pack.

“I have got to say a special thank you to Jamie Foxx because what Jamie’s brought out, particularly in you, tonight is incredible,” Cowell said to Danny Gokey, a Season 8 favorite.

Foxx showed he had the advice to produce a winning performance, but when his turn came to practice what he preached, winning turned to loosing and Jamie couldn’t seem to accurately place the blame — it clearly was not the alcohol.

In the future Mr. Foxx — take the responsibility, along with your own advice.  After all, at least your advice is coherent.

Paula Abdul (especially after Thursday night’s performance) on the other hand, may not have the same convenience.

Over the last few seasons Abdul has accrued a reputation for her inability to articulate nearly everything she attempts to say.
So if the woman can’t get her words straight, who made the determination that she could walk straight, and furthermore dance straight?

Paula Abdul stumbled around the stage Thursday night, lip-synching a version of her new song that didn’t only sound non-Paula, it sounded non-human.

So unless Jamie Foxx gave her some of the alcohol he attributed to his bad performance, Abdul’s uncomfortable number did nothing but verify that after 8 seasons of competition — the singing should be left to the contestants.


Hollywood may house celebrities, Britain may have talent, but America (by the measure of this year’s top three Adam, Danny, and Kris) has more!…as long as the professionals stay out of it.

Empty Stands Haunt Marist Athletics

By: Daniel Kopf

Marist College has had a successful school year on the athletic fields capturing four Metro Atlantic Athletic Championships as well as garnering numerous individual accolades.  For years Marist athletes have been breaking records and winning championships under a shroud of apathy from the student body.

Student attendance at sporting events has been mediocre at best.  Students are usually too lazy to attend, only to be lured to a game by the promise of free food and t-shirts. These may be a treat to the regular attendee but the real treat is being able to support our college athletes.

A familiar image at Marist College

A familiar image at Marist College

Failing to support our athletes not only shows a lack of commitment towards our peers but to the university as well.  In 2007 Marist renovated Leonidoff field, increasing the field’s seating capacity to 5,000. According to statistics compiled by the NCAA, Marist ranked 109th in Division I-FCS football last year with an average attendance of 2,527, barely filling up the stadium to half capacity.

Marist Football isn’t the only sport with below average attendance.  According to NCAA statistics 28, 571 fans showed up to the support the Men’s Basketball team this season, 81,441 less fans than arch rival Siena.  These numbers do not even account for the fact that most of the fans that fill the Mcann Center are alumni and local fans.

If there is a silver lining to the apathy that plagues this campus is that there is hope.  Once a year Marist students pack the Mcann Center for the NCAA’s Pack the House Challenge.  This year Marist became one of six schools to sell out recording over 3200 fans.

There is no reason why this cannot be a common occurrence.  If students can “pack the house” once, then why can’t they do it every week, besides If Marist students don’t fill up the stands and support our teams then who will?

Nature vs. Nurture: The Media’s Effect on Body Image

By Sara Shea


Although the media is beneficial to society, it can be detrimental to the way we perceive ourselves and those around us. Through portrayals of women in advertisements and television the media can negatively affect body image and give way to eating disorders.

An estimated 8 million Americans currently suffer from eating disorders. The “thin ideal” in American society is a driving force in body image and eating issues. The “thin ideal” is the media’s glamorized portrayal of extremely thin women. While this phenomenon primarily affects women between the ages of 18 and 25, it has also been proven to effect adolescents as well as males. A study published in the Journal of Communication found that high school girls as young as 13 are effected by the media’s portrayal of ultra-thin models and celebrities.


The ultra thin women depicted in the media are constantly subconsciously influencing Americans. Young girls are most prone to developing eating disorders as a result of repeated exposure to such images.

The ultra thin women depicted in the media are constantly subconsciously influencing Americans. Young girls are most prone to developing eating disorders as a result of repeated exposure to such images.

Children as well as adults imitate what they see in the media. From appearance to behavior, humans learn by doing. Therefore, if children grow up seeing thin women in advertisements, on television, and in film they accept this as reality and try to imitate their appearance and their actions. This is known as the cultivation theory. By seeing images over and over people absorb what they see and are influenced by messages in the media over time.


Television advertisements are a perfect example of how the media uses the cultivation theory to manipulate the public. Advertisements are repetitious; the same ad can air between television programs, before a movie, and can be printed in a magazine. If said ad depicts an attractive, thin woman, viewers are repeatedly being shown how they “should” look. This constant “thin ideal” reinforcement is largely to blame for American’s obsession with body image.

