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VOL 95 : 03 April 26th, 2017 The independent student newspaper of St. John’s University

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ONE Million DOLLAR$

RELAY BREAKS FUNDRAISING MILESTONE

A Year In Review AGE 8 CHECK OUT P

Biggest Events of the 2016-17 School Year


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Sequoya celebrates 2016 issue release

The Sequoya Literary and Arts Magazine held their annual release party on Monday, April 24 to celebrate the publication of their 2016 issue. Sequoya, which is the oldest creative publication at St. John’s dating to the 1920s, has been publishing student works that include nonfiction and fiction, prose, poetry and photography. Writers, students and faculty came together in the University Writing Center to commend the magazine for its ongoing success. Some of the writers even read their pieces out loud for the audience to hear. Current editor-in-chief and the Torch’s former chief copy editor, Sarah Guayante, said she was appreciative of the outcome as well as the people who contributed and made this year’s magazine possible. “I am thankful for everyone who submitted, and thankful that this just continues to be a thing every year, because it’s been a thing since the 20s. I can’t believe that it’s been 80 something years and it’s still going

it’s also very entertaining.” Danielle Rouse, who has been published in the magazine, has a word of advice for students who may feel a little ambivalent in sharing their work. “Don’t be afraid, because fear is expensive but it does nothing for you. It is not an investment of yourself; so definitely don’t be afraid to submit because the worst you can get is a no,” Rouse said. “But it’s not likely that you’ll get that because they are so open to so many different types of writing styles and structures. Fear is just a thing that you shouldn’t let stop you, especially with Sequoya.” Students interested in writing and designing for Sequoya can email the editorial board at sjusequoya@gmail. com and more information about the publication can be found at https://sequoyazine.wordpress.com. ZALEZ

Staff Writer

ing with Sequoya for three years, but hopes to form a different structure for the organization. Collins wants to bring the magazine staff closer together, working on tightening the bond that has already been created. “I want to make it a different process this PhotOCourtesy/Aimée Heath year, make it more as Sequoya contributors showed off the finished magazine Monday. a team and bring a family aspect to it,” Collins on,” Guayante said. said. “I am excited for that because I think More and more students are submitting it’s going to be a lot of fun. So the whole their work to get their voices out there. And collaborative process will be a good time.” through the use of platforms like Sequoya The close-knit editorial team is, however, they can publish and receive recognition for looking for more writers to contribute to futheir creativity. ture issues. Maggie Ryan, a freshman English To mark the end of this year’s publica- major, has expressed interest in the magazine tion, Guayante passed the reigns to a new and she said, “I have always loved to read editor-in-chief, Kendall Collins. Collins has and reading influenced me to become a writbeen the layout artist and has been work- er, so that is why I am interested in this. And

Photo/KAYLA GON

Kayla Gonzalez

SJU’s Food Recovery Network donates to local pantry Angelica Acevedo

Co-Social Media Manager Two students have recently initiated the St. John’s chapter of the Food Recovery Network (FRN). With the help of fellow student volunteers, St. Vincent de Paul’s Society and Dining Services, the University is donating leftover food to the Church of God in Christ Jesus of the Apostles’ Faith, Inc. food pantry every week. The FRN is a national student movement that aims to end food waste and hunger in the U.S., which was created by students at the University of Maryland in 2011. It has since then accumulated more than 200 university chapters, according to their official website. Junior Christopher George and sophomore Seid Mulic, both coincidentally reached out to the FRN in order to establish a chapter at SJU. The FRN then con-

nected them to work together. George was not able to meet with the Torch, but Mulic offered his insight. “We met and planned on how to go about getting the chapter established, and after many weeks of planning and meeting with administrators, we were able to get it going,” Mulic said. “Chris played a big role in compiling a list of eligible places to donate food and eventually confirming with the church we know deliver to.” George, Mulic and sophomore Ibrahim Mulic, worked closely with Regional Executive Chef, Kelly Heefner, to take the frozen food to the Church of God in Christ Jesus of the Apostles’ Faith, Inc. which is just two miles from the University. “We really owe Chef Kelly a lot of credit for being resourceful and down to earth, and trying his best to help us out,” Mulic said. “He is also passionate about the cause and he really was the one who made

it work for us.” Every Wednesday morning since February, they take dozens of pounds of untouched food from each dining hall on campus to the food pantry. Thomas Goldsmith, the director of the Office of Sustainability, is now driving them there as part of his departments goal to “Conserve to Serve.” According to SisPhoto Courtesy/Anna Zak ter Patricia Evanick, a Seid and Ibrahim Mulic at the pantry. Campus Minister VinMulic said that they aim to, “get more centian Svc, the chapter is still developing, and more volunteers, make the process as they have to be mindful of the legalities more streamlined and efficient and to that come with donating food. engage the workers of the dining halls to “We want to advocate for it and get make sure no leftover food goes to waste.” other departments involved,” Sr. Evanick said.


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12th Relay for Life: most impactful yet

St. John’s raises $1 million for American Cancer Society, breaks record

Cheyanne Gonzales

General Manager Emeritus At this year’s 12th annual Relay for Life, which was held last Friday night in Carnesecca Arena, it was announced that the University has raised over $1 million for the American Cancer Society since it began participating in 2005. This year’s Relay drew the event’s largest attendance on record; about 1,962 people consisting of students, faculty, alumni and families came together to rally in support of and recognition of those who have been affected by cancer. One hundred sixteen St. John’s organizations attended the America-themed event, including various Greek life groups that stayed for its duration, which started at 6 p.m. Friday and ended at 6 a.m. Sunday, raising a total of $137,214. Alex Kaiser, the chair of the Relay for Life committee, said she was informed that St. John’s reached its $1 million mark at 4:08

p.m. on Thursday, April 20. During the announcement of the milestone, Dr. Kathryn Hutchinson, the vice president of Student Affairs said, “Relay at St. John’s has become a part of our culture.” The announcement at Relay came with confetti cannons and joyous applause. President Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, his wife Clavel, and Dr. Robert Mangione, the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs were among those in attendance. Julia Mackey, SGI senior senator and the SGI liaison for Relay for Life said reaching the one-million mark has been “monumental,” and that the committee has been striding for it for a long time. After the announcement, the 2017 committee members honored Mary Pelkowski, associate dean for Student Engagement, who has been in charge of Relay for Life for the past six years. “I was in my office watching and refreshing the internet every few minutes until it hit the $100,000 mark. I was with student leaders

TORCH PHOTO/LAUREN FINEGAN

Paige Olson, sister of Theta Phi Alpha, donated all of her hair at Relay for Life.

of this year’s core committee, so it was so special to share that moment with them,” Pelkowski said. William Pugh, co-chair of Relay for Life and the vice president-elect of SGI said, “It’s been nice to see it progress and see how [we’ve] constantly [raised] more money since my freshman year and how we’ve grown.” TORCH PHOTO/LAUREN FINEGAN Pugh also stated that this was the Students stayed up all night in Carnesecca Arena for the cause. biggest committee The American Cancer Society’s Hope for Relay for Life that that they’ve ever had, Lodge Jerome L. Greene Family Center offers with 54 committee members. housing at no cost for families and cancer paMackey added that after beating the goal tients receiving treatment in Manhattan. The they set for themselves for last year’s relay, the Relay for Life Committee has been actively team was motivated to reach the one-million working with Hope Lodge. mark. She said last year “definitely acted as a Sam Sheehy, a freshman, said she was inmotivator” for both the Relay for Life Com- spired to participate at Relay for Life for the mittee and SGI. first time. “This by far was the best and most commit“My grandmother passed away before I was ted committee that I had the opportunity to born and my mom and I always walked in work with,” Pelkowski said. “We have been breast cancer marches for her, but since goworking toward this goal since mid-Septem- ing to college, I don’t live close to home anyber so it was an amazing moment on Friday more,” Sheehy said. “So there was no way to with the confetti and in sharing it with lead- commemorate her loss and I thought this was ers who have worked so hard and are so in- a good way to do it without her this year.” vested in one day finding a cure.” Kaiser added that the hair from the Performances during the all-night event hair-cutting ceremony is being donated to a kept people on their feet. A performance by different group from previous years working Vocal Synergy, an acapella group from Wag- with Pantene; it will be going to one based in ner College on Staten Island, was a crowd Long Island, which makes wigs for children favorite. with cancer. “It’s been a very nice year overall,” Pugh “Cancer doesn’t reserve itself from anyone, said. “A lot of emotions knowing that we I hate to say it, but it’s ruthless,” Mackey said. finally reached the mark and knowing that “I think the fact that this event calls for advowe’ve been able to contribute to cancer re- cacy for all different kinds of cancer not just search and providing housing to cancer pa- breast cancer, not just colon cancer, but all tients at the NYC Hope Lodge.” types and that’s a really big deal.”

