The Heat is on As the Semester Ends

Article by Isabella Hamilton, May 21, 2016

Two students interviewed about their most pressing concerns as the semester ends said increased police presence on city streets and the subway in the wake of the Brussels terrorist attacks raised their awareness about possible terror attacks in New York.

“There’s more police activity. There’s a lot more police officers in the trains,” said 19-year-old biology major Christopher Cantor. “It’s similar with the slashings on the trains. When everyone’s more worried about it, the activity grew. Similar to the attack in Brussels, now everyone’s on high alert.”

Although he was aware of the Brussels attacks, 23-year-old psychology and media double major Adrian Kwiatkowski said, “Even with everything going on on an international scale with police activity, it’s something that I’m sort of oblivious to.” Kwiatkowski, a second semester senior from Glendale, also said, “I think, partially, because I’m Caucasian, so I don’t usually have to deal with police. My other friends, though, who are darker skinned, have had to notice these things more.”

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“I think we should always be worried because an attack like that could come from anywhere,” said Cantor, a second semester freshman and a Brooklyn resident. “It’s unpredictable. Civilians should always be aware of stuff that’s going on around them, just in case something were to happen.”

“We should stop giving these people attention they don’t deserve,” Kwiatkowski said. “Instead of having these 24-hour news cycles, just report what needs to be reported and move on to something else.”

“We don’t need to know about the terrorist’s favorite color or coffee,” he said.

Asked if it was possible to curb, prevent, or eliminate terror, Kwiatkowski said, “I don’t think there’s a way to prevent terror. It’s just the world we live in now, unfortunately.”

Cantor also weighed in on campus concerns including the Professional Staff Congress and its strike authorization vote.

“Truthfully, I think what they’re doing is right,” said Cantor. “Everyone would be mad if they weren’t being paid what they deserve.”

PSC members have not had a raise in six years and negotiations with CUNY for a fair contract are stalled. The PSC has asked its members for authorization in the case of failed negotiations. [Editor’s Note: See update at tend of story.]

“I obviously want professors to be properly compensated,” said Kwiatkowski. “My hope is that they come to a fair agreement.”

“Part of my concern is, will this affect me graduating?” said Kwiatkowski, “because this is my last semester.”

“I guess I’d be a little bit worried because what if my professors decide to strike, and I show up to class, and how am I going to be on my credits?” said Cantor. “I’d probably stick it out and see how it goes.”

Because of the assignment, the students were asked their opinions about the weather. “I think the weather is very pleasant right now,” said Kwiatkowski. “I don’t expect it to continue, but I can hope.”

Kwiatkowski said he planned to “get some food outside right after class,” but “aside from that, I’m just going to be pretty busy working,” he said on the fourth floor of the North Building.

“I think it should get warmer,” said Cantor “I might go play football with some friends.”

Professional Staff Congress Strike Authorization Vote

Isabella Hamilton can be reached at