Volume 95, Issue 5

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VOL 95 : 05 September 20, 2017 The independent student newspaper of St. John’s University



SJU adopts sexual assault reporting system

inside THE ISSUE STUDENTS TALK hurricane irma




Staff Writer

St. John’s University is one of 13 schools nationwide to have partnered with an upstart online sexual assault reporting system that says it’s having success nationwide in increasing the rate of documented incidents that lead to investigations. Last spring St. John’s partnered with Callisto, a non-profit organization that began reaching out to colleges two years ago with the goal of increasing awareness of sexual assault policies and access to an online reporting portal to sexual assault survivors. According to St. John’s media relations representative Jen Tucholski, the program was introduced on campus by the Sexual Violence Outreach, Awareness and Response Office (SOAR) during the annual Turn Off the Violence Week last April. Callisto started with two schools in August 2015 and added two more last year. The number of sexual assault cases rose at those schools, which Callisto considers a positive development given the historically low rates of incidents that get reported. “Nationally, less than 10 percent of survivors report their sexual assault,” said Anna Kim, Director of Communications and Marketing at Callisto. “We found that reports through Callisto Campus led to faster and more thorough investigations by schools.” According to Tucholski, Callisto reached out to the University as part of a grant it received to expand the program. “The SOAR Office is always excited to broaden our prevention and response efforts we seized the opportunity to provide this new service,” Tucholski said. Callisto developed technology to combat sexual assault, empower survivors and advance justice, according to the organization’s website.

Jessica Ladd, who founded Callisto’s parent non-profit company Sexual Health Innovations as a Johns Hopkins graduate student in 2011, said in a February 2016 TED Talk that she sees the problem of sexual assault on college campuses as tragic, but solvable. “We started by talking to college survivors,” Ladd said. “They wanted a website, one they could use at the time and place that felt safest to them.” The system was developed with trauma experts and survivors so Callisto could offer a survivor-centered and trauma-informed process for reporting and documenting sexual assault. It says on its website that its goal is for sexual assault survivors to use the website to: (1) learn information about local reporting policies and resources (2) save a time-stamped written record of what happened (3) report the assault electronically to authorities or legal advisor, (4) alert the university about someone accused of multiple assaults. The St. John’s-specific reporting portal is at https://stjohns.callistocampus.org; students create an account with a username and password. The website offers three options: record, report and match. The record feature captures as much information as students are willing to enter and saves reports with a time stamp. The report feature electronically sends the information to campus authorities. And the match feature potentially reports information to the university about someone accused of being perpetrator in more than one instance. According to the SJU Callisto site, information sent through the website is reported to St. John’s Title IX Coordinator, Yael Wepman. Continued on page 3

2 News



Art Auction for Women’s Scholarship

Staff Writer


This past Friday, Sept. 15, 2017, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, in collaboration with over 60 different student organizations, hosted its fourth annual Multicultural Mixer on the Great Lawn. Hundreds of St. John’s students came out for fun, food and an overall good time with music from DJ Zeke. Several of the cultural organizations on campus, such as Haraya, Spectrum and the Irish Society, lined the perimeter of the Great Lawn. Different food was served as people chatted and got information on the many cultural organizations. It was a mixer of different cultures, with people receiving temporary Henna tattoos and their names written in Chinese calligraphy. Lines of people surrounded tables of food featuring dumplings, pizza, egg rolls and Boba tea. Some students said that it is an event they look forward to every year. “I really like it, last year I couldn’t experience it because my class went late, but I still go to come to see what it was all about,” sophomore Rubaiya Anika said. Anika, born in Bangladesh, expressed her views on diversity in America and on campus saying, “I go by the name Ruby. The first time I came to the USA it was an exchange year and the woman who was looking after me, she couldn’t pronounce my name. It was in South Carolina, they don’t have a lot of diversity, so she gave me the name Ruby.” As an avid lover of Bollywood music and dancing, Anika said she was excited for the united community of the different cultures and people in a social setting with music, dancing and conversation. “It should grow bigger, with the campus being so diverse. It should be showcased more,” Anika said of the mixer.

Young women studying at St. John’s could now be beneficiaries of the new Patricia Kelly Roche Scholarship funded by proceeds from the recent auction of more than 100 highly regarded works of art. European and American paintings, prints and watercolors were auctioned at Freeman’s in Philadelphia, P.A. from the Patricia and John Roche Collection. The proceeds from the auction are expected to fund scholarships for young women with high financial need who are enrolled in the St. John’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the same University division where Patricia Roche earned her degree, according to the Office of Marketing and Communications. Roche received scholarship aid from the Diocese of Brooklyn and was the first in her family to attend college thanks to her scholarship assistance. She later took on a career in publishing children’s books and her interests guided her in the direction of landscape painting. With her husband, she acquired a large collection of paintings that are now being used to benefit students. “Years later, always remembering the opportunity she enjoyed, Patricia paid it forward by ensuring that new generations of talented young women will be able to pursue their own dreams at the University,” Christian Vaupel Ed.D., Vice President for Advancement and University Relations, said to the Office of Marketing and Communications. The prices of the art from the collection range from $100 to $250,000 and the final selling prices of each piece can be seen at auctions.freemansauction.com/auction-catalog/1582.

Co-News Editor


Lambda Pi Chi Sorority, Inc. was one of the groups in attendance at the mixer.

Director of Multicultural Affairs Rosa Yen who is one of the creators of this event, spoke to the students and had representatives from different cultural organizations come to the stage. A reading of the Qur’an was done in both Arabic and English by members of the Muslim Students Association along with a prayer given by Sikh members of St. John’s. The display of different students was concluded when senior Kenneth Shelton, a member of Students of Consciousness, united the crowd in a moment of silence with raised fists. After Shelton’s speech, dozens of purple and white balloons were released into the sky as a vigil for the people lost to hate crimes, racism and brutality, such as Trayvon Martin and Freddy Gray. Shelton described his gratitude for events like the multicultural mixer and emphasized the University’s need to extend diversity to its faculty.

“I think that this event is important, but it’s even more important for what we do afterward. In what St. John’s does. We need to be diverse in terms of our faculty, in terms of our administration,” Shelton said. Yen then spoke to the crowd about St. John’s sticking together through dire times and said the mixer was influenced by many events that have plagued the world; from neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, to the impact Hurricanes Irma and Harvey have had on cultural communities. The words of Shelton resonated with many of the students. “It’s most important because there is a world outside of St. John’s, outside of these gates. We need to speak out for this diversity. The opposite of white supremacy is black and brown power, it’s not just about all of us being in the room, it’s about us having a seat at the table and some giving up their seats.”

SGI Holds First Meeting of the Semester ARIANA ORTIZ

Co-News Editor


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SGI held their first meeting of the semester on Sept. 11 in DAC. The meeting began with guest speakers including Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Robert Mangione and Vice President of Student Affairs Kathryn Hutchinson, as well as CPS Dean Katia Passerini and Assistant Dean Kevin James. PITCH JOHNNY James introduced “The Pitch Johnny Competition,” a new initiative which will allow students to come up with their own ideas and present their entrepreneurial pitches to a panel of judges. Registration opened on Sept. 1, with a deadline of Oct. 15. An information session will be held on Nov. 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the CPS Lab and Conference Room, located on the second floor of St. Augustine Hall.

