The Signal: Spring '20 No. 4

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Breaking news and more at Vol. LIII, No. 4

February 19, 2020

Serving The College of New Jersey community since 1885

Cheerleading triumphs at nationals

Lack of parking spots frustrates students By Kalli Colacino Opinions Editor


The team brings home a championship title. By Colleen Rushnak Staff Writer Ranking at the top of the collegiate cheerleading world requires ruthless practice, intense athleticism and unwavering dedication. These athletes push themselves to the extreme to perform complex stunts, and the College’s cheer team is no exception. The team took home the gold in the 2020 UCA National Championship, ultimately winning by a margin of six points in the open all-girl division. The competition unfolded from Jan. 17 to 19 in Orlando, Fla. The team holds year-round practices in preparation for the competition. During

summer break, the athletes practice one to two times each month before a weeklong camp in August, which kicks off the season. During the fall semester, practice is three to four times each week, and each training focuses on weight lifting, conditioning or tumbling. Over winter break, the team ramps things up with a twice-a-day practice schedule until they head to Orlando. “When you are going for a back-toback championship, you not only need to beat everyone in your division, but you need to beat yourselves,” said Karlie Lombardi, a senior member of the College’s cheer team. “You need to be better than you were last year. The judges are expecting great things from a winning

program, and it takes a lot to impress them a second time, so we needed to show them why we were champions and why we still are.” The practices consist of a stretch and dynamic warmup and then move into standing and running tumbling.The team then starts working on partner stunts in small groups of four and typically end practice with basket or pyramid stunts. Once nationals approach, they are focused on preparing the routine. The cheerleaders run pieces of the routine to get their bodies in shape until they start running full outs, which is a run of the full routine with no modifications.

With fewer parking spots on campus than there are registered decals, students circle around lots like vultures, sometimes spending upwards of 30 minutes trying to find a spot. Off-campus and commuter students are the most affected by parking spots — or lack thereof. “Everyone is fighting for a spot,” said Anisa Lateef, a sophomore biomedical engineering major who commutes to campus every day. “I allow at least 30 minutes for parking. It can take me anywhere from 10 to 35 minutes to find a spot.” There are 2,643 parking spots in the parking lots allocated to students, and 3,043 student parking permits for all classifications of students issued for the current academic year, according to Luke Sacks, the head media relations officer at the College. Both undergraduate and graduate students have access to park in lot 5, lot 6, the first two levels of the lot 7 parking garage and lot 17 (commonly known as the Education lot), according to Parking Services. Students do not seem to be satisfied with the allocated lots. Some academic buildings are across campus from the available parking lots, causing an extra hassle for students. After searching for a spot, they can be seen sprinting to their classes to make it in time, sometimes in unfavorable weather conditions. “I wish there was more parking near the buildings I utilize,” said Kenny Villanueva, a sophomore biomedical engineering major. “I’ve been 15 minutes late because of parking.” Commuter and off-campus students are required to purchase a parking decal in order to legally park on campus. This decal, as of the current academic year, costs $105, which is unaffordable for some. Administration is currently undertaking a parking study to review the supply, demand, pricing and policies at the direction of College President Kathryn Foster, according to Sacks. “If the right move is made in regards to campus parking, everyone coming to campus would benefit,” said Michael Cordon, a sophomore see CAR page 3

see PEP page 16

tcnj_memes provides comedic outlet By Michelle Lampariello Former Editor-in-Chief

Students voiced their concerns about things like construction, bureaucracy and less-than-stellar dining options long before social media paved the way for jokes to be rapidly shared with wide audiences. Reddit threads, Facebook groups and now-defunct YikYak channels have all served as platforms for students to make fun of life at the College, but in the past year, a new, more memorable space has emerged: tcnj_memes. Founded in July 2019 by an anonymous group of student moderators “of various ages and majors,” tcnj_ memes is an Instagram account with more than 4,600 followers that has taken the campus by storm. With over 100 memes, each post makes fun of common student experiences including final exams, residence hall issues and the cost of tuition.

INDEX: Editorial / page 4

Follow us on... The Signal @tcnjsignal

“We were inspired to create this account because we like making people laugh and the other meme accounts associated with TCNJ were stale, so we took it upon ourselves to become TCNJ’s dankest meme distributors,” the moderators said, who agreed to be interviewed under the condition of anonymity. While most of the content on the page is created by the moderators, they do accept submissions from their followers. The moderators emphasized that follower engagement is a priority to them, and that they do their best to post submitted memes to their Instagram story. Uplifted by the “constant positive feedback” in the form of likes, comments and shares, the moderators are motivated to produce more memes to delight their followers.

Opinions / page 5

see JOKE page 9 Features / page 9

Julia Meehan / Photo Editor

Drivers search for a spot in packed lots.

Arts & Entertainment / page 11

Sports / page 16

Megan Thee Stallion Rapper’s performance empowers students

‘Survivor’ Beloved show celebrates its 20th anniversary

Baseball Astros scandal throws fans a curveball

See Features page 9

See A&E page 13

See Sports page 15

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SG talks new resolutions, fundraisers By Gabriella Lucci Staff Writer

On Wednesday, Feb. 12, Student Government members discussed policies regarding previously incarcerated employees and students at the College, in addition to the impeachment of general body members at their meeting in the Decker Social Space. Emily Varga, the vice president for community relations, proposed a resolution to the general body for a new governance committee. The resolution, R-S202001: Creation of an Ad-Hoc Committee, would implement a new governance committee, consisting of two SG members to determine if the College’s current policies regarding the employment and education of those who have been previously incarcerated are relevant and updated. Varga advocated for an Ad-Hoc committee to reevaluate the policies and update them as needed, as there is a lack of data on current policies and the individuals who are currently employed by the College or enrolled in classes. The resolution will be discussed at the next meeting. During the cabinet reports, student trustee Chris Driscoll brought up the SG general body point system, arguing that the system is currently flawed. Originally, members who showed up for general body meetings, board meetings and preparations for events would receive positive points for the work they did. If they fail to show up, they receive negative points. The members needed to receive 10 positive points and less than 20 negative points in order to hold their position in SG. Last semester, the majority of the general body did not reach the 10 point threshold and would have been impeached. However, the Judiciary Board realized some members did not receive points when they should have and reaching 10 points was too difficult. The board saw it as a flaw in the point system and felt that it would have taken a toll on SG, ultimately deciding to impeach any members. Instead, it decided to give

The executive board presents its governance reports. a second chance to the general body and fix the point system to make the goal of 10 points more acquirable. Any member who did not meet the threshold of 10 positive points last semester will receive a do-over, and members who exceeded the required threshold will receive up to three points at the start of this semester. During the cabinet reports, Neil Trivedi, the vice president for administration and finance, announced that during his meeting with Michael Dixon, the vice president of facilities, renovations for the Travers and Wolfe towers were discussed. Dixon’s motto is “Sustainability is key.” He is looking to switch the College to a hydrogen-based fuel system and heat the entire campus with hot water rather than steam. During the governance reports, the Committee on Academic Programs reported that it is looking to make changes to the readmission policy that was presented last semester, using the feedback that was received by the general body.

Gabriella Lucci / Staff Writer

The undergraduate internship policy is also being reviewed and a graduate certificate in environmental sustainability is in the works. During the Class Council reports, the class of 2020 council announced that it will be hosting its first senior night of the spring semester at Xfinity Live, in Philadelphia, PA, on Feb. 22. Seniors were encouraged to check their emails for more information that will be sent in the near future. Additionally, on Feb. 27, the class of 2020 is hosting a “Renting in NYC” info session, which will teach students how to rent properties in the city. The Class of 2021 council discussed two possible fundraisers, including a tie-dye t-shirt fundraiser and a Chick-fil-A fundraiser. The Class of 2022 council discussed their upcoming events, such as a laptop sticker fundraiser, baby goat yoga and a lecture from Mikhail Varshavski, or “Doctor Mike,” on March 24 in the Mayo Concert Hall. The Class of 2023 council discussed its “Professional for Dummies” event, encouraging seniors to give valuable advice to underclassmen.