Turn Off The Violence Week 2017 commences

Co-News Editor

The kickoff event for the ninth annual Turn Off The Violence Week at St. John’s featured keynote speakers Angela Esquivel and Teri Rosenberg as they discussed “The Scars Behind the Screens” and how social media plays a role in sexual violence. Co-sponsored by ROTC, Omega Phi Beta, Lambda Upsilon Lambda, Phi Delta Theta, Alpha Phi Alpha, Theta Phi Alpha, TOTV Student Committee and S.O.A.R., the event consisted of discussions on defining terms and sharing statistics and advice. Esquivel is the co-founder and CEO of the As One Project, an organization which helps friends and families of sexual assault survivors. She currently serves as the assistant dean of students at Stanford University and is a sexual assault survivor herself. Rosenberg is the co-founder and chief operations officer of the As One Project and is the communications and development director of the New York City Alliance Against Sexual Assault. She identifies as a secondary

survivor through personal friendships. survivors actually know the person who asThe two speakers first defined the terms saulted them. “secondary survivor,” someone close to Another myth was that most reports filed a survivor who may experience the same are false, when in actuality two to eight feelings, thoughts percent end up being and reactions as a falsely reported. the primary survivor, The main focus of “sexual assault,” sexthe event was to disual contact behavior cuss how to support without consent, and “Technology is not the solution a survivor, and their “consent,” an active three tips were to first to ending sexual violence.” process involving follow your friend’s voluntary and enthulead, to be aware of - Angela Esquivel siastic agreement to your actions just as participate in sexual much as your words activity. They shared and to take care of that every two minyourself. utes someone is sexuIt is important to ally assaulted. look out for reactions One in three women and one in six men following the assault which may include dewill be sexually assaulted in their lifetime, pression, flashbacks, PTSD, self harm, subwith 20-25 percent of those women being stance abuse, eating and sleeping disorders in college. LGBTQ people are also at higher or nothing at all. risk to be assaulted. The brain’s natural response to traumatic Some myths about sexual assault that were experiences is fight, flight and freeze. Fight proven false include the phrase “strang- is caused by irritation, and flight by worry er danger.” They shared that 85 percent of and anxiety.

Isabella Bruni

The forgotten response, according to Esquivel and Rosenberg is freeze, which may look like emotional numbness and complete shutdown. The speakers stressed how to speak to survivors and to not place responsibility on them with questions like, “Are you sure?” and “What were you wearing?” Saying phrases like, “I know how you feel” and “Everything will be ok” are not helpful to the survivor. Instead, they advised to say, “I believe you” and “I’m here to listen,” or even nothing. “Technology is not the solution to ending sexual violence, your connection to people and resources can be,” Esquivel said. “It’s going to be us on a human and interpersonal level.” Event volunteer and sophomore, Sameera Ramen, said, “I volunteer because I think this discussion is important and there needs to be more awareness.” Some thoughts the speakers wanted students to think about when they left were, “What are some pros and cons of social media when talking about sexual assault?” and “How can we better support our friends?”


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Symposium tackles xenophobia, immigration

Alexis Gaskin

Contributing Writer The seventh annual Multidisciplinary Symposium on Immigration was a day full of cultural empowerment and in-depth conversations by students and faculty of different backgrounds. The symposium was held this past Friday in DAC 128 by the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS); seats were filled by students, faculty members and guests of the school.

PHOTO COURTESY/JOSEPH TACINELLI

President Gempesaw welcomed guests to the seventh symposium on immigration.

The overarching topic of the day was immigration. Junior Esteban Acosta, an education major and member of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) worked with CLACS on the setup of the symposium, and was glad to see this type of conversation being continued on campus. “It’s important to have all these ideas come into school and share them with such a diverse crowd of people,” Acosta said. St. John’s University is no stranger to diversity as a school with a large population of international students and its main campus being located in Queens, one of the most diverse areas in the country. This symposium began with a round table discussion consisting of diplomats representing Argentina, Bolivia, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Haiti, Mexico and Paraguay. The speakers discussed the new presidency and how changes in immigration policy were being constructed. Throughout the day, international students and faculty members shared their experiences and discussed how the new administration affected them on a personal and global level. Associate communications professor, Dr. Flora Keshishian, was a panel organizer for the topic on “Immigration and the Trump Administration.” The panel consisted of faculty members Dr. Keshishian, Dr. Azzedine Layachi, Dr. Sanae Elmoudden and international students Zahra Choudhury, Farhan Karim and Sitara Abbas. The panel discussed the adversities that in-

PHOTO COURTESY/JOSEPH TACINELLI

Diplomats from abroad shared their insight during the Friday symposium in DAC 128.

ternational students had to overcome due to their immigrant status in the United States. “I didn’t even know where the immigration office was, it was such an intimidating process and everybody was worried,” Dr. Keshishian said as she shared her experience of being an international student during the Iranian Revolution. She told the audience about her ordeal with the immigration office and how she had to prove that she was not connected to the Iranian Revolution in one month. Keshishian discussed seeing “Nuke Iran” buttons as she would walk around campus. Several current international students shared similar stories of not feeling welcome on campus because of their accents, and undergoing numerous micro-aggressions because of the color of their skin and the fact that they were immigrants.

The following panels discussed the anxiety that immigrant students face and how they fear family members being deported as well as the new executive orders under the Trump Administration. The panel’s discussions touched on many issues that immigrants deal with in their daily lives, and how even though many aspire to get an education and be successful, they often hit roadblocks built on prejudice and xenophobia. For many, the event was one of acceptance and awareness. “It encourages discussion on immigration and the effects of banning people from out of the country and how it negatively affects the united states economy and our culture because we are a culture made up of immigrants,” said Challena Gilbert, a senior and Spanish major.


