New additions and improvements pg. 3
Wohl investigation concludes pg. 5
University rebrands pg. 6
READY TO SERVE INTERIM-PRESIDENT TALKS TRANSPARENCY, TRANSITION AND YEAR AHEAD PG. 4 TORCh photo/Diana COLAPietro
Photo of the Week
Managing Board XCI
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Lifestyle VMAs shock and dazzle fans Lifestyle reviews the best and worst appearances at MTV’s Video Music Awards.
Lifestyle Pg. 12
Lifestyle Alumni Day at the Track St. John’s University celebrates Alumni Day at Saratoga Race Course.
Lifestyle Pg. 13
Sports Harrison is back Players are excited to see their ‘captain’ in uniform for the upcoming men’s basketball season.
Sports Pg. 18
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DaSilva Field track renovataions continue as the fall semester approaches.
SJU adds new dining options and more Red Mango, 1950s-style diner among new campus additions
Christopher Brito New Editor
Aside from the St. John’s rebranding that took place this summer, the University underwent several on-campus makeovers and added new features to students’ dining options and technological services. Brij Anand, vice president for campus facilities and services, told the Torch details about several new dining additions that students can enjoy beginning this fall –- including the much-anticipated Red Mango shop coming to campus. The Torch first reported about the University’s negotiations to bring Red Mango on campus last spring. Anand said the finishing touches are being made to the yogurt-and-smoothie store which will be located in St. Augustine Hall. Along with a Red Mango, University officials said the Red Storm Diner in St. Vincent’s Hall is being converted into a retro-style 1950s diner that will have shakes, burgers and breakfast, and have flexible hours to better meet students’ demands during the semester. The Marketplace in Montgoris will also have an updated look and increased assortment of offerings including hot foods for lunch or dinner. The dining hall will also be open until 10 p.m. on Sundays. The Law School Café, which is in its final stages of construction, will have a brick oven pizza concept, New York style deli, a separate Starbucks Coffee section and refurbished dining area. Chef Jet and Modern Asian Kitchen, will replace the Native Spice in D’Angelo Center, and Innovation Kitchen and Sono Celebrate Latin will be found in Marillac. In addition, 10 premium swipes will allow students with resident-style meal plans to have extra flexibility to
receive meal exchanges when otherwise not allowed and participate in premium dining events each semester. The school also expects students to enjoy faster Internet service on campus and more flexibility with their daily
endeavors. VP and Chief Information Officer of Information of Technology, Joseph Tufano, said the network infrastructure will increase to two 1G circuits, allowing for quicker web surfing and better video
TORCH PHOTO/ Diana COlapietro
Construction continues on Red Mango, which is slated to open this fall.
streaming. He said there also will be 35 new computers in labs or classrooms throughout campus, high definition and improved wireless services to residence halls, and students will be equipped with more disk storage in the new Microsoft Office 365 e-mail. Beginning this semester, the $40 printing allowance can now be used at copy machines in addition to being used at the various print locations around campus. The STJ2GO mobile application was released earlier in the summer but Tufano pointed out that it’s still under development. However, its online food ordering feature will be “fully operational” two or three weeks into the semester, according to Anand. The feature will permit students and faculty to order food from any webenabled device in advance and pick it up at express stations at the Subway in Marillac, D’Angelo Center Deli, Red Storm Diner and the Law School Deli and Grill stations. Other improvements on the University’s Queens campus include: the track by DaSilva Field which is being repacked with a new base and asphalt, refurbished classrooms, improved reliability of electrical services to academic facilities and St. Albert’s science labs, a new research lab for the School of Pharmacy, and the newly redone Career Services Office, which has moved next to the Sun Yat Sen building. Anand said plans were also approved for a new College of Professional Studies-designated area for the second floor of the St. Augustine Library. It will have a technology hub sporting the latest equipment for students and faculty. With CPS moving out possibly by Spring 2014, Bent Hall will become the focus of the Tobin College of Business.
Moody’s gives positive credit rating to University Alexa Vagelatos Staff Writer Amid the significant University changes undergone in recent months, Moody’s Investors Services announced earlier this month that it revised the the outlook on the University’s revenue bond rating to positive. The University’s bond rating outlook reflects the recent sale of the Manhattan campus for $219 million, which “could more than double the University’s unrestricted financial resources,” according to Moody’s, along with greatly improving operating flexibility. Sharon Hewitt Watkins, vice president for business affairs and chief financial officer of the University, said in an email, “We are extremely pleased that Moody’s has revised its credit rating outlook for St. John’s from ‘stable’ to ‘positive.’ Particularly in these challenging times in higher education, the fiscal strength of
the University is critical to ensuring our students’ success.” Moody’s said the revised positive rating is based upon its marketing position of the University as a large Catholic institution located within New York City. Factors that Moody’s said it considered in revising the rating to positive include its favorable operating performance and its solid fundraising in which it raises $18.8 million a year in average gift revenue. But Moody’s cited potential challenges faced by the University in the near future, as well. “These credit strengths are offset by high leverage, senior leadership transition with the recent departure of a long-standing president and the need for continual capital investment as the university continues to focus on becoming more residential,” Moody’s said in a statement. “The highly competitive
environment in which the university operates is also a major challenge, putting pressure on the future growth of net tuition revenue, causing some softness of enrollment, and resulting in an extremely low freshmen matriculation ratio.” Still, the revised positive outlook is important in that reflects the substantial
increase in financial resources and operational flexibility that is expected as a result of the Manhattan campus. “A clear strategic plan for the funds and university as a whole,” Moody’s said in its statement, “and sound investment management will be important factors as the university integrates the new funds into its balance sheet.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF STJOHNS.EDU
The Manhattan campus sale earned praise in the Moody’s credit outlook.
Rev. Levesque set to lead University
Says he hopes to engage community, help transition over year Kieran Lynch Editor-in-Chief The Torch sat down with recently named interim-Presdident Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. The 75-year-old Vincentian priest, who will lead the University for one year, spoke about his past with St. John’s and Niagara University, his plans for his tenure and moving forward following a year that saw the departure of former President Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M. amid calls from the University community for increased transparency from the administration.
of my community. I serve for the good of others if I’m really needed and that’s why I said yes.
T: So coming into this role, what type of president do you think the school needs right now? JL: Certainly someone who is going to bring the University exactly where it wants to be. So continued excellence in teaching, strong focus on the students,
focus on faculty.
people, dealing with those issues?
T: You touched on faculty. Over the last year faculty really had some issues or perceived that there were issues with transparency with the administration, do you have any plan of how you would tackle that kind perception with the faculty?
JL: I think the very best way is to be as direct as can be. I have had letter from alumni, I’ve had letters from faculty, saying to me: ‘Father, what you have to do is have sessions and be as honest and open with the faculty, with the alumni as you can be. Invite more people to participate with you and talk to you’ and just this morning, [Executive Vice President] Martha Hirst and I sat and talked about that and we want to set up a couple of those opportunities and with the students as well. So meet the challenge, meet the requests that they’re throwing at us and there is nothing to be lost by it. It’s really just to be as honest and direct as possible. So that’s what I intend to do. And always remember that I have to be careful because I’m interim, I can’t set policies that are going to last 30 years. I have to be careful.
JL: I will try to be as transparent as I can be. You know, sometimes these
T: You must have had some prior experiences with the campus [as St. John’s Board of Trustees chairman], with the school. Could you just tell me a little bit about that, as far as your experiences in the past?
T: You mentioned you were going to have a small role in the selection of the new president, can you elaborate on that?
Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M.: As the chairman of the board, of course, I worked with all of the board members and they were a very collaborative group. Some of them I’ve known for a long time and it was a great experience. I found that we were at a time, then, of building the University in very new and wonderful ways. So that fact that it was just a day-hop school at one time, and now it is a resident school with so much growth all around – brand new buildings. And the board was very much a part of that – making bigger decisions, making sure we had the money, there was a campaign at that time too, so they were wonderful days. They were working very collaboratively with each other and working for the growth of the institution so I loved them. They were happy days, we worked hard, we had to raise a lot of money but we did it. T: What was your impression of the school at that time overall? JL: That it was a very fine school. That it was looking at those things that they had to be very concerned about: the SAT scores of the students coming in, incoming students who were much easier then than now [with] fewer students out there, so that was good. That was a blessing to us. So we worked at not only the facilities ... But then also what kind of student are we bringing into St. John’s and we wanted to make sure they were high quality students. ... Every academic institution wants to have the brightest students they can and that was what we committed ourselves to and I think we were very happy with doing that. T: So then you must’ve got a phone call from St. John’s [after retirement as president of Niagara University]. What went into that decision to come here? JL: They asked me if I were interested. If that was to be the decision of the Board, to invite someone like myself to become the interim President would I be willing to do that? And I just made a qualification. I said, ‘if you are asking me do I want to go and be the President at St. John’s? No,’ I said, ‘not really.’ But if you’re asking me, ‘We need you. We think you’re the right person. Would you please do this for us?,’ I said my answer will be yes because that’s what I’m all about. I serve at the will
TORCH PHOTO/DIANA COLAPIETRO
Rev. Joseph Levesque said, “I can’t set policies that are going to last 30 years.”
strong faculty – and I presume you do have strong faculty. But it’s always a constant thing to make sure that that happens. When I was at Niagara University, I started as a teacher and I became a dean. As a dean, I hired many faculty and I see those faculty now as senior faculty. Now I see a lot of younger faculty coming on, and I love the younger faculty, and I say, ‘Well I think I chose well in the faculty that I appointed as dean, and now I see great faculty coming aboard.’ You always have to pay attention to that. Right now as you know you’re going to need someone as President who is going to make sure that the shortages in enrollment that we have, the fewer students we have applying and staying – so retention is an issue – that has to be handled, grabbed and worked on right away because everyone is competing for the same one or two students. ‘Won’t you come to us, we’ll give you $5,000 more than they will give you’ or something like that, so it’s a constant task. You need someone vigorous, someone who knows the business of academia, a real academicion, I think, someone who is going to know the history of the school, where we were, that we were simply, a very, very good day-hop school and we brought in the sons and daughters of immigrants for a long, long time, and now we need a new person to do even more wonderful things for the University. But a solid focus on students and a solid
things are a matter of personalities or whatever, but I love to be with students. Now as an administrator, as President, it’s very difficult to spend a lot of time with students because the people who are coming to see you are the other administrators trying to move the University forward, working with the faculty, working with issues, all our faculty are unionized. But I think the transparency comes about when you have that desire and opportunity to spend more time with the very important people. So what I will do in the time that I have here, I’m interim, I will try to do that. As a matter of fact, I just negotiated to get myself a golf cart and the golf cart will get me in places on this campus where the students are. I’ll go find them. I’ll say hello and I’ll join your picnics and I’ll join your parties and I’ll join your work sessions and your academic convocations and to me that’s very important. ... Transparency is a matter of personality, so I can only say to you that I will be as transparent as I can. And if I have any role to play and select in a new president, we have to make sure that he/ she is quite transparent. T: Have you encountered any other issues from coming in from a tumultuous year, people outside in the community have a certain perception of the way the school is run, or not run, whatever. How do you go about just dealing with those
JL: No I don’t know what the role will be. I certainly will have the responsibility of making sure that committee, the search committee, be established. But the most important people in that search will be the trustees. Two of the biggest responsibilities for trustees are hiring a new president and firing a new president – the biggest decisions to be made. And Father Harrington wasn’t fired. He decided to retire. But those are tough decisions and it’s the responsibility of the board. That’s their biggest responsibility. Now they do lots of other things, but those are really the key points I think. And so it will be them, principally, but I’m sure the students will be involved, I’m sure administrators, faculty, alumni – all the constituencies – they’ll all be involved and I’ll be very instrumental in forming that committee, bringing it in along with the trustees giving me guidance. It’s a difficult challenge, it’s a wonderful challenge, bringing together the right people. It’s going to be a national search, that’s my understanding, so we’ll have applications from all over the place – hundreds of applications, I’m sure and it will be great. T: Is there a requirement for the president to be a Vincentian priest? JL: Yes, it used to be that it was required that the president be a Vincentian priest. But the board is of the mind in this day and age when there are fewer priest available – there are just fewer clergy – that most probably what we have to do, and that solidly hasn’t been determined yet, but I just presume it will be, namely that it will be a national search. All people will be welcome to apply. They may put a restriction on it. I don’t know, they may say ‘we would most want a Catholic person to be the leader of this Catholic university.’ But they don’t have to say that necessarily. What’s always asked of faculty, especially other administrators is, do you know what the Catholic and Vincentian traditions are? Can you talk about them? Will you support them? This article was edited for space. The full version can be viewed online at torchonline.com.
Wohl investigation complete Harrington, Wile made ‘errors in judgment,’ not criminal KIEran Lynch Editor-in-Chief An independent investigation into the details surrounding Cecilia Chang’s corruption case determined that former St. John’s University President Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M. and his former chief of staff, Robert Wile made “errors in judgment … that led to conflicts of interest,” but also that those relationships caused no financial harm to the school. Peter D’Angelo, chairman of the Board of Trustees, announced the results of the board-commissioned investigation into issues regarding the case of corrupt former dean Cecilia Chang in an e-mail Friday afternoon. The conflicts cited by the investigation, according to D’Angelo, were a real estate transaction involving Harrington, Wile and two loans – one from a former member of the Board of Trustees to both individuals and a personal loan from a University vendor to Wile. Attorney Frank Wohl of Lankler Siffert & Wohl LLP, who ran the investigation, determined that none of those transactions caused financial harm to the University and that there was no criminal wrongdoing by any member of the St. John’s leadership, D’Angelo said. D’Angelo said that Wohl, as part of his investigation, “had extensive interviews with current and former employees and thoroughly examined all relevant evidence and information
including material from the original Chang investigation.” D’Angelo also detailed new protective measures that have been implemented to improve the checksand-balances following the revelations that came to light thanks to the Chang case. The changes include regular one-onone meetings of the Director of Internal Audit and the Board of Trustees Audit Committee, a revised conflict-of-interest policy, an establishment of a business ethics training program for all managers and the institution of an employee procurement card program to replace employee credit cards.
The policies will be reviewed on an annual basis by the Board, D’Angelo said. Harrington announced his departure last May after 24 years as University president. St. John’s also confirmed that same day that Wile, a former varsity soccer player at the University, had also resigned from his posts as senior vice president of institutional advancement and athletics and chief of staff to the president. Chang, a former dean of Asian studies, committed suicide last November a day after testifying in her federal trial on corruption charges.
Week of Welcome 8/30 Men’s Soccer Game vs. NJIT in Belson Stadium at 8:00 p.m. 8/31 Play Fair in Great Lawn at 4:00 p.m. 8/31 Target Party (Buses Leave from Gate 6 at 10:00 p.m.) 9/1 Fire Safety Presentation in Marillac Auditorium at11:00 a.m. 9/1 Move-In Sunday Mass in St. Thomas More Church at 5:30 pm 9/1 Twilight Carnival in Lourdes Way at 7:00 p.m. 9/2 Beach Bash in Residence Village at 12:00 p.m. 9/2 Women’s Volleyball Game vs. Siena in Carnesecca Arena at 1:00 p.m. 9/3 Class Photo in Great Lawn at 9:00 a.m. 9/3 Convocation in Carnesecca Arena at 10:30 a.m. 9/3 Academic Engagement Fair in D’Angelo Center Plaza at 2:30 p.m. 9/3 A Look Back at the Freshman Experience in D’Angelo Center 407 at 3:30 p.m. 9/3 The World Game in Marillac Terrace at 5:00 p.m. 9/4 St. John’s Fest in Carnesecca Plaza at 4:00 p.m.
PHOTO COURTESY OF EXTERNAL RELATIONS
Harrington and Wile made “errors in judgement ... that led to conflicts of interest.”
SJU goes toWorld Youth Day
Senior Joseph Reis represents SJU in Rio de Janiero
him that he was chosen to be a student representative in November. WYD has various faith filled activities including the Opening Mass, Senior Joseph Reis was one of a Papal Welcoming, Stations of the the millions of young Catholics who Cross, A Night Prayer Vigil, and Closing arrived in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Mass with the Pope. According to Reis, celebrate World Youth Day from July 23 attendees also visited religious attractions - 28. and attended discussions of World Youth World Youth Day (WYD) is an event Day’s theme, “Go and Make Disciples of organized by the Catholic Church that All Nations.” Reis said that Brazil was the perfect hosting location for World Youth Day, noting its large religious population. “Brazil is the country with the most prevalent amount of Catholics, almost 65 percent of the country. It was also great to be there because the Pope was from South America and it was his first chance to return somewhere closer to home since being brought in.” Reis said World Youth Day was a life changing experience. “World Youth Day has definitely impacted my life. It reminded me of a lot of the things that I hope to accomplish in my day-to-day life,” Reis said. “I met a lot of great people from around the world that are proof of the universality of our Catholic faith.” “I also learned a lot about being Catholic and Vincentian through Photo Courtesy of Joseph Reis catechesis and speeches from Pope Joseph Ries was among the millions of young Catholics who went to WYD. Francis.”
