Student Clubs and Activities

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Student Clubs/Activities

February 14, 1947 - First social function, a Valentine’s Day house party.

Lambda Chi Iota Sorority – Organized January 1948.

Tau Omicron Pi Fraternity (“Toppers”) – (Founded in 1949, became inactive in 1978)
(Dec. 4, 1960, Utica Newspapers) – “Fraternity Spends Its Time Having Fun, Helping Others – A fraternity at Mohawk Valley Technical Institute likes to have fun but it likes to help others too. Ask the bedridden youngsters on the second floor of the Children’s Hospital or a growing boy in Italy. They could tell you about the ‘Toppers,’ a group of 32 students, members of Tau Omicron Pi at MVTI.
Every Thursday, the Toppers visit an average of 20 sick children on the pediatric floor of the hospital.
‘Here comes Tony, the bald-headed Englishman!’ This is a familiar cry each Thursday as fraternity squads arrive at the hospital to play with the children., kid them out of their gloom and show movies, usually cartoons. Tony Pearce of Webster, a favorite, is a native Englishman with a short crew cut.
Another fraternity brother, Roger Backus of Star Lake, remembers the night he sat on a little girl’s bed:
‘Hey, Carol,’ he said, ‘is that your boyfriend over there?’
‘Uh, uh,’ whispered Carol, ‘I dropped him last week.’
The head nurse of the pediatric floor on Thursday is Mrs. Jane Chrzan of New York Mills.
‘The children really look forward to their visits,’ she said. ‘It’s wonderful because after they’ve played with the students and have seen the movies, they are ready to go to sleep. Sometimes, I think they enjoy the boys’ visits more than that of their parents.’
Tau Omicron Pi is known as the ‘Toppers’ on campus because their fraternity symbol is a top hat and cane.
‘We are still rah-rah,’ David Small, Buffalo, fraternity president said, ‘but we feel we give the children in the hospital a boost by visiting them. We have fun too. The fraternity figures that we can split our time 50-50; having fun and helping others.’
Perhaps the fraternity is more serious minded than many at colleges because of the officers’ ages. David, president, is 22; Bill Moran of Utica, vice president, is 23; Marvin Cohen of Albany, secretary, is 25; Bob Clairmont is 21; Roger Backus is 20.
Another club achievement this fall has boosted the fraternity’s status on campus. The members applied for and received papers for the adoption of a child in Messina, Sicily. The boy, Gaetano Lavina, is an 11-year-old who lives with his family on a tenant farm. The fraternity sends $12.50 a month toward the adopted boy’s support. Small said the adoption contract has been written into the fraternity’s constitution so that the project will not lapse.
As some fearful parents cry that fraternities lower grades, others who hear of the ‘Toppers’ relax. The fraternity instituted a tutoring system this fall to help poor students raise their grades. A member may ask for help anytime. His brothers get together with him, review the material covered in lectures and then, playing the role of the teacher, ply him with questions. The results have been very good, said Small. One boy, he said, went from a D to a B on two successive tests.
This fall, 300 patients at three Utica hospitals were amazed with flowers sent them. The ‘Toppers’ had earned money through two mass car washes at the New Hartford shopping center. They spent part of the money for flowers for patients on All Saints Day.
In December, the boys hope for a successful doll dance to benefit hospitalized children. Small saw a television show, ‘Ozzie and Harriet,’ in which the two sons, David and Rick, members of a fraternity, sponsored a dance on campus. Admission was a toy. David suggested the same idea to the ‘Toppers’ and it was approved by the fraternity…”

Theta Kappa – a sorority active in 1968-69

Circle K – Founded at NYSIAAS on April 13, 1950, as the first Circle K Club in NYS. A fraternity active in 1968, a service fraternity sponsored by the Utica Kiwanis Club

Phalanx fraternity was organized on August 15, 1947

Phi Beta Gamma – a fraternity active in 1968

August 17, 1949 – Carnival to raise money for yearbook.

February 1950 – first issue of Alumnysiaas for 345 alumni

December 9, 1951 – Amateur Radio Association formed.

