IT’S A BIRD...
Johnny thunderbird prepares for takeoff TORCH PHOTO ILLUSTRATION/Kristen Farmer
WHAT’S INSIDE News.......................1-7 Lifestyle..............17-22 Comics.......................8 Sports.................23-28 Opinion................10-15
New Gen strikes back New Generations Barbershop owner reacts to rival shop’s claims. Lifestyle Pg. 17
Can’t get enough of the Torch? Visit our website at: torchonline.com “Think Outside. . .”
Photo of the Week
Managing Board XC
Michael E. Cunniff, Editor-in-Chief Nicole Valente, Managing Editor Jessica Lise, General Manager anthony o’reilly
Features Editor peter long
Entertainment Editor kristen farmer
Sports Editor Art Director sarah yu
Chief Copy Editor jim baumbach
Advertising (718)-9906756 Business 990-6756 Editorial Board 990-6444
Features 990-6445 News 990-6444 Opinion 990-6445 Sports 990-6444
Special thanks to Richard Rex Thomas for assisting in the design of The Torch
Music First Listen The Torch introduces British indie band, Alt J, to its readers from across the pond.
Lifestyle Pg. 18
Features Underground Guitarist The Torch spotlights junior Jason Lapin, an aspiring singer who brings his talents to the NYC subway system.
Lifestyle Pg. 18 Sports Bouncing Back Men’s soccer rebounds from loss to U-Conn to defeat Columbia 3-1 at home.
Sports Pg. 25
opinion pg. 10
FOR MAIL SUBSCRIPTIONS: 718-990-6756 The Torch is the official student newspaper of St. John’s University. The Torch is written, edited, designed and produced by students of the University. All contents are the sole responsibility of the editors and the editorial board and do not necessarily represent the views of the administration, faculty or students of St. John’s University unless specifically stated.
To contact The Torch by mail: The Torch, St. John’s University 8000 Utopia Parkway Queens, NY 11439
The Torch is typically published on Wednesdays, approximately 20 issues throughout the academic year. Circulation per issue is 3,500 copies distributed free on campus. This copy of The Torch is worth $ .75.
Torch Photo/daniel Castrillon
A student participates at an open-mic session at Java Johnnies in the D’Angelo Center Coffeehouse on Sept. 21.
Torch Johnny ready to fly? Briefs Mascot to rappel from 470 ft. building the building,” he said. Naturally, for anybody being lowered through the air from a 34-story building, things can get a bit scary, especially if Johnny Thunderbird is getting set you’re afraid of heights. Is this bird afraid to rappel down the side of a 470-foot of the task? skyscraper in Jersey City, NJ, this Friday “No, but I’ve done rock climbing a and the man in the suit will be Clint lot,” he said. “I can be afraid of heights Wolfrom, a junior. at times. But for this, Johnny will be I’m totally stoked.” taking part in the Wolfrom first event , known as became Johnny in Over the Edge, live the beginning of the on the “Today Show” 2011/2012 school alongside celebrities year as a sophomore such as Sarah Haines and currently handles of the “Today Show”, the role with one Tina Cervasio from other student. They the MSG Network, take turns cheering Greg T. from the on the Red Storm for Elvis Duran Morning different events. Show on Z100, “They first brought FDNY Commissioner this event up to me in Salvatore J. Cassano early September,” he as well as 130 others, said. “I wasn’t sure if according to a press it was going to conflict release from the with my schedule, but Athletics department. then I thought, ‘Wait. Torch photo/kristen farmer I’m totally going to do “I’m more excited about the jumpingJohnny Thunderbird prepares for his most physically demanding stunt. this and get to jump down 34 stories aspect down that building. of the event than the formal training for the event, in particular With Friday rapidly approaching and celebrities,” Wolfrom said. regarding safety. He stressed, however, Clint getting excited for the experience, The event will benefit the American that with the event not taking place until he wants to make sure everybody gets out Cancer Society and is set to take place at Friday he would get a heads up about to St. John’s events and experiences the the Harborside Financial Plaza Building, what to do before hand. enthusiasm he has for his job. right across the Hudson River from “From what I’ve heard, it’s more like “I am the most passionate, most goManhattan. I’m going to be lowered down on a rope getter Johnny ever,” he said. The event has raised $225,000 so far than actually jumping down the side of
Kieran Lynch Features Editor
for the society. “It’s great to be able to help raise awareness for cancer research,” Wolfrom said. “St. John’s has all these great events like ‘Dribble for the Cure’ and ‘Relay for Life’ and it’s nice to get to go support another cause.” Wolfrom said he has yet to receive any
Compiled by Anthony O’Reilly News Editor
SGI budget still not released According to Vice President of Student Affairs, and advisor to Student Government, Inc., Danny Trujillo, SGI is contemplating a medium to release the 2012-13 budget to the public. Trujillo clarified that since he was only an advisor to SGI, and they remained their own separate entity, he could not speak on behalf of SGI, but that he believes the group is working towards a “very delicate and sensitive solution to all of the factors and challenges” that comes with releasing the budget. “They want to make this as transparent as possible,” he said. The Torch reported in the Sept. 12 issue, that SGI president, Christian Williams, said he didn’t “have a problem releasing the budget if it’s a general St. John’s community consensus.” Trujillo said that he and SGI have had meetings regarding releasing the budget, and that he expected it to come out “soon.” The Torch wished to see a copy of the full SGI budget, after cuts to Operations and special allocations were announced at the first SGI floor meeting Sept. 10. Several requests from reporters have yet to yield a physical copy of the budget before this issue went to print. When asked whether or not the practice of not releasing the budget was a “rule” or “tradition” of SGI, Trujillo said he could not comment because he is still in a transition phase, taking his post of Vice President of Student Affairs in May of last semester and was not completely sure.
To see stories not in the paper edition of The Torch, visit our website, torchonline. com. Stories on a Pharmacy seminar on Parkinson’s Disease and an Academic Lecture Series on the future of Digital Authorship are avaliable only online.
Special thanks to Mary Pelkowski, Denise DiBartolo and Johnny Thunderbird for inviting the Torch along as he trained for Friday. Best of luck, Johnny!
Torch photo/Anthony O’Reilly
With two days left until Over the Edge Johnny Thunderdbird has yet to recieve any formal training for the event.
University prepares for Founder’s Week DAVID DRESSEKIE Contributing Writer
The University is preparing to celebrate the 18th annual Founder’s Week. According to the Associate Director of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society, Mary Ann Dantuono, Founder’s Week is a time to remember the mission of St. Vincent De Paul and his message of working for the oppressed and poverty-stricken. Dantuono sat down with The Torch to discuss the plans for the 2012 Founder’s Week events, as well as its purpose and history. Why do we celebrate Founder’s Week? We celebrate Founder’s Week, because it teaches us about the mission of St. Johns University and helps us to creatively exhibit that spirit in the 21st century. During Founder’s Week we should express the spirit of St. Vincent De Paul in the present. What is the theme of Founder’s Week and why did you select it? The theme of Founder’s Week is to “Be Vincentian: Faith-filled Citizens.” We selected this theme for three reasons: Pope Benedict’s declaration of a year of faith, the forthcoming national election period and because of a concern that religious liberty is under attack, both in the U.S. and globally, an example being the current rioting in Libya. Why did you select the events you have for Founder’s Week? We try to host events for every constituency of the University Community. Faculty, administrators, staff and students. The Vincentian Convocation honors members of the larger Vincentian family and our alumni who exemplify Vincentian values in their professional and personal life. University Service Day is a day when the entire University community demonstrates our corporate commitment to honor the spirit of St. Vincent de Paul on the four U.S. and three European campuses of St. John’s by dedicating several hours of service to persons living in poverty. During the Vincentian convocation, we will honor individuals that we feel live the Vincentian principles in their everyday life. University Service Day ties in with the Vincentian message in that students use the day to do good works for other. Anything else you would like to add about Founder’s Week? Founder’s Week is what helps make St. Johns University special. It is our commitment to Vincentian ideals and our willingness to help the less fortunate that really defines us.
Founder’s Week Highlights
Thurs., Sept. 27 12:15 p.m.: Feast of St. Vincent DePaul mass at St. Thomas More Church. Sun., Sept. 29: University Service Day. Starts at 8:30 a.m. in Taffner Fieldhouse.
‘Rent’ star promotes vote Sarah Yu Chief Copy Editor
Actress Rosario Dawson spoke to students yesterday at the University on behalf of National Voter Registration Day, hosted by African & Latino Fraternal/Sororal Alliance, and strongly encouraged students to register to vote in order to let their voices be heard. Dawson spoke contrary to the widely held belief that one’s single vote doesn’t matter in a national election, and tried to encourage those present to make it to the polling booths. “There’s a potential for all of us to do something but it does take work,” she said. “So don’t ever feel like what your contribution is, is going to be too small, you have no idea how that reflects and shows up in the greater history that we all are sharing.” Dawson also spoke about the work ethic that one puts into their college tenure, and said that these days students have drifted to a more independent way of education, which would carry over to more passionate leaders and citizens in society. “These days, we’re not waiting for the wisdom to just get passed down or someone to give us something,” she said. “We’re doing it ourselves and you at this college is a representation of how hard you work, how much you care, and how big of a leader you are in your own life; you’re visionaries and we’re counting on that showing up.” The actress, best known for her role in the movie Rent, spoke to the social themes present in her movies. She said that she wanted the movie to encourage
people to raise their voices, in ways such as voting, instead of being timid and not speaking up. “Thank you so much, especially for supporting films like Rent that has such strong social messages in them and this is our opportunity to act out on them and we have to forget the regret of our past and the things that we didn’t do or we didn’t say,” she said. Dawson said she hopes that those who have not registered to vote yet would. Representatives from ALFSA were helping students to register in the
DAC Coffeehouse. Dawson also hoped that those who were already registered would participate in the election on November 6 and continue to encourage others to register to vote. “This is very personal and that’s why we need you to be personally involved because you’re going to feel the effect of these different laws coming through,” she said. “We have something very special here, very very special and I hope you will honor that with me this November 6.”
Torch photo/ Sarah yu
Rosario Dawson spoke of the importance of Latino voters.
Federal grant given to University Christopher Brito Staff Writer
the proposal and “Father of the Program” pairing students with the resources. said. “The purpose of the program is to Despite ten million dollars in diversify collegiate faculty across the budget cuts by the U.S. U.S.,” she said. “We are For the third time since 1999, the Department of Education specifically looking University has been chosen by the U.S. for the program and 304 for students who Department of Education to receive $1.1 nation-wide applicants, 134, are looking for a million for the competitive McNairs’ including St. John’s, were degree.” Scholars Program grant, that aids students selected. Every four to five number of students doctoral years, schools must renew Students must interested in attaining doctoral degrees. The grant, named after Robert E. their applications for this who will participate be first generation college students from McNair, a former NASA astronaut competitive grant. in program “The award process was low-income families that passed away on the space shuttle or from traditionally “Challenger’ in 1986, helps junior and exceptionally competitive underrepresented seniors who aspire to attend graduate this year,” McKenzie said. “I firmly believe that our previous groups such as Hispanic and black school by providing them with preparation for grad school and support services success with program participants was ethnicities. recognized and They must have good academic for their research helped us in obtaining standing with a 3.0 GPA or better and projects. this new grant.” must have at least 60-66 credits after their The University will Dr. Jessica Scott, sophomore year. Currently, the University receive approximately Ph.D. entered the is looking for 25 undergraduate students, $215,000 each year McNair program in 10 seniors and 15 juniors, to participate in for five years and students admitted amount of money being her sophomore year the program. Not to be confused with a scholarship, will generally receive given to the University in the fall of 2004. Scott said she felt inducted students will receive stipends a $2,800 stipend to participate in the the program provided to conduct their research expenses and the summer of their her with an outline to travel to conferences. junior year for their program plan a pathway to her Additionally, designated faculty research. career. will mentor students with research and Dr. Andre “It definitely presentation to prepare for graduate McKenzie Ph.D., school. the Vice President of the Division of provides you with a structure,” she said. “These mentors help us maintain our Academic Support Services and the Project Investigator, has been involved goal. Without it, I feel like I wouldn’t with the program since she introduced have the guidance.” Scott is currently working at the Youth the idea to the University, along with Dr. Frank Biafora, former staff member, in Counciltation Services to get hours for Follow the Torch for live her psychology license. 1999. updates on events and Asnath Gedeon,Director of the “I am particularly gratified to receive breaking news. this funding to continue our program,” McNair’s Program and former alum of @STJTORCH Dr. McKenzie, the preliminary author of the program, is in charge of recruiting and
‘Dribble’ a slam dunk for cancer research Jarrod Jenkins Staff Writer
The University basketball teams, in collaboration with the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation, raised close to $25,000 to fund cancer research at the second annual Dribble for the Cure held Saturday. Participants in the event signed up on the official website and went around asking for donations to the cause. On the day of the event, participants went through a course on campus, beginning and ending at Carnesecca Arena, while dribbling a basketball. Mark Fratto, senior associate athletics director for communications, announced during the opening ceremony that about $25,000, which is about $4,000 more than last year, had already been raised. The proceeds will go to Dr. Mitchell S. Cairo of the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundtion at Maria Faeri Children’s Hospital at New York Medical College. “Last year was our first year so the exposure wasn’t as great as it is this year obviously,” said John Valley, former NBA player who is the modern day founder of Dribble for the Cure. “It’s grown into our second year, we have a bigger turnout this year and hopefully we will get even more sponsors in the future.” According to Valley, the concept for Dribble for the Cure was first brought up by how Hall of Fame coach Al McGuire,
but the event lay dormant for many years. Tim Floyd, head coach at USC, shared the concept with Valley who then decided to develop the practice at UCLA. Last year Valley approached Lavin with hopes to expand the practice throughout the nation. Lavin, who spent last season sidelined due to treatment of prostate cancer, said while basketball is a passion of his, there are still issues in need of greater attention such as cancer research and how he is grateful to support the cause. “This is an opportunity for our players to serve and to realize there are things more important than basketball,” he said. Senior Kelvin Sage, a participant in the event, said he was glad to contribute to cancer research and enjoyed the athletic side of the fundraiser. “I think it’s for a great cause in terms of raising money for cancer and raising awareness as well and also to meet the St. Johns men and women basketball team,” he said. “I’m just proud to say I was here and be able to contribute towards raising awareness for cancer.” Valley continued to say how it is possible to further extend the Dribble for the Cure cause throughout the nation. “Putting Dribble for the Cure together now is something that we have a true understanding of that can be delivered to other campuses,” he said. “My goal would be to grow it to more colleges and to be able to involve major universities around the country.”
