Volume 96, Issue 3

Page 1

VOL 96 : 03 September 19 , 2018 torchonline.com

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

Five FEWER FRATS Groups 'Shocked' By Loss of status for school year see the story on page 3

Gempesaw on SJU: ‘Strong and Stable’ SEE THE STORY ON PAGES 6 & 7 TORCH PHOTO/NICK BELLO

SJU RECEIVES $15 Million Donation | Story on Page 2




Gempesaw Accepts $15 Million Donation from Foundation Derrell J. Bouknight Early last Wednesday afternoon, St. John’s University President Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw teased the hundreds of people who filled Marillac Auditorium during his State of the University address. He told them that an annoucement about a gift to the University would be made in a few hours. His only hint: eight figures. That Wednesday night at a dinner in midtown Manhattan in front of 80 attendees, Gempesaw announced that the University was the recipient of a $15 million donation from the Starr Foundation, a group whose stated goal is to provide financial support to institutions worldwide in educational, medicinal research, healthcare and public policy settings. The gift was lauded as the largest in the school’s 148-year history. According to the University, the gift will establish the Maurice R. Greenberg Leadership Initiative at the School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science, which is part of the Peter J. Tobin College of Business. Greenberg, chairman of the Starr Foundation, attended the midtown dinner last Wednesday night when Gempesaw announced the donation. He says his goal was to find students dedicated to their professions, and many from St. John’s impressed him. “Over the years that I have been in the insurance industry, one of the important issues was to recruit intelligent people who were devoted to careers in the profession,” Greenberg said. “Many of the candidates we saw were from the St. John’s School of Risk Management. These candidates were more mature, focused and devoted to making a career in the insurance

industry, and in most instances, making a significant contribution to that end.” Since 1955, the Starr Foundation -- one of the largest private foundations in the United States -- has given away more than $3.3 billion, with nearly two-thirds of the money going to programs and organizations throughout New York City and the rest of the state, according to the University’s website. “At St. John’s University, we know our mission serves to transform the lives of our students,” Gempesaw said during his speech last Wednesday night. “This remarkable gift from The Starr Foundation will further position the School of Risk Management, Insurance and Actuarial Science and our graduates to make an indelible mark on the insurance profession for generations to come.” Half of the the donation will go towards student scholarship awards, 33 percent will help in supporting faculty members and the remaining 17 percent will be set aside for leadership endowment, according to the University. Full and partial scholarships will be provided for students in the School of Risk Management through the Maurice R. Greenberg Leadership Initiative, while new programs, resources and professional development will be targets of the Maurice R. Greenberg SRM Industry Leadership Endowment and Starr Foundation SRM Faculty Support Endowment, respectively. Samantha R. Meneilly, a third-year SRM student who majors in actuarial science, said at the dinner Wednesday night that the school has afforded her opportunities to better her professionally. “To this day, St. John’s continues to exceed my expectations,” she said. “And the person I have become is someone I never could have


The gift is the largest in St. John’s University’s 148-year history


President Gempesaw and Maurice R. Greenberg stand together in Manhattan.

imagined when I first walked on campus.” Greenberg added his final thoughts on St. John’s and how students who attended the school have become leaders in the field. “Many of the leaders in the companies we managed were very often graduates of St. John’s and rose through the ranks to positions of importance,” Greenberg said. “As many know, the company I am referring to is

AIG, which operated throughout the world and required knowledgeable people and devoted internationalists, skilled in the profession of insurance whether it be underwriting, product development or leadership. I am pleased that our gift will help the University continue to attract great candidates for our industry, especially for our company.”

Adult Literacy Program Offers Success Stories Anika Seoparson The New York City Department of Youth and Community Development (DYCD) granted the Free Adult Literacy Program at St. John’s University, funding $100,000 for the 2018-2019 academic year. According to the University’s website, funding for the program came from grants allocated by the Verizon Foundation when the program was first created in 2000. Since 2005, funds have been granted from DYCD with the funding amounts increasing each year following the program’s success. The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) offers the Free Adult Literacy and English As a Second Language (ESL) Classes and Adult Basic Education (ABE) / High School Equivalency (HSE) programs. The University’s Vincentian mission of service is highlighted through this program, as English language instruction is offered to socioeconomically disadvantaged adults in New York to help them gain better opportunities. The classes are taught in St. John Hall by University faculty four evenings each week throughout the academic year and are open to people of all ethnic backgrounds. Courses are offered at different levels of language ability, structured toward providing basic adult education or high school equivalency

exams. Textbooks and materials are provided for students in subjects ranging from English, mathematics, history and science. Dr. Alina Camacho-Gingerich, Director of CLACS and Chair of the Department of Languages and Literatures, said that due to the high percentage of Queens residents who speak languages other than English, the program is essential for the University. “There is a great need in our community for a program like the one we have at St. John’s,” Camacho-Gingerich said. Community organizations and churches often refer students who would like to improve

“St. John’s University opened its doors right away,” Abreu said. “This program not only teaches us English, but also offers workshops taught by University professors on different topics, from immigration to how to use email correctly.” Students in the program are invited to attend CLACS’ Annual Immigration Conference, where a wide range of scholars, diplomats, and community leaders meet to discuss social justice and human rights, education and healthcare, government policies and immigrant stories and identities in culture. The resources granted to participants are what Camacho-Gingerich calls a “unique advantage.” “We just cannot keep our knowledge and expertise exclusively to the academic community,” Camacho-Gingerich said. She said that the program has a family There is a great need in our communifeel to it, and that students always come ty for a program like the one we have back to visit and share their success stoat St. John’s... ries, including new jobs and improvement in their English skills. Dr. Alina Camacho-Gingerich Each year, the CLACS releases a book of stories and poems written by partictheir English skills to the program. Cama- ipants. In “Breaking Down Walls: The Imcho-Gingerich said that there is an even more migrant Experience” from 2018, participant staggering percentage of Queens residents who Beatriz Sanchez reflected on her time in the are not proficient in English. program. Miguelina Abreu, a participant in the pro“I have found a wonderful group of friends gram, noted how accessible the Free Adult and teachers, from whom I have learned a lot Literacy Program is compared to other courses in the English classes offered in this excellent with waiting periods. Adult Literacy Program.”

