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LGBTQ Allies assist bullied students

Senior art exhibit a success

Court renders disturbing decision

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April 4, 2012

Sci-fi author Bisson reads at annual Lit Fest By Alicia Cagle Staff writer

Science fiction author Terry Bisson entertained Mercyhurst University with his readings as a part of the 10th Annual Literary Festival. Bisson presented his work at Mercyhurst on Monday. “Writing is a solitary business, so it is a privilege to be a performance artist every now and then,” Bisson said about being able to speak at the Literary Festival. The event opened with a dialogue from “They’re Made of Meat” read by Bisson and Associate Professor of English Ken Schiff, Ph.D. In “They’re Made of Meat,” Bisson portrays what humans could look like to extraterrestrials. The dialogue was followed by readings from his books “TVA Baby” and “Any Day Now.” “TVA Baby” is a collection of short stories that Bisson explained is a “string of horrifying events” written comically. “I was trying to write a horror story with a jolly tone,” he said. The story from “TVA baby” was received with much laughter from those in attendance. “When I wasn’t laughing at ‘TVA Baby,’ I was cringing,” Assistant Professor of English Marnie Sullivan, Ph.D., said. Bisson writes several genres of books but is best known for his science fiction. In many of his science fiction

books, he creates an alternative history. In his recent book “Any Day Now,” Bisson creates a world where Bobby Kennedy was never shot and explains how life would be different. One audience member asked Bisson what his personal allure was in suspending reality. “Each story has its own allure,” said Bisson. “There’s a certain suspension of reality in every work of fiction.” Bisson never read children’s books when he was growing up, but his literary influences are vast. “He reads books that you would never read in a million years,” Schiff said. Even so, Bisson does make sure he gets to read novels by other science fictions writers. “I read other science fiction writers because they’re my friends, they’re my colleagues,” he said. Sullivan was impressed with Bisson’s presentation. “Terry Bisson presented an entertaining evening of thoughtprovoking, artfully uncomfortable prose,” said Sullivan. “He has a finely tuned facility for putting readers in the minds of marginalized or alien characters. There is authenticity—sometimes enlightening, sometimes unsettling—to his characters. Bisson excels at creating believable dialogue and has a great stage presence.” The Literary Festival will conclude with the release of the Lumen in Taylor Little Theatre on Thursday, April 12, at 8:15 p.m.

Zach Dorsch photo

Science fiction author Terry Bisson, right, read with Ken Schiff, Ph.D., from his dialogue of “They’re Made of Meat.”


April 4, 2012

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LGBTQ Allies assist bullied students List of campus ‘allies’ available for support By Liz Zurasky Features editor

Headline after headline of recent national newspapers showcase the deaths of teens that have taken their lives after being bullied about their sexuality. Even popular celebrities such as Lady Gaga have been huge advocates against this kind of bullying. With such national awareness, does this type of discrimination occur at Mercyhurst? Father Jim Piszker, chaplain in the Campus Ministry office, has recently organized the group called LGBTQ Allies, or the “Safe Network.” When asked if he had any students come to him about being bullied at Mercyhurst, Piszker said that he had. “I do believe that it is a problem, as incidents of bullying or

harassment have been brought to my attention and to the attention of others with whom we have worked,” said Piskzer. “I do not think it is a large issue, but any behavior of this type must be dealt with in an appropriate way,” he said. The LGBTQ Allies is a set list of faculty and staff that have been trained to counsel students that are being bullied as a result of their sexuality. According to the Mercyhurst University website, the goal of this program is “to provide an environment that is safe and healthy for all students, but particularly those who may be subject to bullying, intimidation or outright prejudice while appreciating the parameters beyond which we cannot go as a Catholic Institution of higher learning in the Mercy tradition.” Because this is a Catholic institution, “homosexual activity is seen as

outside of the boundaries of what would be considered appropriate and normative for sexual expression,” according to the website. It is important to the Catholic Church, however, to “condemn any kind of discrimination, injustice or violence,” meaning that this type of bullying is intolerable. The Allies also coincide with the mission statement and core values of Mercyhurst, especially those calling students to be socially merciful and compassionately hospitable. “The university’s mission statement and core values flow from an appreciation of the ‘dignity of the human person,’ a cornerstone ethical and moral understanding of the Catholic Church,” said Piszker. “Appreciate that everyone on this campus (and elsewhere) must be treated with basic human respect so as to acknowledge their dignity as human persons, made in the image and likeness of God.”

This is also an issue that may stretch beyond the limits of bullying strictly against LGBTQ individuals. “I have no direct evidence, but my sense is that it probably goes beyond the LGBTQ community, possibly in ways that some people generally do not understand or appreciate,” Piszker said. It is important to understand what bullying actually is. According to online sources, bullying is “an act of repeated aggressive behavior in order to intentionally hurt another person physically or mentally.” Piszker said, “It may not have to be at the level of ‘bullying’ to constitute ill treatment of another person. It can include ignoring people, shunning people, talking negatively about persons behind their backs, using inappropriate language in a derogatory way, etc.” This program will undoubtedly

be a vital tool for students struggling with discrimination in any form, but especially those in the LGBTQ community. “This exercise is only going to make us a much better community, a much healthier community and provide a desirable atmosphere in which students may live and work,” Piszker said. Some of the trained Allies: nSarah Allen, director of Center for Student Engagement & Leadership Development nGreg Baker, director of Campus Ministry nTrina Marrero, director of Multicultural Center nDianne Rogers, director of Learning Differences Program nMichael Grasso, assistant director of Residence Life

Prof earns lifetime achievement award By Mark Vidunas Contributing writer

To those in the criminal justice department at Mercyhurst University, Professor of Criminal Justice Peter Benekos, Ph.D., is very well known. He has been a professor of criminal justice at Mercyhurst since 1979 and is the recent recipient of the Founder’s Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences (ACJS) in New York City on March 16. This is a lifetime achievement award and is presented in recognition of service to the academy and significant contributions to criminal justice education and the discipline of criminal justice. Benekos said he is extremely grateful to have received the award. “A lot of people deserved this award. It is very gratifying, and I’m very honored to be acknowledged by my peers and colleagues in this way,” he said. Benekos achieved this award over a long career. Before coming to teach at Mercyhurst, he started

