Volume 95. Issue 12

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VOL 95 : 12 JANUARY 24, 2018 torchonline.com

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

TIMELY FASHION counseling center works to cut wait times see the story on page 3



Features: St. John’s alumnus talks journey from SJU to the New York Times

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Entertainment: Students share their favorite movies from 2017

News: Students begin to form Black Student Union page 2




New Group On Campus: Black Student Union Meet the Queens campus’ new Black Student Union. The student-run group, which will meet for the first time on Feb. 1, says its goals include unity, education, impact, truth and justice. Talk of the new group began over winter break with the creation of the BSU’s Instagram page @sj.bsu, which had 60 followers as of Jan. 23. The creation of the group comes on the heels of a wave of criticism that Haraya, the Pan African Student Coalition, neglected its relationship with black students during its annual Black Solidarity Day in November. However, the president of the new BSU, Mercedes Hancock, said the creation of the group is not in response to any specific event on campus. She said it is simply the right time for black students to have their own group for representation on campus. “I personally think BSUs are incredibly important for black students and the fact that St. John’s Queens campus doesn’t have one is kind of baffling to me,” Hancock, a junior, said. Hancock said growing up she was always told she was black, not African American, and that she does she see herself as having a significant connection to Africa. She served as vice-president of her high school’s BSU and said she credits that experience to developing her strong sense of pride. She shared some of the group’s proposed goals, which include: •To create solidarity in their Black culture; •Enhance community and cultural appreciation; •Fortify the social and educational interaction among the black community and other communities including students, staff, faculty and alumni. Hancock and Co-Public Relations Chair of the BSU, Daniel Haynes, emphasized that the group will be open to all black ex-


Isabella Bruni

Hancock, Johnson and Haynes will serve as president, chair of volunteer engagement and co-public relations chair, respectively.

periences. “There isn’t just one black reality, there’s multiple black realities,” Hancock said. “We need to explore this together as a family, as a group, as a coalition almost.” Haynes, who is an international student from Guyana, added, “Being black in America, you see Caribbean people aren’t really identified as black Americans — we’re identified as Caribbean Americans.” Hancock and Haynes hope to collaborate with other organizations — cultural and non-cultural — to grow the group’s student involvement. In response, the Latin American Student Association (LASO) told the Torch in a statement, “LASO is always open to collaborating with any organization. We have made it one of our missions to be a space for all Latinos and we love that it’s one of the BSU’s goals to provide more space where black Latinos can express themselves and be represented because they are often forgotten.” A handful of other cultural organizations

on campus, including Haraya, did not respond to messages from the Torch seeking comment. Students who spoke out following the controversy surrounding the Black Solidarity Day event expressed optimism about the new BSU’s potential. “I’m happy that there’s now a group on campus who calls themselves a Black Student Union,” junior Wyett Woodbury said. “I feel as though that our issues within the community can be addressed better now that we have a group of people who are on the same page.” Dana Carroll, a junior who also spoke out in November about her disappointment following the Haraya event, said she’s thankful that students have formed a BSU. “It’s nice to know that when we voiced our concerns last semester we were heard and that changes are going to be made,” she said. “I’m just excited to see what’s in store for this new organization and hopefully every black

student will feel welcome to join and share ideas. And their president posted [on Instagram] saying, ‘our community includes you, and change begins with you’ which I like a lot.” Haynes said the group intends to address ideas of what is expected of a black American today — or what it means being black in America. Haynes and Hancock hope their efforts go a long way in eliminating what they say is a tense social climate among students on campus. “When you’re on campus it’s a different feeling from different groups. I think of it like clans,” Haynes said. “People kind of stay within their own groups. You find it hard for people to like bridge barriers.” Haynes added, “At St. John’s we embrace this idea of being metropolitan, of being global, of being diverse, but how many times do we see that diversity mixing?” Hancock said she is tired of being a statistic and will use this platform to be a voice for black students that are in need of one. She said she chose St. John’s because of its diverse student body, something the univerrsity prides itself on, but she has been disappointed by her experiences thus far. The group’s first meeting will be on Feb. 1, the start of Black History Month, with a location and time to be decided. Along with Hancock and Haynes, the current spring 2018 eboard as of Jan. 23 includes sophomore Kendall Clark as chief of staff, junior Rasheeda Campbell as secretary, sophomore Amber Borden as co-public relations chair and junior Kyanna Johnson as chair of volunteer engagement. They are still looking to fill the positions of freshman, sophomore and junior representatives, treasurer and political action chair. While the group is only a few weeks old, Hancock is optimistic about the future. “I’m one of the most unknown people on campus,” she said, “but I feel like we’re really doing something special.”

Disproving the President’s Insensitive Remark Judith Fortunova-Russell

room for the Thursday afternoon TORCH PHOTO/JUDITH FORTUNOVA-RUSSELL event. The discussion began with an During a recent White House discussion on protecting im- explanation of the president’s migrants from Africa, Haiti and El Salvador, President Don- reported word choice and then ald Trump reportedly stated, “Why are we having all these invited students to share their thoughts and feelings on the people from shithole countries come here?” As Trump’s remarks were roundly derided both national- term. “It was very well calculated, to ly and internationally, the St. John’s University Caribbean distract us from more important Student Association and Haitian Society decisively united in issues at hand, to create controsolidarity. In an effort to spread awareness of the offensive nature of versy in order to gain press attenthe president’s word choice, the two organizations collaborat- tion and to keep people talking about him,” senior Jean Louis ed to host the on-campus discussion, “Shithole Countries.” The event, open to the entire university community, took said. Many of the students argued place on Jan.18 in St. John Hall room 315. that the words were partic“We were hoping ularly harmful because it to unify together in set a bad example for social support of each other Why are we having progress, equality and leadthrough this difficult all these people from ership within the country. Students discussed Trump’s controversial term with Haitian Society and CSA. time of prejudice and to disprove the negshithole countries Speakers argued that disMost acknowledged that education and awareness are key crimination and racism takes shape in many different ative stereotypes of come here? to overcoming ignorance while others agreed that words forms — from symbols in religion, to events on the Haitians,” Amenkha alone are not enough and that action is necessary in order to news and even beauty standards within pop-culture. Sembenu, president Donald Trump As the conversation deepened and steered away from achieve equality. of the Caribbean Stu“There’s still a lot of things as a society, whether black or the president, Sembenu brought up a more complex dent Association, said. white, we all need to work on,” junior Destiny McIntosh concern: How do we overcome the prejudice of HaiMore than 30 students with roots from different countries said. and islands all across the Caribbean gathered in the class- tians within our own Caribbean community?