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The Press and Politics: A new era

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Rick Klein of ABC News discusses journalism in the age of President Trump

Bre’Anna Grant

Contributing Writer

A crowd of students, professors and faculty filled Sullivan B-13 to hear ABC News’ political director and journalist, Rick Klein, speak about “The Press and Presidential Politics” on Monday, April 24. About 40 people sat in during Klein’s question-and-answer session, which was sponsored by the College of Professional Studies, ABC News and the Society of Professional Journalists. Klein leads the network’s political coverage and planning, serves as an on-air political analyst across ABC News platforms and contributes stories and analysis to all ABC News broadcasts, including Good Morning America and World News Tonight with David Muir. During his 70-minute panel, he explained how he had been interested in politics since grade school. In college, he served as editor-in-chief of the Daily Princetonian, the Princeton University student newspaper, which fed his passion for journalism. Michael Rizzo, the director of the University’s journalism program, served as a moderator for the event and asked Klein what drew him to journalism. Klein said, “I tried different activities and every day I

was doing something different, surprising or learning something new.” He also added, “I believe I had more impact writing for the campus newspaper than I do now because to see the impact you have on campus just by writing a story, you change people’s lives.” He also emphasized that he’s never seen political engagement like he has during today’s time, comparing the election to a “reality show.” “No president in modern time has got less done than Trump,” Klein said. “He has redefined the terms of Washington; there is so much movement happening that wasn’t present before. There was a real shift between policies for the candidates and now there are big things on the line right now.” During the questioning portion of the panel, two journalism students were given the opportunity to ask questions. One student asked, “How has reporting strategies changed since the president’s war on media?” Klein said, “Since then, journalists can receive more sources from the Trump administration. It has made us think more deeply about accuracy— there is no margin for getting things wrong. It ups our game in providing the facts.” “I think government officials would avoid talking to the media if they didn’t trust a particular journalist or organization,” Kyle

TORCH PHOTO/LAUREN FINEGAN

Professor Michael Rizzo moderated Rick Klein’s discussion to many aspiring jornalists.

Suta, a freshman journalism major, said. “Also, they may not want to tell the truth and bad-mouth their friends.” One of the final students chosen to ask a question was Chloe Jean-Pierre, a freshman and public relations major who asked, “Is there any new strategies that may come up in the future that may bring in impact and distinctiveness from local to national news?” Klein responded that he “doesn’t know what

the future holds,” but he is “hopeful that new journalists will be able to adhere to new strategies in order to embrace impact and distinctiveness.” Klein ended his panel discussion by telling students interested in journalism to be passionate, trustworthy and professional. “Find five people who do the best type of journalism you want to do and follow them,” he said.

Energy conservation competition for Bread & Life Angelica Acevedo

Co-Social Media Manager The Office of Sustainability will once again compete for high rankings in the Campus Conservation Nationals (CCN), a nationwide short-term electricity reduction competition. Their goal is to reduce 50,000 kilowatt hours of electricity in the Residence Halls, with the dollar savings resulting in a $5,000 donation for St. John’s Bread and Life. They have already reduced 30,000 kilowatt hours as of Tuesday, April 25, according to Thomas Goldsmith, the director of the Office of Sustainability. The Office of Sustainability collaborated with the Office of Academic Service Learning (ASL) to offer students ASL hours for volunteering in the Conserve to Serve campaign.

“We developed Conserve to Serve [so that] Johneil Clarke, a student volunteering for we all pitch in to save the energy, but the dol- ASL hours on Tuesday, said. lar savings goes to support Bread and Life,” During the CCN, they want to encourGoldsmith said. age students to take the stairs instead of The competithe elevator, unplug tion began on electronics, turn April 10 and will off lights, turn off end on April 30. air-blowers under Students can volwindows and wash unteer throughfull loads of laundry out the last week in cold water. of the competiThe CCN betion to advocate gan in 2010 and it for it and get strives to “reduce signatures in the consumption and pledge cards in mitigate the impacts TORCH PHOTO/GINA PALERMO the Residence Students work to reach the high ranking. of climate change” of Halls. college buildings, ac“I’m an Environmental Studies major and cording to its official website. I try to do as much as I can to save energy Over 100 universities across the U.S. parand the environment in general,” freshman ticipate, and St. John’s has been a contestant

since the initiative launched. According to Lucid—the organization that runs CCN—in 2010 the University finished in the top 10, and in 2013 in the top five. In previous years, each Residence Hall would compete against each other, but Goldsmith said that the residents in the two buildings in the lead were the most motivated, while other residents lost interest. In 2015, they changed their approach to spurring on participants; Goldsmith said the University raised $2,700 for St. John’s Bread and Life as students were instead prompted by the idea of fundraising for the organization, rather than engaging in a contest against their peers. Anthony Butler, the executive director of St. John’s Bread and Life, said that he thought it was a “neat idea,” to combine energy conservation and efforts to alleviate hunger.

The Torch entered several stories and designs for the competition, whose deadline was in March. Former News Editor Angelica Acevedo’s story on former administrator Natalie Munoz’s departure from the University, and the effect it had on the R.I.S.E. Network was among the stories entered. In the sports category, outgoing Sports Editors Troy Mauriello and Carmine Carcieri’s piece “Don’t Panik, Joe’s Home,” an interview with SJU baseball alumnus and San Francisco Giants’ second basemen, was entered. Other stories entered include Editor-in-Chief Suzanne Ciechalski’s story on a 2016 petition regarding a canceled physician

Torch’s editorial on the role of student newspapers on campus was entered as well. For best issue, the Torch entered the edition on Desiigner’s tip-off performance. In the adviser statement submitted to the contest, Torch adviser Jim Baumbach wrote, “Lastly, please also consider that the students do not receive any pay or college credit for their work; they do it for the experience and also the fulfillment that comes with being a journalist.” “The only support they receive from the university is their office space, electricity and heat,” Baumbach said. “And, perhaps most impressively, they would have it no other way.”

The Torch receives national recognition torch staff

The Torch on Tuesday received first-place classification from the American Scholastic Press Association’s annual newspaper review for the first time since 2009. The paper was judged on criteria such as: page design, story layout, graphics, headlining, cover design, advertising placement and photography. “I couldn’t be more proud of our staff,” Editor-in-Chief Suzanne Ciechalski said. “And it isn’t just the staff—it’s every person that contributed to this paper since our editorial board began its tenure. Our editors, adviser and contributors all played a major part in helping the Torch grow, and so did every person who picked up the Torch on campus or read our website.”

assistant ceremony at SJU and Design Editor Steven Verdile’s story from the November election issue on the top 10 comedy bits from the election season. “Each of the staffers whose pieces were entered in the contest not only went above and beyond their expectations as student journalists, but they also exhibited a passion for reporting the news at SJU in a way that I haven’t seen since joining the Torch three years ago,” Ciechalski added. In the design category, Verdile’s map spread for Ciechalski’s story on places for students to check out in Queens was entered. The Torch also entered outgoing Managing Editor Gina Palermo’s photograph of the “Trump windows” from December. The


6 Features

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Spring trend alert: Glasses galore

Staff Writer

An outfit is not complete without the perfect pair of specs. Spring has brought about a new collection of fashionable eyewear that is worth taking a look at. Whether you’re complimenting an outfit, or choosing the perfect frames to shield your eyes from the sun, the glasses trends this spring have you covered for every occasion. There are many different glasses making their way to popularity. The tortoise shell frame is catching a lot of appreciation this time of year. With a bunch of different shades and colors to choose from, the tortoise-shell frame can be the best fit when trying to find a pair of glasses that go perfectly with every part of your outfit. Transparent frames are also making their way onto the list. With its neutral tones and translucent look, these specs

will be the perfect accessory to rock your next getup. They look professional and trendy. Black-rimmed glasses are a classic. You can never go wrong with choosing a chic black frame, from square shaped to cat eye; black goes with everything. This classic look can be worn for formal occasions, and can even be a nice touch to a sporty aesthetic. Let’s transition our way into the sun. Not only do these frames help shield our eyes from the beating rays, but finding your favorite pair of sunglasses is essential to strolling on the street or riding in your car in style. Aviator’s glasses are one of the standard pieces of eyewear that make its way on the trendy list for every season. The modern aviator is becoming a current look. Changing up the lenses and adding on the angles can give your basic aviator glasses a renewed appearance.

