GAY STUDENTS DISSATISFIED WITH UNIVERSITY’S LGBTQ PROGRAMS PG. 9 Torch PHOTO/ANTHONY O’REILLY
The pope retires TJ reacts to the surprising resignation of Benedict XVI News pg. 4
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Features British take on MSG International student gives his view on the world’s most famous arena.
Lifestyle Pg. 11
Music Grammy’s recap The Torch looks back on the biggest night in music. Torch Photo/Shannon luibrand
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Sports Roadblocked Lavinless-Johnnies tourney hopes hit a snag at ‘The Dome.’
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opinion pg. 6
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Winter storm Nemo brought up to a foot of snow to Queens. The third floor hallway of the Townhouses had more than its fair share.
Storm wreaks havoc on weekend events Anthony O’Reilly News Editor In the days leading up to winter storm Nemo – a blizzard that would bring more than three feet of snow to some parts of the Northeastern region of the country – Vice President of Public Safety Thomas Lawrence was constantly watching the weather updates, anticipating if and when to close the school. At about 1:30 p.m. on Fri. Feb. 8, the decision was made – the University’s emergency notification update sent out a message saying that all New York campuses would be closed from that Friday until Feb. 10. After the week-long closure due to Superstorm Sandy, Lawrence said there were vital steps taken to ensure a smoother recovery process, if necessary. This included having backup generators already in place, putting fuel in all necessary vehicles and affording resident students the chance to go home, if they live close to campus. “Each department had their critical people here in the event that there was an emergency during the snowstorm,” he said. “Things like that are things we
learned from Sandy.” Queens was spared the brunt of Nemo’s impact, only receiving up to a foot. Lawrence said, unlike Sandy, no major damages were sustained during the storm. Senior Nicole Stanley, a native of California, said she personally enjoyed the snow since it is something she has experienced very few times before. “Since I’ve lived in warm places all my life, I’m always excited for snow,” Stanley said, adding that she even went outside to play in the snow. “The day after, I thought it was beautiful,” she said. “St. John’s did a great job clearing paths to walk and drive, but it would have been nice if they cleared out the walkway outside the second floor townhouses.” With the campus closed for the weekend, planned events were cancelled, the annual Women’s in Sports Day event being one of them. The event was postponed due to concerns of whether or not the guest speaker, gold medal Olympian Kerri Strug, would be able to make the trip back home. A make-up date has yet to be determined. Junior Vince Ruffino said he was comfortable, albeit a little
inconvenienced, during the storm. “There were some times it came down hard during the night,” Ruffino said. “The next day was a pain though. You couldn’t really go anywhere.” Ruffino’s main concern, he said, was back home in Connecticut, where his parents and sisters would get more than three feet of snow. “I’m my father’s only son,” he said. “So I was concerned with who was going to help him shovel all that out. I didn’t want my mother or my sisters doing that.” Ruffino said, to his knowledge, his street at home has still yet to be plowed, leaving his family stuck in their home. He also said, due to the massive amounts of snow, his former high school has yet to reopen following the storm. According to several weather models, more snow is forecasted for the New York area that could bring anywhere from two-four inches tonight. Additional reporting by Sarah Yu, Co-Chief Copy Editor Follow us on Twitter @STJTorch
Public health masters now offered Christopher Brito Assistant News Editor
The College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is now accepting applications for their new Masters program in Public Health (MPH) for the Fall 2013 semester, which they say will train students to address adverse health conditions that affect people both locally and globally. “We are delighted to have added the MPH degree to the many other outstanding programs of study offered by the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences,” Provost Robert Mangione, said in an announcement. “We look forward to the significant contributions that faculty members and students associated with this program will make to enhancing health care in our great city, the nation, and the world.” The 45-credit program focuses on teaching students ways to assemble health initiatives, evaluate environmental hazards, promote wellness and address potential pandemics. The program offers two forms of specialization, either a local or a global public health concentration that is designed to meet the standards of current professionals and other related contemporaries in the prospective
Briefs Compiled by jarrod jenkins Assistant News Editor
University professors in the news Faculty members of the University were featured on established broadcasting stations regarding news stories in the previous month. Dr. Angelo Pisani, professor of criminal justice and legal studies, was interviewed by CNN about the nightclub fire in Brazil on Jan. 27. Dr. Azzedine Layachi, professor of government and politics, was recently featured on Reuters and Bloomberg as an expert on African Politics. Layachi additionally spoke with a BBC reporter discussing the issues of the Algerian hostage crisis. Associate professor and chair of the Department of Government and Politics Diane Heith was interviewed by WNBC-TV and spoke with the Associated Press regarding Obama’s inauguration speech.
Mock Trial makes national tournament Photo courtesy of External Relations
Public health professionals will be trained in the new MPH program.
field. Peter Masoud, a third-year pharmacy student, is interested in the potential of the job outlook that follows the program. “I’m interested because of future career opportunities, especially with CDC [Center for Disease Control],but I’m still unsure of applying,” Peter said. “It’s still a relatively new program.” The program is open to all majors as long as they meet the academic requirements: 3.0 on a 4.0 scale, a graduate admission application, a resume, satisfactory GRE scores, three letters of recommendation and a personal statement. Bibin George, a junior at St. John’s College, heard about the program and finds it fascinating but he intends to
continue on his career path as a doctor. “I think it’s really interesting that they’re offering it here especially with health professions being in demand and all,” he said. “But I want to help people in a more hands-on way as a doctor.” Heather Mavronicolas, Ph.D. is the program director for MPH having an extensive background in public health occupations. She believes the program deeply embodies the Vincentian tradition of the University. “It’s a tradition that will empower individuals to work with both local and global communities to improve health and promote effective solutions to global and regional public health problems,” she said.
The University Mock trial team placed regionally to receive a bid in national tournament for the 19th time in the team’s history. The team beat squads from other colleges such as Princeton and Kings to finish with a record of 6-1-1 to become one of the top seven teams to move forward. The team will compete in the championship series in Philadelphia on March 23-24.
Clarification Last week’s Q&As with SGI presidential candidates Lizzy Sheehan and Mark Benavides failed to identify them as preliminary candidates. They are still subject to GPA checks and must pass a test before becoming official.
