Sacred Heart University Holds Fresh Check Day

By Brendan Capuano

Staff Reporter

As finals week quickly approaches at colleges across the country, 27 graduate students in the Sacred Heart University physician’s assistant program have taken proactive measures to educate students about the importance of mental health at this stressful time of year.

“College students and people that were, or are currently in the military are at highest risk for taking their own lives, and it’s still a topic that is very much not discussed in mainstream, we get to people too late far too often. Our eyes aren’t open, our antennas aren’t out the way it needs to be,” said Dr. Dale Atkins.

At Atkins is a psychologist, author, motivational speaker, and frequent commentator on NBC’s Today Show and CNN’s Headline News programs on the topic of mental health and suicide.

Fresh Check Day is a national program run by the Jordan Porco Foundation to educate students about mental health awareness, as well as destress in the week leading up to finals.

“The Jordan Porco Foundation was founded in 2011 by Ernie and Marisa Porco after they lost their son, Jordan, to suicide when he was a freshman in college,” said the Jordan Porco Foundation (JPF) website.

The website also said that the Foundation is committed to preventing suicide in high school and colleges through awareness, education, and by challenging the stigmas around mental health.

Various booths were set up across the 63’s patio and were sponsored by various clubs and organizations.

The Wellness Center, Public Safety, the office of Campus Ministry, s.w.e.e.t. Peer Educators, therapy dogs, 100 Reasons to Live, and a rock wall sponsored by the Rise Up campaign against sexual assault, and more had a presence at the event.

Clinical Assistant Professor in the Health Science department, Dr. Deborah List, was instrumental in bringing this event to campus for its fifth year. “Certainty we need this event on campus to emphasize the importance of mental health awareness,” said List.

According to the JPF website one in ten college students contemplates suicide.

“That means nine out of ten students have an opportunity to help each one who is struggling,” said the JPF website.

“Nine out of Ten” is a program run by the JPF to give students the resources to identify a person in need of help. The nine out of ten website says that suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students

“Nine out of Ten” also sites the signs of someone at risk of committing suicide are isolation, trouble in school, change in mood/behavior, seeming depressed or anxious, risk-taking/recklessness/self-harm, taking about suicide, eating and sleeping issues, experiencing trauma, and giving away possessions.

“I was very honored to be asked to be here,” said Atkins “Something like this is a wonderful, fun, open, inclusive way of addressing the many different ways people can become aware of taking care of their own mental, physical, spiritual, and emotional health.”

“Fresh Check Day is a great way to take the pulse of our students while they’re out having fun. Our students’ mental health needs are every bit as important as their physical and educational needs, ” said President John J. Petillo on the Fresh Check Day website. “There’s no room for stigma when it comes to the well-being of our students.”

 

Robert Paulson Inspires Others to Find Their Voice

By Peter McCue

Staff Reporter

On Wednesday, April 19 in the University Commons, Sacred Heart University welcomed Robert Paulson as part of the Human Journey Colloquia Series.

During the “Finding a Voice” colloquium, Paulson introduced his memoir, “Not in Kansas Anymore.”

Paulson has Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. According to the ALS Association, ALS is a nervous system disease that weakens muscles and impacts physical function.

“He achieved the pinnacle of success as a patent attorney and he continues to work, which is fascinating. ALS has affected Robert’s body in the worst of ways, but it did not affect his brain,”  said Catholic Studies and English Professor Cara Kilgallen. “I think this speaks to the strength of the human spirit and his ability to continue to tell his story.”

Kilgallen has known the Paulson family for about 10 years, so she helped organize the event. She was amazed at everything Paulson has achieved in his career having ALS.

During his speech, Paulson said that he was able to write his memoir by using an eye-tracking computer system—which is what he used to communicate with the audience. By using this technology, he is able to access his emails, the internet, stock market portfolios and writing.

“The event was very inspiring and moving and I enjoyed that the Paulson family is looking at the positives rather than giving up. The technology that Robert is using is definitely keeping him alive, besides his strong will,” said junior James Parker. “This is a story that should be repeated and spread.”

Paulson has had ALS for about 21 years and has had many accomplishments during that time. He has been able to keep his position as a patent attorney in New York City, published his memoir, and helped his niece start a business, called Lash Control.

