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Finally

After almost 3 months, SGI releases 2012-13 financial report Torch graphic/michael e. cunniff

Christmas

Winter Carnival STJ coverage inside Lifestyle section Lifestyle Pgs. 14-15

“Think Outside. . .�


Photo of the Week

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Managing Board XC

Directory

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

Advisor

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

Features The Renewed WSJU Students breathe new life into campus radio station.

Lifestyle Pg. 16

Music Girl on Fire Life as a mother and a wife inspires Alicia Keys’ new album, Girl on Fire. Torch Photo/Diana colapietro

Lifestyle Pg. 16

Sports California Blues Johnnies fall short in Lav’s homecoming

Sports Pg. 22

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.

Johnny Thunderbird wears his blackout t-shirt during men’s basketball’s victory against South Carolina on Nov. 29.


Think Outside...

News

Financial report released Michael E. Cunniff Editor-in-Chief Anthony O’Reilly News Editor The long-awaited “financial report” from Student Government, Inc. was approved and published in its newsletter on Monday, outlining the expected revenue and allocated expenditures voted on by the SGI floor in early September. The final numbers reveal that SGI has close to $1.1 million to spend this fiscal year — nearly all of it coming from the student activity fees paid by every University student each semester. SGI’s executive board said that the report, published in the organization’s fall newsletter, would be available on St. John’s Central in the near future. Currently it is only accessible in PDF form at a hard-to-find page on Issuu, a website that allows users to upload digital documents, and the organization’s closed group on Facebook. A condensed version of the report can be found on page 4. Some interesting figures gleaned from the report include revenue of $25,000 from the Co-Op and $2,500 from the Vineyard Vines Totes and Ties program. This revenue is in addition to the money from the activity fee. The largest allocation of the “government budget” belongs to “SGI Floor Training and Education Expenses” with $45,000, after $0 was allocated for a similar “Government Workshops” in the 2010-2011 budget, the most recent

budget available. In a follow-up email, Vice President Oscar Diaz said that this category included stipends for the e-board. The most recent SGI budget, from 2010-11, shows $32,000 allocated for the executive board, an allocation that doesn’t exist in this year’s budget. “That’s a list of activities that student government does from one fiscal year to the next,” SGI president Christian Williams said. “So, we start out with the training session, then potentially executive board expenses.” Diaz clarified, “It’s leadership training, professional development. Anything from student government apparel, like the polos that we have to represent us on campus.” Williams had ignored requests from the Torch for a full budget release throughout the semester. Several members of the board said that floor members of SGI voted not to disclose the allocated money for each individual organization because they feared their budget requests weren’t fit to be publicized. “When we released our budget package…we didn’t say to them ‘ oh would you like your budget released for everyone to see?’” Elizabeth Sheehan, SGI secretary said. As a result, the financial report separates the 133 student organization into nine categories, with between three and 29 organizations in each. Each category displays the number of organizations and the lowest and highest funding levels in the category. “We don’t create the situation where people are comparing each other’s budgets,” treasurer Elaine Vasquez said. “Since this is the first year we’re doing

this, we want to remain sensitive to that.” The release of the financial report, the first from the organization according to the board, came nearly three months after the original budget was passed. E-board members explained the reason for the long wait of the final report was due to the fact that every step had to be approved by parliamentary procedure by members of the SGI floor. “When we were releasing this financial report it was entirely driven by the floor.,” Sheehan said. “It was encompassing all of the views and opinions of the representatives.” Through the process of several meetings during the course of October and November, delayed by Superstorm Sandy, Sheehan and Diaz said the floor voted on every aspect of the report, from its structure to the numbers that would be presented. After this year’s report took nearly three months to develop, Diaz and Sheehan, both juniors, hope to release future reports in a more timely fashion. “I think a lot was the fact that this was the first time we’re doing this” Sheehan said. “I think going forward in years to come this is a format that’s going to stick. It’s something very workable. Though I think that when they’re, whoever is on the floor next year, when they’re working to set this up and they’re getting those numbers, it’s going right into that formatting. It’s not like you’re going back and recreating and reshuffling everything.” Additional reporting by Nicole Valente, Managing Editor

Two University members pass away Anthony O’Reilly News Editor The University recently announced the deaths of two members of the community. Public safety officer John McCauley died of a heart attack on Nov. 25 while working an overnight shift on the Oakdale campus, according to an internal memo sent to University staff. He was 54. McCauley began working as a public

photo courtesy of thomas lawrence

John McCauley

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safety officer in June 2011, working primarily on the Queens campus and occasionally filling in at the Oakdale campus. “John will be remembered as a hardworking, pleasant and upbeat colleague,” the memo said. Brother Augustine Towey, C.M., an alumnus and an emeritus member of the Board of Trustees, passed away on Thanksgiving, according to an announcement on the University website. He was 75. During his time as a student, Towey was a member of the Skull and Circle Honor Society and graduated in 1958 with a Bachelor’s in English and Philosophy. He also received a Master’s in Dramatic Literature from the University, as well as a Ph.D in Theatre from New York University. Towey founded the Theatre program at Niagara University and was in charge of the program until his retirement in 2005. Two of his students, John Kander and Fred Ebb, would later go on to produce the famed musicals “Chicago” and “Cabaret.” Towey served on the Board of Trustees from 1992 until 2005, when he was named an emeritus member of the board. During his time on the board he was Chair of the Personnel Committee and

Torch

Briefs Compiled by Anthony O’Reilly News Editor

Office of Sustainability Res Hall contests The Office of Sustainability, in conjunction with Residence Life, held a recycling contest in DaSilva Hall where the winning floor was awarded with a free pizza party. The floor which collected the most recycled goods were the second and third floor of DaSilva, who came from behind in the contest. The “practice competition” was part of preparation to prepare for the national contests of RecycleMania and Campus Conservation Nationals. Donovan, St. Vincent’s and Carey Hall also held practice competition.

Full SGI financial report To see a full copy of the Student Government, Inc. financial report view the story on the Torch’s website, torchonline.com or follow the Torch’s twitter @STJTorch

Make-up classes photo courtesy of media relations

Brother Augustine Towey, C.M. was a part of the Executive, Educational Policy, Educational Quality, and Student Life Committees. Towey was granted an honorary Doctor of Fine Arts by the University in 2005. If you would like to submit an obituary for a member of the University who has died, please e-mail torchnews@gmail.com

To make up missed class time due to Superstorm Sandy, classes will be held this weekend on Friday Dec. 7, for Tuesday/Friday classes and on Saturday Dec. 8 for Monday/Thursday classes.

Until next year

To keep up for breaking news and updates on University athletics during the break, follow us on Twitter @STJTorch and @TorchSports and view our website torchonline.com. The Torch will return next semester on Wed. Jan. 23.


