October 17, 2012

Page 1


St. John’s dragged to court by ball and chang PG. 3 Torch Illustration/ Diamond Watts-Walker

WHAT’S INSIDE News.......................1-5 Comics.....................19 Lifestyle.................6-11 Sports.................20-24 Opinion...............15-18


Casual Vacancy The Torch reviews J.K. Rowling’s newest book. Lifestyle Pg. 7

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

mitchell petit-frere

kieran lynch

diamond watts-walker

News Editor

Features Editor peter long

Entertainment Editor kristen farmer

Photo Editor

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

Movies Madrid, 1987 The Torch reviews the weird, yet interesting, Sundance Film Festival movie, Madrid, 1987

Lifestyle Pg. 7

Pop Culture New York City Comic Con Costumed fanatics take over New York City for the weekend.

Lifestyle Pg. 11

Sports And they’re off Basketball teams kick off seasons at tip-off

Sports Pg. 22

Illustrator’s Corner

opinion pg. 15

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/Kieran Lynch

Members of the men’s basketball team visited the September 11th memorial site last week on Oct. 10.

Think Outside...



Ball v. St. John’s

Student sues for emotional distress and defamation Anthony O’Reilly News Editor A suspended student is suing the University over the handling of the judicial process after he was arrested at his off-campus apartment last April. James Ball, who at the time of the arrest was concluding his sophomore year, was suspended after another student accused him of “very serious crimes,” that the University determined, after a hearing, to be in violation of the Student Code of Conduct, according to court documents obtained by the Torch. The next hearing takes place today, Oct. 17, in Queens County Supreme Court on charges of defamation, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract. Ball is suing the University to have him reinstated and for financial damages, according to Ann Ball, his lawyer and mother. He filed suit after he was suspended for the current semester following a University disciplinary hearing, the prosecution for which was based solely off an unsubstantiated email from the accusing classmate, according to his lawyer. The Torch has chosen not to reveal the identity of the other student because the nature of the accusation is undisclosed in court papers. That student’s lawyer

declined to comment about the case when reached by the Torch, due to pending litigation.

The plantiff, James Ball, is suing the University to be reinstated as a student and for an undisclosed amount of money, stemming from charges of defamation per se, malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress and breach of contract. The next hearing will take place today, Oct. 17, in Queens County Supreme Court. University officials named as defendants in the lawsuit include Rev. Donald J. Harrington C.M., President of the University, Dean of Students Danny Trujillo and Director of Student Conduct Jack Flynn.

The University declined to comment on the lawsuit. “The University does not comment on pending litigation,” Dominic Scianna, assistant vice president of media relations, said in an email. According to the complaint, originally filed last month in Queens Supreme Court, Ball was arrested April 27, but the Queens District Attorney decided not to pursue the case, dropped the charges and his record was sealed. Calls to New York City Police and the Queens District Attorney’s office confirmed that Ball does not have an arrest record. Ann Ball said in an exclusive interview with the Torch that she believes the University incorrectly handled several events following the arrest, leading to emotional distress and defamation to James’ reputation. She said her son attended classes as usual on April 30, the first school day following his arrest, but received an email at the end of that day informing him that he had been suspended for the remainder of the Spring 2012 semester. She said she accompanied him to school the following day, May 1, to discuss the possibility of him completing his final exams. In the interview, Ball said she offered the school several options, including having public safety escort James on and off the campus. (Continued on pg. 4)

Former dean heads to federal trial

Anthony O’Reilly News Editor

A former University dean is currently in the middle of a federal trial in Brooklyn, facing charges that include embezzlement and forcing international students to do her household chores in exchange for scholarships. Cecilia Chang, formerly the dean for the Asian Studies Center, was arrested on Sept. 15 2010 and accused of allegedly charging hundreds of thousands of dollars to her St. John’s-issued credit card and forcing international students to work for her. Authorities say the students performed such tasks as hand washing her underwear and cooking for her and her son. According to the New York Daily News, charges to Chang’s University credit card included fixing her car’s busted windshield, a $30,000 cash advance at Mohegan Sun casino, $1,308 at celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant in Taiwan and $20,300 in law school tuition for her son. During her defense, Chang’s lawyer, Stephen Mahler, reportedly said the expenses were necessary for Chang’s job at St. John’s. “She was a goodwill ambassador, their secretary of state,” he said to the jury. “She needed to keep up a great front, which was very expensive … she meets

with international donors … and she can’t take these people to McDonald’s.” The University learned about Chang’s actions when an anonymous letter, written in Chinese, was sent to the Board of Trustees. The Torch reported in 2010 that Chang had allegedly diverted $250,000, donated by a Saudi prince for a lecture series and language program, to “The Global Development Initiative

Foundation,” which Chang admitted to University officials was a hoax. On Monday Oct. 15, a Chinese citizen, Peiyi Gan — who worked for Chang from 2004 to 2007, according to the Daily News — told the court in a video deposition, “To work for the dean is my duty … if I don’t do the duties, she is going to terminate the scholarship.” If convicted, Chang faces 20 years in jail.


Briefs Compiled by Anthony O’Reilly News Editor

SGI budget still not released It has now been five weeks since the Torch originally requested a copy of Student Government, Inc.’s 2012-13 budget. SGI has promised the Torch, in interviews and at a public floor meeting, that the group is planning a comprehensive financial report, due to be released sometime in the coming weeks, although an official date has not been promised.

University freshman passes away According to an announcement made on St. John’s Central, a University freshman passed away after a short illness. Indigo Brooks Al-Hadi was studying in psychology as a major when she unexpectedly passed away. Her funeral was held on Oct. 12.

DAC Coffeehouse to be rededicated

The Coffeehouse on the third floor of the D’Angelo Center is being officially rededicated on Thurs. Oct. 18. According to University officials, it is being renamed after an alumni who donated the funds for the renovation of the popular on-campus hang out spot.

Follow the Torch for live updates on events and breaking news. @STJTORCH


Former Dean Cecilia Chang faces charges that can land her 20 years in jail.


Ball vs. St. John’s

continued from page 3

Ball said the school refused all options and didn’t allow James to take his final exams. His University disciplinary hearing was held July 18, she said. According to the University website, a disciplinary hearing is overseen by a panel consisting of “two (2) faculty members or administrators and three (3) students.” The five chosen for the panel are selected from a pool of 35 members from the University Conduct Board. The board “shall have jurisdiction over: (1) alleged serious violations of the Student Code of Conduct; or (2) matters which could result in suspension or expulsion from the University.” According to the lawsuit, Kathleen McElroy, associate general counsel for the University, served as the chair at the panel hearing. Ball’s lawsuit also lists five John Does as defendants, representing the members of the Student Conduct Board panel that served on his hearing. McElroy is also listed as a defendant in the case. The University decided following the hearing that Ball was in violation of misconduct and suspended him for the current semester, according to the lawsuit. Ball’s mother said the panel came to that conclusion based only on an accusation written in an email from the other student, who wasn’t present for the hearing. According to court documents, Ball will be able to return to the University in the spring 2013 semester, with “severe restrictions” that are not disclosed. Ball appealed the University’s decision on July 31 and filed his lawsuit Sept. 6 – the last day to add classes – after not having heard a response, according to the complaint. The lawsuit contends the University acted, among other charges, with malicious prosecution, intentional infliction of emotional distress and defamation. The charges also include a breach of contract, Ball stating that the Student Code of Conduct is a contract of adhesion and any cases of ambiguity should be ruled in favor of the student. The University formally denied James’ appeal on Sept. 11, court papers state. Ball also charged the University with two federal charges – discrimination on the basis of his sex and suing the University as a state actor – but withdrew those at a hearing in federal court in Brooklyn Oct. 12 after U.S. District Judge Brian Cogan expressed reservations that the charges would hold up in court. Ann Ball called the length of time the University took in responding to the appeal a “punishment,” saying, “It pressed the whole button on his entire life.” She declined to make her son available for an interview with the Torch, saying that while he is willing to speak, she prefers all public statements would come from her for the time being. She also said the University has not reached out about reaching a settlement outside of court.

Meet the interim provost Student leaders meet with University officials Sarah Yu Chief Copy Editor Internship requirements, core curriculum and improving overall academics at the University were some of the concerns expressed by student leaders to a panel of administrators that included Interim Provost Robert Mangione on Monday at an Academic Forum. Mangione, who sat alongside deans at the forum held on Oct. 15, reassured students that there is currently a lot of planning taking place among committees and offices within the University to improve academics. “The University is working very closely with the Office of Student Affairs to make sure we get all of you into the

academic side to help obtain outstanding internship programs,” he said during his closing remarks. Student leaders took turns at the microphone to ask questions. Another concern raised was whether the core curriculum includes enough relevant courses for students of different majors. Mangione assured students that administrators are currently assessing the situation within each school. “There is an active program going on right now assessing core curriculum and we look forward to expanding that into other areas of academic learning,” he said. Mangione encouraged students to read through the University statutes for any additional information. “There is a tremendous amount of information in those

statutes that would help you as student leaders to get a better understanding of how the University functions,” he said. Mangione also encouraged students to read the University’s strategic plan to get a better grasp of what will be taking place on campus in the near future. “If you want to get a good feel of where the University is heading, it’s all there for you,” he said. In addition, Mangione said student leaders should familiarize themselves with college bylaws. “Many of you serve on faculty councils and faculty committees,” he said. “It’s so important to understand the relationship between the college and the University and that will be very evident to you through review of your college bylaws.”