Car / Administration responds to parking complaints

February 19, 2020 The Signal page 3

Kalli Colacino / Opinions Editor

Limited spaces bring about students’ grievances toward the College. continued from page 1

interactive multimedia major. In the meantime, students will continue to face the daily challenge of finding a parking spot. “It’s never certain if you’ll get a spot or when you’ll get a spot,” Lateef said. Some students have resorted to parking in the Panera or Campus Town lots in order to make it to their classes on time. By doing this, they run the risk of getting tickets and/or getting their car towed. Villanueva once parked in a visitor spot so he could get to class on time because it was the only spot he could find. “The College is aware that parking on certain days during a semester can be challenging,” Sacks said. “We

currently monitor the lots on a daily basis and on days of peak demand, adjust as needed.” During the semester, the College sends out emails to off-campus and commuter students when they are expecting an increased amount of visitors on campus. These emails are notices for students to allow more time to find parking on those days. When prospective students and their families come to visit the College for a tour or an open house event, they often park in the lots reserved for students, as visitor parking fills up. This means that students have even fewer spots to park their cars. “While I appreciate the heads-up, I don’t think I should have to account for more time,” said Riya Patel, a sophomore computer engineering major. “I’m already getting to campus earlier than normal, and then they say

to come even earlier when technically I’ve paid to have a spot all year.” In addition to the 3,043 registered parking permits, it’s not uncommon to see freshmen leaving their cars in Lot 7, where many students say they typically don’t get tickets from Campus Police. Students have voiced that the number of registered parking permits is not an accurate way to measure the demand for parking spots. The College is aware of the concerns regarding parking, but the administration has yet to come up with an immediate solution to address the issue. Students are still left questioning what action the College will take to fix the issue. “I love my campus, but I hate when there’s just not enough parking spots for everyone,” Lateef said.

Vital Signs: What’s the tea with matcha? SFB funds CONTACT, Union Latina

Alex Baldino / Staff Writer


The lattes, which are packed with antioxidants, are a great alternative to coffee. The board deliberates on how to allocate this semester’s funds. By Victoria Giardina Columnist Before heading to your classes, you may desire a delicious dash of caffeine from drinks like coffee or tea. Some people are fans of green tea (which has great nutritional benefits, according to Heathline), but recently, the caffeine craze is centered around matcha. What’s the tea with matcha? Here are the benefits of this trendy and healthy drink. Matcha Has Great Antioxidants You may hear that your favorite fruit, like blueberries, are high in antioxidants. But what does that mean? Because matcha is high in antioxidants, its natural plant

compounds help boost your health while preventing chronic diseases. According to Healthline, drinking matcha can also prevent cell damage to ensure that you are putting your best health forward. Matcha Is Simple to Prepare Whether you mix matcha into a smoothie or even a midday snack, its versatile powder is ready to be incorporated into your daily routine (and is so simple to do!). Traditional matcha tea can be made with one to two teaspoons of matcha powder and two ounces of hot water, combined with a bamboo whisk. Explore the endless ways to use matcha to your healthful advantage, and you will be surprised by how many diverse options there are to choose!

By Alex Baldino Staff Writer The Student Finance Board (SFB) met to vote on allocating funds to two clubs on Wednesday, Feb. 12, at 12:30 p.m. in room 110 of the education building. Two students representing CONTACT advocated for funds to advertise themselves, get supplies and furnish their club room. CONTACT is a new organization on campus that trains students to answer calls to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, as well as the CONTACT of Mercer County line, where people in crisis, although not necessarily suicidal, can talk to someone. The location of their call room is confidential, but the representatives made it known that the school was unable to provide them with an adequate amount of chairs and desks for their members to use

while working shifts. During deliberation, Ryan Kirschner, a junior management major and board member, said he was upset that the school couldn’t provide enough furniture for CONTACT, calling it “a slap in the face to the students.” Contact was funded $4,200 for furniture, supplies, appliances, training books, food and water. The board then fully funded Union Latina’s COPA event $4,480. Named after the famous New York City nightclub, The Copacabana, the event will feature a live band that will play traditional music and a DJ for more contemporary music. The event is set for April 18 in the Decker Social Space. The event’s mission is to promote cultural awareness, and was originally going to feature hired dancers, but the members decided to turn their focus on securing a live band and a DJ instead.

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Editorial Students shouldn’t be afraid to explore new opportunities College is the time for exploring who you are and who you want to be. The best way to figure that out is by putting yourself out there and pushing your limits. I knew that when I came to the College, I wanted to take advantage of every opportunity and experience I could, and so far, I’ve done just that. One organization I’ve surprised myself in joining is All College Theater. Last fall, I applied to be a writer for a 24-hour play competition on campus. Since my decision was so last-minute, all of the writing positions were filled, and I was encouraged by the organizers to audition instead. At first glance at that email, I nearly laughed. Me? Acting? The words didn’t really work together in the same sentence — but soon I realized that they could. My friend was auditioning and practically dragged me into that audition room with her. We read lines with each other in front of six student arbitures, and what made my blood pressure rise above normal conditions lasted only a couple of minutes. A little while later, I received an email congratulating me on my successful audition — just like that, I was in. I spent all day rehearsing with student actors, stage managers and directors, and that night we performed along with the other plays. Although I nearly peed myself three different times just before the show, I hadn’t been excited like that for an event in a long time. And the adventure just continued. Not only was the show successful, but I met the most amazing people and made so many new friends. Those unfamiliar faces that I used to pass around campus are now giggling with mine as we pass each other. In fact, these new friends encouraged me to audition for the annual Murder Mystery production in November, and that time around, I was counting down the hours until I got to walk into the audition. Growing up, I always had fantasies of being a Disney princess on the big screen, but I never imagined that I’d actually audition for a professional production. While I may not join club swimming, nursing club or sing in a school musical, I am considering organizations that are just enough out of my comfort zone to try. There are so many amazing people on this campus who can lead you into new experiences that you might not have considered on your own. The College gives you what you take out of it, and today is the day you can try something new. — Liya Davidov Features Editor

Editorial Content Unsigned editorial opinions are those of the Editorial Board, which consists of the Editor-in-Chief, the Managing, News, Features, Arts & Entertainment, Opinions, Photo, Sports, Review and Social Media editors and the Business and Production managers, unless otherwise noted. Opinions expressed in signed editorials and letters to the editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Signal.

Photo courtesy of Liya Davidov

Getting involved in an improvisational acting event can broaden one’s horizons.

