Detroit finances| 3
Her Editor in chief Stephanie Giluk reviews Spike Jonze’s new movie.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014 Volume 33, Issue 8
The polar vortex is coming at us like a dark horse.
Full of spirit
>>NEWS Professor Spotlight | 2 Culture Editor Paris Close shines the spotlight on English Professor Vicki McMillan.
Bridgegate | 3 Reporter Yashowanto Ghosh takes a look at the Governor Chris Christie scandal.
>>CULTURE Young the Giant | 5 Read the latest on the band’s new album, Mind Over Matter.
August: Osage County | 6 Staff Writer Ian McNeil reviews the star-studded movie.
>>SPORTS Aquinas basketball | 7 Sports Editor Alyssa Frese reports on the men’s and women’s teams. Women’s hockey | 8 Sports Editor Alyssa Frese has the scoop on the new team.
Men’s hockey | 7
Saint Thomas Aquinas Week brings a little fun to a very snowy campus By Mayra Monroy Staff Writer The annual St. Thomas Aquinas week kicked off on January 24, 2014, for the Aquinas student body and staff. The annual celebration of St. Thomas Aquinas, the namesake behind the campus name, always brings campus organizations together to provide a week of activities that show the pride that the campus has behind its patron saint. “I think students enjoy the fact that this is a fun week with a variety of activities during a cold and cloudy month,”director of campus ministry Mary Clark-Kaiser said. “It is a great break from the cold weather and builds all of our spirits.” Student and campus organizations such as Campus Ministry, Campus Life, Residence Life, Catholic Studies, Diversity and Inclusion, Admissions, Athletics, Student Support Services, and clubs like AQ LIGHT, CAVA, SAC and Catholic Life, among several others, are sponsoring a variety of events that will prove to create a memorable and fun celebration of St. Thomas Aquinas. “I like that it is St. Thomas Aquinas that we are celebrating because he is a model for us at this college. He was a brilliant thinker, writer,teacher and philosopher, a Doctor of the Church. And at the same time he was a mystic, a man of deep prayer,” Kaiser added. Junior Saint’s Weekend kicked off the week, beginning on Friday, January 24 and lasting through Sunday. At 8 p.m., the Aquinas History club had the 13th annual showing of Monty Python and the Holy Grail with a themed party in the Donnelly Center. Taking place in Wege Ballroom on Saturday evening,
the Medieval Dinner Theater provided food and entertainment to students and family during Jr. Saints’ Weekend, provided by the Aquinas Theatre Program and Music Department Chamber Choir, Guitar Ensemble and Women’s Chorus. A signature event of St. Thomas Aquinas week is the birthday cake, sponsored b y s e ve r a l c a m p u s organizations. The location of cakes will vary by time but will be in the lower level of Wege, AB lobby, Cook Carriage House, Library Piazza, Albertus Hall, Hruby, AMC and Holmdene. COURTESY ANDRIS VISOCKIS Taking place from 4 p.m.-10 p.m. on Monday and Tuesday, Spirited Saint: Aquinas mascot Nelson gets some high fives from a junior saint. the Chartres Labyrinth Walk took place in Wege Ballroom, social justice work. discuss the life and history of St. Francis a prayerful meditative walk upon a On Wednesday, the annual St. of Assisi. replicated floor labyrinth and helped Thomas Aquinas Patronal Mass will take “What I really enjoy about students experience an ancient form of place at St. Thomas the Apostle Church St. Thomas Aquinas Week is the prayer. located by St. Joseph the Worker hall. collaboration of so many...people from The Feast of St. Thomas took place On Thursday, the final day of St. across campus who are all sponsoring on Tuesday with a variety of events to Thomas Aquinas week, the St. Thomas different activities to make the week celebrate the patron saint. The annual Aquinas Birthday Dinner will take place fun and memorable,” said Kaiser. “It AQ Family Photo took place in the steps in Wege with the Dominican sisters builds community on campus and of AB at 12:10 p.m. The Jane Hibbard as guests. To end the week, Campus helps remind us that we are all a part of Idema Women’s Study Center lecture Ministry and the Catholic Studies something bigger than ourselves.” took place at 12:30 p.m., bringing in department are bringing Dominican Fr. The schedule of events will be speaker Barbara Hansen, who reflected Augustine Thompson, a historian and posted throughout campus. on her life as a Dominican Sister and professor of philosophy and theology, to
Sochi time All eyes are on Russia as the Winter Olympics are set to begin By Yashowanto Ghosh The Saint Reporter
Whitecaps: The stadium, seen here summers before the fire, is a popular summer spot. stadium functioning for opening day, By Cait Hilton April 8. Their goal is to have all repairs Staff Writer completely finished by June 17 for the Midwest League All-Star game. They Fifth Third Ballpark, home of the are promising not only to rebuild, but West Michigan Whitecaps, an affiliate to rebuild better. of the Detroit Tigers, caught fire on “These are two ambitious but Jan. 3, which heavily damaged the first achievable goals,” Chamberlin and base line - destroying nearly 40 percent Baxter said at the West Michigan of the park. Whitecaps Winter Banquet held at The fire is said to have ignited the Devos Place on Jan. 23. To many via space heater, turned on and left in the area, Fifth Third Ballpark is the unattended by a crew working in the home of many memories. For the sake suites. When the crew returned, they community, the co-owners refuse to let found the stadium ablaze. No injuries those disappear. were inflicted, but the ballpark suffered Many of the Detroit Tiger coaching a loss of ten suites, the Whitecaps’ staff and players traveled to West clubhouse and the concourse structure Michigan for the banquet. along the first base line. The stadium Through the auction at the banquet, seats, however, were left undamaged. the Whitecaps were able to raise a record Response to the stadium fire $58,528 dollars for the YMCA Inner City was slowed due to the state of the Youth Baseball and Softball Program. environment. First, the sprinkler system Also, a Whitecaps pitcher, Jon Connolly, in the stadium was disengaged earlier who went 16-3 with a 1.41 Era in 25 on that day because of a false alarm, starts was inducted into the Whitecaps rendering the preemptive fire protection Hall of Fame. useless. Secondly, there was a lack of During the same event, Johnny hydrants outside the park available for Agar, a wheelchair bound athlete from response teams to make use of. Rockford, who was also recognized by Like the co-owners of the Whitecaps ESPN, was honored at the event and Lew Chamberlin and Denny Baxter also got to meet members of the Detroit say, “There is no crying in baseball.” Tigers beforehand. Chamberlin and Baxter quickly got back up on their feet, vowing to have the
According to a 1986 Associated Press story about the International Olympic Committee’s decision to split the Summer Olympics and Winter Olympics after the 1992 Games, “IOC officials said it would in the future concentrate greater attention on the Winter Games, which, until (then), had been widely regarded as a lessimportant preliminary to the Summer Games.” That wish for more attention already came true in the very first Winter Olympics of the new cycle—eight years later in Lillehammer, Norway— with special thanks to figure skaters Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan. But Olympic records are made to be broken, and, if “greater attention on the Winter Games” is what the IOC wants, then the upcoming Winter COURTESY ERIC DRAPER Olympics in Sochi, Russia, are already exceeding the IOC’s Preparations: Russian President Vladimir Putin shows former U.S. President George W. w i l d e s t d r e a m s , w i t h t h e Bush Russia’s plans for the Winter Olympics. Putin-led government and terrorist threats as frontrunners for confrontation by enforcing Rule 50 of Putin himself went on record about the gold medal in controversy and the Olympic Charter on athletes. The the LGBT rights issue on Friday, sensation. rule in question states: “No kind of January 17, saying that gay visitors The human rights situation in demonstration or political, religious are welcome in Russia, but that they Russia had been bizarre all along— or racial propaganda is permitted in must “leave the children in peace.” take, for example, the Pussy Riot trial any Olympic sites, venues or other Two days after that, a video from 2012—but the country’s issues areas.” from an Islamist militant group with human rights became entangled The Russian government, for claimed responsibility for two recent with the Sochi Games when, last its part, has been working on its s u i c i d e b o m b i n g s i n V o l g o g r a d summer, its parliament, the Duma, image for the last two months, such (aka Stalingrad) and saying that a u n a n i m o u s l y p a s s e d a n e w l a w as releasing Pussy Riot members “surprise” is in store for Sochi. Next, banning gay “propaganda,” resulting Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Team USA received a threat by e-mail in calls from LGBT activists for Tolkonnikova from prison in mid- warning them to not attend the games; countries to boycott Sochi and wider December and dropping charges several other national delegations concern about the prudence of gay against the last of the 30-member crew received similar threats. athletes and/or spectators travelling of the Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise Tune in when the Olympic torch to Russia. at the end of December (although reaches Sochi on Friday, February 7. T h e I O C h o p e s t o a v o i d they are still holding the ship itself).
THE SAINT | WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014
Aquinas: Mark your calendars for the annual Soul Food Sunday
Grand Rapids: No owl zone for Gerald R. Ford Airport
Michigan: Young Michigan doctor remains missing
National: SeaWorld accused of tampering with CNN poll
Get ready for VIBE’s “Soul Food Sunday,” one of campus’ favorite yearly events. This year, Soul Food Sunday will take place on February 16, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Wege Ballroom. The event looks to educate on the culture of soul food and will dish up some classic soul food favorites.
The Gerald R. Ford Airport has had some feathery, unwelcome visitors this winter season. An influx of snowy owls has posed problems to flight safety, causing the airport staff to shoot reportedly nine owls in the last two months. Last week, live traps were set up around the airport to avoid killing the birds.