Next stop on the list brings us to round-framed eyewear. This look has been around, but that doesn’t mean it is any less fashion forward. This timeless frame will protect you from the sun and also give you that spring style. Now, let’s kill two birds with one stone with the oversized sunglasses. Combining our favorite round framed and cat eye styles, this lens is a favorite among the ladies. Coming in different colors and designs, this frame Model sports silver reflection aviator sunglasses. will make you feel like a superstar. Choosing your favorite pair of specs matches your outfit is just as difficult. But is hard when there is so much variety, once you find your perfect match, heads and finding a pair that fits your face and will be turning and all eyes will be on you. PHOTO COURTESY/FLICKR COMMONS ALEXIS NYAL

Kayla Gonzalez

Fashion has a say in Trump’s immigration policy

Diane von Furstenberg, legendary philanthropist and fashion designer.

CRYSTAL GRANT

Staff Writer

Like most industries in America, the fashion industry, which holds an immeasurable influence on the entire world, is blessed by the hard work of immigrants. To name a few, fashion icons such as Oscar de la Renta, Adriana Lima and Anna Wintour are all immigrants. Despite their critical role in the American fashion industry, countless immigrants are in the mites of an ongoing struggle to remain in the U.S. 20 percent, of fashion manufacturing workers are undocumented immigrants who are at the highest risk for deportation. The Council of Fashion Designers of America and Immigration headed fashion

pioneers like Diane von Furstenberg and the reform organization FWD.us released a 48page report on immigration’s effect on fashion industry earlier this month. The report highlights how current immigration policy is crippling the industry’s ability to obtain and keep talent in their organizations. Simply getting a visa is half the battle. Various limitations are in place, such as having visas denied due to caps on how many can be issued and the type of professional allowed to get one. Students are especially disadvantaged in the visa process. Due to issues with obtaining work visas after graduation, many international students are forced to leave the country immediately after obtaining their degree. International students eligible for the

PHOTO COURTESY/ FLICKR COMMONS S. PAHKRIN

PHOTO COURTESY/ FLICKR COMMONS ANGELA N.

Designers call for a revamped immigration system, fashion org. expresses concern

Model exhibits off a short top with ruffles.

OPT are only allowed to work for up to 12 months after graduation. The acceptation to this policy being how STEM majors can extend their visa for up to 24 months, however most majors within the fashion industry do not qualify. A whopping 42 percent of those surveyed in the report found it difficult to hire foreign workers because they are uneducated about the immigration system. Top concerns are: difficulties processing visas, unnecessarily long wait times and high legal fees are a huge financial burden on employers. 68 percent report spending between $5,000-10,000 dollars in legal fees for the visa of a single employee.

As a result of the immense financial burden associated with visas, most companies opt out in investing in younger talent and usually seek to hire foreigners for more senior positions. The loss of talent in the fashion industry could negatively impact NYC’s revenue as well. Being one of the fashion capitals of the world plays a key role in the success of the fashion industry with 900 fashion companies calling NYC their home. 180,000, or roughly 6 percent of people working in NYC are employed in the fashion industry. The fashion industry brings in a total of 2 billion dollars a year in tax revenue. Besides just criticizing the current state of immigration, the report highlights a few suggestions for much-needed change. Suggestions for change include: expanding existing visas for students to remain in country after receiving their degree, creating start up visas for foreign-born business leaders, and making the visa process less costly. Junior Lalisa Wongchai, is currently interning for Vogue, has worked with many immigrants and international workers in the fashion industry and views their contribution as vital to the future of fashion. “I have worked with people from all over the world from many different cultures come together for one common purpose: fashion.” While the current state of immigration reform is unclear in America at the moment, the fashion world has made it clear they will continue pushing for reform so that people from all around the world can one day call America home.


Features 7

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Where to get affordable bites in Harlem

From baguettes to salmon or shrimp, bites from as low as $2.25 to $14

PHOTO COURTESY/FLICKR COMMONS ANGELA N.

Levain Bakery’s offerings include scones and cookies, which are put on display for sale.

JENNIFER BOGUS

Staff Writer

If there is one thing that unifies college students, it’s food. There is nothing like eating a good meal after becoming so accustomed to Monty’s and takeout. One of the most difficult parts of living in NYC is that a good meal can come at a great price. The trick is to find a good restaurant that has menu items for a reasonable price.

Hopefully, my recommendations will help you solve this problem. Picture it, destination: Harlem. A place so rich with culture that it had its own renaissance. A place oozing with so much culture, some feel as though it should be its own borough. Oftentimes, when people go to Harlem, their food destinations are Sylvia’s Restaurant of Harlem or Amy Ruth’s. While both of these places are rich in history, the quality of the food has changed and the pricing has

gone up. So to keep our wallets full, along with our stomachs, a good place to try is Lola’s Seafood Shack. Lola’s Seafood Shack is a great destination especially now that summer is approaching. Lola’s is located at 303 W. 116th st. and they serve a combination of Caribbean and New England-style seafood dishes. A great dish to try is the crab cakes with the garlic fries. It is an absolute treat to your taste buds and easy on your pockets. For $14, you can get a lunch box that includes salmon or shrimp with rice and your choice of sauce and a Coco Rico soda. If you are looking for authentic southern food, Charles Country Pan Fried Chicken is the place for you. Located on 132nd Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard, the restaurant is known for its community feel and delicious fried chicken. In addition to the fried chicken, people also love the smothered pork chops, turkey wings, collards, okra and corn. The best thing about the restaurant is that it has a buffet where you can taste a little of everything for only $15. Pretty manageable. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, Levain Bakery is a nice place to consider. They are known for their large chocolate chip cookies. The cookies are great but can be a bit pricey. Since we are being cost effective Levain

also has brioches, buns, bomboloncini, scone and rolls for two or three dollars. You can also get a baguette with jam for $2.50. So it all depends on what you’re in the mood for. This bakery is located at 2167 Frederick Douglass Blvd. I hope this helps you out when deciding what to eat and where to go the next time you’re in Harlem. Harlem is filled with flavor and pizazz and the food has the same kick. Bon Appetit!

PHOTO COURTESY/ FLICKR COMMONS PAUL BROUSSARD

Lolo’s Seafood Shack’s jerk chicken, empanada and rice & beans.


A Year In Review Biggest Events of the 2016-17 School Year

y: iled b p lski m o C iecha C e n Suzan alermo P Gina ile n Verd e v Ste otos: All ph taff s Torch

1. Trump Flags

In November, a series of Trump posters hung on dorm windows in Century hall sparked outrage among some students. In response, some students hung a Barack Obama poster, a gay pride flag and a “Love Trumps Hate” sign. Other students hung similar Trump posters in their windows as the semester progressed.

2. Post-election Protest

A “Love March” was held on campus in response to President Donald Trump’s election in November. The march brought together roughly 100 students and faculty who voiced their thoughts on the election.

3. Tipoff

Desiigner brought down the house at November’s basketball tip off. He encouraged the crowd to storm the court, and several students got in on the madness, rushing onto the court as he performed some of his hit songs like “Panda.” The rapper eventually had his mic cut and was escorted out of Carnesecca Arena by his security team.

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4. President’s Dinner

The annual President’s Dinner in October raised $2.4 million for student scholarships. Several people received the Spirit of Service award from the University at the dinner as well, including Valerie and Gerard Sodano, who were posthumously awarded the honor.

5. Breast Cancer Walk

More than 400 students participated in the annual Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, hosted by the American Cancer Society in October. The walk is a closely-held tradition at SJU, with students and alumni working to raise funds for the organization.

6. Peace Vigil

Haraya hosted a peace vigil in September to discuss racial discrimination, gun violence, police brutality and how St. John’s students were affected by them. The vigil also memorialized Tiarah Poyau and Arshell Dennis III, two students who were victims of gun violence this past summer.

7. Relay for Life

SJU once again participated in Relay for Life, but this year was different: the University finally hit the one-million dollar mark in funds raised since it began participating in the yearly event. Several student organizations spent the entire night in Carnesecca Arena, and the event even garnered its highest attendance on record.