New Student Movement – In May, 1968, 300 students rallied in the Student Union and voted for a rights package of 17 demands, in an initiative led by the New Student Movement (NSM). They promised sit-ins if action was not taken on their demands. They were seeking a voice in curricula, teacher evaluations, beer and unlimited car use on campus, more student jobs, better job placements, no girls’ curfews, better food and voluntary rather than compulsory meal plans. They also south representation on the Board of Trustees, unlimited housing choices off campus, extension of recreation room and bookstore hours, weekend openings for gym and recreation and appeal procedures for flunkouts. Timothy Gressett was student moderator at the rally. He was a Navy veteran of Vietnam, 21 years old, from Port Chester. Other rally leaders: Stephen Graham, 19, Steven Darter, Miron Diachuk, Niles Caspersson. Acting President Robert D. Larsson responded with a memo, and promised to meet with students the following day. In his statement, he said:
1. The administration of the college will insure that each proposal made by the students will be promptly referred to the appropriate individual or committee for analysis and a recommendation for a decision. Final disposition of each proposal will be made and communicated to all students as soon as it is feasible to do so and with the highest priority.
2. No interruptions of the regular programs or work of the college will be allowed.
3. The Faculty-Student Discipline Committee will be asked to take appropriate action whenever any student violates the college regulations for any reason related to the discussion of these special student requests. This procedure will apply to groups of students as well as for individual cases.
4. Any deliberate attempts to prevent any student or employee of the college from carrying out his scheduled program or assigned duties will result in immediate legal action by the college against the persons responsible, no matter what their status may be. Similar action will be taken against any who may deliberately destroy or damage college property.
A few days later, Acting President Larsson announced that the college would allow parking for students under 21 providing they have written parental permission, and would hire a campus dietician to study cafeteria facilities, and had asked the current food service vendor, Service System Corp., to consider an a la carte price structure, a vending program and a reduced number of required meals. He said students would be allowed to appeal academic dismissals with the dean of students. He said students would be allowed to choose their instructors on a first come first served basis, but that the College reserved the right to rebalance if some classes become overcrowded. A study of off-campus housing was being made by three students and three faculty members.

Newman Club – Sponsored by Catholic Church. Projects included discussion forums on topics such as Hindu philosophy, school busing, the existence of God, drug abuse….Also held “coffeehouse meetings” where students discussed topics “which were bugging them.” Student volunteers also spent time with patients at the Children’s Hospital. They were also active in the inner-city area with toy drives, sports and guidance, especially at Brandegee School, helping with homework, crafts, industrial arts, cooking, sewing. Sponsored a mass at 12:30 every Sunday in the College Center, and on Saturday evenings in the Newman House. Among the advisors from the faculty and staff were Gerard Brophy, Thomas Maneen, Richard Coleman, and Rose Danella.


(Feb 21, 1966, Utica Daily Press) – “MVCC Sets Concert – The Kingsmen, a young recording group who gained national recognition with their recording of ‘Louie, Louie,’ will be featured next Monday (Feb 28) in a one-night concert at Mohawk Valley Community College.
The group will appear under sponsorship of the MVCC Student Government Council, which will donate the proceeds to the family of the late Rudy Wedow. Mr. Wedow, who died in December, had been an associate professor in the advertising design and production department. …(the Kingsmen) recently appeared in, and sang the title song for, the movie “How to Stuff a Wild Bikini….”


The Newman Club at MVCC announced plans to travel to Kentucky during the break between winter and spring quarters. Twenty-five members of the club would spend one week in the Lancaster, Kentucky area, working as volunteers in the Christian Appalachian Project. The students financed the trip through the sale of Christmas wreathes and support from the MVCC Student Association.

Rev. John S. Finnegan was Newman Chaplain (dates?) 1967--- (still active in 1972). Served as chaplain at Kirkland and Hamilton Colleges at the same time, and in July 1973 was also appointed as chaplain at the State University College at Utica-Rome (Upper Division).. Had been an assistant at Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Utica.

Rev. David G. Looney was the Newman Chaplain (dates?) ….. A memorial to Father Looney was located outside Payne Hall (southwest corner, across Sherman Drive from the former location of the Newman House). In May 2005, it was relocated at the request of the Utica Fire Department, which had paid for it, to a new location in Proctor Park, in conjunction with a memorial to victims of the 9/11 terrorist attack and other firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty.


NYSIAAS NEWS (“The Voice of UTICA TECH”) – In 1948, student editors and staff members: Jack Luizzi, editor-in-chief. Joseph Calamusa, managing editor. Jack Palazzo, news editor. Albert Tucker, feature editor. Betty Royal, sports editor. Columnists: Arnest Thomas, Albert Tucker, Dorothy Yaw. Toppers report: Bob Cowell. Exchange editor: Les Chapin. Advertising manager, Harvey Bradt. Art editor Roger Patterson. Staff photographer Tom Blanchard. Faculty advisor Lois Holstein.

