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Getting Inked Now May Effect Job Opportunities...P2

Women’s Soccer Reaches Highest Ranking...P4

October 23, 2012


Knowledge: It’s Your Right

Editor’s Note: The 2012 presidential election is two weeks away, which means students will vote for the candidate who they feel is best to lead the nation. We at The Highlander believe voters require information to make this important choice, so we are providing details about the platforms of Democratic President Barack Obama and his challenger, Republican Mitt Romney.

By Morgan Harding, Print Editor Luzerne County is now ranked ninth in the state for violent crimes, but local college campuses rank far better. Violent crimes, which include murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, increased by 30% from 2010 to 2011. There was no rise in these types of crimes on the campuses of Misericordia, Wilkes or Kings. Campus safety officials at colleges and universities are required to report uniform crime statistics to both the FBI and the Department of Education each year. The report includes crime statistics over a three-year period. The Department of Education requires a comprehensive breakdown of the filed data, according to Paul Murphy, Director of Campus Safety and Facilities. This report tells the Department of Education where the crime happened and whether it was violent or nonviolent. There is no correlation between the rise in crime in the county and the crime rates on college campuses. According to Robert Zavada, Associate Director of Campus Safety, universities do not report every statistic to local law enforcement officers. “We report as a university. Dallas Township also reports that information. There are many offenses that we must report but they do not turn into a police investigation. If the student or staff member takes it to the police it is then included in that borough, city or township’s crime statistics,” said Zavada. Misericordia University did not report statistics from crimes that increased in Luzerne County,

By Shawn Kellmer, Web Editor


Dallas residents place signs in their front yards to show support of their favorite political candidates.

Truth Talks Redefines Bullying Continued on page 5

By Devaughn Patterson, Reporter

Attendees of a Truth Talks Anti Bullying presentation defined bullying in a broader, and perhaps more accurate, way. Freshman Zack Johnson attended the event on Tuesday, October, 9. He was shocked to find out that the Center of Disease Control had a specific definition of bullying and the many others who seemed to have their own definition of bullying. One part of the CDC definition is that bullying occurs when a person is exposed repeatedly over time to negative actions by one or more others. “We’re looking at it as just as our own definition, meaning that we’re singling these people out and excluding them from activities and friends,” said Johnson. MU graduate and event panelist Matt Vitale thinks the word “cyber bullying” is improper English. “You wouldn’t call bullying in the lunchroom, lunchroom bullying, or bullying in the playground, playground bullying. The only difference is this is a new medium for them to use.” Director of the Counseling Center and panelist Dr. Cindy March feels that the spread of technology makes cyber bullying a serious issue and sometimes that’s the form of bullying used more than any other. “People think that they can be anonymous to some degree,” said March. People who attended the discussion learned how bullying is linked to suicide and how a person being bullied uses suicide as a solution. March said people need to realize that suicide is a permanent

solution to a temporary problem. “When talking to a friend who might be depressed about bullying or anything else that’s one of the things that you have to remind them. They feel like they’re at the end of the road in terms of a possibility of a situation getting better, but the thing is there’s always other options.” Sophomore Dayanara RodriguezMunoz said hearing the word ‘solution’ may make a victim feel like it is a way to end the suffering and attacks, even though rationally, most people wouldn’t think that way. “In the phrase “a permanent solution to a temporary problem,” the word solution is in there so they know that it’s linked to suicide,” said Rodriguez-Munoz. Vitale feels part of the difficulty that bullying victims face is related to brain development. The front of the brain is the last to develop--and continues to grow into the mid-20s. “The frontal lobe focuses your executive function it’s a part of your brain where you make your decisions, so if you’re n a situation where you are harassed and need to think logically how can I get help, this is the part of the brain that accesses this,” said Vitale. Vitale feels this is a problem because at age 13 the frontal lobe hasn’t fully developed so the person can’t think logically about the problem, he or she can only react to the emotions they are feeling. March said bullies are people who are insecure about themselves and are trying to feel powerful and usually pick on someone who is shy or maybe has

a different style. “They will focus on that. They will say, ‘if I make someone feel that they’re not okay then I’m okay.’” Vitale said back in the caveman days, the most effective way to increase one’s status amongst a group was to prove that you’re bigger or stronger then everyone. “Typically the males in the tribe had to prove themselves and bullying is the school system is really just a modern reflection to that.” Vitale also feels the current research is showing that instead of placing the sole focus on the bully

and the target, the focus should be on others who witness it or are aware of it. “The function of bullying is to get respect, to get noticed, and to raise yourself up and if there isn’t a social group that will reward you for your actions, there will be no reason for you to do it,” Vitale said. Bob Kalinowski, writer for The Citizen’s Voice, covered stories about four recent teen suicides in the Wilkes-Barre area and said the families at first weren’t sure if bullying had anything to do with

Continued on page 3


Bob Kalinowski reflects on the coverage in The Citizen’s Voice of recent teen suicides during Truth Talks: Bullying in the Cougar Lounge.

Football: A Closer Look

Exclusively on

Two reporters tackle why first year players chose MU and what it took for Head Coach Mark Ross to start a team.

