‘TROUBLING’ TURNS - WILE’S ‘SECRET’ LOANS - HARRINGTON STAYS SILENT - STUDENTS, PROFS SPEAK UP FULL COVERAGE: PGS. 3-5 STAFF EDITORIAL: PG. 10
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Wile’s Wild Ride A look into Wile’s meteoric ascent from soccer champion to Chief of Staff to Fr. Harrington. News pg. 4
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Strange weather from the Nor’easter brought people out to DaSilva Field Friday as the storm left 4 inches of snow on campus.
Mum’s the word in Newman Hall Harrington staying silent as trustees continue investigation
Michael E. Cunniff Editor-in-Chief Nicole Valente Managing Editor Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., President of the University looked at ease Saturday at the men’s basketball team’s game at Madison Square Garden, fist-bumping with athletics officials as rumors swirled about his job security. Facing scrutiny over questionable expenses made by his chief of staff Rob Wile that he approved, Harrington postponed indefinitely two faculty forums and an annual town hall meeting with students. Board of Trustees chairman Peter D’Angelo told the Torch that, contrary to Internet rumors, the Board had not asked Harrington to resign as its outside investigation continues. The board has retained white-collar attorney Frank Wohl.
“We are still reviewing the facts,” D’Angelo said in a phone interview. “So [asking him to resign] would be inappropriate and totally premature.” The board is likely to conclude its investigation before the end of the semester. In an email to the University community Friday, Harrington said he would like to comment on the ongoing affair, but would refrain until Wohl’s investigation concluded. The canceled meetings, however, frustrated both students and faculty alike, as they are some of the rare opportunities for people at St. John’s to address their concerns directly to Harrington. “His job is to lead the staff to create the best students he can and maintain the St. John’s legacy,” sophomore Colby Mrowka said. “He lacks leadership and integrity and cannot face his staff or his students.” Harrington and Wile were the subject of yet another New York Torch photo/ kieran lynch Magazine report last week, which said that Wile received a $100,000 personal Harrington at STJ basketball game.
loan from Thomas McInereney, a current board member who previously served as chair, in 2007. The loan was not reported to the Board. Wile was the University’s second most highly paid employee in 2010, earning more than $500,000, trailing only men’s basketball coach Steve Lavin. As such, his salary had to be approved by the board that McInerney chaired at the time. It first went through the audit and compensation committee, of which McInerney was also a voting member. NY Mag, which also reported that Wile received a second personal loan from a contractor who has done work for the university, quoted a Yale dean who called the loans a “gross conflict of interest,” a characterization that former federal prosecutor Douglas Burns agreed with when contacted by the Torch. The latest report also detailed how Wile had been given two interest-free loans totaling $350,000 by the university in 2006 and 2008 in addition to his sixfigure salary. -Continued on page 5
Students upset with misuse of tuition Anthony O’Reilly News Editor Kieran Lynch Features Editor Students have been up in arms recently about reports of Robert Wile, chief of staff to Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., President of the University, receiving $350,000 in reportedly interest-free loans during his tenure at St. John’s. Wile received a $100,000 interestfree loan in 2006 and another in 2008 for $250,000, according to the New York Magazine report. The University’s tax returns from 2010, the last year publicly available, show that Wile has paid back $100,000 of the total amount loaned to him. Wile has been given those loans in addition to his total salary of more than $500,000, which was second among current employees only to men’s basketball coach Steve Lavin, according to tax returns. The Torch has learned that those loans came from the University’s general fund, which includes students’ tuition. A University spokesperson declined to comment about that, citing the ongoing investigation by an attorney retained by the Board of Trustees. “I definitely think that’s unfair,” Mayra Mavarez, a junior, said. “My parents are busting their butts for me to go here and that’s not cool.” University students contacted by the
Torch said they are outraged about the use of their tuition dollars to benefit an employee, not the university. “It makes me very angry,” Jordan Carr, a sophomore, said. “I expect my tuition to go to things like better technology or to professors.” Many students thought the review by white-collar attorney Frank Wohl would lead to Harrington resigning. “It’s terrible that someone is abusing the system and now all the students have to suffer,” Mike DeBenedetto, a sophomore, said. “We should get reimbursed [for the money spent on the loans],” added Nadia Abreu, a sophomore. “He’s going to buy himself out of it.” Students who wished to question Harrington about the ongoing scandal learned last week that the annual town hall meeting – scheduled to take place with the president present – was canceled, then postponed indefinitely. The annual town hall meeting is held by Student Government, Inc. and the department of student affairs and gives students the opportunity to talk to highlevel administrators in the University. Past town hall meetings have included the president, provost, deans of the colleges and representatives from other departments. Elizabeth Reilly, director of media relations, said the meeting was “was postponed three weeks ago and is being rescheduled.” Mark Benavides, the organizations committee chairman in charge of
organizing the town hall, said via email that he did not know why the event was postponed or when the future town hall will be hosted. “I feel as if he rescheduled the town hall meeting because he knows that he betrayed his staff and left them in the dark about the Chang incident,” sophomore Colby Mrowka said. “By Fr. Harrington canceling the town hall meeting it sends a message that he can put the voices and opinions of his faculty and students on hold.” Benavides said that although the event’s cancellation may be seen a negative decision, he believes Harrington hasn’t forgotten about the students’ grievances. “I know that Fr. Harrington is honestly concerned with the student body and all the issues that we would bring up at the town hall,” Benavides said. “It is unfortunate that the town hall was canceled, because I know many students look forward to the one chance a year they get to address the concerns they have, directly to the president of the University.” In an email to the University community last Friday, Harrington said he would like to answer questions about the allegations but “it is appropriate” for him to remain silent while the Board of Trustees reviews the situation. Still, senior Calvin Sage said that the town hall should go on with or without the presence of Harrington. Regardless, the timing didn’t sit right with him. “It does seem a little fishy that they
rescheduled it around the same time that Fr. Harrington comes out and says he wants to keep quiet,” he said. Students are especially upset that this year’s town hall has been canceled because of all the unanswered questions students have after recent reports. “I love St. John’s but when I hear this kind of stuff I feel they should keep us more informed,” Catalina Pacheco, a senior, said. “They should let us know what they’re doing with our money. It’s disheartening.” Stephen Ruskay, a senior, is worried about the reputation of the University in light of the reports. “People aren’t going to want to attend [St. John’s] if they know that’s where their money is going,” he said. “It’s totally unacceptable.” The vast majority of the students contacted by the Torch believe that Harrington should step down. Carr said the allegations of misuse of funds that are alleged to have taken place under Harrington’s watch signals that “he doesn’t uphold the integrity of the office of president.” Other students couldn’t even bring themselves to utter his name, such was their anger at what has emerged in recent reports. “I have nothing to say about that man.” Mike Palmer, a junior, said. Additional reporting by Anthony Parelli, Matthew Wolfson, Assistant Sports Editors, Jarrod Jenkins, Assistant News Editor, and Jordan Marty
Wile’s Wild Ride
A look into how Robert Wile got to be Harrington’s right hand man Shannon Luibrand Assistant Features Editor Rob Wile walked off the pitch during the 1996 NCAA soccer championship game with tears welling in his eyes. What should have been his moment of glory quickly turned into a moment of despair for the then-sophomore defender’s college soccer career. In a six minute span late in the second half, Wile received two yellow cards and was sent off the field. He spent most of the final 12 minutes in the locker-room watching his team seal its 4-1 win over FIU on television. Three years later, he took a different walk, virtually walking off the stage at graduation into the office of the president. Beginning as an administrative assistant, Wile quickly rose through the ranks to become the chief of staff to Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., President of the University, only five years after earning his diploma. Today, he finds himself as the latest high-ranking University official caught up in the aftermath of Chang scandal, seeing his once-private business dealings detailed in published reports.