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St. John’s Ranks Among Top 500 Colleges in America The rankings were released by the Wall Street Journal and U.S. News & World Report Jillian Ortiz St. John’s was recently ranked in the top half of colleges and universities nationwide by two widely credited publications. St. John’s finished 406 out of nearly 1,000 colleges and universities in the United States for the 2019 academic year in a Wall Street Journal analysis. In another study conducted by the U.S. News & World Report, St. John’s finished 152 out of 312 schools. In the Wall Street Journal rankings, St. John’s shared its 406 ranking with both Wilkes University and King’s College in Pennsylvania. However, the ranking places St. John’s above other institutions of higher education in New York such as CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice, Iona College and SUNY Cortland. Nearby schools that are ahead of St. John’s in the WSJ rankings include Manhattan College (251), Pace University (316) and Marist College (398). Harvard University topped the WSJ list. “It doesn’t seem like a 400 school,” freshman Mia Carriles said of St. John’s. “I think it’s not like a fair rating.” Last year St. John’s ranked 429 in the same Wall Street Journal analysis. The methodology for the ranking involved several factors such as overall satisfaction, academic rigor, academic reputation, retention rate and several others, according to the Wall Street Journal. These categories account for factors that are not only of concern for the students, but for their families as well. Scoring is also conducted based on the


St. John’s University came in at No. 406 in the Wall Street Journal’s recent list of the top 500 colleges in the United States.

assessment of “15 key indicators that assess colleges in four areas: Outcomes, Resources, Engagement and Environment.” Wall Street Journal ranks the nearly 1,000 schools in a study done in conjunction with Times Higher Education, which describes itself as “the data provider underpinning university excellence in every continent across the world.” In the results of a survey conducted by the group, St. John’s scored a 6.7 out of 10 in the “right choice” category — meaning that if the students surveyed were given the chance to start over, they would still choose St. John’s. Additionally, St. John’s ranked 6.4 out of 10 in the “worth the cost” category. However, freshman Emily Tsororos said she would rate it a seven. “So far I don’t really have any complaints

about it,” she said. The Wall Street Journal study credited St. John’s with an overall score of 50.5 out of 100. In the U.S. News & World Report rankings, St. John’s is tied at 152 with schools such as Union University in Tennessee, University of Mississippi and St. John Fisher College in Rochester. St. John’s is ahead of Pace University (177) but trailed nearby schools such as Hofstra University (140) and Adelphi University and The New School (tied at 147). Princeton University topped the list. Rankings conducted by U.S. News are conducted according to the university’s performance, differing from the Wall Street Journal’s ranking, which took into account additional outside factors such as survey results and location.

“I really wanted to be in the city ... so I completely disregarded every other school I got into and picked here for that reason,” Carriles, a Texas native, said. U.S. News credited St. John’s with an overall rating score of 40 out of 100, the score being comprised of indicators such as graduation and retention rate, expert opinion, student excellence and alumni giving among others. “I didn’t personally look at [student debt post-graduation], I looked at what I thought I would get out of it [now],” Tsororos said. These rankings follow the recent overall ranking of St. John’s at No. 12 in insurance and the Tobin College of Business’ ranking at No. 172 in national undergraduate business programs in the United States.

Cox: Five Frats Will Not Be Recognized This Year Angelica Acevedo and Isabella Bruni Five St. John’s fraternities are no longer recognized on campus as of the start of the fall semester after they failed to meet the university’s accreditation requirements. Jodi Cox, executive director of Student Development and Engagement, confirmed to the Torch that the following fraternities are no longer within the school’s Fraternity and Sorority system: • • • • •

Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity Inc., Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity Inc., Kappa Sigma Fraternity Inc., Sigma Chi Beta Fraternity Inc. and Alpha Phi Delta Fraternity

It is not clear the specific reasons why each fraternity lost its accreditation for this school year. Cox, in written responses to questions submitted by the Torch, said the university’s program for fraternities and sororities to renew their accreditation began in 2016. Greek Life organizations are scored annually on five areas: scholarship, service and philanthropy, organizational development, member development and SJU community engagement.

Any fraternity that receives below 69 percent in the scoring system is considered to be in “poor standing.” A second consecutive poor standing score results in “non-accredited chapter” status, which means automatic loss of their on-campus standing. Members of Pi Kappa Phi were “shocked” when they heard the news of their non-accreditation over the summer, according to senior Christian Medley. Medley, elected president of Pi Kappa Phi last spring semester, said he was under the impression that his fraternity would be recognized on campus this 2018-19 academic year. “I was told in January when I became president that unless we showed improvement there could be problems,” Medley said. “Our nationals wasn’t notified.” Medley said that since the January warning the fraternity hosted more events to better their status. “I never really got an indication we would be kicked off, just put on a plan of action or something,” he said. Simeon Ronaldo, a senior who would have been entering his second year as a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, said that he and his “brothers” also believed they met their accreditation requirements before the spring semester

ended. Ronaldo said the news was even more of a shock because Tau Kappa Epsilon was one of the oldest fraternities on campus. “We do a lot for the school, we have all these fundraisers, charity events on campus [and] kind of shine a light on the school,” Ronaldo said. Tau Kappa Epsilon members have had “several meetings” with Cox and other university officials in recent months, Ronaldo said, but, “it hasn’t really gone anywhere.” When asked whether there was a possibility for the fraternities to return to campus this year, Cox said, “The organizations who failed accreditation for two consecutive years will not be able to be recognized this academic year.” Several fraternity members told the Torch they believe the accreditation process changed in recent months. Cox said that is not true. According to Cox, the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life completed scoring of the packets from May into June of 2018. She said the accreditation requirements did not change over the summer. “The requirements have not changed from the debut of accreditation in 2016,” Cox added. “Considering the program started in 2016,

this was the first cycle of identifying organizations that either had two years of consecutive poor standing or non-accredited designations,” she said. Sigma Chi Beta declined to comment. Representatives for The Interfraternity Council (IFC), The MultiCultural Greek Alliance (MGA) and Kappa Sigma did not respond to requests for comment for this story. The Torch was not able to find contact information for Alpha Phi Delta representatives. Ronaldo believes that by removing these fraternities, the University will be missing out on an attraction for prospective students. “A lot of kids I came here with that didn’t join Greek Life transferred or I just don’t see anymore,” Ronaldo said. “They don’t really get to enjoy St. John’s as a school they just come and go to classes but like for us, because of all the events we do we’re always on campus trying to make people aware that there’s other things to do … and that promotes people being [here].” There are 11 fraternities that remain on campus. “The majority of organizations were accredited,” Cox said, “and more than half earned designations of Distinguished Chapter or Notable Chapter.”