Quotes of the Week Email: Telephone: Production Room (609) 771-2424 Ad Email:

Mailing Address: The Signal c/o Forcina Hall The College of New Jersey P.O. Box 7718 Ewing, NJ 08628-0718

Editorial Staff Emmy Liederman Editor-in-Chief Jane Bowden Camille Furst Managing Editors Len La Rocca Madison Pena News Editors Anthony Garcia Sports Editor Liya Davidov Features Editor Rich Miller Arts & Entertainment Editor Kalli Colacino Opinions Editor Ian Kreitzberg Nation & World Editor Chelsie Derman Reviews Editor Marlea Maltz Project Manager

Julia Meehan Photo Editor Madison Oxx Production Manager Jennifer Somers Web Editor Leigha Stuiso Alea Ferrigno Social Media Editors Travis Beni Distribution Manager Emilie Lounsberry Adviser Mina Milinkovic Business/Ad Manager

“I think (the Megan Thee Stallion concert) adds to me being seen... it just felt good to see her. But I don’t think that changes any of the racial makeup of TCNJ. It doesn’t change classroom or rhetoric between black and white students.” — Victoria Desir Freshman philosophy major

“Obviously it’s not TCNJ’s fault when natural disasters hit and affect the campus, but when it comes to other issues, we feel that it’s important to speak truth to power” — Moderaters of tcnj_memes on Instagram “When you are going for a back-to-back championship, you not only need to best everyone in your division, but you need to beat yourselves.” — Karlie Lombardi

Senior member of TCNJ Cheer

February 19, 2020 The Signal page 5


Here’s the tea: Starbucks is overrated, expensive Coffee drinkers should give business to local cafes

Starbucks sells approximately 11 million cups of coffee every day. By Rashmeena Abbasi Let’s rip the band-aid off — Starbucks is overrated. Before avid Starbucks lovers start baring their teeth and shouting, hear me out. I was once a devout Starbucks drinker myself,


but it wasn’t too long until reality struck. For one, it felt like my wallet lost 10 pounds in one month. Ordering my caramel macchiato before class every morning — while rejuvenating — had made a significant dent in my savings. I’m sure we all can acknowledge

that Starbucks sells some delectable seasonal drinks for an exorbitant amount of money, and yet, most of us remain fervent Starbucks lovers. But it’s not the money that I want to warn you about — it’s the unimaginative lifestyle that the corporation propels. Starbucks prioritizes caffeine over the quality of the coffee. They over roast coffee beans to develop the smoky, charred taste of coffee that we have all adapted to. To balance the trademark taste of their drinks, Starbucks adds loads of seasoning, sugar and whipped cream into their beverages. The resulting concoction is a drink that provides you with the powerful boost of energy you need to start writing that 10-page paper or grading stacks of exams before the semester ends. But the effect of the drink does not last and you find yourself going back for another cup of adrenaline after a long day. And another. And another. Eventually, the sugary drink strips innocent buyers of their caffeine independence until their lucidity and vitality cannot be called forward without the next cup of coffee. There are a total of over 15 thousand Starbucks locations across the United States who are responsible for serving approximately 11 million cups of coffee every day. Although Starbucks has done quite a lot to give back to the community by providing buyers with ethically sourced coffee beans, it still hurts to see the smaller coffee businesses sidelined

in the coffee world. Many coffee drinkers nowadays have lost the experience of the artisanal coffee shop — the aromatic brews, the health benefits of freshlyroasted coffee and the distinctive taste of each cup. While the third wave of coffee has given artisanal coffee shops an individualistic edge over mega-corporations like Starbucks, the diversity of the coffee world grows smaller and smaller as local businesses are driven to the ground. With a mega-brand always right across the street, it is difficult for a local shop to stand its ground and show coffee lovers the undiscovered beauty of a fresh and handcrafted cup of coffee. At the end of the day, the millions of Starbucks lovers out there know exactly what they are paying for when they buy a Starbucks drink. There is nothing wrong with buying a shot of sugary yet divine adrenaline from one of the most convenient coffee stores in the world — The real sin is when consumers live a lifestyle where they only settle for the caffeinated satisfaction of an ordinary cup of coffee. The true lifestyle of a coffee drinker lies far beyond the walls of Starbucks and requires a brave and adventurous soul to look right around the corner to the local coffee shop. And who knows, they might just discover an enchanting new world of coffee.

Trump and Twitter are an unfavorable duo

President’s use of social media will change future of politics By Tyler Swartz In only four years, President Donald Trump has managed to reform America’s entire political landscape. What we once identified as politics under the Obama administration has been shunned — or, dare I say, no longer exists. Obama’s eight years weren’t exactly notorious for “compromise,” but it was surely more common. Today, politics are brutally merciless and a daunting question remains: What can we expect the U.S. to look like once Donald Trump exits office? Politics in today’s world are completely unprecedented. Since the outset of Trump’s campaign, he has actively used Twitter to broadcast his message to the public, a previously unfamiliar strategy among politicians. But his method has its consequences, facing routine criticism from both aisles for his temperament. Trump’s attitude isn’t one that we’ve witnessed from any other president, and I

can’t confidently say that we’ll see another president who will emulate his character. I don’t think that the use of Twitter in politics will entirely disappear once Trump leaves office. It can be rightfully assumed that the next president will use Twitter to advertise and campaign. While the next president would be wise to use social media, they would be smart to not use the platform to rebuke political opponents or “air out thoughts.” Trump’s social media use is widely unpopular (and for some, a reason not to vote Republican). If the next president uses Twitter like Trump has, it is probable that they will also be viewed unfavorably. Trump has unknowingly created the precedent that using social media as the main platform for political discourse is widely inappropriate, a mandate that the next President will hopefully follow. The U.S. is at the forefront

Trump’s tweets often receive criticism from opposing politicians. of political polarization. When Trump makes a post on Twitter — regardless of whether its contents are harmful or not — it’ll always be the headline on every major news network, and the Democrats will inevitably clash with the Republicans over the tweet. Whether or not

you like Trump, it is obvious that his win has curated an even more polarized nation. It is important to note that modern America — which is a polarized and separated nation— will be radically different in the near future. We can only hope that this polarization


dissipates as the new generation takes command. America will not see another president who resembles Trump. Although these characteristics are not favorably viewed, his radical social media presence and openness is what makes him incredibly distinctive.


The Signal is published weekly during the academic year and is financed by the Student Activities Fee (SAF) and advertising revenue. Any student may submit articles to The Signal. Publication of submitted articles is at the discretion of the editors. The letters section is an open forum for opinions. Submissions that announce events or advertise in any way will not be printed. All letters should be sent via email to Handwritten letters should be sent to The Signal, c/o The Brower Student Center, The College of New Jersey, PO Box 7718 Ewing, N.J. 08628 or placed in our mailbox in the Student Life Office. Letters must be received by the Friday before publication and should not exceed 500 words. The Signal reserves the right to edit letters for space and clarity. All letters must be signed, with a phone number and address of the author. Requests to withhold the author’s name will be honored only if there is a legitimate reason. All materials submitted become the sole property of The Signal. The editors reserve the right to edit or withhold all articles, letters & photographs. The Signal willingly corrects factual mistakes. If you think we have made an error, please contact The Signal at (609) 771-2424, write to the address listed above or email us at

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February 19, 2020 The Signal page 7

Students share opinions around campus “Do you like Starbucks?”

Kalli Colacino / Opinions Editor

Caitlyn Gleason, a graduate student in the counseling program.


Kalli Colacino / Opinions Editor

Jake Phillips, a graduate student in the counseling program.

“I love Starbucks. The coffee is strong.”

“No. I don’t drink coffee.”

“What do you think about Trumps’ use of Twitter?”

Kalli Colacino / Opinions Editor

Natalie Gregorio, a sophomore early education and art major. “It’s kind of immature and unprofessional.”


Kalli Colacino / Opinions Editor

Ynashey Delarosa, a freshman nursing major.

“Some of his tweets are really childish. He criticizes a lot of people.”

The Signal’s cartoon of the week ...