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How SGI spends its money

Organization Budgets

Organizations Support Services

SGI: Special Allocations $70,000 Facilities IGC: Special Allocation $35,000 Security/Cadets Organizations Allocations $310,280 Concerts ALFSA $9,250 Co-Op Xerox IFC $4,500 OrgSync Panhellenic Council $11,000 ASCAP/BMI/SESAC Tri-Council $50,000 DirecTV Total: $490,030

$55,000 $90,000 $50,000 $30,000 $3,000 $8,2000 $1,000

Government Budget

Gift for Incoming Freshman Awards Night/Inauguration Torch Ads Meetings/Conferences Floor Training/Education Senior Gift Donations Senators

$7,500 $5,000 $1,000 $3,000 $45,000 $5,000 $1,000 $57,500

Academic Affairs Budget Committee Elections Committee Events Review Organizations Committee Public Relations Committee Research & Development School Spirit Committee Student Affairs Student Services

$20,000 $700 $5,000 $500 $1,500 $5,000 $350 $45,000 $65,000 $500

Auditing Fees Legal Fees Equiptment NY Times Readership Initiative Supplies Postage Contingency Printing QuickBooks Department CoSponsorships

$15,000 $8,000 $3,000 Special Interest Organizations $6,000 $8,000 Number of active organizations 11 $450 Minimum $400 $2,000 Maximum $700 $5,000 Mean $527 $4,500 Total $5,800 $6,000

Committee Budget

Operating Budget

Academic Organizations Number of active organizations Minimum allocated to org. Maximum allocated to org. Mean Total

24 $300 $4,000 $615 $14,750

Cultural Organizations Number of active organizations Minimum Maximum Mean Total

17 $350 $5,000 $915 $15,500

Greek Life Organizations Number of active organizations 29 Minimum $400 Maximum $1,400 Mean $1,072 Total $31,100

Total expenses: $1,053,730


STJ partners with United Healthcare

Diversity shines at STJ

Christopher Brito Staff Writer

Alexa Vagelatos Staff Writer

In an effort to make St. John’s one of the “healthiest college campuses in America,” the University has partnered with United Healthcare to create initiatives that will promote the cause of student health. SWELL, a health advocacy group on campus designed to help students make smarter choices concerning their well-being, and United HealthCare, a health insurance giant and Fortune 50 company, have paired up to help students learn healthy habits. “College is the time for most students where they are taking care of themselves, whether they are making their own nutrition decisions, going to the health center or managing their own medications,” Kathryn Hutchinson, vice president of Student Affairs, said. “The ultimate goal is that each student on campus really thinks of one or two ways that they can improve their own personal wellness.” Jeff Alter, CEO of United Healthcare Employer & Individual and a St. John’s alumnus, added in a press release: “UnitedHealthcare welcomes the opportunity to work with organizations like St. John’s that share our commitment to helping people live healthier lives.” “We need to provide young people the tools and support they need to establish healthy habits that will stay with them long after graduation.” The collaboration will spawn a series of health-orientated initiatives such as a “Healthy Student” program, health education events, a year-long social media campaign, informative podcasts and stress reduction activities and materials. Although Hutchinson didn’t specify on any exact funding the school will receive from United Healthcare, she said there would be no additional cost for the program to students or the University. Junior Jeremy Cook said he looks forward to the program benefiting students. “If it doesn’t cost any additional money [to me] but adds benefits and doesn’t require additional tests, papers, information it comes off as being a win-win thing,” Cook said. According to Hutchinson, Stressbusters, a student health organization, is planning to release a mobile app in the Spring 2013 semester that will offer tools, tips, and exercises to conveniently assist students. Senior Melanie Hernandez is particularly grateful for this technological assistance. “Well, being a college student and being so busy all the time it’s hard to be able to fit in time to go to events or things that the SWELL program may have,” Hernandez said. “I think it would be very cool to jump into social media and making an app so that it’s easily accessible to students and getting updates about ways to take care of ourselves.”

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University celebrates diverse winter holidays with annual event In addition to celebrating Christmas during the Winter Carnival, the University also takes time out to celebrate holidays observed by other religious/ethnic groups during its annual Festival of Lights. The event will take place today, Dec. 5, at 7 p.m. in Taffner Field House. Created to celebrate and reflect on the traditions of people from different cultural backgrounds, the Festival of Lights is a night of prayer, performances and dinners. Ching Wen Rosa Yen, Director of Multicultural Affairs, says the festival is consistent with the office’s mission to “foster a culturally pluralistic environment in which ethnic, religious and ideological differences are recognized, understood and appreciated.” The event is held in collaboration with Multicultural Affairs and various student organizations representing different religious and ethnic groups including the Muslim Student Association, Coptic Society, Los Unidos, LASO, Intervarsity Christian Fellowship, Jewish Student Association, Sinai’s Radiant Liturgical

Praise Dance Team, RAAZ, Haraya, African Students Association, Indian Subcontinent Student Organization, Voices of Victory and the University’s Campus Ministry. The holidays observed during the event include Rohatsu, Eid, Epiphany, Chanukah, Christmas and the Native American Winter Solstice. Although the

Festival of Lights collaborates with the annual Winter Carnival, it differs from that series of events because the Festival of Lights represents a variety of cultures and religions, not just Christmas. According to Yen, the event was awarded the Creative Program of the Year award last year by the Long Island Council of Student Personnel Administrators.

photo taken from stjohns.edu

The Festival of Lights shines a light on diverse winter holidays at STJ

’Tis the season at STJ Shannon Luibrand Staff Writer

In the midst of students preparing for finals week, the University took time to celebrate the Christmas season with the 22nd Annual Winter Carnival, beginning on Nov. 29 and continuing through Dec. 6.

The weeklong celebration kicked off with a Christmas coffeehouse on Friday that included student performers such as Jason Lapin, Dana Hetzel and Shanna Gikonyo. In addition, this past Sunday night was the Christmas movie series held in the DAC Org Lounge. On Dec. 3, SGI hosted the first VIP

Torch photo/anthony o’reilly

“Winter Carnival is one of SGI’s signature events throughout the year,” Oscar Diaz, Student Government vicepresident said. “Our Student Affairs Committee collaborates with Campus Activities to make the holiday season come alive at St. John’s.” In addition to SGI and Campus Activities, the Office of Student Engagement, according to Jodi Cox, Director of Campus Life, also helps organize the Carnival. “It is a great way to end the year on a high note,” said Cox. “It brings out that holiday spirit.” To help promote some of the events on campus, Diaz said the SGI Public Relations Committee worked to create incentives for students. “The committee created Winter Carnival Passports, where students can collect stamps from certain Winter Carnival events,” Diaz said. “The students who attended the most events will have a chance to win a limited edition SGI coffee mug.”

Ice Skating event in Bryant Park. Yesterday, the University brought Central Park to the Great Lawn, one of the trademark events of the Winter Carnival. Carolers and live toy soldiers and nutcrackers decorated the campus, as horse and carriage rides were made available to students. The Festival of Lights will be held

today at 7 pm in Taffner Field House. The event’s purpose, according to Cox, is to celebrate the diverse winter holidays celebrated by students on campus. “It is a cultural celebration, highlighting diversity,” Cox said. The Carnival will conclude this Thursday, starting with Santa’s Workshop in the DAC Sodano Coffeehouse, where students can have their pictures taken with Santa. Mass at St. Thomas More Church follows Santa’s Workshop at 8 p.m. and will then be followed by the culminating event of the Carnival, when University officials will light the Christmas tree outside St. Augustine Hall, followed by a fireworks display. According to Diaz, this year’s tree comes from Keil Bros, a local garden and nursery in Queens. “We’re excited to end the night celebrating with St. John’s students, staff, faculty, administration and especially our alumni,” Diaz said. “We’ve been delighted to see the excitement and enthusiasm our students have shown at the Winter Carnival events we’ve had so far,” Diaz said. “And we hope that the same holiday spirit remains for the rest of the holiday season.” “Students look forward to the Winter Carnival,” Cox said. “It is a lot of smiles, laughter and people coming together.”