Student selected for competitive internship explained her motivation for applying to the program was to gain experience in a field that can help further her desired career. A University student was hired into “I applied for the position because a competitive paid internship known as it allows me to merge my two topics of the Lipper program for the Museum of interest, history and psychology,” she Jewish Heritage A Living Memorial to said. the Holocaust in New York City. “Psychology is huge especially when Pegah Efterkarazadeh was one of looking at the holocaust. How was it even 16 individuals chosen for the program, possible for the Nazis to mobilize an entire which consists of both undergraduate and country to follow those inhuman orders, graduate students in the especially in one of Northeastern region of the most advanced the country. civilizations at the The program aims time? It’s definitely I have in me a to inform people something I see myself about the history of resolution to teach, studying in the future.” the Jewish people. Efterkarazadeh educate and inspire continued Loren Silber, the to say museum educator how her internship and this internship and recruiter of the accommodated her is a great place to program, said their passion for teaching board is very selective and informing younger start when choosing their generations. applicants and that “I have the -Pegah Efterkarazadeh opportunity to educate only motivated and dedicated individuals the younger generations should apply. about the atrocities “We look for a lot of that happened and still things in an applicant such as a high GPA happen today and how we can move and a strong letter of recommendation,” forward,” she said. she said. “We are looking for people who “I have in me a resolution to teach, are very flexible and very interdependent educate and inspire and this internship is who work well in a group and have the a great place to start.” ability to teach individuals.” Emily Lake, an employee of the Efterkarazadeh, a psychology major, museum and a previous intern of the
Jarrod Jenkins Assistant News Editor
Photo courtesy of Pegah Efterkarazadeh
program, said how the experience she gained from the internship benefited her in perusing her occupation. “The internship was extremely beneficial for my career,” she said. “It further solidified my passion for history and museum work and made me more confident that this was the right profession for me.” Lake said the program is also helpful in that it helps to establish networking connections between those participating in the program. “My teaching partner actually ended up doing his student teaching with one of the teachers we worked with,” Lake said.“It was through the Lipper program that they first connected, so the internship can definitely open a lot of doors both in the museum field and in other areas as well.” In 1998 the Lipper program was founded with the incentive for college students to study Jewish heritage and unite with northeastern public middle and high schools to further educate students in a three-phase instruction about the history of the Holocaust. The overall mission of the museum, according to their website, is to educate individuals of all ages and backgrounds the history of Jewish life in the 20th and 21st centuries. Students can apply online by April 1 for the upcoming fall semester or November 1 for the spring semester.
STJ reacts to pope’s resignation
Anthony O’Reilly News Editor
Pope Benedict XVVI, the leader of the Roman Catholic church, announced Monday that he would be resigning from the papacy on Feb. 28, sending shockwaves across both the religious and secular worlds. The pope said the reason for his resignation had to do with his age. “I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry,” the pope said in his official statement. Elected at age 78, Benedict is now 85 years old. “In order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognize my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me.” It is only the second time a pope has resigned from the papacy. Pope Gregory XII resigned in 1415 amid political turmoil in the church. “What Pope Benedict XVI announced today is truly noble and manifests his realistic love of the Church as well as a profound awareness of the Church’s needs at this pivotal time in history,” Rev. Donald J. Harrington C.M., President of the University said in a statement. “Our prayers are with Pope Benedict and with the Church he loves.” Graduate student Claudia Goncalves, who has attended the international gathering of Catholics known as World Youth Day twice, said although she is shocked, the resignation could be a
lesson to future successors. “We’re so used to seeing popes see it to the end,” she said. “I believe he’s doing it for the right reasons and actually setting an example for future popes.” Senior Teresa Abulafia agreed that advanced age in one’s job, even for a position as grand as the pope, is sufficient reason to leave. “I was surprised but its understandable from his point of view,” she said. “If you’re dying in your job then it’s right to quit.” Both Goncalves and Abulafia both said they would like to see Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of the New York Diocese, become the new pope after the traditional papal conclave, the ultra secret election process that is used to select the new pope.
Photo courtesy of wikimedia commons
NY in the Vatican?
Could Cardinal Timothy Dolan of New York be the next pope?
Shannon Luibrand Assistant Features Editor
Photo courtesy of wikimedia commons
In light of the announcement of Pope Benedict XVI resigning, New Yorkers are left wondering if Cardinal Timothy Dolan is a possible contender for the Papacy. In February of 2009, Dolan was named Archbishop of New York by Pope Benedict XVI. The notoriously conservative IrishAmerican cardinal oversees the secondlargest diocese in the United States, with an estimated population of 2.5 million Roman Catholics. Dolan commented on the possible idea he may be elected Pope to the Daily News, “That would be highly
improbable,” Dolan said. “I hope I’m not being naïve, but I don’t think there’d be many cardinals who would think about that chance. That’s just way too out of the realm of probability.” Dolan was ordained to the priesthood in the late 70’s and quickly moved up the ranks. He began his vocation in St. Louis Missouri where he was born, raised and attended Seminary prep school. He is also the president of the U.S. Conference of Bishops, former auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis and former archbishop of Milwaukee. When asked by Matt Lauer from the Today Show if he would vote for himself for Pope, Cardinal Dolan responded, “No. Crazy people cannot enter the conclave.”
Obama delivers State of the Union
Republican address overshadowed by Rubio blunder who laid the foundation for what the State of the Union was meant to do. “The Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress…It is my task,” [Kennedy] said, “to report the After successfully winning re-election State of the Union – to improve it is the in November, President Obama delivered task of us all.” Obama said the U.S. has been slowly his fourth State of the Union address on Tuesday laying out his future plans for the and steadily improving in the past nation on issues concerning the budget few years, citing improving American car sales, the deficit, foreign housing and policy, education, stock market, immigration and and decreasing gun control. the dependency During the on foreign oil. hour-long speech, “Together, Obama was met we have cleared with a rousing away the applause by his rubble of crisis, colleagues on the and can say left for his remarks with renewed and at many times confidence would hear support that the state from the other side of our union is of the aisle as well. s t r o n g e r, ” Speaker of Obama said. the House John B u t Boehner (R-OH) we gather however seemed -President Barack Obama here knowing visibly uninterested that there are in the speech. millions of Boehner rarely, if Americans ever, applauded any whose hard of the president’s work and dedication have not yet been remarks and stayed seated for the rewarded… It is our generation’s task, majority of the address. Obama opened the night by evoking then, to reignite the true engine of the memory of President John F. Kennedy America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.”
Anthony O’Reilly News Editor
“The Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress…It is my task,” [Kennedy] said, “To report the State of the Union – to improve it is the task of us all.”
The middle class and the budget deficit were overarching themes for the president in the first few minutes of his speech, discussing matters such as education, immigration and equal pay for equal work. Climate change and voter reform were also briefly brought up by Obama, saying that he will use executive orders to take action if Congress does not reach a mutual agreement in the coming weeks. Obama closed his speech by saying America should take the selfless attitude of the unsung heroes of America. “It remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story.” Marco Rubio (R-FL) delievered the Republican response to the address. Rubio began his address speaking of the importance of the middle class in America. “My parents immigrated here in pursuit of the opportunity to improve their life and give their children the chance at an even better one,” Rubio said. “I didn’t inherit any money from them. But I inherited something far better – the real opportunity to accomplish my dreams.” Rubio’s speech, however, was overshadowed by his jittery appearance and an off-screen grab for a bottle of water. Rubio followed this by discussing big government vs. private businesses, but his blunder had already started trending on Twitter, overshadowing an otherwise well-recieved speech.
What Obama had to say about...