“Robert is an incredibly motivational man who blew me away because of his courage and will to fight ALS,” said junior Patrick Robinson. “The fact that the man has written a book, works as a lawyer, and lives his life under the circumstances was inspiring.”

Paulson’s speech left many audience members inspired with a sense of purpose.

“It’s stunning when you see someone who is disabled and incapable and actually be capable to do things you wouldn’t expect him to do and to be so courageous,” said Assistant Dean of College of Arts and Science and Assistant Director of Academic Advising Michael Bozzone. “Other people would have given up and died of respiratory failure.”

Bozzone thought that Paulson’s story was incredible and important for students and faculty members to listen to. Bozzone believes that Sacred Heart should come up with a way to promote ALS awareness.

“Maybe the university might be able to take action and promote awareness to ALS, and potentially contribute,” said Bozzone. “This is certainly worth our time to consider how we can help as a community.”

Personal donations can be sent to Paulson at RP Homecare: 525 E, 86 St. NY, NY, 10028.

To purchase “Not in Kansas Anymore” or to learn more about creating a business or becoming a lawyer, contact Paulson’s wife, Maureen Paulson, at MePaulson@RCN.com

“Our family is eager to help students succeed in school and the job world,” said Maureen Paulson.

Sacred Heart University to Host Walk to End Violence Against Women and Girls

By John Cerretani

Staff Reporter

On Sunday, April 30, Sacred Heart University will host a Walk to End Violence Against Women and Girls, in order to raise awareness for abuse and violence against females.

This event will be sponsored by The Center for Family Justice Inc. as well as Sacred Heart University’s Delta Tau Delta fraternity.

The walk will be held at the university’s new West Campus that has been recently acquired from General Electric. It will also be the university’s opening of this part of campus.

There will be many speakers in attendance including, President Dr. John J. Petillo, Title IX Coordinator Leonora Campbell, President and CEO of The Center for Family Justice Inc. Debra Greenwood, Fairfield Police Chief Gary MacNamara, as well as members of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity.

“This is an event that we really look forward to, as it is for such an important cause,“ said Delta Tau Delta member Greg Argenio.

The Delta Tau Delta fraternity is very involved on campus with their stance to end violence against women, and will be playing a very key part in this event.

Some members of Delta Tau Delta and other participants in the walk will be walking in high heels to represent their solidarity and support to all women.

Chapter President of Delta Tau Delta, Ryan Cannata will also be speaking at the event about the fraternity’s dedication to their philanthropy this year.

“Delta Tau Delta’s local philanthropy is what really made me want to get involved in Greek life, it is such an important issue and the fact that any organization made it their top priority really stood out to me,“ said Argenio.

The event will also recognize the Fairfield Police and other first responders for their efforts to aid Caitlin Nelson on March 30, 2017.

Debra Greenwood, who is also speaking at the event, is a Sacred Heart University alumna, and is also the President and CEO of The Center for Family Justice Inc.

Greenwood feels very strongly about the need for awareness of this problem, and the desire to preserve the rights of all women.

In a statement released by the university, Greenwood spoke about the event and Sacred Heart University’s involvement in it.

“I am very proud of the University for hosting its very own event this year. There is a strong chemistry among Sacred Heart’s community that I am very proud to be part of. We know the turnout for this event will be huge, and SHU’s community will come together to raise awareness of the number of sexual assaults that occur at universities across the country,” said Greenwood.

 

Bishop Frank J. Caggiano to Speak at the 51st Undergraduate Commencement

Bishop Frank Caggiano celebrates Mass in the Chapel of the Holy Spirit at Sacred Heart University. Photo by Mark F. Conrad/Sacred Heart.

By Victoria Mescall

Circulation Manager & Staff Reporter

The Most Reverend Frank J. Caggiano, the Bishop of Bridgeport, has been selected to be the 51st Undergraduate Commencement speaker for Sacred Heart University’s graduation on Sunday May 14, 2017.

Bishop Caggiano will deliver his remarks to the class of 2017 at the Webster Bank Arena this coming Mother’s Day.

During the ceremony, he will also be receiving an honorary Doctorate of Theology degree from Sacred Heart.