Sarah Hlusko photo

Pete Benekos was recently awarded the Founder’s Award from the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. as a psychology teacher at a public high school. He then worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections at Huntingdon for five years as a counselor at the prison pre-release

center. His last two years there he worked as an assistant professor at Mercyhurst until finally joining the faculty full time in 1979. Benekos has had many accomplishments throughout the years. Through his work with Mercyhurst University and the ACJS, he has produced many publications singly and with his colleagues and has participated in many committees of the ACJS, including a stint as the chair of the ethics committee. He is a former president of the Northeastern Association of Criminal Justice Sciences and served as a trustee of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences. “It would not have happened without the great amount of support and encouragement I’ve received from Mercyhurst and the criminal justice department, especially Tina Fryling and Dr. Frank Hagan,” Benekos said. Benekos has presented papers at international conferences and was part of a team that reviewed all Massachusetts Criminal Justice education at the college/university level, as ordered by the Massachusetts

Department of Higher Education. He was also one of the founders of the Mercyhurst Civic Institute, along with Mercyhurst President Tom Gamble, Ph.D., currently sitting as one of its two directors. Benekos is thankful for his wife, Pat, the executive director of learn-

ing information and technology services at Mercyhurst. “I would also like to acknowledge this was only possible through the encouragement, patience and support of my wife, Pat, through the great amount of time commitment and work,” he said.

Harassment by communication Tuesday, March 27

Warde Hall Referred for discipline

Criminal mischief Friday, March 30

Lewis Avenue Referred for discipline

Theft Monday, April 2

Rec Center Referred for discipline

March 27-April 2, 2012


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Grady named director of Institute for Arts and Culture New plan includes more student involvement, technology use By Alaina Rydzewski Managing editor

The Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center (PAC) at Mercyhurst University has a new director of the Institute for Arts and Culture. Jamie Grady began as the director in mid-March and has big plans for the future of the institute. Grady was hired to create an arts management bachelor’s degree for the university and will also oversee the booking for the shows at the PAC. He hopes to be teaching the first arts administration class by fall 2012. “It’ll take time for the process: to submit the proposal and get it approved,” Grady said. He wants to merge his ideas into the classroom system. “This way I can get into the classroom and teach kids that would be interested,” he said. As for booking shows, Grady ideally wants more student involvement and input in order to find shows that will interest students. The goal is for more students to attend events at the PAC and foster a tight-knit college community. He has a good idea of the way the current college generation communicates and with this knowledge wants to focus on gaining a new audience for the performing arts and art in general at Mercyhurst by using technology to engage audiences. He plans to employ Twitter and Facebook in his quest for more student involvement. “I think people in my profession—not all of them, but a good deal—look at the younger generation with a bit of a bewilderment,” said Grady. “They operate differently on two levels: the virtual and the real, and it’s fascinating.” Grady hopes to find a balance between the technology generation and the PAC’s traditional audience. “I think because of that on-off real/virtual reality, the older generation doesn’t recognize how many

April 4, 2012

News Briefs

Durney sentenced for threatening women According to, John Durney, a 23-year-old man from Oil City, was sentenced to 16-41 years in state prison by Judge Shad Connelly in Erie County Court. During the 2010-11 school year, Durney committed several attacks on women in the area of Mercyhurst University. His crimes included threatening a female student outside of CVS, threatening a woman in the 2800 block of State Street, confronting a woman at West 9th Street and Myrtle Avenue and chasing a female student on her way to Warde Hall. Mercyhurst Police & Safety Officer Jerry Devine caught Durney in a high speed chase on April 2, 2011. Durney pleaded guilty to attempted kidnapping, stalking, possessing the instrument of a crime, terroristic threats and aggravated assault. Durney’s psychological report states that he has trouble controlling his anger and obsessive thoughts about women and sex, according to Durney’s mother, Mareeta Durney, requested the judge order psychological treatment for Durney while he is in jail. While out on bail for the Erie County case, he also committed two accounts of stalking in Venango County. The Venango County case sentenced him to 2-10 years in state prison.

Erie man videotapes women while tanning

Sarah Hlusko photo

As the new director of the Institute for Arts and Culture, Jamie Grady plans on improving the PAC by increasing student involvement and implementing technology. different ways we are in fact connected,” Grady said. He hopes to gives students “the participation they desire through that outlet” and “to see the performing arts come to life in that respect.” Grady comes to Mercyhurst with much experience gained through 12 years in nonprofit theater management and 12 years in academia as a professor. He has worked in New Zealand as a fundraising manager for the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and also at Point Park University, where he taught arts and entertainment public relations and performing arts management. Having worked for numerous theaters over the years, Grady knows what it takes to expand ideas and engage different audiences. Primarily, he wants to take advantage of social networking to revamp

the image of the department and promote shows to bring in a wider audience. “It fits into everything I’ve been doing, working as a professor for 10 years and theatre companies,” he said. Some of his future goals are to work “with the dance and music programs to help better advertise and integrate together into regular performances” and to “have students side by side with these world class performers,” he said. “I would love to hear if any students have interest in this,” Grady said. Students who are interested can email Grady at jgrady@mercyhurst. edu. Shea Quadri contributed to this article.

An Erie man has been charged with allegedly using his cell phone to videotape women while they undress at two local tanning salons. According to goerie. com, Daniel J. Dowd, 24, of the 4100 block of Essex Avenue visited two Sun Your Buns locations in Erie and Harborcreek. He has been charged with seven counts of invasion of privacy and one count of tampering with or fabricating evidence. The invasion is reported to have happened in May and January, according to the police. Dowd was also a customer of the salon and gained access to the women from an adjoining room.

Criminal justice students win paper award At the annual meeting of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Justice Educators, two Mercyhurst University criminal justice majors, sophomore Nick Cianci and junior Paige Bosnyak, won first place honors for their undergraduate student paper. Their paper was titled “Pill Popping, Public Perception; and Policing Paradigms: The American Prescription Drug Epidemic” and was presented during the luncheon at Penn State Altoona on March 30.


