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The Benedict News DECEMBER 2011


Horns all around

Food pantry demand rises during holiday K K season by



Air horns to inform community of lockdown


copy editor

fter most if the holiday food had been distributed the day before Thanksgiving, Sister Linda Klaiss , who runs the Pierre Touissaint Food Pantry here, received a phone call. It was from a young woman from East Orange who wanted to know if the food pantry was still open. She needed food because she went to a grocery store and found her Family First card had no more money on it. When Sr. Linda said she had some food left; the woman said she would be there shortly. The woman did arrive shortly. She and her four children - an infant, a toddler, Axell Sanchez / Benedict News a four year old, and a seven year old A women registers to join the Pierre Touissaint Food walked from East Orange to Newark. The Pantry. The pantry donated more than 160 turkeys on woman arrived with the youngest children Thanksgiving. in a double coach with one of her older children pulling a grocery cart. She didn’t Every month the food pantry gets government have anything and accepted whatever Sr. Linda provided commodities. There is $13 million in could give her. The young woman was given milk, the state budget for food assistance sites such as juice, the last pack of diapers, and a frozen turkey. the food pantry here. Whatever else is donated The food pantry often gets these emergency requests is a supplement. People who willingly donate these days. Recently the food pantry’s shelves have to the pantry supplement the government food. been bare. The problem with the pantry is not getting There are also more newly unemployed people enough food for those people that need it. And the who need food from the pantry. But people who food it is getting is coming in smaller portions. are new to food assistance cannot get it right away. continued on page 4

Axell Sanchez / Benedict News

Br. Maximilian Buonocore tutors two students after school in the Radel Library. Br. Max was an engineer prior to joining the monastery.


hen Senior Gabriel Guillen needed assistance in his Algebra II class he turned to Br. Maximillian Buonocore O.S.B for help. “Br. Max is a very good tutor,” said Gabriel, “he explains very well; sometimes he can be more detailed than teachers.” To be able to graduate Gabriel needs to pass his Algebra II course and math is one of his weakest subjects. Br. Max has given him hope of passing. “Ever since I started going to tutoring my grade has started to go up,” Gabriel said. Br. Max offers tutoring after school in the Radel library. “ I recommend tutoring to anybody that is struggling in any class especially math,” said Gabriel, “ he gives plenty of examples and an interpretation different from the teacher’s.” Br. Max’s tutoring days began in his undergraduate years at the Catholic University of America in Washigton, DC. “ I always had an interest in


Former engineer provides after school help to students by Eric Enriquez staff writer

tutoring. I started tutoring as an undergraduate; I oversaw a tutorial program at my university called the Partnership Program,” said Br. Max, “Sometimes I even got to tutor Ph. D students.” The program was directed toward helping minority students who came from underprivileged schools. Not only did this supply academic aid to students, but it also offered financial aid to Br. Max. “It helped me pay for college,” said Br. Max. “When the program dissolved, I was very disappointed.” Due to budget cuts Br. Max’s university was no longer able to sustain the program. The program was suspended and would have remained suspended if Br. Max had not come to its rescue. “I made my case with the director and was put in charge of putting an academic assistance program with the available money; I recruited students who had A’s and were interested in tutoring,” said Br. Max. “I developed a peer tutoring program.”

It wasn’t easy; Br. Max had to balance his time between the hours he spend tutoring, homework, and the time he spend with his fraternity. “Afterwards, when I visited the director, he said that they hired two people to replace me, as far as I know the program is still successful,” Br. Max said.

“Ever since I started going to tutoring my grade has started to go up,”


by Telmo de Morais Editor in Chief hile many schools are going hi-tech to ensure students’ safety, St. Benedict’s is going lowtech. According to Director of Student Life Glenn Cassidy, the new lockdown system will use sports air-horns. The air horn relay, which replaces the beepers staff carried, will notify the community of a lockdown.Before last year and the beeper system there was nothing in place to notify the community of a lockdown situation. In a lockdown, students remain locked in the classroom, out of sight when a major security threat is in the school. “The air … are strategically placed around the school. People will hear them and get locked down,” Mr. Cassidy said. Mr. Cassidy and Dean of Student Life Michael Scanlan said the change was necessary because the beepers were more problematic than planned. At first they seemed very simple, but as the year went on, they became a constant headache. “We liked it originally because it seemed simple but it wasn’t,” Mr. Scanlan said. “The batteries were a constant problem.” All- school communication is difficult here because there is no intercom system . Implementing an intercom system would be costly, according to Mr. Cassidy. The last time the administration priced an intercom system, the cost was around $40,000. “There are two reasons why we have no intercom system: because it’s expensive and it would change the culture of the place - but it is mainly because of the cost,” Mr. Cassidy said But not everyone thinks the air horns are a great idea.“ St. Mary’s School Principal Sister Teresa Shaw, SSJ said there ought to be other options on the table besides the air horn system. Mr. Cassidy has met with faculty and explain the new relay system ; and implementation will start with a drill. The horns will be placed at strategic locations around the propriety to ensure that the sound travels and the adults responsible for those respective areas will sound the horns. When someone hears the horn, they lockdown and sound their own horn if they have one, and eventually the whole school will be locked down. Sister Terry sees a few flaws in the system but is willing to try it out. “Will the sound be unique enough that we’ll know what it is?” Sister Terry said. “Whatever system to keep us safe we’ll work with that. We won’t know until we try it.”