A Peek into Attending Teen Vogue Fashion U

Page 4

The presidential race is very close. Neither candidate has had more than a two percent lead in most major polls during the first two weeks of October. Here are the answers to pertinent questions that impact all citizens, but particularly students. What will they do to fix education? Education has been one of the biggest topics throughout this election and both candidates agree it is a pressing issue. Both say improved education is imperative to improve the country’s economic standing. They believe in K-12 teacher evaluations and charter schools, but the candidates differ on strategies for change. Romney targets unions and bureaucracy and wants more state and local government control over school districts. During the first presidential debate he said he would implement a plan similar to the one he used while Governor of Massachusetts. According to his website, his plan would include, “tying federal funds directly to dramatic reforms that expand parental choice, invest in innovation, and reward teachers for their results instead of their tenure.” President Barack Obama plans to reform No Child Left Behind, close low-performing charter schools and initiate programs to recruit and reward teachers. Both candidates say higher education should be affordable. The President will double funding for Pell Grants and establish a college tax credit. Romney has said he will keep grant funding on a sustainable, long term path. Will my taxes increase? Romney’s website says, “America’s individual tax code applies relatively high marginal tax rates on a narrow tax base. Those high rates discourage work and entrepreneurship, as well as savings and investment.” He plans to make a 20 percent cut in marginal rates, maintain tax rates on interest, dividends and capital gains, eliminate taxes for those who make below $250,000 in interest, dividends, and capital gains, eliminate what he terms the Death Tax, which is a tax on very high-value inheritances, and repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). states, “President Obama knows we can’t simply cut our way to prosperity.” The President offers a balanced plan of spending cuts and revenue increases that reduce the deficit by more than $4 trillion over the next decade. Taxes will increase on those who make more than $200,000 per year. This reduction effort includes $1 trillion in spending cuts he signed into law last summer as part of a deal with congressional Republicans. What are their stances on healthcare? President Obama’s healthcare plan, officially named The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was introduced was signed into law on March 23, 2010. Obamacare is a federal law intended to increase the number of people covered by health insurance. President Obama says the plan is ending insurance abuse, strengthening Medicare and ending overcharging women for healthcare. It also allows young people to stay

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on their parents’ insurance until age 26. Romney has referred to Obamacare as a federal takeover of the healthcare system and plans to end Obamacare during his first day in office. “In place of Obamacare, Mitt will pursue policies that give each state the power to craft a health care reform plan that is best for its own citizens. The federal government’s role will be to help markets work by creating a level playing field for competition,” the website states. Romney plans to give the states power to regulate local insurance. The assassination of Big Bird? During the Presidential Debate on October 3, Romney said he would cut funding to PBS because it doesn’t pass his test: “Is the program so critical that it is worth borrowing money from China to pay for it?” PBS receives roughly 0.014% or $445 million of the federal budget. Immediately people on both sides were quick to comment on Romney’s statement, making Big Bird even bigger. The Obama campaign began airing a commercial using the likeness of Big Bird to charge that Romney is attacking Sesame Street as a threat. But Sesame Workshop immediately asked the Obama Campaign to stop airing the commercial and posted a statement on it’s website. “Sesame Workshop is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization and we do not endorse candidates or participate in political campaigns. We have approved no campaign ads, and, as is our general practice, have requested that both campaigns remove Sesame Street characters and trademarks from their campaign materials.” One more important piece of information for first time voters: According to luzernecounty. org, anyone voting in a Luzerne County precinct for the first time needs to present an approved form of ID at the time of voting. This does not apply to all other voters because Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law does not take effect for this election. Approved forms of photo identification for first time voters: (ID must be valid) PA driver’s license or ID card issued by PennDOT ID issued by any other Commonwealth agency ID issued by the U.S. Government U.S. Passport U.S. Armed Forces ID Student ID Employee ID Approved forms of nonphoto identification: (ID must include the name and address of the elector) Voter’s identification card issued by the voter registration commission Non-photo ID issued by the Commonwealth Non-photo ID issued by the U.S. Government Firearm permit Current utility bill Current bank statement Current paycheck

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NO INK FOR INC. By Alexandria Smith, Content Manager

Tats might present a professional stumbling block. Although the U.S. corporate market has changed in many ways – shifting from internal labor to outsourcing, extending more extreme dress code policies – tattoos and piercings in the workplace seem to remain a divided issue. Forty percent of 26-40 year olds and 36% of 18-25 year olds have tattoos, and 22% of 26-40 year olds and 30% of 18-25 year olds have at least one body piercing, according to the Pew Research Center via Forbes Magazine. There is no consensus among employers on how to address body modifications, according to Forbes. Most corporations and small businesses generally do not have formal policies against tattoos and piercings but this does not mean potential employees should not be careful about the placement of their body art, said Assistant Director of the Insalaco Center for Career Development Carolyn Yencharis Corcoran. “Just like everything else with a job search, when you’re searching for a job, I want to say you want to go in with kind of a clean slate. So whatever environment you’re going into, you want to think about ‘What is the uniform for that environment?’ We always recommend in the Career Center, whenever we speak to students about appearance, we always recommend if you have any tattoos that are visible, cover them up, wear long sleeves. Or if you have a piercing on your face or an unusual piercing in your ear, take that out, and interview with the organizations. Let your experience be the thing that shines through. You don’t want to be judged by one tattoo.” Freshman nursing major Kelsey Swoyer, sophomore English major Celsi Illiano, and senior communications major Matt Wiegopolski also believe tattoos and piercings can play a role in the kinds of jobs that can be available to people who flaunt their art. “Tattoos and piercings can definitely affect your job placement,” said Illiano, who has a total of fifteen piercings including her rook, scaffold, tongue, lip and navel, as well as four tattoos. “If you’re looking to go into a more professional field, you have to be very selective with your placement of your tattoos. All of mine you can’t show unless I’m making it known – like if I’m wearing more provocative clothing, I should say, you can see my tattoos. And with my piercings, they’re all things that you can take out and you can’t see them. They’re more easily hidden. But if you’re going into more open industries like writing, or store management of clothing, or tattooing, or personal retail like items that you make yourself, you can be more expressionistic with

your body.” Wiegopolski, who has six tattoos including and a Freddy Kreuger portrait in progress on his ribs, has had many thoughts about the kinds of professions he believes would be accepting of body modifications. “Obviously the white collar jobs are going to be more strict than blue collar. If you’re a maintenance man, I don’t think they’re going to say anything if you have tattoos but more professionalwise, like a teacher, you’re now in the public eye, or like high up in a business corporation. I don’t see, if you’re typing up articles for a newspaper, why you can’t have tattoos on your hands.” Wiegopolski also remains mindful of his future and how certain placement decisions can limit his career choices. He said he needs to find a steady job before he would feel comfortable enough to expose his art or add another tattoo to his body. In the future he wants to cover himself in ink: he mentioned having “sleeves” on his arms. “I’m able to cover the tattoos I have now so it’s not like people are looking at me differently,” he said. “I don’t get that honestly – someone looking at you differently because you have tattoos.” Swoyer, who has tattoos on her wrist, lip and back as well as dermal hip piercings, distinguishes the kinds of professionals that make her uncomfortable when they sport ink and piercings. “If my mechanic has tattoos all over, I don’t really care. As long as you fix my car I don’t care. But if someone who’s taking my blood or putting something into my body and looks kind of sketchy, I don’t really want them to be doing that,” said Swoyer. Corcoran said notions about tolerant professions can be inaccurate. “It really depends on where you are, what type of organization you’re in, and what you’re doing. And, I think this comes back to that whole, obviously the culture in the organization,” said Corcoran. ”I mean, you may go into an advertising firm where you have all of these creative folks – graphic designers and writers – and maybe they don’t want you to show your tattoos and piercings because maybe they deal with high level corporate clients from Japan and Japan’s a very conservative country. So, I wouldn’t even say depending on the environment whether it’s creative or writing based compared to healthcare, it doesn’t matter. You really need to gauge the culture within the organization and what their attitude is about that.”