4 Opinion


Flames of the Torch

New Year, New Opportunities Managing Board XCVI


Angelica Acevedo, Editor-in-Chief Isabella Bruni, Managing Editor


Amanda Negretti Creative Director Derrell Bouknight News Editor Brendan Myers Sports Editor Beverly Danquah Features Editor Samantha DeNinno Entertainment Editor Beatriz da Costa Opinion Editor Erin Bola Chief Copy Editor Jillian Ortiz Assistant Copy Editor

Spencer Clinton Photo Editor Nick Bello Social Media Manager Morgan Mullings Outreach Manager Jim Baumbach Adviser



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

Staff and contributors John Cavanagh Sean Okula Rasheeda Campbell Arturo Enamorado III

Elizabeth Flint Renee King Cecelia Germain Priyanka Gera

Gabriela Campos Kennisa Ragland Helga Golemi Margaret Moore

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 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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The start of a new school year is synonymous with new beginnings, and that is especially true for us at The Torch and St. John’s as a whole. As we all settle into the routine of balancing a busy schedule packed with class, work and extracurriculars, we’d like to recap the newest changes on campus this semester. We are excited to announce that The Torch has been selected to participate in The Poynter Institute’s second annual College Media Project. We are one of the nine independent student newspapers that were chosen out of 63 applicants from across the country. We want to thank one of our journalism professors, Oksana Siwolop, for sharing the application with us. We have also recently introduced a new position to our editorial board: Outreach Manager. Morgan Mullings was appointed this position, which was created in order to allow our staff and editors to better communicate, and to help them reach their full potential at the newspaper. We also hope the position will improve our communication with the student body we strive to provide the best news coverage for. The Torch staffers aren’t the only ones on campus experiencing milestones and changes this semester. This year marks the 50th anniversary of Haraya and ROTC. Robert A. Mangione announced over the summer that he is stepping down from his position as Provost. Simon Moller, former senior vice provost, now acts as Interim Provost while the Uni-

versity seeks a permanent replacement. Additionally, with Latin Heritage Month kicking off this week, it’s important to note that the University will not close on Columbus Day — as they have in previous years. At this year’s State of the University, President Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw gave a data-heavy speech of his plans for the University. He emphasized a commitment to increasing student enrollment and retention, as well as addressing new key initiatives in diversity and inclusion. As reported by The Torch last spring semester, a new Academic Center for Equity and Inclusion will open in Sun Yat Sen Hall. At the Address, Chief Diversity Officer Nada Llewellyn said that it will be “a place of belonging for diverse students.” As you’ll see on our front page story this week, The Torch was able to speak to some students about the five fraternities that are no longer recognized on campus. Over the summer, students were shocked to learn of the news. Greek Life is considered by many an important part of student life here. Jodi Cox, executive director of Student Development and Engagement, told The Torch via email that they will not return to school this year. The Torch is excited to be back and to be a platform for students — and all members of the St. John’s community — to voice the many viewpoints and experiences that exist on this campus. We hope you are too.


“Just Do It” ... or Just Don’t Nike working with Kaepernick is what we’ve been waiting for Rasheeda Campbell Nike’s class act slogan, “Just Do It,” gained a new meaning when the footwear giant decided to team up with the polarizing Colin Kaepernick. In my eyes, it’s best move Nike could’ve made, although some others can’t say the same. I completely support Nike and Kaepernick. Although Nike working with Kaepernick is obviously more for financial gain, this collaboration does make a huge statement. After Kaepernick kneeled during the national anthem as a way to protest racial injustice, he opted out of playing for the San Francisco 49ers last year. Since then, he has not been signed by any NFL team. This year, Nike has made Kaepernick

the face of their new ad campaign, and of course it has received a lot of backlash. Many people began boycotting Nike for securing Kaepernick for their new campaign. There have been some positives instances that have come out of this boycott. One of them being that people can now identify those who they may not agree with and perhaps would rather not interact with. Nike knew that by collaborating with him they would make a huge profit; whether it be from people purchasing more Nike products to show their support for Kaepernick or consumers buying more Nike products just so they can burn them later to show their hatred toward Kaepernick and Nike’s decision. This was truly a smart move for Nike, however I think that people will remember this as Nike supporting Kaepernick’s

activism more than their desire for profit. The ad presents a positive message of perservering through any setbacks. As a means of boycotting, people are setting their Nike shoes aflame. I couldn’t make this up even if I wanted to. I find this idiotic because those people who are against Nike’s decision to hire Kaepernick are boycotting in a way that is a disadvantage to themselves. As ridiculous as it is for people to do this, I’m not against them burning their shoes. In fact, I think that they should continue to buy Nike shoes and do whatever they want with them. I can sleep easily at night knowing that Kaepernick is going to get a great cut of the money those people are spending, buying shoes from Nike just so they can “boyPHOTO COURTESY/FLICKR COMMONS KEVIN MOREJON cott” and express their outrage. Colin Kaepernick in the latest Nike ad.


The Spark That Lit the Match How lines were crossed at the U.S. Open Women’s Final Arturo Humberto Enamorado III


Naomi Osaka and Serena Williams following the end of the U.S. Open Final.

as being nothing more than calling out poor behavior by an athlete. Knight even went as far as denying prior knowledge of Sambo depictions. It is here where the issue went from just a bad call, like any sports fan has yelled at some point, to something filled with vitriol. The issue highlighted, in the worst way, is the lack of understanding of intersectionality. Williams is a woman, but she is also black. No amount of sociology can separate the two parts of identity, as any person walking today will know you are more than one component of your identity. The issue has been made worse since Ramos has been an umpire for several matches

with men who seemingly have done worse than Williams and were merely let off with a warning. This double standard is seen in other sports like baseball and American football, where intense sentiments of anger are often expressed toward the referee or umpire; but is viewed almost as a rite of passage or part of the game. So why then is it okay in other sports to argue, but worse when a black woman does it? No matter how you look at it, Ramos effectively did steal the spotlight from the first Haitian-Japanese US Open winner, her win is now marred in controversy.