Photo courtesy of athletic communications
Participants in the second annual Dribble for the Cure dribbled a basketball around a course on campus, to raise funds for cancer research.
Alumni empower female students Mockumentary sparks debate Abigail Titus about Latino heritage. Contributing Writer “I think that men feel threatened by powerful women,” Christine Gerula said to a group of female students at an event which focused on the present situation and the future of women in business. Gerula said this at The Alumni Insider’s View...Women in Leadership Panel discussion, held Friday at 3 West Club in Manhattan. The event was hosted by the Tobin College of Business and the Office of Alumni Relations. The event’s purpose, according to Gerula, senior vice president and relationship manager at Sovereign Bank, was to empower women to become prominent figures in the business world. “We’ve come a long way,” Gerula said. ”Stand your ground. Empower yourself.” Kiran Ismail, assistant professor of management at the college of business, moderated the panel. Panelists included Gerula in addition to Andrea Alonso, partner at Morris Duffy Alonso & Faley, Linda G. John, CEO of More to Life, and Anne Marie SchettiniLynch, assistant Vice President and associate Treasurer of the University. All of the participants on the panel are also alumni of the University. Linda John said she wanted to participate in the panel because it gave her “the opportunity to inspire women.” John said it was important to her to support her alma mater, especially during tough economic times. The panelists touched on many different topics, including the importance of networking, gender equality in the business world and how to balance a professional life along with families. Later on in the discussion, John told the students present that networking at events such as this one would become vital to their success. “You are as successful as the people you surround yourself with,” she said.
She also said that one’s outward appearance would indicate to potential employers what type of worker you might appear to be. “Appearance is everything. If you’re put together externally, people assume you’re put together internally.” Gerula added that students shouldn’t focus on the fact that they’re women trying to make it in a man’s business, but to strive for success in school. “Don’t dwell on your gender,” she said. “Education is confidence.” Graduate student Elizabeth Stylianous said she enjoyed the event, and felt that it was successful in empowering women to strive for success. “It was wonderful,” she said. “ The most important part was to feel empowered and confident and to take life as it comes.”
Shannon Luibrand Staff Writer
Patron explained that not every Hispanic or Latino is illegal and said that it is not fair to categorize or generalize all Hispanics. She believes events like this are As part of Latino Heritage month, the extremely important to have on campus University chapter of the Latin American to help educate the student body of that Student Organization (LASO) hosted a fact. screening of the movie “Day Without a “The mission of events like this is Mexican.” to educate and show others about our The movie offers culture,” she said. a satirical view After the movie was of how different American shown, students were life would be if Hispanics given the opportunity to and Latinos in America Most Hispanic and respond and react. were completely Many students shared eliminated from states like Latino immigrants personal stories about California. are hardworking. how their family came LASO’s Director of to America. Other Communications, Tatiana Most just want a students discussed Patrón, said she chose better life. negative stereotypes the to show this movie to Hispanic culture has students because she Luis Donayre, former to deal with and others hoped it would raise some what its like to Navy SEAL discussed questions about the issue be Hispanic in America. of immigration. Luis Donayre a “I chose this movie member of LASO, to try and show people how America a senior, would actually be without Hispanics and math major and former Latinos,” she said. Navy Seal said, “When I was in the “I wanted to provoke questions Navy a man from down south asked about immigration, talk about how far me where I was from. I told him Peru and immigrants have come and address then he asked me what part of Mexico stereotypes.” that was.” According to the movie, 90 percent Donayre went on to say he loves of crops in California are picked by America and the opportunities it has Hispanics, as well as 20 percent of provided him with, but he still sees a lot all K-12 teachers and 60 percent of of ignorance when it comes to Hispanics construction workers coming from and Latinos. Hispanic descent. “Most Hispanic and Latino The movie also points out immigrants are hardworking,” he said. that countless prominent celebrities, “Most just want a better life.” writers, scientists, news anchors, restaurant owners and doctors are of Hispanic heritage as well and claims that without them, American society would be drastically different.
“ ” -
Photo courtesy of institutional advancement
Women in Leadership Panel
Candidates talk foreign policy President Obama took to the podium Tuesday to address the United Nations General Assembly, urging world leaders not to let the recent Middle East unrest derail free speech rights in emerging democracies. Later in the day, he took to the same stage as Republican nominee Mitt Romney, albeit at a different time, when both gave speeches at the Clinton Global Initiative in the city. “It is time to marginalize those who — even when not resorting to violence — use hatred of America, or the West or Israel as the central principle of politics, for that only gives cover — and sometimes makes excuses — for those who do resort to violence,” Obama told the gathered world leaders in a speech directed to a domestic audience as well, despite the venue. He also issued a strong warning to Iran to curtail its nuclear program, saying that U.S. patience with the rogue regime was not unlimited. “Let me be clear: America wants to resolve this issue through diplomacy, and we believe that there is still time and space to do so,” he said. “But that time is not unlimited.” Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, for his part, told CBS News earlier this week that Iran has no intentions of creating a nuclear weapon. Referring to the United States cache of nuclear weapons, he asked rhetorically, “What intelligent person would fight 5,000 American bombs with one bomb?” Clinton has campaigned for the Obama team, and Romney joked about the 42nd president’s continued influence on the political landscape three weeks after he gave a stirring speech at the Democratic National Convention. “If there’s one thing we’ve learned this election season, it’s that a few words from Bill Clinton can do a man a lot of good,” Romney said. He went on to advocate attaching strings to foreign aid — specifically tying aid to the promotion of free enterprise, calling his
REPUBLICANS BELIEVE As with most issues, the Republicans take a laissez-faire approach when it comes to the issue of student loans and believe that the government should not be involved in calculating how much a college student should pay when it comes to student loans. “The federal government should not be in the business of originating student loans,” their party platform says. “However, it should serve as an insurance guarantor for the private sector as they offer loans to students. Private sector participation in student financing should be welcomed. Any regulation that drives tuition costs higher must be reevaluated to balance its worth against its negative impact on students and their parents.” DEMOCRATS BELIEVE
Rasmussen- as of 9/22-24 Barack Obama: 47% Mitt Romney: 46%
Gallup Polls- as of 9/18-24 Barack Obama: 48% Mitt Romney: 45%
Politico- as of 9/16-20 Barack Obama: 50% Mitt Romney: 47%
Associated Press- as of 9/13-17 Barack Obama: 47% Mitt Romney: 46% Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia commons
President Barack Obama speaks to members of the United Nations. foreign aid plans “Prosperity Pacts.” “Working with the private sector, the program will identify the barriers to investment and trade and entrepreneurialism in developing nations,” he said. “In exchange for removing those barriers and opening their markets to U.S. investment and trade, developing nations will receive U.S. assistance packages focused on developing the institutions of liberty, the rule of law, and property rights.” Obama also made an appearance at the Clinton Global Initiative, where he railed
against human trafficking, calling it “modern slavery.” “When a little girl is sold by her impoverished family — girls my daughters’ age — runs away from home, or is lured by the false promise of a better life and then imprisoned in a brothel and tortured if she resists, that’s slavery,” he said. “It is barbaric and it is evil, and it has no place in a civilized world.” (Torch Staff)
Know the Vote: Student loans Student loan debt is currently over $1 trillion, surpassing credit card debt as the largest source of debt for American citizens. As tuitions continue to rise, students are finding it harder and harder to believe that a four year education is worth the debt that is awaiting them when they finally cross the stage and recieve their diploma. Student loan debt has also been just one of the sources of the political stalemate in the past few years.
Contrary to the Republicans, the Democrats believe that having government programs interfere in the college payment process will lessen the burden on those paying for student loans. Democrats have also looked at increasing the amount of grants that would be available to those entering into colleges. “Democrats know that the key to expanding opportunity is to provide every child with a strong foundation of education,” the 2006 Democratic Congressional Promise says. “We will also help expand educational opportunities for college by making college tuition tax deductible, expanding Pell Grants, and cut student loan interest rates.”
“To make college affordable for students of all backgrounds and confront the loan burden our students shoulder, we doubled our investment in Pell Grant scholarships and created the American Opportunity Tax Credit worth up to $10,000 over four years of college, and we’re creating avenues for students to manage their federal student loans so that their payments can be only 10 percent of what they make each month,” it says in the 2012 party platform. (Torch Staff) In advance of the 2012 Elections, the Torch will be running summaries of the two major parties’ positions on key issues in the presidential campaign.
Real Clear Politics Average- as of 9/11-24
Barack Obama: 48.6% Mitt Romney: 44.8%
“Here in the United States, countless publications provoke offense. Like me, the majority of Americans are Christian, and yet we do not ban blasphemy against our most sacred beliefs. As president of our country, and commander-in-chief of our military, I accept that people are going to call me awful things every day, and I will always defend their right to do so.” President Barack Obama at the U.N.
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia
Q&A: NYT’s Nick Confessore
New York Times reporter discusses importance of campaign financing also has, at the top end, lots and lots and lots of big checks. So if that makes sense he’s both more reliant on the smallest donors AND more reliant on the biggest donors in order to make his fundraising goals. He never promised he wouldn’t take the maximum allowed federal contributions and that’s what he’s doing. T: Does Obama’s transparency in releasing the name of his bundlers make him more favorable than Romney, who is keeping them a secret? NC: I’m not sure I know what the objective answer is. There are certainly some people who care about campaign finance, that’s on the top of their list of issues and disclosure means something to them. I certainly think in a political sense it helps Obama shift himself and his brand as a more grassroot more open campaign than Mitt Romney who is both not disclosing his bundlers, which is not required by law and probably raising a lot less from small donors than Obama is. It may be that the direct benefit to Obama is not as large as kind of the indirect way in which it feeds a kind of broader perception that he’s trying to create about his candidacy. T: How will Romney’s comments, which were caught on video, on 47 percent of Americans being dependent on the government, affect him with small donors?
Photo Courtesy of atlantic wire
NYT reporter Nick Confessore spoke at the Little Theater on Sept. 18
Anthony O’Reilly News Editor As part of the University’s civic engagement program, Participate, New York Times political reporter, Nick Confessore, visited the University’s Little Theater Sept. 18 to discuss the role that campaign financing plays in a national election. After discussing such issues as Super PAC’s and grassroots fundraising to a packed Theater filled with students and professors, Confessore sat down with the Torch to further discuss what importance this important issue will play in the 2012 election.
in politics, there will always be big check writers in politics, one way or another. But as Barack Obama especially has shown, it’s entirely possible for that big money to co-exist even in the same campaign with lots and lots of small money. Barack Obama has raised about half of his money from small donors. People giving very small checks. So individually a person writing a $5 check is not perhaps going to have the same influence as a person writing a $5,000 check but collectively they can be as big a force and as important in how campaigns are paid for.
Torch: Why should college students be concerned about campaign financing?
T: Is Obama’s turn to big donors, as opposed to his grassroots approach in 2008, a flip-flop or just him trying to keep his job?