Torch photo/ sarah yu

Interim Provost Robert Mangione answered academic related questions from students at a forum Oct. 15

Students ‘participate’ in debate Shannon Luibrand Staff Writer The University civic engagement program, PARTICIPATE, hosted a watch party for the second presidential debate

that took place yesterday, Oct. 16 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island. The event, held in the University’s Welcome Center, was preceded by a mock debate between the University chapters of the College Democrats, College Libertarians and College Republicans. The debate, which centered almost entirely

photo from facebook

Students watched the presidential debate, which took place on Oct. 16

around questions dealing with economic issues, was moderated by Brian Browne, assistant vice president of government relations. Browne said the potential votes that college students hold are vital to the election process, and that is why the University was looking to get students involved. “The college vote is such a critical vote,” he said. “Young voters have great voting potential.” Local TV news station NY1 was present during the watch party to get the opinions of students, including the leaders of both the College Democrats and Republicans, present at the debate. Those present at the screening of the debate seemed to lean heavily towards favoring Obama, cheering for many of the statements he made on several of the questions asked. Students showed disinterest in Romney’s responses, taking the time to check their cell phones. PARTICIPATE was started during the primaries of the previous presidential election, and was restarted due to its success in 2008. Browne said there will be another watch party held during the last presidential debate, which takes place on Monday, which takes place at Lynn University in Florida, as well as hosting a live watch party during election night, Nov. 6. Contributing reporting by Samira Korgan, Contributing Writer

Think Outside...


Round 2: Sparks fly at debate Facing a virtual deadlock in recent national polls, President Obama went on the offensive yesterday in a testy debate with Republican nominee Mitt Romney at Hofstra yesterday. The two candidates swapped attacks that often turned personal, with Obama poking fun at Romney’s wealth and Romney After a poor performance from Obama in the first debate led to the evaporation of the incumbent’s lead, he attacked Romney throughout, even comparing President George W. Bush favorably to the former Massachusetts governor. “There are differences between Governor Romney and George Bush, but they’re not on economic policy,” Obama said. “In some ways, he’s gone to a more extreme place when it comes to social policy. And I think that’s a mistake. That’s not how we’re going to move our economy forward.” Romney also challenged the President throughout, and pumped his own credentials in asserting that he was the candidate to drive the nation’s flailing economy, with unemployment at 7.8 percent, back to prosperity. “It’s not going to be like the last four years,” he said. “The middle class has been crushed over the last four years, and jobs have been too scarce. I know what it takes to bring them back, and I’m going to do that.” The two candidates tailored their appeals especially toward female voters, on issues ranging from equal pay to contraceptive services. Obama highlighted the first bill he signed as President — the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. “That’s an example of the kind of advocacy that we need,” Obama said about the act, which mandates equal pay for equal work regardless of gender. “Because women are increasingly the breadwinners in the family. This is not just a women’s issue, this is a family issue, this is a middle-class issue, and that’s why we’ve got to fight for it.”

Latest Polls Rasmussen Polls - taken 10/13 - 10/15 Barack Obama: 47% Mitt Romney: 49%

Gallup Polls - taken 10/9 10/15 Barack Obama: 46% Mitt Romney: 50%

Politico - taken 10/7 - 10/11 Barack Obama: 49% Mitt Romney: 48%

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama squared off in their second debate. Romney, on the other hand, promoted the number of women in his cabinet when he was governor of Massachusetts. “I was proud of the fact that after I staffed my Cabinet and my senior staff, that the University of New York in Albany did a survey of all 50 states, and concluded that mine had more women in senior leadership positions than any other state in America,” Romney said. Both candidates took questions from undecided Nassau County voters, who

appeared to be more receptive to Obama. Their questions were directed by moderator Candy Crowley of CNN, who came under fire from some conservatives for fact-checking Romney in the middle of the debate — debunking his claim that the President had not immediately called the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, a terrorist attack. The third and final presidential debate takes place Monday at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. (Torch Staff)

Crowley in debate crosshairs One of the more contentious scenes in a very contentious debate came when moderator and CNN anchor Candy Crowley played fact-checker during an exchange between President Obama and Mitt Romney on Libya. President Obama, in responding to criticism for his handling of the attack on the U.S. embassy in Benghazi, Libya, said that on the day after the attack that killed American ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens and three others, “I stood in the Rose Garden and I told the American people … that this was an act of terror.” Romney said that it took Obama 14 days to call the attack an act of terror, before Crowley interjected and said that “[Obama] did call it an act of terror.” She clarified that Romney was right that the White House said for two weeks that it was a spontaneous rally in response to a YouTube video, but still received the ire of conservative commentators. The time for “fact-checking” is after a debate, not during it.” wrote John Fund of the conservative magazine National Review on the Review’s “The Corner” blog. “Previous debate moderators knew better.” “One last thought: Will Candy apologize to Mitt for unsportsmanlike


conduct for piling on the Libyan question?” conservative columnist Howie Carr wrote in the Boston Herald. “Don’t hold your breath.” Obama said on Sept. 12, the day after the attack, “No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for. Today, we mourn four more Americans who represent the very best of the United States of America. We will not waver in our commitment to see that justice is done for this terrible act. And make no mistake, justice will be done.” But the administration didn’t directly call it an act of terror again until Sept. 20, when White House press secretary Jay Carney said, “It is, I think, self-evident that what happened in Benghazi was a terrorist attack. Our embassy was attacked violently, and the result was four deaths of American officials.” Crowley hedged on her debate comments somewhat after the debate. “I knew that the President had said ‘these acts of terror won’t stand,’ or whatever the whole quote was,” Crowley told CNN after the debate. “Right after that, I turned [to Romney] and said ‘you’re totally correct’ … he was right in the main, I just think he picked the wrong word.” (Torch Staff)

ABC News/Washington Post - taken 10/10 - 10/13 Barack Obama: 49% Mitt Romney: 46%

Real Clear Politics Average - taken 10/7 10/15 Barack Obama: 47% Mitt Romney: 47.4%

“No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation” - President Barack Obama in the White House Rose Garden, one day after the Beghazi attacks on an American embassy that left four Americans dead.

Photo Courtesy of Media Commons


Think Outside...




Everyday, each of us plays a variety of demanding roles. Whether you’re a son, daughter, sibling, musician, scientist, athlete, sales associate, intern or all the above, dressing the part can make all the difference. Meet Julian DiIorio and Raphael Thomas, two seniors at St. John’s University who use their sense of style to achieve professional success and exude confidence. DiIorio plans to graduate from the university in May with a degree in advertising and photography. Dressed in black jeans from the Gap, black and maroon Aldo sneakers, a maroon tee from H&M and a black blazer from Zara, DiIorio looked as if he had somewhere important to be. Sure enough, the night before, he had attended an advertising mixer for the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation with a friend and fellow classmate. Having spent most of the evening networking with industry professionals, the two rushed back to Queens, where his friend lives, to study for their History of Advertising midterm to be held at 7:45 the next morning. DiIorio lives independently in Midtown, Manhattan where he grew up. “I slept over my friend’s house because otherwise I would’ve had to wake up at 5:00am to get to school from Midtown,” he said, explaining why he was still dressed in business casual attire. DiIorio said that on a regular day, he would wear what he had on – just not with the blazer. The blazer is a piece that “always gives confidence” and he had worn it for the networking event, noting that other

attendees of the mixer were also dressed “fancy.” Everyone, he said, was “dressed to impress.” In pursuit of a career in the advertising industry, DiIorio strives to become a creative director involved in graphic design, copy writing, visual aesthetics and broadcasting. Working in a “creative field,” DiIorio expects that he will dress “comfortable but professional” and will be able to incorporate his personal style, which he defines as fun, adventurous, and modern. Raphael Thomas, an illustration major from St. Andrew’s, Jamaica, incorporates his passion for dance into his wardrobe. He started dancing at a young age while enrolled at a performing arts school in Ja-


Julian Dilorio modeling his blazer.

maica. When Raphael was five years old, his father moved their family to the United States to be closer to his job as an engineer for the U.S. military. Thomas continued to dance jazz, modern and ballet, and later took up tap dance and all ranges of hiphop, including break dance, pop-locking and crump. As a dancer, Raphael described his style as “sharp and smooth, and kind of ambiguous. You don’t really know exactly what you’ll get watching me.” This plays into his sense of fashion, which he refers to as comfortable, artsy, and the word “dance” itself. From going to auditions to going to class, “you have to look a certain part and a certain way,” he said, “so that’s how I like to carry myself all the time.” Raphael dances with a company and for a separate agency. With the agency, he has a weekly schedule and can use his own discretion with what he wears. Still, he finds it important to “uphold a certain standard” with his style of dress. “With dance,” he said, “even though it is my passion, it is also my job. You can’t look indecent; I think it’s very important how you keep yourself. I’m an artsy person, so I maintain a creative style.” Thomas wore a coffee colored fedora from H&M, a teal sweater patterned with orange and brown cheetah print from Urban Outfitters, ash black skinny jeans from Forever 21, a silver miniature harmonica around his neck and mocha brown combat boots from Aldo that he bought himself for his 21st birthday. One of Thomas’ favorite items of clothing – besides his gold, black and crimson hound’s-tooth scarf and a pair of “comfy” sweats from H&M – is a cardigan he re-


Raphael Thomas shows his style. cently got from Urban Outfitters that he hasn’t even worn yet. The cardigan is colorful with grays, yellows and blues of all different shades, Raphael described. “The way [the colors] are patterned together is so dope,” he said. When asked why he hasn’t worn his cardigan yet, he said he was waiting for the right time, perhaps even a special occasion. “I feel, for some reason, I’m going to end up dancing in it.” Both DiIorio and Thomas spoke of “looking good and feeling good,” the idea that you feel more sure of yourself when dressed in a way that represents who you are but also in a way that is appropriate for the roles you play.