The Dreaded U Word in Internships To intern or not to intern for unpaid opportunities Natalie Borukhov In today’s competitive job market, many students choose to spend their summer and free time working toward their future career. A lot of times, the money that students receive from these internships are spent on textbooks, supplies and personal expenses. But what happens when internships are unpaid? This is, in fact, the perfect opportunity to put yourself above all others. Unpaid internships give you the freedom to look at all of your available choices. Not only do you see the type of work that a certain field requires, but you compare your interests to the various paths that are available. This way you can see which direction you want to go towards, post-graduation. Learning the ropes and ladders of a possible career path helps you eliminate what you do not want and gets you closer to your true passions.


Is Our Campus Truly Accessible for Everyone? Elizabeth Flint


This past U.S. Open Women’s Final match ended with an upset, however not the one it should have been. The match between the legendary Serena Williams and newcomer Naomi Osaka, one that should have been seen as a possible passing of the torch from one generation of strong Black female athletes to another, became a revisit of current societal ills instead. The issue derived from the umpire of the match, Carlos Ramos, who called cheating violations on Serena Williams for receiving coaching as the match took place. Williams responded by challenging the umpire’s calls only to receive another set of violations. This back-and-forth altercation ended with a final violation on Williams after she called Ramos a “liar” and a “thief.” The result of the ordeal was point deductions that some critics of Osaka believe to be the only reason for her victory against her idol. Had this issue remained on the court, the blame could have been pinned on anything from Ramos merely having a bad day, to miscommunication between two parties in the heat of a tense match. However, the issue was furthered by the addition of Australian cartoonist Mark Knight, who made a rendition of the altercation. In this tasteless image, Knight depicted Williams in a Sambo-style art form and drew Osaka as a blond, white woman, effectively erasing her blackness. For those unaware of the Sambo caricatures, this was the art style used to depict African Americans as well as other people of color with accentuated features such as large lips and making them appear purposefully grotesque. The cartoon was met with serious backlash by figures from all levels and backgrounds. However executive chairman Michael Miller, of NewCorp, the company that owns the paper in question, defended the image


En route to finding your true passions, connecting with supervisors, coworkers and possible mentors may open doors for future opportunities. Networking strengthens your connections and allows others to recommend you to places where they think you would be a great fit. Far too often individuals think about the present, rather than the impact on their future. There is no such thing as overnight success. The most convincing reason for an unpaid internship is the opportunity it will provide you with once you enter the workforce. Many companies see your unpaid internship as a sign of hard work, that you will do anything to reach your end goals. If it were you over an external candidate, there is no doubt that you would be the company’s first choice since there is already a relationship in place. Companies would have to spend less time

training you for the job because they already know you are reliable. Since you marketed yourself as an undergraduate, the number of job opportunities increases greatly. Many do not see the true value of an unpaid internship and feel that companies cross certain lines because they know that students will do anything to get that perfect internship. However, I always look at the long term effects, rather than the current circumstances. As I see it, if you can acquaint yourself with employers now, then you should not have an incredibly difficult time getting into the job market compared to the individual who decided to stay away from unpaid internships. Knowledge is power. Although unpaid internships do not reward you monetarily right now, they are giving you the necessary skills and experiences to excel in the future.

As I start my senior year, I have been reflecting on my experience attending St. John’s as a student with a physical disability. Academically, St. John’s is wonderful and allows students multiple opportunities to succeed. I have also had the opportunity to meet wonderful professors and students. Yet, I have to admit that my emotions are torn. For those with physical disabilities other aspects of campus life are severely lacking. The overall inaccessibility of the Queens campus is where it seems to lack the most. From certain entrances not having automatic doors (Marillac and D’Angelo Center buildings) to not being able to access the elevator in Marillac due to overcrowding of students who could (and should) take the stairs. I understand that these might seem like small issues to some, but for someone with a physical disability, and a wheelchair user, constantly needing assistance hinders my self-esteem. Also, it perpetuates the image that those with disabilities are helpless. The issue surrounding the automatic doors can easily be fixed. It surprises me that in 2018, not all entrance doors on the Queens campus are accessible. I pay tuition like everyone else but yet, I feel shortchanged in what is truly available to me as a student. Not being able to access all that this University has to offer affects not only the academic aspect of college, but the social opportunities that lead me to feel like an outsider. It is important to note, that I have brought my concerns to the Office of Students with Disabilities. Case manager, Veronica Maggi, has been very helpful in securing my academic accommodations. She has also brought my concerns to her supervisors about the overall accessibility of the campus. Unfortunately, no major changes have been implemented. Is it because of financial resources? Or is it a lower priority due to a small number of students with physical disabilities? I don’t know. By making the campus more accessible, wouldn’t that increase the student population of those with disabilities? I realize St. John’s has worked very hard in making the campus and community more inclusive regarding different religions, gender, race, etc. My hope is that my experience will help the next class of students easily navigate throughout campus. Making the campus more accessible creates an even more diverse and welcoming atmosphere that will include ALL students.

S niversity U

tate of The

Retention St. John’s increased its student retention rate, which Gempesaw stated was between 83 and 84 percent for the 2017 school year. Gempesaw also stated that the retention rate has averaged 82.7 percent in the past four years, the highest it has been by .1 percent in the past 20 years. Gempesaw stated that the graduation rate is expected to jump to about 61 percent. It would be an improvement and is the direct result of the increasing retention rate of current students. Gempesaw said that student retention and graduation must be the priority and duty of administration.


“If our goal is to ensure student success, we need [students] to stay in school and graduate,” Gempesaw said.

Diversity and Inclusion Gempesaw touched upon diversity and inclusion, a major topic of discussion following student protests in February. The president has created a task force that is being spearheaded by Chief Diversity Officer Nada Llewellyn that he announced last semester. One point that Llewellyn brought up was the introduction of the Academic Center for Equity and Inclusion. The sole purpose of this groundbreaking center that will be located at Sun Yat Sen Hall is to address issues in the pertaining to equity and inclusion. The center is slated to open up later this month.

