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VOL 94 : 09 october 26th, 2016 The independent student newspaper of St. John’s University

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Feminists to unite? INSIDE THE ISSUE Let's get spooked Students share their favorite horror movies this Halloween season in Student Sparks Page 13

Group founded on gender equality education seeks SGI official status again Other prospective groups are, 'love your melon,' 'spoon university' Staff editorial on page 15 ARIANA ORTIZ Staff Writer A group of about 20 students that calls themselves Feminists Unite (F.U.), say they are for the second straight year seeking official status by Student Government Inc. (SGI) to provide a space for education and discussion centered on feminism and gender equality. Junior Stephanie Aliaga said she started the group and began holding meetings a year ago at the encouragement of her Theology professor, Dr. Erin Kidd. Aliaga says she’s currently F.U.’s acting president. “In conversations with Stephanie about feminist activism, she mentioned disappointment that there was not a group on campus dedicated to working for justice with respect to issues of gender,” Dr. Kidd wrote in an email to the Torch. “I encouraged her to start the kind of group that she would like to see on campus.” Aliaga said F.U. last year didn’t make it past the first

stage of SGI’s Power to Organize process, which offers students an avenue to create organizations. The group recently re-applied through the same process, she said. However, the group continues to meet, holding meetings, events and creating projects such as “Beautiful Body,” an ongoing campaign which F.U. describes as a “body positivity and self-love campaign” consisting of photos of students with accompanying text describing their experiences on the topic. “I do think that the fact that F.U. has an active membership, and has hosted a number successful events, demonstrates that there is a desire on campus to see issues of gender-based injustice more fully addressed,” Dr. Kidd said. Vice President Megan Solomon said the main purpose of F.U. is to “create a space for open discussion and sharing, a place where all of us can come to terms with the ways that we’ve encountered oppression in our lives, whether that’s race, gender…and we’re trying to do all that through an intersectional lens.” The structure of each meeting includes presentations

on various topics within feminism as well as discussions. F.U.’s meeting on Oct. 20 consisted of a presentation on the relationship between pop culture and feminism, while the preceding one included a discussion about sexual health and contraception availability on campus. F.U. secretary, Yovanna Roa-Reyes, is one of the forces behind an effort to bolster sexual health education on campus. Reyes is also involved in SGI, where she says she found support for the issue. “Before I started [F.U.] I was already in student government and one of the things that I was interested in was sexual education, and I wanted to see if St. John’s had any sexual education. So me and my sophomore senator last year, Frank Obermeyer, started doing research on who we have to speak to for people to pay attention to the topic, and then we also started doing research on sexual education among teenagers, so right now we’re in the middle of speaking with faculty members,” Reyes said. Continued on page 3


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The Torch is the official student newspaper of St. John’s University. The Torch is written, edited, designed and produced by students of the University. All contents are the sole responsibility of the editors and the editorial board and do not necessarily represent the views of the administration, faculty or students of St. John’s University unless specifically stated.

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The Torch is typically published on Wednesdays and publishes approximately 20 issues throughout the academic year. Copies are distributed for free on campus and through mail subscriptions.

President Gempesaw at last year’s President’s Dinner. This year’s dinner will be held on Thursday, Oct. 27 at the Waldorf Astoria.


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Feminists Unite and SGI talk sexual health

Unofficial organization supports sexual health initiatives at SJU Continued from page one

PHOTO PROVIDED BY/BRITTANY JOSEPHINA

Feminist Unite members having a presentation on “Sexualization of Women in the Media/Porn.”

as an unofficial organization hinders their participation in the sexual health initiative. The organization also supports the University improving availability of feminine products throughout campus. “F.U. endorses the efforts to expand sexual health awareness, we’re just waiting to be official…it’s just really difficult because we’re not official. In the beginning, we were just doing underground work, [we would] go into empty classrooms for meetings and get kicked out, and then go

A recent study released by Trojan ranked SJU as 139 out of 140 schools, placing the University among the worst in on-campus sexual health resources, including the availability and distribution of free contraception and STI testing. The ranking was discussed during an Oct. 17 SGI meeting, where Obermeyer, now the secretary of SGI, said he had met with Director of Violence Prevention Hanna Artiles-Straver and discussed sexual health and education. “Once we build kind of a repertoire of what other schools are doing, hopefully we can announce some changes,” Obermeyer said during the meeting. SJU’s Director of Media Relations, Elizabeth Reilly, previously told the Torch that while the University does not provide on-campus clinical testing, the Student Health Center offers students “referrals to resources in the community,” and that the University “is in compliance with all federal and state policies regarding sexual misconduct and consent.” “I feel like the online course [Haven, a requirement for all incoming freshmen to take] covers sexual assault, but outside of that, it’s like, you don’t really talk about contraception or anything,” said Angelique Leacock, a member of F.U. “It’s not something that’s talked about. I feel like the fact that [F.U.] has been around, and I’m a senior, and I didn’t know about it…I think they’re not really promoting the things that they should be promoting,” Leacock. In a recent email exchange, Obermeyer told the Torch, “This is a challenge that Yovanna and I began in March of this year. We have recently taken it back up and have been mostly working to compile data on what sexual health services and information are offered at our peer schools; this includes schools like DePaul University, Fordham University and Niagara University.” “We have also been working with advisors to build a convincing argument that sexual health is an integral part of a student’s overall wellness, and thus cannot be overlooked,” Obermeyer continued. “Once we build a strong base of information, we will meet with administration to see what ways we can meet these challenges. We look to push for any resource on campus that would benefit the overall health of St. John’s students.” President Stephanie Aliaga says that F.U. supports the cause, although their status

F.U. endorses the efforts to expand sexual health awareness, we’re just waiting to be official…it’s just really difficult because we’re not official.

- Stephanie Aliaga -

to another classroom,” Aliaga said. F.U. now reserves its meeting rooms through the Women’s and Gender Studies department; as a result, their meeting schedule is dependent on when a room

can be secured. In the past, F.U. attempted to advertise events by hanging up flyers throughout campus, but they were promptly removed because of the organization’s unofficial status. Aliaga says that members are now informed of upcoming meetings and events through F.U.’s Instagram account. The group has applied through Power to Organize to become recognized by SGI each year since their founding. They did not make it through the second round of presentations last year, and received an email from the SGI Organizations Committee informing Aliaga that another group, Women’s Empowerment (W.E.), made it to the next stage instead. The email, sent late October of 2015, stated, “There was another organization applying through the Power to Organize process with identical goals. After long deliberation, the other organization showed to be a better fit for SJU.” “We currently do not have an organization to represent the needs of women on this campus. We do feel that there is a very deep need,” it continued. Women’s Empowerment ultimately did not make it through the second stage of deliberations, and was therefore not approved as an official organization. F.U. has submitted their application to

SGI for this year and presented their organization this past Saturday, and, according to Aliaga, will receive a response within the next few weeks. In an email, SGI President Chiara Miuccio addressed F.U.’s application to become an officially recognized organization: “SGI always has many different groups of excited and eager students form and apply to become official organizations!” Miuccio said. Miuccio continued, “I think Feminists Unite’s mission, and passion in particular, is important and if granted approval by the SGI floor, they will have a positive impact on the SJU community!” Aliaga said that she looks forward to F.U. becoming an official organization, as this will make it possible to hold more educational events and become more active. “Besides the sex education initiative and feminine products in bathrooms, we want the school to feel less threatened by the word ‘feminist’ and the stigma that comes with it. [F.U. is] a place where everyone can come together and create, support, educate and advocate for gender equality,” said Aliaga. “I think this is necessary on campus and the club will last for a long time because feminism is always changing and there’s so many topics [within it] to learn.”

President’s Dinner to be held on Thursday, Oct. 27 RAKESH SINGH

Contributing Writer The 19th Annual President’s Dinner will be held this upcoming Thursday, Oct. 27 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan with cocktail reception starting at 6 p.m. and the awards and dinner at 7:30 p.m. According to the event’s website sjupresidentsdinner.org, the annual dinner began in 1998 and is, in part, meant to keep St. John’s University’s message of community and service alive. In the 145 years since its founding, the University has strived to give all deserving students a chance for higher education, no

matter their social or economic status. The funds raised from this event will allow even more students this opportunity. The Spirit of Service Award will be presented to men and women who excel in embracing the PHOTO/SJUPRESIDENTSDINNER.ORG values of St. Vincent Bruce Beck, lead anchor for de Paul, the patron sports at NBC 4 New York will be saint of the Univerthe Master of Ceremonies. sity. The honorees for this year are Eileen A.

Tarantino ‘80 CBA, Joseph A. Tarantino ‘80 CBA, Brother Alfred J. Smith C.M., Valeria L. Sodano Ph.D. ‘49 CBA and Gerard L. Sodano ‘49 CBA. Bruce Beck, the Lead Anchor for Sports at NBC 4 New York, will be the Master of Ceremonies. Beck served those in need in the New York area for many years. Some of his charitable work includes volunteering in St. John’s Bread and Life Program, the Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation and Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation. According to his profile on sjupresidentsdinner.org, Beck has worked with St. John’s University since 2009 when he delivered the commencement speech to the

Staten Island Campus. The President of the University, Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., plans to share recent developments within the University along with new changes in faculty. Donations are welcomed and tickets are still available. They start at $50 for the cocktail portion of the event for 2007-2016 undergraduate and graduate alumni, with no donations required. Tickets run for $250+ for employees and donors of the University, varying by number of seats, tables and donations. For more information, visit sjupresidentsdinner.org.


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Alan Schwarz talks ADHD in SJU

The New York Times investigative journalist talks about his book “ADHD Nation” YVES NGUYEN

Staff Writer The New York Times journalist, Alan Schwarz, presented a lecture about his book, “ADHD Nation” in the Little Theatre on Oct. 24. The Little Theatre had 283 people attend Schwarz’s lecture. In his book, Schwarz uncovers the frequent misdiagnoses of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and Attention Deficit Disorder, or ADHD and ADD, as well as the uninhibited prescription of drugs to treat it such as Adderall and Ritalin. “It’s so important to bring in an expert in ADHD [who can speak about] its impact on children throughout the country,” Dr. Elissa Brown, executive director of the Child HELP Partnership and Professor of Psychology at St. John’s University, said. Schwarz first addressed the history of ADHD and ADD, and medication used to treat the disorders. He then went into their widespread misdiagnosis, or what Dr. Keith Connors, the so-called “Father of ADHD,” calls a “natural disaster of dangerous proportions.” Most students agreed with Schwarz’s claim that about 50 percent of diagnoses are false. “I thought that it was really eye-opening because I have a lot of friends who have been misdiagnosed,” noted Isabel Adamson, a sophomore Psychology major. Schwarz has interviewed psychiatrists, doctors and teachers who have diagnosed

children with ADHD, as well as their families. Schwarz told the stories of Kristin Parber, who was falsely diagnosed with ADHD, and Jamison Monroe, who faked having ADHD in order to get Adderall and became addicted to it. While Schwarz placed most of the blame on doctor’s malpractice, he also reserves distaste for “big pharma” companies, whose paid-for expert opinions lead to misinformation surrounding ADHD medications according to Schwarz. These companies use aggressive advertising that essentially tells consumers “Ritalin [will help] the problem child become lovable again,” said Schwarz. It is important to note that Schwarz never undercuts the validity of ADHD and the medications that treat it, and he even emphasizes this in his lecture by saying, “ADHD is real” and “I am not anti-medication.” Schwarz’s lecture was punctuated with humor and cultural references. He played clips from “The Simpsons” and the video “Who Put the Benzedrine in Mrs. Murphy’s Ovaltine.” “I thought it was a really interesting talk. I didn’t know that ADHD was so misdiagnosed, but I’m also interested in how to ameliorate the situation,” said Ashley Hicks, graduate student in Psychology. For the most part, the lecture left a positive effect on everyone who took part, including Alan Schwarz. “It was nice to come [to St. John’s] because I have always wanted to be a teacher,” Schwarz said.