BREEANA MUlligan Staff Writer
aims to instill faith in Catholic children and young adults. This year’s event was the most populous World Youth Days to date as well as the first for Pope Francis,. Reis, a psychology major, had always wanted to attend World Youth Day and got the chance when vice president of campus ministry and university events, Pamela Shea-Byrnes, informed
9/5 Greek Activities Fair in Residence Village at 4:00 p.m. 9/5 Student Veteran’s Association Open House in D’Angelo Center 128 at 5:00 p.m. 9/5 DAC After Dark: Discover SJU in D’Angelo Center 416 at 7:00 p.m. 9/6 Movie Night in Great Lawn at 7:00 p.m. 9/6 Men’s Soccer Game vs. Akron in Belson Stadium at 8:00 p.m. 9/7 Electric Dance Party in Carnesecca Arena at 9:00 p.m. 9/8 WOW Sandy Relief (Meet at Gate 6 at 9:00 a.m.) 9/8 Men’s Soccer Game vs. Penn State in Belson Stadium at 7:00 p.m. 9/9 On Campus Employment Fair in Great Lawn at 2:00 p.m. 9/9 Activities Fair in Great Lawn at 12:00 p.m.
Follow the Torch on Twitter: @SJUTorch
Change abounds as University rebrands 6
STJ turns back the clock with return to SJU and blue accent plus new logo Kieran Lynch Editor-in-Chief
Torch photo/Diana Colapietro
The University’s new logo hangs on banners attached to light fixtures on the streets surrounding campus.
This summer the University embarked on an expansive rebranding effort that it hopes will go a long way in changing the perception of St. John’s both from within and outside the school’s gates. Administrators said the wideranging changes that are beginning to appear on campus this fall – including a new logo, acronym and color scheme – are the result of a recent rebranding study that began over a year ago. With the help of Virginia-based marketing research firm Simpson Scarborough, the University surveyed between 3,000 and 4,000 people about their perceptions of various aspects of the University from academics and “prestige” to athletics, according to Dr. Hallie Sammartino, vice president of marketing and communications. “They asked basically key questions about perceptions around St. John’s and a lot of them focused on what do you think of St. John’s today, where do you think St. John’s should go,” Sammartino said in an interview this summer. That discussion led to a complete overhaul of the University’s outward image. Three new logos were designed, blue was re-added to the color scheme alongside red and white, and the 10year-old acronym of “STJ” has reverted back to the more traditional “SJU” that many alumni are already accustomed to. The new image for the University focuses on two concepts Sammartino referred to as “St. John’s today” and “St. John’s tomorrow.” Today focuses on the five points of a supportive environment, diversity, Vincentian values, athletics and New York City while tomorrow focuses on academic prestige without attitude, the power of a global city and world campus, success and service, New York City’s team and the inclusion of the school’s alumni network. Sammartino also said that the focus groups and surveys showed that the general public felt that St. John’s ranked third in the New York area, behind NYU and Columbia, but ahead of Fordham and others. She said data showed that prospective students also thought highly of the school’s academic programs, but the feeling was different within the University’s actual community of faculty, staff and students. “We were kind of like ‘What’s the problem here?’” she said. “People are coming to St. John’s thinking it’s a strong academic institution and [when] they get here they talk about diversity, they talk about athletics. One of the charges [of the rebranding] is that we want to raise our academic reputation.” The news that the University would switch acronyms from STJ to SJU has been welcome to most, including an overwhelming amount of alumni. The change to STJ occurred in 2003 when Saint Joseph’s University of Philadelphia registered the domain name sju.edu. that left St. John’s with what it saw as two options. The first being stjohns.edu and the second being stj.edu. It ended up using the former, but held onto STJ. Now the University will return to the acronym
used through all but the last 10 years of mascot was. its 143-year history. “We really need to get our finger on “When we asked people ‘what the pulse on that,” she said. are you more comfortable with,” The idea of rebranding athletics was Sammartino said. “The alumni from thrown in after the process had begun 2002 back said, ‘It’s always been SJU for the University’s academic side, she why would it be anything else?’ It’s said. St. John’s University. We just thought Because of that, there is limited about that and everyone felt that was possibility for changes this fall – even where we needed to go.” involving the current interlocking STJ Sammartino said the change athletics logo. reflected the use of an acronym seen as The men’s basketball team is more of the norm to most universities wearing new Under Armour jerseys while citing the school’s history and while on tour in Europe that feature red, tradition. white and blue. She said that when the idea was The uniforms are exclusive for the tested, people loved it and that with trip and new jerseys will be unveiled current students it “didn’t really seem for the regular season. to be a big deal.” University spokeswoman Elizabeth Another aspect of the reworked Reilly said that the uniforms were not brand is including athletics within the part of the official rebranding process school’s strategic plan. As detailed on for the University. the school’s website, “St. John’s today” Events are planned in the fall to includes a point on athletics and “St. celebrate the changes, according to a John’s tomorrow” includes one on the statement from Sammartino sent to the school being New York City’s team – a University community this summer. phrase used by the basketball program Sammartino said that the University for the past few years. tried to wrap up what makes St. John’s “Some people might fault you to put “different,” “stronger,” and “better.” in athletics as one of your five brand “It’s really highlighting the good stories, but it’s part of who we are and things about St. John’s, the positive I think many good schools now realize things and the things that we think can that you can be smart and you can bring us great students and even better be good on the field or on the court,” academic students,” she said. Sammartino said. “It doesn’t have to be mutually exclusive.” That lack of exclusivity extends to rebranding of athletics as well. The University sent out a survey days after announcing the changes in June asking faculty, staff, students and alumni about their preferences from logos to names. The survey mostly focused on the difference between the Red Storm nickname and Johnnies – both of which have been used to describe the teams in recent years. “If we’re going to [rebrand athletics], we need to do it right,” she said. “We can’t keep changing our name, we can’t keep changing our mascot.” Sammartino thought that the Red Storm name and Johnny Thunderbird mascot – who had also been part of the photo courtesy of Marissa Ruotolo survey – had “resonated strong” with some people, but not as much with others. She said a lot of people that Students wearing clothing with were spoken to informally before the the new St. John’s University logo. survey said they didn’t know who the ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT ADVERTISEMENT
Editorial Board XCI KIERAN LYNCH Editor-in-Chief
MITCHELL PETIT-FRERE Managing Editor CHRISTOPHER BRITO News Editor
FLAMES OF THE TORCH
Levesque may be what University needs
When the Torch went to meet with newly named interim-President Rev. Joseph L. Levesque, C.M. for this week’s sit-down interview, we didn’t quite know what to expect. Nobody on the current editorial board ever had the chance to meet former president Rev. Donald J. Harrington, C.M. – last year’s executive board had only one interview with him – and certainly none of us had ever encountered him in our day-to-day lives as students. When we arrived at Newman Hall on Monday afternoon, we were pleasantly surprised to be introduced to a man who seemed at least to be genuine. In our conversation, he spoke of how he hopes to interact with students, faculty and administrators in a seemingly honest way. He talked about getting around campus via a recently acquired golf cart to help mobility and implementing a pseudo-open door policy. What came across to us was an intent to engage with the University community without being unrealistic or patronizing. That wasn’t what we gleaned from the Torch’s first interview with Harrington in 1989. At that time, Harrington made wonderful comments about being present for students and faculty, but the petitions for transparency clearly indicated a different reality. But less about the past and more about the present and future. Levesque has spoken about engagement with students on a level that’s realistic. No president should be looked on to be seen on a near-daily basis. It’s impossible for someone who should be raising funds for the University and has a multitude of tasks. What Levesque seems to be aiming at is being available as often as he can and as he said at Mass yesterday evening, when his schedule allows. That’s a realistic statement and one that should, in our view, be believed. And to us, that’s exactly what the University needs right
now. It needs an individual who can be taken at face value. An individual who people can trust to be honest and more concerned with the school he’s been charged with and his personal vocation than some strange thought of being the CEO of a company. The 75-year-old recently retired president of Niagara University said he didn’t necessarily want to become the interim-President in Queens, but that he willingly accepted the role to serve and it appears that he fully intends on doing that for this community. So we’ll use a phrase that Levesque used himself in our interview with him. He said it referring to how his experience saying Mass after becoming interim-President went and we’ll say it after meeting him and seeing his interaction with other students thus far. “Good vibes.” Levesque told the Torch that there is no stipulation that the president of the University must be a Vincentian priest, but that had been the case in the past. This is a positive development from our view as we move forward with the hope that the University will truly conduct the “national” search it says it will. The next long-term president should be someone who can bring an open mind and a new perspective to St. John’s – something that often seems to be lacking in certain corners of the University. While we can certainly understand needs such as a Catholic president. Limits shouldn’t extend past the latter. Too often St. John’s has resisted progress when others have continued to evolve. This latest news is certainly positive and our hope is this search marks the beginning of a push toward true 21stcentury evolution that the University professes.