Nick Confessore: I think being informed is always the first step towards making any change that you might want to make. As a reporter I think there’s a great public interest in people knowing how campaigns are paid for and who’s paying for them. I think it’s useful and important for journalists to explain that to citizens and that’s one of the roles that we have in a free society. My coming here and talking about it to the students is to me an extension of that mission. Some people in that room might be in favor of greater restrictions on campaign money some people might be against. The important thing is that they’re informed on how things work and that gives them a sense of the possibilities on how things could work. There will always be money
NC: When you’re running for president, whether you’re Democrat or Republican, you raise money from almost anybody who will give it. Obama doesn’t take money from PAC’s or lobbyists but just about everybody else. What we’ve seen between 2008 and 2012 with Obama is because he’s an incumbent and he’s raising money jointly with his party he’s able to raise check from each individual that are bigger than the checks he could raise from each person when he was a challenger because a lot of that money goes to the party and the party can accept more money from each person than a candidate can. What’s resulted in that is an interesting development. Imagine a reverse bell curve. He has lots and lots and lots of small checks, like millions of small checks. But he
NC: In a strange way what he said is factually accurate. What I mean by that is, yes probably 40% of the country will not vote for Mitt Romney under any circumstances, because they’re Democrats, or because they’re highly likely to vote for a Democrat even if they’re a registered independent. Where I think it probably hurts Mitt Romney is the second part of what he said which is that they won’t vote for me because they have a philosophy of politics which says they’re entitled to many things from the government and they implication being that they’ll vote for Obama because he’ll give them those things. I don’t think you ever want to say that ‘half the country are basically bums who want things handed to them,’ and that is sort of the rhetorical implication of one of the things he said. And that I think will hurt him, because I’m not sure that half the country, including some people that he does want to have vote for him, see themselves that way. It is often very hard to say in advance what effect something will have in politics. T: What has Mitt Romney done to gain favor with small donors? NC: For most of the campaign, Mitt Romney was having problems with small donors. For most of the campaign he was raising a low percentage of money from people giving less than $200, which is one way we define small donors. It improved for him when he became the nominee because what happens is people who are Republican are going to rally around their candidate, even if they had doubts about him. It improved again as the race is getting closer and the election is getting closer. People are paying attention more, and they’re more inclined to give. All those things tend to affect fundraising. So now in this last month he’s up to about a third of his money from his last month – according to his campaign – were small
donors. That’s a real improvement but Obama has traditionally been over half of his money, which is more. T: How will the money raised be spent as the election draws closer to an end? NC: The vast majority of money spent on ads will be spent on negative ads. That’s just the way of politics these days. There will be tens of millions of dollars spent by both candidates’ campaigns spent on negative ads, trying to knock each other out, and a smaller amount trying to promote their candidates. Obama spent a lot of his money in 2008 on a long infomercial basically sort of talking about himself and his own achievements and his campaign. That was kind of a more positive message, and they could do that because they had so much more money than John McCain that they could afford to spend a large amount of money on a thirty minute commercial, which was almost unheard of in modern politics. I’m not sure if we’ll see that again, I think it’s less likely but you never know. T: Why is it harder for Obama to raise funds the second time around? NC: I think it has a lot to do with Obama and his record. First time he ran for president was historic – he was the first African-American nominee of a major party. That excited a lot of people, and a lot of people wanted to be a part of that and one of the ways was giving a little bit of money. He was a challenger; he hadn’t done anything yet, he hadn’t been President yet. When you’re a challenger it’s easier to be more things to more people to appeal, at least at first, to different kinds of people. Certainly there are a lot of people who contributed to him in 2008, including wealthy donors, who are giving to Mitt Romney this time, who don’t like what Obama has done as president. There are liberal people who think that he hasn’t been liberal enough, there are centrist people who think he’s been too liberal. The economy plays a role, where he took office amidst a crash that affects fundraising, people just feel more pinched. People, even rich people who have money to give might just be less inclined to give a $30,000 check to go to a fundraiser. So it’s harder for him – it’s a lot harder for him. We know that arithmetically and we kind of know it anecdotally that he’s had to work a lot harder to raise money this time around. He’s had to do a lot of fundraising events and the reality [of] being an incumbent where he had to displease a lot of people. It’s probably the economy and things are harder the second time around. T: What did you think about the turnout of the event? NC I was extraordinarily pleased with the turnout. The students asked really great, on-point questions. I was really heartened that students at St. John’s will take such an interest in an issue like this that’s important but often overlooked, and it’s one of the largest crowds of people I’ve talked to about politics so I was really grateful to be here.
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
Transparency in SGI, part II
Two weeks have passed since Student Government, Inc. unanimously passed its $1.14 million budget for the 2012/13 school year, and we at the Torch are still in the dark about what it contains. For the last two weeks, our inquiries have been ignored, delayed or deflected, calling into question the new e-board’s pledge for greater transparency in the organization. Red tape is no longer the issue, and members of previous boards have assured us that there is no reason for the full budget to be under lock and key. SGI’s new administrative liaison, Danny Trujillo, has rightly claimed no authority to release the budget, and SGI President Christian Williams has failed to give any real reasons for why the organization he leads should be able to play with our money in secret. The Torch has no dog in this fight. We are independent from the University
—accepting no SGI funds, buying our computers, cameras, even our printer paper with our own money raised through advertising. Our only wish is that every organization, student, professor and administrator be able to view a publicly available budget. Two weeks is too long to reveal it. In fact, the budget should have been posted before it was passed, to allow public comment and debate. We gave the new board the benefit of the doubt then, after assurances from Williams that the full ledger would be available for us to see soon. That was on Sept. 11. It’s now Sept. 26, and we still have no idea what the majority of our activity fee is going to be spent on. This is democracy at its most dysfunctional — no, it is not democracy at all. SGI is doing a disservice to its constituents by hiding what it is doing with their money. Release the budget. It’s the right thing to do.
Is there anything we won’t do?
We’re not sure what to make of the latest attempt by the University to increase its profile. In case you missed our cover, a student in a Johnny Thunderbird is going to rappel down a 34story building on the “Today Show” on NBC. Having John Starks visit campus for Dribble for the Cure is one thing. Steve Lavin speaking on CBS during March Madness is equally harmless. But once we get to the point where we’re asking a student to essentially jump off a building to put our school on national TV, we have to start asking how far is too far. The stunt is for cancer research, so we can’t say the University is simply out for its own gain. However, the decision to have an untrained student jump-
ing down a building is questionable. Why not hire a professional? What is the school’s liability in this stunt? Wolfrom was not asked to sign a waiver by the school. It’s unclear whether his contract will cover liability from such activity, though it’s doubtful that, when signing the contract, Wolfrom knew he was accepting responsibility for such an activity. Of course, we’re sure he will be safe. There’s a very slim chance that something will go wrong. But we still have to question the thought process behind the decision to put one of its students hundreds of feet above the ground, in a mascot suit no less. There has to be a better way to get the University’s name out.
TORCH ILLUSTRATION/DIAMOND WATTS-WALKER
WHAT ARE YOUR PARKING STRATEGIES?
Jorge Castillo Senior
Chris Morales Sophomore
“I can only find a spot in the mornings. I usually find a spot outside of the Townhouses.”
“I park by Gate 6, I spend 15 minutes every time.”
Megan Lee Sophomore
Daniel Bloncourt Junior
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. Opin-
ions expressed in editorials, columns, letters or cartoons are not necessarily those of the student body, faculty or administrations of St. John’s University.
TO CONTRIBUTE Mail letters to: The TORCH, St. John’s University 8000 Utopia Parkway, Jamaica, NY 11439 Submit letters via e-mail at: email@example.com
Please include your full name, year, and college (or department). Letters have a limit of 500 words and may be edited for content, grammar, or space. Unverifiable or anonymous letters will not be published. All letters are subject to the approval of the Editorial Board of The TORCH.
“I park by Gate 4, it’s really annoying. The spots are very narrow, I always end up with a dent.
“I’ve parked by gate 4 since freshman year, I always find a spot, it never fails.”
Falling in love with New York
An international student’s view of the city that never sleeps believe that I was standing in front of this amazing building, steeped in New York history. I wanted to look inside, but I had other things to see, so I made my way up to Central Park. As I stood across from the park, a horse and carriage pulled up in front of me and a young couple got out. I couldn’t help but think about how romantic that must have been, like a scene from a movie. As I walked along the outskirts, I couldn’t believe that such beauty could exist in the middle of such a huge and busy city. I wanted to explore it more, but as I looked forward I was dumbstruck by a street sign that drew me away from the park. Broadway! Completely in awe, I strolled down Broadway, not believing I was actually walking on the famed road, renowned as the Mecca of Musicals across the globe. Every couple of yards there was a different show. Mamma Mia, Chicago, Wicked, The Lion King. There were so many of them - I couldn’t count. Theatres were interwoven with coffee shops and little stores. It felt so bohemian. I couldn’t wait to come again and catch a show. As I wandered further and further down Broadway, I could see lights. Lights so big they surpassed the skyline. I kept going and going and I realized where I was.
REBECCA BROWN Contributing Writer
My suitemates were just moving into the dorms and already, I couldn’t wait to get out. I had been here a week already and hadn’t done the one thing that I had come to America to do. I needed to go and see Manhattan with my own eyes. Some people told me that I would get bored of the city after a few weeks. Others said they avoided the city at all costs. This didn’t sit right with me. I think it’s crazy to be in New York and let yourself fall out of love with a city that gives so much.. Despite all the stereotypes I had been told about New Yorkers, I was standing outside the Rockefeller Center, dazed and confused, when a lady kindly approached me, asked if I was lost and gave me directions. Surprisingly, I was told I was heading in the right direction and just needed to turn the corner. When I did, I was hit with my first major New York City landmark; Radio City. It was lit up to the max, casting a light across the whole street. I couldn’t
Arriving in Times Square, I did a 360 on myself to try and take in everything that was going on. It was probably my biggest shock of the day. Times Square is truly one of those places that you have to be there to truly see it, and can’t be described with words alone. All the people, all the lights, all the billboards, it was all so overwhelming, but at the same time, so absolutely captivating. It finally dawned on me that I was actually standing in New York City, and everything was better than anything I could have seen in a book, on TV, in a movie, or, indeed, better than anything my imagination could have created. After my first day in the city, it made it harder to believe that people don’t love this city with all their might. But what do I know? I’m just a kid from England that doesn’t know t he city for what it is (apparently). Over this year I hope to learn more about what it is that drives people crazy about this city. But I also hope to inspire those of you that have fallen out of love, to stumble head-over-heels once more.
Rebecca Brown is an international student from Derby, England.
Great day for flag football!
St. John’s favorite intramural sport not just for guys
Nothing makes me feel more nostalgic than thinking of the previous three falls that I have spent on DaSilva Field rain or shine, hot or cold, win or loss. On Thursday, I had the first game of my final season of flag football. That’s probably misleading. My team started its final season of Flag Football on Thursday — I stood on the sideline. Regardless, standing out there that night made me think back to my own personal football history. I’ve always loved football. I would watch it with my dad when I was growing up, even though I didn’t understand anything that was going on. I couldn’t play as a child because I was too busy with other sports, but I always thought that in another world, I could see myself playing football. In middle school, I would play flag football on Saturday mornings with the local families. We’d use tube socks as flags and the dads would draw up plays with their finger to make sure everyone got the ball. It was so much fun and as I got older, I wished I had never “grown out of it.” I didn’t play any sort of football again until the Homecoming Powder Puff football game my junior year of high school. This time was different – pride was on the line. The game was so fun. We made
history by being the first junior class to win, a fact which did not make us any friends in the senior class. We followed it up the next year as the first back-to-back winners in school history. Naturally, when I heard about a co-ed football league – I wanted to be a part of it. My roommate knew someone who knew someone who was putting together a team, and somehow my name got thrown into the hat. I was told I would have to “try out” for the team. I honestly don’t remember, but I’m pretty sure that never happened. Freshman year, our team was a random group of guys who happened to live together. Somehow, I’m convinced by luck of the draw, we ended up fourth in the league. After that, things got real. We started recruiting. That next year we were added incredible athletes from all different teams to make ourselves a powerhouse. We started having “practices” rather than “toss arounds,” the goal was to win the league. Any loss was a failure and we would not tolerate it. That season ended earlier
for us and the team was not satisfied. Once again, the beginning of the season brought new faces to our team. These guys were fast, big, knew how to play to football and more than replaced the players we lost to one of the frat teams in the league. After completely dominating throughout the regular season, we were matched up against that same frat team in the playoffs. Tempers flared during the game but at the end, we came up victorious. Though we lost the subsequent championship game, it was clear that we were the team to beat in the league. This year we’re back and better than ever. We’ve finally kept our team stable didn’t lose any players from last year’s dominant squad. We’ve got one goal in mind – Flag Football Champions and nothing is going to come in our way. Especially not me. I’ve spent the last two years as the only girl on the team, surrounded by 15-20 men. Sometimes it feels like I’m the only girl in the league. Rather than feeling uncomfortable
Sometimes, the other team stays as far away from me as possible – as if I were a bubble about to burst. Other times they treat me like one of the guys and I’ll be bulldozed.