Still speaking of the economy and the budget deficit, Obama transitioned into the highly controversial topic of immigration reform. “Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants,” Obama said. Obama flaunted his achievements in reform, while at the same time looking for more steps toward progress. “Real reform means establishing a responsible pathway to earned citizenship – a path that includes passing a background check, paying taxes and a meaningful penalty, learning English, and going to the back of the line behind the folks trying to come here legally.” Rubio’s response: “We need a responsible, permanent solution to the problem of those who are here illegally.” “We must follow through on the broken promises of the past to secure our borders and enforce our laws.
In one of the final topics of the speech, Obama took a personal tone to gun control, using the example of a young Chicago teen, Hadiya Pendleton, who was killed by gun violence, as an example of why he believes gun control should be a major concern in Congress. Pendleton’s parents were in attendance as guests in Michelle Obama’s private box. Hadiya had sung at Obama’s inauguration two weeks before she was killed. “[Hadiya’s parents] deserve a vote. Gabby Giffords deserves a vote. The families of Newtown deserve a vote. The families of Aurora deserve a vote. The families of Oak Creek, and Tucson, and Blacksburg, and the countless other communities ripped open by gun violence – they deserve a simple vote,” Obama said as he was met with applause from the entire chamber. Rubio said nothing of gun control.
The economy was an overarching theme during the speech, with Obama stressing the importance of balancing the budget. A trillion dollars in cuts will automatically be initiated if Congress can’t reach a goal by year’s end. “These sudden, harsh, arbitrary cuts would jeopardize our military readiness. They’d devastate priorities like education, energy, and medical research. They would certainly slow our recovery, and cost us hundreds of thousands of jobs.” “That’s why Democrats, Republicans, business leaders, and economists have already said that these cuts, known here in Washington as “the sequester,” are a really bad idea.” Rubio’s response: “The real cause of our debt is that our government has been spending 1 trillion dollars more than it takes in...That’s why we need a balanced budget amendment.”
Early Tuesday morning it was announced that more than 30,000 troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of next year. Obama promised during his speech this would effectively end the war. Obama also directed his attention to North Korea, who the day before reportedly performed several successful nuclear tests. “Provocations of the sort we saw last night will only isolate them further, as we stand by our allies, strengthen our own missile defense, and lead the world in taking firm action in response to these threats.” Rubio’s response: “On foreign policy, America continues to be indispensable to the goal of global liberty, prosperity and safeguarding human rights.” The world is a better place when America is the strongest nation on earth. But we can’t remain powerful if we don’t have an economy that can afford it.”
Editorial Board XC
MICHAEL E. CUNNIFF Editor-in-Chief
NICOLE VALENTE Managing Editor JESSICA LISE General Manager ANTHONY O’REILLY News Editor
FLAMES OF THE TORCH
Behind the times on LGBTQ issues
It’s 2013. Same-sex marriage is legal in New York, as it is in eight other states and the District of Columbia. Openly gay and lesbian soldiers are now free to openly serve in the United States military. The LGBTQ community is making inexorable progress to equality in all facets of life. Unfortunately, that progress has not followed to St. John’s. The University continues to deny LGBTQ students the ability to organize a group of like-minded students, the ability it extends to other students of all nationalities, religious persuasions and personal interests. They do so citing Catholic principles, while ignoring the fact that most similar Catholic schools, including both of our fellow Vincentian schools, have studentrun LGBTQ organizations like gaystraight alliances. And far from being vulnerable in this area, St. John’s seems defiant, issuing a statement unequivocally stating that the school is not open to any sort of GSA, though Dr. Kathryn Hutchinson, vice president for student affairs, said her door is always open for discussion. Whether she’s sincere in that remains to be seen. If she is, here’s what we would like to see – a student-run gaystraight alliance receiving money from the University, either through Student Government, Inc. or straight from the school. What the LGBTQ students we’ve talked to desire is not a place they can go to be lectured to by an administrator, or a place where they can go to sound off to someone if they’ve been victimized. No, the LGBTQ students at St. John’s want an organization where they can meet with other like-minded individuals without the watchful eye of members of the administration in the “How You Doin’” monthly meetings. St. John’s view on this seems to be distrust of the purpose of an organization. To us, the purpose is both innocent and clear: make
a diverse campus more welcoming to all of its students, regardless of their skin color, beliefs or sexual orientation. Diversity is what attracts many to St. John’s. It shouldn’t be different with sexual orientation. We recognize that there are difficulties about reconciling Catholic teaching with the desire for equality among all students. To that, however, we pose this question – if five of the “Catholic 7” have managed to negotiate this, why can’t St. John’s? “Love of neighbor, of all neighbors, is a Gospel demand in accord with which all of us will be judged,” reads Villanova’s “Catholic Perspective” on its web page for its Gay-Straight Coalition. The perspective also says, “all people, including people attracted to members of the same sex, are deserving of pastoral care.” Rather than tackle this student issue head on, it seems as though the administration is choosing to wait it out or worse yet, minimize the experiences faced by so many members of this STJ community. We hope the University realizes that being LGBTQ is not a problem that these students are stuck with but rather can accept it as a trait of their existence. We worry that through the Safe Zone, the school is reaching out to students in an “it’s ok, we’ll be there while you’re dealing with this problem,” kind of way. That line of thinking may have been commonplace in 1980, but not in 2013. In 2013, all students, regardless of sexual orientation, demand equality. At St. John’s at least, those demands have yet to be met. It seems as if St. John’s is on the wrong side of history, and will continue to be until the school wakes up to the evolving presence of LGBTQ students. As one of the students we spoke to put it, we “hope we’re not the last of the seven.”
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. Opinions
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TORCH ILLUSTRATION/ DIAMOND WATTS-WALKER
Budden stays true to his fans
Lifestyle Travel made easy
BUS2ALPS HELPS STUDY ABROAD STUDENTS
Fall Out Boy is back with single, tour KORI WILLIAMS
JOE BUDDEN No Love Lost
OUT OF 5 STARS
Who said Joe Budden couldn’t be mainstream? With No Love Lost, Budden has proved his critics wrong about his lack of mainstream success while still giving the fans that supported him from the beginning that the Joe that they love. After joining the cast of “Love & Hip Hop: New York” for season three, Budden had a broader audience and more to prove. He had to prove that he can make songs other than diss tracks about ex-girlfriends that can make it to the radio stations. Releasing “She Don’t Put It Down Like You” featuring Lil’ Wayne and Tank as his first single probably wasn’t the best idea when it comes changing his act. The song sounds like something we’ve all heard before and doesn’t give a great introduction to the “new Joe,” but “N.B.A. (Never Broke Again)” featuring Wiz Khalifa and French Montana is exactly what the radio and clubs need; a chant that everyone will love and verses that deliver and show Joe’s diversity in music. Any fan that has been supporting Joe since his time on the Mood Muzik record label can tell you that most of his music isn’t sweet, and that’s what captured their hearts and support. Songs such as “Castles”, “All In My Head” and “Skeletons” were placed on his third studio album, Padded Room, to remind them that he’ll never lose his way and stay true to the way he loves to make music: with raw emotion. Something not so new about Joe is his constant rotation of girlfriends in the past couple years. Kaylin Garcia, his new honey, has a lot of influence on his new material and his life. She supported and helped him through the struggle of his drug addiction and in his music, specifically on No Love Lost, he shows his appreciation. “You and I,” featuring his trusted R&B go-to-man Emanny, is one song that stands out as a tribute to his boo. No Love Lost is without a doubt sonically interesting and a departure from his previous records, but Budden proved that he can still stay true to himself and his fans when it comes to subject matter.
