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ROTC fundraiser raises $500 pg. 4


Best professor at St. John’s? pg. 5

Official addresses fume hoods pg. 5

Critically injured student receives support after balcony fall PG. 3 photo/facebook.com

Photo of the Week



Managing Board XCI

Kieran Lynch, Editor-in-Chief

Mitchell Petit-Frere, Managing Editor Shannon Luibrand Features Editor Natalie Hallak Chief Copy Editor Kyle Fitzgerald Online Editor

Samantha albanese Entertainment Editor Diana Colapietro Photo Editor jim baumbach


Christopher Brito News Editor Jon Perez Sports Editor diamond watts-walker Art Director

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

Lifestyle Falling in love with Paris, France Student gives her account about her trip to the “City of Lights.”

Lifestyle Pg. 12

Entertainment Sky Ferreira’s “My Night, My Time” album review The Torch reviews Sky Ferrerira’s newest LP, “My Night, My Time.”

Lifestyle Pg. 14

Sports St. John’s destroys Humboldt State 106-39 Behind God’sgift Achiuwa’s 24 points, St. John’s cruises past Humboldt State.

Sports Pg. 17

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 and through mail subcriptions.

This copy of The Torch is worth $1.00.

Torch photo/Diana Colapietro

A bird’s nest sits outside Montgoris Dining Hall as colder weather approaches.

Think Outside...



Student in critical condition after accident Sophomore Hayden Nichols receives outpour of support and funds following fall

Shannon Luibrand Features Editor The night started out like any typical Friday in college. Hayden Nichols and his group of friends attended the Red Storm TipOff at Carnesecca Arena Oct. 25. They watched Lupe Fiasco perform on stage and then the group made plans to hang out at a friend’s off-campus apartment afterward. But the night that started out normal ended in tragedy. According to Malinda Nichols, Hayden’s mother, the 19-year-old St. John’s sophomore fell four stories from a friend’s apartment balcony that night in what witnesses describe as a freak accident. More than a week after the accident, he is in critical condition at New York Hospital Queens in Flushing, Malinda said. Malinda sat down with the Torch last week and spoke through tears about her son, the accident and the road to recovery. “I am taking it all in and it is insanity,” she said, sitting at a table outside of the D’Angelo Center. “A parent cannot comprehend what it feels like. You never even remotely thought about… no parent ever goes there.” Hayden’s mother, who lives in Galveston, Texas, said she was getting ready to attend an employee picnic on Saturday, Oct. 26, when she got a call that would alter her world. She was holding a freshly baked pie and heading out the door looking forward to fun-filled fall day when her phone suddenly began flashing with phone calls and messages. Malinda didn’t recognize the numbers and started going backwards listening to the messages. The first message came from a St. John’s administrator, then Hayden’s landlord and then the hospital. She called back the administrator first and heard the worst. Hayden had been in an accident. This all happened at 10 a.m., Malinda said. Two hours later, she was boarding a plane to be by her son’s side. As frantic as it must have been, Malinda still remembers the details. She called a friend who paid for the $1,800 flight and drove her to the airport. She left her younger son Chance, who is a senior in high school, in the care of another friend. And she spoke to Hayden’s neurologist on the ride to the airport. “I cried the whole way,” she said. Malinda said on the flight to New York she had no idea what to expect, but she reassured herself Hayden would be okay. He would wake up, she would stay for a few days until he could leave the hospital and she would return to Texas. That’s what she thought. But what she found in a hospital bed was not the witty, sarcastic, lively boy she left in New York. Hayden has a traumatic brain injury, she said. He has multiple broken bones in his face and his pelvis is broken in three places. He has a large fracture of


Hayden Nichols fell four stories from a friend’s apartment balcony at a party the evening of Oct. 25.

his femur bone and some other fractures as well. Malinda said her son is lucky to be alive. What exactly transpired Friday night is still somewhat unclear. According to party attendants and from what Malinda said she has been told by detectives, the party was being held at the apartment of a friend of Hayden’s on the fourth floor. The party was getting loud and the police came. As the police were leaving, they saw Hayden on the ground. Daria Coney, a recent St. John’s graduate and party attendant, said everything happened quickly and that most people didn’t know how the accident occurred. “One minute people were leaving, the next people were coming back to tell us someone had fallen and cracked their head open,” she said. “And next, someone came and told us Hayden had fallen from the balcony. It was all unimaginable at the time and I don’t think anyone knew how to react.” So many unanswered questions remain for Malinda—was it fear of the police that caused Hayden, a kid that she said has never been in real trouble, to fall? Did he think the drop wasn’t that far and try to jump? Did he slip? According to Malinda, Hayden’s alcohol content was equivalent to less than a beer at the time of the accident. “Nobody will really know what happened until Hayden wakes up and he talks,” Malinda said. But Malinda wants to reassure all who were at the party that no one is at fault and sometimes bad things happen to good people. “I never want any of those people there to feel any level of guilt, like they had anything to do with this,” she said. Hayden is popular at St. John’s. He is a member of the Improv Troupe and an intramural soccer player. He works at the campus television studio and is well thought of among his professors and peers. “I always enjoy talking to Hayden,”

Dr. Thomas Kitts, Hayden’s English professor, said. “Besides being an excellent student and writer, he has a great sense of humor and a wonderful curiosity about things.” Hayden can often be seen skateboarding around campus. His tall stature, blond hair, blue eyes and welcoming smile make him easy to spot but he is most well known for his sense of humor. Billy Merenge, a sophomore and former member of the Improv Troupe at St. John’s known as the “Bad Astronauts,” considers Hayden a close friend. “He is the most confident guy in the room during Improv,” he said. “The stage is his to conquer. That’s where you see him just blossom.” And Malinda agreed. “He loves those Improv people. He loves those kids,” she said. “That’s his family now.” Merenge added, “Hayden is one of the funniest guys I have met. He has so much ambition while still being relaxed. He is a very caring guy who just has a good heart and unending sense of humor that could make a sad moment into a happy one.” Malinda said Hayden is the sort of kid that every mother wanted to have. “Just a good, good kid,” she said. Despite all Hayden is enduring, Malinda is extremely hopeful. As a star soccer player in high school, Hayden has a lot going for him, according to the doctors. His athleticism as well as his strong and young body should help his recovery. Malinda remains positive, prays a lot, relies on her faith and thanks the St. John’s community for its support. She said she has been amazed with the outpouring of help from her friends, community at home, family, sorority sisters, Hayden’s landlord, the hospital workers and everyone in between. Fr. Richard Rock, the University Chaplain, has been visiting Hayden frequently.

“Great sense of community from all the students,” he said on behalf of the University. “We’re a big University family and we are displaying our Vincentian and St. John’s values.” A university spokeswoman added in a statement: “This outpouring of support is indicative of what makes the students at St. John’s so special. We will continue to pray for Hayden as he recovers.” One of Malinda’s sorority sisters from college set up a Give Forward donation site for Hayden. The site has already raised over $10,985. As a single mom with hospital, travel and food expenses to consider, she appreciates the help. She is currently staying in Hayden’s apartment near campus. “The campus community has been amazing,” Malinda said, tears streaming down her face. “When you are sending your son away, 2,000 miles to a place you have never been…he landed in a very good community. I know that he enjoys it.” On Thursday, Malinda had to un-enroll Hayden from classes. She said Hayden is on a full presidential scholarship at St. John’s and is technically ahead one year because of all the credits he came in with from high school. Withdrawing him from classes, Malinda said, proved to be exceptionally difficult. She spent the afternoon before withdrawing Hayden touring St. John’s and learning all about the place her son calls home for a good portion of the year. She had a personal tour of the television studio where Hayden works, stopped in to chat with his bosses and walked the halls Hayden walked just a few days ago. Malinda said she understands why Hayden loves St. John’s so much and she looks forward to him gracing the campus again soon. For now, the message all around remains, “Hope for Hayden.” “As his mother, I know he is an extremely determined individual,” Malinda said. “He’s got fight in him.”


