A Way of Expression: From Offspring to Offspring

By:Daileen M. Figueroa

The race of a Puerto Rican is composed of three offsprings: African, Taino and Spanish. We all know the story of how these three mixed. In Mayaguez, there’s a group that with pride has established practices of dancing, singing and playing barrels that came from the African culture.

Zoralyz Cruz Mejias dancing "Bomba" in Plaza Colon, Mayaguez. Expressing herself and letting everything out.

One of the many students from the Colegio has joined the group is Zoralyz Cruz Mejias. She explained that this music, better known as “Bomba”, isnt for her just the most direct heritage that we have from our ancestors, but it’s part of one of our native music with the most years surviving inside the Puerto Rican culture. it is for her, a way of expression which has become an important and meaningful part of her life as it once was for the African slaves who used this type of dance as a way of dispossession from all the anger they felt from the injustices they went through.

No longer Professor Sefranek, this is the other side of Mary. A side only seen when she dances, where she embraces her love for a culture which has become part of her.

Another person that has been touched by this amazing music and culture is Mary Sefranek, who’s one of the English professors from the Colegio. In contrast to Zoralyz, Mary was born in the United States, moved to New york to finish her studies and is now teaching in Mayaguez. She doesn’t have any relatives from Puerto Rico but as she said, “there are many groups of ‘Bomba’ not only in Puerto Rico but in U.S.A. also.” For Mary, “Bomba” is a type of dance but also, a way of expression and a way of liberating all her frustrations and stress from work. It makes her feel part of Puerto Rico.

Mary got to know about this type of dance in Philadelphia and then in New York she took classes with a group called “Los Plenero de la 21.” She also took lessons in Herbor School for the Arts for six years until she came to Puerto Rico. Although she knew about “Bomba” from all the lessons she had taken in different places from the United States, it wasn’t until she came to Mayaguez that she actually left all her fears behind and fully participated as a member the School of Bomba.

Before she became a student of The School of Bomba, she was a bit inhibited, but now it depends on her mood. Sometimes she feel anger or frustration and she transmits it while dancing as well as when she’s calmed and relaxed that she also lets it show in her performance. Mary has enjoyed not only the lessons she has taken, but all the wonderful friends she has made through the process of learning. She said, “I’ve made friend in Bomba and later on seen them as students in Mayaguez.” Then she stated, “I also enjoy everytime my students see me dancing for the first time without knowing that I dance because they see a new side of me that is not portrayed inside the classroom.”

Mary at first was only a dancer but now she also sings with the group “Cimarronas”. In 2011, she found a barrel which she named “Nana Divine”. This name stands as a tribute to all the elderly women and to her grandmother who passed away in March that same year. Mary began to take percussion classes and that way opened a new stage in her training in the art of Puerto Rican Bomba.


Radio Colegial Aiming for Equity

The cast of Clóset Q is composed by (left to right) Gaddo, Cristina Rodríguez, Andrea Burgos, Christie Torres, and Alan López.

By Nicole M. Ortiz

March 21, 2012

As a positive way to begin the week, every Monday from 8pm to 9pm Clóset Q airs through Radio Colegial with the purpose of providing a safe space to talk about events that involve the LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender) community in aspects pertaining to social, cultural, and general interests. The cast composed of five members, tries to make the debates and exchange of ideas as fun as possible.

Clóset Q first aired on September 12, 2011 as an initiative by Christie Torres, and Gaddo. Its purpose is “providing a space for education on what is said to be a topic which can still be described as controversial,” Christie said. Additionally, Christie noted that it is one of the biggest goals of the radio show “to be able to give a better and positive exposure to the queer community and achieve equity.”

On this past Monday 19th, the show’s topic was The Puerto Rico Film Festival, which is celebrated in November. This film festival brings cultural opinions on how different countries view topics of homosexuality. The festival als

o depicts the cultural acceptance of the LGBT community, and the differences on how they handle similar situations.