April 4, 2012

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Life beyond the fishbowl: Alumni dancers give hope to graduating seniors By Haley Bradstreet Contributing writer

While some Mercyhurst University students are filling out graduate school applications and interviewing for entry-level positions in cubicles, others are putting on their brightest leotards and biggest smiles for directors in dance studios all over the country. Senior dance majors are experiencing the nerves, expenses and disappointments of audition season, but those who have been in their constricting satin shoes shared how they transitioned from college to the professional world. Photos. Videos. Promotional websites. Resumes. CVs. Not to mention decades of training. For all that goes into auditioning, it is disheartening to hear all the rejections. Alumni Noelle Lelakus (class of 2008) and Lauren Stenroos (2009) explain through their stories of success in a difficult field the importance of keeping one’s head up during these frustrating times. When auditioning, directors may be looking for the most rudimentary distinctions in a dancer whether it’s height, hair color or

presentation. Of course, technique and flair is always a must, but what can be discouraging is the mystery of why the director didn’t call one’s number at the end of round one. Lelakus, a former dancer with the Missouri Contemporary Ballet, says auditioning is a first lesson in “getting the boot.” “It is a humbling experience to put yourself out on the chopping block based on your dancing, looks, resume and photos.” She adds with a chuckle, “if someone even looks at the latter.” While directors look for dancers that fit their companies, the long process of cover letters, audition fees and long drives to major cities ultimately ends in finding the right company that fits the dancer as well. Ballerinas will throw their hats in the Broadway ring while jazz dancers will try their luck in contemporary. It’s a game of mix and match to find the proper combination. Even if a dancer finds a match, this could mean an unpaid secondary company, or worse, a traineeship in which the dancers must pay their employers in order to find themselves on stage for the first time since graduation. Each dancer going into the professional arts must be adamant about getting the job he or she wants and even more persistent in con-

tinuing when faced with new challenges of a new world. Stenroos, a dancer at Dayton Ballet, has seen enough rough times to know that a position in a ballet company is no easy feat. The hardest part of her transition she says, was trying to support herself both financially and mentally. She worked five to six nights a week at various restaurants to pay her rent. In contrast to the exhilaration a dancer gets from stage, the rewards of working in retail or food service are far inferior but compatible in the amount of energy it takes. “It was extremely stressful and annoying at times, and I was exhausted every night from it,” Stenroos said. Stenroos also remembers her state of mind during audition times. “I had low self esteem. I was very introverted and had not really grown into the person I am today.” She advises seniors to keep their heads up because you never know who out there is looking for you to dance for them. Lelakus says her biggest feat was the search for a new “second family” after experiencing the closeness developed in the dance department at college. However, she found that a shared passion is the first start in finding a new niche. She translated her love for dance

into a career of teaching, and because ballet attracts hard workers, she has a new career in mind: nursing. As this year’s seniors enter the world she has already transitioned, Lelakus will be graduating with her associate’s of science in nursing and starting the process all over again. Mercyhurst requires all dance majors to take kinesiology, the study of the human body in movement. No doubt this made an impression on Lelakus, and Stenroos agrees that the education on the physical movements of the body helped her strengthen her ballet technique as demanded by her employers. Now that paying choreographers and directors has replaced teachers and mentors, alumni like them find they must motivate themselves if they are to succeed in the professional world. In every profession, a big leap means big changes. Dancers who are taking their grand jetés in the world without meal plans should expect to find difficulties in finding their niche as well as keeping their heads held high. Stenroos describes this performing arts field as a rollercoaster. “If you can learn to deal with the ‘downs’ and push through the hard times, you’ll come out a stronger person and dancer,” she said.

Laker TV partners with Retro TV By Brady Greenawalt Staff writer

For a majority of the 2011-12 school year, if you clicked past Laker TV while channel surfing you most likely heard a simulcast of Jazz music from 88.5 Jazz FM and saw community events being advertised. Or perhaps you saw one of the few student-produced programs that aired sporadically on the channel. Now, as of Friday, March 30, Laker TV has a whole new line-up of classic programming. It is all the result of Mercyhurst’s recent partnership with WLEP-TV, Erie’s Retro TV affiliate. Brain Sheridan, Laker TV’s faculty adviser, has been shopping around for a way to get consistent programming on Laker TV for nearly five years now. “I’ve been trying to find a steady stream of programming for our station that would fit what we do, be interesting to the community and

fit into the mission of Mercyhurst,” Sheridan said. Finding programming that fit Mercyhurst’s Catholic roots and was within the budget proved to be difficult for Sheridan. “There isn’t a lot out there that doesn’t cost a lot of money,” he said. Many of the early possibilities for Laker TV partnerships included The Pennsylvania Cable Network and NASA TV. It wasn’t until about two years ago that Sheridan settled on a partnership with the Erie Retro TV affiliate, WLEP-TV, which is channel nine on Time Warner cable. The new partnership allows many classic television shows, like “Ozzie and Harriet” and “Lassie” to air alongside student-produced programming like the The Hollywood Buzz or the new Mercyhurst Unplugged. The new partnership also creates numerous possibilities for the future of Laker TV, like the possibility of programming created by Mercyhurst students airing on WLEP as well as Laker TV.

“Eventually we could do more things,” said Sheridan. “Possibly we could set up sales programming where students could go out and earn money by selling spots for Retro TV.” “But we would need a better infrastructure for this to happen,” Sheridan added. “We would need more support here on campus.” Senior Victoria Gricks, the student administrator of Laker TV, is excited for the future of the channel. “I think this partnership could increase the amount of viewers Laker TV has,” she said, “I think students will respect the station more, watch it more and even get involved. The greater the involvement, the better the station will become.” Laker TV is always looking for student volunteers. Students who wish to be a part of Laker TV can email Victoria Gricks at vgrick21@ or Brian Sheridan at bsheridan@mercyhurst. edu.

Schedule of Retro TV programs: Monday - Friday mornings: 9 a.m. “Crosswords” 10 a.m. “Ozzie & Harriet” Monday - Friday afternoons: 12:30 p.m. “Peter Gunn” 1:30 p.m. “Zorro” 4 p.m. “Route 66” 5 p.m. “I Spy” Monday - Friday evenings: 7 p.m. “Highway to Heaven” 10 p.m. “The Saint”

Saturdays: 7:30 a.m. “Black Beauty” 8 a.m. “Fat Albert” 11 a.m. “Lassie” 4 p.m. “Daniel Boone” 10 p.m. “Chiller Theater” Sundays: 6 p.m. “Soupy Sales” 10 p.m. “Route 66”

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Arts management degree to be added to fall curriculum By Kayla Kelly Staff writer

Jamie Grady, director of the Institute for Arts and Culture, is working hard to give students the opportunity to declare a new degree at Mercyhurst University. He is in the process of creating an arts management undergraduate degree that will include some core business classes and arts management classes. Students would take courses such as fundraising, introduction to arts management, leadership and special topics in arts management. This will give students the training to become arts producers, project managers and special events coordinators for any field. “It makes sense with a school with so many arts programs – if you have performers on campus, you should have producers on campus,” Grady said. Students are not just limited to become producers and project managers with an arts management degree. After graduating from Mercyhurst, students will have a wide range of job opportunities in dance, music and theater companies or any kind of performing arts, museums and galleries.