“I think it’s great that our commencement speaker is the Bishop of Bridgeport,” said senior Alicia Friscia, student government vice president of the class of 2017. “It’s nice that they picked a member of our local community to represent our graduating class as a Catholic school.”

Caggiano was installed as Fifth Bishop of Bridgeport on Thursday, September 19, 2013 at St. Theresa Church in Trumbull, Conn.

“Our partnership with Sacred Heart University has grown tremendously since Bishop Frank Caggiano was installed as our Bishop,” said John Grosso, social media leader for the office of the Bishop of Bridgeport. “We’ve been very fortunate to partner with Sacred Heart many times this year. We’ve worked with the School of Communication to film videos, Bishop Caggiano spoke at the Inaugural Bergoglio Lecture Series, and we welcomed the Papal Nuncio to the United States.”

On March 29, 2017 Bishop Caggiano spoke on campus in a lecture titled, “Pope Francis and the Social Gospel: Where Do We Go from Here?” honoring The Pope’s spirit and vision in the twenty first century.

This speech inaugurated the Bergoglio Lecture Series, and students from all majors and faculty from all disciplines crowded the entire square footage of the Schine Auditorium, filling the aisles and the stage in order to hear Bishop Caggiano speak.

According to the Diocese of Bridgeport website, “On February 22, 2014, [Bishop Caggiano] formally convoked the 4th Synod of the Diocese of Bridgeport, the first in 32 years, as an opportunity for renewal and pastoral planning for the future of the local Church.”

After a series of listening sessions with over 4,000 comments by laity, priests and religious across the diocese, the Bishop announced the Synod 2014 themes of empowering youth, building up the community of faith, fostering evangelical outreach, and promoting works of charity and justice.

“Given Bishop Caggiano’s commitment to the youth and young adults to the church and our important history with Sacred Heart, working together has been a natural fit, as is Bishop Frank as the Commencement speaker,” said Grosso.

Bishop Caggiano joins a legacy of renowned community scholars and leaders who have served as commencement speakers in past years.

The university’s 50th commencement speaker was Victoria Sweet, a former award-winning historian and associate professor of medicine at the University of California.

The year before, former United States Senator from Maine, George Mitchell, delivered the university’s 49th undergraduate commencement address.

“Since we’re a Catholic university, it’s nice to have the Bishop come speak during our classes commencement,” said senior class president Theresa (T) Fletcher. “As a university and community we are all rooted in Catholic values and it’s going to be a great experience to hear Bishop Caggiano speak.”

According to the Sacred Heart University magazine, the class of 2017 includes 890 undergraduates who will be receiving bachelor’s degrees during the commencement ceremony.

“Bishop Caggiano is the man,” said junior Katherine Seckler, campus ministry peer leadership team member. “He has such a way with words and I cannot wait to hear him speak at commencement.”

Hailey Hastings: First Female Mr. SHU Contestant

By Nicole Croteau

Staff Reporter

Mr. SHU is an annual competition that takes place at Sacred Heart University where 10 male students compete against one another in order to obtain the title of Mr. SHU.

However, for the first time ever, the Mr. SHU competition has its first female entry.

Hailey Hastings, a junior art and design major, decided to compete in this formally-known all male competition for the same reasons as the men.

“A lot of people think I am a part of Mr. SHU as some feminist movement, but really I’m in it for the same reasons all the other guys are,” said Hastings. “People are more similar than different. We often forget that because of how we are told to separate different groups, whether it be race or gender. I think I have opened the floodgates on this one. Either it will go back to being all guys, or it’ll be like the scene in ‘The Shining.’ Either way it will be interesting to see how the fate of the competition changes.”

The competition will feature nine male students and one female student competing against one another for the title of Mr. SHU.

Some students are interested in this new change and are supportive of Hastings’ entry.

“Mr. SHU has always been a friendly competition that brings the SHU community together in a funny way. I think that this year’s show will be great and I am excited for it,” said junior Louis Stober. “More power to Hailey for wanting to compete this year. I think it is very brave of her to break out of her comfort zone to try and earn the title of Mr. SHU. I know I personally won’t look at her any differently than my other competitors.”

Mr. SHU consists of three different parts that the contestants will have to partake in; swimsuit, formal attire and talent.

