NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.


State's COVID-19 vaccine rollout not enough to quell disproportional number of positive cases in Lawrence

Massachusetts vaccine distribution is categorized into three phases. Phase 1 is made up of front-line workers such as doctors, nurses, home health aides, long term care/assisted living facility residents and workers. Phase 2, which is where we are currently in the scheduled distribution, consists of groups who in numbered order will be eligible. In group 1, individuals aged 75 and older, then in group 2, individuals aged 65 and older, individuals with 2 or more known conditions, and residents and staff of low income and affordable senior housing. Group 3, who are not yet eligible for vaccination are all other workers, such as teachers, waitstaff, bus drivers, and state and city workers. Group 4 includes all other individuals with one certain medical condition. Phase 3 includes the general public and anyone else who did not qualify in earlier phases for vaccination. According to The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the total positive case number of 17,822 as of February 27. 2021, puts Lawrence with the highest positive case rate in the State of Massachusetts, clocking in at just over 7%. With only one public vaccination site in the city, a Lawrence General clinic at South Lawrence East Elementary, the site…

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A photo of Gyani Wasp

NECC alumn, Gyani Wasp, discusses creative inspirations and pursuit of a career in filmmaking

Gyani Pradhan Wong Ah Sui (a.k.a. Gyani Wasp), 18, is an international student and NECC film major alumni who is currently majoring in screen studies at Clark University in Worcester, Mass. Originating from Mauritius, a country in East Africa where his father grew up, Wasp moved to Sikkim, India, where his mother is from when he was 9 years old. By the eighth grade, Wasp had developed an affinity for reading and writing  — especially…

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A shift in sports at NECC

Kids and teens in the United States always have at least one dream about what they want to do when they are older, some of these dreams are inspired overtime by what they do, what they watch, and what they grow up around. One of the most popular activities among youth is sports. Young people from all over the country grow up in hopes of playing a particular sport when they are older, and some even look to work around the sports industry such as coaching, physio, management etc. Throughout these past 12 months, however, we have faced a difficult situation that no one expected and out of our control, being the pandemic. From players whose developments have regressed, to coaches and management struggling to make a living, people in the sports industry have faced big setbacks due to this pandemic throughout the whole country. What big effect has the pandemic had sports around the campus though? Coaches from NECC in particular are hopeful about returning to their normal lives and believe the pandemic has been a major detriment to staff and students from all around NECC. “It’s changed everything,” said Tim Foley, Cross Country Head Coach. “We had a…

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News Bytes

Tips to start a fitness journey

We are only a few weeks into this New Year, and if your New Years’ resolution to eat better, work out, and better your mental health is at a halt especially if you aren’t seeing results right away. I have the tips and tricks for you to be successful. I…

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Students engage with Black History Month through African dance class

On Feb. 24, students gathered through Zoom to meet with Bisi from Izizwe Dance Studio, stationed in Lawrence Massachusetts. The goal was to learn more about Black History Month and culture. Students learned different dance moves and routines while the cheerful and traditional music played. Stephanie Haskell, the student life…

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The positives and negatives of social media

I remember when I first got Facebook when I was 13 years old. It was my first social media account and I was so excited. I remember my father telling me, “pretend like I can read everything you write and only publish what you think is appropriate.” That has stuck…

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Essex County young adults share their thoughts on local government

In our education system we are taught primarily about how our federal government works, but what about how our local government works? I spoke with some of the young adults of Essex County to see how much they know about their local governments, what they would like to learn further…

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College and high school students face mental health issues during pandemic

How is a college student’s mental health different or similar from high school?  The extremely high-stress levels and mental health issues among students have resulted from the Covid-19 pandemic. Also, COVID-19 is why there is a rise in mental health issues in general, people are stuck in the house and…

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Reconsidering screen time

During these challenging times, we seem to have a greater relationship with our devices to fill the void of our boredom, especially in the beginning of the pandemic when the entire world was on lockdown and all we could do was binge watch Tiger King on Netflix, make whipped coffee…

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Featured Articles

Speechapalooza to return

NECC’s annual fundraising event, Speechapalooza, will be returning as an online event this spring with new adviser Kimberly Lyng at the helm and hosted by students enrolled in the Principles of Public Relations course, introducing speaking talents of various members of the college community while collecting donations for a charitable cause. The overall planning for this event is in the early stages of development and the protocols will be set in the near future, but it is not too early to consider to be part of this well received public speaking and fundraising event. This fact is reinforced by Lyng, coordinator of journalism/communication, as well as serving as adviser of Speechapalooza, stating “students that are considering participating and/or have any questions are welcomed to contact…

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NECC Police Academy aims to promote culture of quality

Joshua Stokel is dedicated to supporting solid training for student officers in his first year as Director of NECC’s Police Academy, aiming to equip local officers with all the skills they need to properly serve their communities. Joining the college this past November, Stokel entered a position with several challenges facing him. Most of the college campus remains empty with virtual learning being the new norm for safe education. While that option is available for training officers who are unable to risk their health or have come in close contact with COVID-19, the academy has organized a safe environment to maintain the close relationships that are essential to providing effective learning experiences for these young officers. Staff instructor Sean Daley notes that vital skills such…

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Students connect through art club

On the cold night of February 10, students turned on their computers and met through the familiar Zoom to have the Art Club meeting. The club is still fairly new, it’s beginning dates back to November of the past fall semester. A portion of the meeting consisted of what one would expect. The students introduced themselves, and there were discussions about prior meetings, the overall structure of the art club, and upcoming events like the deadline for the Parnassus Magazine. Then the mood changed, and students began to converse. The smiles were apparent and the conversations seemed to be free, and light hearted. The atmosphere was a soothing one. Blake, 16, who currently has no major but is dual enrolled at NECC states that they…

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