ROTC raises money for charity Students

Fundraiser at bowling alley gains $500 can now use Elizabeth Alvarez Contributing Writer

University ROTC students and members of the community gathered for a night of bowling and fun at Jib Lanes on Parsons Boulevard to raise money for a local charity on Oct. 29. “The whole point of the project was to tie in the local community, St. John’s ROTC and a cause,” Gaspar Teri, the lead organizer of the event said. The St. John’s ROTC program, under the guidance of LTC Joseph Pishock and MSG Jariko Denman, proposed a challenge that involved helping an organization, a community, or veterans, explained Teri in a follow-up email. “We as a group found a way to include all those things and even animals,” he said. As far as proceeds, “a positive number, for this positive event,” would be enough, Teri said. While only 25 people came to bowl and support the cause, the event was able to raise over $500. “The community support was excellent…it really helped us complete the night,” Teri said. Jenny Kim, president of We Are One 365 at St. John’s, also helped plan the event. “We helped support this, get the word out,” she said. “We got in touch with the Student Veteran’s Association, to have veterans come out and support this great cause for Guardians of Rescue.” We Are One 365, reached out to Guardians of Rescue for the event as an assignment for their military science class. “It was Gaspar (Terri)’s idea for our group project for our military science

class,” Kim said. At first the group was considering to do their project on military animals that come back from deployment, Kim said. They wanted to “raise money for dogs that come back handicap,” or “supply them with like any surgery, or find them a new home.” Instead, they opted for a local organization that had similar impacts, Guardians of Rescue, because it had greater involvement. According to their website, Guardians of Rescue is a non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating programs and activities that better the relationship between people and animals.

The fundraiser was held as part of the organization’s Veterans and Military Affairs efforts, otherwise known as “Home Again: Operation Support Our Troops.” All of the event’s proceeds, from the entrance fee to the raffle ticket purchases, will be donated to support the program. Raffle prizes included St. John’s gear, gift certificates from community-wide businesses, such as Applebee’s, Five Guys, Starbucks, Panera Bread, Qdoba, Buffalo Wild Wings and tickets from the NY Islanders and AMC Theaters. All of the donations totaled $1,500.

TORch photo/Elizabeth Alvarez

ROTC students gathered at a local bowling alley to raise money for charity.


The faculty of the Department of Accounting and Taxation welcomed the CEO and Worldwide Chairman of KPMG John B. Veihmeyer, who provided useful career advice to business students in attendance last Thursday. KPMG (named after Klinjnveld, Peat, Marwick and Goerdeler, four partners who merged their accounting firms) is one of the top four global networks of professional firms providing audit, tax and advisory services. They also have a special relationship with the University, having hired over 150 St. John’s alumni across different departments. “St. John’s is big recruiting school for us,” Vehmeyer said. “The students we attract from St. John’s do really well once they get with the firm, so it’s one place we pay a lot of attention to.” Throughout the informal “fireside chat” moderated by Dr. Joseph Trainor, assistant professor of accounting and taxation, Veihmeyer addressed predetermined questions from students. Speaking about success and leadership, Veihmeyer enlightened

students by validating the critical role of ethics and integrity in business along with the importance of diversity and an inclusive culture within an organization. “Diversity is metrics,” Veihmeyer said. “And culture is the biggest differentiator that anyone can have.” He stated that diversity provides the linkage in an organization that allows you to become successful, as well as different strategies to achieve success. He also shared words of wisdom in regards to how he got to where he is today and what advice guided him to make positive decisions. “I never felt like it was about planning every step of my career,” Veihmeyer said. “There is no definite career path.” The dean of the Peter J. Tobin College of Business, Dr. Victoria Shoaf, and the Provost, Dr. Robert A. Mangione, were in attendance. Along with Veihmeyer, they presented the annual Stanley Shirk and Edward Smith Scholarship Awards to 10 current seniors who will be entering their fifth year in the combined accounting/taxation degree program. Among the winners were Anneysa Andrews, Thomas Cunningham, Michael Fill, Ilija Huljev, Carla Marian, Zhengnan Miao, Quinn Rochford, Kevin Schlakman and Wal Man Sammi Sy.

“I think it’s very important for our students to recognize how well prepared they are to be successful and to be proud that they are graduating from St. John’s University,” Dr. Mangione said. “They possess integrity, critical thinking skills and inquisitive natures that could apply to live or learning, all things Mr. Veihmeyer had mentioned.” Shoaf also put emphasis on not just the importance of mentorship and networking, but on the various accounting/ taxation programs students have to make themselves better. “We try to give students a lot of opportunities over their entire five years to learn the importance of networking and mentorship,” Shaof said. “There are probably at least five or six organizations in accounting where the students meet as a club and invite professionals to campus, and I think that connection with the professions is extremely important” “Sophomore Sophia Terzulli felt privileged to have attended the event but most of all, she was more than satisfied with the connections St. John’s has to offer. “This event just reassured my confidence that St. John’s maintains outstanding connections and enables their students to network with such influential professionals,” Terzulli said.

Zipcar Talia Tirella Staff Writer

Students on campus will be able to use and enjoy the self-service car sharing service, Zipcar starting Nov. 7. The University partnered with Zipcar to become one of many universities that offer car-rental service. This partnership will give students and faculty alike an ecofriendly and convenient transportation option, which will be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. “We are happy to welcome St. John’s University to the group of over 300 universities that have Zipcar on campus,” Katelyn Lopresti, general manager for Zipcar University said in statement. Zipcar will bring two cars to campus, a Ford Focus Hatchback and a Honda Civic. Both will be parked in the lot next to the ROTC and Campus Safety building and may be reserved by students and employees who are 18 or older. Reservations can be made within seconds online or on a mobile device. If you are a Zipcar member, you pay only for the time that you use the vehicle, and have no additional monetary responsibility when it comes to the obligations of owning a car, such as gas, insurance, parking, registration and maintenance. The first year of membership costs $25 ($35 for each year after that) and also includes $35 in driving credit for the first month. Also included with membership are discounted hourly rates, gas, insurance and maintenance. “St. John’s University is pleased to partner with Zipcar to make car sharing simple and affordable for our University Community,” Jackie Lochrie, associate dean for student services, said in a statement. “Having cars accessible on campus is a perfect amenity particularly for our students who may want the convenience of a car for running errands or stocking up on groceries, but don’t want the expense or commitment of owning a car in New York City.” The University’s partnership with Zipcar also supports the school’s sustainability efforts as a whole. Since 2007, as part of joining Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s PlaNYC 2030 Challenge to reduce carbon emissions on college campuses, St. John’s has successfully worked to significantly reduce its carbon footprint. The school has since been awarded a GOLD rating by The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System. Because Zipcar will now be offered on campus, student organizations will have an opportunity to participate in the “Students with Drive” grant program, which provides a Zipcar membership and driving credit to support different organizations on campus. The grant is sponsored by Zipcar and the Ford Motor Company. Through the “Drive” program, Zipcar and Ford will be able to provide $300,000 in grants to be awarded to student organizations at participating Zipcar universities. The program has already started, and will end in April 2014. It will culminate with one student organization being awarded $5000 in driving credit, $10,000 in cash for the organization to put toward its cause and $10,000 in cash to be awarded to the organization’s school.

Russakoff rated No.14 best professor


Computer science professor gets recognition from ratemyprofessor.com Kimberly AvALOS Staff Writer

With 40 years of teaching experience, roughly 35 of which were spent at St. John’s University, Andrew Russakoff was recognized as No. 14 of top university professors by RateMyProfessors.com for the 2012-2013 school year. The ratings are compiled through a five-point Likert scale as well as a binary scoring system for students to rate professors. Russakoff though was dismissive of the recognition. While acknowledging that through various times in his life, he defined himself in different ways, including a bagpipe player, a graduate student at Oxford, a father, or a band member who played at the Waldorf Astoria, he recognizes that his role today is to be a part of that development in his students. According to the computer science professor, one’s college years aren’t defined with the obligation to attend classes, the often “sophisticated” textbooks and the tests that follow. It’s a lot more complicated than that so he doesn’t care if his students don’t show. “Life is complicated when you’re a college-aged person, it really is,” he said. “And I’m not so sure that everything that happens in the classroom has precedence over all those other things.” So even while teaching a largely technical and fact-based course like Computer Information System, Russakoff’s teaching philosophy includes putting the subject into context. “He tells it like a story,” freshman Cynthia Morris said. “Even when he was talking about Microsoft and everything, it wasn’t just timelines and dates. I don’t even know what dates they took place in but I know the order in which they happened and I know what happened.” Although Russakoff has a mathematics degree, he comes from a liberal arts background at Columbia

University that is strongly devoted to a general education and a core curriculum. So his philosophy as a professor is to broaden the sometimes narrow perspective of courses like Statistics and CIS and incorporate outside forces in its

field from the start and through their education. Yet a duty he still struggles with is appealing to the varying and inconsistent interests of his students that do not always include what he teaches. He

TORch photo/Kimberly avalos

Andrew Russakoff teaches computer science on Mondays and Thursdays.

