Volume 95, Issue 9

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VOL 95 : 09 NOVEMBER 8 , 2017 torchonline.com

The award-winning independent student newspaper of St. John’s University

SAfety abroad University’s approach amid attacks


inside THE ISSUE University to Offer Scholarships to Children of Service Members

Introducing St. John’s New Librarian, Heather Ball

Opinion: Why Silence Celebrities for Sharing Their Stories

Sports: Men’s Soccer Advances to Conference Semis

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SJU to Offer “Service Scholarship Awards”

Kids of police officers, firefighters and military members will benefit ISABELLA BRUNI

Co-News Editor

The University will pilot three new scholarships in the amount of $2,000 per academic year to children of the nation’s police officers, firefighters and members of the military which is expected to take off for the fall 2018 semester. The three service awards are open to incoming freshmen for up to four years of continuous, full-time undergraduate enrollment. To be eligible for the award, the student’s parent can either be active in the service full-time, retired or had died in the line of duty. To be considered for the awards, the admission application must be submitted by Jan. 15, 2018. Jorge Rodriguez, the vice provost and chief enrollment officer, said the University has made a concerted effort to focus on service and legacy. “As a university we pride ourself in service. There are a lot of individuals who graduated who are in service oriented professions,” Rodriguez said. “We talked about legacy scholarships, a lot of students’ family members came to St. John’s. A lot of students have parents in the military...It was a little marriage of the two.” According to Rodriguez, six-to-seven percent of students have a family member involved in service and legacy numbers are 1314 percent. “My dad has dedicated lots of holidays, late nights and missed dinners and I really appreciate the fact that St. John’s has given us the recognition,” Allison Preston, a junior, said about her father who has been a police officer in Houston, Texas for 23 years. Junior Sabrina Hogan, whose father was a member of the Air Force and served in the Vietnam War, spoke about the difficulties that come with active duty. “I think it’s a great thing for the University to recognize the families of active duty members, especially since it isn’t easy to pay for college and as [an] active duty [member] you tend to move around a lot,” she said. Executive Director of Media Relations Brian Browne said, “Service is a core value at St. John’s and this is a way to kind of validate that. It’s putting money where our mouth is when it comes to service.” Speaking of money, Rodriguez said the university plans to offer the awards to about 300 students in the first year, meaning

$600,000 would be given away in the first year. In four years, the cost could be a couple million dollars. While her mother was overseas serving in the Navy Reserves as an electrical technician, Blayse Halvorsen, a senior, said her age and closeness to her mother made it difficult to cope. “Being young at the time of her deployment, I never fully understood why she was leaving, especially since we never knew how long it would be until we saw or spoke to her again,” she said. “My mother has single handedly given up everything for me, including putting her own life at risk to ensure a greater good in the United States. To me, her service means everything because it has had such a drastic ripple effect on my life, from my personality to opinions and beyond.” Her mother Kerry Halvorsen was with the reserves for 22 years and spent 10 months overseas in the Middle East during Operation Iraqi Freedom. There she spent time in Kuwait, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. Her troop was also the first to land on Middle Eastern soil after the declaration of war was made. Senior Maria Savva’s father is a New York City Police Officer who has served for 20 years. Although the school has previously had scholarships specifically for the children of the NYPD and FDNY, she thinks even more recognition for service members is important and appreciates it. “It shows that St. John’s appreciates the work of the bravery and wish to relinquish the ongoing monetary stress of what if. With all that these men and women do, whether fighting against injustice, rescuing victims from danger or protecting our great country, they deserve a helping hand,” Savva said. Savva called her father, Andreas Savva, her hero and said she is proud to be the daughter of a police officer. “Every day, I worry about what he, along with many other men and women, have to face every day. They put their lives on the line for the city they love and the people they wish to serve and protect,” she said. “It takes bravery, fearlessness and compassion to serve and fight for the means of justice. By knowing my dad is out in the world saving lives and creating a safer world, it puts a smile on my face. My dad is not only a man in a blue uniform, but he is my hero with everlasting bravery.”


Andreas Savva — NYC with daughter Maria Savva and partner dog JC. (above) Kerry Halvorsen — Middle East. (below)

Sergeant Harold Lloyd Preston — Houston, Texas. PHOTO COURTESY/ALLISON PRESTON





TriBeCa Terror Attack Shakes SJU ISABELLA BRUNI

Co-News Editor

Lower Manhattan was the scene of what officials are calling the deadliest terrorist attack in New York City since Sept. 11, 2001 as eight people were killed and 11 were injured last Tuesday, Oct. 31 after a pickup truck rammed into pedestrians along a West Side Highway bike path. One victim was from Manhattan, one from New Jersey, one from Belgium and five were Argentine tourists who traveled to New York for a 30-year high school reunion celebration. That Tuesday many St. John’s students were in Manhattan for work and internships or to celebrate Halloween at Greenwich Village’s annual Halloween Parade. Senior Corina Harley said she was in shock after hearing of the incident and that she “couldn’t believe that this happened in the quiet TriBeCa neighborhood [she’s] worked in for the past eight months.” Harley said she heard the rampage unfold from her West Broadway office. “These weren’t your regular NYC day to day sirens it sounded like hundreds of cop cars coming down the street,” she said. “As I went to the door to see what was going on my phone rang and it was my boss telling me to say inside because there was a shooting about two blocks over by the Chambers train station.” Original reports claimed the event was a shooting, leading many to believe this was a case of a mass shooting. Although Harley believes any place or city can be a target for violence, she admits to being a bit more cautious since the attack. “There was an extra eerie feeling since it was

Halloween,” Harley said. “You would expect to see trick or treaters out, people out on the streets — but it was unsettlingly quiet. A car honked and I jumped, which for a New Yorker definitely isn’t a normal response.” The chaos ended when Sayfullo Saipov, a New Jersey truck driver originally from Uzbekistan, crashed into a school bus, jumped out of his truck and ran up the highway waving a pellet gun and paintball gun and shouting “Allahu akbar,” meaning “God is great” in Arabic. He was then shot in the abdomen by Officer Ryan Nash and was taken to Bellevue Hospital Center in critical condition, according to police. Mayor Bill de Blasio called this a terrorist attack at a news conference while Governor Andrew Cuomo said, “There’s no evidence that suggests a wider plot or a wider scheme.” According to the New York Times, police officials said that investigators discovered handwritten notes in Arabic near the truck that indicated allegiance to the Islamic State. Senior Natalie Chacon works two blocks away from the World Trade Center in the Financial District and said she fears for her safety at the thought of incidents like this. “I kept getting news notifications about an attack but I didn’t acknowledge it because I was working and I didn’t think the attack was serious because all the headlines said ‘suspect caught by police’— nothing about deaths yet. When I overheard chatter about people worrying in the office, that’s when I started to worry,” Chacon said. Chacon believes her strong belief in faith and her gut helped keep her safe that afternoon. She was walking back from her lunch break and had the urge to go back inside to her office rather than

stay out a few extra minutes and enjoy the city like she usually does. “When I got back inside that’s when the attack happened. So I’m glad I trusted that gut feeling to come inside,” she said. St. John’s Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice, Legal Studies and PHOTO COURTESY/FLICKR COMMONS ROB GROSS Homeland Security Richard Frankel, Officials called the Oct. 31 attack the deadliest in NYC since Sept. 11, 2001. J.D. discussed safety Frankel, who also is a law enforcement comprecautions for concerts and sporting events in mentator for ABC News put an emphasis on not the Torch’s story on the Las Vegas shooting last letting fear stop people from living their lives. month. In an interview last Friday he explained “Just like the subway says, if you see something what to look out for in the case of an outside say something. You can’t be afraid,” he said. emergency situation. He puts it simply— just be Benjamin Achilles, a senior, followed that way aware. of thinking and went into the city that night for “You know law enforcement officers and the Halloween Parade despite some of his friends’ agents, people who are military types we be- said protests. come more accustomed to looking around be“I felt fine going to the city, everyone seemed ing aware. That is not saying that by being more normal,” he said. “But one thing was that no one aware would’ve saved those individuals, you’re was stupid enough thankfully to carry a fake gun probably more agile in the sense you’re ready to for a costume. No cowboys, no soldiers.” move if you see someone coming at you,” Frankel “I understand that living here it is a target for said. “Headphones, texting, zoned out down the people who fantasize about mass killings and I’m street, you don’t have awareness. However while living here understanding that risk. Achilles addyou’re walking keep your head up, pay attention. ed that “the likelihood of that happening is much You might see the truck you could jump out of less” than almost any other crime imaginable. the way, there might have been things they could Harley said, “Yes, it’s scary and I worry— but I do.” have to live my life, right?”