The University Network (TUN) is an organization that works together to connect college students to the best local deals and save money. TUN.com has been up and running for almost two years and has been a source for thousands of college students. Last month, TUN announced the release of Deal Finder, the new, free mobile app available for all Androids and iPhones. Peter Corrigan, St. John’s University Alum and CEO of TUN, along with coworkers and interns started brainstorming with the idea of Deal Finder about a year and a half ago. Together, they thought of ways to make saving money, convenient for students. “We advocate for students and help them save money as much as possible, especially with all the loans,” Manager of Marketing and Sales Shannon Eberly said. The TUN Deal Finder app is frequently compared to Groupon and LivingSocial. but people will find that they are not that similar. “We are kind of the middle man in a

way because we advertise business deals that are ongoing,” Eberly said. Deal Finder provides college students help with finding local deals on services that they typically waste the most money. Food, beer, parties, clothing, makeup and even health and fitness centers and doctor visits are all included. Unlike Groupon and LivingSocial, Deal Finder does not involve purchases, vouchers, credit cards or logins. Students type in their school’s name and a map pops up with local deals. With the app, students can point their camera down the block and see all the deals within sight. When typing in St. John’s University on TUN.com or in the Deal Finder app, students will see all the deals available around campus. Students can walk up Union Turnpike to Cozy Nails and receive a manicure and pedicure for $15, save 10 percent off shipping and packing at the UPS store with a valid ID, and even enjoy a free buffet and snacks during happy hour at Sly Fox Inn. Approximately 12,000 companies nationwide participate, sending in their dayto-day deals and over 8,000 people like TUN.com on Facebook. Currently, there are 400 schools nationwide participating with TUN. The company works on add-

ing new schools every day and is currently working on over 100 schools. In an effort to bring in more schools, TUN sends out emails and even calls companies to find deals to submit on TUN.com.

To promote deals and discounts, companies can submit online or call the TUN office. The app is now available on the Google Play Marketplace and the iTunes App Store under Deal Finder.


The Deal Finder Application being used to find deals locally.



ALEX PARKER Staff Writer

Ever been trapped in a bathroom with someone who’s old enough to be your grandfather? What if you were both naked? What would you do and what would you talk about? Madrid, 1987 is a movie about two people from vastly different generations who are forced to spend a day trapped in a small bathroom with no clothes. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival selection directed by David Trueba explores what happens when two people with completely different ideas about what life is all about are locked in a room and forced to contemplate their existence. A young journalism student named Angela, played by Maria Valverde, is invited to lunch by a well-known journalist named Miguel (Jose Sacristan), who she had previously interviewed. He makes small talk and a few arrogant remarks before he lets her know that he would like to get to know her more personally, without being in a public place where people can bother them. He has her dig through his jacket where she finds the keys to his friend’s studio. She is not deterred by his flirtatious attitude and accepts an invitation to come to the studio. Upon arriving at the studio, Miguel puts all his cards on the table and informs Angela of his sexual appetite and his lust for her. At first she is uninterested and somewhat disgusted, but at some points

it just seems like a sick game of ‘hard to get.’ Before anyone’s ‘thirst’ is quenched, Miguel and Angela end up locked in the bathroom together, with both of their clothes on the other side of the door. At first she freaks out; it seems like she has no interest in becoming any closer to him than she already is. However, Miguel sees this as an opportunity to ease her into sex. The true beauty of the movie is how different the characters are from each other; man and woman, old and young, master and beginner. The sexual tension and awkwardness of the situation is felt by the audience because of the lack of music, strange camera angles and pauses in conversation. The dialogue varies between discouraging and inspiring conversation. Half the time it seems like Miguel is telling Angela to give up on her dreams but then, within a span of a few minutes, he is telling her to follow them. Once the ice starts to melt, not break, they get a chance to vent their frustrations about their past experiences and current aspects of their lives. It’s interesting to hear what they have to say because we see a little bit of ourselves and other people we know within the two characters. The movie is in Spanish with English subtitles, but that does not take away from the voice of the characters. Even though it’s the kind of movie that I wouldn’t necessarily see again, it was an interesting film. Madrid, 1987 will play in select theaters in New York City throughout the month of October.


Jose Sacristan brilliantly portrays well-known journalist Miguel in Madrid, 1987.

First Read: J.K. Rowling post-Potter KORI WILLIAMS Staff Writer

It’s been a long time coming, five years in fact, since the final installment of the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, was released. But on Sept. 27, the author of those books, J.K. Rowling, released her first novel for adults entitled The Casual Vacancy. The Causal Vacancy details the thoughts, feelings, and lives of the residents of the small British city of Pagford after Barry Fairbrother, a prominent resident on the city’s council, dies suddenly. The book chronicles how the townspeople are dealing with his death while trying to sort through their thoughts and emotions regarding their personal lives. Rowling does her best to convey that Vacancy is an adult book. Every curse word imaginable is littered throughout the pages while residents of Pagford deal with marital problems, drug addiction, prostitution and rape. In contrast, there are vivid descriptions of teenagers recalling their sexual encounters with others and one another. There are so many characters in Vacancy that it’s almost hard to keep track. Within the first 50 pages the reader is introduced to over 20 different people. All of these people live in the same town so not only does the reader need to keep track of them, but it’s vital to know all of the different relationships between each of them. Each of the first few chapters


introduced soon enough to set the story. This way, the book can focus on everyone’s ever-changing relationships with one another and themselves. Rowling does a great job in making all of the characters in the book are relatable. Everyone knows a problem child in their neighborhood, or the couple with the s eemingly perfect life, or even someone struggling with drug addiction. Rowling makes these characters come to life and relatable without going completely over the top. Overall, the book is can be rather tedious at times. It takes a while for main events to take place and nothing really seems to happen in between; just a bunch of gossip between neighbors. On the other hand, gossip is used effectively as a literary device. It does a great job of setting the character’s different personalities and feelings for one another in stone. It’s necessary for the progression of the story as different events take place, yet it becomes a necessary evil at times. Vacancy takes you on a journey that could easily take place in the reader’s own backyard and could possibly make them think about what their neighbors think of them or what their lives would be like if similar circumstances had befallen them. A solid, but not great book that is relatable yet with a little too much information to take in.

J.K. Rowling at a recent press event promoting her book The Casual Vacancy.

introduces a new family and uses first person point of view to reveal their thoughts and emotions in the aftermath of councilman Fairbrother’s untimely death. This is difficult at first but ones most of the new characters are introduced they fall

into place quite well and their different personalities make them easier to distinguish from one another. It would make sense for this to have been done on purpose so that all of the different families would be

Can’t get enough of the Torch? Visit our Web site for online exclusives. torchonline.com


First Listen: Don’t Panic cleans up after Dirty Work KAITLIN SIMPSON Contributing Writer ALL TIME LOW Don’t Panic



All Time Low have returned to form with their old label and their fifth album.

After receiving negative criticism for their album Dirty Work last year, Baltimore pop-punk group All Time Low definitely redeemed themselves with their fifth album Don’t Panic. Alex Gaskarth, Jack Barakat, Rian Dawson and Zack Merrick decided to leave major label Interscope and return to their original label Hopeless Records to record Don’t Panic. Gaskarth stated that the album “reflected the best aspects of our previous releases.” The album starts off with the single “The Reckless and the Brave,” which was released over the summer while the band was playing on the Vans Warped Tour. The song reveals the dissatisfaction that the band had with the major label Interscope Records which released its last record: “looking back at a life on the other side I realize that I didn’t fit in, didn’t hate it but I didn’t quite relate it.” The band didn’t fit the major label scene so they returned to the label that released their first three albums, Hopeless Records. Then he belts out the chorus, “so

long live the reckless and the brave/I don’t think I want to be saved/my song has not been sung.” The second single, “For Baltimore,” pays homage to All Time Low’s hometown while “Somewhere In Neverland,” which alludes to Peter Pan and the idea of staying young forever, has all the ingredients of a good pop rock song; catchy chorus and a brilliant backbeat. Don’t Panic also includes stellar collaborations with some of the best artists that pop rock has to offer. “Backseat Serenade” features harmonies from Cassadee Pope, lead singer of Hey Monday, Anthony Raneri of the band Bayside adds a punk edge to “So Long Soldier” while “Outlines” includes vocals from Jason Vena, lead singer of Acceptance. “Outlines,” co-written by Fall Out Boy’s own Patrick Stump, is a standout track. The song is filled with fantastic and meaningful lyrics such as, “I’m just a moment so don’t let me pass you by/ we could be a story in the morning but a legend tonight.” Despite a lackluster fourth album, All Time Low’s fifth album is very good. Was it because of the band return to their original record label after a disastrous year on a major? Possibly. Regardless, Don’t Panic oozes that vintage All Time Low pop punk sound; catchy music, vivid lyrics and blazing guitars. All Time Low are back musically and with the right label.

Wacka Flocka Flame stops by WSJU studios entire A$AP Mob. This past summer Waka Flocka Contributing Writer released his second album Triple F Life, which featured guest spots from Drake, Rap star Waka Flocka Flame made Trey Songz, B.o.B and Meek Mill. Triple F Life received mixed reviews a grand appearance and sat down for an interview in the WSJU studios on Oct. 9, with many people concluding that his debut album Flockaveli was better. 2012. While Flockaveli, which debuted at Hours prior to Waka Flocka’s headlining show at Manhattan’s Irving number two on the Billboard Hip-Hop/Rap Plaza, Wacka Flocka gave a personal Album charts, was definitely a tough album to follow up, Triple F Life includes key interview with Jeff tracks such as the Martin, Urban Director extremely popular of WSJU. club banger “Round Waka Flocka stopped “He was very of Applause.” by the Queens campus humble and had a Just last month, to promote his Friends, Waka Flocka Fans and Family Tour, wonderful sense of released his his new album Triple F humor.” mixtape Salute Life and met with his fan Me or Shoot Me 4. base at St. John’s. Wacka Jeff Martin on The tape has since Flocka met and took picWacka Flocka Flame accumulated over tures with ecstatic fans 800,000 downloads that enjoyed his humble and has already presence and the numerous free CDs, postachieved double ers and tickets he brought to give away. Martin described Waka Flocka as platinum status by mix-tape services. Waka Flocka remains a prominent “completely different” than what he figure in the hip-hop/rap community by expected. “He was very humble and had a constantly putting out new music, touring wonderful sense of humor,” Martin added. and building his own hip-hop label, Brick “He’s one of my favorite interviews in the Squad Monopoly. two years I’ve been at WSJU.” Since Oct. 2, Waka Flocka has been Can’t get enough of the Torch? in a different city every night for his Visit our Web site Friends, Fans and Family Tour. During the for online exclusives. performance at the Irving Plaza, Waka torchonline.com Flocka brought out hip-hop stars Gucci Mane, A$AP Rocky and, eventually, the



Wacka Flocka Flame with sophomore Alyssa Jones after his interview with WSJU.


