Volume 97 Issue 7

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VOL 97 : 07 oct. 23, 2019 The award-winning independent student newspaper of St. John’s University

Juice wrld

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making strides of queens 2019

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American Cancer Society Hosts ‘Making Strides of Queens’ Alicia Venter

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, the American Cancer Society hosted an event at Flushing Meadows Corona Park on Sunday, Oct. 20 to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. “Making Strides of Queens” began at 10 a.m. it was recorded by the Society to have had around 20,000 attendees, and with this fundraiser, the society has raised over $420,000 during this year, as of Sunday. According to the official website of the American Cancer Society, “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walks unite communities behind the American Cancer Society’s efforts to save lives from breast cancer.” Multiple organizations, companies and individual teams were present at the event, including St. John’s, which had their own tent to help raise money and awareness for the Society. The University, attempting to increase attendance to the event, provided breakfast and pink St. John’s t-shirts to students and ran a shuttle bus to and from the event. At the park, the SJU Cheer and Dance Team performed to the school Band, and mascot Johnny Thunderbird was there to encourage the walkers. SJU also participated in collecting donations and the school raised a little over $4,800 by Sunday night. Freshman Kayla Fittipaldi was one of the many SJU students who attended.

“The event was amazing, despite the cloudy weather. Everyone was smiling and having a great time,” she said. The best part to her was “the community energy and diversity,” as people from all different ethnicities, ages, and genders attended the walk. “It was worth going to because we were supporting a worthy cause and bringing the community together while doing it,” Fittibaldi said. Multiple new activities were added this year, including the food trucks, titled “Food Truck Row” and Reflection Row, which was available for attendees to purchase a ping flag in dedication to someone who has survived or been affected by Breast Cancer. During the last mile of the walk, the flags were planted in the ground, giving a visual representation of those that were walking. Registration for the event began at 8 a.m., but the official start of the walk wasn’t until 10 a.m. The walk was just a lap, three miles long traversing the walkers through the large park in Corona, Queens. Before the walk began, there were multiple booths and food trucks available, all of which were encouraging donations to the event. There was a special area specifically for breast cancer survivors, where they received special recognition and participated in activities. The American Cancer Society made it clear that every small donation helps. While the event did not require money in order to participate, it



was encouraged that each participant donate at least $10-$20. However, it was not required. Also, even though Breast Cancer Awareness Month is only in October, they mentioned in emails that they collected donations “365 days a year.”

To find out more about the event, visit their Facebook page @MakingStridesQueens. For more events taking place this year, visit https://www. cancer.org.





Bernie Sanders Hosts Rally at Queensbridge ‘I Am Back’ Sanders announces at his rally with AOC Alicia Venter

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders hosted a rally on Saturday, Oct. 19 at Queensbridge Park, his first since his heart attack earlier in the month. In front of an audience of more than 25,000, Sanders discussed his view for the future of America, and the changes he would make if elected President of the United States. Queensbridge Park was chosen for a multitude of reasons. For one, it is located right on the edge of Queens and Manhattan, so rally attendees could look to the left of them and see the high-rise skyscrapers of the city. Meanwhile, on the audience’s right was the largest public housing project in the United States, Queensbridge Housing, and directly behind Sanders was the largest fossil fuel plant in New York City. This was no mistake, as Sanders stated that this was contrast represented how the impoverished were viewed, and that there needed to be an end to “environmental discrimination.” Sanders brought with him a multitude of guest speakers, including filmmaker Michael Moore, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, his national campaign co-chair Nina

Turner and, most an- TORCH PHOTO/ALICIA VENTER TORCH PHOTO/ALICIA VENTER ticipated, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, often referred to as AOC. The energy was electric when AOC stepped on the stage, who recently endorsed Sanders, and was clearly loved by the audience. As the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, AOC shared her story of how she was raised in the Bronx in a one-bedroom home, became a waitress in Rally attendees carry signs in support of Bernie Sanders downtown Manhattan and is now a U.S. Reprenation, student debt, gun regulation present at the rally as well, and were sentative. She states that the reason and global warming. Regarding the enthralled by Sanders and the rest she felt the motivation to run for economy, he said that the top one of the speakers. Freshman Andrea Congress, and had hope she could percent has more wealth than they Vizzuett-Garcia, who is a supportbe elected, was because of Bernie ever have, and that under his ad- er of Sanders and admirer of AOC, Sanders — because he stood for ministration, they would have to shared that her favorite part of the people like her, who had struggled pay their share of taxes. To those rally was “being able to surround to make a living wage. Following people he stated, “You ain’t gonna myself around people who share the her speech, AOC introduced Sand- get it anymore.” same values in solidarity and supers, who was greeted with lengthy “Poverty is a death sentence,” he port a candidate that she loves. It’s a cheers. announced, “And we are going to great feeling.” Sanders discussed many issues end that death sentence.” Sanders’ rally can truly be sumduring his rally, including economThe crowd was filled with diverse marized in the statement he shared ic inequality, insurance and child- individuals on all socio-econom- that got the crowd ecstatic: “To put care costs, housing issues, discrimi- ic levels. St. John’s students were it bluntly, I am back.”

Students Alerted of Possible Gunman, Revealed as Law Enforcement Andreina Rodriguez

Students and faculty received a public safety alert on Wednesday, Oct. 16 notifying them of an armed man outside gate one an hour before it was confirmed that the male was an active member of law enforcement. Students received the alert around 12 p.m. It stated that public safety received a report of the armed man at 11:27 a.m. in a black Toyota minivan outside gate one. Soon afterwards, he left in his vehicle going towards Grand Central Parkway. The New York Police Department (NYPD) responded with Public Safety and investigated the situation. The campus was searched and the

alert confirmed no credible threats. It is within Public Safety’s policy to alert the campus community of these emergencies, according to Brian Browne, university spokesman. Under the Clery Act, the University is required to utilize the policy. This policy, known as the Timely Warning Policy, states: “In the event that a situation arises, either on or off campus of any St. John’s University sites, that, in the judgment of the Executive Director of Public Safety or designee constitutes an ongoing or continuing threat, a campus-wide Public Safety Alert will be issued.” This is listed and described in the annual security and fire safety report sent out by Internal Communications, which also includes other poli-

cies required of the University in the event of emergencies. By 1:10 p.m. an update alert was sent out to students by Public Safety with the assistance of the New York City Police that they identified the male as an active member of law enforcement. The alert ended with a statement reminding everyone that if “[they] see something, say something.” Public Safety received a report of the armed male by a non-St. John’s passerby who observed him and the firearm around his waistband as he exited his parked car that was located outside of gate one, Browne said. The passerby entered campus into the library to notify the Public Safety building attendant about what

he witnessed. Public Safety checked the campus with assistance by NYPD and used closed circuit TV (CCTV) cameras, along with patrol units. By using the cameras, they were able to see that the car drove towards Grand Central Parkway. According to Browne, Public Safety believes their process went well. The University continuously reviews and evaluates incidents as such. “St. John’s University is a safe campus environment and the Office of Public Safety maintains a positive working relationship with local law enforcement agencies who assist the University when emergency situations take place,” Browne said.

