How Much Do You Really Know About the Dangers of STDs?

Christina Betances-Orrell

We were always taught the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) growing up. But, as college students, do we really know all the facts?

 

According to Registered Nurse at the Brown House Abby Provost, the two most common sexually transmitted diseases among college students are Chlamydia and Genital Herpes (HSV-2).

 

“Each year, we generally treat about 10-15 cases of Chlamydia, and about 5 cases of Genital Herpes (HSV-2),” she said.

 

Provost said that both diseases can be caused by unprotected sex. They can both spread by anal, vaginal or oral sex.

 

Both diseases could be asymptomatic, meaning that no symptoms are shown. The symptoms for Chlamydia for both genders include painful urination and lower abdominal pain. In women, even in cases where symptoms aren’t apparent, Chlamydia can cause damage to the fallopian tubes and therefore lead to infertility.

 

There are two types of herpes that are easily confused. (HSV-1) is the virus associated with cold sores, an oral infection. (HSV-2) is the virus associated with genital infections.

The symptoms of Genital Herpes (HSV-2) for both genders, when the disease is symptomatic, include flu-like symptoms and painful blisters on the genitals.

 

At the Brown House, Chlamydia is tested by a urine sample, and HSV-2 is tested by blood or lesion culture.

 

Both diseases can lie dormant in the body for an extended period of time, and 1 in 5 people can show no symptoms and still spread the diseases.

 

“Chlamydia can be treated with antivirals, but there is no treatment for Genital Herpes (HSV-2). It can lie dormant in the body for years,” Provost said.

 

So how can we prevent these diseases? What precautions should we take?

The Brown House offers free condoms, and gives baskets to the residential halls on campus as well.

“I encourage everyone to get tested on a regular basis,”Provost said. “It’s free, and one can’t just rely on condoms, because they aren’t 100% effective.”

 

“The Brown House is here to help,” Provost said. “Everything here we keep

confidential. We encourage students to take accountability for their health. Safe sex isn’t a reality. Everyone takes risks. Take responsibility.”

 

For any questions, please call the Brown House at 802-626-6440. The Brown House is open Monday through Friday, from 8a.m. to 4p.m..

The Week after Halloween: Costume Quest- A Video Game Review

Seth Vandenburg

Halloween is officially over and November has begun. It’s the time of year where we discard our Halloween decorations and spooky spirit as we ready our stomachs for the food-fest that is to come in a few weeks: Thanksgiving. But the Halloween spirit doesn’t have to end just yet.

 

“Costume Quest” takes place on Halloween where fraternal twins Wren and Reynold, our two young and bickering main characters, have moved into a new neighborhood and are about to go out trick-or-treating. They set out to go trick-or-treating wearing a candy corn costume that instantly gets them bad candy from the first house they visit. But upon visiting the next house, one of the siblings ends up being kidnapped by a monster who mistakes him for actual candy, and so the sibling you chose ends up going on a quest to rescue his/her sibling from being monster food, all the while trying to enjoy Halloween and making new friends at the same time.

 

“Costume Quest” is a roleplaying game that’s rather easy and accessible. In the exploration part of the game, the player explores their neighborhood and other areas, seeking out quests that reward the character with hints to the sibling’s location, candy and costume parts. The battles are turn-based, giving you the option of attacking, using stamp effects, blocks, and special moves that become available after three turns.

 

The presentation is where “Costume Quest” absolutely shines. The children become giant versions of what costumes they are wearing, along with abilities reflected by that costume. This, combined with a charming short story and interesting and humorous characters, makes looking at the cartoonish world a treat.

 

Halloween may be over, but “Costume Quest” is a must have for any fan of Halloween, RPGs or any game made by Tim Schafer, who also did “Psychonauts” and “Brutal Legend.” The same is said for its sequel, “Costume Quest 2.” There, the gameplay is expanded upon, there’s plenty of continuity nods to the original game, and the new characters are fleshed out more to be more interesting than in the last game.