Torch photo/ anthony o’reilly


Pageant winners ‘laso’ in scholarship prize

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Adjani Shah Staff Writer Students competed for a $350 scholarship for the spring 2013 semester at the Latin American Student Organization’s first-ever International Scholarship Pageant on Nov. 29 in the Little Theater. The pageant, titled “Nuestra Belleza” (“Our Beauty”), featured five female students from different Latin American countries. The purpose of the pageant, according to Arille Leroy, President of L.A.S.O., was to highlight the diversity of the student body. “We wanted to extend diversity thoughts to the pageant,” she said. The pageant showcased cultural attire, a brief introduction of each contestant and her country, eveningwear and a brief Q&A portion, very similar to the format of a Miss America pageant. The contestants in the pageant were Tatiana Leiva [representing Nicargua], Chantal Agyeman [Ghana], Lessandra Pena [Dominican Republic], Rachel Ortega [Dominican Republic] and Angelica Aroca [Ecuador, Puerto Rico and Ireland]. Each contestant was judged on poise, confidence, intellect and if they depicted the L.A.S.O. mission which, according to Leroy, entails diversity, culture and academic excellence. The night began with a highlight video of the contestants preparing for the night of the pageant. Afterwards, contestants danced for the audience, followed by presenting their cultural attire. The contestants were able to tell the audience about the history of their culture. The night then proceeded into the eveningwear part of the pageant. During the Q&A session of the evening, contestants had the opportunity to tell the

audience about their accomplishments. In the end, Agyeman took home the prize of Miss Congeniality, Miss Photogenic went to Pena as well as winning second place overall. Aroca won third runner up and Rachel Ortega took home the grand prize. “I feel great,” Ortega said after her win. “It inspires not only me but other girls to strive and succeed.” Leroy said L.A.S.O has been trying to put on the pageant for a while and is looking forward to hosting the event in the future. “We have been trying to have [the pageant] for two years,” Leroy said. “It was a great success and I’m excited to see the legacy is creates.”

Torch photo/ Adjani Shah

Tatiana Leiva displays her cultural attire.

Torch photo/ Adjani shah

Anelica Aroca and Rachel Ortega shine in the spotlight.

Record number of student orgs get SGI recognition Alyssa Nielson Staff Writer Fifteen new student organizations will be recognized as official University groups after Student Government, Inc. voted in favor at a floor meeting on Nov. 19. The process was originally scheduled to take place over the course of two SGI meetings, but was delayed because there weren’t enough representatives present at the Nov. 15 meeting. So all 15 groups seeking official status instead had to present on Nov. 19 to complete the process. Mark Benavides, chair of the SGI Organizations Committee, said the 15 groups that took part in the “Power to Organize” process this year was a record. Three groups were granted full SGI recognition, which includes an annual budget: the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), The Catholic Student Community, and The Albanian American Cultural Club. The other 13 groups – listed in the grey box to the right– were recognized by SGI under the new non-budgetary group, formed during the first SGI floor meeting of the semester. Groups under this category will receive all the benefits of being an SGI recognized organization, with the exception of receiving an annual budget.

Benavides said that the recognition of some of these groups would not only benefit the members within it, but the entire school as well. “Out of the 15 organizations that were approved, 10 are members of a National or International Parent Organization,” he said. “Meaning St. John’s University students are going to have the opportunity to represent us on a larger scale that spans New York.” Peter Barker, Catholic Student Community’s Be a Saint chairperson, said the process of reaching the SGI floor meeting helped prepare him and the group for any questions that members on the floor might have. “Retrospectively it was pretty important for them to ask us those questions,” he said. “They were asking us tough questions such as, ‘Why do you want to be separate from Campus Ministry?’ In the long run it was good for us. We had answers for everything.” Barker said SGI asked during the preliminary process why his group was requesting a budget, to which Barker replied, “We wanted to have a budget so we can be separate from Campus Ministry. Right now we’re paying for events out of pocket. We’re by no means a small organization.” Additional reporting by Anthony O’Reilly, News Editor

New groups recognized by SGI

Catholic Student Community* Public Relations Student Society of America* Shruti Korean Students Association Valor Cadet Ministry Drug Information Assocation Phi Alpha Delta Pre-Law Albanian American Cultural Club* Circle K International Sigma Tau Delta- Upsilon Omicron Chapter The Roosevelt Institute Crown & Glory Society We Are One 365 Young Americans for Liberty Art Club * indicates a club that recieved a budget


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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

FLAMES OF THE TORCH

Transparency in SGI, seriously

After 85 days of pestering Student Government, Inc., the Torch has finally seen its budget. Sort of. SGI’s “financial report,” a broad overview of its revenues and expenses, doesn’t go into enough detail for our tastes, especially when it comes to student organizations. However, it’s tough to assign too much blame to the e-board — the decision not to reveal budgets for specific organizations came from a vote by the floor, apparently worried that their finances weren’t ready for scrutiny. That raises several other questions, especially about what student organizations are spending their money on. But as far as the SGI hierarchy, with whom we’ve had some tussles with this semester, goes, it appears their biggest flaw in the process of producing the financial report was not necessarily a lack of transparency, but a failure to communicate. Yesterday, in a half-hour interview with several members of the e-board, Vice President Oscar Diaz and Secre-

tary Elizabeth Sheehan, among others, patiently went into full detail about why the process took so long, while Elaine Vasquez, the treasurer, gave us a complete timeline of how the budget went from a spreadsheet that was very much a rough draft to the polished, professionallooking document released this week. It begs the question — why didn’t this happen sooner? We’d bombarded SGI with emails, receiving only vague promises from President Christian Williams of the report being issued soon. It made us justifiably suspicious that something suspicious was going on. If we’d heard any of the explanations we heard yesterday, it would have given us a very different view of the organization. But we didn’t — which is why we didn’t give them the benefit of the doubt when it took so long to release it. We’re convinced by their explanation — that the voting process dragged everything out — we just wish we would have heard it sooner.

Run, Lizzy, run

In much of our coverage of Student Government, Inc., the Torch refers to the organization, and its executive board, as a singular entity. We do that for simplicity’s sake, but it obscures the fact that SGI’s e-board is made up of very different people, who campaigned for separate parties in some cases and have differing levels of experience and competence when it comes to the organization’s affairs. It’s an understatement to say that not everyone on the board has a firm grasp of what they’re doing. But Elizabeth Sheehan, a junior currently serving as secretary, stands out as someone wellversed in the inner working of the sometimes complex student government at St. John’s. During our interview with her, President Christian Williams, Vice President Oscar Diaz and Sophomore Senator

Jenny Rankin, she, along with Diaz, was consistently the point person for everything we asked, from queries about the process of passing a financial report to obscure questions about SGI’s bylaws. It’s way too early to think about next semester’s e-board elections, but we can’t help but think she’d be the perfect candidate to replace Christian Williams, the incumbent president. Articulate, informed and personable, she would be an ideal face for SGI. We have no idea if she’d be interested in the position, and she’s certainly not the only qualified candidate (Diaz also displays competence when discussing SGI’s affairs, and would seemingly be a fine choice as well). But after a semester in which dealing with SGI has been tiresome at times, we think a Sheehan administration could be a breath of fresh air in the future.