An In-Depth Look at the New Solar Tables


Co-Social Media Manager If you ever wanted to charge your phone and laptop while enjoying the weather outside, you don’t need to be wired to an outlet. Now you can work off the power of the sun with the new solar powered tables on campus. Yet, Thomas Goldsmith, the director of Environmental and Energy Conservation Office, told the Torch they’re more than just a neat feature to the University. According to Goldsmith, each table that was purchased from EnerFusion, Inc. cost $12,000 and was paid in full by the University. This, he says, is a necessary investment due to the benefits that the tables provide to St. John’s in terms of its energy base load. “It lowered our base load because if you weren’t charging your phone at the table, where would you be charging it? In a building, and I have to supply you with electricity,” Goldsmith said. “I can’t put in an energy conservation measure to lower that phone usage, but I could put a solar table in where you can charge it outside.” In an attempt to continue the University’s efforts to become increasingly energy efficient, it enrolled in New York State’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) Campus Challenge two years ago. The challenge is meant to assist colleges and universities develop a roadmap for energy conservation. St. John’s received 75 percent — which comes out to $150,000 maximum — with a $3,000 allowance for a St. John’s student to be an intern to fund the auditing. From this auditing, an Energy Master Plan was developed.

As of now, the University has an energy base load of 162 KBTU per square foot, down from 178 KBTU square foot from 10 years ago. According to Goldsmith, he wants to lower this base load to 135 KBTU per square foot in order to purchase more renewable energy (solar panels). “It’s quite normal for higher education but it’s not good as far as where we could be,” Goldsmith said. “Once we get to 135 KBTU per square foot, I’ll be happy to buy all the solar panels I could buy.” Carissa Herb, the president of Earth Club, worked closely with Goldsmith in order to expose the St. John’s community to solar energy. She has been an advocate for solar panel installation for two years now. “I feel that these tables will be conversation starters and catalysts to inspire students to learn more,” Herb said. “For now we are going to try and reduce the energy waste on campus.” She added that in order to improve this process, “Everyone can do their part by turning off their lights when they don’t need them or relying on natural lighting rather than and actual light bulb.” Earth Club’s Vice President Megan Barry believes that, although it’s getting colder outside, “The tables will definitely be put to good use since people can charge their laptops and phones, especially in the spring.” Similarly, student Daniel Sanchez tried out the table in Marillac Terrace and was impressed by the wireless phone charging feature. “It has a wireless charger, which I think is really cool, and [it started] charging my phone as soon as I put it on there,” Sanchez said. “If I wanted to stay here and just study or something while my phone was charging it’d be good.”


The solar tables can be found outside of DAC, Marillac and St. Augustine Halls.




Making Career Connections Career Services restructures mentorship program


ter, the shadowing and immersion experiences will be available after finals and over winter and spring breaks. Next year the opportunity will be offered before classes start in September. “It gives students and mentors [an] opportunity based on when it’s right for them,” O’Hagan said. In April, Satiya Singh, a freshman legal studies major, was featured in the program’s student spotlight. According to Career Services, Singh saw the opportunity to make connections in her field with host Ritha Pierre, an attorney for SEIU Local 32 BJ.

To disseminate information to students via mass text message, the University uses the MIR3 system. But how they use it changes overseas. “We can use that for specific groups,” Vencak said. “So we have it set up just for the global campuses, we’ll send the message out to the 300, 400 students that are in each country, letting them know that they need to reach out to us and contact us back. In any emergency, time is of the essence, you want to get as much information as you can.” She added that these very same methods are used at all of the University’s campuses abroad, which will include Limerick, Ireland beginning next semester in addition to the existing Paris, Rome and Seville campuses. Western Europe has faced a recent wave of terror attacks and violent incidents in public spaces. According to CNN, a man attacked two women with a knife in Marseilles’ Saint-Charles train station on Oct. 1 killing them both. That same weekend on Oct. 3, Paris police found and deactivated an explosive in an apartment building in the city’s 16th arrondissement. ISIS later claimed it was behind the attacks. Just a few weeks prior on Sept. 17, SaintCharles train station was also the scene of an acid attack against four American college students studying abroad in Paris; two of them were reportedly hospitalized for burns. According to CNN, the attacker was a 41 year-old

woman who was deemed mentally unstable and hospitalized. St. John’s students abroad often travel from their campus to other cities and countries; Vencak said that as a result, they are required to undergo a weekly information session to keep them vigilant and aware of their surroundings. “We have a form at the [front] desk of each of the campuses, so when the students are leaving on Thursday or Friday for their long weekend, we ask them to fill it out and we push a little bit harder because of what’s going on in the world.” Vencak said. “I mean, it’s still voluntary, but we push and ask them to give it to us.” Vencak said that she and her team also continuously check safety conditions through the OSAC [Overseas Security Advisory Council] database and relay any relevant information to students. Natalia Gierber, a junior who studied abroad on the Rome campus last spring, believes the security at the Rome campus is up to par. “I definitely felt safe while I was abroad,” Gierber said. “The safety abroad seemed to be more secure than the safety on the Queens campus in terms of 24-hour procedures. The Queens campus has high security after 10 p.m. when all of the gates are locked, while the Rome campus has high security all day. “There isn’t really a way for anyone that is not a St. John’s student to get onto campus in Rome.” According to Vencak, the stateside Public

Safety team also has access to security footage of all campuses abroad, and the watchmen who occupy each lobby desk abroad call Vencak’s team at least three times a day to keep them updated. Each watchman also individually verifies the Stormcard of every person that comes in. Krislyn Vara, a sophomore who is currently studying abroad on the Paris campus, said, “We have to use a special key to get into the buildings in Paris. This makes me feel safe because no one is able to get into the campus without the key.” Vencak added that the University has strong relationships with “the local consulates and local governments, the embassies in the area,” and that a regional security officer is also assigned to each global campus under OSAC. “We can call them up and ask them any questions, and he’ll give us a heads up, like if there’s going to be a demonstration in Rome that’s going to be close to campus or if there’s an epidemic or some type of a medical condition happening,” Vencak said. “He’ll give us a heads up and we’ll give the information out to our students in advance.” Sarah Gebreyesus, a junior who is currently studying abroad on the Seville campus, isn’t concerned about her safety, citing the security measures. “Campus security in Seville is just as strict as it is in Queens,” Gebreyesus said. “I feel overly safe here.”


an opportunity to sit in on meetings, workplace activities and team discussions. Students can learn about their mentor’s industry, receive workplace experience and network during the academic year. According to O’Hagan, Career Services makes sure to offer these experiences over breaks, opposed to during the semester. “We would always [be] mindful that we weren’t running a potential day off campus to spend a day in the field when you would have to miss class,” O’Hagan said. “That’s why we did spring break and after finals.” According to Career Services, as of this semes-

“Ritha went out of her way to make me feel comfortable,” Satiya said. “She was able to offer me a plethora of advice in terms of taking the LSAT, applying to law school and the things I need to do to stand out as an undergraduate student.” According to O’Hagan the program has had up to 40-50 student matches in any given week. Students like Satiya have been exposed to industries that also include the New York City Council, NBC and CBS. Kezia Harris, a five-year student with a bachelor’s in accounting and getting her master’s in taxation has not heard of the program, but became familiar with Career Services during her undergraduate experience, which ended earlier this year. “I definitely think this program would be helpful to undergrad students,” Harris said. “Especially in the business world, firms are recruiting students younger and younger. I got my first internship after my sophomore year and I recently talked to someone who was brought on after her freshmen year.” Harris shared that at such a young age there were a lot of things she hadn’t learned yet, like resume formatting, interviewing skills and the proper way to turn down an offer. “These things matter because they create the building blocks for your professional brand,” Harris said. “Having a relationship with someone who has had similar experiences and can offer guidance and advice can only be valuable to students.” Alumni can also benefit from the program as their organization will not only receive exposure to St. John’s, but also its students for internship and job recruitment opportunities. Alumni will help students prepare for the job market after graduation, as well as continue to build a relationship with the University through mentorship.

Staff Writer

Career Services at St. John’s University encourages alumni to become mentors through their program, C3: Creating Career Connections, which has been improved over the years. The mentorship program provides opportunities for students to get a jumpstart on their professional experience. Joni O’Hagan, director of Career Development, said that the program has been around for almost 10 years. “It’s not so much brand new,” O’Hagan said. “We actually started the shadowing program in 2008, almost 10 years ago.” “It is now, C3: Creating Career Connections, and it includes not only shadowing, which is a one day match experience, but we also offer [a] three-day experience called career immersion and we offer a matched informational interviewing, so Skype or phone call with a mentor,” O’Hagan said. “That’s kind of why we rebranded it.” The program includes three options for mentorship: career conversations, job shadowing and career immersion. The career conversations option allows students to arrange an informational interview over phone calls or virtually over Skype. According to Career Services it can also be used as a first time informational meeting, especially for first year students. The job shadowing option gives students an opportunity to see what a typical day is like for their mentor. The program mainly targets first and second-year students. Career immersion, the last option listed, is a three-day shadowing experience targeting all undergraduate students, which usually occurs over winter, spring and summer breaks. According to Career Services, mentors present mentees with

Career Services has three different options for student mentorship.