framework to help students understand the subject. “So I think, how am I going to sell this stuff?” Russakoff rhetorically asked with a higher-pitched voice. “And I think the way I do it is – they are far more engaged if I talk about the history of the computer industry. How did it happen that the IBM personal computer was such a big seller when there were 10 other computers on the market that were better and easier to use?” However, Russakoff lowers his tone at the realization that the “national mood” is shying away from the importance of that context and is prioritizing the “specific” task of landing a job. That changing vision strongly resembled his experience at Oxford, where one specializes in their

realizes that a class on how to perform certain database management functions is not “intrinsically” engaging. A majority of comments on RateMyProfessors.com emphasized how class with Russakoff will only last a maximum of 40 minutes. Russakoff explained that those varying interests, along with the energy of his students, dictate not only how long he will teach for but also create urgency for engagement and collaboration as a class. “I say come to class,” Russakoff said. “If you come to class I could take you from where you are to where you ought to be. But I need you here. And when you’re done, I’m done too.” Morris was quick to comment on her professor’s decision to keep the class for

a short period of time. “It’s not like he keeps you for 40 minutes and you’re missing stuff,” she said. “He keeps you for 40 minutes and he gives you all this knowledge and you understand what he’s saying. And you don’t have to worry about memorization because you have actually learned it.” Sophomore Amy Shen explained his passion is contagious. “He’s very passionate about what he teaches,” she said. “First, he understands what he teaches. Then, he gets students engaged in what he teaches.” In his opinion, a way to engage his students is to not present information as mere facts or as needing to be solely “a, b, c or d,” but to allow his students to participate in a way that is good in and of itself. He immediately gave out a powerful laugh at the memory of an answer to an extra credit question to write a poem about linear regression. Not only did he not expect the poem to rhyme, but he never imagined a student would fulfill the requirements of a haiku. Staying true to the 5-7-5 syllable count per line, a student wrote: “Graphs or formulas/ even computer printout / regression still sucks.” Russakoff acknowledged the fact it was not the “nicest expression,” but he was much more impressed with the how the student managed to put the pieces together to then still say ‘I just don’t like this.’ At the end of the day, Russakoff says he does not feel threatened by the importance of his job. Because although it would be great if he manages to engage his students in his interests, it is not a flaw on either side if that does not happen. “I’ll show you a piece of something that got me where I am but I don’t want you to feel like, well if you’re not interested then we have no business,” Russakoff said. “You’ll learn the language and you’ll learn the piece, but now, what are you interested in? What motivates you?”

Fume hoods in St. Albert’s are safe, official says

Christopher Brito News Editor

In the wake of a student publicly voicing concerns that the fume hoods in St. Albert’s Hall are “unsafe,” a University official responded by saying the fumes have been “inspected.” Dr. Colleen M. Greaney, Ph. D., director of environmental health and safety at the University, oversees that all the buildings on campus comply with official safety standards. In an interview with the Torch, she said students who work at St. Albert’s labs should feel secure that the new and old fume hoods, a ventilation device that filters labs from hazardous or toxic gases, vapors or dust, undergo annual and periodic inspection by the FDNY. Students expressed their concerns about the fumes to administrators at an academic forum Oct. 10. Greaney said to ensure a lab is safe from possibly toxic fumes, a piece of tape is placed on the inner rim of the fume hoods and if it’s waving due to incoming

air, it’s good to go. If not, nothing can be done in the room and facilities has to repair it. “We have a fairly robust program, we inspect our hoods annually and periodically do inspections throughout the year,” she said. “All the hoods pass inspections and as far as I know they are working.” Brian Amancio, who’s majoring in pre-med and chemistry, originally spoke out about the fume hoods at the academic forum, said the newer hoods break down constantly and prevent his research team from doing their work. “Half of the time, we can’t even do our work and the smell in the lab is unbearable sometimes,” he said. When asked how unsafe he felt in the labs at St. Albert’s Hall from a scale of 1 to 10, he said “6” because of the hoods not working properly. In response to that, Greaney said the department abides by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations and said it’s not out of the question that the equipment could have outage.

“Mechanical equipment can break down and any time that happens we address it as quickly as possible,” she said. “Obviously, it’s a health and safety

issue for our fume hoods to be working. We work closely with facilities, our customers at the labs and we’re on top of it.”

TORch photo/Christopher Brito

Fume hoods like this one filter labs from hazardous gases, vapors or dust.


Think Outside...


De Blasio becomes NYC’s 109th Mayor Talia Tirella Staff Writer Democratic nominee Bill de Blasio became the 109th mayor in New York City’s history in a landslide victory over Republican candidate Joe Lhota. Bill de Blasio, the former Public Advocate, was leading all mayoral polls after the primaries, leaving little suspense at the conclusion of the election. However, de Blasio’s rise in popularity was a surprise. At the right time, he was able to benefit from the distractions in the media caused by the scandal surrounding Democrat Anthony Weiner. De Blasio was also able to capture the support that remained for democrat Christine Quinn, the New York City Council Speaker. Her close ties with the Bloomberg administration, as well as her support of the term limits repeal, created a negative association in many voters’ minds, which left her unable to stop the steady decline in her polling numbers. De Blasio’s popular messages and pledges to change several city institutions drew in great numbers of people who originally supported other candidates, but who instead offered him a late surge of support. Many citizens agree with his ideas about public safety, stop-and-frisk, affordable housing and improvements in education. De Blasio’s most popular message of the “Tale of Two Cities” addresses the hot-button issue of income inequality that plagues New York City. He was able to fully capitalize on this message and gain even more ground in the polls because of it. The message allowed him to position himself as a progressive

photo/Wikimedia commons

Bill de Blasio beat out foe Republican Joe Lhota to become the first Democratic mayor since David Dinkins in 1980s.

alternative to the other candidates and many citizens were more than willing to show their support. “I believe that a Bill de Blasio win would show a significant change in the political landscape of New York City,” College Democrats President Luis Quinones said. “With the help of

the super majority in the City Council, democrats can work on shifting income inequality that de Blasio has talked about in his ‘Tale of Two Cities’ message.” As for the College Republicans, President Gregory Mitchell was disappointed with the defeat of Joe Lhota.

Katz is new Queens Borough Prez Olivia Cunningham Contributing Writer Melinda Katz, the Democratic candidate for Queens Borough president, beat out Republican opponent, Tony Arcabascio on Tuesday, Katz, who was raised in Forest Hills and is a product of New York City public schools as well as a graduate of St. John’s University Law School, has plans to implement a detailed economic development plan to improve Queens, according to her campaign website. She also plans to improve transit options, promote development and “prioritize Sandy redevelopment for job creation.” “College Democrats think that Melinda Katz is the right candidate,” Luis Quinones, president of the St. John’s University College Democrats, said. “We believe that her experience in the city council will help her

accomplish a great deal for Queens.” College Republicans President Gregory Mitchell also believes that Katz will be a fine borough president. “She brings an impressive resume with experience valueable to the BP’s office,” he said. “It is especially special to us at St. John’s because she is a St. John’s alum.” In her economic development plan, the cornerstone of her campaign, Katz identifies Jamaica, along with Willets Point and Hunter’s Point South, as neighborhoods with “major” new development opportunities. Another area that Katz would like to focus on is promoting Queens as a borough with rich diversity and cultural opportunities. She hopes to “rebrand” the borough as “the most exciting place in New York,” she said in her development plan. Recovery from the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, especially in

Rockaway Beach, is another of the priorities outlined in Katz’ master development plan. She would like to “rethink infrastructure” and “encourage Queens to support our own” as part of the recovery process. “She has the right ideas to make Queens more competitive and bring more jobs and families to this great borough,” Quinones said. Katz has received endorsements from The New York Times, the Working Families Party and Planned Parenthood, among others. Katz will replace current borough president Helen Marshall, who has reached the term limit. Previously, Katz served Queens as a City Council Member in the 29th district from 2002-2009 where she chaired the Land Use Committee. Prior to that, Katz worked for the Office of the Borough President from 19992002.

“Joe Lhota ran a disciplined campaign focused on his vision for New York City,” he said. “Lhota is a strong leader and even though he did not win the election, I am confident that he will continue to fight for the betterment of New York City no matter what capacity he is in.”

Weprin, Lancman claim local councilman spots jeremy ashton Contributing Writer In city council district 23, incumbent Democrat Mark Weprin swept Reform Party challenger Joseph Concoon with his hefty resume, stronger party ties and more austere political awareness. Weprin cited his accomplishments including the Workplace Religious Freedom Act and his involvement with Autism as reasons for him to stay in his position, his campaign site says. Voters in neighboring district 24 saw Democrat Rory Lancman defeat Republican Alex Blishteyn. Traditionally a Democratic district, Lancman didn’t rest on his laurels, partnering with local labor unions and political organizations, establishing himself as a member of the community.