TORCH ILLUSTRATION/ STEPHEN SALIBA

STUDENTSPARKS: WHAT ARE ARE YOU YOUR WATCHING FAVORITE THE HOLIDAY DEBATE? TRADITIONS?

Katie EmilyPruneda Trefry Santa’s Freshman helper

Margurite Connor Quinn Lynn Santa’s Junior enabler

“Eating green spaghetti “I’m probably going with to pastago sauce on Christmas to the gym Eve.”

instead.”

“Pretending I don’t actu“I’m goinglike to be in class, ally know my dad is Santa but I’ll definitely check out Claus. He’s so into it, he will the highlights not give itafterward.” up.”

Nicole Oliver Elizabeth Alvarez Junior Junior “I’ll watch it. It’s going

Marc Speed Stylianos Karolidis Junior Freshman “I’m going to be watching it

EDITORIAL POLICY

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.

“Buying giftsto forsee people. to be cool how I enjoy that whole element arguments ... play out. I of surprise.”

think Mitt Romney’s going to get grilled.”

“Going to church the week inbefore the Org Lounge I’m withanAlpha Christmas. OrPhi Alpha. Afterward we’re thodox Christian, so I spend going all to 40 have a debate days fasting.”about the issues, about the different


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Tragedy rekindles safety discussion Earlier this year I wrote a column about the concussion problem in the NFL and my newly found uneasiness about the league I had revered growing up. The point I tried to make was that the emerging information about the link between concussions and brain damage, and the general trend of NFL players suffering greatly later in life because of the violent nature of the game were too much for me to overlook as a fan. Some didn’t appreciate me using this space to talk about sports. A comment from “Former Torcher” on our website, torchonline.com, said, “The EIC’s column used to be a place for solid, serious writing. What is this dribble [sic]? Focus on important topics, who cares what you think of the NFL?” At first, I thought she might have a point. Now, in light of the Jovan Belcher tragedy, I don’t. Belcher, a Kansas City linebacker, fatally shot his girlfriend — the mother of his 3 month old child — before heading to the Chiefs practice facility and killing himself in the vicinity of several of his coaches, including head coach Romeo Crennel and general manager Scott Pioli.

A quick disclaimer: we still don’t know how much of a role, if any, concussions played in his obvious mental issues. Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said Belcher was “a player who had not had a long concussion history.” But the sports web site Deadspin quoted a purported friend of Belcher’s who said that the effect of concussions was one of the driving factors of his behavior. “[R]eview the footage of the Cincinnati game,” the friend wrote in an email to Deadspin. “He took a few hits to the head directly … he was dazed and was suffering from short term memory loss. He could not remember the events that had taken place prior to that game.” And a Boston University study released this week showed that the build up of “normal” hits to the head in football can lead to permanent brain damage called chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE, which could cause headaches in mild cases and dementia in severe ones. Much of the talk in the aftermath of the shooting has revolved around the issue of

gun control. Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock, formerly of the Kansas City Star, wrote a column that touched on the issue of violence in the NFL, but also the problems with the country’s current interpretation of the Second Amendment. NBC Sports anchor Bob Costas caused a minor stir when he spoke about gun control at halftime of the Sunday night game between Dallas and Philadelphia. The gun issue is definitely something that we need to have an adult conversation about; however, the bigger issue is simply the nature of the game. Belcher is not the first suicide from an NFL player, and I don’t think it’ll be the last. That’s not because of guns — several suicides by former players didn’t involve firearms. It’s because of the head injuries they suffered as players that eventually caused serious mental issues that led to them taking their own life. So yes, “Former Torcher,” the state of brain injuries in the NFL is important. Every Sunday, around 1,500 men throw themselves

Every Sunday, around 1,500 men throw themselves at each other with reckless abandon, not worried about the consequences.

at each other with reckless abandon, not worried about the consequences. That’s not to mention the thousands of others at lower levels dreaming to be one of those select few. Of course, the NFL’s response is to minimize the issue with an appalling PR campaign (look at the commercial where Tom Brady tells a mother about all the things the league is doing about concussions). It doesn’t take away from the fact that football is an inherently violent game, and the people who play it are inherently prone to violence. And as they age, that tendency becomes even more pronounced. Jevon Belcher was likely affected by a lot more than the head injuries he sustained as a player. That doesn’t take away from the fact that his status as an NFL player made him made him more susceptible to head injuries, which lead to problems we as a society are only starting tofully grasp. Short of abandoning hitting entirely, I don’t know what the solution is; it’s above my pay grade. But if commissioner Roger Goodell and co. don’t figure it out soon, I fear we will see more lives needlessly cut short.

Michael E. Cunniff is a senior journalism major who wants a man date with Jermain Defoe for Christmas. He can be reached at torcheic@gmail.com


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We’re back! On being together for the holidays JACK

Special to the Torch It may not feel like it to you, but we’re adults. We’re in college, living away from the nest that our parents raised us in for the first 18 years of our life. Our relationship is for real — we see each other all the time, sleep over each other’s apartments regularly and do the cliché couple-y things like baking cookies together and having picnics when the weather is nice. We’re grown-ups in a grown-up relationship. Which means we should spend the holidays together, period. I don’t really care how close-knit you and your family are — they can handle one of the two major family holidays, Thanksgiving or Christmas, without you. I don’t care that you’ve watched Elf and the first two Home Alone movies with your sisters every year since you were 14 or that you’re holding on to a 3-year unbeaten streak in the wishbone with your Uncle John. Nothing, not even Christmas traditions, lasts forever, and there’s no better time to break away from the mold than to spend the holidays with me. I mean, we spend everything else together, why would this be any different? Besides, isn’t there something special about opening up your gift from that special someone (aka me) when

it’s gift-wrapped with a big red bow on it on Christmas Day? That’s what all the Lexus commericials do — are you saying we’re not as cool as the couples who buy each other Lexuses for Christmas? No, of course not. We’re just as good as them, and as such, we should be just as together on Christmas. Note: I can’t afford to buy you a Lexus. Not yet, anyway. Seriously, the holidays are about being with the people you love. And we love each other – yes, more than you love your crazy Aunt Sue, and more than I love my Uncle Joe Biden. Just because we’ve spent the first 20ish years spending time with family because we’re supposed to doesn’t mean we’re cursed with that fate forever. As we grow older and create a new life apart from the people we’ve grown up with, it’s an opportunity to create new holiday traditions. A time for us to get away from the drunken uncle or the family member who just starts crying in the middle of dinner for no apparent reason. Not to mention the fact that if we did end up celebrating the holidays at our respective family’s households anyway we’d most likely spend most of the day texting/calling each other. Why not just do one better and spend the day talking in person rather than on the phone? Why not upset one set of parents instead of both?