TORCH PHOTO/YVES NGUYEN

Alan Schwarz, a New York Times journalist, came to talk about his book called “ADHD Nation” at the Little Theater on Oct. 24.

The Ron Brown Center Receives $125,000 Grant

Editor-in-Chief The Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights at St. John’s recently received a $125,000 grant from the Access Group Center for Research and Policy Analysis to strengthen its pipeline program. It will be used to strengthen its current Ronald H. Brown Law School Prep Program for College Students. Much of the money will also be allocated toward a new program — Prep Program Foundations. According to Professor Elaine Chiu, the director of the Ron Brown Center, the program will be for students entering their sophomore year of college who may be curious about the legal field. Students will work on their critical reading and writing skills. “The idea is to help them work on their skills in a three-week period where they’re just mono-tasking on that,” Chiu said. Following this, the students will then do a five-week internship with a judge, where they’ll be able to put their skills to work. She said that part of the idea behind the internship is to give students exposure to the legal field earlier. “New York State courts are fascinating places where so many different types of problems and disputes come into the court system – it’s rarely a boring day there,” Chiu added. Applying for the grant, Chiu said, was a competitive process. “You had to dig, come up with a well

thought out idea for using the money-just for one year, report to them twice, lay out different ways we should be measured, how would we know if we succeeded in what we said we would do...” she said. Chiu added that she believes their success with the pipeline program helped them, and said that she’s grateful for the grant, as she’s been wanting to do more new and expansive things. The new program, Chiu said, will be aimed at students who have been “disserved by their overcrowded, underfunded” high schools and middle schools, which goes back to the core of much of the Ron Brown Center’s work. Created in 1999, the Ron Brown Center focus on four major objectives: • •

• •

Engage in legal studies Research issues that affect the lives of disadvantaged and underrepresented people and provide outreach programs to such groups Increase the racial and socioeconomic diversity of the legal profession Educate law students to be leaders on issues of racial, economic and social justice

Chiu said that with the assistance of law students, the center focuses on diversifying the legal profession, through initiatives such as its “Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development.” Another way in which the center accomplishes its mission is through its pipe-

line program — one of the best in the nation. Chiu said they recently finished up their 11th summer. According to the center’s website, “To help raise the number of diverse, disadvantaged students in law schools, the Ron Brown Prep Program identifies these students in their college years and offers them early exposure to the study and

PHOTO/PIXABAY

SUZANNE CIECHALSKI

practice of law.” During the prep program, students from all over spend two summers at SJU working with academic classes, mentoring, internships, free custom intensive LSAT courses, counseling, luncheons, panels and more. The idea, Chiu said, is to help these students get into law school. “The [thought] is that a lot of these

college students, they have talent, they have the intelligence, and passion for the law—they don’t have the tools,” she said. The law school community, as well as the undergraduate community, is deeply involved with the program. According to Chiu, about 12 to 15 faculty members from the law school, and one or two from the University, work with the prep program. SJU Law’s Dean, Michael Simons, teaches a course in criminal law, Chiu said. “We run the courses pretty similarly to how we would run a law school course,” she said. Teaching Assistants (TA’s) who are law students also work with the program. Chiu said that during the three-week program, students get a real feel for what three years of law school is like; right down to the Socratic teaching method. While students from various schools around the country participate in the program, Chiu said that she hopes to see more students from SJU apply for the program. The application comes out in December she said, and while there is a fee, most students do receive financial assistance. Participants tell her they feel as if they’ve “climbed a mountain” by the end of the program. Students, she said, describe it as the “hardest three weeks they’ve ever worked in their life.” “[It] affirms that they belong in law school,” Chiu said.


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hat’s appening? PHOTO/STJOHNS..EDU

You good to Drive?

The Little Theater is hosting an interactive event by NYS Troopers and the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office to bring awareness of drunk driving. Date: Thursday, Oct. 26, 2016 Time: 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. Location: The Little Theatre

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Meet the Reps Students have the opportunity to meet with representatives and voice opinions and concerns. Date: Friday, Oct. 27, 2016

Reporting by CHYNA DAVIS AND ANGELICA ACEVEDO Staff Writer and News Editor

Microaggresions: Intent & Impact Workshops will be held to discuss microaggressions and its impact on faculty-student interactions. Microaggressions are defined as: “the everyday verbal, nonverbal and environmental slights, snubs or insults whether intentional or unintentional which communicate hostile, derogatory or negative messages to target persons based solely upon their marginalized group membership.” Date: Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 Time: Common Hour Location: DAC Room 416C

Time: Common Hour

An Evening with SJU Basketball

SJU graduates working in Criminal Justice will speak and give advice on how they obtained their dream job in the field. Date: Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 Time: 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Location: DAC Room 416

Halloween Costume Dodgeball Tournament Participants can dress in their costumes to compete in a dodgeball tournament. Winning teams receive gift cards and t-shirts.

Mexico at the Hour of Combat

Dr. Alina Camacho-Gingerich will lead Literature of Mexican Revolution. Date: Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016 Time: 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. Location: Sun Yat Sen Hall

Location: DAC Living Room

Investigate Your Career in Criminal Justice

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Members of the St. John’s community have the chance to spend a night with the SJU Basketball at Metropolitan Club New York in Manhattan. Head Coaches Chris Mullin and Joe Tartamella will be attending. The event is $1,000 per person; each guest is required to RSVP by Oct. 25, 2016. Date: Friday, Nov. 1, 2016 Time: 6:00 - 9:00 p.m. Location: Metropolitan Club

Date: Monday, Oct. 31, 2016

PHOTO/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

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What’s Important? Time Management Inside and Outside the Classroom

Maura C. Flannery will hold a workshop regarding how to best use time in class. They will discuss how to be more effective and less stressed academics including time management.

Time: 5:00 - 8:00 p.m. Location: Taffner Field House

Academic Lecture Series Presents: Jane Elliott

Student Development, Student Government, and Haraya have worked to bring Jane Elliot to lecture for the St. John’s community. Elliot received the National Mental Health Association Award and speaks on prejudice and bigotry. Date: Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 Time: 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Location: Little Theatre

PHOTO/STJOHNS.EDU

Date: Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2016

Writing Center 20th Anniversary Celebration

Time: 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Location: Library Room B3

The Writing Center is celebrating 20 years of helping St. John’s Students improve their writing skills! The entire St. John’s Community is invited. Date: Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016

Veteran’s Day St. John’s Community Relations recognize Veteran’s Day for the men and women that risked all to protect the United States by acknowledging and educating on the importance. Date: Monday, Nov. 7, 2016 Time: 12:15 p.m. Location: DAC Room 416

Time: 2:00 p.m. Location: St. Augustine Hall Room 150

Election Night Watch Party Students have the opportunity to watch the live election in DAC. Date: Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 Time: 9:00 - 11:00 p.m. Location: DAC Room 128


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Red House choreographs flash mob

The fashion club announces date for annual fashion show Contributing Writer The Red House members organized a flash mob on Monday during common hour to promote their upcoming events. Students in the Red House formed a circle in front of the D’Angelo Center and struck a pose. The president of the Red House, Vachon Osby, crouched in the center of the circle with a piece of chalk in his hand. He wrote, “10/25: Pop-Up Shop” in large letters. The students in the flash mob all wore black, with white and black baseball caps. They marched towards the D’Angelo Center in sync, while students and faculty yielded the procession. “This flash mob is supposed to be very editorial, to get everyone’s attention,” explained Osby, a senior at St. John’s University. “People are going to be looking at everyone in the circle and not notice me, but when they move, they will see the dates for our pop-up shop in the center,” Osby continued. The students participating in the flash mob chanted, “11, four,” repeatedly. “11, four,” or Nov. 4, 2016, is the date for the Red House’s fall fashion show. The Red House’s members will showcase local fashion designers in the fall fashion show next month. At the pop-up shop on Tuesday, Oct. 25, the Red House sold the baseball caps worn by the flash mob participants as well

as T-shirts designed with the Red House’s three-button logo. “Because we focus on visual creativity, we wanted this flash mob to be mainly visual,” said Zam Cole, a junior at St. John’s and vice president of the Red House. “We want people to see what we’re doing and what we’re going to do on campus.” People walking by the D’Angelo Center stopped in their tracks to view the spectacle. Members of the Red House were concerned about what they thought about the flash mob. “I think people thought we were protesting or were trying to revolt against the school,” mentioned Janique, a sophomore and member of the Red House. “I saw this one guy walk fast around the mob as if he was scared.” Some students took out their phones to record the flash mob. However, other students looked confused. “At first, I thought they were doing a music video or something,” said Kash, a junior at St. John’s. “But then I realized it was the fashion club.” Osby thinks that there will be a better turnout at the fall fashion show because they did the flash mob. He says the Red House will continue to promote themselves in interesting ways to encourage creative students on campus to join the organization. The Red House will hold both a fall and spring fashion show on St. John’s Queens Campus. They will also have networking events and fashion panels throughout the year for interested students and faculty.

TORCH PHOTO/VERONICA HARRIS

VERONICA HARRIS

TORCH PHOTO/VERONICA HARRIS

Red House members marched from Lourdes Hall to DAC in a line of all-black clad and white caps.

Vachon Osby, president of Red House, strikes a pose with fellow member.

SJU holds panel on the Shroud of Turin

Staff Writer In 1898, Secondo Pia, the first person to photograph the Shroud of Turin, commented on his experience, stating, “It was a face that spoke of an immense patience and of a noble recognition. I feel certain that I was looking at the face of Jesus.” The release of this rare photo by Pia sparked controversy not only within the church, but also within the world of science. The research and discoveries that would come after this revolved around one simple question: Does this shroud really contain the face of Jesus? On Oct. 24 about 70 curious students and professors gathered in the D’Angelo Center to learn about the most recent research that centers around answering this question. Dr. Annalisa Sacca, Italian professor, and Shroud of Turin Education and Research Association (STERA), Inc. President, Barrie M. Schwortz were the panelists for the event. The discussion opened with an in-depth summary by Dr. Sacca on the monumental research done all over the world that aims to reveal the truth behind the Shroud of Turin, which is currently under the jurisdiction of the Catholic Church in Turin, Italy. The linen cloth which measures 14 feet 2 inches long is marked with an indelible image that is believed to be the face of

PHOTO/FLICKR COMMONS/ARIEL AGGEMIAN

Illustration made by an artist based off of the Shroud of Turin.