OPINION Editorial Board XCI KIERAN LYNCH Editor-in-Chief

Illustrator’s Corner


FLAMES OF THE TORCH Time to see if #SJUBB is for real “Do something special come March.” That’s been the mantra repeated by St. John’s men’s basketball coach Steve Lavin leading up to his fourth and most anticipated season at the University. After a successful first campaign that included a NCAA tournament appearance, Lavin has seen his program grow from a short-staffed group during his second year in charge, to a third season filled with growing pains, to a 2013-14 year where expectations point toward one thing: success. However, the hype around this season will be nothing new for the Red Storm. Despite the past two seasons of underachievement, there has been a sustained expectation that the University’s basketball team will repeat the feats of Lavin’s first year in charge. Following the two down years of building, there isn’t any room for excuses with a team that has depth and experience – two terms that have been thrown around this preseason.

There’s a core of juniors D’Angelo Harrison, Sir’Dominic Pointer and Phil Greene who have been around the Big East block a few times while playing major minutes dating back to freshman year. There’s the reigning Big East Rookie of the Year in sophomore JaKarr Sampson. There are big bodies in the nation’s leading shot-blocker Chris Obekpa, as well as senior Orlando Sanchez and graduate student God’sgift Achiuwa. The pieces are there. There’s no more room for talk of youth, limited personnel and next year. It’s about the here and now. St. John’s received votes in the AP Top 25 and kicks off the regular season against No. 20 Wisconsin this Friday. It’s an immediate test for a group that has people looking and either waiting for an opportunity to jettison it into the national spotlight or dismiss it as a team that can’t get it together and has more questions than answers. It’s time to see if the hype is real.


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Diamond watts-walker



Special to the Torch The holiday season is looming, and as I am sitting watching my goto show, “The Price is Right”, a holiday commercial coincidentally appears on my screen. A happy young couple is sitting on a plush couch adjacent to a perfectly green and ornamented Christmas tree. The woman opens a glossy box and, to her disbelief, softly lays a shiny pair of keys. Her husband leads her outside and she sees a 2014 Hyundai Sonata parked outside her driveway with a bow perfectly placed on top. As she jumps for joy into the man’s arms I see the great Christmas deal that Hyundai is offering for me. For zero down payment I, Jack, get the opportunity to show how much I care about my girlfriend with a

brand new car. I think not. To me, the holiday season isn’t about cash registers or shiny objects wrapped in shinier objects. To me it is about being around those who I care about most. And, in my humble Jack opinion, my girlfriend nears the top of that list. I really don’t think that she will be jumping into my arms if she sees a shiny black car with a giant gift tag placed on a podium on the Great Lawn. If you ask me, something simple will do the trick. This may sound like a wild concept, but if you just listen to her, then maybe you won’t have to hide behind jewelry or fancy things to cover up your apathy and save you from her indignation. What does she like? What’s her favorite color? Where are some of her favorite places? If you ask

yourself simple questions like these then you’ll find a gift will be simple – and cheap. I remember thinking about what to get my girlfriend for Christmas last year. I know everything about her: her favorite color is sea foam green. She loves tea and, even more, “cute” tea pots. So what did I do? I paid a visit to the nearest Macy’s establishment and scoped out a sea foam green teapot. I wrapped it up and finished it with a bow. As the season rolled around I whipped out my gift – which cost me a mere $25 – and I could tell her in eyes that she knew I listened. And, to me, that’s what she wants to see most. So don’t try hide behind jewelry this year. Just listen to her and get something simple for a lower cost and show her that you care.


Special to the Torch There is no denying that the holiday season is officially here. Every major department store is fully decorated with gigantic trees, strands of tinsel and filled with the joyous holiday spirit. As you are saving up your money to hit Forever 21 on Black Friday and again on Cyber Monday, do not forget about the special people in your life. We all know parents and siblings get stuck with a standard gift from Things Remembered or some trinket you feel they will appreciate, so lets talk about the most important gift recipient: the boyfriend. We all scroll the pages of Seventeen Magazine and watch those cheesy E! gift tutorials, but the true question rises in the value of the present. No matter what gift

you give, the value speaks volumes. Not saying that you can’t purchase something under $5 and it still be thoughtful, but the price of the gift says a lot about how much you value your relationship. There is nothing wrong with discussing a price range beforehand, sometimes it can be helpful. The trick to picking the right range is to pick it yourself. That way you can pick one that you find reasonable. Avoiding that awkward moment when your boyfriend values your relationship at $20. Now to my easily attached females: I know your one month relationship may mean the entire world to you, but do not spend an insane amount of money on a relationship that does not have a strong foundation. If you are like me in a new relationship, use good judgment, but make sure not to over do it. It is important to make

sure your gift doesn’t over extend your feelings. If you buy him something a little too expensive you might risk scaring him away. Believe it or not your guy might interpret that overly priced gift as an informal proposal. For veteran ladies, you are no stranger to the gift giving game. The only downside to being headed toward the altar is your present has to be a little more expensive than someone who has not made it to the year mark. If money is an issue, just make sure your gift is special. Give him a gift that he would love almost as much as you. I hope your holiday shopping goes as planned. Just remember a few cardinal rules. Do not let the gift be worth more than your feelings. Never purchase anything you want him to have. And last but not least, always be personal.

Think Outside...



Students sleep while arches emerge

OLIVIA CUNNINGHAM Contributing Writer

Steve Katz’s work is rarely noticed and almost never mentioned. Before the sun is up, he is at work, beginning to blow up hundreds of balloons and assemble them into a forty-foot masterpiece. By the time students crowd the campus on their way to classes, Katz has come and gone, leaving arches, columns and other balloon creations in his wake. Katz is the owner of Haytay Corporation, a group that contracts balloons for special events. St. John’s University is one of his biggest customers. Most students at St. John’s don’t think twice about the balloons that overtake the campus during special events, but Katz, often working alone, is the contractor responsible for most of the University’s balloons. Katz began working with St. John’s about 25 years ago. “Believe it or not, it was the coach of the women’s basketball team that came in, and I guess they were going on a recruiting trip and they wanted a sign,” the New York native said. For that event, Katz made the SJU mascot out of balloons. Later that year he said the coach called for a few balloons again. “Which we did,” he said. “And one thing led to another.” Katz’s operation is often a one-man

show, although he sometimes calls in assistance. “Usually it’s a small enough job I don’t need people, but if it’s a big job I got people depending on what the job requires,” he said. His start in the balloon industry developed naturally. “I have a store,” he said. “It was a card shop and we did balloons and it evolved from there. People wanted more than just birthday balloons and then caterers and charities got involved and it evolved into a business that can sustain itself.” In a typical workday Katz creates a variety of balloon arrangements, from single orbs to clusters to columns to arches that span entire streets or (for a recent event) the front of the D’Angelo Center. “I don’t make animals that clowns do or anything like that,” he said, although he does make just about everything else. He does between 20 and 30 events per year for the University. Recently, he’s prepared the balloons for open house, career week and casino night. Katz’s largest and most difficult events are festivals and parades. “I just did your open house. I do the career fairs. Sometimes I just get called in to make an arch, maybe make half a dozen columns. I probably do in the neighborhood of 25 to 30 events for you guys over the course of a year,” he said. “Most of them are small.” Katz enjoys his work but regards it as


any other job. “Everything can be fun until you have to do it every day and when you do it every day it’s a job, it’s work,” he said. “I meet a lot of very nice people, but the bottom line is, it’s work. The first 10 might be fun, after 500 balloons it’s a job like anything else. A lot of times you don’t realize that these things didn’t just pop there. I start at 5 a.m.” Sometimes ballooning can be time-consuming. For example, an arch in front of Taffner Fieldhouse might take an hour and a half to make. He must bring the balloons, blow them up and build the

arch or column on-site. “Any time you see an arch that size, it’s always constructed there,” he said. “You can’t transport.” “When I do a street fair, I work all night,” he said. “Sometimes we got to make 10 or 15 arches. I’ll have three crews going.” It takes Katz and his crew about two and a half hours to make an arch that goes across a street; work begins the night before, as soon as it gets dark. “They close the streets, and we start working,” he said.