4 Features



CCPS Program Dives Into the Trends Anna McFillin As the St. John’s University Fashion Program grows, so does the opportunity for students and faculty to get involved in the industry. On Tuesday Oct. 15, speaker Sean O’Connor from WGSN, World Global Style Network, came to speak with faculty on WGSN trend reports and how SJU can access these. WGSN was established in 1998 and is the core site for all things trending. They are based in New York and London, and have main hubs in several different cities ranging from Paris, Barcelona, Melbourne, Tokyo and Seoul. With partners such as Coach, Adidas, Levi’s, Starbucks, Netflix, FILA, Puma and Disney, WGSN is a powerhouse of fashion knowledge. From colors to fashion and lifestyle to beauty, they report what most people are wearing, using and buying. These reports are most helpful to companies launching new products and looking to see what is trending, and also to fashion designers, students, influencers, or really anyone who wants to know what materials the world is gravitating towards. O’Connor spoke about how years back it took a long time for trends to catch on, but today with social media, every trend is shared instantaneously. The four main areas of WGSN’s research are: Insight, Fashion, Lifestyle and Interior and Beauty. Insight is all about the consumer research. “Trends begin from how people live their lives,” O’Connor said. “About 70 percent of Gen Z consumers will stop shopping at a company if it is not sustainable. Many people believe

sustainability is trending, but it is in fact a way of life.” Many of the millenials began the push for sustainability and Gen Z is continuing the cycle. O’Connor spoke about the baby boomers and how they want sustainability, but some may not understand it fully and be less inclined to buy products based around it. Fashion is a giant sector of WGSN. They will send employees out to cover fashion shows, festivals and events. Artificial Intelligence sources also pull trends from social media. Afterwards, all of the photos are uploaded into folders based on designers, colors and styles and then broken down into what is trending. The study showed that this year there was a 10 percent increase in dresses on the runway this year, O’Connor noted. One of the social media trends O’Connor mentioned was the rise of avatar influencers. Robots that look very realistic to human beings post just as any fashion style blogger or instagrammer would. An example of one of these influencers is @lilmiquela on Instagram. Coachella is a big hub for spotting trends. WGSN sends employees to report on outfits seen at Coachella and will release those reports to companies such as Urban Outfitters. It is important for them to see the trends to know what products to create, market and sell. Fashion is the main topic of WGSN’s reporting, but it is not limited to it. Lifestyle and home has an entire section called “Home Hub” which consists of all sorts of products for everyday life and comfort. “We live in an anxious world that consistently seeks comfort. The home is for self-care, wellness

According to the World Global Style Network, trends for the upcoming two years will include a rise in gender nonspecific clothing items.

and self-improvement,” O’Connor said. He added that many millenials work from home now and are purchasing things like heated rugs. “They provide comfort as well as a sustainable way to heat the space,” he said. SJU students have access to both the Fashion reports and the Insight (consumer research) when they make a personal account with their SJU email on campus wifi. These reports have the ability to open many doors for those who want to educate themselves further on the industry. Professor Richard Bigger, SJU’s fashion design and fashion film professor, has ample experience with WGSN and has used it for his work at Calvin Klein and Ralph Lauren. He advocates for his students to explore the creative process and use all the resources they can, WGSN included. He took his fashion design class on a trip to WGSN where he spoke about using the trend forecasts at Calvin Klein where they would assess and execute based off the research done at WGSN. “It was interesting to learn that trends tie into consumer behavior and the extensive research that goes into trend forecasting,” Camila Quiroga, Fashion Studies major, said. “It affects our everyday lives.” In terms of fashion today, it is ever evolving

and trends are constantly emerging. Fashion has always been a field of expression and experimenting with different styles or trends. Since WGSN focuses on the future, they are always two years ahead of trends, meaning students can expect to see these trends hit SJU very soon. For color trends and forecasts, Spring/Summer 2021 is predicting Aqua, Oxy Fire Red, Lemon Sherbert and Neo Mint. 2021 is also looking like a promising rise of style shifting in the age of inclusivity. “About 30 percent of Gen Z know people who use non gender based terms,” O’Connor said. “We are seeing a rise of genderless pastels in 2021 [with the rise of fashion inclusivity].” Fashion has already started to be more fluid, but it is predicted that non gender specific clothing will grow and evolve. Trends dictate the way companies operate and how people live. In this fast-paced society of instant sharing on social media, trends are constantly coming and going. WGSN is a useful resource for college students studying fashion, especially those at SJU who live and study in one of the most fashionable cities in the world, to stay on top of these ever-changing trends as they build their careers in fashion.

Ideas for the Ultimate Weekend Trip Sophie Williams

Tired of staring at your dorm walls all weekend? Then get away for the weekend and go on a trip. I know what you’re thinking: I’m a broke college student, how can I take a weekend trip? There are trips for everyone’s budget. Even though you might already be day-dreaming of Thanksgiving turkey or listening to John Legend’s Christmas album, this semester isn’t quite over yet.While I can’t promise taking weekend trips will make the semester go by faster, I can promise you will have some fun.

Train to … anywhere! Sleepy Hollow: Take the F train to 42-Bryant Park and walk to Grand Central Terminal to take the Metro-North Hudson Line train to Tarrytown. Sleepy Hollow is a fictional city based on Washington Irving’s tale of a headless horseman who terrorized the city. The fictional city became even more popular through the 1999 film Sleepy Hollow. The events in the movie take place near and around Tarrytown, NY While here, your love for any-

thing scary can take flight with a visit to Horseman’s Hollow or even a haunted cemetery tour. A round trip ticket on the North Hudson Line is only $30. Hoboken: Take the F train to 23 St., then transfer to the PATH train toward Hoboken, ride for 4 stops until you reach the Hoboken station. See the skyline of New York like never before with a trip to Hoboken, NJ. Stay the day or even the night! You can visit Carlo’s Bake Shop, the Hoboken Waterfront Walkway or even a Pyramid escape room. PATH fare is the same as metro so you could be spending as little as $11 round trip! PATH tickets can be purchased at the 23 St. Station before your transfer. With the small travel fee, you will have money leftover for more exploring in Hoboken! Boston: Take the F train 34 St.-Herald Sq. Walk to Penn Station and board the Amtrak Acela Express toward Boston South station. Get off at Back Bay station and transfer to the T-Orange line to State station. A historical city more your thing? Then Boston is just the right place to spend the weekend. Visit the Bunker Hill Mon-