JILL

Special to the Torch Every family has its own traditions. In my family, Christmas has always been celebrated at my house. Now that we’re together, I don’t know if I’m obligated to go to your home or should I have you come over to mine. My family is really strict when it comes to the holidays. If I miss one, it turns into a huge problem. I remember one year I tried to go to my best friends house on New Year’s Eve and I didn’t hear the end of it. Imagine if I told them I was going to your house for Christmas dinner. Whew, I don’t even want to think of what they’d say. We don’t do much at my home. I mean, we have a huge family dinner, open gifts together, watch Christmas movies and all that jazz. Now that I’m older, it’s getting kind of old but hey, pretty soon I’ll be on my own so I figure I just deal with it. I really want to be with you on Christmas Day but I know family comes first. All of my girlfriends tell me that the guy is supposed to come over to the girls house but if your family is as strict as mine is, how are we going to work this out? My family loves you and would enjoy your company but I can’t put you in a position where you have to abandon yours. All of my friends have their boy-

friends over for the holidays. I have to admit, I’m kind of jealous. They usually do something like a rotation between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years. The girl would go over the guy’s house for Thanksgiving then New Years and then he comes over for Christmas. It makes sense but I know my family would feel some type of way. At the end of the day, they have to deal with the fact that I’m growing up. If my uncles and aunts can bring their spouses, I think its right that I bring mine. Let me not scare you with the word spouse, but you know what I mean. My annoying aunt always says that you never know who will be in your life the following year. I guess she means that next year I can be dating someone else then when the holidays come around, I’ll have no choice but to be reminded of you. In a way, my aunt is right but I’m not going to listen to that negativity. Having you meet my entire family can be nerve wrecking, especially now that you know some of them are so negative, but I think they’d love you. As long as you’re respectful and have manners, my family will approve. Maybe we can do this. Since we didn’t spend Thanksgiving together, maybe you can come over for Christmas and I go over for New Years. My family will just have to deal with me missing the ball drop. I hope I’m not stressing you out with all of this.


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Think Outside...

Lifestyle

Rihanna’s ‘Unapologetic’: fearless

ANNMARIE TURTON Staff Writer RIHANNA

Unapologetic

OUT OF 5 STARS

The artwork on the cover of Rihanna’s seventh studio album Unapologetic gives listeners immediate insight into the direction she took with this album: uncensored and fearless. The Grammy award-winning artist, trendsetter and self-professed bad girl succeeds in her direction. The first track that was released from Unapologetic was the catchy, beat driven “Diamonds”. The song had the qualifications to be an instant hit even before the release of the album because of Rihanna’s powerful vocals. They make you feel as if you’re worthy of a love similar to the one she describes, that there is someone out there just for you. Following “Diamonds” is the club banger “Pour It Up,” which definitely gives the listener a party vibe as it strikes a lot of comparisons to Juicy J’s “Bands Make Her Dance”. Despite the change in tone, it produces positive results. “Phresh Out the Runway” is a raw, up-tempo song with an edgy, goodgirl-gone-bad vibe. “Jump”, a stand out track, samples the beat of the popular 90’s R&B song by Ginuwine called “Pony”. The song is direct, fresh and easy to digest; simple yet fun.

PHOTO COURTESY OF FANPOP.COM

Rihanna has gone from a perennial hitmaker to a grown woman on her seventh studio album, Unapologetic. An interesting artistic statement made on Unapologetic is the track “Love Without Tragedy/Mary,” which combines two songs. They are completely different but equally dynamic. “Love without Tragedy” has an 80’s vibe in the vain of Journey that hopes the hurt that comes with love doesn’t happen again. “Mother Mary,” on the other hand, has a live-for-the-moment feel that showcases the ups and downs of love. The most shocking appearance on the

album has to go to Chris Brown, who accompanied Rihanna on “Nobody’s Business.” The song, which ironically samples Michael Jackson’s “The Way You Make Me Feel,” conveys their turbulent and tumultuous relationship and states that to the public that their love for each other is nobody’s business. Unapologetic showcases Rihanna’s growth as an artist and her growth as a person as well. Her ability to sell millions of records on the back of catchy

pop songs so far has been the epitome of her career. But Unapologetic displays a more expressive side of Rihanna when it comes to her relationships, specifically the one with Brown which is the centerpiece of Unaplogetic. The album is full of hits, some slight misses and a fearless Rihanna that tell it like it is; a side that we’ve never seen from her.

American holiday cheer from afar

HARRY SAUNDERS Staff Writer

Thanksgiving itself was a new enough experience for me, and I was lucky enough to be invited to upstate New York by a particularly generous friend to spend the weekend at their home. The experience was extremely pleasant and relaxing - a sentiment that I’m certain was shared by many as they spent this

past weekend with family and friends and took advantage of a well-deserved break in the lead up to finals’ week. Although I come from a decidedly foreign land, I was made to feel more than welcome in regards to the festivities, and the experience makes me feel as though I have been just a

As we move swiftly into the holiday season, and I approach the end of my first semester at St John’s, it seems appropriate for me to reflect upon what the lead up to Christmas is like here in New York City compared to my home town of London, in the United Kingdom. Most striking is the earliness with which decorations go up, and the speed with which the Christmas spirit permeates into everyday life. With the end of Thanksgiving, and the instant arrival of Black Friday (a somewhat new experience I can tell you), come the trees, lights, and ornaments that in many ways define what Christmas means to us in the modern age, at least in a visual sense. This immediate and marked transition into the Christmas period is, and I say this as a pronounced skeptic of the holiday season, nothing short of infectious. To be in New York City, illuminated by Christmas lights and with the Rockefeller Center tree at its center, is a truly unique and heartwarming experience, if only for the elaborateness and splendor with which the holidays are PHOTO COURTESY OF PATINAGROUP.COM celebrated in this part of the world. The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree stands as a NYC holiday icon.

little more assimilated into American culture, something for which I am extremely thankful. The communal and familial spirit that characterized Thanksgiving has shown no signs of slowing; in fact, quite the opposite. Fifth Avenue and Broadway look as spectacular as anyone would imagine, and it cannot be denied that Christmas time has well and truly arrived here in New York City. In London the Christmas spirit will not make an appearance for at least a couple of weeks, and even when it does it is unlikely to reach the levels felt here in the United States even a month before Christmas Day. It is truly a testament to the inhabitants of this city that such a community-minded spirit has been cultivated, and it certainly makes New York a warmer and more welcoming place to live. Although it is regrettable that I will not be spending the entirety of the Christmas break here in New York, I am immensely grateful that I have even had the opportunity to revel in the preparations and the lead-up to Christmas Day. I will be sad to leave in a few weeks, but while I remain here I intend to take full advantage of the chance to see the city in full holiday-mode, and return in January with the image still at the forefront of my mind.


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‘Hawkeye’ comic for Sandy relief AUTHOR OF THE SERIES WILL DONATE PROCEEDS TO THE RED CROSS

DYLAN NUNEZ Staff Writer

Marvel Comics, a leading name in entertainment, has made popular franchises of its long list of iconic superheroes such as Spiderman, Wolverine and the Avengers. Headquartered in Midtown Manhattan, Marvel had a front row seat to witness the devastation that Superstorm Sandy had left on the city that houses so many of their heroes. The scope of Super Storm Sandy was enormous. Along the East coast, the areas of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and New York were ravaged as the storm destroyed homes, lives and caused unparalleled damage throughout communities that still have yet to recover. “Hawkeye,” a comic about Marvel’s dead-eye archer, Clint Barton, better known as Hawkeye, is chipping in to help with the recovery effort by donating all of their proceeds from their special comic issue, “Hawkeye: Providing Relief.” Matt Fraction, the writer of the comic book, spoke with Ben More of Marvel.com about the story. “Clint goes to Far Rockaway to help someone in his building get their father to safety; Kate (Hawkeye’s sidekick) has a wedding to attend in Atlantic City that the family of the bride refuses to cancel,” Fraction told him. “All wet hell breaks loose.” The issue was a hurried change from what the staff had planned originally for “Hawkeye’s” seventh issue, however Fraction felt this story was more impor-

tant. Fraction and the creative team behind “Hawkeye” have been promoting the 20page special issue, which is set to be released on January 16th, conducting interviews with MTV Geek and Marvel.com. “Well, it’s a book about a regular guy doing superhuman things, you know,” Fraction said “And what better way can

The cover of issue seven of Hawkeye.