NEW CONSTITUTION APPROVED During the president’s report, President of SGI Frank Obermeyer welcomed SGI members and informed them of the new SGI constitution’s recent approval by Hutchinson. He noted that the only aspect of the new constitution that was not approved involved drafting resolutions. ORGSYNC UPDATES According to SGI Treasurer, Teresa Ehiogu, a new budget management system has been implemented into OrgSync so that student organizations can now access and handle their funds from their accounts. Ehiogu added that the process for internal SGI spending will remain the same. SGI BUDGET Ehiogu said that this year’s SGI budget is “about the same” as last year’s, and that the only spending thus far has been for a new

software by the Public Relations Committee, and the new OrgSync budget management system. SENATORS AND COMMITTEE REPORTS Senior Senator Brian Wagner spoke about a forthcoming collaboration with Career Services on a program called “Adulting” in which students are taught important life skills, while Junior Senator Atem Tazi spoke about a housing rights workshop hosted by Assemblywoman Nily Rozic. The workshop, which is set to take place on Oct. 5 from 5 to 7 p.m., will brief students on their rights as renters and what they should know when moving off campus. Henry Stitzel of the Budget Committee added that as of Sept. 11, one special allocation request of $342.41 has been granted to the Chinese Students and Scholars Association for a “welcome back” dinner.




St. John’s Deemed Least Studious University calls Princeton Review survey ‘statistically insignificant’



Are SJU students really the least studious in the nation? According to a recent survey by The Princeton Review, St. John’s students spend the least amount of hours studying outside the classroom. But according to the University, and an analysis by The Torch, the survey results are representative of a very small portion of students. The survey was conducted as part of The Princeton Review’s “382 Best Colleges” launch, and SJU tops its list for the least studious students. But according to The Princeton Review, it only surveyed a combined 137,000 students among all 382 schools featured in its book. This means that an average of 359 students per school were surveyed — which is a mere fraction of the student body at St. John’s. The University’s most recent factbook states that there were 20,881 total students enrolled at St. John’s during the 2015-16 school year. In a statement to The Torch, the University called the survey “statistically insignificant.” “It is also important to note that rankings such as this one are increasingly subjective and speculative because of shifts in student survey response rates, metrics and participating schools,” the statement said. The rankings of the most and least studious students were based off responses to the question “How many out-of-class


137,000 students at 382 schools featured in the Review’s book were surveyed.

hours do you spend studying each day?” according to the Princeton Review’s Director of Content. On the survey, the question reads: “On a typical day, I study (not including classroom time).” The answer choices are: · Less than 1 hour · 2 hours · 3 hours · 4 hours · 5 or more hours On its site, The Princeton Review notes that the rankings don’t reflect the com-

pany’s opinions or ratings of colleges. “A college’s appearance on a ranking list in the book is entirely the result of what its own students surveyed by The Princeton Review reported about their campus expe-

riences as well as how they rated various aspects of their college life,” the site says. The Princeton Review’s student survey of schools is ongoing, though they conduct an official survey of students at each school “at least once every three years.” According to The Princeton Review site, they utilize the Likert scale to measure results. “The five-point grid—which is called a Likert scale—is the most commonly used measurement for this type of survey research: consensus-based assessment,” their website says. “Statisticians consider it most accurate as it presents equal amounts of positive or negative positions.” In its statement, the University told The Torch: “Ranking agencies also rely on proxies to provide an insight measurement on how best a school informs, inspires and challenges its students, thus creating inefficient results.” Thus, they said the results “cannot measure the essence of learning which is not merely about studying.” The Princeton Review’s survey had more than 80 questions on it, including one about hours spent studying. Additionally, students were surveyed on other aspects of student life, such as: rating housing, drug and alcohol use, whether students have taken an online course, and plans post-graduation. St. John’s also landed on The Princeton Review’s lists of “Least Accessible Professors,” “Professors Get Low Marks,” “Got Milk?,” and “Scotch and Soda, Hold The Scotch.”

S J U I M P L E M E N T S C A L L I S T O P RO J E C T Continued from page 1 Within two days, it goes to Deputy Title IX Coordinator, Jackie Lochrie, who will reach out to schedule a follow-up discussion. Callisto says students who used the website last school year, on average, created a record of their sexual assault three months after the incident and then reported it four additional months later–ultimately reporting seven months after the incident. Callisto says that’s faster than the national reporting average of 11 months after an incident. The goal, Callisto says, is to give survivors the ability to feel as if they are sharing details in a safe space that within a matter of minutes goes directly to the University. The “match” feature, which potentially sends a perpetrator’s information to the university if they are identified more than once in the system, was designed to give students confidence to go forward together if they do not feel comfortable doing so alone. “We recognize that 90 percent of sexual assaults on campus are perpetrated by repeat offenders,” Kim said. “Our surveys

with students found that the leading reasons students gave for reporting was to protect others and out of a sense of responsibility.” Not every survivor knows his or her perpetrator. Students do not need to know the identity when they create a record although there is a place to include that information if needed. St. John’s student, Kevin Barbour, thinks the program is a great idea for the University to use. “People can feel comfortable coming forward about being sexually assaulted,” Barbour said. Callisto says its research shows survivors who visited the website were five times more likely to report their assault. “The confidential aspect will make students less afraid to report the sexual assault instances,” Barbour said. “The only problem I see with the program is people abusing it with jokes or instances that aren’t actual sexual assault. Other than that this sounds like a great idea.” Another student, Amber Reese, likes the program’s goals but is less certain about the university’s follow through.

“I don’t know how much I believe SJU will make use of the program,” Reese continued. “Reporting to the authorities is one thing, making our university a safer place by acknowledging there’s a repeat offender and at the very least removing them from the dorms is another.” Chevonese James, a junior, questioned how effective this program will be for sparking change. “Like any college female you fear to ever be assaulted but sadly that does become a reality for some and some people just don’t even want to think of this happening,” James said. “Unfortunately I don’t think this system will help much.” Callisto says the reports that students submit online are confidential and only viewed by the student and appropriate personnel at the University. In its first two years at schools Callisto said it’s found that roughly 10-to-13-percent of students visit their school’s Callisto site. But it said around 97 percent of sexual assault survivors who visited Callisto would recommend it to a friend who was sexually assault. “We’ve definitely been happy to see impact on our partner campuses,” Kim said.

Ladd, Callisto’s founder, added, “We can create [a world] where those who do wrong are held accountable, where survivors get the support and justice they deserve, where authorities get the information they need, and where there is a real deterrent to violating the rights of another human being.” By becoming one of 13 universities to partner with the new website, St. John’s believes it’s doing its part to spark change. “Our hope,” Tucholski said, “is that students will connect each other to Callisto where they can find out about the resources St. John’s offers students.” The University’s Callisto website offers reporting options, support services, and information on how to help a friend. Tucholski says SOAR “has trained all Executive Board Members of Student Organizations during the Student Leadership Conference, all Resident Advisors, and all Orientation Leaders.” She added that information about the new reporting website has been made available to students at the Activities Fair, Wellness Fair and across specific offices of the University. She encourages students to visit the website for more information.