Jesus Christ. Sacca discussed that the two colors that characterize this image, red for the blood

and yellow for the body, have been permanently imprinted into the cloth which is only possible through direct contact. Other research has also proven that the shroud is woven in typical first century Syrian fashion and contains pollen from Palestine and the Red Sea that dates 2,000 years back. Bruno Barberis, a mathematician from the University of Turin, studied specific elements on the shroud that corresponded with the gospels. After examining key parts of the cloth such as the wounds made by the thorns and the nails on the cross, he concluded that the probability that the man on the Shroud of Turin is not Jesus of Nazareth is one in 200 billion. Photographer Barrie Schwortz, the next panelist, gave an overview of the photos of the shroud he has taken and how they have played a role in sindonology, or the study of the Shroud of Turin. “I expected to find it was a fake,” Schwortz said until his photo editing techniques proved that the red stains on the cloth were actually blood. Forty years have passed, and Schwortz is still delving deeper into the truth behind the shroud. “His [Schwortz] photography insights were very interesting,” said Dr. Ann Wintergerst, a St. John’s professor in the Department of Languages and Literatures. “They were very realistic in terms of what the debate is.” In order for the public to develop their own opinion about the Shroud of Turin,

MARYBETH GERDELMAN

It was a face that spoke of an immense patience and of a noble recognition. I feel certain that I was looking at the face of Jesus

- Secondo Pia -

Schwortz also has a website called shroud. com which currently has an upwards of five million views. “I built shroud.com because I was upset that the media was not reporting honestly on what we had done,” said Schwortz. “Although it was not a reflection of my faith because I’m not a Christian, my Christian brothers and sisters were not getting the truth.” Schwortz strongly believes in the fact that the public must have access to the science in order to make up their own mind about whether or not they believe this is the cloth that wrapped the crucified body of Jesus. In terms of future goals for discovering information on the shroud Dr. Sacca stated, “I hope we can answer the question of ‘Was the imprint left because of the resurrection?”


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SJU hosts Meet the Candidates Night

Local candidates came to talk to students and faculty about their campaigns ARIANA ORTIZ & YVES NGUYEN

Staff Writers This past Monday night, students and New York residents gathered in DAC 206 for the University’s ninth annual “Meet the Candidates Night,” where local candidates campaigning for election to state and federal offices discussed issues pertaining to the community. The event was moderated by Brian Browne, professor of political science at St. John’s. Candidates discussed their positions on topics such as education, infrastructure and the economy and took questions from student moderators. Everyone in attendance was encouraged to write in their own questions on provided notecards. Candidates at the event included State Senator for the 11th Senatorial District, Tony Avella; Republican canTORCH PHOTO/ARIANA ORTIZ didate for the 11th Senatorial District Mark Cipolla; Democratic Senator for the 14th District Leroy Comrie; Students and faculty met local candidates in DAC on Oct. 24. Republican candidate for the 14th District, Jarrett FreeCipolla discussed his background, his experiences as man; Candidate for the 23rd City Council District, Joe Concannon; Republican Candidate for the 5th District, a former prosecutor and how it affects his platform of Michael O’Reilly and Congressman of the fifth Congres- ethics reform. He also said raising the quality of life in NYC is one sional District, Greg Meeks. In addition, St. John’s freshman Usman Ali Chohan is running for the 25th District of his main concerns, as is keeping communities crimefree. for NY State Assembly. Comrie voiced his support for raising the minimum Incumbent candidates seeking re-election spoke on their voting records and legislation they have helped to wage and “limiting opportunities for people to get aspass, while those new to the scene of politics proposed sault weapons.” He said that while the U.S. thrives on their views and spoke of their experiences as business immigrants, the path to citizenship should be “a direct path, not an easy path.” owners and private citizens. Student moderators posed the bulk of the questions, Meeks spoke about the role the U.S. plays in worldwide diplomacy and stated that it has the “best demo- tackling local issues such as using Queens waterways for public transportation, candidates’ plans for bolstering cratic system in the world.”

local businesses and their proposals concerning education. Other questions centered on national security, raising New York’s minimum wage, immigration, environmental concerns and the cost of higher education. One of the five student moderators for the event was sophomore Kayla Knight. She said that being able to directly ask the candidates questions opened her eyes to the differences in the approach between Republicans and Democrats. “I have a set view, but both sides definitely brought different issues to light that I knew about, but didn’t really know how to address. It’s really interesting, the give-and-take between both sides,” Knight said. Cooper Miqueli, a sophomore at St. John’s, also served as a student moderator, and emphasized the importance of political participation on the local level. “Go to local forums, meet your local politicians, and go out and vote,” Miqueli said. “A lot of what I hear, even from my parents, is that government is just red tape everywhere. Nothing is ever accomplished, it’s already set and everything is fixed. But that’s not the case. It’s younger people getting so turned off from politics and thinking that only older people vote...when in reality, that mindset is hindering them from making change. If younger people don’t get out there and vote, nothing will change,” Knight said. Meeks said, “It is not only important but imperative that college students get involved and that they vote. Here in my district there are a lot of different people and many schools. I’m lucky to have both a private and public school: St. John’s and York [College]. [Students] can get involved in many different ways and we go out to see them.”

Senate elections to know Students watch candidates Opinion Editor

give last appeal to voters

Reporting by BRYANT RODRIGUEZ Opinion Editor

Over 50 students gathered at the Sodano Coffee House in DAC to watch the last presidential debate on Oct. 19.

I think they ’re both extremely incompetent. It’s disappointing that this is what it has come to. - Daniel Costa, Junior -

TORCH PHOTO/ISABELLA BRUNI

The graph shows the number of seats held by Republicans and Democrats in the House of Representatives and Senate.

While the majority of recent media focus has centered on the presidential election, there are several important senatorial races occurring around the country that will have a large impact on how our new president will be able to govern. Currently, Republicans hold a majority of the seats in both houses of Congress. For this reason, many of President Obama’s initiatives have failed, since he does not have their support. Additionally, former Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia’s seat, who passed away earlier this year, is still empty, as Republicans have vowed to not approve any of Obama’s nominees. Republicans currently have a slim 5446 majority in the Senate and a more substantial 234-201 advantage in the House of Representatives. There are 24 Republican seats up for contention, compared to 10 for Democrats. However, only 9 Democratic seats are actually competitive, as California’s senatorial candidates are both Democrats. In the Senate, there are some specific races to look out for. Any loss for Republicans leads them closer to losing control of the chamber. • In Arizona, incumbent Sen. John McCain (R) is looking for reelection and is running against Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick (D). • In Florida, incumbent Sen. Marco

Rubio (R) is running against Rep. Patrick Murphy (D). Rubio re-entered the race for senator after his failed bid for president. In Illinois, incumbent Sen. Mark Kirk (R) and Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D) are vying for President Obama’s former senate seat that Kirk won in a 2010 upset. In New Hampshire, Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) is running against current Gov. Maggie Hassan (D). Both women are well liked in the state. In Nevada, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D) is retiring, and there’s a tight battle between former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto (D) and Rep. Joe Heck (R) to claim the seat.

TORCH PHOTO/SAHN CHOI

BRYANT RODRIGUEZ

I was hoping [ Trump] would have an explanation for his recent scandals. A lot of his comments have helped Clinton. - Ridwan Mia, Sophomore -


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National Love Your Melon Day makes a great impact

REZA MORENO Features Editor

Halloween might not be the only holiday dominating the month of October. National Love Your Melon Day, Oct. 20, is meant to bring children a smile and feel confident in their own skin. This day is significant because crew members who partake in Love Your Melon dedicate their time to donating hats to children battling cancer. Olivia Hervey and a few other crew members went to go visit Morgan LaoSim, who is currently battling cancer, and her family in Port Washington, New York. This is just one of the amazing things Love Your Melon does here at St. John’s and across the nation. Love Your Melon is an apparel brand dedicated to giving a hat to every child battling cancer in America, while supporting nonprofit organizations who lead the fight against pediatric cancer. Shannon Mann, the PR Manager from the SJU chapter said, “Being the PR manager is something that is very special to me as LYM stands for so much of what I believe in. Though it was not cancer, my sister was sick as a child, so these programs make me smile as I see how much good they do for families!” On Oct. 22, 2012, two students at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota founded Love Your Melon in an entrepreneurship class. Zach Quinn and Brian Keller came up with the idea of putting a hat on every child battling cancer in America. St. John’s’ chapter, on the other hand started this past January of 2016. Amy VanDetta and a couple of her friends in their sophomore year decided to create a campus crew earlier this year. VanDetta said, “My friend helped a friend of hers start Love Your Melon at their school and after hearing from her what the organization was about I immediately wanted to get involved and did everything I could to bring LYM here to St. John’s. It was amazing to see that they were able to put smiles on the faces of children who don’t have a lot to smile about and I wanted to be part of that.” The campus crew has grown to 19 members now. Out of the 20 permitted, they have made many accomplishments such as getting the opportunity to have a table at Relay for Life and visiting Morgan in her hometown earlier last week. “As a crew we hope to bring awareness to the importance of the cause to help and support every child battling cancer in America,” said Hervey. “We hope to largely promote product releases because every product purchased 50% of the profits go to kids battling cancer and funding cancer research.” Although they are not an official organization on campus yet, their goal is to become one. The Vice Captain, Becca Gmerek, said, “I was super excited to become the VP of the crew and it’s constantly evolving and expanding so I can’t wait to get more involved in the St. John’s community and hopefully one day become affiliated be-

cause I think this is a cause that a lot of people have connections to and with the help of all the Johnnies I think we can really make a difference.” National Love Your Melon Day started in 2013 and its goal is to hold 600 donation events throughout America and donate 10,000 hats to children on this day according to their website. Hervey said, “Alexis Wilson, Alex Hintz and I got to first hand experience our true impact as a LYM crew by meeting just one of so many children that sadly go through this tough journey each day.” This has reminded them of the real impact that Love Your Melon has on children and their families, especially with the small idea of giving a hat and showing children and families the support and love. Wilson said, “I was inspired by her positivity and energy. While she has every right to be angry she is a very happy girl that definitely doesn’t let sickness define her.” Lao-Sim has made a big impact on these St. John’s Love Your Melon crewmembers. They say it is the little things that counts and it truly is. “Being able to support Morgan and other kids like her in even the smallest ways is so fulfilling and heartwarming,” said Hintz. “I really enjoyed just having fun and playing with her. Seeing her smile was the best part of the day. It felt really good to help out since it meant so much to her family and gives them some much needed support from the community.”

4 Love Your Melon crew representing their capes and beanies 6 Love Your Melon crew with Morgan Lao-Sim and family


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2016’s most popular Halloween costumes

Need some last minute costume ideas? Read more for inspiration

YVES NGUYEN Staff Writer Of course you can expect the usual sexy cat, witch or wizard walking around on Halloween, but according to Party City sales and Devin Rubink of HalloweenCostumes.com, expect some Pokemon, politicians and supervillains. With the presidential election just around the corner, political costumes will flood the streets. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump costumes are inevitable and the odd Bernie Sanders or Ted Cruz costume should

be abound. If you are a more creative couple, you could be Bill Clinton and his balloons or Donald Trump holding a cat. Politicians are not the only popular thing this year. Pokemon saw a resurgence with Pokemon Go, so the streets should be teeming with Pikachu's, Squirtles and trainers of all varieties on Halloween. The DC Universe also got a boost this year from “Suicide Squad” and “Batman Vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.” There will be an abundance of superheroes and supervillains from all over the DCU this Halloween, however the “Sui-

cide Squad” version of Harley Quinn is expected to be one of the most popular costumes this year, alongside the newest revival of the Joker. Marvel, of course, also has its fair share of 2016 movies that prompt a costume or two. We can expect more Deadpool's than usual this year. Snapchat came out with even more filters this year, so you will be seeing more of those as well. You should be ready for butterfly faces and rainbow mouths because sometimes makeup is a little easier than a full costume. Snapchat provides a variety of filters, so

there is something for everyone whether your goal is to be hot or scary. You will be seeing something not everyone wants to see this Halloween, since clown costumes will be more popular than ever. This year, people from all over the U.S. reported seeing creepy clowns lurking and holding weapons, so of course, people will be dressing up as clowns to add to the hysteria. Halloween is a time to dress up as anything and everything, so regardless of popularity, have fun this year and be what you want to be.