PHOTO COURTESY OF IGN.COM

you describe the heroes of [Super Storm Sandy]? You didn’t need eye-lasers or capes or giant robots to tell a story about this kind of heroism.” Further on in the interview, Fraction did confirm that all of his royalties would be donated to the Red Cross. Royalties are what a writer is paid after an issue has sold a certain amount. For more popular comics, this can actually constitute a large portion of the writers income, dwarfing their salary by comparison. The “Hawkeye” writer went on to acknowledge to MTV Geek that if the comic is successful enough this may just be the most painful check he’s ever written. “It’s cool that he’s giving so much to charity,” said junior Jay Prajapati. “You don’t see that a lot today, people giving so much to charity.” Marvel is no stranger to charity. In 2001 after the devastation caused by the terrorist attacks of September 11th, many of the writers and artists came together to make, “Heroes, The World’s Greatest Super Hero Creators Honor The World’s Greaest Heroes 9-11-2001.” The comic was created as a benefit for the Twin Tower Fund, which provides financial aid to firefighters, police officers and emergency service personnel involved in the attack. The comic publisher is also one of the partners of “The Hero Initiative,” a non-profit organization that creates a safety net for comic book creators. “It’ll be good for the book and you’ll be helping out the Red Cross,” Fraction said in the interview. “Or helping me help the Red Cross anyway.”

Where to thrift this holiday season

SHARON TONG

They say that one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. And by that we don’t mean your rotten apples or your nachos from last night. So, with holiday season upon us, now is the best time to find that trash, or treasure, for you or someone you love. Whether you’ve scrounging for that Marc Jacobs jacket from last season or that limited edition Coach satchel you just missed, look no further – it may just be around the corner. Whether you’re fond of thrift stores or not, let’s face it: there is something for everyone at an affordable price. 1. Buffalo Exchange. Manhattan: East Village and Chelsea ; Brooklyn: Williamsburg and Cobble Hill. www.buffaloexchange.com

2. AuH2O 84 E. 7th Street Located in the smack dab in the middle of the East Village, the small and precious AuH2O was founded by Kate Goldwater only months after she graduated from NYU. AuH2O has become Goldwater’s la-

All-star ‘12.12.12’ Concert tickets on sale now

On Monday, Dec. 3, tickets went on sale for the “12.12.12” benefit concert that will feature Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Kanye West and many more. All proceeds from the concert will be given to the Robin Hood Relief Fund, a disaster relief New York based non-profit. The concert will be simulcast on online streams and multiple television channels to over 1 billion people in North American, South America, Europe, African, Asia and Australia, according to 121212concert.org. Also scheduled to perform will be Paul McCartney, Alicia Keys, Eric Clapton, The Who, Roger Waters, Coldplay and Bon Jovi, who also took part in an NBC telethon organized in the aftermath of the hurricane. Robin Hood, according to the concert website, provided instant relief to those affected and has so far given over $8 million to more than 90 different groups in the tri-state area.

Slattery and Hamm to direct Mad Men episodes next season

Staff Writer

If you’re from any big city across the nation, chances are you’re familiar with Buffalo Exchange. Since its opening in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn in 2006, Buffalo Exchange has expanded its franchise into Manhattan and points in the southwestern part of the US. Neatly separated in different categories, Buffalo Exchange sells low-end to high-end items, ranging from H&M to Michael Kors. Another Buffalo Exchange perk is that you can get cash for your unwanted clothes, a source of revenue that’s clutch for any holiday shopper.

This week in showbiz

PHOTO COURTESY OF BUFFALOEXCHANGE.COM

Buffalo Exchange has multiple locations across the city and the United States.

bor of love as she carefully picks out each item with her customers in mind. Be sure to check out the $5 and $10 & under racks and the unforgettable $1 jewelry box. An AuH2O perk is the 15% student discount given on Thursdays. 3. Housing Works. Manhattan and Brooklyn. www.housingworks.org Since 1990, Housing Works has had only one goal: to fight AIDS and homelessness. Through their bookstore and chain of thrift shops in Manhattan and Brooklyn, Housing Works raises money to fund AIDS research and efforts to help disaster relief. Their thrift stores include many fabulous finds from home décor, bridal dresses and

furniture. The perk of Housing Works is that you get to be charitable while finding a pair of Christian Louboutins for less than a hundred bucks. 4. Cure Thrift Shop 111 E. 12th Street Cure Thrift Shop is at its best when they have their occasional $1 or half-off sale. Only minutes away from the hip Union Square, you can find a great selection of vintage antiques, designer clothing and Victoria’s Secret PINK and Juicy Couture sweats for under $10. Like Housing Works, a dollar goes a long way as proceeds from Cure Thrift purchases goes to the Diabetes Research Institute.

After another tumultuous season of twists and turns, AMC’s “Mad Men” will open its director’s chair next season to their leading men, John Slattery and Jon Hamm, according to Entertainment Weekly. The duo are scheduled to direct a pair of episodes in the upcoming sixth season for the wildly successful drama about a New York advertising agency set in the 1960’s. This won’t be the first go around behind the camera for either actor on the show. Slattery, who has won two Screen Actors Guild Awards for his role as the tough love executive Roger Sterling, has directed three episodes so far during his tenure while Hamm, whose portrayal of creative director Donald Draper earned him a 2008 Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama Series, directed an episode in season five.


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Holidays at STJ

Horse drawn carriages bring students around campus.

Photos by: Anthony O’Reilly

D’Angelo Center is prepared for the Christmas festivities.


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Cosmetics galore this season SHARON TONG Staff Writer