ument to see the best view of Boston. Ride the Swan Boat through the Public Garden Lagoon (only $2.75!). Visit historic downtown to fulfill your American History dreams, the Boston Harbor or even the Museum of Fine Arts. There are lots of things to see in Boston that are free, or mostly free. So all you need to do is find your way there and a place to stay. Gather some friends together and split the hotel or airbnb cost! Tickets on the Amtrak can vary between $50-70 one way. This trip may take a little saving, but it is worth it! Hershey Park: Drive on I-78W to Hershey, PA. Now if you have a little more time, gas money and, well, a car, this trip is for you. Hershey Park is an amusement park located in Hershey, PA. Tickets cost $41.95 for a one day pass or $28.88 two day pass (per day). Your ticket gets you access to all the rides, the waterpark and the zoo! If amusement parks aren’t really your thing, and chocolate is, you can visit Hershey’s Chocolate World! Admission is free, however some attractions in the facility cost money.

One subway away! ... (Read more at torchonline.com)

Features 5


Meet Student Magician Toushis Azad Alana Loren Bethea

know that he would be performing his famous card tricks in front of the rapper that evening. After the Lil Pump’s performance, Azad showed a couple “It shows how anything could just happen.” On the evening of May 10, Toushis Azad drove his white of security guards magic tricks backstage. The guards recogNissan Altima to the Meatpacking district in Manhattan. nized the student, who had done magic tricks behind the With his concert ticket ready, the student was eager to see curtain at prior concerts at Terminal 5. Glancing over with camera in hand, one of the concert Miami rapper Lil Pump perform on the Terminal 5 stage. With his own increasing social media presence across Ins- photographers began watching Azad perform magic tricks, tagram, Youtube and TikTok, “lyrical magician” Azad was and asked the magician to perform a trick for him. Pick a card – the photographer took a card out of a deck used to the spotlight, though the 6-foot-4 magician did not of playing cards and memorized TORCH PHOTO/SPENCER CLINTON it. After putting it back, Azad shuffled the deck. Then, the photographer picked another card, different from the original card he had chosen before. “I told him to touch the card one more time,” Azad recounted to the Torch. Remarkably, this time, the card changed to the original card the photographer picked out. The photographer suggested the magician show Lil Pump a trick. “He was baffled by it … next thing you know I’m on the tour bus with Lil Pump doing magic for him,” Azad mentioned. “It was so unexpected.” The Long Island native posted a video of him and the rapper on the star’s tour bus this past spring on his Instagram account and it now Toushis Azad has performed magic for celebrities like Lil Pump and DJ Khaled. has nearly 15,000 views.

The sophomore computer science student has performed his magic tricks in front of over 27 different celebrities, including American professional wrestler John Cena, actress Bella Thorne, actor Marlon Wayans, former football players Victor Cruz and Michael Strahan and, most recently, DJ Khaled. It turns out that not all magicians wear red capes, black top hats and hold a magic wand. Azad believes a magician is, “someone who practices their craft for a number of years, someone who perfected the art of a craft. A magician could be anyone.” For Azad, it’s been 10 years since he began perfecting his craft. His journey started when as an 8-year-old, Azad wanted to do something for his third grade talent show. ‘Why don’t you do magic?’ his father asked. To encourage his son to learn the art of charming, Azad’s father bought him a Criss Angel MINDFREAK Professional Magic Kit which contained more than 400 magic tricks and video downloads taught by Criss himself. “It helped me start somewhere,” Azad said. Today, Azad incorporates some tricks he learned from Angel’s kit with his own style while involving tidbits of magician David Blaine’s street magic within his own routine. “David Blaine’s different style in magic has inspired me … how much he practiced his craft for 20 plus years ... where he knows how to hold his breath underwater for 17 minutes – it’s really impressive,” Azad explained. If you take a scroll through his Instagram account, with nearly 7,000 followers, or his TikTok, with upwards of 19,000, you’ll see that Lil Pump was not the first celebrity he performed magic for and it surely won’t be the last – in the meantime, you can find him around campus, perfecting his magic.

Veganism in the Makeup Industry Francesca Fazio


Vegan. This word can elicit many emotions, but what if it was in reference to make-up, not food? Do these feelings change? Many people might react by saying all make-up is vegan – after all, you don’t expect to find milk and eggs in your blush. However, this is not always the case. With recent “animal-friendly” initiatives, many cosmetic companies have chosen to go vegan as well as cruelty-free. So what’s the difference? A person living a traditional vegan lifestyle won’t eat or wear anything that came from an animal, its meat or byproducts. Accordingly, vegan make-up is anything that doesn’t use animal products or ingredients. Now more than ever consumers are being more conscious about their ecological impact, with a quarter of millennials identifying as vegan or vegetarian according to The Economist. They actually went so far as to claim 2019 as “the year of the vegan.” However, according to this definition, vegan doesn’t guarantee cruelty-free. A cruelty-free cosmetic is one that has none of its components or the finished product tested on animals. This translates to consumers having to do research about the products they are buying to make sure they are not being misled by the labeling. This being noted, there are also many companies that are both cruelty-free and vegan. “I would do my best to research the company and make sure that they are cruelty-free or vegan so that no animals are being subjected to any form of unnecessary testing,” Courtney Herzog, a member of The Animal Rights Association at SJU, said. “The good thing about the makeup industry today though is that most companies are moving towards being cruelty-free, so hopefully one day they all will be.” PETA, an active animal rights activist group, keeps a running list of vegan companies that don’t test on animals. Some popular cosmetic brands are Dermablend, Milani, Too Faced, Tarte, Urban Decay, Wet n’ Wild, Lush and Kat Von D Beauty. These products run the gamut, so if you wanted to it’s possible to replace every step of your beauty routine with items that are cruelty-free and vegan – even your brushes! Nanshy is one of these vegan makeup application tool companies, and they bullet reasons to go vegan with your makeup routine on their website. First, it’ll prevent dead animal byproducts, such as uric acid and dead insect extracts (like Carmine for pigmentation) from touching your skin. Second, besides as being animal-friendly you’ll be eco-friendly, as vegan makeup’s packaging is typically made from recycled materials. Finally, in this newly veganized era, there is no shortage of different products to efficiently and affordably continue your normal routine. This movement of cruelty-free and vegan make-up has gained so

much momentum that when a product isn’t certified or goes back to testing on animals, there is public outrage. As cited by The New York Times, this is exactly what happened when Estée Lauder and Revlon began retesting on animals in order to sell in China, where it is legally required. The Guardian also cites a similar case where “Nars announced it would have to test its products on animals in order to be sold in China” and “a petition against the company’s new stance on animal testing attracted nearly 250,000 signatures.” Dr. Dennis Gross, a dermatologist, said in the same New York Times article that Gen Z consumers look to purchase products that are in line with their personal values, and these shopping habits a huge drive for change in the industry. People have begun pushing animal rights issues to the forefront of the conversation and companies are listening – it’s up to consumers to decide what their personal values are and which companies they accordingly support. PHOTO COURTESY/YOUTUBE JULIE ADAMS MUA

LEFT: Three certified labels that will appear on makeup. TOP: Milk Makeup is a vegan makeup line, meaning their products are completely free of animal products.