Yakkers, Hackers, and Cyberattackers, Oh My!

Megan Hassan

 

It’s Wednesday, it’s 7:30 p.m. and there’s bacon cooking in the Arnold/Bayley Lounge. Now what calls for bacon this late at night in the middle of the week? Could it be anything other than an RA event? Who else would give away perfectly good bacon?

Resident Assistant Rachel Knorr hosted an event designed to discuss students concerns about social media, YikYak, Twitter, tumblr and Facebook to be specific. There were discussions on appropriate conduct on social media.

“I chose to do a program about cyber anonymity, security, and responsibility because it is relevant to students on campus and connects to social justice,” Knorr said. “Although cyber bullying is a huge problem, even silly websites like tumblr can be used to educate people, lift users’ spirits, and foster a sense of community. That is what I wanted to promote through this program.”

One of the main points discussed was cyber-bullying. According to statistics from nobullying.com, over half of all college students report to having been cyber-bullied at some point in their lives.

A lot of the students who attended this event asked about how to prevent or stop cyber-bullying. Some suggested solutions were to research and utilize the privacy settings, report offensive or harmful posts or blogs, and even deleting social media accounts.

During the event, Knorr asked students to write a positive Facebook post, Yak or Tweet that Knorr will be using to decorate the Arnold/Bayley Lounge.

 

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Alex Pinkham

Are you feeling down and under the weather now that the calendar has turned to November?

According to health officials, you may be suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.

 

SAD is a type of depression that arises each year. Normally, people start to feel the effects of the disorder as the end of fall approaches. As winter wears on, its effects become more severe. Symptoms include a lack of energy, irritability and you feel more moody than usual.

 

Normally, people living with SAD start to feel the effects in late fall, however, rare cases have been found where people develop SAD in the spring and summer months. Not all people find joy in the cold, dark season that winter brings and this is when people can suffer from the disorder.

 

According to Director of Residential Life Erin Rossetti, both the Resident Assistants and Resident Hall Directors, are taught to observe student behavior to see if students may be suffering from SAD. Lyndon has taken a stand to battle against this form of depression by hosting events that focus on getting students out of their rooms and socializing. Others events are serious talks about SAD and other mental illnesses.

 

One doesn’t have to struggle with this illness alone. There are ways you can help fight the effects of the disorder like going to talk to a therapist, getting outside or exercising regularly.

“Some people need specific lights they can put into their room that provide more of a mimic of daylight, as opposed to fluorescent light,” Rossetti said.

 

Getting more light may be one way of getting out of the rut that SAD can cause. Exercise is proven to help fight the effects of the illness.

 

“With mild depression, 30 minutes of exercise a day, just a walk, and the more you can be outside the beater,” Special Services Counselor Angela Ryan-Williams said.

 

That’s Just The Way It Is or, The Only Thing I Ever Learned In High School Math

Michael B. Miley

Editor-in-Chief

When I was in my senior year of high school, I was the assistant director of the annual musical. This required me to spend a good amount of my free time after school in the “Performing Arts Center,” which was actually just a gymnasium with curtains floor-to-ceiling curtains hung at one end. One day, as I was setting up, I witnessed two girls practicing a patently awful dance routine to the tune of Bruce Hornsby’s The Way It Is. As I watched these two young girls senselessly writhe and contort themselves from across the large, empty hall, I said out loud to myself: “I hope I never have to see this again.”

The next morning, the entire school convened in the same room for a weekly assembly. After the usual schedule and sports announcements, the person conducting the meeting told us that two students had a special dance performance to share with us. Of course, as it turned out, the performance was the exact same routine I had witnessed the previous afternoon, and it was even more cringe-worthy the second time around.

Thus, because we were in high school, everyone in the school was making dumb “that’s just the way it is” jokes pretty much all day. Forgot your binder? That’s just the way it is. Need to go to the bathroom? That’s just the way it is. The list goes on, but you get the idea. Finally, in my late afternoon statistics class, the teacher, a large man named Scott Hockford– who we (affectionately) called “Hot Scottford”– got fed up with our mockery.