McInerney also served on the audit and compensation committee, NY Mag reported. That committee was responsible for approving Wile’s salary, according to University officials. Because Wile’s salary was one of the highest at the school, the Trustees also had to approve it, University officials said. Soccer champion Wile’s ascent through the University ranks was a quick one, something few who knew him back when he was a St. John’s student-athlete foresaw. “He didn’t really stand out. He was just like an average guy,” Dylan Butler, a former Torch Managing Editor who covered men’s soccer, said. “On the field he was a hard
from Chang after his father passed away. According to university officials, Harrington’s usual priestly delegation was unavailable to accompany him, which is why he asked Wile to join him. The offer was also extended to Wile’s then-girlfriend, Gabrielle Weir, a St. John’s sophomore at the time. Wile spent more than $8,000 on the Taishin card while on this trip, according to credit card statements. Chief of Staff Wile became Harrington’s chief of staff in 2004, his third promotion in five years. Wile serves as the liaison between the President and all constituencies,
according to his biography on St. John’s website. He also oversees several offices on campus including the office of community, corporate and media relations and has met with the King of Thailand and the President of the Republic of Ireland, his biography says. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for St. John’s Bread and Life. Reflecting on his boss of more than 13 years, Wile is effusive in his praise. On the St. John’s University website, Wile is quoted saying, “Fr. Harrington is a man of incredible integrity. One always knows that what he commits to .... There are no empty promises around here.”
Questionable charges A recent report in New York Magazine detailed how Wile racked up thousands of dollars worth of questionable charges on a Taishin credit card authorized by Harrington and given to him by disgraced former dean Cecilia Chang, according to credit card statements obtained by the Torch. The University ultimately paid for those charges, including $1,200 at Prada Wile had that card, Harrington testified last fall in Chang’s federal trial, because Harrington’s Asia delegation once ran into trouble trying to use the University’s American Express card. Wile was given the card on Chang’s recommendation, and both Chang and Harrington were to be informed of every purchase he made on the card, Harrington testified. Yet according to published reports and credit card statements viewed by the Torch, none of the purchases Wile made came from Japan, China or Taiwan, the places where Harrington had problems with his card in the past. Instead, money was spent at a casino in Las Vegas, on nightclubs in the city, expensive dinners in New Jersey and liquor stores in Westbury. He also took out four loans worth at least $80,000 each, according to tax returns and reports in New York Magazine. Two of them were reportedly interest-free loans totaling $350,000 given to him by the University that were reported to the Board of Trustees. Two of them, one from the thenchair of the Board of Trustees and one from a contractor who worked for St. John’s, were not reported, according to NY Mag, raising questions about potential conflicts of interests. One of the unreported loans, worth $100,000 came from then-Board chair Tom McInerney, according to NY Mag.
TORCH FILE PHOTO
Rob Wile in 1997
worker.” The win, St. John’s first National Championship in any sport, made the soccer team instant heroes on campus. The summer after the soccer team won the national championship, Harrington took Wile and the rest of the team to Europe. During their time, Harrington arranged a private audience for the team with Pope John Paul II. Wile and Harrington struck up a friendship on this trip, University officials told the Torch. In 1999, Wile graduated and was hired as an administrative assistant in Harrington’s office. Wile was quickly promoted to assistant to the president and then, in 2001, Wile’s ascent continued with his promotion to executive assistant to the president. Wile was so trusted by Harrington that he served on the five-person committee to replace men’s basketball coach Mike Jarvis after he was fired in 2003. That committee spent more than two months, February through April 2004, searching for a head coach before settling on Norm Roberts. In 2003, Wile traveled with Harrington to Turks and Caicos. University officials tell the Torch that Harrington believed the trip was a gift
PHOTO COURTESY OF STJOHNS.EDU
Wile’s photo from his staff biography on St. John’s website.
From DaSilva to Newman: Wile’s ascent Fall 1995: Enrolls at St. John’s on athletic scholarship Dec. 1996: Sent off in St. John’s 4-1 National Championship game win over FIU Summer 1997: Goes to Europe with men’s soccer team and Fr. Harrington, meets pope May 1999: Graduates from St. John’s, begins job as administrative assistant in president’s office soon after 2000: Promoted to assistant to the president, takes trip to Asia with Harrington 2001: Promoted to executive assistant to the president. 2003: Takes trips to Turks and Caicos with Harrington, given credit card by Cecilia Chang 2004: Promoted to chief of staff to the president 2006: Named acting VP of institutional advancement 2008: Named VP of insitutional advancement 2011: Named senior VP of instituional advancement
College Dems Tenured profs. speak out against Wile allegations talk GSA with admin.
Peter Long Entertainment Editor
Anthony O’Reilly News Editor Faculty members who spoke to the Torch – most on the condition of anonymity – say they are frustrated by the allegations published in New York Magazine of the misuse of University funds that could have been used to further their departments. On the heels of the Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., postponing the upcoming faculty forum, members also said they are bothered by a lack of effective communication avenues between themselves and the University’s most senior officials. Professors who wish to question Harrington about the allegations that have come to light throughout the Cecilia Chang scandal say they have no avenue now to do so. “Where should a response come from? What platform? There is no platform,” said a tenured professor, who originally spoke on the record, but later asked to remain anonymous. “Departments have faculty councils which could be considered a venue for faculty, but it is not sufficient for what we need to be a successful institution.” Elizabeth Reilly, director of media relations, said of the canceled faculty
forum, “Dr. Mangione, Provost, has One faculty member, Dr. Leonard addressed the faculty regarding the Brosgole, a psychology professor in postponement of the faculty forum, his 45th year in Queens, says that which will be rescheduled at the earliest fundraising has been Harrington’s convenience.” focus all along. Professors say they must submit “I’ve always had a sense that he is their questions to Harrington ahead a businessman, his priority is money,” of time prior to the faculty forums. Brosgole told the Torch. “He has Now, without the next never had a feel forum scheduled, for academics some professors are and things have worried that the forum changed here at with Harrington will St. John’s since not be rescheduled, he came here 20 given current events. years ago.” “If the forum was Brosgole not rescheduled, it said at annual would be unprecedented - A tenured professor c e l e b r a t i o n s , in my experience here,” specifically 25th one professor said. anniversaries Professors asked for anonymity for professors, Harrington has often because they feared repercussions to addressed the faculty as his “fellow their department for speaking out about stockholders” and referred to himself such a sensitive matter involving the as the “CEO” of the University. University president. In an email sent to the University Regarding the published reports community last Friday, Harrington that revealed tens of thousands of said he would like to answer questions dollars spent by Harrington and chief about the allegations but “it is of staff Robert Wile on trips, some appropriate” that he refrains until an faculty members wish that money outside attorney hired by the Board of could have been directed more often Trustees completes his review of the toward academics. matter. “Money used inappropriately by the That leaves professors in a waiting university are funds that could be used game. to help research and build our brand Said one, “you’d think an institution across the country,” said one tenured like St. John’s would want to clear the professor. air.”
Where should a response come from? What platform? There is no platform.