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TORCH ILLUSTRATION/ DIAMOND WATTS-WALKER
Shout out to you freshmen On Instagram straight...you know the rest. Hello, class of ‘17. On behalf of the Torch, I’d like to welcome you to St. John’s. Before I say anything more, I’d like to praise you for picking up the fine publication you’re currently holding. Well done, young grasshoppers. To congratulate you on your wise decision, I’d like to offer you a bit of advice heading into your first semester at St. John’s. So sit back in that rocking/desk chair in your dorm room, pull on that red St. John’s sweatshirt, slip on your Adidas flip flops, hang on to that Storm Cardholding lanyard draped around your neck and enjoy the ride. For all you resident students looking for some good eats, Montgoris AKA Monties isn’t all that bad. Don’t buy into the
hate you’re bound to hear in the coming weeks. You’ll love mornings because of Angela’s omelets (go to torchonline.com to read up on the hype), you can never go wrong with a cold cut sandwich for lunch and the dinner is underrated. Keep an eye out for the stir-fry station. It’s my personal favorite. And if all goes wrong, there’s always meal exchange. Just make sure you keep an eye on your Burger King intake. The freshman 15 is no joke. Now that we’ve gone over food, let’s focus on your living situation. You may get the best roommate(s) ever. Or you might get a terrible one. Regardless, you’re stuck with the person(s) for the year. Make the best of the situation. If you guys don’t click right away, make an effort to find some common ground. As long as there’s mutual effort, you’ll be ringing in the good times in no time. If you happen to get the perfect roommate – great. But remember there are over 15,000 people enrolled at St. John’s. You’ll be surprised by the different people you’ll meet throughout your four years here. I didn’t meet some of my best
friends until my sophomore and junior years. There’s no saying what’ll happen with you. Since the roommate situation is covered, here are some quick, but useful tidbits: DNY is a drag. Intramurals are a must (shout out to #dieslow). You’ll learn to loathe the mailroom. You’ll learn to love Double J. The Q46 will test your patience like no other. Law School food is the best on campus. STUDY ABROAD. The gym is always busy between 6 and 8 p.m. Buy your books online. Vincenzo’s on Wednesdays is clutch. If you step foot into Taffner without game, ‘You gon’ learn today!’ And the Torch comes out every Wednesday…Remember that. Every Wednesday. Pick it up. I promise you won’t regret it I digress. St. John’s isn’t perfect, but it offers a lot. Put yourself out there and look into organizations that fit your interests. It’s cliché, but getting involved is the best thing you can do here. Keep an eye out for the Activities Fair in the coming weeks. I can guarantee you will discover an organization that’s perfect for you.
Also, never forget the fact that Manhattan is barely a 30-minute train ride away. Go get lost in midtown or something. While you’re at it, take a trek to Brooklyn, too. No comment on the Bronx or Staten Island, though… This goes without saying, but make sure you check out at least one basketball game this year. Don’t miss any games involving Duke, either. I messed up bad with that one. But if you remember anything from this article, make it this: have fun, be smart and take a couple risks. With that said, I’ll leave you with this: A wise man once said that ‘one should not listen to the supposed wise words of a man one believes to be wise. A truly wise person comes up with his/her own wise words.’ Moral of the story: Be yourself. Everyone else is taken. (Oscar Wilde said that. I said the other thing) Mitchell Petit-Frere is a senior English and journalism double major who is eagerly awaiting the results of his 2014 World Cup ticket bids. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @mrpetitfrere.
The Torch needs business help We’re looking for two individuals to fill the positions of Business Manager and Advertising Manager. Managers gain experience in a unique small business setting. Applicants should have a background and interest in business/accounting/marketing. Interest in journalism is a plus. Visit torchonline.com/open-positions for more information or e-mail email@example.com.
ON HIGH SCHOOL RELATIONSHIPS JACK
Special to the Torch Things change. It's a part of life. But in college, things change quicker than usual. For all of you freshmen that have a significant other enrolled at a different school, hear me out for a little bit. Everything that you experienced in high school with your baby, boo, bae or whatever you call each other nowadays, is a thing of the past. You won’t be seeing your hubby everyday between third and fourth period. And those public displays of affection outside of your science classroom? That's ancient history, my friend. If you want to keep that love burning between you and wifey, you'll have to
start firing up your laptop for some three hour Skype sessions and text message convos that seem to last for months at a time. And if you actually want to see your bae – you know, like in person? – You better set aside some of your refund check to pay for that $26 train ticket to a school that lingers outside of the tri-state area. I might sound a bit rash, but everything you're reading is true life. Long distance relationships are tough – especially for a freshman college student. You're about to be exposed to a totally different lifestyle. You're going to meet new people, learn new things and develop new interests. And trust me, you'll find yourself wondering about that girl you sit next to in DNY or that guy who lives on the
third floor of Donovan. I'm not saying you'll cheat, but your imagination will be on overdrive. And don't even get me started about the slight paranoia that'll set in as you wonder about your significant other's exploits on his/her respective campus. Who's that guy you were with in that photo? Why'd you like her Instagram picture? Are you sub-tweeting about me? Why didn't you tell me you were going out last night? It’ll never end. I promise you that college will be four of the best years of your life. They’ll also be four of the most complicated. Let babyboo go for this first year. College is a plunge that you’re meant to take by yourself. Me and Jill might actually agree this week...
Special to the Torch High school relationships are high school relationships for a reason—they are meant to stay in high school. College is a fresh start. And if you enter college with a significant other, that is not necessarily a bad thing. BUT it could be, if you do not approach it right. Whether you are going to marry your high school sweetheart or just date for the first six months of college, it doesn’t really matter. The general rule of thumb is you can’t let that relationship hold you back or you will spend the rest of your college years (and beyond) wishing you ditched that relationship long ago. College is all about new
beginnings. You are given a clean academic slate; you are making new friends, joining new organizations and learning to socialize with people from all walks of life. If you are allowing a significant other to hold you back from these things, it will not only ruin your college experience, but it is not healthy. There is nothing worse than the friend who cannot go out on Friday nights because they need to Skype their boyfriend or girlfriend. Or the friend who takes phone calls in the middle of dinner or who can’t stop talking about how much they miss their lover. And the worst of all,is the friend who leaves campus EVERY weekend to go visit their boyfriend or girlfriend. Eventually, that person won’t be your friend anymore. On the other hand, it is
possible to have balance. Maintaining a high school relationship doesn’t have to be stressful or inconvenient. Yeah sure, relationships take work. But if you are meant for one another there should be an understanding. I can’t answer the phone while I am hanging out with my friends, I can go out on weekends and take pictures with my guy friends. College is only four years. Start it off right. Meet new people, experience new things and find yourself. You have four years to be selfish and just worry about YOU. Don’t waste them with high school baggage. You have to allow each other to be individuals. At the end of the day, your love will survive. Me and Jack might actually agree this week...
