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College donates to city of Erie

OneCard cancellation unacceptable

Keven Gregg has fast times at ’Hurst

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September 28, 2011

‘The Buried Life’ to portray reality theme By Kelly Luoma Editor-in-chief

Mercyhurst College students will soon be able to scratch “attend a Buried Life event” off their bucket list. As part of the Distinguished Speaker Series, Mercyhurst Student Government (MSG) will bring the cast of “The Buried Life” to campus. “It’s really exciting this year that we have a well-known speaker coming in,” MSG PR Coordinator Jeremy Dickey said. For those who don’t know, “The Buried Life” is a MTV reality documentary series about four men from Canada who travel across North America working on completing their list of the 100 things they want to do before they die. Each time they complete an item off their list, they help a stranger complete a goal. When picking this year’s speak-

Jill Barrile photo

Freshman Alexa Lucente was working out when MSG passed out bottles of water on Sept. 19. ers, MSG tried to base their decisions on their theme— “This is Reality.” Dickey explained this year’s theme. “The theme, ‘This is Reality,’ kind of came about on a whim,” said Dickey. “It’s about living in the now and taking control of your situation and realizing actions that

you do now will affect you in the future.” The theme also focuses on helping out others and paying it forward, Dickey said. “The Buried Life” is one event “we saw all around that would benefit students and tied in with our theme,” Dickey said. “The Buried Life’s” speech is

titled “What do you want to do before you die?” As part of their motivational speech, they will discuss their bucket list. The event is free and starts at 8:15 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 8, in the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. Senior Alexa Dewey discussed “The Buried Life” coming. “I think it will make for good PR for the school because they are so well known. I think it’s going to be a big hit, and I’m looking forward to it,” she said. MSG plans to carry the “This is Reality” theme through this year’s events, but as of now, none of the scheduled events relate to it. Dickey said he hopes to incorporate the theme with the Christmas tree lighting ceremony on campus and the second speaker in the Distinguished Speaker Series. In the past, MSG has brought between two and five speakers to campus each year. Dickey said he thinks this year MSG will have two speakers.

The second speaker is likely going to be a chef. Dickey said MSG wants the chef to be a collaborated event like Chef Dominica’s talk. Last year, when she spoke on campus, there was a wine tasting for students who were at least 21 years old, and students participated in an Iron Chef event where they had a cooking competition. “Nothing is signed, so it could totally change,” Dickey said. To portray this year’s theme to students, MSG passed out bottles of water to students at the Mercyhurst Recreation Center on Monday, Sept. 19. The water bottles had a piece of paper on them that said, “Kindness like a boomerang always returns.” MSG President Meghan Hess explained why they passed out bottles of water. “We really want to portray this theme of ‘This is Reality,’” she said. “We think it will be a good way to show students what MSG is really about.”


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Freshman class of ROTC cadets 2015 most diverse shed uniforms for security measures By Mike Gallagher Staff writer

The 2011-12 freshman class is by far the most diverse freshman class Mercyhurst College has ever seen, with 60 freshmen from outside the United States, according to the Mercyhurst Fall 2011 New Student Report. The international students are from countries such as Canada, Honduras, China, Jamaica and Vietnam. Director of Admissions Christopher Coons said, “The freshman class became so diverse for a number of reasons. Throughout the nation, more students from multicultural backgrounds are attending college. The United States is becoming more and more multicultural as a country, and thus there are more students from a variety of ethnicities enrolling at many colleges across the country.” Moreover, Coons explained that

“Mercyhurst College provides a welcoming campus for multicultural students—students find the necessary support here as a whole. “Since the demographics of college-aged students in our primary area has decreased, we have looked at other areas of the country, such as the mid-Atlantic and New England areas, that may be seeing a rise in students attending college.” Senior Ifran Haider, a Pakistani native, said, “I came here because I was an exchange student at Iroquois High School in Erie. I later visited Mercyhurst College and decided to come back here for college.” Haider said, “Erie is a small city, and usually the trend is that small city people are usually narrowminded, but it’s totally not the case with Erie. People here welcome you and are really open towards anyone. That’s what I like about it. So it wasn’t really a hard task to adapt to the American way of life.” Haider plans to go to pharmacy school in the U.S. and will be taking

the exam to get into pharmacy school this coming January. He plans to stay in the U.S. Coons explained that there wasn’t anything done to ensure that this freshman class was the most diverse. “We didn’t do anything in particular to assure that this was the most diverse class at Mercyhurst, but a lot of the credit should go to Eric Evans, director of international admissions, the athletics department, Trina Marrero, director of the Multicultural Center and the Office of Undergraduate Admissions for their outstanding work throughout the year and at our various summer orientations,” Coons said. Coons thinks this trend may continue as more and more students from multicultural families begin to attend college. “As long as Mercyhurst continues to be the welcoming and supportive institution that our mission speaks of, then students from all cultures and backgrounds will choose to enroll here,” he said.

