There are many different ways to occupy your time during a snow day

Michael Rooney
Staff Writer

Wow! It is hard to believe that at this time last year, there was more snow on the ground than anyone knew what to do with. This winter, we have seen a couple of snowstorms that led to snow days, but as the snow has quickly melted, we are now seeing some better weather.

Even though we have not seen as much snow this winter compared to last year, there are still about three and a half weeks left until Spring finally arrives, which means the possibility another snowstorm in the near future is not out of the question.

While it would be nice to get another day or two off, some people may end up with so much down time that they are extremely bored. However, whether you commute or live on campus, there are many ways that you can take full advan-tage of your snow days, stay safe and help your community through the storm.

If you have to travel (whether by car or on foot), it is important to remember that there is no rush. Along with snow, there could also be black ice on the ground that can cause an accident and/or a serious injury, so it is a good idea to travel slowly. It is also best to dress in as many layers as possible to avoid frostbite.

Many students know the feeling of homework no longer being due on an original due date be-cause of a cancelled class. However, if you are caught up with your homework, a day off would be a perfect opportunity to go ahead of a class syllabus, if possible. It is also a great chance to study longer and try to fully grasp the concepts being taught in a class.

If you live at home, snow days give you the time to give back to your neighborhood. Instead of shoveling at just your own home, it would be a generous idea to help shovel at your neighbor’s homes, especially for any elderly or disabled neighbors.

For those that live on campus, there are other ways of helping your fellow residents in your hall. Since the dining hall hours would be limited and food delivery places may not be operating, it would be difficult for some residents to find a way to eat. If you have any extra food in your room, you could offer it to those in need.

Further, some people still have to work on campus on snow days, so not everyone has the day off. Without some employees, the snow day would probably be dreadful. Therefore, if you are on campus, you could take a moment to thank a residence hall maintainer, an employee of Sodexo, a BSUPD officer, and anyone who had to commute in the snow to report for duty because you could make someone’s day.

Of course, you may also want to gather a few friends and participate in winter activities before the snow eventually melts. For examples, you could go sledding down the hill in front of Shea/Durgin, have a snowball fight or build a snowman.

So, in the event that there ends up being an-other snow day in the next few weeks, you can easily make it a more eventful day. In the meantime, keep patiently waiting for warmer temperatures, blooming flowers and a day to wear shorts outside because Spring will be here before we know it.

Michael Rooney is a Staff Writer for The Comment Newspaper.

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Undergraduate Literature Conference Accepting Submissions

Kevin Burke
Content Editor

On Friday, April 22, Bridgewater State University will participate in the 10th Annual Undergraduate Literature Conference at the UMass Boston Campus Center.

The conference will feature a series of panels with students from UMass Boston, Stonehill College, and Bridgewater State University all participating and presenting their work.

Co-President of the English Society BSU, Sarah Bruns, showed her enthusiasm for the yearly event, saying, “This conference is a great opportunity to expand the borders of our intellectual community beyond the classroom and exchange ideas in a public and collegial fashion.”

All BSU students are encouraged to send in a piece of writing for consideration, as Bridgewater State University hopes to receive many submissions this year.

Bruns explains, “If you are interested, please submit a rough draft, along with a 250-300 word abstract (a title and description of your proposed paper’s topic and argument) via email by Wednesday, March 16th to the Bridgewater State English Society (englishsocietybsu@gmail. com).”

She continues, “Creative writing submissions should be the actual work you wish to present (2-3 poems/one short story no longer than 8-10 pages), and we will be in touch about the results of the selection process around the end of March.”

Co-Vice President of the English Society at BSU, Amelia Fuss, showed excitement about the event, saying, “I didn’t attend the event last year, but after hearing about how well it went, I am really looking forward to it this year.”

With only a few weeks left to submit, BSU students should try to get their submissions in as soon as possible so they will be able to participate in this year’s great event.

“I strongly believe that BSU English majors are some of the smartest people on campus,” said Bruns. “I can’t wait to see what wonders they do at this year’s conference.”

Any other questions can be directed to Sarah Bruns (sbruns@student. bridgew.edu), Brianna Hynes (bhynes@student.bridgew.edu), or Dr. Ellen Scheible (Ellen.Scheible@bridgew.edu).

Kevin Burke is the Content Editor of The Comment. Follow him on Twitter @ ke7inburke.

Pending approval, meal plan changes coming soon

Kevin Burke
Content Editor

New meal plans may be coming to Bridgewater State University sooner than we think.

On February 29, the Board of Trustees will take a vote on whether new meal plans, which benefit students by giving more dining dollars in exchange for meal swipes, will go into effect.

The new meal plans, created by SGA and recently approved by Sodexo, were carefully crafted after studying the issue for over a year.

According to SGA President Anthony Hebert, the SGA began polling the student body in the spring of 2015, and found that meal plan options were often a big issue for many.

“We asked them how they felt about the amount of dining dollars and meal swipes they are receiving and the response from the majority of those polled was they would like more dining dollars,” said Hebert.

The SGA also reviewed the meal plan utilization rates from the past several years to see how many dining dollars and meal swipes were going unused by the student body.