During each category, the contestant must come out and show off to the judges and demonstrate why they should be named Mr. SHU.

“I wanted to be a part of Mr. SHU because it was always such a fun and carefree event on campus. All the contestants were able to be their true selves and make people laugh,” said Hastings. “I think comedy and laughter are the two things I love most so if I got the chance to do so, that’s all I wanted. Being the first girl to compete sparks a lot of conversation though.”

Mr. SHU will take place on April 28 at 7 p.m. in the Edgerton Theater, free to all students and faculty.

“I think that it is great that Hailey wants to compete in Mr. SHU and good for her for straying against the norm of what has always been done,” said junior Alex Halloran. “It will be interesting to see if the university will make a Mrs. SHU going forward or if the school will decide to leave it combined with boys against girls, or back to all male again. It’s definitely different than what has been done in the past, but it is a good change.”

SCMA Initiates The Bridge Network

By Brendan Capuano

Staff Reporter

If you were to turn any TV to channel 3 on the Sacred Heart University campus, all you would see is color bars and a high-pitched tone.

However, after spring break, the School of Communication and Media Arts (SCMA) introduced The Bridge Network, which would populate channel 3 on any Sacred Heart cable network and connect all the media clubs to
one another.

The Bridge Network is an initiative that will connect all of the pre-existing communication clubs and organizations and allow them to work together.

Professors met students in the Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communication Center media theater on Tuesday, April 11 to announce the launch.

“The idea for Bridge Network is an aggregate idea from the faculty working professionally and wanting students at Sacred Heart to create multi modal media,” said Professor Gregory Golda. “The creation of media shouldn’t stop at the written word. It needs to be visual, be audial, and be disseminated.”

At present, students have many individual organizations that allow them to create media content.

The Pulse TV News Magazine, WHRT Student Radio, Pioneer Magazine, WHRT Multimedia Productions and The Spectrum all operate independently to each other. The Bridge Network will enable student organizations to create media for each other in a collaborative effort.

As an example, if The Spectrum runs a story on a new restaurant, students in Golda’s multimedia production class could create a video component for the story to run online and on channel 3.

The same will follow for each communication club and organization to feed off of and strengthen each other as media makers.

“We are programmers now,” said Professor Joe Alicastro, Coordinator of News & Broadcasting in the Master’s of Communication program. “We can create all of these programs just like you can at a real network.”

“I don’t know anyone else that’s trying to do anything like this,” said Professor Richard Falco, Coordinator of Multimedia Journalism.

Each professor involved in The Bridge Network agrees that the time is right for this to happen due to the equipment, faculty and students found in the school of Communications & Media Arts.

Before The Frank and Marisa Martire Business & Communications Center was erected, many of the facilities for communications students were scattered across campus. The radio station was located in the main academic building, channel 3 was in Curtis Hall, and the studio was in the administration building.

“Now since everything is centralized, its really time to make sure that all those interests, technologies, clubs and everything else get bridged,” said Golda.

The communications center was designed specifically so that the offices of clubs and organizations, like The Pulse and Spectrum, were directly across the hall from faculty offices. This allows for continuous collaboration between students and faculty.

“The most exciting thing to me is it creates a situation of both opportunities and potential to create things that could not be done before,” said Falco. “This is one of those things that’s going to give a broad spectrum of production skills, thinking skills, critical analysis—all of that stuff is going to come together.”

Golda is excited for the professional experiences and results students will be given the opportunity to utilize.

“Students will have yet another layer of real world experience while they are here,” said Golda.

However, The Bridge Network is still a work in progress.

“The time was right to go to the next level, and we need a lot of hands to keep lifting that weight and make good things happen,” said Golda.

Falco also emphasized the importance of these developments.

“Students should really look at this as an opportunity that should not be let go,” said Falco.

To get involved with The Bridge Network, reach out to any faculty member in the School of Communication or Professor Golda at goldag@sacredheart.edu.

Armenians Honor the Armenian Genocide

By Brendan Capuano

Staff Reporter

There are dark marks all throughout all of history that have been overlooked and undermined; things that people would like to pretend did not happen, regardless of the facts.

However, there is one event that has been forgotten for 102 years.

On April 24, Armenians across the globe remember and reflect on the darkest mark in their history.