In his available time, Br. Max was able to assist every student that requested his help. It was a miracle that Br. Max would later Weekly videos, stories and slideshows are repeat at St. Benedict’s Prep. avalible in our online edition! Br. Max joined the monastery at 32; he wasn’t always aware of his religious vocation. “In Twitter: @thebenedictnews high school I showed ability Facebook: The Benedict News in math and science;” Br. Max said, “teachers encouraged me to pursue a career in the field of medicine or engineering.” continued on page 3



december 2011

sTaFF ediTorial

Rumors ruin us

“He doesn’t have to pay for anything because he’s a soccer star, basketball star, track star…” Many students think star athletes receive special treatment and popular rumor is that they don’t pay tuition like everyone else. This rumor is divisive and hurts the Benedict’s community. While many student athletes receive financial aid, they receive need-based aid as other students do. Financial aid at Benedict’s is based on need, and many of the athletes, like most of the students at the school, cannot afford to pay full tuition. By assuming that athletes receive special treatment, we segregate them even more. We have to learn what’s actually happening with the “special treatment” of athletes to make them more a part of thecommunity. The fact that athletic stars can not only play with peers of the same caliber, but also get financial aid to come to Benedict’s attracts many of them. Instead of complaining about the privileges many think the star athletes have, why not try to figure out how we can we attract star scholars as well?

Why I came back

by raHeem Veal photoGraphy Editor

The Hive is an impressive place, but the smelly, wrinkled, faded hoods that we call our uniform are not. As visitors walk into the Shanley Gym for convocation, they will peer out into a sea of students with black hoods and gray ones -about ten shades of gray, faded hoods that were black when the students bought them. Many of the hoods are shrunken as well, victims of actually being cleaned on a regular basis. The hoods that aren’t cleaned smell like fish, sweat and tears. In short, there avre problems with the hoods. Despite the overwhelming disadvantages, hoods do have some advantages. They display the school emblem and resemble the monks’ garb. Perhaps the hoods are something of a tribute to the monks who run our school. The hoods are also convenient; wearing a shirt and tie in some students’ neighborhoods could be problematic. This could be a valid reason for keeping them, but most students do not wear their hoods past the stoop in front of the school.

“Apractical alternative would be shirt, tie and cardigans with slacks and shoes. This uniform would look a lot more professional and solve many of the problems we now face with hoods.”

by Fredy umanzor staff writEr

Here I was starting a new life at St. Benedict’s. I left all my friends behind in Morristown in search of a better future. I liked Saint Benedict’s at first but as time went on I started to miss all my friends and especially the girls! I started to feel left out when I would hear about the parties they had. I felt as if my life was going by way too fast and I wasn’t living what I thought was the real high school experience; get an older girlfriend, get laid and party. I decided I wanted to take part in the action and ended up transferring to my public school. I was excited to be going back to my roots, Morristown High School. I was doing everything a teenage boy wanted; play sports, hang with friends, forget about school and just chill. It was the life I had wanted and expected, something I couldn`t have at St. Benedict’s because of all the time and sacrifice this school took out of my life. But after a while the new gets old and so I started getting bored with the life style I was living. I started to focus on my academics but soon realized I was doing badly at Morristown and decided I couldn’t continue this lifestyle. I wanted something

better for myself, so I started comparing myself to the rest of the Spanish kids at Morristown and thought to myself, ‘I want to be somebody when I grow up and not end up landscaping like the rest of these kids.’ I decided to transfer back to SBP to continue the path I once started but got sidetracked on. Back at Benedict`s I realized I needed to do something with my life and look at the future instead of only the present. I talked to Mr. Carnahan and he allowed me to take senior classes as a junior so that hopefully next year I can take classes down at Rutgers. This is the work I didn’t want to do before but Morristown opened my eyes so that I would see the benefits I had here. St. Benedict’s is the right place for me because sooner or later I won`t have my friends to depend on all the time; I’ll need to depend more on myself.. I have my friends on one side and my future on the other. Nothing lasts forever, the opportunities at some point go away so while they’re in front of me I’m going to take them and make the best of them so that I can accomplish my dreams.

Bring back the old dress code

A practical alternative would be shirt, tie and cardigans with slacks and shoes. This uniform would look a lot more professional and solve many of the problems we now face with hoods. The hoods are expensive and the fabric is not worth the $30. The hoods are also lost or stolen very easily. Sure, guys would have their shirts untucked and outfits might be sloppily worn, but those problems can be solved with strict enforcement. Having consequences for disobeying the dress code will prepare students for the consequences of dressing sloppily in the professional world. Some students don’t even know how to tie a tie. They would have to learn. Changing to shirt and tie would help St. Benedict’s students gain school pride again. It is obvious that the school spirit is diminishing. It can be seen in convocation when most students aren’t singing anymore or in the way many students feel the need to change before walking out of the school entrance. Perhaps the new dress code would not solve all of our problems or change all attitudes, but they would help things begin to look up. And by the way, only supporting an undefeated, dominant soccer team isn’t evidence of school spirit.

The Benedict News would like to thank the following PATRONS for their generous support:


The Benedict News St. Benedict’s Preparatory School 520 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Newark, New Jersey 07102-1314 (973)-792-5800

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Our mission is to provide a voice for the students and to produce news of concern to them in a balanced, fair, and truthful manner. The newspaper will abide by the Code of Ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists. Using this mission as a guide, The Benedict News will invigorate and enhance the life of our community. The editorials reflect the views and opinions of The Benedict News Editorial Board only.

