Live Tweeting Jail N Bail

When I was given the choice of an event to live tweet, the one that jumped out at me was Jail N Bail.  This great event is a fundraiser for the Special Olympics in which one can “arrest” their friends for a small fee, and the friends need to “bail themselves out” by raising donations.  It is an all-around good time in which fun is had and money is raised for a great cause. 

I was very excited to cover the event, though I experienced some difficulties while doing it due to having to miss some of it because of class, and not being able to find anybody to interview for awhile.  I planned to ask some public safety officers for some quotes and my plan worked to perfection, as I was able to get some great quotes from Todd Pelazza, the director of public safety, which greatly enhanced my work.  As I worked, I learned how to ask enticing questions, as well as to keep my tweets short so as not to exceed the word limit.  When I needed to exceed the limit, I used a tactic that I have seen employed by many sportswriters that I follow on Twitter, which is to use numbers before the tweets to show that the tweet would be split into multiple parts. 

As I live tweeted, I used some of the tips from the link we were given to great effect, and disregarded others, having no need for them.  I was lucky enough to have a hashtag already chosen for me by the event organizers, as #jailnbail was already set up beforehand.  I paid attention as I worked, using the best and most interesting quotes I could so as to entice my audience.  I knew my audience before tweeting, so I knew how to angle my tweets to get them read.  I attributed those that I quoted in order to give them credit for their help, as any decent writer should do.  I used rich media in my tweets, ensuring that I used pictures and hyperlinks so that those reading my tweets would have a better experience and understand what was going on. 

I was able to follow others who were covering the event, and retweeted Maggie McKenzie a couple of times to show my solidarity with her and her work.  I brought in diverse viewpoints by including some of Maggie’s tweets on my twitter by retweeting them, giving my audience a chance to see things through another’s eyes.  Finally, I had already followed Maggie previously so I had no need to follow her back, though we did retweet and favorite some of each other’s tweets.

I never linked back to any of my earlier tweets, as there really wasn’t much to say once Jail N Bail had ended.  Nobody conversed with me during the event, so I had no chance to keep the conversation going unfortunately, and I didn’t get any new followers from live tweeting, so I had no chance to follow them back.  Finally, no interesting conversations took place on Twitter as the event progressed, preventing me from taking note of the most interesting ones.

All in all, live tweeting a school event was a great experience, and one that I hope to be able to repeat in the future.     


Here are all of the hyperlinks to my tweets. 




Fairfield University And The Olympics

The Olympics only happen once every two years, so they should be enjoyed as much as possible while they are around.  It is a time of national unity, where people put aside their differences to root for their countries with pride.

On a local basis, the winter Olympics are particularly interesting to some of the athletes that attend Fairfield University.  Several members of the Fairfield athletic community watched the recently concluded Olympics, perhaps wondering what it would be like to be up on a pedestal, bringing honor and glory to their country by winning a gold medal.

“I love watching the Olympics,” said ice hockey player Marc DeLuca ‘15, whose favorite Olympic sport is men’s hockey. When asked how he thinks it would feel to win a gold medal, DeLuca said, “The thought never really came to mind, but if I had to imagine it, it must be an awesome experience and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”

DeLuca is of the opinion that fans put sports rivalries on hold when it comes to rooting for their countries.

“I try to put it all aside for the Olympics because no matter what, they are still representing our country,” he said.

On a more personal level, DeLuca was excited to watch the Olympics because one of the members of the U.S. Men’s Hockey Team, Kevin Shattenkirk, is from his hometown of Greenwich, Conn. DeLuca said that he also really liked watching T.J. Oshie play because of his exciting shootout performance against Russia (Oshie scored four goals on six attempts during a game-deciding shootout), but that he has always had a soft spot for Shattenkirk because of their hometown connection. DeLuca said that he is glad that Shattenkirk played very well and did Greenwich proud.

Intramural floor hockey player Buddy Mulholland ‘15 said he feels that ice hockey in the Olympics is as exciting as it gets.  When asked his opinion on having professional players in the games, Mulholland replied that he thinks it is beneficial because it makes the games fair for most countries. However, he also likes the fact that not all of the teams are made up of strictly NHL players, because it allows him to see people he wouldn’t usually get to.

“It makes more sense,” Mulholland said.  “Obviously it makes a difference since Team Canada is all NHL players, but it is nice seeing players from different leagues like the KHL and Finnish League.”

Another intramural floor hockey player, Mike Facciolo ‘15, said he thinks that the Olympics are great because they unite people together as a country. However, he also feels that in this modern day and age, things can get a little out of hand.