News 3


The Counseling Center Takes on New Triage System Counselors to assess students’ needs through screening process The University’s Center for Counseling and Consultation has implemented a new screening system this semester aimed at getting students appointments in a more timely fashion— especially those in need of immediate care. Tow Yau, the center’s director since July, said the new screening program came about “because I found that we could not serve our students in a timely manner.” He told the Torch in a recent interview that the new approach has already garnered positive responses. Through the new system, students who call the counseling center will be briefly screened by a clinician to get a sense of the immediacy of their needs. This way counselors can assess students immediately and determine how soon they need to be seen. “Students on the phone telling us that they are having active suicidal thinking the last two weeks, and the frequency of those suicidal thoughts are increasing, and they are not going to classes the last two weeks or so; that student we will then ask to come on the same day,” Yau said. He said students who call the center will be placed into three categories of differing symptoms. On one end is category one, which Yau said is “more for general types of issues like adjustment, no kind of depression or anxiety disorder.” On the other end is category three, which he said “is for those who have active suicidal thoughts” and require immediate care. Yau said screening students on the phone leads to a more efficient scheduling of appointments. According to Luis Manzo, executive director of student wellness assessment, this triage system is common for university counseling centers. “Although I credit Tow with adapting and modifying it for St. John’s, this is what many

A counseling center is not only to service those students who are coming through the door, but all the student body... Luis Manzo

schools and universities have implemented in the past several years,” Manzo said. “They are finding that it’s the best way to see as many students as possible, and at the same time see those students who are in need immediately.” All staff at the counseling center are licensed medical health professionals. Both Yau and Manzo stressed that the primary function of a university counseling center is as an on-call support service for students as opposed to a long-term, clinical care. “What we see at the center is that the most frequent number of appointments is one,” Manzo said. “Most students are not coming in for long-term care, they’re looking to ad-


Ariana Ortiz

With a new system, counselors can access students immediately and determine when they should be seen.

dress a specific issue and how they can get through that. On average, [students receive] four to five sessions, and that’s consistent with national averages.” Manzo added that follow-up appointments are typically kept to within the same semester. “It all depends on the clinical treatment plan for each student and whether they can be taken care of by the counseling center,” Yau said. “It all depends on your clinical intention; what is the best level of care that each student needs?” Taylor Warner, a senior, said she went to the counseling center in the fall of 2016 and was satisfied with the care she received. She said a main draw for using the center’s services is the cost: free. “My first appointment was good, I basically talked with one of the counselors about everything and all of the counselors would come together and see if one of them could see me,” Warner told the Torch. “I was told group therapy would be really good, but it was too late to sign up. I had about five oneon-one sessions that semester.” Her only concern was that she said her treatment was limited to one semester. “I think they should allow students to have sessions for more than one semester,” Warner said. Yau, who also supervises the Office of Disabilities, says that if the center is not equipped to help someone with issues that call for more complex treatment plans — such as addiction and disordered eating — staff will refer the student to a community provider. “A counseling center is not only to service those students who are coming through the door, but all the student body and how we’re reaching out to and providing services to everyone,” Manzo said.

He cited a three-year grant given to the University in 2014 by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, an agency under the umbrella of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities,” according to its website. “The grant focused on suicide prevention and had three strategies for us to implement,” Manzo said. He said it led to the creation of the SJUOK? campaign and other mental health initiatives, including a suicide prevention program to train “gatekeepers,”

or individuals trained in recognizing signs and symptoms of suicide and mental health issues. “Our staff went through intensive training on a special protocol called dialectical behavior therapy, which is evidence-based and standard for the field for addressing a lot of mental health issues,” Manzo said. “We expanded our gatekeeper program adopted from Syracuse University called ‘Campus Connect.’ And this is where we go out to student groups, faculty and staff, and train them about the signs of suicide, and here’s what to do.”

SJU Online Grad Programs Rank Top 50 Angelica Acevedo U. S. News & World Report ranked St. John’s University’s online graduate business and education programs among the top 50 best online programs in the country for the third year. In the Report’s 2018 listings, the University’s online graduate business program was ranked at number 45 in the “Best Online Graduate Business Programs” (excluding MBA) category. The online education program placed number 31 in the “Best Online Graduate Education Programs” category. Elizabeth Ciabocchi, Ed.D., vice provost for Digital Learning and executive director for Online Learning and Services, said that the ranking is “especially impressive when compared to other private institutions,” according to the University website. “St. John’s University stands out as one

of only two private universities ranked by U.S. News & World Report within the top 45 for both online graduate education and non-M.B.A. business programs,” Ciabocchi said. According to U.S. News & World Report, there are various standards they used to rank universities and colleges. These consist of student engagement, admissions selectivity, faculty credentials and training and peer reputation. Senior Data Analyst at U.S. News & World Report, Eric Brooks, explained why SJU has received the ranking on the University website. “Overall, the 2018 rankings assessed 165 non-M.B.A. business programs and 309 education programs,” Brooks said. “The top-ranked programs are those that best serve remote students and have academic standards commensurate with those at quality, traditional brick-and-mortar programs.”




Day One Dialogue: #MeToo Alexis Gaskin The St. John’s Law community held its fourth annual “Day One Dialogue” this past Tuesday, Jan.16 at the Law School. In collaboration with the Ronald H. Brown Center for Civil Rights, the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development, the Coalition for Social Justice, the Hugh L. Carey Center for Dispute Resolution and the Women’s Law society, this school-wide event encouraged an open dialogue on the influence of the #MeToo movement and the power it holds in legal contexts. This event has been hosted on the first day of classes at the Law School for four years now, prompting its name, “Day One Dialogues.” Past dialogue discussions have included “Gender in America Today” and “Race, Justice, and the Law.” The event was planned by the director of the Ronald H. Brown Center and Law Professor Elaine M. Chiu and Dean Michael A. Simons, who gave an introduction on the event. Also in attendance was Hannah Artiles-Stravers, the director of SOAR (Sexual Violence Outreach, Awareness and Response) who gave a brief introduction about the programs on campus that are available to students and to any victims of sexual violence. The decision to choose the social media-driven movement as the topic of discussion was made by Chiu. When asked about the choice to discuss such a topical matter she said,“When the cases of sexual assault started coming out in waves in October we knew that there was an important discussion to have on how the law takes a play in this.” She continued to discuss how those who are accused and those who accuse don’t always know what this means in legal and law terms. “People are being pronounced guilty or not guilty or they’re having to debate who’s guilty or not guilty and it’s stopped social media in its tracks. And there’s not a lot of discussion on the legal standard.” The “Day One Dialogue” began with Chiu’s introduction of St. John’s Law Class of 2007