Almost a month after her disappearance, Teleka Patrick’s whereabouts are still a mystery. On January 22, Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller spoke at a press conference, but admitted they are no closer to finding Patrick. Patrick was last seen in Kalamazoo on December 5.
A poll taken on CNN.com on asked voters if the recent documentary Blackfish has changed their views on SeaWorld parks. The poll found 99% of responders claimed the popular documentary had not changed their views. Researchers later found that over half of the poll’s votes came from a computer at SeaWorld in Orlando, FL.
Student vs. school laura farrell |news editor There has been a lot of talk in Grand Rapids and online lately about the Grand Valley State University student newspaper, The Lanthorn. On December 5, 2013, the newspaper ran an editorial calling out the practice of naming rooms and buildings after donors. The editorial raised the point that it is quite easy to see who’s behind the money at GVSU, with many places on campus increasingly being named after businesses and individual donors. The GVSU administration did not take well to the editorial,and were not shy in showing their lack of admiration of the piece, reprimanding the newspaper. The relationship a school has with its donors and its seemingly separate relationship with the student body is clearly tricky. Everyone wants to feel like the number one priority. As a payer of tuition and a young adult with Aquinas behind my name, I feel that the school should value me the most. I am creating the school’s reputation in the workforce and have been paying for such privileges for the past four years. Then again, if I was a donor giving lots of money, you bet I wanted to feel like I am important to the college. So where do you draw the line? When I first read The Lanthorn’s editorial, I simply agreed with what they were arguing. I want a library to be a library, not a building of books with the name on the outside being the most valued aspect of it. It was not until I brought the topic up with others, admittedly adults older than myself, that I witnessed the other side of the argument. I do not want to disrespect any Aquinas donor in any way. I am fully aware of how much donations do for our campus and our students and I am deeply grateful. My parents attended Aquinas College through the generosity of donors way back when (sorry guys), and because of those donations, they were able to receive an exemplary education, an education that they would not be able to receive without donations. Their education led to successful careers, which has in turn allowed them to give back to Aquinas, both in donations, and by throwing two of their kids back into the AQ system. Now I, in turn, can attend Aquinas because of the generosity shown in the AQ community. We can all see the generosity of donors in scholarships, our beautiful and expanding facilities, and the respected reputation Aquinas has developed. What I do want to point out though is the refusal for debate. I feel that if students have any problem, or voice their educated opinions, it is the duty of administration to discuss them. When certain names, topics, or discussions become so taboo that it is an automatic slap on the wrist, the system is not working equally for its members. Just as public newspapers act as watchdogs for government, so must student newspapers for the administration. After all, our purpose is to provide information to students, by students. It is our duty to raise questions, to voice concerns, and to investigate any injustice. As journalists, we expect raised eyebrows or argument because of controversial reporting, but an outright denial of our integrity and ability is just plain wrong. I was quite taken back by the responses from both GVSU administrators, and well as people from the Grand Rapids community. It is so discouraging, especially for young adults, to see such a blatant refusal for discussion. We should not be scolded for our questions or concerns, we should be rewarded with a collaboration of solutions. As an editor and as a college student, I chose to stand by The Lanthorn in their publication, and their refusal to apologize for their blunt reporting. It is the duty of a student newspaper to express the student body’s beliefs, and if the voice of a student body cannot express itself, even in a student newspaper, the administration has become a disservice their students.
World news roundup
The life of Saint Francis of Assisi Father Augustine Thompson to present on the saint to the AQ community By Mayra Monroy Staff Writer St. Thomas Aquinas week began on Friday, January 24, and has a week of activities scheduled for students and staff. Along with the various events and cake that takes place during the yearly event, a signature event never fails to provide powerful insight through lecture. The annual St. Thomas Aquinas lecture h a s b r o u g h t s e ve r a l intellectual speakers to share their insights on faith for Aquinas students. On January 30, at 7p.m. in the Wege COURTESY FLORENCIO BRIONES Ballroom, the Catholic Studies department and Namesake: Pope Francis chose his name after Saint Campus Ministry have Francis of Assisi when elected last year. provided the public with an informative and interesting professor at the Dominican School lecture about an elusive saint who is of Philosophy and Theology, teaches often misinterpreted. in Berkley, California. Prior to his S t . F r a n c i s o f A s s i s i wa s a n teaching at the Dominican School of Italian preacher and Catholic Friar. Philosophy and Theology, he taught P r o c l a i m e d a s a s a i n t b y P o p e at the University of Oregon and Gregory IX in 1228, St. Francis is University of Virginia for several commonly associated with being years. the patron saint of animals and the During his dissertation research, environment and is one of the two Fr. Augustine spent time in Italy, patron saints of Italy. St. Francis was where he would develop and research a religious deacon, a confessor and a in depth the life of St. Francis of religious founder to all. Assisi. His vast knowledge of the In the recent election of Pope, subject is what the Catholic Studies Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio chose center hopes will engage and inspire St. Francis in his honor as his papal students. name. “With Pope Francis so heavily “I know he will bring a clear, in the news this past year, I thought erudite and forceful presentation,” we might taken the opportunity of the said Pinheiro. “[Fr. Augustine] is a annual St. Thomas Aquinas lecture great historian and he will bring some to look at the pope’s namesake,” context and reality to the person of said Dr. John Pinheiro, director of Francis of Assisi...a man and saint Catholic Studies at Aquinas. who challenged much ab out his F r . Au g u s t i n e T h o m p s o n , contemporary society.” a Dominican priest and history
Bombs set off in Egypt as the country marks the anniversary of the Egyptian revolution By Yashowanto Ghosh The Saint Reporter SYRIA – Representatives of the Syrian government and Syria’s insurgents held their first face-toface negotiations on Saturday, January 25, in Geneva, Switzerland. The first issue COURTESY NFP discussed was the possibilities Activist: Catherine Samba-Panza was recently elected as Ceno f d e l i v e r i n g tral Africa Republic’s interim president. food and to opposition leaders, but the offers medical aid to the residents of the rebel-held city were turned down. Protests spread of Homs, which has been under beyond the capital Kiev to other siege by the government forces for cities, and police brutality allegedly months. The two sides avoided escalated. EGYPT – Four explosions marked communicating with each other directly, both addressing the United the anniversary of the 2011 Egyptian Nations’ Special Envoy to Syria revolution on Friday, January 24. Officials said at least 29 people Lakhdar Brahimi instead. C E N T R A L A F R I C A N were killed. The country has been REPUBLIC – In the middle of another immersed in unrest since the ousting civil war—this one between Christian of its first democratically elected and Muslim militias—Central African president Mohamed Morsi in a July Republic elected Catherine Samba- 2013 military-backed coup. A revised Panza as its new interim president constitution was voted in by a landslide on Monday, January 20. Samba- in a referendum on Thursday, January Panza, former mayor of the nation’s 16, with government forces stepping capital Bangui, is the first woman to up its crackdown on dissidents and lead the country and, on Saturday, foreign journalists. TH A IL A N D – With advan ce January 25, chose former banker Andre Nzapayeke to serve as prime polls scheduled for Sunday, January minister. Meanwhile, former health 26, with elections a week later, the minister Joseph Kalite was killed on opposition has vowed to occupy polling booths, demanding removal Friday, January 24. UKRAINE – The protests set off of the government of the country’s by President Viktor Yanukovych’s first woman prime minister Yingluck decision two months ago to back Shinawatra and installation of an out of a treaty with the European unelected “people’s council.” A court Union have developed into a crisis ruled on Friday, January 24, that it is on the streets and a stalemate in legal to postpone elections, and the negotiations. On Saturday, January government offered to do so if the 25, Yanukovich offered the country’s opposition would agree to elections prime ministership and vice-prime in the near future. ministership for humanitarian affairs
Vicki McMillan, Professor of English By Paris Close Culture Editor Vicki McMillan is an established author whose creative works have appeared in Sky, Controlled Burn, Voices and The Kalamazoo Reader. Although McMillan is most known for the adoration of her students and giving words of wisdom, only few know about her earlier interests in biology and time as a legal assistant before becoming an English professor at Aquinas College. McMillan was raised in Muskegon, Michigan, until her father decided to move the family into the rural countryside of Ottawa County. She recalls this migration as difficult but with help from her elementary science teacher Mrs. Laird, McMillan developed a love for many things, including science: “I loved science. I would always go out and collect specimens, squirreling them away into my dresser,” said McMillan. She became quite the biologist during her youth. “I would help my father clean game and I was fascinated by the anatomy of these animals.” Along with examining nature’s creatures, she explored literature and wrote poetry to cope with the transition from city to countryside: “I needed a voice and poetry became that voice for me,” she said. During her youth, McMillan took advantage of the farm lifestyle and spent time in the haylofts
grandmother’s delicious treats with a hint of wisdom and guidance. “They trusted her because she was the ‘cookie lady,’” she said. After finishing high school, McMillan headed to Grand Rapids working as a legal assistant, and there she discovered the love of her life, Duncan, a banjo-playing lawyer from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, while running errands at 63 District Court. “He was standing in front of me filing papers—how romantic is that?” she joked. Together, the couple have built a life in East Grand Rapids, Michigan with their son Chase. COURTESY ANDRIS VISOCKIS Although she enjoyed Spotlight: Professor of English Vicki McMillan urges studying law, McMillan went on to receive her students to let their passions drive them. master’s degree in Creative Writing as well as a master of arts reading the works of Charles Dickens. in English from Western Michigan One of her most core values, she University. Shortly thereafter, she began says, is family, and as a child McMillan teaching at Aquinas College, learning learned much about generosity from under English-Literature professors her grandmother, often referred as the Brent Chesley and Miriam Pederson. At “cookie lady” in her neighborhood. that time, she’d also befriended Maureen “She was a woman of great faith and Maher and Judi Creamer, who would felt a responsibility to serve the needs later become great friends of hers. of a community,” said McMillan. While studying at Aquinas, McMillan Children would often stop by for her welcomed a new mission: “I felt a calling
News Editor Laura Farrell E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone (616) 632-2975
to be the new cookie lady, to serve the needs of the students,” she said. Maher and Creamer said McMillan’s strength and dedication to both her family and students is highly respectable: “She is totally generous and an amazing, compassionate woman,” said Creamer. Maher remarks that besides her wonderful personality, McMillan also has an enchanting voice: “We attend the same church and her voice is so lovely,” Maher said. Creamer has said that her friendship with McMillan has gotten even stronger through their battles with cancer, but through those misfortunes their relationship has evolved together: “It shows how we survived through those times,” she said. “I admired her positive attitude and it had a great impact on me.” Maher went on to note McMillan’s astonishing devotion and attitude as well: “I totally admire her strength. Through her medical recovery, from the tumor, she came back and never let a student down. Up to this day, her students come first.” McMillan encourages those who have a passion—not just for writing but for anything—to pursue it. “It’s hard work, but go with it,” she said, “because once you find something you’re really passionate about you’ll wake up in the morning saying, ‘Yes, I know I’ve made the right decision.’”
