Volume 95, Issue 1

Page 1

VOL 95 : 01 April 12th, 2017 torchonline.com

The independent student newspaper of St. John’s University



J Cole




No one

Spring Concert Photo Goes Here Torch Photo/Jon Manarang


Torch Photo/Oscar Diaz



SGI says new meal plan is best possible outcome

Seven fun things to do in Queens during Easter Break

Spring has Sprung: SJU Mixed Chorus Concert

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Earth Fest centers on sustainability Day consists of environmental awareness, serves to educate student body

Beverly Danquah

Features Editor

This year, Earth Day is on Saturday, April 22, but students at St. John’s got a headstart with festivities at this year’s Earth Fest, which took place this past Monday, April 10. The celebration, hosted by Earth Club, welcomed eco-friendliness on campus through a joint effort with other organizations, vegan vendors and students. Earth Day is held annually to appreciate the environment as well as our roles within it. Earth Club’s president, Carissa Herb, used this as her motto while planning the event. “The main themes for this year’s Earth Fest were renewable energy and conscientious

consumerism,” Herb said, adding that each vendor was chosen with this criteria in mind. “We tried to focus on the plant-based diet because it has less of an environmental impact,” she said. The St. John’s Jazz Band, led by student Dylan Defeo, serenaded attendees. Vegan hot dog vendor, YEAH Dawg!!! served students meatless hot dogs, which are soy free, plant-based and made with local, organic ingredients, according to its official website. Agavi Organic Juice Bar and Pressed Juicery also served organic, cold-pressed juices to students. Employees from Montgoris Dining Hall set up a farmer’s market where they offered students fresh produce such as apples, tomatoes, kale and squash.


Students gathered in front of the D’Angelo Center for Earth Day festivities.

596 Acres, a New York-based organization that helps members of the community see vacant lots as potential green, public spaces, also had a table at Earth Fest. Mara Kravitz, the Director of Partnership for 596 Acres, explained ways that they can take advantage of public open land in their communities. “We work on a case to case basis, but usually, vacant land is publicly owned by us, the taxpayers,” Kravitz said. Brendan Hickey, an employee of the University’s Office of Sustainability and a senior, made smoothies for students throughout the event using an apparatus that allowed him to power a blender by pedaling as if he were riding a bike. Hickey said his boss, Tom Goldsmith, saw the contraption on the TV show “Shark Tank,” and it has since become their eco-friendly way of blending drinks. “Our biggest thing is we collect food,” Hickey said, while pedaling strenuously. “So we take all the wasted food from Monty’s, DAC, Marillac and even the coffee from Starbucks and Dunkin’ and we create soil out of the waste so we can sell it and donate that money to charity, or we use the soil and we create food and we give that to Bread and Life.” St. John’s Bread and Life is an initiative that “serves thousands of meals to hungry New Yorkers,” according to its official website. Vegan ice cream was also offered, courtesy of Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream. Students stood in line to get scoops of vegan and organic flavors such as matcha, honey comb, coffee, chocolate chip and cookie dough. Sophomore Monica Duro was excited to see vegan options on campus. “The great music led me this way and then I saw that there were plant-based hotdogs,” Duro said. “It makes me so happy seeing vegan options because we are in New York City and it is a very easy place for vegans but it’s even better when you see it on campus.” Duro said she is happy to see that students


Students handed out free snacks for the day, including “mixing juice.”

who aren’t usually exposed to vegan options learned that vegan alternatives “weren’t as bad as they thought it was.” “Having vegan food at events like this will make people understand that veganism isn’t all boring and eating grass,” she said. “Anyone can be a vegan.” “It’s nice to be outside and enjoy the warm weather,” Justin Fomba, junior, said of the warm weather along with the Earth Day event.

SGI backs future meal plan changes

Suzanne Ciechalski


Despite sparking outrage among some students, the new meal plan requirement for townhouse residents is the best possible outcome of the University’s contract negotiations with Chartwells, according to Student Government Inc. Representatives from the group met with members of the administration recently to discuss the process that led to the controversial meal plan change. They also discussed how the two groups can work together on similar changes moving forward. SGI Secretary and President-elect Frank Obermeyer said he, along with other SGI representatives, including Research and Development Chair Alex Cheung and Student Services Chair Christian Mercado, attended the meeting. Administrators who met with SGI include Eric Finkelstein, director of Residence Life, Scott Lemperle, executive director of Conference and Auxiliary Services, and Jackie Lochrie, acting dean of students, Obermeyer said. Students reached out to SGI with questions following the university’s email detailing the policy change, which

mandates students who live in the Townhouses purchase a meal plan beginning next fall. Previously there was no such requirement. “People usually either email us, or they’ll come in, thinking that we have the answers, but unfortunately, that time we didn’t,” Obermeyer said. “So we decided to reach out to Dining Services to see if we could figure out a little bit more about how the decision was made, and try and ease the minds of some of these students that were reaching out to us.” The University’s surprise decision to mandate meal plans sparked an outcry of dissatisfaction among students who live on campus, and SGI confirmed at the time that it hadn’t been consulted by administrators prior to the announcement. SGI hasn’t directly worked with some of the administrators who were present, Obermeyer said. Cheung and Mercado have worked with Dining Services before, he added, but those meetings were focused more on the meals themselves, and less on policy. Obermeyer said the most recent meeting was a chance for them to get to know one anoth-

er and discuss policy. “We talked about how [SGI] can be better utilized in the future,” he said. “Like what structures we have in place both with our Research and Development committee and our representatives.” SGI sent out an online survey in the weeks following the initial announcement on the policy change, which garnered 85 responses in two days, according to Obermeyer. Some of the questions included in the survey were: • Are you aware of the new meal plan requirement for the townhouses? • How did you hear about the new meal plan requirement? • Has the new meal plan requirement changed your desire to live in the townhouses? Obermeyer said SGI presented the survey results to the administrators during the meeting to show that they have the structures in place to help with gauging student reaction. During the meeting, Obermeyer said the group discussed how SGI can be involved in future conversations in decision-making processes, as well as the dissemination of information.