All of the topics of Clóset Q are different, yet all involve topics on public opinion, culture, and society as a whole. The cast has always tried to make the show funny and interesting to hear. Christie said that “it is very important for the UPRM (University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez) community to hear and know about their opinions and the fact that it comes from students makes their words much more credible.”

Clóset Q wants its listeners to hear what the cast has to say, and not to feel oppressed by the conservative community. Alan López, another member of Clóset Q, said that “it would be nice to know that through the radio show someone may be identified with a topic or situation and for them to be some sort of support.”

On another note, the student Felisha Román describes how she feels about LGBT affairs and her opinions on the radio show. She says that listening to Clóset Q “has taught her allot about the LGBT community and that now she sees things with a different point of view”. Felisha made very clear that even though she does not form part of the LGBT community, she fully supports it. She is committed to learning more than what she already knows and is not afraid to discuss the topic in front of the general public.

Also, Felisha stressed that it is extremely important to talk about these topics, instead of keeping them behind closed doors. “If we don’t accept this community or the fact that they ought to share the same rights and liberties that we have, we would be imposing a strict conduct; nowadays society makes the rules,” she said. Felisha al

This is the official logo of the Radio Show Clóset Q which airs on Mondays at 8pm. The UPRM community can follow
the latest activities by accessing their facebook fan page.

so confessed that her interest and devotion comes from the difficulties and circumstances she has witnessed with her close friends which too foThis is the official logo of the Radio Show Clóset Q which airs on Mondays at 8pm. The UPRM community can follow
the latest activities by accessing their facebook fan page.
rm part of the LGBT community. She concluded by saying that she wished more people had the same involvement as she did.

By: Hazel M. Kelly

When you are a kid it is common to hear the question, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” The majority of the kids already know what they want their future goals to be, and they tend to feel a great love for a profession in particular, but as the years go by that passion they once felt ceases to exist or simply does not become a reality. This is not the case of Vanessa Rivera, a young stylist at the age of 23, who already counts with over 10 years of experience.

“Since I was a kid I knew what I wanted to be, I felt a great passion for styling and fashion”, Vanessa said. Since the age of six, she began to show her passion for styling by cutting and combing her barbie doll’s hair. Not only that, but she wanted to prove that she was a professional hair stylist, thus at the age of seven she quietly took her mom’s scissors and gave her little sister a haircut.

“I wanted to cut everyone’s hair, so one day I told my sister I wanted to cut her hair butshe wouldn’t let me.  I took a piece of bubble gum and stuck it in her hair to see if she would change her mind”, Vanessa said. Although she was constantly grounded because of her extravagant cuts on her sister’s hair, she continued nurturing her dream of becoming a professional stylist. She had faith that with the help of God someday her dream would become a reality.

At the age of 12, with a little improvised hair salon in her house, Vanessa began to comb and cut the hairs of her mother, her sisters and other family members, not knowing that this would be the beginning of something big for her. After two years of experience in her house, Vanessa began to work in a hair salon cutting men’s hair and using the hair dryer on women. As the years passed, she begins acquiring knowledge and starts studying at Emma’s Beauty Academy, a private institution that provides education on cosmetology and esthetics.

Nowadays, Vanessa counts with hundreds of satisfied customers because of her fabulous styling at the salon, “Cuts by Carlito” located in the plaza, “Centro Novios” in Mayaguez. “I love my job and I feel great satisfaction when I get the job done and the customers are in love with their new looks,” Vanessa said. Attending courses, seminars, beauty fairs and studying magazines such as Ego and Sophisticate’s Hairstyle Guidenot to mention the years of experience, is all the help she had to become the professional stylist of today.

This is Vanessa Rivera. “Beauty is like health, you have to take care of it! There is nothing better than looking and feeling good about yourself, as long as you see yourself beautiful everybody will see you beautiful”, said Vanessa.