THE SAINT | WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014
Governor Chris Christie at the center of the latest political scandal
Financial burden continues to threaten the Motor City
The following will be seen in action, among others: Robert Luskin, who defended Karl Rove in Plamegate and Lance Armstrong in his doping case, and was even involved in overseeing the FBI’s Abscam investigation (recently
826 New Jersey voters to rate their governor on several traits, 43 percent said the word “bully” describes him very well, which was a nine-point The New Jersey state Assembly increase (with margin of error 3.6 c o m m i t t e e t h a t i s i n ve s t i g a t i n g percent) from a similar poll conducted Bridgegate in October 2013, issued 20 although 67 subpœnas, 18 of percent said the them to officials word “fighter” of the Port also describes Au t h o r i t y a n d him very well. of the Christie In September administration, 2013, Governor one to the Christie had Office of the d e s c r i b e d Governor, and himself as a one to Christie’s fighter and not re-election a bully during a campaign the CBS interview. week before Fighters G o v e r n o r and river Christie was crossings have sworn in for often been his second term associated in o n Tu e s d a y , history, from January 21. Julius Cæsar In his separate crossing the investigation of R u b i c o n the scandal, Paul to George Fishman, United Wa s h i n g t o n States Attorney COURTESY CARLOS CRUZ c r o s s i n g t h e for the District De l awar e, of New Jersey, Scandal: Newly sworn in New Jersey Governor Chris Christie found himself in hot a n d h a v e , o n issued subpœnas water last week. occasion, even to Christie’s rebeen associated election campaign and New Jersey’s seen on the screen as Academy Awards with retreat, such as Napoleon crossing state Republican Party. frontrunner American Hustle); Michael the Berezina. The current situation, The New Jersey state Senate has Critchley, Sr., who once defended the however, might be the first instance of formed its own committee to conduct Lucchese mafia family and former U.S. a fighter stuck in a traffic standstill on a third investigation. Homeland Security secretary Michael a bridge across a river. Several of the subpœnaed parties Chertoff. Meanwhile, Dawn Zimmer, have retained high-profile lawyers, As of this writing, nothing links Democratic mayor of Hoboken, N.J., a d d i n g ye t a n o t h e r K a f k a e s q u e Governor Christie himself to the accused the Christie administration dimension to the story beyond the scandal, but it may have already hurt of tying Hurricane Sandy relief funds questions about who ordered the lane his prospects for the 2016 presidential for her city to her support for a closures for four days in September elections. In an opinion poll conducted development project in the city. The 2013 and why. by during January 14–19 which asked administration denied her allegations. By Yashowanto Ghosh The Saint Reporter
The polar vortex hits Grand Rapids linger. With driving conditions remaining dangerous and With Michigan’s temperatures well past few winters below freezing, on being quite mild, Monday, January Michiganders have 27, 2014, schools been through the t h r o u g h o u t We s t ringer this season, with Michigan were snow piling up. 2014 closed, with Aquinas has already become closed until 10:30 a record setting year, a.m. and then after with massive amounts 4:30 p.m. of snowfall being A campus-wide recorded. alert warned students The city of Detroit to travel at their reported that so far own risk and avoid this month, they have putting themselves received over 34.6 in danger. Students inches of snowfall, were told to contact the highest amount their professors if on record. In 1978, COURTESY ROBERT NEMIROFF they were unable to the snowfall was 29.6 inches, a record that Snowed in: This satellite picture of Michigan, taken this past week, is almost travel to campus. With frostbite and is now moved into unrecognizable with the massive snow fronts covering the majority of the state. exposure a major second place. The concern, those are average amount of throughout the month of January has have to brave the elements are strongly January snowfall for Detroit is 12.5 been labeled the Polar Vortex. urged to bundle up, and keep time inches. CNN described the polar vortex as a outside to a minimum. Drivers are Grand Rapids and the rest of the West “circulation of strong upper-level winds urged to keep their gas tanks near coast have been hit hard as well. The that normally surround the northern full, in case they are stranded in below beginning of January set the record for pole in a counterclockwise direction- a zero temperatures. Temperatures are lowest consecutive high temperature, polar low pressure system.” Essentially, expected to be back in the 20s this which remained less than seven degrees the frigid air and snowfall has been upcoming weekend. Fahrenheit. The system that has lingered locked in the Midwest and continues to
By Laura Farrell News Editor
News Editor Laura Farrell
COURTESY US FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Waiting city: With the hearings on Detroit’s bankruptcy ongoing and the race for the city’s mayor, the status of the city remains questionable. By Chuck Hyde Staff Writer The financial situation in Detroit is still on shaky ground. After the city declared Chapter 9 bankruptcy last July, legislators at the state and federal level have worked to find a solution to Detroit’s situation that would appease creditors while allowing the city to recover financially. Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr has working in cooperation with Governor Rick Snyder to ensure an efficient transition. Among Detroit’s most controversial debt is the 3.5 billion dollars in pension funds owed to employees that the state is now unable to pay. Recently there were talks of selling the majority of the Detroit Institute of Arts museum’s collection to help pay this debt. The New York Times reports that nine foundations have contributed a combined 330 million dollars toward the pension debt to avoid the selling of the numerous works possessed b y t h e museum. Th is is one of the first strides to save the city from bankruptcy, but it is unfortunately only a small portion of what needs to be done to salvage the municipality’s economy.
According to federal bankruptcy j u d g e S t e ve n R h o d e s , t h e c o u r t intends to take as much time as needed to formulate a resolution to the debt crisis. Orr says that he is hopeful that the talks will be wrapped up by mid-February, though there are many details and points that will need to be addressed before then. The Wall Street Journal reports that Orr’s plan to switch workers over to 401(k)’s has been denied by chief district Judge Gerald Rosen. Rosen wants to see that systematic problems with Detroit are fixed and the rampant fraud in the city’s retirement system is addressed before any settlements or definitive action plans are put in place. Governor Snyder has suggested that money from a 1988 tobacco settlement intended for public health be used to alleviate the debt. This is being reviewed by state legislators along with several other ideas proposed by Snyder, Orr, and others involved with situation. Ultimately, the donations to prevent sale of the artwork is a step forward, however small it may be. Detroit still has a long way to financial independence, and the end is not yet in sight.
Winter weather warning
LAURA FARRELL / THE SAINT
A snowy campus: Aquinas college campus looks like a winter wonderland. With snow continuing to fall, treks across campus to class become more difficult. Be prepared and bundle up, Saints!
Phone (616) 632-2975
THE SAINT | WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014
The age of enlightenment?
FROM THE CROWD
St. Thomas Aquinas week, for more than just the free cake; Leonardo DiCaprio, for always being the Jack to our Rose; Coffee, for thawing out our frozen insides; Bey and Jay, for starting the Grammys off right; Delivery food, for minimizing our time outside; Lupita Nyong’o, for being her fabulous, fashionable self; The GVSU Lanthorn staff, for sticking to their guns; Buzzfeed, for letting us know which Harry Potter character we are. HECKLES TO...
By Paris Close Culture Editor When I think about my generation, I think of young people too busy twerking, Instagramming or tweeting the latest nonsense to even entertain such things like the cultural divide from racism. And I don’t know about you, but I’d find that to be a reasonable compromise from where we once started. Think about it: would you rather spend the rest of your life preserving the tradition of spewing hatred or joining in on the fun of posting photos of your newly adopted cat, Mr. Fuzzlekins? Now you’re probably wondering what Mr. Fuzzlekins and racism have in common, and the answer is absolutely nothing, which brings me to my main point. In a world that is rapidly evolving towards a more liberal and collective effort for peace and equality, decade-by-decade, do you think racism has the potential to outlive another century? My answer is no. But as far-
By Stephanie Giluk Editor-in-Chief
The Oscar nominations, for snubbing Blackfish, Robert Redford, Emma Thompson and Her;
As a senior who is all set to graduate this May, I’m getting a lot of well-meaning questions from friends, family and strangers about my next step in life. Since it’s not polite to break down in loud, messy crying in public, I usually try to smile and answer with a nice-sounding platitude that will satisfy the questioner so I can escape and have a breakdown somewhere private. Listen, it’s great that you’re taking interest in my welfare and are concerned for my future. But if I have someone say to me, “Oh, you’re an English major. So you’ll be teaching then?” one more time, I’ll rage-scream until I pass out. No, I will not be teaching, and no, I will not be going to grad school anytime
Taylor Swift, for thinking she won a Grammy; Super Bowl commercial hype, for being dumb; AQ heaters in distress; The Whitecaps stadium fire; Downton Abbey, for ruining our lives with terrible plot devices.
theSaint 2013-2014 E D I T O R I A L B O A R D Editor-in-Chief News Editor Culture Editor
Stephanie Giluk Laura Farrell Paris Close
Sports Editor Managing Editor
Alyssa Frese Michelle Szczap
Adviser Dr. Dan Brooks *** Please note that the views expressed on this page are those of their respective author(s), and do not necessarily represent the views of The Saint as a whole.