alumni William Ng and Kelly Spina, both labor and employment associates at Littler Mendelson P.C. Ng and Spina gave opening remarks on the topical subject of sexual harassment in the workplace and the power that the #MeToo movement has had in both the courtroom and the workplace. They both discussed the legal aspects of sexual harassment in the workplace, such as the repercussions of non-disclosure agreements, confidentiality agreements and settlements. “Most cases don’t go to trial,” Spina said. Spina discussed how the employers are responsible for creating safe and effective sexual harassment regulations in handbooks for the workplace and how many cases of sexual harassment arise due to ineffective regulations. “What works, what doesn’t work, trying to figure out what the employers need to put in these handbooks is important,” Spina said. First-time attendee Alexis Ruiz, a sophomore, was glad to see this topic discussed from a legal viewpoint. “Sometimes people don’t know what to do. Where to go? You feel helpless and like the law isn’t on your side, but that’s not true,” Ruiz said. After the opening remarks, the room was divided into groups to continue individual discussions on personal accounts and the way the law protects employers and workers. The dialogue continued in one group with the question, “Have you ever experienced sexual assault or seen it in the workplace?” Law Professor and Associate Academic Dean Margaret V. Turano was a part of this group along with Simons, third year law student Amanda Slutsky and first year law student Steve Smith. “Back during the times that I was working in an office, it was hard to not have seen someone experience sexual harassment in the workplace, especially in my career field,” Turano said. The event ended when the groups merged back together for a final discussion on what they could do as future employees in the law field for not only the movement, but for employers and workers as well.


Law school discusses the power of the movement

Professor Chiu chose the social media-driven topic for the Day One Dialogue.

Students from the law school, as well as undergraduates, attended the discussion.

Tobin Business School Scores National Ranking The Peter J. Tobin College of Business at St. John’s was recently ranked as one of the best undergraduate business programs of 2017 by industry publication Poets&Quants. This places Tobin alongside schools such as Providence College and the Bennett S. LeBow College of Business at Drexel University. “We believe it reflects the high quality of our students, their career placement, and the dedication of our faculty and staff to ensure student success,” Dean Norean R. Sharpe, Ph.D. said on Tobin’s ranking. The rankings, which were released in early December, designated each school’s appropriate ranking based on three equally weighted fundamentals: admission standards, career outcomes and alumni satisfaction with the quality of academics. Poets&Quants is one of the leading news resources for both undergraduate and graduate business programs and education, with conducted rankings comparable to publications such as U.S. News, Forbes and the Economist. This is Poets&Quants’ second annual ranking. To some current To-

The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania currently resides at the number one spot, with an index score of 100.00. A total of 82 schools were ranked this year, which “represent the top 16% of accredited undergraduate business schools in the U.S.,” according to the Poets&Quants website. “I was very proud to learn that the school I attend is one of the highest ranked business schools in the country,” Robert Skorupski, a freshman business major, said. The rankings also measured the employment outcomes for each school. Almost 90 percent of Tobin alumni are employed in full-time positions. “In terms of the future, I feel a lot more secure in finding a job,” Skorupski said. Going forward, Tobin hopes to climb higher in the rankings. Dean Sharpe says the achievement reflects quality students. “Dean Sharpe believes that with continued focus on faculty scholarship, strong teaching, alumni development and bin undergraduate students, the rankings seem promising. strong student recruitment and retention that Tobin can “I knew St. John’s was a good business school, but I never continue to achieve both regional and national success,” Sydknew it was up there with schools like UPenn,” Stephen Lew, ney Steinhardt, director of marketing and communications a sophomore accounting major, said. “Now that we’re a step for the Tobin College of Business, said. above, it’s pretty special.” PHOTO COURTESY/MEDIA RELATIONS

Jillian Ortiz

Features 5


Q&A: Meet Shawn McCreesh SJU to Rolling Stone to the New York Times Ariana Ortiz Shawn McCreesh is a 2015 St. John’s journalism program graduate who has quickly worked his way to the coveted position of editorial assistant to Maureen Dowd at the New York Times. Throughout the past few years of his career, he has reported for publications such as Rolling Stone, Men’s Journal and most recently, the New York Times. The Torch had an email exchange with McCreesh about his formative past at St. John’s, as well as his outlook and experiences in making a name for himself in the famously ruthless world of journalism.

Q: Throughout your time at St. John’s, what do you think most prepared you for your career in journalism? Was there a particular class, professor, or extracurricular activity that you believe has been vital to it or your work ethic?

Internships. I first interned at amNewYork, a daily newspaper, and later at Rolling Stone. There’s no better way to learn than to be edited by professional journalists in the field, and if you’re lucky, you might find someone to take you under their wing. The connections I made at those internships proved to be far more valuable than anything I did on campus.


Post-graduation, did you have a hard time navigating “the real world” of journalism? Was it as cutthroat as students are led to believe? I graduated in the spring of 2015 so I haven’t been out in “the real world” of journalism for very long, but in my limited experience the business of media and certainly of journalism does seem every bit as

difficult to navigate as our professors have led us to believe. It can be difficult to break in and just as hard to survive once you do; entry level salaries are pitiful and New York isn’t getting any cheaper. My annual salary as an editorial assistant working in magazines was $35,000—that’s about $500 a week, after taxes—so I always had to keep a second job, waiting tables downtown. But if you’re passionate, you’ll find a way to make it work.

Q: Making that change from intern at

Rolling Stone to editorial assistant at Men’s Journal, what skills do you think carried over the most? It’s hard to say I had any skills at that point but one thing I started to learn as an intern, and that served me well as an editorial assistant, was how to anticipate editors’ needs. These entry-level jobs are all about making life easier for the higher-ups — if you can successfully do that, you should be able to carve out some time to work on your own stuff.

Q: What is your favorite article that you’ve written so far, and why?

I wrote a feature story for RollingStone. com about Michael Alig (“Michael Alig Did His Time for Murder–Now He Wants to Party,”) an infamous New York character who I’d been fascinated by for years. Alig was a nineties nightlife legend who brutally murdered his friend and spent the last 17 years in prison. After he got out he started throwing parties again, and I began going to the parties. Reporting it out meant immersing myself in his weird, downtown world


McCreesh says one of his most memorable experiences at the New York Times has been meeting former President Jimmy Carter.

and sometimes partying until four in the morning on the weekdays. I met a lot of eccentric people along the way and had a lot of fun doing it. And RS commissioned a really terrific photographer, Amy Lombard, to shoot for the story, which made the finished product look infinitely cooler.