Perfect harmony: Pitch Perfect is on key NICOLE VALENTE

Movie’s soundtrack still at no. 1

Managing Editor

The worry that all the funny moments of a movie are highlighted in the trailer is one that often stops college students from paying the $10 plus to go to the theater. Pitch Perfect had that potential with Rebel Wilson’s self-proclaimed Fat Amy and her hilarious quips during the trailer. However, the film ensures that there are plenty of highlights and other laughs as well. With puke jokes, unexpected thoughts, and other laugh out loud moments, the movie keeps you on your toes and laughing throughout the movie without feeling awkward sitting next to your father or even your 12 year old sister. Anna Kendrick plays a fresh, slightly alternative Beca who tries to find her way at a school she didn’t want to go to discover her dreams of becoming a music producer. She finds her way through chance onto the Barden Bellas, an all-female a cappella group that leads her through the trials and tribulations of life in an ultra-competitive a cappella group. The film follows Beca and the Bellas and their encounters with the campus archrivals the all-male Treblemakers throughout the school year and competitive schedule on the way to Lincoln Center for the National Finals. The plot, though not original, keeps your attention and makes you want to watch to the end. Rooting for the relationship between Beca and Jesse, her friend and, ironically, counterpart on the Treblemakers, takes up much of the film. College students will get a kick out of the Barden College represented throughout the film. As Beca and the others make their way through their freshman year, the exaggerated activities fairs, crazy room-


Anna Kendrick stars in the Jason Moore directed musical comedy Pitch Perfect.

mates and official rape whistles on move in day will bring back memories of their own experiences. Despite the assurances of the distinction, the songs themselves sound awfully similar to those on the popular TV show, especially the mashups. The songs, both the ones sung by the groups and the ones put together by Beca in her mashups, all

have a Top 40 feel. The toss-ins from different generations are nice touches to compliment the mostly pop soundtrack. Overall, Pitch Perfect is a great little romp for anyone looking for a couple of laughs and some fun pop songs. The ending is a predictable romantic comedy but still manages to warm the heart and keep a smile on your face for the full two hours.

The Pitch Perfect soundtrack is still atop of the iTunes charts: staying at number one for all soundtracks, where it has been since three days after the movie’s release, and holding at number seven for overall albums. The highlight of the album is Anna Kendrick’s rendition of “Cups (You’re Gunna Miss Me)” by Lulu and the Lampshades. Her solo harmonics and cup tapping are a welcome break from the high spirited pop songs that surround the song. The other songs are enjoyable as well, though they start to blend together after a while. No doubt this is due to the many mashups and the riff off song, where songs interrupt each other by sharing a single word. Especially in group songs, it is utterly incredible that the songs are sung in a complete a cappella style; rarely do you notice the difference without instruments. For a movie with such a great score, with hits from multiple generations, the soundtrack only includes some of the songs performed by the Barden Bellas and Treblemakers and none of Beca’s fresh mashups that run throughout the movie. At $9.99, fans of the movie and the groups’ performances would definitely enjoy the soundtrack. Without the background of the movie’s plot, the soundtrack often does not live up to the movie’s hype. (Nicole Valente)

St. John’s embraces Breast Cancer Month

DARYLIN PAYTON Contributing Writer

National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which began 27 years ago, helps raise awareness of breast cancer in October and teaches women and men the steps to detect breast cancer in its early stages. This month, St. John’s has been doing many things around campus to bring awareness to this disease. Many different groups have taken part in the awareness raising process, from teachers passing out brochures, residence halls holding fund-

raisers and sports teams holding games to raise money for non-profits that support the cause. On Oct. 4, St. John’s athletes participated in the Fun-Run. The Fun-Run was a project where the students decorated the campus with large pink bows to bring awareness to the fight against breast cancer. Later on that day, the campus ministry sponsored a High-Heel-A-Thon. This activity was for the men on campus to show their support for breast cancer by taking a run in women’s shoes. A few days later, the women’s soccer team showed their support with the “Score for a Cure” event during

Students support Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


their game. The residents of Henley Hall held a bake sale on Oct. 10, but the support doesn’t end here. The American Cancer Society committee is organizing a living ribbon of hope on the great lawn on Oct. 18. This ribbon is being used to “show solidarity with our loved one’s who have seen more birthdays because of the advances of treatment and recovery,” the Office of Community Relations said. The final event that St. John’s University will be throwing for Breast Cancer Awareness month will be the Walkathon. It will be held on Oct. 21 and will be hosted by the ACS as well. On the day of the walk, refreshments and transportation will be provided. Buses will begin to take all participants to the Unisphere of Flushing Meadows Corona Park at 8:30am, and end after all registered walkers are present at the park. These same buses will return students to campus after the event. The sign-up for this event will be held in the D’Angelo Center. During the sign up students will also be able to turn in registration and buy “pink” items from the ACS. All funds raised will be given to the American Cancer Society in order to fund research for cures.

Can’t get enough of the Torch? Visit our Web site for online exclusives. torchonline.com


A wooden pink ribbon outside Newman.


This week in showbiz Beyonce to perform at Super Bowl, according to source

Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will host Globes in 2013

Songstress and new mother Beyonce is rumored to perform the Pepsi Halftime Show at the 2013 Super Bowl in New Orleans, a source told the Associated Press yesterday. The source told the AP that the the official announcement of the ex-Destiny’s Child member’s performance will be sometime today. If the source’s information is deemed correct, Beyonce will join a who’s who of musicians that have performed the Super Bowl’s halftime show over the years including Michael Jackson, Paul McCartney and Bruce Springsteen. An estimated 114 million people watched Madonna’s halftime performance at last year’s Super Bowl which featured cameos from M.I.A. and LMFAO. Last year’s performance also stirred up controversy with the FCC after M.I.A. made an obscene gesture that eventually cost NBC a fine. Beyonce, a 16-time Grammy winner, has already had a busy past couple of years. After the release of her fourth album 4, Beyonce gave birth to her and husband Jay-Z’s first child Ivy in January 2012.

“30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreation” stars Tina Fey and Amy Poehler will host the 2013 Golden Globes, NBC, Dick Clark Productions and the Hollywood Foreign Press announced on Monday. Fey and Poehler are seen by many as the faces of women’s comedy in this generation and Takla O’Reilly, president of the Hollywood Foreign Press, expects nothing less than the best from the duo when they emcee the show in January. “The unparalleled comedic timing of Tina and Amy will surely have viewers wanting to tune-in to see them in action,” said O’Reilly. “The HFPA is thrilled to have the magnetic duo be part of the show’s 70th anniversary.” The two have starred together in 2008’s Baby Mama and 2004’s Mean Girls as well as being alums of “Saturday Night Live.” British actor/comedian Ricky Gervais hosted the Globes last year to mixed reviews by critics, wished Fey and Poehler good luck by saying “after failing three years in a row to make E! Channel’s Best Dressed list, I decided to hand over the reins.”

Adele returns with new Bond Theme

I’ve never done which made it exciting.” Shortly after the song’s release, “Skyfall” quickly skyrocketed to number one on the iTunes singles charts There are some pairings that just go and became Adele’s fourth song to reach together. Peanut butter and jelly, bacon number one on the singles charts in her native and practically anything, and now, after England. It had been speculated for months that listening to her new track “Skyfall,” the theme song of the new James Bond film of Adele was attached to the Skyfall project but it was not yet confirmed. That is unthe same name, Adele and 007. The British songstress recorded til the 24-year old diva, who hadn’t used the theme for the 23rd installment of her Twitter account since August, Tweeted a picture of the “Skythe Bond franchise fall” sheet music. alongside a 77-piece Landing the orchestra at LonSkyfall project was don’s Abbey Road “I was a little one of many good studios, the famous things to come this London recording studio hesitant at first to year for the “Rollthat has been the workbe involved with ing in the Deep” space legendary groups singer. After releassuch as The Beatles, Pink the theme song for ing an album based Floyd and Radiohead. Skyfall...but in the on her heartbreak, she “I was a little hesitant at first to end it turned out to moved into a West Sussex mansion with be involved with be a no her boyfriend just the theme song for after the announce“Skyfall,”” the singer said brainer.” ment that the couple in a statement. “There’s Adele was expecting their a lot of instant pressure first child together. when it comes to writing The song wasn’t a Bond song.” released on just any This will be day but on the 50th Adele’s second time teaming up with “Skyfall’s” co-writer Paul anniversary of the first Bond film, Dr. No, Epworth. Epworth previously produced which was released on Oct. 5, 1962 with and co-wrote Adele’s massive hit song Sean Connery starring as Mr. Bond. Skyfall, which features Daniel “Rolling in the Deep” from her second Craig reprising his role as the infamous album 21. “Paul had some great ideas for the track 007, hits movie theaters in a few weeks on and it ended up being a bit of a no brainer Nov. 9. to do it in the end,” said Adele. “It was also a lot of fun writing to a brief, something

DOMINIQUE MUSA Contributing Writer

Intramural Flag Football Standings (as of Oct. 15)

Monday/Wednesday Early Team



1. Lexington Steelers 2. Mooseheads

7-0-0 4-1-0

4. APD






5. Strong Arm of The... 6. Free Agents

Sunday Early


4-2-0 1-4-0


1. Pi Kappa Phi 2. Kappa Sigma

5-2-0 5-3-0

4. Young Saints


3. 4th and 20 5. Spyders






1. Kodeen Kowboyz 2. The A-Team

4-1-0 4-1-0

54 56

4. M.O.B.



3. TKE

5. EXB

6. Team Reckless

Sunday Late










1. #Dieslow 2. New York Jets

6-1-0 4-3-0

90 -9


4. Violation 203








26 26


Tuesday/Thursday Early


112 29

Monday/Wednesday Late


3. Team Snack


Tuesday/Thursday Late Team




1. The Step Dads 2. Troat Squad 514

5-2-0 5-2-0

94 6

1. The Money Team 2. The Fighting Myrons

7-0-0 6-1-0

135 86

4. Ball Me Maybe



4. Slippery When Wet



1-5-0 0-7-0

-68 -92

3. The Nutty Bananas 5. Johns Team

6. St. Johns Knights

4-3-0 2-5-0 2-5-0

22 -58 -82

3. No Punt Intended 5. Blue Bloods

6. We got 5 on it 7. Skulls






Comic Con Returns


Helping seniors in need DAVID DRESSEKIE Staff Writer


A Comic Con attendee poses with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the Javits Center this weekend.