“We told them what our ideal situation would be,” he said, “which is us to be more involved in both the decision-making process and the dissemination process so that we don’t end up not having the answers that these students so desperately want, and they turn to us for.” Requests for comment about the meeting from the University were not returned. Obermeyer said that SGI came away from the meeting convinced that the University went into the Chartwells contract renegotiation with students’ best interests in mind. “We’re convinced that they acted in our best interest and we look forward to, in the future, being a more involved part of that process,” Obermeyer said. “And I think they’re very receptive of our ideas and our expectations for the future, so we’re really excited.” At a recent floor meeting, Obermeyer updated SGI members on the meeting. “In the future, we’d love for them to reach out to us, maybe just a little bit before they send out a report,” he said, “so that if something this big goes out, and we’re asked questions, we can at least give some sort of


2017 Spring Concert canceled Suzanne Ciechalski


Two years ago J. Cole visited campus. Last year it was Nas. This year, no one. St. John’s students have to wait until 2018 for a spring concert. This year’s concert was recently canceled, according to a statement released on social media by Haraya and Student Government Incorporated (SGI). Citing a desire to reconstruct the spring concert model, the groups said that they’re instead already in the process of planning next year’s Spring Fest, and encouraged the student body to reach out to both groups if they’re interested in helping with the planning. “Although Haraya will not host a concert this semester, we are holding a series of events for the remainder of the semester that you will not want to miss,” the statement said. The spring concert has been a widely celebrated event among the student body, as it’s been known to attract big-name musicians to the Queens campus. Award-winning rapper J. Cole, a St. John’s alumnus, is among those who have performed at the concert in recent years. SGI President Chiara Miuccio said the two groups decided to cancel the concert earlier this semester.

“We wanted to ensure that the next concert we hold together continues to live up to the standard of this important SJU tradition,” she said in an email to the Torch. Referring to SGI president-elect Frank Obermeyer, she added, “Moving forward, the president-elect will be working with Haraya on the future concert structure.” Students had mixed reactions to the news. While some said they were not bothered by the lack of a concert, many others were surprised, saying they were not aware it was canceled. The joint statement by Haraya and SGI was posted on Haraya’s social media accounts on April 4. “I think it’s pretty disappointing that there won’t be a concert,” senior Dylan Roake said. “Even if Haraya is doing other events, the spring concert is their crown jewel.” Roake added that he had no idea that the spring concert wasn’t happening. Junior Malisa Heard added, “I feel upset because this is something I look forward to every year. The spring concert is a part of St. John’s culture.” SGI has not posted anything about the concert’s cancellation on its social media accounts. David Yakal, a freshman, said he found out that there would be no concert through his friends. “It’s my first year here and I was looking forward to it because my friends and I all

enjoyed the last concert with Desiigner,” he said, referring to last semester’s tip off. Haraya did not respond to requests for comment. Miuccio stressed that SGI wants to ensure that the next spring concert lives up to its reputation. “This is an important tradition and we want to make sure the experience we’re providing for students continues to meet those standards,” Miuccio said. When asked whether SGI felt that they wouldn’t be able to do that with this year’s concert, she said she felt she had already answered the question. Despite the concert’s popularity, though, some students said they didn’t feel strongly about the cancellation. “I don’t care about things like that because on-campus stuff is usually boring to me no matter how much money they spend,” Zach Augustine, a junior, told the Torch. Neither SGI nor Haraya mentioned finances as a factor. “I’m especially upset because not only is the concert canceled,” Heard said, “but there is no replacement so it makes you wonder where are the extra funds going?” This isn’t the first time a spring concert was canceled. In 2014, Battle of the Voices replaced the spring concert due to a lack of funding, according to a Torch article from March 2014.

Lisa Harewood: “You’re Better Off Here” Barbadian director educates, brings light to “Barrel Stories”

Ariana Ortiz

Co-News Editor The Caribbean Writers Series welcomed director, writer and producer Lisa Harewood to Marillac Hall auditorium on Monday, April 10, where she discussed the complexities of migration in the Caribbean. The lecture, entitled “You’re Better Off Here,” was preceded by a showing of “Auntie,” a 2013 short film directed by Harewood, which tells the complex story of the emotional bond between a child and her temporary caretaker. Harewood, who is from Barbados, has previously directed the award-winning film “A Hand Full of Dirt,” released in 2010. “Parents generally will migrate and often leave their children behind, or wait until they get settled to send for their kids. But what happens in between, what happens to the people who are left behind?” Harewood said at the beginning of the lecture, elaborating on the moralization of parents’ decisions to leave their children in the care of relatives and friends as they establish new lives in foreign countries such as the U.S. and England. Harewood discussed the cultural significance of “the barrel child,” a term coined by Dr. Claudette Crawford-Brown of the University of the West Indies, which describes those children in the Caribbean who are financially supported by an absent parent or family member abroad. The family member will often send care packages back home in the form of barrels, stuffed with goods from the country they have immigrated to. Harewood said she sees the barrels as ghosts, as they can also serve as reminders of absent family members. “I was really interested in the film, especially because I’m familiar with the barrel stories myself. My mom and I are currently working on a barrel to send to Trinidad.” Leeann Dabydeen, a senior environmental


Lead actresses Marcia Burrowes and Che-Annika Mayers in “Auntie.”

major, said. “The short film combined with [Harewood] explaining the background of it, all the social connections...I found that it was very intricately connected to me, myself, and from childhood up, things that I couldn’t communicate,” she added. Harewood also brought attention to an ongoing project she is heading, called “Barrel Stories,” an oral history archive which aims to tell the stories of Caribbean people who have lived the consequences of migration. Harewood said she has grown to see her project as giving people who may otherwise

never discuss these sensitive topics both an outlet and a voice. Harewood played a few clips of previous interviewees, one in which a woman discussed her experience of being sent for by a parent she had become unfamiliar with, as well as adjusting to life in a country she had never known before. Harewood also touched on the experience of filming, relaying anecdotes about firsttime actress Che-Annika Mayers’ efforts to get into the character of Kera. She ended the presentation by inviting students who want to share their own barrel stories to sign up. SCREENSHOT/ “AUNTIE”

Lead actresses Marcia Burrowes and Che-Annika Mayers.



SGI floor meeting: Dialogue with Dining Services, new constitution still being drafted

Carissa Herb

Opinion Editor

Student Government Inc.’s (SGI) floor meeting on April 3 brought important conversations about SGI constitution changes, the anticipated response of the meal plan controversy and more. St. John’s Dining Services was faced with an uproar of student voices opposing the implementation of a mandatory meal plan for Townhouse residents beginning the next academic year. After SGI members met with administrators, they had a better understanding of the reasoning and motives behind the change, according to Frank Obermeyer, current SGI secretary and president-elect. President Chiara Miuccio also announced that this year there will not be a Spring Concert. The rest of the floor meeting was taken over by a discussion of the 2016-2017 final allocation requests. The last request for allocations was supposed to be submitted a week before the meeting was held; all allocations were approved after some discussion of what the events would entail. AD Club had asked for two separate allocations for different events. The first allocation was approved without an argument. Representatives were hesitant of approving the second allocation request due to the large amount just being used for speaking fees for a different, but a very similar event. After budget approvals, Larissa Kukapa and Deven Rodriguez, SGI’s new representatives, were sworn in. Miuccio went on to clarify the changes being made to the SGI constitution. While the constitution is still being drafted so nothing is finalized yet, she said that the edits being made are to change the language of the constitution to be more accurate and follow a more organized format. A no-discrimination clause is also in motion to be added to the constitution. “One change to the constitution is meant to lower quorum, which will allow us to get business done at more meetings,” Obermeyer said in a later exchange with the Torch. Quorum indicates the minimum number of people needed to vote on issues. “Other changes have been put in place to lessen the requirements for running for e-board, allowing more students to have the ability to run for those top positions,” Obermeyer added.