’Hurst ranked in top 50 by US News & World Report By Alicia Cagle Staff writer

Every year, U.S. News & World Report ranks colleges and universities nationwide in an edition called “America’s Best Colleges.” This year, Mercyhurst College has been declared number 49 in the Regional University North category. Freshman Christopher Lilley said, “I always brag to my friends from home about going to Mercyhurst, and now I have even more to tell them since we are in the top 50.” The U.S. News & World Report’s mission is to help students decide which institution to attend. This ranking allows students to compare schools side by side to see which is best suited for them. U.S. News & World Report uses data from 10 criteria portraying academic excellence such as retention, student selectivity, graduation rate, alumni giving and faculty resources

to determine a school’s ranking. In order to categorize schools, U.S. News & World Report uses the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching’s Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education 2010, which sorts colleges according to widely accepted criteria. The Regional University category is comprised of 626 universities, which are further divided into north, south, midwest and west. According to Vice President of Academic Affairs Phillip Belfiore, Ph.D., the variables that make up the rankings are things that good schools are already doing. With additions to Mercyhurst, such as the new building, laboratories and university status, the faculty expects the school’s rank to increase. “It’s good this publication recognizes the good work we’ve done— we will continue to improve,” Belfiore said. He explained that the rankings also

have to do with how peer colleges see Mercyhurst. Each institution must identify which college or university fulfills each criteria the best. The student body at Mercyhurst has been proud of the honor the school received. “I was so impressed that I checked out the rankings as soon as I could,” said senior Amanda Chance. “I found not only were we in the top 50, but that we also beat Gannon. Even U.S. News & World Report knows we’re the better university.” Junior Mark Vidunas agrees. “I think it is great Mercyhurst is getting the recognition it deserves as an entire educational institution as opposed to being just for a few of the programs. This is really good for boosting the school’s reputation and will in turn help Mercyhurst graduates by increasing the value of our degrees out in the work force,” he said. The rankings for “America’s Best Colleges,” can be found at usnews. com.

By Mike Gallagher Staff writer

On Wednesday, Sept. 14, to Monday, Sept. 19, the Pride of PA Army ROTC Battalion conducted a test of increasing its security posture. It implemented its force protection measures as prescribed in Army Regulation (AR) 525-13: “Anti-terrorism Force Protection: Security of Personnel, Information and Critical Resources,” which resulted all ROTC personnel not wearing uniforms or anything that may identify them as being involved with ROTC. This also created a heightened sense of situational awareness at ROTC events and classes throughout the duration of the test. Master Sergeant Frank Rand, a military science (MS) level I and II instructor at Gannon University and Mercyhurst College, said, “This is not a big deal. There was a real threat present somewhere in the country, but for our purposes, this was only a drill since there was absolutely no real threat to Mercyhurst, Gannon or Penn State Behrend. As far as I know, every school in the country [with ROTC] was conducting the same drill.” According to Rand, this drill was “an opportunity to exercise our force protection in order to lessen

the ROTC/military ‘footprint’ within the campus. In the event there would have been a real threat, we would have been prepared.” Moreover, Rand describes these measures as nothing more than “good crime prevention techniques. Knowing what belongs and what doesn’t belong. It’s about buddy teams, going in pairs and taking care of your buddies. In case something happens to one of you, you take care of each other. It’s about common sense crime prevention and team work.” Although there are different measures that can be put into effect as prescribed by AR 525-13, Rand said that, “Quite frankly, we don’t have a lot of authority here. It’s not like a military base where you own everything, and so we increase security with good crime prevention techniques and common sense.” Senior James Gallagher, a cadet and MS IV at Mercyhurst College appreciated the drill. “I thought it was strange at first, and I had some questions about why we were doing this. But in the end I think it was a good drill to exercise the cadets’ situational awareness, both on and off campus. When we cadets become officers in the real army, I’m sure we are going to have to use force protection measures at some point in our careers,” he said. Mike Gallagher is member of the Pride of PA Battalion.

MSG, library team up to provide DVDs Mercyhurst Student Government (MSG) and the Hammermill Library are teaming up to provide DVDs for checkout from the library. The plan is to add 10 DVDs a month to the 115-DVD collection. In addition to these, there are two laptop computers available for checkout, and MSG is working with the library to purchase several e-readers and e-books.


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September 28, 2011

College contributions help pay for public safety By JoEllen Marsh Staff writer

For the fifth consecutive year, Mercyhurst College will make a financial contribution to the city of Erie. Mercyhurst President Tom Gamble, Ph.D., announced on Wednesday, Sept. 21, that the college will donate $100,000 to help the city of Erie pay for police and fire response, road maintenance and other services that benefit the college. “We are very proud of our relationship with the city,” Gamble said in his announcement speech. “We firmly believe that a strong Mercyhurst in a strong city community is best for everybody, so that is why we’re willing to help out whenever we can.” Mayor Joseph Sinnott thanked Mercyhurst after Gamble’s announcement. Sinnott said these contributions are primarily spent on public safety, such as the purchase of new police vehicles.

“It’s keeping our capital needs current in our public safety, which is critical to continuing to provide these services at the level that we’ve been able to provide,” Sinnott said. Although these services are vital for students, some have questioned why Mercyhurst is not spending more of its money on scholarships. Senior Rachel Brown said, “It’s important for the college to give back to the community for the services it receives. However, the college should also consider its duty to its students and take the opportunity to examine the issue of scholarship funding, as merit scholarships have stayed the same while tuition has increased.” Mercyhurst began financial contributions to the city in 2008 with a pledge of $500,000 over three years. Executive Vice President Gary Brown, Ph.D., said prior to that decision, Mercyhurst occasionally made donations of police vehicles and also gave the city a subsidy when the College decided not to host the annual fireworks display.

