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Police chief issues warning in wake of rape

MLK Day inspires events for campus, community

A tribute to cafeteria employee Rhonda

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January 11, 2012

Kenya service trip planned By Alicia Cagle Staff writer

A group of Mercyhurst College students and faculty are putting the college’s core values to work. With the help of Director of Campus Ministry Greg Baker and Assistant Director of Campus Ministry Christine Brotherson, Mercyhurst juniors Kamil Kepka and Maura Hunter and sophomore Anthony Khisa (better known as Juma) have been planning a service trip to Kenya. This July, a group of approximately 15 students will be traveling with Brotherson to Bungoma, Kenya where they will be working at Kabula Parish School, which is run by the Sisters of St. Francis. While the Mercyhurst students are there, they will be teaching children English, sports and how to use a computer. “This is a great trip,” said Khisa. “It’s very inspiring and am really excited that both American and other international students have turned out very positive in assisting my fellow (Kenyan students).” This trip was inspired by Khisa’s desire to share his home country, Kepka’s willingness to help others and the commitment of Campus Ministry to offer students opportunities to serve in our global communities. Kepka explained that a year ago he was talking to Khisa about various countries including Khisa’s home in Kenya. Kepka was surprised to hear that the citizens of Kenya had limited resources, and he was determined to do what he could to help. He told Khisa he would visit him in Kenya and bring computers and any other supplies he could get. This project grew from a $1,000 budget to more than $35,000 and has received much more support than expected. At the informational meeting, Kepka said they were expecting about 10 people to show interest, but now there are more than 50 applications that have been submitted for this trip. There has also been recent support from Polish artist and potential beneficiary, Pawel Althamer.

On a recent trip to Poland, Kepka met Althamer, and he took great interest in this trip since he also does work in African countries. The Mercyhurst community still has the opportunity to be a part of the impact that will be made on Kabula Parish School. Campus Ministry is asking for donations of laptops, soccer balls, pencils and notebooks. In order to donate laptops, they must be up-to-date. Pat Benekos, executive director of Learning, Information and Technology Services, has offered to clean up the computers and then upload the proper programs needed. As well as bringing the donated items, the budget will be used to buy projectors for the school. Brotherson explained that “Campus Ministry hopes to establish an ongoing relationship with the Little Sisters of St. Francis and the Kabula Parish School administrators and students.” She continued to say that they will work together to make this an annual volunteer service trip. Brotherson is working to provide more volunteer service opportunities for Mercyhurst students, administrators and faculty both locally and globally. “This volunteer immersion trip is an opportunity for Mercyhurst students and faculty to live, work and play within a rural Kenyan educational community. We will have the opportunity to share in their daily lives, which in many ways are different and also very similar to our own, ” Brotherson said. Kepka is excited about this opportunity and wants to be a part of helping those in Africa. “When I first started, I thought this was crazy, but I would like to help them,” Kepka said. He continued to explain that he wants to raise awareness and be a part of history helping those in need. Kepka expressed his thanks to those who helped so far. To donate supplies or money, or for more information, email Christine Brotherson at cbrotherson@ or Kamil Kepka at

7th Annual Teaching and Learning Expo: Meeting All Students’ Needs Through Differentiated Instruction When: Saturday, Jan. 28, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Ticket Prices: $10 Registration: 8 a.m. Registration Deadline: Friday, Jan.13 Where: Audrey Hirt Academic Building Contact: Denise Ford (


January 11, 2012

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Taste or Waist challenges the idea of healthy By Shea Quadri

Contributing writer Losing weight is the number one New Year’s resolution, according to Taste or Waist, an event held every year by Assistant Professor of Sports Medicine Tim Harvey, seeks to promote this ideal in an easy way—making the same recipes healthier, without changing the appearance or texture of the item. Harvey started the event to encourage his students to make more health conscious food choices while bringing in the new year. The rules are simple: students pick dishes that may be particularly unhealthy and then re-work the recipes using low, sometimes non-fat ingredients. As part of the challenge, taste and texture cannot be sacrificed, and the dishes must appear identical. At the event, each recipe can be sampled and tasters can record which one they think is the healthier version. According to Harvey, more than half of the guesses are wrong. “Everyone thinks they have to sacrifice taste or texture if they want to eat healthier, and that just isn’t true. This event really tends to emphasize that,” Harvey said. “It takes seven days to create a habit, and eight weeks to break one, so why not make our habits good ones?” Around the new year, when many are making resolutions to go for a salad rather than a burger, this is a healthy reminder that it doesn’t always have to be one or the other. Junior Josue Martinez said, “That’s a very solid idea due to the fact that many restaurants and food products only exist to satisfy their clientele. I feel like that will help clarify what corporations care more about: taste, and thus profits or our health.” Some dishes being made by Harvey’s students include creamy bacon mushroom soup, Frito cheese dip and classic spaghetti with meat sauce. Below, a chart lists the recipes, changes made to them and

nutritional information after the changes. Tickets to last year’s event were only 25 cents per sample and are expected to be the same this year. A non-perishable canned food item can also be used as payment. “It definitely sounds beneficial to anyone focusing more on nutrition and diet or who wants to pick up some easy, new recipes,” senior Colin Farabaugh said.

Harassment Thursday, Dec. 15

Mercy Suites College discipline

Theft Friday, Jan. 6

Old Main Computer Labs College discipline

Criminal mischief Sunday, Jan. 8

Campus roadways College discipline

Criminal mischief Monday, Jan. 9

Campus property College discipline

Dec. 15 - Jan. 9, 2011-12

Junior Mark Vidunas also liked the idea of the event. “I think the event is a good idea because it informs students both how unhealthy some foods are and also how they can make healthier food choices without giving up their favorite foods,” he said. Taste or Waist will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 11, in the Herrmann Student Union Great Room from 12:30 to 2 p.m.