NYC’s Halloween happenings through Monday

SAHN CHOI Staff Writer

Central Park Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla

Take in Halloween at one of the city’s top attractions. Spooky stories, a costume parade and pumpkin carving all lead up to the signature Pumpkin Flotilla, which sets sail at sunset. Free, 110th Street between 6th and Lenox on Oct. 30 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

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Village Halloween Parade

The Greenwich Village Halloween Party is the world’s largest Halloween parade. Dress up or you won’t be allowed to march. Even if you’re left behind watching, it’s still a sight to see. Get there early and grab a lookout spot before the parade begins. Free, 6th Avenue at Canal Street on Oct. 31 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Webster Hell

Iconic Webster Hall turns into Webster Hell for one night: the NYC Halloween Parade Afterparty. All four floors of Webster Hall will be pulsing with music as fire performers and flying flesh-eaters swarm the ballroom. As is tradition, the Demon Queen will select a random person to satisfy her longing for an innocent virgin. Tickets at websterhall.com/halloween, Webster Hall on Oct. 31 at 8:00 p.m., 19+

6 Dog Costume Contest

You might have settled on a costume, but what about your four-legged best friend? Here you can enjoy live music, an inflatable obstacle course, face-painting and a pumpkin patch while eagerly anticipating the winner of the costume contest. Free, Fort Greene Park on Oct. 29 from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Central Park Halloween Parade and Pumpkin Flotilla

Take in Halloween at one of the city’s top attractions. Spooky stories, a costume parade and pumpkin carving all lead up to the signature Pumpkin Flotilla, which sets sail at sunset. Free, 110th Street between 6th and Lenox on Oct. 30 from 3:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

6 Blood Manor

5,000 square feet of zombies and monsters in NYC’s Hudson Square District make this a 14-and-up haunted house. The scream-inducing journey features themed rooms, corridors and passageways. No refunds once you enter! Tickets at bloodmanor.com/tickets.html, 163 Varick St. Oct. 28 to 29 7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.; Oct. 31 6:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.


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Ghouling around at the Witches Brew Check out the perfect Halloween cafe on Long Island JAMIE PFEIFFER Staff Writer

The Witches Brew is the perfect spot to sit and munch while discussing one’s Halloween terrors. The Witches Brew is set up like a local café but is located on a desolate road in West Hempstead, Long Island. There are cozy vintage couches and loveseats to relax on while sipping on a warm potion of one’s choosing. The atmosphere is of dim lighting, just enough to see one’s pals around them and keep an intimate setting. When entering on a busy night, there could be a wait but otherwise guests get seated and are served accordingly. But here’s a warning, it is cash only! The Witches Brew is fully decorated year round and perfectly festive to the bewitching occasion. I have visited once before and it was super packed, but this most recent evening was quiet and perfect for something

ghostly to arise. There is talk about this small staircase inside the café that leads to a small attic above the shop. Gossip says that actual witches live up there or once did. Nobody

will know because, while open, nobody goes up or down which just adds to the fun of this mysterious location. Their menu is written in a skulls and crossbones font and has spooky decorations

all around the pages. This Witches Brew not only serves teas, coffees and desserts but also has appetizers on the menu; they truly have something for everybody. The lights are of an orange and yellow glow and from the outside could appear to be an old antique shop. This particular evening, I ordered myself a brownie a la mode with a hot chocolate and sweet coffee concoction. This evening, my wizardly comrade ordered red velvet cheesecake, crumb cake and a warm caramel beverage. Everything was served on a silver platter with nice utensils, to give the vibe that we were truly in the presence of renowned witches. While there, one becomes entranced chatting for hours and mesmerized by their inventive entrees. This shop clearly wants its customers to stay for a while, given the welcoming environment it provides and the flavorful foods they create. I plan on making a visit Witches Brew a yearly tradition.

No tricks, just treats this Halloween

Five places to go to get the best sweets in the city

TIANA BROWNIE Contributing Writer Halloween is right around the corner solidifying that fall has arrived. We can all admit it’s one of the most festive and celebrated holidays’ of the year that brings us together to celebrate with costumes, tricks and treats! An obvious favorite, of children and adults alike, even more than the costumes, are the treats. To get into the spirit, here are some spots throughout New York City that you can find delicious Halloween desserts!

1. Georgetown Cupcakes

If you’re a classic cupcake lover, Georgetown makes some of the best. The D.C. bred cupcakery (a mashup of cupcake and bakery that totally does not exist in the dictionary), produces moist and delicious cupcakes baked fresh in house everyday. This year, their Halloween themed varieties includes: Spider and Web, Bats and Ghouls and a Haunted House dozen; which are also available as single full size and mini cupcakes. (Georgetown Cupcakes, 11 Mercer St, NY)

2. Dylan's Candy Bar

Twinkie lovers rejoice, Dylan Lauren feels the same way about the sweet yellow spongy cakes as you do. The famous candy shop will have a limited edition variety chocolate dipped and wrapped mummy Twinkie. A favorite among customers is the ‘Green Booger’ popcorn, which is super fun to eat if you’re not easily grossed out. If you’re feeling extra festive try one of their molded white chocolate lab rat lollipops! (Dylan’s Candy Bar, 1011 3rd Avenue, NY)

3. Jaques Torres Chocolate

Jacques Torres is a chocolatier who was raised in France and moved to America to open his chocolate shop in 2000. Dubbed as Mr. Chocolate, every year his shop creates delicious Halloween treats for us. He has multiple locations throughout the city from the Upper East Side all the way down to SoHo and even one in DUMBO Brooklyn. If you swing by, try the variation of white, milk and dark chocolate ghosts and ghouls. If you have a super sweet tooth, try the ‘Jacques’ Haunted House dessert, which is a combination of all three chocolates in a hand carved treat. (66 Water St, Bk)

4. Ripley's Believe It or Not

Ripley is no stranger to the odd things in life. During their halloween exhibit, located right in the heart of Times Square, don’t be afraid to try their Halloween treats that will be scattered throughout mazes and exhibits. The event takes place on Oct. 28 from 8-11:55 p.m. All treats are free with the $20 admission for the night. (Ripley’s Believe it or Not 234 W 42nd St, NY )

5. Chelsea Market

The Chelsea Market, right under the famous High Line, is a bazaar filled with a variety of artisanal shops. Throughout the Halloween season, various shops will have Halloween themed treats available until November. Already themed year round, the Fat Witch brownie bakery will have Halloween decorated treat bags, and a wide range of brownies (10 flavors to be exact). Go for the minis as they allow you to try more flavors at a cheaper cost. Some favorites include the caramel and walnut witch babies. You will also be able to trick or treat throughout the market on Oct. 30 during their annual Halloween event. (Chelsea Market 75 9th Avenue, NY)

PHOTO/FLIKR CREATIVE COMMONS


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Spoon University

A promising initiative for SJU foodies

ANGELICA ACEVEDO News Editor

“We are like your best friend who eats all your food but knows exactly where to get the next big thing, right before it breaks,” Lauren Majid, the creator of the St. John’s University chapter of Spoon University, gushed about the new food-crazed organization that promises to be a hit among Johnnies. If you love food and you’re a college student, chances are you might have already heard of Spoon University’s initiatives to help students learn about food and engage them in ways to prepare deliciously simple

meals, snacks, drinks - you name it. “It’s a food publication for our generation, by our generation,” Majid, a Long Island native, said. “For St. John’s, we call ourselves SJU Foodies.” The reason Majid says that the company was created “by our generation” is because the co-founders, Sarah Adler and Mackenzie Barth, were both college students at Northwestern University when they decided to create a website in 2009 that reflected college student’s growing infatuation with all things food. According to their Facebook page, the company has over 5,000 contributors in over 150 college campuses both nationally and internationally. Majid, a sophomore majoring in Communications with a focus in Journalism and minoring in Social Justice and International Studies, created the chapter in St. John’s last year and now runs the marketing team. Although she was a freshman at the time, Majid didn’t let the fact that she was new at the University keep her from fulfilling her ambitious dream to bring the food oriented organization on campus. One of the first things she had to do was to go around campus and get 500 signatures in order to make St. John’s a Spoon University. “We don’t have anything like this on campus, nothing food specific, so I thought that it’d be a good refresher and a good project for me to fill my entrepreneurial needs,” Majid said. She was introduced to Spoon University through a friend’s sister who went to Northeastern University and was a part of the organization there. Majid would con-

stantly see the girl’s posts on Facebook and was entranced by the idea of writing about food. “I’ve always been really interested in writing, but could never find my beat,” Majid said. “So food is definitely that. There’s a lot behind food that people don’t really know, like the economics, business and politics behind it, so I was immediately drawn to that.” Although the chapter now has over 30 writers with a growing online presence, Spoon University isn’t recognized as an organization by Student Government Inc. (SGI) just yet. Majid is in the process of filling out the application, but is struggling to find a faculty member to sponsor them. However, this doesn’t stop students from applying to become a part of the organization. Students who are interested in joining can apply at the beginning of each semester by going to Spoon University’s website. The process includes a one time $15 fee for Secret Sauce, a tool that they use to teach writers the skills they need to write and make their work stand out among the rest. Afterwards, they’d have an interview with Majid where they discuss their resume and their work to see if they’ll be a good fit. Whether you’re a writer, photographer or videographer, there’s something for you in the organization. It’s no wonder the site has achieved so much success these past few years, with publications like Buzzfeed and Tasty receiving a lot of attention due to their short and sweet recipe videos online that seem to make their way onto everyone’s timelines. “A lot of our writers actually get picked

up by Buzzfeed or MTV or Huffington post,” Majid said. “It opens a lot of doors for people and it’s like a little online portfolio to hand in to potential bosses, which is pretty cool.” Majid was once interested in pursuing a career in fashion, even going to the Fashion Institute of Technology to take courses during high school. Yet, as she puts it, “one thing led to another,” and she got accepted to St. John’s Ozanam Scholars program through her service for the homeless youth. Through the program, she did research about food security for the homeless and saw an important connection that people have with food. “I feel like food is a really good foot in the door to get awareness out for certain aspects,” Majid said. “Everything goes back to food… So I feel like with being an Ozanam Scholar and the opportunities there, but also being in charge of Spoon University here and working with Spoon HQ makes [me] a more well-rounded person when it comes to talking about causes and issues.” For students who wish to start a chapter of an organization that they feel passionate about on campus, Majid had some words of wisdom. “If you have a dream you have to go after it,” Majid said. “There’s a lot of people who are going to question you or think you’re nuts for trying to take on a big project, but go after it. You have to know from the beginning that it’s a lot of work, like a lot of nights where you’re up until 3 a.m. making phone calls…But it’s totally worth it.”