First year Nicole Rambus displays her wrist tattoo, a choice she feels will not effect future job choices.

October 23, 2012


MU Exposure: Falling Foliage

Junior Ellen Hoffman captures the changing colors of the leaves as they are juxtaposed against the bright green lawn and the Mary Kintz Bevevino Library for her Fundamentals of Digital Photography class with photographer Jimmy May. The fall foliage draws visitors from out of the area to see the magnificence of the color of Northerneastern Pennsylvania’s autumn leaves. The changing of the leaves occurs yearly but depending on the weather they can fall very fast.

Criminal mischief leaves a mark By Callen Clark, Reporter

Safety officials say recent incidents around campus, including damage at Gildea Hall, do not indicate a rash of campus vandalism. Associate Director of Campus Safety Bob Zavada said recent campus incidents cannot be described as vandalism. “Vandalism is a generic term used very freely. The true term, if were talking about crime, is criminal mischief.” According to Zavada, in 2012, security officers were called to 363 crime and fire-related events of sufficient seriousness to require a report to be filed. Of those, only 14 involved damage to campus buildings and grounds. Zavada said that incidents can lead to criminal charges, and students should be aware that any criminal record can stand in the way of future opportunities. “Even if the damage is relatively minor, there are ways to pull up those kinds of records on people these days, and a potential future employer could get a hold of them, which in turn could cause the employer to less consider the student for a paid position.” Gary Samuels, Coordinator of Student Affairs and Community Standards, said that with any case of criminal behavior, he and his department, including Residence Director Kit Foley, will meet with the student to try to educate them and possibly help improve their behavior. He also noted that there is often restitution to be paid, meaning the student pays for exactly what he or she damaged. Samuels said other possible disciplinary measures could include removal from campus as a resident. “If a fire was set in a residence hall they certainly could run the risk of being removed from campus because that would pose not just a danger to themselves but a danger to the campus.” When asked of the possibility of a student being expelled because of an

act of vandalism, Samuels said, “It really depends on the severity of what we’re talking about. A broken window? I think you would have to break a few windows in order for Misericordia to completely remove you as student.” Before a student is removed, he or she will be warned, Samuels said. Samuels recommends that whenever there is a case of vandalism on campus, the security office should be notified so officers can document the incident. But, what about reporting the incident if campus security can’t get to it? “We do have two incident reporting systems here. We have one that belongs to the campus safety office, and the office of residence life has one as well. With these two systems, both offices work closely together so that they can do their reporting for the Clery Act every year” The Clery Act requires postsecondary institutions to report crime statistics publicly at the end of every calendar year. Using vandalism as a benchmark statistic, last year at Misericordia, there were 13 acts of vandalism, down from 19 in 2009 and 17 in 2010. Luzerne County Community College reported about five incidences of vandalism on campus for the last three years. Temple University, in the heart of Philadelphia, reported 37 cases of vandalism last year, with 42 cases reported in both 2009 and 2010. Despite some missing banners from outside Gildea Hall and minor damage, vandalism is not a pressing campus issue . Junior Joe Winter and sophomore Teegan French say they haven’t seen anything serious. “No, I haven’t seen a thing,” said Winter. French asked, “Wait. There’s vandalism on campus?”


Top, A picnic table outside of McHale Hall is spattered with paint. Bottom, A light post near the walkway of MacDowell Hall is blatantly bare since someone stole the banner that once hung on it.



Ellen Hoffman - Editor-in-Chief Callen Clark Morgan Harding - Print Editor Bryce Edwards Shawn Kellmer - Web Editor Peter Falvey Mary Bove - Multimedia Editor Josh Horton Arthur Dowell - Web Master Brittany Lovette Alexandria Smith - Content Manager Heather Mariscano Alexa Cholewa - Business Manager Devaughn Patterson Gabriella Lengyel - Social Media Manager Melissa Sgroi - Advisor Misericordia University 301 Lake Street Dallas, PA 18612


The Highlander works to produce up-to-date, clear, accurate reporting. If any information is inaccurate or not covered thoroughly, corrections and information will appear in this area. Opinions and views expressed in The Highlander in no way reflect those of Misericordia University or the Sisters of Mercy. The Highlander Staff welcomes students, faculty and reader response. The Highlander reserves the right to edit submissions for grammatical errors and length. All submissions must be signed. Letters to the Editor and/or materials for publication may be submitted by any reader. Items can be sent via e-mail. The Highlander is a free, biweekly publication produced in conjunction with MU Communications Department. Any full-time student is encouraged to join the staff. We are a member of the American Scholastic Press Association, Associated Collegiate Press and the Pennsylvania Newspaper Association.

570-674-6400 570-674-6737

CORRECTIONS Study Abroad: No Tango in Paris?