The Chip: Lovers Rejoice: Eick Introduces V-Day Special By Tony Peroni Correspondent Love is a wacky and wild thing. Love brings the world together. It can make the most rational person do the most irrational things. It causes a lot of tears — whether for joy, or for pain. Love is a really cool thing - that’s why the government made a

holiday about love in order to boost a routinely depressed economy in a postholiday season! Long story short - I love Love! I love my cat, I love my uncle and my aunt, but most of all, I love - I adore - I absolutely admire Eickhoff Hall. This season, Eick is loving its students right back! Last January, Sodexo revealed an incredible special for students to indulge their taste buds on V-Day. The “Eick V-Day Special,” which was aptly released on February 14, had students losing their absolute minds. “I can’t believe it’s here,” said Felicia Grey, a freshman psychology major. “The Eick V-Day Special convinced me to reconnect with my brother!” said Tyler Asther, a freshman history major. “To be honest, this is possibly the

best Eick holiday themed meal I’ve consumed in all five of my years learning here at this very institution,” said Shrill Score, a super senior and open options business major. To prepare for the release of The Eick V-Day Special, Campus Police blocked off all roads within a 5-mile radius of campus in order to allow safe passage for pedestrian traffic to the eating center. Once meal-eaters step foot on campus, they are guided by a velvet rope, slowly funneling them to their eating destination - Sir Harold Eickhoff Hall. Security guards lined the velvet rope, making sure that these hungry customers and Eick mega fans reached their destination safely. “Security is really tight this year, but I think it’s in the best interest of the people,” said head security guard Herby Tank. This year, special Eick themed Valentines Day greeting cards were distributed

throughout the dining hall. Some of the most popular cards read, “Hope you’re Gitten(stein) hungry for Eick” and “Nothing can (Kathryn A.) Foster my hunger for Eick.” A fan favorite was, “Roscoe is watching… Me eat Eick!” As customers approached the dining hall, they all let out a collective screech for the Eick V-Day special. Nothing was going to stop these people from gorging themselves on the tasty bits and pieces of the Eick V-Day special. Why? Because it is V-Day. Love is in the air. Love gets people hungry for Eick. The fact that Eick has a V-Day special is like planting a plant and giving it water. It’s only natural, and it feels so right. “We love the Eick V-Day special” said two lovers, rejoicing as they munch on some tasty Eick. Disclaimer: This is obviously a satirical piece and does not reflect a real event.

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Joke / Parody account makes light of student struggles

The account pokes fun at life at the College. continued from page 1 In fact, they noted that there are few oppositions to their posts.


Additionally, they have noticed popularity spikes in some posts over others. “The closest we’ve gotten (to

opposition) are a few comments stating a different opinion than our own, and we the admins respect that,” the moderators said. The posts that receive the highest engagement take on serious campus issues, including students’ access to clean water and electricity last fall. The moderators are aware of the severity of the issues at hand, and believe that in cases where students are experiencing a common struggle, “laughter makes any situation better.” “Obviously it’s not TCNJ’s fault when natural disasters hit and affect the campus, but when it comes to other issues, we feel that it’s important to speak truth to power,” the moderators said.

“There’s a lot of things that the TCNJ administration and various departments on campus can do better, and should do better. We feel that it’s important to highlight those issues such as the quality of food options, the cleanliness of dorms, the condition of dining facilities as a whole, and TCNJ’s infrastructure, just to name a few.” The moderators develop many of their thoughts on campus improvement by listening to the students who are not only actively involved to improve the community, but are also following the core issues that inspire each meme. “Of the admins that have friends in student government and those that are student workers on campus, they constantly

hear about how bureaucratic the administration, deans, employers and Residential Education can be and won’t get certain important things done unless it becomes a PR issue,” the moderators said. “Even though we hear about those kinds of things, we still love this school and wouldn’t have gone anywhere else! We love it and want to see it improve.” With new posts coming out every few days, the account is experiencing a steady growth in followers, the majority of whom are current students. The moderators are optimistic about the account’s future and hope to continue to energize a community of “Dank Lions™” with campus-themed memes.

Rapper’s performance ignites racial empowerment By Kelly Stephens Staff Writer Fierce, sexy, authentic — fans believe that Megan Thee Stallion embodies all of these words and more. Particularly admired by black women and men across the country, she has made her presence known for all to see. The rapper’s appearance at the College on Nov. 19, 2019 was one for the ages, and her presence on campus has captured the attention of many minority students, making it still worth talking about. Megan, whose real name is Megan Pete, is originally from Houston, Texas, and the 24-year-old has amassed a following like no other. Charismatic, funny and sickeningly Southern in the best of ways, with the rapping prowess to boot, it’s no surprise that black people, particularly black women, love her. Megan, who has 8.9 million followers on Instagram and 2.2 million on Twitter, has generated a loyal and devoted fan-base known as “The Hotties.” Taking America by storm, her lyrics are unapologetically and confidently sexual, making her known as the hype-man for black girls across the country. Many black students were taken aback that Megan chose to perform at a predominantly white institution, especially one as small as the College. “I was really surprised,” said Victoria Desir, a freshman philosophy major. “I saw a couple of HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges & Universities) on her Instagram where she was performing. I thought if she was going to come to New Jersey, she was going to a much bigger school, like Rutgers New Brunswick. But she came here and I thought that was really cool.” For some students, an influential artist like Megan has proven to be a powerful force in their lives, inspiring them to manifest both bravery and empowerment. “I think she makes me feel empowered to be an African-American woman, to be empowered within my sexuality,” said Faith Christian, a freshman computer science major. Even as more female rappers gain popularity in the American music industry, such as Doja Cat, Rico Nasty, Tierra Whack and City Girls, Stallion’s presence is indicative of a significant change in the music industry.

“I feel like 2019 was a great year for black female rappers, and she’s one of the standout ones,” Desir said. Many students may have been surprised to see Megan perform on campus due to the demographics of the student body. 64.6 percent of the student body is white, 12.9 percent is Hispanic or Latino, 10.9 percent is Asian and 6.4 percent is black, according to a 2019 Forbes ranking. By allowing Megan to make her mark on campus, there have been changing attitudes for students on what it means to be recognized and fully seen as a student on campus. “It is highly important that she is performing at a PWI because it shows that CUB is focused on reaching different types of people,” said Tia Suggs, a sophomore economics major. “Based on my freshman year, I struggled to have fun at several TCNJ events because I personally felt that things here were not created for black people to also have fun. Because of that issue, I barely took pride in my school socially— only academically. But since Megan came, I have been proud to be a part of TCNJ, because now I feel that my thoughts are included in the decisions of CUB and TCNJ.” When prompted, many of the students believed that the rapper’s presence on campus has allowed them and their culture to be further represented and acknowledged on campus. “I definitely did feel represented knowing that Megan was performing,” Suggs said. “Never would I have thought that TCNJ would bring a black female rapper to be the main show for the fall concert, especially at a predominantly white institution. Last year, TCNJ brought PnB Rock, a black male rapper/singer, and I was already satisfied with that. Yet, Megan’s presence on campus made me realize that AfricanAmerican women are not forgotten.” The rapper’s concert came at a time when racial tensions on campus are still in recovery. In November 2018, a group of white students yelled the n-word at a group of black students from the window of their dorm. “It was a hard time emotionally last fall semester, and we hoped that TCNJ would change from then,” Suggs said. Students have also acknowledged that while the concert was a means for black students to feel seen and represented, it does not negate the racial

Darby VanDeen / Photo Editor

Megan’s authencity is celebrated by the College’s black community.

makeup or the racial tension that exists on campus. “I think (the concert) adds to me being just felt good to see her,” Desir said. “But I don’t think that changes any of the racial makeup of TCNJ. It doesn’t change classroom conversations or rhetoric between black and white students.” For some students, the concert was used as a bridge to bring students together. “Although there wasn’t a majority of white people, they were still there,” Christian said. “It was really interesting to have them, to see them enjoy Megan just as much as we enjoy her. Even in the upcoming days, everyone was listening to her, streaming her music and trying to prepare for her concert so that they could actually enjoy her. That was pretty cool to see.” While Megan’s lyrics heavily contain the n-word, the conversation surrounding its use is convoluted and often dangerous to navigate. “Her music is just meant to be fun,”