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SJU screens “The True Cost” Must-see documentary exposes the truth behind sweatshop labor

REZA MORENO Features Editor Have you ever wondered where your clothes came from? Or how your favorite clothing brands comes out with new items each week? No. Well maybe this is something that you should be thinking of. In order to have such great clothing at such low costs, a price must be made. This is “The True Cost.” St. John’s for Fair Trade, St. John’s Learning Communities and Catholic Relief Service Ambassadors came together on Monday Oct. 24 to show a screening of the documentary The True Cost. This documentary goes inside the ugly truth behind sweatshop labor and environmental problems in the fashion industry, and how there can be possible solutions. The film directed by Andrew Morgan goes into a sequence of multiple interviews from journalist, Lucy Siegle, fashion designer, Orsola De Castro, CEO of TAL Group, Roger Group and many more. The documentary shows how fast fashion works, for those that do not know, this film is a great insight that gives you knowledge on what companies such as Forever 21 and H&M do in order to keep up with these new items.

“The True Cost” documentary, directed by Andrew Morgan, official poster

“Instead of two seasons a year, fast fashion made it 52 season a year,” said Siegle. This film will make you think twice when it comes to buying the next biggest fad, it will bring you a whirlwind of emotions. Morgan does a great job in making a big impact for the audience as he shows the big explosion in Bangladesh from a factory collapse. There were 931 deaths due to this collapse and that was not the only factory mishap in Bangladesh and in other countries with garment factories. There is also and interview with a

PHOTO/TREEHUGGER

Dhaka garment worker from that had her legs cut off due to a factory collapse. Her own life was put at risk just for the sake of saving money. In “The True Cost,” you find out so much you wouldn’t have known before, because we are consumed with advertisements for these companies blinded by the truth. This eye opening film lets you feel these women garment workers and the horrid conditions they are in. Not just garment workers, but even cotton farmers, that is not turned into a factory, as its not just people affected but our very own soil here on Earth.

“The True Cost is a documentary that is a must watch for anyone,” CRS Ambassador, Alexia Dolamakian said. “The average person rarely stops to consider who made their clothes and this document provides a good insight into the tragedies occurring in the clothing industry.” These people are taken with no regard of their human dignity as they work in horrible condition, all just for the quality of low prices for clothes. Prices for fast fashion has decreased in the last year, which may make us happy, but we are hurting someone by supporting. Morgan narrates the story behind how sweatshops happened. “In the 1960s, 95% of clothes were made in America.” This was before companies found a loophole in bringing their corporations to third world countries. But there are many activists who are trying to fight this and bring sustainable and fair trade into the fashion industry. Just like it use to be in the 1960s. If you are one that takes fashion seriously and are environmentally friendly, “The True Cost” is something to definitely get on board. Especially when it comes to finding out the price that is made with your everyday wear. This film is a true must- watch as it is now shown on Netflix, so if you missed the screening held on campus, be sure to check it on on your own time.

‘King Zimm’ wows CHYNA DAVIS Staff Writer St. John’s University held a memorable Java Johnnies last Friday at the D’Angelo Center as students gathered to hear Khafre Zimmerman perform. Zimmerman, whose stage name is King Zimm, performed a variety of songs from his album, “The Best of King Zimm.” He also included covers of “Valerie” by Amy Winehouse and “Billionaire” by Travie McCoy. “It’s pretty good. He has an earthy kind of vibe; very natural sound, very raw,” Richey Reeves said. Caffe Bene provided cookies, muffins, waffles and iced coffee as students engaged in Zimm’s performance. They cheered for his music, while students like Ariana Rolos danced along to his cover of “Oui” by Jeremiah. “I think he’s great, I love it,” said Rolos. “I’d love to see more of him.” “I like it a lot,” said Ymara Magloire. “He is kind of Bob Marley inspired.” Although most Java Johnny events have a small crowd, they host hidden talent on campus as well as unknown artists from the community. Zimm didn’t mind the small crowd and still was able to create a pleasing, warm environment through his music. Most students don’t know of the musical artist’s experience, or how he has

opened for artists like Big Sean, J-Cole, Wale and Rick Ross. Zimm began writing music and incorporating his guitar into songs when his family move to Philadelphia. With an uncle as a producer, a mother that sang and a father trained as a percussionist and arranger, he started to pursue his career. “Music is the easiest way to connect to people,” Zimm said. Once he realized his passion Zimm started practicing more. “When I started Cassidy, Eminem and Big L were my favorite,” said Zimm. “From there it was Jimi Hendrix, Sublime and Led Zeppelin.” While attending Howard University, he performed at their Homecoming concert for three years. “I think he’s great, I love it,” said Ariana Rolos. “I’d love to see more of him.” Zimm said he’d like to return to St. John’s with his band, The Rising Suns, and takes every opportunity he can to perform. “My agent booked the show, but I definitely have to come back. I like this campus it’s diverse,” Zimm said. With a unique style of “Rock & Flow,” Zimm creates a great performance that includes a combination of hip-hop, soul and rock & roll. “If I can share my story, and they can relate I’m not alone. We can all come together, and share a beautiful thing regardless of race and religion,” Zimm said as he closes out his performance.


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ALESSIA PISCIOTTA Staff Writer

“It took me a while to pick a favorite, but then I saw this on TV and realized how scary it is and how much I love watching it. It’s a movie that you could watch with your friends, its fun. It seems so real even though it has a lot of special effects, it still scares me.”

“I would always watch it when I was younger and I love Disney movies, especially Halloween ones. Also because it was kind of scary and keeps you in suspense the entire time.”

Tiffany Testa - Junior Halloweentown 2: Kalabar’s Revenge

Jordani Badette, Sophomore The Conjuring

Desyre Soler, Freshman Beetlejuice

“It’s my favorite because its builds a form of suspense that I feel is unmatchable. I call it a classic because I have been watching horror movies for a long time and it actually brought a strange form of excitement, fear, and thrill to me and many who I watch it with.”

“I like this movie because it takes the element of Halloween and puts a spin on it: creating an idea that watching horror movies can change your perception and emotion on the real world. It shows that illusions can cause a fear in you through a past experience or scene in a movie, and that causes you to have hallucinations.”

Anthony Ferrara, Junior Ed Edd & Eddy’s Halloween Special

“Beetlejuice is my favorite because I like the way Tim Burton creates his films and incorporates the characters into the world that he visualized in his mind. It was an amazing movie just like his others that have a deep, dark mood.”

AJ Villa, Sophomore The Omen

“This is my favorite horror movie because it best represents what a realistic zombie outbreak may be like. It’s really cool to see.”

Michael Piccione, Senior 28 Days Later

Joyce Manor lights up Brooklyn JON MANARANG Staff Writer

With the release of their album “Cody” via Epitaph Records, California punk quartet Joyce Manor brought their tour with The Hotelier and Crying to its midway point at Brooklyn’s Music Hall of Williamsburg. Opening the show were local favorites Crying who also dropped a new release, their debut LP “Beyond the Fleeting Gales.” With a strong chip tune punk sound on their earlier EPs “Get Olde” and “Second Wind” which would later be compiled into one record, the band all but

abandoned the eight bit patches in favor for more 70s/80s prog synths with hints of Yes, Rush and even Genesis. In live performances, their sound is as tight as ever with Ryan Galloway’s technical guitar prowess, vocalist Eliza Santos’ emotionally dense lyrical style, and while official drummer Nick Corbo is on tour with LVL UP, TJ of Nine of Swords filled in bringing a different sensibility to Corbo’s more concise rhythms. On their new track “There Was a Door,” Laetitia Tamko aka Vagabon joined Santos on vocals for her verse. The Hotelier just wrapped up a massive headlining tour of their own in support of “Goodness” which featured Epoch bands Told Slant and Bellows alongside Loone. Within seconds of the opening

PHOTOS BY JON MANARANG

notes of “An Introduction to the Album” rang through Christian Holden’s resilient vocal cords, the band launched into a set comprised of material from their latest LP and crowd favorites from “Home, Like No Place Is There” and older records. Despite their unassuming demeanor on stage, setting up instruments and checking microphones, the band thrust into “Heart Tattoo” off of their 2014 release “Never Hungover Again” which saw the crowd at the sold out venue surge forward like a massive wave of bodies. With a career spanning four LPs and a slew of singles, the band cherry picked tracks off of each record, even hearkening back to their old material when the band mentioned their first NYC gig at the nowclosed Party Expo back in 2007. With a 16+ show, the crowd was mostly teens, more likely due to the nature of the band’s lyricism speaking to a distinctly adolescent moodiness. With this in mind, vocalist/guitarist Barry Johnson has always been weary of the safety of his fans even going as far to shame crowd surfers on stage before, but in NYC, Johnson went as far as kicking a guy off the stage who went to dive into a sea of hormonal rage. The band even stopped their set halfway through when some deplorable threw a folding chair off of the balcony and into the crowd. While the person in question was escorted out by security, the venue manager intervened at one point, and Johnson criticized the inconsiderate attendee as some “drunk 32 year old going to a punk show with a bunch of teens.”


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Solange’s “A Seat At The Table”

Artist’s emotional journey and self-growth explored in new album

YVES NGUYEN Staff Writer Solange’s new album rounds out a list of very pro-black albums this year, including Kendrick Lamar’s “untitled unmastered” and Beyoncé’s “Lemonade.” Solange created an album explaining her experience with her blackness in a mix of simplicity, complexities and vulnerabilities. “A Seat At The Table” breaks Solange out of the frame of being a lesser Beyoncé or the secondary archetype. This album speaks to a woman who has truly grown into herself. Solange’s style has a neosoul sound with a mix of 60s-70s funk that uniquely fits her narrative. It speaks to a specifically feminine experience, and her black feminine experience at that. Solange starts with “Rise,” opening with words of encouragement to do well despite all odds. “Fall in your ways, so you can crumble,” she says. “Fall in your ways, so you can wake up and rise.” The song lays out the album’s central themes dealing with pain, pride and dignity with soft piano and jazz modulations. Solange follows up her words of encouragement to thrive with a story of tiredness in “Weary,” which documents her exhaustion and desire to give into painful indignities. Solange balances a narrative of injustice to black women as much as she does with a story of self-healing. Her lead sin-

gle “F.U.B.U.” calls out the people who “get so much from us, then forget us,” and “Don’t Touch My Hair” lays it down on the disrespectful onlookers and adds her journey of balancing her fragility and toughness. Solange goes more into her personal journey with songs like “Cranes in the Sky,” which she said she started writing eight years ago. In “Cranes,” she addresses her loneliness and a litany of tried, unsuccessful solutions culminated over years. She “tried to drink it away,” she “tried to run it away” and she “tried to dance it away.” When Solange herself is not singing about her own struggles and the injustices of her community, she exalts Master P with lines like, “Black kids have to figure it out, we don’t have rehabs to go to. You gotta rehab yourself ” and “We come here as slaves, but we going out as royalty, and able to show that we’re the chosen ones.” His lines address the struggle and oppression of black people while also giving rise to their future and abilities. That is what this album journeys through: Struggles and indignities followed by motivation. She provides a completely unique view on self growth with this album. Solange does all of this with 21 tracks by articulating her roots and heritage while giving praise and reference to funk, soul and rap.