Public Safety Talks Policies Abroad


Co-News Editor Contributing Writer

When a suspected Islamist militant drove a van into a crowd of people in Barcelona in August, killing 14 people and injuring 100, St. John’s says its public safety teams based both stateside and abroad responded swiftly. Denise Vencak, the new head of Public Safety, said that in the immediate wake of the attack, she and her team successfully reached out to every St. John’s student on its Seville, Spain campus to ensure they were safe. “Within a couple hours, we were able to contact and reach out to every student that was in the country at the time and we knew that they were safe,” Vencak said in a recent interview with the Torch, adding that this method is reliant on students giving the University their updated contact information. In light of recent terrorist attacks abroad, students have expressed interest in the public safety procedures practiced on the St. John’s Seville, Paris and Rome campuses. Vencak says that while the approach to security is the same abroad, the execution differs because the campuses are over “3,000 miles away.” “We just continually enhance and adjust [safety procedures] based on what’s going on in the world.” Vencak said.

Entertainment 5


Kanopy: SJU’s Best-Kept Secret St. John’s streaming service provides a wealth of documentaries and films SAMANTHA DENINNO

Staff Writer

During the first week of classes, teachers running through a dreary list of items to buy and assign tasks required for their specific class. Some direct students to a long list of required documentaries to occasionally watch in conjunction with the class. Many, including myself, thought nothing of the site they were hosted on; perhaps they even wrote it off as a site for solely educational purposes, offering nothing that would be of interest to them to search on their own time. Kanopy, the site described, in fact, provides a wealth of films and documentaries to St. John’s students for free. Whether a student is searching for a documentary to complement their extensive research paper or simply desires to have a night in with popcorn and friends, Kanopy has it all. An official statement from St. John’s released in 2014 announced that (at the time) the newly acquired service “provid[ed] access

to high-quality streaming video collections such as PBS, BBC, Criterion and California Newsreel covering a broad range of academic disciplines.” This is an understatement. One hundred and forty-two documentaries span topics from the social sciences to midwifery. Organized by subject, supplier, filmmaker, features, languages, captions and year of production, the database is sure to have a documentary pertaining to any particular subject a student may be interested in. A unique feature that Kanopy also has, unlike other streaming sites such as Netflix, is the ability to search for documentaries using more than one of its 73 subject labels. Every film is tagged with several subjects, making the niche film that a student needs easier to find. The 420 films located in the site’s Criterion Collection, facilitate many long nights featuring eyes glued to a screen and popcorn cooking in the background. Nights filled with classics ranging from American Independents to New Wave French, Amer-

ican Mid-Century to classic silent films and many more. Kanopy offers something for everyone, no matter the taste. For the music inclined, The Beatles’ “A Hard Day’s Night” is available to stream. For fans of the classic femme fatale and love triangle, Francois Truffaut’s “Jules et Jim” is a click away. Even for those who have always wondered what exactly a Charlie Chaplin film was like outside of their short, succinct mention in a history textbook, “The Great Dictator” and “City of Lights” are two of many films of or starring Chaplin. Kanopy is easy to use as well. Similar to the layout of Netflix and other streaming sites, the homepage is customizable. Under their personal accounts, students can save movies to “My List” and can access previously watched in their “Viewing History.” Students can create playlists to watch on certain occasions or certain classes or browse one of numerous Kanopy premade playlists typically released during a designated time of year. Most recently, “Native American Heritage Month’s Special Collection” and “Horror

and Thriller” graced its homepage. If you’ve made it this far, you may be wondering how exactly to get to this free treasure trove of films. The answer is simple. When navigating from the St. John’s library homepage, students should click “Video Collections” under the red heading “Quick Links.” This new page will offer a link to Kanopy itself. By accessing Kanopy through this link, students are acknowledging their eligibility for a free subscription and an account can be created through Facebook, Gmail or a completely new username and password special to the site. Despite St. John’s acquiring a subscription in 2014, Kanopy is not well known to students, especially freshmen, whose teachers do not utilize the site in class. Let Kanopy be a lesson in exploring what St. John’s offers but does not advertise. But for now, on those stressful days where the world seems to be ending, take a deep breath, slow down and put on one of the many free movies St. John’s has to offer.


Global Film Screening of “Cinema Paradiso” The second installment of the newly implemented Global Film Series featured one of Italy’s most famous films, “Cinema Paradiso”from director Giuseppe Tornatore about the transformative power of movies through the eyes of a Sicilian boy. The movie was screened in the Little Theater on Friday, Oct. 27 and students were able to snack on popcorn, gelato and arancini during the showing. “Cinema Paradiso” was released in 1988, but tells a tale that can still be felt in 2017. The movie shows the changes in cinema and the dying trade, all while exploring a young boy’s dream to get out of his small town

different perspectives and it’s something that’s really important and something we should treasure as diversity really is our [St. John’s] strength,” Cantelmo said. He talked about the context of the film prior to the screening and explained that the film takes place in a post World War II Italy right before the Economic Miracle. This, he said, was when the northern and central parts of Italy were taking off economically, but the same could not have been said for the south, where the film takes place. “The town you’re seeing in this film is living through that period and a lot of the prosperity is not touching that town,” Cantelmo said. “It shows the day to day life of that town and in addition the power of the Catholic Church too.”

An interesting fact about some of the actors in the film is that they were scouted in the actual town in which the movie was filmed, like the lead child actor Salvatore Cascio. The event appealed to freshman Julia Connors as she said she would like to attend the next Global Film Series movie from France, “Welcome to the Sticks.” “I liked it [the film] a lot. I would definitely go to another one; I liked it a lot,” she said. “I liked that it was a mix of [being] funny and some drama and a bit of sadness in it,” added freshman Emina Bicic. “Cinema Paradiso” will be donated to the Foreign Language Center for students to access if they could not make it to the Little Theater’s screening. PHOTO COURTESY/YOUTUBE ARROWFILMSUK

Co-News Editor

and experience more than what he already knows. When movie director Salvatore receives the news of the death of a friend back in his small Sicilian hometown, he reminisces on his upbringing and key points in his life. The projectionist at the local movie theater,(Cinema Paradiso) Alfredo, taught Salvatore all he knew about being a projectionist and influenced his love for movies. After many obstacles and heartbreak, Alfredo pushes Salvatore to leave for Rome to pursue his dreams for filmmaking. Curator of the Global Film Series, Professor Douglas Cantelmo, explained why he chose to screen the Italian drama. “What we’re trying to do throughout the Global Film Series is show movies through PHOTO COURTESY/YOUTUBE ARROWFILMSUK


6 Features


Madd Cheap, Madd Convenient KAILEY LICATA

Staff Writer

Many students from St. John’s study abroad; however, not many make a business while overseas. Madison Vogel, a junior marketing major, saw an opportunity and seized it. Vogel started her own nail business, MaddNailss, while studying in Rome. “I saw that it was very expensive to get your nails done in Rome,” Vogel said. “My cousin and I always had our nails done, and she was very homesick.” Noting that her cousin was feeling nostalgic, Vogel purchased the necessary products and began doing her nails to calm her down. “I figured I would just do our nails, but my other friends told me I should do everyone’s because I had the supplies.” Vogel said she was happy that in an attempt to help relieve her cousin of her homesickness, she succceeded. “Getting my nails done by Madison did help to alleviate some of my homesickness,” her cousin, junior student Lindsay Ryder said. “I am very thankful to have had her do my nails while abroad.” After Vogel realized it was turning into a business, she started her own mini nail salon and set prices for the services. Vogel offers regular manicures for $7, UV-gel manicures for $15, powder gel manicures for $20, powder gel tips for $15 and full set of tips for $25. After buying the appropriate products, she practiced and taught herself how to per-

fect each technique. While abroad, many students took advantage of her business. The Long Island native said that her business took off abroad so much that she even worked with customers from other schools. She also had customers that worked in bars in Rome and a lot of people in Bus2Alps, which is one of Europe’s leading tour operators. “Having customers from other schools while abroad was exciting to me,” Vogel said. “I met new people that went to different schools and it really made me feel like I was a real business. It made me feel good to help students around Rome who couldn’t afford to get their nails done by the professional salons.” Now, Vogel is back on the Queens campus. She offers the same services and does nails in her own room in the townhouses. “I continued to do nails after I came back from being abroad because people from my home town wanted me to do manicures on them,” she said. “My services are cheaper than nail salons around me, and the manicures that I give are just as good as a professional nail salon; if not better.” “My nails come out amazing every time! Salon quality with at home convenience,” Lisa LaGrandier, a customer from Long Island, said. Vogel said her decision to go abroad came from her desire to experience new things in different countries.


Student-enterprised nail salon starts while abroad in Rome

Customer displays her square-shaped full-set of nails on a purse.