Managing Editor

Online Editors

Elliott McFarland

Tyree Roulhac Josdanson Exume

Editor-in-Chief Telmo DeMorais

Layout Editors Marcus Durant Robert Pires

Copy Editor

Photography Editors Raheem Veal Axell Sanchez

Kendall Kirkland


Video Editors

Nii-Owuso Solomon Quincy Rogers

Adebayo Eisape Riian Winbush Marcus Durant

Sports Editors Einzen Lespinasse Anthony Smith

Business Editor Kenny Paladines

Adviser Noreen Connolly


Opinion december 2011

Missed the play? You missed a lot by daKoTa Gibbs staff writEr

Nobody really knows what happens after death. But the Drama Guild’s fall production, “The Tibetan Book of the Dead,” by Jean-Claude Van Itallie attempted to provide some insight into that final journey. The play shows the Dead One, UDII William Brown, confronting deities who try to show him that he already one with the Universe so giving up his earthly stuff, friends, family and furniture, doesn’t mean very much. Only William had one role to perform; the other actors all portrayed deities trying to convince the Dead One to merge with the light or go back to life on earth, which he eventually decides to do. The play had an unusual opening. The curtains were up and actors were stretching and musicians warming up. Then without warning the Dead One starts from doors of the auditorium and through the audience. On stage the actors talked to The Dead one as if they were his friends telling him that he is dead. The unusual opening was appropriate for this unusual play.

The lights were almost characters epically because they specifically related to their Deities, angry energies, and their eastern meaning. For instance, the white light represented Vairocana, who is all the lights in one. He represented encompassing wisdom, yet, as an angry energy he also represented ignorance. Although as a member of the cast I am not really objective, I thought the acting was extraordinary, epically because the play was meant to be crafted by the company. A company is a term used by cast and crew meaning everyone who is part of the play. The cast had to formulate everything that was abstract and make it concrete, which was pretty much all of the story. But in the end it all worked out, with eye appealing images of deities, scenes of torture, colorful dream like realms, and some comical characters. The Dead One during the play looked lost and confused, which he was great because he was dead and he didn’t realize it. Although the acting was exceptional, what really tied everything together was the music. Just about all the actors alternated being part of the music. Like the actors, the musicians were not bound to one instrument. Also, the

cast created all the music and used real Tibetan instruments. The music helped keep the tension during and between scenes and sections of the play. In the end what truly made this play unique was that there was always something overlapping something else. Different actors transitioned from the acting to be a reader or part of the music ensemble, while others made these marvelous and extravagant figures. Ironically, the goal of the Dead One is to become empty, however, the play itself isn’t. Whether it be music, dancing, the lights, acting or transitioning, there was always something going on. Over all it was a great and rare play because of its difficulty and opportunity for creativity. I loved it, and those who came must have at least liked it. I feel sorry for those who missed this play, and hopefully after reading this review I have opened up your mind a little to the incredible world of drama. So next time come out, support your bothers and fill up those seats. Who knows maybe you’ll want to join us.

Reporters learn in Minnesota by raHeem Veal photoGraphy Editor

Although I seemed to be jumping from a pair of crutches to a wheelchair every few minutes, I was still enlightened by the Newspaper’s trip to the JEA Convention in Minnesota. The Journalism Education Association is an organization that supports scholastic journalism and educates students on methods of improving quality of and remaining ethical in news. The convention was held in Minneapolis, Minnesota at the JEA convention center. Thousands of students and advisors gathered to attend seminars on different aspects of journalism and to interact with other journalists. We arrived in Minneapolis after a two hour flight from the airport in Newark. We took the light rail to the hotel and ordered a box of pizza and bottles of “pop.” Opening the curtains gave us a view of downtown Minneapolis that was highlighted by bright lights and illustrious buildings. We stayed in for the night, knowing we had a long day ahead of us. The next day we toured St. John’s University and Benedictine University to get a sense of the campuses and atmosphere. We met with some of the editors of the university’s student newspaper, The Record. We then had lunch with a few recent Benedict’s alumni and heard about their new experiences in college. Afterwards we took an elaborate tour of the various buildings and significant landmarks on campus, before hopping on a St. John’s bus back to the hotel. The next morning we began classes at the convention center, which was a few blocks away from where we were staying. We learned about leadership, writing editorials, different ways of covering

stories and how Harry Potter can relate to writing for a high school newspaper. We also met many other high school journalists and shared ideas. The most intriguing class of the day was the seminar about how Facebook can be used as an item for journalism and not just as a social networking device. That night we and many other students attended a dance thrown by the convention and supervised by a few advisors. The next morning we attended classes again for the last time, learning about video graphing, photography and more. Later that evening we journeyed to the Mall of America, which is the largest mall in the United States. The place was so large that the walking distance is equivalent to about 88 football fields. We saw an indoor mini roller coaster place and a Lego figure as collosal as a statue. It would have taken hours to see every store in its entirety. After a long flight home, we returned to the Hive on Sunday afternoon. We saw great sights, learned many new things and returned with a new attitude about journalism.

We learned about leadership, writing editorials, different ways of covering stories and how Harry Potter can relate to writing for a high school newspaper.

If you like the print newspaper, you will fall in love with us online. Weekly videos, stories and slideshows are avalible in our online edition!