Flames of the Torch



STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS Jewel Antoine Sara Rodia Ivy Bourke Anna McFillin Sophie Williams Alicia Venter Brendan Murray

Priscilla K. Delgado Taimur G. Jillian Ortiz Michael Yacik Francesca Fazio Sydney Denham Alana Loren Bethea Sophie FinnMcMahon


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.

Staff Editorial: Tip-Off and a New Era in Athletics torchonline.com




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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.


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This past Friday, St. John’s held their annu- for the Big East title as well as a possible al Tip-Off event. Students lined up starting NCAA Tournament bid. at around 6 a.m. in order to obtain tickets With basketball season coming up, the for the event. The line continued through- Torch will be releasing its annual Courtside out the day leading up to a few hours before basketball magazine on Nov. 4. The magathe much anticipated event. zine includes essential coverage before the Tip-Off is always an exciting time for season starts, as well as in-depth features of students at St. John’s and it is an essential star players on both teams. Look out for the part of the overall student experience. See- magazine on stands and don’t miss out on ing thousands of students pack into Car- information you can’t get anywhere else. nesecca Arena Friday night was without a Finally, the St. John’s Men’s Soccer team doubt a positive sign heading into basket- was ranked in the RPI rankings as the ball season. The event best team in the naconcluded with Juice tion while also being WRLD’s much anticranked in the fourth ipated performance spot by the United which certainly did not The Red Storm Soccer Coaches poll disappoint. Tip-Off have a lot to prove (see the story on the was a great time this heading into a new back page). For the year (for those who did hundreds of students era. not sell their ticket). who have packed BelThe St. John’s student son Stadium for men’s body was able to come together for a night soccer games this season, you can attest to of entertainment and to support both the just how good this team is. They have a lot men’s and women’s basketball teams. This of talent which has been reflected by their kind of support should continue heading 12-1 regular season record and their 5-0 into the anticipated basketball season. conference record. On Wednesday night, For the men’s team, under newly hired the Red Storm take on rival Georgetown head coach Mike Anderson, the Red Storm University who were ranked second in RPI. have a lot to prove heading into a new era. This is going to be the game of the year, so Although the team is sure to have it’s grow- the St. John’s student body should do what ing pains, they could potentially turn some it has done the past six home games. Fans heads, especially once Big East play comes need to pack Belson on Wednesday night around. and provide an electric atmosphere that the The women’s basketball team is sure to men’s soccer team can feed off of in order win more than their fair share of games this to keep the Red Storm surging into postseaseason as they were ranked second in the son play. As far as St. John’s athletics goes, Big East preseason poll. Head coach Joe the Torch’s coverage has been nonstop, Tartamella’s lineup features its fair share of with something new and exciting happenreturning players who look to make a run ing in every sport on the Queens campus.

CEO of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg Aids in the Spread of Lies Across America Sophie Finn-McMahon Sure, social media has allowed the public to remain up-todate on the latest news stories, but it has also aided in the spreading of falsehoods. There has been a rise of this since the 2016 presidential election, in which Russian spies used social media sites to spread misinformation about 2016 Democrat candidate Hilary Clinton as a method of political sabotage. Many Americans, specifically Democrats, worry that history will repeat itself in next year’s presidential election. To ease themselves of this worry, they want the CEOs of social media sites to intervene and prevent the further spread of disinformation. On Thursday Oct. 17, Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, told the Washington Post before an interview at Georgetown University that he is going to allow political ads containing misrepresentations and lies about the 2020 presidential candidates to be posted onto his social network. Zuckerberg believes that banning political ads containing

misrepresentations and lies infringes on American’s right to free speech, which according to the U.S. Constitution under the first amendment guarantees the right to express ideas and information without fear of government censorship. “Zuckerberg stressed Facebook must stand strong against the governments that seek to ‘pull back’ on speech in the face of heightened social and political tension,” Tony Romm of the Washington Post said. This received backlash from Democrats. Personally, I do not think that Zuckerberg is doing this to protect Americans’ right to free speech. I think he is permitting this because he is profiting from it. Bill Russo, the spokesperson for Joe Biden’s campaign, also finds Zuckerberg’s reasoning unconvincing. “Zuckerberg attempted to use the Constitution as a shield for his company’s bottom line, and his choice to cloak Facebook’s policy in a feigned concern for free expression demonstrates how unprepared his company is for this unique moment in our history and how

little it has learned over the past few years.” Zuckerberg also pinned the blame on the United States government. He claims the government’s lack of retaliation after the 2016 presidential election is the reason the problem has worsened since then. Yet again, Zuckerberg finds another excuse to continue the promotion of lies in political ads. None of the nonsense, as stated above, Zuckerberg has said in recent weeks is surprising to me in the slightest. The only motive owners of major, multi-billion dollar companies have is profiting more money. They will do anything in their power to achieve this. They do not care if it harms their loyal users. And so I end with this — a cliche quote our parents and teachers told us growing up: “Don’t believe everything you read on the Internet.” In a heightened political climate, you should be wary of the information posted online because it might not be true.