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fetched and unbelievable as it sounds right now, allow the idea to marinate in your mind with a few insights taken from my own experiences. Whenever I hear or read about things involving slavery, I can’t help but roll my eyes and let out another exhausted sigh. This is not the most ideal response, of course, but you have to understand where I am coming from. I am from an entirely different era from that of my parents and grandparents, meaning I can totally respect their views on the controversial topic. I understand that I was not actually there to experience the amount of discrimination and oppression as they did, so any amount of advice or guidance from them, I take wholeheartedly. However, people also need to realize that slavery ended centuries ago, and that this nation has since undergone constant reform. We live in a world that is gradually learning to respect racial diversity and I believe the hundred generations to come will have no need to preserve racial divide or discrimination. In fact,
we’ve seen this happen in our own nation before. Fifty-some years ago, no one would have imagined we’d be in the position we are in today. So how farfetched of an idea would it be for the entire concept of racism to be wiped out completely one hundred years from now? Not very unlikely at all. Right now, we’re experiencing a time of cultural integration like no other, where people can have conversations about harsh topics without underscoring them with hatred. This new tradition of equality and enlightenment (and Instagram), I can assure you, will replace the old customs of America. There is certainly hope, maybe hundreds of years from now, that racism, just like slavery, will be a distant memory and cats will have ruled the world. In other words, the world will be in the great, soft and furry hands of Mr. Fuzzlekins. And I don’t know about you, but I feel even better just entertaining the possibility.
Please don’t remind me that the end is nigh
Winter, for trying to kill us every time we go outside;
Flying cars, for not being real yet;
soon. I’ve even had a fellow student who has been in a several classes with me before actually laugh in my face when I told her I’ll be graduating with a degree in English and my plan is to try to find a job after graduation. That reaction really made my day. Well, if the two most obvious paths for English majors to take are out of the question, what am I going to do? Try not to starve. Do my best not to get crushed under the crippling weight of all the debt I’ve accrued while attending college. Ponder the way I was told that going to college would guarantee me well-paying employment when really that stopped being true quite some time ago. I’m just trying to say that what I do after graduation is my problem, and if I wanted you to know, I would
have told you, friend of my mom’s who I haven’t seen since I was four years old. College students who are ready to graduate are already under enough stress and no doubt worry almost all the time about their future will be like. I know I don’t need to add “justify my major to every person that asks about my future” to my list of anxieties, and I’m sure at least some of my fellow soon-tobe-grads feel the same way. But really, what do I really want to do? Not to get sentimental on you, but I’d really like to be happy after I graduate. I want to find a job that makes me excited about getting out of bed in the morning. So don’t worry too much. I’ll figure something out, and I’m sure all of you will too.
Get out your iPhone and start a revolution By Chuck Hyde Staff Writer Protests have always been a key part of change on an international level. With the reintroduction and popularization of democracy, they have become an integral part of the voice of the people being heard. The Boston Tea Party, the abolitionist movement, women’s suffrage, civil rights, the counter-culture’s stand against the Vietnam War—the list goes on and on. These are all examples of movements that have changed our country and, in some cases, the world forever. Protests, demonstrations and movements such as these still occur constantly in the modern world. Particularly in the past few years, public instigation of change has completely changed. Social media is now the catalyst that can begin a new era for a country. Entire nations have been overthrown using the internet. Arab Spring is a perfect example of this, with countless others
happening again and again. Last year allowed many new protests to emerge: Turkey, Brazil, and Ukraine have all seen upheaval this past year, with Ukraine’s situation elevating even as this issue goes to print. Modern availability of information makes it so that even the average citizen can find the injustice, corruption and wrongdoing present in their governments. A good example of this can even be found in the United States with the revelations of Edward Snowden and others that showcase the vast breaches of privacy that our government has made onto the American public. This has not only has implications in America, but in other parts of the world as well. Countries such as Britain are attempting to censor messages from Snowden and others that condemn the practices of their governments. It seems as though we in the United States should be better equipped and more capable of protesting such practices, but we don’t do so nearly as much as we should.
Sure, there is the usual uproar on the internet about injustice, but we do little to attempt to change the policies that uphold those injustices. Even laws on net neutrality, something that so many people fought to defend against censorship bills like SOPA and PIPA, have quietly been ruled unconstitutional, allowing internet service providers to provide faster bandwidth to websites of their choice. If a country such as Egypt can overthrow their entire government, why can’t such a prosperous country like America even tell their government not to track their every phone call, text message, and internet movement? It seems almost ridiculous. In this age of social media and digital ubiquity, there is no excuse for us to allow this from a government that we are supposed to have control over. The saddest part of all of it is that we don’t have to burn tires in the streets of Kiev to enact change. We just have vote differently in the next election.
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THE SAINT |WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014
Movies: Vanessa Hudgen’s breakout role?
Television: Scandal spring premiere
Music: Lea Michele’s debut album set for next month
H i g h S c h o o l M u s i c a l a l u m Va n e s s a Hudgens puts her Disney days behind her, taking on the extraordinary role as the pregnant runaway Apple Bailey in Ron Krauss’ indie-drama Gimme Shelter. The film also stars Rosario Dawson and Brendan Fraser, and is now playing in theatres.
We r e y o u a m o n g t h e o t h e r S c a n d a l fans upset with having to wait an entire two months before new episodes of everyone’s favorite TV show aired? No worries, gladiators. More Olivia Pope and President Fitz drama is on its way with the spring premiere on February 27.
We weren’t sure whether Rachel from Glee’s music career would takeoff, but after hearing her singles, we’re putting that to rest. Everyone knew Michele could sing, but her single “Cannonball” is a total winner. Be sure to watch for her upcoming album Louder, out February 28.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Everyone’s new favorite actress is a frontrunner at this year’s Oscars. Making humble strides with every Instagram post and red carpet appearance, the Kenyan beauty is up for Best Supporting Actress and we’ve placed all bets on Nyong’o!
COURTESY JONATHAN LEIBSON
Fifty Shades of...OMG! paris close | culture editor Nothing quite illustrates expressions “TMI” or “OMG” like spending a week reading (experiencing) E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey. Right about now, you are either wincing in disgust at the very mention of the name (if you’ve already familiarized yourself with the trilogy) or innocently biting your lip. Either way, you are not alone, as I did both while reading it myself. I got very bored with The Hunger Games because Katniss can just be so intolerable at times. But after Catching Fire, I decided to retire from reading the trilogy all together and spice things up a bit by doing something daringly stupid: read Fifty Shades. I hate spoiling things, but if you’re anything like me, you would have wanted the same disclaimer. So I am going to give you my Sparknotes summary of this book in a manner that is both brutally honest and hopefully hilarious to read, and then you can decide from there whether or not this is the book you thought it would be. Here we go (sigh)... Essentially, Fifty Shades is about a college student named Anastasia Steele who also happens to be an incredibly stupid 20-something. Anastasia lives with her friend Kate. Kate has a big interview with the wealthy (sociopathic) entrepreneur, Christian Grey. Turns out, Kate is too sick to conduct the interview so Anastasia offers to go in her place because it is for their school’s paper. Once Anastasia arrives to Christian’s corporate office, she’s taken aback by his good looks (which totally fit the bar, cue Jamie Dornan’s face!) since she’d expected someone wealthy and old. As fate would have it, handsome-rich douchebag meets oblivious-insecure girl, and just like that James perfectly creates a match made in fictional hell. I mean, really? Where haven’t we read or seen this before?! (Edward Cullen…) But wait, it gets so much better… just kidding. In a number of scenes, Christian shows signs of being a completely lunatic, stalker control freak. For instance, he just so happens to “stop by” her job at the hardware store looking for rope (wonder what for?) and in another he tracks her phone after she drunk dials him from a nightclub, and takes her to his hotel for “[her] own safety.” While in bed together, Christian reveals his interests in wanting to have sex with her but not before she signs a nondisclosure agreement for whatever happens if (when) they do. I’m going to stop right here and warn you that from this point on Anastasia’s mental capacity gradually shrinks to the size of a flaxseed, and you will find yourself itching to throw a book or a bowling ball at her head. Like the idiot she is, she signs but confesses to Christian she is a virgin. Immediately, it’s like a siren goes off in his mind and he feels incredibly ashamed (as he should) for showing such an innocent doll his Red Room of Pain (I’ll get to this later) and confessing his desires to deflower her. After that point, everything gets about as explicit as you would imagine. They do end up having sex: sex that lasts no longer than 30 seconds, sex that ends in forcefeeding sessions and sex that Anastasia incessantly remarks as the “best” she’s ever had (because a virgin would totally know, right?). Ugh… Then their relationship or lack thereof evolves into a strictly dominant/submissive agreement, which Anastasia proves once again how stupid she is by officially signing over rights to her own body. The contract essentially binds her to Christian’s sadistic needs at any time without refusal, or she would be “punished” for her disobedience. Soon enough, Anastasia has been so sexually manipulated that her brain can no longer encompass rational thinking anymore. It isn’t until the book’s end where Anastasia playful teases Christian that he takes her into the Red Room (filled with all sorts of BDSM contraptions) and whips her a good 10 times before she runs out crying (I guess common sense will do that to a person). And just like that, people, the book ends. Trust me when I say this was simply a watered down version of what I really wanted to say. Don’t get me started on James’ 50 year-old virgin writing style (there’s so little time…). In a nutshell, Fifty Shades does absolutely nothing except teach girls to be submissive for the sake of their man’s sexual desires. I couldn’t put myself through another torture session with the other two books, so I read spoilers. And I can assure you, if you are a feminist or simply human, you would be much better off jumping into a pool of manure than having to read it.