Marplot Stamp – student newspaper. Active in 1970, with Susan Whelden of Troy as editor-in-chief, Andrew T. Long, Lancaster, NY, managing editor; David York of Unadilla, political editor; Ira Mozille, Island Park, sports editor; Kay Harrison, Oneonta, exchange editor; Jean Summerson, Tonawanda, layout editor. Photography co-editors were Andrew Long (see above) and Michelle Kitchman, Pearl River. Daniel Stark of Utica was a columnist.
1974* (editor Jane A. Kelly of New Hartford). (*Not certain about other years)

Evening Student Council

In 1969, its president was John Atkinson.

Political Science Club

In 1968, the Political Science Club conducted a straw poll among students concerning the Presidential election. Approximately 50% of the full-time student body participated. The results: Richard M. Nixon, 334; Hubert H. Humphrey, 259; George C. Wallace, 84; Protest Votes, 71; Eugene McCarthy, 21; Comedian Pat Paulsen, 12; Nelson Rockefeller, 7; 7; Eldridge Cleaver, 4; Theodore Kennedy, 3; President Lyndon B. Johnson, 3; Comedian/activist Dick Gregory, 2.

Pub – was closed in August 1985, as Trustees also voted to ban consumption of alcoholic beverages in the residence halls. The ban was enacted in anticipation of the state’s new drinking law, which would raise the legal age for drinking from 19 to 21 on January 1, 1986.

WRMT – Student run radio station (540 AM) established in 1969 with a grant of $3,000 from the Student Government Council. The first broadcast was on September 17, 1969. The first dee-jays were Chuck Kraushaar (also president of the station), Jack Bergen, Barry Banks, Bill Shepherd, Jim Morrison, Jeff Levine. The advertising manager was Ron Witt. The station transmitted via AM carrier current in College Center and residence halls. Electrical technology student Charles Sawner coordinated its development. There were also hopes of establishing an FM station, which would broadcast over a radius of 50 miles.


On December 12, 1968, MVCC students contributed 171 pints of blood in an on-campus bloodmobile, edging close to Hamilton College’s 186-pint lead and well ahead of Utica College’s 126 pints in the annual tri-college Bloodhound Contest. The Bloodhound, awarded each spring, was the trophy that traveled from college to college as the symbol of the academic year’s top contributing campus.

Phalanx Fraternity

Organized August 1947.

Tau Omicron Pi (“Toppers”) Fraternity

Organized February 1947

1968 - The brothers of Tau Omicron Pi fraternity were labeled the “Miracle Workers of 1968” by Marie A. Russo, Executive Director of Utica’s Neighborhood Center, for the fraternity’s collection of almost $500 in food in a city-wide campaign during December 1968. Their Toys for Tots dance the same weekend netted almost as much again in toys and donations. All of the items were distributed to needy families in the Utica area.



In February 1969, the MVCC Radio Club received a grant of $3,000 from the Student Government Council to establish an AM radio broadcasting station on campus. The station would transmit via AM carrier current throughout the campus from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m., broadcasting music, campus news, student-faculty discussions, and sports events. The club hoped to eventually establish an educational FM station that would transmit within a radius of 50 miles.

2002 Broadcasting discontinued

2004 Station dismantled


1957-58 (Student Government Council)
President: Ed Scheidler, Watertown
Ron Trojan, Vice President
Howie Clark, Treasurer
Arlene Dwyer, Co-Treasurer
Judy Rice, Secretary
Carol Bostwick, Co-Secretary

President: Timothy F. Murphy, Syracuse
Vice-President: Perry N. Smith, Sheds
Recording Secretary: Janice Usiatynski, Clay
Corresponding Secretary: Maureen Miller, Clay
Treasurer: Debbie McCourt, Camillus

President: Alan M. Harrington, Sherrill, Police Science
First Vice President: Kurt Pentoney, Syracuse
Corresponding Secretary: Debra Dunning, Massapequa
Treasurer: Richard Golden, Seaford

President: Steve Meacham, Vernon, criminal justice
Program Director: Patrick Murray, Rome, liberal arts and science