Nick Bello - SOcial MedIA Manager For the fourth time since his hiring at St. John’s, President Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw addressed faculty, students and alumni this past Wednesday in Marillac Auditorium. In his address, he highlighted his strategic priorities, some of the improvements St. John’s has made this past year as well as what he has in store for the future. The president’s address — which was also livestreamed on the University’s website and at the Manhattan, Staten Island, Paris and Rome campuses — was intended to give an open look at the school’s plans and allow the president to highlight his plans for the future. During his speech, Gempesaw reassured the St. John’s community that it will continue to head in the right direction and should continue to do so for years to come.

“The genesis for this new student center came from the acknowledgement that we had to create a place of belonging for diverse students,” Llewellyn said.

Finances Over the years, St. John’s has accrued a massive debt that currently sits at $484 million, Gempesaw said. In his address, Gempesaw said that $41 million of that debt is paid each year.

recruitment One of the big things Gempesaw touched on was the yearly increase in enrollment over the past couple of years. Gempesaw, like last year, was proud of the incoming freshman class of over 3,000 students that features 13 high school valedictorians. The class is the largest freshman class enrolled out of all the Catholic colleges in America. Although the University is succeeding in undergraduate enrollment, they have dropped off in the category of graduate enrollment, seeing a decrease since 2010.

Gempesaw also announced that he planned to hire 38 new faculty members and will look to create 12 new positions this school year. He also addressed the rumor that there was a hiring freeze, which he claimed was “fake news.” “We actually hired 43 new faculty members and also hired 63 administrators and staff last year,” Gempesaw said. “What is true, however, is that we did not hire at the same rate in previous years when we enrolled larger freshman classes.” Gempesaw added that changing demographics and legislation from Washington were major factors in this change.

“The implementation of various recruitment strategies to increase graduate enrollment continues to be one priority that requires our attention,” Gempesaw said.


The implementation of various recruitment strategies to increase graduate enrollment continues to be one priority that requires our attention.

8 Features


YOS: Inspired, Expressive and Inclusive PHOTO COURTESY/INSTAGRAM: YOSAPPAREL

As I sit with senior student Donovan Carnegie-Salmon, he sports the black “Rest In Peace” hoodie from his clothing line YOS (Your Own Society) Apparel. Inspired by Salvador Dali’s oil painting, “Crucifixion” (Corpus Hypercubus), the hoodie draws from the Spanish artist’s aim at changing the way we view Christ’s crucifixion. In explaining this to me, talking fashion in general, discussing his own line and who YOS and what YOS Apparel are, his awareness, appreciation and application of a myriad of artistry is evident. When Carnegie-Salmon was in the fifth grade, he recalls not giving the common answers when asked what he wanted to be when he grew up. Instead, he told folks he wanted to be an inventor, because he knew it had to do with making something that wasn’t there before. Seeing his grandma work on her sewing machine, he never thought he’d do something like that. But at age 16, after years of not being able to find what he wanted [in stores], he said “I’ll make what I want.” With a little over $200 borrowed from friends and his mom, he set out on making clothes. The first pieces, plain white t-shirts with his logo on them, did not do well. Out of the 36 made, only five sold. Bringing prices down was the only way he was steadily able to dispense them. This experience left him wanting to give up. But being aware that this was his first time and of his mistake of naivety, he decided to start studying marketing and pricing. He looked at websites, surveyed friends and other folks in his age group, trying to gauge his target audience. “How much would you pay for a t-shirt?” he’d ask. Pondering how much he should charge led him to look into profit margins, a knowledge indispensable for his and any business. Upon feeling better prepared, the marketing major began pouring everything into YOS. At first, with no job, he’d save his lunch money and settled for chips to fill him up. And once he got a job, virtually all the money went to YOS. Carnegie-Salmon went from struggling to sell his first t-shirts to having a number of pieces sold out. It’s clear that both his passion and philosophies (regarding fashion, art and creativity) have helped him tenaciously propel YOS. And it’s a sentiment echoed by many artists, past and present: “Seeing people in your clothes makes it worth it.” Carnegie-Salmon wants to inspire people. He believes,

“everyone doesn’t have to change the world, [but they can] foster a world where folks feel comfortable enough to have ideas to make change.” This and another belief, “anything can inspire,” are highly evident in his R.I.P. collection and both the “I AM A MAN” and Moonchild t-shirts. Inspired by the loved ones he’s lost, the R.I.P. collection has a piece reluctantly added every time someone passes. The “I AM A MAN” t-shirt was inspired by the signs that read this message, held up during the Memphis sanitation strike in 1968. The Moonchild t-shirt, featuring his own hand, was inspired by a nickname given to him by his mother. While other mothers might have called their child “sunshine,” Carnegie-Salmon’s called him her “moonchild.” According to her, he could make a dark day feel bright. YOS will see its fifth birthday this November, an incredible feat for someone who, though receiving welcomed support from friends, creates all the designs and completely manages the line’s inventory and website on his own. Beyond clothing, Carnegie-Salmon wants to be a facilitator for any creative to do what they love. YOS, he says, will be something of “a label over a lot of segments of art”. He wants the brand to be a conglomerate, a space for all kinds of creatives. This could include, but isn’t limited to, those who don’t know how to market themselves. Because to him, “fashion is art… it’s a way to express yourself… to represent how you’re feeling, to symbolize what’s important to you.”



kennisa ragland

From top to bottom: Model sports the Cream Rest in Peace hoodie, models sport the RIP Tee, CEO and Head of Design of YOS sports the ‘Are You Free?’ cap in olive green.

Survival Guide to a Healthy Semester helga golemi

Welcome back, Johnnies! I hope everyone had a great summer – and hope that you were paying somewhat attention to your liver while you were chugging down those margaritas by the beach. No? Eh, I figured. With the beginning of the semester now upon us, it remains imperative that we begin training our minds and bodies to getting back into tip-top shape. I’ve compiled a survival guide on how you can take the proper measures to remain physically and mentally fit this semester. And no, eating fish tacos by the boardwalk sadly isn’t on the list. 1. Stay Ahead of Class. Let’s be real. We are all recovering from that post-summer brain fog. During those three months, we forgot how to add and our handwriting now looks as if we’ve been practicing medicine for years. So, how do we get back on that school grind? Well, it starts off by putting in a bit more effort than you usually would. Spend that weekend looking at the chapter that your professor is going to discuss the following week. No one’s saying you have to homeschool yourself on the topic. Just familiarize yourself.