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January 11, 2012

Police search for Adovasio lectures on suspect in Erie women in prehistory sexual assault By Stacy Skiavo Staff writer

Staff report A 19-year-old Erie woman was hospitalized at UPMC Hamot after being attacked Friday, Jan. 6, near the Erie Zoo on West 38th Street and Glenwood Park Avenue, about eight blocks from campus. The woman was found at about 10 p.m. in a ravine near the zoo with her hands and mouth taped. According to the Erie TimesNews, a possible suspect was described as a black male in his late 20s or early 30s, of medium build and 5 feet 7 to 5 feet 10 inches tall. Mercyhurst Chief of Police Robert Kuhn warned students to be careful.

Contributed photo

Above is a composite sketch of the suspect.

“I know some students have jobs in that direction, and I urge them to be cautious–go in a group.”

News Briefs

Men have long received the majority of the credit for hunting and providing their families with food, but Professor of Anthropology and Archaeology James Adovasio, Ph.D., says they get too much credit. He spoke at Taylor Little Theatre on Tuesday about his research and book titled “The Invisible Sex, Uncovering the True Roles of Women in Prehistory.” The focus of the lecture was about the hidden roles of women in history and the title of the lecture was “Women in Prehistory: Distorted Views.” “It was very intriguing and interesting to learn of the lack of appreciation of women,” freshman Jordan Jaskiewicz said. Adovasio began his lecture explaining the research found by scientists in the creation of the

New World. He explained how glaciers formed the lands, transferring materials across vast lands and cultivating landscapes. He then moved onto the research of river terraces, which led to the findings of human-crafted stone tools. “It was interesting to learn how big the participation of females in the making of weapons and other artifacts was, and that these were items that supposedly were for activities men were only involved in,” Performing Arts Center Office Manager Gabriela Meza said. Stone tools were used for hunting, which was seen as a man’s job. People like to think that prehistoric people typically hunted huge animals like the mammoth; however, it was more of an occasional event, according to Adovasio. In reality, hunting more likely involved the trapping and killing of small animals. This proves that women played a much larger role in the gathering

University status process proceeds The university status application is on schedule to be approved by mid-March, according to Vice President for Academic Affairs Phil Belfiore, Ph.D. It has been taken off the Pennsylvania Bulletin with no questions or comments and is being prepared to be sent to the secretary of education in Harrisburg. This could take several weeks. “If approved, we will announce it here and begin the process of converting the college to a university,” said Belfiore. “Everything is going as well as can be expected, and there is nothing to indicate that we won’t be a university by midMarch,” he said.

’Hurst partners with Erie Computer to recycle printers, scanners Erie Computer is partnering with Mercyhurst College to recycle old printers and scanners. Mercyhurst will earn $10 for every printer or scanner given, even if they are broken. Canon, Kodak and Fujitsu printers and scanners can be taken to the IT Center drop off location by the mailroom or to Erie Computer at 4225 Peach Street.

Sarah Hlusko photo

James Adovasio, Ph.D., lectured on “Women in Prehistory: Distorted Views” on Tuesday in Taylor Little Theatre.

Contributed photo

Adovasio’s lecture focused on the prehistoric roles of men and women in regards to hunting and gathering. and hunting process than people are normally led to believe. “I found it interesting to find out it was more gathering than hunting, rather than more hunting than gathering,” senior Jacqueline Narvaez said. “It was women who were the ones that supported the family by gathering, while men were not very successful at hunting. In conclusion, if it wasn’t for women, the families may have starved to death,” she said. Adovasio continued to explain how women also played a large role in the making of tools and that men receive the majority of credit for these things. People always focus on men and their hunting skills, when really there is little archaeological evidence to prove this. Adovasio explained about artifacts and their role in history and gave a great amount of background information. The biggest conclusion drawn was that men did not do as much as prehistory originally said. Adovasio’s lecture was sponsored by the Gender and Relationships Symposium. The next event in the series is “Sketches of Life: A Multimedia Performance” in Walker Recital Hall on Sunday, Jan. 22, at 2 p.m. Admission is free.

January 11, 2012


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NBS named Chapter of the Year By Faye Clark Staff writer

Contributed photo

Back row: Adviser Dennis Lebec, juniors Aaron Loncki, Matt Teleha and Joe Pudlick. Front row: seniors Victoria Gricks, Kelly Luoma, Alaina Rydzewski, Courtney Clair and juniors Brady Greenawalt and Joe Chiodo. The NBS chapter won the 2010-11 Chapter of the Year award.