TWISB: Controversy all around

Hough’s costume causes controversy

There were tons of celebrities in outrageous Halloween costumes over the weekend, but they all seemed bland in comparison to actress Julianne Hough’s blackface costume. The 25-year-old starlet headed to a party dressed as her favorite character, “Crazy Eyes,” from hit Netflix show “Orange is the New Black,” causing complete and utter chaos on social media sites. Hough showed up to the party with a few pals dressed in orange jumpsuits with fake chains attaching them by the ankles, with the budding starlet accessorizing with a long sleeve gray t-shirt and two knotted twist like the fictional character. Her biggest accessory of the night was her makeup: her darkened eyebrows and foundation fit for a black woman’s complexion. After realizing her costume was found offensive by many she immediately tweeted, “I am a huge fan of the show Orange is the New black, actress Uzo Aduba, and the character she has created. It certainly was never my intention to be disrespectful or demeaning to anyone in any way. I realize my costume hurt and offended people and I truly apologize.” Unfortunately, it was a tad bit too late for damage control as blogs and magazines trashed “The Safe Haven” star’s choice of costume and personal beliefs. Talk show host, Wendy Williams slammed Hough on her show, saying the Halloween incident “showed her ignorant side.” The former “Dancing With the Star” contestant’s family is owning up to situation’s stupidity with her brother Derek Hough telling E!, ”It wasn’t her brightest moment in her life, but hopefully we can move on.”

Brown seeks help with anger management issues

It is no secret that trouble has no problem finding, Chris Brown. The R&B bad boy has been a ticking tabloid bomb since his February 2009 incident with ex-girlfriend Rihanna. With one assault charge after another, it surprised no one when Brown was arrested two weeks ago after being involved in an altercation with two male fans while celebrating Howard University Homecoming in D.C. The incident took place after Brown allegedly refused to take a picture with the two males, saying he was not into the gay stuff “but into boxing.” It was then reported that Brown and his bodyguard began punching the two males, resulting in both being arrested and later jailed. The “Fine China” singer was released from jail after 36-hours when the judge reduced his assault felony charge to a misdemeanor. A representative for the Grammy winner confirmed the rehab stint, saying, “His goal is to gain focus and insight into his past and recent behavior.” Brown admitted to his new probation officer earlier this week that he has anger management issues. The “Please Don’t Judge Me” singer has a probation hearing later this month where the judge will decide to let singer complete his fifth year of probation and 1,000 extra community services hours or send him to jail to complete four years. The rep for the once-crowned prince of pop, said in an official statement that the Brown camp has high hopes for rehab and are hoping it gives him skills, “enabling him to continue the pursuit of his life and his career from a healthier vantage point.”

Jonas Brothers call it quits due to ‘creative differences’

Less than a month after cancelling their worldwide tour, the Jo Bros have called it quits. The once-popular boy band shattered the hearts of millions around the world this week after revealing their big split to People Magazine. The musical trio, better known as Kevin, Nick and Joe Jonas, has decided to head their separate ways after citing “creative differences” in mid-October. The brothers caused tons of commotion on social media after ending their first major tour in years – two days before it kicked off. Fans were left outraged, taking to Twitter to voice their disbelief about the situation. It all seemed for a moment when youngest JB member Nick Jonas tweeted “Bear with us.” Although the news seems inevitable to many since most Disney stars eventually break out of their mold, it seemed the Jonas boys would be able to “Hold On” forever. With a fifth studio album titled “V” on the way later this year with two singles already lined up, the death of America’s hottest boy band of the late 2000s has left everyone speechless. Performing together might not be in the cards for the brothers anytime soon, but they each will respectively continue on with their careers. Oldest brother Kevin can be seen on E! reality show “Married to Jonas” with wife Danielle, who is currently pregnant with the couple’s first child. 24-year-old Joe, will continue to strive for a career as a solo pop artist and Miley Cyrus’ ex-boyfriend Nick will focus on his life as a Broadway actor.

Compiled by: Briawnna Jones


Falling in love with the city of lights


Safe to say, as soon as we landed in Paris it was love at first sight – literally. Even from our charter bus, we could see that the architecture of the city put any Manhattan skyscraper to shame. We could barely contain ourselves when we learned that our first excursion would be to the Arc de Triomphe. This excursion proved to be one for the memoirs. After what seemed like light-years climbing up the ancient Parisian style steps, we finally got to the top of the Arc. At that moment, a few in our group began to get emotional, some even shedding tears of joy. “It’s just one of those things you tell yourself you’re going to do, but never really see your self doing,” said Skyler Larkin, a junior sociology major. “When you actually do it, it’s amazing. I’m definitely having a moment.” It wasn’t long before the honeymoon phase began to fade. For four consecutive weeks, it seemed like Paris wouldn’t live up to its expectations. To begin with, the U.S. government shutdown threatened our planned excursion to Normandy. Students were hesitant to pay for the trip since the shutdown affected the U.S. cemetery. Eventually

the shutdown was over, but not before it decimated our trip. Then there was the issue of the meal plan. For a moment, I believed St. John’s had us in its own perverse version of The Hunger Games. We were fed breakfast and dinner 11 hours apart on Mondays through Thursdays, and on the weekends we had to fend for ourselves. Dinner was always a three-course meal, perhaps to make up for the abysmal breakfast of baguette and jam. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the classes we had to take. In Paris, Homework mastered the art of being a killjoy. “In Seville, at least the classes tied in with the city itself,” said senior Tyrone Bazelaire, “I really haven’t had the chance to discover Paris because of the workload I have.” We soon resorted to trade by barter. One packet of ramen noodles could usually get you an explanation to yesterday’s Philosophy lesson. My hunger and my exasperation were beginning to drive me stir-crazy. Perhaps the countless hours I’d devoted to reality television back home had stripped me of what little cultural appreciation I had. I decided to ask around. “Don’t get me wrong, Paris is beautiful, but I can’t converse with art and buildings,” said junior Valeria Vezga. “I like the architecture, but the weather is so depressing,” said accounting stu-

Hot on the charts

LORRAINE BALLERO Contributing Writer

Music fans everywhere have not been disappointed with this month’s charts. October has definitely been a “Royal” month as breakout artist Lorde took the No. 1 spot on the Billboard charts for the seventh consecutive week. Katy Perry’s “Roar” beat out Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball” for the number 2 spot, leaving the twerking star at number three on the Billboard Top 100 charts. According to Billboard, this is the longest amount of time women have dominated the charts since 1999. These women have proved to be a force to be reckoned with, as 16-year-old Lorde is one of the youngest artists to have an international No. 1 hit in recent memory. The New Zealand songstress holds the title of being the female with longest-running single this year, and joins the likes of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe” last summer. Katy Perry’s album Prism has received high praises from critics all around, and sales have shot the album up to being No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 Album charts. Continuing on with her success from

this summer’s hit “We Can’t Stop”, “Wrecking Ball” joins the aforementioned single in being Cyrus’ second 2-million-selling single this year. Not to be upstaged, Avicii and Drake hold the No. 4 and No. 5 spots respectively, for four straight weeks. Avicii’s “Wake Me Up!” has held the No. 1 spot on the Dance/Electronic charts for eight weeks, and Drake’s hit “Hold On, We’re Going Home” is No. 1 on the Rap/HipHop Charts for its fifth week. As we make toward the end of the year, many are thinking about what song could ultimately be the No. 1 song of the year. Robin Thicke and Pharrell’s monster hit “Blurred Lines” certainly sticks out to many, but Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Thrift Shop” certainly can’t be forgotten. With both songs featured in the top ten for weeks on end and both selling 6 million copies this year alone respectively, not even counting “Thrift Shop’s” 2012 successes. “Blurred Lines” recently fell off the top 10 chart after being in the top ten for an unprecedented 21 weeks. Thicke’s album also titled Blurred Lines has also reached the No. 1 spot for albums in both the US and the UK, making it a notable and incredible international success. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis have three songs that have currently made it to the 2-million-selling copies charts, with their songs “Can’t Hold Us” and “Same Love.” October was certainly a month for music and while we look ahead to the end of the year we are also looking back at the incredible year of music we’ve had. Which songs will go down in history as the best songs of 2013? We’ll find out soon enough.


Overlooking Paris from the Arc de Triomphe with the Eiffel Tower at the center. dent Binh Pham. Dublin, London, Amsterdam, Budapest, “Artsy and pricy is the only way that I Brussels and more. can describe Paris,” said Biology major We celebrated our friends’ birthdays Richard Oh. on the lawn beneath the Eiffel Tower. We I must applaud my DTW group for invaded Disneyland on Halloween, and making delicious lemonade from rot- came home with plenty of stories to tell. ten lemons. Rather than wallow in our We never failed to see a silver misery, we bonded on the steps of the lining, and Paris was certainly not Sacré-Cœur overlooking the city. short of clouds from which to choose Together we took weekend trips to from.


Witnessing the birth of the hip-hop industry legend SPEAKS TO STUDENTS on campus about his career and journey


Grandmaster Caz, DJ and MC, poses in New York City in April of 2009.