DYLAN NUNEZ Staff Writer

Comic Con East, the greatest-mash up of pop culture on the East Coast, took place this weekend at the Javits Center in West Manhattan, which welcomed tons of geeks, nerds and fans of everything under the sun and then some. “I’ve been going to New York Comic Con for three years and I’ve watched it grow and grow and this year had to have been the busiest year yet,” Tim Rhone, a senior TV and film major, said. “One of the shining moments of this year’s convention had to have been the 10th anniversary Firefly panel.” The name Comic Con has become synonymous with Comic Con International (SDCCI), a West Coast comic convention that started in 1970 in San Diego and has since become the largest event of its kind in the country. New York Comic Con (NYCC), which was started in 2006, is run by the organization ReedPOP and is the secondlargest comic convention in the country. The event has hosted more than 100,000 fanatics from every fan group that has ever existed. This year, the convention sold out for the first time ever, meaning no tickets would be sold on site to unlucky fans who didn’t buy them in advance. NYCC is an eclectic mix of everything that constitutes pop culture: the shows, music and people that have defined generations such as “Star Trek, Supernatural and Dragonball Z.”

There’s something sure to excite fans in every category. The show floor was abuzz with fan boys and girls dressed as their favorite character from various shows, a practice widely known as cosplaying. They mixed and mingled with the creators of their favorite pop phenomenons. People cosplaying as Deadpool and Hit-girl showed off their moves at Dance

I’ve been going to New York Comic Con for three years and I’ve watched it grow and grow and this year had to have been the busiest year yet.” Tim Rhone

Central 4, while those dressed as characters from “Naruto” and “Bleach” rubbed elbows with the creators of “Red vs. Blue,” a machinima or video series based on the wildly successful Halo series. Game makers showed up in force, promoting their latest AAA titles, “Assassins Creed 3” and “Tomb Raider.” Capcom surprised many as they showed off the rebirth of the long dormant fighting legend,

“Darkstalkers.” Playable demos included “Halo 4;” its multiplayer wowed fans as they participated in team-death matches, exhibiting the new weapons and beefed up graphics. SONY let players take a pass at “Sony All-Stars,” their new brawler between their iconic characters. Marvel, a comic book giant, was promoting its latest comic event: Avengers vs. X-Men. Also, they went over the latest big change to the Marvel Universe, the death of Charles Xavier, leader of the X-Men. DC, a rival comic book maker, showed off its multiple new cartoons that either will or have premiered under its newest division, DC Nation. Organizations that one would not expect to be at such a convention showed up as well, including the Wounded Warrior Project, who raise money for veterans wounded in overseas conflicts such as the War in Afghanistan and “Geeks Out” a LGBT blog that host SNIKT,” a geek dance party,” at the convention. While the West Coast has SDCCI, the East Coast has NYCC, creating two of the biggest gatherings and collections of pop culture the world has ever seen, attracting and entertining people of all interests.

Can’t get enough of the Torch? Visit our Web site for online exclusives. torchonline.com

Many people refer to “the golden years” as the time when a senior citizen is supposed to bask in the glory of their accomplishments and spend time with those who are close to them, but for many of the elderly in Queens, these years have had a bit of blandness and sense of loneliness. Many have no friends or family to keep them company and simply sit idly by while the years pass them up. In order to correct this, an organization known as the Bayside Senior Friendly Visiting Program connects seniors with volunteers such as high school and college students in attempts to give them companionship. The Torch sat down with the head of the program and St. Johns alumnus, Chris Schneider, to discuss why students should get involved, what the program entails and just about anything else a potential volunteer might want to know. The organization is funded by the city’s Meals on Wheels program. Schneider was offered the job of program manager of the northeast Queens senior services about eight years ago and since then, he has had to cope with the difficulties of recruiting high school and college students to help the homebound senior citizens. “I am a product of Catholic education and this fostered in me the belief that I should aid the less fortunate,” Schneider said. The program consists mainly of providing friendly visits, socialization and companionship. Sometimes, it takes less effort than one might think. “I have a gentlemen that is homebound,” he said. “We’re looking for someone who plays chess and I have been unable to find anyone. If we could find someone to visit that gentleman and play chess with him for a couple of hours, it would make his day, week and year.” The picture Schneider paints for the lonely seniors without visitation is a bleak one, their only contact with the outside world possibly coming in the form of a Meals on Wheels driver. According to Schneider, this is far from a rarity. ”There are thousands and thousands of senior citizens in northeast Queens that have no one,” he said. “Their spouses have passed and their children do not live in the area, they are essentially alone and to me there is nothing more tragic than to be alone, but the service does not only benefit the seniors it helps students full fill any service requirements they might have for their schools and/or courses.” “The program is in dire need of help and we desperately need volunteers,” he said. “So if you have an hour and a half every week of spare time, please give me a call.” Chris Schneider can be reached for further information at 516-641-7541.


Editorial Board XC

MICHAEL E. CUNNIFF Editor-in-Chief

Illustrator’s Corner

NICOLE VALENTE Managing Editor JESSICA LISE General Manager ANTHONY O’REILLY News Editor


Transparency in SGI, part IV

Five weeks after the Student Government, Inc. budget for the 2012/13 school year was voted on and approved in a public floor meeting, the Torch is still waiting to see it. SGI has repeated its vague promise that the numbers will be released withint the next “couple weeks” and that there will be full transparency then. We are not holding our breath. The longer the budget is withheld from the the student boday, the longer they are operating without any checks and balances. In fact, they’re just writing checks.

And no, a “financial report,” if and when it comes out, is not the same as a real budget. Anything less than a full budget release implies that SGI has something to hide – if not, why not release it? Mitt Romney has come under fire for failing to disclose the finer details of his tax plan. SGI’s lack of transparency is far worse – the e-board has already been elected and voted on the budget! It’s a truly absurd situation, and whoever is responsible for the secrecy surrounding SGI’s finances is truly doing St. John’s students a disservice.

Preparing for the election

Hofstra University hosted their second presidential debate in a row last night. They are located 13 miles east of St. John’s, half an hour travel time by car. Some St. John’s students were in attendance at the debate. Many others watched it on their TVs, streaming online or even at the viewing party on campus. And many didn’t watch any of it at all. Debates are not the clearest way to hear the arguments for and against the candidates. Nor are they the most accurate, as fact checkers like Politifact and Fact Check have been quick to point out the lies, half lies, and truths that each candidate says. But debates are often the most accessible way to get information. They are also some of the most hyped events of the campaigns. They occur close to election day and there is usually suspense, drama and at the end of it all, a winner called. Debates are like sporting events and that’s precisely why millions of people tune in to see them every four years. However, debates can’t do it all for

a voter. Issues get muddied, candidates talk their ways around certain, unfavorable questions and moderators get hushed. Voters must look elsewhere as well to get their information and make their decisions. Getting involved and informed in this election is the most important thing you can do for your future. Whoever gets elected on November 6th will be tasked with continuing our nation’s recovery from the recession. They will be implementing tax plans and jobs plans that will directly affect us as we enter the “real world” in the coming years. They will make decisions about student loan rates and debt. We don’t have to tell you how important that will be. They will make decisions about what kind of healthcare you will need and be able to get. Whoever is elected will directly affect each and every one of us. They will determine which direction the country is going. They will shape our United States of America. That’s why we need to be informed and prepared to cast our votes.



Katie SarahPruneda Dolne Sophomore Freshman

“The They destroyed “I’m Jets. probably going to them. It wasgym bad.” go to the

Connor Kelly Mugno Quinn Junior

“The Giants.toI be bleed blue.” “I’m going in class,


but I’ll definitely check out the highlights afterward.”

Nicole Oliver Eddy Auguste Junior

Shahdad Marc Speed Bhatti Junior Senior


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: torcheic@gmail.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.

“The “I’ll watch Giants.it.ItIt’s putgoing them in better in how their toabe coolplace to see division. Plus...they arguments playbeat out.the I 49ers and they’re pretty think Mitt Romney’s gogood this season.”

ing to get grilled.”