This year’s donation is a $25,000 increase from last year, but according to Provost James Adovasio, Ph.D., it is still a “modest” donation for the amount of services Mercyhurst receives. “If we collectively, as colleges and universities, expect the same level of services, then it’s appropriate that we would be increasing our donations during these tough economic times,” said Adovasio. “We would be very hard put if the city didn’t respond to a fire or disturbance on campus.” Gannon University and LECOM also donate to the city, and according to Adovasio, this type of donation is common for colleges across the country. “Various schools and universities work out their own idiosyncratic relationship with the municipalities they’ve been working with,” he said. However, some people in the Erie community have raised a debate over the fairness of Pennsylvania’s tax exempt policy. Erie TimesNews Managing Editor Pat Howard argued this view in an opinion article that ran in the

Erie Times-News on Sept. 25. Howard said, “Most everyone acknowledges that the colleges, hospitals and the rest are community treasures as well as economic drivers, but at some point the costs they shift onto the city’s struggling tax base fail the test of basic fairness.” He cited the fact that 30.1 percent of the city’s property is tax exempt and that Mercyhurst is only contributing 5 percent of the almost $2 million it would have to pay the county, city and school district. Gamble defended the state’s policy in his speech and said it has helped produce a vibrant and effective nonprofit sector. “We see this as a completely voluntary gift. We believe that nonprofits should be tax exempt… As a result of the tax exempt status, we can relieve the government of doing some of the kinds of things it would otherwise have to do,” Gamble said. He emphasized that in addition to financial donations, Mercyhurst makes significant contributions to the community through service projects, cultural performances and athletic events.

Gender series invites discussion on bias By Alaina Rydzewski Managing editor

Zach Dorsch photo

Monica Biernat, Ph.D., spoke about the negative bias and stereotypes of women in academia and the workforce.

The second installment of the Exploring Gender and Relationships series brought Monica Biernat, Ph.D., to Mercyhurst College on Thursday, Sept. 22. She lectured on “Gender Bias in Evaluations: Complexity and Subtlety in Patterns of Stereotyping and Prejudice.” Biernat is a social psychologist from the University of Kansas whose specialty is stereotyping and prejudice. Biernat began with the idea that some biases are subtle but “can color the way we think of men and women.” She then led the audience through what she called a “gender stereotyping tour” and made sure to stress throughout her lecture that in all of the examples she gave and research she presented, it was not only males who stereotyped and showed prejudice—women were (and are) just as guilty in both of these categories. “Both men and women show this bias,” she said. Freshman Ian Gayford found Biernat’s lecture revealing, saying

it exposed how society feels about things that aren’t necessarily thought about. Research has shown that men are more likely to be classified as aggressive, ambitious, dominant, self-confident and self-reliant while women are more likely to be classified as helpful, kind, sympathetic and interpersonally sensitive. Most of Biernat’s examples had to do with the academic world or the workplace, and she said that “there is more negative information recorded for women in the workplace” because the workplace is so masculine. She gave a case where researchers had two resumes that were identical, except for the names—one was male and one was female. There were also two job descriptions that were the same except for the job title—one said chief of staff and one said executive secretary. The study found that people thought the female was more suitable for the executive secretary position and the male was more suitable for the chief of staff position, even though the resumes and job descriptions were exactly the same except for the titles. Another example Biernat presented had to do with female professors and how they are critiqued

by their students. Biernat explained that when students perform poorly in class they are more likely to blame the female professor. However, if it were a male professor, students would place the blame on themselves. “This is another interesting pattern of bias,” Biernat commented. After giving numerous examples of stereotyping and bias, Biernat addressed what the average person can do about gender bias. “There are some things we can do to reduce stereotypes,” she said. “Positive imagery that can motivate us to not be prejudiced can help, as can self-correction, awareness and self-consciousness. There has to be an increased accountability for decisions, and beliefs, norms and associations have to change.” Ultimately, though, “What people see in the world around them influences their perception,” Biernat concluded. Junior Kristen Robson thought Biernat was very informative. “Learning about studies and how they are done was helpful—now I have a general idea of what I’m going to do in my life,” she said. The next event in the series is the showing of the film “Philadelphia Story, 1940” on Monday, Oct. 24, at 7 p.m. in Taylor Little Theatre.

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Student shares his passion for unicycling By Kayla Kelly

Contributing writer

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The Active Minds club is raffling off bottles to spread awareness of mental illness and prevent suicide. Tickets are available for purchase in Old Main 112.

Club works to raise suicide awareness By Brady Greenawalt Contributing writer

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers and the second among college students. The Active Minds club at Mercyhurst College is working to raise awareness of suicide and promote prevention of this horrible result of mental illness. Active Minds at Mercyhurst is a student-based organization dedicated to spreading awareness of mental health issues. Active Minds Adviser Missi Berquist said, “Active Minds at Mercyhurst has the distinction of being awarded as a Five Star Chapter by the National Active Minds organization. Active Minds at Mercyhurst was also recognized as the most active student organization at Mercyhurst for the 2010-11 school year. The organization covers a wide array of mental health issues, but lately its focus has been on spreading awareness of suicide prevention. More than “one thousand college students a year take their life by suicide,” Berquist said. In order to help raise awareness of this problem, Active Minds at Mercyhurst is raffling off two handpainted decorative bottles. The proceeds from one of the bottles will go directly to The American Federation for Suicide Prevention, and the proceeds from the other bottle will benefit the Mercyhurst chapter of

Active Minds. The bottles themselves spread the message of suicide awareness. Each is painted with the phrase “celebrate life with love.” Raffle tickets for these bottles can be purchased in Old Main 112 at a cost of $1 for one ticket or $5 for six tickets. The winning tickets will be drawn at the conclusion of the “Out of the Darkness” suicide awareness walk on October 9. The walk, which is organized by the local agency Stairways Behavioral Health, will take place at the Rotary Pavilion on Presque Isle and is open to the community. Check-in is at 11:30 a.m. and the walk starts at 1 p.m. “Active Minds at Mercyhurst has participated in the walk for the last three years,” Berquist said. Mercyhurst students are encouraged to attend the walk wearing Mercyhurst attire. “The news will be there, and we want to get the college name out there,” Berquist said. Active Minds chapters from Gannon and Penn State Behrend are also expected to attend the walk. “(Mental illness) is more prevalent than we would like to believe,” said Berquist. “We want to get people talking about mental health concerns… to try to break through the stigma and the misinformation about mental illnesses.” If students would like to join Active Minds of Mercyhurst and help spread awareness of mental illness, they can email Berquist at

