Vegan veggie pizza bites for healthy snacking

Are you tired of eating the same boring vending machine snacks everyday? To break the mid-semester monotony by try making mini hummus and veggie mini pizza bites. Using ingredients available on campus, this recipe—which makes two servings—will leave you feeling both healthy and full. 

Ingredients:

1 medium zucchini

1/4 cup hummus 

5-7 mushrooms, chopped

1 small red pepper, chopped

1 tablespoon basil, chopped

Directions:

1.    Slice zucchini into four 1/4-inch-thick pieces. 

2.    Spread a teaspoon of hummus on the top of each zucchini piece.

3.    Sprinkle the mushrooms, red pepper and basil on top of the hummus. 

Tip: swap in or add any toppings of your choice

Transitioning your winter wardrobe toward warmer weather

Spring is a wonderful season for many fabulous reasons. Birds assemble to sing love songs while flowers blossom. Days become longer, skies clearer and sunlight stronger. And spring fashion is diverse when it comes to color, fabric and function. 

To prepare for the season change, one must equip their wardrobe for a sunny day of low humidity, a sudden humid heat wave or an overcast day before April showers. 

Let us begin with men’s essentials. For hot, humid days, a short-sleeve chambray or linen shirt should do the trick. Chambray is quite popular in dark blue, while linens always look swell in light blue, lime green or orange. 

For these same days, you can always depend on chino shorts as a bottom. If fitted correctly and paired with the proper button down, chino shorts can make even the palest post-winter legs a pleasing sight. 

To suit the chillier days of spring, look no further than the denim truckers, anoraks and bomber jackets. Denim truckers are reliable, middle weight and suitable for a breezy day. Anoraks and bomber jackets serve well for spring’s more wet and windy days—keeping you both warm and well-dressed. 

For not-so-fair-weather pants, look no further than a well-fitted pair of chinos or denim jeans. Complement any of these combinations with a pair of white sneakers, boat shoes or desert boots and a nautical bracelet or analog watch to be well on your way to becoming a Spring 2017 fashion success.

Women must also consider their dress by the day’s weather. For a brisk, breezy day, seek a trench coat, a denim jacket or a light leather jacket. Jackets should be thick enough to provide warmth, while also not supplying unnecessary bulk. Complemented with a lightweight cashmere sweater—or even a polyester turtleneck—and a warm pair of dark-wash denim jeans, you’ll be both toasty and totally marvelous. 

On a sunny spring day, nothing is more appropriate than a silk blouse, a bateau boat neck, a light cotton shirt or a one-shoulder top. Don’t shy away from large logos, bright colors and extraordinary stripe-patters—stand out and celebrate the good weather. 

As for bottoms, embrace light jeans, a loose maxi skirt or floral-printed wide-leg pants. Weather that is both bitter or bright—sunny or stormy—can always be met with a pair of spring loafers or white sneakers, a long pendant necklace and a small shoulder bag. No matter what spring’s unpredictable elements present, there is always a way to represent your most fabulous side.

Have no fear of spring’s unpredictable ways, Geneseo fashionista. Using these tips, some creative license and the courage to experiment, you can adjust to the elements and look incredible. Ditch your heavy coat and high socks with confidence, and look forward to looking fabulous no matter what the weather.

Flaws in America’s sex education system

Most students who have gone through American sex education are at least vaguely aware of its massive shortcomings. Between potentially uncaring and inattentive instructors, often incomplete—or flat out false—information and scare tactics, almost every student has a story about the incompetency of their local school’s sex education program. 

But the largescale reality is often much more horrifying: many American teenagers do not receive a comprehensive sex education. The consequences of this lapse in education—whether the result of religious, moral or societal beliefs—may determine America’s future demographic landscape. Stories about poor sex education become less funny when they determine our nation’s overall health.

While the classic “condom on banana” demonstration is regarded as more of a joke than as a legitimate educational tool, many American students are not lucky enough to even reach that point in their sexual education career. 

Only 50 percent of females and 58 percent of males receive formal education on how to properly use a condom, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Since a properly used condom—as in, a condom that is not expired and that is applied correctly—has a 98 percent chance of preventing pregnancy and can be used to avoid contracting STIs, the discrepancy in instruction raises alarms.

STIs are not the only cause for concern. The use of a condom is highly effective in preventing AIDS, according to research by AIDS.gov—but those odds drastically increase in probability with unprotected sex.

If schools do not teach their students how to properly protect themselves during sex with condoms, what methods do they suggest? In 2014, only 72 percent of public and private high schools taught pregnancy prevention as a part of their health courses, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Further research by Guttmacher revealed that of that amount, 76 percent taught abstinence as the most effective method against pregnancy. 

While physically true, this ignores the reality that students might explore their sexuality regardless of what their instructors tell them, thus putting them in a situation where they might not be able to protect themselves. After all, if a student is convinced that they will stay chaste, but then change their mind in a moment of sexual interaction, they will most likely not have a condom with them. 

Only 61 percent of high schools teach about contraceptive efficiency and only 35 percent require condom instruction, according to Guttmacher Institute research. 

Even the most effective of sexual education programs can be undermined by parental interference. Guttmacher estimates that 88 percent of schools that teach sex education allow parents to withdraw their students from the programs. 

