The Signal: Fall '19 No. 8

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Breaking news and more at Vol. LI, No. 8

October 23, 2019

Serving The College of New Jersey community since 1885

Comedians bring laughter Innocent man reflects to annual Muslim dinner on wrongful conviction

Darby VanDeVeen / Staff Photographer

Youseff takes the stage.

By Amani Salahudeen Staff Writer

Comedians Ramy Youseff and Danish Maqbool energized the crowd with laughter at the Muslim Student Association’s 14th Annual Eid dinner on Oct. 15. Upon their arrival to the Brower Student Center Room 225, students were dressed in traditional desi clothes, such as shalwar kameez and kurtas, which are usually from Pakistan, India or Bangladesh. The bright, vibrant colors were evident as they

entered the room. The first comedian of the night was Danish Maqbool, who shared examples of similar scenarios in which people assumed the worst of him because he was a Muslim man. Maqbool also discussed what it felt like to be discriminated against, as well as how different the world was for him as a Muslim man and some of the obstacles he faced while traveling. He talked about how he thought society would be faster than technology and explained how gay marriage is accepted by society now whereas flying cars don’t exist. “If you asked me if I thought we would see gay marriage would be accepted by society or if a flying car would come first, I would have said flying cars because at the time, I had seen that in a movie, but I didn’t see gay marriages. However, the reason I said society moves faster than technology is because look at where we are today. Gay marriage is accepted by society, but there’s no signs of flying cars.” Maqbool said. Maqbool also talked a lot about his see CULTURE page 15

Adjunct professor encourages feminist ideas among students By James Mercadante Reviews Editor Right now, humankind is an epoch-making period where movements like #MeToo and fourth-wave feminism are growing further embedded within many discourses across the nation, and Tina Tormey is employing her feminist aptitude to help students add to the conversation. Tormey, the director of Residence Education and an adjunct professor at the College, works to unite the campus community by promoting not just feminism, but also alliance and understanding. Since becoming the Residence Education director in 2014, Tormey’s dayto-day life consists of developing how the College can educate students on


how to live in communities with peers, such as abiding by their shared living agreements and housing policies like fire hazards. Tormey is also in charge of the residential curriculum, which involves assisting students who are discovering their identity by stabilizing a mentally and physically healthy life that will help amplify their potential. One of the ways Tormey and her staff achieve this goal is through programming and the “digital signage” that is displayed on the walls. “We might put some posting that is meant to help students to think about something,” Tormey said. “For example, we might say, ‘hey, be wary of who is coming in residential houses,’ just

Nation & World / page 7

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as a reminder to be cognizant of their surroundings, or statistics of how many students work out within a week, which may inspire students to live a healthier life. It is so subtle, but can be effective.” In addition to her position, she teaches two classes at the College, both of which contain crucial topics for developing students who are unaware of everyday prejudices against women. Her Writing 102 class, “All The Single Ladies,” focuses on the social and cultural perceptions of single women, a specific topic that leads to a myriad of thought-provoking discourses. Tormey said that in her class, she and her students ask the following see WOMEN page 12

Editorial / page 8

Jennifer Somers / Photo Editor

Hollman discusses his 28 years in prison. By Liya Davidov Nation & World Editor

The second Faculty Lecture Series event on Friday, Oct. 18, in Mayo Concert Hall broke down an investigative report written by journalism professor Emilie Lounsberry with her coworker Michaelle Bond. The report uncovered the wrongful conviction of Chester Hollman: a Pennsylvania man who was given a life sentence. He was recently released on July 15 after 28 years in prison thanks to the story ran by The Philadelphia Inquirer. Reflecting on the case, Lounsberry said it “was undoubtedly the most satisfying story I’ve ever done.” The investigation began in August 2014, not as a plea for Hollman’s innocence, but rather as a story addressing the issue with people lying when testifying in court, thus the phrase “testilying.” The story soon became about the wrongful murder conviction of an innocent man. Bond joined the case in 2015 when her

editor at the time, John Martin, asked her to join it. After hearing a brief overview, she said it seemed “fantastic and incredible,” and jumped at the chance to work on it. The journalists gathered boxes of court records and began “diving in, really going through all of the testimony,” Bond said. “A lot of what we do isn’t that glamorous.” “Testilying,” which was published on April 2, 2017, chronicled how in 1991, Chester Hollman, a 21-year-old with no criminal record, was found guilty for murdering Tae-Jung Ho, a student at the University of Pennsylvania. According to Lounsberry and Bond, detectives found no physical evidence. Their investigation included tracking down key witnesses to the crime. Specifically, they spent two years searching for Denise Combs, who was potentially on the scene with a vehicle similar to that of the getaway car. In fact, in order to get a better understanding of the getaway car and whether or not Hollman could get from the scene of the see JAIL page 5

YouTube star shares rise to fame By Julia Meehan Photo Editor Ryan Bergara, co-host and creator of the popular YouTube series “BuzzFeed Unsolved,” spoke to students on Thursday, Oct. 17, in the Mayo Concert Hall. The show’s YouTube channel, “The BuzzFeed Unsolved Network,” has more than 3 million subscribers. The episodes focus on investigations involving crime or paranormal activities, where

Opinions / page 9

Bergara tries to convince his co-host, Shane Madej, that things are more than what they seem. At the event, which the Asian American Association sponsored, Bergara described himself as “just a dude figuring it out on the fly,” despite drawing a crowd of excited students who started lining up for the event four-and-a-half hours early to hear him speak about his experiences with the show and with

Features / page 12

being an Asian-American in the media. “It might surprise all of you, but I never wanted to be a performer,” Bergara said. “I made movies nonstop, and a lot of them were really bad. But some of the films were good enough to get me into film school. Not to toot my own horn, but toot toot.” After he started film school, he turned his attention see CREATOR page 2

Arts & Entertainment / page 15

Sports / page 20

Lions’ Plate Black bean burgers make for healthy vegetarian alternative

‘The Politician’ New Netflix comedydrama creates buzz

Football Lions win Homecoming game

See Features page 13

See A&E page 18

See Sports page 20

page 2 The Signal October 23, 2019

‘BuzzFeed Unsolved’ host highlights career Bergara offers advice to content founders continued from page 1 to cinematography, which became his passion. Just days before joining the cinematographer’s guild, he was offered an internship at a media startup called BuzzFeed. “I just trusted my gut,” Bergara said. “Sometimes in life, it pays to be headstrong, but as a young person, it also helps to have fluidity.” Bergara spoke of his intern days fondly. “I don’t know how else to say this: I made some bangers,” Bergara said. He soon transitioned out from behind the camera and began hosting — a move that he was not comfortable with at first. “I thought I would look like this,” he said, putting an image of a clown onto the screen. “I didn’t want to be up there dancing for the man.” Later, he realized that he had been training to be in front of the camera the whole time. “As a kid, I was an insufferable ham,” Bergara said, showing the audience snippets of him singing Christmas carols as a toddler followed by clips

from his high school TV station. “Don’t search for this, you won’t find it. It’s private.” Overall, Bergara was glad with his decision to move in front of the camera. “I was so obsessed with who I wanted to be that I didn’t stop and try to give who I was a chance,” he said. Bergara spoke about the evolution of “BuzzFeed Unsolved” from short clips on true crime to fullblown paranormal investigations. “‘Unsolved’ is a string of different mistakes, but clearly, things worked out,” he said. After the success of “BuzzFeed Unsolved,” Bergara began to come to terms with his Asian heritage, a side of him that he had never really addressed before. “I grew up in a Mexican household even though I looked Asian,” Bergara said. “So I kind of just identified as this ameobus dude. Up to the point of ‘Unsolved,’ me being Asian-American didn’t have much to do with me getting anywhere. Now I’m in front of the camera and I have a lot of younger Asian viewers thanking me for representation.” He attributed the turning point in his view to the release of the

2018 film “Crazy Rich Asians.” “It made me realize the power of community,” Bergara said. “Here’s a guy that looks like me as a lead in a movie. If he can do that, then why can’t I? Any representation matters in media. I was just making videos on YouTube. I didn’t think I was part of an important movement. I realized being an Asian person in content is only half the battle. It’s passively helpful, but it’s important to own your identity.” Bergara then described the list of takeaways he wanted the audience to get from his presentation. First, he told students always to trust their gut. Second, he advised them not to be too concerned with the future. Lastly, his biggest takeaway was to stop thinking and start doing. “Create as much as you can, make plenty of mistakes,” Bergara said. “It’s important to create as much as you possibly can in your current iteration.” Sophomore mathematics major Mirana Baciu found Bergara’s discussion interesting. “It was fascinating to hear his story. It was motivational to see how he got where he is right now,” Baciu said.

In the question session that followed the presentation, many people had one idea on their mind: would he be interested in investigating the

supposed haunting of Kendall Hall? His answer: “Maybe.” “We’d be open to it,” Bergara said. “We’ll look into it.”

Julia Meehan / Photo Editor

The Asian-American Association gives the star a shirt.

Vital Signs: Pineapples offer sweet SFB funds Moonlight Cruise treat with various health benefits Pep Band presents to board

Students can find the fruit at the Atrium at Eickhoff Hall.


Members discuss the upcoming events.

By Victoria Giardina Columnist

getting these vital vitamins, but pine- By Ian Krietzberg apples have it all in one. Staff Writer

Pineapples aren’t just for the summer —they are a superfruit that you can indulge in all year round. Not only are they juicy and refreshing, but they tower with benefits all the way to the crown. Here’s why you should add pineapple to your fruit must-haves.

They Promote Healthy Complexion If your face is feeling a bit dry or your hair feels a bit brittle, eating pineapple can do the trick. Alongside these physical health benefits, the fruit is also linked to increasing your energy and decreasing your obesity risk, according to Medical News Today. So, where can you find this nutrient-dense superfood on campus? The Atrium at Eickhoff Hall typically serves pineapple alongside watermelon and other tropical fruits by the yogurt station to the left of the salad bar. You can also find pineapple at the various cafes on campus, pre-packaged for convenience to take to class.