PHOTO/HIPHOPDX

Solange’s “A Seat At The Table” official album cover art

Lady Gaga releases “Joanne” ISABELLA BRUNI Chief Copy Editor

Welcome back Mother Monster and welcome “Joanne.” Three years since her previous album “ARTPOP,” Lady Gaga dropped her fifth album “Joanne” on Friday, Oct. 21. In between “ARTPOP” and “Joanne,” Lady Gaga took on multiple projects in and out of the music industry. She produced an album with jazz singer Tony Bennett called “Cheek to Cheek,” released a single for “The Hunting Ground,” a film on sexual assault on college campuses, called “Til It Happens To You” and had a major role in acting and producing the hit television series “American Horror Story: Hotel” as well as a smaller acting role in “American Horror Story: Roanoke.” “Joanne” is Lady Gaga’s revival album, taking on a new sound yet still holding onto her signature while pop lyrics and rock n roll flare. Visitors to the album, include Mark Ronson, who co-produced, Florence Welch of “Florence + the Machine,” Beck, Kevin Parker of “Tame Impala” and Josh Homme of “Queens of the Stone Age.” “Joanne” starts off with “Diamond Heart” that combines all of the three main elements of the album as a whole: a little bit of rock n roll and folk with balladesque undertones. The chorus includes Gaga’s timeless deep, gritty tone

along with Homme on guitar and bass that scream rock, “Young wild American / C’mon, baby, do you have a girlfriend?” “Diamond Heart,” the perfect choice to open “Joanne.” Gaga’s obvious three mostly rock influenced songs are undeniably reflective of her “Born This Way” album. “Perfect Illusion,” which was her first single from this album, is haunting with Gaga shouting, “It wasn’t love / It was a perfect illusion” in the minor key. She collaborated with Parker and succeeded in creating a catchy, dance tune. The voices of Gaga and Welch together in “Hey Girl” are an incredible mix that should have been put together a long time ago. The song is sensual and powerful, it’s the song to listen to if you want some rock without all the bells and whistles. “John Wayne,” on the other hand, is the hardcore rock song to blast when

the chorus comes to, “Baby let’s get high / John Wayne.” The song that made the world question if Gaga was going country is “A-YO,” and while it does come close to being stamped as country, “Sinner’s Prayer” and “Come to Mama” are more indie folk-rock. She collaborated with Father John Misty on these two tracks, who has also worked with Beyonce, creating lyrically driven melodies and minimalistic instrumental backup. As seen with past hits “Speechless” and “Til It Happens To You” it is clear G a g a excels w i t h ballads. Her first ballad she shared with fans from “Joanne” is “Million Reason,” which holds beautiful simplicity while she repeats, “You’re giving me a million reasons.” The best line to belt however is, “I bow down to pray / And try to make the worst seem

better / Lord show me the way / To cut through all this worn out leather / I’ve got a hundred million reasons to walk away.” “Angel Down” is an ode to the Black Lives Matter movement as she sings about her hope for the future and belief that change can be made. Ronson plays the mellotron are she sings, “Shots were fired on the street / By the church where we used to meet / Angel down angel down / But the people just stand around.” The most personal and moving song of the album is the song that shares the album title “Joanne” named after Gaga’s late aunt, a sexual assault survivor, like Gaga, who died of lupus at 19. Her lyrics tug at heartstrings as she sings to her aunt, “Take my hand / Stay Joanne / Heavens not ready for you / Every part of my aching heart needs you more than the angels do” and “Girl where do you think you’re going?” “Joanne” was not exactly what Lady Gaga fans were expecting when news of her comeback was released. Many hoped for a “Born This Way” 2.0, as “ARTPOP” was her least successful album with Gaga herself even admitting it as “soulless electronic pop.” However, while this album held a slightly different genre and sound, “Joanne” is something to adapt to but will soon be anyone’s go to album if they are open minded and ready to embrace Gaga in her new indierock-country-soul style.


Opinion

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World Food Day at SJU

FR. PATRICK GRIFFIN, C.M. Special to the Torch

The particular emphasis on World Food Day this year echoes the concern offered Numerous acorns lie upon our SJU by Pope Francis regarding the environpaths these days. Walking under the oak ment and its abuse which leads to damtrees, one stands the possibility of being age to the food chain. The global theme hit, and one frequently hears an acorn fall is “Climate is changing. Food and agriculthrough the branches and bounce around ture must too.” The world’s poorest farmers suffer particon the ground. I confess that I try not to step on the whole acorns. Like many of ularly from high temperatures and weathyou, I see the squirrels emerge seeking the er-related disasters. Lack of adequate water and soil degradation place added burdens undamaged ones. They pick it up in their little paws and upon their shoulders, as does deforestation. twirl it around—presumably checking to In some parts of our planet, such as the see if it is okay. If it is complete, they then tropics, where fishing provides a livelihood dash away with it to place it in their stash. as well as nutrition, the declining yield of It seems callous of me to be crushing their catches raises concerns for providing for the ongoing necessities of life. food without any consideration. I try to be attentive to the acorns in order A week ago, the world celebrated World Food Day, on Oct. 16. We remembered it to show some awareness of the needs of the on campus as we do each year. Dr. Barry squirrels who reside on our campus. Some Brenton, with Christine Hammill-Cregan, guidelines are offered each World Food offered a presentation on this theme and Day in order to make small but appropriate benefits to the food supply. its implications at a meeting on Oct. 17. First of all, be attentive to how one can My concern with the food of the squirrels should be, and is, multiplied when I waste food, either by preparing too much consider the hunger which constitutes a or by discarding leftovers. Secondly, eat less part of the everyday experience of so many meat. Raising livestock takes more grain of our brothers and sisters. than the nutritional value derived from the Two facts about hunger in our world grain itself. And, thirdly, use water wisely. are well-known. First, 805 million people Water is one of the great resources of on our planet suffer from chronic hunger our planet, without it there could be no during the course of each year. Second, the life and food, so it should be treated with world produces enough food to feed every reverence. person. It should come as no surprise that the The problem is distribution and waste. biblical story of the origin of humankind One-third of the food produced for hu- begins in a garden or that the original task man consumption is lost or wasted. The of the man was to care for this Eden. burden of suffering, as one might expect, There should continue to be a mutual falls most heavily on the most vulnerable. blessing between the place and the person.

When Catholicism meets Hinduism SR. ANNELLE FITZPATRICK, CSJ

Special to the Torch

The Diocese of Brooklyn (Office of Interreligious Affairs) and St. John’s University (Vincentian Center for Church & Society) co-sponsored an interactive workshop on Saturday, Oct. 15 entitled “Hinduism: Explored, Explained & Experienced.” 50 people were in attendance. Participants came from throughout the Diocese of Brooklyn and Queens as well as from the Archdiocese of New York and the Diocese of Rockville Center. Participants included teachers, college students, chaplains, pastors, Directors of Religious Education, Deacons and retirees. This interactive workshop started with the morning session involving two lectures, “explaining” the Hindu tradition. The first lecture was given by Dr. Susan Maurer “Hinduism – An Overview”– followed by a second presentation by Dr. Craig Baron entitled, “Hinduism and Catholicism: Points of Synergy.” Both lecturers are professors at St. John’s University. The afternoon session involved boarding a bus and “exploring” two Hindu temples. The first stop was the “Sarvamangala Temple” in Queens Village where visitors had the opportunity to witness a “puja ceremony” (worship service) and observe a catechetical class with young children of Indian descent. wThey were learning the teachings inherent in the classical “Vedas” of the Hindu tradition. After spending almost two hours in the “Saneeswara Temple of New York”, participants

Flames of the Torch

This past weekend, hopeful students began presenting their organizations to Student Government Inc. (SGI) during its annual “Power to Organize” process. Through this procedure, student groups apply to become official organizations at St. John’s. We reported on three different organizations that are working to become recognized on campus: Love Your Melon, Spoon University and Feminists Unite. Each group represents various interests. Love Your Melon aims to help children with cancer. Spoon University is centered around college students’ obsession with food and Feminists Unite’s mission is to provide students with a space to discuss feminism and gender equality. These three groups, though different in their missions, have something in common. Each unites students through their passions - a vital part of the college experience.

The Torch encourages these groups, as well as any others, to continue pursuing their passions. For many, college is the foundation for learning and expanding on ideas and goals. Student organizations are a perfect outlet for like-minded students to gather and work toward some common goals. Last week, we wrote about the importance of students using and finding their voices. We stand firmly behind this belief. Students should always act passionately, reasonably and responsibly when it comes to causes they’re passionate about - which we also mentioned last week. Fighting for what you believe in is something you’ll be faced with your entire life. Whether you choose to defend your convictions and pursue goals surrounding them or not, this may affect your entire life. It’s important to start dealing with these

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types of situations now rather than later. We believe that student organizations are the heart and soul of any university. Not only do they bring people who share ideas and goals together, but they also help you find yourself as a person. It’s where lifelong friendships are formed, beliefs and values are strengthened (or broken) and people find themselves participating in things they genuinely care about and might even make a career out of. No matter what obstacles you may face, the Torch believes that nothing is impossible and that with hard work and dedication you can either create a new club or even run the one you dedicate so much time into much like what the organizations seeking official status say. Don’t forget: Nothing will ever be handed to you. Working for it is just as significant as dreaming about it.

then traveled to the Ganesh Temple in Flushing where they again had the opportunity to observe devout Hindus worship and pray in their sacred space. The evening concluded with “experiencing” a traditional Hindu meal consisting of curry chicken, rice, lentils and fruit. Guests from the Sarvamangal Temple were invited to join in the festivities on the University campus. Students from the St. John’s Hindu Student Council and students from the Saneeswara Temple of New York entertained the dinner guests with traditional Indian dance and song. At the conclusion of the workshop, participants agreed that, while it was a long day, it was a worthwhile experience. The lectures were extremely informative. The actual experience of going into a Hindu temple, of meeting Hindu children and their teachers and of observing their neighbors at prayer – made them realize that Catholics have much in common with these newcomers to American shores. Msgr. Guy Massie, the Vicar for Interfaith Affairs for the Diocese of Brooklyn stated that because the Diocese of Brooklyn & Queens is the most diverse Diocese in the United States, it is imperative that we learn more about the cultural and religious beliefs of these new immigrant populations. The Office of Interreligious Affairs looks forward to partnering with St. John’s University in hosting additional educational programs where participants can meet their new neighbors and “explore and experience” other faith traditions in this – the most diverse Diocese in the United States.

EDITORIAL POLICY Editorials are the opinions of the Editorial Board of the TORCH. Columns are the opinions of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of the TORCH. Opinions expressed in editorials, columns, letters or cartoons are not necessarily those of the student body, faculty or administrations of St. John’s University.