Lake Street Elite pumps up campus By Gabriella Lengyel, Social Media Manager

Football game spirit is brewing throughout campus thanks to Lake Street Elite, Misericordia’s spirit committee. LSE originated a few years ago with a group of students who shared the same goal: spreading school spirit. Student Activities asked the group to return to help gain more fan support at home sporting events. Now a group is forming to kick up school spirit on campus. “We’re trying to get students more involved,” junior LSE member Gabby Pollina said. Group members said they noticed a lack of spirit on campus and felt the inaugural football season would be the perfect time to start to spread the cheer, junior committee member Jesi Swoboda said. Committee members said home football games need a little work

to get the spirit flowing. They said spirited students roamed bleachers and surrounding areas for a place to stand their ground but had trouble finding a spot out of the way of other fans. Students ended up next to the Metz venue trailer to cheer on the team. Darcy Brodmerkel, advisor, wants to let students know they are welcome to seats in the bleachers, but if they want a large crowd to occupy a section they have to get to the field earlier than kickoff. “Students are welcome to seats. They just have to get there early enough,” she said. Many students suggested a reserved section of bleachers for students so they can all cheer together, similar to the procedure at home basketball games. “We tried to get chants going while we were next to the bleachers, but we felt the spirit wasn’t

carrying over to the stands,” sophomore Liz Anderson said. The LSE team is working to reserve a spot for communal cheering, but the limited seating prevents roping off a dedicated section. A student section is in the works for next season, members say. “Due to the lack of available seating, older people who need to sit down cannot be put out of a seat for a student section,” Pollina said. The committee has a tent at the field entrance where they sell different types of t-shirts and rally towels as well as pom-poms and clappers. Students can purchase a package containing every spirit item for $15 with a valid Misericordia ID. Fans who visit the tent can make signs to wave from the stands free of charge. The group also plans to host

many contests. They held “Most School Spirited/Wackiest” outfit contest during the Homecoming game, and although members say they were disappointed by the lack of people who chose to take part, they believe interest will increase as they get the word out and word out. The group will advertise upcoming activities, including white outs, gold rushes and blue waves to get students to dress in colors to unify the school community at home sporting events. LSE members will accept applications for new members later this semester. For more information visit or join LSE’s Facebook Group or go to the Student Activities office in Banks Studnet Life Center.

Sophomore communications major Alex Smith is frustrated because her web design work was saved on the missing device. Now, Smith must redo all of her assignments. “When I first heard about it, I didn’t realize it was my computer, but then I walked into class and realized what was going on. I was so mad I was ready to throw things,” Smith said. Smith feels her peers should understand how important the computers in the “Mez” lab are to classwork. “That’s an area that we all work. Most other majors don’t even know that all those Macs are down there, so if it is someone in my major, that really aggravates me because they should understand the most,” Smith said. “Smith said she often saves work to a jump drive, but she assumed computers in the lab were safe. “I didn’t think anyone would touch it because there are a limited amount of people that go down

there. I didn’t think I would have to worry,” Smith said. “There are a lot of things that I have to redo and relearn now. There are five [or] six projects on there that I have to redo.” Dowell works in the media equipment checkout room in the lower level of Walsh, handling video cameras, digital SLR cameras and other equipment for communications classes. He said he knew when officers became involved that this would be a big issue and security for all equipment would increase. “I think all the comm majors are kind of surprised something like this would happen. This is equipment for us to work on for our classes,” he said. Associate Director of Campus Safety Robert Zavada said his office is investigating. “To preserve the integrity of the investigation, we can’t really give details on that process but we can say that we have a couple leads on things and we’ll try to follow up

on those the best that we can.” According to Zavada incidents of technology theft have occurred in the past. He said the technology’s “somewhat attractive features” often serve as a target to would-be perpetrators. Zavada and Sgroi say security will increase in the lab. They are looking into placing a card scanner outside the door and only permitting access to students who have classes in that room. Many students work on projects in the lab late into the night and Dowell said he’s concerned that they might be prevented from working at all hours. “A lot of students work on projects later in the evening, when classes are over, so I think this will make it harder on them to gain access and complete their projects and classwork on time. It’s going to be more of a hassle than anything,” Dowell said.

Security measures bumped up in Mez By Ellen Hoffman, Editor-In-Chief

Increased security measures are pending for Communications Department facilities and equipment after an Apple iMac computer went missing from a student lab in Walsh Hall and a second computer was damaged. Photography professor Jimmy May arrived for class on Oct. 17 to an empty space on one of the computer desks. Surprised, he called Department Chair Melissa Sgroi to question what happened. Minutes later Sgroi and a campus safety officer entered the Mac lab to document the theft. “I was shocked,” said junior Arthur Dowell who was in the classroom when security arrived. “I didn’t even notice the computer was gone or there was an issue until Sgroi and security came down.” Security reported a Mac computer missing, including a keyboard, mouse and card reader. Another computer was corrupted, and officials said it appeared someone attempted to illegally download applications.

October 23, 2012 3



Counselors are available to meet individually with full-time matriculating students to explore a wide variety of issues having to do with academics, personal issues, social interactions, family dynamics, relationships, crisis situations, emotions and drug and alcohol issues. The counseling staff is interested in helping students find appropriate and effective ways of handling a wide range of situations. A counsellors on call 24 hours a day for emergency services and counseling appointments may be made by stopping by the center or calling 674-6408.

The CAPS Center exists to assist university students address personal and developmental issues which hinder their ability to achieve their educational and career goals. The CAPS Center staff recognizes and exercises the values and attitudes of mercy, service, justice, and hospitality put forth by the founding Sisters of Mercy and works with students from a holistic perspective - attending to mind, body, and spirit.

Man On The Street The Highlander asked students walking through the Banks Student Life Center Lobby if they felt their vote mattered and why. These students care about their right to vote and with election day less than a month away they feel their peers should make sure they make a trip to the ballot box on Nov. 6. If you have a question you want to see MU students answer, email us at Views published in Man On The Street reflect the views of randomly selected individuals, not those of Misericordia University or The Highlander.

“It’s our civil duty and everyone’s vote matters in this election, especially with all of the issues we’re dealing with right now,” said senior Caitlin Cromley. “My vote matters because every vote matters and it’s a way to express your opinion,” said junior Rob Donohue.

“Because it allows the younger population to voice their opinion in the election and allow them to feel that they have a role in society,” said sophomore Lauren Oertner.


Two missing macs leave a void in the communications’ department Mezzanine Lab where majors and minors create media products.