Closing Rikers Is A Good Call Jewel Antoine The infamous Rikers Island jail complex is expected to close its doors within the next decade due to a decision by the New York City Council. Instead, the city is opening borough-based detention centers in every borough except Staten Island. Currently, Rikers Island can house nearly 10,000 inmates and is one of the country’s most notorious correctional facilities. While the implementation of the four new borough jails has many logistical problems, I believe that the closing of Rikers Island is monumental for the movement of criminal justice reform in New York City. The closing of the jail complex symbolizes more than just the abolishment of a dangerous and inhumane jail, but it also places New York City at the forefront of the national movement to reverse mass incarceration, an issue that has historically affected black and Latinx people. Rikers Island has long been known as one of the most dangerous jails, but in recent years, it

has gained national attention for having a seemingly unfixable culture of abuse. In 2012, Rikers recorded that more than 14 percent of adolescents detained between the ages of 16 and 18 were held in solitary confinement at least one time. They also recorded that

abuse are allowed to flourish, far away from the public eye. The City Council hopes that abolishing Riker’s and creating the borough-based jails will help minimize violence and promote community integration. While I’m all for the closing of Rikers, PHOTO COURTESY\NEEDPIX

more than 48 percent of adolescents at the institution had been diagnosed with mental health problems. The violent conditions at Rikers are even more shocking considering that the majority of people at the jail are awaiting trial and have not yet been convicted of a crime. Rikers Island has become a place where violence and

I’m not sure that New York City needs four new jails. The new jails would cost a whopping $8 billion, have 886 beds each and would require the reduction of the jail population by more than half by 2026. My concern is that by focusing on the physical structure of Rikers Island itself, and not addressing the abhorrent

culture of violence and abuse that exists there, we may be ignoring a much larger problem. My biggest fear is that this same culture may leak into these new jails and that the major issues such as the existence of solitary confinement and the treatment of those with mental illnesses will not be corrected. I’m hoping that these new jails symbolize a shift in our criminal justice system and not just a continuation of the toxicity at Rikers. I believe that the closing of Rikers Island is revolutionary. We owe it to inmates like Kalief Browder, Korey Wise and all the other inmates whose names and stories that we will probably never know. We owe it to the future of New York City to treat every single inmate with respect because when we mistreat, abuse, violate and dehumanize people when they’re behind bars, we are forced to deal with the consequences when they are released. Closing Rikers is a good call. My concern is: what’s next?

California Makes Strides in the Fight for Reproductive Rights College Campuses Will Now Provide Students With Abortion Medication Ivy Bourke On Friday, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law that will provide public college students with abortion medication at campus health centers. This law will take affect in 2023. With this law, all 34 campuses of the University of California and California State University systems will be required to provide this service for students.These state schools will offer a nonsurgical and noninvasive medical abortion that will consist of taking two prescription pills during the first ten weeks of pregnancy to induce a miscarriage; this medication is mifepristone and misoprostol. These pills will be at no cost for students. According to the Los Angeles Times, this bill will rely on private donations, not state dollars, to pay for these services to be accessible for students on public college campuses. The California government hopes to raise $10 million to have these medications available. In my opinion, this is interesting since this concludes that no government money will be going toward the medication. In the future, though it is a Catholic university, I feel that St. John’s should con-

sider offering this service in the campus health center in DaSilva Residence Hall. This service potentially being offered at St. John’s would make many women feel comfortable, safe, and noticed. There are significant challenges, one being St. John’s is a private school whereas the California schools are public. And with the Catholic church publicly anti-abortion, St. John’s

This decision shows hope for many women.

would also therefore be paving the way for many other religious campuses, such as Seton Hall, to be caring towards the students who are impregnated via rape on a college campus. As a woman, I believe the choice that California made is significant and brave. This decision shows hope for many women, especially those who live in places where abortion has never been accepted. Going to college and being raised in two

states that are extremely supportive of women’s rights is something I am truly thankful for. I hope that this decision will influence other states to think of the same type of legislature in order to keep women protected on college campuses, public or private. Since the iconic Supreme Court case regarding abortion, Roe v. Wade in 1973, abortion has been a hot topic in the government and among Americans. Being such a controversial decision, many who consider themselves pro-life are extremely against this idea that abortion medication should be administered to California college students on campuses in four years. Due to Roe v. Wade, women have a right that they never believed they would have before. Since women have the right to choose what is done with their bodies, this law paves the way for many more states to follow its footsteps in protecting women on college campuses, hopefully. The fight for women’s and reproductive rights is, unfortunately, a fight that will always have to be fought. As America is split down the middle regarding abortion, prochoice Americans have to stand up for all women whose voices can never be heard.


Simone Biles’ Record Breaking Performance Paves Way for Young Girls Sara Rodia Simone Biles is probably the most well known gymnast in the world and her fame just keeps growing. Biles recently broke the record for most world medals won by any gymnast, which is a massive accomplishment for a female gymnast. For anyone who doesn’t know the workings of men’s world champion gymnastics, it consists of six individual event finals, an all-around final and a team final. This gives individuals the ability to win up to eight medals. However, for women, there are only four individual event finals, including an all-around final and a team final; meaning the highest amount of medals that can be won at a world championship is only six, two less than the men. Biles now holds 25 world championship medals, the most among both men and women gymnasts. I am simply in awe of Biles and her amazing accomplishments for both gymnastics and for females. The fact that Biles was able to clench more medals than the previous record holder, Belarusian men’s gymnast Vitaly Scherbo, is wildly impressive. Biles is truly now the most decorated world champion gymnast and best gymnast (both male or female) that has ever lived. Biles also gained two more skills that bear her name. I honestly don’t even know how to react to the fact that she now has four skills named after her — two on the floor (the Biles and the Biles II), one on the vault (the Biles) and one on beam (the Biles). Most gymnasts will never even have a single skill named after them, and now Biles has four. As a retired gymnast, I can attest to how difficult the sport is, but it comes natural to Biles. She works hard of course, but her amazing accomplishments are due to a combination of her hard work and natural talent. Biles’ resume just continues to grow and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon. She has the potential to win five gold medals at the Olympics and six medals over-all, which would mean a medal on every event. By becoming the most decorated world champion gymnast and breaking records, Biles shows women and girls that there is no limit to their potential. Biles beat Scherbo’s record for world championship medals, a task that, for a while, seemed near impossible for a female gymnast because of the medal potential difference. It’s important for women, especially young girls, to see this occurring and to know that while odds are sometimes stacked in men’s favor, times are changing and they can be just as good or even better than their male counterparts.

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Culture 9



“The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett

“The Dutch House” by Ann Patchett is a mash-up of fairy tales with a dark twist spanning over five decades. This book follows the lives of two siblings, Maeve and Danny Conroy and is told from Danny’s perspective, who is sometimes oblivious to the world around him. However, he paints a vivid description of their lives and makes it clear that his sister is his hero. Cyril Conroy, Maeve and Danny’s dad, is a self-made real estate mogul. He purchases a mansion for his family in the mid-1940’s that was built by a Dutch couple in 1922 –– hence the title of the book –– and considers this purchase a reflection of his success. A few years later, Cyril meets and marries Andrea, who is nearly 20 years younger and more interested in the Dutch House than him. Andrea assumes the role of an evil stepmother to Maeve and Danny and gains control of Cyril’s assets upon his death years later. Maeve and Danny are kicked out of the house and are left to fend for themselves as they navigate the world together. They regularly visit the Dutch House, parking on the street to gaze up at their former home –– a routine they follow for years. The sprinkling of fairytale influences, including “Cinderella,” “Hansel and Gretel” and “The Little Princess,” make this modern-day dark fairy tale a warning of the potential treachery when one encounters both wealth and poverty. It is critical to note that the house takes on an important role in the book, almost as if it is a character. The house symbolizes the success of Maeve and Danny’s dad, the demise of their family and the betrayal of their stepmother.