Flames of the Torch Sexual assault awareness programs

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


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Editorial policy

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The Torch is the official, independent student newspaper of St. John’s University. The Torch is written, edited, designed and produced by students of the University.

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.

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assault and learn about consent.” The University’s website also notes, “Today, it’s estimated that one in five women on college campuses has been sexually assaulted. Just 12% of those assaults are reported.” This underscores the importance of a program like Callisto, as well as the other events and programs St. John’s participates in to spread awareness about sexual assault. Sexual assault is once again in the national spotlight thanks to Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, who recently announced that she wants to change the government’s current system for the sexual assault “enforcement system” on college campuses, according to the Washington Post. She believes that the system needs to be more fair to people accused of assault. It’s an opinion that’s garnered a lot of criticism, and we understand why. This development is further proof that sexual assault remains a hot-button issue, and one that needs to be taken seriously. As this issue develops, we hope SJU will continue to take appropriate actions to educate students about sexual assault. There’s still a long way to go when it comes to eradicating this problem, but we’re glad St. John’s seems to be stepping into the right direction.

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.

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St. John’s recently partnered with the Callisto Project, an online reporting system for victims of sexual assault. SJU is one of 13 schools to participate in the program, and it’s another sign that while some schools are focused on sweeping sexual assault under the rug, St. John’s is taking the issue seriously. Callisto says the number of sexual assault cases rose at schools who have used the two-year-old program. While some schools may view this negatively — a cynic might say more instances of sexual assault reported will hurt admissions — it actually says something positive about the efforts put forth by colleges like St. John’s to create better systems for reporting sexual assault. Callisto is far from being the only way SJU is attempting to educate its students and make them feel prepared to discuss or report sexual assault. Throughout the academic year, St. John’s sponsors events like “Take Back The Night” and bystander intervention training. We are also partnered with It’s On Us. Additionally, first-year students are required to take Haven, an online course about sexual violence and dating. As St. John’s website notes, it “is a confidential course on healthy relationships, sexual violence, stalking, and relationship violence to help you understand sexual

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.


Vincentian View: Remembering Founder’s Week

“Keep your eyes on the mission which is not about me/us but our ‘lords and masters,’ the poor” FR. PATRICK GRIFFIN, C.M. Special to the Torch I imagine that early in the morning of Sept. 27, 1660, the bells of Paris began to toll. They probably began at St. Laurent, then perhaps St. Nicholas des Champs and St. Gervais; Notre Dame and Sainte Chappelle would pick up the sound and it would cross the Seine to St. Severin and St. Sulpice. Even the bells on the height of Sacré Coeur could not remain silent. No one needed to ask why the bells were ringing. The City knew: Vincent de Paul was dead. That is the way I imagine it. One can envision the Queen Mother, Anne of Austria, pondering the passing of her friend and confidant of so many years.

The King, Louis XIV, later to be known as the “Sun King,” might have remembered this cleric who ministered at the deathbed of his father. Cardinal Mazarin, soon to follow Vincent to the throne of God, could have considered this man who was so often his adversary. The priests of Paris might have recalled this worthy religious man who prepared them for ministry in seminaries and offered retreats for their spiritual growth. The Sisters of the Visitation may have begun to pray for he who had become their guardian since the death of their own father, Francis de Sales. The Ladies of Charity, the Daughters of Charity, the priests and brothers of the Congregation of the Mission would all mourn the passing of their founder and spiritual center. But the poor of Paris and throughout France—the hungry, sick and orphaned;

those who suffered from and continued to endure the pains of war; the ignorant, dying, abused and forgotten; those who felt the anguish of spiritual abandonment and lack of faith—yes, the poor of Paris—they might mourn in a particular and fearful way at the passing of Vincent. Who would care for them? Who would speak out for their needs? Who would serve them with love and generosity? Who would continue his mission? But the poor needn’t have worried. Even as the bells rung, the Ladies of Charity would have been thinking about the sick whom they would visit that day. The Daughters of Charity would have preparing the meals and lessons for the orphans who had come under their care. The priests and brothers of the Congregation would have continued their plans for preaching and serving the needy both spiritually and physically.

These worthy women and men would have known that this would have been the most ardent hope and desire of Vincent: “Keep your eyes on the mission which is not about me/us but our ‘lords and masters,’ the poor.” This week, September 20-27, we celebrate Founder’s Week at St. John’s. We remember Vincent de Paul and his 400 years of concern for the poor which is so descriptive of our identity as a Catholic and Vincentian University. There is a page in this issue of the Torch which highlights many of the SJU events of these days, from worship to conferences to poetry. We can try to be part of some of them. As we hear the bells of St. Thomas More Church in these days, let us allow them to remind us of the very good man who followed Christ with charity and compassion.

Express Buses: Is spending $6.50 worth it? Features Editor

Imagine a bus that could take you from SJU to Midtown Manhattan in less than 35 minutes; a bus that makes less than five stops in Queens once you board at the Union Turnpike/168 Street bus stop, before proceeding straight to Midtown; a bus with comfortable seating, charging ports and a smooth ride to your destination. Such a thing exists. In a world of unreliability, from delayed flights at LaGuardia to shuttle buses that are never on schedule, there’s a form of transportation that restores my faith in the MTA. It wasn’t until I stopped ignoring the Google Maps option that most people see and disregard: Take the QM5 or QM6. When I first learned that I’d be interning at ABC News, I was thrilled. I told myself that even though interning 30 hours a week would mean I’d have to spend a lot of time commuting, and essentially diminish a good portion of my social life, my commute didn’t have to be as stressful as the newsroom can be. I began looking for alternatives to the only two routes I knew of at the time: Taking the notorious Q46 bus to its last stop at Kew Gardens, then taking the F train to 57th Street to catch the M5 bus to Lincoln Center or the Q46 bus to the E train, then stopping at 7th Avenue 53rd Street and catching the D train to 59th Street transferring to the 1 train to get off at Lincoln Center. Are you still following me? When I realized how harrowing my commute would be, I began to consider ordering a daily car service, or taking a daily Uber to the train. The Q46 bus travel time can vary from 15 to 25 minutes. Then, I remembered how unreliable and annoying car service could be. Not to mention, the toll it

would take on my wallet. If you’ve ever considered taking an express bus as opposed to the bus and train, like I did, I’m here to say go for it. According to the MTA, the QM1, QM5, QM6, QM7, QM8, QM31, QM35 and QM36 buses operate express between Northeast Queens and Midtown or Downtown Manhattan. The routes operate primarily on Union Turnpike in Queens, and travel non-stop via Queens Boulevard, the Long Island Expressway, and the Midtown Tunnel or Queensboro Bridge between Queens and Manhattan. The QM5 and QM6 are the only buses of the corridor to operate seven days a week. They also operate in both directions during morning, midday and evening hours between Midtown and Queens, so you have a reliable way of getting to the city on the weekends too. Sounds too good to be true, I know. At $6.50 a swipe, the express bus alternative is almost $4 more than the moderately-priced $2.75-a-trip swipe on a MetroCard for regular bus and subway service. A 7-Day Express Bus Plus MetroCard is $59.50, in