“I wanted to get to know who I was as a person,” she said. “Going abroad helped me to figure out who I was and what I valued. I found myself when I went abroad and it was the best experience of my life.” For students who are going abroad and need help navigating the nail scene, Vogel recommends taking a nail kit along. “I would say to purchase a cheap nail file and one or two colors from the Essie Gel Couture collection along with the top coat that goes along with the colors from the Gel Couture collection,” she said. “You can find these products in a beauty supply store or maybe even a drugstore. There are a lot of La Gardenias around Europe and they have these products for sure.”

Customer displays her round-shaped gel nails.

Student Discounts Every Johnny Should Use JULIA KOTAEV

Staff Writer

In college, getting the best deal we can on items we purchase is essential, especially since we’re all schooling in NYC. The city can be expensive, and your wallet can only take so much. Luckily, being a college student comes with some perks. There are several student discounts out there for us! Read on and start saving today. 1) Unidays Unidays provides students free & exclusive discounts. You can browse categories from fashion, health & fitness, music, beauty, lifestyle, food, tech, and more. We all say we’re broke college students, but we all love online shopping and receiving packages in the mailroom, so save money while you’re spending money. The great thing is there’s also a Unidays app you can download so you can also use the student discounts in store! There is also a Unidays discount for Megabus, so for all students who use Megabus to go back home or travel, this helps! Go to https://www.myunidays.com to sign up.

2) StudentRush.Org A site called StudentRush.org offers discounted Broadway show tickets and access to museums. Go to http://studentrush.org to sign up! Students can also just show their ID to the box offices at Broadway Shows for a discount. Museums give student discounts, such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art. The Lincoln Center also provides student discounts, as well as Carnegie Hall. Lincoln Center’s venues include The Metropolitan Opera, New York City Ballet and the Lincoln Center Theatre. Also, the hip and exciting art institution Moma PS1, which is located in Long Island City (not too far from us), offers $5 admission for students. 3) Outdoors The Brooklyn Botanic Garden offers a $6 ticket for students. East Yoga offers a 10 class card, which is valid for two months, for $100 with a student ID or five classes for $50. Check out eastyoga.com for more info. 4) Amazon This is the OG student discount. The one we all need because that free two-day shipping has saved our lives one way or the other. Prime student affers you a free 6-month trial when you sign up, and it costs $5.49 per month when your trial ends.

5) Apple Music & Spotify


Apple Music and Spotify Premium both offer a $4.99 monthly membership. With Spotify, you also have free access to Hulu. Fun fact: You can sign up with Apple Music through Unidays!

These cards are JUST for student discounts, which is amazing. The ISIC card is an international student identity card offers you student discounts internationally in over 130 countries. For everyone planning to study abroad at SJU, this is a must. Ordering a card takes 4 weeks for delivery, or you can order your card to be delivered in the country you’re studying after you arrive. You can download the free ISIC global app on your phone, or check out www.isic. org. The Student Advantage Card is a paid card, and for $20 plus $2.50 shipping, you have access to several discounts. Amtrak and Greyhound are partnered with this card, as well as many local stores around a college’s area! These discounts are just a few of MANY. I’ve found that the best thing to do is simply ask businesses if they have a student discount available. You have nothing to lose, except paying full price. Don’t lose your Storm Card, or you’ll end up losing these deals!

6) News The Economist, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal, all offer student discounts for digital/print subscriptions. 7) Car Rentals Budget, Avis and Hertz offer up to a 20% student discount. 8) Sports The New York Mets offers students tickets for $10 with a valid ID. At Yankees games, showing your student ID can get you one half price ticket for select games. For Knicks games, students can save up to 50 percent on select tickets if you show your student ID at Madison Square Garden’s box office. 9) Cell Phones Sprint, Verizon, AT&T and T Mobile hae student discounts on select plans/for monthly bills. Call your provider and see what they offer!




Meet New Student Success Librarian: Heather Ball BEVERLY DANQUAH

Features Editor

Hanging on the wall in her new office is a kid’s crusader set Halloween costume. The set features a plastic shield and two criss-crossed plastic swords, an ensemble consistent with her love for medieval studies. Johnnies, meet your new Student Success Librarian, Heather Ball. Born and raised on Long Island, Ball has aspired to be a librarian since she was just four years old. “I card cataloged my Beatrix Potter books for my stuffed animals,” she recalled. Ball attended New York University (NYU) where she started out as a math and physics major on a pre-med track, then switched her major to medieval studies. “When I was interested [in medieval studies] and I switched over, the thing that made the transition easier for me was I started with Latin,” she said. “Latin is like math in a language form. There’s always rules if you know how to parse the words, you know the exact answer.” She then furthered her education by attaining her first master’s degree in medieval studies from the University of Glasgow, and then received a dual certification in archives and preservation from Queens College. Ball’s career-path didn’t navigate as planned; after she decided to pursue her second master’s degree, she took a job at an advertising agency to pay her way through. Little did she know that her job would turn into a 10-year livelihood. “I went from being a temp receptionist to 10 years later being the global networks research manager,” she said. “I don’t do change well, hence why it took me 10 years to get up the courage and make the leap.” Ball said she reached a point in her career where she realized that “happiness shouldn’t come at the expense of convenience.” The Astoria-resident has also dabbled peripherally in academia and libraries for the last 10 years. She has worked at the Library of Congress, the Morgan Library & Museum in Murray Hill and taught information literacy at ASA College in Herald Square. “I taught from six to 10 at night,” Ball said. Ball’s new role at St. John’s includes observing retention rates and graduation rates data at the University, reaching out to first-year students, working with the library for the benefit of the students, teaching students how to use resources at the library that they didn’t know existed, and ultimately, ensuring student success. “I’ll then see how the library can put forth initiatives to kind of bump those numbers up and increase our graduation rates,” Ball said. “I’ll look to see why students may be leaving or may not be

completing on time and trying to help them in their outcome.” Ball will also be working alongside other centers and institutes on campus, including the Office of Institutional Research, to try to assemble different information. After gathering such information, Ball will then put it together into a narrative that will translate well for student success. Ball said she knew she wanted to jumpstart her career in libraries at St. John’s because of the University’s mission. “It’s really important to me,” she said. “It was always one of those places that I aspired to work at too.” When Ball isn’t indulging in medieval literature or watching a movie, she’s planning trips for herself and her friends. She’s been to every continent except Australia and Africa — both of which she plans to visit soon. “Traveling gives you a more well-rounded perspective,” Ball said. “I think it’s super important to see other people’s perspectives and see the same issues or problems through different eyes.” Ball said she encourages students to take advantage of the study abroad opportunities available, stating that it is one of the best decisions that she’s ever made. “If there is an opportunity to work abroad or study abroad, absolutely do it,” she said. “Your friends will be here when you get back — your family will be here when you get back.”


Long Island native encourages students to travel and chase dreams


One Year Later... COMPILED BY


In the year since the election of President Donald Trump, students and staff within the St. John’s community were active in voicing their concerns, hopes and opinions surrounding policies he’s enacted. Here are some of those moments the Torch documented since Nov. 8, 2016.

h c r a M e v o L Peace and

Student Affairs Letter Following Election Nov. 16, 2016 — The Division of Student Affairs released a letter to the student body regarding services available to students following the presidential election.

other crimes and ents te a h in e ik a sp p, stud —Following President-elect Trum bed as 6 1 0 2 , 5 1 Nov. then descri s linked to ne student controversie g campus for what o n marched alo .” s e m ti ts Unite, “trying um, Feminis Student tr c e p S y b ther rican as put toge e Latin Ame The event w onsciousness and th fC . Students o among other groups , n o ti a iz Organ

Gempesaw Wants DACA Expanded, Not Repealed

Sep. 6, 2017 — Following the Trump Administration’s announcement to repeal the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program known as DACA, Gempesaw released a statement referring to his own status as an immigrant, and said he signed a statement last November “calling for the DACA program to be ‘upheld, continued and expanded.’” He said that the University will continue to monitor the status of the repeal to determine how best to “respond and support those impacted by the decision.”

The letter, sent from Kathryn Hutchinson, the vicepresident of Student Affairs, said, “We want to be sure that the strong feelings felt on both sides are not expressed through intolerance, intimidation, or discrimination—all of which are inconsistent with our University core values.”

Seeking Sanctuary Nov. 28, 2016 — 465 students signed a sanctuary petition for St. John’s to protect members of the community who could face deportation following Trump’s proposed immigration policies. In an effort to address concerns, the University sent out an email to students about its policies regarding the immigration status of students.

Trump Windows Nov. 16, 2016 — Four suites in Century Hall hung pro-Trump flags that sparked controversy and backlash from the student body. The residents of the suites argued that they were demonstrating their right to freedom of speech. Other suites in Century later hung a “Love Trumps Hate” poster and a Barack Obama election poster.

Pres. Gempesaw: SJU Welcomes Immigrants Jan. 30, 2017 — SJU President Bobby Gempesaw released a statement to students regarding the travel ban that temporarily suspended the issuance of visas and placed a ban on entry into the U.S. by citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

New York Women’s City March

He assured the SJU community, “As a Catholic and Vincentian University with a 147-year history, St. John’s has—and will always be—a place that welcomes immigrants and the children of immigrants.”