They Are Filled With Vitamins This tropical fruit is delicious and has a diverse array of essential nutrients. According to Medical News Today, pineapples have 131 percent of vitamin C, 2 percent of vitamin A, 2 percent of calcium and even 3 percent of iron. Eating a varied diet will typically ensure that you are

The Student Finance Board funded six organizations at its meeting on Oct. 16, totaling an expense of more than $20,000. The Junior Class Council requested $14,235 on behalf of the Class of 2021 for its Moonlight Cruise event, which is scheduled to take place on Nov. 9 at 10:15 a.m. There will be 200 available tickets for this cruise, and students will be bussed to and from Christopher Columbus Boulevard in Philadelphia. SFB fully funded the event with the stipulation that council does not charge students for tickets. The Deaf Hearing Connection was fully funded for $2,270 for Deaf Culture Night, which will take place on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. in the Brower Student Center. The event is designed to allow students of the College better

Ian Krietzberg / Staff Writer

to understand deaf culture and will feature a performance by Mathey Maxey, a prominent interpreter and performer in the deaf community. The money will go towards food and performance costs. The College’s Pep Band was fully funded $2,340 for its request for t-shirts and zippered hoodies that are meant to enforce group unity. This motion passed with the stipulation that the shirts and hoodies are organizational property and cannot be taken home after graduation. The College’s Outdoors Club were fully funded $950 for transportation to its ziplining event, which will take place Nov. 2 at the Mountain Creek resort in Vernon Township, New Jersey. Lambda Theta Alpha and Lambda Theta Phi were fully funded $540 for their co-sponsored “Viva La Vida” event, which is scheduled to take place on Nov. 1 at 7:30 p.m. in the Decker Hall Social Space.

October 23, 2019 The Signal page 3

Author, poet reflects on inspiring career

Event celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month

By Julia Meehan Photo Editor The College welcomed author, poet and 2015 Pennsylvania Professor of the Year Javier Avila to the Library Auditorium on Oct. 16, where he performed his one-man show, “The Trouble With My Name,” for students and faculty. This event rounded out the College’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and was arranged in part by the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. The talk revolved around Avila’s experience after he moved from Puerto Rico to Pennsylvania and the path that led him to his success. “I was not a minority until I was 31 years old,” Avila said. “Suddenly, I have to prove to others that I am not a stereotype.” Avila’s one-man-show included stories from his childhood in Puerto Rico and adulthood in the U.S., as well as readings from his poetry collection, “The Trouble With My Name,” which was published in 2017. His

Julia Meehan / Photo Editor

Avila explains how rejection of hatred is vital.

event also showcased several props that ranged from a photo of his mother to a container of Vicks Vapor Rub, which his grandmother insisted was a cure-all. He spoke about the harmful effects of stereotyping, including a time when his new neighbor mistakenly identified him as the house’s landscaper and not its owner. In response, Avila wrote up a fake estimate for work on his neighbor’s yard and played along as a landscaper until the neighbor insisted that his price was too high. After this exchange, he didn’t speak to his neighbor for nine years. “You have to be willing to lose friends in order to make a point,” Avila said. “You have to be willing to make people uncomfortable to make a point.” During his accounts of his childhood, he told stories of his grandmother, a 4 foot 11 inch woman who barely had any teeth, and who was also on an FBI Watchlist because she liked to cook for “rebels” who wanted freedom for Puerto Rico. He spoke volumes of her cooking and said he frequently visits a Puerto Rican restaurant in Pennsylvania because the smell transports him back to his grandmother’s kitchen. Another prevalent theme of his talk was the idea of rejecting hatred and working towards social equality and equity. “You might not live to see the finished product, but that doesn’t mean you don’t work towards it,” Avila said. “All of us must educate others. It is our duty as citizens. It is our duty as the generations that want equity.” Avila also spoke against the trend of romanticizing the past. “Whenever someone talks about the good old days, you have to wonder,” he said. “The good old days don’t include most of the people in this room.” He condemned the mindset of many of the people in power, such as lawmakers, from the 1950s to the 1970s. “They have been taught to hate and this kind of hate is very hard to take away,” Avila said. Avila also urged students not to be apathetic and to be bold in everything they do. He finished the talk by looking forward to the future through his son and the genuinely colorblind way he thinks about the world. “Why do these kids know something I’ve been trying to teach adults for 20 years?” he asked.

Julia Meehan / Photo Editor

The speaker poses for a picture with attendants.

“You might not live to see the finished product, but that doesn’t mean you don’t work towards it. All of us must educate others. It is our duty as citizens. It is our duty as the generations that want equity.” —Javier Avila

Author of “The Trouble With My Name”

Thefts on campus increase rapidly Students report stolen art, bicycle, laptop, medication By Jennifer Somers Photo Editor Theft of anime drawing occurs at library On Oct. 8 at approximately 9:58 a.m., Campus Police was dispatched to the R. Barbara Gitenstein Library on a report of theft. Campus Police arrived on the scene two minutes later and met a male individual, who stated that one of his drawings was taken from his cubicle between the hours of 5 p.m. on Oct. 7 and 9 a.m. on Oct. 8. According to the individual, the drawing was an artist’s rendering of the anime character “Ginsu” done by his father. It has no monetary value. The drawing was last seen at 5 p.m. on Oct. 7. He stated that he noticed the Ginsu drawing was crooked and readjusted it before he left for the evening. When he returned to work the morning of Oct. 8, he noticed the drawing was missing at approximately 9 a.m. He stated that another one of his drawings in black and white depicting anime characters from “TiGun” was taken in either June or July of this year. However, he couldn’t recall the actual

date and time. Campus Police asked if he knew of anyone with whom he worked who may show interest or take the drawings, to which he stated, “No.” Campus Police has no further information to report about the case at this time.

so Campus Police advised him to forward the VIN to the officers if he were to obtain it. Additionally, he was advised to contact Campus Police if he recovered his bicycle. A case number was provided to him for reference.

Student reports theft of bicycle On Oct. 8 at approximately 1:15 p.m., a male individual arrived at Campus Police headquarters to report the theft of his bicycle. He stated that he locked his Jamis Boss Cruiser onto the bicycle rack in front of Travers and Wolfe Halls Oct. 5 at approximately 5 p.m. When he returned to campus on Oct. 7 at approximately 2:30 p.m., he noticed that the bicycle was gone. He stated that he observed a black wire on the ground near the bicycle rack, which appeared to have been cut. However, he could not identify it as his bicycle lock. He described the bicycle as black with aftermarket lights on the handlebar and under the seat. He valued his bicycle at $250. He did not have a vehicle identification number for the bicycle at the time,

Theft of laptop at STEM Building occurs On Oct. 13 at approximately 2:37 p.m., a female individual went to Campus Police Headquarters to report the theft of her 2016 Silver Macbook Pro. She said she was studying in the STEM Building’s second floor Research and Write-Up Room on Oct. 12 between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. The individual said that at approximately 5 p.m., she left the study area to help her friends study. She stated the Macbook Pro was left on top of the “circular table” of the room and when she returned at approximately 7 p.m., the computer was missing. According to the student, she had exhausted all other attempts to locate the Macbook Pro and the serial number

was unknown. Individual reports theft of medication On Oct. 15 at approximately 11:05 a.m., Campus Police was dispatched to the Art and Interactive Multimedia Building to speak with a male individual in reference to his stolen medication. Upon arrival, Campus Police met with the individual, who stated that he brought his prescription pills in a pill bottle with him to work on Oct. 14. He took one pill and left two in the bottle on his bookshelf. He arrived in his office at approximately 9 a.m., left his office to go home for dinner at 6:30 p.m. and returned to his office at approximately 8 p.m. He left the office for the night at approximately 9 p.m. and returned to work on Oct. 15, when he observed one pill and a half left in his pill bottle. He was advised not to take the remaining pill and a half left in the bottle. He informed Campus Police that his new prescription was available. He stated that he wanted to report what occurred in case something else was found missing from his office.

page 4 The Signal October 23, 2019



Initial Registration Period for Undergraduate and Graduate Students


Tuesday, November 5 through Friday, November 15


PA�S ••

Your enrollment appointment reflecting the first time you will be eligible to register for the Spring 2020 semester can be accessed via your PAWS account. To view your scheduled enrollment appointment, visit the Enrollment Appointment section in the PAWS Student Center. Once eligible, students remain eligible throughout the registration period. Undergraduate students who do not register for Spring 2020 by 11:59 pm on Sunday, November 17, will be subject to a late registration fine. Undergraduate Late Registration Fine: $150

The Spring 2020 Schedule of Classes is available on PAWS and can be viewed by using the Search for Classes button. Both Winter and Summer 2020 registration are also open, along with Spring 2020 registration. Check PAWS frequently for any updated winter/summer course offerings and consult with your advisor for appropriate course selections.

Visit the PAWS HELP website for complete information on how to log-in to PAWS, search for classes, browse the Course Catalog, view your Holds, add courses to your Shopping Cart, and register for classes: http :ljpawshelp. pages. Use the Validate feature directly from your PAWS Shopping Cart to check for potential pre-requisite issues before registration! For more information on the Validate feature, visit:

Check PAWS early and frequently for Holds that will prevent you from registering. All Hold Flag information can be viewed under the Holds section in the PAWS Student Center. Access your Academic Requirements Report on PAWS to view your degree requirements via the Advising Tools link. Make an appointment to see your advisor to discuss your Academic Requirements Report. Your advisor's name and email address can be located in your PAWS Student Center. Double-check course numbers and course sections prior to your registration appointment for schedule changes and periodic updates. Graduate Students: If you are a non-matriculant who is applying for Spring matriculation, you should not register during this timeframe. If accepted for matriculation, you will be invited to register during the Graduate Orientation session on January 9, 2020. THE OFFICE OF RECORDS AND REGISTRATION Green Hall 112, 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM

October 23, 2019 The Signal page 5

Students learn how to help refugees


The IRC aims to aid those affected by a crisis. By Amani Salahudeen Staff Writer

An International Rescue Committee representative came to visit the Student Government body on Oct. 15 in Forcina Hall. According to the IRC’s website, “The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover and gain control of their future. In more than 40 countries and in 26 U.S. cities, our dedicated teams provide clean water, shelter, health care, education and empowerment support to refugees and displaced people.” Anum Kazmi, a junior special education and sociology dual major, talked about her experience working with the IRC. “Before I began my work at the IRC, we all received training and information on the refugee resettlement process, what it entails, what is happening in our country right now and how the laws and policies are greatly affecting

these people,” she said. Within 24 hours of a crisis, the IRC heads to the country in need and stays anywhere from six months to six years helping families transition from their homes over to the U.S. Kazmi also discussed how significant this program was to her. “I was able to connect with many different families and see firsthand from my interactions how extremely difficult it is to resettle in this country,” she said. “All people have the right to restart their lives and deserve to live in a safe, welcoming and all-inclusive environment.” The Bonner Community Scholars Program and Student Government both sponsored the event, where Milagros Cruz, a representative from the IRC’s New York City office, showed students a video of a young Pakistani child who had to leave his home with his siblings due to the bombing attacks and start over in the U.S. Cruz told students that they could help out by either donating money or their time. Many of the children needed help learning English and adjusting to the