So right now, you’re the editorial assistant to Maureen Dowd. What is it like working with her, and has your experience at the New York Times differed considerably from your previous positions?


Working with Maureen is indescribably cool. I think it’s really important to find mentors along the way and I often feel I’ve found the ultimate mentor. She’s like a Jedi master of journalism. It’s a challenging job but we have a lot of fun, too. It’s totally different than working for a monthly mag.

Q: What does an average day look like for you?

It might sound like a cliché but there really is no such thing as an average day. I think that’s probably true for a lot of jobs in journalism, which is one of the many reasons it’s such an awesome field. But the one constant is newsgathering — we have to know everything that’s happening, as it happens — so I start each day by reading POLITICO Playbook and the print versions of the Times, the Washington Post, The New York Post, and the Wall Street Journal and then I scroll the homepages of everything from Breitbart to Vanity Fair. My bookmarks are intense.

Q: Is there a particularly exciting experience that you’ve had so far working with Maureen Dowd?

Maureen interviewed President Jimmy Carter this fall for a cover story for the Sunday Review section and brought me along. Sitting in President Carter’s living room in Plains, Georgia, talking about Trump and North Korea while first lady Rosalynn Carter served us coffee was a totally surreal experience. The next day was Carter’s 93rd birthday and we went to Sunday school with him. It was a weekend I’ll never forget and is one of the many reasons I’m eternally grateful to Maureen.




Best Study Spots Around Campus

Proving the Princeton Review wrong one coffee at a time Joerenz Bolina

Poke Coffee (176-37 Union Tpke)

Once upon a time, The Princeton Review labeled SJU the college where “Students Study The Least.” Whether you laughed or scoffed, this is a scarlet letter no Johnny wants to be branded with by future employers. So, to prove them wrong, let’s get the studying started early. Here are the top five off-campus locations you’ll want to hit up when campus spots just aren’t cutting it.

Crepe’N’Tearia (177-7 Union Tpke)



Prices: $$ Quiet: Yes Wifi: Yes Bathroom: Yes Crepe’N’Tearia is your go-to for crepes, ranging from delectable desserts to mouthwatering meals. While the crepes are on the pricier end of the broke-college-student budget, you’ll find yourself delighted if you’ve got extra cash. As you settle in to study, take in the light Top 40 and Asian pop music and even give their giant ball chair a try!

Price: $$$ Quiet: Yes Wifi: Yes (1 hour limit; ask for login) Bathroom: Yes (ask for key) While the rustic cafe’s prices are relatively high, it’s the closest to campus. A blend of soothing singer-songwriter/Asian pop songs and the sweet aroma wafting throughout the store will massage your hardworking brain, making the extra cost worth it. From their signature eggettes to Instagram-worthy light bulb drinks, you’re in for a total treat.

Sweet Cats Cafe (168-17 Union Tpke)

Dunkin’ Donuts (168-22 Union Tpke)



Price: $ Quiet: Usually Wifi: No Bathroom: Yes Known as “the Dunkin’ outside St. John’s,” this location is open 24 hours a day, making it perfect for all-nighters. It offers a wider space and range of refreshments than the Marillac location while retaining the ambiance. Conveniently situated near 7/11 and Double J’s, you needn’t travel far to find your other favorites. Be mindful of eating outside foods without a purchase; employees won’t hesitate to boot you out.

Price: $$ Quiet: Yes Wifi: Yes (ask for login) Bathroom: Yes Recently revamped, Sweet Cats greets visitors with an elegant garden heralded by Top 40 covers and Asian pop. Even if you’re not a tea party person, their selection of refreshments will astound you, particularly their Instagram-worthy Galaxy Yakult drink. The place is incredibly study-friendly, boasting free wifi, a bathroom and a $1 bubble tea and coffee sale from 4-6 p.m., Monday through Thursday.

Student Sparks: What were your favorite Samantha DeNinno Asst. Entertainment Editor movies of 2017? Gabby Ciminera Psychology | Sophomore

Renata Bruno Quantitative Risk Management and Insurance | Freshman

- Get Out -

- Beauty and the Beast -

- Girls Trip -

- All the Money in the World - Pitch Perfect 3 -

Katie Gardella Biology | Junior

Fatima Mossolem Biology | Sophomore

- Beauty and the Beast -

- Beauty and the Beast -

- The Big Sick -

- Thor: Ragnarok -

- The Greatest Showman -

- Spider-Man: Homecoming -

Heather Duffer Biology | Junior

Christopher Valdes Physics | Sophomore

- Wonder Woman -

- Dunkirk -

- The Big Sick -

- Get Out -

- Girls Trip -

- Girls Trip -

Jocelyne Jara Business | Freshman

Anoosha Hamid Finance | Sophomore

- Beauty and the Beast -

- The Big Sick -

- Get Out -

- Get Out -

- Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle -

- It -

Jescenia Hasan Public Relations | Sophomore

Renate Kurth Biology | Freshman

- Call Me By Your Name -

- Okja -

- It -

- Beauty and the Beast -

- Coco -

- Get Out -

8 Entertainment

The Future Looks Formulaic Ariana Ortiz The fourth season of Charlie Brooker’s “Black Mirror”— a series often compared to The Twilight Zone—starts strongly, but is so mired in its own past that it is prevented from being interesting. The season opens with “USS Callister,” the story of a sadistic man and the virtual world he crafted to torture those he believes have wronged him. While this episode makes use of the same virtual world as season three’s “San Junipero,” its exploration of this technology in the wrong hands is sharp and important. It earns its spot as the standout episode in terms of delivering on social commentary, and reveals itself to be a standard the rest of the season does not live up to. “Arkangel” begins with an interesting premise; an overprotective mother attains the means to monitor her daughter at all times and even censor unpleasant things she may encounter, all with an implant. It begins to drag somewhere before the

30-minute mark. Between poor casting and a bland, predictable plot, what had the potential to be a gripping take on surveillance states and girlhood falls flat. “Black Museum” is a lot of cruelty without any real substance. It’s set up as an anthology within an anthology, but any feelings of wanting to know more from its promising first ten minutes die fairly quickly. Thematically, it’s scattered and fails to make a point. “Hang the DJ” is a hopeful story, if not maddeningly repetitive. A man and woman meet within a sort of real-life Tinder, but are kept apart by an algorithm that insists they are not compatible. Its ending is a lukewarm, watered-down “San Junipero.” Season four feels just like Black Mirror’s previous seasons, but stripped of all nuance. Unsurprisingly, this makes for a very heavy-handed yet still meaningless collection of episodes.