Caz pours a can of ginger ale into a glass cup and watches as the bubbles fizzle and rise to the top. He sets the empty can down next to his plate which is filled with the staples—mashed potatoes and green beans. A diamond-studded microphone connected to a thick silver chain hangs from his neck and his black leather jacket is slung over the back of his chair. At first, his face is blank as he talks casually about hip-hop, the South Bronx and Eminem. He forks at his food, checks his phone and nods his head, soaking in the table conversations but not saying much. But when the conversation shifts to his wife, who is sitting across the table, he can’t help but smile. They’ve been married for 16 years, have 18 grandchildren and live together in the Bronx, he explains. She holds up a picture on her iPhone of one of their granddaughters to show everyone at the table and Caz lights up. His eyes are locked on the photo until he shifts from the bright phone screen to his wife. His face softens as he looks at her. “She’s my best friend,” he says. Grandmaster Caz is a legend. He is a lyrical genius, one of the founders of old school rap and the king of the South Bronx. Caz, as his friends call him, spoke to St. John’s University students on Monday, Oct. 28 during common hour in the Starbucks café. While at lunch preceding his talk on campus he was quiet and reserved, when he spoke in front of the crowd of both hip-hop fans and admirers, he commanded the room. Caz grew up in the South Bronx during the birth of hip hop. He said it was at one

of the notorious DJ Kool Herc block parties in 1974 when he was just 13-yearsold that he first had the calling to become a DJ. “Kool Herc had a party indoor at a club one night and all the little kids from the neighborhood, the shorties, my age, would go outside the club and watch all the older kids go in,” he said. “But one particular night, one of the doormen blinked and I slid up there into club and I watched what the music did to people… but when I saw them play the music, I was like that’s what I want to do.” After that party, Caz said he began launching his career. He bought equipment, started perfecting his craft and quickly evolved as an artist. He started his own group and adapted the stage name DJ Casanova Fly. Caz teamed up with his best friend from high school, DJ Disco Wiz, who was one of the first Latino hip-hop DJs. “We started out just doing block parties, house parties and playing wherever we could play to try to make a name for ourselves,” he said. And eventually they did. Caz became well known in the hip-hop business and for becoming the first-ever simultaneous DJ and MC. He wrote, he rapped and he battled other rappers including notorious hip-hop artists like Afrika Bambata. Caz was a member of the group The Notorious Two and then later, the Cold Crush Brothers. But what Caz is well-known for is having his lyrics stolen by the Sugar Hill Gang in one of the most popular songs of the late 70s, “Rapper’s Delight.” Caz explained the controversy to the group of curious St. John’s students with both humor and charm. “The Sugar Hill Gang had little to do with it. Big Man Hank used to be down with me. Back in 1977-78 I wanted someone to help manage my group,” Caz said. “Big Man Hank had a club in


Grandmaster Caz speaks at the campus Starbucks to students last week.

the Bronx…we became cool after awhile and I asked Hank… ‘I need you to help manage our group’.” Hank agreed. Caz said the first thing he did was take a loan out from his parents for $2,000. The money was used to fortify their sound systems and buy bigger equipment. “In order to pay back this loan, Hank had to get a job,” Caz said. “Because we weren’t making money from hip hop yet.” Hank got a job at a pizza shop in New Jersey, according to Caz. One day, a woman came into the pizza shop and saw Hank lip-syncing to a little boom box he had inside the store. The woman just happened to be auditioning people with her sons for a group they were putting together. “Now Hank couldn’t wrap a package,” Caz said. “Hank couldn’t write a rhyme if his life depended on it.” But Hank never told this woman he couldn’t rap or that he managed one of the best MCs in the Bronx. Instead Hank secured a record deal—for himself. “Now imagine my shock and surprise when my manager came to me and told me he got a record deal,” Caz said. So Hank asked Caz to write him some rhymes, but Caz thought there was not much to it. Caz gave him a book of rhymes and told him exactly what to say once he was in the studio. “He ran with that,” Caz said. Knowing Hank and his rapping abilities, Caz did not take any of it seriously at the time. When the record came out “Rapper’s Delight” was everywhere. Everyone started coming up to Caz saying they heard his record, but Caz hadn’t made a record. Hank had. “Rapper’s Delight” became one of the defining songs of the hip-hop movement. It was on many billboards, playing out of every car stereo and thumping from every sound system.

“The problem was, the music was stolen,” Caz said. And the song wasn’t just stolen from Caz; the bass line was also stolen from another song. Sugar Hill records was sued and the music and publishing rights were all taken from them. “I never received a dime for ‘Rapper’s Delight’ even though I wrote a third of it,” Caz said. “And I was not even credited as a writer on the song.” Despite the controversy, Caz still writes, but mostly as a ghostwriter. He now chooses to write without credit, but for pay for his lyrics. Caz still performs and will speak at various universities and venues taking his stories and lessons along with him. “Today ‘Rapper’s Delight’ still haunts me,” he said. Caz made his own name for himself in the hip-hop business and is still considered one of the founders of the movement. Artists like Eminem have said Caz influenced and inspired them. And Caz has also worked with artists like LL Cool J and Ice T. Caz continues to keep his eye on upand-coming talent and is still very in tune with the business. Senior Gabrielle Fuentes came to watch Caz and was pleasantly surprised at how much she enjoyed listening to him. “He is a really funny and laid back guy,” she said. “I would have to say that I learned a lot about him.” Caz finished his talk at St. John’s by performing his song “MC Delight” a response to the “Rapper’s Delight” controversy. “My favorite part was when he was rapping at the end,” Fuentes said. Standing at the front of the Starbucks café, Caz spit his lyrics with passion and ferocity as if they were written yesterday. “I have been a part of hip-hop since its inception,” he said.


Sky Ferreira impresses with latest LP release

JON MANARANG Contributing Writer SKY FERREIRA Night Time, My Time OUT OF 5 STARS

Sky Ferreira cut ties to her early pop starlet career with her first LP, “Night Time, My Time.” Between touring with bands like Vampire Weekend, performing at festivals and even getting arrested earlier this year, 2013 has been quite a year for Ferreira. At only 21-years-old, Ferreira has released several successful EPs and singles that have been the source of hype for her full-length album release. Racing to No. 8 on the iTunes Top Downloads spot within hours of its release, the record delivers the promise of hope for her fledgling career. Amongst the many conflicts with her album label over the release date of her record originally slated for 2011, there is a distinct lack of vinyl copies as of now. However, the album is available as a CD and MP3 download. A classically-trained opera singer, Ferreira belts each track with an inten-

sity that is complemented by her bubbly stage persona and fashion model figure. The main lyrical themes of this record seem to be an adolescent notion of longing and romance. Categorized by her raspy vocal style and a penchant for 1980s pop aesthetics, the album provides several strong tracks that display a more adventurous side, as opposed to the safety she found on “Ghost EP.” On her nude body on the album over, Ferreira claims, “It’s hard enough to be a woman making music at all, but I’m not going to start covering myself up just to seem more credible—I’m going to embrace my sexuality because I have every right to.” On “Boys”, Ferreira sings longingly over a cumbersome start/stop synth-bass line, in the chorus she harmonizes “You put my faith back in boys.” To even further the youthful overtone of the track Ferreira vocalizes the line “Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye” during the bridge. The following track, “Ain’t Your Right,” focuses on Ferreira’s breathy vocal style and an ominous bass/guitar combo over an upbeat electronic drum pattern. Definitely one of the strongest tracks on the album is “24 Hours,” which chimes in with the sound of an analog alarm clock and the heavy beat of the rhythm section underneath the melody of a bell. The vocals enter with a more reserved tone that builds to the monu-

mental and infectious chorus, a theme found in the bridge, which leads into the final chorus that fades out. Tracks like “Heavy Metal Heart,” “Nobody Asked Me (If I Was Okay)” and “Omanko” see the album take a darker, more distorted punk rock vibe than tracks like “I Blame Myself” and “You’re Not the One,” which take Ferreira’s obsession for ‘80s

pop to the extreme. On her debut album, Ferreira proves her worth as a young female singer with an edgier vibe than many of her indie pop contemporaries. She retains an unparalleled level of integrity in her songwriting, while taking her influences with high regard and channeling them into every aspect of her solid debut.