Jail / Hollman adjusts to post-prison life continued from page 1

crime to where he was arrested, Bond took it upon herself to recreate the scenario. She acted as the getaway car multiple times, following the possible routes and driving as fast as she could from the scene to where the arrest took place. Hollman was arrested on Aug. 20, 1991, and was sent to SCI Retreat in Pennsylvania where he said he served “27 years and 11 months.” Before his arrest, he was studying criminal justice in hopes of pursuing law enforcement. “I had lost hope. I watched five years pass, 10 years pass, 15 years pass, 20 years pass,” Hollman said. “It’s so easy to get caught in the prison life.” While in prison, investigations continued from not only Lounsberry and Bond, but by Hollman’s personal investigator, Dennis Crosson. His family spent over $200,000 on lawyers and investigators to prove his innocence over the 28 years. “It was very interesting how they managed to solve the crime after 28 years,” said Marc Kaliroff, a freshman

journalism and professional writing major who attended the lecture. On July 15, Hollman was released from prison by the same judge who put him there, Gwendalyn Bright. Having Hollman at the lecture series just 94 days after his release was an important moment for Lounsberry and Bond as they shared their experience investigating his story. The world, along with Hollman’s personal life, had changed drastically over the course of his sentence. Over the 28 years, he had lost his mother, his grandparents and his nephew. Hollman also continues to adjust to new technology, such as smartphones and touch screens. However, he said the biggest challenge he faces is communicating with the people around him. “I think for me, interacting with people has been the hardest,” Hollman said. “I’m trying to prove that I’m a real person, I’m worthy for you to be around, to talk to. Every day, I get a little stronger, a little wiser, and hopefully this time next year I’ll be in a better place than I am today.”

Jennifer Somers / Photo Editor

Lounsberry discusses the importance of investigative reporting.

American school life. Often times, many of the students were extremely nervous about attending a different school in a new country. “This begins with each of us and it needs to start now,” Kazmi said. “Listen, speak out, act.” In order to be selected for the volunteer program, students have to find one that interests them and apply. There are many programs listed on the IRC website for students to choose. Cruz suggested applying to one at a time. Once they apply, they must go to an IRC orientation and, afterwards, they are interviewed by an IRC staff member and must complete a background check. Students can receive college credit for their efforts, Cruz said that it would look good on a resume if they needed more of an incentive. “It’s a great opportunity for you (students) to make a difference,” Cruz said. “These children often see things that no child should see and it means a lot to them if we make their transitions a little easier. We train them to help them adjust to their new lives because we don’t want any of our kids to fall behind in school.”

SG discusses Homecoming

Jennifer Somers / Photo Editor

The Armenian Students Association desires to be a recognized organization.

By Len La Rocca News Editor

Student Government discussed the official recognition of a student-run organization, one bill affecting SG’s day-to-day operations and grilling at Homecoming at its meeting on Oct. 16 in the Education Building Room 115. The Armenian Students Association presented its message of inclusivity and diversity to the general body. The two representatives described how the organization will add friendly spirit and Armenian culture to the College. The organization is planning many interactive activities, such as a genocide walk educating students on the history of the Armenian Genocide, an alumni networking event and a formal. The group already has 20 to 50 members, according to the organization’s presentation to the general body. SG voted 7-0 to recognize the Armenian Students Association as a student organization on campus. Organization member Jess Hamalian, a sophomore business major, was ecstatic to see the group receive SG recognition.

“I’m really excited for the future of TCNJ’s Armenian Club because spreading diversity … across campus is so important,” she said. “We’re looking forward to spreading awareness about the Armenian Genocide and other hidden genocides in history.” A topic of debate amongst the SG body was an attire bill suggesting that students dress formally for SG meetings. The bill was met with confusion, as it stated that no members would be penalized for not dressing formally, yet pro-bill members stated that formal attire does not imply buying expensive clothing. SG debated with two notches, where members voiced their concerns that some people may feel ostracized due to their financial situations. Pro-bill members voiced their opinions on the bill, stating that it only allows students who want to dress formally the option to do so. The bill did not pass. Finally, SG requested that some members volunteer to grill at the Homecoming tailgate on Saturday, Oct. 19, alongside members of the Student Finance Board. SG selected its volunteers and stated that they would have vegetarian options.

page 6 The Signal October 23, 2019

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October 23, 2019 The Signal page 7

Nation & W rld

House votes on Trump’s withdrawal from Syria By Ian Krietzberg Staff Writer In a nonbinding bipartisan resolution passed on Oct. 16, the House of Representatives voted to condemn President Donald Trump’s sudden decision to withdraw U.S. military forces from Syria, according to NBC News. “‘With one voice, we call on President Trump to support Kurdish communities, to work to ensure that the Turkish military acts with restraint, and to present a clear strategy to defeat ISIS,’” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said in a joint statement on Oct. 15, according to The Hill. “‘This resolution also urges (Turkish) President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan to immediately cease unilateral military action in Syria.’” According to The New York Times, the resolution passed 354 to 60, showing overwhelming bipartisan support — a fact that carries even greater poignancy as the impeachment inquiry against the president continues. This resolution comes after Turkish

military forces began to push further south into Syria, a long-threatened invasion that began after Trump pulled 50 U.S. troops back from the border in fear of a Turkish incursion, according to CNN. Trump’s decision, according to The New York Times, enabled the Turkish incursion and resulted in his essential abandonment of the Kurds, an important U.S. ally in the fight against ISIS. Trump tweeted about the events in Syria on Oct. 14. “I am withdrawing the remaining United States service members from northeast Syria,” he stated. “As United States forces have defeated the ISIS physical caliphate, United States troops coming out of Syria will now redeploy and remain in the region to monitor the situation and prevent a repeat of 2014, when the neglected threat of ISIS raged across Syria and Iraq.” In the same statement, Trump also included an explanation of how he will use aggressive economic sanctions as a weapon to stop the Turkish invasion. This decision has resulted in a quick, bipartisan abandonment of the president, with Republican and Democratic senators

The resolution passes 354 to 60 in favor of bipartisan support. alike publicly condemning his decision to abandon Kurdish allies. “I worry we will not have allies in the future against radical Islam, ISIS will reemerge, & Iran’s rise in Syria will become a nightmare for Israel,” said Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a longtime supporter of Trump, in a tweet on Oct. 16. “I fear this is a complete and utter national security disaster in the making and I hope President Trump will adjust his thinking.” In a statement released on Oct. 14, Senate


Majority Leader Mitch McConnel acknowledged that for years, the U.S. and Syria had made the effort to put a stop to ISIS. “Abandoning this fight now and withdrawing U.S. forces from Syria would re-create the very conditions that we have worked hard to destroy and invite the resurgence of ISIS,” the statement read. He went on to express that “such a withdrawal” would invite both Iran and Russia to exploit the resulting Syrian power vacuum, which would be “catastrophic” for the U.S.

10-year-old dies at annual festival in Deerfield Township By Liya Davidov Nation & World Editor

The rides close following the tragedy.


A 10-year-old girl died after she was ejected from an amusement ride at the annual Deerfield Township Harvest Festival on Oct. 12, according to NBC News. Officials identified the girl as a fifth grader who attended Deerfield Elementary School, according to “‘You come thinking the kids will be safe, not a freak accident,’” Alex Ortiz, the father to one of the victim’s friends, told “‘To have to go through that at something they go through every year, that’s really hard.’” According to CNN, she was riding the “‘Extreme,’” a Wisdom Super Sizzler amusement ride that spins horizontally in circles. She suffered serious injuries after being thrown from the ride. She was immediately airlifted to Cooper University Hospital in Camden, New Jersey, where she was pronounced dead at 7:20 p.m., according to CNN. The ride was inspected in New Jersey, according to

State Department of Community Affairs data reported by However, there was no date indicating its latest inspection. Skelly’s Amusements, the organization in charge of operations of the festival’s rides, said it would not open the next day as it was scheduled to, according to NBC News. Skelly’s Amusements posted on Facebook, “Even though we have been given permission to operate the other rides by the state, we don’t have it in our heart.” In addition to the continuation of the festival, a parade scheduled for Oct. 13 was canceled as a result of the girl’s death, according to CNN. On the same premise, rides and games were also closed on Sunday. However, CNN reported that Skelly’s Amusements stated that the festival would remain open “to offer a place for the community to come together in wake of this tragedy.” Investigations led by the State Police and the Carnival and Amusement Ride unit within the Department of Community Affairs are ongoing, while Skelly’s Amusements is cooperating, according to NBC News.

Irish government avoids national hate crime attacks By Owen Davidson Staff Writer On Oct. 13, CNN reported that an anonymous Irish person spoke on the phone with Iman Ibrahim Noonan, the owner of a Myriam Mosque in Galloway. Noonan told reporters that the caller “didn’t want Irish culture to change and that he belonged to a far-right group.” The caller claimed “he had attended a meeting where people said they were planning to attack his mosque and harm him.” Noonan interpreted the conversation as a threat of an attack, which he told police, according to CNN. There were also reports that the perpetrators broke windows, vandalized the owner’s office and damaged the video surveillance system. CNN also reported that the Irish government “doesn’t gather

national statistics on hate-crime, racist attacks, or discrimination,” nor does it have “purpose-build hate crime legislation” like most countries within the European Union. Although hate crimes can be considered an “aggravating factor” when determining sentencing, no law pertains to hate crimes in Ireland’s criminal justice system. According to CNN, the current 1989 Prohibition of Incitement to Hatred Act has rendered provoking any hatred based on one’s nationality, ethnicity, race, religion or sexual orientation an offense. However, the legislation has resulted in five convictions in the past 30 years since the law mainly applies to hate speech. According to a 2017 Irish Times article, Ireland has expanded civil liberties for minorities. Four years ago, Irish citizens voiced their approval of marriage equality. In the

same year, the Irish government passed laws giving transgender people the right to have identity legally recognized. “...Violence on the basis of difference continues to be a real challenge for both parts of this island in the 21st century,” The Irish Times reported. “In 2016, An Garda Síochána recorded a hate crime nearly every day. Research suggests that these figures are unrepresentative of the true prevalence of hate crimes and that the real statistics are likely to be much higher.” The Irish News reported that Oct. 12 to 19 was National Hate Crime Awareness Week. The event, which was held in Co Antrim, aimed to shed light on goals in Northern Ireland to “‘promote inclusivity and support victims.’” The Irish Times reported that “the victim of the hate crime is