comparison to $32.00 for a 7-Day Unlimited Pass for trains and local buses. The Express Bus Plus MetroCard comes with a transfer to a bus much like a regular MetroCard swipe. It also arrives infrequently at times, and takes a local route when making a return trip back to Queens. This means that although it takes less than 35 minutes to get to your destination in Manhattan in the morning, it could take twice that to get to campus in the evening. I enjoy the express because I am able to get so much schoolwork done on my laptop during my commute. As a native New Yorker, born and raised in the Bronx, I feel more secure writing papers on this bus than on the train. I can potentially put myself at risk if I have my laptop out on the subway. With that being said, weigh your options. What are you looking for in a commute? Where are you trying to go? Compare travel times. Above all, make sure to have at least $6.50 on your MetroCard if you plan to take this route. May your commute game be as stress-free as mine has become.



Laptop Bans in Classrooms and Why We Shouldn’t Have Them YVES NGUYEN

Staff Writer

Recently, I had a class where my professor banned laptops because they said people process information better through handwriting. While research published in “Psychological Science,” a medical journal, shows that handwriting notes is better for learning, I want to make a case for why that doesn’t matter, and why students shouldn’t be forced to put away their laptops. Of course, technology creates issues within classrooms—even the study cited above talks about distractions with technology and multitasking. They wrote “It’s so easy to click over to Facebook in that dull lecture. And … the fact that you have to be slower when you take notes by hand is what makes it more useful”—but the problematic nature of laptop bans ought to outweigh a professor’s need for students to pay attention during class.

Laptop bans are ableist. Ableism being (in the most basic terms) discrimination and/ or otherization of disabled people. The professor that banned laptops in my class even mentioned the American Disabilities Act (ADA) that requires accommodation for disabled people. He said that he would allow students with accommodation letters to use their laptops, but that doesn’t solve the problem, and most professors don’t even acknowledge the ADA when placing laptop bans in classrooms. Think about how many times a professor has banned laptops and cellphones from your class, and think about how many of those times a professor directly told the class about ADA regulations. Even if professors acknowledge the ADA, laptop bans are inherently ableist because they force student disability disclosure— everyone knows why that one student gets to use their laptop.This ostracizes disabled students and inevitably other students have questions about what their disability is whether you’re visibly or invisibly disabled. Also, let’s not forget about professors who love to call out students using technology in class. When professors largely ignore the

ADA, they end up humiliating students in class, and students then have to out themselves in front of the entire class. Disability is also not so easily defined, and the ADA doesn’t cover every person who needs accommodation. The ADA states, “An individual is considered to have a disability if s/he has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities, has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment,” which leaves out people with a variety of accommodation needs such as; people with arthritis or ADHD. Beyond ableism, laptop bans simply ignore student agency and difference. Students’ grades are their responsibility, and to take “good” notes when we pay to be here and aren’t bothering other students. Students should be able to choose how they want/need to learn, especially in universities. Also, even students without disabilities, including those with bad handwriting or slow hand writing, benefit from technology. Education, especially college education, should be accessible and inclusive. If your policies exclude people, how much does your academia help people?

Opinion 5



Stressful Media STEVEN VERDILE Design Editor There’s nothing more satisfying than checking your latest post to see the likes climbing up and the comments rolling in. Retweets and shares are valued so highly that businesses trade them like stocks, and follower counts are the quickest way to elevate someone’s social status. We can all agree that the power of social media can be terrifying and stressful. Therefore, we should all take a step back to see how it affects us. One of the most common ways that social media creates stress is known as “FOMO,” or the “fear of missing out.” People are incentivized to post the most exciting and glamorous moments of their lives, which accumulates in your feed as a series of awesome things that you were a part of. Spending your Friday night watching “Cake Boss” reruns and eating chex mix seems like a fun time, until you realize that your friends are busy without you at six different concerts, four house parties, a basketball game, a karaoke night and a fancy dinner party. In reality, it’s unrealistic to be as busy as your profile makes you seem. Another stress-producing trend is the importance of social media in pursuing a job. As a student in a creative field, I have multiple social profiles listed on my resume, and while not all industries insist on great social content, every employer will be checking your account for red flags. Finding a balance between personal and professional can be tricky, but you shouldn’t stress yourself over posting silly messages or social photos. If this article has stressed you out so far… oops. Have no fear; yours truly has come up with some tips to minimize the social media related stress in your life. Follow the people who you care about, and unfollow the people you don’t. It seems simple, but if you’re following a three-digit number of people, it’s unlikely that you genuinely want to see each of those people’s posts. Cutting back will let you see your real friends posts more often, and will reduce the time it takes to read your feed. Another tip is to avoid reactionary activity. People will inevitably say dumb things that irritate you, and as strongly as you may feel about these incidents, the comment section on a Facebook posts is not the healthiest platform to personally vent your political discontent. Most importantly, these apps are supposed to be fun, so enjoy them! Post what you want to post, not what others want to see, and don’t compare “likes” and “favorites.” Social media is really whatever you make of it, so use that flexibility to make it into exactly what you want it to be.






A tree uprooted in a backyard in Florida as a result of winds at over 100 mph.


SJU students who have family in the Caribbean Islands and Florida reflect on damage caused by the category 5 hurricane ALEXIS GASKIN

Staff Writer


Thursday | 9/21/2017 Common Hour, DAC 307

BBQ Monday | 9/25/2017 Common Hour, Sun Yat Sen Lawn


DUE THURSDAY, 9/28 For more info contact sgielections@gmail.com


This past month, two record breaking hurricanes have impacted St. John’s students. From the destruction that left Southern Texas flooded, to the more recent Hurricane Irma that BBC states affected over 1.2 million people in the Caribbean alone. Sweeping through several tropical countries like Puerto Rico, Cuba, Barbuda, Antigua and Saint Martin and the southeast of the United States, left many students afraid and worried for the safety of family members. Junior Alyssa Morris and Sophomore Aria Hall are both students from Miami, Fla. who stressed their concerns and fears for family members who were heavily impacted by Irma. Hall said, “I was on campus when Irma was announced, hit and left, it was hard to see places I grew up in, so severely damaged within seconds.” Morris was also in fear for her mother and sister in Miami, saying, “Knowing that they would face Irma alone with no power and having no connection with them really took a toll on me mentally and emotionally.” The damages of Hurricane Irma varied among the different communities in Florida. Hall said that her family and neighbors endured damages to their homes and their communities. “There are holes in my roof, a tree in my neighbor’s roof, destruction of my mother’s work, and flooding in my brother’s high school.” Her home, along with many other Florida residents’, had to be boarded up with planks of wood to prepare for the impact of Hurricane Irma and to “protect themselves