Tedx hosts first ‘Talk’ on campus

Reza Moreno

Features Editor Emeritus TEDx, the media organization whose slogan is “ideas worth spreading,” has brought its first Ted Talk to St. John’s after the recent establishment of its own on-campus chapter. The TEDx community wishes to help spread ideas through powerful talks, which is exactly what happened on Wednesday, March 28 in Marillac Terrace. Professor Douglas Cantelmo, who teaches Discover New York and the Global Passport Program Rome, was the keynote speaker for the evening and was able to bring his teachings on life from a deep perspective. His love and passion for the school was clear as he spoke about how his father was a professor at St. John’s. Now Cantelmo is following in his footsteps. The talk of the evening was titled, “How We Make a Campus,” based on urban design. There are five steps to this process. Cantelmo brought in an example for the first idea,

which explains organic versus planned design on campus, to show how St. John’s sees our needs and wants pertaining to the Queens campus. “Your footsteps matter,” Cantelmo said. “I know a lot of times as a professor and also as a former student, sometimes you yourself are being viewed kind of like an X-number.” Organic design is based off of human needs. For example, the pathways from St. Albert Hall and Marillac Hall to the D’Angelo Center were made because students used to walk across the grass, therefore insinuating that a pathway was needed; planned design may primarily consist of aesthetics. The event was also sponsored by the NAACP organization on campus as they provided refreshments from Dunkin’ Donuts. Food for Thought wrapped up the night with an open mic for their members and the audience. President of NAACP, junior Tahmir Williams, said, “We collabed [collaborated] with Ted Talks tonight because NAACP is an org that is centered around community service

Professor Cantelmo delivered his first Talk on March 28.

and we wanted to share that importance with the general body members of Ted Talks tonight.” The president of the TEDx St. John’s chapter, Neelesh Rastogi, was very pleased with the number of people that showed up. He both opened and ended the night with words

Student workers SHinE


Managing Editor

Students and faculty, along with President Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, gathered within the University Center for the Students Honored in Employment (SHinE) award ceremony on Thursday, April 6. Organized by the Office of Human Resources, this year marked the third celebration of recognizing student workers. The SHinE Award Program grew out of an idea to give supervisors a way to motivate, recognize and reward their student workers who go above and beyond at their campus jobs, according to student employment manager Mary Cascio. “I’m very proud of them, of all of the students that were nominated, but especially the ones that were recognized today,” Cascio said. “This year, we were once again so impressed by the nominees we reviewed.” The contributions and the accomplishments of all student nominees demonstrated a high level of work ethic and drive and made the selection committee’s job very difficult.” As a result, the award recipients this year were not the usual amount of four as in past years; instead the honor was bestowed upon five student workers. According to Associate Vice President in the Office of Human Resources, Nada Llewellyn, the University employs over 1,500 student workers and 65 were nominated for the award. “One of the primary objectives of student employment is to ensure each assignment provides real world experience with transferable skills to be learned and put into practice,” Cascio said. “These opportunities allow students a competitive advantage when seeking employment upon graduation,” she continued. The five award recipients were: Stephanie Bonanno, Surendra Gobin, Carmela Hopkins, Anarita Lynch and Preetica Pooni. Award winners received a plaque and gift bag to commemorate their achievement; semi-finalists were also given a gift bag. “I feel very accomplished, I feel as a student worker, that people may feel underap-


of encouragement. “Today I believe our event was really nice, we got a nice expected audience rate, which we wanted. Now let’s see how the survey turns out because our survey is our benchmarking strategy to see how our audience loves Ted Talks on campus,” Rastogi said.

Commencement Speaker: Cardinal Turkson Isabella Bruni

Co-News Editor


Left to right: Carmela Hopkins, Stephanie Bonanno, Surendra Gobin, Preetice Pooni and Anarita Lynch accepted their awards at the Thursday luncheon.

preciated,” senior Carmela Hopkins said. “But at St. John’s, at least the workers I’ve come into contact with, they always know that their supervisors are always grateful for their work,” she continued. “It’s nice to be appreciated and even though you have such a small job, to know that you’re important.” Sophomore Surendra Gobin was “extremely proud” of being an award recipient. “I’m excited to take it home to my parents,” he said. “I feel great because I love my supervisor and she taught me so much,” semi-finalist and junior Gina Conteh said. “I feel really honored because I feel I work hard and try to do my best for her and for our department so it’s cool to be recognized for that.” In choosing a set of winners, Daisy Saldana, a College of Profesisonal Studies career advisor who served on the selection committee said “it was difficult” to narrow

them down. “Everybody was great, I think the supervisors who had the most details and stories really made it difficult for us,” she said. “Everybody was great it was very hard to choose when you have so many students.” The other selection committee members were: CPS Assistant Dean Kevin James; St. John’s Law School Associate Dean for Career Development, Jeanne Ardan; graduate assistant at the University Mission Office, Meghan Leahy and Associate Professor of Theology and Religious Studies Dr. Matthew Sutton. “I thought it was beautiful and I was honored that the president attended and the deans and the sector heads from each department came,” Cascio said. “I’m happy that the students were all honored and that they had a great time,” she added.

In just a little over a month, on Sunday, May 21, seniors will bid St. John’s farewell, but not before taking in the last bit of advice given to them by a commencement speaker before they set off. The person delivering the commencement address on the Queens campus will be His Eminence Peter Kodwo Appiah Cardinal Turkson, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, according to a statement from the University on April 7. Known as one of the most energetic leaders of the Church, according to the University, Cardinal Turkson is a Roman Catholic from Ghana. He was selected by Pope Francis to serve as Prefect of the Dicastery on Promoting Integral Human Development, a new department as of Jan. 1, 2017, that takes on the tasks of the Pontifical Councils for Justice and Peace, Migrants and Itinerant Peoples, Healthcare Workers and Cor Unum. This department essentially provided humanitarian assistance and encouragement in coordinating Catholic charitable works through the papal charity. “We are humbled and honored that Cardinal Turkson has accepted our invitation to speak to our graduates at this year’s commencement ceremony,” President of St. John’s University, Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D., said in a statement from the University. “Cardinal Turkson’s tireless work with the sick and homeless around the globe serves as a model for our students to love and respect all individuals and to serve those most in need,” he continued. This dedication is at the core of who we are as a Vincentian university, and we are proud to have Cardinal Turkson share his message of social justice and caring for the marginalized with our newest alumni.”