While some of us enjoy more popular hobbies such as reading, gardening, shopping and crafts, others enjoy hobbies that are quite out of the ordinary. Braden Greenawalt enjoys a hobby that is far from the ordinary. He rides a unicycle, a onewheeled, pedal-powered vehicle. Greenawalt, a junior communication major, was inspired to ride the unicycle by a Super Nintendo game called “Uniracers,” which entailed racing unicycles. After playing the game, he decided it would be fun to try riding a unicycle in real life. He got his first unicycle for his 16th birthday. “Riding a unicycle is way different from the video game,” Greenawalt said. At first, the new hobby was extremely hard for Greenawalt. He fell a lot and received many scrapes and scars, but he is proud that he never broke a bone. After about a month of practice, he seemed to get the hang of riding the unusual, one-wheeled instrument. Once he got on the unicycle, it

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was easy for him to balance and ride, even though he admits that off the bike he is quite clumsy. He has yet to learn any tricks on his unicycle, but it is one of his goals. There are several different types of unicycles, and Greenawalt has three of them. His first unicycle was an average unicycle for a beginner, which he got on his birthday, but he also has a smaller unicycle, which is one made specifically for tricks. His third unicycle, called a commuter, has an incredible 36-inch tire and can go at a fast speed and take him long distances. Many times, when thinking of a unicycle, the first thing that comes to mind is the circus. Although he is not in one yet, Greenawalt has thought about joining a circus because he thinks it would be a great experience to get paid for doing something he truly enjoys. When asked what his favorite part about riding a unicycle is, Greenawalt said, “I get a lot of attention. I mean if my hobby was puzzles, I probably wouldn’t be having an article written about me.” More seriously, he added, “It’s also something different, which is what motivated me to learn.”

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Junior Brady Greenawalt enjoys riding a unicycle, a unique hobby for a college student.


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September 28, 2011

Applying to grad school DIY college style: both stressful, exciting Huevos Rancheros By Liz Zurasky Features editor

Being a senior can be a very scary ordeal, especially for a senior in college. The future is unknown, and there is so much to do and decide before graduation day comes. For those going straight into the work force, life might revolve around resumes and job applications. For those applying to graduate school, there are a ton of details that need to be figured out during the duration of senior year. The first step in applying to graduate school is to find schools that have a program you’re interested in pursuing. Websites like gradschools. com can assist with research for an appropriate program. Douglas Boudreau, Ph.D., head of the honors program at Mercyhurst, suggests talking to your academic advisor about subjects and degrees that might interest you. The second thing that is needed for almost all graduate schools is the Graduate Record Exam (GRE) or some other form of standardized testing. Schools use these scores much like the SAT for entrance to undergraduate programs. The suggested time to take these

tests is during the fall of senior year, to give yourself time to retake the test in case you don’t perform well the first time. To register for the GREs, go to, and sign up. The cost of taking the test is about $160. Another good idea is to start developing a resume. The Career Development Center is a great resource for anyone trying to create an appropriate and professional looking resume. The Career Development Center is located on the first floor of Egan. Boudreau also adds that it’s important to have good letters of recommendation to accompany your application. He says, “You will be needing letters of recommendation from faculty in your discipline, so it is best if they know who you are and have a favorable impression of you.” To keep all of this information organized, a chart would be a useful tool to use, listing application fees, deadlines and materials that need to accompany each individual application. According to Boudreau, graduate schools are very interested in students who have been involved in their undergraduate degrees and have been placed in leadership roles

inside and outside the classroom. “In a number of disciplines, graduate programs look favorably on applicants that have been involved in activities outside of the classroom. It is obviously more impressive if you can show that you have been involved in a particular organization or activity for three of four years and especially if you can show that you have played a leadership role,” he says. If you haven’t been placed in any of these roles, it’s never too late to start. Ask professors about research assistant positions, get involved as a tutor or offer to present a project at a conference. Although the application process for graduate school may be stressful, it is important to keep in mind the exciting things this next educational step offers. For some it might be the location of their preferred grad school. For others it might be the opportunity to further their education in something that they really enjoy doing. Try to focus on the excitement that all these decisions entail, instead of the stress of the process. For more information about how to apply to grad school, or if you need help building a resume or other application material, visit the Career Development Center.

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 All of the recipes I put on my blog are able to be made in a short amount of time with a small amount of ingredients – quick and (relatively) easy for the college student. It really helps because I am so busy that most days I barely have time to eat something, let alone cook it. The recipes are also healthy because I try to eat healthy every day. The first recipe I tried was Huevos Rancheros. I found it in Women’s Health magazine. With the help of a food processor, this takes no longer than 10 minutes, at most, to make. Ingredients you will need: 4 eggs, 4 whole wheat tortillas, one can black beans, one can whole or sliced tomatoes, one onion and a half cup of fresh cilantro. Other optional ingredients: juice of one lime, one canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, a pinch of cumin and one clove of garlic.

1. To start, get the onion, tomatoes, chipotle pepper and cilantro, chop them into smaller pieces and put them into the food processor. The food processor literally takes six seconds, so be careful not to leave it on for too long, or everything will turn to mush. Put all of this into a bowl and mix together. Add the garlic and lime juice to this. 2. Put the black beans and cumin in a bowl, mix, and then add that to the salsa mixture. 3. Next, warm tortillas on a pan to desired crispiness. Then make sunny-side-up eggs. This takes only a few minutes to do. The first time I made this, I did it without the optional ingredients and loved it. The mix tasted just like salsa without the spiciness. The second time I made it, I used all of the optional ingredients, and it was seriously spicy. Choose ingredients to your liking. DIY College Style will be a weekly column featuring two college students’ blogs on quick and easy tips about crafts and food.