or awkward, I’ve embraced it. These men have become like brothers to me. I’ve gotten used to not playing all the time. I am generally saved for the games that are so out of reach that it doesn’t matter what I do. I’ve become the cheerleader for the team. I cheer for our boys as we pick off the other team’s deep balls, I groan when the referees make a bad call (which I thought was a lot, until I watched the Packers-Seahawks game on Monday night) and I celebrate each one of our team’s wins when the final whistle blows, which is nearly every week. When I do play, something ridiculous almost always happens. Sometimes, the other team stays as far away from me as possible – as if I were a bubble about to burst. Other times they treat me like one of the guys and I’ll be bulldozed (I’ve always gotten up afterwards). One time I caught a sideline pass and the defender grabbed my butt instead of my flag – that one I didn’t even notice, too excited about the ball being thrown to me, but my teammates made quite a fuss. These things are all part of the game and part of what makes me love flag football season so much. I can’t help but romanticize the cold fall nights we spend out on the turf or the competition between teams we’ll play three or four times before the playoffs. Each game matters and this time there’s no looking forward to next year – we’ve gotta get it done now. Nicole Valente is a senior marketing major who is sad face about Darrelle Revis. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Romney’s comments reveal much Out-of-touch candidate not able to represent the 47 percent
What do you call a family of five who makes a combined income of $50,000, maybe with one or even both parents working two jobs to make ends meet ? I call that family typical, hardworking Americans — the people to which Kix cereal and Chevrolet commercials are geared. Mitt Romney calls that workingclass family freeloaders, dependent on government, and claims that he will never be able to convince them to take “personal responsibility” for themselves. And, oh by the way, vote for him to be president. By now, Mitt Romney’s comments about the 47 percent of Americans who he believes will vote for President Barack Obama, no matter what, have been discussed ad nauseam. In case you missed it, Mother Jones last week released a video of the Republican nominee telling supporters at a fundraising dinner that 47 percent of the country is reliant on government, and that he could never convince them to take personal responsibility for themselves. While many fed-up conservative
elites have blasted Romney’s remarks, he and his surrogates on the campaign trail have tried to explain them. Kelly Ayotte, a senator from New Hampshire, claimed that his words were “a political analysis,” on NBC’s Meet the Press, while the candidate himself admitted to speaking inelegantly. What’s missing in the spin that followed the release of the controversial video? Romney taking back the dishonest and hurtful things he said — that almost half of Americans are essentially lazy freeloaders who rely on the government for their every need. In other words, he’s missing a retraction. There’s been no “I misspoke,” or “I was wrong,” just that he shouldn’t have phrased his words the way he did. To me, that, more even than the words themselves, show how unfit he is to lead this country. Romney has been cast throughout the campaign season as out of touch, and his private sector career at Bain Capital has been scrutinized in more detail than any other presidential candidate’s former job in recent memory. Generally, I think judging the merits of a candidate based on his or her background and upbringing isn’t a very good idea — most presidents, with a few exceptions (like Obama), came from some sort of wealth or privilege, and their resulting political ideology has varied wildly. You can’t tell a person’s political beliefs based solely on their income growing up. But in Romney’s case, he seems, even
after nearly two years of campaigning, to not have a single clue of what most Americans go through. And it’s reflected in both his tax plans — which would cut taxes heavily for the wealthiest but are mathematically impossible without large increases on the poor and middle class — and the callous words he said about nearly half of his potential constituents behind closed door. Ayotte’s comments — that Romney was making a “political analysis” — were clearly spin (watching her trying to defend the indefensible on Meet the Press was painful to watch), but nobody should be fooled into giving Romney even the benefit of that copout defense. Much of the Republican base is located firmly in the 47 percent — senior citizens and white workingclass voters. See, when you insult half the country, there’s inevitably some collateral damage. Romney doesn’t know what it’s like to live poor, or even middle-class. He, despite his assertions to the contrary, inherited a million dollars from his father, and was lucky enough to attend both Harvard Law School and Harvard Business School. There’s nothing wrong with that, and attacking him for winning the birth lottery is as unfair as him attacking the poor and middle class for their lot in life. But it also means that he never had to struggle. He never knew what it was like to be worried about making rent,
or paying certain bills. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that, except that he never bothered to learn how the average person — or the “47 percent … who are dependent on government,” according to Romney, lived. I don’t begrudge Romney his wealth. But I do begrudge his belief that a person’s income is tied to how hard they work and how much responsibility they take for themselves. Romney himself earned $14 million in 2011, despite being unemployed. It betrays a man that, more than just being unsympathetic to the plight of most Americans, has no clue what most Americans go through. Both campaigns have harped on “doing the math” this election year. Whether they’re talking about proposed tax cuts or the changes involved in “Obamacare,” each side thinks the numbers are on their side. But this situation poses another math problem: the president is supposed to represent 100 percent of Americans. If Mitt Romney chooses to not understand and write off 47 percent of this country as lacking personal responsibility, it isn’t just wrong – to quote his running mate, Paul Ryan, “the math is downright scary.” Michael E. Cunniff is a senior journalism major who will layout Mitch’s sports section next week if Tottenham loses to Manchester United. He can be reached at: email@example.com
Romance: What is it, and who does it better? JACK
Special to the Torch Romance in America is dead. And women killed it. There’s nothing better to me than a dinner by candlelight, and a long walk in the park, hand in hand with my lady. Nothing at all. I’d love nothing more than to bring flowers home to my sweetheart to let her know how much I care, or bring her breakfast in bed on a Sunday morning. But I don’t do those things, because I have to keep up my inherent manliness. Who defines manliness? Women do. See, somewhere in between the time where the ideal of a woman went from Betty Crocker to Hilary Clinton (not a bad thing, I must stress, even if there would be less conflict in the world
If we don’t return calls ... it’s because, at the heart of it, you like it that way.
if everybody came home to a warm plate of chocolate chip cookies after a hard day’s work), women decided, in a secret vote at an undisclosed location (probably in Staten Island), that if men showed any overt display of affection, let alone a public display of affection, displayed an unacceptable neediness and sissiness and was not to be tolerated.
So instead of Boyz II Men’s “Til the End of the Road,” (sample lyrics: “You belong to me; I belong to you,” we now have Lil’ Flip and Lea’s “Sunshine,” (sample lyrics: “We don’t have to be in love; we can just be friends.”). See, at the heart of it, everything we do as men is to impress women. And when the Staten Island Secret Convention of Women decided that acts that men considered romantic (opening doors, paying for dinner, etc.) no longer appealed to them, men adjusted. Now, if we don’t return calls, or show up late or forget special occasions, it’s because, at the heart of it, you like it that way. You don’t want us to be too attached, so we act like we’re not. On the outside, we look super macho, uncaring, cool to a fault. On the inside, oftentimes we just want to tell you how great you are, or how pretty you look in that dress. But we can’t do that. We’ve seen you run back to cheating exes and guys who don’t appreciate you while leaving the nice guys who just want to serenade you with a guitar solo in the dust too much, so we’re adapting. Natural selection and all that. Secretly, men still want to be nice guys that are there for your every need. We want to introduce ourselves to your parents when we pick you up for our first date. Well, maybe not, but you get the point. But the days of that are gone, because we’re terrified of being labeled sexist—or worse, as “too nice.” That’s equivalent to a life sentence to the friend zone, and we all know how men feel about that (refresher course: not good). So, the next time you complain about how your boyfriend never does anything nice for you, or never seems to appreciate you, remember this: you, or at least other women like you, brought it on yourselves.
Special to the Torch Who is more romantic? Are you kidding? Is this even a real question? We defined romance. Of course women are more romantic than men. Men think romance is some huge gesture of love. You all think it has to be a big deal – requiring extensive planning. It really doesn’t. Romance isn’t about what you do, but how you make me feel. Merriam Webster defines “romantic” as “marked by expressions of love or affection.” That is all I want – something that reminds me that you love me. It’s never a question of whether you love me or how much, but the little things are what keep me feeling secure when I’m feeling down or special when I’m just feeling ordinary. I don’t need a horse-drawn carriage carrying me to a candlelit dinner on a private yacht on the Hudson. Despite what you may think, I’m not crazy. I don’t need a bouquet of roses hand delivered to me at work, though I have never heard of anyone turning one down – and I certainly wouldn’t. That reminds me – don’t shower me with unnecessary gifts in an attempt to buy my love. First of all, that’s not romantic. Second of all, it’s not going to work. Spending an exorbitant amount of money is not romance, it’s just silly. Romance is leaving me a note and a small red velvet cupcake on our 16-month anniversary, one that may seem arbitrary. It’s romantic when you grab me, take me into your arms and we start slow dancing to no music in the living room. When you come up behind me and whisper in my ear that you love me, that’s romantic. Romance tells me that you love me without you having to say those three little words. Romance is love in action.
Women do romantic things on a daily basis without expecting anything in return. It’s not that we are better at it, we are just more conscious sometimes. We don’t need a special holiday or anniversary to demonstrate how much we care. Whether it’s making your favorite dinner on a rough day or leaving you a note
Romance tells me that you love me without you having to say those three little words. Romance is love in action.
on your windshield, we find little ways to go above and beyond and show you that we care. And when I do romantic things, you don’t even blink an eye. Men expect it from women. But when you do it, I should throw you a parade? I don’t think so. So rather than saving up all your romantic points for Valentine’s Day, or my birthday, or our anniversary, spread them out throughout the year. If we’re both doing romantic things for each other sporadically throughout the year, we’ll be much happier and these things will mean more. But like I said, I’m not asking you to grab the moon and pull it closer to earth Bruce Almighty-style. Just use your head; you know me and you know what makes me smile. So just remember those and the romance will come naturally, just like us being together does.
Jack and Jill is a staff column describing different perspectives on relationships in college. Any suggestions for future topics can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
TOPTWEETS: @sassysummers Stephanie Hill
@theoriginalpq Jenny B.
“romantic college boys? I’m pretty sure this is the dictionary’s example of an oxymoron. ”
@itsNazma Lorenaa Bobbitt
“men because they think they HAVE to be romantic. It’s fake. #cynical #TorchJandJ ”
“Girls, think with romance. Guys act on romance.”
Jersey boy: Why Springsteen rocks PETER LONG
Entertainment Editor On Friday night I saw Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perform for the sixth time. I can safely say that out of the six times I have seen him, Friday’s show was the best I have seen him play. That is, until the next time I see him. He played rarities (“Living on the Edge of the World” off 1998’s Tracks box set, and “Does This Bus Stop at 82nd Street?” off his debut album Greetings from Asbury Park ,N.J.), crowd pleasers (“Out in the Street,” “Bobby Jean”) and everything else in between. I had bought a ticket that Thursday based on the fact that a couple of my friends were going and that I don’t know how many more time Springsteen will go on tour like this again. In the end, it was a really good decision. As I was walking out of MetLife Stadium that night, satisfied by yet another Springsteen concert, I asked myself a couple of questions: why do I keep doing this? What provokes me to come back for more? After a few moments of deliberation and self-analysis at a McDonald’s on 7th Ave. at 1:30 a.m., feet tired, hands worn from clapping, throat sore from singing, I arrived at my answers. First – I’m from New Jersey. I’m not saying that everyone from New Jersey likes Springsteen, some even (gasp) dislike him. But Springsteen is a beacon for New Jersey, a spokesman who proudly and openly represents the country’s most ridiculed state. Whenever I listen to his music I feel like he’s speaking to me about my life. His language is somewhat esoteric and yet carries a universal message all at once. What was always thrilling about Springsteen’s music was that he constantly cited places in New Jersey where I had been to. “It’s about a mile down on the dark side of route 88…” from “Spirit in the Night,” refers to the state road that I grew up a few blocks away from that leads to the ocean and runs through the middle of my hometown of Point Pleasant. The street 10th Ave. that’s referenced in the song “Tenth Avenue Freezeout” is based on a street in Belmar. 10th Ave. also intersects with E Street, the namesake of the E Street Band. I always feel proud of where I come from knowing that I have been to the places that he sings about and knowing that those are being heard all over the world by people of all nationalities and walks of life. I came to realize that you don’t have to be from New Jersey to like and understand
TORCH ILLUSTRATION/DIAMON WATTS-WALKER
Springsteen’s music because his language in accessible and we all know someone who resembles a character in one of his songs. For me, the people that he sings about are people who I knew growing up and went to school with them. In a sense, I always go back to see Springsteen perform because it’s like seeing an old friend who you haven’t seen in a while. And it’s always nice to see him back in the neighborhood. And number two. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band is still as exciting of a live act as they were when they first started in 1972. Artists from Springsteen’s era who still tour today are generally known as “legacy acts.” Legacy acts can play up to 30 shows a year and rake in a decent amount of money for promoters, venues and themselves. They go out, play the same songs for an hour and half every night and then move on to the next city. The Rolling Stones, Paul
PHOTO COURTESY OF LUIGINTER/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
McCartney and Kiss all fall under this umbrella of blandness. Springsteen on the other hand concocts a different setlist every night and will end up playing 101 shows on his Wrecking Ball Tour by the time he and his band are finished. That is if they don’t decide to add more shows later this year. One night he could play a deep cut such as “Janey Don’t You Lose Heart” and the next night he could play a song like “Badlands” in the same slot and still have the same the effect on his audience. It’s exciting. You never know what he’ll do, what he’ll play or what will happen. Something that I didn’t expect was his performance of my favorite song, “Incident on 57th St.” off 1974’s The Wild, The Innocent and The E Street Shuffle: “Johnny was sittin’ on the fire escape watchin’ the kids play down the street/he called down ‘hey little heroes summer’s gone but I guess it ain’t very sweet around here anymore.’” Then Springsteen launched into “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight),” not only one of his most famous showstoppers, but the song that follows “Incident” on the same album. Everyone in the audience was floored. It was something stunning and completely unexpected. It’s these defining moments that make going to Springsteen truly remarkable and, more importantly, enjoyable. You know you never going to see the same show twice and that’s one of the biggest reasons why I have seen him six times. It’s also the reason why Greg, the 28 year old from Brooklyn who sat next to me at the concert, had seen him 30 times, seven times on this tour alone. His father Mark, 54, didn’t want to admit how many times he had seen Springsteen, all he said was “I started going to his shows in 1974.” His performances do more for people’s
souls and happiness than other artists can even begin to imagine. Parents pass his legend down to their children and their children’s children who want to see the man themselves, who want to make their own judgments because they think he’s an anomaly. The Daily Show host and New Jersey native Jon Stewart said it best when he said in 2009, “he empties the tank every night; he empties it for his fans, for his family and for his country.” So, after standing on my feet for three and a half hours, hands still worn from clapping, throat still sore from singing, still sitting in the McDonald’s on 7th Ave., I actually thought about getting tickets for the next night’s concert. As it turned out, due to severe lightning, Springsteen wound up hitting the stage a little after 10:00 the following night and he wound up leaving the stage a little before 2:00. A nearly four hour performance for a man who’s 63 years old. Even if you don’t like his music, it’s still something worth seeing. So instead of asking myself again “what keeps me going back to see Springsteen?,” I asked myself “would I have gone to that show that ended at 2:00 in the morning?” And my answer to that: “absolutely.” It’s pretty obvious to say at this point, but Bruce Springsteen has played a big part in my life. Some people dislike his voice, some people dislike the sound of his music, some people dislike the cheesiness of his act. Sometimes, people just don’t get “it.” But it’s that “it” that keeps me coming back for more, it’s that “it” that makes him one of the greatest artists in the history of rock n’ roll. It’s that “it” that will always lead me back to the music of Bruce Springsteen, and it will always leave me happy and wanting more.