President: Martin Lazore, Utica, Criminal Justice
Vice President: Anthony LoPiccolo, Utica, Accounting
Treasurer: Joseph Javitz, Utica, Accounting
Program Director: Timothy Pape, Utica, Accounting
Student Trustee: Riche Henry, Utica, Human Services

President: Anthony Lopiccolo, Utica, Accounting
Vice President: Stephanie Mitchell, Plattsburgh, Advertising Design & Production
Treasurer: Suzanne Compo, Lowville, Accounting
Program Board Director: JoAnn Berkman, Rock Tavern, NY, Advertising Design & Production

President: Cynthia Corzilius, Rome, Science
Vice President: Rosemary Lucadamo, Utica, Individual Studies/Photography
Lisa Bolmer, Yorkville, Program Director, Advertising Design & Production/Media Marketing & Management
Melissa Leone, Utica, Treasurer, Accounting

President: Robert P. Lemieszek, Lockport, General Studies, Media Marketing & Management
Vice President: Elizabeth G. Yerka, Remsen, International Studies
Treasurer: Brian Kuzniar, Yorkville, Business Administration
Program Director: Vincent Notarianni, Utica, Mechanical Engineering Technology

President: Jill Hinman, Sauquoit, liberal ats and sciences (switched to food service)
Vice President: Caryn Van Deusen, Schoharie
Treasurer: Cathy Davis, Clayville, accounting
Program Board Director: Estelle Fosella, Rome, General Studies

President: Cathy Davis, Sauquoit, Accounting
Vice President: Thomas Robusto, Rome, Liberal Arts & Sciences-General Studies
Treasurer: Renee Clemente, Utica, Accounting
Program Director: Cindy Shubrick, Bronx, Liberal Arts & Sciences-General Studies

President: Brian Harple, Utica, Accounting (graduate of Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk Central Schools)
Vice President: Barbara D’Onofrio, Poland, Criminal Justice
Treasurer: Kevin Sweetser, Manhattan, Media Marketing & Management
Program Director: Richard Morehouse, New Hartford, Welding

President: Kory Aversa, Utica, Liberal Arts & Sciences: Humanities & Social Sciences
Vice President: Maris Spiers, Rome, Liberal Arts & Sciences: Humanities & Social Sciences

President: Cheri Smallwood, Brooklyn, Data Processing
Vice President: Tiffany McLallen, Camden, NY, General Studies
Treasurer: Melody Meakim, Dolgeville, Liberal Arts & Sciences
Student Trustee: Beth Ann Salata, New Hartford, Chemical Technology

President: Elizabeth Goetz, Rome, Liberal Arts & Sciences (originally Michael Paninski, Phoenix)
Vice President: Debbie Jadhon, Utica, Nursing
Student Trustee: Michael Paninski, Phoenix, NY, Graphic Communication: Illustration

President: Kathy Jones, Utica, Human Services/Chemical Dependency Counseling
Vice President: Teresa Noto, Rome, Medical Records Technology/Human Services-Case Management
Program Director: Dorcas Ahern, Rome, Recreation Leadership/Chemical Dependency Counseling
Student Trustee: Jeffrey Clem, Utica, Electrical Engineering Technology

President: Jennifer Clark-Weiler, Clinton, Human Services
Vice President: Joseph Sorce, Marcy, Criminal Justice
Treasurer: Richard A. LaPointe, Utica, Accounting

President: Keith Rosenthal, Brooklyn, Business Management
Vice President: Mark Solomon, Bronx, Graphic Design, Photography
Treasurer: Toshinori Uejima, Niigata, Japan, General Studies
Program Director: Tiffany Perrino, Greenfield Center, NY, Individual Studies
Student Trustee: Abraham Saffer, Pittsford, NY, General Studies

President: Andrew Dean, Westmoreland, International Studies
Vice-President for Governance: Jean Leandre, Spring Valley, Media Marketing & Management
Vice-President for Programming: Jennifer Whitney, New Hartford, General Studies
Vice President for Finance: Sweta Patel, India/Rome, NY, Business Administration
Student Trustee: Douglas Koba, Munnsville, Air Conditioning Technology

President: Nicole Kotary, Floyd, NY, General Studies
Vice-President of Governance: Paul Malinowski, Whitesboro, General Studies
Student Trustee: Douglas Koba (see above) fall semester; Paul Malinowski (see above) spring semester