Rivers said. “It doesn’t have a deep meaning to it, so I don’t know if it can diffuse racial tensions. If someone were to sing her songs, and they weren’t black it would be an issue (because of the n-word in songs). That’s where racial tensions can come about, even if it is a part of the song. Sometimes it can be that they want to make a mockery of it, and that can cause more issues than it’s meant to dissolve.” The fear of their culture being made into a mockery by the white majority is another prevalent fear among black students. But among this fear is hope for a more inclusive community, and having Megan on campus proved to be a step towards that goal. “Like I said, I didn’t expect them to have a black woman perform on campus,” Christian said. “I think it was great that someone in the room thought of that, to invite Megan, and to give African-Americans on campus a chance to feel empowered.”

page 10 The Signal February 19, 2020

: Sept. ‘95

Have fun without breaking the bank

Campus Style

Photo courtesy of TCNJ Digital Archives

Local eateries, such as Two Brothers, offer cheap deals on pizza. Every week, Features Editor Liya Davidov hits the archives and finds old Signals that relate to current College topics and top stories. College students often face the inner debate of what to spend their money on and when it is appropriate to dip into their savings account when their debit card is running low. With Campus Town restaurants a short walk away and apps like DoorDash and GrubHub ready to deliver at 3:30 a.m. when the cravings hit, it’s important to think about our purchasing decisions and work on creating better spending habits. In a September 1995 issue of The Signal, a reporter recognized the need for students to learn how to balance their budgets, offering price-checks on popular purchases. There are ways to save money during your first year of college and ways to blow almost all of it. A few upperclassmen were happy to let the newcomers in on some good advice. Eating out and ordering in are two ways to watch your hard-earned cash go down the drain. To avoid getting ripped off, compare the prices of the local eateries. As far as local pizza places go, our very own Pete’s Arena in the Travers and Wolfe dining hall is the least expensive. At Pete’s, a large cheese pizza costs $6.95 ($7.95 with pepperoni). If you want to order pizza after 11:30 at night, Two Brothers Pizza is open until 2:00 a.m. and theirs costs $8.00 for a large, including delivery ($8.50 with pepperoni). Rocco’s Pizzeria is slightly more expensive: $8.50 for a large ($10,00 with pepperoni) and delivery is free to Trenton State. King’s

Pizzarama is the most expensive, charging $8.75 for a large, delivery included ($10.25 with pepperoni). The local Chinese take-outs are fairly comparable in price, depending, of course, on what you want to order. All of them provide free delivery. Music is another thing college students can’t seem to resist spending their money on. Yaniv Eyny, a Community Advisor in Decker, said, “Don’t ever buy a CD for more than $14 unless it’s rare or bootleg. At record stores you’re only paying for the label. You can get the same exact quality at record shows or from stores that sell used.” He said that “Gold Mine” magazine is a good place to look for lists of local CD shows. Eyny would recommend CD clubs “only if you can cancel in time. You have to watch out because you can get ripped off.” Believe it or not, much of your college savings can actually go toward academic purchases. Nursing major Nancy Greco said she spent most of her money on books her first year. Her advice is “buy used,” even though she says there are never enough used books. “They keep changing the textbooks every year so you can’t sell them back,” Greco said. “Even when they buy the books back they don’t give you enough money back, so it’s not worth selling them. You may as well keep them.” Again, buy used — the key is to get to the bookstore early.

Lions’ P late

Left: Graphic tees are stylish with sweatpants. Right: Tie the outfit together with a fresh pair of sneakers. By Marina Zupko Columnist Since I’ve started college, there have been so many mornings when all I wanted to do was to roll out of bed and head to class in my pajamas. I’m someone who takes pride in my appearance, even if that means putting in just an ounce of effort, so I would push through the pain of getting out of bed to give myself an extra 30 minutes to pick out an outfit, straighten my hair and appl a bit of makeup. As an upperclassman, I’ve come to realize that it is possible to look put together without making a huge effort. Here is what I do to pull off the “I just rolled out of bed” look while also not looking like a complete slob. The secret to pulling off this look? Preparation. Before you go to bed, prep for your dress-down day. After showering, choose pajamas that don’t scream “I’m wearing my pajamas,” such as joggers and a graphic tee or tank rather than a matching set. If it’s cold outside, choose a jacket, shoes and socks that you can lay out for the morning. If you tend to have messy hair in the morning, braid your hair loosely, so it isn’t uncomfortable to sleep

If you’re looking to pack a quick lunch or dinner on your busiest day, taco salad is a great option, as it is both simple and customizable. My recipe is more basic than others, so experiment with different vegetables, toppings and spices. This recipe tastes amazing when it is topped with homemade guacamole. You can even eat it with tortilla

chips. The possibilities are endless! Ingredients: -1 lb lean ground beef (or turkey) -1 medium onion -1 cup of brown rice, cooked -1 bell pepper -1/2 cup corn -1/4 tsp cayenne pepper -1/2 tsp paprika -1/2 tsp cumin

on. Once your nighttime routine is complete, head to bed and set your alarm for a later time than usual. When you wake up, take your time getting out of bed as you have already made yourself semi-prepared for the day. When you’re finally feeling awake, get out of bed and straighten out your clothes. If your tee is oversized and looks baggy, tie it up in a knot in the front of the shirt. Roll your joggers once and put on the jacket, shoes and socks that you prepped the night before. Take out your braid and see what you’re working with. If it looks fine, stick with it. If it doesn’t look as presentable as you want it to be, throw on a beanie or tie it in a loose bun. Makeup is a very different process for everyone. While some people prefer a full face, others might choose a light cover or even a natural face. Personally, I go natural or just apply a light layer of bronzer and blush. Even if you are the type to apply a full face, sleeping in is still an option because you’re saving time on clothes and hair. Once you’re ready, you’ll be heading to class feeling comfortable and refreshed.

Tangy Taco Salad

Left: This savory dish is full of bold flavors. Right: Sprinkle the salad with cilantro for added taste. By Elizabeth Casalnova Columnist


-1 tsp chili powder -Salt and pepper to taste -Cilantro to taste Directions: 1. In a large bowl with a tight-fitting lid, bring the rice to a rolling boil. 2. Reduce the heat and allow it to simmer for about 25-30 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed. 3. Meanwhile, season the beef with chili


powder, salt pepper, cumin and cayenne powder. Cook over medium high heat until it’s completely browned. 4. Put the beef in a large bowl and add the corn to the same pan, sprinkling it with chili powder. 5. Cook on medium heat until it’s slightly charred, then add it to the bowl with the beef. 6. Dice the onion, pepper and tomato, and add it to the bowl. Mix in the rice and cilantro, and enjoy!

February 19, 2020 The Signal page 11

Arts & Entertainment

CUB Alt Coffeehouse brews romance

Audience energized by Valentines Day performers

Julia Meehan / Photo Editor

Left: Baldacchino belts her rendition of a classic rock song. Right: Simpson and Maslov sing ‘I See the Light’ from Disney’s ‘Tangled.’ By Julia Meehan Photo Editor

Open mics, love songs and passionate student musicians made for a heartwarming CUB Alt Coffeehouse on Friday, Feb.14 in the Traditions Lounge. The Valentine’s Day chapter of the open-mic series centered around romantic ballads and featured several student musicians, who poured their hearts into their performances. The energy in the room was laid back and casual, as audience members sipped coffee and snacked on sweet treats. The seating in the lounge also honored the

holiday, as couches were set up in a heart pattern in the room. “I’m pretty nervous but eager to perform and express myself,” said Julia Baldacchino, a sophomore nursing major who was a newcomer to the Coffeehouse stage. “I’m trying to get used to performing.” Despite her nerves, Baldacchino delivered an impassioned cover of “One Year of Love” by Queen. Her voice soared over the backing track beautifully throughout her performance and she was proud to overcome her nerves and step out of her comfort zone. Next to take the stage was Christian

Simpson, a junior mechanical engineering major. He played the keyboard as he sang a series of love-themed covers, including a rendition of “Fly Me To The Moon” by Frank Sinatra, which had the audience swaying along. Later in Simpson’s set, he was joined by Victoria Maslov, a junior biology major, for a few duets. A crowd favorite was their cover of “I See The Light” from the Disney movie “Tangled.” “Everyone wants to feel like a Disney princess on Valentine’s day, so we’re bringing a little Disney in,” Maslov said. Their cover was so ear-catching that

it even garnered a small crowd of passerby from inside the Brower Student Center, who pressed up against the glass wall of the lounge to listen in. The end of their setlist marked the end of the event, which was once again an impressive showcase of student talent. “I loved the high quality of musicianship,” said Sayon Park, a sophomore special education and art dual major. “I would definitely come again.” She also remarked on the special holiday theme, saying, “The Valentine’s day theme was cute. It would be cool to try different themes in the future.”