8. SGI Debate

For the first time ever, the Torch’s own editor-in-chief moderated the Student Government Inc. debate. A week later, the REAL ticket, headed by current SGI secretary Frank Obermeyer, swept the election.

5. Breast Canc er Walk

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9. Big East Tournament

St. John’s defeated Georgetown in the first round of the Big East tournament, giving fans memories of the classic battles between the two programs in the 1980s. The win was part of the team’s six-game regular season improvement from 2015.

10. March Against the Ban

A “March Against the Ban” took place on campus in February following President Donald Trump’s executive order banning citizens of seven muslim-majority countries from coming into the United States. Dozens of students joined in the march.

11. Muslim Students on Immigration Order

Following Trump’s executive order on immigration, the Torch spoke with Muslim students about how it affected them. Some students attended a rally at John F. Kennedy International Airport in protest of the order. The University also issued a statement expressing opposition to the executive order.

12. Arshell Dennis’ Memorial

Arshell “Trey” Dennis III’s father looks on at a mass held in his son’s memory in September. Dennis was killed in late August in his native Chicago. The University lost two other students in August: Tiarah Poyau, who was killed at the J’Ouvert Carnival, and alumna Karina Vetrano, who was strangled to death. The University held masses in memory of each of student in September.

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10. March Ag ainst the Ban

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12. Ars hell Denn is’ Mem orial


10 Opinion

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Flames of the Torch Tips for final exam week

Managing Board XCV

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@stjtorch

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

@sju_torch

@sjutorch

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

Take it one step at a time

Staff and contributors Jon Manarang Yenny Ng Yves Nguyen Kayla Gonzalez Crystal Grant

Jennifer Bogus Brendan Myers Nick McCreven Cheyanne Gonzales

Editorial policy

Alexis Gaskin Bre’Anna Grant Nayab Khan Kristen Catalano

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

With dreams of summer almost upon us, finals are the last and most challenging things standing in the way of our glorious three month break from school. Every semester, the rigorous tests, projects and papers can seem overwhelming. Balancing all the assignments with the rest of the end of the year activities, finals season can be a lot to handle. The Torch understands this and has a few tips for you to help you survive the storm…

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.

Conquering any task, whether it is for school or not, can be overwhelming if you try to do everything all at once. We suggest taking everything in small doses. That 12 page paper you have to write? Try writing two or three pages a day. The huge presentation worth 50% of your grade? Do one slide a day for a week. By taking small steps, big projects can be much more manageable. Leaving everything until the last minute, although tempting, will overwhelm you and stress you out.

Give yourself a break This one is crucial. Doing work 100% of the time will guarantee that you burn out and lose focus. If you can manage your time to give yourself at least an hour each day to just relax and watch some mindless TV (or whatever you do to chill out) you’ll be in good shape. Everyone needs a break every now and then, and a healthy pause from your work will do wonders for your mind.

Get your Z's We all love sleep, everyone loves to sleep. In finals season more than any other time of year, sleep is super important. It is much harder to study when you’re cracked out on cans of Red Bull, cups of coffee and bags of candy. Just take the natural route, stay healthy and get some good ol’ fashioned rest. You’ll feel refreshed and ready to get stuff done in the morning, making for a much more productive day.

Clean your study space Whether it is your room or a small desk in your parent’s’ home office, making the space you work in clutter free and clean will actually help you concentrate more. Not only will it help eliminate distractions, but having a neat work space will also help your mind feel cleaner, too, and ready to study. A clean mind is a happy mind, and the same logic goes for work spaces. Good luck on finals!

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Opinion 11

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Advice from a graduating senior Kristen Catalano

Staff Writer

“Time flies.” “It will be over before you know it.” “Enjoy it while it lasts.” These are just a few of the phrases that almost every college freshman is told by the adults in their lives, but the truth behind them don’t resonate in your mind until you are registering for graduation or ordering your diploma. My time at St John’s has included all the dorm woes and academic woes that most students will experience. From having a boiling hot dorm room my freshman year that refused to cool down even with two feet of snow on the ground, to being forced to take core classes that have absolutely nothing to do with my major, it has been a long, hard and often strange ride. Though before I conclude my time here at St John’s I would like to take this time to

PHOTO/FLICKR Creative Commons – NYC WandereR

St. John’s University Graduation Ceremony in 2010.

offer up a bit of advice to underclassmen: sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. I know it seems like simple and impossible advice all at once, that there is no way that you can relax when you have three ex-

ams and a research paper do, but it is just as important to make lasting friendships with your peers and enjoy all that this campus has to offer as it is to get all A’s in your classes. When you graduate, you are not going to

remember the research paper that you aced after weeks of preparation; you are going to remember the friends that you made here, and the memories that you made. Oh, and trust me--even though it seems like you are taking an endless amount of ridiculous classes that have nothing to do with your major, listen to what the professor is saying because there is always something that you don’t know. As for the future, I never truly believe that an individual is prepared for the unknown, and that is what graduating college is, the unknown. But I do think that both my parents and St John’s have instilled a strong enough work ethic and desire to be great in me that I will be okay. I believe that St John’s did an ample job training me in my field so that I am able to not only do my job but excel at it. I will forever be grateful for my time here at St John’s and cherish the memories that I made along the way.

In loving memory of a dear colleague and friend: Professor Calvin Mittman By Dr. Ninah Beliavsky St. John’s College, Languages & Literatures

Calvin H. Mittman Kalman Nov 3, 1939 – April 10, 2017 (14 Nisan 5777) I never thought I would be writing these words and saying goodbye to a most remarkable and exceptional person in my life… Calvin H. Mittman A man of valor and integrity… How can one sum up a life of a man in just a few lines? A man who loved life to its fullest…. He loved To listen To talk To learn To laugh To eat To dance To study To question To read To write To tell jokes To Google To write stories and limericks To entertain new and novel and quirky ideas He Loved To live

He loved His family His friends His colleagues His students He loved Language Linguistics Music Math Sciences Politics Dance Art Numbers Movies Concerts He Loved Life He loved everything he did and planned to do…and his list was unending… He lived in the truest sense of the word... He loved to his very last moment… He lived by his word… He always had advice A way of resolving anything and everything…from the most minute to the most serious … He was my guardian angel Both at St. John’s University And in life He touched and enriched many lives With his wisdom, caring, wit, love, intelligence, kindness Intellectual curiosity, And positive outlook on life I cannot separate My days and years at SJU from our Friendship and Interests We shared intellectually … Our friendship was unconditional… He came to my Hebrew class at 7:30AM every semester … He was instrumental in Finally launching the Biblical Hebrew course this semester at SJU... We tried for 7 long years…

You could speak to him about anything and everything because he was interested in all and knew about many different subjects…and about the most unusual topics…

As we were sitting down at our first and second Seders, this Passover holidayAnd reading the four questions from our Haggadah...

My life, and that of many others, has been enriched infinitely by his presence and his love and his unquestioning and unlimited friendship… He was always happy and positive Never had a negative word about a soul Never depressed Always present Because life was a present … A gift for him and for all those who were part of his life… Everyone and everything was a blessing…. to be nurtured and cared for… Every day was a celebration of life!

‫תֹוליֵּלַה לָּכִמ הֶּזַה הָלְיַּלַה הָנַּתְּׁשִּנ הַמ‬ MAH NISH-TA-NA HA-LAI-LA HAZEH MI-KOL HA-LEI-LOT? How is this night different from all other nights?