In addition to the required classes for the major, students will be required to complete service hours through the Performing Arts Center (PAC) to give them hands-on experience. The students will help produce various events and learn what it takes to make a performance run smoothly. One of the main areas Grady would like the students to focus on is audience development. He wants to get more college students in the PAC seats. “College life is rich with activities and art,” he said. “Students should take the opportunities now to attend as many performances as possible.” This will help improve Mercyhurst overall. Arts management majors will provide assistance to events in several ways, while students will be encouraged more to attend operas, musicals and plays. Currently, the major is not available for students, but Grady is working with faculty to get it approved. If all goes as expected, the plans will take place before the end of May, and the arts management major will be listed as an undergraduate degree program in the fall.

April 4, 2012

DIY College style: Sweet peppers and chicken sausage On her blog, A Grapefruit’s (many) Passions, senior Alaina Rydzewski writes about her foray into cooking, along with movie, book and music reviews. To check out her blog, visit This recipe is courtesy of Women’s Health Magazine, and it is pretty simple. It took about 40 minutes. Here is what you need: two links sweet or hot Italian-style sausage, three cloves minced garlic, two tablespoons olive oil, four to five medium bell peppers, hot pepper flakes, salt, pepper, 1 /4 cup fresh chopped basil leaves (I used the spice instead, which worked just as well) and 12 oz. whole wheat penne (or whatever kind of pasta you prefer).

Here is what you do: 1. Boil water and make pasta according to package instructions. Drain. 2. Heat one tbsp. oil in skillet on medium-high heat. Add chopped sausage and cook until brown on both sides. This took about six minutes, but I waited a couple of extra minutes because I get paranoid when I cook meat. 3. Wipe out skillet and add one tbsp. oil to pan. Saute garlic in pan for about 30 seconds. Slice peppers into thin strips and add to skillet. Cook for about one minute, then add hot pepper flakes to taste. Cook four more minutes, then put cover on skillet and reduce heat to low. Cook for another 10-15 minutes. 4. Add sausage and basil to skillet. Add pasta to skillet. This recipe turned out pretty well—I added just the right amount of hot pepper flakes for my taste, and the basil wasn’t overpowering either, although I used much less than the recipe called for. DIY College Style is a weekly column featuring two college students’ blogs on quick and easy tips about crafts and food.

April 4, 2012


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Senior art exhibit a success By Mathew Anderson Staff writer

If there was any question put toward the talent and creativity of the Mercyhurst University Art Department, the senior thesis art projects exhibit certainly puts it to rest. The exhibit, titled “From Reality to Abstraction,” opened to the public last Tuesday. This exhibit illustrated some of the best that Mercyhurst has to offer. The program featured five graduating art students and displayed the results of the senior thesis projects they’ve completed. The magnificent selections are now being hosted in the Cummings Art Gallery. The artworks will stay housed there until the exhibit closes on April 29. The featured artists, Samantha Fiorello, Tyler Stauffer, Kaitlin Badger, LeeAnn Stromyer and Laura Palermo, were the centerpieces to a dazzling reception last Saturday. The reception was open to the public and gave a chance for real credit to be given to these young and dexterous artists. Fiorello, an art therapy major, presented three quilts that focused primarily on the beauty of color and design. Her pieces included inspira-

Kaitlin Badger photo

A sample of each person’s work was featured in the announcement for the senior art thesis exhibit. tion from the works of Adolf Loos and Walter Gropius. Other artists, such as Otti Berger, Anni Albers and other Bauhaus inspirations could be recognized in the pieces. Works of these particular artists exemplify the idea of minimalistic and geometric art. Also presented were four abstract acrylic paintings, created by Stauffer, an art education major. His works represent both his interests in art and his affection toward

music. Stauffer’s work depicted a Selmer Mark VI tenor saxophone. After many contrasting pictures were taken of the instrument, one was chosen, studied and then scanned. After this had happened, the color, shape and size were altered in different ways. The finished product was a stunning image of creativity and a clear appreciation for the beauty of music and art. When asked about his experience at the exhibit, Stauffer said, “Senior

Liturgical Dance shows grace on Palm Sunday By Emma Rishel Staff writer

Four members of the Liturgical Dance Ensemble performed in Palm Sunday Mass. The piece appropriately was after the presentation of the gifts, which acted as a visual presentation of the dancer’s gifts and talents to God. The music was a choral piece with violin and piano accompaniment. The lyrics were meaningful and fit the Palm Sunday theme of welcoming Jesus into Jerusalem. The piece started with one girl coming down the center aisle of the sanc-

tuary, followed by three other girls coming down the outside isles. Freshmen Kathryn Tokar, Megan Lawrence and Mary Katherine Kersey along with senior Kayla Clark were the featured dancers of this piece. The dancing was filled with surging and solemn choreography to fit the mood of the church service. It was a nice change from the usual music and customs of a normal Mass because the dance added a visual sort of meditation for those in church. When asked about the Liturgical Dance Ensemble’s performance, junior Tess Sinke, who choreographed the piece, said, “It brought

another dimension to the service and allowed for those attending to connect and reflect in another way.” Sinke, who is used to choreographing for performances, said creating a piece for Mass was different and more difficult for her. “The thought behind it affects the process of creating,” she said. “Certain themes influence the steps. It made me want to make sure the steps flow together more so it looks more angelic in a way.” The solemn and serious dancing enhanced the music and made the Palm Sunday message of welcoming Jesus yet knowing he was about to die clearer to the viewer.

thesis was a great experience. It allowed us to concentrate on a specific subject matter and experiment with methods of creating our art from the beginning process to the finished product.” Stauffer also commented on the show. “The show as a whole I feel looked very good. Our show is very uniform, everything working together as one,” he said. “It was a great process, and the finished result has a lot to show for what we have completed and worked hard in finishing.” Graphic design major Badger exploited the use of Adobe Suite programs when creating her artistic vision. Her motivation for the piece seemed to create a work of art that is past ordinary limits and plunges into the land of extraordinary. Her presentation had components of white and black cuouts of trees. Badger’s series titled “Seasons” featured layers of images that manipulated corresponding colors that are expressive of the four seasons. When asked about her art, Badger said, “My final thesis projects were Seasons, a series of four ink cutouts indicating the seasons, Tree Studies, a series of four black and white cutouts, Posted, a layered ink cutout, Noontime, a layered ink cutout, and Alternative, layered with ink, acrylic and enamel on paper.”