Peter Long is a junior journalism major He can be reached at email@example.com.
Barber Wars II: New Gen hits back
Rubinov: ‘I never met’ rival barber before Union Tpke. arrival KIERAN LYNCH Features Editor
The owner of New Generation Barber Shop has hit back at his rival Union Turnpike barber, Igor Pinhasov, claiming that the pair never worked together and that the pictures of him fixing Pinhasov’s haircut are “something he said about the subject.” Pinhasov told the Torch that the two worked together for 10 months, something that Rubinov said never happened. “Since the day he opened, he’s been telling all the customers that we worked together,” Rubinov said. “Me and him never worked together. I never met him until the day before he opened up the shop.” Rubinov has been the owner of New Generation on 167 St. since April of 2010. Before that, he was a worker in the shop since June 2009. That’s not when the shop first opened, however. “The barbershop has been here for more than 40 years,” Rubinov said. “The original owner was here since day one. His name is Eddy.” When Eddy sold the shop to Rubinov, the original owner had been charging $12 for a regular haircut, Rubinov says. When the new owner took over, he needed to pay rent to Eddy and as such, decided to start his pricing at $14. “The average haircut in this area is $13 to $15,” Rubinov said. “I put $14 because it’s in the middle. I didn’t want to hurt anybody.” Rubinov refers to the other barbers in the area as “great barbers” and welcomed the competition. He mentioned New York State of Mind, a shop further down on
TORCH PHOTO/KRISTEN FARMER
New Generation Barber Shop sits on Union Tpke. and 167 St. Union Turnpike, as a barbershop that he respected. One of the things that Rubinov took issue with was Pinhasov’s insistence that the photos depicting an alleged “Before” haircut from Hair Xpress and “After” haircut from New Generation before false.
“Those photos of the bad haircuts given here aren’t real,” Pinhasov told the Torch prior to the previous issue. “He faked those photos by giving a bad haircut to people then pretending to fix it.” When asked about Rubinov’s response to the story, Pinhasov stood by his com-
ments in the previous issue, maintaining that his assertion that the two had worked together was factual. He also maintained his belief that the pictures depicting subpar haircuts were a stunt. “[What he’s doing], it’s not professional,” Pinhasov said. “I’m happy with what has happened. Everyone knows the truth now.” Rubinov also clarified what he said were statements that he said were “not true” in the story. The story stated that stated he had employed three full-time barbers and four part-time stylists. “When school is here we have two full time guys and one part time,” Rubinov said. “When school isn’t here, we only have two full time guys.” In regards to the stylists, he said he did employ one for a few months as a way to generate new revenue. This ended after a few short months, he said. “This is a barbershop, not a unisex [shop],” he said. “I tried, when he opened, to get another source of income. I tried to get a guy over here to do women’s hair. Then I figured out I’m a barber.” While the jury may be forever out on who is in the right in their business practices, Rubinov made one point that rings true to everyone. “People have a choice in America to make their own decision. They can make a decision on where to go.” Then he added the dig. “You get what you pay for,” he said. Can’t get enough of the Torch? Visit our Web site for online exclusives. torchonline.com
First Listen: Indie triumphantly returns with Alt-J
HARRY SAUNDERS Staff Writer
In the era of “X-Factor” and “American Idol,” you could be forgiven for thinking that the only way to break the charts these days is by selling your soul to Simon Cowell or any another shady music industry character. But with the release of Alt-J’s debut album An Awesome Wave last week comes a ray of hope that the old days of success of small indie artists may be receiving a second wind. The band from Oxford, England, the same small town that gave us acts such as Radiohead, Foals and Supergrass, are gaining critic’s praise on both sides of the Atlantic and the interest shows no signs of tailing off. Alt-J conveys an aesthetic that is rarely seen nowadays in the realm of alternative rock let alone in popular music. It’s something that we haven’t seen since the dawn of the new millennium. The early 2000’s gave us bands such as The Strokes and The Libertines, primarily self-funded guitar bands who went on to become some of the most highly regarded acts of the decade. This trend stalled when major record labels began to cash in on the universal appeal that ‘indie music’ had. As a result, the normal formula of working your way up from the club circuit and gaining recognition through sustained and
methodical gigging became outdated. Major labels began to pluck bands from relative obscurity and pump tons of money into marketing and advertising in order to get one or two good albums out of them. Alt-J represents a return to this oldfashioned style of being in a true indie band by disregarding major label offers to sign with Korda Marshall’s influential Infectious Records, the rebooted independent label that has given us acts such as Ash, Local Natives and The Temper Trap. On top of this independent streak, and one that with the rise of piracy and the digital age is likely to become more and
more commonplace, An Awesome Wave is up there with the best albums of the year. In the UK it has been nominated for the Mercury Prize, the highly-regarded music prize previously handed out to bands such as Arctic Monkeys, The XX and Primal Scream. The album itself is a work of genius, an eccentric piece of music that changes tempo at the drop of a hat, and showcases the immense musical talent that all of the band’s members possess. Tracks such as “Fitzpleasure” and “Tessellate” provide the obvious singles on the album, while others such as “Breezeblocks” provide a sharp
and melancholic contrast, giving the album a really refreshing and eclectic feel. Last Monday, Alt-J performed in front of a packed crowd and numerous members of the press at New York’s Bowery Ballroom. The concert was a triumph as the band reveled in the claustrophobic space provided. Their haunting harmonies and intricate guitar work flowed perfectly as the die-hard crowd sang along to every word to every song while cherishing every precious second. The introduction of a choir and live strings did nothing but reinforce Alt-J’s reputation as an innovative force in British music. It is by no means a foregone conclusion that bands that make it in the UK will translate to an American audience. People will regularly invoke the British Invasion of 1960s, and modern day super-bands such as Coldplay and Muse, but there are far more stories of great British bands that have fallen by the wayside. Alt-J is unlikely ever to reach the level of success that these bands have had, such is the idiosyncratic nature of their album. But by judging their performance that night at The Bowery Ballroom, their cult potential is huge. It is easy to say don’t “believe the hype,” but just one listen of An Awesome Wave should dispel that thought for many. With a great album, a solid media foundation and a respectable live following to boot, this is a band that will go places.
Student Spotlight: Jason Lapin GUITARIST MAKES NAME PLAYING IN THE NEW YORK CIT Y SUBWAY SYSTEM
grimy and dirty down there.” Lapin says he first started singing when Features Editor he was a child, thanks to his mother who sang Opera. It wasn’t until he was a junior Whether you’re riding the subway from in high school that he first started to play Queens to Manhattan or taking a trip on the the guitar and according to him, he wasn’t Metro to the Louvre in Paris, you may have very good. gotten to hear some music along the way. “We have a piano in my house and my It comes in different forms from different mom is always playing it,” he said. “She people, just like the students at St. John’s. pursued a career in music and it didn’t turn Jason Lapin, an English major in his ju- out so well, but she’s always been my innior year, uses local forms of public trans- spiration.” portation to bring his music to the people The Boston, Massachusetts native of the city. The guitarist headed to Paris for started to amass a small following when this past spring semester and that included he arrived in college. At first, it was only performing in a foreign metro system as a a few people, but now, his music is bemeans of survival. ing heard loud and clear everywhere from “Music pretty much kept me alive in Marillac Hall, under a campus tree to his Paris,” Lapin said. Townhouse bathroom. “I ran out of money “I was just doing and the only way I it to have fun [in high “Playing in the had money was that school] and then probI went and played ably freshman year of subway has had a in the subways and college I started gethuge impact on sang in English to the ting a lot of views on people.” my videos,” he said. my life, just seeing When he played “Random people startcertain things.” in Paris, he would ed saying I was good, make around 30 euro so it inspired me to Jason Lapin a trip. This gave him keep going.” enough money to feed While Lapin has himself for a couple of days. In New York recorded music in the past, which can be however, it’s very hit or miss. He says he found on his Youtube channel under “Jacomes home with a few dollars some days son Lapin,” he says he doesn’t want to rush and $50-$60 on others. into a full record until he feels ready and “Playing in the subway has had a huge has a full band. impact on my life, just seeing certain “I don’t want to start getting funding things,” he said. “The struggle it is down for an album until I feel I’m completely there. There are people that have money, ready to write an album,” he said. “I don’t people who are poor, musicians who are want it to just be an acoustic album. So I trying to make it. I feel like it’s such a want to get some sort of a band together.” beautiful environment, even though it’s so At the end of the day, he says he wants
PHOTO COURTESY OF BROOKE MCGOWAN
Jason Lapin plays his guitar at on stage during a performace. to pursue things his dreams, even though The question becomes, both for people he may not be quite too sure what those who listen to Lapin’s music as well as for are yet. himself, what is that to him? “I just want to pursue things that I love,” “I really don’t know what that is for me he said. “I’ve had this conversation with right now and I feel like the sky is the limit other musicians before and they’re like for me right now,” he said. ‘making it is all what you view as making it’ and some people view playing at MSG Jason Lapin will be performing live at as making it and others view playing at the the “R Bar” in Manhattan on Oct. 30. worst bar in the world as making it.”
First Listen: Grizzly Bear, Mumford & Sons ANTHONY O’REILLY
Staff Writer GRIZZLY BEAR Shields
OUT OF 5 STARS
The Brooklyn based band Grizzly Bear’s fourth album Shields is unlike much of anything on the radio today. Its simple, minimalistic sound has a relaxing feel which completely contrasts the lively party music that has captured the heart of mainstream media. Not to say however that Shields will lull it’s listener to sleep. The album has its share of intense moments and sonically interesting ideas throughout that adds fuel to its fire. The song “Sleeping Ute” is rather unique in the sense that a xylophone is used throughout the song. Grizzly Bear uses different drums to create depth for the different tracks. They are a much more prominent part of the songs as opposed to it just existing in the background like in many other songs of today. The aforementioned “Sleeping Ute” and “Half Gate” are great examples of this. It is clear that Grizzly Bear puts great emphasis in the lyrics. The single “Yet Again” has lyrics stating, “yet again, we’re the only ones/no surprise, this is often how it’s done/lately, it’s about all I can take.” This revealing track could be a look into the
relationship between lead singer Ed Droste and his longtime partner Chad McPhail. The couple got married in September of last year and it is possible that “Yet Again” has to do with them feeling as if they are the only ones hat they can rely on. Even though this is Grizzly Bear’s first album since 2009, they haven’t dissapointed when it comes to producing an overall flow of an album. Other albums from the band all have the same minimalistic quality to them. Each album has small changes that hint, if anything, to the smallest amount of growth or experimentation. Their first album, Horn of Plenty, was almost a blank slate. It offered as little as possible in each song and now, looking back, it seems as if the band’s following albums added a more and more layers into their music every time they made a new record. This concept barely saves them from continuously releasing the same material. However, Shields seems to be Grizzly Bear’s most daring record. Shields, as well as every other Grizzly Bear album is like a clean getaway. It offers the listener a chance to unwind after a hard day’s work and catch up on some hobbies they might have been missing out on. In Shields each instrument, not just each song can take the listener on a journey in its own way, traveling down a path that’s parallel to the other elements of the song, leading you to a place of calm and ease.
MUMFORD & SONS Babel
OUT OF 5 STARS
At the 2011 Grammy Awards, the already rising stars of the band Mumford and Sons appeared alongside folk-legend Bob Dylan at the Grammy Awards. On Sept. 22, the four-member band from England had the spotlight to themselves on “Saturday Night Live” to promote their second studio album, Babel. Mumford and Sons have enjoyed mainstream success since the release of their first album, Sigh No More in 2010. Hits like “Little Lion Man” and “White Blank Page” have become hits with the band’s massive following around the world (2.4 million copies sold in the United States alone). Babel’s first single, “I Will Wait”, set the tone for the album but also brought back the familiar sounds of the first album. They seemed to have mastered the art of harmonizing both the voices of all four members, as well as an extensive list of instruments (acoustic guitars, mandolins, keyboards, accordions, drums, basses and even a dobro.) Although many of the tracks feature the same repeating melody, it’s lead singer, Marcus Mumford’s, chilling voice and heartfelt lyrics that make
this album truly unique and sets it apart from the current music scene. One of the trademarks of the band, is their rise from soft acoustic strums to a sudden rapid progression of the acoustic guitars as well as the banjos and accordions, which is followed for a majority of the tracks. Mumford plays the role of a heartbroken troubadour for most of the album, uttering lyrics such as “With your heart like a stone/ you spare no time in lashing out,” in “Holland Road.” The same theme follows in songs such as “Whispers in the Dark” “Reminder” and “Not with Haste.” The band also gets their inspiration for these lyrics from places such as religion (“But I was told by Jesus/ All was well/ So all must be well” in “Below my Feet”) and Shakespeare (“‘Cause there’s no drink/ Or drug I’ve tried/ To rid the curse of these lover’s eyes” in “Lover’s Eyes”. Romeo and Juliet anyone?) In many ways, Mumford and Sons are the stars that should have never been. In an age where the music scene is dominated by auto-tune and electronically engineered trash, they have found a way to make the sounds of banjos and accordions into a mainstream hit. Despite similar sounding melodies and an overall repeating theme throughout the fifty minutes of the album, Mumford and Sons have now become the modern day saviors of music; following in the footsteps of the star they once shared the stage with.