Every morning he would wait for me in front of my classroom with the Arts section from NY Times…just last week as he handed it to me, he opened it up and said, “Today’s section is especially written for you, Ninah”…as he took out the article entitled Dancing May Help Mental Abilities Cal had taught at SJU for 55 years

I was painfully reminded … As I knew clearly how different it was… It was different for all of us, and it will never be the same ever again… without Our dear friend A few days ago I jokingly asked Cal… “What will I ever do without you!!!!???” To which he replied with a kind smile “I hope You will never have to…”

We had been friends for the past 17 years …ever since I started teaching at SJU He had also been a long family friend… He helped my daughters with their math assignments and told me time and time again that they were brilliant… “So how come their grades do not reflect their brilliance”, I would ask…to which he replied…”ahhhhh…just bad teachers”…and laugh We celebrated almost every holiday together at our home with my husband, my daughters, my parents and my brother… My family will miss him very, very dearly…

Apr. 19 The previous issue of the Torch featured a story on Professor Calvin Mittman’s impact on the St. John’s community during his 55 year tenure.


12 Entertainment

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LASO screens “Making of a Gangsta” YVES NGUYEN Staff Writer

“Making of a Gangsta,” a crowdfunded documentary featuring experts on gangs and former gang members in the Bay Area explaining why they joined gangs, was presented in the D’Angelo Center by the Latin American Student Organization (LASO) following the BBQ on Thursday, April 20. After the screening, the filmmaker, Adam Ybarra, had an open discussion on the purpose of the documentary and the future of his project, with comments and questions from audience members. “Making of a Gangsta” the documentary and the screening has a deeply personal feel because it is; it was directed by Adam Ybarra, the father of Chantel Ybarra, the secretary of LASO. The documentary has an even deeper personal connection to Ybarra because he interviewed people he knows, including his sister. The documentary features four former gang members (Jacob Dominguez, Ralph Muniz, Maria Perez and Selena Rodriguez) or as the documentary labeled them “former gangstas,” the mother of a former gang member (Rebecca Sosa), a psychiatrist (Dr. Paul Guillroy Ph.D), a gang expert (William “Blinky” Rodriguez), the superintendent of the City of San Jose (Mario Maciel) and three high school students in a “gang neighborhood.” Each person gives a different perspective on the issue, but they all form similar opinions or rather main ideas towards the end of the documentary. Beside the interviews, the documentary

features clips of cityscapes and graffiti with a yellow or sepia-esque tint as well as newsreels from ABC, which at times is crude in style. This gives the documentary a nostalgic feel that may present a problem. The documentary feels dated and past-centric given that every notable interview about the gang experience is from a former gang member. Ybarra does note this in my interview with him, “I was declined a lot because people are afraid to be known as a gangster,” he said. While it may be hard to interview gang members past or present, this documentary focuses a lot on the past. The only moments that discuss the future of gangs comes from a couple of short moments with the three high schoolers, who discuss how they are stereotyped as being potential-less or already gang members, despite neither being true. The most impactful of the interviews comes from Maciel and Dominguez, as they both eventually break down in tears. Maciel explains how students in his area have “early trauma” and are constantly told to “take advantage of the American dream,” while never being given the chance to, and Dominguez gets very emotional as he explains he “wanted to feel loved.” These powerful moments work towards what Ybarra tries to achieve with this documentary. “That to me is the message, people when they oftentimes think of gangsters their perspective may be built upon movies, social media, but the folks we interviewed in the documentary were just regular people,” Ybarra said.

And this message comes across for most of the attendees. Sophomore Computer Science major, Kayla Williams expressed leaving with this very message, “I think it’s important that we allow each individual that we stereotype to tell their story, to show who they are.” She also said, “The message is very clear.” Beyond that message Ybarra pushed that “as an educator” he wanted “to target this particular area to spark something” in others, so that they can “give their best to gangsters.” He urges St. John’s students to move towards the future and be understanding. President of LASO and junior Education major, Esteban Acosta echoed this very feeling, “As a future educator, I think it’s important to show everyone respect PHOTO FROM “MAKING OF A GANGSTA” DOCUMENTARY POSTER and benevolence.”

Chairlift’s farewell tour hits Brooklyn JON MANARANG Staff Writer

With their final show at new venue Brooklyn Steel on April 22, indie pop duo Chairlift announced an intimate homecoming show at Baby’s All Right. While their Brooklyn Steel show features Kristin Kontrol (fka Dee Dee of the band Dum Dum Girls), the Baby’s show saw a bevy of the bands’ different collaborators over their many years as a group doing karaoke on stage. Starting things off with “Time of My Life” from the film “Dirty Dancing,” local duo Drug Couple tackled Bill Medley and Jen-

nifer Warnes’ vocals with ease and stunning choreography. Highlights from the night include singer Simon Doom crowdsurfing during a cover of Pearl Jam’s “Alive,” Jade Delafleur’s sultry cover of Pharell’s “Frontin,” and even Andrew Vanwyngarden of the band MGMT performing The Jackson 5’s “I’ll Be There” while traversing the stage reading the lyrics on his phone. MGMT was instrumental in Chairlift’s early days, giving the band an opening slot on one of their first tours. The energy in the air was electric as the opening MIDI drum track on “Garbage,” ushered singer/keyboardist Caroline Polachek and bassist/drummer Patrick Wemb-

ALL PHOTOS BY JON MANARANG

ley on stage. Backed by Bryan Keller Jr on guitar/drums and Danny Meyer on saxophone/synth, the band even brought back “Something” tour drummer Jamie to perform a few tracks. Starting off with material from their debut record “Does You Inspire You,” the band moved into playing more of the hits like “Amanaemonesia” and “I Belong In Your Arms” which Polachek began to sing in Japanese at a fan’s request. In the performance, Polachek and Wembley played on their duo dynamic as both bandmates and family on their final hurrah could. At one point, the Chairlift vocalist requested the photographers in the front row to move back as “I’ve done all the poses I’m

going to do for the night, you have your shot” but more as a way to get the real fans of the group to reciprocate the energy they’re bringing on stage. Diving into their massive single “Bruises” which first launched them into national recognition on an iPod nano commercial the band performed a few more cuts before leaving the stage. With a resounding call for the group to come back out, Polachek and Wembley came out to perform “Met Before” as vocals and bass before playing infectious fan favorite “Polymorphing.” Closing out with “Planet Health,” the band went back to their slow-groove roots, that they put to work on their production for Beyonce’s “No Angel.”


Entertainment 13

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Bad Astronauts “make funny” at their end of year show YVES NGUYEN Staff Writer Serena Williams, Spongebob Squarepants and a deflated soccer ball go to a party… Sounds like a bad joke, right? Well, St. John’s Improv Club, the Bad Astronauts, filled the Sodano Coffee House in the D’Angelo Center with laughter with this very premise on Wednesday, April 19. The Bad Astronauts hosted their last official show to close out the school-year rather well, according to the full house bursting with laughter. “I thought it was hilarious. I especially liked the last scene,” Trey Wallace, a sophomore, said highlighting the group’s ability to start slow and end on a high note. The Bad Astronauts started off slow and built up anticipation from the very beginning. From behind the curtain they warmed up loudly with chants and songs reminiscent of sports or competition teams. They started off the show by creating a mock presidential debate from the audience area where some of their members took on the personas of Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, his bird friend and “that lady from that one commercial” leading to the entire group storming the stage and setting the tone for the rest of the night. The performance began with long-form improv where a select few members came up with stories having to do with the word “dance” followed by skits spurring from

TORCH PHOTO/YENNY NG

those stories, which included a grandma grinding at prom and father abandonment. The second part of the performance consisted of two short-form improv games called “Party Quirks,” “Late Excuse” and “Half-life.” “Party Quirks” involved three members, assigned to three random audience suggestions for party-goers, and the fourth member hosted the party they attended and had to guess who they or what they were. Their characters were Serena Williams, Spongebob Squarepants and a deflated soccer ball. The scene began as the party host, who is an antisocial person with no friends, greeted each of her guests, and quickly guessed Spongebob but had more difficult, albeit hilarious time identifying Serena Williams and the deflated soccer ball.