“Thegoing Giants favoriteit “I’m toare be my watching team, but I feel like theAlpha Jets in the Org Lounge with had a bigger win because Phitheir Alpha. fansAfterward can finally we’re be going to have debate about happy aboutasomething.” the issues, about the different


Obama controls Hofstra debate After the debacle in Denver on Oct. 2, President Obama needed a clear victory in last night’s debate at Hofstra in order to stop Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s surge in the latest national polls. Mission accomplished — in style. Obama found the vigor and passion that were absent in his first debate, challenging the former Massachusetts governor on everything from equal pay for women to the amount of oil drilling in the U.S. The biggest difference between the first and second debate was Obama’s framing of the issues. In the first debate, he engaged with Romney on the issues — a mistake because Romney has no record on the issues and has demonstrated a remarkable willingness to change his proposed policies on the fly. Policy minutiae bogged him down while Romney articulated his overarching governing philosophy. This time, Obama stayed on message: Romney is a candidate of the rich, by the rich and for the rich, and his policies will threaten any footholds the middle class have gained in this past four years. He was gifted an unexpected edge

by Romney’s incompetent responses to questions regarding women’s issues. Romney talked about the “binders full of women” he looked at while trying to fill his cabinet as governor of Massachusetts, and responded to a question about women receiving unequal pay by touting how he had a flexible schedule as governor so that women didn’t have to work as long as men — precisely the opposite of what he should be saying in the 21st century. Romney teed the President up again after Obama criticized him for holding assets in Chinese companies. For some reason, Romney took issue with this, saying that he had his assets in a “blind trust” and asking Obama if he’d looked at his pension. Obama smiled in near-disbelief as he considered all of the digs he could make at Romney’s wealth in response. “I don’t look at my pension,” he finally said. “It’s not as big as yours; it doesn’t take as long.” It didn’t make much sense,

but the point still stood — Romney lives in a different world than us. Romney couldn’t even touch Obama on the issues that should be his weaknesses — like energy and gas prices — and especially Libya. The White House’s dubious handling of the situation in Benghazi is matched only by the Romney campaign’s incompetence in talking about the issue. When Obama dodged a tough question from a voter about who was responsible for denying the Libyan embassy extra security, it looked like it could have been the moment that swung the debate in Romney’s favor. Instead, Romney and moderator Candy Crowley combined to serve up the best moment for President Obama on a night where he could seemingly do no wrong. After Obama detailed his response to the attack on the U.S. embassy in Libya, in which he claimed to call it an act of terror, Romney saw an opportunity to pounce.

The White House’s dubious handling of the situation in Benghazi is matched only by the Romney campaign’s incompetence in talking about the issue.

“You said in the Rose Garden the day after the attack, it was an act of terror,” Romney said. “It was not a spontaneous demonstration, is that what you’re saying?” “Please proceed, Governor,” Obama replied, cool as ever. “I want to make sure we get that for the record because it took the president 14 days before he called the attack in Benghazi an act of terror,” Romney said as a gleeful Obama turned to Crowley. “Check the transcript,” Obama said. Unfortunately for Romney, Crowley didn’t even need a transcript — she remembered Obama’s words. Game and set to the incumbent. The national media will paint the result as a draw — Romney got his own shots in as well — or a slight Obama victory, but the implications of last night will go farther than that. Obama reasserted himself as the calm yet strong leader, and successfully portrayed Romney as out-of-touch just as the GOP challenger appeared as if he was starting to connect with voters.

Michael E. Cunniff is a senior journalism major who has no defense when you level a “liberal media” criticism at him. He can be reached at: torcheic@gmail.com

HHS mandate should not stand RIQARD PRLESI Contributing Writer

This past August, the controversial Department of Health and Human Services mandate regarding contraception services and abortion was put into full effect. With it came a silencing of the voice of religious institutions to be against something they deem immoral and wrong and forcing them, through the threat of penalty and the full force of law, to participate in these things they deem immoral and wrong. The mandate requires businesses — including religious institutions such as Catholic hospitals, charities and universities like St John’s — that provide health insurance to offer plans that cover contraception and abortion services and other procedures and therapies that are antithetical to Catholic religious thought and teaching. Whether one has a favorable or unfavorable attitude on contraception is an issue for another article; I’d like to bring to the surface the new development that has reared its ugly head in this mandate — a government that believes it has the legitimate position to force religious institutions to do things against their religious code, and justifies it by defining religiosity for every religiously affiliated institution. Our own government, it seems, can deem if our Christian, Muslim and Jewish institutions are religious enough, and according to the degree of religiosity

can give or take away religious exemptions. The basic premise is simple: the contraception mandate is an action of a government that has overstepped its legitimacy and boundaries, and is actively pursuing control of religious activity in order to meet its own interest. It is a suppression of religious freedom and therefore an attack on the dignity of the human person. T h e government tried to legitimize their actions by issuing a narrow “ministerial exception.” The ministerial exemption is a legal formula that describes the special freedoms religious institutions enjoy — essentially a protection of religious worship, speech and action. The contraception mandate has n a r r o w l y interpreted this ministerial exemption so that only houses of worship are “religious” enough to receive protection. Catholic hospitals, Catholic universities and other Catholic institutions are apparently not up to par with what the government deems religious. It is inconceivable to believe that our government seeks to tell us what is religious enough; it is inconceivable

to believe that our government has the audacity to say that the works that Catholic hospitals, universities and other institutions perform is strictly secular and that they are not religious enough — further, it is inconceivable for the church to let this stand. We must reaffirm what our work truly is - the life of Christ being poured out into the world. This pouring out of Christ’s life is the sole reason for our existence as Catholic institutions — the loving of God and of neighbor through the action of the Catholic university’s teaching, guiding, and admonition and the Catholic hospital’s administering of healthcare to the bodily and materially impoverished is a religious experience through and through. This is our fulfillment of Christ’s request — to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, and visit the imprisoned. This work is our living of the beatitudes; to hunger and thirst after righteousness, to be meek, to be merciful, to be clean of heart. The fact that I hope is seen is that we are religious – and no government

We have the freedom of religion in this country. Let no present government administration or powerful lawyers dupe us into thinking otherwise.

has legitimate power to tell us otherwise or force us to do things that contradict our religious beliefs. The government has the power to have an interest in expanding contraception – but it is the responsibility of government to accommodate religious beliefs and to use means that least burden religious practice when pursuing these interests. We are not being accommodated because the religious identity of our institutions has been ignored. We have the freedom of religion in this country. Let no present government administration or powerful lawyers dupe us into thinking otherwise. This argument has been presented to change hearts and minds — the law for now is already in full effect. My reminder to everyone is that laws can be undone. As Americans, we are called to uphold the constitution and to uphold the dignity of our citizens. As a Catholic university, St. John’s call is to preach the gospel, live religiously and be children of Christ in season and out of season. Now is the supreme moment, and it is up to us to meet this moment with creativity and firm resistance.

Have an opinion? Contact our Editor-in-Chief Michael E. Cunniff. about writing for the Torch He can be reached at: torcheic@gmail.com


Do I look fat: Is honesty the best policy? JACK

Special to the Torch Most of the time, I’m a deep and thoughtful person who considers whatever you say very seriously. But when you ask me, “Do I look fat in this?” My brain goes on auto-pilot. IT doesn’t matter what you look like squeezing into that size 0, I automatically say “No, babe you look great/fine/cute.” I hate to be a liar (and nine times out of 10 in this case, I’m not lying), but I just don’t see the benefit of answering the question honestly. If I say you look fat, I may accidentally cause you to throw away your best and most expensive outfit. Secondly, I know exactly what you really look like. Your most slimming black outfit won’t suddenly convince me that you look like Giselle Bundchen, and your blouse that’s white with horizontal stripes won’t fool me into thinking you’re the same size as Queen Latifah. What does it matter what you look like? Most importantly, I’m nearly certain that I’m the only person you are going to ask this question. This means that if I answer it honestly and say that you do look fat, then I’m the person who’s insulted you the most that night, and thus the

person that you will be the least happy with, at least subconsciously. The real question is to you: Why are you putting me under this undue pressure? The person that you see in the mirror is pretty much what I see when I look at you. You can see just as well as I can whether you look fat, and you’re undoubtedly your harshest critic. If you’re not sure whether you look fat, you almost certainly don’t. If you think you do, and are asking me for confirmation, that’s unnecessary, and borderline diabolical. The point is this: there’s no right answer to this question. So why ask it? Why subject me to mental anguish, or worse, disengagement? Why not just let me admire you in silence? I hate to ascribe ulterior motives to you, but when you ask the question, I feel like you’re testing me. And it’s a test that’s impossible to pass. Why else would you take the chance of asking me to either insult you or lie to you? There’s a reason why I don’t ask you if I look ridiculous when I’m in my extra-large St. John’s basketball jersey with skinny jeans. I love you — I love how you look, no matter the outfit, and I want you to be happy. If you wear something that’s not so flattering, I’ll chalk it up to your generally excellent fashion radar being a little off. But I will never, ever tell you that you look fat. Like, ever.


Special to the Torch

When I ask you “Do I look fat?”, I expect you to be honest, but not too honest. I mean if I look like a cow, then yes, please tell me, but if you’re saying I look fat just because you don’t like my style, then keep it to yourself. I spend too much time and money on my clothes. I buy all these fabulous dresses, skirts, shirts, jeans etc. because I love them. Trust me. I don’t waste my money on things that I don’t think would look good on me. If I put something on and I don’t have to stare at myself for more than two minutes in the mirror, I like it. If you don’t like it, keep your opinion to yourself. All I’m asking for is for you to be honest when it comes to my weight. Every girl whether she’s underweight, overweight or “normal” has insecurities. These insecurities can bring our self esteem down and even cause problems with our relationship. Think about it, if you were uncomfortable in your skin, your insecurities could put a strain on our relationship. I ask you if I look nice because I care about us. I represent our relationship, and if I look

bad, well then, our relationship looks bad too. Sometimes I feel like I look good but it’s nice to have a second opinion. If my jeans don’t fit correctly, please tell me. The last thing I want is to look bad when we’re in front of people. If my stomach is popping out of my dress maybe it’s time to suck it up and buy an extra size larger. When I say “be honest” I mean it, but don’t get carried away. The last thing I want to hear is that I look fat all the time. I want your honest opinion keep in mind, it still hurts to hear that answer. Yes, we can be confusing but if you really want to be with me, learning the secrets of how a woman thinks shouldn’t just be some annoying task. I know you love me no matter what I look like, but it would kill me to be an embarrassment to you. When we go out with friends, I want to look good! Who wants their girlfriend to look unattractive when they’re with all their friends? Yeah, yeah, beauty is found within, blah, blah, blah. But I know that there are days where my shirt is a little too tight or my leopard print bra is showing through my white shirt and you’re thinking, “what’s up with this girl?” I want to eliminate those thoughts all together and start having a more open relationship. Your honesty is the first step. But only if I ask.