Maeve and Danny have a solid bond that keeps them close throughout school, college, careers, health issues and relationships, yet the house continues to lure them back to how their lives used to be and could have been. I think the story would’ve benefited from having a proper name for the house rather than calling it “the Dutch House.” Tom Hanks narrates the audiobook edition of this novel and his voice draws you in, commanding your attention. He exudes feeling and personality in his narration, making it seem as if you are listening to a friend telling a story rather than an audiobook recording. The story constantly jumps from childhood to adulthood and back as it is not written in a chronological manner. This writing style forces the reader to pay attention to the story. I found it helpful rather than confusing to gain the additional tidbits of Danny and Maeve’s lives –– it felt like putting the pieces of a puzzle together. This Sept. 24 release is Patchett’s eighth novel and has garnered quite a buzz as the October book for NBC’s Today Show Read with Jenna Book Club, led by Jenna Bush Hager. This book club includes an online community on Facebook and Instagram and helps people keep up with fellow readers using the hashtag #ReadwithJenna. Happy reading! (Top) Patchett discusses an exclusive printed edition of her new novel in an interview. (Bottom) “The Dutch House” audiobook cover, narrated by Tom Hanks.


Priscilla K. Delgado


Jenna Bush Hager’s Book Club October Pick

“El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” The emotional ending all “Breaking Bad” fans need Taimur G. There have been rumors mulling for years about a “Breaking Bad” film after the landmark show ended in September of 2013. Last fall, Netflix officially confirmed that it would release said project after months of cryptic posts by star Aaron Paul (who plays Jesse in the series). This August, a trailer was officially released, sending the show’s widespread fan base into a frenzy with subsequent ads during primetime events such as the Emmys and even an announcement of a theatrical release. “El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie” is here, picking up right from the events of the series finale. Providing an epilogue to a universally beloved ending was a risk to say the least, but this is the epilogue fans didn’t know they needed. “El Camino” is stunning, emotional, vexing and above all, profound. After the tragedy Jesse Pinkman endured throughout “Breaking Bad”’s five seasons, it feels right to see his journey continue. This journey transcends the show’s original dramatic heights, partially due to a masterful performance by Paul as the once foolish former drug dealer now daring to

find freedom and to make his own peace in a world that won’t allow him. In a stark contrast to the series where Cranston delivered an all-time great performance as Walter White –– the first billed character whose dynamic with Pinkman was imperative to the show’s premise and development –– Jesse takes the limelight in this film. Just as viewers witnessed Walter’s iconic transformation from a feeble, overqualified high school chemistry teacher to a ruthless, full blown meth kingpin, “El Camino” provides fans with a fleshed out, final form of Jesse. A somber realization hits once again, six years later: “Breaking Bad” is officially over. While the prequel show, “Better Call Saul,” will air for a fifth season, the story has certainly reached its endpoint. An aptly comparable drama has not aired since the show’s end. “Breaking Bad” filled the void in the wake of “The Sopranos” domineering run. Walter White proved to be a worthy heir to Tony Soprano –– the anti-hero who you just can’t help but root for. The show had an iconic performance by Bryan Cranston and similarly by Aaron Paul, as well as universal acclaim for the various supporting actors, all of whom were showered with awards.

While there was a general consensus that Tony Soprano became downright despicable towards the end of “The Sopranos,” Walter White remained oddly likeable. “Breaking Bad” questioned our morality, often with a perplexing array of never ending reasons as to why we rooted for the actions of an outright criminal. Perhaps because his foray into “cooking” methamphetamine was to secure his family financially after he was diagnosed with lung cancer. Or it could be because his peers conventionally surpassed him, making millions in a corporation off of the work that he abruptly left, after selling his shares for a few hundred dollars before it flourished into unimaginable fame and fortune. Maybe, most of all, because we see ourselves in Walter –– wanting something more from life than what we see as obtainable. Taking the most daring of risks when all you’re guaranteed is death and living with a sense of high octane thrill rarely found otherwise. It’s the aspect of changing into something wild, that you or anyone you knew thought possible, to defy convention, to break bad.




Fall Favorites

Dayra Santana

Autumn is in full swing –– ­­orange foliage now complements the landscape and thick knit sweaters are soon to make an appearance all around campus as everyone prepares to wrap up another year. This time –– right before the chaos of the holiday season –– is for cozy conversation and warm nights in, and as leaves fall to the ground one can’t help but feel nostalgic. Here are five autumnal selections, from movies to albums, for your listening and viewing pleasure as you sink into the season.

"Skylight"by Pinegrove

take place in the heart of autumn, it has a warm color palette of oranges and olive greens, an aesthetic often that brings to mind this time of year. With a soundtrack that includes Nick Drake, The Velvet Underground and Elliott Smith, this offbeat comedy manages to be wistful and playful at the same time, making it a film you can’t help but dig up every fall.

"The Craft" Dir. by Andrew Fleming Can be rented online for $3.99 (Amazon, Vudu, etc.) or catch a screening on select days this month at the Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn

Indie-rock and Folk album Listen on Spotify or Bandcamp for free The most recently released of all the items on this list, Pinegrove’s second studio album is laced with themes of friendship, love and self-reflection. This album’s unique sound, a warm mix of indie-rock and folk, and poetic songwriting evokes feelings of sentimentality. Tracks like “Paterson & Leo,” with a lingering drum beat and the yearning tone of lead singer Evan Stephens Hall’s vocals, make this one of the first albums that comes to mind I think about cozying up in bed while the wind howls outside. Listen closely for some great one-liners, like, “I love you like it’s the old days,” that will stick in your head for days.

"The Royal Tenenbaums "

If you’re looking for something a little more sinister to compliment the Halloween spirit, “The Craft” is an essential watch. Released in 1996, it follows four outcasted teenage girls at private school who begin experimenting with witchcraft. The character of Nancy Downs (top) feels like fall embodied in a person, with her dark style and her moody demeanor. Everything about this film summons up a nostalgia for all things 90’s, and no October movie-marathon is ever complete without this witchy cult classic.

"Either/Or" by Elliott Smith Classic Album Listen on Spotify No autumn playlist is complete without the smooth vocals of the late Elliot Smith. If there was ever an album that was perfectly made to compliment the nostalgia that comes with fall, this is it. This classic album is filled with intricate songwriting and passionate vocals. Tracks like “Between the Bars,” feel as though they were made to be played when the air gets crisp and leaves crunch under our feet, so put your headphones in and go for a walk with this album.