For some people, their hair style defines who they are, this is the case of one of Vanessa’s customers, Jenny Lee Kelly. She said: “I love going to Vanessa, knowing that I will walk out completely different than when I walked in. It is important to change styles, feel different and prettier. I feel like a completely different person when I go through her hands.”

In her beauty salon, Vanessa counts with an infinite number of hair dyes, products, treatments and professional tools of excellency that gets the jobs done. Some of the services Vanessa offers are: hair coloring, strands, highlights, lowlights, haircuts for men and women, keratin, smoothening treatments and hair drying. Vanessa is also recognized for her amazing image changing styles.

For the benefit of those interested in changing their image, Vanessa counts with a picture gallery of some of her amazing works on her Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=699920095.  This talented young woman is a fine example of when we want something in our lives, we can achieve it. What seemed to be a dream for her, nowadays is her reality. “Everything is possible if you have faith,” Vanessa said.

These are some of the image changes made by Vanessa Rivera. “There is no better satisfaction than seeing a smile on a satisfied customer”, said Vanessa.

5 Days with our Earth: Close look at the event.

By: Karimar Rodriguez

Every year the Department of Agricultural Sciences host the event 5 Days with our Earth, this year the fair was held from March 13 to 17, 2012 at the Coliseum Roberto Mangual at the University of Puerto Rico Mayaguez Campus (Rum). The Agricultural Fair starts off with the parade Tuesday at 10:30am-11:50pm. In the parade participate the different members of the faculty, the students who will be working at the fair, some people that will be presenting at the fair and they are all lead by the Universities flagged team and the band. After the parade is over everybody goes back to their respectful tent where they will be working.

Aside from the different educational forums giving at the fair it’s also gives people the opportunity to buy handmade crafts, plants of all different varieties from flowers to vegetables to fruits and even bonsais and a selection of small farm animals likes chicks, ducklings, bunnies and guinea pigs. As people continue from tent to tent they can encounter also where the farm animals display is where the can see and learn about horses, cows, bulls and somewhat smaller farm animals like  sheep, goats and of the poultry variety there are chickens, roster and turkeys. Also for the little ones and some young adults there is a petting area of baby goats. And finally the fair ends with the row of food stands that have different typical foods.

The fair during the night also offers different entertainment at which each night has a different name. First they start of with the Night of Opening, followed by Students Night, Collegiate Night, Tropical Night and finally ending with Mayaguezana Night. Performances during these night varieties from guitar troubadours like Bosa Trova, Cuerdas Sin Ley and also competitions of troubadours and Latin Rock like La Vitrola and Viva Nativa.

This event offers all that and more a nice ambient to escape to from the rush of the University, but the main reason for the event is to promote environmental awareness as well as to promote the disclosure and instruction about agricultural education. This event first started in 1977 when a group of students and professors from Agricultural Sciences wanted to promote the importance of their field of study. They had the objective to demonstrate to the general public the advances and benefits that agricultural bought. This vision was then later inherited to the students of the Faculty of Agricultural Sciences of the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus.

The main objectives of the fair are to promote leadership to the students of the faculty and relate them their professional environment that they will be working at. Also to develop the students capacity to interact with professionals of the field, public and private entities, other students and the general public. To promote team projects in planning, search for resources and administration. Finally to stimulate in the students fellowship and honor for their way of work through team projects and set goals.

This fair promises to have something for everyone no matter what age. Teaches people about the different ways agricultural is evolving and how it betters the planet.

SHPE Enriching Hispanics Lives

The commitment of their E-Board is for the enrichment of their members, but as well for the growing of their professional life.