Protestors gather to promote Northern Ireland’s issues. recorded as a person to whom hostility or prejudice is displayed under race, homophobia (sexual orientation), sectarianism, faith/religion (non-sectarian), disability or transphobia.” According to The Irish News, The Police Service of Northern Ireland, which took part in the event, revealed that recent statistics show that from July 2018 to

June 2019, there were 1,607 hate crimes, which is 167 more than the previous year. “‘There is no place for hate in Northern Ireland,’” Emma Barronwell from Victim Support NI told The Irish Times. “‘We want all victims of hate crime to know that they are not alone and that support is available immediately after an incident or at any stage.’”

page 8 The Signal October 23, 2019


Students should take break from technology

Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, repeat. This is the cycle I find myself engaging in for the majority of my day. If I’m not on my phone, I’m restless and anxious. My phone is my security blanket and the more I look around me, the more I realize it had become nearly everyone’s security blanket. It’s increasingly blaring that the world is becoming too dependent on technology, especially on cell phones and computers. Technology and cell phone addiction has become a real thing. It’s sad that there are signs all over highways and roads telling drivers to just put down their phones and drive because there have been too many accidents due to people texting and driving. According to a Daily Mail article on cell phone addiction, studies have shown that mobile device owners check their phones every six minutes and up to 150 times a day. That’s terrifying, mainly because it’s making me realize just how addicted I am to my own phone and how addicted everyone I know is based off my own observations. Research has shown that people who unplug from their technological devices even for a little bit can do wonders to their physical and mental health. Time Magazine reported that researchers discovered that one in three people felt more dissatisfied with their lives after visiting sites like Instagram and Facebook. Powering down helps get rid of unhealthy feelings of envy and loneliness due to social media. Solitude is harder to find when you’re always “on” and connected. After constantly being immersed in social media, checking emails and keeping up with your online persona, it’s hard to ground yourself and have a quiet headspace. For me personally, my thoughts are constantly racing a mile a minute, not only due to stress from school, but also from the constant distraction from my cell phone and laptop. Experts recommend college students get involved in activities such as yoga, working out or meditation. Not only will this force you to stay off your phone, but it will center you, ground you and, depending on the activity, give your body a nice stretch and break. Yoga and meditation help improve focus as well. Too much technology leads to lack of focus on important tasks and causes trouble with controlling impulses while doing important tasks. Have you ever taken 20 social media breaks in a half-hour while writing a huge essay? The next time you are hanging out with a friend, observe how long you or your friend go without checking your phone during the conversation. You may be shocked when you realize how often your distractions cause you to check your device for notifications. Real-life connections enrich our lives and bring us true laughter, joy and happiness. Technology blocks that and takes all of our time and attention away from more important things such as academics, social lives, personal relationships and more. Cell phone addiction goes beyond mental impairment. “Tech neck” is a real issue teens and adults are suffering from. It’s caused by the constant hunched over position of being on your phone or sitting at your desk while typing and staring at the computer. Technology ruins posture and weakens your muscles that hold up your spine. Some tips to try to help with tech neck are holding your device at eye level, looking down with your eyes instead of your head, resting your eyes often, being mindful of your posture when using digital devices and taking three-minute breaks every 15 to 20 minutes spent on your device. Take back your consciousness and your mindspace by powering off from technology, even if it’s once a week. Be more conscious of your cell phone use. Cell phone addiction is a real thing that is linked to depression and anxiety and if you see yourself craving to check your phone, don’t feed into it. Distract yourself by watching a movie, reading a book or hanging out with a friend. There is a quote that I often go back to during times of frustration and stress as a college student: “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” . — Viktoria Ristanovic 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.


Spending too much time on the internet causes stress.

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Editorial Staff Garrett Cecere Editor-in-Chief Jane Bowden Camille Furst Managing Editors Isabel Vega Len La Rocca News Editors Christine Houghton Sports Editor Viktoria Ristanovic Features Editor Lara Becker Arts & Entertainment Editor Richard Miller Opinions Editor Liya Davidov Nation & World Editor James Mercadante Reviews Editor Jonah Malvey Project Manager

Mailing Address: The Signal c/o Forcina Hall The College of New Jersey P.O. Box 7718 Ewing, NJ 08628-0718 Jennifer Somers Julia Meehan Photo Editors Madison Oxx Production Manager Muhammad Siddiqui Web Editor Kalli Colacino Madison Pena Leigha Stuiso Social Media Editors Diana Solano Distribution Manager Emilie Lounsberry Adviser Mina Milinkovic Business/Ad Manager

“Every day, I get a little stronger, a little wiser, and hopefully this time next year I’ll be in a better place than I am today.” — Chester Hollman Wrongfully convicted man

“Create as much as you can, make plenty of mistakes. It’s important to create as much as you possibly can in your current iteration.” — Ryan Bergara Co-host and creator of “Buzzfeed Unsolved”

“All people have the right to restart their lives and deserve to live in a safe, welcoming and all-inclusive environment.” — Anum Kazmi Junior special education and psychology dual major

October 23, 2019 The Signal page 9


Government should be less strict about substance laws By Evan White

As the political discourse on the status of the legality of marijuana and other illegal substances grows and the war on drugs continues, it is important for us as a nation to take a step back and ask ourselves a simple question — Why are all three branches of government so adamant about repressing the exchange of illegal drugs? The concept of laws and legality is already an arbitrary concept, synthesized by the elevated state of human ingenuity through hundreds of years of industrialization and modernization. As we have seen in the past, the suppression of illegal drugs and pushing forward with the concept of law in this regard has proven fickle. One of the earliest examples of substance control by the government was the prohibition era of the 1920s. The prohibition of alcohol throughout the early 20th century was an absolute failure that contributed greatly to the economic ruin of the era. For a significant span of time in American history, marijuana was a legal substance. It was not until the advent of harsh campaigning on the part of the Food and Drug Administration that cannabis became labeled a harmful drug.

The primary strategy of the FDA was employing racist pseudoscience to justify the barring of weed, associating racial minorities who were perceived as slovenly and a threat to “racial purity” with its use. History has repeated itself. Through the war on drugs and the observable racial profiling seen in incarceration rates for drug charges, the deeply imbedded racism within the government’s views on drug use is portrayed clearly. From this racist lens through which the federal government is viewing the “issue” of drugs, people are overlooking new means to open the economy and create thousands of new jobs through the legalization of all currently illegal substances. Such a decision would give leeway to owners of drug manufactories, spaces for rent designed to ensure safe drug use, designers of new and innovative technologies to enhance production and quality of the product being consumed, among other occupations. While incarcerating thousands of thinly punishable citizens for what should be insignificant drug charges produces a great amount of income through the means of the corrupt prison system in

Marijuana legalization is one of the biggest debates in the country right now. this country, the opening of this realm of the job market is projected to be even more economically effective than the ongoing strategy. Additionally capitalizing on opportunities to reduce the 1 percent of all Americans who are in prison is an act of moral progression necessary to take the next steps in social progressivism in the U.S. Through high incarceration

rates and stigmatization, the use of drugs has become a reverend act in the modern counterculture, leading to historically higher rates of drug use than previous years. This change has influenced growing social pressures in groups of adolescents, as well as adults, to “fit in” or partake in a means to defy the government, an increasingly lustered undertaking in modern society that


has catalyzed the epidemics of drug addiction we see running rampant in this country. While recovery from a substance use disorder is possible, only a 10th of prospective addicts will seek help. By legalizing all currently illegal drugs, not only will we see economic benefits, but greater social stability and reduction of both immanent and contemporary drug epidemics will follow suit in addition.

Reality television fails to represent minority groups

Barrino, London and Hudson rank the lowest on ‘American Idol.’ By Richard Miller Opinions Editor Since its inception, reality television has been controversial. The genre claims to be representative of real life, but how can that be if the programs are accurately representing everyone? In the past year, more than ever, there has been a discussion of racial discrimination amongst the genre. Reality television has a long history of not being true “reality” for everybody, and inversely being very discriminatory. The two biggest ways we have seen this done, are lack of inclusion and


reinforced stereotypes. There are countless examples of nonwhite people barely, if at all, being represented on this shows, and when they are either focusing on the discrimination they’re facing on the program by the other participants, or only highlighting them in ways that fit the mold they have been forced into. One of the biggest examples comes from this past summer on the hit CBS show “Big Brother,” where the winner of the program, 24-year-old Jackson Michie, came under fire for comments he and other contestants made against AfricanAmerican contestant Kemi Fakunle and

Hispanic contestant Jessica Milagros. Earlier this summer, another CBS reality show, “Survivor,” came under scrutiny after Julia Carter, a ‘castaway’ on the 38th season, penned an over 4,600-word essay about her experience on the show. In the piece, she discussed how she felt that her lack of screen-time during the season was because of her race. She wrote, “There is a significant difference between diversity and inclusion,” calling out the show for not, having a diverse cast. “American Idol,” ABC’s popular singing competition, also has years of alleged bias and discrimination in its production and voting process. The biggest discussion of discrimination came in season 3, when contestants Fantasia Barrino, Jennifer Hudson and LaToya London, who were dubbed “The Divas,” were all placed in the bottom three out of the final eight contestants, despite high praises from the judges. After Hudson was eliminated, Elton John, who was a mentor for that season, criticized the vote as “incredibly racist” in a press conference. This was followed by five consecutive seasons. Starting in the seventh season, the title of the champion was given to a white male who plays the guitar – a trend that “Idol” pundits call the “white guy with a guitar” or “WGWG” factor.

But it’s not just “Idol” that’s been under fire. During this current season of “Dancing with the Stars,” observant fans have noticed that the bottom two votegetters in the first four weeks have been the African-American celebrities in this season casts. The extremely popular “Bachelor” franchise has also faced years of criticism regarding its inclusion of ethnically diverse contestants. To date, after 24 seasons, there has never been a male lead of African-American or Asian ethnicity. The show also has the reputation for eliminating the non-white contestants on average much sooner than the white contestants. With the many examples, it’s apparent that there is an overlapping theme here. But what does it all mean? It’s hard to really pinpoint one exact reason for the discrimination, but it is clear that it sends a much broader message Reality TV, specifically ‘talent’ or competition shows, are certainly not awardwinning documentaries. However, I think the simplistic nature of the premise can lead to a microcosm of American beliefs and ideals, whether we realize it or not. It’s important for people to see this data, and look inside themselves and figure out whether they are contributing to the issue of inequality or helping to stop it.