Professor Spolight: History, Robert Tomes DAVID RUSSELL Staff Writer

Robert Tomes did not always want to be a history teacher. The author and St. John’s professorsaid when he was a little boy he planned on taking Mickey Mantle’s job for the Yankees. “When he was retiring, I’d be in my early twenties,” Tomes said. “Just the right age to take the job.” His dreams of playing centerfield at Yankee Stadium were eventually dashed when in high school, he learned how hard it was to hit the curveball. He said plan B was to become a rock and roll star. “I was in a band for many years, then went solo,” he said. “Then at age 30, I realized I was better at writing than writing songs.” The 1960s and 1970s were influential to Tomes, who teaches Contemporary United States History and History of the Vietnam War courses at St. John’s, in addition to Discover New York and the Honors core history requirement. “I had a sense that all of these significant changes were around me,” he said. “I sensed I was in something that needed studying and figuring out.” Tomes has written several books including “Apocalypse Then: American Intellectuals and the Vietnam War,

1954-1975,” which was called “A noteworthy achievement” by the American Historical Review. Having been at St. John’s since 1988 does not mean he is set in his ways. “Everyday is a new day for me in the classroom,” he said. “I try to keep fresh. I really feel that particularly at St. John’s where I’m not really teaching history majors, it’s very compelling to me to make history interesting to them.” Former St. John’s professor Nick Hirshon, who took Tomes ten years ago, remembers Tomes fondly. “Dr. Tomes goes completely against the stereotype of a stuffy professor,” he said. “He knows his stuff, and has the resume to prove it, but he doesn’t take himself too seriously, and I think that helps students relate to him and makes the learning process so much more engaging.” Hirshon said Tomes is the type of professor who has former students coming back to campus to visit him one or two decades after they have had him. “Because they really respect him but also have fond memories of all his jokes,” Hirshon said. Tomes, being a history lover himself, said one thing that bothers him is that so many Americans have distorted views of the past because of the current entertainment media culture. “We don’t want to be interested unless it’s entertainment,” he said. This is something that concerns him, especially with the 50th anniversary of

JFK’s assassination approaching. “You could get a team of professional historians, and they’d have a busy day sorting through what Oliver Stone made up,” he said of the 1991 movie “JFK,” which deals with the cover-up of the Kennedy assassination. He feels that the heavy emphasis on reading and math in grade school

has taken away from other subjects, including history. “By the time they get to college, they’re overwhelmed, don’t know the facts or how to formulate an argument using facts,” he said. “My job is to make you think. I don’t care what you think as long as you think critically.”


Robert Tomes, professor and author, teaches history and war courses at SJU.

TORCHCOMICS Furvana Diamond Watts-Walker

Columbus Day

John Inzetta

Tony Bananadetto Stephen Saliba

Spookin’ John Inzetta

6 November 2013

...3 weeks


Freshman plays hero on senior night

Miguel Alves’ first career goal lifts SJU over No.5 Georgetown KYLE FITZGERALD Online Editor

St. John’s fought off No. 5 Georgetown in a tense 1-0 victory on Saturday night. In a game that honored the seniors, it was freshman Miguel Alvez who lifted the Red Storm (9-6-2, 2-4-2) over the Hoyas (12-4-1, 5-2-1). ST. JOHN’S GEORGETOWN



Prior to kickoff, the Johnnies honored Rafael Diaz, Jimmy Mulligan, Jamie Thomas and Gianpiero Torres. “[Diaz, Mulligan, Thomas and Torres] played an unbelievable part of our program: playing so many games and being leaders, working hard every day not only for themselves but for the team,” head coach Dr. Dave Masur said. “We’re pleased that we got a win on their last game here.” Each player was escorted to the center of the pitch by family and friends, awarded a framed team portrait and embraced by coach Masur. “It was very emotional,” Mulligan said. “We all put in a lot of effort into this program. It was definitely an emotional

night and the team wanted to win for us.” Both teams struggled to make an impact on the scoreboard with a rough first half. As tensions mounted nearing 45 minutes, the Red Storm and the Hoyas got into a scuffle outside Georgetown’s box. Sophomore Danny Bedoya received a yellow card while sophomore Sean Sepe was ejected from the game with a red card, forcing St. John’s to play the remainder of the game with a man down. “It’s tough playing a man down but we were resilient enough to keep them out and we just defended really well,” Mulligan said. The Red Storm broke free of the scoreless game in the 71 minute when Alvez stepped past the Hoyas’ defense to dribble it in the lower right post. This was the midfielder’s first career goal, which proved to be the decider. “I thought [Miguel] came in here showing a lot of energy,” Masur said. “It was nice to see him show a little bit of speed and quality moving forward to get that goal.” St. John’s stacked every player for the final 20 minutes against each Hoya and looked to contain a team that won their last three games by a combined score of 11-1. Georgetown was able to find a crack in the Johnnies’ defense twice, but were rejected both times by Diaz. The senior keeper, in his final regular season game,

finished with three saves and yet another shutout victory. The Red Storm, who are ninth in theBig East play, slipped from the NSCAA Top 25 rankings after being ranked number seven in September. With a victory over No. 5 Georgetown, the Johnnies buffed their resume with the Big East

tournament looming. “This definitely builds our confidence and we got to work off it,” Mulligan said. “We were very unlucky in the middle part of our season and this is a good way to end.” St. John’s will finish off their regular season when they travel to Seton Hall on


The Johnnies were forced to play a man down for the majority of the game.

Daly puts Johnnies into second round STEPHEN ZITOLO Staff Writer

The fourth-seeded St. John’s women’s soccer team hosted fifth seeded Butler as the Big East Quarterfinals came to Belson Stadium. The Bulldogs (11-6-2, 4-5 Big East) got the better of the Red Storm (10-4-3, 4-3-2 Big East) 2-1 (OT) at the Butler Bowl in Indianapolis on Oct. 6th. ST. JOHN’S




The Johnnies’ Rachel Daly had another two-goal night (22), Miranda Haraughty scored the game-winning goal to give the Red Storm a 3-2 victory over the Butler Bulldogs. With the win St. John’s will travel to Marquette for the Big East semifinals on Friday at 8 p.m. In the first half the Red Storm offense couldn’t find any momentum. Coach Ian Stone made a change in the alignment of the offense by moving Daly to the left side of the field. As a result, the Red Storm offense looked like a totally different team in the second half scoring three goals. “We were going to go to three forwards to start the half to try and put some

pressure on them,” Stone said. “Putting Amy in the middle and Rachel on the left ended up working well for us as Rachel had to fantastic finishes.” Emily Cubbage floated the ball into the box to Daly who was uncontested as she struck the back of the net, bringing the match to a 1-1 draw. Lara Kristin Pedersen was able to control the ball through midfield and assist Daly crossing through the box for her second goal on the night to make give the Johnnies a 2-1 lead. Freshman Miranda Haraughty had her best overall game of the season. In the second half Haraughty was attempting to cross the ball into the box to try and find Daly, but the ball had some great rotation on it and it screamed past Butler’s goalie Julie Burton for the goal. “Of course your always trying to score, it was a shot,” Haraughty said. “But Rachel is an amazing finisher. I knew if I missed or the shot deflected Rachel was going to be there.” St. John’s was challenged throughout but was able to come away victorious and will next play at Marquette on Friday, Nov. 8th. Butler wouldn’t go down without giving St. John’s a battle as Sophia Maccagnone split two Red Storm defenders to score late in the game, putting Butler within one, 3-2. But that would be all on the night for Butler, as St. John’s will be heading to the Big East Semifinals versus Marquette.


Rachel Daly continued her historic season by adding two goals against Butler.


Preseason done, Wisconsin next St. John’s destroys Humboldt state in final exhibition game at Carnesecca

KIERAN LYNCH Editor-in-Chief

The St. John’s men’s basketball team crushed Division II Humboldt State 106-39 Monday at Carnesecca Arena in its final exhibition before opening the regular season Friday against No. 20 Wisconsin. ST. JOHN’S HUMBOLDT STATE

106 39

The Red Storm led from wire-towire against the Lumberjacks – the polar opposite of the close two-point win over Division II San Francisco State Saturday. Junior Sir’Dominic Pointer attributed that change to a renewed focus. “I think last game we thought we were going to come out and blow them out,” Pointer said. “This game, we were more focused. We weren’t worried about Wisconsin. We didn’t even talk about Wisconsin until after the game.” The Johnnies built as much as a 69-point lead against the Arcata, Calif. school with senior God’sgift Achiuwa’s 24 points leading the way. Senior Orlando Sanchez and sophomore Max Hooper each contributed 12. “I watched my team from the sideline last year and from the TV for the games that I didn’t go to,” said Achiuwa, who redshirted last year. “I’m fighting and I’m really happy to be back to be able to assist them in whichever way I can and to deliver things that coach asks me to do.”


St. John’s responded from Saturday’s scare with a 67-point blow out on Monday.

