Welcome. We are students in Communications 218, a journalism class at Lehman College. Our classroom is in Room 122. This course is part of the Summer Arts Festival of College Now, a program designed to help high school students earn college credits. Every day, we report and write articles about our program, the school and the neighborhood.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Who is Dr. Martin Zwiren?

Dr. Martin Zwiren is the athletic director at Lehman College. We interviewed him at the conference room in the APEX building at Lehman College.

Q. How many years have you been here at Lehman College?
I have been here about 11 years. I came here to open the APEX building.

Q. What does APEX stand for?
It stands for Athletic and Physical Education Complex and I take ownership of that name. (Answers the question very proudly)

Q. What school did you go to?
I went to the University of Dayton, Ohio, where I got my undergraduate degree. I went to Temple University at Philadelphia for my master’s. I got my doctorate degree at Fordham University. (Questions us whether we have heard of Fordham University. We reply yes of course.)

Q. Are you yourself an athlete?
I played football in high school and I ran the track but I wasn’t that good for college level so I just concentrated on my studies.

Q. What did you major in college?
I majored in physical education. I got my master’s degree and doctorate in school administration and supervision.

Q. Where did you work before you came to Lehman?
I worked at Fordham University as an assistant athletic director.

Q. What does your current job currently entail as an athletic director?
I am the athletic director, which means I am responsible for all the 17 varsity teams, all of the 35 coaches, and for managing this facility.

Q. What types of sports do these coaches coach?
We have eight women sports, seven men sports, and cheerleading.

Q. Speaking of women, what do you feel of women in sports?
Women over the last 20 years have really made tremendous strides in sports. They have some very good women athletes. (His face is very straightforward)

Q. What do you like most about your job?
I like the interaction with people. I like seeing things that you have as a dream come to reality. I like managing this building and the income production of the building. I like people coming from the outside and seeing what a beautiful facility we have and coming back every year. The most rewarding thing of my job is the interaction with people, managing this building, and overseeing the varsity teams.

Q. If you weren’t here, where would you be right now?
(Thinks for a moment and with a laugh answers…)I would probably be out on my boat in Arizona. I don’t know. If I wasn’t here I would be enjoying myself. I would probably be in Dominican Republic.

Q. Why doesn’t Lehman College have a football team? (Everyone in the room laughs.)
Well…it’s not Lehman College. It’s the City University of New York. None of the city universities have football as a sport.

Q. What do you feel about this?
I feel this is the right decision. Football is very expensive. There are over 70 kids on the roster. A single helmet will cost over $250. A lot of players get hurt and we would have to pay for that. There are no fields and/or stadiums for it.

Q. Is there any activity or sport that you think should be added to the APEX?
I would like to have women’s soccer and I think that would be a great addition. However we need the women at Lehman to come and say that we want a women’s soccer team.

Q. So how come you don’t put it out there so that the girls can…(interrupted by the director)?
We do! We put it out there and the students have to go out there and get their fellow students to play. We have the field for it.

Q. What are the most popular sports teams here?
The most popular sports teams here are the women’s and men’s basketball teams.
That’s the two sports where we get the spectator attendance.

Q. Is the basketball team “division one”?
No, we are division three. Lehman College and all the other city university are NCAA division three.

Q. What does that mean?
That means no scholarships for sports.

Q. Why is that?
Those are the rules of the NCAA.

Q. What is the NCAA?
The National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Q. Did you ever have to face any obstacles as the athletic director here?
Well, the main thing is always the budget, budget, and where is the budget? That is the main obstacle here. You want the teams to succeed. You want the coaches to succeed. You want the people to get paid, travel, and have good clothes and uniforms and all of this takes money. Sometimes Lehman doesn’t have the money but we try to do the best we can.
End of interview.
Dr. Martin Zwiren was interviwed by Stephanie Sanhcez, Pratik Shah, Darah Phillip, Merlys Alberto, Chris Chalmers, Gallia Kassiano, and Rachel Sanhchez.