The Mercyhurst chapter of the National Broadcasting Society was recently distinguished as Chapter of the Year at the National Broadcasting Society’s NBS regional convention, which was held in Erie in November. “Mercyhurst Chapter of the National Broadcasting Society has created its own direction for interpreting media,” said junior Joe Pudlick, vice president of NBS at Mercyhurst who helped organize the convention. “We have members who are aiming more for broadcasting and those more interested in public and media relations, so our club has really taken the angle of understanding how media interacts,” Pudlick said. Advisers of the New York and Pennsylvania chapters in attendance chose the Mercyhurst chapter for how well it planned and hosted the 2011 convention. “I am so proud of all of the work every member of our chapter did,” said NBS President Alaina Rydzewski. “We deserved chapter of the year, but none of us thought we would receive it because we did not submit pieces to competitions like other chapters did.” “Our chapter planned the whole convention and pulled it off. It was something Erie, Mercyhurst and

our small society could be proud of,” said junior Aaron Loncki, a club member. “National Broadcasting Society is all about new media in today’s market. TV, radio and print media are all converging. If you’re getting into the communication field, you have to know it all.” While NBS does offer educational opportunities for students, through conventions, speakers or practical experience, it also serves to provide networking for students. “The National Broadcasting Society is a professional society for students who are interested in broadcasting, behind or in front of the mic or camera,” Pudlick said. “It operates under the presumption that it’s not about what you know, but who you know when it comes to getting a job.” “The club is characterized by people who are determined and have something they want to accomplish,” continued Pudlick. “We have lots of available positions and are always looking for people who want to do something fun, imaginative and of high quality. We do not limit our members and try to engage everyone to participate in the way that suits them best.” Previously the club attended several NBS conventions, including those in New York, Dallas and Los Angeles. This year the club will attend the National Convention in New York City in celebration of the award.

New resolutions for a new year By Brady Greenawalt Staff writer

January marks the beginning of a brand new year for all of us. For some, a new year means little more than getting used to writing something different on the top corner of homework papers. But for many, a new year means a chance to change for the better by setting a New Year’s resolution. A New Year’s resolution is a goal you give yourself at the beginning of the year. It works differently for everyone. Some people like to keep their resolutions vague and others are very specific. But do they really work? Or do New Year’s resolutions become completely forgotten by February?

“I personally think (New Year’s resolutions are) a great way to push yourself and make your life better,” said sophomore Dan Tarr. “I made two: to try to do better in my classes and to try to get more involved in the school.” Tarr is enthusiastic to start his resolutions this year, but he can’t recall whether or not he made any last year. Junior Matt Teleha has not made any New Year’s resolutions this year. “New Year’s resolutions are poppycock,” said Teleha. “People use New Year’s resolutions as an excuse for not achieving their goals in the first place.” Teleha thinks that people shouldn’t just set goals at the beginning of the year. They should always be making goals for themselves. “I set long term goals and then I achieve them. That way I don’t have to reset every year,” Teleha said.

Teleha also believes that a majority of people who set New Year’s resolutions fail to follow through with them. Anthony Khisa, a sophomore who has worked in the campus gym since his freshman year has seen his share of people who don’t follow through. “A lot more people come in to the gym in January, and the number keeps decreasing as you head into the year,” he said. Khisa acknowledges that sometimes people’s resolutions fall apart for a reason. “Some resolutions just don’t work. Things don’t go as expected,” he said. “At least they tried.” Khisa thinks that even a failed resolution can be beneficial. “Include what you failed to do last year in your new resolutions to make them easier to achieve,” he said.


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MLK Day inspires events for campus, community By Alicia Cagle Staff writer

Every year communities across the country come together in service and remembrance on Martin Luther King Jr. (MLK) Day. This is a federal day of service that is dedicated to being “a day on, not a day off ” since many schools and organizations do not meet on this holiday. Mercyhurst College and the Erie community are hosting events on Monday, Jan. 16, 2012, and the days leading up to MLK Day. Bethany Brun, AmeriCorps*VISTA for the Department of Service-Learning, added, “Celebrating MLK’s life is vital to continuing the push for equality in every way. With the events both at Mercyhurst and in the community, we can use them to reflect on why we still have cause to remember his dream and what we can learn from each other through our unique experiences.” The 8th Annual MLK Reflection Reception will be Monday, Jan. 16, from 9 to 11a.m. in the Herrmann Student Union Great Room. Those in attendance will be able to discuss with others about the meaning of MLK Day. The brunch and reflection is sponsored by the Marion Shane Multicultural Center, Service-Learning and the Center for Student Engagement & Leadership Development. Following the reception, the 26th Annual MLK Memorial March will take place in downtown Erie. The march will start at noon at Perry Square. The ServiceLearning Department and Campus Ministry will provide limited transportation for those who cannot drive.

Those who are driving can meet the group at the Perry Square gazebo at the “Mercyhurst College Celebrates Diversity” banner. The Bayfront NATO/Martin Luther King Jr. Center (MLK Center) is sponsoring the Memorial March. Afterward, they will be hosting speakers and have refreshments at the MLK Center that everyone in the community is welcome to attend. The Service-Learning Department is also hosting an immersion trip for students to work at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest Pennsylvania from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. following the march. There, students will package and sort donations. Those attending this will conclude with a post-service reflection. In addition to these events, there will also be other initiatives in the community. On Friday, Jan. 13, the MLK Center will sponsor the MLK Memorial Annual Awards Dinner ceremony at the Bayfront Convention Center. On Saturday, Jan. 14, local AmeriCorps members will work with youth at the MLK Center by doing anti-violence/anti-bullying simulations and drama work. The following weekend, the Service-Learning office is encouraging students to attend a gospel church service. The service will be Sunday, Jan. 22. “As MLK was a man of great faith with a dedication to peace, civil rights, service and community, my hope is that the activities throughout the experience are a fitting opportunity to celebrate/honor his life while perhaps growing in our understanding within a new community,” Director of Service-Learning Colin Hurley explained. For more information about the events, email Colin Hurley at or Bethany Brun at

January 11, 2012

DIY College Style: Paint chip art Senior Alex Stacey enjoys blogging about do-it-yourself projects. While I was in Erie over break with not much to do, I gained an obsession with paint chips. This is a project that I found on Pinterest and have been wanting to try for a while. Since I had two extra blank canvases, I decided to go for it while I had the time. I chose several paint chips in jewel tones and neutrals. I originally wanted it to have a lot of magenta and purple, but it turned out to have mostly yellows. I cut them into strips that were about 1 cm wide. This allowed me to mix the colors up well and make sure that they were varied appropriately.