in anyway they knew how to.” “We weren’t hit as bad as we thought, however I still made an impact on the area along with my house and close by family friends,” said Morris. Hurricane Irma caused severe power outages leaving many Floridians without power and severe flooding. The impact of Hurricane Irma stretched all across the Caribbean, impacting several countries. Caribbean Students Association (CSA) President, junior student Amenkha Sembenu, has family in the Caribbean who were also devastated by the effects of Hurricane Irma. Sembenu, who has family in Antigua, Trinidad and Barbuda, was terrified when she saw where the hurricane’s path was headed. “I was upset, scared, nervous, anxious,” she said. “I mean all type of feelings start running through you ya know.” Sembenu, like many other St. John’s students, played the waiting game of trying to get in contact with family members who were so many thousands of miles away without any information. “My cousin was also going to claim land in Barbuda, but now we are devastated because Barbuda is basically destroyed!” said Sembenu when describing the distress that family members are trying to build up from. Being so far from family during these times of disaster can leave lasting imprints of being scared for family, but Sembenu is tackling that head on with CSA. “We are starting to collect a drive at our food sale on Monday and have located locations to send items and money to.” Sembenu urged, “These islands are popular places, including Florida, where people like to visit, but when it comes time for a natural disaster no one wants to donate!”

8 Features


SJU Students React to Rihanna’s Fenty Beauty Launch The international pop star is spreading positivity through cosmetics IRENE SAKALIS

Contributing Writer

ers and St. John’s students alike. The brand has received stellar reviews, garnering well over four stars per product on the Sephora website. Senior Marjan Islam, who uses the line’s Pro Filt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation agrees, “It’s very lightweight has full coverage, and it lasts all day. I really enjoy it.” Although the product appears to

2017 is arguably the Golden Age of Beauty. Differences are celebrated, social media is home to an abundant variety of influencers, and new products are developed frequently Makeup has become both more inclusive and more accessible. Last Friday, one particular product launch made a splash in the beauty community. As many makeup-wearers and Rihanna fans know, singer, Rihanna Fenty’s makeup line, Fenty Beauty, I think overall that she did an exdropped on Friday, Sept. 8. Rihanna cellent job with this line. She’s now famously debuted 40 shades of foun- showing the world who Rihanna really dation, ranging from a milky white is and we can’t help but acknowledge to a rich, dark coffee. how much of an influence she has Not only do the foundations range over our generation. in shade, but the wide array of unTORCH PHOTO/AMANDA NEGRETTI dertones is nearly unprecedented. - Kayla Williams Rihanna herself emphasized that she A collection of Fenty Beauty’s makeup options, such as Killawatt Freestyle Highlighter, Gloss wanted to be inclusive and create Bomb Universal Lip Luminizer and ProFilt’r Soft Matte Longwear Foundation. products that people of all complexions can enjoy. Many of the deeper shades of makeup live up to its claims, it comes with a mod- tion that I’m using right now is more ex- how much of an influence she has over our immediately sold out on both the Sepho- erately large price tag. Here at St. John’s, pensive and it doesn’t even match my skin generation.” ra website and the Fenty Beauty website, we are all college students on a college bud- perfectly.” Sabrina, who plans on visiting Rihanna has been able to reach our genwhich illustrates a long-standing issue in get. A 1.08 fluid ounce-bottle of the foun- Sephora to be color-matched, believes that eration on social media, and through it, she the makeup industry. Women of color dation is priced at $34. While these prices if she can find her perfect shade, the money is spreading positive messages, even with have been underrepresented by mainstream exceed those of the drugstore, they are still spent will be well worth it. makeup. Fenty Beauty celebrates diversity makeup brands’ shade ranges. Often, there lower than those of other high end or ce“She could have definitely charged more and inclusion, as we do here at St. John’s. are too few deep shades to choose from, and lebrity brands. because she’s Rihanna,” says Kayla WilJunior Allison Nelson says, “I appreciate people often have difficulty finding their Overall, many students agreed that the liams, junior, “but I think overall that she that Rihanna is releasing products women matches. Rihanna is appealing to a market price was reasonable for the quality of the did an excellent job with this line. She’s with deeper skin tones and women with althat has been continuously overlooked and product. Freshman Sabrina Hossain, says, now showing the world who Rihanna re- binism. She wanted to include everybody is receiving applause from beauty influenc- “I think the price is worth it. The founda- ally is and we can’t help but acknowledge and that’s important.”

Makeup Products for an On-the-Go Look ALEXIS GASKIN

As college students, many don’t have time to do a full face of makeup and are often in a rush to get to where we’re going. Consider these 6 basic makeup products you’d need to complete an on the go look that’s simple and not too time-consuming. The basic products for an on the go look are: primer, tinted brow gel, concealer, highlighter, tinted lip balm/ lipstick and mascara. Most drug stores sell these products and the ones mentioned can be found in Ulta at inexpensive prices. The number one rule of makeup is that you must prime! Regardless of wearing basic makeup or a full-face primer is key to making it last all day and protecting your skin in the process. The Maybelline Baby Skin Instant Pore Eraser is travel-size and does an amazing job of erasing shine and minimizing pores. When applying focus on your T zone, chin, and cheeks. Remember a little goes a long way. Tinted brow gel is a must for keeping


Staff Writer

brows shaped and full. Lightly brush over brows in preferred shape for a long lasting and color enriched look. Elf Cosmetics Beautifully Bare Sheer Tint Brow Gel comes in various colors, including clear and has a small wand that’s versatile for both small and large brows. Concealer is a staple for any look to cover blemishes or take away redness, simply ap-

ply some product directly to the desired area and blend lightly with fingers in a stippling motion. For a cleaner cut look apply under the eyes and blend into the corners of the eyes lightly touching the eyelids for a pristine look. Unfortunately, most companies do not sell dark enough shades for me to recommend any brands to you. If you have the money, Fenty Beauty Match Stix have a

wide arrange of colors for all skin tones and can be found at Sephora. When you want to glow to the gods highlighting is a must. Whether you’re looking for a simple glow/shimmer or a high wattage sparkle, highlighter is a fun way to play up any look. Highlighter is best applied above the cheekbones right the outer corners of the eyes up to a C- shape. Using the pad of the fingers to apply and lightly pat onto the cheeks. Highlighter can also be used for a quick eyeshadow. For a two in one dupe tinted lip balm and some light lipsticks can be used for both the lips and cheeks. Tinted lip balms have a consistency that will tint the lips and if applied lightly to the apples of the cheeks as blush. Mascara is very self-explanatory, apply it the upper and lower lashes. Remember to avoid excessive pumping of the wand because it will dry out the mascara and ruin the formula. These products are easy to apply and can be used quickly. Whether on the bus or the train, a basic on the go makeup look is only a few products away.