Joaquin Phoenix proves digital love actually exists
How to love: Joaquin Phoenix and his moustache try to find love in the new movie Her. By Stephanie Giluk Editor-in-Chief Her, the new science fiction romance from director Spike Jonze, is an enjoyable mix of weird and touching, a film that explores the connections between love and technology in the modern world. I say science fiction because the movie takes place in an unspecific future where people wear high
waisted pants with hipster sweaters, walk everywhere (no flying cars here, sadly) and befriend their hyper-intelligent operating systems. Theodore Twombly (played a mustachioed Joaquin Phoenix) embodies these future-retro qualities perfectly. Theodore is still getting over his split from his wife (played mostly in flashbacks by Rooney Mara) even as he goes about his everyday life,
which involves working a job where he writes other people’s intimate letters for them, playing video games where the cute little avatar curses at him and calls him names and hanging out with friends concerned about his isolation. But then Theodore downloads a brand new OS, and when the OS names herself Samantha and speaks in the husky, sexy tones of Scarlett
Young the Giant sells short on new indie record Blogger Mike Gyssels writes: “There’s no easy way to say this, Young the Giant. It’s not me; it’s you. I’m getting older and it almost seems like you’re getting younger.” Though the band has always seemed to sing to an audience journeying into adulthood, Mind Over Matter travels back nearly half a decade, catering toward misunderstood teenagers roaming the halls of an unsatisfying high school. Their new album seems to have forgotten the depth of the English language, settling for
THE SAINT / MAYRA MONROY
New spirits: The AQ-led Velcrofibs build the foundation for A City in Your Sleep. By Mayra Monroy Staff Writer Artist: Velcrofibs Genre: Post alternative, indie experimental rock Current Album: A City in Your Sleep Comparisons: Young the Giant & Band of Horses Popular Tracks: “Giants Dreaming” and “Four Miles to Cloverfield”
COURTESY FUELED BY RAMEN
Boring blues: Young the Giant is in need of musical revival after their subpar record Mind Over Matter. By Cait Hilton Staff Writer Young the Giant, the indie rock band from Irvine, California, released their new album Mind Over Matter earlier this month after working through some hard-to-shake writer’s block. Sameer Gadhia’s pitch-perfect voice piping out singles “Cough Syrup” and “My Body” from the 2011 album Young the Giant left fans with hefty expectations for the band’s next album. Young the Giant, labeled early on as a cross between U2’s atmospheric sound and the alternative rock philosophies of Linkin Park and The White Stripes (totaling to a general “corporate indie” style), found its strength in Gadhia’s smooth vocal range and the band’s composed ambient melodies. Young the Giant meshed their youthful sound with excitement to create relatable, poetic lyrics that many could resonate with. However, Mind Over Matter shows no signs of that spontaneous spirit.
Culture Editor Paris Close
surface level lyricism to convey the most habitual of clichés. Beyond the words, the band has drowned out Gadhia’s heart-throbbing vocals with experimental, “layered” instrumentals. The new direction takes away from the raw style the band once embodied before, as seen in older tracks “Apartment” and “God Made Man.” The album is taken over by a sense of urgency created by a mix of last year’s musical trends that are too far away from the sounds that caused people to fall in love with the band in the first place. Mind Over Matter does not entirely lack musical aesthetics, though. The experimental tunes are undeniably catchy, and despite the style-morphing, Young the Giant’s original, raw roots show in a small number of tracks like “Eros” and “It’s About Time.” Fans should keep faith, though. Their talent is obvious as soon as Gadhia opens his mouth. As for Mind Over Matter, the album deserves a solid 6 out of 10.
COURTESY WARNER BROS.
Johansson, it’s not hard to understand why Theodore starts to fall in love with her. Even though she’s an OS, she evolves quickly, developing a sense of humor, complex emotions, and even feelings for Theodore. They start a strange, idiosyncratic courtship that has both Samantha and Theodore trying to understand how to interact and bond with each other. It is and is not the point of the movie that their relationship has its highs and lows like any other flesh and blood relationship, but when Samantha starts to drift away from Theodore, the movie touches on some very interesting themes about the capabilities of evolutionary artificial intelligence. Phoenix does an excellent job essentially acting to himself, as many of Johansson’s lines were added in post-production via recording studio and Theodore is talking to a phone or into an earpiece for much of the movie. Johansson’s voice is a presence unto itself, and she does a great job humanizing a character we never see. Jonze’s vision of our future is very warm and bright, unlike many of the dark dystopian settings so prevalent in recent movies. This future seems natural, a world where everyone is so caught up in their smartphones and operating systems that they find it harder and harder to deal with messy emotions and connect with other people. For all its semi-eerie, futuristic trappings, Her is really a movie about the search for love in a lonely world.
Talent is not short in supply on campus and this week’s Artist Spotlight is no different. Velcrofibs, comprised of five musically talented gentlemen, formed as an experiment for a few Aquinas freshmen back in spring 2013. The five members, a few of them Aquinas students, share the same passion for providing entertaining and well written music. The self-proclaimed post alternative experimental rock group Velcrofibs provide a strong presence with melodic guitar and piano pieces that smoothly form under front man Joey Frankovich’s honest lyrics. Their recently released EP, A City in Your Sleep, is an example of five well-recorded songs that all tie together in the underlying story: “There’s a story to it and there’s always a story behind every song, a metaphorical side to it a lot of the songs are related to my insom-
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nia,” said Frankovich. The band, comprised of Frankovich, Andrew Zwart, Chucky Blackmore, Graham Lince and Jordan Petersen provide energy-fueled shows to anyone that sees them. It’s been a few months since A City in Your Sleep debuted to the public and in those few short months their fan base has grown immensely. “At first, we didn’t get as many people buying it as we thought it would,” said Frankovich. “We were concerned that we wouldn’t actually sell all the CDs we ordered but we actually just put in another shipment...Everything is good.” As the sound of the band is becoming more developed and stronger, the band refuses to go unnoticed. Soon enough, Velcrofibs is going to hit radio airwaves on local channel WYCE 88.1. The band is also in talks to be being featured in the February edition of Recoil Magazine, a West Michigan magazine. Since the release of their EP, the band has since had some downtime, having occasional band practices and writing new music with a new album in the works. “We’re working on our full length album, Letters to Home,” adds Frankovich. “Keep your eyes out for us because we are going places...at least my mom likes to think so.”
THE SAINT | WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014
August: Osage County From stage to screen
Medieval banquet Lady Brian is the medieval dancing queen By Veronica Burns The Saint Reporter
COURTESY THE WEINSTEIN COMPANY
Family fury: America’s new favourite dysfunctional family film is headed to the Oscars. By Ian MacNeil Staff Writer Dysfunction comes in many forms, but for the Weston family, it seems to be an unfortunate and alltoo-familiar ritual of togetherness. The film opens to the simple phrase, “Life is long.” Attributed to T. S. Eliot and spoken by the soonto-be late Bev Weston (Sam Shephard), this phrase holds true to the rolling Great Plains that, although vast, can seem as isolating as a concrete cell behind metal bars. Also long is the faded love of two lifebeaten souls, Bev and his wife Violet (three-time Academy Award-winner Meryl Streep), once addicted to each other, but now addicted to their respective bottles. The Weston girls (Academy Award-winner Julia Roberts, Juliet Lewis, and Julianne Nicholson) return to their deceivingly quiet childhood home in Oklahoma following the apparent suicide of their father, only to find a rotted homestead blistered by years of dry heat and longheld grudges. Within the home is a
damaged, vindictive, and morosely terminal matriarch who unreliably anchors the crooked family values. When the sisters come home, now with their own forms of familial dysfunction, their togetherness is the first thing deserted. Familial discord soon develops into verbal, then physical confrontation when numerous buried truths surface that threaten the perceived security and normality of a household where the walls aren’t the only things talking. Adapted from the Pulitzer and Tony-winning play by Tracy Letts (who also wrote the screenplay), August: Osage County is presented like a work of theatre: graphically dramatic, wittily comical and darkly mysterious. Although the script is a powerful invitation into a precarious family dynamic, the film is simply a more polished version of an episode of Jerry Springer. Unexpected twists and turns in the plot venture off sharp cliffs, often without provocation, direction or resolution. August: Osage County is promoted as an aggressive and rash mother-daughter wrangling between the
Mark Travanti & Margaret Clark Love bonded through art By Gavin McNeil The Saint Reporter The AMC Gallery is hosting a showing of the works and collections of Mark Travanti and Margaret Clark, the artistic couple who met while working on a project. The collections in the show are varied. Two pieces are joint works, and the rest were done by only one of the two. The first collection is a series done by Travanti and focuses on relationships. Those works were inspired by the idea of negative space defining most human interaction. The painting features entangled individuals falling through the sky. The placement of this collection at the entrance of the gallery is a subtle nod to the nature of the joint showing. The next collection is what one might consider high end sequential art. Featuring six paintings of children, each missing a left arm, and slowly transforming into what the artist, Clark, describes as a “Family Tree of the World.” The series of paintings have been put to work for many years and are still considered to be an unfinished project. Clark says she has at least another three additions planned for the project, and possi-
Hercules is no better than a preschool play By Gavin McNeil The Saint Reporter
bly more. Another collection of Travanti’s is a series of telephone towers standing over trees as 21st century watch towers. Each of the towers is topped with a historical sculpture, relaying the idea of communication through art as well as technology. The project, fully worked on by both Travanti and Clark, is a series of figures painted on long slabs of wood. Each slab includes a painting of mismatched faces of fellow friends and family members. One of the most moving piece in their collection is the oil painting and photography of the 9/11 attacks, and the violence in the Middle East—calm and serine statues expertly placed with the blood and grime. The paintings were done by Clark, while the photographs were taken by Travanti. There are several individual pieces of work that just about everyone can enjoy. The times for the gallery are 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday through Thursdays, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on Fridays, and 2 p.m.-6 p.m. on weekends until February 14.