PHOTO COURTESY OF BUS2ALPS.COM
Students participate in a Bus2Alps weekend trip to London, England.
Contributing Writer Some students love St. John’s because of the friends they have made, others, the memories they make. They’ll do anything to achieve both, attend parties, sporting events or even travel the world. Many students rave about the excitement of doing the latter. St. John’s “Discover the World” program allows students to travel around the world and most importantly, meet new friends and make memories that can last a lifetime. “It was an experience of a lifetime,” junior Gabrielle Fonrouge, who spent a semester abroad said. “Nothing in the world could take that experience away from me and I would do it ten times over.” While students are studying in foreign countries through the university, they often desire to take weekend trips across other parts of Europe. Now, there’s an affordable service that can make that happen. Bus2alps is a company that allows students to travel around cities in Europe for a low and affordable price. Founded in 2003, Bus2alps has been the gateway travel company that has enthused the curiosity of the traveling student and has served more than 18,000 students. Offering tours to cities such as Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, Florence and Barcelona, students have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the cultures they want to learn about most. Imagine St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, carnival in Venice, or skiing the Swiss Alps. All of these things are possible through a vacation with Bus2alps. With the option of weekend or vacation packages, students can also discover popular
underground parties in cities that will give you a true sense of the European nightlife. “Bus2alps trips include round-trip transportation (with the of our fly in trips), accommodation at top hostels at each destination, walking tours, a Bus2alps trip leader, a Bus2alps Informational City Guide and additional inclusions and exclusive Bus2alps discounts specific to each destination,” the website, www. bus2alps.com, states. Bus2alps also gives students the freedom to venture away from the tour and see the sights individually. “Just because you are traveling on your own does not mean you should feel discouraged from joining one of our trips,” the website said. “In fact, it is an excellent way to meet other students not only from the city you are studying abroad in, but from other European cities as well. Many independent travelers have walked away from Bus2alps trips with new friends.” However, the opportunity isn’t simply limited to students who are already studying in Europe. “We’re also encouraging students who don’t study abroad as well.” spokesperson Viola Lutz said. Lutz has found that certain destinations draw better than others. “The Amalfi Coast is one of the more popular trips for students,” she said. “But there is also a general interest in Oktoberfest in Germany.” There are discounts for groups of 10 or more and there are discounts for students who book their trips through campus representatives. The St. John’s representative is Ashley Sheppard, and her number is 323540-6724. Additional information can be found at www.bus2alps.com.
For four long years, Fall Out Boy’s greatest hits compilation Believers Never Die sat on the shelves with fans assuming that it would be their last release. Today, amongst other artists wrapped up in “comeback fever,” Fall Out Boy has announced that they will tour and release a new album on May 6. Their hiatus couldn’t have ended in a better way. On Monday, Feb. 4, the band released their new single, “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark (Light Em Up),” along with a video featuring rapper 2 Chainz promoting their new album, Save Rock n’ Roll. The “Save Rock n’ Roll” Tour will begin on May 14 in Milwaukee with that show and most of the other dates already sold out, including shows in New York and the surrounding tri-state area. In a Q&A session on Fall Out Boy’s Tumblr page, bassist Pete Wentz explained that the music need to feel “right” before they started working together again. He made it a point to say that that was the only force behind the end of their hiatus. Wentz also stated that the new album is “the best album we’ve ever made. It doesn’t sound like the other FOB albums.” The single goes in a somewhat different musical direction than any of their top ten singles. In a way, the single encompasses elements from Fall Out Boy’s first album, Take This to Your Grave, and their breakthrough record From Under the Cork Tree. Lead singer Patrick Stump showcases the strength and the range of his voice on “My Songs,” similar to what we heard on the band’s last two albums, along with a wall of drums and guitars. While FOB was on hiatus, the members each went their separate ways and embarked on different side and solo projects. Pete Wentz created the electro-rock group Black Cards, guitarist Joe Trohman and drummer Andy Hurley helped form The Damned Things and Patrick Stump went at it solo. The reaction from fans has been mixed. Some, including St. John’s pharmacy student Natalya Sulykis are excited for the band’s return but holds onto a bit of skepticism. “It seems like the only reason they are reuniting is due to the failures of some of the band members to make new names for themselves elsewhere,” Sulykis said. “Reuniting is the logical thing for them to do.”
Students, admins at odds over GSA LGBTQ STUDENTS SPEAK OUT AS UNIVERSIT Y REAFFIRMS BAN ON ‘GAY ALLIANCE’
KIERAN LYNCH Features Editor
Gay rights advocates won a symbolic victory when Notre Dame announced in December the approval of a student-run, university-funded LGBTQ organization on campus starting this semester. Many in the St. John’s LGBTQ community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Questioning) and its advocates would like to see the same alliance formed here, but the University has come out in opposition – saying unequivocally in a statement that “we would not recognize a gay alliance.” St. John’s currently offers a “Safe Zone” program – on-call “allies” to provide support – along with monthly support meetings that it says serves a similar purpose to programs offered at Notre Dame as well as other Vincentian schools. Students who were contacted by the Torch stated that the Safe Zone program was not enough for them and stressed the need for creation of a student-run gay-straight alliance – the same type of alliance that the university opposes and five of the other six Catholic Big East schools have approved. In addition, these students say that their efforts to push administrators for change have been thwarted by some students’ fear of repercussion. Luis Quiñones, treasurer of College Democrats, said such fears have caused the organization to question the consequences of promoting the formation of a gay-straight alliance. “We would definitely support a GSA, but we’re cautious in our hopes to promote it because we’re afraid of repercussions by the administration,” he said. Dr. Kathryn Hutchinson, vice president for student affairs and the person who oversees all student-run organizations, dismissed those fears, saying her door “is always open.”