Wile’s loans under scrutiny provability and intent,” Burns said. “If he intentionally received those loans [to benefit GRH] then it’s a serious Those loans were approved by ethical breach, a conflict of interest and the Board on the recommendation of a degradation of fiduciary duties… You Harrington, according to NY Mag. have to wonder, why is the University Harrington and Wile were in on lending money to this guy in the first a real estate venture under a holding place?” company called GRH Group LLC The Torch has learned that the from 2004 to 2008, in which they two loans from St. John’s to Wile came out spent more than $600,000 on a house of the University’s general fund, which that they includes students’ later flipped tuition. If he intentionally for nearly The University received those loans [to declined to comment double that. University the matter, citing benefit GRH] then it’s a on officials the Board of Trustees’ serious ethical breach, a ongoing investigation. h a v e said that officials conflict of interest and a University Harrington have previously made no degradation of fiduciary said that all money that profit in the former dean Cecilia duties… You have to deal, though Chang embezzled Burns – was taken from wonder, why is the the former monies allocated to f e d e r a l University lending money the Center of Asian prosecutor Studies. to this guy in the first contacted The latest scrutiny place? by the Torch has sprung in part – said the - Former federal prosecutor from reports saying loans could Douglas Burns on reportedly that Wile used a present credit card interest-free loans Rob Wile Taishin problems issued to him by received from St. John’s. Chang for various because of the business personal expenses that relationship were later billed to the between Wile and Harrington. University. “It’s a question of evidence, Harrington testified in Chang’s Continued from pg. 3
federal trial in October that he and Chang both approved every charge Wile made, which included items such as a $298 charge at an pro shop outside Atlantic City. Harrington further testified that he had allowed Chang to issue the Taishin card to Wile because they sometimes ran into trouble using the University’s American Express card in Asia. However, according to reports and credit card statements obtained by the Torch, the vast majority of purchases made by Wile’s card were done in the U.S., and none were used in Japan, Taiwan or mainland China – the purported reason behind issuing the card in the first place. University officials told the Torch last week that neither Harrington nor Wile knew that the charges from Wile’s card were being submitted in Chang’s fraudulent expense reports to St. John’s. See pg. 6 for a graphic outlining the financial relationships between Wile and senior officials at St. John’s. Additional reporting by Peter Long, Entertainment Editor, Kieran Lynch, Features Editor, Anthony O’Reilly, News Editor, and Shannon Luibrand, Assistant Features Editor
Anthony O’Reilly News Editor Members of the College Democrats met with Dr. Kathryn Hutchinson, vice president of student affairs, last Thursday to push for creating an on campus Gay Straight Alliance. The College Democrats presented Hutchinson at the meeting with the more than 1,000 names of students who signed a petition supporting an on-campus GSA. The petition was launched by the College Democrats on Feb. 21. In an email to the Torch, Hutchinson said about the meeting, “We had a very engaging and respectful first meeting.” “This is a topic that touches our university community in many ways and therefore we will continue to meet and have on-going dialogue.” The University told the Torch last month it would not recognize such an alliance because it would conflict with Catholic principles. The University currently offers a “Safe Zone” program – on call “allies” to provide support- along with monthly support meetings. Last month, several students told the Torch they were dissatisfied with the current options. Donya Nasser, the secretary of the College Democrats, said the group would continue to hold meetings with Hutchinson, as well as other members of the University about the matter. The next meeting, scheduled to take place on next Friday, will also include members from Campus Ministry. Last week’s meeting with Hutchinson came after members of the College Democrats reached out to their faculty advisor, Brian Browne, in the hopes of meeting with the administration, according to the group’s vice president Maria Bernadzikowski. In an interview with the Torch on March 5, Bernadzikowski said the group was then contacted by Dominic Scianna, associate vice president for external relations, saying the administration would be happy to meet with the students. The College Democrats said they were recently contacted by the Human Rights Campaign, a non-profit organization that “works to ensure LGBT people of their basic equal rights, and can be open, honest and safe at home, at work and in the community,” according to their website. Nasser said the head of HRC’s campus outreach program found them through the “St. John’s Students for a Gay Straight Alliance” Facebook page, and contacted them to see how they might be able to provide assistance. Read all of our articles online at torchonline.com. Also make sure to follow us on Twitter @STJTorch and like us on Facebook for breaking news.
Follow the Money
The latest reports about unreported loans given to Rob Wile by a former board member and a contractor with ties to St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s have raised questions about potential conflicts of interests. In addition, the business relationship between Wile and Rev. Donald J. Harrington, President of the University posed problems as it related to their relationship at St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s, where Wile reported to Harrington. This graphic attempts to articulate the connection between otherwise faceless individuals whom Wile had financial, business or other dealings with in his time at St. Johnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s. This chart has been put together using information from New York Magazine reports as well as comments from University officials.
Q&A: Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn Half the Sky authors sit down with the Torch before their big speech Anthony O’Reilly News Editor New York Times columnist and Pulitzer Prize winning author Nicholas Kristof, and his wife Sheryl WuDunn, visited St. John’s on March 12 to discuss their book Half the Sky, which tackles the issue of women’s rights around the world. The two sat down with the Torch for an interview before their speech. Torch: What made you decide to dedicate an entire book to the topic? Nicholas Kristof: In a 800-word column you can have a whack at it here or there but we really wanted to attack it more systematically and in a way that we couldn’t in a 800 word column. So then once we had thought about the book, we thought, well, TV documentary, facebook game, this kind of thing too. T: Did the reporting for the book differ from the reporting you do for your columns? NK: It was special reporting just for the book. We were looking for the very best stories and the most telling stories that would eliminate the way when you educate girls, when you empower women, you really get leverage to achieve far reaching changes in the world. T: How was the title for the book chosen? NK: At the end of the day, we were wrestling with a lot of different titles, and we were looking for something lyrical and something that’s more positive, a little more uplifting so we reached for Chinese proverb. Sheryl WuDunn: I wrote a chapter
on women in China and in that I referred to Mao Zedong, his saying, women hold up half the sky and of course, when Mao said it at the time, he said it for certain, possibly manipulative reasons, but in any case, the result is, that he did elevate the status of women. That is one of the positive legacies that he’s left. He’s done a lot of other things sort to speak but this was one of the most positive legacies that he left, that it’s not unusual in China for women to hold jobs, it’s almost expected and that’s not true for the rest of the developing world and women have a very strong position in that family household and yes, there’s a lot of bad things that are going on in China as well but if I were to be born a woman in a developing world, I’d much rather it be in China than in other parts of the world. T: At any time during the research for the book, did you find yourselves overwhelmed by what you were experiencing? NK: Some of the reporting was heartbreaking but it’s also true that side by side with the worst of humanity, you end up seeing the very best and so we saw some really terrible atrocities and some enormous heartbreak but also some people showing unbelievable courage, altruism, resilience, fortitude, in ways that enable you to come back from red light districts in Cambodia or killing fields in Darfur and actually, to some degree, even feel better about the human capacity for good as well as the human capacity for evil. They really tend to exist side-by-side. SW: What I think is more insidious about this is that it haunts you because it’s not like it’s oh my god it’s overwhelming
but what’s haunting is that these people no one cares about and they’re sitting, they’re just existing and no one knows about them, that in itself is such a sad and deplorable and it just draws you in. It’s a situation that it’s so sad and deplorable that you just feel compelled to try and do something about. That’s actually also why we ended up writing Half the Sky is that because we have covered a lot of things, but this is stuff that kept coming back, it’s like, wow I really think this is something that we need to tell the world about and when we realized that it was something that was more global, not just in the places we had been foreign correspondents that’s when we realized, hey, this is worth telling. T: Do you feel that people are becoming more aware about these issues? NK: It does seem to me that there’s been real progress that globally, there’s much more attention in getting girls in school, that globally and in the U.S., there’s much more attention to sex trafficking. Sex trafficking is just becoming a much more prominent issue at home and abroad. Some of the things we can track do show progress, the number of women dying in childbirth has fallen by almost half in a decade, the number of children who aren’t going to elementary school has fallen by tens and millions and in elementary school now, there are as many girls as boys going to school. But those metrics give you a little bit of a gage in it, kind of more anecdotally or is where I really feel that the greatest progress is underway. View the full Q&A at torchonline.com
Photo courtesy of wikimedia commons
Nicholas Kristof spoke at the Little Theatre about his book Half the Sky on March 12.