Culture Editor Paris Close
volcanic eruptions of Streep and the confused simmer of Roberts (both of whom have earned Academy Award nominations for their performances). However, the film is rooted by its strong and just-as-embattled supporting cast of Margo Martindale, Chris Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Abigail Breslin, and Ewan McGregor. This cast, though widely contrasting, conveys a raw sense of uncomfortable entanglement. Combined, this ensemble holds 25 Academy Award nominations (18 of which come from Streep). Streep’s turn as the cold yet embracing Violet is arguably her best performance in years. Complete with “will-they?won’t-they?” tension, romantic dialogue that is awkwardly tantalizing, and lots and lots of pills, August: Osage County will bring a smile to your face. It will then literally slap that smile away with a jerk into a painfully irresistible feeling of claustrophobia native to the marriage of hurt and antagonism, proving togetherness is itself a mere form of dysfunction.
Kicking off St. Thomas Aquinas week was the annual AQ Medieval Banquet. Along with the feast was the entertaining show written by senior Christopher Vander Ark, who also co-directed the production with AQ alumna Nubia Gomez. The entire cast’s performance made for one entertaining evening, which was also sponsored by the Campus Ministry. Some of AQ’s most talented and brightest actors took on a range of medieval characters and some even balanced two roles. David Tiesma and Brenda Vander Ark portrayed the royal King Carl and Queen Helga of England, who were arranging their son Prince Benedict’s marriage (portrayed by senior Zach Potgeter ). Freshman Caleb Jenkins starred as Lord Cumbersome, whose wife, Lady Polly (portrayed by alumna Catie Berg), was disguising herself as Pee-bwah (potrayed by senior Stephen Wright). Wright was in complete character, dressing up like Polly’s look-a-like, who takes her place to hide suspicion from her husband. Senior Jenn Kalchik, sophomore Marisa Purcey and freshman Zoe Collenburg were among the regal bunch of courtly ladies looking to win the heart of Prince Benedict. Senior Chelsea Sedlecky plays Miss England 1384, who gives the girls advice before the competition, but whoever did not make it to the next round would be taken in by the guards and lose their heads. These contestants weren’t
alone as three volunteers were also taken from within the crowd, inviting the audience into the experience. Out of the many chosen contestants was AQ’s Associate Vice President for Student Affairs Brian Matzke, who was transformed into Lady Brian. From his clever comments about women with beards to his graceful pageant wave to the crowd it was a shame to see him eliminated from the competition, but surely a joy to watch his performance. The highlight for some may have been the two dance numbers Lady Brian participated in. The fun with Matze didn’t stop there, as he and AQ’s Chaplain Fr. Stan Drongowski showed off their moves and joined in on a few numbers together, arms linked and swinging each other around in circles. AQ’s Chamber Choir, the Women’s Choir and the guitar ensemble provided the grooves for transitional moments during the event and gave the audience a good melody to dance and eat to. The guests got the full medieval experience, as everyone was served dishes they had to eat with their bare hands. More audience participation was included as the crowd was given the choice to decide which contestants would make it to the final two and which would be taken away to be beheaded. In the end, Collenburg left as the royal winner, as Miss England and married Prince Benedict. Overall, it was a night full of twists and turns, laughs and great food.
The myths of Hercules are rich in their variations and adaptations—even if they aren’t all that loyal to the source material. The Legend of Hercules is not, in any way, shape or form, rich. This disaster of a film is plagued with graphics that belong on a cheap video game, acting that leaves you cringing and historical inaccuracies that sometimes seem vaguely racist. Hercules’ mother is “taken” by Zeus, at the request of the god’s wife Hera—who looks more like a creature from Pan’s Labyrinth than a Greek goddess. This leads to the “virginal” birth of our cheap, knock off Christ figure. He is sent to war, after developing a romantic interest in his sleazy brother’s finance. Soon, however, Egyptians—wearing dog helmets for some odd reason--attack the COURTESY MILLENNIUM FILMS terrible Greek troops, defeat and Muscle-mayhem: Kellan Lutz embarrasses himself in Hercules portrayal. enslave them and their captain. The biggest problem with this film is the complete inaccurate- his step-father, and, in the only school’s rendition of the story of ness of it all. Not to just the story, real example of his inhuman Hercules—at least they would but to the time period too. The strength, breaks out and whips have a legitimate reason for crapGreeks are all dressed as Romans, solders with giant stone nun py stage effects, childish acting apparently Gladiators are a thing chucks. After that, the graphics and glaring history errors. Unless the idea of drilling a for them as well, and Vikings— budget must have run out because yes, Vikings—are hired by the evil from that point on, soldiers would hole into your brain seems like a king to defeat the Hercules and stuff spears under their arms dur- nifty idea, this movie is not for the random men he has gathered ing the fight scenes, without any you. For the sake of your soul, around him as they go to free the type of sheath to hold them in. Af- avoid this unholy work of demons ter noticing that, I just gave up on at all cost. kingdom. Hercules is taken by the evil the movie entirely. I would have king, who just so happens to be rather sat through an elementary
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Michigan beats MSU: Wolverines are victorious over Spartans
Detroit Pistons: The Pistons are ranked third in the Central Division
Superbowl XLVIII: Seattle takes on Denver on February 2
The Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans played each other in college basketball this past Saturday in East Lansing. Both teams played well for the duration of the most of the game, but it was the Wolverines who came out with the victory, winning 80-75.
The Pistons are having a bit of a rough season. With an overall record of 17-27, the Pistons have been losing significantly more games than they have been winning. With a game tonight against the 23-21 Atlanta Hawks, the Pistons are going to need to bring their A-game if they are looking for a victory.
The 13-3 Seattle Seahawks will take on the 13-3 Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl on Sunday, February 2. This match-up will test the skills of quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson as well as the rest of their teams that have been working hard all season to finally compete in this final game.
Superbowl XLVIII alyssa frese |sports editor The Super Bowl is easily the most viewed sporting event each year on television. With so much hype and build up and a plethora of hilarious commercials combined with a usually amazing half-time show, what’s not to love? Some people watch simply for the commercials, but I can boldly state that a majority of us watch it for the sporting aspect; the two best football teams in the nation competing in one game to decide the champion. I am a very competitive person, so Super Bowl always gets me riled up whether my team is playing in it or not. This year, unfortunately, my Packers just couldn’t make the cut, but I am still as excited as ever. I was so jazzed about the Super Bowl that I signed up to help coordinate our annual Super Bowl party here on Aquinas’ Campus. Football is always even more fun to enjoy in the company of good food and friends and I am passionate about wanting to help facilitate that kind of environment for my “Aquinas Family.” The Wege Ballroom is transformed into an indoor tailgate of sorts minus the alcohol. There are platters of wings, pizza and other munchies for football lovers and non-football lovers alike to enjoy while watching one of the greatest athletic competitions of the year. I am really excited for the Super Bowl this year especially because Peyton Manning is my guy. There is something to be said when an athlete isn’t completely arrogant or cocky. I think Manning is one of the most humble players I have ever seen play the game and I love to watch him play even though the Broncos aren’t one of my favorite teams at all. That being said, I think that the competition is this year’s match-up is going to make for quite the competition. After watching Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman go off in his interview after the Seahawks’ win against the 49ers, I can’t help but root against them. I believe even when one is excited in the heat of the moment, it is important to maintain good sportsmanship and hold a level of classiness in the process. That being said, what surprised me most was Andrews’s reaction to Sherman’s outrageous behavior the next day in an interview. She loved it. She thought it was unique and cool to see a player lose control because they were so in the moment and caught up in the game they had just won. It really made me think. I think this year’s game will be anything but boring. This NFL season has been an interesting one to say the least, and I think the ending to it all should be just as exciting and entertaining as the regular season. As much as I hate to admit it, though, I am probably more excited about the halftime show then I should be. Bruno Mars is going to be amazing and while the past couple years I have been less than impressed with the half-time show selection, I can say that I am finally pleased with this year’s selection. With such high expectations for this year’s main event, I can’t help but think I might be disappointed. What if Peyton doesn’t come through? What if Bruno blows it? Aside from my small doubts, I feel that this year’s Super Bowl is going to very impressive as long as these crazy weather conditions don’t prevent it from occurring. Wouldn’t that be something if it actually got rescheduled? So many parties and events people spend lots of time and money on that would all go waste. I can’t even imagine it. Sunday, February 2, cannot come fast enough. Although I am a Packer at heart, I will be sporting my blue and orange to support Manning and the Broncos. I want Manning to shine like we know he can. I know the Seahawks are going to be a tough team to beat but if anyone can do it, it would be Manning. This match-up is a game I am actually excited for unless last yea’s match-up where I honestly could’ve cared less. Let’s go Broncos!