“There’s a bunch of people out there and it’s definitely more (nerve wracking), but if you can channel it the right way, I think it helps out.” Canneto sang “Der arme Peter (Poor Peter), Op. 53, No. 3.” Composed by Robert Schuman in the early 19th century, the piece depicts the story of a young man named Peter who is watching his true love marry another man. “(My) piece is something that I performed at the end of last semester,” Canneto said. “(It’s) something that I’ve wanted to play for a long time. It was a really cool opportunity to be able to perform that in front of all my friends, being that it’s the first time. The whole music department has heard me play, aside from my own studio professor.” Other performances included junior music education major Joseph Reo, who played a rendition of Alexander Goedicke’s “Concert Etude” on the trumpet. Reo’s piece started with an intense and ominous sound, but it quickly switched to a much more fast-paced and light-hearted sound and style of play. The concert ended with freshman music education major Alexander Kinder, who played Leroy Ostransky’s “Der arme Concierto Miniature” on the trombone, which is a popular piece among trombone players. Ryan Haupt, a sophomore music education major, said Kinder’s piece is popular among trombone players, as Haupt

had also performed it at a Tuesday Recital Series last year. “Being familiar with a piece you’re hearing being played is way different than hearing one for the first time, so you kinda get to look at it in a different light when someone else is behind the wheel,” Haupt said. At the College, it is a requirement for freshmen, sophomores and juniors who participate in private music lessons to perform at least one Tuesday Afternoon Recital Series performance. While not a requirement for seniors, they are still invited to perform at the recitals. Haupt also said the Tuesday Afternoon Recital Series “is good for getting experience playing solo repertoire.” “A lot of the students here in the music department come from a lot of different backgrounds,” Haupt said. “It’s good to...have everyone do a solo performance, because it may be the first time they’ve stepped on stage alone.” Dr. Eric Laprade, the director of band and assistant professor of music at the College, was pleased to hear the students perform a wide range of music. “From my own personal perspective, it is always wonderful to hear our immensely talented students,” Laprade said. “It is also great to witness their development and growth as performing artists. It is equally rewarding to see so many of our music students in the audience supporting their peers.”

Weekly recital series features student growth

Canneto plays ‘Tableaux de Provence’ on the saxaphone. By Thomas Lilja Correspondent

All that could be heard from Mayo Concert Hall on Feb. 11 was the echo of the crowd roaring as several student musicians showcased their breathtaking talent at the College’s weekly Tuesday Recital Series. One of the performers was Kaitlyn Canneto, a sophomore music and political science double major, who was performing at her first Tuesday Recital Series. She played an exquisite rendition of French composer Paule Maurice’s “Tableaux de Provence” on the saxophone. Composed in the mid1900s, “Tableaux de Provence” is French for “Pictures of Provence,” which describes

Julia Meehan / Photo Editor

the culture and scenery of Provence in southeastern France. “Despite the fact that I’m a sophomore, this is my first time performing for the recitals here on Tuesdays,” Canneto said. “The only other times I’ve performed on stage by myself were for...jury exams at the end of [my] third semester. It was strange... and a different experience to have it as a performance setting, but it was really cool.” Peter Corso, a freshman music education major and the second performer of the afternoon, had also never participated in a Tuesday Recital Series before. “I’ve only done one jury (exam), but it’s definitely really different when it’s just you out there with the pianist,” Corso said.

page 12 The Signal February 19, 2020

February 19, 2020 The Signal page 13

‘Survivor’ celebrates 20 years of entertainment New season features all-star cast of former winners By Richard Miller Arts & Entertainment Editor

Iconic and lasting two decades, the reality show “Survivor” kicked off its 40th season on Feb. 12, celebrating 20 years on air. “Survivor,” considered by most to be the pioneer of modern day reality television, brings the audience outdoors as the contestants, known as castaways, live in extreme and exotic locations, all while competing in physical challenges and trying to avoid being voted off by fellow competitors. Thousands of fans across America are highly anticipating an eventful 40th season. “Fans of football wait a year to watch the Super Bowl, but fans of Survivor have been waiting 20 years for Winners at War!” said Tony Vlachos, winner of the 28th season of “Survivor” and a current contestant in the 40th season, at the start of the premiere episode. The high anticipation for this season is the result of Vlachos and the 19 other castaways all having one thing in common — they are all winners of the game. Titled “Survivor: Winners at War,” the landmark 40th season features 20 fan favorite players, who have all previously been crowned the sole survivor and were awarded the million dollar prize. Some of the most memorable, beloved and strategic players are returning for the season to show fans they still have what it takes to outlast the rest. Contestants include Rob and Amber Mariano, the show’s only pair of winners

The contestants are told that the grand prize has been increased to $2 million.

to meet on the show, fall in love and start a family together. Amber last played in 2004, when she bested her then fiancée Rob in a close game. Rob, an icon of the show, returns for a record fifth season after nabbing his victory in 2010 on his fourth attempt. Other contestants include Ethan Zohn, who had the longest lay-off since winning the game after having won in 2001. Zohn returned after battling stage four blood cancer. Sandra Diaz-Twine, the sassy Puerto Rican mom who was hailed as the queen of the show after being the only player to win twice, is back to ensure no one else can claim the same title. “They all want what I already have, my

crown as the queen,” said Diaz-Twine during the first episode of this season. The stakes have been raised for this season. We see in the first few minutes of the show, when veteran host Jeff Probst surprises the players during the reveal, that they are not playing for a million dollars this time around, but rather two million. The two-hour premiere featured two intense and engaging rounds of play, which sent two winners out of the game. But unlike prior seasons, being voted out of the game doesn’t mean the player’s time on the show is done. Rather, players who are voted and knocked off are sent to the Edge of Extinction. First introduced in the shows 38th season, the Edge of Extinction equates to


“Survivor’s” version of purgatory, where eliminated players wait on an extremely barren and desolate island for the chance to come back in the game. The “how” and “when” of returning to the game is not revealed to players, adding another level to the show’s mental complexity. The Edge of Extinction and the introduction of in-game currency, known as Fire Tokens, are the two major twists intended to keep the winners on their toes this season. Since the show introduced these twists in the premiere episode, information was left to be revealed as the season progresses. With both dynamic, entertaining players and the elevated gameplay, the 40th season of “Survivor” is bound to be their best yet.

After five years, Bieber makes triumphant return to music ‘Changes’ shows listeners vulnerable side of singer

The singer opens up about his relationship with his wife.