2. Keep a Clear Mind and Stay Focused. Now’s not the time to party hard and regret it the next day. Your social life may have bloomed during the summer, but it’s time to cut out some of those distractions. Your significant other or your best friend is just going to have to understand that you have other responsibilities now. Keep your end goal in mind and strive towards reaching it. Apply to those internships. Get that new job. Shadow that doctor. But remember, be able to manage your time while doing so. Don’t fall behind on your classes. 3. Prioritize. So much to do and so little time? This semester, freecollegeschedulemaker.com is your new best friend. If you’re anything like me and have a bit of OCD about these sort of things, then you’re going to love this website. Here, you can craft your schedule as you wish and choose your own color preferences. Once you have made your schedule, save it and print it. Keep it around with you or take a picture of it. Plan out a study schedule, a life schedule or a school schedule. I recommend making a weekly schedule, as it is easier to keep track of and you can always change it around to make it fit to your needs. Just stay organized and do not forget your obligations. With that being said, it remains crucial to prioritize. You’re not going to have time for everything. You are only human.

4. Find Your Stress Reliever. School can be stressful,remember to sit down and breathe if it gets to be too much. When you find yourself getting stressed, do something to help you unwind. Find your stress reliever. Watch that T.V. series you love. Go out for a jog. Call your best friend. Go get that bubble tea. You deserve it! Everyone feels stressed at some point but we can’t let it affect our overall health and performance. 5. Eat! Most college students seem to forget to do this, as strange as it may sound. We become so preoccupied with our studies that we don’t take care of ourselves. It is important to eat! Remember to feed your body with nutrients. Pack food full of protein and snack throughout the day. This will help keep you feeling fuller for longer. Eating large meals will leave you feeling as if you’re about to enter a food coma, so try eating four to five small meals a day if you are in for a day full of studying. It will prove to be much more effective as your body will continue to burn this food and use it as an energy source. Lastly, don’t forget your berries! Berries are full of antioxidants and will not only give you an energy boost, but will prevent you from getting sick by helping your immune system. By following all these simple, yet effective tips, you’re on your way to owning this school year.

Entertainment 9


Curated Collections: The New School Year Playlist Renee King

The school year has already commenced, and for new students especially, the culture shock is probably still setting in. Homesickness, loneliness and the adjustment to tiring class schedules are all a part of the move-in experience, at least for the first few weeks. But don’t worry, college is supposed to be fun! These songs are motivational, a reminder that you are not alone, and the embodiment of all the good things that will happen over the course of the year: Making new friends, exploring the surroundings and gaining determination.

#1: of Montreal - "suffer for Fashion" PHOTo/flickr creative commons Jack

A track for the weirder set of ears, “Suffer for Fashion” is the fast-paced psychedelic

pop carnival that opens Of Montreal’s 2007 album, “Hissing Fauna, Are You the Destroyer?” Written about keeping one’s family and friends bound together, it is an endlessly entertaining insight into juggling life and responsibility. “We’ve got to keep our little clique clicking at 130 B.P.M., it’s not too slow,” lead singer Kevin Barnes writes, “If we’ve got to burn out, let’s do it together.” Sonically, it is just as overwhelming as its lyrical themes. Feeling overwhelmed is normal though, and with our packs of important people, old and new, it begins to feel more fun.

#2: The White Stripes -"We're Going to Be Friends" “We’re Going to Be Friends” is the classic “back to classes” song for plenty of alternative rock listeners. Unlike the greater part of the White Stripes’ blues rock-influenced discography, it is primarily acoustic, and an easy listen for fans and all casual listeners. Jack White pens a heartfelt — cute, even — ode to meeting people from the perspective of giddy elementary school kids on the playground. It harkens a sort of nostalgia for youth that plenty of college students might feel, but it is also a reminder that these emotions should be carried on through this new experience. After all, it feels much more pure that way.

#3: japandroids - "The House That Heaven Built" Canadian indie rockers Japandroids created a modern anthem with their electrifying “The House That Heaven Built.” It is built wall-to-wall with powerful guitars, echoing stadium chants and the same gusto of legends such as Bruce Springsteen. It is a workout jam as much as it is an emotional song to jump to in the mosh pit. The chorus, with its sense of confidence in oneself and others, is completely life-affirming. “When they love you, and they will, tell ‘em all they’ll love in my shadow. And if they try to slow you down, tell ‘em all to go to hell.”

#4: Jeff Rosenstock - "Blast Damage Days" Long Island punk legend Jeff Rosenstock delivers a healthy amount of “big friend energy” on this shimmering, punchy, three-minute song. Rosenstock alludes to our existence in the “binge-watching age,” where anxiety about our future reigns and people have to rely on each other to get through it (“When our towns fall to the ground, oh, it won’t shatter me and you”). Sure, student loans and textbook prices are scary for now, but somebody that you meet in school is bound

to empathize with you. It is a pact: if you can survive college together, you can survive anything.

#5: Lorde - "Perfect Places"

PHOTo/flickr creative commons thomas hawk

A recent favorite from Lorde’s Melodrama, “Perfect Places” encapsulates the bittersweet nature of growing up - the loud parties, the wild drives home, the yearning for new and exciting experiences - into a wholesome pop song. In fact, the record’s title sums it up: poignant, overly emotional and glittering with hope. Its triumphant chorus sounds like it was ripped straight from the trailer of a 21st century coming-of-age movie. Even though she feels invincible, she still makes mistakes, but for the moment it does not bother her. She is dead set on finding those perfect places, because she is 19 and on fire.

Is Sierra Burgess Really a Loser?