Once the paint chips were cut, I used hot glue to attach them to the canvas. I wanted them to be layered and create a sort of fringe effect, so I glued them in a straight line, only attaching the tops.

MLK Day Events Friday, Jan. 13 6:30 p.m. 2nd Annual Memorial Awards Dinner Bayfront Convention Center (Tickets must be purchased in advance) Saturday, Jan. 14 2-5:30 p.m. Anti-Violence/Anti-Bullying simulations MLK Center Sunday, Jan. 15 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Church Service at Full Gospel Baptist Church Monday, Jan. 16 – MLK Day 9-11 a.m. 8th Annual MLK reception in the Student Union Great Room 12 p.m. 26th Annual Memorial March at Perry Square 1:30-3:30 p.m. Volunteering at 2nd Harvest Food Bank

This is my final product. I love how it is very abstract and has so much texture. The spin on color blocking is just a little bit more visually interesting. Since I had the canvas already, I only had to get the paint chips from a hardware store. For more DIY ideas, visit DIY College Style will be a weekly column featuring two college students’ blogs on quick and easy tips about crafts and food.

January 11, 2012


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Dancer Profile:

Kelly Clymer dances to heal By Emma Rishel Staff writer

Jill Barrile photo

Scott Meier, Ph.D., organized the weekend’s activities. Meier has been running the Tri- State festival at the Mercyhurst campus for nine years.

Tri-State Band Festival shows importance of music in schools By Mathew Anderson Staff writer

This past weekend, Mercyhurst hosted the Tri-State Honors Band Festival for the 12th consecutive year. This festival involves extremely talented high school music students gathering for three days to explore a repertoire of orchestral works. This year the band worked under the direction of guest conductor Ricky Fleming, Ph.D. “I really enjoyed watching the conductor, especially after getting to know him. He had a great technique, which seemed to transcend well into the students’ performance,” said Mercyhurst junior Adam Ferrari. Fleming is an extremely accomplished musician and is currently an associate professor of music at Buffalo State College. In addition to this, he is the founding conductor of the Erie County Chamber Winds, and, as a trombonist, Fleming has performed for the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, Four Tops, Connie Francis, Frankie Valli and has toured with the Irish Tenors. The D’Angelo Department of Music’s Scott Meier, Ph.D., coordinated the festival with the help of extremely dedicated music students at his side. This was Meier’s ninth consecutive year successfully organizing this event, highlighting not only the extraordinary students from the high schools in our areas, but also the students of the Mercyhurst community. The students demonstrated the upmost respect for one another, Fleming and our facilities during their time on campus

Not only were they one of the most courteous groups to visit our campus in years, but they also gave the most stunning concert from a high school band in years. Senior Marie Karbacka said that “the concert was lovely—a great selection of pieces for a high school band.” “I truly enjoyed watching Dr. Fleming conduct. He had a very unique style,” she said. The concert featured advanced music for high school students, especially for the extremely short amount of time that the instrumentalists had to learn it. The first piece was “Trauermusik” by Richard Wagner, which effectively caught the attention of the audience. A few of the other arrangements were by well-known composers, such as Ralph Vaughan Williams and Frank Ticheli. The Tri-State Honors Band festival was definitely a hit with everyone who took part in the experience. Edgewood high school (Ashtabula, Ohio) senior Megan Greenfield was the top audition for the alto saxophone section. “The tri-state festival is such a good experience for high school musicians,” she said. “It gives students who are interested in music a chance to play with other likeminded students. It’s always a very rewarding experience for me, and I always come away feeling like a more accomplished musician.” If anything is definite, it’s that the display of musicianship exemplified at this festival has rekindled any lost hope in the arts and has proven the point that the arts should be kept in our schools.

Kelly Clymer has combined a passion for dance and other art. Mercyhurst has provided her with many opportunities to pursue these passions by allowing her to declare a minor in art therapy. Clymer started dancing at age three after her mother took her to see a performance of The Nutcracker in her hometown of Cleveland. It was then she fell in love with ballet. She decided to come to Mercyhurst because two of her dance teachers from her home studio are Mercyhurst alumni. Through her four years at Mercyhurst, Clymer has developed a love for choreographing. She admits she did not initially like choreography, but after signing up for a choreography II class on a whim, she realized how fun it was. Another reason Clymer enjoys choreographing is because it gives her the opportunity to use her love for other types of visual arts as well. In some of her past choreog-

raphy, she has used colorful paint to inspire her dancing. In regards to the dance department at Mercyhurst, Clymer said it has provided her with many performing opportunities that she might not have gotten at another school. She is also thankful she discovered choreography, since it is not something she would have tried otherwise. She is glad she decided to pursue a bachelor’s degree, as she feels it has prepared her to go further with her dancing in the future. Like most of the senior dancers, she plans on auditioning for several different professional companies and is looking for a more contemporary company because she feels that will fit her dancing style better. Clymer said she would like to eventually go to graduate school for movement therapy, which is using kinesthetic movements and awareness to help special needs children. She would like to use her art therapy degree to help autistic children. Clymer is especially interested in the professional company Corbin Dances, a contemporary dance company that is very involved with art therapy programs.

Contributed photo

Clymer hopes to attend grad school for movement therapy.