Now that Thanksgiving is over and the holidays are around the corner, ‘tis the season to get your hands on limited-edition, fun makeup sets that will make perfect gifts, or to just dazzle yourself If you’ve always wanted to be a Disney Princess, now is your chance to finally be one. Sephora’s Disney Cinderella Collection is as nostalgic as it can get; its elegant designs resemble your favorite memories of the classic movie with vintage touches to celebrate the grace of Cinderella. The collection is filled with perfect gifts with eyeshadow palettes, nail polish and lipstick sets and a perfume that is also available with Swarovski Crystals. The “A Brush With Fait” nail polish set comes in six versatile shades of shimmer and sparkle, while the lipstick set has four warm-toned shades with a berry shade. The “Storybook” eye shadow palette comes in 20 colors and is also sold with Swarovski Embellishments. For the fixed price of $125, you can get the whole collection (excluding the “Midnight Hour” palette) and the Diamond Edition of the film. This holiday season, MAC Cosmetics, which never fails to surprise with their multiple collection releases, has five holiday collections for holiday shoppers to choose from. The Guilty Passions Collection comes with six sets of lip glosses, each a different tone, and crushed pigments in a gift box packaging, which eliminates he stress of gift wrapping. For the girly-girls, the Making Pretty Collection speaks for itself. This collection is considered to be on the expensive side of the brand, with prices ranging from $25 to $100. On the bright side, it is decorated with rose-gold and dusty pink texture that’ll make it worthwhile to keep. The Primped Out Collection will leave you in awe with their eye, lip and face essentials in different sets that come in a stylish leopard-print bag (did we mention the brushes come in different colors?). When people say the holidays are about giving, MAC really means it. Every holiday season, MAC sells annual “Kids Helping Kids” greeting cards drawn by children affected with HIV/AIDS to support AIDS funding. This year, in addition to the greeting cards, MAC has created a set of the VIVA GLAM Nicki Minaj lipstick and Ricky Martin lip conditioner in a gorgeous pink leopard-print bag, for their VIVA GLAM campaign to fight HIV/AIDS. For those who fell in love with new James Bond film “Skyfall,” you will love the OPI “Skyfall” collection. To commemorate its 50th anniversary, OPI’s “James Bond Skyfall” collection comes in 12 shades, named after some of the most recognized James Bond films. “The Man With the Golden Gun,” for example, is made of 18K gold leaf and has been as much of a hit as the 1974 film was. The shade named after the latest installment of the Bond franchise, “Skyfall” is represented by a rich maroon shade. The collection consists of various colors that include magenta, metallic grey, red, jet black, rosy silver and each represents a Bond film. We certainly can’t wait to see how the nail polish of the next film looks, that is, if there will be another nail polish.

NYC shopping made easy ROLANDA HARMON Staff Writer

Santa needs help this holiday season and there are only a few places to go to get the best experience while helping out the big guy. For all of you that missed the extravagant yet chaotic and hectic shopping experience on Black Friday, don’t worry. The shopping deals and discounts are far from over in the city that never sleeps. If you plan to be in the Big Apple during the Christmas Holiday Season there are a few places that must be visited in order to have the ultimate shopping experience. For a limited time only during this season, vendors set up booths selling items such as scarves, toys, household items, ornaments, jewelry and candy.

2. Bryant Park Holiday Shops: Bryant Park becomes a market-styled extravaganza this holiday season as it continues its annual tradition of festivities. With nearly 130 merchants from all over the world, the shops at Bryant Park should be at the top of your list. This free holiday fair also features the Bryant Park Pond where free ice skating takes place Monday through Friday. • Where: Bryant Park, 6th Ave at 42nd St. (866-221-5157) • When: Daily, October 26, 2012 through early January, 2013 • Hours: Mon-Fri, 11am-8pm; Sat 10am-9pm; Sun, 10am-6pm

Square is a must-visit. Hot Cider is also served at special stands throughout the park along with other sweet treats as you shop! • Where: Union Square Park at 14th St. (212-529-9262) • When: November 16 through December 26, 2012 • Hours: Daily, 11am-8pm 4. FAO Schwartz Toy Store: You certainly have not lived unless you have visited the FAO Schwartz Toy Store in NYC. During the Christmas Season, a tour of this spectacular store is a one-ofa-kind experience that everyone should partake in whether you have children or not. If you’ve ever thought of revisiting your childhood just once in your lifetime, the FAO Schwartz toy store is the place to do it. • Where: 767 5th Ave at 58th Street (212-644-9400) • When: December, 2012 through early January, 2013 • Hours: Mon-Thurs, 9am10pm; Fri-Sun 8am-11pm

1. Grand Central Terminal Holiday Fair: Have you ever seen a la5. Columbus Circle Holiser light show? Where day Market: The same orelse to see one other than ganizers behind the Union the famous Grand Central Square Holiday Market are at it Terminal during the holiday once again as they host the anseason? Visit the Terminal nual Columbus Circle Holiday to experience the extravaFair in Central Park. Stop by gant light show while shopfor an awesome shopping fair ping in the 12,000 square featuring over 100 vendors foot Vanderbilt Hall. The with a wide variety of merTerminal is a definite must chandise specially crafted just see! for you. PHOTO COURTESY OF NYCGO.COM • Where: Grand Central • Where: Southwest enTerminal, Vanderbilt Hall, The Columbus Circle Holiday Market filled with shoppers. trance to Central Park at Cen42nd St. and Park Ave. (2123. Union Square Park Holiday tral Park West and Central Park South 340-2210) Market: Union Square Park during the (212-529-9262) • When: November 12 through Decem- holidays is the epitome of an outdoor • When: November 28 through December 24, 2012 shipping wonderland. With over 100 ber 24, 2012 • Hours: Daily, 10am-7pm vendors with treats just for you, Union • Hours: Daily, 10am-8pm

PHOTO COURTESY OF 24.MEDIA.TUMBLR.COM

Sephora’s Disney Cinderella Collection will evoke nostalgia and grace for buyers this holiday season.


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Alicia The renewed WSJU Radio Keys Grows Up DESTINY DEJESUS Staff Writer

KORI WILLIAMS Staff Writer

ALICIA KEYS Girl on Fire

OUT OF 5 STARS

Perennial hitmaker Alicia Keys has returned to not only continue her reign as the queen of R&B, but to show her audience what she has been up to in her busy life since her last album. Her marriage to rapper and producer Swizz Beatz and the birth of their son has consumed her life, the tabloids and is also a pivotal theme for Girl on Fire, a solid record that displays her growth as a person and as an artist. Right from the start, Keys wants us all to know that she has matured and certain things don’t affect her anymore like they once did. “Brand New Me”, the second track on the album, shows the influence her husband and son have on her life and music. “It’s been a while. I’m not who I was before / You look surprised. You’re words don’t burn me anymore / … Don’t be mad, It’s just a brand new kinda me”. This song expresses Keys’ new outlook while accompanied by the impressive piano chops for which she is so well known for. Keys tries new sound textures on the song “When It’s All Over,” which features a deep, honking, synthesized beat that’s overlapped by her usual piano accompaniment. The backbeat was most definitely influenced by contemporary influences, but Keys still managed to stick to the core of her jazz and 70’s R&B idols, which made for very interesting contrast. Along with the female empowerment of “Girl on Fire,” the track “Fire We Make,” which features R&B artist Maxwell, uses fire as a metaphor for the love and passion between two people. It’s a slow and sensual song that’s made for couples which, odds are, was inspired by Keys’ marriage with Swizz Beats. Another love song that sticks out on Girl on Fire is “Not Even The King,” which describes love between two people as “priceless” and something that is never worth giving up regardless of what else would be able to offer them for it. Girl on Fire is a window into this new world that Alicia Keys has made for herself. Like her previous albums, and perhaps even more so on this one, Keys has been inspired by her life experiences, and it’s clear that this latest work directly correlates with the birth of her son and her husband and their marriage. The great thing about Girl on Fire is that Keys branches out and tries new things while staying true to herself and her roots; while at the same time displaying her growth as an artist.