Bloody Good Time Michael Ambrosino Netflix just keeps raising the bar. They’re supposedly making their library 50 percent original content. I say that’s a blessing, as their original films and series tend to offer more edge and genuine originality than a whole lot of what we see at the theater nowadays.

There’s a lot to enjoy in this series, from the sharp writing and pitch-perfect directing to Jessica Barden’s high-energy performance.

“The End of the F***ing World” is no exception. Netflix’s new coming-of-age, dark comedy series is the very definition of the words edgy, original and especially fun. It’s viciously funny, gleefully profane and even quite touching in many moments.

The show follows two teenagers: James (Alex Lawther), who is pretty sure he’s a psychopath and is looking for someone to kill, and Alyssa (Jessica Barden), who is mean and cool but looking for someone to love. When the two meet, there’s an immediate connection, and James is soon convinced by Alyssa to run away from their miserable lives and go on a journey to find her real father — a journey filled with laughs, tears, violence and mystery. There’s a lot to enjoy in this series, from the sharp writing and pitch-perfect directing to Barden’s high-energy performance. It has an ending that may frustrate some viewers due to its ambiguity, but I found it exciting and surprisingly moving. It’s essentially the two leads, Barden and Lawther, who carry “The End of the F***ing World,” and they bring a strangely lovable charm to an otherwise dark and dangerous story. For my money, this is one of the best originals on Netflix at the moment.

Jay-Z’s Past and America’s Future Angelica Acevedo Striking visuals accompanied Jay-Z’s customary uncensored lyrics — this time, it was for “Family Feud.” He released the video three weeks ago and, of course, it was all anyone could talk about. Ava DuVernay directed the elaborate video, which featured a star-studded cast that included Michael B. Jordan, Jessica Chastain, Thandie Newton, America Ferrera, Brie Larson and Rosario Dawson, to name a few. The video followed the story of what we can only assume is America hundreds of years from now. There were various subplots throughout the futuristic history, all of which seemed to stem from a turning point, when the “foremothers” revised the Constitution. As the video progresses, we see Jay-Z holding his daughter Blue Ivy’s hand as they walk into a cathedral. The song begins and we are introduced to Beyonce, who symbolizes the priestess that Jay-Z confesses his sins to. The video appropriately becomes about Jay-Z’s family, as he raps about how far he’s made it in his career and in his personal life, without shying away from admitting he’s made many mistakes, including being unfaithful to his wife (“Yeah, I’ll f*** up a good thing if you let me / Let me alone, Becky”). However, his lyrics also touch upon the importance of his triumphs, in business and in his artistic career (“What’s better than one

billionaire? Two (two) / ‘Specially if they’re from the same hue as you”). This particular line can be interpreted in two different ways, one being that he is acknowledging the empire him and his wife have created, both united and separately. Another can be his praise of not only his but his fellow black artists’ success as entrepreneurs. Sure, you might have to watch the video a couple of times to fully grasp the various subplots that lead into the bigger picture — which is that Jay-Z envisions the future of the U.S. with an ethnically diverse government as well as an increase in leadership positions for women — but it is an impactful video nonetheless. Not everyone enjoyed Jay-Z’s video though. Some thought that it was hard to follow due to the video’s elaborateness. Others even thought that he disrespected the Catholic church for having a cathedral as a backdrop for a song with curse words in it. The Catholic League President Bill Donohue released a statement regarding the video, “Is it anti-Catholic? No, it is not a bigoted assault ... But it is nonetheless gratuitous as well as exploitative, just the kind of thing we would expect from this genius couple.” Love it or hate it, the message Jay-Z conveyed in his video furthers the very relevant conversation surrounding the prejudices of race and politics in America.

PHOTO COURTESY/youtube jayzvevo

Opinion 9


Flames of the Torch

Counseling in the right direction Managing Board XCV Suzanne Ciechalski, Editor-in-Chief Angelica Acevedo, Managing Editor Ariana Ortiz News Editor Isabella Bruni News Editor Derrell Bouknight Sports Editor Ariana Ortiz Features Editor Michael Ambrosino Entertainment Editor Morgan Mullings Opinion Editor Steven Verdile Design Editor Courtney Dixon Chief Copy Editor

Amanda Negretti Photo Editor Nick Bello Photo Editor Erin Bola Social Media Manager Jillian Ortiz Asst. News Editor Brendan Myers Asst. Sports Editor Samantha DeNinno Asst. Entertainment Editor Jim Baumbach Adviser





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Editorial policy Editorials are the opinions of the Editorial Board of the Torch. Columns and other content are the opinions of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of the Torch. Opinions expressed in editorials, columns, letters or cartoons are not necessarily those of the student body, faculty or administration of St. John’s University. All contents are the sole responsibility of the editors and the editorial board and do not necessarily represent the views of the administration, faculty or students of St. John’s University unless specifically stated.

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Kennisa Ragland Sean Okula Gabriella Campos

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

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A common complaint from students about comes from impending graduation and the counseling center on campus is difficul- what comes with it (job searches, graduate ty getting an appointment. school, etc.) can add a huge weight to peoWe’ve heard from students who waited ple’s shoulders. two or three weeks for their first appointThose are basic concerns, but there are ments, and then their next one isn’t for obviously many more pressing concerns another few weeks later. That just isn’t ac- that students need addressed, like anxiety ceptable. and depression. It’s clear that counseling services are critTo deal with this, colleges absolutely ical on college campuses. According to the need an adequate counseling center that National Alliance on Mental Illness, 75 can service students. percent of all mental health conditions beAt SJU, the counseling center has services gin before people reach the age of 24. that include individual counseling sessions, Additionally, data from 139 colleges group counseling, consultations, referrals showed that 50 percent of students who and assessments. They’re also free. receive counseling do so for mental health These services are important, but mean concerns, according nothing if students to the Center for are unable to get an Collegiate Mental appointment when Imagine what it’s they’re in need of Health’s 2016 annulike to be told to wait them. al report. weeks for an appoint- Making the call to That’s why we’re happy the Center the counseling center ment. for Counseling and can be a difficult first Consultation at St. step for a student; John’s is addressing imagine what it’s like student concerns about getting appoint- then to be told to wait weeks for an apments in timely fashion. pointment. This week we reported on the center’s It’s important that the counseling center new triage system, which is aimed at get- on campus identified this as an issue and is ting students into the counseling center taking the proper steps to assess and address more efficiently. students’ needs in a more efficient manner. The system is based on counselors imme- Being transparent about the change and the diately screening students who call in to the reason behind it also is encouraging. center to assess how quickly an appointWaiting weeks to get into the counseling ment needs to be scheduled. center was unacceptable, and we hope that This is an important step forward. the new triage system will help alleviate Going to college — whether you’re at some of these issues and lead to a positive home or living on campus — is stressful. change. For freshman, going away for the first time Not only is it a needed change — it’s a is a lot to handle. For seniors, the stress that necessary change.