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January 11, 2012

Matisyahu mixes Jewish roots with reggae music By Aaron Ullman Staff writer photo

Matisyahu is a Hasidic Jew reggae singer who hails from West Chester, Pa.

The 6-foot-5-inch Hasidic Jew, Matisyahu, might seem like an unlikely candidate for producing quality music, but appearances can be deceiving. This West Chester, Pa., native is quite the musical artist, writing fantastic songs time and time again. His sophomore album “Youth” is an excellent showcase of his work. Released in 2006, “Youth” is quite an amorphous body of work; the musical elements it contains mesh together into an unclassifiable genre that can only be loosely deemed “reggae.” While Matisyahu certainly uses reggae as a base, many of his songs contain elements of hip-hop, rock, beatboxing and even traditional hazzanic motifs to construct a unique style. Nodding to his Jewish roots, Matisyahu infuses his tracks with lyrical references to Judaism. The result is songs of hope with positive messages throughout. These uplifting themes are complemented well by the cheery nature of the reggae music. While most, if not all of the songs are well worth multiple listens, a few stand out above the rest. The album opener, “Fire of Heaven/Altar of Earth,” definitely sets the mood for the rest of the disc. The smooth flow, quick-tongued lyrics and easy-listening reggae feel make for a great track.

“Time of Your Song” has an awesome baseline, catchy melody and a music box-like piano theme playing throughout. Matisyahu’s beatboxing is also exhibited toward the end of the song. Arguably, the best song on the album comes half way through the disc. “Jerusalem” has a fantastic beat with meaningful lyrics. Matisyahu looks to rise above the struggles his people have endured over the past centuries. Lines like “Burn in the oven in this century/ The gas tried to choke, but it couldn’t choke me” and “Why is everybody always chasing we?/ Cut off the roots of your family tree” show the troubles suffered in the past. But the climax and message to the song is summed up with the line “Ain’t no one gonna break my stride, ain’t no one gonna pull me down/ Oh no—I got to keep on movin’, stay alive.” It is truly a hopeful song in all respects. To finish things off, “King Without a Crown” is the perfect ending to a great album. The typical smooth reggae flow is back in all its glory. Matisyahu really jams, and you can feel the energy and enjoyment emanating from him when he sings it. The lyrical flow further matches the head-bobbing beat. “King Without a Crown” easily brings the album full circle. “Youth” is a solid album with a unique style. The marrying of reggae with traditional Jewish ideals and musical styles yields a very smooth, yet excellent compilation. Matisyahu has found a wonderful niche with his second album.

i <3 musica is a music blog written by Max Rivera. He reviews a song each day, with music including international genres, new and older songs and both famous and lesser known artists and bands. The word “musica” is Spanish, Italian and Portuguese for music. It derives from the Greek term “art of the Muses.”

“Shadow Play” - The Killers The Las Vegas band doesn’t disappoint, this song is from their 2007 compilation Sawdust. Shadowplay is a Joy Division (1979) cover song that The Killers recorded for the 2007 film “Control.”

“Daughters” - John Mayer John Mayer is a Grammy-award musician from Bridgeport, Conn. This song is from his 2nd album: Heavier Things, released in 2003. His is currently working on a new LP, Born & Raised expected to be out by 2012.


January 11, 2012

September 3,Page 20089

The views expressed in the opinion section of The Merciad do not necessarily reflect the views of Mercyhurst College, the staff of The Merciad or the Catholic Church. Responses on any subject are always welcomed and can be emailed to

Making the small things count in 2012 A tribute to Egan Cafeteria employee Rhonda By Caitlin Handerhan

Opinion editor

The time is upon us to make or break those New Year’s resolutions. Approximately two to three weeks into 2012, those healthy diets and hellish workouts will begin to dwindle as yet another year of good intentions lapsing into old routines begins again. As a society, we seem to have the tendency to proclaim grand,

and often unmanageable, resolutions at the start of every year instead of realistically working on a small flaw within ourselves. This endless pursuit of a fresh start isn’t unique to the new year alone; the start of every academic term brings a renewed vow to never be late to class, keep organized notes and actually read all of those pesky Blackboard articles. While my desire to attempt to be a serious student isn’t the same as the sweeping reforms that come with numerous New Year’s resolutions, the desire to better ourselves is the same. Keeping this in mind,

I would like to challenge the way we think about change and self improvement and would argue that in order for change to be positive, it does not have to be drastic. The best example of making the small things count comes from a woman we all know and love, Rhonda from Egan Cafeteria. As evidenced by the numerous comment cards professing endless love for Rhonda (one of which called for a Rhonda ice sculpture in Egan), she is easily one of the most popular figures on campus. Despite the fact that we interact with her for such short periods of

MSG rebuts minor point in ‘political delegation’ article By Jeremy Dickey

MSG PR Coordinator In response to Mark Fuhry’s article “Political science organization operating under guise of club,” it has been brought to the attention of Mercyhurst Student Government that we are allegedly to blame for the accusations at hand. In properly understanding where MSG stands on the matter, one must first look at our mission statement. MSG is committed to preserve, protect and defend the mission of Mercyhurst College and equally the Constitution of the MSG, specifically in promoting the values of truth, individual integrity, human dignity, mercy and justice, through the focus and representation of the undergraduate student body in academic, financial, social, cultural and political affairs of the Mercyhurst Community. This being said, it is in no way