Luis Javier Sevillano
March 27, 2012
SHPE Enriching Hispanics Lives
The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers also known as SHPE is a national organization of professional engineers whose purpose is to serve as role models in the Hispanic community. It was found in Los Angeles, California, in 1974 by a group of engineers.
The concept that moved them was “networking” which became the key basis for the organization. SHPE enjoys a strong but independent network of professional and student chapters throughout the nation. SHPE has grown from the making of only two chapters in California, to having to divide the United States into 7 regions, so that there could be representation from all the states. Additionally SHPE has three types of chapters, undergraduate, graduate, and professional.
Here on our campus the SHPE-UPRM student chapter was founded 16 years ago, by a student who had previously joined a SHPE chapter while participating in a exchange program in the United States. With hard work, enthusiasm, dedication and passion, this chapter provided a series of opportunities that the national chapter had to offer and help develop the potential we have as minorities to impact the workforce as Hispanic minorities. Fourteen years later, SHPE-UPRM has become the largest and one of most active chapters in Region IV.
Today the initiative and commitment of the members and their understanding of the benefits that their chapter brings are major components of the development and success SHPE-UPRM. Throughout the years their Executive board has been re-organized to meet the demanding needs of this chapter, and to improve their professionalism, leadership and teamwork dynamics. One of the people who has been part of this board for the last 4 years is Manuel Echevaria, who has occupied the positions of Community Outreach Activities Coordinator, External VP, President and this year represents Region IV in SHPE National, as regional Students Representative (RSR). Manuel has been part of the process of providing members with the opportunity to grow professionally and gain the preparation needed to excel in an internship/coop, classes, and/ or their future careers and experiences.
Manuel says that he joined the association because of his strong belief in SHPE’s main principle of “promoting the participation of Hispanics in Engineering and Science fields”. For this reason UPRM’s chapter members include students within all of the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) fields and they develop activities that not only amaze the members but the general community as well. Needless to say for the past five years this chapter’s impact on the university has grown exponentially.
Since 2005, SHPE-UPRM started creating a variety of programs to motivate and guide its members, and many of these former members are still active in this programs to date. A few of this programs which Manuel has been part of for the last five years are: the Big Brother Program (BBP), a freshmen mentoring program established to develop the professional, academic, leadership, and social skills; SHPE Jr. Chapter, a community outreach program which provides activities that develop the leadership skills of high school students while, at the same time, encouraging them to pursue a STEM related field (which Manuel was part of, since one of this chapters was on his high school CROEM); and finally, The Community Adoption Program (CAP), also known today as Community Outreach Program, that he occupied this position in 2009, where SHPE-UPRM started impacting different communities, in need, all over Mayaguez.
Over the years SHPE-UPRM has been recognized nationally. Their chapter received the Blue Chip Award, the Community Outreach Award and the Most Improved Chapter, for the hard work done throughout the years. This past year, this chapter was recognized for being the Most Outstanding Chapter of Region IV in the SHPE Conference 2011, with the participation of 80 members; and also received the President Award for being Largest Chapter of Region IV in the RLDC IV. With each year this chapter creates history by leaving the ordinary behind and following our chapter values of Integrity, Commitment, Leadership, Professionalism and Passion.

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Soap-making as an art: Local artisans present at “Cinco Dias con Nuestra Tierra”

By: Edna I. Cruz Reyes

March 27, 2012

Mariela Robles' artisan booth sells a variety of natural soaps and hand creams. Her small enterprise, Sofimar, caters to a variety of clients from tourists to locals.

Reminiscent of a bazaar, the local fair was filled with booths featuring local products, ranging from produce and candy to artistic creations done by artisans. The big tents were filled with people who gathered around these booths to appreciate the work these artisans had done. The air was filled with the succulent smell of food from nearby carts, mixed with the aroma of natural candles and soaps from different vendors.

During the week of March 13 to 17, the grounds beside the Mangual Coliseum at the University of Puerto Rico – Mayagüez Campus (UPRM) were transformed into the annual fair “Cinco Dias con Nuestra Tierra” (Spanish for “Five Days with Our Land”).The fair offers the opportunity for local vendors and artisans to sell their products. Among these artisans were many local soap-makers who had the opportunity to present and sell their natural products.