Students agree: never too old for tricks or treats By Heather Marsicano, Reporter

Halloween might have evolved over the years into a child-friendly holiday best known for costumes and trick-or-treating, but students still enjoy the spooky holiday. “I think the most obvious things are the general fall activities that you can’t do any other time of year, pumpkin picking, apple picking, pumpkin carving. Then, of course, there is shopping for a Halloween costume. Stores like Spirit Halloween and HalloweenCity are only open around this time, so I love spending a good amount of time shopping there, even if I don’t get anything. It’s nice to see what kind of costumes they have,” said Erin Mills, a senior psychology major. There is a certain point when most people feel they are too old for Halloween or at least trick-

or-treating, though Mills would disagree. “I think there is a point that a lot of people get to when they may find it tedious, always trying to come up with something new to wear, but I think as long as you have an imagination and are at least a little bit of a child at heart, you can have an amazing Halloween no matter your age,” said Mills. There are many fun ways to celebrate and enjoy the Halloween season as an adult. Kelly Johnson, a sophomore medical imaging major, anticipates the new horror thrill flicks each season. She spends her Halloween season watching her favorite movies, the Michael Myers Halloween series. “I get super happy when all of my favorite horror movies are on TV.

Local “Haunted” Attractions Brokenhearts Asylum - Presented by Screamin’ Deamons and the Harvey’s Lake Fire Department, located in the Luzerne County Fairgrounds for a self-guided haunted house tour. Dracula’s Forest - In its monumental 27 year, this haunted hayride and unforgettable shock walk runs every Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening in October. Ghost Rider - A guardian will lead you through the haunted barn and ghost town deep into the woods. Friday nights feature horse drawn haunted hayrides. Gravestone Manor - Benefiting the United Way of Wyoming Valley, Gravestone Manor promises a Halloween-themed theatrical presentation where the audience

joins the cast. Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Plains, PA is the place to get a truly unique haunted house experience. PsychicTheater - located in the famous Houdini Museum on North Main Avenue in Scranton, Halloween is the perfect time to visit the world-famous Psychic Theater for a paranormal evening and seance! The theater guarantees you’ll leave having experienced at least one paranormal phenomenon in on of the most haunted places in PA. Trail Of Terror - at the Y.M.S of R Park, on Kane Street in Scranton. Take a guided walk through some of the most frightening woods in Northeast PA.


Right, A festive autumnal scene invites students, staff and campus visitors into the bookstore in the Banks Student Life Center. The scene captures the spirit of the spook while promoting school pride.

I actually won’t buy my favorite series because that would take all of the fun out of watching them every year,” said Johnson. Some Halloween movies in theaters this season include “Frankenweenie”, “Paranormal Activity 4”, “Hotel Transylvania”, “Residential Evil: Retribution” and “The Possession”. Visiting local haunted houses or hayrides is another Halloween activity for college students. One of the most popular places in the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton area is Gravestone Manor in Plains. It’s a Halloween-themed theatrical event that allows the audience to partake in the performance. “Around Halloween, I love to go to haunted houses and hayrides. It’s more fun if I’ve never been to the place before, but then I usually

just get lost,” said Johnson. Costume contests in the lobby of Banks Student Life Center will take place this year, and Mills enjoys the chance to dress up in costume and play a different role for a day, even if she is a college student. She won the competition last year when she dressed as a pumpkin, but that was not her only costume contest win. “I won the best costume category and I think I was wearing the cheesiest costumes! One was last year’s Halloween bash here at MU. I was a pumpkin! The other one was when I was probably ten, I was a mouse” she said. The costume contest takes place on Halloween in the Banks lobby from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

“Because every vote counts and it’s our right,” said sophomore Robert Romagnolo.

“If you want to make a difference you have to cast your vote. If you want to make a change you have to vote you opinion. You have to hear both sides,” said junior Lindsay Rader.

Truth talks continued Continued from page 1 the suicides. “Some people won’t even tell their families so basically a lot of fellow classmates were saying it was the bullying,” Kalinowski said. Kalinowski remembers writing about the third tragedy that involved a 14-year-old hanging himself in Hazelton. “Police are investigating if that bullying is related to suicide.” After the fourth suicide that occurred, Kalinoski said that The Citizen’s Voice made a very bold and controversial decision to dedicate the whole front page of the newspaper to advice to kids. “It’s very rare that a newspaper would use their whole front page for the editorial to highlight the issue of suicide awareness,” said Kalinowski. He also said the stories will let

parents know that they should to talk to their kids and understand how important it is to bring awareness to this subject. Rodriguez-Munoz said that anyone can help because it’s not just about helping the person going through it. It’s about being advocates for change. “Calling people out, not in a negative way, but in a positive way saying, ‘Yo, that’s not cool’ that could make someone do something drastic or put them down,” Rodriguez-Munoz said. Rodriguez-Munoz feels the event brought the university community together as a family. “It makes us even more of a community, and that’s important, to have a family away from your family, here at MU.”



October 23, 2012

Women’s soccer team looks to continue success By Ellen Hoffman, Editor-In-Chief

The women’s soccer team has something to brag about: Players hold the fifteenth spot in the Continental Tire NCAA Division III National Poll with only two games left in regular season play. The Cougars held the number 12 spot in the previous week’s poll, marking their highest ranking in school history. The team’s two losses came from contests against the number 1 and 4 teams in the country. When senior captains Bridget Fortier, Nikki Hensel, Sam Helmstettler and Laura Roney were taken by surprise by the national rankings. “It was pretty cool to see, like, we’re that good,” Hensel said. The team expected a winning season, only losing one senior last year, but their expectations were not quite so high. “I expected us to do well but I don’t think I realized what that meant. I expected us to win games but I never realized we would be recognized,” Roney said. Head coach Mark Stauffer is proud of the achievements and credits good leadership and depth with the reserves on the bench. The reserves to count on make the team stronger on and off the field, Stauffer said. “I think that is very important in the program because you’re not going to win with 11 players. You need to have that depth in players that aren’t complaining about playing time but making the best of their playing time as reserves and working hard everyday to make their game better,” he said. “I feel like we can go to our bench and we’re still creating good chances for ourselves.” The captains agree having the whole team prepared makes the team’s chemistry much stronger than it was in past seasons. “It’s been more of a team effort this year than it has any other year. A lot of other years we were