the intention of MSG to support registered clubs and organizations that try to take away these core values from our students. Anytime individuals wish to create a new club on campus (which students have the right to do as long as they follow the guidelines), a purpose of the Recognized Student Clubs/Organizations (RSCOs) must be submitted to the Center of Student Engagement and Leadership Development for approval which is then presented to the MSG Senate. After review and approval from both the MSG Senate and the Center of Student Engagement and Leadership Development, the RSCO is established. From conception and approval on, it is the direct responsibility of the adviser of each club to ensure that RSCOs are maintaining and standing by what was originally established in the RSCO Recognition Application. While MSG agrees with Fuhry’s charge that it is “the respon-

sibility of MSG to hold these clubs accountable to their mission statement,” we suggest that he attach a heavier focus upon each RSCO’s individual adviser. MSG is not the policing force behind RSCOs. We are here to be the guiding pillars to each individual RSCO’s executive board. This being said, every RSCO is able to attend workshops throughout the year which address specific issue areas, including budget and finance, public relations and general executive branch responsibilities. Additionally, RSCOs have the option of having a MSG Senator act as a direct liaison between the RSCO and MSG. We ask Fuhry to review these procedural additives and see exactly where the blame should be directed. MSG is here to serve all students of Mercyhurst College, and we work very hard and responsibly to ensure that our motto “we’re your voice” is upheld in every way possible.

time each day, the amount of time it takes to swipe your student ID card, she has left quite the impression upon the student population dining in Egan. For me, the reason Rhonda brightens my day isn’t just that she always greets you with a smile, but that she takes the time to learn everyone’s name and hold a small, but personal conversation. Considering her time in Egan during lunch hours brings hundreds of students past her, she still takes that extra step and radiates kindness and personality. Rhonda takes an extra step that

changes the entire nature of your interaction with her. Her kindness is evidence that it is the small things in life that count, and drastic measures do not need to be taken to implement positive change. The time for resolutions is upon us, and as tempted as I am to declare my New Year’s resolution to cut out coffee, ace all of my Russian tests and still survive junior year, I am going to make a slight change this year. This time around, I am going to take notice of the lessons learned from Rhonda and work to make the small things count.

If you don’t want it printed . . . don’t let it happen. Editors Kelly Luoma Alaina Rydzewski Liz Zurasky Caitlin Handerhan Spencer Hunt Alex Stacey Chrissy Mihalic Kaitlin Badger Jill Barrile Ethan Johns Max Rivera Bill Welch

Positions Editor-in-Chief editormerciad News Editor newsmerciad Features Editor featuremerciad Opinion Editor opinionmerciad Sports Editor sportsmerciad A&E Editor entertainmentmerciad Copy Editor copymerciad Graphics photomerciad Photo Editor photomerciad Web Editor ejohns89 Ad Manager admerciad Adviser wwelch

The Merciad is the official student-produced newspaper of Mercyhurst College. It is published throughout the school year, with the exception of finals weeks. Our office is in Hirt, Room 120B. Our telephone number is (814) 824-2376. The Merciad welcomes letters to the editor. All letters must be signed and names will be included with the letters. Although we will not edit the letters for content, we reserve the right to trim letters to fit. Letters are due Mondays. by noon and may not be more than 300 words. Submit letters to box PH 485 or via e-mail at


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January 11, 2012 September 3, 2008

The views expressed in the opinion section of The Merciad do not necessarily reflect the views of Mercyhurst College, the staff of The Merciad or the Catholic Church. Responses on any subject are always welcomed and can be emailed to

LEGOs promote gender stereotypes By Jaslyne Halter Staff writer

Students are planning a service trip to Kenya this summer, and expected a low number of students interested. With over 50 applicants thus far, the trip has proved to be a popular way to give back.

You would think since it is 2012, that the gender stereotypes that were once so predominant in American society would have diminished by now. I mean, relatively speaking, we have so many more new, pressing issues to focus on, such as the 2012 election bids, the economy or even something so simple as the issue of texting while driving. Instead, the LEGO Company wants to throw a stereotype into the mix; they want to place a stereotype on the typical lifestyle of a woman. As described on the LEGO website, LEGO Friends, as the new line is called, creates a place called Heartlake City, which consists of a beauty

parlor, a café, a bakery, a clothing design school, a vet’s office, a sound stage and an inventor’s workshop. There are no men in Heartlake City, except for the father of Olivia, one of the five core friends. The mini-dolls come with the following accessories: a purse, a hair brush, a hair dryer, four lipsticks, two barrettes, a spatula, an electric mixer, two cupcakes and, for when they’re not primping or baking, a puppy dog and a pink book with butterflies on it. As a female, I have to ask where is the library, or a science or psychological research lab, or a hospital or even an Intelligence Studies building? Not all females are growing up to be housewives. Even the guys that are taking the time to read this,

aren’t you (in a hypothetical sense) looking for a wife that will be something, be intelligent and not just play with a dog and eat cupcakes? I’m not trying to attack men because I am an overly-zealous feminist, because I’m really not. I’m just saying that although in our country this just seems like a toy characterizing the likes of young girls, think about the implications that gender discrimination has in other places. I mean really think about all the pain, suffering and torture that women in other, less fortunate, parts of the world endure every single day: the sexual slavery, the pain and the suffering because men in their countries think they are superior over women and young girls. It’s sickening the things that are

happening in places like Africa, China, and the Middle East, all because someone is born with different anatomy than a man, and that really is the only reason why it is happening. Ending gender discrimination is something that really needs to be done; it requires all of us to unite in solidarity to end traditions, practices and laws that harm women. Ultimately, the struggle for women’s rights must be about making women’s lives matter everywhere all the time. In practice, this means taking action to stop discrimination and violence against women, no matter where they are. We should take part in this practice, instead of just continuing the trend.