WSJU, which began in 1974, is the on-campus radio station for St. John’s University. The club, which is run entirely by students, depends on other students to listen in and make it a viable media outlet for the school. Since the station’s inception, the station has gone through different transitions and continues to expand its team, bringing in new ideas. As an official member of The National Association of College Broadcasters as well as the Intercollegiate Broadcasting System, it aims to keep listeners entertained through different show formats. In addition to the different music genre shows, there are different genres and specialty slots offered. They include formats such as talk shows that talk about gossip or news as well as specialty music shows that focus on certain aspects of a genre. There is also a sports department, where members can host sports talk shows and do play-byplay for St. John’s sporting events. “Everything is run by students,” said Cristina Marcello, the general manager of WSJU. “They get the ability to have hands-on experience and learn at the same time.” Recently, several changes have been made to the station. According to Marcello, not only is the team planning new and exciting events for the spring semester, but the station as a whole is doing everything it can to gain popularity. The station’s expansion project has started with the Internet, creating a new website at WSJURadio.org. By reaching out to social media, WSJU has been able to have over 1,000 Facebook likes as well as get the message out to St.

TORCH PHOTO/KIERAN LYNCH

Cristina Marcello hosts a specialty show at WSJU on the fourth floor of Marillac.

John’s students that they are the station’s number one priority. “Students need to be more interested so that we can branch out more,” said David Burgos, WSJU program director. In order for WSJU to thrive, the students need to become more involved. Burgos said the station wants more dedicated members but it needs active listeners to tune in. Currently, the website is being renovated to make it easier and more convenient for students to listen to the live stream. Before the webpage, students could only listen in the Marillac Cafeteria and on channel 36 on the Residence Village TV service but now, the Internet makes tuning in easier. After becoming an official member of WSJU and having a music show for a semester, each student is able to have his or her own specialty show. Marcello has her

own British Rap themed show where she plays unique hip-hop from the UK. Each member can take part in one or more of the aforementioned departments as well as production or promotions. The station covers most genres of music and anything can be added with student interest. Students are not required to have a certain major to join the WSJU team, nor do they have to know anything about radio production. “There are hidden secrets here,” Burgos said. “Connections are built.” Check in with the station in the near future for information regarding upcoming events such as the “Rap Battle” in the spring, where students will have the chance to vote on the YouTube Channel for the best rapper, and tune in to the shows at www.WSJUradio.org.

Panorama on Parsons is peaceful

lato Shake, which is mixed with luscious chocolate cookies and vanilla, for only Contributing Writer $4.50. Goldman founded the coffee shop 5 Poets and musicians grace the stage to years ago in 2007. He set out to spread present their works. The audience watchpeace through the shop and was inspired es as student musician Andrew Ortiz, a to do so by the teachings of Sri Chimney, a Queens College sophman who dedicated omore, captivates the his life to peace crowd with an unand goodwill. named song. When This inspirathe song is over the tion is reflected in audience gives it a the hospitality of name. His song is shop’s workers. now to be called the The staff greets “good old days.” customers with Ortiz is delighted to smiles from ear-toexpress himself in ear and asks if they Panorama for the first want to perform. time, stating, “It was Some are excited a great feeling, I’m to do so, while definitely coming others are there back again.” simply to listen. Panorama, or The walls are “beauty all around,” colorfully vibrant, is more than just illuminating Pana coffee shop. oramas’ tranquil Established in the atmosphere; heart of the Jamaica couches and chairs section of Queens, are as comfortable PHOTO COURTESY OF THERESTAURANTFAIRY.COM it attracts diverse cusas a living room sofa, tomers from all ethnic Panorama features an array of coffees, teas, salads and sandwiches at low prices. making one feel as backgrounds. if it were their own “Panorama is a place where peo- the Panorama Coffee Shop is an ideal place home. The sweet smells of homemade ple of any belief can come and en- for those looking to get away from mun- dishes coming from the kitchen are redojoy themselves in a peaceful dane routines. The menu is equipped with lent of grandma’s homemade cooking. environment,” says Panorama owner Ketan salads, sandwiches—Italian and Mexican The Panorama Coffee Shop is highly Goldman. wraps—Gelato shakes and ice creams, all recommended for any student looking for Right on 84-73 Parsons Blvd, it is con- at a reasonable price. A popular drink at a place to have a good time, while escaping venient for any student or faculty member Panorama is the Cookie Monster Ge- the chaos of finals, exams, and papers.

JAQUON C. HEATH

looking for a place to enjoy homemade pastries, creamy coffees, organic teas and charming vegetarian selections while conversing with friends over thought-provoking poetry and music; or expressing his or her own original words and musical notes. If any of the above seems appealing, then


How do you solve a problem like remakes?

ANTHONY O’REILLY News Editor

It won’t be the first or last time this will be said: Hollywood has run out of ideas. This past week, NBC announced they will be remaking the classic movie, TheSound of Music, with Carrie Underwood reprising Julie Andrew’s role of Maria von Trapp. NBC also announced the original musical production company, Rodgers & Hammerstein, will be working to produce the film which is scheduled to be released during the holiday season of 2013. Sound of Music now gets to join Footloose and Red Dawn as classics that are being released to a new generation of viewers, rehashed to fit into modern day problems and scenarios. The remake has now become a genre in and of itself. It’s as if producers have just been sitting in a room throwing darts at slips of papers with movie titles on them and picking whichever one they hit. Yes, the movie is based off a play, based off a book, based off a true story. And yes, many remakes have gone on to be classics themselves (trivia: The Wizard of Oz and Scarface are remakes of earlier editions). But when you look at why most movies are remade/rebooted, it doesn’t make sense to fit Sound of Music into this category. The cause of remakes/reboots has widely been because the original failed to perform well in theatres. This obviously isn’t the case with The Sound of Music, as it won the Academy Award for Best Picture and best director and two golden globes (best musical motion picture and best actress for Julie Andrews). In 2001, the Library of Congress chose the film for

PHOTO COURTESY OF AZCELEBRITIES.COM

Carrie Underwood will play Maria vonTrapp in the remake of The Sound of Music.

preservation for its historical and cultural significance. Another argument as to why this film is being remade might be ‘It’s to adapt it to current times.’ The message of the movie is timeless, if not more relevant today than it was during its original release. Not to spoil the movie for anyone

who hasn’t seen it yet, but in essence the lesson for each character is to slow down and enjoy the simplicity of life captures it better than words can. And with advancements in HighDefinition and Blue Ray technology, there is no excuse for remaking it for aesthetic reasons. Just re-release the DVD/ Blue Ray

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every five to ten years as an anniversary edition. A movie, in many ways, is like any other invention. Someone took the time to come up with the concept, write out how it would work, sell the idea to a bunch of people with the money to support it, built it and finally released it to the public for final approval. The people will either go out and spend their money on it, or decide it’s not worth their money and time. Producers of a movie should take pride that they created something so great, that so many people loved. They should make sure it stays theirs. After the catastrophic release of Cat in the Hat in 2003, the estate of Dr. Seuss decided to ban any further live action remakes of the books. This is an example of a creator taking pride in their work and, albeit maybe a bit late (someone please make sure to never let Michael Meyers near a cat suit again), taking precautionary steps to make sure the product they put hard work and time into is kept intact. Obviously it’s a lot harder for the makers of The Sound of Music to make sure nobody recreates their product. The fact that the original musical production company is working to aid this project makes it that much worse then, as they could’ve had a role in working to say no to this. To bring the argument closer to home, just imagine 15 to 20 years from now and hearing that Inception or The Departed was going to be remade. What would your reaction most likely be? First, nostalgia, of how great the movie was when you first saw it. Secondly, fear, that something great will become besmirched.


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