The Armenian Genocide was the systematic killing and oppression of 1.5 million Armenians from 1915-1923 by members of a radical group called the Young Turks within the Turkish government, operating out of the Ottoman Empire.

Sacred Heart University associate professor of Theology and Religious Studies, Dr. June-Ann Greeley teaches a theology religious studies course titled “Religion, Violence, and Genocides.”

“I always begin with the Armenian genocide,” said Greeley. “The absolute brutality of it. You had thousands upon thousands of Armenians who were left to literally starve in the desert. These forced marches into Syrian deserts, where they weren’t even given a drop of water. Women, raped and assaulted repeatedly, children who were raped and killed, men who were taken and used as slaves or just tortured and killed.”

Local Armenians have gathered in the past few days to remember the genocide and those lost.

Reverend Father Untzag Nalbandian of Armenian Church of the Holy Ascension in Trumbull spoke about the importance of remembering the genocide.

“As an Armenian, as well as an Armenian priest, and a citizen of this country, and a citizen of the world. We should remember so these things don’t happen to anyone in any place,” said Untzag.

Survivors of the Armenian Genocide founded the Armenian Church of the Holy Ascension 86 years ago.

“I served them and I heard their stories,” said Untzag “I met people who survived the Armenian genocide, who told their stories.”

Untzag’s own parents were survivors of the Armenian Genocide.

Untzag has been at the Armenian Church of the Holy Ascension for 34 years. He said that no matter where Armenians have settled across the globe, they have remembered, preserved and cultivated their culture.

“The committee is organizing, coordinating, or otherwise supporting several events around the state to commemorate and build greater awareness of the Armenian Genocide, the first Genocide of the 20th century,” said The Armenian Genocide Commemoration Committee of Connecticut, which Untzag is a part of, on their Facebook about page.

April 22 the Committee hosted an event at the Connecticut State Capital to commemorate the 102 anniversary of the genocide.

The room was filled with people eager to listen to the keynote speaker former ambassador to Armenia, John M. Evans.

There was more attention to the Genocide than ever before with the April 21 release of The Promise, a movie which takes place during the Genocide. The movie stars Oscar Isaac, Christian Bale, and was written by Terry George who also wrote “Hotel Rwanda.”

“Now eventually it is coming to to your generation, yes that you have to carry the torch, but what torch? Well whatever is Armenian, our history and plus our faith, I think,” said Untzag. “We are the children, grand-children, and great-grandchildren of the survivors who started life in this country, in Europe, and Middle East. If we don’t speak, than who is going to speak about genocides?”

Some Armenian students are also aware of the importance of their culture and the hardships their ancestors faced.

“As the proud great granddaughter of Anahid Bogosian, an Armenian Genocide survivor, I am lucky to say I was able to meet her and hear the stories of her of survival,” said junior Faye Kenajian. “The role that my family takes on now is to pass down the strong traditions of our survival and her legacy in her honor.”

Pop-culture enthusiasts would know of the Genocide via the Kardashians, who are Armenian. Utilizing their audience, the Kardashians have been able to educate people on the genocide simply by having them watch their show “Keeping up with the Kardashians.”

“We must talk about it until it is recognized by our government because when we deny our past, we endanger our future,” said Kim Kardashian in a statement on kimkardashianwest.com.

Currently, Turkey still does not acknowledge the Armenian Genocide as an actual event in history.

“There have been some Turkish scholars, and other political activists who said at the very least Turkey has to apologize. The fact is the Armenians were driven out of Turkey, and a lot of people died. That’s a fact,” said Greeley.

The United States also does not formally acknowledge the Genocide, despite President Obama saying on the campaign trail in 2007 “that there was a genocide that did take place against the Armenian people.”

This is due to the United States and Turkey’s relations with each other.

“There is no reason for it not to be accepted as a genocide,” said Greeley.

Untzag also said that the number of Armenians who died could range from 1.5 to 1.7 million.

“I met people who survived the Armenian genocide, who told their stories,” said Untzag “What proof do you want, I don’t know. We were thrown out of our land, 2500 to 3000-year-old land. 2,300 churches and monasteries were lost. As an Armenian, as well as an Armenian priest, and a citizen of this country, and a citizen of the world. We should remember so these things don’t happen to anyone in any place.”