March Against the Ban Feb. 6, 2017 – Students Morgan Popek, Katyi Leeman and Deja Leigh organized a march against the travel ban in protest of the executive order banning citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the U.S. The Torch later spoke with Muslim students about the order and the effect it has on them, and also made a documentary on the Muslim Student Association.

Jan. 21, 2 0 students 17 —The day after participate In d in the N auguration, dozen ew York C s ity Wome of St. John’s Protesters n’s March attended . reform, cli to promote m causes. It ate science and h women’s rights, im ea was the la m rgest prote lthcare reform, am igration ong other st in U.S. history. TORCH DESIGN/NAOMI ARNOT & BRYANT RODRIGUEZ TORCH PHOTOS/GINA PALERMO, SIETA LEON & STEPHANIE ALIAGA PHOTO OF PRES. TRUMP/NATIONAL MUSEUM OF THE U.S. NAVY

Students, Make Your Voices

HEARD through the Student Evaluation of Teaching Assessment!

November 17–December 10 Check your St. John’s e-mail account for a special message urging you to share feedback about your classes. Our student evaluation of teaching instrument makes it quick and easy to provide feedback about your instructors.

Student Evaluation of Teaching Features • The e-mails you receive will contain links to the evaluations. • Subsequent reminders will include links only to evaluations you have not yet completed.

• Your feedback and insights really count. • As always, your responses are totally anonymous.

The University and your professors use your responses to improve courses and curricula. Please check your St. John’s e-mail account for messages from the Office of Institutional Research.

Questions? Please contact Office of Institutional Research ir@stjohns.edu | 718-990-1869 M1-11567VC

Opinion 11


Flames of the Torch Reflecting on the one year anniversary of the 2016 election Managing Board XCV



Suzanne Ciechalski, Editor-in-Chief Bryant Rodriguez, Managing Editor



Ariana Ortiz News Editor Isabella Bruni News Editor Derrell Bouknight Sports Editor Dylan Hornik Sports Editor Brendan Myers Assistant Sports Editor Beverly Danquah Features Editor Michael Ambrosino Entertainment Editor Angelica Acevedo Opinion Editor

Steven Verdile Design Editor Lauren Finegan Photo Editor Courtney Dixon Chief Copy Editor Amanda Negretti Assistant Photo Editor Nick Bello Assistant Photo Editor Erin Bola Social Media Manager Angelica Acevedo Social Media Manager Jim Baumbach Adviser

sju torch productions


torcheic@gmail.com torchads@gmail.com

The Torch, St. John’s University O’Connor Hall - B Level 8000 Utopia Parkway Queens, NY 11439

Staff and contributors Alessia Pisciotta Angela Kellett Anika Seoparson Arturo Enamorado Beatriz Da Costa Carolina Rodriguez Chyna Davis

Darren Maraj Fatima Sajjad Irene Sakalis Jillian Ortiz Julia Kotaev Kailey Licata Keisha Raymond

Kendall McCormik Madelyn Starks Morgan Mullings Rakesh Singh Samantha De Ninno Shabib Afzal Spencer Clinton

Editorial policy

About the Torch

Editorials are the opinions of the Editorial Board of the Torch. Columns and other content 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 administration of St. John’s 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.

The Torch is the official, independent student newspaper of St. John’s University. The Torch is written, edited, designed and produced by students of the University. The Torch is published on on most Wednesdays, with approximately 20 issues throughout the academic year. Copies are distributed for free on campus and through mail subscriptions.

Contributions All letters submitted for publication must include the author’s name, email and affliliation to St. John’s. Limit letters to 350 words. Submissions may be edited for clarity. Please submit letters to torchopinion@gmail.com

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It’s been quite the year since since Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. In that time, several year-defining events have occurred — many that were felt (and continue to be felt) right here on the St. John’s campus. Throughout all of it, our students and our University, have remained engaged and responsive to concerns shared by many across the U.S. Following the election itself, students led a “Love March” through the St. John’s campus, and the University eventually released a letter telling students that, “We want to be sure that the strong feelings felt on both sides are not expressed through intolerance, intimidation or discrimination — all of which are inconsistent with our University core values.” For the most part, we’ve seen students on both sides of the political spectrum express their feelings in this way, which we consider a bright spot in a year many consider marred by politics. Throughout the year, students have peacefully assembled for various causes, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Muslim Ban and the Women’s March. Student Organizations have set up different events that have allowed students to discuss what concerns them about the current state of politics in the U. S., and what they think we, as a society, need to do to move forward. Aside from student response, the University, we believe, has tried to be responsive

and accommodating to students’ concerns. Following the election, Student Affairs announced a panel discussion with immigration experts for students to participate in. Other times, President Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw has offered words of encouragement to students who voiced concerns about their status at the University given the current political climate. Most notably, St. John’s informed students last November that it doesn’t track a student’s immigration status. And while we’ve seen students come together, there have, of course, been moments of division, too. The most memorable moment was a window branded by the Torch and other students as “Trump windows.” An outcry occurred among students after a suite in Century Hall hung pro-Trump flags in its window. This led others to follow suit, and it angered and upset some. At the time, the students in the first suite to hang the flags told the Torch they were exercising their right to free speech. All of these occurrences have paved the way for thoughtful discussion between students, faculty and administrators, which we believe to be a positive thing among so much negativity. While the University — and the rest of the country — may still have a lot to figure out, we as students can take pride and solace in the fact that we have the platforms and opportunities to express ourselves during such a rocky time in American politics.

Vincentian View: A Glimpse of Dorothy Day FR. PATRICK GRIFFIN, C.M. Special to the Torch Is there anyone whom you would really like to meet? I mean, someone with whom you could sit together. Thus, not Jesus or Beethoven or Newton. Someone more like Paul McCartney or J. K. Rowling or Zoe Saldana. I confess to having no great desire to be photographed with Pope Francis or Barack Obama or Barbara Streisand. It just does not interest me. They are all good people, but being depicted beside them is not important to me. (Though, I would be happy to have a picture with Lou Carnesecca.) No, the person whom I would like to have personally met in my lifetime is Dorothy Day. I would have been 28 when she died in 1980.At that point in my life, I still did not have enough sense to understand what kind of person she was.

Like me, she was born in Brooklyn. I could have met her along the streets of our city before she died in Manhattan. This place was home to both of us. Go to Wikipedia and look at the picture of her at 19. Do I imagine the depth of her intelligence and soul in this photo? I have read some of her writings. Her autobiography, “The Long Loneliness,” reveals something of her journey to becoming the holy woman that she was — though she would never describe herself in those words. She co-founded the “Catholic Worker Movement” which connects direct service of the poor with non-violent intervention on their behalf. Her essays in the newspaper of the movement reveal her love of justice coupled with and flowing from a deep faith. Day heard the Gospel in a personal and profound way. Some years ago, there was a wonderful movie which told her story: “Entertaining Angels.” It is worth a look. Day is one of those people who would have been close to the heart of Vincent de

Paul. Both she and he walked the streets of great cities with eyes wide open to the needs of those most marginalized. Both drew people together in compassionate service of these less fortunate ones. Next week, we will welcome Kate Hennessy to campus. She is the granddaughter of Day and has just completed a story of her grandmother, “The World Will Be Saved By Beauty: An Intimate Portrait of Dorothy Day.” I think that listening to a personal presentation of Dorothy from one who knew and loved her will be a special gift to our University community. I am eager to hear her. I wish that I had already read the book and could bring that understanding and ardor to the conversation. The joy of meeting Day face-to-face and speaking some few words with her is not to be mine on this side of the Kingdom of God. Listening to one who has had that experience in an intimate and personal way will

need to suffice. Our University community will know that pleasure as we open our doors and ears to Hennessy on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 5 p.m in Marillac 232.


12 Opinion


Why Silence Celebrities For Sharing Their Stories? MORGAN MULLINGS

Staff Writer

You don’t have to be a politician to talk about politics, most of us know that by tweeting about the election results or arguing on Facebook. So why was there so much controversy about Dave East’s anti-Trump rant at this year’s Tip-Off? The Basketball performance was going well and (some) people were rapping along to the words of his songs. Tip-Off was a great time all around, and much less startling than Desiigner’s oh-so-memorable performance last year. But toward the end, many of us remember him asking the crowd to “put their middle finger up to Trump.” Students took to social media as usual to express their distaste for the political jab. It’s an ongoing theme of asking celebrities, especially musical artists, to keep politics or their personal beliefs out of their work. Jimmy Kimmel talks too much about health care, Jemele Hill should keep politics out of sports and Eminem should never rap about politics. However, this is contrary to their occupations over all. Music is an art, as well as acting and being a TV personality. Life is political, and not in the “left or right” way that we sometimes


think. People feel deeply affected by what goes on in the U.S., sometimes emotionally. Why ask them to keep those feelings out of what they do everyday, or what they love the most? Celebrities who choose the limelight also make a conscious choice to spread what they believe in now that they have such a large following.