Service trip a life-changing experience STUDENTS SPEND A WEEK AT GIVE KIDS THE WORLD VILLAGE IN FLORIDA
SHANNON LUIBRAND Features Editor
Hunched over, Jacob threw his arms forward, propelling his wheel chair across the creaking wooden floor. He laughed, throwing his head back, smiling and clapping. He moved fast, forgetting he was being held prisoner by an unforgiving chair. He was free. His adopted brother, who was maybe 10 years old, approached Jacob holding out a pillow he had made from the ‘magic pillow tree’. He had spent the last few minutes laughing too–joking and playing along with activities he had long outgrown. They looked nothing alike. Jacob had dark skin, a shrunken body, big brown eyes full with wonder—he was probably 5 years old. Jacob’s brother had translucent skin, blond hair and blue squinty eyes. They may not have been blood related, but they were brothers nonetheless. “Here Jacob!” he said, holding out the small pillow. Looking up at his big brother, who towered over him, Jacob cautiously took the pillow from him. He was unable to speak, but he showed his appreciation by hugging the pillow close to his chest. Jacob’s brother lit up. He looked away, overcome with emotion in this seemingly simple moment. While Jacob’s freedom was trying to act like a normal 5-year-old boy, his older brother’s freedom came from making his younger brother smile. They were both free—even if it was just for a few moments. Jacob and his brother are among thousands of kids who spend their vaca-
TORCH PHOTO/ SHANNON LUIBRAND
St. John’s volunteers pose in front of the entrance to the Give Kids the World Village.
tion in the Give Kids the World Village–a Village for sick and terminally children and their families in Florida. St. John’s students were volunteers at the Village in May. “The most important thing about Give Kids the World is that no matter what the situation, the family is able to take a break,” Maggie Bach, the chaperone on the trip, said. “In addition to the wish child, GKTW gives a breather to the parents and siblings that suffer alongside that child.” Twelve students from the St. John’s Queens and Staten Island campuses spent the week in the Village assisting the “wish families” and providing them with the vacation of a lifetime. “GKTW is a place where miracles became a reality,” Kamran Daravi, a senior on the trip, said. “I am forever connected with families from around the world whose personal experience have impacted and motivated me to strive toward my future field of medicine.” The student volunteers from St.
John’s spent the weeklong service trip playing with the children and the siblings of the wish families, serving breakfast, assisting with activities and providing a distraction from the pain and sickness the families were overcome with. The Village lives by the motto, “Where happiness inspires hope.” “To help the passionate young ones who are aware of their diseases truly defines hope,” Daravi said. “My relationships made during GKTW created a new meaning of love for another.” For some children, the trip is a week of celebration, having overcome a disease or nearing the end of their treatment. For others, the trip may be the last few moments they spend on earth. The trip is all-expenses-paid by GKTW. The families stay in Villas, eat breakfast on site and have access to playgrounds, an arcade and a large swimming pool. During the day, the families are given passes to the Orlando parks including: Disney World Parks, ESPN World and Universal Studios. At night, activities are hosted inside
the Village by volunteers like students. The St. John’s volunteers helped with a Christmas and Halloween themed party, they dressed up as pirates, ran a mechanical train and served ice cream. “I love scooping ice cream for breakfast,” Bach said. “There’s something really special that happens when a kid asks for a banana split at 7:30 a.m. and I get to give it to them.” One of the favorite activites that takes place in the Village is ice cream for breakfast. No matter the time of day, the wish families are invited to get ice cream from the Ice Cream Parlor on site. Banana splits, hot fudge and every topping imaginable are tasty options. When the children first arrive to the Village, they are brought to the Castle of Miracles. Volunteers, smiles and a carousal with unlimited rides welcomes them. The wish child writes on a small star that is put on the ceiling of the castle. The entire ceiling is covered with thousands of wish stars. The wish children and their siblings, like Jacob and his brother, are invited to make a pillow at the magic tree. A computerized owl talks to the children from inside of the tree; they play along, and at the end of the show each child gets a pillow. “I think everyone gets something different out of Give Kids the World,” Bach said. “It’s a great reminder that life is short and precious and reminds me to make every second count.” St. John’s students all had a similar experience at GKTW, they said it was a profound reminder–life is fragile and children are resilient. “Many students say the experience is life changing,” Bach said. “And that they will remember the Village and the families they connected with forever.”
Fans go Gaga over Cyrus’ VMA performance SAMANTHA ALBANESE Entertainment Editor
The 2013 MTV VMAs aired on Sunday, Aug 25, and even if you missed this intense award show night, you sure heard about it. The show started off with a theatrical performance of Lady Gaga’s new single “Applause,” where the pop singer showed off her love of artifice by going through each of her album “eras” portraying them with different outfits and wig changes. Eventually coming out in seashell undergarments (inspired by Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus”) from her latest music video for “Applause,” she became “ARTPOP” Gaga, in which she remained the rest of the night. If that performance did not shock you, the next one sure did. Miley Cyrus, in an effort to put a final squash on her “Hannah Montana” days, gyrated and “twerked,” (if you want to refer her moves as that), on stage to her single, “We Can’t Stop.” This all blended into her performing “Blurred Lines” with Robin Thicke, and her dancing
continued during 2Chainz performance of “Give It 2 U,” leaving most of us mentally scarred for the rest of our lives. The faces in the audience were priceless, especially Rihanna’s at this point and all I was left thinking of was poor Billy Ray Cyrus. The following performance was “Blood on the Leaves,” by Kanye West,
PHOTO COURTESY OF TVLINE.COM
Thicke and Cyrus perform at the VMAs.
which according to the mixed reviews on my Twitter feed was an acquired taste. It was an artful performance. With the dark stage and the background of trees and leaves left me feeling like I was watching a well-directed music video. Ironically, Taylor Swift came up on stage after Kanye to accept her award for Best Female Video for “Trouble”, and couldn’t leave the stage humbly and gracefully. She just had to give a dig at ex-beau Harry Styles by saying, “Who knows exactly who he is,” after half-heartedly dedicating the song to the guy who inspired it. I could feel the groaning and eye-rolling through my television. Macklemore took the stage again to accept his award for “Best Video with a Social Message,” for “Same Love,” saying, “Gay rights are human rights, there is no separation,” wrapping up the song’s message. Justin Timberlake then started what would be referred to later on as the best performance of the night. He started with his latest single, “Take Back the Night,” and progressively transitioned backwards to his first solo hit. The mu-
sic slowed and then the crowd went wild for the N’SYNC reunion song and everyone’s inner tween came out to play at that moment. After the rest of the N’SYNC boy’s exited stage left, Justin performed “Mirrors,” for which promptly afterward he received the Video Vangard Award and said, “I don’t deserve this award but I’m not going to give it b a c k . ” Swooning. The Best Song of the Summer went to One Direction’s “Best Song Ever,” which immediately led to a crowd of booing mixed in with some cheers, apparently because of Taylor Swift’s comment earlier. Lady Gaga reportedly left after this to meet the boys in the back where she said, “You guys deserve every single thing that you have accomplished in the past few years. I am going to leave the award show now because they are obviously trying to put you in the wrong light and it’s disgusting.” Overall, the VMAs were a hit, and one of the best shows they’ve put on in a while. Though I’m sure the world could have lived with a few less gyrations.
Campus vibrant during the summer Bruce Goodwin II Contributing Writer
The sun beats down on campus, seemingly begging you to join in on its warmth and perhaps come out of hibernation after a frigid winter. The only thing stopping you is that it’s finals week. After exams, you escape from campus with nothing but that semester’s weary memories and the dirty laundry you’ve built up, thinking that campus is only alive and well when filled with students. However, St. John’s is no ghost town in-between semesters. During the summer months, the University is busting with teenagers from Italy who can’t wait to get a taste of the big city while learning English. Master Studio, the foreign program that aids the students, not only teaches them English, but immerses them in one of the most fast-paced cities in America, Gen Prifte, one of the project managers said. Master Studio accounts for millions of dollars in revenue for St. John’s every year according to Prifte, and in turn the Queens campus houses thousands of teenagers under the age of 18. Conference Services runs the Residence Village for these guests from midMay until early August.