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

page 10 The Signal October 23, 2019

October 23, 2019 The Signal page 11

Students share opinions around campus

“Should the government be less strict with substance control?”

Richard Miller / Opinions Editor

Brooke Sullivan, a sophomore secondary education and history dual major

Luke Sulsenti

“Legalization of substances would be beneficial in so many ways. Things like reducing incarceration and stigma.”

Richard Miller / Opinions Editor

Kelly Ryder, a sophomore elementary education and history dual major “I think there should be less of a stigma around different substances. Legalization would help that.”

“Does reality television fail to show real life?”

Richard Miller / Opinions Editor

Sara Decker, a sophomore special education and mathematics dual major

“Yes, most reality television is so scripted. I don’t think it ever focuses on true actions.”

Luke Sulsenti

Richard Miller / Opinions Editor

Julianna Pastore, a sophomore secondary education and psychology dual major “Oh yes, 100 percent. People get so focused on people like the Kardashians. That’s not everyone’s reality.”

The Signal’s cartoon of the week ...

The Chip: Heartbreak and Homecoming: The Yankees Lost While I Was At Rho

By Tony Peroni Correspondent

This past weekend, the College celebrated its 164th annual homecoming festival. The party kicked off in lots 3 and 4 in the early hours of the morning. Old dudes in frat letters lined the lots, brews cracked, pigskin flying, tents erected. Many of these groups of old men were part of brotherhoods that no longer exist on campus, and haven’t for decades — a time capsule of youth and a testament to brotherhood. As the sun laid low in the sky, plumes of charcoal smoke filled the

atmosphere. The burgers were meaty … as meaty as their necks. Students and alumni arrived to the parking lots just past noon. Hugs, handshakes, chest bumps and daps were exchanged as students and recent graduates saw each other for the first time since May. There was a giant mobile unit selling alcoholic beverages for a reasonable price. It was sick, not gonna lie. Students were ecstatic. “This is definitely the only day of the year TCNJ feels like a regular university,” said Toby Hanks, a senior finance major. “Wow, I can’t believe a Bud Light is less than $4!” exclaimed Tonya McAffee, a senior economics major. “This isn’t fun unless you’re in Greek Life or 21+,” said some freshman whose name we didn’t bother to find out. As the tailgate winded down, students and alumni alike returned home for food

and slumber in preparation for the biggest event of the year: Rho Homecoming, aka Rho Coming. I napped a good nap, ate two bowls of Ramen, and put on a collared shirt. This is the best I have looked since my senior prom. My entourage and I arrived at Rho confused and disgusted by the fact that it has been renamed Cooper’s River View. We will acknowledge the change, yet ignore it nonetheless. Trenton’s hottest night club was absolutely bonkers. “I’ve been dancing nonstop since 3 p.m.!” exclaimed a very good dancer, and senior health exercise science major, Jim Schmidt. “Rho/Coops is a very fun place to hang out and blow off some steam,” said senior history major Debra Zingle. “Shut up, the Yankees are playing,” said me, a Yankees fan distraught at the fact that my boys in pinstripes were behind the Astros

3-2 in a best of 7 series, tied 4-4 bottom of the ninth away at Houston. I watched as Aroldis Chapman gave up a two-run walk off homer with an out away from extra innings and a possible game 7 for the Yankees to win the ALCS, get into the World Series and maybe even win it all for the 28th time and be the best baseball team in the world again. Ahhhhhhg. I’m so mad. I was and still am legitimately upset. I don’t even follow sports, but I cared about baseball this year and now I’m mad. And this happened at Rho. >:( AHHH. OK… OK… Sorry… I’m OK… Yeah so besides the fact that the Yankees lost while I was at Rho, students and alumni, young and old, STEM or no, can agree that homecoming was a blast and a half, and it was a great weekend to be a Lion. Disclaimer: This is obviously a satirical piece and does not describe a real event.

page 12 The Signal October 23, 2019


Drag Queens deliver scandalous humor Student wins sex toy at Big Gay Bingo

Vivian Murphy / Correspondent

Left: Students pose with Celestina and Rhumm after the show. Right: PRISM hosts the a semi-annual event. By Vivian Murphy Correspondent

Roughly 50 students joined PRISM and two drag queens in the Brower Student Center Room 100W for Big Gay Bingo on Thursday, Oct. 17. PRISM, the College’s first queerstraight alliance club, hosted the heroes vs. villains themed event “to spread awareness about drag culture, as well as to host a fun night for queer students and allies on campus,” said Forum Modi, a sophomore computer science major and treasurer of PRISM. Big Gay Bingo consisted of drag performances from Lady Celestina and Rhedd Rhumm, followed by an engaging and stirring game of bingo hosted by the queens themselves. The event was co-sponsored by Lambda Theta Phi Latin Fraternity Inc., the Black Student Union, Sigma Lambda

Beta International Fraternity Inc. and Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. “It’s great to see that there are cosponsors for this event. A lot of campuses don’t do that,” Celestina said. The room, decorated in red and blue with superhero decorations and candy, lit up when Rhumm began her dance to “Juice” by Lizzo. She spiced up her lip-synch routine with leg kicks, dips, flips and by strutting out at the end for a quick change. Celestina then came on, lip synching “Beauty School Dropout” from Grease the Musical and wearing an Emerald Cityinspired shiny green coat with a matching tophat and sunglasses. Her perfect synching of every riff got the audience roaring with laughter and applause. Some students decided to attend the Big Gay Bingo event because of the drag performances. “The queens are really fun, and they’re

really nice,” Modi said. However, some students went simply to play bingo and have a fun time. “I’m competitive,” said Rory Bruno, a graduate student studying special education. “I’m here for the grand prize, and if there’s a bingo event, count me in.” The night consisted of dancing, excitement, games and laughter. The queens hilariously hosted the bingo games, making jokes like “I hope this tumor is … B9.” The grand prize was a self-care package, including tea, essential oils, face masks, bath bombs, a coloring book, lotion and even a sex toy. With three students winning bingo at the same time for the grand prize, the queens devised a plan to find the final winner — LGBTQIA+ trivia and, eventually, a game of rock, paper, scissors. The event provided a way to contribute to Queer Awareness Month, as some


students reflected on their campus at the all-inclusive event. “TCNJ is a generally accepting campus,” Modi said. “But we still have a long way to go. The school tries its best to be inclusive and accepting of everyone, but some of the students aren’t exactly there sometimes.” Rhumm, who has been performing at the College for five years, and Celestina, who has been performing at the College for two years, put on an astonishing closing number of “One Night Only” by Jennifer Hudson and Beyoncé, where they danced and synched their hearts out together. Celestina reflected on her time working with the College. “Everyone has been super welcoming, super kind, super excited, and I think that has a lot to do with the work that PRISM has done on campus in terms of visibility, awareness, and doing events like this to raise understanding of drag culture,” Celestina said.

Women / Director of Residence Education unites College

Tormey teaches ‘All the Single Ladies.’ continued from page 1

questions — “what is the identity of a single woman, what are the stereotypes and why is this a topic of discussion?” “And it’s not just the Beyoncé song,” she said. Tormey utilizes music videos from artists like Lizzo and Taylor

Swift and television shows like “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” to analyze the representations of single women through a feminist lens. “It’s weird too, because there’s no one show or one song that everyone’s listening to,” Tormey said. “When I was in college, ‘Friends’ and ‘Seinfeld’ were everyone’s obsession. So I’m always looking to

change the pop culture pieces.” Tormey’s students also look at Aziz Ansari’s book, “Modern Romance: An Investigation,” which includes relationship studies through Columbia University and other institutions about changing trends in how people find a partner — and her class points out how feminism plays a significant role in that. “For women, being married is not necessarily the definition of success that it used to be,” Tormey said. “And they are oftentimes getting joy or satisfaction in their career, their parenting role or their side hustle than they are getting from a relationship. So there’s a lot of research on mental load and women are observing that. A lot of women are choosing not to be in relationships because it gives them more work.” Prior to joining the College in 2007 as the assistant director of Residence Education, Tormey wrote for Hartford Advocate. But as print journalism began to struggle with devising a business model on how to get

news on the internet, Tormey feared for the dissolution of journalism — which she studied for four years at Ithaca College — and thought that she would need to find another job. Luckily, her friend, who was the resident director at Ithaca, informed her about a job opening at the College. Tormey’s familiarity with Ithaca and the work ultimately helped her get the job. “I realized everything I liked about journalism,” Tormey said. “(I like) meeting new people, learning about other people’s experiences, and educating people was exactly what I was doing in residence life.” Over a decade later, Tormey continues to use her passion for working with people to work for the College’s community together, whether it be leading her staff or teaching her students. “We talk about the daily messages that we get, and these biases that we have that we might not even be aware of,” Tormey said. She firmly believes that it’s

significant for everyone, not just students, to come face-to-face with these tendencies so that people understand how to navigate and interact with others respectfully within communities. “This class puts me in a position where I have to identify and confront my biases every day,” Tormey said. “I think the class allows students to question the messages they are getting and not just about gender, but about race, social class, ethnicity, religion and so forth.” As she grapples with dense topics through her teachings, she struggles to assess a way for students to engage in conversations while knowing they are all at different places with their own understandings of their and other people’s identities. However, through her multiple positions at the College, she tries her best with helping students to engage with one another in learning communities. “I’m a nerd and I love learning,” Tormey said. “And I want everyone to love learning.”