We’re human — we want people to believe what we believe. And let’s face it; a lot of people just don’t believe in Trump’s “ideals.” If students are allowed to put Trump and Clinton campaign flags in their windows for public display, Dave East can say whatever he wants to a crowd of students. Art and music, especially, is about telling

your own story. It’s confusing as to why someone would be forced to leave their political leanings out of that, especially when many students here identify very heavily with their political party or other organizations. “He just couldn’t keep politics out of TipOff?” No, he couldn’t keep his own — maybe vulgar — story out of Tip-Off. Dave East raps about women, money, and drugs, but most of us don’t say, “why couldn’t he just keep the drug conversation out of his music?” We don’t get to pick and choose what others want to put in their music. There are many parts of other people’s lives we don’t agree with. If he had screamed “F*ck Hillary Clinton,” I would have chuckled and moved on. Dave East is Dave East. And I am who I am. If you’re the type of person who feels threatened by every belief contrary to yours, be careful when you run into any philosophy or theology professor (and you will, this is St. John’s after all) or a student with a different major than you. While some beliefs are harmful, not all of them require our anger. We aren’t bothered by it every single day, so we shouldn’t condemn people who have a pedestal that’s just a bit bigger than ours.

Trump’s Politics Are to Blame For Let Transgender People International Student Admission Drop Serve in the Military Staff Writer

The Torch recently reported a decline in international student admissions. Considering that prior to fall 2017 the number of enrolled international students and applications had steadily increased, the trend begs the question as to why the sudden decline occurred in the first place. As an international student myself, I can definitively say that there are a number of reasons why one would decide not to study abroad in America. There are the more obvious reasons: It can be financially taxing to attend an American university. It can also be emotionally difficult being away from home, or there might be too much of a cultural difference between the U.S. and someone’s home country. Then there are some more intricate reasons such as logistics, housing and the most important issue, what I affirm is the culprit in this matter, immigration issues. In the past two years, many things have changed. The message that the United States is sending out to the rest of the world is that immigrants are not welcome. With the recent policies initiated by President Donald Trump, such as the “Muslim Ban,” students coming from various countries no longer feel that they, their culture or even their race are welcome in America. Since Trump was elected, the overall stance of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been anything but welcoming. Going to school in the U. S. when you’re

MADELYN STARKS not a citizen is difficult, but it is even harder to be granted entry to the country in the first place. After an international student is admitted to an American university, they must request an I-20 form from the institution that accepted them. An I-20 is a form that can be used by the U.S. government to determine that you are eligible for a F1 Student Visa. After receiving an I-20 form from their school, an international student begins the U.S. Visa application process. This is a lengthy process which eventually requires them to go to the nearest U.S. embassy — which, in my case, was on the island of Barbados, which cost about $200 to get to by plane — and be interviewed by a U.S. immigration officer to deem them fit for Visa status. When I went through this process in 2015, I felt very confident that I would be granted entry into the country. Even more so, attending universities in America is an investment. International students are not eligible for FAFSA and cannot work outside of their campuses. If you were a Muslim student from a predominantly Islamic country, why would you invest in living in a country that does not want you? Why would you go through the application process when you do not feel confident that you will be accepted once you venture to the nearest embassy? Consequently, even if St. John’s administration puts out their most welcoming call to the international community, it is the U.S. government who gets the final say in the matter.

Staff Writer

Last Monday Federal Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly blocked key segments of President Donald Trump’s military policy, which bans transgender people from serving in the military. This policy is prejudiced and it infringes upon their civil rights and liberties. Before the decision was made, Trump announced over the summer on Twitter that he would roll back the Obamabased policy that allowed transgender men and women to serve in the armed forces, which was only in place for a year. According to The Washington Post, Trump announced this policy without proper advisement. Gender identity does not deem a person unfit to serve in the United States Armed Forces. The president is displaying obvious prejudice. Not only is this a civil rights issue, but also an economic issue, as he stated that the military could not afford the “tremendous medical costs and disruption” of transgender people who serve.” However RAND Corporation, an American non-profit organization which provides research to the United States Armed Forces, found that allowing transgender people to serve would cost very little. The cost to the Pentagon for transitional procedures would be around $2.9 million to $4.2 million a year. Another RAND Corporation study

found that annual medical costs for transgender service men and women (which includes hormones, transitional surgery procedures and therapies) would be around $8.4 million, at its maximum. In comparison, the military spent $84 million on erectile dysfunction medications (Viagra and Cialis) in 2014. This is another example of the president exaggerating to prove his point. It is insulting to transgender people and the American public as a whole, to entertain discriminatory policies with not even a sliver of evidence.


This policy is prejudiced and it infringes upon [transgender people’s] civil rights and liberties.

Top democratic and republican leaders such as Nancy Pelosi, Kamala Harris, Cory Gardner and celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Jackie Evancho — who sang at Trump’s inauguration and has a transgender sister — have said that the ban is a civil rights violation. This announcement proves that this administration has a clear vision of undermining the efforts of qualified transgender Americans. Even though judges blocked the policy, it’s time the president stopped using his power to discriminate against transgender people.

Opinion 13


Thanksgiving: The First vs. The Modern IRENE SAKALIS

Staff Writer

Modern Thanksgiving is essentially a celebration of 4 F’s—family, friends, football and food, which are all similar themes to those of the “first Thanksgiving” in 1621. Our kindergarten teachers taught us that the Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians sat around a long table in the woods to enjoy a feast in celebration of the colonist’s first successful harvest, which is not inaccurate. According to Time Magazine, over 100 people attended the First Thanksgiving to “eat and partake in games.” Sound familiar? Time Magazine also reported that the eating lasted for three days because the Wampanoag people had to endure a two-day journey on foot to get to the feast. Today, we have modern transportation to help us reach our holiday destinations, but making long trips to see loved ones is still customary. The food may be the element of the first Thanksgiving that has remained most similar over time. There were, in fact, wild turkeys on the table, according to Smithsonian, but primary sources suggest that turkey was not the focus. It was served alongside waterfowl (most likely duck), deer and venison, according to Englishman William Bradford’s written account. Smithsonian even specifies that the poultry may have been stuffed as well — most likely with onions and herbs, rather than the bread and chestnut mixtures we are accustomed to. A variety of pumpkin and squashes were also present at the first Thanksgiving. Alas, there was no pumpkin pie, since the colonists lacked wheat flour and butter, according to Smithsonian. Although there was no dessert, National Geo-

graphic suggests that the 1621 barley harvest makes it a possibility that the first Thanksgiving included beer. Not so different from the modern day American Thanksgivings where people relax in front of their TVs with their Budweisers. The last similarity between modern Thanksgiving and the first Thanksgiving is that the peace didn’t last long. While Thanksgiving in our homes may involve occasional political squabbles (especially last year with the unusual presidential election), the aftermath of the first Thanksgiving was much more severe. The first settlers and the Native Americans actually lived in peace for about 10 years, according to Time. As tens of thousands of settlers arrived later in the 17th century, they spread lethal diseases to the Native Americans and fights erupted over land. Today, people of American Indian and Alaska Native descent make up only 0.9% of the U.S. population, accord-

ing to the 2010 Census. Yet, as a country, we continue to neglect the community through instances such as the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline. It would be easy to apply one community feast as a universal symbol of peace, but we would be ignoring the underlying systemic problems that continue to fester in the U.S. We can celebrate Thanksgiving and we should be thankful for what we have, but we should still be aware that the founding of this country came at a steep price to Native Americans.


A Call For More South-Asian Events on Campus PHOTO COURTESY/FATIMA SAJJAD


Contributing Writer Dozens of St. John’s University students gathered at Marillac Terrace on Oct. 28 to celebrate the arrival of Navaratri, a ninenight festival that Hindus observe during autumn every year. The event that was held on campus was referred to as a “garba” or Gujrati dance, and was organized by SJU’s Indian Subcontinent Student Organization (ISSO) as an opportunity to collectively celebrate the traditions that are associated with Navaratri. It was surprising to witness the turnout of the student-run event considering it was held on a Saturday night, an evening that most college students prefer to spend off campus. The events of the night consisted of introductions to the members of ISSO, appetizers, live-singing, a cultural dance performed by SJU’s South-Asian Dance Team (RAAZ), a taste of authentic indian cuisine, a sari-wrapping contest, group prayer, and finally, a traditional garba (dance) in which everyone was welcome participate in regardless of their faith or culture. As a South-Asian, it pleases me to attend events where the traditions of a culture I am familiar with are celebrated. Although I am a Pakistani-Muslim, I grew up being accustomed to the songs, food and traditions of my neighboring country, India.