“I think the Olympics are a good thing because they bring everyone together and make everyone root for the same team for once, but they are not what they used to be,” Facciolo said.  “Back before everyone had access to social media, the Olympics were all about team play and rooting on your own country. Nowadays, when everyone can tweet their feelings, people can get over-competitive and say some truly horrible things that make all of us look bad.”

Facciolo is referring to the copious amounts of tweets that people wrote in response to the U.S. hockey team’s loss to Canada.  Tweets disparaging Canada and those who live in it were everywhere, and they made people look very foolish for taking things so seriously.

Photo taken by Greg Petit '15

Photo taken by Greg Petit ’15

Junior Greg Petit, who has been skiing since he was 7 years old, has a surprising stance on the Olympics—he has rarely seen them.

“To be honest, I watch a lot of skiing edits and other stuff,” Petit said.

“I never really sat down and watched” the Olympics, he said, adding that he would much rather ski himself than watch.

Most of the athletes thought the USA did pretty well these past few weeks in Sochi. Petit feels that the ski teams did reasonably well, as he was keeping track of how they did instead of watching.  DeLuca and Facciolo felt that the men’s hockey team did well, but they were disappointed that the squad came up just short of getting a medal.

“Overall, I say it was a great performance,” DeLuca said. “It’s disappointing that [the team] lost to Canada in such a close game, but I would definitely say I’m proud that such a talented group of guys represented the U.S.”

Mulholland, on the other hand, felt that the team didn’t play that well, and he expected more from them.  He said that he feels “pretty disappointed since [the team] showed such promise in the beginning, especially with that great win over Russia.”  He went on to say that the team “just collapsed over the last two games,” resulting in its downfall.

Now that the 2014 Games are over, life will return to normal for these Olympic athletes (or as normal as things ever get in the life of Olympians). They will have to wait four more years before they can again attempt to win glory for their home countries.  If they succeed in doing so at the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, they will perhaps be the subjects of interest to future classes of Stags on campus.

Photo taken by Greg Petit '15

Photo taken by Greg Petit ’15

Hurricane Sandy Keeps Victims from Returning to School, Destroys Beach Houses


Hurricane Sandy smashed into the Connecticut coast over Halloween weekend, forcing the closure of Fairfield University for a full week, destroying beach houses rented by many seniors, and stranding students who had gone home ahead of the storm.

It was one of the most devastating storms in recent history, killing 40, and leaving millions without power.

The school postponed classes on a day-by-day basis rather than the entire week at once, as some would have preferred.  Todd Pelazza, the head of the Public Safety Department at Fairfield, felt that classes should have been suspended for the entire week.  “The University should have canceled classes all at once, but didn’t,” said Pelazza.  “Things would have been much easier for the students if it had at least canceled the first few classes over the weekend, and the rest soon after.”

Many students from New Jersey in particular were left without gasoline and power.  It was one of the places hit hardest by Sandy, and people waited in line for hours at the few stations that had power to dispense gasoline.

One such student, Mike Facciolo, said his mother was hesitant to drive him back to school since she was unsure when she would be able to get more gasoline.  “My mom had about three-quarters of a tank of gas, which was enough to get me back to school.  Once we got back here, though, she was unable to get any more for the trip home, and had to stay with a nearby friend until the gas stations re-opened.”

Facciolo is from the Jersey Shore area, where most of the beachside attractions and boardwalk were destroyed.  He was not surprised that students opted to return late instead of risking themselves on a journey that may have included road closings and ended with no gasoline.


“Many people that I know lost power, and were unable to get gas for their cars,” he said.  “I’m not surprised that they wanted to stay with their families and be safe rather than risk driving on dangerous roads to return to a school that could lose power at any time.”

Some other casualties of the hurricane were the homes of the seniors who lived on the Fairfield beach.  Though the students were able to evacuate, many of their houses were destroyed or severely damaged.  As a result, these seniors were placed in rooms and lounges in many residence halls.

Having seniors living in their dorms was a shock for many students.  “It is really weird to walk out of your door and see seniors walking around,” said Keith Chapman, a resident of Loyola Hall.  “There are seniors living in the lounge on my floor, and I would expect to see them at the townhouses or beach, not living in dorms.”

Charlie Bjorklund, another Fairfield University student, echoed that sentiment.  “I expect my senior year to be a lot of fun, and can’t see myself having fun if I were living in a residence hall lounge,” he said.  Their expectations were probably the same that mine are, so seeing them living like they are makes me feel bad for them.”

The beach houses are not likely to be repaired for another few weeks, if not longer, so it seems that the seniors will have to cope with life in the lounges.  “I hope they get back to their houses soon,” said Bjorklund.  “I really don’t envy the position they are in right now.”