"When Harry Met Sally"


Dir. by Wes Anderson Can be rented for $2.99 online (Amazon, Vudu, etc.) One of Wes Anderson’s many zany masterpieces, “The Royal Tenenbaums” centers around a dysfunctional and absurd family that reunites one winter. Although the film doesn’t


Dir. by Rob Reiner Watch with Showtime subscription or $2.99 on iTunes There is arguably nothing more gorgeous than New York City in the fall and there’s nothing like a good romantic comedy on a night in. Enjoy the picturesque scenery through your screen, as well as 90’s dream girl Meg Ryan’s iconic autumn outfits, while you watch as it takes Harry and Sally 12 years to fall in love. Go ahead and visit Central Park for your own stroll through the autumn trees after you watch this classic romance.


Harry Styles captivates “Jojo Rabbit,” a dark satire fans in new song “Lights Up.” Michael Yacik

Jillian Ortiz

The driving force behind any song that can get you out of your seat is the bassline. It is the bassline that provides that feel-good feeling to your soul. It provides a pathway for the rhythm to spark an influx of serotonin in your brain to let you know that you are listening to a wonderfully good song. Harry Styles (bottom left) delivers this in his latest release, “Lights Up.” When you hear a good bassline, you know that you will listen to that song on repeat for days on end. In fact, it might be all that you choose to listen to for the following week. Whether it’s played through your headphones, in your car or through the speaker in your bedroom, there is an addictive quality to a good song. The combination of a melancholy tone, upbeat tempo and funkyyet-subtle bassline are precisely what have

allowed Styles to deliver on what is assumed to be the first single off of his anticipated sophomore album. “It’d be so sweet if things just stayed the same,” Styles belts, inviting us into the chorus of the song, where he tells us over easy strokes of the piano keys that he has found comfort in stepping into the light –– into a new chapter of his life. The groove of the bridge takes us right into the second verse, where the harmonies are angelic enough to make you think that the solfege sounding “La-da-da-da-da” is a work of lyrical genius. The track, which is less than three minutes long, is enough to demonstrate that fans can expect to hear the growth Styles has undergone over the years in his forthcoming album –– which does not have a confirmed title yet –– since the release of his eponymous album, Harry Styles (2017).

The director of “Jojo Rabbit,” Taika Waititi, appears to have followed the obvious blueprint for lighthearted feel-good comedy to succeed his 2017 Marvel feature “Thor: Ragnarok.” Imaginary friends? Check. Summer camp? Check. Nazis? Check — wait, that can’t be right. The film centers on Jojo, a 10-year-old German boy indoctrinated by the Hitler Youth toward the end of World War II. Though obsessively patriotic –– his best friend is an imaginary version of Hitler himself –– he is scorned by his peers for his lack of toughness. After being horrifically injured in a grenade-throwing accident at camp, a housebound Jojo discovers that his mother (played by Scarlett Johansson –– bottom right) has been hiding Elsa, a teenage Jewish girl, in their crawlspace. Jojo’s confused and immature mind, which struggles to justify his nationalism with Elsa’s suffering, is personified by imaginary Hitler’s laughable and boyish antics. Relentless humor ranges from on-point to

downright silly. For example, a camp counselor emphatically announces a book burning to screams of childish glee; the imaginary dictator hypes up Jojo by asking him to “heil at me,” and a General, who requests a pack of German Shepherds, is instead brought a group of bearded German men with shepherd’s crooks. At first glance, one may fear that “Jojo Rabbit” screams poor taste or is baiting its viewers to be offended. Instead, the film’s dark satire prevails by using its setting to sneakily shock the audience with the horror of the time period, to crumble comedic highs quickly into horrific lows, and cut off the audience mid-laugh. Though largely presented as bumbling caricatures, particularly in Waititi’s goofy portrayal of Hitler, the Nazis are far from romanticized. Don’t let the trailer fool you –– while Jojo Rabbit is indeed hilarious, it serves as a surprisingly emotional and thought-provoking look at the dangers of propaganda and the human capacity for change.




Women’s Soccer Loses Home Winning Streak TORCHPHOTO/NICK BELLO

Sydney Denham The St. John’s University Women’s Soccer team (4-11-0, 1-5-0) fell to Big East opponent Xavier University (11-3-2, 4-2-0) at Belson Stadium on Oct. 20 at 1pm. The history between St. John’s and Xavier looks to a six-year winning streak by the Johnnies. In last year’s game at the Xavier University Soccer Complex in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Red Storm held a 1-0 lead over the Musketeers. St. John’s goalkeeper, Meredith Reinhardt, found herself with a career-high nine saves in net that game. Attendees filled the rainy stands to see this matchup as the Johnnies were hoping to leave with a win. Not only looking to keep their winning streak with Xavier but also their winning streak at Belson Stadium this season, the Lady Johnnies found themselves fighting hard in their end of the field. Xavier’s strong offense was keeping the Johnnies’ defense on their feet throughout the game. Goalkeeper Reinhardt had many great saves in the net for the second year in a row versus Xavier. Her stellar performance in net held off nine of Xavier’s twelve attempts to find the back of the net. Sunday’s game marked a season-high number of stops for St. John’s. This was the career-high number she held last year against Xavier. This Redshirt Junior now has a combined 39 saves this 2019 season. Three Johnnies, Isabella Aviza, Jessica Garziano, and Zsani Kajan, each had one attempted shot to get St. John’s on the scoreboard. Aviza’s attempt was the only one on target, yet the Musketeers’ goalkeeper got hold of it. The Red Storm just could not quite find their target, as Garziano’s shot veered left of the goal.

St. John’s Women’s Soccer fell to Xavier Sunday afternoon at Belson Stadium. The Red Storm now have a .500 record at home.

Xavier found the back of the net early in the game. Samantha Dewey had a great pass from Sydney Schembri, bringing her shot past Reinhardt. Throughout the first half, the Musketeers had six more shots, but the St. John’s backline withheld these. This left the score at the end of the second half as 1-0 with the Musketeers’ advantage. Just minutes into the second half, Xavier again found themselves adding one to the scoreboard. Carrie Lewis and Schembri as-

sisted Brooke Sroka’s shot that fired past Reinhardt. The Musketeers then held two goals over the Johnnies early in the second half. With enough time to get back a win, the Johnnies never gave up. During the second half, the Red Storm had their greatest opportunity to find the back of the net. Kayla Mesaros sent a pass down the field to Kajan who was wide open with a shooting opportunity. Kajan fired it towards the goal, but it echoed off the crossbar. This

kept St. John’s scoreless throughout the second half. The Musketeers once more found the back of the net later in the second half. With just over two minutes left to play, Xavier’s Maddie Thiss scored her first goal of the season. This gave Xavier a 3-0 advantage over the Johnnies to end the game. Although they could not find the back of Xavier’s net, the Red Storm kept up an aggressive fight until the last minute.