Vincentian View: Influence That Reaches to Africa (CLM) at Tangaza University College. The CLM promotes the training of women and Fr. Patrick Griffin, C.M. men to take up the mantle of leadership in society and in the church. The college itself is the collaborative product of more than 20 religious communities with the CongregaI saw the movie “Out of Africa” some 30 tion of the Mission (the Vincentians) among years ago. It starred Meryl Streep and Robert them. Redford and was based on a journal by the Walking around the campus, the number Danish author Karen Blixen. At its publica- of young sisters and priests is wonderfultion, the popular book was supposed to help ly evident. Clearly, this college is poised to “demystify” Africa for a European popula- make a difference in the future of the African tion. church. I am less interested in the movie and book The Vincentian Family charisma is part of than in the setting. Blixen’s farm in Kenya that effort. Many experiences from my time was at the base of the hills outside Nairobi. here can be shared in this essay. Let me highThat is where I am sitting at the moment. light two. First of all, the youth and energy of the In fact, this area is called “Karen.” In my Kenyan Church is evident. One sees it in the role as Director of the Vincentian Center religious men and women who serve in the for Church and Society at St. John’s, I have church as well as in those who participate in been in Kenya for the past week. its ministries and worship. I came here with a team of professors from Here, a typical Sunday liturgy is two hours the Tobin College of Business to offer a long. People tell me that if the homily is less program on Pastoral Planning and Church Management. We are collaborating with than an hour, the congregation presumes the Center for Leadership and Management that the celebrant did not prepare. I cannot

testify to the quality of the homily in terms of content (the preaching was in Swahili), but I will bear witness to the length. The quality and dynamism of the movement and music in the liturgy is heartening and moves one to deeper participation. The second element which I would like to highlight is the participation of the Vincentian Family in the service of the poor. I saw the outreach of the parishes to those who are in need as well as the special ministries which the Daughters of Charity offer to the dying, the elderly, those afflicted with HIV and children with significant physical and mental challenges. Nairobi has the largest urban slum in Africa called Kibera. I visited this area with one of the priests of my congregation and saw the opportunities for education which the Saint Vincent de Paul Society and the Vincentians offer to the children of the poor. My time here has been a blessing and an education. The small service which our SJU team was able to provide for the 120 participants in our program is just another link in their growth in faith and mission.

Our gifts as a University are evident and should be shared with generosity and dedication. The lessons of the African church should be learned with attention and humility. That is the attitude which I bring “out of Africa” with me from this latest experience.

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10 Opinion


Study Abroad Needs a Latin America Option Jillian Ortiz More than 44 percent of St. John’s University undergraduate students study abroad during their time at the University, according to Global Studies. Compared to the national average of 10 percent reported by the Institute of International Education, St. John’s truly seems to advocate for students to partake in study abroad programs. Being a global university is part of St. John’s four-part mission; this involves experiencing different cultures, languages and experiences that span across the globe and several different continents. The opportunity for undergraduate students to study abroad in Seville, Spain exposed them to an entirely different culture and lifestyle, all while allowing them to practice the most spoken non-English language in the United States. Unfortunately, due to issues with visas for multi-site programs, St. John’s has terminated all study abroad operations in Seville, according to Matthew Pucciarelli, associate provost of Global Programs for the University. It is hard to understand why the University would deprive students of one opportunity without offering a comparable alternative to replace it. After Seville was removed from the Discover the World Program during the fall 2017 semester, Limerick, Ireland soon took its place. Although the University successfully filled the gap that Seville’s removal left behind, it does not seem justified. The practical decision would be to operate in another Spanish-speaking country, as Spanish is one of the most valuable language skills to


possess in modern-day America. It is arguable that there are still other opportunities to study abroad in Spanish- speaking countries such as Chile, where the University hosts an exchange program. In order to participate in the exchange program in Chile, a student must have taken four semesters of Spanish in a college setting, whereas under the semester long program in Spain only one year of undergraduate studies along with a minimum 2.75 GPA were required.

It’s Time to Protect DACA Kennisa Ragland No person nor institution is all-powerful in America, nor is one person or institution held responsible for what takes place in this country. These actualities are visible upon examining not only the state of DACA – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals – but also the history of America, including President Donald Trump’s ascension to the presidency. In September of last year, the Trump administration announced it would phase out the program known as DACA, effectively ending it in March. Since then a number of actions have been taken on behalf of “dreamers”– those enrolled in the program--by elected officials, individual citizens and various organizations. The most recent is a temporary injunction issued by U.S. District Judge William Aslup. The injunction puts the Trump administration’s annihilation of the program at a standstill while a legal challenge to the decision to end it is still pending. Aslup’s nationwide orders preclude renewing DACA and work authorizations for the 690,000 immigrants who held the status when the administration ended the program. He also says the government does not have to accept new applications. The Trump administration has countered by filing a notice

of appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. They’ve also made the rare move to appeal to the Supreme Court before the case is heard by the circuit courts. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said, “it defies both law and common sense for DACA…to somehow be mandated nationwide by a single district court in San Francisco.” Well Mr. Sessions, somebody has to use their power to provide service and protection for those whom Congress and the administration fail. Aslup’s injunction illustrates the beauty of and necessity for shared power within a country. Multiple states’ similar responses to the administration’s travel ban, citizens pressuring elected officials and the Constitution itself all further exhibit this shared power. And being that with shared power comes shared responsibility, the resistance of this administration’s shortcomings is just as important to note as the actual shortcomings. While it would have been ideal to be issued by the administration or Congress and certainly isn’t a permanent solution, the injunction is a step towards justice for dreamers and a step towards the dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. And if it comes to it, hopefully the Supreme Court wields its limited but considerable power and responsibility to further actualize that dream for those particular dreamers.

The opportunity provided to students is no longer the same. If the University were to consider expanding outside of the European continent to one of the other 22 Spanish- speaking countries across the globe, students most likely would not object. Faculty-directed programs abroad to countries such as Argentina, Cuba and Guatemala appear to be popular choices among students. Studying in countries like these have a completely different atmosphere and stray from the European feel of Seville.