‘Sweet Sistine’ up in smoke
Cardinals fail to elect new pope on first day of conclave Christopher Brito Assistant News Editor
Black smoke emerged on the first day pope to set aside their differences for of elections after the 75th conclave failed the good of the church and their next to reach a decision on Pope Benedict leader. XVI’s successor yesterday, according to “Each of us is therefore called to the Associated Press. cooperate with the Successor of Peter, According to reports, the leading the visible foundation of such an favorites for the 266th ecclesial unity,” pope in the Catholic Sodano said in an Church’s history final appeal before Each of us is is Italian cardinal the conclave therefore called to Angelo Scola, who has began. been tagged with the the cooperate with the job Heof said “reformer” label. pope is Brazilian cardinal Successor of Peter, the to be merciful, Odilio Scherer is also and visible foundation of charitable a leading contender, to “tirelessly who has been favored such an ecclesial unity promote justice for his firm stance on and peace.” the status quo of the the Cardinal Angelo Sodano, 20thSince Catholic Church. century, the of the College longest conclave Canadian cardinal dean Marc Ouellet and New Cardinals lasted five days York’s own Cardinal and elected Pope Timothy Dolan, are Pius XI in 1922. other names mentioned The shortest in the papacy race. conclaves lasted a day long and The Religious New Service also produced Pius XII in 1939 and John adopted the “Sweet Sistine” tournament Paul I in 1978. format from college basketball to 67 of the cardinals in the conclave demonstrate who the next pope might were appoined by Pope Benedict XVI, be. who suddenly stepped down because The bracket lists Cardinal John of health concerns and becoming the Onaiyekan from Nigeria as the leading first to retire in the past 600 years of the the popular vote, despite being a cardinal Church. for a relatively short amount of time. The electing cardinals will resume Cardinal Angelo Sodano, the dean of voting tomorrow for the pope who will the College of Cardinals, asked the 115 be in charge of leading the Catholic cardinals in charge of electing the next Church and it’s 1.2 billion followers.
Photo courtesy of wikimedia commons
Black smoke, no new pope
Judge fizzles Bloomberg’s soda ban
Mayor Bloomberg’s attempt to ban large sugary beverages was nullified by a Supreme Court judge on Monday, just a day before the law would have passed. Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Milton Tingling said the ban would have been arbitrary to pass because it only applies to some sugary beverages and some localities that sell them. “It is arbitrary and capricious because it applies to some but not all food establishments in the city,” Tingling wrote in his decision. “It excludes other beverages that have significantly higher concentrations of sugar sweeteners and/or calories on suspect grounds, and the loopholes inherent in the rule, including but not limited to no limitations on refills, defeat and/or serve to gut the purpose of the rule.” While the consensus of the ban was another “nanny state” law issued by Bloomberg and infringed the rights of vendors and citizens, NYC’s mayor says he will continue to pursue health benefits offered by the ban. “We think the judge is totally in error the way he interpreted the law and are confident we will win on appeal,” Bloomberg said on Monday. “One of the cases we’ll certainly make in the appeals process is people are dying every day. This is not a joke. This is about real lives.”
Tensions with North Korea rising More than a week after insinuating better diplomatic relations with the U.S. because of Dennis Rodman, the North Korean army declared the 1953 armistice agreement with South Korea, as void in the ruling party’s official newspaper on Monday, according to a CNN report. In response to the United Nation’s tougher sanctions on their nuclear testing and a joint military exercise between the U.S. and South Korea, the Working Class Party of North Korea published in their paper that the Supreme Command said it can now make a “strike of justice at any target anytime, not bound to the armistice agreement and achieve the national reunification, the cherished desire of the Korean nation.” They also shut-off phone communication with South Korea at their border and since the armistice has been rescinded the two sides remain technically at war. While North Korea remains to be a powerful threat the U.S. is prepared for, this is the third time they’ve nullified the armistice with their neighbors from the South in recent years. “North Korean officials have made some highly provocative statements. North Korea’s claims may be hyperbolic, but as to the policy of the U.S. there should be no doubt: we will draw upon
the full range of our capabilities to protect against, and to respond to, the threat posed to us and to our allies by North Korea,” Tom Donilon, President Obama’s top national security adviser, said in a speech to the Asia Society in New York on Monday. According to U.S. Institute’s recent satelite scans, North Korea’s two rocket test facilities appear to be quiet despite their claims.
Photo courtesy of wikimedia commons
North Korean soldier
Photo courtesy of wikimedia commons
Sen. Schumer from NY leading the way for background checks
Sen. panel approves checks Pres. Obama’s plan for universal federal background checks for gun buyers hit it’s first stride yesterday after being approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to Associated Press. The committee voted in favor of the bill 10-8 and is now cleared to be voted on by the full Senate. The background checks were proposed after the Newtown shootings. The proposals will run into several road blocks, including senators siding with the National Rifle Association’s agenda. “This isn’t going to be a perfect
bill,” Senator Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. said yesterday. “But it will sure reduce crimes.” The committee panel also voted 14-4 on another measure totaling $40 million to provide funding towards protecting schools from future gun violence. “Mass shootings would continue to occur despite universal background checks,” said Iowa Sen. Charles Grassley yesterday, the committee’s top Republican. “When that happens, we will be back here debating whether gun registration is needed. And when registration fails, then the next step is gun confiscation.”
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
Time to step up
As the scandal involving Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M., President of the University and his chief of staff, Rob Wile continues to unfold, the University community has started to speak up and make its frustrations heard. This community includes administrators, faculty and students alike, all of whom have heard enough about the questionable dealings between Harrington and Wile to know that the time has come for answers. The only answer anybody has gotten thus far is an email from Harrington on Friday afternoon stating that because of the ongoing investigation by the board’s hired counsel, he couldn’t say anything, but that he really, really wanted to. This is the time for the Board of Trustees to show that it cares about the well being of this University in both its internal senses and the perception from those outside its gates. Peter D’Angelo, the chair of the board, told the Torch that it is too early in the process to talk of Harrington’s resignation (as had been speculated in Internet circles), which is understandable, if also frustrating. The board wouldn’t be doing its job if it weren’t looking at everything available to them. Its job, in this case, is to represent what’s best for the University, not what’s best for Harrington. Many on the board have obvious ties to Harrington, and it will be interesting to see how that will affect their judgment when it comes time to make a decision on whether he has a future at St. John’s. Given some of those ties, the importance of transparency in their decision-making process is paramount. This is the time for the board to show that they are willing to act independently and strongly in order to ensure the school has the best leadership going forward. Here’s our challenge: whatever decision is made after the investigation, be thorough, be precise and be open
with us about the steps you took and why the decision you made will be best for the University – not your wallets. Outside of the board, what’s struck us the most as we’ve reported on this issue is the lack of support Harrington has throughout the University, from the top down. We’ve talked to everybody from freshmen to senior administrators, and there is a remarkable consensus when it comes to Harrington and Wile. We believed going into this that most people at St. John’s are fundamentally decent people, and are appalled by what many perceive to be institutional corruption coming from the office of the president. What’s surprising us is how strongly the entire University community has spoken with one collective voice. That voice has spoken out against the high life Wile was living on St. John’s dime. That voice has spoken out, calling for better explanations for the thousands of dollars in expenses charged by Wile on lavish restaurants and designer retailers in the United States and abroad. That voice has spoken up for the little guy – precisely what Harrington should have been doing, and precisely what the board must do. It’s questioning where the big money is coming from and where it could have been better served. Now, that voice needs to get louder. That voice needs to demand more from Harrington and from the Board of Trustees. It needs to see real leadership at this school. A common thought of the St. John’s community is that the student body, and even some of the faculty, is apathetic to the school. While this can certainly be said for some groups, we’ve been heartened to find that this is not necessarily the case. Many students are not only aware of the situation at Newman Hall, but also actively looking for more information –
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
expressed in editorials, columns, letters or cartoons are not necessarily those of the student body, faculty or administrations of St. John’s University.