Mariela Robles, a local crafter of natural soaps and owner of Sofimar, expressed enthusiasm as clients smelled her variety of soaps and asked questions about the benefits they provided. She explained, “My soaps are completely hand-made and have moisturizing properties for the skin.”

When asked if people supported the local artisan market, she answered, “Indeed! Local consumers buy my products, but I receive a greater support from the tourists who are very eager to buy local products.”

Soap-making is considered an art by itself. Creating soap from scratch is no easy task, since it consists of using the science of chemistry to create it. The basic process of soap making consists of combining an acid (oils) with an alkali (sodium hydroxide). This process is known as saponification.

The process of soap-making (upper picture) requires the use of carefully measured ingredients to produce an excellent quality batch of soap. The final result (lower picture) is sold not only as a natural product, but also as an artistic creation. Pictures by: Angelina (upper) and Kathy Miller (lower).

It may seem an easy process, but these oils have to be measured in weight, and the quantity of sodium hydroxide or lye is established according to the quantity of oil and the saponification value of each. These values are standard for each different type of oil, and they can be found in any soap-making book or online database.

After completing the saponification process, the artisan adds color, essential oils or any additive, such as honey or oatmeal, to the mixture. The soap mix is then placed in molds; these can be made of wood or heat-resistant plastic. The molded mix has to be covered and placed at room temperature in a dry place for a minimum of 24 hours.

When the mix has settled in the mold for over a day, it should be removed and cut into approximately one-inch bars. These bars are left to dry at room temperature in a cool and dry place that contains no humidity. They should be left drying for approximately 4 weeks, so the bar can harden properly, and no traces of humidity is left in them.

Soap making can be viewed as a chemistry class by itself. In fact, an organic chemistry laboratory experiment at the UPRM consists of making soap as part of the class curriculum.

Another local artisan that was selling natural soaps at the fair, among other natural products, was Alexis Sotomayor. He is a Chemical Engineering graduate from UPRM, and has been in the soap making business for over 10 years.

Alexis Sotomayor, the owner of Caribbean Soaps, attends the fair every year to sell his products. A UPRM graduate, he used his knowledge as a chemical engineer to create his own business, which has been successful.

As he expressed: “I have been in this business for over ten years. I started out in my garage and eventually managed to find a permanent locale for my business.”

Alexis does not limit his craft to soaps making, he also makes hand creams, ointments, and massage candles, among many other natural products. In fact, he was awarded by the local magazine Natural Awakenings the Local Product of the Year Award in 2011.

Caribbean Soaps, Alexis’ business, has the web page http://www.CaribbeanSoaps.com, where their products can be ordered online. Also, his store can be visited at 1655 Paraná Street in Paradise Hills, San Juan; the phone number is (787) 754-4561.

As for Sofimar, Mariela’s business, has a permanent booth in the Barceloneta Outlets. Or she can be contacted at her phone number (787) 444-4197, where mail orders can be made.

Whenever you wish to pamper yourself and indulge in the gifts of nature, go visit a local artisan, or experiment on the wonderful craft of soap-making.

The True Meaning of Hacker

By: Cristian N. Ramos Ramos

Since late January, you may have heard of countless cyber attacks made by so-called hackers. If not, now you do. News like the recording of a call made by the Federal Bureau of Investigation intercepted by a hacker, or the distributed denial of service against federal agencies like the FBI, and Department of Justice, are giving a message to the public. A hacker means damage in exchange for self-benefit or protests.

The beginning of the word hacker dates to the 1960s, from the Tech Model Railroad Club of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The club members began getting their hands on phones. Then, they moved on to the mainframe computers of the laboratories. There a new world opened to these curious students, giving them the power to create art.

What is a hacker? A hacker is the individual who is eager to learn how the world around him or her works; getting their hands on anything, looking and finding new and unexpected uses that were never intended. A hacker loves to discover new possibilities on every object possible. Examples of those objects are phones, computers, basic electronic equipment, and even mechanical objects.