Hutchinson CITED the Safe Zone as the University’s current attempt to fulfill LGBTQ students’ “needs,” which came out of conversations the University had with students in years past. The program utilizes trained administrators and faculty to provide a place for LGBTQ students who have questions or need support, according to Hutchinson. The program trains allies about the proper support techniques that align with the University’s Catholic and Vincentian missions. These allies are then certified to accept these students in various locations around campus. These locations, often the allies’ offices, post a STJ Safe Zone sticker on the door to inform students. “That may be slow, but we have really shifted on campus toward a more open and welcoming environment,” Julie Carter, an associate professor in the School of Education, who was trained as an ally, said. “I think the University should be recognized for that movement, and the Safe Zone training was their way of sort of publicly acknowledging that.” “However,” she added, “I think the University needs to do more,” citing how the school has lagged behind other Catholic universities on gay rights issues. No allies or students contacted by the Torch had ever participated in a Safe Zone connection and several students were unaware of the program’s existence or dismissive of its effectiveness. “The Safe Zone is a smoke screen used by the administration to look like they are doing something and to appease students who have asked for some sort of representation,” sophomore Aaron Scyoc said. “It’s their way of doing the bare minimum to show that they are doing something, but without actually having an organization on campus.” The program was created in recent years as a result of a request from students to create a gay-straight alliance club on campus, a request that was de-
nied by St. John’s. In addition to Safe Zone, the University provides “How You Doin’” meetings facilitated by two administrators and held about once a month. For current students, however, these meetings are not enough. Junior Keshia Pitt, who is an active member in the group, doesn’t believe that enough is being done for the community, which she says is demonstrated by the fact that usually no more than 20 people attend the meetings. “A meeting once a month is not enough, especially when we can’t even openly call it LGBT or do much advertising beyond word of mouth and don’t have the funds or permission to hold proper events,” Pitt said. “Most people don’t even know it exists.” Senior Matt Avant, a strong supporter of LGBTQ rights, said that the University’s programs fall short of his expectations. “It’s important that it be easy to find [the LGBTQ student organization] or come across it, not something you need to secretly seek out in the cover of the night. Ultimately it’s about letting people belong, giving people a place where they can feel comfortable and at home and not threatened for who they are and whom they love.” The University believes that the programs currently offered to LGBTQ students are adequate, but if students feel that they are being underrepresented, Hutchinson stressed that they should bring it to the attention of the administration. “The reality is that we’re a large university, and students will have lots of different needs,” Hutchinson said. “Some we’ll be able to fulfill, and some we may not be able to fulfill, but if we don’t at least have a conversation we don’t have an opportunity to determine if we can try.” However, many of the students who the Torch interviewed spoke about the hostile environment they have found themselves in at St. John’s. They say that
approaching the administration isn’t really an option for them, as they don’t see the University as trying to help. “I feel like by not being helpful, it’s hostile,” Kevin Wolfring, a junior, said. “Especially when there are so many other groups on campus, for every other minority, that are getting money and the support of the University to do what they want to do.” Despite the University’s perceived hostility toward gay students, St. John’s has expanded its non-discrimination policy in recent years. The policy on the University’s web site states, “St. John’s University does not discriminate on the basis of…sexual orientation.” While some students say they have never felt outwardly discriminated against on a personal basis, many of those contacted disagree with how that policy is put into practice. “You can’t put [gays and lesbians] in the non-discrimination agreement and then discriminate,” Wolfring said. “That’s not the way that it works. You can’t just do that. That’s not fair. They literally need to look at what they are saying and do the things that they are saying.” Avant says he especially identifies with the plight of gay students at St. John’s because he is often misidentified as one. “New students coming here who are just finding their place in the world, maybe just coming out of the closet, are sort of bereft of a place to turn to. I know people who are seniors at St. John’s who are just now coming out because they are just now finding the courage to do so and that sucks to have to hide who you are for four years when you’re supposed to be discovering who you are. It’s not fair.” Additional reporting by Michael E. Cunniff, Editor-in-Chief and Nicole Valente, Managing Editor
AS A CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY, SHOULD ST. JOHN’S HAVE A LGBTQ ORGANIZATION?
Kristian Charlton Sophomore
Johnny Moran Freshman
Nancy Bai Freshman
“Well people should do whatever they want. It’s 2013 people.”
“I think that there would be a “safer zone” if straights and gays can come together and learn more about each other.”
Sean McCarthy Sophomore
“I don’t agree with it personally, but it’s in line with their belief.”
“I agree that it’s part of their religion but it’s a diverse school and accepting of everything.”
Grammys: Mumford & So. score, JT returns
PHOTO COURTESY OF NYDAILYNEWS.COM Marcus Mumford accepts Mumford and Sons’ Grammy for Album of the Year.
Contributing Writer If you watched the beginning of this year’s Grammy Awards, you probably thought you tuned into the wrong channel. Taylor Swift’s circus-themed opening act was questionable. The performance was probably one of the biggest productions Swift has put on thus far, but many are wondering if it was Swift’s induction into the illustrious Illuminati. Despite Swift’s inauspicious opening act, it kicked-off an award show that was entertaining, interesting and definitely worthy of garnering 28 million viewers. Early on in the night, Jennifer Lopez took the stage with Pitbull to present the award for Best Pop Solo Performance. Every eye in the house was glued to Lopez’s thigh which was barely covered by her risque dress. Lopez joked that she clearly received the Grammys memo, which told attending celebs to cover up for the show. Beyonce and an enamored Ellen DeGeneres took to the stage introduce the performance millions waited for – the return of Justin Timberlake. The screen turned black and white as JT & the Tennessee Kids appeared in a faux jazz club ala 1940’s as they opened with Timberlake’s new single, “Suit & Tie”. Epic hardly describes the performance which was taken to another level by Jay-Z as he got up from his seat, microphone in hand, and joined Timberlake onstage to perform his verse.
After the collaboration, the color came back as Timberlake premiered a track called “Pusher Love Girl,” ending in a well deserved standing ovation. A stunning Kelly Rowland, in one of the hottest dresses and underrated dresses of the night, along with Nas presented a humble Frank Ocean with the award for Best Urban/Contemporary Album for his smash album, Channel Orange as Ocean’s mother looked on proudly while her son accepted the award. Chris Brown remained in his seat, continuing their public beef, as everyone stood up to give him a hand. Later in the night, Ocean boldy and beautifully performed the beautiful Channel Orange track “Forrest Gump.” The most emotional performances of the night were the tributes. One to Bob Marley, featuring Bruno Mars, Sting, Rihanna, and Marley’s sons, Ziggy and Damien. Fronted by Mars, the energetic performance got everyone on their feet. The tribute to the Band drummer Levon Helm, following the “In Memorium” segment, however, had everyone in tears. Zac Brown, Mumford and Sons and an overpowering Mavis Staples evoked a church service as their performance rivaled Timberlake’s return for the best moment of the night Before host LL Cool J’s closing notes, the most coveted award, Album of the Year, was presented by Adele and went to fellow Brits, Mumford & Sons, for their second album, Babel. It was the group’s second Grammy alongside their win for Best Long Form Video for their concert film, Big Easy Express. The pair of trophies were the group’s first after being shut out their previous six times out.