5 Features


7 ways to spend Easter Break in Queens


Staff Writer

If you’re going be on campus or in Queens this weekend for Easter break, consider yourself lucky, as the weather is set to be in the 70s for the rest of the week. Pull out your favorite pair of sunglasses, and get ready to enjoy the plethora of activities our borough has to offer. 1.) Have A Picnic On The Great Lawn For anyone staying on campus next week, have a picnic on the Great Lawn! Enjoy the warmth of the sun on your blanket or tapestry. Make sure to relax, and don’t forget to use the Snapchat filter, because everyone needs to know how amazing our campus is, right? 2.) EXPLORE RESTAURANTS There are several restaurants and cafes serving up scrumptious eats to satisfy your cravings. Queens is considered the most diverse borough in NYC. It combines numerous languages, cultures and traditions. With Queens being such a melting pot, you can find food just as diverse. Queens is also the second-most populous borough in NYC, so you’ll be able to find someone next week to get lunch with. 3.) Parks Whether it’s Flushing Meadows Corona Park, Forest Park, Astoria Park,

or Cunningham Park - there are several gorgeous parks in Queens perfect for your afternoon stroll. Cunningham park is the fourth largest park in Queens and it’s just along Union Turnpike. There is also Hunter’s Point South Park, boasts you a skyline view. In Flushing Meadows Corona Park, you can check out the Unisphere, which is deemed as the “unofficial symbol of Queens.” It looks like a steel Earth and is an artifact from the 1965 New York World’s Fair. 4.) Museums Check out the MoMA PS1, Museum of the Moving Image, Queens Museum, Noguchi Museum, or the Queens County Farm Museum. Whichever you feel like visiting, spend your Easter break broadening your knowledge! There is such rich art in Queens, and it would be a shame not to go in person and view it. 5.) Hiking For anyone who’s outdoorsy - spend some time hiking at Forest Park, Crocheron Park, or Forest Park Skate Park. All of these parks have great hiking trails. 6.) Long Island City Walk along the Long Island City’s Gantry Plaza State Park or Long Island City Piers. Enjoy the views of Manhattan, or check out the Pepsi-Cola Sign (which has official landmark status). According to Eater New


Unisphere at Flushing Meadows-Corona Park near the Queens Museum.

York, a restaurant called Unico Tacos in Long Island City is one of the hottest restaurants in Queens for 2017. If you’re feeling like eating $3 tacos with spectacular views, Long Island City is the place to go. 7.) Events in Queens If you’re looking to celebrate in an Easter manner, there are several Eas-

ter egg hunts you can search up on Eventbrite. The Queens Zoo is having a “Spring Eggstravaganza” where they’ll have crafts for kids, an Easter bunny (Will this one be real?), and an egg hunt. There is no better feeling than finding an easter egg full of chocolate, so may your Easter break consist of chocolate and sunshine, Johnnies!

6 Features


Spring 2017: Rethinking hot pink JENNIFER BOGUS

Contributing Writer

Photo Courtesy/Flickr Commons petitepanoply

Model shows off her hot pink attire with floral cardigan, flower headband and belt.

At last, the fashion gods are on our side, because this season our favorite color is back-- hot pink! Unload your storage bins and pick out all the hot pink selections that you’ve spent years neglecting, because now you no longer have to feel passé wearing your pinks to the grocery store or the club. Hot pink was a color we couldn’t get enough of in our youth-- that color along with a bright vivacious yellow, and an orange reminiscent of the popular snack, Cheetos. Lisa Vanderpump is probably sitting in Villa Rosa going crazy because her prayers have been answered. Hot pink has been declared the unofficial color of the year. This year, during the spring New York Fashion Week, brands like Balenciaga, Celine and Chanel have embraced the hue. The color worn in every shade, from fuchsia and rose to peach and magenta. Dolce & Gabbana, Fenty x Puma and Lacoste offered up some chic, athleisure-themed blush looks. The overall message for Fashion Week 2017 was: wear loads of pink and wear it however the you want.

But let’s face it-- being in college, those brands may not fit the budget. But don’t worry. You can still be a fashionista this spring. You can shop at places like Vince Camuto, H&M and Steve Madden and find items just as cute but more affordable. But before you hit the stores here are a few styles you should keep in mind. Shoulders: not like the 80s styled shoulder pads but a softer shoulder definition, is in right now. Sheer: think Perspex trousers with longline tops and dresses and also crochet bottoms. Detailed Sleeves: is another trend that has been taking over the runway. Think ruffles, flutes, cropped, bunched, oversized according to Marques’ Almeida, Balmain. Bralettes: everyone’s favorite piece of clothing is going to be everywhere for spring. Dresses: if you love a floaty shirt dress situation then we’re predicting you’ll be able to buy one for every day of the summer thanks to Fashion Week 2017. Everyone will want to copy the beachwear-meets-eveningwear maxi dresses that were filling the runway for this season. So this season, don’t be ashamed to step out in an all fluorescent ensemble. Don’t be afraid to make a statement this spring. If you’re confused with what to wear, remember that you can’t go wrong with pink.

Opinion: Pepsi ad for equality falls flat Kendall Jenner takes heat, Twitter responds AMBER BORDEN

Contributing Writer


Civil Rights Activist Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter tweets her reaction to Pepsi ad.

On Tuesday, April 4, 2017, Pepsi released a two-minute and 40-second ad starring Kendall Jenner as the spokesperson. Jenner was bubbling with joy for the debut of her new ad with Pepsi. But her joy quickly fizzled out once social media gave her and Pepsi a piece of its mind. Within the the ad, Jenner is modeling for a photo shoot while a protest is going on. Jenner sees an Asian male nod his head at her, signaling her to join the demonstration. Kendall removes her wig, wipes off her lipstick, leaves the photo shoot and proceeds to march with the demonstrators. While protesting, Jenner comes face-toface with a police officer and offers him a can of Pepsi. The officer accepts the can of soda, takes a sip, and they all live happily ever after, in thirst-quenching harmony. The message was clear to viewers that all of their protesting is a waste because all they need to do in order to resolve their conflict with law enforcement is to hand

an officer a can of soda. How refreshing. “It’s poor execution especially on such a sensitive and controversial topic”, Angie Dumas, freshman, said. “People protest and some people lose their lives for things like this.” According to wired.com, “Within 48 hours the video got nearly 1.6 million views on YouTube (five times as many down votes as up votes), and Twitter and Facebook lit up with people pointing out just how gauche the whole thing was.” Social activists and political pundits weighed in on social media. Bernice King, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s daughter shared a tweet (seen on the left). This is not the first time brands have advertised for equality and diversity. Nike has created a commercial including LeBron James, Serena Williams, and other athletes in the ad to show equality. Coca Cola, Pepsi’s competition even re-released their ad from 2014 called “America The Beautiful” during Super Bowl 2017. Even though the commercial was not new, it felt new and needed. The commercial made a positive statement. So why did Pepsi miss the mark?