In an interview with the hacker Jonathan, he points out that a computer hacker is someone who knows everything about the computers. For example, knowing how to use the command prompt system in the Windows operating system is a must for the hacker. Otherwise, the hacker could not hack. His definition of a hacker is quite simple: “The hacker looks for a weakness in computer systems, analyzes it, and exploits it”. The purpose of the hack is something at the discretion of the hacker.

In the British program The Media Show, separate interviews were made to Mitch Altman and Emmanuel Goldstein. These two are hackers. In the interview with Emmanuel, he explains that a hacker is a person that has doubts, and due to them, does experiments in order to find an answer. The hacker would question rules as they see no sense in them. Also, he or she does wants to share information found to be hidden by governments. Behind those actions might be the motives of a hacker, which are to make people think for themselves, challenge authority, and demand for their freedom of expression and being  well informed.

On the other hand, Mitch says that for him a hacker is “someone who does what they do because they love it.” The hacker is an enthusiast eager to learn and improve on what he or she is doing, then share it with the world. Although the computer is related to it, according to Mitch it is not the only thing that can be hacked. He says hacking may involve photography, food, sewing, music, and much more. Is the act of people doing things how they want for the life they want to live, just like he does. However, he gives credit to the news media for giving a bad fame to the word hacker. Mitch pointed out that the “hackers” appearing in news as just criminals using computers.

The mass media is the one responsible for the fact that the word hacker is mostly associated with cyber-crime. The reason for this is the focus the media gives to news about people gaining unauthorized access to computer networks, doing actions that only benefit themselves, or only for having fun, they cause damage. Those people are called crackers, people who break into computer servers and databases, among others, in order to gain access to sensitive data.

Individuals that break into computers and evade their security systems cannot be called hackers. Instead, they are just simple criminals. Their actions are similar to going to a bank and demanding money from the cashiers. Many of these crackers’ behavior cost thousands of dollars in loss to enterprises around the world. Though their motives sometimes could be justified, that does not give them the right to cause damage. Recent crackers, going by the name of Anonymous, have broken into several companies, among them Sony Network. Another case is the backup made by a member of Anonymous of employees emails from the security firm HBGary.

Those actions of the crackers, plus the categorization of the media of these individuals as hackers, are causing problems for the real and true hackers. This is because of the differences in the nature and motives of both groups, though both could be using similar methods. True hackers could deliver, and are delivering new information and ways of solving daily life problems. Plus, there is art in what they do, similar to pictures created by artists. Anyone can be a hacker, doing hacking because they love it or using it to make money legally, as long as they find a way for improving solutions for daily life problems through hack.

“Are hackers a threat? The degree of threat presented by any conduct, whether legal or illegal, depends on the actions and intent of the individual and the harm they cause.” -Kevin Mitnick

Water: Profit or Resource?

Veronica M. Rios

April 13, 2012

Color & Historical Feature

As you enter Stefani 207, you would usually find a lot of students taking a regular class. On March 20, 2012 there was a different feel in the room, there was barely anyone there to attend an event provided by the UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) team of the UPRM (University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez) in which they showed a documentary called : “Blue Gold: World Water Wars”.

“Thousand of kids die daily because they don’t have clean water. With as little as $1 from the donations you make today, UNICEF provides clean water to 40 kids” said Sandra Pol, professor and director for the UNICEF team at UPRM. “Blue Gold: World Water Wars”, talks about the importance of water in our lives and how people have little awareness of what could happen if we keep misusing this resource. “People think they can do what they want with water as long as they don’t harm its use but then these people come back looking for it realizing we need it to survive” says Jim Olson, an environmental attorney and speaker in the documentary.

The documentary presents various reasons for the water crisis, not only how the water resources are being polluted daily by human beings but also, how they are being abused by companies that sell it for profits. The documentary demonstrates how people are making a business out of water, for example in Puerto Rico they sell a water bottle for about $1when the real value is only about 5 cents, this happens too in other countries. In the documentary, companies such as Veolia and Suez, world Leader Companies in water resources, are reported as the ones that now have major control of this resource and make and estimated revenue of 20 billion euros a year by doing this. These companies, both from France, operate in around 60 countries around the world managing these countries water resources, Puerto Rico being one of these countries.