Entertainment 9


Professor launches Global Film Series

Co-News Editor

There’s no doubt that St. John’s is made up of a culturally diverse study body, so it only makes sense to implement a movie watching experience on campus that allows students to view foreign films from all over the globe. The Global Film Series was dreamt up over the summer by Professor Douglas Cantelmo, along with Campus Activities, as a way to further fulfill St. John’s global mission. Cantelmo teaches in the Institute for Core Studies and leads study abroad programs on the Paris and Rome campuses through the lens of urban design. “I’m passionate about movies and everything global so this project is a perfect match,” Cantelmo said. Members of the University, from students to administrators and faculty will be exposed to an array of international films, many of which cannot be found on streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. Cantelmo feels that it’s important to bring aspects of global culture to campus on top of actually taking students abroad for the semester or short-term programs. “Living is Easy with Eyes Closed” (“Vivir es Fácil con los Ojos Cerrados”) from Spain tells the tale of an endearing road trip dramedy through 1960’s Andalusia and is the opener to the Global Film Series on Friday, Sept. 29 at 7 p.m. in the Sodano Coffee House in the D’Angelo Center. The second film in the series “Cinema Paradiso” (“Nuovo Cinema Paradiso”) from Italy is about the transformative power of

movies through the eyes of a Sicilian boy and will be shown Friday, Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. in the Little Theater. “Welcome to the Sticks” (“Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis”) a comedy from France about stereotypes and regional differences in today’s France will end the semester Friday, Nov. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Sodano Coffee House.


“All three films are lighthearted but also get to core of what it takes to form meaningful relationships in the countries where they are set.” - Prof. Douglas Cantelmo -

“I think it sounds cool, in the U.S. we never really get to see movies that weren’t made here so it’s cool to see how different countries and cultures make films,” junior Amarachi Ugonabo said. “All three films are lighthearted but also get to core of what it takes to form meaningful relationships in the countries where they are set,” Cantelmo said. He also anticipates that in future semesters the Global Film Series will feature movies from outside of Europe and explore the world of cinema from every continent. For questions or comments on the Global Film Series reach out to Professor Cantelmo via email at cantelmd@stjohns.edu.


Vivir es fácil con los ojos cerrados | Spain An endearing road trip dramedy through 1960’s Andalusia

Friday, September 29, 7 pm Sodano Coffee House at DAC


Nuovo Cinema Paradiso | Italy The transformative power of movies through the eyes of a Sicilian boy

Friday, October 27, 7 pm The Little Theatre


Bienvenue chez les Ch’tis | France A comedy about stereotypes and regional differences in today’s France

Friday, November 17 – 7 pm Sodano Coffee House at DAC


Swift’s hot new hit “Bojack” is back Staff Writer


Staff Writer

Season 4 of “Bojack Horseman” confronted its characters’ humanities head on and gave us one of the most honest portrayals of depression, anxiety and finding one’s identity on T.V. to date. As always “Bojack Horseman” pokes fun at celebrity culture and news media, but this season satirizes the election process with Mr. Peanutbutter running for governor with absolutely none of the qualifications for it. Diane Nguyen struggles at her new job as a blogger for Girl Croosh because she writes political articles about refugee girls that no one reads as she struggles with her marriage to Mr. Peanutbutter. Princess Caroline continues on another downward spiral as she tries to have it all with her career and love

life, and Todd struggles with ideas of sexuality and becomes a fashion icon. All the while, Bojack is nowhere to be seen at the beginning of the season, and when he makes it into the season it is heart-wrenching. With anthropomorphic characters named Bojack Horseman and Mr. Peanutbutter it’s hard to take “Bojack Horseman” seriously, but this show and this season in particular is in the pantheon of T.V. sitcom type shows. “Bojack Horseman” takes the tropes of middle-aged-man crisis, toxic habits and the downfalls of fame and turns them on their head with so much more depth and character development than its counterparts. “Bojack Horseman” is a very serious, introspective show about depression and trauma and how they affect us and the people around us. It just so happens that the main character is a horse. PHOTO COURTESY/FLICKR COMMONS ETRG TORRENT

Taylor Swift has once again become a topic of interest with the release of her newest single “Look What You Made Me Do.” It is currently #2 on the iTunes charts, after being #1 for almost two weeks. This is the first single off of her new album, “Reputation,” which will be released Nov. 10. She is no stranger to releasing revealing, passive-aggressive songs. For instance, “Bad Blood” was an homage to her drama with Katy Perry, “I Knew You Were Trouble” was about Harry Styles, and “We Are Never Getting Back Together” was supposedly about Jake Gyllenhaal. But this time it’s a little different. This bitter track seems to be riddled with references to anyone who ever did Swift wrong, and how she “got harder” because of it. The music video was theatrical and beautiful. It starts out with a dark tone, in a graveyard, and zooms in on a tombstone that reads “Here Lies Taylor Swift’s Reputation.” No doubt in reference to how all of her “enemies” got it there. The best part of the video came towards the end, all of the past “Taylors” from her older videos made appearances, from the young “Teardrops on My Guitar” Taylor to the pre-transformation “You Belong with Me” Taylor, to now, an angry Taylor dressed in black looking down on all the old hers. Something I gathered from the song and the video is the message she is trying to

get across. It’s a way of saying that through all the drama people put her through she’s smarter and tougher because of it. Whatever she was trying to say, she achieved it with a bang. “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now” “Why?” “Oh, ‘cause she’s dead!”



10 Sports


Wood Finds a New Home in Queens BRENDAN MYERS

Staff Writer

Kayley Wood is no stranger to success. She obliterated the volleyball record books at John Cooper High School in The Woodlands, Texas. By the time she graduated last year, Wood held the records for most blocks in a season (115), most career solo blocks

(282), and most career blocks (379). She was named one of the best freshman volleyball players in the country in 2013. In the summer of 2016, Wood’s club volleyball team, Houston Junior 17 Elite Volleyball, ranked second nationally. Now in her freshman year on the St. John’s Volleyball team, she is picking up right where she left off. Wood won MVP honors of the Cornell Invitational after the Red Storm won the title, prompting her to be PHOTO COURTESTY/ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS

Kayley Wood led the St. John’s Volleyball team to the Cornell Invitational title.

named to the Big East Weekly Honor Roll. “My biggest thing is that when I make a mistake, I’m not freaking out on the court,” said Wood about her early successes. Wood attributes this lack of pressure to the environment that the upperclassmen have created in the locker room. An important part of Wood’s superb start is that for her, Queens feels like home, so adjusting to college life was never a problem. After being recruited to play at schools like ACC powerhouse Duke and fellow Big East rival DePaul, when she stepped foot onto the St. John’s campus, it immediately felt like her hometown in the Lone Star State. “Everyone I met, the coaches, the players, and just random people I talked to her, they just made me feel like I was at home,” Wood said. As if that wasn’t enough to make Queens feel like home, Wood’s roommate, freshman outside hitter Jordan McCalla, is also from Texas. The early relationship that they built before they came two New York went a long way for Wood. Even after the awards this early in the season, Wood still describes herself as her own harshest critic. “As an athlete, you’re always hungry for more. My shot selection and the way I have been seeing the court are two things that I still need to work on,” Wood said. Wood stated that the Red Storm upper-