Gyllenhaal, Pena thrill in End of Watch A.J. PARKER
Contributing Writer End of Watch is a cop movie with a dangerously fast pulse. Written and directed by David Ayer, who wrote films like Training Day and SWAT, this action packed movie will keep you at the edge of your seat from beginning to end. The film takes place in Los Angeles and is about two LAPD cops played by Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña. As soon as the film starts, you are thrown into the stress filled lives of officers Taylor (Gyllenhaal) and Zavalla (Peña) as they race through the streets of Los Angeles in an intense car chase. Taylor and Zavalla are legends in the amongst their colleagues, known for being tough and getting the job done. They haven’t been on the force for that long but their close partnership and hard work has gotten them a reputation that their coworkers envy. After a few noteworthy arrests they gain the attention of a Mexican cartel and find themselves skating on thin ice as they try to find out what’s really going on in the streets of South Central, Los Angeles. The film is shot as if the footage was taken from the characters themselves. When the other cops at the police station ask what Taylor is doing with the camera, he tells them it is a project for school. At times this technique of using the point of view of the characters is really exciting and well put together. However, there are times when you feel like you might get motion sickness. There are also scenes in the movie
where it is rather obvious that a third person is filming, but it doesn’t take too much of the thrill away. Coincidentally, the bad guys are also rolling around with a video camera, which seems silly and unrealistic but still manages to give the audience an interesting point of view. While End of Watch is an action movie at heart, it has many elements of a drama and quite a few scenes that will make you laugh. As soon as the characters are introduced, you become attached to them, which makes it even more nerve wracking to watch the scenes where they risk their lives. What really keeps your attention on the screen is how the point of view filming puts you right in the middle of the action. You feel as if you’re sitting in the squad car. When the officers leave the car for a traffic stop, you’re right behind them. The action scenes really get your adrenaline pumping and you might have to take a breath or two when they’re finished. At the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong with this movie. It reaches many audiences because of the various genre elements that it contains. It’ll make you laugh, cringe and almost want to cry. The plot is full of twists and turns that will keep you guessing throughout the movie. I would recommend it to anyone who can put up with bad language and violence, sorry Grandma. Can’t get enough of the Torch? Visit our Web site for online exclusives. torchonline.com
PHOTO COURTESY OF DGT1.COM
Jake Gyllenhaal stars in End of Watch, along with Anna Kendrick and Michael Pena.
St. Vincent DePaul works to feed homeless
“Providing service is our main aim and therefore all of our events are service oriContributing Writer ented,” “We have the Fall Ball, sandwich The students of the St. Vincent de Paul drives, the Walk for the Poor and at our Society gather on days like this past Sat- general body meetings we take suggestions urday to show their empathy and care for for community service events,” senior Tethose who are less fortunate through vari- resa Abulafia said. “We collaborate with ous events such as the Sandwich Drive, a lot of different organizations to create a in collaboration with other organizations campus wide initiative.” such as the Haitian “Some people Society and the Gaelat the Mainchance ic Society. Drop-In Center acFounded in tually have jobs, but France by Frederich “Our service events are still displaced,” Ozanam, SVDP is an John Williams, Vice are beneficial to both international organiPresident of SVDP , zation based around the people we are said. the Vincentian ideSandwich drives serving and to the als of social justice, are only one of the spirituality and charstudents involved events that they enity. They engage in gage in. Their other with the service.” community service major event, the in conjunction with -Davy Lim Walk for the Poor, is other organizations. an event held on St. The sandwich John’s University drive is an event where students gather to- Service Day. It takes place at various sites gether, make sandwiches and deliver them where many students can volunteer to help to the homeless at various sites; such as the out and walk in the shoes of those who are Mainchance Drop-In Center in Manhattan. less fortunate than themselves. They get off the subway eight blocks early “Our service events are beneficial and walk to the site, giving sandwiches and to both the people we are serving and to conversing with any homeless they find the students involved with the service,” along the way, this enables students not Lim said. only to interact with those they help, but “The reflections after each service help also help the homeless still out on the street us to grow spiritually and to make us better along the way. people,” he continued. “However, the most “SVDP on campus is a very friendly or- amazing part is seeing how the service ganization where everybody is welcomed provided is appreciated by those people in regardless of race, religion etc.,” explained need.” Davy Lim, sophomore, Secretary of SVDP.
PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN WILLIAMS
St. Vincent DePaul members make sandwiches in a sandwich drive.
Cruel Summer is far from G.O.O.D
KANYE WEST, PUSHA T, 2 CHAINZ, COMMON AND THE G.O.O.D. MUSIC CREW DROP THEIR DEBUT ALBUM NAZMA JUNE
Contributing Writer G.O.O.D MUSIC
OUT OF 5 STARS
PHOTO COURTESY OF RAP-UP.COM
G.O.O.D. Music releases a lackluster debut after keeping fans waiting for months.
The long awaited G.O.O.D Music album Cruel Summer is far from a good album. Though the songs are listenable, the album seems choppy and unfinished. It completely disappoints on all levels. Whether you had high expectations for the album or whether you wanted to listen to the album based on the starpower of the all-star collective, you will take off your headphones wanting more from something that could have been better. Kanye West, who started the G.O.O.D. Music label in 2004 and has released music by a slew of artists from John Legend to Kid Cudi, has been known as one of the game’s best lyricists since his 2004 debut The College Dropout. Though West delivers some of his best verses on Cruel Summer, the rest of the G.O.O.D. Music crew seem to just take up space. The albums opener, “To the World” could be the best song on the album despite the annoying rasp of Teyana Taylor’s voice. Fortunately, R. Kelly and West save the song from disgrace. “The Morning” features two great verses from Rakewon and Com-
mon, but other than that, that’s it. The song “Clique” is great when you skip a mediocre verse from Big Sean, this should have been the opener and could have included more G.O.O.D Music artists. All of these songs can be tied in with the album’s recurring detrimental theme of choppiness and incompleteness. Certain tracks start off really well with intense and direct verses, but they eventually drift off into something that’s unbearable. The songs that really stood out were “Mercy,” a single that has been out since the spring and it’s one of the best on the album, and “New God Flow,” where Pusha T refers to himself as “the God of everything else.” “The One” features the voice of Marsha Ambrosius, who seems to come out of her lyrical comfort zone to sing about guns and violence, and even more subpar verses from Kanye West, Big Sean and 2 Chainz. The best song on the album is “Don’t Like” with non G.O.O.D Music member Chief Keef with Kanye West, Pusha T, Big Sean and Jadakiss. This is the only song you’ll probably repeat. While there are some songs on Cruel Summer that go together seamlessly, there are other songs that simply don’t fit. The Kid Cudi track “Creepers” is stellar. However, musically, it stands out in the wrong way. “Bliss” stands out in the same vain; lyrically, it doesn’t fit. The best hip-hop albums are the ones that are raw and all the songs mesh together to make one singular, flowing piece of art. With this record, it sounds more like a mixtape. As opposed to it being one unit, Cruel Summer goes in different musical and artistic directions that creates an unsatisfying listening experience.
Fashion spotlight: Standing out at STJ OLABISI THOMPSON Contributing Writer
St. John’s reputation for academic success and its promising opportunities aren’t the only things that attract students to the school, it is also the rich culture and diversity. Students at St. John’s are an eccentric group from all walks of life. They are known for being intelligent, ambitious, cultured and notoriously well dressed. Fashion Week is the pinnacle of New York’s fall season. People from all over the world flock to the runways to witness a true spectacle. A week later, St. John’s students keep the spirit of Fashion Week alive with their unique style. It’s impossible not to notice a person with blue hair. The tips of Claire Bunkers’ hair are bright turquoise. There is a small braid tucked in her charmingly unkempt ponytail and a smile on her face. Bunkers is a junior from Orange County, California studying Government and Politics and pursuing a career in International Relations. The first time Claire dyed her hair was during her freshman year at St. John’s and she’s been dying it ever since. “I didn’t know anyone and there were so many styles on campus and everywhere [in New York],” Bunkers said. “Even though my hair was blue, I felt I fit in more than I stood out.” Bunkers is a savvy bargain shopper who has accumulated interesting articles of clothing and jewelry over time. She was wearing black and gold Jeffery Campbell “knockoff” shoes, black and red stonewashed skinny jeans, and a cut off vintage
tee from a BlackHawk concert. BlackHawk was a country band from the 90s. Claire found the shirt at an “expensive thrift store,” she said, and figured that it had a rare history.
salmon colored stones given to her by a friend, a fluorescent green admission band she got at a bar over the weekend, a small black cross on her thumb which she wears for comfort, and a worn brown leather
TORCH PHOTO/OLABISI THOMPSON
Claire Bunkers displays her fashion statements that are present around her wrists.
On her wrists and fingers, she wears an assortment of bracelets and rings, each of which have a story of their own. On her right is a friendship bracelet given by her freshman roommate, a red rosary bracelet from Mexico, an elaborate silver ring with
bracelet with different colored beads. She found this bracelet on the ground one day and was intrigued by the black, red, white, silver and green colored beads. “I think the colors have different meanings,” she said, and indeed they do.
The color black envokes power, red symbolizes courage, white represents purity, silver symbolizes elegance, and green signifies prosperity. “I have a few pieces of jewelry I found on the ground,” she confessed with a light hearted chuckle. On her left hand, Claire wears a Tibetan ring of religious significance, and on her wrist, a white woven bracelet that says “Mexico” in Mexican national colors. She got the bracelet at the Feast of San Gennaro street festival in Little Italy, New York. Also on her left arm, is a wooden bracelet imprinted with fading peace signs. She got this bangle at Venice Beach in California. Claire deems the bracelet “the quintessential California accessory” that she makes an effort to wear everyday. Around her neck, she wears a large golden cross that she got at a swap meet and a small black fang capped with silver embellishments. “When I saw it [the tooth charm], it reminded me of home,” she said. Overall, Claire describes her style as unorganized, spontaneous and schizophrenic. “I have too many interests and likes,” she said. “Everything in my closet is different. I have different style obsessions – one week one way, the next another. It goes on and on and on.” There is always something to learn from others who have had different experiences in life. We tell our stories because they make us who we are. St. John’s students relay their stories through various mediums, but if you look around, you’ll see that some of them wear their stories, literally, on their sleeves.
Students enjoy San Gennaro
This week NYC welcomes festival fun in Little Italy in showbiz referring to the plaza in Rome crawling with bars and college-aged students at night. “But, with the Italians running around, the cannolis and the mass amounts of food, it brought back great memories of our time in Italy.” Junior Patricia Holliday, another student who has studied abroad, agreed with her. “The festival really took me back to my times in Rome,” she stated. “Also, the food was delicious.” The smell of pizza and spaghetti lingered in the air as vendors tried to convince festival attendees that their food was the closest thing to Italy one can find. Italian food including pasta, pizza, fried Oreos, gelato, candy apples and canollis topped the list of festival favorites. Some vendors also offered Italian souvenirs. Little kids all over the festival could be seen sporting “I Love Italia” tshirts. Buttons, pins and even water bottles had the Italian flag on them and there was also the occasional Italian calcio jersey. A large Ferris wheel and other carnival rides and games kept both kids and adults entertained. “This is my second year going,” said junior Nora Pavone. “I really love the atmosphere of the festival.” Junior Jordan Bouchard, enthusiastically agreed, “San Gennaro festival is just one of the few reminders of why I love going to school in New York City.”
SHANNON LUIBRAND Staff Writer
This year the 86th annual San Gennaro festival attracted thousands of people to Manhattan’s Little Italy, which included many St. John’s University students. From Sept. 13 to Sept. 23, the streets of Little Italy were converted into a huge Italian festival complete with live music, food and carnival rides. Junior Adrian Tovar, a resident assistant in Century Hall, ran a program to the San Gennaro festival from one of the St. John’s residence halls. “We really want to encourage residents to take full advantage of Manhattan,” he said. “San Gennarro was a great way to kick off the semester.” Montgoris Dining Hall got into the San Gennaro spirit, and offered students an Italian feast on Sept. 19, the official feast day of San Gennaro. Ziti, sausage and peppers, cannolis and a chocolate fountain made for a delicious dinner. For the third year in a row, junior Eliane Abou-Assi, made her way into Little Italy for the 11-day festival. She explained that after a semester studying abroad, the festival had a whole new personal meaning to her. “A group of the people I went to Europe with decided we should all go together,” she said. “We all missed Rome and were hoping for a little taste of it at San Gennaro.” “It was no Campo De Fiori,” she joked,
TORCH PHOTO/SHANNON LUIBRAND
Crowds filled the streets of Little Italy.