One student from the small group of people that attended this event, Kharlos Pacheco said: “This documentary is a real eye opener. Most people think, myself included, that the most coveted natural resource is petroleum or natural gas but in fact its water. Eventually water will be only accessible to the rich and it will stop being a natural resource that everyone can enjoy.”

As explained in the documentary, the earth is composed of 97% salt water and the other remaining 3% is fresh water, and that 3% going to waste. These big companies not only own a huge part of the water resources but they are also making the countries lose the limited resources of water they have by wanting to export products or make products in other countries instead of producing them on their own. An example in the documentary explains how in the United States, they export their water to China so they can make their products because it’s cheaper and they have fewer production laws, yet they send these products back to America leaving China with no water resources.

Over the years many activists as well as organizations have fought for awareness of these problems as well as tried to provide solutions to solve them. In the documentary Blue Gold, a notable case of a Korean farmer and activist named Lee Kyung Hae is featured, who opposed neo-liberal globalization. Lee stabbed himself while standing on top of a police barricade at a protest in Cancun, Mexico trying to win a fight against these companies who destroy these resources and make people lose their jobs as well.

Other than activist and organizations, there are other approaches like the designation of March 22 as the World Water Day, as declared by the United Nations General Assembly from 1993 onwards. This year’s Water Day focuses on water and food security problems, in an attempt to call attention on water related challenges faced by society. “This documentary definitely hit the mark. It’s very good and shows exactly how much we can do, yet how little we are doing” Sandra Pol concluded.





Air Force Game Night: There is Also Fun

By: Cristian N. Ramos Ramos

On Thursday just before Holy Week, the Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps’ (AFROTC) cadets had a fun night. Together, the cadets enjoyed the night while relieving stress of the week, and preparing for the break of a week without classes. It was an opportunity to share more with the other cadets.

With this, these future leaders show that not everything is work to achieve their goals. A rest is great once in a while. In those moments, the cadets learn to value their friends and the time with them.

Between tight schedules of Physical Training, Leadership Laboratories, and classes, this was the second time the cadets organized a game night for this semester. It is healthy for the cadets who could be facing hard days during their studies and career.

The activity scheduled to begin at 6:30p.m., was delayed and started between 6:45 and 7p.m.. Cadets not arriving at the scheduled hour was the cause of the delay. Also, there was no game consoles or table games in the room when the event started.

While waiting for the games’ owners, Fidel Avilés, Johnny López, Ramón Paredes, and Edgardo Rodríguez, the organizer of the event, were having a conversation enjoyably. Inside room 104, Christabel Muñoz along with other female cadets were also enjoying a conversation. A comfortable feature of the game night activity was not only cadets could assist, but their friends were invited as well.

However, as soon as the games arrived, the fun started. Available games were PlayStation 3 games, domino, poker (though there was no betting involved, just playing for fun), and card game “brisca”. Games for the PlayStation 3 were Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, NBA 2K12, and EA FIFA Soccer game.

In total, there were three PlayStation 3 consoles, each playing one of the previous games. Thanks to Richard Reyes, up to four players could play NBA 2K12, while Johnny López’s CoD allowed up to two players to play, exchanging turns for the one player gaming.

Among the first rounds played in NBA 2K12, the basketball game, Richard played against Cristian Ramos. With that being the first time playing the game, Cristian got defeated by Richard. However, it seems that the first timer improved his skills.

To add delight to the fun, a sale of snacks was also organized for the people playing in room 104. Among the snacks, there were cupcakes of chocolate, Frito-Lay snacks, Chips Ahoy cookies, and some various kind of candies. Thanks to the sale, some funds were collected to use for future AFROTC activities.