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‘Certified Copy’ is a play on reality By Alejandra Zeron Contributing writer photo

‘Certified Copy’ plays Wednesday at 2:15 and 7:15 p.m. Tickets are free to Mercyhurst students with an ID.

Jill Barrile photo

Jeffrey Harrison reads original poetry Jeffrey Harrison read from his published works on Tuesday, Sept. 27, in Taylor Little Theatre. His poems and works have been published all over the world and have won many awards. Tom Forsthoefel, Ph.D, invited Harrison to read from his poetry collections as a part of the Erie County Poet Laureate Initiative. Forsthoefel is serving his second year as Erie County Poet Laureate.

This week, the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center’s (PAC) Guelcher Film Series features a romantic drama that challenges our ability to distinguish between reality and fantasy. The film, “The Certified Copy,” plays along the fine line between authenticity and imitation. “Certified Copy,” a product of the visionary Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, is a mentally provocative film that depicts the relationship of a middle-aged couple. Their story begins when Elle, an antique gallery owner in the Tuscan village of Arezzo, attends the lecture of James Miller, a British

author and art historian in the midst of promoting his new book. James’ scholarly talk about the blurriness between original and forged artistic pieces catches Elle’s attention and prompts her to invite him on a tour of the countryside. As their roadtrip evolves, they find themselves unintentionally exploring the roles of marriage in response to a café owner who mistakenly assumes they are a romantically involved couple. Elle and James keep this pretense throughout the day, acting like longmarried husband and wife who discuss and dispute ideas about life and art. Eventually, the audience will be perplexed as to whether they are deliberately play-acting or they are more emotionally involved than they let on. The cast comprises Juliette

Binoche as Elle and William Shimmel as James Miller. Together this duo brings the “Certified Copy” to intense and full-fledged life. The Christian Science Monitor says, “What keeps the film from becoming overbearingly arty is its acute psychological insightfulness. “James and the woman may only know each other for a day but surely married couples, all couples, experience the dislocations these two only pretend to feel – the sense that your partner is a stranger, a co-actor, an impostor, a phantasm. “They have created a world within a world that is, in the end, for however long it lasts, a certified copy of the original.” This film shows Wednesday, at 2:15 and 7:15 p.m. The cost is free to Mercyhurst students with ID.

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Open dance classes provide opportunity for majors, non-majors alike By Emma Rishel Staff writer

The Mercyhurst Center for Dance Education offers a variety of open dance classes available to dance majors, Mercyhurst students and the public. The classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays and are all taught by dance majors who have either completed their pedagogy class (the study of becoming a teacher), or happen to specialize in a certain style of dance other than ballet or modern. The open classes are a nice chance for majors to experience a range of more diverse instructors who are different from their daily dance professors. It is very helpful for the dance majors to take advantage of the variety of classes and instructors so they can continue to expand their dance repertoire. Students who come to take class from outside of the department, especially beginner students, learn quickly due to the large number of styles they are exposed to and the many teachers they learn from. On Tuesday evenings, senior Anna Daught teaches belly dancing from 6 to 7 p.m. It usually attracts a wide mix of students, as the class is a type of dance that most are not very familiar with. Daught says, “In some ways it is easier to teach nondance majors because they are less likely to get bored with the more simple steps or movements. However, belly dance is very different from ballet so teaching the majors and non-majors isn’t too different. ‘With the exception of a few of my regulars, everyone is starting with the basics together.” Daught explained how teaching belly dancing is different from ballet. “In ballet there is the set class structure, but in belly dance there isn’t, so I’ve had to

assemble my own structure for the class,” she said. Senior Tori Scott is teaching the intermediate level ballet class on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. This class is a good opportunity to work on the basics of technique and to stay in shape. It is also a good class for those who may have given up dancing once they came to college. The most crowded class is hip-hop taught by junior Jessica Stachelrodt on Thursdays from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Students of all levels, many with a fair amount of talent, show up for this class. Stachelrodt says she is always happy to see people who enjoy her class and who put their own style and flair into it. Noelle Partusch, associate professor of dance who often teaches the Saturday morning class, says she particularly enjoys teaching open classes because it is the only thing she has to do all day, as opposed to office work and paper grading she usually does on weekdays. Despite the variety of strengths and levels in the open classes, Partusch says it is not a problem because the corrections she works on go across the board and students are able to use them as needed. She also stressed the importance of teaching class versus giving class. Just because it is an open class and not a requirement of any kind, she is concerned that students get something out of what the classes have to offer. The open classes are a way to reach out to Mercyhurst students and people of the Erie community and share the gift of the arts with those who are eager to be a part of it. Drop-in class cards cost $100 and are good for 20 classes. Mercyhurst students with ID can attend belly dancing and hip-hop classes for free. For the general public, drop-in class cards are $100, which are good for 10 classes. Single classes are $15.

Sarah Hlusko photo

Students of all levels take class in the Dance Space from upper level dance majors. photo

‘Neighborhoods’ is Blink 182’s first album since 2003.