12 or 13 deep but this year it’s the whole team going into it, from the freshmen up, everyone has bought into playing the way we want to play and playing hard,” Roney said. The Cougars look to prepare for the conference tournament with only two regular season games left against Scranton and Manhattanville this week. “Hopefully we can win out and get ourselves the number one seed for the conference tournament and win that and get to the national tournament and see what happens from there,” he said. The team doesn’t plan to make many changes during their tournament play. The captains say they need to stay focused and confident. As seniors they have one last chance to make their mark. “This is our year to capitalize on all of our work, all of our achievements over the last four years, this is definitely it,” Helmstettler said. The team is already looking to opponents they may face in the tournament, including Eastern and Wilkes. And while players would like to have another chance against teams like Ithaca who beat them in the past, they look forward to facing new opponents. “It was neat to play different teams because it was new and different. You don’t really know what to expect,” Hensel said of past years in the tournament. Stauffer praises the work his team has put into this season, on and off the field. By working hard and acting smart they haven’t had to overcome any big obstacles and this allows them to focus more on practice and preparation for future games, said Stauffer. “We’re going to take it one game at a time and step on the field, 11 versus 11 and try to beat who is in front of us,” he said. “I’m excited to see what this team can do in the tournament.”


The Lady Cougars faced off against the FDU-Florham Devils in an intense soccer match on Manglesdorf Field on September 29. Members of the team kicked their way to a three nothing win over the Devils. The womens team looks to face off in the national tournament starting in late October.

Brains over braun: first year football players show their smarts By Brittany Lovette, Reporter

Change is roaring in throughout campus, especially with a new football program. Players say they were lured with no special rewards other than campus itself. Players did not receive scholarships and all students are accepted according to their academic records. First year Brandon Salazar said he was strictly attracted by football, but he later became interested in the academics when visited. Head coach Mark Ross visited Salazar at one of his high school football games to encourage him to check out MU when Salazar was searching for schools to attend in

the fall. “I remember joking around and I was just like there was no shot of me ever going to that school. Then, came down to it, I actually went and visited and it was a cool environment,” Salazar said. “So I became interested in the whole football thing, sucked me in with everything. It’s history from there.” First years have a chance to continue this new football tradition for the next four years. They will grow together as a team, progress, and be even better players when they are seniors. Junior player Joe Winter said he thinks first year students wanted

a fresh start. “I don’t think they came here just for football, probably more for academic reasons. But like starting something new, you know I think they wanted to start a new tradition. That’s what we are working on now,” he said. The team is creating traditions, but not like the one on the infamous pre-football program t-shirt that read “undefeated since 1924.” “It’s a building process and I think we are getting there,” said Winter. Building a new program takes time for any sport, and players need experience and repetition to grow skills, Ross said.

same,” Ross said. “It’s a competitive situation, you have to decide if you want to compete and do the things that are necessary to get better.” Ross spoke of legendary baseball player Lou Gehrig getting the chance to be a full time player after original starter Wally Pipp went down with a head injury. People may have never found out just how good Gehrig was if it were not for Pipp’s unfortunate head injury. Ross said player development is one key step to success, and another is the recruiting process. Ross engages in recruitment every day, but from season’s end to Christmas, Ross and his staff go on recruitment trips throughout Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Maryland. Though the process can be rigorous, Ross and his staff have the simple goal of making the team better. “There has to be competition on the roster to keep the players to push themselves to do the best they can and this allows us to compete in the MAC.” First year fullback Matt Boffa remembers the recruiting process when he had to choose between schools. He recalls coaches reaching out to his high school head coach and he remembers when offensive line coach Chris Gray had interest in him persuaded him to play football. While he was attracted to the chance to be part of a university’s first football team, other factors solidified his choice. “I was taken away by how beautiful the campus was when I came to visit. The idea of playing on the first team is pretty cool, but it

was Coach Gray’s approach of this ‘what we are doing and we want you part of it.’” Ross said he makes sure his team remains academically eligible to play: He puts students through a study hall session once a week and the only way they are eligible to get out of it is when they complete their first year and hold at least a 3.0 GPA. Ross will continue to grow his team or as he says, his “family of 75,” and hopes players have success beyond their football days.

Ross confident in team growth

“Be willing to work. Be willing to compete every day. If you are willing to work, willing to compete, then you have a chance,” Ross said. Ross said he believes MU will be a draw to players for many reasons--include football and academics. “I’m sure it’s a combination of both, but to what degree that would be pure speculation on our part. In the process we emphasize the importance of not making a decision based for any student athlete,” said Ross. “I don’t care what sport played. That’s the majority of your decision, be very careful because in the end you’re

By Arthur Dowell, Web Master

First year Head Coach Mark Ross said he will ensure the growth of the football team he helped build. Sports fans can plainly see Ross do his work on the sidelines on game day, but it is the year-round, behind-the-scenes work that gives faith in future victory. The team left for camp with 99 committed football players at the start of the year. Heading into the fifth week of the season, it lost 25 players for various reasons. This leaves the Cougars with some holes and forces Ross to use a strategic approach in both practice and game situations. As a first year head coach, Ross doesn’t feel much of a difference from his days as a defensive coordinator at Ithaca College, but does say media relationships are something he is beginning to get accustomed to. “From a coaching standpoint, it’s not a whole different then the previous four to five years I was a defensive coach,” said Ross. “You deal with more areas outside and things are tugging at your time more.” With 25 players injured or departed from the team, Ross said opportunities are opening for those who are healthy and staying onboard. This is a great opportunity for the players third on the depth chart to move their way up and start on Saturday afternoons, he said. He said his role is to improve his players both mentally and physically as much as he can. “It’s all about development of the players at this level. Not everybody’s at the same level, not everybody’s role is going to be the


The football team went head-to-head against the Stevenston Mustangs on September 29 for the first homecoming football game. Members of the team fought hard but fell to the ‘stangs 35-7. Game highlights included the Cougars scoring their first touchdown on Manglesdorf Field and then kicking their first field goal on home turf. The team was led by Head Coach Mark Ross who hopes to continue to build the team and gradually grow stronger and win a game in the future. The next home game will be on October 27 where the Cougars will face FDU-Florham.

only one play away from not being able to compete in that sport again and if that happens you better be happy where you are at, and know that the school you’re at has your major, and gets you on the road to a career.” Ross and his staff emphasize this to their players: School comes first. “As much as someone might want to play a sport at this school I still think if its not the right fit they’re not likely to choose that school to go to,” said Ross. However, Ross does feel that football did give the first years a reason to come to MU. “Most freshmen aren’t going to

compete right away at this level. Obviously in our situation the majority of the kids are the majority of who we’re playing with, the vast majority,” Ross said. “So that probably played a bit more of a role than normal but these guys have gotten very little reports back. They seem to be doing well academically.” Ross believes hard work and sacrifice are not cliches; they are needed to build a strong team. “Nothing in life is given; it’s earned. It’s earned through a lot of hard work, a lot of sacrifice at times,” said Ross.