Public Safety, Safe or Not

By: Abu Ali, Brian Choi, Angeline Deschamps and Atanu Roy

“The campus here is an open campus,” said Mr. Fausto Ramirez, assistant director of the public safety unit at Lehman College in the Bronx. “Anybody can walk in and out of here.” It’s very possible for just anyone to come in on campus and start making trouble. Are the public safety officers ready to take control of any outrageous situation that might arise?

Ramirez explained how the public safety department works during times of emergency. There is a coordinator for each building and a specific coordinator for each floor, both of whom respond to urgent situations and alerts from other officers. The coordinators carry safety kits that contain a respirator, a flashlight, water, a blanket and a nightlight. To prevent false alarms, “We check [the contents] first before we evacuate,” Ramirez said.

How did a mild-mannered gentleman come to be the Man in Charge of such a high-stress department? Ramirez had his share of unusual jobs, beginning with his first, which was at McDonald’s. He became interested in public safety due to the influences of his family and friends. His brother is an officer in the New York Police Department, as are a couple of his friends.
“Before I got this position, I was in a position where I could have gone to NYPD,” Ramirez said. “As a matter of fact, I started off as a regular patrol officer. I just worked my way up the ranks.”
Ramirez attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice. Upon graduation, he worked at a company called Burns International as a security guard. Eventually, he made his way to Lehman and the public safety division.

The most memorable incident on campus that Mr. Ramirez recalls is one in which a girl claimed to have been sexually assaulted. The case was treated very seriously. After many investigations, the girl confessed that she made the incident up. It turned out that the girl “had a mental illness.”
More routine disturbances included officers making arrests for weapons’ possession. But, despite the seemingly harrowing tales, Ramirez insists that the campus is safe for the public.

After work, Ramirez likes to cook. If he were not in the public safety field, he would have become a chef, he says. On his spare time, he coaches a little league team and considers himself, very sarcastically, “the only Mets fan in the Bronx.” Mr. Ramirez also likes biking and dogs. He’s married with children. The oldest, following in his father’s footsteps, wants to attend John Jay.

Ramirez is satisfied with his position as assistant director, but the ambitious Nuyorican aspires to direct his own security unit one day. He would do well to take his own advice, given to those who want to enter the public safety field: “Do it, just do it,” Ramirez says.

Where does Bias Begin and End?
By Kristen Wallace

Control Room, directed by Jehane Noujaim, is a documentary that illustrates the perspective Iraqi news channel, Al Jazeera, has on the war in Iraq. Control Room makes the point that depending on where a news channel is located, the news is going to be portrayed with even the slightest bit of bias.

Americans are given a somewhat romanticized view of the war in Iraq. American news channels tend to portray America as the great liberator of the Iraqi people and the war as a virtuous and necessary evil. On the other hand, Al Jazeera depicts the war as a cruel, corrupt, and unnecessary exercise in American bullying. During the news on this Arab channel, which is the most popular in the Middle East, clips are shown of innocent civilians killed or injured by American troops.

Control Room shows that not only American news channels are biased. Over recent years FOX news has been mocked for its biased view on the war, but when watching the film the viewer realizes that AL Jazeera is biased in its perspective on the war as well.

Overall, Control Room was an enlightening film. It is interesting to see the scenes from the war that American news stations won’t show, though they are heartrending and sometimes difficult to watch. The American population should watch a film like Control Room so that they will have a clearer idea of the unromanticized view of the war.

Review of Control Room
By Ana Figuereo

This simple documentary directed by Jehane Nouijaim has opened the eyes of many to the world of journalism, specifically that which is practiced in the Arab world. Control Room did a great job of showing how the “other side” coversthe war. The Untied States showed American soldiers being heroic, suggesting to the American public that the soldiers indeed had a duty to be in Iraq. While Al Jazeera, the most popular news channel in the Arab world, showed the images and stories that the United States didn’t want the world to see. They were bold enough to show gruesome images of their injured and outraged civilians. These strong images made the film at times uncomfortable, but they are the reality of what was happening at the time that made your eyes not want to blink. Jehane Nouijaim did a good job of representing both views without becoming biased. It’s a great documentary that makes people more aware of what they are watching.


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