Stromyer was able to exploit technology in her artwork. An art education major, Stromyer incorporated both new and old technology when crafting her art. She began with black and white films with different filters, overlays and gradients. Stromyer was able to maintain the beauty of the trees, while presenting them as something a little more abstract. Palermo presented a set of acrylic paintings that surrounded her undertaking of clouds. Palermo, a studio art major, created works that ranged from a very small 8x10 inch work on a panel to a very large 6x6 foot acrylic on canvas. Constable’s clouds in landscape paintings inspired the use of loose and airy-styled brush strokes in her painting. “We are all grateful for all of the people who came out Saturday for the reception to show their support. It was a great afternoon,” Palermo said. All of the artists seemed to have a great time displaying their artwork during the reception. The works of art can be viewed from now until April 29 in the Cummings Art Gallery, located in the lobby of the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. The art gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from 2–5 p.m. and Thursday from 7–9 p.m.

Upcoming events at the PAC: The MET: HD Live Massenet’s “Manon” Saturday, April 7, at noon. On Screen/In person: “BLAST!” Wednesday, April 11, at 2:15 and 7:15 p.m. The MET: HD Live Verdi’s “La Traviata” Saturday, April 14, at 1 p.m.


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April 4, 2012

Dashboard Confessional’s Man uses topiary ‘Places’ powerful decade later art to overcome

racial prejudice

By Aaron Ullman Staff writer

By Alexandra Stacey

While Chris Carrabba/Dashboard Confessional has released six studio albums over the years, none arguably have the holistic depth, poetry and emotion “The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most” possesses. The album is clean off its 10-year anniversary, yet still has the feel of a fresh compilation due to the masterful lyrical command throughout. Though only a mere 30 minutes long, the album contains a plethora of passion present within the driving force of Carrabba’s voice. Carrabba is the poster boy for guitar strumming, heart-on-the-sleeve acts. Although this “emo” identity, synonymous with heartbreak, is a turnoff for some, none can deny the way in which he melds thoughtful lyrics with graceful chord progressions. The opener, “The Brilliant Dance,” is a classic example. The song is one of paradoxes, as the subject of the song wrestles with the love/hate feelings concurrently existing when a relationship has gone sour: “And the plaster dented from your fist/ In the hall where you had your first kiss/ Reminds you that the memories will fade.” Likewise, “Screaming Infidelities” is another angstridden endeavor bemoaning the cheating ways of a lover. “Your hair, it’s everywhere/ Screaming infidelities/ And taking its wear” metaphorically shows the painful little reminders of the past relationship. It perfectly captures the difficulty of moving on from the pain and the past. In fact, the entire album centers around this theme

A&E Editor photo

Even a decade after being released, “Places” still has the feel of a more recent release.

of heartbreak and betrayal. Although each song is brilliant in its own right, “The Best Deceptions,” “Saints and Sailors” and “Again I Go Unnoticed” stand out from the rest. Even with this being the case, the motif does not wax monotonous as Carrabba reinvents unique ways to present the sentiments. While the pure emotive and bare sounds and lyrics may not appeal to all, there is something to be gained from “The Places You Have Come to Fear the Most.” Carrabba’s songwriting is truly poetry set to music— there are few examples better than this showcase of clever artistry.

In the intriguing film “A Man Named Pearl,” Pearl Fryar started out as an ordinary man who faced racial prejudice. When he moved to impoverished Lee County, S.C., he faced discrimination when buying a house. He and his wife bid on a house in an all-white neighborhood but were rejected because “black people don’t keep up their yards.” When Fryar took a job in a canning factory in 1976, the Fryars found a house in another neighborhood—which they currently live. Shortly after moving in, Fryar started keeping a garden. He even made it his task to win the local gardening club’s ‘gardener of the month’ award. Knowing that only something special would set him apart to win the award, he took up his gardening shears. He began to trim the bushes and shrubs on his property into amazing geometric shapes, which

were more for wonderland than a suburban neighborhood. It didn’t take long before Fryar became obsessive about his garden. He would work all day at the canning factory and then long into the night on his topiaries. The garden started to attract the attention first of locals and eventually of tourists. Tourists travel from around the globe to see the 3-acre lot. They can see the garden for free and are pouring money into Lee County’s starving economy. Even though Fryar has become somewhat of a global celebrity, he has not let fame get to his head and continues to focus on his mission: to create the best garden of topiaries possible. Produced and directed by Scott Galloway and Brent Pierson, “A Man Named Pearl” focuses on racial themes in America and the unique approaches people use to overcome them. “A Man Named Pearl” will be showing Wednesday, April 4, at 2:15 and 7:15 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center. Tickets are free with a Mercyhurst ID.

Concert choir inspires By Alexandra Stacey A&E editor

The Concert Choir presented a riveting performance this weekend with its presentation of Schubert’s Mass in G and Morten Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna. The concert took place in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center, on Sunday, April 1, at 2 p.m. Rebecca Ryan conducted the choir, and an orchestra made up of students and professionals accompanied. The addition of a full orchestra really pleased many audience members. Freshman Danielle Carlson said that she “loved how Mrs. Ryan

hired an orchestra to accompany the choir. It really added to the overall sound quality and made things even more interesting.” The concert started with the Mass in G. This was a five movement work, in which three soloists were featured. Sophomore Mathew Anderson, junior Adam Ferrari and Senior Brianna Steves were featured at different points throughout the piece. They sang different solo selections throughout the Mass, but the finest example of the trio’s singing was the “Benedictus.” The three parts wove together in equal parts like a fine cloth. The Choir performed the sacred work spectacularly. There was an appropriate seriousness with the occasion that did not go unnoticed.

They had a full orchestra, and no part stood out more than the other. The mix of choir and orchestra was a perfect balance. Next on the program was Lauridsen’s Lux Aeterna. This piece was one continuous flow of five movements. This was a much more emotional piece, and being contemporary, had a much more modern and emotional feel. The audience enjoyed the concert immensely. The singers and orchestra were met with a rousing standing ovation. After graduation, a portion of the choir will visit Italy and participate in the Chianti Choral festival and at St. Peter’s Basilica. Donations to support the group were taken at the end of the concert. photo

Pearl Fryar began making topiary art in his front lawn after being subject to racial discrimination.


April 4, 2012

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

Defending MSG, Sean Kingston MSG senator urges students to give Kingston a chance Look, we’re not Harvard. There’s no way we have the 32 billion dollar endowment to afford Yeezy (Kanye West for you mere mortals) for Spring Fest, but Kingston is kind of a pretty big deal.