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TORCH ILLUSTRATION/MIKE BRODNANSKY
Flames of the Torch: cont’d Board, faculty and students need to speak out
no small task during midterm season. Faculty, especially tenured professors, need to lead this charge. It is unacceptable that there are people at this school who still do not know about this situation. Regardless of how you feel about it, this is something that everyone in this community should know and understand. Professors should be discussing it openly in their classes, with students, in order to foster a more open and welcoming environment for students to discuss current issues. If students don’t feel comfortable speaking out to professors, how can they be expected to speak out to administrators? Outside of the classroom, both student
and faculty leaders have a responsibility to put their names and faces on this issue. Without pressure from all aspects of the STJ community, this has the potential to be swept under the supposedly, evergrowing rug. After our editorial last week, Harrington reportedly called what’s been written about him lies and mudslinging. A University spokesperson said that Harrington was “troubled” by some of our comments, without specifying what troubled him. We invite Harrington, or anybody speaking for him for that matter, to outline exactly what was troubling, and exactly what caused him to resolve to go after
us, as New York Magazine said he did. We welcome a real, open conversation where we can each share comments and concerns. As we said last week, it’s time for a “step up.” If Harrington isn’t going to be the one to do so, it must be the board. It is abundantly clear that the rest of the University is looking for answers, not just because they want to know where their money is going, but also because they believe in the good of the school. However, that faith can vanish rather quickly if those in high places put friends and money ahead of truth and the people they supposedly serve.
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This Week In Showbiz DESTINY DeJESUS
Asst. Entertainment Editor
Armstrong returns to Green Day after onstage collapse in Las Vegas and rehab stint Green Day performed this weekend for the first time since their lead vocalist Billie Joe Armstrong left rehab. Armstrong joined the band during the rehearsals After the front man smashed his guitar on stage at Las Vegas’ iHeartRadio Music Festival and frantically cursed, the band postponed its 2013 world tour. Armstrong told Rolling Stone that he did not remember what happened. According to Rolling Stone, the sold out concert was the first of the four warm-up shows that they will be performing before they start their tour in late March. They played their older hits as well as punk classics from other artists.
PHOTO COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
Swedish House Mafia released two albums over five years while introducing a new generation to electronica
SHARON TONG Staff Writer
While electronic dance music is quickly topping radio charts, television commercials and clubs, one established group, at the apex of their popularity, is hanging up their shoes for good Swedish House Mafia, made of renowned DJs and producers Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso, finished their four-day New York stop as part of the final leg of their “One Last Tour” that saw the turntable masters play in more than 15 countries. Last June, the group officially announced their split through their official website, leaving fans stunned. They noted that their upcoming tour and album, Until Now, would be their last. The supergroup’s four-night, soldout stay in New York kicked off on March 1st at Madison Square Garden and then continued across the East River for the next three nights at the newly minted Barclays Center. The four-night event, tied for the longest stop of the tour with San Francisco, included some of Axwell’s trademark mashups and remixes of songs from artists such as Coldplay,
Florence and The Machine and Tommy Trash. By the end of their New York takeover, 60,000 lively fans raved farewell to the group that, for the most part, began their enthusiasm for electronic and house music. The atmosphere at the shows were nothing short of energetic, carefree and most of all, gratifying, nothing new from a SHM show. Each show ended with the defiant track, and trio’s rallying cry, “You Came. You Raved. We Loved It.” The final show is scheduled to be March 24 at Ultra Music Festival in Miami. Prior to their performances at the arenas, the group first cozied up at a smaller New York venue, Hammerstein Ballroom. As a response to the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Swedish House Mafia organized a benefit concert called the “Black Tie Rave” on February 28, with 100% of the net proceeds going to relief funds. The event also benefited the organization “Save the Children” to ensure the safety and well being of children, in response to the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut. The group formed in 2008 when Axwell joined childhood friends, and accomplished DJs in their own right, Steve Angello and Sebastian
Ingrosso to become known as the Swedish House Mafia. They received recognition in 2010 for their first official single and smash hit “One,” which featured rapper/producer Pharrell Williams on the vocal version. That same year, the trio released their first studio album, Until One, their 24 track opus that includes their collaboration with British rapper Tinie Tempah on “Miami 2 Ibiza,” Until One’s third single that reached near the top of charts around the world. Despite global success, the group did not become a huge success in the United States until 2011 when their hit “Save the World,” featuring John Martin, took Top 40 radio stations by storm. The song went on to be nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 2012 Grammy Awards. Swedish House Mafia also collaborated with then-newly-formed electro house duo, Until Now, their final album composed of only 10 tracks, was released in October with three versions, two of them being an iTunes deluxe edition and an un-mixed iTunes bonus version. Both Until One and Until Now have received widespread critical acclaim in the United Kingdom the U.S. and all over the world, becoming certified Gold and being second and first-best selling albums, respectively.
Lady GaGa nurses her hip in a luxurious designer wheelchair, recovery time unknown Why wouldn’t Lady GaGa request a customized wheelchair to sit in? The pop star’s absurd outfits are no longer the talk of the day, rather her new luxurious chariot. The injured pop star called Ken Borochov, a luxury designer who’s made designs for Kayne West and Beyonce, to create her exclusive wheelchair requesting it be done in just one week. According to MTV, the designer said, “I certainly wasn’t expecting that phone call and have never done a wheelchair but am always up for a challenge and was thrilled to create what I affectionately dubbed the Chariot, a chair fit only for a queen”. Not even surgery can stop the pop stars outrageous behavior. Fresh out of surgery, GaGa is now sitting in her throne inspired wheelchair and recovering from her injury.
Jimi Hendrix: still releasing music after death KORI WILLIAMS Staff Writer
JIMI HENDRIX People, Hell and Angels
OUT OF 5 STARS
PHOTO COURTESY OF NYDAILYNEWS.COM
Jimi Hendrix released his 12th posthumous album last week.
Rock legend Jimi Hendrix took full advantage of his brief time on earth. The guitar virtuoso has come out with more albums after his passing than when he was alive; about three times as many to be exact. People, Hell and Angels, a compilation of unreleased tracks intended for the follow up of his classic LP, Electric Ladyland, will be his 12th posthumous album and certainly the finest material that was released after his untimely death in 1970. The opening song to the album “Earth Blues” as well as it’s follow up, “Somewhere” have a meaningful message. Hendrix is heard in both of them bearing witness to the needs of people around him and asking for God’s help. Hendrix was never known to be a religious man, only considered god-like when playing the guitar, but when he delves into the subject, from a lyrical standpoint, it’s mystifying and magical.
“Hear My Train a Comin’”, a classic Hendrix standard heard only live prior to this studio recording, and “Bleeding Heart” convey perfectly the musical genius that was Jimi Hendrix, solos that are colorful and yet have a hard edge to them. The instrumental “Villanova Junction Blues” provides a smooth outro that’s intimate and almost croons to the listener. Hendrix was a visionary and a trailblazer on the guitar, this is known. But what gets thrown under the rug most often is his ability as a lyricist. The simplicity in his words that are found in “Hear My Train a Comin’”. Known for playing the blues better than any of his blues influences, Hendrix takes us to the Mississippi Delta with “Easy Blues,” a blistering track driven by the Noel Redding on bass. His cover of bluesman Elmore James’ “Bleeding Heart” is another highlight of People, Hell and Angels on the blues side of things. “Mojo Man” meanwhile takes a step in a direction that’s synonymous with Hendrix, R&B, with the use of horns. People, Hell and Angels isn’t completely different from anything else fans haven’t already heard from Hendrix. The album follows suit without sounding too much like previous works. Although Hendrix obviously isn’t here to oversee the work on this album, it’s clear that those who brought People, Hell and Angels together did what they could to ensure that his essence and influence remains alive and well amongst today’s musical landscape.