With this activity, it is seen that not everything is work hard in the AFROTC. Fun and sharing with others is another strength for the cadets. It helps to tighten a special bond between them, which is beneficial for teamwork.

Intellectual Paradise

Javish Rodriguez Rivera

March 21, 2012

Historical and Travel

100 miles away from San Juan, there is a place that many people know by many names. The place was established by a collaborative work of three people, Jose de Diego, Carmelo Alemar and D.W. May. It is also known as being a place of cultural exchange and by creating new life changing experiences.

In 1899, the city of Fajardo gave the offer of 15,000 dollars to the Insular Board of Public Instruction to establish the Normal School. In 1900, Samuel McCune Lindsay commissioner of public instruction said “(…) such an institution would contribute largely to making the Island better known (…)”. The Normal School opened in August 15, 1899.

The Normal School was closed two years later because of its low enrollment of students.  People said that the Normal School was located too far and the transportation to get to the school was almost nonexistent, since most residents lived in San Juan. These caused them to move the Normal School to the city of Rio Piedras in 1901 and it was provisionally located in the old Convalescence House of the Spanish governor.

In March 12, 1903, the Law 20 “A Bill to Establish the University of Porto Rico” was approved by government of the Unites States of America. Section 2 of the law stated, “That the University thus established shall provide the inhabitants of Porto Rico as soon as possible with the means of acquiring a thorough knowledge of the various branches of literature, science, and useful arts, including agriculture and mechanical trades and with professional and technical courses in medicine, law, engineering, pharmacy and the science and art of teaching.”  By 1911 the University of Porto Rico consisted of three academic units, located in Rio Piedras, the Normal School, the Department of Agriculture and the Department of Liberal Arts.

In 1908, the Board of Trustees cancelled the courses of agriculture because of the low enrollment of students. The Department of Agriculture dedicated its full time to work on the farm, which was a laboratory to the students for demonstrating how a successful farm could be worked. After that, they hoped to create an academic program that attracted new students.

In 1909-1910, the university reopened the courses in agriculture, established a milking industry laboratory and started an experimental program of sowing. That same year, 1910, the Insular Legislature bought a land of 100 acres in the city of Mayaguez to move the Department of Agriculture. By 1911, the students of the department are moved to Mayaguez, now called College of Agriculture, and in 1912, the university changed the name to the College of Agriculture and Mechanical Arts.

Nowadays the institution is known as the University of Puerto Rico at Mayaguez, more commonly called as “Colegio” (College) or referred to as Mayaguez. The campus after 100 years has left behind its small college structure and has become a big university campus with more than 11,000 enrolled students throughout its four academic units. The academic units consist of Agriculture (1911), Engineering (1942), Art and Science (1959) and Business Administration (1970).

The campus offers a variety of events besides the academic formation. Each week, on the website of the campus, all the events are posted. It offers from seminars, workshops and symposiums to kayaks on different cities, movie nights, fair of different themes, cycling on different cities, talent show, sports, competition and more.

Students, faculty and non-faculty members agree that the campus is the best campus in engineering and science of the University of Puerto Rico (UPR). They also agree that their experience in the university has been life changing., a fourth year student, Phillip Ongay  said, “This campus has given me the experience of having an independent life, giving me the opportunity to grow as an adult.”

Dr. Jose Arroyo a faculty member affirms, “The best thing that this campus offers is its culture and human development, achieved by the interaction of the university community.” Antonia Carrero a non-faculty member shared, “My best experience is to have students come to my office and to help them achieve their personal and academic goals.”

The Luis de Celis Hall inaugurated in 1937. Originally it was home to the Department of Agriculture and Biology

The Luis Monzon Hall inaugurated in 1939. It originally was home of the Department of Engineering.

The Fountain of the Eternal Alumni represents a tree that is made up of students who dedicated full time to the development of the campus that are roots and branches of the campus. In the background the tower of the campus in the Jose de Diego Building


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