 

Hot Scott was in rare form that afternoon and actually laughed at a couple of the jokes my classmates were making, presumably because he was still shell-shocked from the morning’s performance. However, after the seventh or eighth one-liner from a would-be Henny Youngman, Hockford was ready to settle the matter once and for all.

 

Now, we should pause here for a moment and just examine Scott Hockford a little closer, just so you can develop an accurate mental picture. Hockford was about six feet tall, with about 12 foot waistline, if you get the picture. He had a penchant for wearing short-sleeved polyester athletic polo shirts, often adorned with the logo of his favorite sports team, the Cincinnati Reds. Seemingly, it was for this reason that he had a Pete Rose haircut, although I always suspected him of wearing a toupee. When I was going to high school, I had no idea who Marge Schott was; if I had, I would have liked to ask him about her. But I digress, lets go back to that fateful day when I had the true meaning of Bruce Hornsby and the Range’s 1986 pop hit, The Way It Is explained to me.

 

Hockford sauntered to the front of the classroom, pulled down the screen, and warmed up the digital projector. With his hands on his hips like John Wayne, he dared us: “Do you want to know what that song really means?” Being the 18 year old wise-asses we were, we said “yes.” At this point, Hockford began dissecting the lyrics for us on the whiteboard. “You see,” he said, “first the narrator describes all the bad things in the world, famine, disease, intolerance. Then a second narrative “voice” scoffs at those problems by saying ‘that’s just the way it is.’ But at the very end of the chorus, you’ll see that the first “voice” returns to subtally rebut the cynical message of chorus by saying ‘but don’t you believe them.” You see,” Hockford summed up, “the song is saying ‘don’t believe that’s just the way it is, believe that you can change the world!” This was, and remains to this day, the most inspiring message ever told to me by a man who has bowled a 300 game at 5 times in a row, and the only thing I can conclusively say I learned in a high school math class.

 

Lyndon State Attempts to Revive The Grange

Kevin Tufo

Lyndon State College is in the process of obtaining the Lyndon Grange from the dead.

In 1915, Theodore Newton Vail, a former president of AT&T and Lyndon native, donated the land to the Grange, a farmer’s association created in 1867 to hold social activities and social and agricultural issues. The Grange was owned by trustees, and on November 19, 1960, John Bryant Chase the last living trustee had passed away. The building is located at 173 York Street Lyndon, Vermont.

Since the Grange isn’t owned by a living person, the college can’t be given the property from anyone. For Lyndon to gain control of the land, they’re petitioning the court to get new executor to re-open the will to appoint a new trustee to give away the land and building.

This process began back in July where the school was trying to find out who held the title deed for the building. It took until August to determine that Chase was the last living member of the trustees.

The building layout is two stories with a kitchen located on the bottom floor and a large meeting hall. There’s a set of stairs that lead to restrooms upstairs and a stage with an open layout.

Lyndon State College’s Loren Loomis Hubbell, dean of administration, believes there’s many options that the Grange building could hold for the college. Some of these ideas are creating some form of a partnership with the Upright Steeple Society, utilizing it for alumni events, and the theater. “If people have good ideas, let me know,” said Hubbell.

Parking seems to be an issue depending on the actual property lines because next to the Grange is the Upright Steeple Society, a nonprofit corporation with a mission to preserve the York Street Meeting House and utilize it for community functions in Lyndon. As of this time, the only parking for the building is located along the street.

Colby Scribner, sophomore at Lyndon State College, is from Gilford, New Hampshire. His town used to have a Grange located in it until they turned their charter in and give their building to the Thompson-Ames Historical Society.

It’s significant in Gilford because it’s used a museum to reflect the town’s cultural heritage. The building is now part of the town’s ability to maintain and preserve the farming aspect of their community. “It’s an exciting opportunity,” said Scribner. “The school could help maintain the history of Lyndon.”