By Madison Pena News Editor

Justin Bieber gave ecstatic fans a Valentine’s Day gift this year when he dropped his newest album, “Changes,” in an anticipated return to music. The album comes nearly five years after his last album “Purpose,” which was released in 2015 and tells an entirely different narrative. His newest release serves as a love letter to his wife,

Hailey Rhode Bieber, who was very involved with the production of the album. Bieber’s journey back to writing and recording music was captured in a YouTube Original docuseries, called “Justin Bieber: Seasons.” The film chronicled the different seasons in Bieber’s life from his decision to take a break prior to writing new music and how his marriage brought him back to the studio. In July 2017, after surmounting


pressure and mental health-related issues, Bieber decided to end his “Purpose” world tour early. In the docuseries, he recalled going through dark times with drug use and falling into depression which caused him to lose his drive to create music. Two years later at Coachella 2019, Bieber surprised fans by joining Ariana Grande on stage to announce a new album coming soon. This came shortly after announcing his engagement to then

fiancé Hailey Baldwin, his muse for the album. “Changes” proves to be a new step in Bieber’s career as he makes his grown-up debut as an adult and married man. However, some of the songs continue to have a more immature feel. The album features collaborations with some of music’s top artists like Post Malone, Kehlani, Travis Scott and more, practically promising hits off the bat. Prior to the album’s release, Bieber dropped his single “Yummy”, which immediately skyrocketed him to the top of the charts. While the song is catchy, it certainly set a different tone than the rest of the album. “Yummy” didn’t sound like the new mature vibe that Bieber seemed to be going for, but it did its job in getting audiences excited for his new music. In his next single “Intentions” featuring Quavo, Bieber explicitly lets his fans and wife know exactly how he feels, writing, “Shower you with all my attention. Yeah, these are my only intentions.” Bieber’s first two singles off the album were stylistically similar and easy chart-toppers, but were only scratching the surface in the meaning behind the singer’s tribute to his wife. Aside from a handful of songs that are more focused on making it to the charts, most of

Bieber’s tracks are a raw and deep look into how his wife completely changed his life and got him back on track. In his title song “Changes,” the singer narrates how he’s experiencing changes in his life, hinting to his recovery from drug addiction and mental health struggles. Despite these hurdles, Bieber explains in his lyrics how he strives to be better, a common theme throughout the album and his YouTube docuseries. “I just wanna be the best of me. Even though sometimes I forget to breathe. So that I can be the best for you. That’s all I wanna do,” Bieber wrote, directly referencing his difficulty with overwhelming anxiety that kept him away from the studio for years. Another one of Bieber’s more intimate songs is “That’s What Love Is” describes how he knew Hailey was the one, saying she “teaches him patience” and that when his self-esteem is low, she “lifts him through the ceiling.” The entire album is the ultimate romantic homage to Hailey, leaving fans wishing someone would write these songs about them. While he has clearly gone through a lot in recent years, the 25-year-old singer and songwriter is certainly back on track, as he changes his tune to fit the newest season of his life.

page 14 The Signal February 19, 2020

February 19, 2020 The Signal page 15

Sports MLB

Baseball world erupts amid Astros cheating scandal By Jacob Malik Correspondent

Baseball fans, players, executives and owners are only among some of those who are astonished about the ongoing Houston Astros cheating scandal. The Houston Astros, one of baseball’s best teams over the past few years, having already been found guilty of cheating in 2017, have been accused of cheating again during the 20172019 season. The accusation, which has been recently investigated, includes stealing opposing pitchers’ signs, which ultimately means that at any given moment the Astros would be able to know what pitch would be coming. While they were not found guilty of cheating in 2019, many players and coaches in the league are still suspicious of their actions. The accusations say that the Astros had cameras set up


Altuve faces controversy.

in center field so they could see the sign during the pitcher and catcher exchange and then could figure out what pitch corresponded to that sign. It was reported that they would then relay this information to the batter who was at the plate, so they knew exactly what pitch was coming. They were proven to be doing this by having monitors in the hallway between the dugout and the locker room. The person watching was reported to have then relayed the information to the batter by banging on a trash can. The batter would then hear this noise and could prepare for the incoming pitch. Following the investigation, once the Astros were found guilty, they were penalized. MLB commissioner Rob Manfred suspended general manager Jeff Luhnow and manager A.J. Hinch for one year, took away the organization’s first- and second-round draft picks for 2020 and 2021 and fined them $5 million. Hinch would be fired shortly after, but what is truly shocking is that the players were granted immunity in exchange for an honest testimony about what transpired. The Astros have also been accused of upgrading their means of cheating, such as going from garbage cans to things such as electronic buzzers on the players chests. However, following an investigation by commissioner Manfred, no evidence was found of this and the team was found not guilty. There is plenty of suspicion about the Astros using buzzers in a significant game with high stakes. In 2019, José Altuve of the Astros hit a home run in the sixth game of the ALCS that would send the Astros to the world series. When rounding third and crossing home plate to greet his excited teammates, Altuve held his jersey and made it clear he did not want it to be ripped off. Many fans and players find this quite odd, especially

Men’s Basketball

since Altuve has posted shirtless pictures all over social media. Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez commented on Altuve’s rebuttal via Lindsey Adler on Twitter, saying “If I hit a homer and get my team to the World Series, they can rip off my pants. They can rip everything off.” Baseball fans have also shown displeasure toward the situation. One player who has been outspoken is reigning National League MVP Cody Bellinger, who told Alden Gonzalez of ESPN, “I thought the apologies were whatever. I thought Jim Crane’s was weak. I thought Manfred’s punishment was weak, giving ‘em immunity. I mean, these guys were cheating for three years. I think what people don’t realize is Altuve stole an MVP from (Aaron) Judge in ’17. Everyone knows they stole the ring from us.” Bellinger is furious, and rightfully so, especially because of what has happened to those who have cheated in the past. In 1919, The Chicago White Sox, also known as “The Black Sox,” were involved in a scandal of equally high proportions. The team was accused of intentionally losing games during the World Series because players had gambled on the games, betting that they would lose. There were eight players involved in the scandal, all of which were banned from baseball for life. To put this in perspective, the 1919 Black Sox intentionally lost games. The players did not cheat to win games, which is what the Astros have been accused of, and the outcome resulted in eight players being banned for life. Yet the Astros’ outcome will yield no punishment for any players whatsoever. While commissioner Manfred won’t strip the Astros of their 2017 title, this scandal will forever tarnish the game of baseball, putting any success the Astros organization has had in question for years to come.


College bests NJCU and Kean Softball sets sights on 2020 season Lions stretch winning streak to 5

Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk

Ringle defends for the Lions.

By Ann Brunn Staff Writer

With a 13-4 record in the New Jersey Athletic Conference, the men’s basketball team has earned a first-round bye in the conference tournament, which will begin on Saturday, Feb. 22. With the College tied for first place with Stockton University, the seedings for the tournament will not be made final until the end of regular season play on Wednesday, Feb. 19. However, the Lions will be hosting one of the semifinal games on Wednesday, Feb. 26, in Packer Hall. Before this achievement was unlocked, the Lions still had work to do in order to receive one of the top two spots in the tournament. On Wednesday, Feb. 12, they took care of New Jersey City University, 86-66, and then went on to rout Kean University, 94-67, on Saturday, Feb. 15. Senior guard Randy Walko headlined

the game at Packer Hall on Wednesday, Feb. 12, posting 31 points and making this game his fifth 30-point game of the season. In addition, Walko has scored 20 points or higher in 13 games for the Lions this season. Junior forward Travis Jocelyn followed with 13 points while senior guard Ryan Jensen added nine points, six rebounds and four blocked shots. Rounding out the box score were senior guard Tommy Egan with eight points and six boards and junior guard PJ Ringel, who collected seven points, seven assists and five rebounds. The matinee on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Kean University was a highlight reel for Walko. He led all scorers with 24 points, notching seven rebounds, six assists, two blocks and a pair of steals. He reached two milestones as well: his seven rebounds put him over 500 rebounds in his career at the College. He is the 12th person in the College’s history to reach this achievement. Also, he asserted himself into seventh place on the all-time scoring list, accumulating 1,418 points in his career at the College. Jocelyn tallied 19 points and five rebounds as Jensen collected 13 points and seven boards. Sophomore center Danny Bodine scored a career-high 11 points off the bench while Ringel passed the ball around effectively and totaled nine assists. He also scored six points and nabbed five rebounds. The Lions will head north for their regular season finale against William Paterson University on Wednesday, Feb. 19. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m.