October 23, 2019 The Signal page 13

: Nov. ‘05

Campus Style

Seasonal depression affects all people

Therapy relieves students’ symptoms and improves their mood. Every week, Features Editor Viktoria Ristanovic hits the archives and finds old Signals that relate to current College topics and top stories. As the days become shorter and the weather gets colder, students may find that motivation drops and feelings of fatigue and hopelessness increase. It is that time of year when midterms, projects, papers and exams are coming about, and it’s normal to feel anxious about upcoming deadlines. However, there are a few students who may feel mentally impaired beyond those feelings of stress, which can result from seasonal affective disorder. In a November 2005 issue of The Signal, a reporter wrote about the symptoms of SAD and remedies to combat this seasonal disorder. It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the clocks have been turned back and even die-hard flipflop wearers will soon be forced to trade their Reefs for a pair of snow boots. While it’s normal to pine for long days at the shore and the relaxed atmosphere of summer, there are over half a million people in the United States alone who suffer from symptoms of depression with the onslaught of the cold winter months. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a winter depression that affects scores of people every winter between September and April, with the most severe cases occurring in December, January and February. Although we haven’t had our first blizzard

yet, it’s never too early to learn about SAD — and to prepare yourself should you come down with a case of the winter blues. Symptoms of SAD may appear at any age, but are most likely to occur between the ages of 18 and 30. Therefore, this disorder is something that college students in particular should be aware of. Indicators of SAD can vary from person to person. Some of the most common symptoms are a desire to sleep later and difficulty staying awake, a lethargic feeling as you go about your daily activities, a craving for carbohydrates or sugar-rich foods that results in weight gain, a desire to avoid social interactions, feelings of anxiety or depression, sudden mood changes and the loss of a sexual appetite. If these symptoms have affected you for more than three consecutive winters but vanish in the spring and summer months to be replaced with periods of hyperactivity, it is most likely that you are a SAD sufferer. For Michelle Boccia, a junior engineering major at Northeastern University in Boston, Ma. who calls the Jersey shore home during the summer months, the harsh New England winters have certainly had an adverse affect on her life. “Even though we get snow in New Jersey, I wasn’t prepared for my first Boston winter at all,” she said.”

Lions’ Plate

Left: Wear scrunchies and jewelry for added detail. Right: Pair platform sneakers with flare jeans for a retro look. By Diana Solano Distribution Manager When fall begins, it’s always a good idea to swap out your shorts and tank tops for fall clothes like sweaters and ankle boots. This is also a good time of the year to clean out your closet in order to bring new trends in. When you’re cleaning, you might even hold up a few articles of clothing and think, “will I ever wear this again?” It’s an excuse that we all use to hold onto clothing items that we haven’t determined if they’re out of style or will be making a comeback. People in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s must have thought that chokers would never come back into fashion, but here we are in a whole new decade of fashion that’s looking like decades of the past. 1. Jeans Move over skinny jeans. There’s a new trend coming back into the denim world — flare jeans. These jeans add an extravagant factor to your look and make your legs look longer. Check out Free People women’s printed flare jeans. Mom jeans have also made a comeback and can be easier to find than flare jeans. Many

teens and young adults have come to love the laid back feel and comfort of the mom jean trend. 2. Chunky shoes Everywhere you look, you can see platform wedge sandals. Steve Madden houses the most popular platform sandals, which pair great with anklecut jeans for warmer fall days. Chunky sneakers, which are another part of the comeback trend, have been around for a while. Fila sneakers have been around for quite some time, but now it seems that their Disruptor II is essential to have in your closet. These shoes fit the basic trend mark, they’re stylish and they make you look taller. 3. Accessories Before you are attacked for having a scrunchy on your wrist due to the summer trend of being a “VSCO girl,” just remember that scrunchies have been around forever, as they were very popular in the ’80s and ’90s. Overall, they’re better for your hair and can be a matching accessory to your outfit. To create a chilly, hippy look from the ’70s, wear tiny, round sunglasses. Tiny sunglasses are a fashion statement that can be used during all seasons and add fierceness to your throwback look.

black bean burger

Left: Add guacamole on top of the patty for extra taste. Right: This dish is a healthy vegetarian alternative to beef. By Elizabeth Casalnova Columnist A great vegetarian alternative to burgers are black bean burgers, which don’t taste like meat, but are delicious in their own way. I should note that this recipe is not vegan, because it uses an egg to bind the burger together. If you have 20 minutes

on your hands, I would highly recommend trying this recipe out. These black bean burgers are packed with protein and nutrients and they taste amazing. They’re not hard to make, but remember that the first patty may not turn out perfect, which is OK. It takes some getting used to. The ingredients are simple and staple pantry items, which


are cost efficient and convenient. Ingredients: -1 16-oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed -1/2 onion, minced -3 cloves garlic, minced -1 egg -1/2 cup bread crumbs -1 tbsp chili powder -1 tbsp cumin

-1/2 tsp cayenne pepper -Salt and pepper to taste Directions: 1. In a bowl, mash black beans with a fork until they’re pasty. For added texture, leave some beans whole or halved. 2. Next, mix in the onion, garlic and breadcrumbs until combined. Add seasonings and mix


in the egg. 3. Roll in hands until it begins to take shape, then shape it like a patty and place on a pan over medium - high heat. Cook for about five to six minutes and flip. Repeat this process until all the mixture is used up. 4. Put the patty on a toasted bun with hummus, or enjoy it by itself.

page 14 The Signal October 23, 2019

October 23, 2019 The Signal page 15

Arts & Entertainment

Culture / Youseff discusses racial stigma in media

Left: The Hulu star tells anecdotes of his relationship with his parents. Right: Maqbool shares hilarious stories about his fiancé. continued from page 1 fiancé and shared his experience with her. “I was going to cook (my fiancé) something,” Maqbool said. “I got into the Uber with a rice cooker. The driver thought it was a bomb.” After his bit concluded, he introduced Ramy Youseff, a prominent Muslim comedian best known for his recent Hulu series, “Ramy.” The show goes through anecdotes from Ramy’s childhood, as he tries to find the perfect balance between what it means to be a Muslim kid growing up with immigrant parents and doing his best to follow Islam. Youseff asked the audience how many Muslims and non-Muslims were present before catering the jokes to the audience. He then told a story of how he was in love with a Saudi girl, who started going to therapy. “She’d go to therapy on Saturdays, and leading up to it, I would tell her about all

the ways I have been a positive asset to her,” Youseff said. “I didn’t want her to one day wake up and think that I was the reason she’s going to therapy, so I started going to therapy.” When Youseff told his parents he was going to therapy, they were upset because they had thought he had lost faith in God. His parents assumed because he was going to therapy that he was leaving Islam. It was not until later that they realized this was not the case. “Now that I’ve been to therapy, I know that God cannot be your therapist,” Youseff said. He mentioned that his parents and other family members will call him and give him questions to ask his therapist. “So, now, my therapist is also my family’s therapist in a way.” Ramy also discussed how after 9/11, there were spies at his college and near his masjid.

Youseff said, “You know, I was pretty dumb for not realizing sooner that my best friend was the informant. For one thing, his name was Michael (the fake name Ramy gave) and for another he ate pork. For those of you who don’t know, pork is haram (prohibited) for Muslims, so that should have been a dead giveaway.” The guests could not stop bursting with laughter as they enjoyed the dinner and show, which provided an ideal break from the stress of midterms. A lot of his jokes were him interacting with the audience or talking about being a Muslim and falling in love for the first time. Some were slightly controversial, but audience members enjoyed it overall. Alongside the comic relief, the event was able to bring together cultures for a night of pure fun. Youseff poked fun at some of the struggles he faced while he told the audience he had fallen in love with a girl from Saudi, and how

Darby VanDeVeen / Staff Photographer

with President Donald Trump being in office, he was unsure about whether or not he’d have to propose to keep her in the U.S. “I thought the event was awesome,” said freshman biology major Subhana Ahmed. “Danish and Ramy were super funny and relatable. The food was delicious. I got to meet a lot of desi/Muslim people which was great.” Samreen Khateeb, a sophomore open options arts and communications major and MSA historian, believed the event was able to bring together cultures for a night of pure fun. In comparing the event to previous years, she felt that the dinner and show was very successful. “The turnout this year was unbelievable,” Khateeb said. “This event is well overdue since it was such a great reminder of how easy it is to come together and forget our differences to support a somewhat of an interfaith event.”

Wind Ensemble, Concert Band perform American classics

Laprade guides the musicians through their performance. By Mary DiRienzo Correspondent

The TCNJ Wind Ensemble and Concert Band performed at Kendall Hall Mainstage on Friday, Oct. 18 at “The American Dream” concert. The program, which celebrated American composers and music, was conducted by music professor and director of TCNJ Bands Eric Laprade. After a 7:15 p.m. pre-concert discussion with Laprade, members of the TCNJ Wind Ensemble and Alberto Parrini, a music

professor who performed with the cello for that night, the concert opened with the TCNJ Concert Band. The first piece of the night was “Overture for Winds” composed by Charles Carter. The composition remains one of Carter’s greatest works. Throughout this piece, there were three varying themes that created the dimension of the work. The opening burst with energy, while the middle was slower and expressive and the last theme repeated the first, building to the climactic ending.

Diana Solano / Distribution Manager

Next up was “Tribute,” a piece that was composed by the contemporary composer Travis J. Cross. As a dedication to James Hubert Grimes, Cross’ grandfather, conductors often use this piece to honor whomever they choose. The piece closed with alternating trumpet solos, which allowed the brass section to shine. “Candide Suite” was the third piece in the program and swept the stage. Composed by Leonard Berstein, “Candide” is an operetta based on Volitare’s novella of the same name. “Candide”

opened on Broadway in 1956 and became a popular theatre piece for music schools. This suite is comprised of four numbers from the musical, highlighting the key moments in the story, such as “Glitter and Be Gay” and “The Best of All Possible Worlds.” To end the set, the band played “Strange Humors,” which is composed by another contemporary composer, John Mackey. The heart of the piece comes from the Djembe played by Antonio Morra, a sophomore percussion music education major. The piece opened with an English horn solo performed by Mackenzie Miller, a sophomore music education major. After a brief intermission, next up was the TCNJ Wind Ensemble. The opening piece was “An Outdoor Overture” by composer Aaron Copland. The piece began with a powerful introduction from the whole ensemble, which then moved into a trumpet solo performed by Bryan Cook, a junior music education major. Next up was “Half Mast Inhibition” by Charles Mingus. The piece featured Parrini on cello and a select chamber ensemble comprised of a few of the Wind Ensemble members.

The following piece, “Arahita” by Roshanne Etezady, bears the name of the Iranain goddess of fertility and healing, which was highlighted in this threemovement composition. The inspiration of the piece originates from a Persian poem of the same name. The three movements share an element of nighttime and sleep. Finally, the night closed off with two American marches titled “Country Band March” by Charles Ives and “Easter Monday on the White House Lawn” by John Philip Sousa. “Country Band March” was a nostalgic piece that displayed popular tunes from Ives’ childhood, ait included elements of ragtime that enlivened the march. As the concert concluded, family and friends swarmed the performers of both ensembles. James Mikula, a junior trumpet music education major, played in the concert as a culmination of his hard work so far this semester. “It’s a lot of fun playing for the audiences and showing them our hard work,” Mikula said. “Being in the band family builds (amazing) relationships, (which) makes making music more fun.”

page 16 The Signal October 23, 2019

2020 MAYO BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION KICKOFF All teams must submit an Intent to Compete form by November 29, 2019.