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Mail letters to: The TORCH, St. John’s University 8000 Utopia Parkway, Jamaica, NY 11439 Submit letters via email to: torcheic@gmail.com


16 Opinion

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Election 2016

Implications of the two-party system SAHN CHOI Staff Writer Most polls indicate that Donald Trump is going to lose this election. His loss would represent the third consecutive failure for the Republican party. More importantly, his loss epitomizes the failure of the American political system in its current state, a political system that has framed every issue as a choice between two. Citizens are caught in the middle of a constant war of Democrats vs. Republicans or left vs. right. This election has been characterized by a hostile, never-ending war. Arguments between Trump and Clinton supporters are being fought with deep hatred, not rational dialogue. Trump supporters are labeled bigoted. Clinton supporters are labeled elitist. American politics, as they are today, remain flawed. Democrats and Republicans are not only pitted against each other, but they are falling apart from within. The Republican party’s last president, George W. Bush, and their nominee in 2012, Mitt Romney, have both denounced Trump. Democrats, including the estranged supporters of Bernie Sanders, are similarly ambivalent of Clinton. Democrats and Republicans are talking about their own voters and candidates in the same way that they talk about each other. When a party’s key members and supporters are skeptical of their own candidate — and vice versa — surely this indicates a flaw. Of course, the flaws of the political system stretch far beyond the confines of either the Democratic or Republican Party. More importantly, these parties hate each other. Issues are described as a choice between two, as if there are only two possible solutions to a problem. The media does not frame issues beyond blue vs. red or liberal vs. conservative. People from both sides, including decision-makers in Washington, are pitted against each other

before they even have a chance to begin rational dialogue. Constant political gridlock — the failure to get things done because of intrinsic animosity — can be likened to this year’s election. Democrats and Republicans can not and will not work together in Washington. Trump and Clinton supporters cannot have a rational discussion that does not involve belittling and name-calling. Here in New York City, and here at St. John’s, one wouldn’t dare publically support Donald Trump. People will be quick to label any given Trump supporter racist, uneducated, misogynistic, homophobic and xenophobic, amongst other grossly generalistic terms. The narrative that being a Trump supporter automatically makes one all these things is simply not true. People are far more complicated than the stereotypes that people seem so quick to label them with. Yet, when people hear the word ‘Trump,’ they immediately think ‘idiot.’ That doesn’t bring about change. If one doesn’t want others to vote for Trump, calling his supporters certainly “deplorable” won’t sway them. Regardless of how a group of people appears on the outside, the individual needs to be recognized and respected. Trump’s likely loss will be seen as a victory to many people. However, his loss also represents a failure for politics in America. The rise of Donald Trump, the antithesis of a politician, is a direct function of the increasing amount of Americans who feel alienated by the bureaucracy of the two-party system. Clinton’s victory — a by-default win without any substance — also represents a failure for the political system.

CARTOON/CARLOS ORTIZ

Americans will have elected Clinton as the “lesser of two evils.” What happened to a government of the people, by the people and for the people? While Democrats and Republicans refuse to have productive conversation, Trump and Clinton supporters will do the same. Americans will continue to feel estranged by the two party system, a system that is simply not conducive to pragmatic conversation. Until that happens, politics in this country will fail to properly straighten out the issues people care the most about.

Stronger Together: supporting Hillary Clinton for president The third presidential debate was the performance that ignited my belief in Hillary Clinton’s campaign and her abilities. Clinton is well-informed on the issues with on the ground experience, is transparent with her proposed policies on her website and has shown herself to be the moderate and motivated leader America needs in politically polarized times. She has worked in the political sphere through an insane amount of roles: First lady, New York Senator and Secretary of State. Her pension for results when creating bipartisan policies has already been exhibited in the creation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and the Affordable Care Act whose success she will undoubtedly push for. As a contributor to these proposals she has weight in seeing her projects not only succeed in their intentions but also flour-

ish. In the case of universal health care, Clinton is not the outsider he was and Clinton has a history of advocacy predat- therefore can navigate these conversations ing most of our lives. She first pushed for better. Her commitment to party loyalty improvements to American healthcare has never wavered and she has evolved back in 1993 and was shot down. with issues and has taken on the mantels But she was not a quitter, especially she earned over the years with impeccable when it comes to matters of the life ex- tenacity. pectancy of American Clinton has procitizens, she pushed posed to re-educate through to create police officers and State’s Children Health brought together Democracy is only as strong mothers whose sons Care in order to provide health coverage as the individuals that uphold were victims of police their constituent’s beliefs and brutality, made known for young children strive to make the best outwhose parents could by the Black Lives comes for all Americans. not. With the price of Matter Movement in EpiPens soaring I want order to ensure their to see change in health sons lives are not forcare sooner and not latgotten and can instead er. create powerful political change that will Since many of these projects required lead to prevention. working across party lines, it has lead me She is also a major contributor for to believe she can be the solutions to a women’s right and was able to voice the stagnant Congress. President Obama was difficulties of decisions regarding aborconsistently road blocked to the point of tions from a female’s perspective at the the government shutting down. debate, which is usually absent in Amer-

PAIGE SHATOLA Contributing Writer

ican politics. Let’s not forget her historical speech in Beijing where she dared to proclaim that “women’s rights are human rights.” In polarized political times we need bipartisan leadership and a clearly devoted worker for the people. Hillary Clinton has been a figure in American politics for over 30 years. I encourage everyone to take the time to look outside the vacuum of who she’s running against or her spouse and appreciate the politician who’s been fighting for the rights of women, children and families throughout her career. Democracy is only as strong as the individuals that uphold their constituent’s beliefs and strive to make the best outcomes for all Americans. This doesn’t mean all political decisions are fast and perfect deals, but instead requires dedication to research and have the experience to make the best informed decisions you can at any given time. This is why Hillary Clinton will be an exceptional President.


Opinion

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Laptop prices not so shocking SABRINA LAU Assistant Opinion Editor Recently, St. John’s University decided to make changes to its laptop program. It has went from providing a personal computer for a fraction of the cost all at once to charging students a fee per semester. While this may be a shock to some, St. John’s sent postcards to incoming freshmen regarding the change and it’s even depicted fully on the website. Originally, the laptop program served as an extra incentive for students to enroll at the University. It allowed previous students to pick from one of three computers, usually a MacBook Pro, a Lenovo ThinkPad or a touch screen laptop, for the price of $400, $49 and $49 respectively. Upon graduation, the laptops became the student’s personal property. This new laptop program charges students a fee per semester, ranging from $110 to $145 depending on the device, totaling to roughly the market price of the laptop. Some students have expressed their outrage for the supposedly sudden change, claiming that they’d be better off buying a personal computer themselves through another source, such as through a manufacturer, since it appears that the prices are relatively the same. However, what these students fail to realize is the plethora of resources and software that St. John’s pro-

vides on their laptops. Each device has Microsoft Office and McAfee anti-virus software installed, providing students with the means to complete schoolwork while protecting them from malware. On top of the provided software, St. John’s also offers four years of full warranty support, theft protection and accidental damage protection. This means if you drop your laptop, you may receive a new one with no extra fees. In addition to the protection and software, there is a laptop repair shop on campus completely free of charge, which offers a loaner device while the laptop is being fixed. The total value of all that St. John’s provides for their laptops, from software to warranties, far exceed the price that students have to pay for the computers. The market prices for the same laptop with the same protection coverage and software would cost anywhere from $1,700 to $1,950, which is far greater than the price the University has implemented. While it may be unfair for new students to pay more than the previous students,

TORCH GRAPHIC/SABRINA LAU

they will still receive the better deal from St. John’s, rather than purchasing the computer and all the supplemental insurance and programs from an outside source. So, to the students who feel as if they’ve received the short end of the stick, you must understand that St. John’s does not profit from this increase in payment for

the laptops because their value is worth so much more. It is personally in your best interest to purchase a laptop through the University, so that you may reap the all benefits and resources that St. John’s provides for their students. While this may be hard to accept, the numbers don’t lie.

A childhood volunteer experience in Africa

BEATRIZ DA COSTA Staff Writer

My first experience working with a nonprofit organization was at the ripe old age of seven. I distinctly remember wearing the organization’s shirt as I proudly told people how I was helping my mom and aunt start up their foundation. “Fundação Lionidio e Beatriz,” named after my grandparents, was created in 2005 in Angola, Africa. It was inaugurated with a bazaar with the intention of raising money for a public library and create futures for children. For the first bazaar, my mom had set up stands containing various games. To play each game, the individual would have to pay and that money would go to funding the public library for the citizens of Angola and building a program for their kids. My job was to collect the money from each game and hand it over to my mom. I tried to actually work behind

the stands but, since I was young, I could not handle the responsibility. Two years after that in 2007, the second bazaar happened and I took a different hands-on approach for this one. With the stands my mom had, there were also prizes for the winners of first, second and third place. My duty that year was to gather up a pile of toys and old electronics that my family did not use to donate for the bazaar. If I were not doing that, then I could be found walking through the aisles of Target looking for toys that I thought Angolan kids would appreciate. The next time I helped out with “Lionidio e Beatriz” was recently during the summer of 2015. This was after my family’s nonprofit had finally raised enough money to build the public library for Angola’s capital, Luanda. The bazaar of 2015 was geared toward a tennis tournament that involved underprivileged kids competing with one another for prizes. The prizes ranged from iPads to laptops and things that could help them improve academically. The grand prize however was a one-month

stay with a family, where the kids would be able to take tennis lessons and be in challenging courses to further their knowledge. In this bazaar, my family and I sold clothing, shoes and accessories that had been donated either by our close friends or us. I was working the stand where women’s clothing were set up. This bazaar was geared more towards a community of people of lesser means, so it was really fulfilling helping them find their sizes and just talking to them. At this bazaar, we were able to raise 400,000 Angolan Kwanzas, which translates to approximately $2,500 U.S. dollars. Although, that may not seem like a lot, it did wonders for my mother’s charity. Working for my family’s nonprofit is something that I know I will do for the rest of my life and I get immense pleasure taking part in it. The fact that my mom, Ana Costa, and her sister, Ana Martins, work each day to make a brighter future for developing kids has been inspiring to me ever since I first slipped the “Fundação Lionidio e Beatriz” shirt on.

Johnny U WANT TO SHOW OFF YOUR ARTISTIC TALENT? SHARE IT WITH US! Send AN EMAIL to : DESIGNS.TORCH@GMAIL.COM TORCHOPINION@GMAIL.COM by Alex Brewington