Opinion 7


Kendall Jenner’s Pepsi ad not her fault Company retracts advertisement after public backlash SEBASTIAN CINTRON-RICO

Contributing Writer

Last week, Pepsi took matters into its own hands by pulling its latest ad after causing tremendous controversy. Although by now the steam over Pepsi’s campaign with Kendall Jenner has relatively blown over, we can’t forget the fact it made an incredible amount of people feel some type of way due to its portrayal of protests to promote their brand. “Pepsi was trying to project a global message of unity, peace and understanding,” the company posted to its Twitter account. “Clearly we missed the mark, and we apologize.” In the commercial, hundreds of people are shown out in the streets supposedly protesting but in reality it looks like a horde of people excited to enter the Coachella Music Festival. Kendall Jenner is then shown to be in the middle of a photoshoot while this is all going on in front of her. Inspired by the crowd, she stops her photoshoot, takes off her wig and makeup, and joins the movement. Eventually she stops in front of a line of

policemen and gives one of them a can of Pepsi. He drinks from it, the crowd cheers and all of a sudden the world’s problems seem to go away with a simple offering. This is just one of the scenes from the commercial that infuriated many who took to Twitter and other social media sites to express their disapproval. Memes circulated non-stop, poking fun at Pepsi and describing protests as being “trendy” now. Even Martin Luther King Jr’s daughter, Bernice King, expressed her thoughts on Twitter by posting a picture of her father being mistreated by police with the caption,“If only Daddy would have known about the power of #Pepsi.” As a company and brand Pepsi’s concern was to market its namesake soda. Like many other companies today, Pepsi took a jab at trying to be relatable and appealing to the masses by touching on subjects that are relevant today. Pepsi is not the only brand that does this so here are my questions. Why are we all of a sudden so alerted by their ad? Pepsi’s main priority is to sell the sodas. Are we making it a bigger issue than it needs to be? Why are we so sensitive and quick to make


Kendall Jenner in recalled Pepsi commercial, handing police officer a can of Pepsi.

trend, a Pepsi ad with Kendall Jenner in it but fail to be “woke” towards bigger issues that are happening world wide? Overall, the commercial had great production quality, the ending themes of “Living Bolder and Louder” are attempted and Kendall looked absolutely fantastic. While it is certainly understandable why

this ad triggered many as it failed at their attempt to appropriately address social concerns, Kendall Jenner should not be to blame for Pepsi’s actions and creative marketing tactics. The company recognized this and apologized for, “putting Kendall Jenner in this position.”

8 Opinion


Flames of the Torch From the 95th Editorial Board

Managing Board XCV



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



Ariana Ortiz News Editor Isabella Bruni News Editor Derrell Bouknight Sports Editor Dylan Hornik Sports Editor Beverly Danquah Features Editor Michael Ambrosino Entertainment Editor Carissa Herb Opinion Editor

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

Staff and contributors Sebastian Cintron-Rico Yuchen Jin Julia Kotaev Brittany Raia

Yves Nguyen Jennifer Bogus Shelly Warren Amber Borden

Editorial policy

John Cavanagh Kaylee Herndon Reza Moreno

About the Torch

Editorials are the opinions of the Editorial Board of the Torch. Columns are the opinions of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of the Torch.

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.

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.

To contact the Torch by mail:

The Torch, St. John’s University 8000 Utopia Parkway Queens, NY 11439

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

Nearly two weeks ago, the Torch elected a new editorial board. Throughout the past year, we’ve worked to revamp the way we bring you, the St. John’s community, the information you care about. We’ve built upon our digital presence and created more engaging, attractive designs, which include our centerspreads and front pages. We also expanded our coverage on campus. But now, with a new editorial board, we have a fresh set of goals for the Torch. Moving forward, we plan to continue our efforts to grow our digital presence. Using the social media team we built last year, we’ll continue to post stories to our Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts. But stories won’t be the only thing you’ll find as you continue to follow us. We’ll be bringing you more “Torch Docs”—which are short documentaries about things students care about on campus. We also plan to incorporate more podcasts into our online coverage. When it comes to our website, we want to develop a breaking news team, that way we can provide our readers up-to-date information as quickly as possible. We also want to build our online team with students who are skilled at creating multimedia content, such as interactive charts and videos. In the print edition, students can expect to see the same, detailed coverage that we have already provided. However, we’re going to work on creating more “beats” (focused areas of coverage) among our staff writers. We’ll also work on increasing our coverage of the local Queens community, as well as groups on campus. Another one of our goals consists of writing more de-

tailed features about our students and faculty, focusing on their many talents. We also want to get more familiar with our student body by hosting events and workshops. This past Friday, we hosted a panel discussion with our alumni that proved to us that journalism is not only alive and well, but that the bond the Torch creates is one that transcends time and age. We want to give our fellow students more opportunities to hear from people like our alumni—many of whom aren’t even involved in journalism anymore, but who have a lot of valuable advice to offer. To incorporate our reverence for journalism into our interactions with our staff and other students, our editor-in-chief and managing editor will plan journalism-centered workshops for students to learn more about things like reporting and graphic design. Finally, we hope to instill an element of community service within our organization. Journalism is a public service, but we believe there’s more that we can do to serve the surrounding community. At the moment, we’re searching for high schools and middle schools whose newspaper programs are in need of assistance. We can’t think of a better way to exercise the closely-held Vincentian beliefs of the SJU community than by helping younger students learn about the very thing we do— journalism. We encourage you to come work with us on any and all of the initiatives listed above. If you have a new ideas that you’d like to see implemented at the Torch, let us know. Never hesitate to email us or stop by our office—our door is always open.