Today we remember both the Armenians and the Jewish people who lost their lives in their genocides. April 24 is also Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance day, where the world reflects on the upward six million Jews who died.

“April 24 should not just be a day to put a flower on a grave, but as a cause for action,” said Greeley.

Campus Ministry Introduces Agape Latte

Agape Latte is an event hosted by Campus Ministry to help students learn more about faith and religion. Photo by Brendan Capuano/Spectrum.

By Roberto Rojas

Staff Reporter

Sacred Heart University had its debut of Agape Latte on Wednesday, April 19 at the Linda’s dining hall in the McMahon Student Commons.

Hosted by Campus Ministry, Agape Latte is an event designed for students seeking to learn more about faith and religion while also trying to create a social environment. It was first started by Boston College in 2007.

“We wanted to do this event in order to create a chill environment but also talk about the importance of faith,” said sophomore Trevor O’Brien. “We realize that students are stressed out due to many things they go through at school, so with Agape Latte, this can help smooth things out and have them come out of here with a clear and
positive mindset.”

Preparation for this event had actually being going along for six months. Those in charge of Agape Latte at the university said that promoting the event was the most important thing for people to get interested.

“I think that students will really enjoy it because it makes the faculty, staff, administrators totally accessible to them, these are the people that they look up to, learn from, and are around every day, but they don’t know anything about them,” said Devon Kemp, Campus Minister of the university. “Having different faculty and staff speak about their lives and experiences allows the students to learn from them on a whole new level.”

The term Agape is a Greek word for a kind of love that seeks nothing in return, while Latte is a rhyme and pun used in reference to the free desserts, coffee, and an engaging discussion offered to students, similar to that of a coffeehouse.

“Boston College actually began Agape Latte ten years ago, and have been working to spread it to other colleges across the country,” said Kemp. “They have been very helpful in getting together our whole plan: our speaker, our location, our marketing materials such as the coffee beans, the buttons, the stickers and much more, so most of the work has gone into our marketing of the event.”

The speaker during Wednesday’s event was Joel Quintong, Director of Residential Life.

During his 30-minute discussion entitled “The Pursuit of Happiness,” Quintong spoke about his career leading up to his arrival at the university and told some stories about his time at Boston College, as well as his Filipino-American background.

“I tried to relate my faith to my extracurricular activities, focusing all my energy on that,” said Quintong. “However, later in my life, I was on a journey on this pursuit of happiness and the one person who really helped me on this journey was my wife.”

Members of Campus Ministry and other clubs around the university are hoping to replicate the success of Agape Latte made by Boston College and other universities by having an event every month starting in the fall next year, with a discussion made by either a staff member or someone in the community to talk more about faith and religion.

“I think it’s important to show the students that faculty and staff go through the same things that we go through in college,” said sophomore Erin Curley. “I think that with Agape Latte, we can create an open forum for discussion about important topics that students and faculty are interested in.”

Students and Professor Travel to Ireland for IoT Conference

By JOHN CERRETANI

Staff Reporter

Two students and a professor traveled to Dingle, Ireland to participate in an event called The Internet of Things.

Senior Kristen Lahaise, junior Nicolas Treglia and School of Computing professor Robert McCloud made the trip across the Atlantic to be a part of this weekend-long
conference.

The concept behind The Internet of Things (IoT) is using sensors and switches to connect more things to the world.

“A big example is how you can use your phone to turn on the lights or tell your Amazon Alexa to order you an Uber in 15 minutes,” said Treglia.

One thing that seemed to stand out at this event was the great diversity of people and professions that were in attendance.

“We were grouped into different domains, mine being health and fitness oriented,” said Lahaise. “People in attendance included business owners, students, musicians, and people who are experts in their field, whatever that field may be.”

This was something that came as a shock to the students, as they originally thought that it was only going to be people with similar professions and interests to themselves.

“I went into this conference thinking it was going to be all computer science people, only to find myself in a group with a professional singer, a gym owner, Kristen, and Prof. McCloud,” said Treglia.

For Lahaise, the trip was a learning experience about The Internet of Things.

“I knew very little about The Internet of Things before this trip and was amazed to see how technology is strategically woven into so many different areas of our life,” said Lahaise.