“Late Excuse” is exactly what it sounds like, a late employee coming up with excuses for their tardiness. This game included four of the Bad Astronauts; two silently acted out three excuses (one standard excuse, one ridiculous excuse and one nearly impossible excuse), behind one member playing the boss and one member playing the late employee who had to guess the excuses suggested by the audience. The first excuse was hitting a deer on the way to work, which was guessed rather quickly, the second excuse was the employee’s pants ran away, which took slightly longer. The last excuse was the employee delivered Beyonce’s babies, which lead to hilarious guesses, such as “Beyonce had my babies” and “I had Beyonce’s babies.” “Half-life” had four members performing

the same scene in a location suggested by an audience member four times each time half as short as the last one. The scene was set in a coffee shop, which could have turned out bland and boring, but ensued in loud laughter due to the uppity, hipster-ish characters created by the Bad Astronauts. The Bad Astronauts ended their show with another long-form performance with a couple of different members from the first one. This time the word was “hair” and it ended with a rather ridiculous situation involving a shower and a pizza delivery man. All the Bad Astronauts members exuded joy as the night seemed to end in their favor. “I’m proud of it, I’m happy with it,” Keith Buxton, Bad Astronauts member and a junior TV and film major, said as other members echoed similar thoughts. “Every time we meet we make funny,” Bad Astronauts member and a sophomore TV and film major, Maya Wade said, which seems to reign true considering this performance. Alexa Teed, a sophomore TV and film major, also expressed her love for the Bad Astronauts as an audience member, “Everyone should come out and support them, they are hilarious.” If you missed your chance to see the Bad Astronauts at their official end of the year show, you still have a chance to come out, support them and watch them “make funny” at Java Johnnies on Friday, April 28.


14 Sports

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Livianu shines bright for Red Storm DYLAN HORNIK Co-Sports Editor The story reads like a picture-perfect fairytale. The daughter of an ex-tennis player grows up with a racket in her hand, becomes a coveted talent, and helps her school break records. Upon first glance, it looks too easy for St. John’s freshman Jessica Livianu. Her mother, Bagdana Romanksy-Livianu, played professional tennis, turning her daughter onto the sport at a young age. After rising through the junior circuit and becoming a five-star college prospect, the younger Livianu committed to St. John’s and has led the team to their first appearance in the Big East Tournament as the top seed in program history. Livianu, however, is more than just a made-for-Hollywood story. The Brooklyn, N.Y. native, currently ranked 65th in the latest Oracle/ITA Division I singles rankings, uses her success as a platform to grow as a person and as an athlete. “I’ve learned so much [from being on the team], and I’ve grown as a person immensely,” Livianu said. “I realized that I was putting unnecessary pressure on myself [at the beginning of the semester]...I focus more on my game as a whole for me to grow.” She came into an enviable position when she arrived in Queens in August. The wom-

en’s tennis team won 14 games last year and has leaders in now-seniors Anna Morozova and Stephanie Elgegren. Livianu immediately established herself as the premier player on the roster, making it to the ITA Northeast Regional finals. Despite her loss, Livianu became the de facto leader on the court, where she says adaptability is key. “I think the strongest part of my game is that I can modulate,” she said. “At one point I can be extremely aggressive and get to the net or close the point quickly, and at another point I can be a defensive player and just run down the shots that I need to run down.” Her only two losses in singles play this spring were to ranked opponents, and she won 19 consecutive doubles matches with Morozova to finish the year. Her success translated into marks in the win column for the Red Storm, who won 16 matches this season, the most since 19891990. Head Coach Lauren Leo, who Livianu has known since she was a child, also set the record for most wins through the first two seasons at the helm. Records were made to be broken, and Livianu says that she loves the pressure that comes with them, but she doesn’t always think big picture. “Billie Jean King once said, ‘Pressure is privilege,’” she said. “The more pressure I have, the more grateful I am for what I’ve accomplished. ”

In fact, Livianu prefers to attack things one step at a time. Her busy schedule forces her to be efficient with her time, and she says that the only way to effectively use all of the hours in the day is to go at each task with 100 percent of her focus. The only thing on her mind right now, though, is the conference tournament in Cayce, S.C. that starts Friday. This week, Livianu said that she is calmer than she has ever been before a match. Part of that may be due to the Red Storm’s dominance over the Big East this year. The women’s tennis team went 6-0 in-conference this year the first time that they went undefeated against those opponents since the spring of 2014. “When we get ready for a big conference match, we say ‘Okay, we have to step it up,’’ Livianu said. “It’s the preparation that’s the

NCAA Lacrosse 4/22

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PHOTO COURTESY/ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

Freshman Jessica Livianu is ranked 65th in the nation heading into this weekend’s play.

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Senior Jason DeBenedictis had a goal.

The lacrosse team took on the Villanova Wildcats in Pennsylvania this weekend but couldn’t come up with the win, falling 18-3 to the 9th ranked offense in the country. Colin Duffy, Jason DeBenedictis and Joe Madsen all netted goals throughout the game, with freshman Madsen grabbing his team-leading 19th goal of the season. Goalie Daniel Costa played the entire game and saved 12 of 30 shots on goal. Villanova’s Jack Curran became the school’s record holder for most goals scored in a single season, getting eight on Saturday, good for a total of 42 on the season. St. John’s was outshot in the contest 5029 and only had 17 shots on goal. The team will get back into action this Saturday, heading to Washington, D.C. to take on Georgetown.

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The softball team began a double-header on Saturday with a tough 2-0 loss. Tori Free pitched a strong game but hits were hard to come by on the offensive side and they were unable to score a run. Free gave up two runs on four hits in seven. The Johnnies bounced back however with an emphatic victory, 10-0. Sophomore Madison Morris shut Villanova out in six innings, allowing only two hits. Lauren Zick had a big offensive performance, going 3 for 4 with three RBI’s and two runs. Christina Melendez hit a three-run homer to end the game. St. John’s faced Villanova again on Sunday but was shut out again, losing 8-0. Villanova’s Brette Lawrence no-hit the Johnnies. The Red Storm will play again when they face off against Farleigh Dickinson on April 26 in New Jersey.

most important thing.” This weekend will be the ultimate test for the Red Storm. They could play a total of three matches in three days if they continue to win. They have never won a Big East championship, but Livianu may be just the spark they needed to break get over the hump and earn some historic hardware. Sure, Livianu may have been on the path to stardom since childhood. Mentally, though, she takes nothing for granted, even if she recognizes how phenomenal she’s been in only one year of college. “I can’t take all the credit for all of the success I’ve had this semester and last semester,” Livianu said. “Everyone has been there to support me... I saw a great saying that I love to share. It says, “If your dreams don’t scare you, they’re not big enough.’”

15

The baseball team prepared to take on Farleigh Dickinson for a three game series this weekend, but Friday’s game was cancelled due to bad weather ruining playing conditions. Saturday’s game was played, and St. John’s earned a strong win, 9-0. Sean Mooney pitched eight innings and allowed only two hits and one walk. The Johnnies scored a run in every inning but the second and seventh. Their biggest inning was the third, in which they drove in three off a fielder’s choice and a two-RBI single. Jesse Berardi got three RBI’s and a run off of a hit. Catcher Troy Dixon drove in two as well, going 2 for 3. On Sunday, they faced off once again and both teams put on an offensive showcase. St. John’s came out with the win, 15-8. Junior Anthony Brocato had a big game, hitting two homeruns and drove in four Dixon and John Valente also both drove in three RBI’s, with Dixon earning two runs to go along with them and Valente earning one. This sweep brings the 13th-ranked Red Storm to 29-5 on the season.