Judge invalidates soda ban, mayor fights on
HARRY SAUNDERS Staff Writer
Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s much criticized ‘soda ban’ was blocked on Monday, one day before it was set to take effect, by a Manhattan Supreme Court Justice who referred to the proposed ban as “arbitrary and capricious.” The law, which has sparked heated debate in the city between advocates and opponents, would place a ban on the sale of sodas and sweetened drinks in cups above the size of 16 ounces, and affect institutions as widespread as movie theaters, coffee shops and fast food restaurants. In the time since the law’s initial approval last September, a variety of businesses have united under the banner of ‘big soda’ in order to combat what they see as an injustice on the part of the New York City Council and the ban’s most high-profile supporter, Mayor Bloomberg. In spite of this defeat, Bloomberg vowed to appeal the decision. Here on campus, businesses began preparing last week for the sweeping changes that were due to come into effect; now across the city, companies are reprinting menus and altering super-size deals in anticipation. Dunkin’ Donuts already distributed fliers setting out the new guidelines, detailing the steps it has taken in order to adhere to the new directives. According to company’s leaflet, Dunkin’ Donuts customers would have had to add their own sugar and flavor swirl to large and extra large hot bever-
ages and medium and large iced beverages. On top of this, the store’s hot chocolate and Dunkaccino drinks will now be available in small and medium-size only, as will all frozen beverages. Such a sweeping list of changes goes some way to illustrating the severity of the regulations, and also the perhaps overlooked inclusion of beverages beyond the realm
what size soda I’m allowed to buy?” David Warr, a sophomore, said. “I understand that it’s well-intentioned, but there’s no way I should be penalized because other people don’t know how to take care of themselves.” Junior Ben Roberts on the other hand, was broadly in support of the ban. Citing astronomical obesity rates in the United
TORCH PHOTO/KIERAN LYNCH
The soda ban, which was supposed to go into effect on March 12, was blocked.
of soda drinks. The controversy of the now-stalled law is well documented, and students here at St John’s appear representative of the vast range of perspectives put forward on the matter. “Who are the legislators to tell me
States, he says that the ban is a step in the right direction. “It may not be the most pressing issue that needs addressing in New York City,” Roberts said. “But certainly something needs to be done at this point in the name of public health.”
That is certainly the stance taken by the New York City Board of Health, as well as Mayor Bloomberg. The city’s health department asserts more than half of adults in New York are overweight or obese, and claims that each year around 5,000 New Yorkers die from health issues related to obesity. There would have been loopholes within the scheme however, including the fact that convenience stores such as 7-Eleven lie outside of the city’s remit, thereby making their infamous “Big Gulp” drinks exempt. On top of this, vending machines and some newsstands also would have been allowed to continue as normal. Perhaps the most widely invoked caveat to the new law is the fact that it could not realistically prevent consumers from buying as much soda as they wish; it merely stipulates that vendors cannot sell them in single sizes exceeding 16oz. This has led to Mayor Bloomberg referring to the law as portion-control rather than an out-and-out ban in an attempt to escape the negative rhetoric associated with the legislation, although many have still been quick to accuse the mayor of elitism and big governmenttendencies. While the future of the new law is up in the air right now, as long as the will of the mayor and city council remains, they will continue to battle against both the tide of public opinion, as well as the intense lobbying of an assortment of private interests.
Conclave begins as world awaits new pope
As the Catholic Church moves toward electing a new pope, the world is watching and waiting with anticipation. Catholics are excited and hopeful as they enter one of the richest traditions in church history: the conclave. Many different popes have revised the format for the conclave over the centuries. The format of the conclave was not introduced until 1271, after the election of Pope Gregory X at Verbito. The election took two years and nine months, and only ended with the forced meeting of voting cardinals to settle the ordeal and make a selection. While this format was a necessary means to bring unity to the Church many centuries ago, it was considered to be an effective and fair process as a basis for future elections and was slowly adopted in future papal writings and canon legislations on the conclave. As voting began yesterday, the door to the Sistine Chapel was closed and cardinals voted by writing their choice down on a ballot which was then submitted and recorded by a group of three appointed cardinals. The first two cardinals record each vote and the third announces it to the congregation. In order for a vote to be successful in selecting a new pope, the candidate must receive a two-thirds majority. Due to this clause, it is typical for there to be many votes over multiple days. After a candidate is selected, he is
asked what name he would like to be called for the duration of his papal office and is then introduced to the Catholic Church and to the entire world on St. Peter’s Balcony. The newly selected pope is asked to change his name to keep the tradition that St. Peter the apostle began. While his baptismal name was Simon, Jesus renamed him Peter in fore-recognition that he would become the rock of His new Church. Therefore, the namechange directly correlates to the papacy, which is also known as the Office of St. Peter. This past Sunday, it presented a much more interesting glimpse as to whom the church may rally behind as pope in the next few weeks, as the cardinals were assigned to celebrate mass at parishes around Rome before closing their doors to the world within the conclave on Tuesday. Cardinal Sean O’Malley from Boston, Cardinal Angelo Scola from Milan and Cardinal Odilo Pedro Scherer from Brazil were three highly praised cardinals who stood out, being cheered by crowds of people who came from around the world to see them speak. To predict a pope however, is a dangerously impossible task as the leading candidates often cannot receive a two-thirds majority of the vote, which can lead to the election of an unlikely compromise candidate. As of the time the Torch went to print, the conclave had not made a selection. When no pope is selected, the ballots are burned and an a chemical is added to send black smoke billowing from above the Sistine Chapel. When there is a new pope, white smoke rises.
Cardinal Peter Turkso-Ghana
Cardinal Odilo Scherer- Germany/Brazil
Cardinal Angelo Scola-Italy
Cardinal Marc Ouellet-Canada PHOTOS COURTESY OF WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
TORCH PHOTO/KIERAN LYNCH
Roman Catholic Cardinals are currently voting on the new Pope in Vatican City.
Over the past few weeks, Catholics all over the world have come up with creative ways to wait out the papal conclave. We at the Torch found this “Pope March Madness” candidate bracket particularly entertaining. Fill it out and send it back to us for a chance to win a prize. (Courtesy of Popemarchmadness.com)
Heartbreak at the Garden
Johnnies nearly upset No. 15 Marquette in OT thriller
Features Editor With time running down, the St. John’s men’s basketball regular season finale looked like it was going the way that so many of the team’s games against ranked teams went – a promising beginning followed by a bitterly disappointing end. MARQUETTE
That outlook looked like it could change beginning at the 1:48 mark in the second half as the Red Storm (16-14, 8-10) closed out the game on a 9-0 run, forcing a tie with No. 15 Marquette at the end of regulation. The Johnnies kept it close through the five-minute overtime period, but ultimately fell to the Golden Eagles (23-7, 14-4) 69-67 on a buzzerbeater lay-up. “After being down by [12 early in the second half], and then fighting back and then just being there tied in overtime, and just coming up short in the end, it’s really hard,” freshman Christian Jones said. “But we still fought.” The Johnnies led from the 15:28
PHOTO COURTESTY OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Phil Greene rises for a layup against Marquette at Madison Square Garden.
mark in the first half all the way until the last 1:32 before halftime, where they found themselves down 28-25. Marquette opened the second half continuing its resurgence, finishing off an 18-0 run that spanned both halves and forcing head coach Steve Lavin to burn two early timeouts.