The Search Through Digital Footprints Priyanka Gera

This entertaining yet twisted thriller was directed by Aneesh Chaganty, a 27 year old Indian-American filmMost of us know that one person who can find anyone and maker. Before writing this script, he had only ever written everyone on social media in a matter of minutes. You may and directed short movies, so this film is his official feabe in awe of their uncanny talent or scared by how easily one ture-length debut into Hollywood. He not only wrote a can dig up your past. The eerily enticing plot of “Searching” compelling storyline, but also supported the movement for deals with exactly that: the digital footprint we unknowing- representation by casting and writing Asian-American acly leave behind and the not-so-hidden secrets we thought tors as the lead roles. This movwe erased. ie takes your David Kim’s breath away (played effortwith the unexlessly by John pected twists Cho) teenand connecage daughter, tions between Margot, goes characters. The missing withparanoia and out warning. fear that Cho Thirty-seven portrayed was hours after her so real it was disappearance, heartbreaking. David only has I have to adthree missed mit, I was rootcalls from his ing for him as PHOTO COURTESY/Youtube Sony Pictures Entertainment daughter the he defied law night she vanand order and ished and not a John Cho is David Kim, a man desperately searching for his missing daughter, in went to every clue as to what “Searching.” extreme to find happened to her. With only her laptop and her social media accounts his daughter. His genuine concern as a father was above at his disposal, David helps the assigned detective, Rose- and beyond; something we may take for granted from our mary Vick (played by Debra Messing), piece together his parents. “Searching” definitely keeps you on the edge of your seat daughter’s life leading up to that day. Yet, the question still and is a must-see film! remains: Is Margot alive?

Cecelia Germain After browsing endlessly through Netflix categories; trying to find something to indulge my interest, I finally came across the perfect movie: “Sierra Burgess Is a Loser.” This piqued my interest because it is about two girls who use their strengths to help allure their crushes. One girl, Sierra, who is the biggest “loser” of East Pasadena High School, is overweight and only has one friend. The other is Veronica, captain of the cheerleading squad, who everyone wants to be friends with and has over 20 thousand followers on Instagram. Veronica helps Sierra pretend to be her to “catfish” Jamey, the quarterback of the football team, who thought Sierra was Veronica. In return, Sierra helps Veronica to see the more intelligent side of herself. They both find a way to help one another and in the end instead of hating each other, they become closer than ever. I find it interesting how Sierra believes that catfishing a cute guy will work. In reality, we all know that would never work, and as you’re watching you just keep thinking: Will Jamey ever find out who he is really texting? To answer this question: Yes. His first instinct is to hate both Sierra and Veronica. This is a compelling film, I don’t think for one moment I was bored watching this. I actually felt many emotions; especially when Sierra thinks it is a good idea to keep messaging Jamey, even though Sierra knew he thought she was Veronica. I say stop whatever you’re doing, open Netflix right now and just watch. This is a great movie that shows you how two girls- from completely different lifestyles come together to win over their love interests.




Men’s Basketball Finalizes 2018-19 Schedule John Cavanagh On Nov. 1, the St. John’s Red Storm will return to the court for the first time since their defeat in the Big East Tournament at the hands of Xavier in March. This season, the expectations are higher and the stakes have been raised. This will be Chris Mullin’s fourth season at the helm, and it’s undoubtedly his best team yet. It’s not just that St. John’s has seen improvements; the Big East conference is shaping up to be as competitive as ever. However, the Red Storm won’t face much competition early on. St. John’s finalized its schedule last week with the release of the conference schedule. Before conference play begins, the Johnnies start off against the Division II Maryville Saints. The most notable non-conference game is a rematch with the Duke Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium in North Carolina. Last season, the Johnnies shocked the world by beating then #4 Duke at Madison Square Garden behind a great performance from guard Shamorie Ponds. The Red Storm will need more magic if they want to knock off Duke again, who is already favored to win the National Championship. Outside of Duke, the Red Storm won’t have to travel much. Many of their road games will be close to Queens, playing Rutgers in New Jersey on Nov. 15 and the Legends Classic tournament at the Barclays Center right after. The Red Storm shouldn’t be challenged much. The average KenPom ranking, a database which ranks all Divison I basketball teams, of the Johnnies’ non-conference opponents is 208 out of 351. This could be looked at in two ways. For one, the easier schedule could allow a St. John’s team that is welcoming many new fac-


Head Coach Chris Mullin’s non-conference schedule has garnered a mixed reaction

es to score a lot of wins early, while increasing confidence and building team chemistry. By scheduling too hard early on, the Johnnies could drop a few games that will put them at a disadvantage once Big East play starts on Dec. 29. On the other hand, this schedule will make almost every game a must-win game before conference play begins. The Red Storm will play their first three of four Big East games on the road, starting with Seton Hall at the Prudential Center. Squaring off against Seton Hall is a big transition for a team that will have played Sacred Heart a week prior. After squaring off against the Pirates, the Johnnies will face Marquette at home, followed up by two straight games on the road against what should be a much improved Georgetown team and powerhouse Villanova. Georgetown and Villanova are two of the

five teams that St. John’s will also play at Madison Square Garden. Five games at the Garden seems low, but the Red Storm also played five games there last year. Perhaps a winning season will grant them more appearances at the world’s most famous arena in coming years. Any wins against Mount St. Mary’s, Maryland Eastern Shore or Sacred Heart wouldn’t turn any heads. However, any losses against those teams on their home court would be catastrophic for a team that’s too talented to let it happen. With no impressive matchup’s, this means the Johnnies would have to perform well in the Big East to earn them consideration to dance in March. St. John’s probably should’ve scheduled some better games to prove that they are up for the challenge. Last season, their non-conference schedule was tough but was highlighted by some key victories over teams like

Notable Matchups

Nov. 6: vs. Loyola Maryland (Carnesecca Arena, Season Opener)

Nov. 16: at Rutgers (Rutgers Athletic Center, Gavitt Tipoff Games)

Nov. 19: vs. California (Barclays Center, Legends Classic)

Dec. 29: at Seton Hall (Prudential Center, conference opener)

Jan. 8: at Villanova (Finenran Pavilion)

Jan. 27: vs. Georgetown (Madison Square Garden)

Feb. 2: at Duke (Cameron Indoor Stadium)

Feb. 17: vs. Villanova (Madison Square Garden)

Feb. 23: vs. Seton Hall (Madison Square Garden)

Mar. 13-16: Big East Tournament (Madison Square Garden)

the Nebraska Cornhuskers. Now, their margin of error is slim. The Johnnies have set themselves up for a potential post-season run.