Twitter: @thebenedictnews Facebook: The Benedict News

Br. Max continued from page 1

And he followed their advice; after graduating from high school he pursued a career in engineering. In college, where he majored in Biomedical Engineering, and later on earned a Masters degree in Counseling from Seton Hall University. Br. Max became aware of his religious vocation through the guidance of the spiritual director at his university, Fr. Jim Daugherty S.J. “He helped me explore the spiritual life and my deepest desires,” said Br. Max. “He gave me a sense of calling and helped me look at my motivations.” Because of the guidance he received from his spiritual director and the volunteer work he performed at shelters, Br. Max was later convinced to quit his job and pursue his religious vocation. “I was reminded of God’s service,” said Br. Max, “so I decided to leave my job for studies in the priesthood.” Before deciding to become a monk Br. Max worked for the Navy. His work revolved around electronic systems, nuclear weapons, security systems, and missile guidance systems. But transitioning from an engineer to a monk didn’t come easy, “I was used to a certain lifestyle,” said Br. Max, “A life of freedom, disposable income... relationships. Now I don’t have that any more.” All monks are required to take a vow of obedience which Br. Max found to be the most difficult aspect of life in the monastery. “Obedience is the most difficult of the vows,” said Br. Max, “You can’t do what you want, you have to ask for permission and sometimes permission may not be granted.” Before Br. Max was free to enjoy life’s indulgences and able to do what he wanted whenever he wanted, but now he has to abide by a strict schedule. Today Br. Max is glad about his decision. After quitting his studies for the priesthood, and spending five years as a monk at a Trappist monastery, Br. Max requested to be transferred to Newark Abbey. “For me becoming a monk meant becoming more attached to Christ,” Br. Max said, “When I came, I felt like I had a deeper spiritual grounding.”


News & Features

Himalayas Project brings arts and sciences together d W by aniel


staff writEr

Advanced Art student, Jean-Luc Carraby spent this term working on an Ahimsa Hand and a painting of the Himalayas Mountains for the Himalaya Project, the third installment of the the two-year long Asia Project here. The Ahimsa Hand is a symbol of kindness and non-violence towards all living things. “The Ahimsa Hand was hard; we had to reflect on non violent times in our lives,”Jean-Luc said. This event, focusing on the culture of the Himalayas, was held on December 1 in the cafeteria and Conlin Auditorium. The interdisciplinary Asia Project included students from the science department, the music and art departments, The Drama Guild and the martial arts group. The meteorology class presented displays on the temperatures of the Himalaya mountains. The Drama Guild did a short excerpt from its recent production, “The Tibetan Book of the Dead.” The music department performed music related to the Himalayas. Before the art class could create artwork related to certain aspects of Himalayan culture, they had to learn about that culture. During classes students spent their time looking at landscapes and geography of the Himalayas. Art Department chairperson Pamela Wye-Hunsinger believes this is beneficial to students because it introduces them to a different world. “It gives students an area of study that isn’t normally covered in the regular curriculum,” she said. The school received grants to continue the Asia Project. The American Symphony Orchestra gave grants and The Grace and Mercy Foundation also funded the project. Many family members showed up to support their relatives. “I

UDIIs face vacancy in Religion Department by Kenny Paladines BUsinEss ManaGEr

In order to graduate, students are required to take four years of religion. Former UDII Religion teacher, Duarte Aguiar left in June, leaving the religion department without a teacher. Dean of Faculty Michelle Tuorto said that it was Fr. Ed’s decision not to have a religion teacher to replace Mr. Aguiar. “As of right now, there have been no instructions for me to find a UDII religion teacher” she said. Mrs. Tuorto also said that the monks are too busy to teach more than they are already obligated to. “The monks have obligations around the school, are to old to teach or already teach classes. Director of College Guidance, Tony Carnahan said that the UDIIs will not be penalized for not having religion class. “The UDIIs will be able to graduate with three years of religion.” He also said that the schedules will not be changed to accommodate the requirement of four years of religion next years. “UDII don’t have to take two classes of religion next year.”

UDII Mario Cajas said that religion class should be a requirement. “We are a Catholic prep school, so we are entitled to four years of religion.” But Mario also said that having no religion class may open up new opportunities. “Students will benefit because of the free block, they may take an elective or retake a class in order to graduate.” Headmaster Fr. Edwin Leahy’63 O.S.B said that teaching religion may not be the only way students learn about God. “I’m not sure teaching religion is the best way. I am trying an experiment to exercise our faith in another way that just in the classroom”. Fr. Ed said that the experiments include the daily lectio reflection and the monthly spiritual retreat to celebrate the Eucharist. Father Ed is uncertain of the future of the UD II religion class. “As of right now, I don’t know the future of the [UDII] religion class.”

Food pantry continued from page 1

They must apply for it. A person seeking assistance must have a referral from an agency or boss, I.D., and proof of income. If the person has kids, he or she is required to have birth certificates for each child. Sr. Linda has issues with the application process because it is so lengthy. The database the food pantry uses includes over 2000 names may have people waiting a month to get into the system. For Thanksgiving the food pantry packed 160 bags half full. After receiving donations the pantry was able to fill all the bags completely. Originally there were 160 turkeys to be given out. Churches donated more to the pantry and Sr. Linda was able to give more out. Sr. Linda St. Benedict’s students can help. “If every Benedict guy brought one can of food once a month, that could be 500 cans a month to add to the bags.”

Anthony Smith / Benedict News

UDII Antoine Brown explains his project to a parent. The Himalayas project was the third installment of the the two-year long Asia Project.

think it’s great to see parents see their kids’ work and meet their teacher in a positive context,”Mrs. Wye said. The final presentation motivates students. “When you know that it is going to be looked upon by your peers, it makes you work harder,” JeanLuc said. Jean-Luc’s father, John O’Brian Carraby is an artist, who told Jean-Luc that his work improved from his work last year. Jean-Luc said, “I can see myself creating a career out of it (art), my father was an artist so I think that it’s in the genes”.