Many Pakistanis are used to the sounds of Bollywood, the food that is similarly spiced to ours, and the clothing that is stitched and embroidered the same way that ours are designed. Considering that Pakistan was a part of India until 1947, a vast amount of our culture is inspired by Indian traditions; with religion, however, being the only thing that distinctly separates the two cultures from each other. It was quite delightful observing, listening and tasting the parts that essentially high-

light the embodiment of Indian culture and religion. Regardless of my own background and ethnicity, I enjoyed singing along to the songs that I was raised listening to and eating the food that was cooked and seasoned the way that I associate with “being home.” The hall was decorated colorfully, the students in attendance were dressed extravagantly and it was refreshing to be sitting within a place that vibrated genuine, pure energy that is rare to find in most occasions. I want to commend SJU’s ISSO for the

ability to make anyone that attended, regardless of their background, feel welcome and for encouraging all to open up to the culture in a way that we weren’t used to. The music, food and dances were all exhilarating to participate in. I would like to see more representation of South Asian culture on campus through student-run events and activities. I highly encourage students from here on out to take a stronger initiative to push and promote events similar to this on campus through better forms of advertisement. I was initially informed of ISSO’s Garba after observing a flyer posted on the staircase wall on the second floor of the D’Angelo Center (DAC) on campus. I give credit to the people responsible for creating the colorful flyer — however, I admit that I wouldn’t have taken the time to observe its content if it were advertised in black and white, for example. Increased promotion of these such events is important for club members to engage in because doing so allows other South Asian students, such as myself, to feel as if they have a stronger form of representation on campus. The festivities of Garba positively rejuvenated me in a way that I find hard to describe, therefore I hope to see more of an initiative to advertise the occasion of South Asian cultural events at SJU.

14 Sports


Women’s Soccer Fails to Make The Playoffs for First Time Since 2012 Doubleheader KEISHA RAYMOND

Staff Writer

Looking to build off a 2016 campaign, that saw them reach the Big East semifinals, the St. John’s women’s soccer team kicked off the 2017 season by winning four of their first six games, which included a season-opening tie against La Salle. The team, however, saw a number of games slip away, including four consecutive losses. The Johnnies ended their four-game skid with a 1-0 win against Creighton but lost the next three games to Big East rivals Marquette, Providence and Butler. The losses

were followed by a three-game winning streak that ended when they fell to DePaul in their season finale. The team’s inability to score goals at last season’s rate furthered their struggles and led to an 8-9-1 overall mark. The Red Storm had a total of 17 goals this season compared to the last year’s total of 24, averaging 0.94 goals per game, down 0.26 percent from their 2016 clip. The team also struggled in conference play, posting a 4-5 record. Despite not making into the Big East Tournament, St. John’s had a few members rewarded for their play. Junior Christina Bellero who led the team in goals with seven-and seniors Allie Moar and Jesse Schae-


Freshman Maia Cabrera was named to the All-Big East Freshman Team.

fer were selected to the All-Big East Second Team, while Maia Cabrera earned All-Big East Freshman Team honors. Bellero ranked sixth in the Big East with 17 points and fifth with seven goals. She was also named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll four times during the season, according to athletic communications. Moar finished her St. John’s soccer career with a few honors. Moar was selected to the Big East All-Rookie Team 2014, the Big East All-Tournament Team in 2015 and earned All-Big East Second Team honors in 2016. She was named a Preseason All-Big East selection this season. Schaefer was named to the Big East All-Rookie Team in 2014 along with Moar and the Big East All-Tournament Team last season. She was a four-year starter under Head Coach Ian Stone. Had they won or forced a draw against DePaul, the Red Storm would have secured a spot in the Big East Women’s Soccer Championship field for the fifth consecutive year. Stone’s team did create a few scoring chances and managed to put pressure on the Blue Demons in the second half, firing a fury of shots towards the net as St. John’s attempted to save their season. Cabrera barely missed the net in 50th and 52nd minutes. Bellero couldn’t capitalize on a scoring opportunity two minutes later. With the game coming to a close, Mariela Jacome’s shot off a throw in went wide as time expired, ending the Red Storm’s streak of five consecutive postseason appearances.

Pro Practice Inspired Red Storm

Women’s basketball team learns from WNBA squad


Co-Sports Editor

Imagine watching Picasso paint a masterpiece, sitting next to the canvas and seeing the onslaught of ideas glow in his eyes. Or watching Mozart compose a piano sonata, working through his ideas to realize a finished product. It would be an absolute privilege to watch some of the leading minds in any discipline go through their creative processes. The St. John’s women’s basketball team had that opportunity over the summer when the Washington Mystics took time out of their WNBA season to visit and practice in Taffner Field House. “Anytime we have a chance to be around great players and coaches, especially at the pro level, it’s a great experience for our players,” Head Coach Joe Tartamella said at the time. “We are thankful to Coach Thibault and the Mystics organization for giving us the opportunity to watch and learn.” It’s not all that often that a pro team, men’s or women’s, voluntarily opens up shop next to a campus bookstore, but it has actually happened twice in an 18-month span at St. John’s. In February 2016, the Golden State Warriors took the day after a tilt against the Knicks at Madison Square Garden to visit with the men’s team. Just like Golden State, for which men’s Head Coach Chris Mullin played for


The Red Storm and the Washington Mystics pose for a picture after practice in July.

13 seasons, the basketball program has a healthy relationship with the Mystics. They were the recipient of the first-ever WNBA Draft pick to hail from St. John’s in 2013, when they selected standout guard Nadira McKenith with the 17th overall pick. Just three years later, after the 2016 season, Washington selected that season’s Big East scoring champion, Danaejah Grant, with the 31st overall pick. McKenith played two years in the WNBA and Grant just signed a contract with Gigantes de Carolina in Puerto Rico, one of the most successful teams in the island’s top-flight women’s league. “We’ve just had really good players and great staff,” Tartamella said. “The University, in 2002, really started to give support

to the program and that’s when you see a change…We’ve been able to show a track record of being able to [send players to the pros].” Tartamella has led St. John’s to a playoff berth in each of his first five seasons. Watching his success is quite like watching Picasso or Mozart. In this case, though, the master knows that there’s always a way to improve and push his players to new heights. “Players that come here have dreams of getting drafted,” he added. “For years, we heard about how that would never happen here. For our players to continue to strive to be a part of the WNBA or playing overseas, that’s something that we want to expose them to as much as we can.”


Co-Sports Editor

We’re caught in the crosshairs of the most exciting time of the year for sports. MLB is still high off the euphoria of a dramatic seven-game World Series, the NHL and the NBA are just hitting their strides and football is in the midle of a hectic season both in the pros and in college, with injuries and upsets aplenty. The same can be said about Red Storm sports, with volleyball, men’s soccer, fencing and both basketball teams all playing. The men’s soccer team has advanced to the Big East Tournament semifinals in its first postseason appearance since 2012, while the men’s basketball squad will try to make its first trip to the NCAA Tournament in three seasons. It’s been an uneven couple of years for Head Coach Chris Mullin, who won just a handful of games in his first season but improved to 14 victories last winter. Still, the Red Storm’s 2016–17 season was plagued with defensive inconsistency and hobbled by a strong Big East conference that sent a slew of teams to the Big Dance. Luckily for Mullin, he has the perfect model of rebuilding success in Dr. Dave Masur’s program. The men’s soccer team does business exactly the way that the men’s hoops squad should this season. From 2014–16, the Johnnies won just 14 games on the pitch. Masur’s team had trouble retaining players, and eventually ended up with a raw roster that needed time to develop chemistry and skill. Since then, they have been nearly unstoppable, and it’s only happened in the last three months. This season, the Red Storm have had three separate winning streaks of three or more games, and defeated a pair of ranked opponents in the process. Masur and his side have done it by playing to their strengths, namely relying on their veteran defense to keep games close. A handful of key defensive players, like David Enstrom, Ben Roth and Jordan Shankle, are juniors or seniors, and as a result, the team has allowed less than 0.65 goals per game. Offensively, they rely on senior Harry Cooksley to create space and try to capitalize on every chance they get. A perfect example is Cooksley’s three-assist performance against Creighton in the conference tournament’s first round. Mullin needs to follow Masur’s lead. He needs to trust Shamorie Ponds and Marcus LoVett, the team’s dynamic sophomore duo that led the team in scoring, to make the important shots. They are to the basketball team what the back line is to the soccer team: the most talented part of a promising team. Like the men’s soccer team, the Johnnies have to lean on the strongest part of their weakest link. In their case, it would be Marvin Clark II and Tariq Owens to hold down the fort on defense. Their play could mask the deficiencies that their perimeter defense displays, like Cooksley (and Filippo Ricupati) carrying an otherwise mundane offense. If both Red Storm teams continue to play to their strengths, playoff berths wont be hard to come by.