Di Maulo ‘Sets’ Her Place In St. John’s History Brendan Murray Erica Di Maulo, setter for the Red Storm Women’s Volleyball team has had a run that places her among the best in program history. Di Maulo now sits in second place in program history with assists. She is also one service ace away from standing alone in first place in program history in that category. “It’s an honor for me to be second all-time,” Di Maulo said. “I’ve been here for four years now and I see St. John’s as my home.” Di Maulo comes from Milan, Italy where she also played for the Italian club team Progetto Volley Orago. She served as captain from 2012 to 2015, she also won the U16 Italian Championship in 2013. In her first three seasons Di Maulo has been selected to three All-Big East first teams, along with sharing the honors for Big East Freshman of the Year. “It’s such an honor to know that I’m in the conference best team for the first three years,” Di Maulo said. “It helps me be motivated to work hard every time.” For Di Maulo since this season hasn’t ended yet she said that her favorite season would have to be last season. She credits making her first Big East tournament as being one of the reasons why last season was one of her favorite seasons. Even the best athletes go through their struggles. Di Maulo always preferred to confide in herself whenever she was struggling


Senior setter Erica Di Maulo moives is now second in assists in program history.

on the court and stressed the importance of extra practice. When her final game is over Di Maulo says that she will miss the facilities of St. John’s University as well as the environment around campus. “I think I will never play with such good facilities that I played with here.” Working together with her teammates and coaches were very important to Di Maulo even with teammates coming and going the chemistry they built on the court was important to fight for wins. With her coaches Di Mau-

lo said they pushed her and her teammates hard during the season and the offseason to stay ready. Di Maulo’s volleyball career doesn’t end here, however. She plans on playing professionally whether here or in her native country of Italy. “For now, I want to enjoy playing volleyball as much as I can because it is my passion,” Di Maulo said. “It’s the thing I love the most, so I want to continue it.” One of the most consistent players on the Red Storm for all her four years, Di Maulo

says that there isn’t much to her consistency. Just go out on the court and have fun while pushing her teammates and coaches to be on top of their game. Di Maulo’s hard work and leadership on the court for head coach Joanne Perisco was among the qualities that defined Di Maulo as a player for Perisco. “Erica is a great leader, and Erica is a great person,” said Perisco. “Her numbers, her statistics, her incredible record-breaking assist that she just earned this year is a byproduct of her core values she learned from her family.” Coach Perisco says that Di Maulo’s legacy will be her ability to push not just herself and her teammates but the coaches as well. Perisco thinks that with Di Maulo on the court the Red Storm can go toe to toe with any opponent. As the season winds down for volleyball and Di Maulo’s historic Red Storm career is nearing its end she is not thinking about herself. The goal is simple, make the Big East tournament, win that, then make an NCAA tournament appearance and finish the season strong. A high goal has been set by for Di Maulo and the Red Storm ahead of being only a month away before the Big East Tournament. Di Maulo will be looking to set the tone for the rest of her team on the front line doing what she has been doing for the past four years and even before that, just having fun playing volleyball.

SPORTS October 23, 2019 | VOLUME 97, ISSUE 07




From St. John's to CBS Sports

rED sTorm Ran ked No.1 I n RPI Ran ki ngs Nick Bello Ahead of their Wednesday night showdown with rival Georgetown University at Belson Stadium, the St. John’s Men’s Soccer team was ranked as the best team in the nation according to the NCAA’s RPI rankings on Monday afternoon. On Tuesday, it was later announced that they sit in the number four spot in the United Soccer Coaches poll. While the Red Storm sit at the top of the nation in RPI, the Georgetown Hoyas are not far behind as they were ranked second, adding more drama to the showdown in Queens on Wednesday. Although the Red Storm were confident that they would be ranked towards the top, the news still came as a surprise for some of the players as it broke around noon on Monday. “I was actually still in my bed and got the message from my teammates,” junior goalkeeper Jan Hoffelner said before practice on Tuesday. “I stood up and went to all of my apartment-mates and

we just celebrated it together.” With the no.1 ranking comes a lot of pressure, especially when you’re playing the second ranked team in the coming days. Nonetheless, the Red Storm don’t feel the pressure heading into Wednesday, as they have been in the national spotlight all season long. “The whole season we’ve been kinda ranked high,” sophomore forward Tani Oluwaseyi said. “Just another day, another game for us.” This season, the Red Storm have been on a tear as they boast a 12-1 record and are 5-0 in conference play. Their only loss of the season came against reigning national champion University of Maryland on the road. Although they fell to the Terrapins, the game was scoreless throughout 107 minutes of play, a testament to the Red Storm’s talent. The Red Storm’s meteoric rise to success came almost unexpectedly as they were ranked seventh in the Big East Preseason poll and were not ranked nationally as well. “We had a good bunch of guys com-

ing in from last year, so we had a feeling we could do something special,” Oluwaseyi said. “I’d be lying to you if I said I thought it was going to be this special.” Once the Red Storm began regular season play however, heads were turned and the nation took notice as they did not allow a goal in their first three games, knocking off strong programs like North Carolina State University and Appalachian State University. The biggest test for the Red Storm came in their first Big East game of the season as No.19 Xavier University came to Queens for a Friday night matchup in September. The Red Storm stunned the Musketeers with a 3-1, giving them confidence moving forward. After Xavier the Red Storm then went on to lose on the road at Maryland. However, since then they have not lost a game, riding a five game win streak into Wednesday night. While the Red Storm have gone on this run as of late, students at St. John’s have taken notice. This season, the Red Storm have drawn large crowds as the fans have helped to boost the team’s con-

fidence at home. In fact, the Red Storm have averaged 1048 fans in attendance in six home games so far this season. This is a significant increase compared to last season where they only averaged 765 fans per game. “It’s one versus two, games like this don’t happen often,” Oluwasseyi said. “The past two home games have just been amazing with the fans here and we thrive off their energy. It’d just be amazing to see everyone packed again.” With the Big East Tournament and the possible chance of making it to the NCAA Tournament looming on the horizon, the Red Storm are focused on the task at hand. Throughout the season they have learned to take it day-by-day and as a result have gone on not a run, but a sprint that has brought them to the top of the nation. “I think right now the focus is just on Georgetown,” Hoffelner said. “We don’t worry about what could happen, what is going to happen; we are just gonna focus on the very next test.”