Email with questions.

October 23, 2019 The Signal page 17

Duster sweeps audience at CUB Alt show Synthesizers, heavy beats create ripple of sound By Connor Iapoce Staff Writer

A slow burn of a night led to an atmospheric setting on Oct. 18 in the Brower Student Center Room 225. The College hosted influential space rock band Duster, originally from San Jose, California, who recently reformed in 2018 after it was first active from 1996 to 2001. The supporting acts for the night were Beauty and They Are Gutting a Body of Water. Duster captivated the audience through its melodic slow core. The band’s music combined a mixture of ethereal instrumental jams and hazy vocals shrouded deeper in the mix. The mood was set in the darkness of the room, as the shoegaze-y guitars led the way against the deeper bass section and steady drumming. Audience members slowly

bobbed their heads in appreciation of an indie rock band’s favorite group, with Duster being a heavily influential underground band. A loud cheer erupted from the crowd when Duster mentioned that its new album will be out in December, marking its first new original release in 19 years. Cell phone videos lit up the night as people sought to capture the special moment of seeing the band make a comeback. A band of few words, Duster jammed through the set, echoing the post-rock mystery of the lyrics and music on the Ewing campus playing songs like “Gold Dust” and “Heading for the Door.” The band thanked the crowd and, as quickly as it started playing, the night was over with a pensive mood reverberating in the room. “I missed the first two bands, but I think Duster was pretty

TAGABOW brings a rock vibe to the students.

good,” said Cecilia George, a junior graphic design major. “They were very mellow and it was kind of dripping with a lot of mood, and I enjoyed that a lot. I specifically like the songs that got a little bit harder.” The main support came from Philadelphia’s They Are Gutting a Body of Water (TAGABOW.) Despite a late start to the set, the crowd was willing to stick around as the room filled up, with a mixture of both College and non-College students coming to enjoy the free concert. TAGABOW filled up most of the tiny stage with its five members but the music reverberated powerfully. The music was drone-y, heavy on distortion and used samples in between songs along with fuzzy bass and absolutely monumental drumming. The ambitious, experimental project is fronted by singer

Darby VanDeVeen / Staff Photographer

Darby VanDeVeen / Staff Photographer

The San Jose band plays a roaring guitar. Douglas Dulagarian, who started TAGABOW as a solo act and then brought in a full band. With the band’s experimental slowcore reverberating in the room, there were slight hiccups with unwanted feedback from the amps, but the group powered through the set playing songs from its new album “Destiny XL.” Dulgarian played a sample from “Jersey Shore” to get a laugh from the crowd, but the band stayed silent for the most part, letting the existence of the songs take hold. With one final song, the band seemingly cut its set abruptly short, fitting the style of night with the group being there one second and gone the next. “It was my first time hearing them (TAGABOW), and I thought they did a really, really good job,” said Ryan Soldati, a senior communication studies major. “It was a

little shoegaze-y, it had some noise segments played back on a sample, which I thought was really cool. Not something I often see at shows played here and Duster was great too.” The first opener was Beauty, a New Jersey-native out of Red Bank. Its mixture of jangly, power pop was a slick way to open the show. Singer Deaglan Howlett asked the audience to come closer to the stage in an intimate moment for the band, thanking the crowd for coming out early and watching them play. The group jammed through the set, playing power chords and harmonizing crooning vocals on songs like “Crumple” and “Sweet.” The songs were emotional and heartfelt against the urgency of the blue and red lights projected against the wall. Howlett was thankful for the crowd’s energy, saying, “without you, this wouldn’t happen.”

Shakespeare ’70 showcases classic retelling

Group pulls in crowd with interactive performance

Photo courtesy of Shakespeare ’70

Left: The actors and actresses demonstrate their skills in comedic play. Right: ‘Richard III’ presents a modern twist for new audiences. By Alex Baldino Correspondent Shakespeare ’70, Mercer County’s classical theater group, in association with the College, brought Shakespeare’s “Rickard III” to the Don Evans Black Box Theater from Oct. 16 to 20. The play, written around the late 16th century, is one of Shakespeare’s most well known historical works. It revolves around the reign of King Richard III of England. King Richard seized the throne after the death of King Edward IV, the murder of his brother Clarence and the execution of King Edward’s two young sons.

After executing his wife and other noblemen, his reign is cut short when Henry Tudor, Earl Of Richmond, starts a revolution and kills him in battle. It’s hard to avoid Shakespeare in English class. Students are forced to read what should be acted, losing a crucial aspect of his work. If performed poorly, “Richard III” could easily become a boring history class, condemning the audience to snoring the three hours away. Performed well, the audience can find themselves laughing at jokes about medieval English society that they don’t even truly understand. Despite each member having to play multiple characters, the cast delivered a distinct and creative approach to the story. Their solution to

the lack of actors was to suspend crates from the ceiling, fill them with bits of a costume like sunglasses or a scarf and label them with the character’s name. With the characters donning their costumes in front of everyone, it was hard to be confused. At times, the cast even joined the crowd, sitting amongst them and clapping to a speech another character was giving. Even when Jake Burbage, who played both Richard III and Henry Tudor (Richmond), had to switch between his two characters in the same scene, the audience knew which one he was supposed to be. Morgan Petronis, a College graduate student studying special education, provided a notable performance playing

both the intelligent and strong-willed Queen Elizabeth and the gullible Lord Mayor Of London. But it was Burbage, known for his role in the early 2000’s sitcom “Grounded for Life” as Henry Finnerty, who stole the show. In the climax of the play, Burbage had to fight himself, acting for one second as Richard III and another as Richmond. His acting left an impression on students, who, after leaving the theater, were loudly proclaiming the intensity and hilarity of the scene. Overall, the crowd, made up of mostly an older audience, enjoyed the entire play from start to finish.

page 18 The Signal October 23, 2019

Students celebrate Da Vinci 500 years after his death

Julia Meehan / Photo Editor

Smodlaka transports students back to the 1500’s. By Lara Becker Arts & Entertainment Editor

Students from the College’s Italian classes and the Italian Club gathered in the Library Auditorium on Oct. 16 to uncover the rich history of Leonardo Da Vinci through an insightful lecture. Croatia native Snjezana Smodlaka prepared a guided powerpoint presentation to transport students back to the times of the 14 and 1500’s, when Da Vinci thrived in his life and with his art. Through a generous introduction, David Stillman, an assistant professor of Spanish, told the audience of Smodlaka’s illustrious career educating on the arts and sciences. Smodlaka is a published writer regarding her teachings, and has studied and taught across Italy, Spain and Germany.

Da Vinci died 500 years ago on May 2, 1519, at the age of 67. Born in 1452, Da Vinci started out young, as he had works commissioned by age 15 and had a concept of divinity and beauty that he would continue to cultivate for years on end. In paintings such as “The Baptism of Christ” and many more, he left his work unfinished and was never satisfied, especially when it came to portraying holy beings. Similar to historians, Smodlaka spent much time theorizing details about how Da Vinci could have looked, sounded and behaved in real life. Artists such as Andrea del Verrocchio have created pieces that are said to be a physical representation of Da Vinci. Verrocchio’s “David” sculpture aligns with the common belief of Da

Vinci’s long hair, height and attractive qualities. Of this, Smodlaka noted his “great physical beauty and strength; he always wanted to appear younger.” He also described Da Vinci’s fascination with flying, which took form in many of his early sketches, such as “Design of a Glider” and “Annunciation.” “His dream of seeing a person fly almost became an obsession,” said Smodlaka, whether this portrayed flying instruments, birds or angels. This also led Da Vinci to try new techniques, such as combining linear and aerial perspectives to define these largerthan-life ideas. Da Vinci was famous for taking his vast knowledge and translating it into brand new approaches to his painting style. He pioneered the “sfumato” technique, which showcased blurred visions of objects and air, using misty and dreamy scopes rather than specific pictures. He accomplished this approach by applying several layers of paint to produce masterful changing and morphing between colors. “He was the guy who did not accept (the old way of doing things.) He always wanted to experiment with a new medium for every painting,” Smodlaka said. His work also stemmed from

connection to his own personal traumas. A common theme of Da Vinci’s work was shifty eyes in his portrayal of people’s faces. In six or more of his paintings, misaligned eyes were shown. Historians believe that Da Vinci himself was cross-eyed, and therefore wanted to normalize this ailment through his beautiful artwork. “He couldn’t see the world two-dimensionally, he saw things ahead of time and space in a threedimensional way,” Smodlaka said of Da Vinci using the eye technique to his advantage in his work. Along with this physical assessment of individuals in his art, Da Vinci also spearheaded anatomically accurate representations of the human body, which pioneered the convergence of anatomy, art and spirituality. Smodlaka noted how Da Vinci “used his anatomical studies underneath the painting of the skin the create accurate art,” which was first cited in his famous “St. Jerome In the Wilderness.” This followed Da Vinci’s passion to take his time in everything that he did, even if that sometimes came to the detriment of public opinion. For example, to the dismay of many of his colleagues, “The Last Supper” took Da Vinci four years to complete, which was difficult for many people to understand.

The long time frame also occurred with his most famous creation, the “Mona Lisa,” which Smodlaka described as being constructed vision of the idealized woman. The “Mona Lisa” is also famously unfinished, as Da Vinci was never convinced of its completion. “He was always striving for perfection after perfection. He couldn’t paint so fast –– he needed time to sit and think first,” Smodlaka said. Freshman computer science major Erin Mooney, who attended the lecture as credit for her Italian 103 course, enjoyed hearing some details about Da Vinci that were both new and familiar to her. “I thought it was interesting how the Renaissance paintings were idealistic, but within that idealism, they still painted the crossed eyes in so many paintings,” she said. Perhaps the best description of Da Vinci is that magnificence took time. Through his life and his work, he transcended his craft in every possible way. “In the normal course of events, many men and women are born with various remarkable qualities and talents, but only occasionally, the heavens send us someone who is not only human, but divine,” said Smodlaka quoting Giorgio Vasari, a famous biographer of artists.

‘The Politician’ fails to win over viewers

Left: Platt holds the show together as an often mysterious lead. Right: Other characters in the series miss the mark when it comes to watchability. By Esther Morales Correspondent

Netflix’s new comedy-drama “The Politician” debuted on Sept. 27, and has since generated buzz across social media platforms. Created by Ryan Murphy, Brad Falchuk and Ian Brennan, the show’s first season follows Payton Hobart (Ben Platt), a tenacious, self-motivated and sometimes egotistical teen who is determined to become the president of the United States. But first, he must tackle the student body president election at his high school in Santa Barbara, California. Right from the jump, the show presents a darker plotline when River Barkley (David Corenswet), who is both Payton’s love interest and running opponent, dies by suicide. The show is Platt’s first television lead role, and he truly provides an outstanding performance. Platt plays the role of not just an overly ambitious teen, but also someone who struggles with vulnerability and wrestles between success and being a good person.