Gender Ratios at Lyndon State

Haley Lyndes

Lyndon State has always had a history of male dominance in its student body, but never before like this.

The current ratio of Lyndon State College’s freshman class is 2 males to every female, causing many first year students to complain.

“It is really hard to make friends in a class dominated by men,” said freshman Taylor Cavaliero. “Most of us girls find ourselves just befriending the guys, because we have no other option.”

And this increase of male enrollment is not only notable in the freshman class. Second year students and upperclassmen have begun to notice as well.

“It is definitely a change from last year,” sophomore Marty McCorrison said. “There’s a lot of testosterone going around the school now, making things much tenser especially for the guys.”

Other schools have been struggling with similar issues, except the females have been the ones asserting their dominance. According to Forbes magazine, women’s enrollment in higher education has been exceeding men’s since the 1970s, and it has been increasing ever since.

So why is Lyndon State so different?

According to Lyndon State College president Joe Bertolino, it’s not.

“What’s happening is we do have almost an equal number of men and woman,” Bertolino said. “But we have more men living on campus. So the result of that is everywhere you look you see a lot of men.”

Lyndon State also had many accepted students who anticipated to go here before the semester but left last minute to take more attractive offers from other schools. University of Vermont and St. Michaels College both gave students offers that allowed for tuition rates to total lower than Lyndon’s would.

“We expected lower enrollment in Vermont given the demographics, but for it to be predominantly woman that struck us as bizarre.”

For the future president Bertolino plans to be more intentional. Bertolino said the majors historically dominated by woman such as Education have received massive upgrades.

“We have hired all new faculty for education, and are redoing the whole education program,” Bertolino. “So I suspect over time that will change.”

Meanwhile, with a suspected 72 new students enrolling next semester, the male domination will remain. School officials such as Bertolino do not suspect any major changes in the gender ratio to happen again.

Guardians of the Galaxy Review

Jacob Dodge

Superhero movies are the film industry’s current major cash-cow, so it should come as no surprise that Guardians of the Galaxy was released at the end of the summer. However, what is a surprise was the choice to base the movie on the exploits of B-list heroes that even the most dedicated Marvel fans would be scratching their heads over.

 

Luckily, the film does a good job of introducing the cast without coming across as ham-fisted. There is one small info-dump that serves to simply allow you to identify immediately; ‘oh, that’s Rocket Raccoon,’ etc. The rest of the backstory is handled well, like learning more about the aforementioned Raccoon’s past through his drunken rambling.

 

Otherwise, the movie has a delightfully self-aware sense of humor. It knows that the plot is ridiculous and has no qualms about going for humor at the expense of seriousness – a welcome shift from the recent trend of “dark and gritty” blockbuster movies.

 

The film does suffer some shortcomings though. Since it is tied to the larger story arc that the Marvel film franchise is currently building towards, there is a lack of suspense for anyone who has seen the other Marvel films. You know the direction the plot is going far before the characters themselves know. But this is only a minor concern, and someone who hasn’t watched the other films might not pick upon it.

 

Guardians of the Galaxy is a film that both casual movie-goers and die-hard Marvel fans will enjoy.

 

Look Out! There’s a New Program on Campus

 

Megan Hassan

 

The College Steps Program is taking off at Lyndon State College.

 

According to the program’s website, “the College Steps Program partners with colleges and universities to support students of varying ability (e.g. autism spectrum disorders (ASD), intellectual disabilities (ID), learning disabilities, etc.) ages 16-26, with their college pursuits.”

There are two curricula offered within this program, NextSteps and Steps2Success.

NextSteps is a “youth transition program that provides employment and educational exploration experiences for high school juniors and seniors considering college or specific career tracks following high school graduation.” NextSteps is a non-degree program with a 1-2 year curriculum. The students take part in educational and vocational learning experiences for about 4-8 hours a week.