What happens next? Faculty is using data from MAP test to shape curriculum.

by raHeem Veal photoGraphy Editor Over the past two months since students took the MAP computerized provided by the Northeast Education Association, they’ve been left with one question. What happens next? Students wonder when they’ll know what their scores mean, when the school will test again and perhaps how to improve their scores. Dean of Faculty Michelle Tuorto was able to provide some answers. She said that meetings are taking place among faculty to devise a plan on how to use the data. Mrs. Tourto said that the results of the tests provide specific information on three areas: what the student has already mastered, what is too difficult for him to learn now, and what he is ready to learn next. The only problem for teachers and administrators is choosing which data to use, since there is so much of it. “We need to use the right material and go about it the right way,” she said. Mrs. Tuorto said one of the most reliable pieces of information is the student’s lexile. The lexile is the student’s reading level, not necessarily his grade level. The lexile gives a concrete view of his ability and potential. She said this information will allow teachers

to form a more individualized curriculum where they can “challenge gifted students without leaving the others behind.” Math teacher Solomon Fleckman said that there is a “diversity of abilities” in the students who come through Benedict’s, so having an individualized approach to each student would be more effective. “There are some seventh and eighth graders who scored higher than seniors in the math section,” he said. He said the teachers all have to be on the same page so they can form a “Benedict’s way of presenting and utilizing the data” as opposed to each teacher having his or own agenda. He said in general, more can be accomplished while collaborating. “Shaping the curriculum and instruction will be a collective effort,” Mr. Fleckman said. He said the two areas that teachers will focus on improving most are Critical Reading and Writing. The Middle States Association expects that devoting extra attention to these two areas will yield improvement in science, history and other subjects. Mr. Fleckman said the next testing cycle will more than likely take place early in April.

The seventh graders and the eighth graders and Saint Mary’s studentscame in to pack food for Thanksgiving. From now on, the seventh and eighth graders will help pack food in the food pantry once a month Sr. Linda said. Sr. Linda said state lawmakers should sit in a food pantry to see about some legislation they are waiting to pass because government processes are slow working. However Sr. Linda is pleased that all legislation the provider for the food the pantry receives has been renewed. She also believes that there’s disconnect from ordinary people and the people who make the differences. “People who have power don’t always have the experience of the poor or struggling people,” says Sr. Linda.


News & Features

Who decides your swag?

THe benedicT neWs

by riian WinbusH staff writEr

Guys choose their styles for different reasons: Some buy their clothes because of the brand name, some buy them for comfort and some even buy their clothes because no one else has heard of them. Popular brands like Polo, Rugby, Obey, and Adidas appeal to many guys, while others may be drawn to other, “under the radar brands.” Some students would rather wear brands that no one has ever seen before. UDII Mauricio Gonzales said, “I [choose] clothes like Forever, Diamond and Zoo York because I think that they are an accurate representation as me as a person. I don’t buy my clothes to impress people, or because it’s cool. I do it because it’s what I like.” For some people, popularity UDI Isaac Tucker-Rasbury, freshman Keanre Ford, and UDII Elijah Rivera leave school out of uniform. Riian Winbush / Benedict News has no effect on what they Students express themselves by choosing styles that are not necessarily popular. buy. UDII Evans Saso buys he said, “because I find it annoying that kids feel the need to wear what his clothes for comfort, not to be praised. “I like this coat. I like this hat. everyone else is wearing to fit in.” I wear it because it’s comfortable and it keeps me warm. There’s no other Some students buy clothes that they believe represent them accurately. reason.” UDII Dario Salas said, “I buy clothes from places like Urban Outfitters and There are students who buy their clothes to be unique from everyone Express because it’s a statement of who I am and how I like to express my else. Senior Marcus Durant is a fan of brands that people do not really feelings. It shows a piece of my personality to people who may not know pay attention to. “I wear street brands like Stussy, Mishka, and UNDFTD,” me personally.”

How do you get your music?


by anTHony smiTH staff writEr

Freshman Sedrick Livingston received his I-Pod Touch 4th generation during the summer phase. Every day whenever he has spare time, Sedrick kicks back puts on his headphones and listens to music on his I- Pod Touch. Every two weeks Sedrick’s mom is gives him an I-Tunes gift card for $25 to even $50 on it. Sedrick loves to listen to his favorite artist Drake. So, recently when he got his new I-Tunes gift card he downloaded Drake’s latest album Take Care onto his I-Pod Touch. Sedrick said, “He’s a good artist and I feel I have to support him, the right way.” Sedrick said that downloading music on I-Tunes is the right thing to do but it is also becoming very expensive. According to FYE a CD costs around $12.99. On iTunes a single artists song is $1.29 and a full album is around $10.99. Legally getting music adds up “If I met someone who knew how to download illegally I would ask him how do you do it,” said Sedrick. Sedrick is a prime example of how illegal downloading can become routine to someone who is tempted to get music. A free illegal download may seem cheaper but not combined with the Federal Offense of Piracy. Making unauthorized copies of copyrighted music recordings is against the law and may subject you to civil and criminal liability. According to the Recording Industry Association of America a civil law suit could hold you responsible for thousands of dollars in damages. Criminal charges may leave you with a felony record, accompanied by up to five years of jail time and fines up to $250,000. Director of Annual Giving Didier Jean-Baptiste is a Bob Marley music fanatic. Mr. Jean-Baptiste has over 100 Bob Marley songs on his iPhone, definitely every studio album and most of his posthumous albums. Mr. Jean-Baptiste said staying on top of Bob Marley’s music is very expensive, so expensive that he has resorted to paying for his music via MOG. MOG is a legal on demand streaming music service that provides multi-platform access to a