Often considered a “westernized” disease, eating disorders are rare in other parts of the world. According to pubmedcentral.nih.gov, “The prevalence of eating disorders in non-Western countries is lower than that of the Western countries but appears to be increasing.” Eating disorders are on the rise across the globe because Western customs and ideals are spreading.

As nations become more technologically advanced, certain aspects of American culture are slowly finding their way around the world. From McDonalds to rap music, American culture has a huge impact on the world. The more ultra thin women are portrayed as desirable in other cultures, the more likely it is that eating disorders will become a global problem.

The media controls what the public thinks about through agenda setting. By discussing certain topics and not others, the media sets an agenda for what the public should perceive as important. According to healthywithin.com, ads for diets and diet related products generate $50 billion in revenue each year.

If public service announcements about eating disorders were made instead of ads for diet pills, the general public would be more aware of these serious issues. Unfortunately, public service announcements are often under funded, thus why not many eating disorder related announcements have aired. However, if attention was raised, and this issue became more widely known, those suffering could benefit tremendously.

Dove’s Real Beauty Campaign is one of the only advertisements on the market that uses real women instead of models to market their products. A leader in the fight against body image problems in girls, Dove also holds various self confidence work shops around the country to encourage young girls to think positively about themselves and love their bodies no matter what size they are. Though these are steps in the right direction, one company cannot undo years of the media reinforcing the “thin ideal.”

The media is a powerful tool that is both beneficial and detrimental to society. Without advertisements and entertainment industries would fail and life as we know it would be dramatically altered. However, the media comes at a price. We live in a world where 13 year old girls are no longer playing with makeup and flirting with boys, but rather crash dieting and starving themselves. It is important to keep in mind that the media is not reality. What is depicted on television, in film, and in magazines is not necessarily real life. As a whole society should use the media, not be used by it.

Marist’s Florence Campus, FFE Program Take Flight

by Robin Miniter

In Florence, students live with history in their own backyard. Seen here is Il Duomo, Florence's central cathedral, on a rainy Easter Sunday. (photo by Robin Miniter)

In Florence, students live with history in their own backyard. Seen here is Il Duomo, Florence's central cathedral, on a rainy Easter Sunday. (photo by Robin Miniter)

Thinking of Marist, visions of the Hudson, the Rotunda, and those perfectly manicured lawns may come to mind – but what about the Arno, il Duomo, and cobbled streets? Stressing the importance on the development of global citizenship, the Marist International Program has set up a branch campus in partnership with Scuola Lorenzo de’Medici in the heart of Florence, Italy. As one of the top rated institutions in the country for the study abroad experience, Marist sees hundreds od upperclassmen off each year to destinations around the globe. Now, in competing with other top universities in the country, the fall of 2009 will bring fourth wave of freshman students to Italy through Marist’s own Florence Freshmen Experience (FFE).

Taste of Italy: Students experience local culture and cuisine at the local market. (image by Robin Miniter)

Taste of Italy: Students experience local culture and cuisine at the local market. (photo by Robin Miniter)

Though under one umbrella, both programs are unique in their offerings. As a branch campus, Marist enrolls students from all over the world to attend LdM, hailing from as far as Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, and Japan. Here, they can receive a four-year degree with a Marist seal in digital media, conservation studies, studio art, art history, fashion design, or interior design. Also at this location, the FFE program allows incoming freshmen to bypass the traditional campus experience in favor of a global one.

After receiving a letter in the mail and a phone call from the Marist International Program in the summer of 2007, current sophomore Sophie Ordway elected to give Florence a shot. “It gave me an outlook on life that I think would have been completely different had I come to Marist my freshman year,” says Ordway, “I feel much more receptive to other cultures and I would like to think I have a somewhat better understanding of people in general.”

Kate Giglio ‘07, Resident Director of the Marist-LdM program, likes the FFE program because it gives students who are already predisposed to adventure a chance to, “really take off like a rocket.”

“I mean, why not just head out into the world, ASAP?” says Giglio.

Fresh out of high school, incoming freshmen are offered to partake in the fledgling year-long program. According to Joe Associate Giacalone, Coordinator of International Recruitment at the Admission office, potential student criteria include their major, strong academic standing and demonstrated interest in a global education. The past three years have seen number participants in their teens.