By Zainab Javed Staff writer

From the moment the artist was revealed as this year’s Spring Fest performer at the Student Activities Council’s (SAC) and Mercyhurst Student Government’s (MSG) Launch Party, which you probably shouldn’t have missed because there was great food, students have expressed concerns ranging from “Can Sean Kingston perform live?” to “Is he even relevant?” There have been numerous articles in The Merciad that have voiced concerned over the selection of Kingston, some of which I feel may be a premature assessment of the 2012 Spring Fest line up. Here’s a crazy thought: what if Kingston will do a great job at Spring Fest? I would like to humbly request that my fellow Lakers give him a chance.

I would like to humbly request that my fellow Lakers give him a chance.

Zainab Javed

Sean Kingston is no one-hit wonder. “Beautiful Girls” peaked at #1, “Fire Burning” hit #5 and “Me Love” made it all the way to #14. He did all of this within the last five years. He was also the first artist born in the 1990s to top the Hot 100. That’s pretty relevant, if you ask me. Most, if not all reviews, of Kingston’s live performances that I have come across have been extremely positive. Many

Supreme Court hands down disturbing decision this week Questions of health care, strip-searches on docket By Caitlin Handerhan Opinion editor

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has been in the news as of late, garnering national attention as the justices debate the highly controversial healthcare reform bill passed by Congress last year. With many on the right crying for the bill’s demise, there is a potentially more disturbing ruling being handed down from the court this week. On Monday, April 2, SCOTUS voted 5-4 that persons detained on any charge, however minor, are now legally allowed to be subjected to a strip-search. Conservative Justices Alito and Kennedy were of the opinion that detainees, regardless of guilt or innocence, should be submitted to a mandatory strip-search by officers. Citing examples such as one of the 9/11 terrorists being stopped for a traffic violation only days

before the attack, proponents of the ruling felt that preemptive stripsearches would be a way to promote a safer environment once incarcerated and help prevent crime. Let us not forget that, according to a New York Times article, a brief filed by the American Bar Association cites “international human rights treaties also ban the procedures,” meaning that this ruling is viewed as a breach of civil liberties by many outside of the United States. How far can one go to violate personal liberties in the name of safety? My issue with this ruling is not limited to the nature of the strip -search alone, but rather that the offending officers do not have to cite reasonable suspicion before invoking their right to begin a strip -search. The gravity of this ruling seems to have been lost on the conservative judges who voted to violate potentially innocent persons. This ruling means that someone

arrested for small offenses, such as violating a “leash law, driving without a license and failing to pay child support,” now falls under the jurisdiction allowing a strip-search, according to a New York Times article published April 2. To me, this ruling seems to hail from the days of George W. Bush’s Patriot Act, which was a gross violation of privacy, to say the least. What is next, when we as a society stand idly by, and allow such humiliating acts, such as being forced to submit to a strip-search, happen to potentially innocent citizens? While some may view this ruling as less ominous, it seems to me to be a decision that sets a very dark precedent for future abstract questions of your civil liberties (or lack thereof). While SCOTUS has been challenged by a difficult docket this spring, one thing is certain: respect for human dignity was only respected by four dissenting justices this time.

of the comments on rave about his tremendous levels of energy and audience involvement. Concerts are mostly about the atmosphere, and if Kingston can effectively excite a crowd, that’s good enough for me. His songs, although some may be repetitive in beat and style, are catchy. It’s easy for audience members not previously exposed to his music to get into to it. He can easily appeal to a broad audience, which in my mind makes him not only a good choice on the part of the students planning the concert, but a great choice many students can appreciate. I commend MSG Events Coordinator Shannon Kissel and SAC Chair Jenna Dascanio on their decision to select Kingston as this year’s Spring Fest performer. This concert is going to be great. You’ll regret it if you miss out. Although many have been “under whelmed” by Kingston’s selection by Kissel and Dascanio, I urge you to give him a chance.

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

The Merciad is the official student-produced newspaper of Mercyhurst University. 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 email at

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4, 2012 SeptemberApril 3, 2008

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

Weight loss always an option By Jaslyne Halter Staff writer John Durney, the man who stalked female students on campus last year armed with a knife, has been sentenced to 16-41 years in state prison. Students are once again safe to walk to CVS.

Even though 60 percent of students polled indicated that they would participate in the Hunger Games if more graduation tickets were the prize, University officials have offered no new solutions to the venue debacle.

Even though that the weather in Erie has been quite temperamental in regard to the temperature, one thing never fails when spring rolls around: the fact that bathing suit season is just around the corner. Now I’ve never been the thin one of my group of friends, and I don’t expect that to happen. However, I have decided to take the plunge into the one thing I hate most: agreeing with society’s interpretation of beauty. This however isn’t the inspiration for my decision; my decision comes from a woman named Sally, whose blog I came across when doing research about diets, exercise and lifestyle changes. In this particular post, Sally instructed the reader to take five minutes to look at themselves in the mirror. After those five minutes, the reader was instructed

student involved with two majors, several clubs, a job and heavy work load; I’m the one that eats food from her room in between meetings, classes and shifts. This realization made me take a look around me and realize that I am not the only student at Mercyhurst who feels this way, at least I can presume that I’m not. So now that I’ve admitted to the entire campus that I’m fat, here’s where I’m going with this. You can turn your dorm room into a gym, along with going to the Rec Center. Ideas for your dorm include using your desk for inverted push-ups, your bed for doing dips to work out your arms, as well as doing sit-ups while holding your heaviest book above your head. All of these options are free, and for some, may be the only use of their desks and books that they pay to have. Furthermore, these are alternatives for those who dislike going to the gym because they feel self-conscious because the people

that go to the gym may not look like they need to be there. There are tons of ways to make changes; walk around campus or even down 38th Street, eat salad or wraps at Egan or sushi and similar options from the Laker. It might take a little bit of effort, maybe a lot more effort for some, but think of it as an assignment from life. Life is the classroom and lifestyle change is the assignment; or maybe you hate class, so think of it as a club, and you have to do things to contribute to the club. There are a hundred different ways to get active, but you need to schedule some time to do it. I’m trying to figure out ways to not just slim down but make lifestyle changes to make this permanent. Whether you have weight to lose or just want to stay fit, the moral to my spiel is that everyone should get out and play. Not to be super creepy, but if anyone is looking for a workout buddy, diet buddy or both of the above, I’m on the market.