THE SAINT | WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014
The Griffins have been doing quite well while we were on break, going 5-4-0-1 in their last ten games. Due to this success, the Griffins currently sit tied for first place in the Western Conference with the Texas Stars and are ranked first in the Midwest Division. Not only are the Griffins in the top ten for their standings, they are also the eighth best power play team in the American Hockey League with a percentage of 19.4 percent. Leading the team in points, despite also playing for the Red Wings, is Tomas Jurco with 32 points. Jurco was recently named to the Slovakian Olympic team, being just the fifth player in history to accomplish that while playing for the Griffins. While Jurco isn’t expected to lead the team to victory, fans should be excited to hear that this will be instrumental in his development as a player and will certainly help give him a permanent job on the Red Wings next year. Second on the team in points is Teemu Pulkkinen, who hails from Finland. Despite racking up points,
Pulkkinen did not make the Finnish Olympic team and therefore will provide the Griffins with lethal scoring power. Unlike the NHL, the AHL doesn’t have a two week break in the season to accommodate Olympians mainly due to many AHLers not participating for their respective countries. So if you’re the type who likes to watch the Olympics but also wants to watch your hometown team, you’re in luck. Many of you may not know rookie defensemen Alexey Marchenko of the Griffins, but you will be soon. Marchenko is just 22 years old and is already proving to be a great late pick for the Griffins affiliate the Detroit Red Wings. Having posted 16 points in 36 games so far, Marchenko received a call up to the Wings against the Dallas Stars on January 14 and played excellent in a 5-1 win. While he didn’t have one shot on goal, Marchenko went plus two and played just over 13 minutes in the game which is impressive for a call up. Look for Marchenko to spend the rest of the season with the Griffins and compete for a roster spot on the Wings next year.
The Saints are determined to finish the season strong
>> Women’s basketball
The Aquinas women’s basketball team has been playing phenomenally this season. With an overall record of 15-5, the Saints are winning more games then ever. The Saints have nine games left in the regular season, which is plenty of time to finish strong. The Saints play tonight against Marygrove at home.
Aquinas men’s hockey
Grand Rapids Griffins By Taylor Hodges The Saint Reporter
WHAT TO WATCH
The Saints beat MSU both at home and on the road
COURTESY ANDRIS VISOCKIS
Finishing strong: Freshman Corey Giffel keeps his eye on the puck during home rink action this season at Griff’s Ice House. By Alyssa Frese Sports Editor The Aquinas men’s hockey team has played an impressive season so far, with an overall record of 17-50-3. The Saints have put on quite the show for only being in their second season as an official team. Currently on a five game winning streak, the Saints show no signs of slowing down. The team played back to back games against Holy Cross College, played at home, in which the Saints won 4-1 and then 6-3 the second night. Top performers for the Saints were sophomore Doug Zelenka with two goals, junior Cody Edwards with one goal and sophomore Justen Caudill with one goal during the first game. During the second game, Edwards scored two goals, seniors Greg Baranyai and Brent Steele scored one goal each as did junior Matt Kryzwka and freshman Corey Giffel. Their next game was played against Oakland on the road, and the Saints won 4-3 with two goals scored by Giffel and one scored by Kryzwa and another by senior Jimmy McDonagh. “We have surprised a lot of people this season with how well we
have been doing,” said senior Christian Potter. “We have beaten a lot of teams people thought we would lose to. The season started out rough, but we fought through it as a team and have been playing extremely well the second half of the year so far.” The Saints played Michigan State in back to back games this past weekend, winning 6-3 at home and 5-2 on the road. Top performers for the Saints were Giffel and junior Hugh Ingalls with two goals apiece and McDonagh and Zelenka who each scored a goal as well. “Everything seems to be clicking for us right now. All we need at this point in our season is a little focus. We have all the right pieces in place to finish this year in a positive way,” said Zelenka. “We have what we need to be successful, now we just have to pull it all together in these last few weeks and we could do something special. We’ve put in the effort now we’ll see if it pays off in the way we’ve envisioned.” The Saints will play next on Friday, January 31, and Saturday, February 1, in back to back games against Grand Valley State University.
Men’s basketball By Alyssa Frese Sports Editor COURTESY ANDRIS VISOCKIS
Drive: Freshman Taylor Pitts maintains possession of the ball this season in homecourt action for the Saints this season. By Alyssa Frese Sports Editor The Aquinas women’s basketball team has been on fire this season. With an overall record of 15-5 and a WHAC record of 8-5, the Saints are playing hard and coming out on top. The Saints have been in a small slump as of late with a three game losing streak in relatively close games against Siena Heights 73-69, U-M Dearborn 64-53 and Concordia 62-57. The Saints previous to these three losses won back to back games against Lawrence Tech and Madonna. The Saints came out victorious against the Lawrence Tech Blue Devils with a final score of 89-71. Scoring big for the Saints were senior Taelor Sanders with 24 points and junior Allison Heberlein with 15 points. In the next game, against Madonna, the Saints won 6056. Scoring big for the Saints in this match-up were Sanders with 23 points and Heberlein and junior Chelsea Matley each putting up nine points for the Saints. With nine games left in the regular season, the Saints have many games to still play. “To finish out the season we just have to stay strong mentally. We know Sports Editor Alyssa Frese
how good we can be on the court, we just have to keep up the intensity on the court,” said Heberlein. “It’s a long season so we all have to pull together to get through this final stretch and into the conference tournament.” With enough practice and persistence, the Saints hope to get back to the winning streak that was so familiar at the beginning of the season. By playing up their strengths and focusing on playing as an overall team, the Saints are destined for success. “Our strengths are sticking together when times are tough. We’ve had some rough patches but we’ve been able to get out of them because of our teamwork,” said Heberlein. “I also think our defense has been doing really well this year, which is something we work on every day in practice.” The Saints hope to perform well enough to come out as conference champions and ultimately ending up playing at Nationals in Iowa. Each Saint is willing to carry her load to make this dream a reality. “My personal goal is to be able to do anything I can to help the team make it to Nationals,” said freshman Kelsey Spitzley. The Saints will play next at home tonight against Marygrove.
The Aquinas men’s basketball team has had a bit of a rough season. With an overall record of 9-12 and a WHAC record of 6-7, the Saints have had more difficulty pulling off wins this season. Winning two of their last four games played, the Saints are looking to turn their season around. “With the exception of one league game, every game has been decided in the last few possessions. Although the record isn’t what we expected it to be, we know that continued daily preparation and work will eventually pay off,” said associate head coach Denny Krynicki. “This team will master learning to play at this competitive level and eventually compete for a league championship.” With only three seniors, Kollin Kazen, Brett Pfahler and Austin Semple, the team could be considered somewhat young this season. The combination of experienced players with new players has proved to be more successful in the Saints’ recent matchups. The Saints most recently played Concordia and U-M Dearborn. The Saints played a close game against Concordia but ultimately lost 76-72. Top performers for the Saints that game were Kazen with 18 points, Pfahler with 15 points and Semple with 14 points. Before their Concordia match-up, the Saints were victorious in home court action against U-M Dearborn,
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winning 75-59. Top performers for the Saints were Pfahler with 16 points, sophomore Joe Ferrici with 13 points and freshman Jake Bullock with 12 points. The team has been playing hard and putting their team chemistry to good use in recent games. “One strength of this team is that they are very coachable-they push themselves daily and have good chemistry on and off the court, “ said Krynicki. “Chemistry is an important part of any sport, and with this continued work ethic, we still have the potential to reach our goals.” With nine games left in the regular season, the Saints have plenty of time to turn their season around. “We need to rev up for one last push; energy and hard work will keep us in the games, tough defense will help us win,” said student assistant and former player Jon Hornak. Practice makes perfect, and the Saints intend to perfect their game to be successful in the remainder of the season. “Our team can improve by continuing to compete every day in practice. Pushing each of themselves and their teammates is the best way to improve throughout the course of the year,” said Krynicki. “Also, getting in extra shooting work in the gym, time in the weight room, and watching films will provide our guys the tools to improve to finish the season strong. The Saints will play tonight at home against Marygrove.
THE SAINT |WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2014
Aquinas indoor track and field
Detroit Red Wings By Taylor Hodges The Saint Reporter The Detroit Red Wings have been playing well, but perhaps are not reaching up to their full potential. Over break, the Wings won six of their last 13 games mainly due to poor shoot out performance and one goal games. Fans shouldn’t be worried because the Wings are only two points out of a playoff spot and are looking to build on their recent shootout win against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Wings’ next matchup is a game against the Washington Capitals, a team that possesses Russian goal scorer Alexander Ovechkin and Swedish playmaker Nicklas Backstrom. While Ovechkin and fellow Russian Pavel Datsyuk will be teammates in the upcoming weeks during the Sochi Olympics, don’t expect any mercy being given by both of the teams. After a home and away series against the Capitals, the Wings will be playing Vancouver, Florida and Tampa Bay before the Olympics are underway. Still leading the team with 42 points is Captain Henrik Zetterberg.