deep library of over 13 million songs from over a million albums through its award-winning mobile apps on iPhone and Android, on the Web, desktop app for Mac and soon for Windows. “I pay $10 a month for unlimited downloading on MOG,” said Mr. Jean-Baptiste “I want music to be around so I pay for it legally.” But not all legal downloaders are just concerned about prices. Music Teacher Jeremy Fletcher has been around music his whole life from listening to his mom playing the piano and singing in the church choir as a young boy. Dr. Fletcher’s CD collection is overwhelmed by jazz. Dr. Fletcher said, “mainly because I went to school for it, I don’t like all jazz music but the 10 percent I love makes it worthwhile.” Dr. Fletcher is an avid consumer of music and says he still gets his music the legal way, by paying for the album in stores and downloading music from the Apple Store. “Why not?” said Dr. Fletcher. “Having been interested in the music industry, I know that artists and musicians are the bottom of the food chain. High school students only see people who made it to the mainstream (radio, tours, and television). But they do not know that the mainstream artists and musicians are such a small percentage of artists and musicians that are trying to be signed.” Illegal downloading affects more than the consumer; it affects the artist, the industry, and the way music is distributed. According to, Contemporary Christian and R&B singer-songwriter Stacie Orrico said, “As an artist it can be discouraging that people don’t realize how much time and effort you put into making and promoting a record. There are many people that contribute to my career as an artist and, when you participate in illegal copying of music, you not only hurt the artist, you hurt all the support staff that work with them. We need the support of our fans and that includes your support by choosing legal downloading.”

illegally by marcus duranT LayoUt Editor

The internet has rapidly turned into a free music store. Today’s musicians make most of their money through concerts. Album revenue does come in, but with illegal downloading thousands of potential buyers are lost. Most students at St. Benedict’s have fallen into the habit of consuming getting their music illegally. UDII Josiah Akintunde has a Zune and enjoys getting the latest music, like any other music consumer. In order to stay on top of new music, he resorts to free, illegal downloading. Josiah said, “It’s easily accessible, fast to get and you don’t have to wait in stores. It’s like you have a free music store on your computer.” But not all students download illegally because of the convenience; they download illegally because it doesn’t cost anything. UDI Michael Crentsil said, “It’s much easier than buying albums and it costs nothing.” It’s true, downloading music off the internet is completely free, but you’ll pay a large price in the long run if you were to get caught sharing copyrighted music. Many students download music from illegal sites without thinking of future consequences. It doesn’t seem like a big deal because there are so many people downloading illegal. What are the chances an illegal downloader will be caught? Sites that allow free downloading are also taking risks. Some websites that facilitate illegal downloading have shut down due to legal file suits. UDI Naija Omari said he may be more careful about his music now. “I don’t know, I think now I’ll start buying my favorite artists’ albums.”


News & Features

december 2011

Why is it always ‘A Wonderful Life?’ by Kenny Palandines BUsinEss ManaGEr

Students have gathered together for the past two decades to watch “It’s a Wonderful Life” a black and white movie from the ‘40s that is shown on the last day of the fall term. Does anyone know the reason why the community gathers to watch a mind numbing movie in black and white? The yearly tradition started in 1986 when Father Edwin Leahy’63 O.S.B and Abbot Melvin Valvano O.S.B meet with alumnus Robert Brennan ’62 who donated millions of dollars, and in return asked the community to watch one of his favorite movie “It’s a Wonderful Life” each year. Assisistant Headmaster Ivan Lamourt said that the reason the movie is shown every year is not just the favor for Mr. Brennan but because it has a moral message. “Everyone can benefit from watching this movie due to its many messages it sends to the audience.” He also said, “We watch the movie every year before Christmas because it reminds students that their lives matter to everyone around them”.

by sereTse daVis staff writEr

Mr. Lamourt said that the students don’t get the reason the movie is shown or the meaning of the movie. “I think the older you get the more you appreciate the movie. That’s why so many alumni come to see the movie.” Father Ed said that the movie is a best way to really get to know one another. “Watching the movie can help build the relationship between guys in our community and get them to bond with one another”. He also said that no one should feel that their lives don’t matter to anyone. “Everyone lives matter because everyone touches other people’s lives.” Fr. Ed also said the depictions of generous actions show how the community will help members in need, just like the movie did. “What people get most out of the movie is to help one another like a community should do.” Senior Dennis Tassie said that watching the movie so many times can really change the lives of people. “Although it might not seem like your life matters, the movies make you feel that you can make an impact in your community.”

The best albums of 2011

As 2011 nears an end here are what I believe to be the top five albums of this year. “Take Care” by Drake, a Canadian hip-hop artist. This is his second album that came out on November 15.This album offers listeners an inside view of his life on topics such as romances that failed, relationships with friends and family, and growing wealth and fame. My favorite three tracks are “Lord Knows,” “Look What You’ve Done” and “Take Care.” Listeners are able to relate and connect with his story. “Watch the Throne” is a collaborative album recorded by Jay-Z and Kanye West. The album was released on August 8. Listeners are taken into their world, which involves high-end fashion, cars and vacations. Also they talk about the

burdens of success. My favorite three tracks are “No Church in the Wild,” “Gotta Have it,” and “New Day.” The album offers listeners a chance to envision a journey from having nothing to having everything. If bragging over a beat appeals to you, this album is for you. “Cole World: Sideline Story” is the debut album by J. Cole which was released on September 27. The issues he raps about kids are able to relate to like growing up in a fatherless household also he talks about abortion, relationships, fame and success. My favorite three tracks are “Sideline Story,” “God’s Gift,” and “Breakdown.” He gives listeners a piece of himself and lets everyone inside his life. “Section 80,” recorded by Kendrick Lamar, was

released on July 2.The album talks about the trouble youths are facing- drugs and alcohol, an unfair justice system and the confused morals of today’s society. My favorite three tracks would be “A.D.H.D,” “Keisha’s Song,” and “HiiiPower.” The album gives listeners a new sound, by having a hip, jazz-influenced beats. Also his rap scheme is unlike anyone else’s in rap right now. The second album by Wale is called “Ambition,” released on November1. The album lets listeners feel a part of his journey; he talks about trying to be successful, his flashy life-style, and his respect for women. My three favorite tracks are “Miami Nights,” “Ambition,” and “Double Genius.” Listeners can relate to him being humble and hungry trying to become great.