Arrival of spring brings fresh outlook By Courtney Hartline Contributing writer

As of March 20, we have officially bloomed into the season of spring. A conclusion to another school year and summertime is just around the corner. But as our enthusiasm for a long break and appealing weather builds, I believe that it is essential for us to view spring as a time for transformations and renewal. It has been a whirlwind of a


With many students turning to tanning salon Sun Your Buns to get that summer glow, state police this week charged a local man with videotaping women while they undress before tanning at a couple Sun Your Buns locations. While too much UV exposure can leave you with a red face, many are suffering from this for a different reason.

to take a picture of their favorite part of their body. It was during those five minutes where I had to suck up my pride and face the reality that was staring me straight in the face: I needed to change because I took a picture of my face. To darken my spirits even more, I came across an MSNBC report that stated that “nearly 30 percent of female college students are overweight.” The study further explains that this isn’t the “Freshman 15” but rather students coming into college overweight and not changing their habits. At this point, I found myself making 500 different excuses as to why I didn’t go to the gym more or trying to justify the fact that I was clearly too busy to eat better food, etc., the list went on, until I cried. I just sat there and cried. Excuses were over. It’s go time. I don’t want to dwell on my sobstory, but I am the poster child for the “fat college student.” The

year for every student, and we have all struggled through something; whether it was a huge class project or something outside the world of academics. Regardless of what it was, it is time to let it go and start fresh. It is easier said than done but life changing is essential nonetheless. As a freshman who came here all the way from Utah, I have personally grown so much during first year of college. I like to look at the challenges, aches and obstacles that I

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have faced as merely growing pains. Spring is the transitioning period from the bitterness of winter to the glow of summer. It is the perfect time to move on from the shaky grounds of the past. This is a lesson that I have tried to apply to my life every day. I now make an avid effort to artfully accept my fear of being judged as inadequate, my fear of letting people down, my fear of Chewbacca, tripping over my own shoe laces, bird flu and loud people. Anyways—the

result has been mind boggling. Accepting spring as a fresh clean slate has made my days better than ever. So what I am trying to say is, no matter what you have been through this year, focus on the fact that you have made it this far and are in the homestretch. To throw a cheesy analogy your way—just as the Earth is tilting its axis more and more toward the sun, we must turn our lives more and more toward positivity and regrowth. Happy spring everyone.

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April 4, 2012

Freshman stands out in women’s tennis doubles By Samantha Bante Contributing writer

Transitioning from a high school sports team to a collegiate team can be a challenge for any player, but not for freshman tennis player Katelyn Caniford. With a doubles record of 8-3 and 2-0 in singles, she is on track to be a standout on the women’s tennis team in years to come. The Lakers had a strong 2010-11 season, finishing 18-6 overall. But with the graduation of star Kim Ezzo, the team had some questions heading into 2011-12. The team is now 9-5, winning its last two matches against Clarion and Robert Wesleyan, with a perfect score of 9-0 for both matches. The Lakers are feeling a burst of momentum picking up two consecutive shutout wins after losing three straight matches. Caniford has been rising to the

Sports Information photo

Freshman Katelyn Caniford has adjusted well to collegiate tennis. challenge as one of three incoming freshmen. Although she has had two separate doubles partners, junior Jenna Raynor and senior

Courtney Conway, she is stepping up and becoming a team player. “The first couple of days of practice were rough, and I realized

that I really did need to step up my game,” said Caniford. “It was definitely a hard transition from high school sports to college. It got easier though, and my team helped me out a lot. They were very supportive.” Caniford plays mostly doubles, which adds a different level of difficulty. “It’s not that I don’t like singles, I just really like working with someone. Being alone isn’t as fun to me. I like having someone to talk to and help me out,” Caniford said. Caniford, along with freshman Sarah Baich, sophomore Caroline Bristol, junior Rebecca Haener and sophomore Courtney Thompson have all performed well in doubles, helping the team reach more victories the closer it gets to the postseason. “We are doing pretty well. We have had a lot of close matches so far, so we may have to make up for that. But we have five matches left, and those will help us to go to post-

season,” Caniford said. Among all the colleges and universities in Division II, Caniford chose Mercyhurst to further both her academic and sports career. “I really loved the campus. I knew it was the place,” said Caniford. “It wasn’t too far from home, because I live two hours away in Ohio. I really liked the team too, they were so nice and welcoming. I just knew it was perfect for me.” The Lakers are working hard, practicing hard and looking forward to going far in the postseason in a few weeks. “I would definitely say I am a team player. The team overall is very important to me. I love to motivate anyone I can, and I feel we all work really well together. We are looking forward to see how far we can go,” Caniford said. The Lakers have five road matches left on the schedule before the Pennsylvania State Athletic Association (PSAC) playoffs begin April 17.

Santora leaves mark on baseball record books By Joe Chiodo

Contributing writer Baseball players can often be defined by physical characteristics. Cy Young award winning pitcher Tim Lincecum is known for his long hair, and All-Star outfielder Josh Hamilton is known for his tattoos. Senior Ethan Santora already has his defining feature with full-length tattoos on both arms. The giant sleeves of art are hard to miss, and now Santora has the records to add to his resume. On Feb. 12, Santora hit his 29th career homerun, a homerun that flew high over the Chowan University players in Murfreesboro, N.C., and into the record books of Mercyhurst University baseball. “I actually had no idea that I was that close to breaking the record. I didn’t realize I did until I crossed home plate and everybody started hugging me and giving congratulations,” Santora said. Santora broke the Mercyhurst baseball homerun record that had not been touched since 1997, when Laker Hall of Fame member Pat Cutshall set the record. Now with

Spencer Hunt photo

Senior Ethan Santora is the new homerun champion for Mercyhurst University. He is the all-time leader in homeruns with 31. 31 career homeruns, it is clear that Santora will continue to set the bar for future players. Santora is a humble champion, a senior communication major that will never brag or boast about his incredible achievement. To Santora, breaking the homerun record is

simply a product of his dedication to the sport he loves. Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, Santora would often make his way to the field where his father coached baseball at Mayfield High School for 33 years. “My dad has been a big influence

in my baseball career. He used to coach, and I was always up at his practices,” Santora said. Santora has been an avid fan for as long as he can remember. He calls Manny Ramirez his favorite player and looks up to players such as Derek Jeter and Albert Pujols. In high school, Santora played two years of junior varsity and two years of varsity baseball, reaching the status of player of the year for Ohio in his senior year. Breaking the homerun record was no easy task. Junior teammate and pitcher Matthew Jimenez said, “Ethan is a hard worker in the gym, which has helped him and his ability to hit for power.” Training and exercise have played a key role in his success. “I like to get to the gym about five days a week with a strict weight lifting program, and I also like to take a lot of swings during the week. Baseball is a sport where repetition is really the only way to improve. So the more swings I get, the better my skills develop,” Santora said. As an upperclassman, Santora looks forward to life after Mercyhurst. “My plans are to continue playing baseball. If that is not an option, I

am going to move back home to Cleveland and start the job hunt,” Santora said. Although he is excited to move on from Mercyhurst, he values the strong relationship he has with his teammates. “I am going to miss everybody in the senior class. We have been through a lot of ups and downs together, a lot of practices and we have given up a lot over the past four years to be where we are today,” Santora said. Santora credits the coaching staff for the success of his career. “Coach Joe Spano has helped me develop my skills over the past four years. Coach Spano has been pushing me really hard since I came in freshman year, and my swing has really developed since then,” Santora said. Looking back on his baseball career so far, Santora said: “There has been a lot of ups and downs, a lot of hot streaks and cold streaks. A lot of extra stress came along with it, but I tried to ignore it and just play my game to help the team win.” “I am happy that I am the one sitting at the top of this list, and hopefully there are more homeruns to be hit this season.”