Don’t watch “Ghost in the Shell”

New movie continues “whitewashing” the film industry YUCHEN JIN

Contributing Writer I sway back and forth along with the movement of the train. The tunes from my earphones blend neatly into the monotony of my daily commute. Suddenly, an ad for “Ghost in the Shell” brings my stupor to a screeching halt. It takes me a few seconds to recognize the ad, but once I do, I quickly hit pause and proceed to shut down Spotify. For a brief moment, I even consider uninstalling the app from my phone. Overreaction? I might be a dramatic person but my anger towards “Ghost in the Shell” is pretty justified. It is not just about “Ghost in the Shell,” it’s about decades of erasure of Asian Americans in Western Cinema; from Marlon Brando in a full-on yellow face in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to Tilda Swinton

in “Doctor Strange” and Scarlett Johansson in “Ghost in the Shell.” The list goes on and on and the justifications for whitewashing grow flimsier with each incident. Both Johansson and Swinton used women’s representation to defend their casting, and yes, women are absolutely underrepresented in film and television, but there are also many capable Asian actresses. “Having a franchise with a female protagonist driving it is such a rare opportunity,” Johansson said in defense of “Ghost in the Shell.” You know what’s even rarer? A franchise with an Asian protagonist. Casting a woman does not make up for erasure. In fact, it hurts the credibility of the feminist movement and its goal of universal equality. Several people justified Johansson’s casting with the fact that she is one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars. “Boss

Baby” out-earned “Ghost in the Shell” during their opening weekend. According to the publication, Deadline, “Ghost in the Shell” actually fell far from its opening predicted weekend box office intake, only earning $18.6 million and the publication also sites that they are still expecting to lose $60 million. Compare this to some successful films in the past year, such as “Moana,” which went out of its way to find a voice actress of Polynesian descent and “Get Out,” which tackles racism head on. Paramount, the distributor of “Ghost in the Shell,” has even openly admitted that they believe the controversy surrounding the casting negatively impacted the box office. Scarlett Johansson’s casting is infuriating, but it also hurts. It hurts the Asian Americans who are trying so hard to find their place in this country.

It hurts my aspirations of working in the entertainment industry. It makes me feel invisible at best and unwanted in the country that I call home. I won’t be seeing “Ghost in the Shell” in theaters (or ever), and I hope that others will join me. If money is the only thing Hollywood cares about, then send a message by not spending yours on a movie that perpetuates discrimination and white supremacism. This might be a longshot, but I am hopeful that this movie might be the beginning of the end of Hollywood whitewashing. It is becoming an increasingly mainstream topic. Social media has given Asian Americans the voice to challenge Hollywood norms and the studios are finally listening. It’s up to us to put an end to whitewashing.

9 Entertainment


SJU hears the sound of spring


Staff Writer

Spring has sprung and so has Mixed Chorus with the direction of Kim Oler. The Mixed Chorus presented a fully realized sound with a variety of different music genres and a fully realized aesthetic vision with lighting choices at their spring concert, on Sunday, Apr. 9. “It’s in the same vein, all their songs,” Joseph de Rege, a junior computer science major, said noting the clear vision Oler goes for. “That’s the style the director wants to go for.” With an estimated 50 people in the audience, including people of all ages, the night kicked off with the President of Mixed Chorus, Sarah Giordano, introducing the chorus and the first two songs in their setlist, “Salmo” and “That Lonesome Road,” to the crowd. After these brief two songs, Oler noted that he hoped the night would showcase the Mixed Chorus’ range and versatility. The third song, “Seasons of Love,” and the fourth song, “Dirait-on,” live up to Oler’s hopes, showcasing strong harmonies and beautiful solos sung by Kayla Knight and Richard Klein Jr. in the style of Broadway that does “Rent” justice,

while also letting the sopranos standout in a fully French song. After this the chorus connected back to our Catholic roots with the contemporary gospel, “Jordan’s Angels.” They finished off the last song before the intermission, “Helplessly Hoping,” with a core group of long standing choral members. Mixed Chorus threw it back even more with two Latin songs, “Kyrie” and “Gloria” from “Mass in G” by Franz Schubert. Immediately after two traditional and classical songs, Oler presents two contemporary songs, “Ready” and “Turn,” written by October Project, college friends of Oler, that particularly touched him. T his shows Oler’s love for music from all ranges and genres, and his students appreciate this experience. “I like that we do a lot of different types of songs,” Michael Parnell, a Mixed Chorus member, said. The last three songs especially highlight the chorus’ versatility. Going from the pop sounds of “Lean On Me” to the classical Latin lyrics of “Omnia Sol” and back to more poppy a cappella sound with “Sing” by Pentatonix. Throughout the night, the audience could see not only the Mixed Chorus’ talent, but also their passion and enjoyment. Alexandra Brown, a sophomore health and human services major, said, “I just

think they are really talented,” highlighting her admiration for the choral members. Director Oler said, “These are such great group of kids,” highlighting his admiration for his own chorus. “You can’t imagine how I feel when these kids are singing at me and beyond.” Director of Performing Arts, Nigel Gretton, said, “Mixed Chorus represents a more than 100 year tradition,” and Kay-


la Knight, PR for Mixed Chorus, chimed similar veneration, “Most of the audience was alumni, so just the fact that this chorus has such an impact on them is so great. We just want to keep trying to make people smile with our music.” All in all the spring concert showcased not only Mixed Chorus’ talent and versatility, but also the appreciation that St. John’s has for them.

“13 Reasons Why” “Louis C.K. 2017”


Contributing Writer

“13 Reasons Why” tells the story of Hannah Baker (played by Katherine Langford), a 17-year-old high school student who, due to a series of unfortunate events, decided to take her own life. She leaves behind a set of 13 cassette tapes that she recorded her voice on, indicating 13 reasons why she committed suicide. The 13-episode Netflix original series, based on the novel by Jay Asher, follows along with Hannah’s tapes, showing key moments in her life as she saw it and what was happening to those mentioned on the tapes as a result of them. It also shows the moments leading up to the legal battle between Hannah’s parents (Kate Walsh and Brian D’Arcy James) and Hannah’s former high school, Liberty High. Powerful messages about the lives of people in general, not just limited to teenagers, are seen throughout the series. This is a show that places importance on the understanding of serious matters

that happen all around us that many people are not brave enough to talk about, such as rape, assault, anxiety and suicide. It shines light on issues that some would prefer to keep in the shadows and pretend like they don’t exist, and it is done with such tact and taste that it doesn’t feel like you’re watching a show. The production crew behind “13 Reasons Why”- including Tom McCarthy, Brian Yorkey and Selena Gomez- as well as the cast, were very adamant about presenting these situations authentically without shying away from the tough parts, and they have definitely accomplished that. “13 Reasons Why” is an intense, deep, heart-wrenching and soul-crushing piece of art. Nothing prepares you for what you will see, hear and experience in watching the series. It is emotional and beautiful, and it will make you want to run to the ones you love and hold them for as long as you can. “13 Reasons Why” is now streaming on Netflix.