“The guests might not arrive until after the semester ends but the preparations begins way before that,” Prifte said. “The office started interviewing student workers at the end of February for all of the departments.” The main departments are Housekeeping, Registration, Facilities and Student Ambassadors, all of which play an integral part in making everything run smoothly, according to Prifte. The Office of Conferences Services hires several hundred student workers each summer. The first American faces that these anxious kids see are those of the student Ambassadors who pick them up from the airport. “I wasn’t really sure what to expect when my team and I did our first airport pick-up, but it turned out to be really surprising,” Student Ambassador Caterina Capizzi said. “The kids were overwhelmed at first, but still likeable because they have such an affectionate culture.” Capizzi’s duties included making sure the kids arrived safely on the Queens campus, eating nearly every meal with them in Montgoris and even looking up monuments and restaurants for them to visit on their city excursions. “What I found the most interesting was that these kids believed all of the American stereotypes they saw on television,” Capizzi said. However, not all of the duties are
as rewarding as interacting with the eager guests. The Facilities Department handles setting up for events such as the Farewell Barbecue and cleaning up behind the guests in Montgoris Dining Hall after each meal. According to members of the housekeeping team, things get messy during the summer. The housekeeping team stocks every room with sheets, pillows and blankets. They clean up each room after the students leave, file dam-
age reports and make repairs as needed. “I’ve got several friends who have worked for facilities during the summer and the difference is like night and day,” a member of the housekeeping team said. “The kids from the Master Studio program aren’t the neatest people.” But campus is as good as new come September when Residence Village is overcome with fresh-faced freshmen for orientation, and before you know it, it is move-in day.
TORCH PHOTO/SHANNON LUIBRAND
St. John’s students relax and study on the Great Lawn at the end of last semester.
St. John’s alumni head to the races AlUMNI TRAVEL UPSTATE FOR A DAY AT SARATOGA RACE COURSE
SHANNON LUIBRAND Features Editor
Mark O’Rourke leaned over the porch rail at Saratoga Race Course, cheering and pumping his fists in the air as the stampeding thoroughbreds sped by on the turf, kicking up dirt and grass behind them, their muscular bodies pumping hard as the jockeys leaned pressing them forward. Before anyone had the chance to blink, the horses crossed the finish line, nose and nose–a photo finish. “It is a wonderful day at the Races,” O’Rourke said. St. John’s alumni cheered alongside O’Rourke, holding up their winning tickets. Even those who lost a dollar or two on the race celebrated with the winners. “As part of the event we sponsored a race,” Elizabeth Austin, Assistant Director of Alumni Relations-Chapters, said. The St. John’s University race was the first post of the day at Saratoga Race Course on Saturday, Aug. 17, as part of the annual St. John’s Alumni Day at the Track. Alumni gathered in the winner’s circle, posing with the winning jockey after the conclusion of the race . “It is an event that everyone really loves,” Austin said. “A lot of people traveled up from the City to be here.” Over 70 alumni and friends gathered under the Race Course pavilion, a front seat to the races of the day, to celebrate Saratoga’s 150th Anniversary and to enjoy each other’s company. St. John’s decorated tables for the alumni; red
and white balloons took over the event. And although the day could have been mulled when a jockey went airborne off of his injured horse during the first run, the alumni tried to remain in high spirits. Jacob Dobbs, class of 1981, won some money betting on the St. John’s race. Proudly sporting his winning ticket, he joked about going to cash it in for the big bucks. “I try to make all the St. John’s
events,” he said. “Because I gained so much from St. John’s I have to give back.” Dobbs, who now lives in Rotterdam a town right outside of Albany, works as a counselor in a prison. He said he has a word of advice for current students. “They really need to know St. John’s is a tremendous institution,” he said. “They are fortunate to be there. Get as much out of it as you can because St. John’s grads do great.”
TORCH PHOTO/SHANNON LUIBRAND
St. John’s Alumni with winning jockey in the winners circle at Saratoga Race Course.
Mary Marquis, class of 1995, agreed. She said it was the professors at St. John’s who made her fall in love with the University in the first place. “We had some excellent professors, excellent instructors,” she said. Marquis added the beautiful weather made for a great day. “We came because we thought it would be a nice way to connect with people from St. John’s and have an exciting day at the Races,” she said. St. John’s has dozens of alumni chapters across the nation from Albany to Los Angeles. Austin, an undergrad from the class of 2008 and 2010 for grad, was hired less than a year ago to revamp the St. John’s Alumni Chapter program. She has been revitalizing the regional chapters by hosting events and programs with a high concentration in the Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, Phoenix and Florida areas. While the Saratoga event has a lot of alumni attending from the City, it also has a lot of alumni from the Albany Chapter, too. O’Rourke, president of the Albany Alumni Chapter, is a graduate of the law school. He said, there are about 300 members in his chapter. “We need more of the law school alumni to come out,” he said. “All alumni.” O’Rourke highly encourages every alum to get involved. “I think the alumni association is really the enduring strength of the University,” he said. If interested in joining an alumni chapter contact, Elizabeth Austin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Netflix hits keep on coming SHANTAVIA THOMAS Staff Writer
PHOTO COURTESY OF NERDREPOSITORY.COM
The Netflix Original Series, Orange is the New Black promo image of the inmates.
Netflix cranks out another hit show that has one of the most diverse casts television has ever seen. Orange is the New Black follows blonde-haired, doe-eyed Piper Chapman, played by Taylor Schilling, into a federal prison for international drug trafficking for a drug cartel ten years earlier. Outside of Litchfield Correctional Facility, Piper’ is a fiancé to Larry Bloom, played by Jason Biggs, who is a struggling writer and a novelty inventor. Inside however, she’s Chapman, the naïve newcomer who has run-ins with just about every other female inmate, including her ex-girlfriend Alex Vause, played by Laura Prepon, w h o introduced her into the drug world. Pop culture needed a cast like OITNB and we got it just in time. Representation for other races, sexualities and classifications are constantly being left out of mainstream media and this show fixes that issue. The inmates each have their own individual story. Inmate Sophia Burset, played by Laverne Cox, is a transgendered woman who committed credit-card fraud to pay for her surgeries. Yoga Jones, played by Constance Shulman, the resident yoga instructor was a marijuana farmer on the outs. And Janae Watson, played by Vicky Jeudy, is a hot-headed high school track star that was caught robbing a liquor store. OITNB puts real stories into a view that people can understand and still relate to. Many feel this is just a show about a
poor white girl surrounded by non-white people, but I highly disagree. Chapman’s character and storyline is not the center of the show, as many other shows tend to make the scared white girl in the urban ghetto. Chapman’s character serves as a narrator that pulls everyone else together. Without Chapman stumbling through the inmates, finding her place within the prison system, we wouldn’t have been introduced to these colorful characters. “It helps more to think of Piper less as a named character and more as a narrative device,” says Joan Morgan, an award-winning journalist and culture critic. “We get to see this intimate slice of prison life, because of Piper.” The show also takes new strides in representing religion from opposite sides of the spectrum. On one end there’s Sister Ingalls, played by Beth Fowler, who was incarcerated for nonviolent anti-nuclear activism and on the other is Tiffany “Pennsatucky” Doggett, played by Taryn Manning, a drug addict prisoner who preaches to other inmates about God. While Sister Ingalls is kindhearted and treats every prisoner equally, especially transgender inmate Sophia, Pennsatucky chooses to preach to others, telling the lesbian inmates they’re going to hell, refusing to acknowledge Sophia as a human, and “heals” other prisoners by laying her hands on them. Both of these extremes show not all religions, especially Catholicism, can be judged by one case of beliefs over the other. The first season of the original series Orange is the New Black is available on Netflix now. Season two is currently being filmed here in New York and is expected to air in 2014. Stay tuned!
Summer gets sassy with Devious Maids DOMINIQUE MUSA Staff Writer Summer television series are often overlooked, but series premieres are actually one of the best features of the summer. A clear winner in the battle of the new dramas has definitely been Devious Maids. Sounds kind of like Desperate Housewives doesn’t it? Well it should because Devious Maids is from the creative mind behind Desperate Housewives, Marc Cherry as well as executive producer and Desperate Housewives alum Eva Longoria. The series stars Ana Ortiz as Marisol, Dania Ramirez as Rosie, Roselyn Sanchez as Carmen, and Judy Reyes and Edy Ganem as mother-daughter duo Zolia and Valentina Diaz. The series also features a few familiar faces such as soap opera veteran Susan Lucci as Genevieve Delatour and Grant Show as Spence Westmore. The new series follows its parent show, Desperate Housewives to the core. It follows the same module of a central storyline followed by smaller storylines featuring each maid. The main storyline of the season is “Who killed Flora?” This is surrounded by just as entertain-
ing and devious storylines which feature each of the maids and their intertwined lives with their rich employers. In its series premiere, Devious Maids wasted no time getting to the drama. A few minutes into the series, Flora meets her demise and a server is arrested for her murder. But just in true Desperate Housewives fashion, nothing is as simple as it may seems, hence the arrival of new maid Marisol and this season’s main protagonist. Though striking much controversy over the correlation between the race of the maids and the profession, the show is also receiving much praise. Devious Maids is led by an all-Latina cast that is charming, sassy and capable turning a new series into a hit. The show also sends various positive messages that can transcend race and one’s profession. The show emphasizes the value of family and conveys the message that what one does for a living and the amount of money one makes does not define them as a person. Devious Maids is definitely a must-see of the summer season, especially for Desperate Housewives and drama fans alike. Even though few episodes of Devious Maids remains this season, the series has already been renewed for a second season due to air June 2014 on Lifetime.