18 Sports

PHOTO/PALM BEACH POST

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Joe Schad

PHOTO/NEWSOK.COM

Former editor goes from the Torch to the NFL It was Jan. 4, 2006 at the Rose Bowl Game in Pasadena, CA. Number two Texas trailed top ranked USC, 38-33, with 26 seconds left in the BCS National Championship game. On a 4th and 5, Longhorns quarterback Vince Young rolled right from the Trojans’ nine-yard line, beat the defense around the corner and snuck inside the pylon untouched for the game winning touchdown. On the sideline near the USC end zone stood celebrities such as actor Matthew McConaughey and American cyclist Lance Armstrong. But in between them was a self-described “kid from Queens” who was able to witness one of the greatest college football games ever played. That “kid from Queens” was St. John’s alumnus Joe Schad, who at the time was a 31-year-old college football sideline reporter for ESPN. “So standing between Lance Armstrong and Matthew McConaughey as Vince Young is running into the end zone and confetti is about to fall at the Rose Bowl, one of the great college football games in history,” Schad told the Torch in an interview last week. “I look to my right and look to my left and I don’t remember what they said. Matthew said something to me and I just thought to myself, ‘What am I doing here?’ That would probably be the number one great memory and ironically it happened 10 years ago.” Building up to that memorable moment for the now 41-year-old Schad, was a career that was sparked by an unconventional visit to the Torch office on one routine afternoon at St. John’s. “One day I was sitting on my couch watching ‘The Price is Right,’ and I was like, ‘Why am I sitting here watching The Price is Right? There has to be something I can do to be more productive.’ So I strolled over to the Torch office and basically said, ‘Hey do you guys need a sports writer? I think that would be fun to do.’” Schad not only joined the Torch’s sports staff, but also began calling basketball games and working his show for

the WSJU radio station. By the end of his time at St. John’s, Schad was the Editor-In-Chief of the Torch, Sports Editor of the Torch and Sports Director of WSJU. After earning a degree in Journalism in 1997, Schad worked a pair of part-time jobs as a reporter for Newsday and a researcher for ESPN The Magazine. Knowing that he needed a full-time job, he began to extend his search outside of New York, eventually taking a position with the Orlando Sentinel in Florida. “I almost took a full-time job in Iowa, I wonder how that would’ve worked out if I had done that,” Schad said. “However I spoke to the folks in Greenwich, I spoke to the folks in New Rochelle, I was willing to go anywhere. But it turned out that Florida was great, because I had family down in Florida.” It was in his time in Florida that Schad got his first taste of big time college football by covering the Florida Gators. He distinctly remembers his first time covering a college football game, when the top two teams in the country, Florida and Florida State, squared off at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. “A kid from Queens who thought that big-time athletics was Rice versus La Salle in basketball, or Molloy versus Christ the King in basketball, or St. John’s-Georgetown, St. John’s-UConn, to be able to be exposed to big time football, really kind of changed the course of my life, changed the course of my career,” Schad said. He later moved on to covering the Miami Dolphins for the Palm Beach Post despite growing up as a New York Jets season ticket holder. After two more years in Florida, Schad accepted a position as a National College Football Reporter at the worldwide leader in sports. It was at ESPN that Schad gained experience, not only reporting and writing, but in broadcasting on both television and radio. He made appearances on ESPN shows such as College Football Live, SportsCenter, Mike & Mike and College Gameday. “[In] journalism, you have to be multifaceted now, you have to be multi-dimensional,” Schad said. “You have to be able to broadcast games on the radio, you have to be able to host shows, which I did,

you have to be able to conduct on-air interviews both in studio and on the field, you have to be able to write columns, you have to be able to develop news sources, develop relationships with agents, players and coaches.” Aside from the great experience he gained in the field of journalism, Schad also had the perks of watching some of college football’s greatest players from the sidelines.

CARMINE CARCIERI TROY MAURIELLO Co-Sports Editors

“Don’t try to be a journalist if your goal is to make a lot of money. Don’t try to be a journalist if your goal is to become well known and famous.” - Joe Schad -

“Being on the field and watching players like Cam Newton, Johnny Manziel, Tim Tebow, some of the greatest players in college football history who’s careers and legacies will live on forever, being able to literally stand five feet away from them while they’re engaging and conversing with teammates and coaches, and being able to report on what I saw and heard, not a lot of people get to do that,” Schad said. “I don’t know how I ended up there, but I’m really glad I did because it was a really awesome, memorable experience.” After 11 years and four contracts at ESPN, Schad and the company decided to part ways in April, making him a media free agent. Having spent over a decade covering college football, he determined that the best route for his career would be to return to covering the NFL. Throughout the spring, Schad weighed his options as jobs opened up in Buffalo, Cleveland, Detroit, Green Bay and Minneapolis. He was on the verge of accepting an offer from the New Orleans Times Picayune to cover the New Orleans Saints before a familiar job opened up at the Palm Beach Post.

“I had two offers, one was the New Orleans Times Picayune to cover the Saints and I was about to accept the position and then the Dolphins job came open and the guy who was the sports editor when I was first there was the publisher of the whole paper.” That was enough to convince Schad to return to South Beach, where he covers the Dolphins as a beat reporter. From his first stint in Florida, to covering games across the country for ESPN and his current position, Schad believes his time at St. John’s helped prepare him for the daily grind of journalism. “The pressure, now it was weekly so it wasn’t like intense pressure, but the pressure and the responsibility,” Schad said regarding his time at the Torch. “All those different things, all those experiences, really did help prepare me far better than any class.” As someone who has succeeded in the journalism business, Schad offered up advice for those St. John’s students who are in the same position he was once in two decades ago. “Don’t try to be a journalist if your goal is to make a lot of money. Don’t try to be a journalist if your goal is to become well known and famous. The only way you’re going to succeed in journalism is if you don’t care much about those things and what you care about is the journalism.” Schad continued as he addressed those who are skeptical about the future of the industry. “Don’t give up and don’t listen to people who tell you that journalism is a dying industry and that you can’t make money working for news organizations,” Schad said. “As long as the Miami Dolphins exist, there’s going to be someone that is needed to cover the Miami Dolphins. As long as there are Presidential elections, there will be people [needed] to cover those debates, cover those elections, dig into the issues, do investigative research. As long as there’s people traveling around the world, there will be a need for people to write and broadcast information about travel because people are going to need that information. So journalism is changing but it’s not dying.”


Sports 19

torchonline.com

NICK MCCREVEN Staff Writer NCAA Men’s Soccer 10/22

NCAA Women’s Soccer 10/23

NCAA Volleyball 10/20

NCAA Volleyball 10/21

ST. JOHN’S

0

VILLANOVA

0

ST. JOHN’S

19 25 13 18

ST. JOHN’S

23 20 19

GEORGETOWN

1

ST. JOHN’S

1

XAVIER

25 15 25 25

BUTLER

25 25 25

St. John’s men’s soccer went to the nation’s capital on Saturday to face Georgetown, where the Johnnies lost just their second Big East match of the season 1-0. It was a very windy day in Washington D.C. as the wind reached up to 40 mph at times, playing a large role in the match. Georgetown grabbed an early lead with an eighth minute goal by Brett Campbell. The Red Storm got 12 shots off throughout the afternoon, but the score stayed the same for the remainder of the game. Despite the loss, goalkeeper Andrew Withers saved a season-high six shots. Harry Cooksley tallied seven shots while playing all 90 minutes alongside Alistair Johnston, Marco Torriani and Marcus Lindqvist. With less than two minutes remaining, Cooksley drew a penalty just outside the 18-yard box to earn a free kick that just barely veered off to the right and out of play. St. John’s will play Villanova on Wednesday on the road.

St. John’s women’s soccer faced off with Villanova on Sunday at home and took home a 1-0 win. Diana Poulin set the single-season program record for shutouts with her 11th of the year. Anna Baldursdottir scored the lone goal of the match in the 66th minute. The wind was strong during the match and it factored into the pace with which both teams played during each half. Villanova took one more shot than the Red Storm’s 11. Poulin saved eight shots while the Wildcats’ Emma Meyer saved six. Poulin also secured her 31st career shutout, which has her one away from tying the St. John’s record set by Kristin Russell in 2011.

St. John’s volleyball continued their road stretch from last week into this week, as they went out to Cincinnati to take on Xavier on Thursday. They put forth an outstanding defensive effort but lost the match 3-1 (19-25, 25-15, 13-25, 18-25). The Johnnies totaled a combined 12 blocks, with Danisha Moss leading the way, contributing six of her own. Julia Cast pitched in 12 kills and a .423 attacking percentage while Erica DiMaulo collected 39 assists.

The Red Storm then faced off against another Big East opponent, Butler, on Friday. They were downed 3-0 (25-23, 25-20, 25-19) in the final match of their road trip. Gaia Traballi recorded nine kills and nine digs, Julia Cast contributed six kills and Erica DiMaulo distributed 17 assists. Margherita Bianchin also put up nine kills and hit at a .286 clip.

UPCOMING SCHEDULE

PLAYERS OF THE GAME Goalkeeper Diana Poulin - 8 Saves Defender Anna Baldursdottir - Goal, 67’ Forward Shea Connors - 2 shots Forward Mirand Haraughty - 2 shots

10/28 PHOTO/ ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

St. John’s was downed by Xavier on Thursday.

10/29

11/04

Coming up this week, the Johnnies will round out their Big East schedule with three home games against Big East rivals.


SPORTS October 26, 2016 | VOLUME 94, ISSUE 09 |

TORCHONLINE.COM

Harry Cooksley Harry Cooksley Harry Cooksley Confidence is key Former English sensation shines at SJU, named Big East Offensive Player of the Week DYLAN HORNIK Staff Writer Roughly 3,437 miles separate Guildford, England, the hometown of Harry Cooksley, and the unforgiving goalposts of Belson Stadium on the Queens campus of St. John’s University. If it were up to junior midfielder he would line it up from there, as calmly and as confidently as ever, and have a go at the back of those nets without hesitation. That’s just the type of player that Cooksley, the reigning Big East Player of the Week, is. That guile was on display last week against Butler, when he cut through multiple defensemen and rifled a shot past the goalkeeper to give the Red Storm a decisive 2-1 lead in the 86th minute. It would end up being the game-winner that helped St. John’s take down the Bulldogs, formerly the number 11 team in the nation. “I came off for about five minutes before that,” Cooksley said via phone interview. “I think I caught a bit of a second wind and I thought, ‘I’ve got the pace to get past these guys,’ and thankfully it ended up with a goal.” Cooksley has carried that intense confidence wherever he has gone from England, to Limestone College, where he was a third-team All-American, and eventually to St. John’s, where he is one of 16 international players on this year’s squad, but the only one from England. As is the case in many European countries, England boasts a strong youth training program. These programs, also known as “academies,” are connected to professional clubs. Cooksley spent a number of years in Reading Football Club’s program, but understood the value of an education over the chance to play professionally. “It’s very hard coming up through the ranks as a youngster because the older guys [on the first team] think that if you’re coming through, you’re going to take their position and this is

their living” he said. “My mom was always big on education and she wanted me to get a degree. It’s such a great environment out here.” He has taken what he’s learned in the academy system and turned it into a determination to find the back of the net. Cooksley is tied for second on the team in goals with four, and came up with the highlight of the season thus far against Syracuse on Sept. 4. He pulled to the left and slid into the ball from about 25 yards out to put a curling shot past the goalkeeper to tie the game. Cooksley’s confidence comes from pure fearlessness. “There’s that quote, ‘You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take,’” he said. “The confidence is there to get a shot on, and you never know what’s going to happen.” Scoring is not his only game, though. Cooksley is tied for the conference lead in assists, and says he learned how to defend more once he came to the U.S. Despite having contingencies from various countries, Cooksley said that the Red Storm’s biggest asset is its team chemistry. “I think the main thing is that everyone on the team are great friends,” he said. No friendship may be bigger, both on and off the pitch, than the one he has with sophomore forward Filippo Ricupati. The two have connected time and time again this season, and Cooksley said that they’re equally inseparable in their down time. “We clicked instantly, off the field as well as on the field,” he said. “We spend a lot of time together off the field and when you have a great friendship with someone, it really shows on the pitch.” Hopefully for St. John’s, that connection can continue to lead the team to victory. The upstart Red Storm currently sit at 6-4-4 and in sixth place in the Big East. Next up for them are the Villanova Wildcats, who sit two spots above them in the conference. For Cooksley, though, this is only the beginning; his steely confidence spills over into dreams of his team’s chances. “I think we can definitely make a push for the national tournament,” he said. “We can beat anyone, it’s just whether we have the right mindset and are ready to work hard enough to get the win.”

Profile for The Torch

Volume 94, Issue 9  

Volume 94, Issue 9  

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