Entertainment Editor

With his newest Netflix comedy special, Louis C.K. maintains his stance as one of the funniest, more courageous comedians working today in show business. He’s truly a class act – an entertainer who grips his audience firmly by the funny bone as he sinks his teeth into tons of touchy subjects, delivering consistent belly laughs with full force. “Louis C.K. 2017” is absolutely hilarious. It’s an easy-to-reach piece of entertainment that offers over an hour of some of the funniest material we’ve ever seen from the famous comedian. Delving into such topics as abortion, suicide, ISIS, religion and marriage, the comedian instantly drops the audience into his world of dark, edgy comedy. “ So I think abortion…” is the act’s opening words, generating anxious laughter among the large audience. “Not getting an abortion that you need is like not

taking a s***… that’s how bad that is.” On the topic of ISIS, the comedian jokes: “I think the worst part of being beheaded is that you look really dumb after.” This is the dark humor that works well when it’s delivered, impeccably so, by an artist like Louis C.K. He possesses a charm and lovable quality that’s extremely entertaining to watch. “I don’t think they like beheading bald people…” the artist says, managing to both throw a jab at himself and stick a terrifying-yet-humorous image in your head. The comedian even offers some words of wisdom pertaining to relationships: “Love plus time minus distance equals hate.” “Louis C.K. 2017” is a fine piece of standup comedy worth watching if you need a laugh. It’s a consistently funny offering from a comedian who never fails generate serious laughter. “Louis C.K. 2017” is now streaming on Netflix.

10 Sports


Ewing, Mullin set to renew rivalry


Contributing Writer


The clock continues to turn back in Big East basketball, as 2017 looks more and more like the 1980s. Chris Mullin just finished his second year of coaching at St. John’s, and this past week, Georgetown announced that Patrick Ewing would replace John Thompson III as head coach. Ewing and Mullin are both NBA Hall of Famers that even played together on the 1992 USA Olympic basketball team--one of the greatest teams ever assembled--but both got their start in the Big East conference.

Patrick Ewing and Chris Mullin going toeto-toe in conference play was a treat. It was a showdown between two of the NCAA’s best players and two highly competitive basketball programs. The Hoyas and Red Storm had numerous games that affected the NCAA Championship, and dominated the first 10 years of Big East conference play. Between St. John’s, Georgetown and then-Big East member Syracuse, the three teams combined to win the first 10 men’s basketball tournament championships. The rivalry reached its pinnacle in 1985, when number one ranked St. John’s took on number two ranked Georgetown in the

Georgetown Hoyas guard aims for basket during a Feb. 25 game against St. John’s.

final four to clinch a spot in the NCAA title game. The game was dubbed “The Sweater Game” because St. John’s coach Lou Carnesecca wore the same sweater every game since St. John’s was the first ranked team in the country. When Georgetown coach John Thompson came out on the court at Madison Square Garden before the game, he too had the exact same sweater Carnesecca had. It gave the crowd plenty of laughs, but in the end, Georgetown had the last laugh. They won that game 85-69. Now, the scenario is a bit different, as Ewing and Mullin look to take their respective programs back to prominence through coaching. The thought of buildPHOTO COURTESY/GEORGETOWN ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS ing up the Big East again was too much to pass up, even if the Former Georgetown star Patrick Ewing will return to challenge seemed too steep to his alma mater as head coach. climb. ty and the answer would be ‘no, I’m going “Being our alma maters, it makes it more special,” Mullin told the to stay in the NBA.” Like the Big East, the St. John’s vs. GeorgeWashington Post. “I saw Patrick say he town rivalry has dipped since its peak over wouldn’t do it for any other school. I was 20 years ago. Now, it has two of the most not going to another college.” Ewing echoed those thoughts, telling the competitive players as coaches, adding fuel media at his introductory press conference to the historic rivalry. The Red Storm face off against the Hoyas as coach that the only reason he’s now coaching in college, is because he’s a Hoya. twice a year. These two “Catholic seven” “I just thought it was a great opportuni- teams will make those games count, espety to come back and try to help rebuild the cially with bragging rights on the line beprogram,” Ewing said. “Any other universi- tween good friends…and old foes.

Baseball team earns conference honors


the plate with four RBIs and four runs scored during the stretch in which he was awarded Big East Player of the Week. In addition to increasing his batting averOff to their best start since 1981 and age to .420, Berardi hit his third home reaching as high as the No. 4 ranking in run of the season and recorded his tenth the country, the highest since the conclu- multi-hit game the series-opener against sion of the 1968 College World Series, Hofstra. the St. John’s baseball team (23-5, 1-2) As of last Sunday’s series-ending game saw two of its players earn Big East hon- against Hofstra, the junior ranked fourth ors last week. in the nation in on-base percentage Shortstop Jesse Berardi was a catalyst (.544), 13th in batting average and 26th for the Red Storm’s 3-0 week, which in RBIs per game (1.22). included two wins against Hofstra and Sean Mooney, who recorded his third one with Wagner. Berardi, a junior victory in as many outings in the game from Commack, N.Y., went 6-10 at against Hofstra, was named Big East Player of the Week after claiming two Big East Pitcher of the Week Awards in March. The freshman from Marmora, N.J. gave up one run in seven innings against the Pride, striking out seven and walking one batter on 87 pitches (68 strikes). On the season, Mooney ranks first in the country in WHIP (0.64) and 1211th in ERA (0.96). He has struck out 39 and walked five in 37.2 innings of pitching. As of April 9th, he was only one of two freshman in Division I baseball (T.J. Sikkema of Missouri) to place in the top 25 in both categories. As a team, St. John’s ranked among the PHOTO COURTESY/ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS top ten in several categories. According Shortstop Jesse Berardi extended his hit- to NCAA.com, the Johnnies were secting streak to 10 games and was named to ond in batting average (.338), seventh in the Big East Weekly Honor Roll on April 10. ERA (2.58), fourth in on base percentage


St. John’s baseball players meet at the mound during April 11 game against Albany.

(.425), and sixth in WHIP (1.11), as of April 7. Although inclement weather has altered several series, St. John’s has remained hot. The original three-game set with Hofstra was reduced to two, with one game in Queens canceled due to an anticipated storm. Last Tuesday’s contest with Saint Peter’s was also canceled. In Wednesday’s game against Columbia, the Red Storm dropped their first home contest of the season, 7-4. Three days later, the team traveled to

Nebraska for a weekend series against Big East rival Creighton, one that the Bluejays won two games to one. St. John’s lone win was a narrow one, 3-2 in 14 innings, giving Joe Kelly his first win of the season. The pair of weekend losses dropped the Johnnies to No. 12 in the country. They rebounded Tuesday with a 9-3 victory at home over Albany The team will continue Big East play with a three game eries in Indiana against the Butler Bulldogs starting on Thursday.