Steps2Success is a “two-year higher education certificate program for young adults interested in pursuing post-secondary education.” These students individually select 15-30 credit hours, typically 1-2 courses per semester, that work with their academic, social, and vocational goals. At the end of Steps2Success the students will have earned a Certificate of Higher Education.

This is the program’s first year at Lyndon State College and their fifth college partnership.

 

“We could not be more pleased with the Lyndon campus and are so glad to have such progressive and forward thinking partners,” Lauren Merritt, Executive Director of College Steps, said.

This program is not only growing on campus, but all over the country.

 

“There is huge amount of interest in College Steps,” Merritt said. “Later this month we were asked to be lead presenters at the National State of the Art Conference in Northern Virginia. We have growing partnerships in the NorthEast Kingdom and look forward to meeting the transitional needs of area high school students.”

There is a way for LSC students to get involved with this program.

 

“Students can apply to be a mentor either in person (our office is located in the academic center – off the library) or they can get an application off our website – www.collegesteps.org” Merritt said. “We are looking for mentors that have a strong interest in social justice, education and community involvement. We hire sophomores – seniors students who have a minimum of a 3.0 GPA.”

There will be an open house on campus in the beginning of the spring semester for students who are interested in this program.


“This will be an opportunity for folks to come together and meet our students, mentors, families and educators from LSC,” Merritt said.

“And Then There Were None” Review

 

Megan Hassan

 

Upon entering the theater, there are red signs warning of blank rounds being used during the performance. It’s an understandable warning, this is, after all, a murder mystery written by Agatha Christie.

Not only is And Then There Were None a new genre for a Twilight main stage production, but it marks the first show for the new Stage Designer Bonnie Cleverley. The set design seemed like an old favorite for the Twilight Players, flat walls, cutout doors and one door designed for slamming.

 

While the set looked spectacular upon first glance, later on in the show it became apparent that some set pieces were not completely level with their counterparts and the set was not as “actor proof” as one would hope for the opening night. While the walls had their shortcomings, the furniture was definitely a step up from past productions. The furniture looked vintage and there were some concerning stuffed birds and one stuffed bear cub donated by the Science Department.

As the actors take the stage, suspicious of each other and hiding something themselves, they set about figuring out exactly how they all came to be invited to the mysterious island. There were a few stand out and some what unexpected performances.

For one, Seth Vandenburg, usually cast as a small or comedic role, held the hefty responsibility of General McKenzie. General McKenzie is a strong character that cannot be dismissed.  He sets in the tone of the suspense. Vandenburg held the audience captive and even made a few of them jump out of their seats.

Joshua Cobb, in the role of Philip Lombard, seemed like a glance-over character at the beginning. Always cracking jokes and frequenting the bar for a glass of brandy. Out of all of the accents that were heard during the night, Cobbs was the best.

Marc Brunco brought the character of Sir Lawrence Wargrave to life and held the audience captive at the edge of their seats.

However, if we are looking for the “best in show,” that would be Callie Wuttke in the role of Vera Claythorne. Out of all of the characters, the audience sided the most with Vera. She was the only one having a “human reaction.” It is often difficult for an actor to make their staged reactions look real, Wuttke encompassed the role perfectly. She was convincing in everything she did, it was clear that she put her heart and soul into tonights performance.

The only downsides to the show were perhaps the dragging out of the character’s background stories. Every character was accused of murder, and each character had to tell their stories themselves. The audience often got a bit lost in all of the suspense, dramatic pauses, and puzzles over who will die, how they will die, and whom will kill them. The other downfall to the show was the scene and costume changes. Those two go hand in hand as the lights only lowered when the actors had to switch their costumes while the set never changed, perhaps costumes that are easier to get in and out of would speed along the scene changes.

All in all, And Then There Were None was a great show. The actors were spectacular. The suspense was nearing painful. It is definitely worth seeing. The next showtimes are Friday, November 7 and Saturday, November 8 at 7:30p.m. and Sunday, November 9 at 2p.m..