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April 4, 2012

Softball has home-field advantage for wrong reasons By Spencer Hunt Sports editor

Softball players love the smell of fresh-cut grass and the sight of a freshly painted infield. At the start of a new season players take in the view from the clean dugout and look out at the recently dragged dirt and bright yellow fence surrounding the field. The bad news is that if players are enjoying these simple pleasures, they are not playing at the Mercyhurst University softball field. The field the Mercyhurst softball team calls home has paint falling from its dugout, bleachers warped from seeing too many games and uneven grass where patches were attempted but didn’t take right. There are even two different style benches in the dugout. After four years of waiting, changes are on the way. “We have been told for four years that the school was going to make changes,” senior Emily Redig said. “It’s nice that they are finally happening.” As part of a five-year renewal of the lease with the city of Erie, Mercyhurst plans to spend $200,000 on the field. The project includes redressing the infield, planting grass in the outfield, upgrading the dugouts and bleachers and installing a scoreboard and flagpole.

Caitlin Kelly photos

The Mercyhurst softball field is in urgent need of renovations. With graffiti in the dugout and a rock-filled infield, the team will welcome the changes with open arms. The sad news is that when the softball team first took the field this year, the field was better than normal. “It was actually better this season then in past years,” said senior Sydney Cuscino. “There were less rocks, and they tried to patch the outfield.” Cuscino has had to play 35 games on the field in her four years, and as an outfielder she deals with the

Basketball loses four By Spencer Hunt Sports editor

The Mercyhurst men’s basketball team finished up a solid 18-11 season on March 2, but it is still making headlines. Four players have been dismissed from the team for violating team rules. Sophomores Matt Lee and Andrew Rickard, junior Steven Coleman, and freshman Arnis Libazs are the four players in question. The losses came less than a month after they were heavy contributors to the playoff run by the Lakers. Lee started 25 of 28 games he played in and averaged 15.8 points.

He was named second-team allPSAC West following the season. As a sophomore, he was expected to take on a larger role next season. Rickard played in 28 games and averaged 10 points a game. Coleman started in 13 of the 21 games he played in and averaged nine points per game. Libazs had a limited role off the bench. All four were underclassmen with bright futures on the team. Now Coach Gary Manchel will need to replace graduating seniors and starters Jamal Turner and Bill Weaver, along with the four dismissed. This leaves at least three holes in the starting lineup. Senior Luis Leao, who led the team in scoring and rebounding, will have to carry more of a load next season.

worst parts of the field. “The outfield goes up and down in stretches,” said Cuscino. “You can’t go all out, but if the ball happens to take a bad hop we are used to it.” Home field advantage has a different meaning at Mercyhurst. The team has a record of 22-13 at home over the last four seasons. “We play cautious on it,” Redig said.

Redig, an infielder, admits her job is a little easier than what Cuscino and the outfielders deal with. “As an infielder its not ideal conditions, but it’s definitely better than the outfield,” Redig said. Visiting teams accustomed to playing on turf or well-kept fields are in for a surprise. Before practices the team takes time to pick up rocks around the infield. This is a chore that should

not have to be done that frequently. The team also picks up trash around the field. A number of these issues are because the field is open to the public. “Part of it is just damage from being a city field,” said Cuscino. “After people play on it they don’t do the necessary clean-up.” To make matters worse, there isn’t a scoreboard to follow during games or even electricity. The team couldn’t host a tournament because the field isn’t up to the necessary standards. “It’s unfortunate to have to play collegiate softball on this field,” Redig said. “We have to play on it, but it makes the school look bad.” The changes came at a poor time for Cuscino and Redig as they will never get to play on the new field, but they are still pleased for the change. “I’m happy the underclassmen will finally have the field they should,” Redig said. “I think it will help build the program and really adds to what we have been doing the last few years,” Cuscino said. Despite the poor conditions, the team has been on the rise over the last four years. It had a .500 record two years ago and improved to 24-20 last year for its first winning season since 1991. Who knows how well the team can do with a brand new field?

Men’s lacrosse slips by No. 12 C.W. Post By Spencer Hunt Sports editor

Another week and another ranked opponent down for the men’s lacrosse team. Following a 7-6 victory over No. 3 Dowling, the Lakers endured their closest game of the season. Instead of rolling over a topranked opponent, the Lakers had to battle from behind. A sense of urgency can be beneficial before heading into a game against a rival like C.W. Post. C.W. Post brings a number of different memories to the Lakers. Despite losing 4-3 to C.W. Post in the regular season, that game is a happy memory. The team hasn’t lost since.

Thirteen games and a championship later, the Lakers have come full circle. They even had to beat C.W. Post to get to the championship. But the regular season is where the Lakers have a problem with C.W. Post. This season, C.W. Post hasn’t been as dominant, but the team is not to be underestimated. Maybe this season’s matchup would end differently. The Lakers hadn’t beaten C.W. Post in the regular season since 2008. Post got out to a one goal lead for most of the first period, but the Laker offense is hard to stiffle. Senior Kyle Kallay evened the score, and the team tacked on two more for a 3-1 lead. It was a back-and-forth game with both teams countering with goals. But this one ended differently

for the first time in four years. The Lakers won 8-5. The victory marks the second over a ranked opponent in as many weeks. With a 6-0 record, the Lakers have a tight grip on the top spot in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll. Junior Brian Sheetz was the star of the day as he scored two goals and had three assists. Sophomore Michael Grace made four saves and is second in goals against average in Div. II. The Lakers hope to continue their momentum as they hit the midpoint of their season. Sitting at 7-0, every team will be aiming to knock off the No. 1 team. The Lakers’ next home game is Wednesday, April 11 at 4 p.m. against Lake Erie College.

The Merciad, April 4, 2012  
The Merciad, April 4, 2012  

Digital version of The Merciad, April 4, 2012.