Can’t get enough of the Torch? Visit our Web site for online exclusives. torchonline.com
Stretching gender roles at yoga SARAH YU
Chief Copy Editor At the fitness center in the basement of Carnesecca, you can see men doing all kinds of typical workouts, from bench pressing, to ab workouts, to running on the treadmill and doing yoga. Wait, yoga? Yes, yoga. The exercise typically reserved for women has several male devotees at St. John’s who are determined to break the gender stereotype and prove that even the manliest of men can enjoy the ancient Indian physical routine. “It’s crazy, I don’t get it really,” senior Mike Sardone said. “There is nothing feminine about it, yet if you go to any yoga class, it’s 90% women.” Yoga classes are held in the campus Fitness Center Dance Studio in Carnesecca Arena from Monday to Wednesday every week. Sardone has been a consistent participant since his sophomore year and feels that gender discrimination shouldn not restrict anyone from doing yoga. “Everyone should be allowed and feel comfortable to do whatever physical activity they want,” he said. “There certainly shouldn’t be any stigmas on an activity because of gender. It’s the 21st century, let’s get real.” Sardone’s friend, senior Dylan David, accompanies him and is known to be “the yoga master” on campus. David agrees that the women-dominated yoga scene shouldn’t intimidate men to join and keep them from participating. “I think that’s ridiculous and it’s too judgmental,” he said. “I know plenty of guys who have played field hockey and danced but there is a certain societal idea that says it’s taboo.”
So, what made these two guys want to start going to yoga classes, regardless of this societal view of “gender restriction?” “Me and my friend, Mike, are just two very outgoing guys, ready to try anything new, and we ended up really enjoying it,” David said. Sardone and David weren’t nervous going into it and they ended up having a good experience. “We are pretty outgoing people and knew what we were getting ourselves into,” Sardone said. “Besides being the least flexible people there, it went flawlessly.” Going against the norm will always bring reactions, either good or bad, from peers or colleagues. “They actually all said how badly they have wanted to try it,” Sardone said. “Every guy I know who has tried it, left with a smile on their face.”
However, David received a slightly different reaction. “Most of them were shocked that manly men like us were doing yoga,” he said. “We would tell people and they would have a nice little chuckle.” Males and females alike enjoy yoga for several reasons, but mainly as a way to relax. “I love yoga, I think it’s great; it trains body and mind,” Sardone said. “From your core to your balance, it does great things for you.” Sardone is confident that there are guys who want to do it, but are afraid of being negatively judged by their peers. “I’m not saying guys should bust out the ‘PINK’ yoga pants or anything, but give it a try,” he said. “If you’re an athlete, it will help in flexibility, core strength and breathing.”
• After an abrupt end to Green Day’s set at the iHeart Radio Music Festival in Las Vegas this past weekend, frontman Billie Joe Armstrong announced that he is seeking treatment for substance abuse, according to Rolling Stone. After being told that the band had only one minute left in their set, Armstrong unleashed a string of profanities aimed at the festival’s organizers as they destroyed their equipment before leaving the stage. Armstrong’s appearances on NBC’s The Voice will not be affected. • Variety reports that after failed negotiations, Netflix has dropped more than 40 A&E series’ from its menu. Top rated shows such as Pawn Stars, Storage Wars, American Pickers and over 800 hours of other content will no longer be viewable. The move comes on the heels of the exit of all Starz and Sony movies from Netflix in February. • Party pop contingent LMFAO announced on Friday that they will be taking a break to pursue other endeavors, according to Entertainment Weekly. The group, which consists of Redfoo and his nephew Sky Blu, have released a slew of hit singles and two full lengths, 2009’s Party Rock and 2011’s Sorry for Party Rocking, over a three year span on. • A couple that tried to extort $5 million from R&B legend Stevie Wonder have been sentenced to 292 days in prison and three years probation, according to NME. Alpha Walker and his girlfriend Tamara Diaz had a video that featured footage of Wonder’s childhood home, Wonder’s son and an 80 minute rant derailing the singer but were later arrested before the video was made public. • R&B superstar Chris Brown will be put in front of a Los Angeles judge in November after testing positive for marijuana, according to Reuters. The positive test could be in violation of the five-year probation sentence he received after his 2009 assault on ex-girlfriend Rihanna. • Yesterday, President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama made an appearance on ABC’s “The View.” Barbara Walters led the discussion in front of a live studio audience asking questions that ranged from unemployment, the ongoing issues in Libya, their daughters and the couple’s first kiss. • “30 Rock” creator and leading lady Tina Fey signed a fouryear deal with her show’s studio, Universal Television, according to the Hollywood Reporter. Fey will be asked to develop shows and for NBC as part of the deal with the possibility of starring in another series not out of the question. “30 Rock” will enter its seventh and final season on Oct. 4. Compiled by Peter Long, Entertainment Editor
TORCH PHOTO/NATALIE HALLAK
Males and females participate in a yoga class in Carnesecca Arena.
Taking in Citi in Autumn HARRY SAUNDERS Staff Writer
Being a baseball fan in the United Kingdom is a decidedly lonely existence. The social by-products that are normally provided by support of a particular sporting franchise, such as debate, discussion and argument, are no longer there, with all of my peers preoccupied with the goings-on within their own particular sport of choice. In reality, no one knows or cares who Mike Trout is, or how much of a chance he has of being voted MVP in his rookie season, and when you attempt to convey the significance of Felix Hernandez’s perfect game, you’re lucky if the person you’re telling can do anything except shrug their shoulders. Yes, the United Kingdom is hardly a hotbed of baseball enthusiasm, which is why it’s refreshing to be able to come to the United States, and experience the passion that people have for America’s pastime at first hand. Personally, I am an LA Angels fan, owing to a game I attended two seasons ago at Angel Stadium against the Texas Rangers. It was not my first experience of watching baseball, but being there did nothing except affirm my love for the game. The atmosphere of watching a game on a Saturday afternoon was unbeatable, and a convincing victory against the eventual World Series runner-ups only further convinced me that the Angels were the team for me.
Last Monday I attended the New York Mets’ game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Citi Field, in what was a different, but no less endearing experience. At $10 per ticket, there really is no reason not to go, considering the cab ride is less than half an hour from campus. Although the Mets no longer play at Shea Stadium, that iconic, world-renowned stadium, Citi Field is a magnificent construction. It is vast, as evidenced by the walk-up to the very top of the bleachers, but somehow it also manages to retain a sense of intimacy, and a feeling that you are not as far away from the play as you may feel. The game itself was hardly a classic, but I did get the opportunity to see a matchup of two of the best pitchers in the National League. The Mets ultimately went down 3 to 1 after a great pitching performance from Cliff Lee, while R. A. Dickey couldn’t manage to secure his 19th win of the season. Somehow though, that doesn’t feel as if it matters too much. To simply get the opportunity to attend a baseball game was good enough for me. The communal feeling that one experiences when attending a major sporting event, and the opportunity to see some of the sport’s top players, meant that the day out was pretty much complete. Ultimately, I came to the conclusion that, as long as the tickets are only $10, the opportunity to see Major League Baseball, even if it is the much-maligned Mets, is a great one. Will the Mets be winning a World Series any time soon? Probably not, but will I be attending one of their games again? Almost certainly.
TORCH PHOTO/TERENCE M. CULLEN
Citi Field is seen in the distance as fans walk to a Mets game.
Intramural Flag Football Standings (As of 9/24)
Monday/Wednesday Early Team
1. PARE 2. Lexington Steelers
1. TKE 2. M.O.B.
4. The A-Team
5. Strong Arm of The... 6. Free Agents
1-1-0 0-2-0 0-2-0
Sunday Early Team 1. 4th and 20 2. Pi Kappa Phi
3. Kappa Sigma 4. Young Saints 5. Spartans
6. Team Reckless
Sunday Late Overall 3-1-0 3-1-0 3-1-0 1-3-0 0-4-0
3. Kodeen Kowboyz
Differential 17 17 -3 -3
1. #Dieslow 2. New York Jets
4. Team Snack
3. Violation 203
Tuesday/Thursday Late Team
1. Trout Squad 514 2. Ball Me Maybe
1. The Fighting Myrons 2. The Monkey Team
4. The Nutty Bananas
4. No Punt Intended
3. The Step Dads 5. MMG
6. St. Johns Knights
1-0-0 0-1-0 0-1-0
3. Blue Bloods 5. Skulls
6. We got 5 on it 7. Slippery When Wet
Vuvuzela night sparks victory
Johnnies bounce back from weekend loss and defeat Columbia KYLE FIITZGERALD
Staff Writer After a humbling loss at Connecticut on Saturday, the no. 15 St. John’s men’s soccer team bounced back with an impressive 3-1 victory over Columbia on Tuesday evening amongst a Belson crowd roaring with vuvuzelas. ST. JOHN’S COLUMBIA
Goals from Nick Matthews, Jelani Williams and Jimmy Mulligan handed the Red Storm (6-1-3, 0-1) their fourth home win of the season. “I was glad to see that we came out with the right amount of energy,” said St. John’s head coach Dr. Dave Masur. “It was good to see us capitalize in the second half the way we did.” The Johnnies controlled much of the first half’s possession, refusing to let Columbia find an offensive rhythm, but were unable to find the back of the net. Despite this, senior left back Jack Bennett made his presence known throughout the first 45 minutes as his two first half shots troubled Columbia (2-5-1) keeper Kyle Jackson. The Red Storm’s closest opportunity to open the scoring came in the 13th minute when Bennett crossed to sophomore Jordan Rouse whose shot to the far post was saved by Jackson.
When the second half began, Masur’s men wasted no time as junior midfielder Nick Matthews got his team on the board in the 46th minute thanks to a double assist from seniors Andres Vargas and Bennett. “It was unfortunate that we weren’t able to finish our chances in the first half because I thought we played very well,” Masur told RedStormSports.com. “Getting that quick goal after halftime, though, really set the tone for a productive half.” Jelani Williams gave the Johnnies a two-goal lead in the 64th minute after controlling a long ball from senior forward Jimmy Mulligan, which left the freshman forward free to crack a shot past Jackson. Columbia cut the Red Storm’s lead in half nine minutes later when Henning Saeubier squeaked a shot beyond the reach of Diaz. However, the Lions’ hopes were quickly crushed a mere two minutes later when Jimmy Mulligan lobbed a shot over the keeper’s head after a miscued pass. The Red Storm will resume Big East conference play Sunday when they travel to Chicago to face DePaul.