Blink 182 reunites with ‘Neighborhoods’ By Aaron Ullman Staff writer

The hiatus is over. Blink is back. After eight years of speculations and indefinites, Mark, Tom and Travis have once again returned as Blink 182. Their sixth album, “Neighborhoods,” has raised the hopes of the large fan-base of the faithful, easily making it one of the most anticipated releases this year. Upon first listen, it is clear the band has matured past the goofy teenage-angst ditties that made up the majority of their earlier work. More developed lyrics and less poppunk melodies account for this. It is also quite apparent many of the tracks have a musical influence from Tom’s ongoing side project, Angels and Airwaves. There are pronounced synth melodies along with intermittent ethereal vocals much akin to AVA. This isn’t to say that Blink has completely lost their old sound— the new groove is more of a hybrid of the two groups. The single off the album, “Up all Night,” is a perfect example of this. It seems the band was attempting to hearken back to the old days with

drastic guitar rifts, yet the lyrics are mature in content and the chorus sounds eerily similar to AVA’s “The Flight of Apollo.” The track is a solid one, just like much of the album. While “Natives,” “After Midnight,” “Kaleidoscope” and “Mh 4.18.2011” are all top-tier tracks on the album, “Ghosts on the Dance Floor” is definitely the best song. The emotive expression behind the lyrics is simple but powerful. Basically Tom recalls someone who he has lost and how the tangible memory of them continues to haunt. The beauty of the song is its flexible ambiguity. Listeners can easily morph the lyrics into their own experience, whether it be the passing of a loved one, a broken relationship or another painful circumstance. At some point we all can resonate with the key lyrics: “I saw your ghost tonight/The moment felt so real/If your eyes stay right on mine/ My wounds would start to heal.” The disc is definitely up there with the other material Blink has released, albeit different. To continue reading this story online, go to


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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 e-mailed to

OneCard cancellation prompts student’s protest By Brian Lombardo Staff writer

As reported in last week’s edition of The Merciad, the administration of Mercyhurst College recently canceled all OneCard contracts with community vendors, a program that had been running with these partners for six years. Like the free transportation with the EMTA Shuttle, this convenience is a service students have come to rely on and enjoy. In fact, the partnership has been running so long that no class on campus knows what it is like to go without it – until now. As can be expected, the response

from most students has been exceedingly negative. The off-campus service offered several benefits to students, and its end has left many angered and disappointed. While it is clear in our uncertain economic climate the school must carefully scrutinize its budget and increase savings when possible, this decision seems to have been made hastily and is completely adverse to the needs of both the student population and the community vendors. It is especially harmful to select groups of students, including RAs, who receive a per-term stipend on their OneCard. Freshman Area RAs receive a $450 stipend and upperclassmen RAs receive $250. In the past, RAs and all students have been able to use these funds at any participating vendor, including Country Fair and

CVS. Now that the program has been canceled, we can only use the money on campus. While it was and remains useful for purchasing textbooks through the bookstore, we now have hundreds left in funds on our cards with only a few places to spend the money. Despite our admirably large amount of school spirit, I am pretty certain no one needs an extra $200 in Mercyhurst apparel. Among other compensation, our stipend is essentially our paycheck for duties performed. Through the program’s end, our employer (Mercyhurst) is telling us that we can only spend our paycheck back with our employer. The only way to get these funds out of the cards is by transferring them to our account and receiving a refund check – a major hassle, to

say the least. Further, the hasty manner in which this decision was made is unacceptable. Students had almost no warning the program would be canceled and were surprised by its abrupt end. If the ruling had to be made because of costs, the administration should have given students a fair amount of warning. Major changes to fundamental and long-standing programs should not be made so quickly or without any input from students. While Director of Financial Services Carrie Newman states the school wants students to continue to frequent these vendors, it is simply not realistic we will do so when the money is not on our OneCard, whether from a stipend or personal funds. Similarly, this

cancellation can only harm vendors’ business and will not do anything to stimulate our local economy. As OneCard Director John Patterson was quoted saying in last week’s article, “Not one vendor wanted out.” I am asking the administration and Ms. Newman to rethink their decision and reinstitute this service that has become a major part of our Mercyhurst educational experience. Likewise, students should clearly express their disappointment in this choice and request it be reinstated or replaced by a more cost-effective alternative. If we make our displeasure known, we can easily persuade the appropriate individuals to change their minds and find a solution that is in the best interests of both the college and the students.

Gay marriage constitutional By Mark Furhy

Contributing writer This summer New York became the sixth state to legalize gay marriage. The state joined the ranks of those to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Arguments given by politicians against gay marriage have been very contradictory in the recent political atmosphere. With the debate of big government versus small government same-sex marriage can be justified by a Republican and even Tea Party platform. Many begin an argument against same-sex marriage by institutionalizing marriage. Its opponents often claim that allowing same-sex couples the ability to marry would undermine the institution, claiming there are many legal rights and opportunities surrounding the institution of traditional marriage. Many simply cite their religious texts saying that it is banned. I don’t dispute that statement, but who is to say that a male citizen of the United States that loves another man may not enjoy the same legal rights and opportunities?

The institutionalization of marriage argument is embraced by many conservatives and is often given by many religious groups. Constitutionally, there have been many cases at the state level that have set a precedent for defining marriage. The first battle took place in Virginia with the Loving v. Virginia (1967). Upholding the Virginia law would violate the Equal Protection Clause because it discriminated on the basis of race and the Due Process Clause as an undue interference with “the fundamental freedom” of marriage. Historically important cases include Zablocki v. Redhail (1978), Turner v. Safley (1987) and Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health (2003); these cases have set a clear precedent. In red states across the country many have passed defense of marriage clauses that defend the definition of traditional marriage to remain between a man and a woman. Clearly, this is unconstitutional. Many conservatives take a position that government should not take a big role in people’s lives. However, defining marriage and telling the American people who can and cannot be married is one

of the most invasive measures into an individual’s life. Marriage is not a religious institution; it is the highest level of commitment for two individuals who are in love with one another. If you decide in your private life to marry heterosexually, you should be able to. The problem is that not everyone shares the same religious beliefs in America, which proves there must be a separation between church and state. In conclusion, I argue that the right to love is a human right that should be secured and given to all. I speak from personal experience that gay individuals do have the ability to love. They should have the right to show that commitment through marriage and express their level of love for one another. Finally, as we move forward toward the future, let gay pride continue to grow. I am confident that people will soon begin to become more open minded, which is why I write this article. I believe Mercyhurst is beginning to become more accepting even as a Catholic campus. It is sad, however, when someone has to stay closeted because of fear of societal rejection. Embrace your inner gay and move forward.