American educational systems an embarrassment By James Gallagher Contributing writer

Our secondary school system in the U.S. is now ranked globally anywhere from 13th to 27th depending upon the evaluation criterion and the group doing the evaluating. One can argue that no single evaluation system is all inclusive, but one can also successfully show that no evaluation system currently used to comparatively evaluate global secondary education considers U.S. schools to be in the top 10.


With the holiday season long gone, we now enter into the longest stretch of consecutive weeks of class, with impending midterms next week.

On the contrary, U.S. secondary education is underwater and sinking like a rock. Reading scores muddle along, science scores continue to plummet and math scores are so abysmal that they are a national disgrace. Every Thursday I teach an intelligence class to 7th and 8th graders at Jefferson Middle School. Before class begins I converse with the homeroom teacher about their dayto-day activities and realize that the problem is not the classroom teacher, but rather the system. President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act took the national focus off thinking and processing and

US software patent system needs improvement by Jerry Johnson Contributing writer

put all of the focus on test passing (knowing answers). In short, knowing how to think was superseded by knowing encyclopedic answers. In my opinion, much of this is due to our system of focusing an unusually high amount of educational resources on low-performers, which negatively impacts highperforming students because they have been systematically ignored or punished for their successes. Going a bridge beyond sanity, Newton, Mass., has asked for a voluntary ban on all wearing of celebratory clothing to school for fear that such items will lead

“to other kids feeling excluded and reminded that they were not included in the festivities.” What will happen when these pampered non-achieving students enter the real competitive world? Are they going to get pushed along as usual? Not likely. Yes, winning is hard work; yet U.S. policymakers create obstacles that inhibit competition, such as schools focused on the bottom rung. God forbid that anybody feel bad.

The full version of this story can be found online.

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January 11, 2012

Hoffman helps turn around women’s basketball By Samantha Bante Contributing writer

The beginning of the 2011-12 season was rocky for the Mercyhurst women’s basketball team, but after the Kutztown victory, their fortunes seem to have changed. The team is now at 7-5 overall, winning seven of their last eight games, and a perfect 6-0 at home. Senior Megan Hoffman has been rising to the challenge for the Lakers this season. Helping the team on their winning streak, Hoffman showed her drive against Mansfield University by scoring 19 points in the Lakers’ 66-47 victory. Hoffman is the only player whose scoring has improved in conference games, averaging more than 8 points against conference opponents. “We came to the realization after losing our first four games that it wasn’t us. I think we’re all playing as a team now, and we’re clicking more and it’s showing on the court,”

Hoffman said. Hoffman also noted changes to her own game to help the team. “My mentality now is to be a team player, whatever it takes. It’s my last year and my last chance being a senior. It’s not just for me, but for my team. I just really want to step it up for everyone,” Hoffman said. Following a 15-15 record during the 2010-2011 season, the team is showing signs of improvement in 2011-12. “I think we just have a strong connection as a team. Instead of playing like individuals, we’re playing like a family more now than ever,” she said. “We’re a little older as a team and have more seniority and that makes for such a great connection. We’re all very close.” Hoffman, fellow senior Nikki Frederickson and junior Dana Banda, have played a very important role in leading this year’s team. Last season Hoffman appeared in 29 of the 30 games and was the team’s sixth-leading scorer and

Jill Barrile photo

Senior Megan Hoffman may not get the same recognition as star Nikki Frederickson, but she is just as important to team success. third-leading rebounder. This season, Hoffman has started

in all 12 games and averages 8 points and 3 rebounds per game, which

rank third and fifth on the team. “The beginning was pretty rough on all of us. First couple games we didn’t know who we were as a team. Then we just all figured out our roles as individuals and a team as a whole. We stepped it up big time and decided that winning was who we were,” Hoffman said. Following a 0-4 start, the Lakers stepped it up to win their two conference games against Shippensburg and Cheyney this past weekend. The Lakers are practicing hard and giving it their all to make this winning streak last. “The seniors that leave each year set a standard. We’re growing each year as well, and we’re hoping to go all the way to playoffs. But our mentality is different this year than previous ones. PSAC and the championship is on our mind, and we love, trust and believe in each other every step of the way,” Hoffman said. Hoffman and the Lakers’ next home game is on Jan. 14 against Slippery Rock at 1 p.m. in the Mercyhurst Athletic Center.

Men’s basketball gets most out of transfers By Lindsey Burke Staff writer

The Mercyhurst men’s basketball team annually has had a tradition of transfer players filling its rosters. Most of these transfers hail from Division I schools or junior colleges. Five members of this year’s squad have transferred in from D-I schools in New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, Connecticut and Ohio. This has followed suit from years past. Throughout the past three seasons, there have been eight transfer players on the roster each year. Senior Bill Weaver, native of Hampton, Va., transferred to Mercyhurst from D-I Liberty University during the 2009-10 academic year. “It was a better move for me athletically and academically,” said Weaver.

Jill Barrile photo

Senior Bill Weaver has provided a senior presence to the Lakers this season, averaging 12 points and five rebounds. “Mercyhurst had an excellent computer systems program and was a better fit for employment opportunities. Basketball was also a great fit because I was becoming an addi-

tion to a winning team, and I could be a factor right away.” Head coach Gary Manchel has seen many players transfer into his program during the last nine years.