October 23, 2012 5


Freshmen feel welcome, at home By Josh Horton, Reporter

Misericordia welcomed its largest freshman class in school history and no single major program takes the credit: MU is simply a popular place. The inaugural football programs accounted for only a fraction of the large number. “The increase in this year’s incoming class really doesn’t have much to do with football,” Glenn Bozinski, Director of Admissions said. “The numbers I give you will back that up without a doubt.” Misericordia enrolled 511 freshmen this year, which is about 60 more students than originally predicted for fall of 2012. Even with the addition of football, Bozinski had hoped for 440 students, not 500 plus. “Our best guess was that we would bring in about 70 freshmen football players and we brought in about 68 freshmen that were recruited football players, but only 58 of them are currently on the roster,” Bozinski said. “There are a bunch of guys that came and decided the effort was just too much, but they are still students here. So, even if you count the 68 that only brings us to right around our goal which was 440 freshmen.” Two reasons for the growing student body are the popularity of non-health science majors, late acceptances by students from accepted students last spring. Part of the university’s growth plan involves attracting more nonscience major students. Bozinski said healthcare-related majors have limited capacities and fill every year. “Of these extra 140 students that we have on campus none

of them are PT’s. They would be in the original class. The growth is in undeclared, government law and national security, sport management, communications and psychology. All five of those brought in the largest number of incoming freshman they ever have,” Bozinski said. Programs such as government law and national security, and Physicians Assistant are still relatively new, and Bozinski projects they will attract more students as the programs become established. The other reason for the large incoming class was some rather strange behavior from students who were accepted to the university. If a student is accepted in October, Bozinski hopes the student will provide his or her deposit by December. However, last year there were many students who waited until the May 1 deadline to send their deposits, extending the number of expected students for fall to as high as 529 at one point, which worried admissions staff. “If you had asked me on April 1 how many freshmen we would be bringing in I would have said maybe 470, 480,” Bozinski said. “Two things happened in late April, fewer students withdrew in April and a whole heck of a lot of people said they were coming. Those last three weeks in April were really unexpected.” The increase in applicants has caused the university to toughen admissions requirements. Freshman SAT scores averaged 20 percent higher--and they averaged four percent higher in class rankings than freshmen did the year prior. Rigorous admis-

sion requirements have made the decision process much tougher for admissions staffers. “On the one-to-one decision, it’s tough. It’s hard to have those conversations with families. Turning kids away is always hard. You always try to find ways around it,” Bozinski said. “Sometimes this is the number one school for kids and they get very disappointed when they don’t get in.” Bozinski compared applications he has received thus far to those for fall of 2007 and noticed a significant change. “Let’s say a student who has graduated from the university has a younger sibling with comparable academic records and wants to apply to the same school their brother or sister got into just five years ago,” Bozinski said. “Maybe now it isn’t quite good enough when five years ago it was.” The number of applications continues to grow and Bozinski doesn’t expect it to slow down any time soon. He feels the spark in applications has nothing to do with athletics, or even academics. He thinks people just love the school. “One thing I have definitely seen is regardless of athletics or academics is there are a lot of kids who just come here and fall completely in love with the place,” Bozinski said as he looked at a stack of applications just beside his desk. “These kids want nothing more than to spend their college years on this campus and that is where a lot of the growth is.” This happened to first year speech language pathology major Katie McGinty. Although she

to visit a friend or bring in outside people from the community. The number one factor is the safety and the security of the students living inside of the buildings. We wanted to know who was there, the times and that people were being responsible for their guests while they were in the building,” said Nudo. The desk assistant job requires

like to see it move to every day. It is another student job opportunity. It increases our safety. We have cameras but it’s a physical person sitting there, being able to report issues. If there is ever an emergency in a building, we know who is in that building. We have roosters, so we know who is there,” he said. The presence of students seated behind desks helps maintain

admits she applied because her mother thought it would be a good fit, she said that after visiting, she fell in love with the place. “I came up to visit my neighbor and I really, really loved the campus so I applied,” McGinty said. “I really got interested in speech and fell in love with the program, so when I found out I was accepted I couldn’t pass the opportunity up.” Officials still hope to admit fewer than the 511 students who stepped on campus this fall. Although the large number made economic sense, it created too many problems. “I would be lying to you if I said I didn’t take a little bit of flack,” Bozinski said. “Not in a negative way, but there are people on campus that 511 has caused problems for, especially the housing people, the registrars office and there is a ripple effect. It may not be a specific problem by major, but it could be in core courses.” As a liberal arts school, core classes are a necessity for every student who makes his or her way through the arches, and the growing number of students threatened to increase class size. “We really value our small class sizes,” Bozinski said. “We like how each student has the ability to interact more with the professor than if there were large lecture classes, so that is something that is pretty important to us.”


Top, the largest first year class in university history stands at attention during convocation the morning of the first day of orientation. Parents also attended the ceremony. Bottom, a group of first years attending a one day orientation in June participate in a team building activity. The summer orientations help to acclimate first years into college life and allow them to meet each other prior to the start of classes.