The Doubleheader: Searching for Spirit DYLAN HORNIK

Co-Sports Editor

Over two weeks have passed since St. John’s unveiled its “Spirit Rock,” a symbol of the strength of the St. John’s community and the passion that students, student-athletes and fans display on and off the field. Since the University revealed the Rock, Red Storm teams are 5-3 with one tie, a men’s soccer double overtime draw against Hofstra hours after the unveiling ceremony. It remains to be seen if the red-painted boulder is indeed a good luck charm, but the last 15 days have already proven that the Rock has struck out on campus. We may not be at the apex of the “Red Storm Renaissance” just yet, but almost all of our Division I teams are trending upward, including the fall programs; the men’s soccer team is in the midst of its first winning season since 2013, the women’s soccer team is fresh off a run to the conference semifinals, and the volleyball team has one of the most

exciting teams in the Big East. Even the softball team, normally a spring sport, won their opening two contests of the fall season at Red Storm Field, conveniently tucked away behind the dorm halls on campus. Despite all of the good fortune that this fall has spawned, fan attendance remains a sore spot for the student body. At a particular women’s soccer game last week, the student-section bleachers behind both goals were sparsely scored, leaving quite a number of giveaway bags and water bottles without a home just minutes before gametime. Dating back to last winter, the women’s basketball team, who advanced to the Sweet 16 in the Women’s NIT, could barely fill one side of the stands at Carnesecca Arena. It’s a dilemma rarely seen on the Division I level: successful sports teams have no support beyond the sidelines. A large part of this conundrum lies in the demographics of the student population. According to the newest U.S. News and World Report “Best Colleges” ranking, 72 percent of St. John’s students live off campus. It’s inherently more difficult for any team to draw spectators when it’s inconvenient to get to a game (see: New York Islander). Simply, the campus may not be conducive to school spirit anymore, to the ire of the Sprit Rock and University administration. St. John’s may not be conducive to school spirit anymore, no matter how hard the Rock may try. After decades of high-flying student sections and raucous crowds everywhere, including soccer games, St. John’s dominance may be over. There is one caveat, though. As drab as the crowds at Belson and DaSilva (and even Carnesecca at times) can be, the men’s basketball team always packs their house, making the arena feel like a New York City high

school gymnasium. That proves, to me, that the students do care about Red Storm sports. The winter months show that the St. John’s community can bond over athletics and show their spirit, something they neglect to do during the fall and spring, when less than 100 people show up to watch the storied Red Storm baseball program, even though they have made the NCAA Tournament countless times over the last 20-plus springs. I don’t know how, but there must be a way to get kids to fill the seats in non-basketball sports. Giveaways can only go so far; the product on the field, at some point, has to speak for itself. If the athletic department figures out how to send the right message to students, and once students realize that St. John’s sports are climbing back to mediocrity, then we may not need the Spirit Rock at all.

classmen have helped her transition from high school sensation to determined college phenom. She noted that they’ve helped her with adopting to a new environment, from time management to preparing for classes and work, all while also making sure that everyone on the team is putting in the work to carry prolong their season as long as possible. “When the upperclassmen are picking people up if they make a mistake, it’s hard not to feel comfortable playing with them.” The strong sense of leadership is one of the reasons why Wood thinks that this could be a very special season for the team, a Big East championship in mind. “The thing that I’ve been most impressed with so far is the work ethic of the team,” she said. She thinks that the relentless work that she’s seen from her teammates is something that will go on long way when the postseason comes around. The Cornell Invitational Tournament showed Wood what Coach Joanne Persico’s team was made of. The volleyball team opens up conference play on September 22nd at DePaul, one of the schools that heavily recruited Wood.

Interested in writing for the sports section of the torch? Contact our editors ! Our email is torchsports@gmail. com


Sports 11



Co-Sports Editor After a season in which his team won 42 games, reached the NCAA Regional tournament and ranked in the top 25 among Division I programs, former St. John’s shortstop Jesse Berardi thought he had done it all. Then, a new world of opportunities opened in an instant when the Cleveland Indians selected him in the 10th round of last June’s MLB First Year Player Draft. “Getting drafted was a bonus,” Berardi said via phone interview. “I’d love to play another year there. St. John’s was the best three years of my life … For the Cleveland Indians to give me an opportunity is just a dream come true.” The Commack, New York, native actually had the opportunity to begin his pro career three years ago, when the Philadelphia Phillies took a chance on him with a 40th-round selection. But Berardi, then just a senior in high school, stuck with his college commitment. Berardi has never strayed too far from his real home — the University’s Queens campus is only about an hour from his old stomping grounds — but he made himself quite comfortable on college diamonds around the country. The now-21-year-old battled his way to a .200 average in his freshman season, but nevertheless earned the starting nod at as a sophomore for the Red Storm, the alma mater of Gold Glove second baseman Joe Panik.

After hitting a team-high five homers in 2016, Berardi emerged as the unquestioned leader last year, hitting .356 and earning All-Big East First Team honors. “Everyone on [last year’s St. John’s team] team was so close and we got along so well,” Berardi said. “That definitely translated onto the field … It was a lot of fun.” In other sports, Berardi would have spent an entire offseason preparing for the pros. But in baseball, draftees report to their Minor League assignments as soon as they agree to a contract and immediately begin their careers. Berardi couldn’t afford to waste time acclimating himself to his new surroundings, shipping out to Mahoning Valley, Ohio, just three weeks after his college career concluded. “Going to play professionally is a lot different,” Berardi said. “You kind of don’t even think about home for a while because you’re so close with the guys on the team. The New York-Penn League was just awesome.” As it turned out, Berardi didn’t need an adjustment period. He hit safely in nine of his first 10 games for the Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the New YorkPenn League en route to a solid .284 average (the NYPL plays a shortened campaign from June to September) and a spot in the league’s All-Star Game on Aug. 15. A wrist injury kept him away from those festivities, but that didn’t diminish Berardi’s fast, which he attributes to his teammates helping


Jesse Berardi was named a New York-Penn League All-Star this summer.

him adjust quickly. “[Pro ball] was tough in the beginning, not knowing anybody and just getting thrown into it after a long college season,” Berardi said. “But you get so close to the guys on the team and develop a routine, so it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be, and it was definitely an awesome summer.” With his first professional offseason ahead of him, the shortstop is ready to hit the gym — and the books.

The Indians approved Berardi’s request to return to Queens to finish his degree; he’ll graduate this December with a degree in accounting. He doesn’t plan on spending life in a cubicle, though. “The Indians were lenient on that and let me head home to finish school,” he said. “That’s a priority for me. In terms of this offseason, I’m just going to work out a lot and practice every day. [Playing in the MLB] is definitely a goal of mine. It’s everyone’s goal.”