Treglia, Lahaise and McCloud were tasked with brainstorming over the weekend and developing a concept for The Internet of Things application.

This idea was then presented with the hopes of being chosen for further development.         

Out of the 15 groups that presented work, the idea of Lahaise, Treglia and McCloud was one of the few that were recommended.

“Our idea, to store personal data on secure servers so the user could disclose it to health professionals, not insurance companies or other outsiders, was one of the three recommended for additional development,” said McCloud.

Traveling to Dingle made the trip even more memorable for the three.

“Dingle, Ireland is a truly inspirational and beautiful location,” said Lahaise. “It is the perfect spot to host a creativite initiative like this conference.”

Both students felt that this trip was an opportunity that they would not want to miss.

“I was approached to take this trip by Professor McCloud and it was something I just couldn’t turn down,” said Treglia. “I have heard so many great things about the SHU Dingle program and I jumped at the opportunity to see it for myself.”

Treglia and Lahaise were very proud to go on this trip and showcase their skills to
the the people that were in attendance, especially as representatives of Sacred Heart University.

“I was extremely grateful for such an opportunity, especially since I grew to love the community of Dingle when I studied abroad there this past May,” said Lahaise. “I’m very excited to see what comes out of this conference and how it could impact such an amazing community.”

Connecticut Panel Approves Armed Drones for Law Enforcement

By BRENDAN CAPUANO

Staff Reporter

House Bill 7260 (HB-7260), which would outlaw the use of armed drones from the general public, was recently passed by the Connecticut House Judiciary Committee.

However, the bill would allow for law enforcement agencies to equip their drones with guns, tear-gas canisters, and other devices to be used when necessary.

“The bill was created not as a measure of giving the police more power,” said Criminal Justice professor Anthony Papa. “The bill was created to prevent citizens from attaching any type of weapons to drones.”

Papa said that the bill would require the Police Officer Standards and Training Council to decide in what circumstances law enforcement would be allowed to use weaponized drones.

Before using these drones, police would be required to acquire a warrant, unless given specific permission in emergency situations.

“The police will always be limited in their use of deadly force by the law,” said Dr. James McCabe, Associate Professor and Chair for the Criminal Justice Department. “The use of this force does not change, from a legal standpoint, whether it is used by a police officer discharging a firearm that he or she is holding, or by pressing a button to have the drone discharge a firearm. The legal requirements
for the officer to be justified in the use of this force will
not change.”

However, some people think that these drones should only be used as a last resort.

“When someone’s life is in danger and no other method can prevent a serious bodily injury or death,” said Papa. “Specifically, it should be used where it’s too dangerous to send law enforcement in, or if the emergency is in an area where law enforcement may have difficulty approaching.”

McCabe said that local police have been using remote deadly force, in specific situations, for some time.

“Robots armed with firearms and small explosive devices used to detonate bombs are used by the police in all sorts of situations,” said McCabe. “These robots engage threats, are equipped with cameras and two-way communications, and usually help negotiate peaceful ends to armed conflicts without putting officers, victims, and suspects in harms way.”

Papa used the example of a school shooter, saying that drones could be used to canvass the scene and keep law enforcement safe.

Military personnel use drones in a similar way and the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut reports that drones are already in use by the Hartford, Plainfield, and Woodbury police departments, though their drones are not necessarily armed.

The National Conference of State Legislatures said that Maine and Virginia are the only two states which have outlawed the use of weapon drones by police and civilians.

North Dakota is the only state that permits the police to use these drones.

However, North Dakota police officers are restricted to less lethal weapons such as stun guns, rubber bullets and tear gas.

“I think that police are taught one thing, you put a weapon in their hand, they shoot center mass, they shoot to kill,” said Democratic Bridgeport Sen. Edwin Gomes to the Associated Press. “If it’s going to be used, you’re going to use it to kill somebody.”

New technological developments may also affect how law enforcement departments operate in the future.

“Technology is constantly evolving and updating,” said Papa. “Law enforcement needs to evolve with technology. Proper policing needs to be proactive, not reactive.”

The House Judiciary committee on March 29 said the HB-7260 should be moved to the House floor after a 34 to 7 vote. The bill has yet to reach the House floor for debate.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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