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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September 2011 September 3, 28, 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 e-mailed to

Sex garners too much attention By Caitlin Handerhan

Opinion editor

This weekend is Homecoming, which will hopefully feature a football game in which our Lakers trounce the Gannon Golden Knights.

Sex sells. Simply put, when you hear, see or imply the word, people are more likely to ‘perk up’ and pay attention. We seem to be a culture saturated with sex, especially in a college campus. For example, despite the multitude of opinion articles published in print and online each week, the topic that has provoked the largest response from the student body as of late was centered

on condoms. Don’t get me wrong, as the opinion editor nothing makes me happier than juicy rebuttals to edgy pieces printed in The Merciad. Yet, it is interesting that the topic to provoke the most response from the student body would be centered on sex, while other provocative and thought provoking pieces are often overlooked. When examined in a broad cultural context, “Mercyworld’s” response to the Catholicism vs. condoms debate may not be that surprising; American culture has developed an insatiable sex drive. For example, consider the last time politics in Washington were

“attention grabbing,” “scandalous” or “interesting” to the general public – the last time the dirty business of D.C. was discussed with avid interest around the dinner table, on the talk shows and around the proverbial water cooler. I am guessing it was not these new rounds of congressional pandering over the budget that had us all whipped into a frenzy. Most likely, it was a sex scandal. Consider the amount of attention paid to Anthony Weiner, who was not a household name until his Twitter misstep landed him in the headlines. After sending lewd images of himself to women he met on Twitter, the ousted congressman became

the butt of many jokes, including national headlines proclaiming “Weiner’s Rise and Fall,” “He Couldn’t Keep it Up,” and “Weiner Pulls Out.” As admittedly humorous as those headlines are, it speaks to a broader issue in our society. Our focus on things of a sexual nature has left us with a skewed perception of importance; in this case, Congressman Weiner will most likely not be remembered by mainstream America for his progressive votes in congress, but rather by his sexting scandal. As a society we need to be a little less focused on coitus and start paying a little more attention to content.

Cocoa trade unfair Pop culture trends The statue of Mary that was in front of Old Main has been removed, leaving a gaping construction zone on the lawn. At least when she is reinstalled upon restoration, she will no longer have her back to the gates.

Egan is experiencing technical difficulty with its dishwasher. Perhaps if they didn’t spend the extra effort washing all of the eco-boxes we could have avoided the mass amount of paper waste from the temporary disposable dishware.

By Jaslyne Halter Staff writer

Think about that moment when you bite into that Godiva dark chocolate raspberry truffle–the smooth, rich flavors forming a delicious symphony across your taste buds. The symphony comes to a standstill and guilt floods your body as you realize that the chocolate you consume religiously all started with child slaves off the coast of Africa. According to “The Human Cost of Chocolate,” a CNN article, “In Ivory Coast and other cocoa-producing countries, there are an estimated 100,000 children working the fields, many against their will, to create the chocolate delicacies enjoyed by Western countries.” Following its civil war from 2002 to 2004, the efforts that began to end child labor on the Western Africa Coast cocoa farms started to wither because of the obvious strain on the government. However, a decade later, there are still an estimated 100,000 child slaves on the cocoa farms, which is rather bothersome because society is just now starting to help free the children again. Why is it taking so long to intervene? Child slaves are put through

horrendous conditions and are possibly threatened and beat if they do not comply with their “bosses.” These children cannot escape because of the horrible things that may happen, both physical and psychological. Sure the children could try, but the beatings and overall dehumanization on these cocoa farms would only get worse. The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports that “they (the children) are forced into painful work, long days in inhumane conditions without pay and with little food. “Work includes using machetes to cut the cacao pods from high branches, and applying pesticides without protective equipment. Dangerous days and fearful nights is the typical day in the life of child slaves.” The article also describes how the children are tricked, or “deceived,” into staying on the farm of the cocoa company. Beating, whipping and torturing also takes place for these poor children. If America helped to put the ban on this behavior, you would think that we would be the ones truly stepping in to enforce it, since obviously the African governments are failing miserably at it. Take a bite out of the facts, before you bite into your next chocolate bar.

tend to undermine moderation By Larae Tymochko Staff writer

I will never have the opportunity to be part of the Oprah phenomenon. Not because the Oprah Winfrey Show no longer exists, but because I have not lost 100-plus pounds. Anymore in the health world, all discourse seems to revolve around American obesity rates, dos and don’ts of eating habits and diet books that line the shelves of bookstores and grocery aisles. Moderation is a term that has died with the birth of “Supersize” meals and “Big Gulp” drinks. Granted, the removal of the audience held captive by this phenomenon means that the “Biggest Loser” would lose all of its contestants and Kirstie Alley would be out of a diet gig. I have always been an active person through sports, outdoor activities, going to the gym and

recently becoming a spinning instructor at Mercyhurst (this is a shameless plug for my classes, which you should check out). I am not seeking a gold star by any means. However, does it not seem bizarre that we don’t give credit where credit is due namely to those who follow food guidelines and maintain a healthy lifestyle? What have we become if we scorn moderation? Mostly because that isn’t what people want to see. Have you ever been impressed to look at a photograph taken years back only to realize you’ve stayed the same in looks and in weight? Of course not–it is all about the shock value, which is what our glutinous society eats up. Cheers to all of you marathon runners, triathlon athletes, 5k-ers and you gym rats. Here are the accolades you will be deprived of in pop culture. Now that Oprah has her OWN network, maybe my chance of being on her show will be better than slim to none.