Sadly, Platt is the show’s only redeeming factor. Having only appeared in the “Pitch Perfect” movie franchise and on Broadway in his breakout role in “Dear Evan Hansen,” Platt proves his versatility through carrying the whole television show on his back. What makes Platt’s performance superior is the complexity he brings to Payton. The scenes that stand out are Payton’s interactions with River in flashbacks before his death, where he imagines that he is there with him after. Through Payton’s confiding, Platt is able to give the character a depth and portray his hidden emotional turmoil, drawing out not only a more genuine persona not seen before, but also an emotional response from the audience. The show does a good job of keeping the story interesting and relevant in the aftermath of River’s death, but somewhere towards the middle of the season, it falls off completely. The show is riddled a seemingly impossible amount of controversy squeezed into subplots, including an almost exact Gypsy Rose Blanchard-esque character, a staged kidnapping, several affairs, another

suicide attempt and an assassination attempt against Payton. The show also seems to be an attempt at a satirical look at political elections, but weaves in very heavy topics that make you confused about whether you should be laughing or empathizing with characters. As I was binge-watching this show, I remember how excited I was after the first episode, but around the sixth episode, my interest quickly diminished. The problems arise a lot in excess of supporting characters, all of whom deliver less-than-stellar performances in their one-dimensional roles. McAfee Westbrook (Laura Dreyfuss), is a straightshooting campaign manager and friend to Payton. Dreyfuss fails to give the role any depth, even when her character is keeping a secret that could be detrimental to Payton’s campaign. She also lacks chemistry with the other actors, including her own love interest. The sole purpose of Payton’s campaign “posse” is to support him from beginning to end. The show quickly dismisses any interesting subplots that are


not directly related to Payton and his campaign without any real resolution, even when his best friend, James Sullivan (Theo Germaine), falls in love and has an affair with Payton’s girlfriend. That being said, I’d love any excuse to hear Platt’s angelic voice sing as much as the next person, but he performs three full-length songs that were truly unnecessary to the plot. The show even went as far as to add a new subplot amid all the chaos where Payton joins the school’s musical theater, clearly as a wink to Platt’s theatre career. Though I tried to ignore it for as long as I could, I can’t pretend that all of the 25-year-old actors playing 18-year-olds are believable either. The casting could have been done much better by getting younger actors, or at least ones who could pass as teenagers. If you’re looking for something to watch that has satisfying story wrap-ups and makes 100 percent sense, this probably isn’t that show. However, I’m curious and invested enough to wonder what other outlandish things will take place if there’s a season 2.

O c t o b e r 2 3 , 2 0 1 9 T h e S i g n a l p a g e 1 9 October 23, 2019 The Signal page 19

Sports Women’s Soccer

Women’s soccer blows out NJCU By Christine Houghton Sports Editor Following a postponement of its Wednesday game against Stockton University, the women’s soccer team hosted New Jersey City University on Saturday, Oct. 19, in a blowout 13-0 victory over the conference opponent. The team is now 12-1 overall and 6-0 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference. To start off the game, junior forward Juliana Bertolino put the Lions on the board early with a goal in the 12th minute off an assist by freshman forward/ midfielder Gianna Coppola. During the 39th minute, the team was able to score twice, one by junior midfielder/forward Caroline Rubin and the other off the boot of freshman forward/ midfielder Ava Garay, who was assisted by sophomore forward/midfielder Nikki Butler. The Lions would take their 3-0 lead into halftime, only to barrade NJCU after the break with a dominating 10 goals. Sophomore midfielder/forward Amelia Curtis assisted senior defender Nora Burdge for the first goal of the second half. Two minutes later, Coppola scored off assists from senior midfielder Taylor Nolan and sophomore defender/midfielder Alexandra Ryan. Four minutes later, Bertolino scored her second goal of the day, followed by a score by senior defender Ally DeRiggi, moving the Lions to a 7-0 lead. As the game went on, the rest of the team got in on the action, adding six more goals to the Lions’ total. Sophomore midfielder/forward Gabriella Barquin scored twice before the final buzzer, while freshman

forward Nina Carlson, junior forward Julia Obst, freshman forward Jessica O’Brien and freshman midfielder/forward Emily Blackenship all scored one. Goalkeepers senior Nicole DiPasquale, junior Alexandra

Coppola makes a stop and looks for her next move.

Cross Country

Men’s, women’s XC headline Invitational By Ann Brunn Staff Writer The men’s and women’s cross country teams finished first and second place overall, respectively, on Saturday, Oct. 19, in the St. Joseph’s College Invitational. Five of the men placed in the top 14, as freshman Tyler Balas led the pack with a fourth-place finish at 27:53.3 in the 8-Kilometer race. Freshman Kevin Christensen placed in sixth with a time of 28:04.9, while sophomore Fabian Mestanza followed in eighth with a time of 28:10.1. Junior Alex Carideo and sophomore Gabriel Calandri posted back-to-back finishes in 13th and 14th place with times of 28:22.0 and 28:25.5, respectively. Sophomores Stuart Gruters and Michael Iannotta closed out the scoring

positions for the Lions. Five of the women placed in the top 24, as junior Marykate Bailey paced the Lions in the 5-Kilometer race with an 11th-place finish at 20:41.4. Sophomore Jazzlyn Diaz finished seconds later in 13th place with a time of 20:47.7, while junior Casey Hopkins locked up 16th place at 21:03.5. Freshman Valentina Palomo and sophomore Christina Cauley finished in 23rd and 24th, respectively, with times of 21:20.3 and 21:20.6. Senior Hailey Bookwalter and junior Jill Neggia rounded out the scoring placements for the Lions. Both the men’s and women’s teams are focused on preparing for the championship races at New Jersey Athletic Conference Championship hosted by Stockton University on Nov. 2.

Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk

Bailey paces her way through her 5K race.

Panasuk and sophomore Caitlyn Finnerty all combined for the shutout. The team takes to the field in a home game against Stockton University tonight at 6:30 p.m.

Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk



Football secures homecoming victory over NJAC opponent By Matthew Shaffer Staff Writer

The football team secured a big homecoming win on Saturday, Oct. 19, as it defeated Kean University by a score of 7-3. To start the game, Kean won the coin toss and elected to receive. It drained five minutes off the clock en route to a 25-yard field goal. The score remained 3-0 for the rest of the first half, thanks to big defensive plays by sophomore defensive back Luke Young and freshman linebacker Joe Ciempola. Young defended a short pass to force a turnover on fourth down. On the following Kean possession, Ciempola partially blocked a punt, setting up the Lions with great field position. The offense was unable to capitalize in Kean’s territory and punted right before halftime. After junior quarterback Andrew Donaghue threw two interceptions in the first half, the College talked things over in the locker room and made a change at the quarterback position. It was sophomore quarterback/wide receiver Dave Jachera who took control of the offense for the rest of the game. The switch-up brought new energy to the field, eventually resulting in a blocked punt that was returned for a touchdown. The fans at Lions’ stadium erupted when Ciempola scooped up the ball on the one-yard line, thanks to the block from sophomore running back Cam Caorsi. The score put the Lions up 7-3, and the defense was able to hold on for the rest of the game. Senior defensive

Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk

Ciempola celebrates with a teammate after scoring the game’s only touchdown. back Xavier Santos came up with the game-saving stop after offsetting flags on fourth down. The turnover on downs led to a knee by the College,

increasing its record to 2-4 overall and 2-1 in the conference. The Lions’ next game is on the road against Christopher Newport University on Saturday, Oct. 26.

Men’s soccer tops Field hockey team shuts NJ City University out Montclair State By Ann Brunn Staff Writer

By Christine Houghton Sports Editor

On Saturday, Oct. 19, the men’s soccer team beat New Jersey City University by a score of 2-0, improving its record to 10-2-3 overall and 2-1-3 in the New Jersey Athletic Conference. Freshman forward Justin Dominique started things off for the Lions in the 12th minute when he connected on a pass from sophomore midfielder Ryan Santos to give the Lions a 1-0 advantage. This was Dominique’s fourth goal of the season and the only goal in the first half. The second half began with another Lions score, as junior midfielder Kevin Esteves tapped in a pass from freshman defenseman Luke Yates in the 54th minute, marking Esteves’ fourth goal of the season. This 2-0 lead proved to be enough for the Lions’ defense, as junior goalkeeper Daniel Mecadon recorded eight saves and another shutout in the net. The men are back in action tonight at Stockton University, where they will play their game that was rescheduled

The College’s field hockey team topped Albright College and Montclair State University, improving its record to 13-0 on the season. On Oct. 15, the team traveled to Reading, Pa., to claim a 3-1 victory over Albright. The team entered the match ranked fifth in the country in penalty corners per game, earning a pair in the first few minutes of play. The first corner was blocked, but the second was cashed in by freshman midfielder/defender Jess Hatch when she made a pass to senior forward/midfielder Kayla Peterson, who put the Lions up 1-0. The lead, which lasted until halftime, was helped along by a second quarter save from sophomore defender Lauren Cammarata. Senior forward Cayla Andrews also scored off a pass by senior forward Tori Hannah in the second quarter, making the score 2-0 in favor of the College going into halftime. Andrews would go on to score late in the third quarter off an assist from Peterson to close out scoring for the Lions. On Saturday, Oct. 19, the team traveled

Lions Lineup October 23, 2019

I n s i d e

Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk

Esteves dribbles down field.

from Oct. 16. On Saturday, Oct. 26, the Lions return home to face Montclair State University in what will be their last home game of the regular season.

Women’s Soccer page 19

Photo courtesy of the Sports Information Desk

Beaumont saves a goal.

to Montclair State, where it delivered a 1-0 shutout against the New Jersey Athletic Conference opponent. The game presented the usual lopsided statistics in favor of the Lions, such as 19-3 in shots and 22-4 in corner penalties. Late in the second quarter, Peterson delivered a strong pass to Andrews, who then scored the game’s one and only goal. Senior goalkeeper Maddie Beaumont pulled through for her seventh shutout of the season. The team returns to the field on Saturday, Oct. 26, to take on NJAC opponent Kean University.

Cross Country page 19