If the University were to establish operations in countries like the above during the fall and spring semesters, it would serve as an appropriate replacement. The opportunity to study abroad in general is an amazing experience, but to put the language skills learned in the classroom to good use thousands of miles away would prove truly more valuable. Coming to St. John’s, studying abroad in Seville was something that many students looked forward to, and to have been deprived of that opportunity is truly a frustration.

Millennial Think: The Cryptocurrency Craze Steven Verdile

In a time when everything from media to education is shifting to digital platforms, it makes sense that digital currency is headlining daily news. You’ve probably seen stories about Bitcoin, the most popular cryptocurrency, exponentially shooting up in value, making its earliest investors rich in the process. While it might seem easy to hop on the Bitcoin bandwagon, and equally as easy to refute it as an imaginary world of pixel money, there is a middle ground that shows both promise and hazards for the future of cryptocurrency. Bitcoin was developed with an almost utopian mindset and aimed to be the first perfect currency. Throughout history, various currencies suffered from two major flaws–overproduction and centralization. Coins and paper money can be produced so quickly and unlimitedly that hyperinflation becomes a threat. In addition, having one entity control the currency (for U.S. dollars this entity is the U.S. government) can jeopardize the stability of the currency and gives the

controlling body a lot of power over its future. Bitcoin seem to beat these obstacles, as it is finite in quantity (there are 21 million potential bitcoins, 11 million of which have been acquired through “mining”) and is monitored by a vast network rather than a single agency. While it is indeed a great idea, it has been shown a lot of opposition from experts. Some are worried that it is too much of a commodity, as almost everyone currently buying it is simply hoping to resell it back. Unlike cash transactions, which can be used to buy almost anything, Bitcoin transactions are fairly complex and are rarely accepted for anything other than exchanging currencies. If cryptocurrency can one day be used to buy a cup of coffee and a tank of gas, it will be seen as more stable and legitimate. While I am certainly no expert on the economy or the future of cryptocurrency, I strongly suggest anyone interested to do their respective research before investing their own personal money. Although there is definitely a chance to make some money with little effort, it is a gamble that is unpredictable due to the originality of it all. There are passionate economic experts on both sides, and only time will tell what will evolve from this innovative technology.




Don’t Write Chris Mullin Off Just Yet A complete roster in year four will add help to the Mullin project Brendan Myers Rewind to October. Villanova Head Coach Jay Wright went on CBS College Basketball Insider Jon Rothstein’s podcast and said “I think the Johnnies have a chance to be really good.” Wright found himself on a long list of people who were optimistic of what was brewing in Queens for the 2017-18 season. Year three of the Mullin experiment was supposed to be when the team made the jump to the upper echelon of the Big East, and possibly even further. The preseason hype heading into conference play looked to be real. The team was 10-2, and the only losses were to Missouri (in a game when the Tigers shot over 51 percent from behind the arc), and nationally ranked Arizona St. on the West Coast—and the team had played well without star point guard Marcus LoVett. ESPN NCAA analyst Joe Lunardi had the Red Storm sneaking into the NCAA Tournament. Coming back from Christmas break into conference play, it’s been a completely different story. The team sits at 0-7 in Big East play, including a home loss to DePaul and one to Georgetown in Patrick Ewing’s return to the Garden Jan. 9. If you look up “Chris Mullin” on Twitter, there’s a good chance you’ll find sentiments that he should be fired, or he isn’t doing a good enough job in coaching the team. It’s safe to say that there were a lot of St. John’s fans that questioned the way Steve Lavin and the school parted ways following four postseason appearances in five seasons, so people might be quickly turning on Mul-

lin when patience is key. As weird as it may seem, it’s still too early to criticize Mullin, or to call for him to be fired. In each of his first three seasons, Mullin has had key players sitting out. In year one, it was LoVett and Tariq Owens. In year two, it was Justin Simon and Marvin Clark II. In year three, he has Mikey Dixon, Sedee Keita and Boubacar Diakite all sitting on the bench as redshirts. It’s been clear that Mullin and his staff wanted to go through this rebuild with a heavy focus on transfers. A risk you take with that is that one injury, such as LoVett’s, can really throw things off because the team is already short-handed. In addition to the redshirts, Mullin has three major recruits coming in next season. Three-star shooting guard Greg Williams, and two four-star big guys in Josh Roberts (6’9”) and J’Raan Brooks (6’8”). Those two will mix with Sedee Keita (6’9”) to give the Johnnies a front court that Mullin hasn’t had in his first three seasons as coach. Forget the results of the games. It’s also clear to see Mullin hasn’t lost control of the locker room. Say what you want about the LoVett injury situation, but his profile picture on Twitter is of him hugging Mullin. In watching St. John’s play, you can see that they put up a fight. They took nationally ranked Seton Hall down to the wire on the road without LoVett or Shamorie Ponds. The first game against Georgetown was an old-fashioned dogfight. The team didn’t play well, but they didn’t back down and hustled all over the court. Earlier this month came two more competitive games against nationally-ranked Villanova and Xavier. They fight and have shown the quintessential “New York grit” that can capture the

city the same way it did when Mullin and his team dominated in the 1980s. Mullin’s fourth year will be the first accurate assessment of the direction the program is heading. He’ll finally have a full roster of guys that he and his staff recruited and think will fit well into Mullin’s pro-style system. With each game, he gets more and more comfortable as a coach. You can see him on the sidelines being more active and being able to communicate better with the players. There were always going to be growing pains, the aforementioned method of build-

ing through transfers and Mullin as a first time head coach at the forefront. However, Mullin surrounded himself with a staff that includes talented basketball assistants like Greg St. Jean, and recruiting expert Matt Abdelmassih to help with his lack of experience. This is a fan base starving to recapture the glory of past St. John’s teams. Has this season been beyond frustrating? Absolutely. Was the Marcus LoVett situation handled in a perfect manner? Probably not. But don’t give up on Mullin and the staff yet.


Chris Mullin has not given up hope following his team’s winless start to Big East play.

Blankmeyer Headed to ABCA Hall of Fame Cooperstown welcomed its newest inductees into the Baseball Hall this month. Queens’ lead man got his own taste of glory. Red Storm head baseball coach Ed Blankmeyer was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Jan. 7, the third St. John’s skipper to be honored by the ABCA. Other inductees included 1979 inductee Jack Kaiser and Joe Russo in 1997. The top dog in the Johnny dugout has earned a hallowed position in the ranks of collegiate baseball. Just the three Hall of Famers have managed the club since 1956, and of all of the coaches in program history, nobody has won more games than Blankmeyer. “Without outstanding players that are team oriented, it’s very difficult to achieve championship success,” Blankmeyer said, displaying his humility during his acceptance speech. “I have been blessed to coach many great players over my 38 years as a college coach. “As a coach I’ve tried to follow The Golden Rule; I coached and treated players the way I wanted to be coached and treated,” he added.