Looking Ahead •

April 26: Softball at FDU, 3 p.m.

April 26: Baseball vs. Princeton, 6 p.m.

April 29: Lacrosse at Georgetown, 12 p.m.

April 27-30: Big East Women’s Tennis Championships, Cayce, S.C.

April 27-30: Big East Men’s Big East Championships, Cayce, S.C.

April 27-29: Women’s Track & Field Penn Relays, Philadelphia, Pa.

NICK McCREVEN Staff Writer

PHOTO COURTESY/ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

Senior catcher Troy Dixon is hitting .378 this spring.


Sports 15

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Softball starts off hot in Big East play

BRENDAN MYERS Contributing Writer

After entering conference play with a 12-10 record, the St. John’s softball team has won ten of their last 13, including series sweeps over Providence, Creighton and Butler, putting them atop the conference standings. After a rough opening weekend schedule, which included games against now #1 ranked Florida and #19 Michigan, the Johnnies have found their groove as the season hits the home stretch. Aside from one loss to out-of-conference opponent Iona, the Johnnies have only dropped two games to DePaul and have beaten their Big East rivals by a combined 51 runs. “It’s got a lot to do with our pitching staff, we have four really solid pitchers,” said Head Coach Amy Kvilhaug. The team’s pitching staff has been led by McKenzie Murray, who boasts a 7-1 record with a 2.78 ERA. Madison Morris and Tori Free both have ERA’s under 4.00, and Grace Kramer is second on the team with 62 strikeouts while only walking 20 batters. Kvilhaug found it important that one of the four pitchers could

have a bad day because she had three others that could get the job done. Three of the four pitchers have registered two saves, a feat which Coach Kvilhaug claims is unheard of, and is something that she believes demonstrates her staff’s talent. In addition to the pitching, Kvilhaug also believes that the emergence of some of the freshmen on the team has contributed in a big way to the team’s midseason success. The team’s leading hitter, Kaitlin Mattera, has a .389 batting average, and a .467 average in conference games. Mattera has been far from a one dimensional player this season for the Red Storm. “She’s been able to learn to catch four extremely experienced pitchers with different tendencies with little problems,” said Kvilhaug, adding that the Rhode Island native is naturally smart and her easy-going demeanor allows her to take criticism in stride and learn. In addition to Mattera, Gretchen Bowie has seen immediate success in her first season in Queens. She’s started all 35 games this season, leads the team in home runs, and has 37 hits, good for second on the team. Bowie has a team

BIG EAST SOFTBALL StanDINGS As of April 25, 2017 SCHOOL

CONFERENCE

Overall

St. John's

11-4

25-14

DePAUL

9-4

24-17

Villanova

9-6

29-15

Creighton

8-7

18-24

leading .642 slugging percentage and has been used as a utility player all season long. Despite the success of the freshmen, the team has seen production from everyone on the roster, including a group of ten upperclassmen. Senior Monique Landini and junior Savannah Warren lead the way with a combined 70 hits 195 at-bats. Juniors Lauren Zick and Hannah Anderson are both batting above .300. The versatility of the team is something that Kvilhaug stressed. She said she has different lineups for speed purposes, power hitting, and defense. This allows her to strategize and put a lineup out that matches the opponent well, no matter the strengths of the other team. The early tests against Florida and Michigan showed that the team could compete with anyone, but Kvilhaug noted that confidence is not something that this team needs. The team also scheduled teams like Tulsa, and Oklahoma St., who have high RPI’s in order to play the most competitive schedule possible. The main theme that the team preaches is consistency. Kvilhaug wants the team to fo-

cus on winning the remaining series in hopes of getting a top four seed in the Big East Tournament next month. The team closes out conference play with series against Georgetown and Seton Hall. The Red Storm lost a weekend series at home aginst Villanova. The team is still set to play two non-conference games, the first against Fairleigh Dickinson on April 26, and one against New York City rival Fordham on May 3. The Johnnies are seeking their first Big East title since 2015.

PHOTO COURTESY/ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

Madison Morris boasts a 2.93 ERA.


SPORTS

PHOTO COURTESY/ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

April 26, 2017 | VOLUME 95, ISSUE 3 |

TORCHONLINE.COM

Big Plans Lie Ahead AD Goff talks first year at st. john's and beyond

DERRELL BOUKNIGHT Co-Sports Editor For his first three weeks at St. John’s, Anton Goff walked by Carnesecca Arena and through a hallway with trophies and awards encased in glass, by himself in the silence of the predawn hours en route to his new office. Hired just over a month before Christmas, the Pittsburgh, Penn. native grew up on Big East basketball. His mother was the assistant athletic director and head track and field coach at the University of Pittsburgh, who competed in the Big East until 2013. “I grew up during the days of the old Big East of the 80s,” said Goff. “When Chris Mullin and was playing against Patrick Ewing at Georgetown and playing against Jerome Lane and all those guys over at Pittsburgh.” Having had a firsthand experience with collegiate athletics through his mother, Alfreeda, who also served as the Horizon League’s senior associate commissioner and chief championships administrator for 17 years, Goff has always had a passion for student-athletes and the programs for which they play since he was young.

“I tell people all the time that I wasn’t born to be an athletic director, but I was raised to be one,” Now in his third athletic director position, Goff has already developed plans for St. John’s and its student-athletes. His diligent work behind closed doors and away from campus stands out through his connections with those who he believes will help take the school to a level never seen before. “I’ve been in the city probably three or four times a week meeting with what we call captains of the industry,” he said. “People that are CFOs and CEOs of different corporations and businesses within the city. Just trying to make that connection, because I think we’re on the precipice of being really, really good. So I want these types of individuals to buy into what we’re trying to do as we improve this brand.” That brand has more to do than with recognition and trophies. A red “embrace excellence” banner in his office is his motto, the calling-card for St. John’s athletics and what it means to a city longing for success. “I want to connect New York City with St. John’s,” said Goff. “Right now, there

is a void, especially with basketball in the city. We haven’t been that great lately. The Knicks obviously haven’t been that great. And the Nets haven’t been that great. And I think the city is hungering for a basketball team to really take over and one they can identify with.” From 1998-2001 at the University of Maryland, Goff served as assistant director for academic support and created an academic program for the men’s basketball team. And although he acknowledged that St. John’s does not fall into the category of academic struggles or scandals, he spoke of the culture he wants to continue in his new position. “We have a student-athlete development and academic support unit that does great work here,” he said. “They report to the provost’s office. It’s already set up. Our student-athletes are achieving at a high level. I have a saying, ‘four for 40.’ The four years you spend at St. John’s University are going to affect the next 40 years of a student-athlete’s life.” At his introductory press conference on November 14, Goff stood at his podium and powerfully addressed the audience.

“We’re going to win,” he exclaimed. “We’re going to win the right way. This isn’t just about returning to the glory days of the 80s when St. John’s was on top.” The right way, as he explains, boils down to following the rules and not taking any shortcuts. To not have banners taken down when he leaves and Coach Mullin retires from coaching basketball. “We have to build a program that’s lasting, not a team,” said Goff. “Not a flash in the pan where, ‘hey, we won a bunch of games,’ and the whole thing falls apart.” With one last thought before the buzzer sounded on the afternoon interview, Goff sat up in his chair and unfolded his hands, the red SJU pin on his blazer’s left lapel more prominent now than it was previously. His last message was one of hope, one of anticipation for what’s to come in the future at St. John’s. “Whatever we accomplish is going to be a university and community accomplishment,” he said. “I can’t do it alone.” Editor’s Note: This story has been redacted to fit the page. The full story can be found online at torchonline.com under the Sports section, with the same tiitle as above.

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Volume 95, Issue 3  

Volume 95, Issue 3  

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