Sports 11


NCAA Baseball 4/5

NCAA Softball 4/8

NCAA Lacrosse 4/8

NCAA Women’s Tennis 4/7
















Despite out-hitting their opponent 10 hits to six, the Red Storm fell to the Columbia Lions in the first home loss of the season with a final score of 7-4. This game marks the 23rd of 24 chances that the Red Storm has outhit their opponent this season. St. John’s (21-3) began tallying runs in the bottom of the fifth, while holding Columbia scoreless over the last seven frames. Columbia scored six of their seven runs in the first inning and their seventh in the top of the second. Michael Donadio, Jesse Berardi, Josh Shaw, and Jamie Galazin all had two hits each for the Red Storm. St. John’s surrendered no runs, no walks, and just two hits over the game’s last 24 outs.

Turner French tossed two shutout innings.


NCAA Softball 4/8 DePAUL 10 ST. JOHN’S


The St. John’s softball team lost its first two Big East games of the season against DePaul on Saturday to the Blue Demons: 10-3 and 10-7 respectively. The games, played at Red Storm Field, were on the NFCA StrikeOut Cancer Day. The softball team currently holds an 18-12 overall record and a 6-2 Big East record. In the first game, freshman Gretchen Bowie and juniors Krystal Puga and Lauren Zick led the Red Storm in game one, each with three hits. The loss in game one snapped the Red Storm’s six game winning streak. In game two SJU had seven runs on 11 hits, but it was not enough to secure the game that featured four lead changes. The Red Storm will continue play with a three-game set against Butler this weekend.

The St. John’s lacrosse team, holding a 1-10 record with a Big East record of 0-2, lost to Marquette on Saturday at the Valley Fields in Milwaukee, Wis.. The Johnnies fell, 17-9, to the Golden Eagles despite a season-high four goals from freshman Joe Madsen. Pat Smyth led the Red Storm defense with four ground balls and caused one turnover. Tim Kiel and Brian Gaffney each caused a turnover. Daniel Costa played 55:52 in goal, saving nine of the 24 shots that he faced. Freshman Brian Quick also saw time in goal, making one save in his five minutes on the field. A tough matchup awaits the Red Storm on Saturday. They will take on Denver at home in another conference matchup. The fourth-ranked Pioneers won the 2015 NCAA lacrosse championship and made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament last season. The Red Storm will honor their seniors against Denver with a pregame ceremony before trying to snap their six-game losing streak.

NCAA Men’sTennis 4/7 ST. JOHN’S




The women’s tennis team (14-3) remains undefeated in Big East play after a win over the Providence Friars, 6-1, at the Providence Tennis Courts on Friday. This marks the fourth straight victory for the Johnnies. Lauren Leo, head coach, has now won 14 matches in each of her first two seasons. The St. John’s men’s tennis team (10-4) swept its opponent, Villanova, 7-0 in the regular season finale on Friday at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows. This pushed the Johnnies to their fourth consecutive year of double-digit wins in their dual-match regular season. For the Big East matches, the Red Storm won three of five matches with two shutouts, which were Georgetown and the match Friday against Villanova. KAYLEE HERNDON

Staff Writer



April 12, 2017 | VOLUME 95, ISSUE 1 |


goal of the year Duffy's goal lands on sportscenter

DYLAN HORNIK Co-Sports Editor

Colin Duffy swears he meant to do it. He’s absolutely certain that, with just under 10 minutes to play in St. John’s non-conference lacrosse matchup against Drexel last month, he meant to net a goal that would end up as an early favorite for play of the year in college lacrosse. Duffy, a sophomore from Pennsylvania, was positioned well when teammate Jackson O’Leary ripped a shot on the run from outside. Drexel goalie Jimmy Joe Granito made a nice save on his knees, but couldn’t control the rebound as the ball bounced away right in front of the crease. With two defenders on him, Duffy calmly collected the ball and nonchalantly flipped his stick behind his back while barrel-rolling. Much to the disbelief of everyone at DaSilva Memorial Field, including Duffy’s

teammates, his split-second display of brilliance turned into a goal that cut the Red Storm’s deficit to two. “I saw the ball on the ground and I just kind of reacted to it,” Duffy said via phone interview. “I knew I was going to flip it over my back shoulder. I didn’t even see it go in. I didn’t realize I was going to get pushed from the back and stuff like that, but I was definitely trying to [score].” The team lost 9-7, but Duffy’s goal ended up winning over the lacrosse landscape for the rest of the day. It garnered a lot of attention from major lacrosse outlets on Twitter, including a mention from the ever-popular blog Barstool Sports. Duffy said that his phone flooded with texts, calls, and tweets immediately after the game. “I had a friend who was on the other team who came up to me and told me it was a sick play,” he said. “After the game, I looked at the St. John’s lacrosse Twitter and it had all the videos of the goals from the game, and I saw it. It looked pretty cool

and all my friends were tagging me in it and retweeting it.” In fact, the play ended up on ESPN’s flagship program SportsCenter as part of its “Top 10 Plays” segment, where they count down highlights from a day’s worth of sporting events. Duffy’s exploits reached number two on the countdown, only topped by a spectacular play from Team USA in the World Baseball Classic. Duffy said that his brother was the first one to tell him that he made SportsCenter, but didn’t alert him until much later that night. The St. John’s lacrosse Twitter page tweeted out a video of the highlight on television the next morning. “I got a text from my brother at like 3:30 in the morning and he sent me a video of [the play on TV] and then he said ‘Turn on SportsCenter because it’s coming on,’” he said. “I was pretty pumped...When I first got the text and went downstairs, I was trying to wake up every one of my three roommates.”

Even a little national recognition isn’t enough to turn the lacrosse team’s season around, though. Its only win of the season, a one-goal victory over Siena in early March, is sandwiched between a pair of lengthy losing streaks. The latest one is a five-game drought in which opponents outscored the Red Storm 65-34. The Red Storm’s last game was a 23-7 loss to No. 17 Yale on April 4. That game against Drexel may have been Duffy’s finest collegiate performance. He added another goal and two assists to his highlight-reel effort for a team-leading total of four points that afternoon. He’s currently third on the team with 12 points. Personal accolades aren’t important to Duffy: he said he would rather see the team improve than earn individual honors, but he does think that he can make more spectacular plays in the future. Who knows, he may end up on SportsCenter again. “Maybe I’ll make a similar play but maybe it won’t be as cool,” Duffy said. “But I think I can do it again.”

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