PHOTO COURTESY OF PICSTOPIN.COM
The Comedy-drama series “Devious Maids” premiered June 23 2013, on Lifetime.
TORCH ILLUSTRATION/ DIAMOND WATTS-WALKER
Q&A: Persico speaks with the Torch
PHOTO COURTESY OF ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
Volleyball head coach Joanne Persico’s team improved 10 games over the previous year and are looking to rise even higher this upcoming season.
ANTHONY PARELLI Assistant Sports Editor Torch: What goals do you have for your team this season and how do you expect to reach them? Joanne Persico: Our goals for this season are very similar, each season has the same goals; we obviously want to make a playoff run in the Big East conference, we want to win the Big East championship, we want to get a bid to the NCAA tournament - which would be the ultimate goal - and we want to try to do well if we get into the tournament. Those are lofty goals for us with a lot of young players on the team, but we’re really happy with the girls and how they came back from summer fitness and we feel we have some good leadership on the court in our juniors and two seniors. T: What are some positives you’ve taken from the spring games? JP: Spring was a great opportunity to get a new quarterback in there; we have a new setter who was our back up last year behind Sabina Piegza and this year in the spring she got a chance to run the show. The setter position is crucial and we’re looking forward to Deniz Mutlugal to take the ball. It’s a high pressure job but we think she’s up for it. I think the spring was most crucial for Deniz.
T: What are some things you feel you need to get better at before the season starts? JP: We’d like to get better at our blocking and defense. We have, right now, a pretty strong offensive set of players but defensively we still have a ways to go to reach those goals, so everyday now we’re working on our defense and the issue is simulating the speed of the game that we’ll see down the road. We focus on being in the right spot, it’s a really quick game. If you’re not in the right spot you’re not going to beat the speed of the ball. T: Karin Palgutova and Shawna Lei Santos both were impact players as freshmen, how have they progressed as they start with a year under their belts? JP: They both had terrific rookie campaigns, not only on the court but were excellent in the classroom, and made the Big East all academic team which is a nice achievement for freshmen, especially for Karin since English is her second language. On the court they did a nice job of taking a big part of the load and being consistent in their ability to score the ball for us or defend the ball for us and all summer they both played a lot of volleyball. Shawna actually played on the USA A2 team and won a Gold Medal at the USA High Performance
Championships that were held in Florida this July. She really dedicated her summer to playing volleyball, which hopefully continues to help her reach her goal. T: How is the team going to cope with the loss of Seniors Milicia, Gabby and Sabina? JP: Each year it’s difficult for the coaches and coaching staff to lose players because when players are seniors and are consummate student athletes, it’s tough to replace them just like it was tough to replace Darlene Ramden and what she brought to the school. It’s always difficult to replace them and I’ve said this before but you can’t replace them. All you can do is create the new normal with the current team that we have and look for everyone to contribute in those categories that Gabby, Millie and Sabina did well. So if Gabby was a good digger we maybe can’t have Shawna replace all the digs but between her and Yaidy Santiago and Morgan Thomas they can pick up the back row defense that we lost in Gabby. T: In the last two years you’ve made the jump from 10-21 to 20-12. Do you think this team will continue the upward trend? JP: We learned a lot from that season
where we didn’t have a winning record but we haven’t forgotten what that felt like and we’re moving forward with a lot of new players. Every few years you have to rebuild and regroup and many teams are like us where we graduate a group of people or have to clear a group of foreign athletes, but we’re past that and our now-sophomores experienced winning and come from winning clubs and we hope to keep that going into their next couple years. I think we have a nice mix and to answer your question, yes I think we’re looking forward and expect to continue in a winning way and improve from last year. T: What is your expectation about playing in the new Big East conference? JP: It’s a breath of fresh air and I’m really excited about it. We have some new places to go to that I’ve never been and I’ve been here for 20 years. As the longest tenured coach in the Big East and only coach to have played in the Big East as a collegiate athlete I’m very excited for it and I think the athletes are too. Butler, Creighton and Xavier, they’ve all been great RPI’s for volleyball and ours has actually increased because of them. We’re also looking forward to going to Nebraska, where they play great volleyball and sell out, and we’re looking forward to going to Indiana where they also play great volleyball.
Aug. 19 - Sept. 1
PHOTOS COURTESY OF TWITTER
MITCHELL PETIT-FRERE Managing Editor The St. John’s men’s basketball team began its European pre-season tour on Aug. 19 when the team landed in Paris. The Red Storm played its first European exhibition game two days later after a couple of days touring the City of Light’s most prominent landmarks. They took to the hardwood at the Pierre de Coubertin Arena to face off against Rouen Basket, donning limited edition Under Armour jerseys with a red, white and blue color way. The Johnnies found themselves down in both the first and second half, but managed to pull out a 83-78 victory behind Jamal Branch’s PAGE illustration by mitChell petit-frere
game-high 22 points. He also recorded three rebounds, three assists and two steals. The Missouri native was named the game’s MVP. The Red Storm came up short a day later after losing to tough French side Evreux 85-61. No St. John’s player reached double figures. D’angelo Harrison, Jakarr Sampson, Sir’Dominic Pointer and Orlando Sanchez all scored eight points, respectively. “Evreux played a physical brand of basketball and methodically attacked our interior defense in the basket area,” head coach Steve Lavin said in a press release. “The positive is, we now have a better idea of what we need to do make progress as a team.” The Johnnies left Paris for Italy on Aug. 23. After spending some time in Sorrento, they traveled to
Rome on Aug. 26. The team played its only game in Italy last night, recording a resounding 74-35 victory over Italian Nazionale B side Stella Azzurra. Max Hooper had a standout performance, scoring 31 points on 10-13 shooting from behind the arc. Lavin and co. are scheduled to tour the Vatican, Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica today before they travel to the spot of the final leg of their journey - Barcelona. The Johnnies will play two games in the Catalan capital, one on Aug. 29 against Spain: LEB Gold – Second Division side CB Prat Joventut Badalona and the other on Aug. 30 against Spanish: Liga ACB side Basquet Manresa. Both games are part of the 29th Saint Julia de Vilatorta Basketball Tournament.
Harrison back from suspension
Players are excited to see their ‘captain back’ in uniform for this season KIERAN LYNCH Editor-in-Chief
Junior D’Angelo Harrison says he’s a different person after spending time away from the men’s basketball team as a result of a suspension that began toward the end of last season’s conference schedule.
Head coach Steve Lavin chose to suspend the fiery guard saying that at the time, that the de-facto leader would be best served spending time away from the basketball court. Harrison had options to transfer or look to turn pro, according to Lavin, but chose to spend time away from the team with the intent of returning this fall.
“It definitely hurt,” Harrison said the week before departing for the team’s European tour. “I wanted to play for the team and staff, but I told them right then and there that I wanted to stay, and I’m back now just looking forward to having a great season with these guys.” After finishing the semester focused on his academics – which resulted in
TORCH FILE PHOTO
D’Angelo Harrison said he’s done ‘everything they asked me to do’ to return from last season’s suspension.
being named to the Big East All-Academic team – Harrison returned to his native Texas and spent the early portion of summer working out with former NBA guard John Lucas and attending anger management sessions with a counselor. He then returned to St. John’s in July to take summer classes and begin his preparations for the 2013-14 season. His teammates said the work he put in from March through the summer hadn’t been lost on them. “He came back a different person,” said sophomore JaKarr Sampson. “He came back a better person and a better basketball player.” However, Harrison’s effect on the team wasn’t – and isn’t – just about being a good teammate. After his suspension with three regular season games remaining, the Red Storm only managed to win one contest which came in the first round of the NIT. Part of that can be attributed to the lack of Harrison as a veteran who could score the ball and perform in clutch moments, according to Sampson. “We got our captain back, our leading scorer, it means a lot to us,” Sampson said. “We missed him last year. You saw how our play dropped when he left. We needed somebody to close games.” With St. John’s coming into the new season with 13 scholarship players and many returners, Harrison may get a chance for more late-game heroics. But for now, he’s happy to be back. “I feel like I’m wanted again,” he said.