Softball Coach Steps Down After 12 Seasons Sean Okula Every coach must decide. Strategy, batting order, pitching changes. Decisions will always have consequences, good and bad. But any coach, at least any good coach, will decide using past performance and reason. As Coach Amy Kvilhaug moves on from St. John’s softball and pivots to a career of performance and life coaching, she applies this sensical principle one last time. “She knew we were talented athletes but she always knew how to [push] us to be better,” incoming senior pitcher Madison Morris said. Maximizing potential is a key to Coach Kvilhaug’s next chapter. The last 12 years at St. John’s have been good practice. It is the job of a player to perform. Coaches only push so far, and characterizing their role as chief decision-maker and motivator and not much else wouldn’t be an egregious reach. Coaches coach, and players put up results. All of that said, there’s been one constant in softball’s seven Big East tournament appearances since 2006. Kvilhaug’s impact was felt. Her Red Storm résumé speaks for itself. Those conference tournament appearances, together with 281 wins, two-regular season Big East titles, a conference championship, and the school’s first trip to the NCAA Tournament in 2015 say a lot. Fresh off a


Amy Kvilhaug stepped down as Head Coach of St. John’s Softball earlier this month.

32-win season this past spring, Kvilhaug is walking away from a program she guided to previously unimaginable heights. “Coach K. had a very competitive nature and loved to win,” senior outfielder Christina Melendez said. “She was dedicated to helping us excel on and off the field.” “She was not only focused on us as athletes but as individuals, she cared for each of us and our families,”. “She had a way of making the program feel more like a family than

just a team.” Both players shared a sensation of shock upon first hearing the news. Morris expressed a longing to play under Kvilhaug for the entirety of her four-year St. John’s career, albeit understanding the difficulty of the decision. The timing was surprising, yet sensical at the same time. She took over the program at a crossroads in the summer of 2006. Fresh off back-toback losing seasons, the Johnnies had never

finished with an above-.500 conference record since joining the Big East in 1991. The 2007 team, her first squad, slugged just 23 homers and posted 3.25 runs per game en route to a losing campaign, the first of seven straight losing seasons to begin her St. John’s coaching career. In 2018, the Red Storm mashed a program-record 62 moonshots. They scored over five runs per contest, and capped off a fifth straight winning season with another appearance in the Big East tournament. Coach Kvilhaug had reached the culmination of a 12-year turnaround. She turned a program lost in the shuffle of a power conference into a powerhouse of its own, with plenty of power bats to supplement a spell of power arms and a recharged roster ready to lead the Johnnies into a new era of softball at St. John’s. She departs, leaving the program in an exponentially better state than it was some 12 years ago. That sense of satisfaction, even without any national titles to show, defines coaching success. The search is on to find the next leader of a squad returning a slew of talent for 2019. Whoever that may be, the standard in the locker room has been set high. “She cherished this program and everyone involved in it,” Melendez said. “I wish her nothing but success and happiness in her next chapter.”

SPORTS September 19, 2018 | VOLUME 96, ISSUE 3



The New Age of St. John's soccer Brendan Myers The term “rebuilding year” has become a cliché in sports. If you looked at the St. John’s men’s soccer roster heading into the 2018-19 season, it would have been easy to think it was going to be a rebuilding year. Head Coach Dr. Dave Masur had a squad of 33 players, 25 of them new. Putting the sheer loss in numbers aside, the quality of players that moved on from St. John’s can’t be understated. The reigning Big East Midfielder of the Year, Harry Cooksley, and Big East Defender of the Year David Enstrom both graduated along with starting goalie Andrew Withers. Withers anchored one of the best defenses in the conference last year, only allowing an average of 0.74 goals per game. In addition to graduation problems, the Red Storm also saw key players transfer out of Queens. Alistair Johnston, who started in all 36 games last season and led the team with six goals is now a member of the Wake Forest Demon Deacons. Another key member of the defense, starting center back Wilhelm Nilsson transferred to the warmer weather at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington.

While there might have been some concern over how the roster was going to shape up for this season, that concern was immediately suppressed with impressive performances in the pre-season. The young squad went toeto-toe with nationally ranked teams with a win over then-#19 New Hampshire and a scoreless draw with #16 Fordham. In the attacking third of the field, there are two freshmen that have been impossible to ignore. The first is Skage Simonsen, a Norwegian midfielder who should remind any St. John’s soccer fan of the aforementioned Cooksley. Like Cooksley, Simonsen is 6 feet and 3 inches tall and has the ability to hold the ball up with his big frame, win aerial challenges or stride past defenders with seemingly no effort. His partner up front for most of the season has been another newcomer, Tani Oluwaseyi. Oluwaseyi is a crafty striker who always seems to find himself space in the right areas. Both Simonsen and Oluwaseyi have two goals and two assists each early on. In addition to the goals from Forster, Simonsen and Oluwaseyi, even more St. John’s freshmen have been key in setting those goals up. Brandon Knapp has assisted on two game winning goals this season from the right-back position while Josiah Crawford

and Sanoussi Sangary have also picked up an assist each thus far. In goal, Dr. Masur has used a combination of Lenny Wilson and Tyron Matuta, both newcomers to the program. Wilson, a senior transfer from Hartwick, has picked up two shutouts so far. Both him and Matuta have save percentages above 75 percent. With all the new faces in Queens, a leader needed to step up for the Red Storm. Without a doubt, that leader has been junior midfielder Matt Forster. The Englishman missed most of his freshman year due to injury and came back as a sophomore to score three goals and pass out two assists. Through seven games in his junior season, he already has four goals and an assist, including the lone goal in the Red Storm’s conference opener against Seton Hall at Belson Stadium on Sept. 14. This young squad has certainly had learning moments this season already, like backto-back 1-0 home losses to Lehigh and Loyola-Maryland before rebounding against Seton Hall. However, the bright, young core that Dr. Masur has brought in this season is reason for justifiable excitement. The season for the young Red Storm can be summed up almost perfectly into one statistic. In the team’s four wins, they have

scored a combined eight goals. In the team’s three losses, the Johnnies have yet to score a goal. It’s about getting that goal that springs the confidence within the Red Storm squad. Currently sitting at 4-3, the Johnnies have a favorable schedule over the next two weeks. After a Big East showdown Friday night in Cincinnati against Xavier, St. John’s has a stretch of four consecutive home games against Mount St. Mary’s, Butler, Creighton and Princeton. While the squad is only 2-2 this season while playing at Belson, home field advantage could prove to be a key as the team heads into the later portion of the regular season and into the conference tournament.

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