Corp.’s and flicks own Super Bowl ads DOMINIQUE MUSA Contributing Writer
Football fans everywhere may be upset that season is over, but there were multiple things that stuck with us beyond the Super Bowl. No, not the Baltimore Ravens taking home their second title in franchise history, but the commercials. Commercials that air during the Super Bowl are always highly coveted for companies and viewers, with CBS bringing in a grand total of $240 million in advertisement revenue. Even non-football fans tune in to the big event just to check out the commercials so they can stay in the loop of postgame commercial conversation at the watercooler. Popular car and snack companies consumed most of the airtime as some of the most creative and clever commercials came from the “usual suspects.” Doritos’ ad features a man who loves the chips so much that, on impulse, buys a goat who also likes Doritos. The relationship starts off fine but after a while the goat continues to eat and adore Doritos, while it seems the man has stopped, especially during the quiet times of the day. The goat then gets angry once he finds out that they are out of Doritios, so he proceeds to destroy the house. While doing so, he discovers his owner locked in a room filled with Doritos and making a “Goat 4 Sale” sign. The ad ends with the goat closing the door and cornering in a scared owner. Ads from big time companies weren’t the only ones having all the fun at the between punts, trailers from highly
anticipated films got to shine as well. The movie adaptation of The Lone Ranger, 21 and Over, Brad Pitt’s World War Z, and the star studded The Great and Powerful Oz were among a few of the pictures highlighted. Trends in Super Bowl commercials have changed over the years and this year’s championship game followed the trend. In years past, one would have to wait until the first exchange of possessions to watch the new ads. But in recent years, many commercials have aired both before game and even afterwards.
Super Bowl by the numbers:
•An average of 108.41 million viewers tuned in, compared to 111.3 million a year ago (Reuters) •Advertisers paid $4 million on average for a 30-second spot during the game (Reuters) •Highest-rated period of the game occurred from 10:30 p.m. to 10:47 p.m (Reuters)
PHOTO COURTESY OF WXERFM.COM
Doritos had one of the funnier commercials of the night with “Goat 4 Sale.”
‘The Mecca’ for the first time with Storm HARRY SAUNDERS Staff Writer
It is safe to say that in spite of its popularity not only on these shores, but also in large parts of Europe, basketball is not one of the U.K.’s premier sports. In fact, I have never witnessed a game live, or even watched more than 10 minutes on TV, and could probably name you less than ten NBA players. Nonetheless, the Olympics in London last summer has given a fresh boost to the sport in my home country, to back up the emergence of Luol Deng of the Chicago Bulls a few years ago, perhaps the most famous and highest paid British sportsman that no one in the U.K. has ever heard of. With the increased exposure for the sport in Europe in mind, it seemed appropriate for me to partake in a game; not to mention the prominence the sport has here at St. John’s. With the new semester here, it seemed a prime opportunity to travel into Manhattan for a game between the Red Storm and the Huskies of University of Connecticut at Madison Square Garden. I witnessed the passion of the Red Zone supporters at the soccer and volleyball games last semester, but with basketball being arguably St John’s flagship sport, and taking into account the team itself’s high esteem, I expected the support to be on another level, and I was certainly not disappointed. The venue itself is, as the stadium announcer proudly declared, the world’s most famous arena, and certainly a fit-
ting venue for my first ever basketball game. Sitting proudly in midtown Manhattan, “The Garden” has a metropolitan setting that few other arenas can boast, and its imposing presence gives it a certain allure that makes the place feel even more special. The huge interior, however, also had a reasonably intimate feel to it. My seat felt incredibly close to the action, and the St. John’s opponent at either end of the court created the atmosphere that basketball teams must surely crave on occasions such as this. As the game reached its commencement, I looked around at the more than significant spectator turnout. The anticipation was clearly at its maximum, and I certainly couldn’t wait for the tip-off. The game itself was excellent. While the Red Storm opened up an early lead, they couldn’t hold on to it as the game went on, eventually leading to St John’s falling just behind later on. A late flurry from our side stunted Connecticut momentum and the players’ efforts in the closing stages were enough to see the Red Storm home 71-65. All in all, my first basketball game was a huge success. A wonderful venue, a blistering atmosphere and a winning score line, all combined for an excellent evening out in Manhattan. Well, except for the relatively minor inconvenience of paying $5 for a bottle of water, the game went off without a hitch, and an evening watching the St John’s basketball team is certainly one that I will be taking the opportunity to do again. Harry Saunders is an international student from London, England.
TORCH PHOTO/DIANA COLAPIETRO
Freshman Felix Balamou plays for the Red Storm at Madison Square Garden.
This week in show biz
PHOTO COURTESY OF POPDUST.COM
Frank Ocean, above, performing at the Grammy’s, where he took home two awards.
Timberlake, Jay-Z to tour this summer
Bieber and Keys’ Carney in a tiff
Justin Timberlake and Jay-Z are planning to go on tour this summer. According to The New York Post, JT said that they are “definitely going to go on tour.” “I don't know how much I should say,” said Timberlake. “It's going to be a lot of fun, I know that.” The duo recently hit the stage together at the Grammys to perform their new hit collaboration, “Suit & Tie.”
A day after the Black Keys scooped up three Grammys, Justin Bieber Tweeted that Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney “should be slapped around” in response to Carney’s comments regarding the Grammys snubbing Bieber. Carney told TMZ, who asked for his thoughts on Bieber’s lack of nods this year. “I dunno, he’s rich, right?” Carney responded. “Grammys are for, like, music, not for money. . . . He’s making a lot of money. He should be happy.”
Walking Dead garners 12 million viewers
Braxton won’t make new music, will act
The Walking Dead returned for its third season on Sunday night garnering the largest audience in the show’s history. According to Wired, more than 12 million viewers tuned in to watch all the zombie action, beating the series’ previous high of 10.9 million viewers. The highly anticipated episode outdid all other broadcasts of the evening with the exception of the Grammy Awards, which peaked at over 40 million views.
For the few who were looking forward to a new album by Toni Braxton, your hopes end here. Braxton announced that she is retiring from the music business because she no longer feels the “excitement”. The R&B singer will continue to tour but she said she wants to pursue an acting career. Braxton said by acting, she could “escape all her realities.” In 2007, Braxton filed for bankruptcy and in 2010, announced that she suffered from lupus.
Focus turns to Pitino’s bunch Johnnies will face yet another ranked foe with or without Lavin
game win steak snapped by No. 25 Notre Dame on Saturday in a game that took five overtimes to decide. Louisville is led by junior guard Russ Smith, nicknamed “Russdiculous” for his combined ability to create inconceivable shots and his habit of making questionable plays. Pitino’s team can score, rebound, pass and defend as efficiently as almost any team in the country, but like their best player showed in their loss to the Irish, the Cardinals have displayed a tendency to play down to their opponent. Although they dropped their last game to Syracuse, St. John’s has won six of their last eight contests. Five of the Red Storm’s final seven opponents are currently ranked, so if St. John’s wants an NCAA Tournament bid, a win against a Louisville could send them on the fast track to the big dance.
Assistant Sports Editor The St. John’s men’s basketball team will head down to Kentucky tomorrow to face No. 12 Louisville for the latter game of a back-to-back road trip against ranked opponents, and are hoping to celebrate Valentine’s Day with something everybody loves – winning. The Red Storm are looking to bounce back from a blowout loss to No. 9 Syracuse on Sunday, falling 77-58. St. John’s was without head coach Steve Lavin against the Orange, as his father Cap had passed away the night before, and it was clear that other members of the staff were affected as well. Assistant coach Rico Hines was left in charge, but was understandably more focused on the loss of a legend than his team’s struggles. “What a tough way to come out and be a head coach for the first time, huh? Losing Cap is a big blow,” Hines told reporters. “He was an ambassador of the game. He loved the game of basketball. My heart was heavy all day. It
TORCH PHOTO/DIANA COLAPIETRO
Sir’Dominic Pointer and Chris Obekpa have been key contributors this year.
was a tough day.” Lavin’s status for the Louisville game is TBA, according to a press re-
lease fro. The well-rounded Cardinals, coached by Rick Pitino, recently had their three-
To keep up with all the latest updates on St. John’s Athletics, be sure to follow @TorchSports on Twitter!