Sophomores Christian Jones and Felix Balamou each sat out the exhibitions. Head coach Steve Lavin said after Monday’s game that Balamou and walk-on freshman David Lipscomb

would redshirt. Jones’ status is up in the air at the moment and NCAA rules prohibit any time played – even in exhibitions – for possible redshirt candidates.

“We’re still undecided on Christian Jones,” Lavin said. “It’s ultimately the kid’s choice, the family’s choice.” Sophomore Chris Obekpa remained on the bench for the final game of his exhibition suspension for a violation of a University policy. He is expected to be available Friday. Sophomore JaKarr Sampson finished with seven points and didn’t play in the second half to limit any chance of injury with such a wide lead in an exhibition contest, Lavin said. “I just didn’t want to run the risk of someone going in there, losing them [and] not having them Friday against Wisconsin,” Lavin said. The Johnnies open the season in Sioux Falls, S.D. against the Badgers. Lavin said the challenge for his team this week will be preparing to face a squad that plays a different style from those St. John’s faced in the preseason. “I’ve been there both as a winning and losing coach where you have a blow out victory and it kind of sets you up for a real dilemma as you prepare your team to face an opponent where the game is going to be completely different in tempo and style,” Lavin said. While the matchup with the Big Ten power has loomed ever since the announcement of the game earlier this year, Pointer and Achiuwa said that with the warm-up games out of the way, they’ll be able to put all of their attention on their first test this season. “We need these couple days to get back on focus,” Pointer said. “For the first game of the season, I think we’re going to be hyped, our engine is going to be up. I think we’re going to be ready for them.”

McCormick having career year with Storm ALLAN GOMEZ Contributing Writer

Senior golfer Ryan McCormick saved his best game for the final tournament of the fall by winning the Cobra Puma Invitational in Fort Meyers, Fla. With an overall score of -12, McCormick captured his first collegiate title. McCormick’s overall score was 204, shooting a 67 (-5), 70 (-2), 67 (-5). He shot a career best twice 67 (-5) in the first and third rounds and 70 (-2) in the second round to capture his first title. He finished with 17 birdies, which was good for the overall lead. After entering the final round, Ryan McCormick stated, “I felt pretty good entering the final round. I knew I had a good chance of winning.” McCormick had a successful amateur career coming out of Mater Dei High School in Middletown, N.J.; he was the No. 1 player in junior level rank. McCormick’s successes continued in his college career, including three top-10 finishes this year, even winning the Big East fall Golf Male Athlete of the week on Oct. 9, for his second place finish at Erin Hills Intercollegiate. “I felt like my game is finally coming together,” McCormick said. “I am taking

my game to the next level.” McCormick owes his success to coach Frank Darby, who is one of the main reasons he attended St. John’s University instead of going to a southern school. He saw the rise and the success of the golf program and fell in love with


“I think that St. John’s is on the map” McCormick said. McCormick is planning to turn pro after graduation and will look to implement the success of fellow St. John’s alumnus, Keegan Bradley.

“I want to continue and have the success that he had as a professional golfer,” McCormick said. “[Bradley] gave me good advice and is just a normal guy.” St. John’s golf will resume playing in March 2014.


McCormick could be seeing himself in the pros if he continues to put up performances like he did in Fort Meyes, Fla.

Vball upsets No. 7 Creighton on the road MICHAEL TRIVIGNO Staff Writer

St. John’s pulled off the stunning upset, beating no. 7 ranked Creighton in five sets (25-19, 25-22, 17-25, 19-25, 1715) Friday evening. Resiliency proved to be the difference maker for one of the biggest victories in the history of St. John’s volleyball. ST. JOHN’S




“We had one of the greatest wins of the St. John’s Volleyball program,” said Coach Joanne Persico. The Red Storm (15-11) came out of the gates red hot and took an 2-0 lead entering the locker room but Creighton (15-6) showed why they’re the seventh ranked team in the nation by pulling out the next two sets, evening the match at 2-2. St. John’s fought off two match points and eventually pulled off the fifth set in thrilling fashion. “I like the way we came out; we were focused, energetic and we made some great plays,” Persico said. “That fifth set we were hungry and we really played passionate but smart volleyball.” This was the first match ever between these two teams and it did not disappoint. With Creighton

being a tough opponent at home (7-2) and the preseason poll picking them to win the Big East, St. John’s had their work cut out for them. Outside hitter Yaidy Santiago rose to the occasion by having her best performance of her career with 15 kills and 12 digs. “I really felt like I had to help my team,” Santiago said. “We have a lot of injured people and someone has to come up from the bench.” Persico praised Santiago’s play, saying “Yaidy has always been a great teammate and a hard worker, and tonight was her break through game.” Santiago wasn’t the only one who stepped up in this toe-to-toe matchup. Outside hitter Karin Palgutova had two clutch kills to end the match and

finished with 19 kills and 7 digs overall. Sophomore Shawna-Lei Santos piled up a game high 27 digs. “We needed everyone and everyone did a great job,” Santiago said. “We were fighting, we’re fighters and we’ll never give up.” This matched showed how tough and competitive this Big East conference can be and matches like this could help the Johnnies down the road. “The Big East conference is better than ever,” added Persico. “It’s helping all of our teams to get tougher and better and be even more efficient.” St. John’s will try to keep the momentum going on the road when they take on another Big East opponent DePaul next Friday at 4 p.m.


Yadi Santiago was deemed the “MVP of the game” according to coach Persico.

Don’t throw this Gift away JON PEREZ Sports Editor

It may be a shot in the dark, but God’sgift Achiuwa might have some value to this team during the season. Achiuwa might not be a defensive force down low or put up 30 points in the paint, but he will have the opportunity to clean

up a lot of the mess and be another body down low. Head coach Steve Lavin has been no stranger to praise the depth of his team, noting at times that he’ll have two or three people at every position. Achiuwa scored 24 points in a St. John’s rout of Humboldt State on Monday night. He added eight rebounds, four of which were offensive rebounds. Coming off a redshirt year, Achiuwa still has a couple of hurdles to jump.


God’s Gift Achiuwa fends off San Francisco State’s Erik Fearn on Saturday.

“There were some positives and sometimes, this time of the year too, you’re looking more at individual players,” Lavin said. “Trying to get Gift after that year off back in the flow of things.” Early on, Achiuwa will have the opportunity to play a grand amount of minutes and absorb a lot of fouls for players that the team will need come down the stretch in late February and early March. There were a lot of instances last year in which players like Chris Obekpa and Jakarr Sampson had to play looser because they were in foul trouble with more than 15 minutes to go in the second half. He will also frustrate point guards who drive the paint and could wear down other teams who have a lack of depth in the forward and center positions. He won’t play a lot of minutes or score a lot of points but he can be a key contributor and rest team mates so they’re fresh and ready to go against rigorous Big East teams. But for now, Achiuwa is just happy to be back in the mix. “For me, I’m really excited and happy to be back. I watched my team from the sideline last year and from the TV for the games that I didn’t go to,” said Achiuwa. “I’m fighting and I’m really happy to be back and to be able to assist them in whichever way I can and to deliver things that coach asks me to do.” Jon Perez is a co-host on the Inman and Perez show that airs every Wednesday morning from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on WSJU Radio.

Torch Sports




Leavin’ their Mark Santiago earns Big East player of the week

Sophomore Yadi Santiago was named the Big East player of the week on Monday afternoon. Santiago put up career highs in kills (15) and digs (12) and notched her first double-double of her career. Santiago helped St. John’s get ahead to a 2-0 match lead over No. 7 Creighton with six kills on 10 attempts without an error. Santiago was the “MVP of the match” as stated by Joanne Persico. This is Santiago’s first time being honored as Big East player of the week. This is also the second time a member of the Red Storm earned the award (Karin Palgutova on Sept. 16). This is the first time since 2008 in which multiple members received the award. It was also the year in which the Johnnies won its third consecutive conference regular season championship. The Johnnies will look to keep on rolling this weekend when they travel to DePaul on Friday, Nov. 8 and Marquette on Sunday, Nov. 10.

Blowin’ in the Wind

“It doesn’t matter if it’s Wisconsin or San Francisco State. We have to play hard every game and continue to get better as a team.” -Sir’Dominic Pointer

Looking Ahead

Red Storm upcoming schedule

Men’s Basketball

Nov. 8 Nov. 15

Wisconsin* Wagner

7 p.m. 6 p.m.

Women’s Basketball Nov. 8

at Sacred Heart 7 p.m.

Men’s Soccer Nov. 8

at Seton Hall

Women’s Soccer

Nov. 8

at Marquette


3 p.m. 8 p.m.

Nov. 8 at DePaul 8 p.m. * The Pentagon (Sioux Falls, SD)






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