Dr. Claire Keith, French professor and director of the Global Studies minor sees the program as an opportunity for students to really, “break their ‘American’ crust.”

As a full accredited university, freshmen receive full-credit transferable back to Poughkeepsie when – and if – they decide to head back to the states. The students live in apartment-style Marist housing in the city center, footsteps away from local markets and the most renowned Renaissance art and architecture in the world.

"When in Rome...": The FFE students take a day trip to Rome in the fall of 2007. (Image courtesy of Heather Staats)

"When in Rome...": The FFE students take a day trip to Rome in the fall of 2007. (photo courtesy of Heather Staats)

“I have watched students come to Florence kind of nervous, some whom have never even been outside the States, and by the time they leave in May they’ve become more confident, more adventurous, more likely to keep traveling…” says Giglio, “When we are away from our comfort zone we learn the most about ourselves and our surroundings.”

Erika Sorg, Ordway’s roommate and FFE alum, praised the program in the sense that it taught her much more than she thought she was capable of. “I gained confidence and a better understanding of myself] “she says.

Kelly Gallucci, also a sophomore back on campus, chose Marist because their International program selection was, “diverse and full of opportunity.”

“I wasn’t nervous at all when I first heard about the FFE program, it was really exciting to me,” says Gallucci, “The Marist staff took such good care of us, we had programs about culture shock and homesickness and other things that really made me felt safe while I was there.” Though she fondly remembers, “[bonding] over the silliest things – burnt french toast, lack of Italian language skills, uncertainty of how to use the washing machine,” she cites, “to see those things that I had once learned about in school, up close, was the best part of the whole experience.”

“It made me feel like I was a part of something so much bigger than me, something that transcended time – to be standing within arm’s reach of the works of Michelangelo [was incredible].”

As of press time, the decision making process for the class of 2013 continues. When asked what she for sees for Marist’s international programs down the road, Keith replied, “Well, I think the student body will vote with their feet.”


For more information, please contact Marist International Programs

All Hail the King

King James

King James

By: Kevin Traynor

He is more than a basketball player. He has transcended greatness, and ushered the NBA back into the forefront in the post-Jordan era. He has taken a pedestrian and a generally unsuccessful Cleveland Cavaliers franchise, and transformed them into a beast in the east. He is LeBron James, and we are all witnesses.

“Chosen one, huh?” uttered Stuart Scott in an ESPN commercial that featured a young James attempting to fix a copy machine at the ESPN headquarters. James has followed the mold set by Jordan: a mold that garners international recognition. LeBron is the next number 23.

This season, LeBron has entered an echelon all to himself. He steered a Cavaliers team to the best record in the NBA, home court advantage throughout the playoffs and as of today, the league’s MVP. He even entered his name into next year’s Slam Dunk Contest.

Most. Valuable. Player. This award is not given to the most outstanding player, although James arguably might be both.

Averaging 28 points, 7 boards and 7 assists per game, the league has been on notice since the opening whistle. Names like Kobe, and D-Wade were on James’ coat tails through the duration of the season, but on Monday, LeBron emerged from the pack as the league’s third youngest MVP.

The first round of the playoffs has provided the same dominance that America has grown accustom to seeing from James. His Cavaliers swept the aging Pistons in dominating fashion. During the series LeBron averaged 32 points, 11 boards and 7 assists per game.

The 6-foot-8, 250-pound forward has done something that many athletes fail to do. He has become more than a baller, and has emerged as a

King James tries law in a commercial

King James tries law in a commercial

personality. He and his teammates began a pre-game ritual this spring in which they created an air band, imaginary team photo-opp’s with a variety of poses and bowling pins with LeBron rolling in the ball. The Cavs have an unrivaled loose feel that has translated to success.

That’s the image LeBron has created. He’s entertaining both on and off the court. Have you ever seen a man that big that graceful? LeBron carving through the lane en route to the rack is a thing of a beauty.

However, don’t be mistaken, things for LeBron are not as easy as they look. After falling to the Celtics in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals last year, a game in which James’ scored a pedestrian 45 points, LeBron took a week off and headed back into the gym.

LeBron’s work ethic inspires his team’s play, and his attitude is so infectious that it has overhauled an otherwise dull NBA since Jordan. He is the answer we were all looking for. He is the next 23, and we are all witnesses.