Season edging closer for Masur and co. MITCHELL PETIT-FRERE Managing Editor Soccer is back at St. John’s – which means nights under the lights at Belson and renditions of “New York, New York” being belted out by the pep band. The Red Storm have notched two preseason wins in as many games – a 1-0 home victory over Boston University and an eye-catching 2-0 win against preseason No. 2 Maryland at College Park. “We played against a good opponent [Maryland],” St. John’s head coach Dave Masur said. “We got some goals to fall in for us, which was good. But I think most importantly, we have to take a lot of the things we didn’t do well in the games forward.” Masur’s insistence on highlighting his team’s inconsistencies rather than triumphs come as no surprise, as he has led the program to eight NCAA tournament appearances in the past decade. “We need to improve on our communication coming out of the back and make sure we’re closing spaces well,” Masur said. “In the attacking half of the group, we have to become a little stronger, a little more able to dictate the tempo and pace of the game.”
While Masur patrols the sidelines, he has a core group of upperclassmen to lead the Red Storm on the field. “We’ve got a great group of guys,” Masur said. “Kids who have been with the program a long time. Jimmy Mulligan jumps out as a guy who’s been instrumental on and off the field as a leader.” The team hasn’t made an official announcement concerning captain(s), but Masur listed the senior Medford-native Mulligan, as well as senior goalkeeper Rafael Diaz and junior defender Tim Parker as players who will fill the role. Despite the leadership that the Johnnies have in the latter mentioned trio, last season saw rise to a wealth of underclassmen that were keen to make their mark at Belson. The young up and comers forced Masur to rotate the squad a great deal last season. “We’re going to look to see who is consistently ready to perform,” Masur said. “We need guys that can step up and give us consistency.” The Red Storm will play its first regular season game Friday when NJIT comes to town. “Hopefully we’ll get a lot of students at the game,” Masur said. “They act as our 12th man.”
PHOTO COURTESY ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
The Red Storm look to qualify for their third-straight NCAA tournament.
Johnnies down Rams, Daly scores hat trick Torch Sports STEPHEN ZITOLO Staff Writer Red-shirt freshman Rachel Daly had a day to remember Sunday, scoring a hat trick in a 5-0 victory over Fordham. ST. JOHN’S
Daly scored all three of her goals before the 21-minute mark in the first half. She found the back of the net in the third, ninth and 20th minute. “It is absolutely surreal,” Daly said. “I have been waiting for this day for a long time now.”
Daly scored her first goal off of a combined assist from Amy Marron and Rachel Hoffman. Her second goal came at 9:19 into the game where she was also assisted by Hoffman again. She notched her third after recouping from a strong challenge, forcing her to come out of the game momentarily. “After a day like today I feel really great that we got Rachel to come here and she has great potential to get even better,” said head coach Ian Stone. The Red Storm (2-0) offense continued its hot start as senior Hailey Hemmer slotted home after controlling a ball that hit the cross bar after a Chelsey Martino shot. The goal came five minutes after Daly clinched her hat trick. The first half onslaught ended in the
42nd minute after a Fordham (0-2-0) own goal following a Marron corner kick. The Johnnies’ defense stayed strong the rest of the game and kept a clean sheet behind solid upperclassmen leadership. “The senior leadership we have on this team is really great,” Stone said. “Our leaders will keep the other girls from getting overconfident after a win like we had today.” The Johnnies will try to keep their perfect record alive as they’ll travel to UMass on Aug. 29.
Party Like it’s 2002 The last time St. John’s scored at least five goals in a single game was Sept. 3, 2002 when the Red Storm beat Fordham 5-1. Sophomore Dominica Reina also recorded her first career hat trick. The Johnnies went on to win their first ECAC Women’s Soccer Championship.
TORCH PHOTO/DIANA COLAPIETRO
Rachel Daly is congratulated by her teammates after scoring one of her three goals.
SJU: More than just alley-oops and hoops JON PEREZ
Leavin’ their Mark Former St. John’s Star Metta World Peace signs with Knicks
Metta World Peace, who was known as Ron Artest during his playing days at St. John’s, signed a one year $1.6 million deal with the Knicks with a player option for the 2014-15 season. World Peace spent the last four seasons with the Lakers and was waived after the team used its amnesty clause on the former defensive player of the year. “People know that when I’m ready to play ball, that’s what it’s all about,” World Peace said. “The level of focus that’s going to take place at the Garden, that’s what I’m going to bring … Not time for anything outside.” In 14 NBA seasons, World Peace averaged 14.1 points and 4.7 rebounds. He was selected twice to the NBA’s All-Defensive first team and twice to the All-Defensive second team. World Peace averaged 13.1 points, 6.3 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.9 steals in his two-year St. John’s career. Following his sophomore campaign, World Peace entered the NBA Draft and was selected in the first round by the Bulls after being passed over by the Knicks.
Sports Editor When most people think of St. John’s athletics, they automatically think of the men’s basketball team. That’s not a surprise, have you seen the new University commercial? The commercial begins with students at a basketball game counting down from 10 to zero, as if the clock is winding down about every three seconds or so, there is a statistic about the institution. Now it’s all well and good to promote men’s basketball - due to its’ popularity - but there are other exciting athletic programs at St. John’s. Not only are these programs exciting, but they also benefit you, the students. This is not a spiel about MVP points, but it is important to keep them in mind, and I’ll get back to them later. Remember your high school gym class when the teacher would divide you up into groups for volleyball and all the fun you had with your friends? St. John’s volleyball is just as fun if not more. It’s not a secret that volleyball can get repetitive on TV - when it’s actually on television - but to be there in person is truly exciting; where the ball will be served, set and most importantly spiked is truly unique and exhilarating. Another event that is pretty fun is softball. Softball is like a very fast version of baseball, and most games are about two hours long. Most of the action happens so quickly that there is a
Blowin’ in the Wind
“Hopefully we’ll get a lot of students at the game, they act as our 12th man.’’
TORCH FILE PHOTO
Red Zone isn’t just seen at Madison Square Garden but at all events as well.
better chance that you’ll see more long balls at Red Storm Field than Jack Kaiser stadium. Another event that can really get your blood pumping is lacrosse. Although the season doesn’t start until the spring, there is no better feeling than watching the Johnnies be up a goal and the opposing team has the man advantage and comes charging into the Red Storm zone - very similar to a hockey atmosphere where the pressure mounts into pure jubilation. Not only is it beneficial to make St. John’s one of the toughest home fields/courts to play in the Big East, but it also pays off at the end. There are stations at every function just giving away free MVP points. Attending a
men’s/women’s soccer game will give you four points, which is only one less than a basketball game at Carnesecca Arena. Think about it, especially freshmen; wouldn’t you want free things, like a newly branded St. John’s tee? How about a backpack or a SJU Snuggie? It could all be yours if you attend a couple of events and spend those points wisely. These are just a small sample of exciting non-basketball events that you can look forward. Granted, there is nothing that brings the school together more than a season full of ups and downs with the ultimate goal of reaching the big dance in March, but the basketball teams don’t play every night. So go out and see for yourself.
-Dr. Dave Masur
Headin’ this Way Red Storm home games
Men’s Soccer Aug. 30 Sept. 6 Sept. 8
Women’s Soccer Sept. 1
Volleyball Sept. 2
Sept. 10 Stony Brook
7 p.m. 7 p.m. 1 p.m.
SPORTS 28 AUGUST 2013 | VOLUME 91, ISSUE 5 | TORCHONLINE.COM
THE DALY SHOW
Rachel Daly scores first career hat trick in 5-0 win over Fordham PG. 19
TORCH PHOTO/DIANA COLAPIETRO
Serve, Set, Spike! Volleyball head coach Joanne Persico shares her thoughts on this seasonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team.
The Basketball team is taking Europe by storm.