Out of the 16 All-Conference players that Mercyhurst has had, eight have been transfer players. The past few seasons have been most affected by the transfer players. Last season, Heiden Ratner, a DI transfer from James Madison University, and Shelton Jackson, were All-Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC) after transferring in. Ratner was All-PSAC in 2009-10 as well. In 2008-09, Jordan Armstrong and Brian McTear, both D-I transfers, won All-PSAC honors. Sophomore Matt Lee, a newcomer on the Lakers’ roster in 2011-12, transferred in this year from Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I. “I’ve definitely felt welcomed on this team, contrary to how I felt at Bryant last year,” said Lee. “Our team here is really close.” Since transfer players are much different than traditional freshmen

because of the experience they provide on the court, the Lakers have seen immediate success. “Transfers definitely have more experience playing at a higher level, which proves beneficial to them and their teammates,” said Lee. “True freshmen aren’t acclimated to the college basketball atmosphere, there is definitely a noticeable difference between the play of true freshmen and transfers.” “Everyone plays an important role this year. All of us bring experience from where we have played,” said Weaver. “We have been through the ropes and played against professional caliber competition. It brings a sense of leadership to the team.” This leadership will hopefully carry the team into PSAC-West play, which begins Wednesday. The Lakers travel to Clarion with tip-off at 7:30 p.m., followed by a home contest Saturday at 3 p.m. in the Mercyhurst Athletic Center against Slippery Rock.


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January 11, 2012

Women’s hockey brings star power to CHA By Spencer Hunt Sports editor

The Mercyhurst women’s hockey team has not lost in 25 straight College Hockey America (CHA) games. To an outsider, two conclusions are typically drawn. Either the conference is weak, or the top team is simply on a different level than its opposition. In Mercyhurst’s case, it is the former. The fact that the Lakers have won the last nine CHA titles aids to that point. However, not everyone agrees that the CHA is weak. “We don’t agree with what everyone is saying,” Coach Michael Sisti said. “We have had some seasons where our only losses were in the CHA.” During the 2009-10 season, the Lakers had a 30-3-3 record, with a loss and a tie coming against conference foe Niagara. Mercyhurst losses over the past three seasons have been to either highly ranked opponents or conference teams. “People don’t realize it’s not easy to do,” said Sisti. “A lot of teams haven’t made seven straight NCAA appearances either.” Recently the Lakers have been on a tear in conference, one Sisti attributes to his players, not the strength

of the conference. “It is something that we are very proud of as a program, but it isn’t easy,” said Sisti. “It says a lot about our players and coaches.” Sisti has been able to sustain two long runs in conference that are unheard of: the current 25 game unbeaten streak and a 36-0-4 stretch from 2004-08. If the Lakers continue this trend, an eighth NCAA appearance should be on the horizon, but Sisti will not go there just yet. “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves at all,” Sisti said. “We especially can’t after this past weekend in Syracuse.” Sisti is referring to an 8-4 win and a 1-1 tie in the first conference games of the season against Syracuse. The Lakers played without two key players on their top line, assistant captain and the nation’s leading-scorer Bailey Bram and her younger sister Shelby Bram. “We are a very young team, so anytime you lose anyone because of injury or illness or anything like that, it’s big,” Sisti said. “We just try to use the next man up mentality and it has worked well for us.” This season started with a next man up philosophy, after losing key players from last year’s team to graduation. “The players take a lot of pride

Three Lakers win conference honors Women’s hockey players Christine Bestland and Hailey Browne won CHA honors following an 8-4 win and a 1-1 tie against conference opponent Syracuse. Bestland took home her third CHA player of the week title, after posting two goals and two assists. She currently has a fivegame point scoring streak. Her 43 total points is sixth in the nation and one more than her total from last season. Browne earned the first weekly honor of her career, earning CHA rookie of the week. She scored two goals, and her first game-winning goal against Syracuse. The women’s team currently ranks fifth nationally. They will

also welcome back the Bram sisters who have returned from playing for Team Canada in the Meco Cup. On the men’s hockey team, freshman Daniel Bahntge won Atlantic Hockey Association rookie of the week. He recorded his first career hat trick against Sacred Heart. In total, Bahntge racked up four goals and two assists for the weekend. He has been one of many bright spots for the Lakers this season. The men’s squad currently sits atop the AHA standings following a sweep of Sacred Heart. Going 6-1-1 over their last eight games, the team earned one vote in the poll.

in themselves when they are asked to step in and play more than they usually might,” Sisti said. “We got better as a team this past weekend.” Even though the team has not lost in 25 straight games against CHA teams, they are not looking past them either. “I can’t imagine that they will look past anybody,” Sisti said. “We got all we could handle this past weekend, and it was just the beginning.” Niagara is the closest team in terms of distance, and they are also the last CHA team to beat the Lakers. Robert Morris is in the process of a turnaround under new coach, former Laker assistant coach, Paul Colontonio. With the additions of Penn State and Lindenwood, and possibly RIT the following year, Mercyhurst will have a number of teams to match up against in conference. “I think that because we are a small conference, we don’t get the same recognition,” Sisti said. “All these teams have different reasons to beat us, and they all get up to try and knock us off.” The Lakers will continue their CHA schedule when they play a home-and-home series. The Lakers will play on Jan. 13 at the Mercyhurst Ice Center at 7:05 p.m. and then travel to Niagara on Saturday at 2 p.m.

Jill Barrile photo

Coach Michael Sisti hopes to keep his team focused as they head into conference play. That hasn’t been an issue for the Lakers, currently on a 25 game conference unbeaten streak.

Jill Barrile photo

Seniors Jess Jones, left, Pam Zgoda, center, and Kelley Steadman, right, are the backbone of a very young Lakers team.

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The Merciad, Jan. 11, 2012  
The Merciad, Jan. 11, 2012  

Digital version of The Merciad, Jan. 11, 2012.