Can’t get enough Torch sports? Visit our Web site for online exclusives. torchonline.com/sports
TORCH PHOTO/DIANA COLAPIETRO
Jimmy Mulligan scored his second goal of the season against Columbia
RedZone supporters trek to UConn Imagine stepping onto a field with more than 5,000 people watching you. It’s 7 p.m. and you’re playing under the lights. You’re used to a fierce home crowd, but this is as hostile as a college soccer stadium gets. The team you’re about to face is one of your fiercest rivals. They’re ranked No. 2 in the nation and they’re intent on handing you your first loss of the season. Besides doing your best to mentally prepare for what will surely be a battle, what do you do? Well, when the St. John’s men’s soccer team traveled to Storrs to face the Connecticut Huskies this past Saturday, all they had to do was turn around. In the stands directly behind their bench stood over 80 screaming Red
Storm fans in a mock RedZone section two and half hours to support them. of Morrone Stadium, more than ready to “We love the fact that we cheer their beloved Johnnies to victory. have such a great group of peoRedZone is the official Student Sec- ple to support us,” said St. John’s tion of St. John’s University. head coach Dr. Masur after the match. Amidst numerous Uconn rally calls, “The fact that we got a busload of so many “LET’S GO JOHNNIES” reverberated people to support us is fantastic and we rearound Marrone Stadium more than once; ally appreciate everyone coming and all of truly an impressive feat considering that their efforts. the Huskies’ home field advantage has seen Even senior Jack Bennett, mere minthem go 30 games without being beaten. utes after the full time whistle forced him Unfortunately for the Red Storm and to return to the sidelines and grapple with its supporter’s section, the Johnnies were on the wrong end of a 3-0 score line by the time the final whistle blew. Despite the fact that Masur’s men displayed glimpses of positive, free-flowing soccer in a match where the score failed to do justice to each team’s performance, St. John’s players and coaches PHOTO TAKEN FROM TWITTER alike praised the fans that traveled some Red Zone student section at Morrone Stadium
the emotions one experiences after defeat, was quick to praise the traveling Johnnie support. “The support was great,” he explained. “We appreciate them coming up all this way to get behind us. It’s always good to see them.” The head committee chair of Red Zone, Christian Schwoyer, was more than satisfied with RedZone’s presence at the game. “Talking to some of the soccer players, they said that we were definitely comparable [to the Connecticut fans] and made our presence felt,” he said. “So, I think we did good. I’m happy with the outcome.” Masur’s men may have been handed their first defeat of the season at Morrone Stadium Saturday night, but they had travelling supporters in the stands that could rival those of a fourth tier European club. What more can you ask for as a college soccer player? Mitchell Petit-Frere is a journalism and English major who is so proud of his beloved Minnesota Vikings. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
NCAA men’s and women’s soccer Top 25 rankings NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Women’s Rankings Team
NSCAA/Continental Tire NCAA Men’s Rankings Team
1. Florida State (33) 2. Stanford 3. UCLA 3. Duke 5. Boston College 6. Texas A&M 7. Virginia 8. Penn State 9. BYU 10. UCF 11. Missouri 12. San Diego State 13. North Carolina 14. Georgetown
9-0-0 7-1-1 7-0-2 7-2-1 8-1-2 10-1-0 9-1-1 8-2-0 9-1-0 7-2-1 9-1-0 9-1-1 5-2-2 1-1-0
1 3 2 5 4 10 9 11 12 6 16 17 18 10
1. Maryland (22) 2. Connecticut (1) 3. UC Santa Barbara 4. New Mexico 5. Georgetown 6. North Carolina 7. Akron 8. Notre Dame 9. UCLA 10. Marquette 11. Indiana 12. Creighton 13. Charlotte 14. Old Dominion
6-0-1 7-0-1 6-0-2 1-0-0 8-0-1 5-1-1 5-1-2 7-1-0 5-1-2 8-0-0 6-1-1 5-2-2 5-1-2 6-1-0
1 2 3 7 9 8 10 4 12 14 15 7 6 11
16. Virginia Tech
16. Wake Forest
15. Wake Forest
17. Oklahoma State
21. Long Beach State 22. Michigan
23. Oregon State 24. Florida
7-3-0 7-3-0 9-2-0 9-1-0 6-3-1
25. Santa Clara
RV 21 20 22
RV 24 RV RV
15. St. John’s
17. Coastal Carolina 18. Northwestern 19. Xavier
20. South Florida 21. Brown
23. UAB 24. UC Riverside 25. Furman
5-1-3 6-1-2 6-0-2
Women dealt tough defeat by conference foe ROBERT METRO
Contributing Writer After a heartbreaking loss to Cincinnati on Friday night in double overtime, the St. John’s women’s soccer team wasn’t able to recover, losing 6-0 to Louisville on Sunday afternoon at Cardinal Park. “Louisville’s a fantastic team,” said St. LOUISVILLE
John’s head coach Ian Stone. “They came out really strong and I was a little bit dissapointed in the way we played.” The Red Storm (4-7, 0-4) got off to a rough start, giving up a goal in the 8th minute when Erin Yenney capitalized on a rebound and scored inside the left post to give the Cardinals an early 1-0 lead. Louisville (7-2-1, 2-1-1) struck two more times in the first half with goals from Charlyn Corral and Christine Exeter. The TORCH FILE PHOTO/KRISTEN FARMER Cardinals went into halftime with a 3-0 lead. Jen Gibbons will look to lead her team to a positive result against Rutgers on Sunday
The Cardinals did not lose a step in the second half, scoring 3 goals in total, two within a span of 10 minutes, to take a 6-0 lead. The Johnnies had chances to score in the second half from freshman Shelby Halász and junior Hailey Hemmer, but both were stopped from the Cardinal keeper, Chloe Kiefer. Louisville finished with a 27-6 advantage in shots and a 15-3 edge in shots on-goal. The Johnnies’ senior keeper, Meredith Kenyon, registered a career best nine saves while posting her first complete game for the Red Storm. St. John’s have yet to record a win in Big East play, losing four straight games. However, they will look to rebound next weekend as they have their next two games at home for senior and alumnae weekend. St. John’s will face Rutgers this Friday on alumnae night and will play Seton Hall in a Sunday match that will honor each of the Red Storm’s seniors. Can’t get enough Torch sports? Visit our Web site for online exclusives. torchonline.com/sports
‘Dribble’ stirs excitement Lavin and co. help preview season amidst fundraiser KIERAN LYNCH Features Editor The men’s basketball team is gearing up for a new season that will feature the return of head coach Steve Lavin to the sidelines full time as well another highly regarded recruiting class ranked as high as No. 8 in the nation. Lavin, as well as sophomores D’Angelo Harrison, Amir Garrett and Phil Greene spoke with media members prior to the “Drib-
ble for the Cure” event this past weekend, where they helped raise more than $25,000 for the Pediatric Cancer Research Foundation. “We’re now closer to what I envisioned when I took the job over in 2010,” Lavin said. “We’re probably a year ahead of schedule in terms of our personnel, but I also temper that statement with the fact that it’s the youngest team I ever coached.” This year’s team features 11 underclassmen as well as one junior and one senior, but Lavin sees a high ceiling for his team
this winter. “If we can grow and improve on a daily basis, both in terms of skill development and collectively as a group in terms of learning how to play in a cohesive manner and our kids grow up in a hurry because we have to get ready for Big East play,” Lavin said. “Then we can be competitive within our conference and have the opportunity to do something special come March.” Last year, prior to the season, the players were asked who was most likely to come from under
the radar and become a stand coach John Lucas in Houston this out player. They almost univer- summer. With this new point sally answered Phil Greene. This guard role, comparisons with time around, the answer isn’t so former St. John’s combo guard simple. Dwight Hardy are becoming “Orlando Sanchez,” Greene common. said. “He’s very versatile, he “The staff has been showcan play a lot of different posi- ing me tape of Hardy, especially tions. He’s a freak athlete and a that game at home against Pittsdefender.” burgh,” Harrison said. “He is For Amir Garrett, his standout certainly someone I would like to choice is a player who has had his emulate.” fair share of publicity. He spent However, Harrison has an extra year at prep school be- stressed that he is his own player. fore re-committing to St. John’s “Dwight Hardy is a great playthis spring. er,” he said. “But I’m D’Angelo “JaKarr Sampson,” Garrett Harrison, so I’m going to do what said. “It’s like he’s already been I do.” in college. He’s so smooth.” The Red Storm’s season While Harrison’s choice was kicks off at home against Detroit Christopher at Carnesecca Obekpa, the Arena on Nomore important vember 13. The old ‘Hammer topic for the While team’s de facto to Rock’ mentality no one inside leader was his outside will let us blaze a or upcoming move the program trail to lead us to the knows for certo the point guard position. opportunity to make tain how this “I’ve been young team some noise come will fair once working on slowing my get March. things game down,” rolling, with -Steve Lavin Lavin back on Harrison said. “This offseason the sidelines, has been a lot a steady presabout style of ence in front play, dribbling of the microand reading screen-and-rolls. phone is a sure thing. Reading plays is going to be big “The old ‘Hammer to Rock’ for me this year.” mentality will let us blaze a trail Harrison stated that he to lead us to the opportunity to spent time working with for- make some noise come March,” mer NBA point guard and the ever-eloquent Lavin said.
PHOTO COURTESY OF ATHLETIC COMMUNCIATIONS
Various members of the basketball program take part in “Dribble for the Cure.”
Lampa reaches finals in men’s tennis’ opener MATTHEW WOLFSON
Contributing Writer The St. John’s University men’s tennis team is already on the right track, performing well at both the Farnsworth/ Princeton Invitational and the USTA Men’s College Invitational these past two weekends. Senior Vasko Mladenov, the top-seeded player on the team and No. 38 ranked player in the ITA Men’s Preseason Rankings, started the season by reaching the semifinals in each of the singles tournaments in the first two weekend of play. He lost narrowly to Yale’s John Huang in a third-set tiebreak at the Men’s College Invitational. “When you’re the top player in the tournament, everybody is playing their best tennis. Every time they walk on the court the guy against him has nothing to lose because he’s better than them,” said head coach Eric Rebhuhn. “This guy from Yale just had a great day, you have to just take your hat off to the guy. You work on certain things and you move forward.” Coming off a 17-9 season last year, Rebhuhn has begun this fall with a sense of reserved optimism. “I would say the team is different,”
said Coach Rebhuhn. “It’s still too early to see how the new group of kids will make an impact. So far they’re doing well in their first two tournaments, but time will tell.” Mladenov and two other seniors, Mike Lampa and Valentin Mahai, have all taken leadership roles this season. “All three are expected to be huge contributors to the team,” said Coach Rebhuhn. “They’re expected to be great leaders. We had a successful season last year and they were apart of that, and we want to have a more successful season this year. I’m counting on them in a big way.” Continuing a pattern seen in the 10-1 home record last season, the team looked comfortable at the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows this weekend. “It’s special,” Rebhuhn said of the National Tennis Center, which hosts professional tennis’ fourth grand slam, the U.S. Open every year. “The U.S. Open just ended two weeks ago, and it still has that carry over affect. The kids continue to love it. The venue is a great place to watch and just be apart of.”
Can’t get enough Torch sports? Visit our Web site for online exclusives. torchonline.com/sports
PHOTO COURTESY OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Senior Mike Lampa reached the finals of the third singles flight to lead the men’s tennis team in its opening weekend.
Vball squeaks by ’Nova MICHAEL OPTIZ Contributing Writer
The St. John’s volleyball team defeated Villanova 3-2 (17-25, 25-23, 25-15, 16-25, 15-13) Sunday in its second conference game of the season. The Red Storm (14-3, 2-0) were forced to fight through sluggish starts in every set, but finished in dramatic fashion with timely kills and textbook blocking, propelling them to their second conference win in as many attempts. The Johnnies were led by senior Milica Krstjevic, who had 17 kills, and freshmen Karen Palgutova, who had 13 kills. The Red Storm’s intensity was never in question during the match against Villanova (5-9, 0-2), but Friday’s game against Georgetown did have an effect on the team’s start, head coach Joanne Persico said. “We burned a lot of energy Friday night [vs. Georgetown],” Persico said. “I thought we came out a little sluggish, but I thought we finished really strong and did what we had to do, which was come out with a win.” The win at Carneseca Arena improved Persico’s team’s home record to 7-1. The Johnnies have now won three straight matches
Leavin’ their Mark
Newbies make debut for women’s tennis
TORCH FILE PHOTO/DIANA COLAPIETRO
freshman Shawna Lei Santos, left, prepares for an opponent’s serve at Carnesecca Arena. at home. “I think since we have the fans here [we’re doing well] just like any home court in any sport,” said Persico. “We like our home arena, the girls play hard for their school.”
The Red Storm will face another Big East rival when Connecticut come to Carnesseca Arena on Saturday. But before the Huskies make their trek to Queens, Persico will make sure
her players are well rested after a strenuous weekend. “The first thing we need to do is get healthy, take care of injuries and take care of us mentally, and we will work on UConn, probably on Tuesday,” she said.
Composure key as conference play ensues BRENNAN N. JOHNSONa mistake was made, the girls would lose focus for the reStaff Writer mainder of the match. Throughout the entirety Composure and remain- of the Georgetown match, the ing levelheaded during nerve- girls played with confidence racking moments helped the and we swept the match. St. John’s volleyball team However, the game win its first two conference against Villanova was a difgames this weekend against ferent story. Georgetown and Villanova. While sitting on the The team believes Big bench, I observe things that East to be the most important the players don’t take notice games because it determines of while the game is going your standing in the Big East. on; and I could tell we were Having a good record is vital anxious. in sports; it forces opponents We ended up having a to show you respect. nail-biting match, but the The girls entered this only reason we went to five weekend a bit tense knowing games was because we were that the games would be the having issues dealing with most important thus far this the pressure the match was season. throwing at us. Last year, we had trouble The reason we won was dealing with pressure. I can because, in the end, we emconfidently now say that we braced the pressure instead of are a changed team. shying away from it. I say this because when Remaining calm while our team entered the match playing in tense match is goagainst Georgetown, we were ing to be a real test for us as composed. Players would we move forward. From here make a mistake and shake on out, we will only be playit off — a noticeable differ- ing conference games; we ence from last year where, if have to be ready.
The women’s tennis team opened their season last weekend at the annual Columbia Fall Classic at Columbia University. The new-look Red Storm made solid progression over the weekend, thanks in large part to freshman standout Amber Washington and first-year coach, Taka Bertrand. Coach Bertrand comes to St. John’s after coaching both the men’s and women’s DIII tennis teams at the University of Chicago, earning the division three women’s Coach of the Year honor for the 2011 season. Amber Washington, the freshman from St. Paul, Minnesota, won her first match against Julia Comas of UMass before falling to Iani Alecsiu of Columbia. Other high-level performers were seniors Ksenia Mikhaylova and Nevana Selakovic. Selakovic was St. John’s best singles player last year, finishing with an 11-5 record.
Blowin’ in the Wind
I need 5000 calories a day just to gain weight. Easy it is not.
-Men’s basketball forward Sir‘Dominic Pointer on Twitter.
Headin’ this Way Red Storm home games
Sept. 29 Connecticut
Oct. 3 TORCH FILE PHOTO/DIANA COLAPIETRO
Brennan N. Johnson was a member of the volleyball team last year. She is now the team’s manager.
Women’s Soccer: Sept. 28 Rutgers Sept. 30 Seton Hall
2 p.m. 7:30 p.m.
SPORTS 26 September 2012 | VOLUME 90, ISSUE 7 | TORCHONLINE.COM
MEN’S SOCCER REBOUNDS FROM UCONN SHUTOUT WITH WIN OVER COLUMBIA TORCH PHOTO/ DIANA COLAPIETRO
Men’s basketball team members speak about upcoing season.
The volleyball team Won their second consecutive conference match.
It's a bird!