Lavin-less Johnnies fall victim to ‘Cuse Emotional afternoon at the Carrier Dome sees Red Storm come up short ANTHONY O’REILLY
News Editor Lately, all the men’s basketball team can think about is hearing their name on Selection Sunday. A win over Syracuse on Feb. 10 would have put them in a good position to get there. The Johnnies, however, fell to the then-No. 9 Orange 77-58 in a heartbreaking day both on and off the court. In addition to the daunting task of SYRACUSE
playing a conference rival in an away game at a raucous venue most of the players on the team have never set foot in before, the Johnnies were dealt the tragic news of the passing of Albert “Cap” Lavin, the father of head coach Steve Lavin. Lavin left earlier that morning to head back to San Francisco, while his players were notified of the senior Lavin’s passing before tip-off. “You could see people’s air just go,” D’Angelo Harrison told reporters after the game. “It’s crazy. I can’t explain it. It was just quiet in the room.”
Assistant Coach Rico Hines led the team in his first appearance as a head coach. “What a tough way to come out and be a head coach for the first time, huh?” Hines said. The news seemed to take its toll on the Johnnies, as Syracuse made 50 percent of its shots in the first half. The Orange was also given a boost by returning senior forward James Southerland. Southerland was declared eligible for play that morning, after serving a six-game suspension, reportedly due to academic-related concerns. Syracuse took the lead early, leading 21-10 in the first 10 minutes. The Red Storm trailed by as many as 15 points twice during the first half before cutting the deficit down to 37-24 at halftime. The Orange forced a total of 11 turnovers in the first half alone. Coming out of the locker room after halftime, the Johnnies brought the pressure to the Orange, scoring five points and forcing coach Jim Boeheim to call a time out following a three from Harrison. “We had a great spirited talk at halftime,’’ Hines said. “They kind of let it all hang out a little bit after halftime.’’ JaKarr Sampson scored a team-high 21 points, 14 of them coming in the sec-
ond half. Harrison had 13 on the night, including two threes. “Our kids fought,” Hines said. “They worked as hard as they possibly could.” St. John’s brought the score to as close as 48-43 at the 11:45 mark, following a 9-2 run that included a three pointer from Marco Bourgault. It proved to be too little too late, as Southerland managed to score 11 points in the second half, including two threes in the span of
just over a minute. “Getting Southerland back makes them a whole different ball club,” Hines said. The road does not get any easier for the Johnnies, as they go on the road again to face off against No. 12 Lousiville on Feb. 14. It’s unclear whether Lavin will be back on the bench for that game.
TORCH PHOTO/DIANA COLAPIETRO
JaKarr Sampson was named Big East Rookie of the Week for the sixth time.
Seniors lead way to OT victory
McKenith and Smith at it again as they put up big numbers against Georgetown KYLE FITZGERALD Staff Writer The St. John’s women’s basketball team edged out Sugar Rodgers and Georgetown University with a 76-72 effort that extended into overtime on Saturday. ST. JOHN’S
After tying the game with 20 seconds left in regulation, the Red Storm (11-10, 5-4) were able to break away from the Hoyas (13-10, 4-6) in overtime. Shenneika Smith recorded 26 points in 45 minutes of play and Nadirah McKenith recorded 16 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds, two shy of a triple-double. “We need them to be good leaders and they’ve done that,” St. John’s head coach Joe Tartamella said. “Together they are much stronger than they are as individuals.” McKenith started the game aggressively, being credited with an assist to Smith and later powering to the basket to tie the game early at 7-7. The remainder of the half served as a testament of the chemistry between Smith and McKenith. Following a defensive rebound, the point guard was able to find Smith and give her an easy shot at
TORCH PHOTO/DIANA COLAPIETRO
Nadirah McKenith was two rebounds away from a triple-double Saturday.
the basket to give the Johnnies a 27-23 lead with two minutes remaining in the half. McKenith was able to find Smith in
the paint shortly after a St. John’s turnover and Smith converted a mid-ranged jumper.
“Four years in the making,” Smith said. “As a point guard, Nadirah knows where the players are on the court. Hopefully, we can continue this chemistry and go further.” The Johnnies were able to put up a couple more points from free throws to walk into half time with a 34-25 advantage. Smith and Mckenith continued to feed off of each other as the second half progressed. With seven minutes remaining, McKenith was able to find Smith unguarded and delivered a ball that met her in the air, which Smith was able to bank in, giving St. John’s a 10 point lead. Rodgers, the second leading scorer in the NCAA, took control of the game from there, scoring 11 points and delivering an assist to give Georgetown a 65-63 lead with less than 40 seconds to play. Smith answered 17 seconds later as she was able to power to the basket, forcing the game into overtime. The Red Storm was able to pull away from the Hoyas in overtime thanks to another McKenith-to-Smith play and two clutch shots from beyond the arch from Briana Brown, giving them an unassailable 76-72 lead. “They really came together and this is a very big first step for us,” Tartamella said. “We couldn’t be prouder of Smith and McKenith and the entire group.” The Johnnies’ next game will be on Wednesday at USF.
Women’s bball looks to gain momentum KYLE FITZGERALD Staff Writer
TORCH PHOTO/DIANA COLAPIETRO
Joe Tartamella on the sidelines of Carnescca Arena earlier in the season.
St. John’s will face off against USF on Wednesday at 4:00pm. Originally scheduled for Tuesday evening, the game was postponed because of Winter Storm Nemo. The Red Storm (11-10, 5-4) are coming off a 76-72 overtime victory over Georgetown on Saturday, while the Bulls (16-6, 5-4) have a two-game home stand after consecutive victories on the road against Big East foes Pittsburgh and Providence. Seniors Shenneika Smith and Nadirah McKenith will pilot their team against the Bulls. McKenith, who recently became St. John’s all-time leader in assists, nearly recorded a triple-double against Georgetown on Saturday. She has recorded 113 assists – 5.3 per game - in 20 games played and has an average of 12.8 points per game. Smith was named to the weekly Big East Honor Roll after her 26-point performance against Georgetown. One of the two leaders of the team, she is ranked 18 in the nation in blocks with 2.47 per game. Having only sat out one game this season, she is also the leading scorer for the Red Storm, averaging 17.8 points
per game and a field goal percentage of 37.6 percent Briana Brown will also be a major offensive factor for the Johnnies. She is the leading contributor from threepoint range, as she went 4-for-8 against Georgetown. Two of those came in overtime to help the Johnnies pull away in the final minutes. The Red Storm last played USF at home on Feb. 8 of last year. Led by now-graduate Da’Shena Stevens, the Red Storm won 67-57. Although they don’t have a signature win so far this season, USF pushed No. 2 Notre Dame to overtime on January 8. Senior Andrea Smith tied a career high with 33 points that game – adding 11 rebounds. Andre is not the only Smith on this USF team, the other being her twin sister. Andrell played in all 35 games for the Bulls last year and scored in double digits 17 times. She has started all 22 games this year and is the second leading scorer on the team with 15.4 points per game, just behind her sister who’s averaging 17.4. The Bulls are 9-3 playing at home this year, while the Johnnies are 3-5 on the road. Two of those road losses were to No. 2 Notre Dame, and then-No. 13 Louisville.