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Survive and Advance: Men’s Soccer Moves on to Conference Semifinals DERRELL BOUKNIGHT

Co-Sports Editor

It only took seven minutes for Alistair Johnston to feel the game shift in St. John’s favor. It was solidified when Harry Cooksley dribbled toward the left side of the box and kicked the ball over to Matt Forster, who scored the Johnnies’ first goal three minutes earlier. Johnston ran down the middle of the field, threw his right hand in the air, and skied for a header on a pinpoint pass from Forster. His goal put the Red Storm up 2-0, a critical one that gave the team momentum and led to a 3-1 win over Creighton in the first round of the Big East Men’s Soccer Tournament Saturday night at Belson Stadium. “We knew that as soon as we get our goals in ahead, we feel comfortable,” Johnston said after the game. “We feel like we can win any game, especially when we get a lead. I just felt like once we got those two goals, we knew we were in the driver’s seat.” St. John’s was aggressive from the opening kick, attacking the heart of the Bluejays’ defense and not allowing them a chance to match up. Forster’s goal came following a beautiful pass from Cooksley, the All-Big East First Team selection and Midfielder of the Year. He led Forster, whose kick sailed over the arms of Creighton goalkeeper Michael Kluver, and into he back of the net. As the pace of the game slowed, the Bluejays capitalized and took advantage. Big East


Alistair Johnston powered the Red Storm with two goals against Creighton on Nov. 4.

Co-Offensive Player of the Year Ricky Lopez-Espin scored off a deflection 21 minutes into the half, cutting the St. John’s lead to 2-1. Creighton’s offense made up for the two early goals, establishing a rhythm and firing a barrage of shots, many landing wide right off the foot of Lopez-Espin. Despite the goal and the pace favoring Creighton for several minutes, St. John’s Head Coach Dave Masur was still proud of the way his team fought without letting up. “After they scored and we got reorganized at halftime, I thought we had a little more

aggression and a better second half,” Masur said. “It culminated with a really good ball from Harry to Alistair for the third goal, which put the game away. We defended really well, we played hard, and everybody contributed, so I’m happy to see that.” The second half of the game emulated the first, with both teams getting past the defense and in close on several shot attempts. Creighton had many opportunities to score, but the Red Storm’s defense escaped without surrendering another goal. Kluver’s three saves on the night all came in a 13-second span during the 69th minute.

Several St. John’s players found themselves near the net but unable to get past Kluver and the scrappy defense trying to save their season. Four minutes later, Cooksley’s free kick from outside the box led to Johnston’s second goal of the night. From there, Creighton was unable to establish any momentum, securing a St. John’s trip to D.C. “He’s the most talented player in NCAA soccer,” Johnston said of Cooksley’s performance. “There’s just no one like him in the game.” Saturday night was also a historic one for St. John’s. According to athletic communications, Cooksley became the first Red Storm player since Tadeu Terra in 2010 to record three assists in one game. It was also the team’s first win in a tournament game since capturing its ninth conference title in 2011, and their first time scoring three goals in a conference tournament game since defeating Rutgers 3-0 eight years ago. Less than two weeks after defeating the then-No. 10 Hoyas 1-0 at home, St. John’s looks to carry momentum from Saturday’s contest into the semifinal round. Masur knows that in order to win, his team will have to execute on many levels. “We made a couple of big blocks, a couple of big plays,” he said. “We’re going to have to continue to do that…Along with our intensity, our defensive organization, and our ability to connect balls forward.” Kick-off for Wednesday’s game is 1 p.m. at Shaw Field.

Johnnies Dominate First Exhibition Against AIC

The Red Storm kick off their regular season this Friday at Carnesecca BRENDAN MYERS

Assistant Sports Editor Shamorie Ponds’ 21 points and Marvin Clark II’s double-double fueled St. John’s to a comfortable 84-52 victory against Division II program American International College on Nov. 1 at Carnesecca Arena. St. John’s came out of the gates firing. They opened the game on a 10-0 run, ignited by three pointers by Marcus LoVett and Ponds, and never looked back. The team led by as many as 33 points as the second half waned down. “I thought offensively we shared the ball well,” Head Coach Chris Mullin said after the game. The Johnnies racked up 17 assists on 33 field goals made. Justin Simon led the team with seven assists but was limited to 27 minutes after getting into early foul trouble. Mullin also was happy with Simon running the break, which freed Ponds and LoVett in transition. Simon and Clark’s versatility was on full display Wednesday night. Simon battled players both on the block and on the perimeter. Clark also showed he could battle down low after grabbing 14 rebounds. Clark showed his offensive abilities, taking his defender from the arc and driving into the lane for easy layups. Clark’s highlight play came in the first half, when he picked off a pass around mid-

court and took it coast to coast for an emphatic slam. Clark noted after the game that the staff is trying to mold him into a similar kind of player as versatile Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green. “If you look at them physically, we didn’t have guys like that on the roster last year,” Mullin said of Simon and Clark. “Justin’s ability to play point guard at 6-foot-6 really frees up Shamorie and Marcus so they don’t have to do all the heavy lifting. And Marvin, his flexibility, his versatility, his strength, we can really change up our defense scheme.” However, the offensive success should come as no surprise. The team’s defensive issues were the major question marks heading into 2017-2018. Albeit against a Division II side that lacked some size, St. John’s did force 21 turnovers. Freshman shooting guard Bryan Trimble led the way with three steals in only 21 minutes of action. In typical St. John’s fashion, the team also registered seven blocks. Tariq OwTORCH PHOTO/NICK BELLO ens, Simon and Clark II all led the way with Marvin Clark II registered 12 points and 14 rebounds in an exhibition win against AIC. two blocks each. St. John’s’ perimeter defense also looked It should be noted that the St. John’s front the game. Owens picked up four fouls and good. The AIC guards struggled to get into court was down a man, as junior forward was limited to only 20 minutes, while Siany rhythm against Ponds and LoVett, Kassoum Yakwe did not play. He was on the mon’s three whistles limited his action. shooting just 32% from the field and 21% sideline, but there was no explanation given The Johnnies also played a charity exhifrom behind the arc. for him not playing. bition against Rutgers on Nov. 5, falling The Red Storm also won the rebounding St. John’s also struggled to stay out of 80-78 on a last-second tip-in by the Scarlet battle 41-35. However, AIC registered 14 foul trouble last night. Two players, Bashir Knights’ Issa Thiam. The team opens up the offensive rebounds, a sore spot in an other- Ahmed and Amar Alibegovic, fouled out regular season next Friday at Carnesecca wise tidy final stat line for the Red Storm. with more than 5:00 minutes left to play in Arena against New Orleans at 7:00 p.m.




ThE Long Road Back England Ready for fresh start after knee injury DARREN MARAJ

Contributing Writer Last October, women’s basketball Head Coach Joe Tartamella delivered the sombering news that highly-touted freshman Tiana England would miss the season due to a devastating knee injury suffered in practice. She missed all of last season as her team finished with a record of 22-12 overall record and an 11-7 mark in the conference, finishing fourth in the Big East. England, however, is now back on the court for the Red Storm, and she’s looking to make up for lost time. “I’m feeling really great,” England said. “Been working really hard to try and get back and the recovery went really well.” 2016–17 was another solid season for the Red Storm, but Tartamella said that England’s absence was felt as the team stormed to the NIT Sweet 16. “Tiana has progressed extremely well off

her injury,” Tartamella said. “She looks great, she looks back to where she was before the injury…[her] development will be a big part of how we play this year. Athletically, she’s as gifted as Aaliyah Lewis…and she shoots the ball better. We’re excited to get her on the floor.” England was a two-time All-Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference and All-State selection for the Stamford Black Knights in high school. In addition, she averaged 18.9 points, 5.2 assists, and 4.1 steals per game, while surpassing the 1,000-point career scoring mark. England was known by her teammates as an upright and humble teammate, separating herself from the spotlight of the game in order to focus on winning for her team. She said that the most difficult part of missing last season was watching her teammates battle every game from the sideline, confined to simply cheering them on instead of helping out on the court.

“At first it was pretty hard,” England said on her injury. “I was ready to go out there and play, but in reality, it was a blessing. To sit back and learn, and get stronger…watching Aaliyah Lewis last year, a great point guard, being able to get taught by her is great. She had a great career here at St. John’s.” It is no wonder why Lewis was a strong role model for England. During her senior year, Lewis ranked third on the team with 11.1 points per game and led the Big East in assists with 6.2 per contest. She set a new program record for most career games played with 134 after playing in every game last season. In addition, Lewis earned an All-Big East Honorable Mention and was named the league’s Co-Defensive Player of the Year. Lewis was an electric player to watch with her speed and quickness, which inspired the rest of the team. She displayed this her through her efforts to compete hard every game, including her

fearless attitude in attacking the basket as a 5-foot-5 point guard. England, standing at 5-foot-7, can help replace Lewis’ contributions. If she learned one thing from her mentor last season, it’s that nothing should be able to stop her from winning and competing, no matter the severity of the obstacle. Lewis was always tabbed as a scrappy guard that was too small to play professionally, but she proved pundits wrong by signing a professional contract in Finland earlier in the fall. England, like Lewis, can rely on motivation from her teammates to complete her comeback and shine for St. John’s this winter. “Being so successful in high school, it made me want to do the same at the higher level,” England said. “Playing here, it’s a blessing to get here, but now I have to keep working to get to the top. That’s what I love about this team.

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