What do you want for Christmas?

Reporter Donald Stokes asked students what they want Santa to bring them this year. Have you been good enough to get anything? UDII Zakee Smith “All I want for Christmas is for my mom to be happy because I don’t want to see her stressed out over things in life” UDII William Brown “I want a PS3 for Christmas because it’s a great game system and I could play online with my friends” UDII Trevon Sloan “For Christmas I want a Laptop because it is convenient to have one at home instead of going to the ACC or library”

Senior Dax Bernard “For Christmas I want the new IPod because I’m a fan of apple products and Fr. Ed still has my iPod from freshman year” Senior David Rivera “For Christmas I want Batman Arkam city because I enjoy video games and comic books” Senior Group Leader Akeem Millar “This Christmas I want a fourth generation iPod touch because I lost my previous one”



THe benedicT neWs

by roberT Pires LayoUt Editor

New seventh and eight grade wrestling coach Omar Feliciano watches over his team. Mr. Feliciano also teaches Algebra.

Axell Sanchez / Benedict News

Alumnus instructs young wrestlers by nicK drinKard VidEo Editor

The new seventh and eighth grade wrestling coach, Omar Feliciano’97, wants to teach his wrestlers more than just moves. “I also want them to learn that there are no shortcuts in life or in wrestling,” said Mr. Feliciano, “If they can be disciplined and focused, they will have and learn the tools needed to overcome any and all obstacles.” Mr. Feliciano heard that varsity Coach Solomon Fleckman was looking for a seventh and eighth grade coach and got in touch with him.The 32 year old father of five is also the assistant head coach at a wrestling club in Fairfield called Team Scorpion Wrestling. As a student here, Mr. Feliciano was the captain of the wrestling team and also played varsity soccer. He attended Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois where he majored in public relations and minored in marketing. After college he went straight to work at a nursing home

that his uncle owned because he had a child while he was in college. He said coaching seventh and eighth graders is not easy. “It’s a challenge. Some of them have never wrestled,” Mr. Feliciano said. He is also teaching algebra filling in for Ima Richburg, who is on maternity leave.

“If they can be disciplined and focused, they will have and learn the tools needed to overcome any and all obstacles.” -Coach Feliciano

He has to slow down the pace for beginning wrestlers. “I’m use to working at a faster pace but everything has to be slowed down for them to

understand,” Mr. Feliciano said. The team practices during the activity period, everyday in the wrestling room. Slowing down the pace is only one challenge; another is getting them to come together as a team. “A lot of these guys have never participated in organized sports with the type of discipline wrestling requires,” Mr. Feliciano said. At Benedicts, Mr. Feliciano posted 160 career wins, putting him among some of the best wrestlers to come out of private high schools in the United States. His achievement has also helped put Benedicts at the top of the list of private schools with the most 100 match winners. Mr. Feliciano said wrestling prepares kids to face many life lessons.“Wrestling is the hardest sport, and just the fact that they are doing it, is great.”

Fencing again

Rich Molina ’06 still remembers his muscles aching as he walked across the grounds in the snow after hours of practice when he fenced here. Today he is still spends hours in the fencing room after school, however, this time his muscles are not hurting after practice is over. Mr. Molina substituted his fencing days to being the new assistant coach. Mr. Austin said it is great to have Mr. Molina as his assistant coach. “It gives me more flexibility to do things that I want to do during practice,” Mr. Austin said. “He is also a good back up resource when I have scheduling conflicts,” he added. This is the first time Mr. Molina works as a coach. However, coaching is not something new to him. “Ever since high school, I’ve been helping kids younger than me learn how to fence. Even in college there were a few fencers I would help,” Mr. Molina said. He decided to be a coach because he loved fencing when he was at Benedict’s. “I fenced all four years at Benedict’s and I wanted to help out here so it just made sense to be a coach,” Mr. Molina said. Mr. Molina won the state prep championships every year and took second overall in the Cetrullo Tournament – a competition that had more than 40 high schools – his senior year when he fenced here. Mr. Molina is also a Leahy House parent and teaches an elective, “Science Fiction in Film.” He said that the only difference between coaching and teaching is the subject. “Coaching and teaching are exactly the same to me. My approach to teaching a student how to analyze a film is the same as my approach to coaching my players how to get through a fencing bout,” Mr. Molina said. During practice Mr. Molina helps Mr. Austin with calisthenics, team building exercises, and working on footwork. He is in charge of giving separate fencing lessons to the epee team. Freshman Ahmad Caldwell said he enjoys having Mr. Molina as a coach. “He’s really motivating. Whenever I’m struggling he always says something to encourage me,” Ahmad said. Captain Michael Daniel said he is motivating them. “He’s really cool, fun to fence with and talk to,” Michael said. “He’s always giving us some kind of drills to do to keep us working so we can continue to be the State Preps Champs.” Mr. Molina fenced for the first time his freshman year. He decided to try fencing because Fr. Ed said that he had to do a sport in the fall. “I went to the fencing room and fell in love.” Mr. Molina said. “It is also really fun. We get to hit each other with swords.” he added.



december 2011

Swimmers improve with volunteer coaching by Josdanson eXume onLinE Editor

Snow froze the swimming team’s schedule last year. Despite the lack of competition, they swam very well for the year finishing fourth at counties, highlighted by the first place finish from the 200 relay team composed of Giovanni Urquilla, Kieran Lenahan, Gavin Mullholland, and Dennis Tassie.