Senior Brett Pfahler demonstrates great leadership
COURTESY ANDRIS VISOCKIS
Long Strides: Senior Jessica Dippel runs for the Saints during the 2014-2014 indoor track season. Dippel and the Saints will compete in Angola, Indiana this upcoming Friday, January 31. By Alyssa Frese Sports Editor The Aquinas men and women’s track teams have been competing well during their indoor season, which officially began on December 6. In their two most recent meets at Allendale, Michigan and Findlay Ohio, the Saints have performed quite well. At the Allendale meet, the women’s team was successful in many events. The women’s 4 by 400 team that consisted of junior Kaitlyn Henninger, sophomore Allison VanPatten, and freshmen Sydney Anderson and Cara Minto placed ninth. Sophomores Micaila Rice and Marissa Ingersoll placed in the top 25 for the preliminaries for the women’s 60 meter dash. Rice and Ingersoll both placed in the top 25 for the women’s 200 meter dash as well. Freshman Sydney Anderson placed ninth in the 600 meter run and sophomore Crysta Paganelli placed 11th in the one mile run. Other successful events for the women’s team at this meet included junior Erika Heston with an overall fifth place finish in the 60 meter hurdles and a twelfth place finish by senior Alicia Dorko in the women’s pole vault. The men’s team was also very successful at the Allendale meet. Junior Ryan Parminter finished fifth overall for the men’s 60 meter dash and junior Caleb Teachout placed first in the men’s 600 meter run. Freshman Dionte Williams, sophomore Gabe Lundgren and seniors Andrew Vojtko and Stephen Huizing finished in the top 20 as well in the 600 meter run. Sophomores Luke Hawley and Tom
Willet both finished in the top ten for the men’s 800 meter run. Other successful events for the men’s team at this meet included a seventh place finish by sophomore Nick Whise in the men’s one mile run and a fourth place finish for the men’s 4 by 400 team consisting of Parnell, Teachout, Williams and freshman Tyler Johnson. Sophomore Chris Ford placed ninth in the men’s high jump, senior Alvaro Romero placed second in the men’s triple jump and freshman Clay Weidenhamer placed ninth overall in the men’s shot put. Overall, the women’s team finished fifteenth and the men’s team finished fifth. At their most recent meet in Ohio, the Saints performed well once again. Top events for the women’s team included the 800 meter run in which Anderson and VanPatten finished in the top ten. Paganelli finished third overall in the women’s 3,000 meter run and freshman Kathy Middaugh and junior Emily Hazelbach finished in the top five in the women’s 5,000 meter run. “We have a young team with very few seniors but our potential is starting to shine through. The girls 4 by 800 relay and myself have qualified for Nationals, but we will have strong performances at conference and more will qualify,” said junior Erika Heston. “The team is a lot more cohesive this year and we motivate and push one another. In order to excel, we must continue to practice how we want to compete and give it our all on the track. Indoor track is important but it is also a preparation for the Outdoor season, where we plan on
having our best performances.” The men’s team performed well in Ohio as well. Romero finished fifth overall in the men’s 60 meter dash and Teachout finished first in the 800 meter run. Whise, Hawley and Willet all placed in the top five for the men’s 1,000 meter run and sophomore Jacob Towne and seniors Geoff Albaugh, Brendan Molony and Dan Foley all placed in the top five for the men’s 5,000 meter run. Finally, the men’s 4 by 800 meter relay consisting of Hawley, Willet, Teachout and freshman Adam Cichon finished first. “We are at about the midway point to the season and we have a handful of qualifiers so far for nationals. There are quite a few guys who are looking to improve their current provisional qualifying times to automatic qualifier status and still other guys on the brink of hitting provisional qualifying benchmarks. February is the time where we will see athletes throw down some great marks in their respective events prior to nationals in early March,” said Nick Whise. “Each team in the NAIA can send as many automatic qualifiers as they have to nationals and then three athletes (a relay can take the place of one of the athletes) that have hit a provisional standard.” Both the men and women’s teams will compete next this Friday, January 31, in Angola, Indiana, at the Trine Invitational #2.
Aquinas plans first women’s hockey team for 2015 The Aquinas men’s hockey team has been quite successful during their time as a team. In their second season as an official team, the Saints have impressed, winning 17 games out of 25 this season. With such success with the men’s team, Aquinas College has deemed it necessary to add women’s hockey to the roster of athletics at Aquinas. “With the success of the men’s team, we figured why not?” said men’s head hockey coach Mark VanVliet. “The admissions and athletic departments have been planning the idea of women’s hockey team for the last year and was a natural conversation. With the success of a men’s sport, comes the implementation of a women’s team in same sport. For example, the men’s lacrosse team was an official team at Aquinas before the women’s team came into existence. It tends to be a natural process.” The construction of the women’s hockey team is following the same process and protocol as the men’s team did. It takes about 18 months to formulate. “We just kind of jumped
into the deep end of the pool with the men’s team and found it was a good template to follow,” said VanVliet. While the men’s team has encountered great success, the construction of the women’s team is going to be a little bit different because of the lack of interest that was already present on campus with the men’s team. “The women’s hockey team will initially present some unique challenges that weren’t present with the men’s team,” said VanVliet. “There was already a core group of men’s hockey players on campus who were passionate about starting a team, such as [current seniors] Hugh Ingalls, Jimmy McDonagh, Christian Potter and Greg Baranyai, [who] were very helpful in the process.” The women’s hockey team isn’t going to have the advantage of students already passionate about starting a team on campus like the men’s team did. This will make the recruiting process even more crucial for the women’s team. “The recruiting footprint is going to be much greater with the women’s team. We are going to evangelize the program,” said VanVliet. “We are going to try and impact Sports Editor Alyssa Frese
COURTESY ANDRIS VISOCKIS
Concentration: Senior Brett Pfahler focuses as he prepares to shoot a free throw for the Saints in home court action this season.
Women’s hockey By Alyssa Frese Sports Editor
Zetterberg is currently on a three game point streak having collected six points. Look for Zetterberg to continue producing points in these last couple of games in preparation for the Winter Olympics. Fellow Captain and soon-to-be rival Pavel Datsyuk is second on the team, having collected 32 points in 35 games. While Datsyuk is on a bit of a cold streak defensively having a combined minus five in his last five games, he is making up for it by doing quite well in the faceoff circle averaging 48 percent. Look for Datsyuk to let his foot off the pedal a bit heading into the Olympics to help Team Russia win a gold medal in Sochi. Coming up third on the score sheet is veteran Daniel Alfredsson, with 30 points in 38 games. Other notables include Jonas Gustavsson, who has been lights out as of late, Johan Franzen, Niklas Kronwall and Jonathan Ericsson, all of whom will be on the Swedish Olympic team. Holding an overall record of 2318, the Wings are looking towards their next win. They will play the Washington Capitals at home on Friday, January 31.
current high school freshmen, sophomores, and juniors, to get them interested at an earlier age.” The women’s hockey team is also going to be much different than the men’s team because of the division that they are playing in. “The division the women’s team will be playing in is not a complementary division to the men’s team. The women will be playing in the Central Collegiate Women’s Hockey Association (CCWHA). This division includes teams such as University of Michigan, Michigan State and Northern,” said VanVliet. “The women’s team will be playing at the Division One level which is the highest level within the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA), which is different than the NCAA.” Although the women’s team will not debut until the 2015 school year, there is a lot of work that needs to be done until then. Through the collaboration of the Admissions and Athletic Departments, there are high hopes that the women’s team will be just as successful as the current men’s team. With enough planning and persistence, anything is possible.
By Alyssa Frese Sports Editor For many collegiate athletes, the love for a sport came from one’s elementary years, and for senior Brett Pfahler, basketball became second nature since the moment he was able to shoot a basket. “I’ve been playing basketball since I could walk or shoot a basketball,” said Pfahler. “I started playing organized basketball in fourth grade so when I was about nine years old.” The love of basketball was something that ran in the family. Pfahler’s father, Ryan, coached varsity basketball when Pfahler was growing up. “I went to my dad’s games and watched the players and I ended up falling in love with the game,” said Pfahler. Basketball has continued to play a large role in Pfahler’s life as student as well. He has shown great leadership and growth on the court in his four years playing at Aquinas. “Over the years I have been at Aquinas, I have seen Brett’s confidence as a player and an individual increase,” said former teammate Peter Sabiti. “He is becoming more confident and comfortable with himself as a person and that’s a biggie in life.” Pfahler’s growth as a player is noted not only by his teammates but is praised by his coaches as well. “Brett made a serious commitment to making his body physically stronger and continues to maintain that strength during the long grind of the season. He has improved in many facets of his game in order to help the team,” said associate head coach Denny Krynicki. “Reading, using, and setting screens are ar-
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eas Brett has grown as a player. He has worked to make himself a reliable free throw shooter, one we can count in the end of close games.” Although basketball has played a large role in his Aquinas career, Pfahler has also pursued a degree in Secondary Education with a math major and PE minor. The education program was one of the aspects that Pfahler liked most about Aquinas. “I fell in love with the campus when I came to visit. I just had a really good feeling about the school,”said Pfahler. “Coach Hammer visited my house and sold the basketball program and the education degree I wanted was offered as well.” Pfahler’s role as an athlete has fueled his success in the classroom as well. “Brett’s work ethic during practices is an example to the younger players. He demonstrates the will to compete on a daily basis,” said Krynicki. “Brett also is a balanced student athlete as he is committed to his studies, looking to graduate with a teaching degree and with a high GPA.“ After graduating in May, Pfahler plans to travel out to the West Coast for his teaching career. “I would really like to live in California or Oregon,” said Pfahler. “I love the mountains and the ocean; I have always wanted to learn to surf so this would be the perfect opportunity to do so.” Pfahler plans to stay involved with basketball in some way or another after he graduates: “Basketball has been such a big part of my life for so long, I can’t see that passion leaving me anytime soon.”