The team celebrates their win from last season.

By Ann Brunn Staff Writer

Coming off a 33-8 season that included a New Jersey Athletic Conference championship title, the softball team is focused and ready for the 2020 season. When asked what morale is like in the clubhouse heading into this season, junior pitcher Alanna Namit said that the team is, “extremely excited for everything that is to come.” She emphasized how important it was to forget all what happened last year in order to be ready for what this season has in store. The Lions only have three seniors on their active roster, and the team has continued to build on their successes from past seasons, according to Namit. “The seniors will always be a crucial part of our successes,” she said, “they have helped the junior class for three years to become strong upcoming leaders amongst them.” Namit was the 2019 NJAC Pitcher of the


Year, but when asked about this achievement and work she put in during the off-season, she said that the team’s success “is not going to be due to one player, rather an entire team working together to do their part.” One integral part of the team that she referenced was the bullpen. Namit said that it has an equal ratio of returning pitchers to first-year pitchers. She hopes that with this feature each pitcher will be able to execute their jobs on the mound while motivating each other to do their best. The Lions’ first game at Dr. June Walker Field on campus will be on Feb. 29, where they will face Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham at 11 a.m. before playing New York University later that afternoon, completing a double-header. During the upcoming spring break, the team will travel to Florida, where they will participate in the 2020 Spring Games. They will play 12 games over the span of seven days against colleges from all across the country.



Tietjen and Hastings score 100th goal

Hockey team prepares for regional tournament By Anthony Garcia Sports Editor Captain of the College’s club hockey team Marc Tietjen and his teammate Kris Hastings have both reached a major career milestone, scoring their 100th goal on Feb. 8 against West Chester University. The tandem hit this mark in the last weekend of regular season play, finishing with a 16-1-1 record. The score will carry the team into the first seed of the Colonial Cup playoffs. “Scoring my 100th point was one of the most exciting events that has ever happened to me in my hockey career,” Tietjen said. “After my initial excitement, I felt relieved to say the least, as I wanted to accomplish this feat prior to the playoffs.” The hopes for the Lions are high, as they expect to win the Colonial Cup championship for the third year in a row, then build on last season’s first regional tournament win against Rowan University. “It was a tremendous feeling,” Tietjen said in reference to scoring the goal. “This is something I never expected to be possible when I walked into the rink as a freshman.” He explained that Hastings was credited with the assist on his shot after Tietjen assisted him in scoring his 100th earlier in

the match. “I’d like to take the time to thank my teammates over the last four seasons, as well as the TCNJ coaching staff,” Tietjen said. Tietjen and Hastings are now a part of a small group of players in the College’s history, but they believe they’re going to be playing their best in the postseason. “The team is in high spirits,” Tietjen said. “We’re a close-knit group and all want to succeed as much as the guy next to us.” Over 10 players for the Lions are in double-digit point-scoring echelon, accentuating the great success the offense is having this season. Moving into the playoffs, Tietjen continues to exercise his leadership skills, striving to lead by example and set the tone for the younger players. “Being a captain means working hard on and off the ice to be the best teammate I can be,” Tietjen said. “To me, being the captain of the team is an honor.” Although hockey is a club sport at the College, the players and coaches have proven to be dedicated as if the sport was officially represented as an athletic team. In recent years, the players have achieved nothing short of domination, successfully completing a three-peat championship run last season and


Tietjen (left) and Hastings (right) pose with their coach. expecting to make it four in 2020. “The hockey team would love to be supported more by the College,” Tietjen said, who would like to refer anyone interested to the teams social media pages on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook where they can find updates and more information.


As the team heads into the playoffs, they are focusing on one game at a time, according to Tietjen. He has his eyes set on the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Southeast Regional Tournament, ready to accede the team’s potential and punch their ticket to the DII National Championship in Texas.


Men’s and women’s tennis wins Pep / Cheer champions at UCA By Kevin Hornibrook Staff Writer

The men’s and women’s tennis teams enjoyed a successful weekend on the home courts. The men began their 2020 season while the women added on to an already strong one. The men’s team left with a comfortable 8-1 win against the University of the Sciences on Saturday, Feb. 15. This was the 200th win under head coach Scott Dicheck. The last meeting between these teams ended 7-2 in the College’s favor. The Lions’ doubles teams completed a 3-0 sweep to start the match. Sophomores Matthew Michibata and Justin Wain earned an 8-4 victory, seniors Gokul Murugesan and Thomas Wright pulled off an 8-6 win and freshmen Nick Matkiwsky and Akul Telluri handled their opponents, 8-1. The Lions’ dominance continued into the singles matches, with Wain’s second set tiebreaker being the only loss for the College. Michibata, Matkiwsky, Telluri and sophomore Nikola Kilibarda all took their wins in straight sets. Wright’s match concluded with a 10-8 win in his third set, wrapping up the dual match and sending the University of the Sciences to a 1-5 record. Currently ranked 32nd, the team hopes to serve as a prominent force in the conference and beyond. Meanwhile, the women’s team took down

Lions Lineup February 19, 2020

I n s i d e

Haverford on Sunday, Feb. 16 by a score of 5-4 to remain a perfect 7-0 on the season. Their last meeting ended in a one-sided 9-0 victory for the College. The match remained competitive throughout, remaining undecided until the very last point. The match opened with an 8-3 doubles win from freshmen Anusha Rangu and Alexandria Vasile. Sophomores Liya Davidov and Katrine Luddy, who now have a 5-0 record as partners, followed suit, as they won 8-5. Haverford’s first win came against freshmen Jenny Landells and Charlotte Roarty, which was only the first doubles loss of the season for both players. Two straight sets split between the teams to start the singles matches. Senior Audrey Chen lost 1-6, 2-6, but Roarty kept the College ahead with a 6-3 win. The College lost the lead as Haverford took the next two matches against Davidov and Vasile, both in three sets. The dual match came down to the fifth and sixth singles matches. Sophomores Julia Yoon and Jenny Landells both won their second sets 7-5, setting up a nail-biting finish. Yoon closed her match with a 6-1 third set. Landells followed with a 6-2 win, clinching the match for the Lions. Both teams look to continue their winning streak on Feb. 23. The women’s team will be at Wellesley College and the men’s will be at Babson College.

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continued from page 1 The team returned to Orlando this year as the reigning champions of the 2019 UCA National Championships. “The emotions that come over you are almost indescribable,” Lombardi said. “It’s complete joy and relief, it’s pride and excitement, and the feeling of knowing all of your hard work has finally paid off. You know at that moment that all time, all the frustration and all the pain was worth every second.” Following the championship, the team has been busy cheering at basketball games, while holding a few practices a week to

stay in shape and get ready for upcoming college prep clinics and tryouts. The quiet part of the season sets the tone for their next chapter — the teammates work on gaining new skills, perfecting old ones and recruiting new members. Cheerleading as a sport is making a splash in the media following the hit Netflix docuseries “Cheer,” chronicling the elite Navarro College cheer team, located in Corsicana, Texas, as it prepares for the NCA National Championship. As the stigma around cheerleading is dismantled, these athletes are becoming increasingly recognized for the physically demanding sport.

The Lions pose with their trophy after winning nationals.

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Men’s Basketball page 15