Therefore, based on SGA’s polling as well as meal plan utilization rates, Hebert, along with other members of SGA, designed the followed changes to the meal plans

Numbers in bold are what the new meal plan options would potentially look like:

Gold Plan:

Meal Swipes: 210 → 190

Dining Dollars: 210 → 370

Silver Plan:

Meal Swipes: 75 → 75

Dining Dollars: 500 → 550

Platinum Plan:

Meal Swipes: 150 → 140

Dining Dollars: 700 → 780 

If the Board of Trustees approves the new meal plan proposals, the changes will go into effect for the Fall semester, 2016.

Hebert spoke confidently of the SGA’s proposal however, and spoke highly of the organization’s drive to get this done, saying, “The SGA put a tremendous amount of effort into coming up with these changes to the meal plan options, and believe that the student body will benefit a great deal from the alternations that will be made.”

Kevin Burke is the Content Editor of The Comment. Follow him on Twitter @ke7inburke.

An update on the 2016 election

Crystal Gonzalez
Staff Writer

The 2016 presidential election is still more than eight months away, but that doesn’t mean the excitement and controversy have disappeared.

A few candidates have emerged as frontrunners in the election, while others are ending their campaigns with each primary that occurs. Prior to the South Carolina primary, major candidates included Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, and Republicans Donald Trump, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, and Jeb Bush. Let’s catch up quickly.

The most recent political event was Nevada primary, which was won by Trump. Trump had 45.9% of the vote, followed by Marco Rubio with 23.9%

Trump is currently leading overall as well. Following the Nevada primary, Trump had 81 delegates of the 1,237 needed to win the Republican nomination. His closest opponent, Cruz, has 17 delegates.

Following low numbers in the South Carolina primary, Bush dropped out of the race for president.

The Democratic primary in South Carolina was held on Feb. 24, but results were not available. Only hours before polls closed in the southern state, Clinton was leading in national polls.

Clinton recently won the Nevada Democratic primary, and is leading overall. She has 503 out of 2,383 delegates needed to win the nomination.

Sanders trails Clinton with 70 delegates.

Brian Frederick, associate professor and chairman of the political science department, does not believe this is the most important election in American history.

Instead, he said that all elections are important.

Dr. Frederick also said that losing the Massachusetts voting could have an impact on any candidate. The Massachusetts primary takes place on March 1, typically known as Super Tuesday. Many states primaries are held that day, including Massachusetts.

Frederick said that Clinton’s email controversy could hurt her campaign.

When ask if people side with Trump, not because of his politics but because of the controversial things he said, Frederick said that people’s fear and trust regarding Trump could impact his election results.

Frederick said that, of all the candidates, Cruz has the best chance for winning the nomination against Trump, the current leader.

Crystal Gonzalez is a Comment staff writer.

Connections between area high school journalism programs, college

Rachel Meaney
Staff Writer

As a freshman here at Bridgewater State University, I wondered how the clubs and activities I had participated in at my high school, Bridgewater Raynham Regional High School (BR for short), were doing. Since I had just joined the campus newspaper, I decided to look into BR’s newspaper club to ask some questions about how they promote the art of journalism and other inquiries about the club itself. My interview was with Mrs. Barbara Murdoch, one of the faculty advisors of the newspaper club via email.

Q: How long has the newspaper club at BR been around?

A: The club has been around for 5 years.

Q: How many members for the club do you have a year?

A: We have between 10 to 15 members.

Q: Why do you think so many students are interested in journalism and the newspaper?

A: Most of the members enjoy writing and are interested in what is happening in the building–events, clubs, etc.

Q: How do you and the other faculty promote the newspaper club and journalism?

A: Due to our Friday Newspa-per Page, many faculty members utilize the club to promote their activities.

Q: Why do you think that in today’s society that learning about journalism can be important and helpful to students?

A: Unfortunately, due to the internet, the newspaper industry is suffering so this club encourages the students to pick up the newspaper and read it.

Q: How do you think other schools around the country can promote the importance of journalism and newspaper?

A: By forming partnerships with the local newspaper.

Q: Did you participate in any high school journalism or newspaper writing course when you were in school? If so, did your interest also carry into your activities at college? How did you become interested in journalism?

A: I did not participate but have always loved to write.

Q: What is your favorite part about advising the newspaper club at the high school?

A: Working with the students and seeing the finished product at the end of the week.

Q: How did you start your partnership with the Brockton Enterprise for the BR Newspaper page begin?

A: Actually, the editor of the paper lives in town and we know him–my husband worked at the Enterprise for many years. We ran into him in town one day, started talking about the fact that I am one of the club advisors and he offered us the opportunity to have the weekly page.

Q: Lastly, what classes do you offer to students that promote journalism and the importance of the written word?

A: We offer a journalism class as well as AP English Composi-tion.

As a member of BSU’s news-paper, The Comment, I am glad to hear that BR’s newspaper club is alive and well, so that the love of journalism can continue into future generations. I know last year as a member I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of that club, and that was my inspiration for joining The Comment, so that I could continue my interest in journalism and media.

Rachel Meaney is a Comment staff writer.