“Obviously, no one in our locker room is satisfied with moral victories,” Lavin said. “So we try to learn from this, build on the positive and improve. Greene led the Red Storm with 20 points, while freshman JaKarr Sampson added 17 points and seven rebounds. Jones played 20 minutes off the bench
and scored a career-high 10 points after spending most of the month of February watching from the sidelines. “I was still fighting in practice, still trying to get my minutes back up,” Jones said, referring to his time out of the rotation. “When called upon, I have to perform, have to do what I’m capable of doing.” Marquette claimed its share of the Big East regular season title with the victory, while Vander Blue provided 16 points including the aforementioned buzzer-beater and Jamil Wilson added 14. St. John’s has now lost seven of its last nine, including all of its last four. That last stretch in particular dashed any realistic hopes that the Red Storm would be celebrating come Selection Sunday. The Big East Championship stands between today and next Sunday, however, giving the Red Storm a chance at new life one last time. The No. 10 seed Johnnies take on No. 7 Villanova at 7 p.m. tonight. They’d have to pull off a monumental run in the next four days to put themselves in a positive position for Sunday, but it certainly isn’t impossible. “It’s a fresh start, a new beginning, a reset,” Lavin said. “Everyone in America is 0-0 when you step into championship week.”
Homer leads list of fencers bound for NCAA’s
Assistant Sports Editor Carnesecca Arena hosted the 2013 NCAA Northeast Regionals on Sunday, and the St John’s fencing team stepped up on their home turf, seeing 11 of its competitors qualify for the NCAA Championships in San Antonio, out of the maximum of 12. The Red Storm had high expectations for themselves, and managed to meet them throughout the day. Redshirt senior Daryl Homer, St. John’s star competitor and 2012 Olympian, placed first in the men’s saber. Despite placing first, Homer was disappointed not to go undefeated on the day, losing two of his matches. “I was definitely hoping to win, but I was really hoping to go undefeated,” he said. “My expectations are to win again.” Head coach Yury Gelman, like Homer, has high expectations for his star fencer. “Daryl did just OK,” Gelman said. “It’s a very different and difficult level of competition.” But Gelman was happy with the way his team competed as a whole.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Senior Daryl Homer dives at his opponent during the NCAA Northeast Regionals at Carnesecca Arena on Sunday.
“So far we have met our expectations,” he said. “They just did their jobs. They just qualified. All they have to do is qualify.” Homer has won two NCAA Championships, and this was his third Regional gold medal. While Homer’s win might have been predictable, the Johnnies got a less ex-
pected gold medal from junior Alina Ferdman in women’s epee. Ferdman, a native of Israel, posted a 32-20 regular season record and was Second Team All-American in 2012. This was her first gold medal after coming close with a silver medal at the 2011 NCAA Regionals. Michele Caporizzi, who finished
fourth in men’s epee, kept with the theme of high expectations, disappointed with his performance despite qualifying for the NCAA Championships. “The competition was not too good, but I’m still happy that I qualified,” she said. “I don’t make it complicated. I have a lot of pride, and I don’t want to lose.”
Sampson named Rookie of the Year KIERAN LYNCH
TORCH PHOTO/KIERAN LYNCH
JaKarr Sampson and Steve Lavin pose with the Rookie of the Year trophy. Wednesday March 13
Thursday March 14
Friday March 15
Freshman JaKarr Sampson was named the 2012-2013 Big East Rookie of the Year, which is voted on by the conference’s coaches and was announced yesterday. Sampson is the third player in school history to win the award and the second in a row after Maurice Harkless received the trophy following his only year of college play in 2011-2012. “This was one of my individual goals that I set for myself,” Sampson said. “This is big for me, I’m proud of myself.” The forward racked up seven Rookie of the Week awards during the course of the season, while leading all freshmen with an average of 14.9 points per game and 6.6 rebounds per game. “Now I’m holding myself to being more of a leader,” Sampson said. I’m stepping up more and I love [this team].” Sampson addressed questions about his future and whether he would test his NBA draft potential this offseason. “I won’t go to the NBA unless I feel that my game is ready for the NBA,” he said. “I feel like I still have a lot of growing to do. I have a lot of room to grow, get better and polish my game.”
Head coach Steve Lavin said that he believed Sampson would return to the Red Storm next year, unlike Harkless, who held a press conference declaring his intention to turn pro shortly after the Big East tournament. Harkless ended up being selected No. 15 overall in the draft that June. “JaKarr has indicated to me that his focus is on coming back next year and being a part of what we do as we build towards a really special season next year,” Lavin said. While Sampson may entertain the thought of moving on, his words clearly indicated that his intention was to remain in Queens, as he noted that he wanted to take his time like he did at Brewster Academy before coming to St. John’s a year after eligibility issues. “I wouldn’t mind coming back another year and sticking around,” he said.
Did you know? Until Moe Harkless was named the Big East Rookie of the Year last season, a St. John’s student athlete hadn’t won the award since 1980 when David Russell won the inaugural award.
Saturday March 16
No. 9 Cincinnati Noon, ESPN Noon, ESPN No. 8 Providence No. 1 Georgetown 7 p.m., ESPN
No. 12 Seton Hall 2 p..m., ESPN2 2 p.m., ESPN No. 5 Syracuse No. 4 Pittsburgh
8:30 p.m., ESPN No. 10 St. John’s 7 p.m., ESPN2 7 p.m., ESPN No. 7 Villanova No. 2 Louisville 9 p.m., ESPN
No. 11 Rutgers 9 p.m. ESPN2 No. 6 Notre Dame
9 p.m., ESPN No. 3 Marquette
PHOTO COURTESY OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
The Red Storm’s last Big East tournament title was in 2000.
Cardinals knock Johnnies out
McKenith picks up head injury as Red Storm bow out of Big East tourney KYLE FITZGERALD Staff Writer The St. John’s women’s basketball team crashed out of the Big East tournament on Sunday after falling to Louisville 62-55 in a quarterfinal matchup. LOUISVILLE
Even more disappointing than the loss, the Red Storm (18-12, 11-5) were forced to watch one of its most vital players leave the court due to injury when senior Nadirah McKenith went off after hitting her head. “I don’t have an update,” said St. John’s head coach Joe Tartamella. “I think Nadirah turned and ran into somebody and I think it kind of jarred her a little bit. I think she checked her nose, her nose was fine as far as I know.” The Johnnies came out flat and fell behind the Cardinals (24-7, 11-5) 15-2 in the first four minutes of play and shot 0 for 4 while turning the ball over five times. Amber Thompson got the Johnnies’ first field goal seven minutes in, which sparked the team’s offense. “I thought we did a great job of fighting back after a slow start and I’m proud
of the way we were able to get back into the game,” Tartamella told reporters. Thompson’s affect on the game gave the Johnnies a boost and kept the Cardinal offense at bay for a portion of the first half. “We just took one possession at a time,” senior Shenneika Smith told reporters. “We kept our composure, we
have been down like this before and we kept each possession and tried to be successful and play defense.” Despite the Johnnies firm first half, the Cardinals proved to be a step quicker in the second half, not allowing the Johnnies to take back the lead. Smith finished the game with a team-high 19
points while McKenith added 18. With no games remaining until the NCAA tournament, the Johnnies will be hoping that they’ve accomplished enough this season to earn an at-large bid. Carnesecca Arena will host the first two rounds of the NCAA women’s tournament.
TORCH PHOTO/DIANA COLAPIETRO
Junior Briana Brown rises for a layup against Big East rival Rutgers at Carnesecca Arena earlier this season.
Red Storm fall short in Big East title rematch ANTHONY PARELLI Assistant Sports Editor In a rematch of last year’s Big East championship game, St. John’s came up short against conference rival No. 11 Syracuse Saturday, falling 13-11.