Desk Assistants provide extra security on weekends By Peter Falvey, Reporter

The weekend desk assistant service in residence halls provides security to students at times when campus is highly populated. Director of Residence Life A.J. Nudo is please that the effort provides jobs to students. “The desk assistant program has been a worthwhile program since we started it. It has enhanced our safety and security. It has given some students employment opportunities. Some students have gone on from being a desk assistant to being in a community assistant role,” said Nudo. Desk assistants make sure buildings are safe and that everyone is accounted for, including guests who are only permitted to stay until 2 a.m. unless proper paperwork is filled out with an RA in advance. The desk assistants are stationed in the lobby of each residence hall Thursday through Saturday nights from 7 p.m. to 3 a.m. Students must check in guests. The guest must show an ID, which is returned if the guest is a university student. Otherwise, the guest must leave an ID with the assistant until the end of the visit. Junior physical therapy major and desk assistant Megan Lage envisions some security improvements. “I know that some schools do card swipes for students who go to the school. I feel like that would be more efficient instead of filling out their information,” said Lage. Desk assistants also act as another set of eyes for Campus Safety. “Unfortunately, students like to go out and party and we know that. Some come back intoxicated. We are alerted to that a little faster because someone is physically sitting down in the lobby area who can alert a Resident Assistant,” said Nudo. “If it is a dangerous situation, someone who had a little to much, we can quickly alert campus safety or other medical personnel, if need be. Even if it is a minute or two, we are able to address those things quicker.” Lage said that she hasn’t noticed many instances that require security officers. “The biggest problem is people trying to sneak people in or people not wanting to fill out the paperwork. I understand that it can be a hassle, but it is necessary,” said Lage. Officials implemented the desk assistant program four years ago, said Nudo. “We wanted to try to get a desk assistant position that was 24 hours a day and seven days a week that students would have to sign into buildings when they wanted

Crime rates continued


Junior Courtney Bieber sits at the check-in area in the lobby of Alumnae/McGowan halls. This is Bieber’s first year as a desk assistant. This work study jobs offers a friendly face in the lobby for residents and allows the desk assistants time to work on their studies. students to work long and unusual hours: Night shifts run from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. The job is not classified as work study. “It can get kind of boring if nobody has a guest but it gives me an opportunity to get some homework done or to study during the calm times,” said Lage. Nudo is already thinking about how he might grow the program. “I came from a school that uses a 24 hour desk program. I would

control in lobbies and provides a recognizable face, according to Nudo. “It is also for crowd control, we know people can get a little rowdy. The main reason is so we know who is in the building on the nights we were granted desk assistant positions. So we can keep students who live in that area safe,” said Nudo.

Continued from page 1 such as homicides or other violent crimes. There are very few, if any, violent crimes on campus, Zavada said. Misericordia officials did report higher than usual numbers for liquor law violations. Zadava credits this to campus safety officers and residence life members keeping a more vigilant eye on these types of offenses. This type of offense rarely goes to the next level of law enforcement because it is a victimless crime. “You don’t have someone reporting that they were victimized because someone broke the liquor law. An increase in those numbers doesn’t always follow suit with that’s happening in Luzerne County,” said Zavada. Liquor law offenses make up the majority of the crime statistics at King’s College and Wilkes University’s as well. Wilkes University officials reported 12 violent crimes occurring between January 1, 2011 and December 31, 2011. Eight occurred on campus, four occurred on public property that is adjacent to campus property. Misericordia officials also reported 12 violent crimes occurring during the same calendar year with four offenses occurring on campus, one offense occurring in a residential building and seven occurring in non-campus buildings and property. Zavada believes that the 2009 and 2012 numbers show a significant difference. In 2009 192 crimes were reported to campus safety. The number decreased in 2010 to 168 but then rose to 186 in 2011. “From three years ago to today, there has been a rise in offenses. The past two years have been pretty steady even with the increased number of students on campus. We are only half way through the first month of the year. We have yet to see a drastic increase in crime,” said Zavada. Zavada recognizes that an expanding campus is one possible cause of the 2010 to 2011 rise in

crime rates. Campus officials welcomed the largest freshman class in university history this September, but Zavada does not think it is a large enough number to lead to a jump in the statistics. “Anytime there is an increase in population there is the chance that crime statistics will increase also because of the influx of people,” said Murphy. During this time period the campus expanded further into the Dallas community with the addition of the two off-campus dorms and the Passan Science Building, a factor Zavada said contributes to the rise in crime. Murphy cannot compare campus to that of Kings or Wilkes because MU is secluded and Kings and Wilkes are located inside the city. He sees the campus as a safer place because there is no through traffic or people wandering onto campus, despite the fact that there are more off-campus buildings now than there were several years ago. Safety officials are doing as much as they can to ensure that campus remains a safe place for staff members and students. Officers patrol on foot and in cars 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “We are a presence on campus. While there is no yardstick to measure how much we prevent, there is something to be said for having random patrols. People don’t know where we are going to come through an area and that stops a lot,” said Murphy. Zavada attributes campus crime prevention education as a limiting crime factor. First years are required to attend substance abuse classes during their orientation. “If we see someone straying, we are aggressive to help that person, to connect with that person. That helps to stop potential incidents that could have occurred had we not intervened,” said Zavada. He is collecting the statistics for the 2012 annual uniform crime report that will be completed December 31, 2012. Nine months into the year,

Zavada reports that there have been no manslaughters, robberies, murders, drug incidents or illegal weapon possessions incidents on campus. Statistics regarding theft are on track with the 2011 numbers but slightly higher. Incidents of property crimes, vandalism and criminal mischief have already reached the final number of the 2011 year and are expected to continue increasing. Zavada expects the number of liquor law violations to be close to that in 2011.

If You Sense a Potential Threat, Think First, Then React. -Join any group of nearby people. -Go to a well-lighted place and contact the Campus Safety Department. -If a threat is imminent and people are nearby, yell and scream to attract attention and run toward any crowd. -If you observe someone else in trouble, call the Department of Campus Safety immediately.

Report a Crime -Call the Campus Safety Department and report any and all details of the incident. -Describe the suspect’s appearance, clothing, height, weight, scars or other noticeable features. -Describe the location of the incident. -Describe the suspect’s ve hicle, license plate number and

direction of escape.

Tips Courtsey of Campus Safety


October 23, 2012

Highlnder Print Edition 10/23/12  

Print edition of The Highlander, the school newspaper of Misericordia University.

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