Gearing for the postseason
Host of Johnnies qualify for Big East championships in Geneva, Ohio STEPHEN ZITOLO Staff Writer The St. Johns Track and Field team competed in the Lafayette-Rider Winter Games on Friday at the New York City Armory. It was the Red Storm’s last meet before the Big East Indoor Championships at the SPIRE Institute in Geneva, Ohio on Feb. 16. “I feel as the season progressed so did our team and we performed better and better through out the season,” said St. John’s head coach Jim Hurt. “We are really looking forward to participating in the Big East Indoor Championships this weekend and at the USA Championships, The ECAC Championships and The NCAA Indoor Championships that are upcoming in the next few weeks.” Trudy-Ann McLean and Veronica Thompson had standout performances on Friday, as they both qualified to compete at next weekend’s Big East Championships. McLean qualified for the 400m after running a 56.21on Friday. Thompson, who had previously qualified to compete in the 800-meter event next weekend, also ran in the 500m on Friday, running a 1:15.64. Her time guaranteed that she will be competing in both the 800m and 500m at the Big East Championships. “I’m very happy with the performance of our athletes,” Hurt said. “Trudy-Ann McLean and Veronica Thompson performed very well and added to our athletes that will be participating in this weekends Big East Championships. We were also very happy to see Senior Rikka Lovely return to the track
on Friday.” Kerri Butler also had a successful meet, winning her second individual title of her collegiate career, after running a 2:59.92 in the 1000m. However, she missed qualifying for the Big East Championships by under a second. Overall, Hurt is confident heading into the latter stages of the season. “I feel that our team is strong with
Rikka Lovely running the 60 and 200 meters, strong with the athletes we have in the 4x400 relay and we have sprinters like Claire Mooney and Molly Ellis that I feel confident in,” he said. “I also feel Danette Hinton will be a very competitive thrower for us and Stephanie Barnes will be competing in the triple jump for us. Overall I feel we can do very well this weekend.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Trudy-Ann McLean running at the Metropolitan Championships on Jan. 24.
Pushing through adversity
Poignant weekend can inspire Lavin’s men moving forward
Steve Lavin probably wanted the NYC media to focus on the positives that could be taken away from his team’s loss to Syracuse at the Carrier Dome this past Sunday. He’d want journalists to concentrate on how the young Johnnies stuck with a top-10 team in a hostile environment for a decent portion of the game. Unfortunately for Lavin, and the program as a whole, the Johnnies’ upstate struggles weren’t the only major #stjbb storyline from Sunday… Lavin’s father, Albert “Cap” Lavin, passed away this weekend at the age of 82. As any son would do, Lavin jumped aboard a plane to San Francisco to be with his family, while his players were left
without their leader as they entered into battle with an opponent they hadn’t beaten in seven consecutive attempts. As many pundits expected, the Johnnies fell to Syracuse, leaving Lavin without any bit of solace during his time of mourning – a time of mourning that may intertwine with the rest of the Johnnies’ season. I’m in no position to predict or attempt to interpret how a man will react in light of his fathe’s death, but I think it’s important to note that adversity can bring people together. It makes people work harder, push that much further to reach a certain goal. How fitting it is, then, that sports – being one of the most ideal platforms to pay tribute to a loved one – is a major facet of Lavin’s line of work. We hear stories about professional and amateur athletes alike who honor loved ones on the field, pitch, or court all the time.
Think of Brett Favre’s legendary Monday Night performance in Oakland after his father’s death, or Torrey Smith’s remarkable receiving exhibition against the Patriots this past September, hours after his 19-year old brother was killed in a motorcycle accident. It’s impossible to pinpoint why, but there’s something about sports that brings out the best in people during the most trying moments. I can’t guarantee that Lavin and his players will experience the same type of success that Favre or Smith did in the wake of their respective losses, but there’s an extra incentive for the Johnnies. There’s no doubt that they were motivated to reach the NCAA Tournament before this past weekend, but, in the wake of Cap Lavin’s death, their future successes, as well as failures, hold more weight. I fully expect them to reach a gear in the next month that
Leavin’ their Mark Lavin’s return TBA Steve Lavin’s return to the sidelines in the wake of his father’s, Albert “Cap” Lavn’s death, will will be announced in the coming days, according to a press release. Lavin wasn’t present on the sidelines at the Carrier Dome this past weekend, as he traveled home to San Francisco to be with family. “We are grateful for the heartfelt encouragement, prayers and support received since our father’ passing,” Lavin said in the press release. “The thoughtful sentiments and caring messages we received via text, Twitter, e-mail and voicemail from friends, current players, former players, colleagues and college basketball fans have helped to give our family an emotional lift during a challenging time in our lives.” Cap Lavin, 82, played collegiate basketball for the University of San Francisco during the early 1950’s. After college, he dedicated 43 years to the San Francisco public school system as an English teacher for Drake High School before a couple of shorter stints on the collegiate level at Cal, San Francisco State and Dominican College (now Dominican University).
Blowin’ in the Wind
What a tough way to come out and be a head coach for the first time, huh? Losing Cap is a big blow.
nobody expected to be in their arsenal – all fueled by the loss of their coach’s father. Last season, the Johnnies did their best to salvage a sea-St. John’s son that only saw snippets of Assistant Coach coach Lav on the sidelines. The year before that, Lavin Rico Hines and his army of seniors were thrust into their first NCAA Tournament game together without one of their most influential players, DJ KenHeadin’ this Way nedy. Red Storm home games The next couple of weeks will be the first time during the Lavin era that both coach Men’s Basketball: and players will unite during 7 p.m. their clash with adversity. It’s February 20 USF not a circumstance that any- February 24 Pittsburgh 12 p.m. one involved could have anticipated, but this moment of sorrow has the ability to spark Women’s Basketball: something special. February 17 Cincinnati 5 p.m. 2 p.m. Mitchell Petit-Frere is a junior February 23 Rutgers English and journalism major who, on behalf of the Torch, would like to send condolences to the Lavin family.
SPORTS 13 February 2013 | VOLUME 90, ISSUE 16 | TORCHONLINE.COM
LAVIN-LESS JOHNNIES TOURNEY HOPES HIT SNAG AT ‘THE DOME’ PG. 16
TORCH PHOTO/DIANA COLAPIETRO
The men’s basketball team prepares for tough Big East foe Louisville.
The women’s basketball team looks to earn a victory down south when they take on USF.