Hopefully Rushin’ to the hall of fame PETER LONG

Entertainment Editor

There have only been two bands that I’d listened to for the first time that made an immediate impact on me. An immediate impact that provided a feeling that exudes excitement and a desire for more. The first band to do that was N’Sync. Come on, be honest, who didn’t like those shiny, bright pop songs about girls, heartbreak and the tough times growing up in an upper-middle class family in suburban Florida. Who didn’t?! Anyone? Alright, fine. The next band to rock my psyche was the Canadian power trio Rush. The first song that I heard by them was “The Spirit of Radio” off 1980’s Permanent Waves. It hit me like nothing had hit me before. The opening arpeggios of Alex Lifeson’s guitar rang up and down my spinal cord, Geddy Lee sounded like a chick and Neil Peart’s drums were thunderous. He made me want to be a drummer for about 15 minutes until I said to myself, “no, Peter, you play trombone, you wish you could play drums like Neil Peart, but you can’t, stop it.” No other band since Rush has been

able to do that to me, and I’m not quite sure why. Was it because I had coincidentally gone through my Canadian classic rock phase during my sophomore year of high school? Perhaps. I just thought they were musically and visually more interesting than other band I had listened to. Musically because they used an assortment of different textures and instruments that at the time had never been used before, they were in fact the first band to effectively use the synthesizer before any artist that had released music in the 1980’s. Visually, believe it or not, they were more of a spectacle than they were musically because they acted and looked like themselves. The latter statement led me to this conclusion: I enjoy what Rush stands for more than I enjoy the music of Rush. I like Rush because they are who they are. They never pretended to be someone they were not. In the 1970’s, an era where glam and decadence were considered cool and were considered an effective way to gain popularity and sell records, Rush were the antithesis. They didn’t look or act pretty. Lee had hair down to his butt, Lifeson had bad teenage-esque skin into his 40’s and Neil Peart never really smiled and never gave interviews because he let his drums do the talking for him. They

wrote lyrics that were extremely philosophical and somewhat esoteric. I mean, who writes lines like “quiet and pensive, my thoughts apprehensive”? Or even something like “but glittering prizes and endless compromises shatter the illusion of integrity”? I have no idea what any of that means whatsoever, but they made it rock harder than anything I will ever hear. While some people have never liked nor understood Rush, they have to respect them for being themselves and for introducing ideas and concepts that, many would argue, could be considered precursors to alternative rock. So after hearing the news this week about Rush being nominated for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, my response was “it’s about time.” Not only had Rush made an impact on the music of their generation, but they made perhaps an even bigger impact on musicians today as The Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan, Nine Inch Nails’ Trent Reznor and Mettalica’s Kirk Hammet have testified in favor of Rush being the most genuine, unique and understated band in the history of music. It just so happens that this year is also the first year that the Hall is offering the fan’s to vote for an artist to be inducted. So here is my shameless plug for Rush; to end the ridiculousness of Rush not being in the Rock and Roll Hall of

Fame, log onto rockhall.com and vote for three of the greatest musicians that rock has ever seen. Rush is good and all, but pick up next week’s issue of the Torch to hear my case for the induction of Grand Funk Railroad! Peter Long is a junior journalism major. He can be reached at torchent@gmail.com.

How to get involved with the Torch: News: torchnews@gmail.com Features: torchfeatures@gmail.com Entertainment: torchent@gmail.com Sports: torchsports@gmail.com Opinion: torch.managing@gmail.com Photos: torchphoto@gmail.com Graphics: torchcomics@gmail.com Copy: torchcopydesk@gmail.com Design: torcheic@gmail.com Business: torchads@gmail.com or Stop by DAC Room 125!



Positivity moving forward Despite consecutive losses, volleyball remains confident

East blocks leader Gwen Rucker and an aggressive Cardinals squad. On Sunday, the Johnnies lost to Cincinnati (8-13, 6-2), a team that St. John’s head coach Joanne Persico believes to have more talent than people recognize, reflected in their success in Big East play rather than their overall record. This weekend, they’ll head on the road for matches against Pittsburgh on Friday and South Florida on Sunday, something that could have a unifying effect on the team, according to Persico. “I think the good news is we’re on the road and we’ll have time to be together,” Persico said after her second loss of the weekend. “We play another good Pittsburgh team and a very feisty South Florida team, but we’re looking forward to the challenge.” Persico, after critiquing her team following Sunday’s loss, noted the importance of her more experienced players, and was confident in moving forward. “They’re seniors, and our program is all about being leaders,” Persico said. “They give it all they have.”


Staff Writer Despite a disappointing weekend that saw the St. John’s women’s volleyball team lose two conference games, head coach Joanne Persico and senior leaders Sabina Piegza and Gabriela Petkova refuse to let the rest of the team get down on themselves before their two-game road trip. It’s the first rough period that this young Red Storm team, with two freshmen and a sophomore in the starting lineup, have gone through, but the upperclassmen are doing their part to ensure that spirits don’t drop as the Big East schedule continues. “We’re just going to go to work and keep our heads up,” senior setter Sabina Piegza said. “And we just have to win our next games.” Another senior, libero Gabriela Petkova, leads by example with constant digs during plays, and in between sets can be seen yelling words of encouragement at her teammates, slapping them on the thighs to make sure they don’t get disheartened. “I just encourage them,” said Petkova. “Volleyball is a game of errors, so after every error we should just shake it off and keep playing. We just don’t let this affect our ability to play.” Petkova, like Piegza, feels that the underclassmen have the maturity to


Members of the St. John’s volleyball team huddle up in between points. bounce back from a rough weekend. “The upperclassmen are vocal but we also have really good freshman,” said Petkova. “We’re a team, so it comes from

everybody.” The Red Storm (17-6, 4-3) forced No. 15 Louisville (18-3. 7-1) to a fifth set on Friday, but were stifled by Big

Can’t get enough Torch sports? Visit our Web site for online exclusives. torchonline.com/sports

Red Storm stumble against gritty Bearcats TAYLOR BRISCO

Staff Writer


Freshman Shawna-Lei Santos has played an integral role for the Red Storm this season.

The St. John’s volleyball team looked to notch a conference victory under its belt after a touch loss to Louisville but were defeated 3-1 (25-14, 19-25, 25-18, 25-21) by Cincinnati on Sunday at Carnesecca Arena. The loss was only the Red Storm’s (17-6, 4-3) third home loss of the season. St. John’s head Coach Joanne Persico felt that the fast-paced level of play of Cincinnati (8-13, 6-2) gave the team problems. “In the first set, we did not play at the level we needed to,” she said. “The third set was sloppy and Cincinnati’s speed, athleticism, and libero gave us problems. We gave up crucial points and cannot do that against good teams.” Despite the loss, Persico is still in high hopes because of the amount of underclassman she has. At one point on Sunday, the whole front row of players were underclassmen. “I think the underclassman are learning and growing with each Big East game,” said Persico. “They realize that the

Big East conference is good. They play with guts and great courage.” The transition from high school to college can be difficult for most freshmen, but the Red Storm underclassmen have handled it in stride. “High school was a lot slower,” freshman Shawna-Lei Santos said. “Club Volleyball helped out a lot. The experience from that is helping me now.” Lei-Santos and fellow freshman Karin Pulgatova have played in every match so far this season. “I knew hard work was mandatory in order to get onto the court,” Santos said. “I knew I had to earn it because I am competing against others for the same spot.” The Johnnies’ next match is Friday at Pittsburgh (12-10, 3-5).

Can’t get enough Torch sports? Visit our Web site for online exclusives. torchonline.com/sports


Masur’s men taste defeat ANTHONY PARELLI

Staff Writer In a clash of Big East powers, the No. 12 St. John’s men’s soccer team was held off by Louisville Saturday, falling to a final score of 1-0. ST. JOHN’S




The only goal of the match was tallied in the 17th minute when redshirt sophomore forward Will Vitalis shot his fourth goal of the season past St. John’s goalkeeper Rafael Diaz. The Johnnies’ defense held tough following the goal, holding Louisville’s offense to only two more shots on goal, both saved by Diaz. However, the Cardinal stoppers were a step ahead as redshirt junior goalkeeper Mike Mauro registered five saves in the eventual shutout. “It is always disappointing to lose, but I am proud of how our guys played because we went toe-to-toe with a very tough Louisville team on the road and came up just short tonight and that’s just how soccer goes sometimes,” said St. John’s head coach Dr. Dave Masur in a press release. The Red Storm found themselves within striking distance on more than one occasion, but were unable to find the back of the net.

The Johnnies had a scoring chance with five minutes left in the match, but Jimmy Mulligan’s shot was blocked by the Cardinal defense. Andres Vargas put one over the cross bar in the 80th minute and only three minutes later Sean Sepe had a breakaway opportunity stifled by the Louisville keeper. Tim Parker then sent a last-ditch effort wide in the final minute to ensure the Cardinal victory. Masur was impressed with his team’s performance but knows they must take the next step. “We created some really good opportunities,” said Masur in a press release. “But we have to do a better job of finishing.” The Johnnies will take to the pitch again when they travel to Yurkac Field on Wednesday and face off against Rutgers in a game with importatnt Big East implications. Other than enering the game with the incentive of claiming an imperative 3 conference points, the Red Strom will look to erase bitter memories from last year’s overtime loss to their New Jersey rivals.

Can’t get enough Torch sports? Visit our Web site for online exclusives. torchonline.com/sports


Senior midfielder Juan Aguiar dribbles the ball up the field.