Goalkeeper Recognized for Stellar Play DERRELL BOUKNIGHT

Co-Sports Editor

Andrew Withers entered Saturday’s Big East opener against Seton Hall with a winner’s mentality, his confidence high with the thought of his teammates backing him at every moment, even as he stands alone in front of the net he must protect at all costs. The 10 teammates that share the field with him are his support system, his twenty eyes and ears for added stability. Yet when a ball flies off the foot of an opponent and heads towards the territory he zones off for 90 minutes a night, Withers must react, and react quickly. On Sept. 11, conference offices recognized Withers for his efforts, naming him Big East Goalkeeper of the Week for the first time in his career. The redshirt junior from Wellington, New

Zealand held opponents scoreless for over 200 minutes of action during the week, registering consecutive shutouts against Hofstra and Temple. The two games accounted for Withers’ third shutout in five games. Currently, Withers lead the Big East in goals against average and save percentage. Much of his success on the field comes from what he learned from last season. “I think it’s just the experience and the mentality of what it takes to play at a Division I Big East program,” said Withers in an interview. “The physicality of the Big East, obviously, and the non-conference games as well. So it’s really just the experience that carried over and how I can help the team, especially the younger guys.” Last season as a sophomore, Withers appeared in all 17 games, making 15 starts. According to RedStormSports.com, he ranked second in the Big East and eighth nationally in save percentage (.840) and second in the

conference in goals against average (0.77). As of Monday, Withers had allowed just three goals in seven matches, including four shutouts. NCAA.com has him ranked eighth in the country in goals against average and fifth in save percentage. He attributed much of his recognition to the overall defensive effort of the team. “I think we’ve been solid so far,” said Withers. “I think we’ve given up a few goals that we [didn’t] really want to give up. But I think we’ve been solid. Everyone has played their part in trying to stick to their role and really get the clean sheets.” A week after his award was announced, a span in which the Red Storm improved its winning streak to four games, Withers was also named to the Big East weekly honor roll for giving up just one goal to UC Santa Barbara and holding Seton Hall scoreless in the team’s 1-0 victory in the Big East opener. The team returns to action Saturday night against Xavier at Belson Stadium. Now that conference play is in full swing, Withers anticipates the intensity level will increase. Moving forward, he doesn’t plan to change anything, but to continue to grow and help his team win. With the heart of the schedule approachnig, including four straight games on the road following a home contest with Xavier this Saturday, Withers and the rest of the Red Storm look to build on what they’ve established early on this season. Individually, his main goal is to get better with every opportunity. “I just want to keep improving, keep playing well,” he said. “Just showing how hard I’ve been working to get to this position.”

Looking Ahead •

September 21: Women’s Tennis at Malibu Raquet Club

September 21: Men’s Tennis at Malibu Raquet Club

September 22: Volleyball at DePaul, 7 pm E.T.

September 23: Softball vs. St. Peter’s, 11 am E.T. Red Storm Field

September 23: Men’s Soccer vs. Xavier, 7 pm E.T. Belson Stadium

September 24: Women’s Soccer at Georgetown, 1 pm E.T.

Andrew Withers (left) and the women’s soccer team (above) both play this weekend.

SPORTS September 20, 2017 | VOLUME 95, ISSUE 5 |


Men’s Basketball Schedule Released SEAN OKULA

Contributing Writer A Red Storm schedule release is a basketball fan’s version of Christmas and New Year’s Day wrapped into one. The visions of NCAA Tournament bids were certainly dancing in the heads of St. John’s supporters last Tuesday, when the Big East announced its 2017-18 men’s basketball conference matchups. Coupled with the Johnnies’non-conference contests, Coach Chris Mullin and company now know the the path to making it back to the Madness in March for the first time since 2015. The campaign kicks off on November 10th with a home against the University of New Orleans. The Big East portion of the schedule then opens up on December 28th with Providence paying Carnesecca Arena a visit. The Red Storm will take over Madison Square Garden five times this regular season, including January matchups with Georgetown and Villanova, plus a February 3rd bout with Duke. With the Big Dance in reach, Mullin will need to lead his men through some trying early-season non-conference foes, plus the perennial difficulties that the Big East schedule brings about.

It goes without saying that wins over top-notch challengers like Duke and ‘Nova would look terrific on the Red Storm tournament résumé. Quality adversaries are scattered throughout the St. John’s schedule, however, and it is performance in those matchups that will either solidify a team’s postseason hopes or pop its tournament bubble. Here are some matchups that could make-or-break the 201718 Johnnies’ NCAA Tournament chances… 11/16 vs. NEBRASKA: The first power-conference opponent on the schedule, the Cornhuskers could prove to be an early trap game. Coach Tim Miles’ crew saw its fair share of struggles in the 2016-17 season (12-19 overall, 6-12 in Big 10 play), but the addition of transfer guard James Palmer (Miami) and forward Isaac Copeland (Georgetown) has the ‘Huskers hopeful for a rebound this winter. St. John’s is certainly the better team on paper, but this squad from a tough Big 10 Conference could bring early trouble to Carnesecca Arena. 12/17 vs. IONA (at Madison Square Garden): As 2-time defending MAAC Tournament champions, the Gaels (22-13 overall, 12-8 in MAAC play) have been selected for the NCAA Tournament in each of the past two seasons. Although the Met-


ro-Atlantic Athletic Conference has not customarily housed basketball powerhouses, Iona is most definitely a formidable foe for the Red Storm. They did lose leading scorer and Jamaica, Queens-native Jordan Washington to graduation, but a win in this mid-December matchup could go a long way in helping get the Johnnies some mid-March action. 2/24-3/3 vs. SETON HALL, BUTLER, PROVIDENCE: Any Big East game is a big game, but this three-game stretch to end the regular season could prove crucial. All three of these squads qualified for the NCAA Tournament in 2016-17, and all three will be competing for the Big East Conference title this season. Victories in just two of these contests could catapult the Red Storm to a tournament bid.

Nov. 10 • vs NEW ORLEANS • Queens, NY Nov. 14 • vs. CENTRAL CONN. • Queens, NY Nov. 16 • vs. NEBRASKA • Queens, NY Nov. 20 • vs. MOLLOY • Queens, NY Nov. 23-26 • at ADVOCARE INVITATIONAL • FL Dec. 2 • vs. SACRED HEART • Queens, NY Dec. 5 • at GRAND CANYON • Phoenix, AZ Dec. 8 • at ARIZONA STATE • Los Angeles, CA Dec. 17 • vs. IONA • Queens, NY Dec. 20 • at SAINT JOSEPH’S • Uncasville, CT Dec. 28 • vs. PROVIDENCE • Queens, NY Dec. 31 • at SETON HALL • Newark, NJ Jan. 3 • at CREIGHTON • Omaha, NE Jan. 6 • vs. DEPAUL • Queens, NY Jan. 9 • vs. GEORGETOWN • New York, NY Jan. 13 • vs. VILLANOVA • New York, NY Jan. 17 • at XAVIER • Cincinnati, OH Jan. 20 • at GEORGETOWN • Washington, D.C. Jan. 23 • vs. CREIGHTON • Queens, NY Jan. 27 • at BUTLER • Indianapolis, IN Jan. 30 • vs. XAVIER • Queens, NY Feb. 3 • vs. DUKE • New York, NY Feb. 7 • at VILLANOVA • Philadelphia, PA Feb. 10 • vs. MARQUETTE • Queens, NY Feb. 14 • at DEPAUL • Chicago, IL Feb. 21 • at MARQUETTE • Milwaukee, WI Feb. 24 • vs. SETON HALL • New York, NY Feb. 28 • vs. BUTLER • Queens, NY Mar. 3 • at PROVIDENCE • Providence, RI *Big East games in Red

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