“That was a great lacrosse game today, and pretty entertaining if you were sitting in the stands,” said St. John’s head coach Jason Miller. The game took place at PLL Park in Chester, PA. The match was part of the first ever Whitman’s Sampler Independence
Classic. The game was back and forth throughout the day. The Red Storm’s (3-2) final goal came as time ran out in the third when a four goal burst tied the game at eight apiece and almost marked the team’s second straight victory after being down late
PHOTO COURTESY OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Kieran McArdle scored four goals and recorded two assists against Syracuse at PLL Park on Saturday.
by the same margin. Standout junior Kieran McArdle, who was voted Big East Preseason Offensive Player of the Year, matched up against a tough Syracuse (3-1) defense led by preseason Defensive Player of the Year, Brian Megill. McArdle was able to rattle off four goals and two assists, tying him for fourth on the St. John’s all-time scoring list. SYRACUSE
Goalie Jeff Lowman continued his strong season for the Johnnies, his 12 saves put him over 500 for his career. Kevin Cernuto also had a strong performance for the Red Storm, contributing his second consecutive hat trick and scoring the tying goal with 13:30 left in the game. James Bonanno also had a game tying goal late, which was the first goal of his career. Syracuse’s JoJo Marasco was awarded the Player of the Game award after registering a goal and four assists. Derek Maltz led the Orange goal scoring efforts with a hat trick. “Syracuse played us real tough and deserves congratulations for the victory,” Miller said. St. John’s will head home to take on another Big East rival in Rutgers on Sat. The game will broadcast on ESPN3.
Big weekend for Montez Senior infielder helps Johnnies record two wins in Maryland JOHNATHAN CORBETT Staff Writer The St. John’s softball team had a strong showing on the diamond last weekend as they picked up two wins at the University of Maryland Tournament. Senior Chrissy Montez stepped up to the plate when it mattered most. The senior moved all over the field, playing every infield position for the Red Storm (3-9-1). She batted over .300 for the tournament and added two home runs to her weekend resume. “Playing all of those positions, and hitting a couple of home runs, she was definitely a standout,” said St. John’s head coach Amy Kvilhaug. The Johnnies defeated Radford in its first game of the tournament, 6-2. They lost a close game against Maryland, 3-2 in the second game. They followed the Maryland game with a solid win against Iowa, 3-1, but would end the tournament losing their last two games played against Binghamton and Ohio State. “With two starters out with injuries, the girls did a nice job beating Iowa, a team that is getting national votes.” Kvilhaug said. The team is hoping to build on those two wins from the weekend, as their record stands at 5-15-1 with a great deal left to prove.
“This weekend was very positive,” Kvilhaug said. “We had great defense and our number one pitcher is starting to get back on track, so if it all starts com-
ing together we should be ready for the tournament this weekend.” The Red Storm will take to the field again today at Manhattan.
Leavin’ their Mark Bethea named to shortlist for Johnny Bench Award Senior catcher Danny Bethea was named to the initial watch list for the Johnny Bench Award for the nation’s top Division I catcher, according to a press release. Bethea is one of 19 seniors on the list and one of only three Big East players that are contenders for the award.
Lacrosse standout named to Big East Honnor Roll
PHOTO COURTESY OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Senior Chrissy Montez batted .300 and hit two home runs this weekend.
Keep on imagining, St. John’s If you have about five minutes of free time, keep reading. If not, come back a little later because I’m about to take you on a fantasy ride. It’s March 16 and you’re at Madison Square Garden, screaming your heart out in the St. John’s student section as your beloved Johnnies face off against Georgetown or Syracuse or Pittsburgh or Providence (let those Friars dream!) in the Big East tournament championship game. Imagine the electricity in the arena. Imagine jumping in shear joy as Chris Obekpa swats away a sure layup into the fourth row of the stands late in the second half. Imagine losing your voice as you yelp like an Amazon warrior after Jamal Branch slashes to the rim to give your Johnnies a one point lead with 20 seconds left. Then imagine the sickness you’ll feel in your stomach after the other team takes the lead with only seven seconds left on the clock. Imagine coming so close to a tournament title and a free trip to the big dance, only for it to ripped from the palms of your hands. Imagine staring at the people around you, totally deflated, as if all hope has been lost. You’re won-
dering why they always do this to you? They drag you in when you know you should walk away. They let you dream of things that you have no right to wish for. They get you thinking about that happy ending like you’re living in a Disney movie. But wait. This fantasy isn’t over yet. There’s still seven seconds left, remember? Imagine Obekpa inbounding the ball to Branch. Branch sprints up the floor in less than two seconds and chucks the ball to JaKarr Sampson. The moment the ball touches Sampson’s hands, he drives right, stops on a dime, rises into the air and, unorthodox form and all, lets the ball fly to meet its destiny at the rim. At this point, you’re sick to your stomach. You can barely watch. Everything is happening in slow motion. You’re staring at the ball as it heads towards the rim… oh no, it looks long. You stare as the ball hits the backboard and drops through the net. The bank was open tonight. Imagine the roar from the crowd as JaKarr flashes that Big East Rookie of the Year smile as his teammates pile on top him. Imagine as the sea of red surrounding you in the stands rushes onto that famous Mecca floor, totally bypassing those notorious security goons. Imagine celebrating a Big East tournament title on the court as Lavin saunters over for a post game handshake with the losing coach before sprinting to join his players in celebration. Imagine realizing that your St. John’s men’s basketball team has just booked a ticket to the NCAA tournament.
…..now wake up. Odds are that the Johnnies won’t be celebrating a Big East tournament title this weekend. There are just too many voids that still need to be filled for them to make an honest run towards the title. But don’t let the Johnnies’ mediocrity this season get to you. Have faith. This tournament will be a launching pad for the Red Storm – they’ll surely head into next season intent on making an indelible mark on the national level. I know, I know. We hear this story every year. ‘Johnnies have bad season, they’ll be better next year, blah, blah, blah.’ But consider this: The Red Storm will have the reigning Big East Rookie of the Year (please stay, JaKarr), a core group of experienced juniors (Cue Sir Dom, Phil Greene and Amir Garrett), a new and improved D’Angelo Harrison and the recently eligible Orlando Sanchez, who has been described as a ‘man amongst boys.’ Oh, and don’t forget about the recruits that Lavin plans on luring to Queens. Enjoy the Big East tournament, Red Storm fans. The Johnnies won’t be making a deep run, but I guarantee you that at this time next year, you’ll be reading a column that lauds a nationally ranked team that has its eyes on a couple of games in, dare I say it….April. Mitchell Petit-Frere is a junior English and journalism major who is still heartbroken over the fact that Manchester United was knocked out of the Champions League last week.
Junior Kieran McArdle was named to his second Big East Weekly Honor Roll for his performance against No. 11/7 Syracuse on Saturday, according to a press release. He scored four goals and recorded two assists against the Orange. McArdle has 28 points thus far this season and is currently tied for fourth on the all-time points list in St. John’s history.
Blowin’ in the Wind
I wouldn’t mind coming back another year and sticking around.
Headin’ this Way Red Storm home games
March 16 March 19
12 & 2 p.m.
1 & 4 p.m.
SPORTS 13 March 2013 | VOLUME 90, ISSUE 19 | TORCHONLINE.COM
KEEP ‘EM COMIN’
SAMPSON EARNS PROGRAM’S SECOND STRAIGHT BIG EAST ROOKIE OF THE YEAR AWARD PG. 17 TORCH PHOTO/SUSAN MEYER
Carnesecca Arena hosted the Northeast Fencing Regionals last Sunday.
The women’s basketball team were knocked out of the Big East tournament by Louisville last Sunday.