Johnnies come up short in Tampa

USF injure Red Storm’s hopes of conference tourney KYLE FITZGERALD

Staff Writer The St. John’s women’s soccer team was defeated by USF 2-0 at Corbett Soccer Stadium in Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon. ST. JOHN’S




The loss dropped the Red Storm (6-9-1, 2-6-1) to seventh place in the Big East American Division, leaving them with little chance of being one of the six teams from the division to make the Big East Tournament. They sit 13 points behind USF, who are currently in second. The Red Storm were more competitive against the Bulls than they were at Marquette on Friday, where they lost 3-0, but once again failed to deliver a goal. USF’s (12-4-2, 6-4-2) offense got off to a quick start as they attempted a header that sailed wide. The Johnnies’ defense in the first half prevented the Bulls from getting another shot off until the 23rd minute. The Red Storm had one shot on goal in the opening 45 minutes, which was from senior

Runa Steffansdottir in the 27th minute. St. John’s was only able to get one more shot in the first half, which sailed wide. The Bulls found their offensive rhythm once again in the second half. They had four shots in the first ten minutes of the half and multiple corner kick opportunities, but the Red Storm defense prevented them from conjuring up any legitimate oppurtnities. USF finally broke through in the 71st minute of the game when Demi Stokes scored her first goal of the season after she shot past Ellen Conway. The goal was assisted by Cara Patterson and Sarah Miller. The Bulls scored again ten minutes later when Ana Paola Lopez sent a shot past Conway, all but ending any chance for the Johnnies to collect any points form the match; the goal was assisted by Daniella Andrade and Cara Patterson. The Red Storm will take to the field again when they face off against Syracuse on Saturday at SU Soccer Stadium. TheBig East clash will mark the Johnnies’ last game of the season.

Can’t get enough Torch sports? Visit our Web site for online exclusives. torchonline.com/sports


Junior Sarah Ashmore during the Red Storm’s 2-0 loss at USF on Sunday.


Tip-Off sparks excitement as

Men’s and women’s programs look toward promising year KIERAN LYNCH Features Editor The men’s and women’s basketball teams ceremoniously kicked off their 2012/13 campaigns with the annual “Red Storm Tip-Off” event that featured player introductions, a scrimmage and dunk contest this past Friday at Carnesecca Arena. More than 3,000 fans celebrated the return of head coach Steve Lavin following his successful recovery from prostate cancer surgery that sidelined him for much of last season. With the return of Lavin came the debut of his second top 10 recruiting class in a row, this time in the form of eight new players who will add both depth and size to a Red Storm team that had neither a season ago. “As we get closer to the season, there’s that palpable energy and anticipation to see that young group of players take the floor representing St. John’s,” Lavin said. “Particularly when you have eight players who are new-comers.” Following player introductions, the much anticipated men’s team took the court for the Red vs. White scrimmage, giving the public its first look at the new players as well as the second year returners. Five players return to the Johnnies this season, including sophomore D’Angelo Harrison. He got to see the incoming players’ excitement of stepping out onto

the floor at Carnesecca Arena for the first time, only a year removed from the experience himself. “It was great,” Harrison said. “All of them were super hyped. It was great having them here, all the guys now.” One of the newcomers, freshman JaKarr Sampson, gave St. John’s its first highlight of the year during the dunk contest as he took a kick pass from junior Orlando Sanchez for the winning dunk of the night. The seven incoming players that are eligible this season will be asked to make an immediate contribution as the Red Storm look to build a full roster. Last year, the Johnnies were forced to rely on six rotation players for the majority of the year due to a large graduating class, transfers and academic issues. “There’s a balance of size, strength, skill, quickness, an inside and an outside presence,” Lavin said. “The one aspect where we don’t have balance is with our classes, because it’s dominated by underclassmen.” On the women’s side, first year head coach Joe Tartamella was introduced. Tartamella, who has worked his way up within the program, looks to continue the recent successes that the women have achieved. “I’m coming into my 10th year here at St. John’s, my first time as the head coach, and this is the best turnout we’ve ever had at this event and that’s because of the fans and their support,” Tartamella said. The banner honoring last


Sophomore guard D’Angelo Harrison handles the ball during the Red vs. White scrimmage during the 2012 St. John’s basketball Tip-Off at Carnesecca Arena on Oct. 12. year’s Sweet 16 run, the best in women’s school history, was unfurled in front of the student section prior to the scrimmage. The banner will be raised to the rafters for the first regular season game as the team looks to return to the NCAA tournament for a fourth consecutive year. If the team were to return to the tournament, their

first two games would be played at home at Carnesecca Arena as the arena is slated to host the event. While the women play their first game on Nov. 9 in Florida, the men make their debut on ESPN’s 24 Hour Tip-Off Marathon at home against Detroit. It may be mid-October, but the Red Storm,

Freshman Felix Balamou soars to the rim during the slam dunk contest at Red Storm Tip-Off on Oct. 12.

both the uninitiated and the hardened are preparing for the challenge. “It’s like Christmas Eve, shaking the presents and trying to figure out what they are,” Lavin said.


new season commences

Torch Sports



Leavin’ their Mark Strong finish for Cross Country The St. John’s woman’s crosscountry team finished second at the STJ Country Fall Festival on Sunday. The Red Storm finished with a total time of 1:20:20.04, and an average time of 16:04.01, while first place Fordham finished with a total time of 1:20:04.36, giving them an average time of 16:00.88. The Red Storm’s top finisher was Chelsea Trant, who finished in second place. Her total time was 15:49.71, making her average mile time 6:22.1. There were also three other Red Storm runners who placed in the top ten. Freshman Kerri Butler finished sixth overall, with a time of 15:57.03, senior Michelle Duffy finished seventh overall, with a time of 16:00.87, and freshman Stephanie Van Pelt who finished ninth overall, with a time of 16:06.44. The Johnnies next meet will be the Big East Championship at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx on October 26th


St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin speaks to the crowd at the 2012 Red Storm Tip-Off at Carnesecca Arena.

I didn’t know what to expect as I walked onto the Carnesecca Arena court to take my seat amongst the press before the 2012 Red Storm Tip-Off. For starters, it was only the second time that I’d actually covered basketball, so, just considering that, I was sort of delving into uncharted waters. However, I was eased of my slight uneasiness by the mass amounts of Qdoba served in the media room and quickly turned my attention to a more pressing topic: how Tip-Off would play out. So, I reflected back on my first experience at the event two years ago when firstyear head coach Steve Lavin sauntered onto the court with his squad full of seniors who were bent on erasing three years of underachievement from the mind’s of the Red Storm faithful. Since I was a freshman and never had to experience the aforementioned underachieving years, the only thing I cared about was watching Paris Horne dunk and desperately hoping I would be chosen to take that half-court shot midway through Tip-Off. All in all, though, it was an entertaining night. Now, even though I didn’t go to last year’s Tip-Off, it doesn’t take an Oxford scholar to discern the fact that it lacked

excitement; mostly because of the fact that coach Lavin was on leave for prostate cancer surgery and his team was depleted as a result of a number of academically ineligible players. With that said, let’s focus our attention back to Friday night and the 2012 Tip-Off. As Carnesecca Arena slowly filled with fans, I was a bit concerned, as the arena didn’t seem as crowded as I thought it should have been. However, my fellow Torcher, Kieran Lynch, who I was sitting next to, noticed that the rafters behind us were completely filled. Seeing as it’s one of my pet peeves when arenas/stadiums aren’t filled to capacity at sporting events, @Kieran_Lynch’s (follow him on Twitter, doe) discovery eased my worries. So, as Tip-Off got under way with the emceeing prowess of ESPN’s John Anderson, all I could think about was whether or not the dancing skills of the players would impress me when they were introduced. When that moment came, I slid to the edge of my seat to watch sophomore Sam Sealy, or Slim as his teammates call him, Dougie across the court, much to the delight of 3,000-plus people in attendance. The remainder of the player intros were just as entertaining, the most noteworthy being D’Angelo Harrison’s. Before he came out, all of his teammates moved towards center court and swarmed him after he made his way past a tunnel of cheerleaders where they formed a circle and took turns dancing inside of it. Nevertheless, the most memorable moment of the night was when Steve Lavin was introduced to the crowd. The roars that followed his appearance at center court were filled with such passion that they

raised the hairs on the back of my neck. It was a moment that the fans who were inside Carnesecca Arena Friday night won’t soon forget. Despite the exhilaration my neck hairs felt during Lavin’s appearance, my sporting soul was overwrought with joy when the dunk contest started. I was so incredibly happy because I was about to witness the one athletic feat that I so dearly wished I could perform. I guarantee you that my 5’7-on-a-good-day-body would be able to dunk if I were two inches taller. I’m willing to bet my beloved, retro blue and red Allen Iverson Sixers jersey on it. But, I digress. Now, back to the dunk contest. Simply put, ‘twas incredibly entertaining. Felix Balamou displayed Blake Griffin-esque hops while Amir Garett grazed his head on the rim on a few occasions. However, the showstopper of the night was the dunk champion, JaKarr Sampson, and his slam that made it to No. 4 on ESPN’s Sportcenter’s Top Ten Plays. His dunk was aided by the feet of Orlando Sanchez, who flipped the ball into the air, jumped up, caught the rock and passed to Sampson, who flushed home with a 360 dunk, sending the crowd into a frenzy. Sampson’s dunk was the ideal conclusion to a superb night for St. John’s basketball. The pandemonium that it generated perfectly symbolizes what this University expects from Lavin and company this season. St. John’s wants to be brought to its feet again; and since Friday night, we’ve refused to sit back down. Mitchell Petit-Frere is an junior English and journalism major who is a proud member of #DieSlow.

Blowin’ in the Wind

It’s like Christmas Eve, shaking the presents and trying to figure out what they are. - St. John’s men’s head basketball coach Steve Lavin

Headin’ this Way Red Storm home games

Volleyball: Oct. 26 Seton Hall

7 p.m.

Men’s Soccer: Oct. 20 USF

7:30 p.m.

Oct. 26 Syracuse

7:30 p.m.






The volleyball team lost a tough match to conference foe Cincinnati.

The men’s soccer team lost to Louisville this weekend, ending its four-game unbeaten streak.

Pg. 20

Pg. 21

Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.