Since taking over before the 1996 season, Blankmeyer has accumulated 758 wins, four Big East tournament titles, five regular season conference crowns and 10 trips to the NCAA Tournament. His teams have played to a .620 win percentage. “My goal was to teach them to play the right way and, through lessons of baseball, make them better men,” Blankmeyer said to a crowd that included former players and assistants. “I pray that I accomplished this goal.” While lessons of life may have been his ultimate goal, his baseball wisdom has also proven plenty helpful over his 22 seasons at the helm. More than 100 players have gone on to sign professional contracts after playing under Blankmeyer either in Queens or during his time as an assistant at Seton Hall, including current Giants second baseman Joe Panik, former American League MVP Mo Vaughn and Baseball Hall of Famer Craig Biggio. With the help of Blankmeyer, a winning tradition has been carried on at St. John’s. “Baseball has given me a lot to be thankful for,” he said of his time as a coach. “It’s given me a livelihood and I haven’t worked a day in my life. It’s provided me with great friends, and most of all it has taught me a


Sean Okula

January 26: Women’s Basketball at Creighton

January 26: Women’s Tennis at Harvard

January 26: Day 1: Track & Field at Columbia Challenge

January 27: Day 2: Track & Field at Columbia Challenge

January 27: Men’s Basketball at Butler

January 27: Men’s Tennis at Dartmouth

January 28: Men’s Tennis vs. Buffalo

January 28: Women’s Baketball at Providence

January 30: Men’s Basketball vs. Xavier

February 2: Women’s Tennis vs. LIU Brooklyn and Marist

Ed Blankmeyer is 758-460-4 in 23 years.

lot about life, relationships and what is truly important.” For now, the time of celebration and reflection can continue. Soon enough, the temperatures will rise, and with it the stirrups on the legs of baseball players nationwide. Blankmeyer will begin his 23rd season on the Red Storm bench this coming February. The newest inductee will still have work to do.



now it's over

with lovett's season done, will his red storm career Follow? TORCH PHOTO/NICK BELLO

Derrell Bouknight The strangest turn in the Marcus LoVett injury saga came on a Wednesday afternoon earlier this month. After weeks of speculation and questions regarding the mysterious status of the St. John’s guard, Red Storm fans were given an update late in the day from LoVett’s dad, Marcus LoVett Sr., who tweeted that his son would miss the rest of the season. It was the most significant news the public received since LoVett went down with what was diagnosed as a sprained left MCL on Nov. 26 in a 46-43 win over Central Florida in the AdvoCare Invitational. Since then, with little information coming from the University about the injury, LoVett had been listed as day-to-day for several weeks with no timetable for his return. In speaking to Torch Sports, LoVett Sr. talked about how the injury was complicated, and that the best decision moving forward is for his son to focus on getting better. “There are timetables with any injury,” LoVett Sr. said in a direct message. “Pain and swelling is an issue at this point. It’s rehabilitation now primarily. That’s what was agreed upon between [doctors and LoVett].” Following a 69-66 loss to Georgetown, Head Coach Chris Mullin told the media that there was a possibility of LoVett taking the court for practice the next day. “He’s probably going to get on the floor

tomorrow,” Mullin said. “He’s been doing Paul and two losses to the Hoyas. his workouts with strength and conditionSuddenly, the season has changed. No. 1 ing, but we’ll see. He’s been working on that Villanova defeated the Red Storm two Satknee, and we will see how it goes. I’m plan- urdays ago at Madison Square Garden, folning to get him on the court tomorrow.” lowed by road losses with then-15-2 Xavier But according to Zach Braziller of the and Georgetown again on Jan. 20. A break in New York Post, his practice time, which was conference play will come as the Red Storm supposed to be a one-on-one workout with faces Duke on Feb. 3. LoVett’s absence in Mullin, never took place. As his dad allud- these pivotal games will be felt, not only ed to, LoVett reported soreness and swell- in scoring and on defense, but verbally and ing in his left knee. through his leadership. Hours later, his dad According to the Post, tweeted publicly that LoVett Sr.’s announceMarcus would miss Pain and swelling is an ment caught Mullin and the remainder of the staff by surprise. It issue at this point. It’s his season. came without notice or rehabilitation now pri- direct contact. When In a quick turn marily. of events, St. John’s asked about his ansecond-leading scornouncement on Twitter er went from sitting Marcus LoVett Sr. coming before an offiout a string of games cial one from the school, to possibly having LoVett Sr. did not elabplayed his final contest in Queens. After last orate, saying that the main focus is on his season, LoVett reportedly debated playing son’s knee. professional basketball overseas before makEarlier this month, LoVett underwent his ing a decision to stay at St. John’s for at least second MRI, about a month after doctors another year. His 14.9 points per game aver- cleared him to test his knee in practice. A few age trailed only Shamorie Ponds, the guard weeks ago, LoVett said that he “felt good,” from Brooklyn who, alongside LoVett, com- which led many to believe he would return prised one of college basketball’s most excit- to the court at some point in the near future. ing backcourts. None of that happened. Before LoVett went down with the injury, Late in the afternoon on Jan. 10, the Unithe Red Storm were 6-1. Since then, they’ve versity released a statement, officially angone 4-10, including an 0-9 start to Big East nouncing that LoVett would not play for the play that featured a 91-74 home loss to De- rest of the season.

“Team physicians made the decision to sideline LoVett on Wednesday to focus on his rehabilitation, as he was not able to progress to on-court basketball activities,” the statement read. Mullin also provided a statement, expressing his support for LoVett and his health. “Marcus has a bright future ahead,” he said. “So while it is disappointing that he will miss the remainder of the season, his long term health is the primary focus.” LoVett Sr., defending his son, said, “[Being] cleared to play was the mistake, not the MRI.” The season that was supposed to put the Red Storm back atop the Big East standings now seems like a distant memory, blanketed by the injury of one of the Big East’s best players. Not many people predicted a winless start to conference play through the first three weeks, but that’s the reality the team faces. Dealing with not having one of their leaders will prove to be a challenge both mentally and on the court. On Nov. 26, LoVett fouled out of the game against UCF, walking off the floor with 2:51 left to play in the second half. It was the last glimpse St. John’s fans have received of the redshirt sophomore on the floor ever since, becoming used to him cheering on the team while dressed in street clothes at the end of the bench. Now, once again, we wait. But there may not be a need to. We may have seen the last of Marcus LoVett.

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