While the parent’s gesture might be well-meaning in nature, it might withdraw the student from resources that are more reliable or up-to-date than what their parent can give them. 

Why does any of this matter to the average college student? The days of standardized sex education are behind us—but it’s important to recognize the gaps that might have been present in our own education. By learning about the shortcomings of the American sex education system at large, we can adjust our own misunderstandings about sex and be sure to properly educate the next generation.

Biloxi service trip gives students opportunity to help Katrina-damaged community

Geneseo students had an opportunity to spend their time off working with other volunteers in Biloxi, Mississippi to rebuild homes and to help those still affected by Hurricane Katrina during spring break.

Chemistry major senior Alexandra Nealis attended this trip after being recommended by her rugby teammates during her freshman year. 

“I chose to go on this one because I had previously heard of it, and I had never really been to the south before,” Nealis said. “I thought it was interesting because 12 years after Hurricane Katrina, there’s still damage there.”

Nealis balances most of her time between her sorority, Delta Phi Epsilon, and the women’s rugby team. In addition to her involvement with both organizations, she wanted to give back during her last semester here at Geneseo.

She departed on March 11 with 14 other women. Upon arriving in Mississippi, Nealis and her peers explored the area a bit.

“We walked around and a bunch of us went to the French market, saw the different culture,” Nealis said. 

Once returning to the Backbay mission, the group had a meeting with the project coordinator, where they met their group and saw what project they would be working on. The group started the next day, along with a church group from Wisconsin who also stayed at the mission. 

“We were painting, putting primer on and hanging baffles on the ceiling,” Nealis said. “In the south, houses are built a little differently because they don’t have to accommodate for the snow. It’s like Styrofoam venting to make sure the air gets through.” 

The skills Nealis and her group learned from the construction site manager were quite different from the skills typically learned while at Geneseo.

“They had a construction site manager who taught us how to do everything, and always made sure we were comfortable doing everything,” Nealis said. 

Once they finished working on the initial home for three days, they began to help move a family into another home because of the weather. Nealis and her group began working on another home around the corner and in the final stages of construction. 

“They were a family that was out of a house for four years. They lost the house during Katrina,” Nealis said. “They started to rebuild, but both of the parents got laid off so they couldn’t afford to build anymore.”

They helped put together furniture and move the family in when they finally finished their home.

 “We got to move the family in; it was parents and their five kids. They were so excited to finally have a home after leaping from house to house for four years,” Nealis said. “It gave more meaning to the project.”

While most of the trip was hard work and helping others, the group also traveled to see the memorials of Hurricane Katrina.    

“You could see the old paths to the houses, but there’s nothing there, just slate … there’s still just paths there 12 years later because either the homeowners couldn’t afford to build the house or they just gave up on the land,” Nealis said.

Throughout the trip, the group was able to learn about each other and bonded through their mutual hard work.

For people looking to volunteer and help the impoverished, there are plenty of local opportunities.

“You don’t have to go to Mississippi to make a difference,” Nealis said. “There’s a food pantry in Geneseo you can help out at. There is poverty everywhere.”

Finding a suitable internship

Internships are common parts of many students’ academic careers. They provide hands-on experiences within a student’s field of study, allowing them to better understand what responsibilities their future may entail.

Communication major senior Anna Kelly enrolled in her first internship in the summer of 2016.

“I worked for the health insurance company Lifetime Care,” Kelly said. “I worked in their public relations department and was able to apply my communication teachings to the work I was doing. It was a very rewarding experience that I feel will help in my future career.” 

There are a wide variety of tools—found both within and outside Geneseo—available to find such internships. Resources such as these all serve to streamline a potentially complicated process.

“I used several different search tools while looking for my first internship,” Kelly said. “I used KnightJobs through the school as well as Internships.com, Indeed.com and Monster.com to look for internships. I could enter my city of choice and the field I wanted to work in, so it was an incredibly helpful process and its simplicity made it easy to find an internship suited to my goals.”

While students can find internships outside of Geneseo to explore their fields, they can also enroll in internships on campus alongside their normal coursework. Kelly found such an opportunity in the fall 2016 semester. 

“Last semester, I was an event programming intern for the Department of Student Life,” Kelly said. “In addition to that, I have had dual internships as a Career Mentor and Marketing Specialist for the Department of Career Development throughout my senior year.”

In Kelly’s eyes, each internship builds upon the lessons of the previous one.

“At your first internship, you learn the broad strokes of the professional setting,” Kelly said. “You learn how to present yourself and work with others, and the next internship builds on that, teaching you the more nuanced parts of the job—and having that experience in your pocket helps build you up for your first job post-college.”

Some people feel that internships are a requirement for students nowadays, as they provide on-the-job experience to students before they find themselves in the professional setting post-graduation. But not all students’ degrees are fit for an internship, as Kelly sees it.

“I feel like an internship’s necessity is determined by the student applying for it,” Kelly said. “Sometimes an internship is not a necessity for a degree; more like, it will simply add experience toward a future career that a student may want to pursue. I have met students who were successful both with and without internship experience. It’s mostly what you make of it.”

As students, we reap what we sow, and working hard at an internship can provide valuable experience and preparation for future opportunities and impending professions.