“We’re still going to have a pretty good season, guys are getting faster,” -Gavin Mulholland After many stars graduating, and now senior Gavin out due to an injury, you would think the swimming team would have trouble for this season. But they showed that that is not the case in their opening dual meet against Riverdale, where they won 110-64. Senior David Philemon said that this is a good sign. “Based on this meet, we have potential to be

Josdanson Exume / Benedict News

Benedict’s swimmers and opponents line up for a relay. Volunteer coaches are helping the team. “Kids are improving as a result of more coaching,” Mr. Cassidy said.

good,” David said. Head coach Glenn Cassidy said that the team will be just as good as last year’s, especially with Irving Cenatus ‘06 helping. Volunteers Andy Happe and Tim Hall ‘08 are also helping out. “Kids are improving as a result of more coaching,” Mr. Cassidy said. Against Riverdale, many kids swam best times in at least one event. And Gavin has begun to get back in the water, doing limited workouts. Mr. Cassidy said he wants Gavin back before the end of the season.

Talking Sports

Athletes pay too by einzen lesPinasse sports Editor

Not just water boys

by Tyree roulHac sport Editor

Some think manager is just a nice way of saying water boy. Here managers do a lot more than simply supply water. In an interview with Tyree Roulhac, managers of the soccer and water polo explain what they do. What they learn as managers, they can apply to school.


Students at St. Benedict’s Prep believe in a lot of things. We think that Fr. Augustine O.S.B is Santa Claus, Marty “Doc” Hannon Ph.D is immortal and all varsity athletes come here for free. UD1 Kevin Gaspar believes the rumors that varsity athletes attend Benedict’s for free. “Why do they deserve to come here for free while everyone else pays?” he said. “Athletes get everything they want.” Senior Owen Maisva agrees, but thinks there are other reasons why athletes are able to come to this school for free. “They generate money for the school,” he said. “Who doesn’t like sports?” The problem with these “beliefs” is that they are not true: varsity athletes, like everyone else, pay tuition. Director of the Career Development Center Stephanie Baker who collects tuition, said those who believe athletes do not pay tuition are misinformed. “I tend to think that they [the students] don’t know what they’re talking about,” she said. A lot of students don’t understand the financial aid process that applies to everyone including athletes, she said. Every year, the development office raises money for the Annual Fund; that money pays for the teachers’ salaries and activities, and also covers financial aid. “It’s a big pot of money we raise to operate the school,” said Director of Student Affairs Michael Scanlan. This year the development office was able to raise $4.2 million, $2.1 million of that was allocated for financial aid Mr. Scanlan said. Here, financial aid is need-based which means that aid is awarded to only those who need it. That’s a lot of us. Students are approved for aid, when their parents submit financial records through FACTS, a finacial assessment and tuition management system. The tuition management allows parents to pay their sons tuiton in affordable monthly payments.Some very few families are not able to pay even a discounted tuition. Those families are assisted either by donors or from the school allotment for financial aid. Any student who is accepted in the school and meets the criterion for need can recieve tuition aid. “Our goal is to make tuition affordable for all students,” Mrs. Baker said. Former Associate Director of Institutional Advancement and new Athletic Director Joshua Thompson said students should be taught about what goes on in the background of the school, to prevent the creation of more rumors. “I think that the economics and the financial structure...operational budget should be a course taught to every Benedict’s student like economics,” he said. Mr. Thompson’s idea sounds like a good one. Instead of keeping students in the dark, St. Benedict’s should make a course that teaches student about the financial dynamics of the school. But until then, it’s important to understand that the financial aid is distributed in a fair way to everybody. “Every situation is different, we try to look at every situation on a case by case basis,” Mrs. Baker said.

“I should make it for Counties and States,” Gavin said. Gavin starred as one of the team’s fastest swimmers in the 200 and 500-meter, and the 200 and 400-meter relays. While injured, he has been helping younger guys at practices. “He’s very motivational at practice,” senior Dennis Tassie said. Mr. Cassidy said that as of now, the team has no replacement for Gavin in his events. “We’re still going to have a pretty good season, guys are getting faster,” Gavin said.


Jared Boone

I became a manager because I had a lot of friends on the team, but I’ve never been much of an athlete so I managed to stay with them. Everyday my first job is to test the chlorine level of the pool. Then I carry the water jug to the weight room and fill it with ice. I then lug it all the way back to the pool and fill the jug and water bottles for the players. If there are timed drills, I’m in charge of running the clock while the other two managers clean the pool deck. And after practice, I’m responsible for checking the chlorine again. Managing has helped me become more attentive. If I’m not paying attention to a game, the whole clock can get messed up. If I don’t pay attention in class, I can miss something important and then fall behind.


I became a manager, specifically for soccer, because I started to follow the sport and I gained an interest in it. When Jorge Jeronimo told me he needed help managing, it seemed like a perfect opportunity. As managers our job was to make sure the team was prepared at all times. Everyday we’re responsible for making sure we had all equipment ready for practice. From getting the water from the field house, bringing the balls to the field, and making sure the fields set for practice. After that, we wash practice jerseys and make sure game uniforms are clean.. By managing the team I learned how to prioritize. There were a lot of times during the season when and Jorge and I had to prioritize between task that needed to be completed. So I apply that lesson from managing to my school work.

Water Polo

Hasahn Conway


The Benedict News - December  
The Benedict News - December  

Student newspaper of St. Benedict's Prep School