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September 28, 2011

Men’s water polo enjoys early success By Spencer Hunt Sports editor

Every year teams head into the season with some level of expectations. Certain schools enter the year with championship-or-bust expectations, while others just want to win one game. For the men’s water polo team, they were somewhere in between to start the year. “We are a young team, so we didn’t have big expectations going into the season,” said Coach Curtis Robinette. “The main goal was to bond as a team.” For a team just looking to bond, the Lakers look very good at the midpoint of the season. Losing All-American Andy Sekulski was a big blow to the Lakers but one they have taken in stride. “We have a lot of guys who lead

Sports Information photo

Sophomore Brett Luehmann continues to lead the Lakers in the pool. He is the only player with double digit goals and assists this season, 19 and 12 respectively, and leads the team in both categories. by example but are not as vocal yet,” Robinette admitted. Currently sitting with a 7-4

record and a sterling 6-0 in conference play, the young squad appears to be coming together.

The team, however, has gone through its fair share of adversity. Entering the North/South Invitational on a four-game winning streak, the Lakers suffered four losses in two days. “We needed to refocus and reset our team goals,” said Robinette. “They were winnable games, but the losses help refocus the upperclassmen, and it will trickle down.” The refocusing didn’t take long as the team swept the next weekend over Washington and Jefferson College and Salem International. Both wins were conference games, and the Lakers only have four conference games remaining. On a team with only eight upperclassmen and one senior, there will be a reliance on the younger players to help carry the load. Sophomore Brett Luehmann is certainly carrying his portion. The Lakers’ leading scorer from last season is again leading the team

with 31 points. “Brett’s success in the pool will really help us in the future, as well as right now,” Robinette said of the sophomore. Since the team does not have a home pool on campus, it helps the team develop a certain mentality. The Lakers call the Mercyhurst North East Aquatic Center home. “We have a road warrior mentality,” Robinette said. “We have a certain comfort level going places that other teams might not expect.” With the young players beginning to take large strides in the pool, the loss of Sekulski seems even less significant. Even though there is an eye on the future, the present is going well. The Lakers are finishing up the conference schedule with four games in three days. They will wrap up a positive September with a match against rival Gannon University on Sept. 30.

Keven Gregg has fast times at Mercyhurst By Lindsey Burke Staff writer

Senior Keven Gregg has had more than just good times on a stop watch, he has had a great time at the Hurst. A native of McMurray, Pa., majoring in history education, Gregg has led the men’s cross country team for the past four years. Most influenced academically by John Olszowka, Ph.D., Gregg said, “He’s helped me from day one at Mercyhurst to be the best historian that I can be and always pushed me in class to do the best I possibly could.” Outside of cross country, Gregg has an extensive list of clubs that he is involved in such as, Treasurer for Ski Club, History Club, Phi Eta Sigma, Kappa Delta Pi, Phi Alpha Theta and Chi Alpha Sigma. Most recently, Gregg has led the squad to a 20th place finish at Notre Dame. Finishing in a time of 25:42, Gregg placed 41st overall

and recently received PSAC Runner of the Week for the first time in his career. Men’s Cross Country Coach Mike Fraley commented on Gregg’s leadership: “Keven is the best kind of leader because he is exceptional athletically, academically and in his character. Keven lets everyone know up front that any success we have will be based on hard work in practice.” Fraley also added that Gregg “practices what he preaches” by always being prepared and ready for every practice. Gregg’s leadership and experience has been transpired and felt across the whole cross country team. Naturally, he loves running; however, he described his ultimate running peak as a natural function. “Sometimes in training you’ll get to a point where the run becomes as natural to your body as breathing, and it doesn’t matter whether it’s only the fifth mile or the 14th, or whether the pace is six-flat or

seven-thirty, it just becomes a completely natural function of yourself, and you could go forever,” Gregg said. Gregg noted that the team’s biggest key to success this year is keeping the whole squad healthy. This will allow the team to push through big races and come out on top. Fraley additionally remarked, “I have had the privilege of coaching at Mercyhurst for 24 years and been lucky to coach many exceptional young men, and without a doubt, Keven stands out with the best of them.” Next year Gregg plans to attain his master’s in education at Mercyhurst. As far as advice for freshmen, Gregg offers these words: “Balance your studies, and your outside lifetime here is shorter than you think. When all is said and done, you probably won’t remember much of classes or tests, but you’ll always remember the times you had and the things you did with the people you met.”

Sports information photo

Senior Keven Gregg continues to perform well for the men’s cross country team. At Roberts Wesleyan, he finished fourth overall with a time of 26:52, 17 seconds behind the leader. As a team, the Lakers finished second.


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September 28, 2011

Kennedy provides spark for Lakers’ offense By Spencer Hunt Sports editor

For every star, there is a turning point in his or her career when everything clicks.

Jill Barrile photo

The Lakers receiving core would not have nearly as much success without the arm of redshirt senior Travis Rearick.

At the time it didn’t seem like much, but an 11-yard reception during a 49-14 blowout of Lock Haven in 2008 was just the beginning for senior Trevor Kennedy. Since that game, Kennedy has been working toward being the best player on the field. He followed up the unassuming 11-yard season total from 2008, with a 434-yard and two-touchdown campaign during his sophomore year. In one season, Kennedy went from freshman after-thought to the team’s number two receiver. With more than 1,907 receiving yards, 2,770 all-purpose yards and 24 touchdowns, Kennedy is arguably the most feared offensive weapon in the entire Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). “Teams try to force me out of the game, but I need to do everything in my power to put my stamp on the game,” Kennedy said. So far, his senior season is full of stamped games, despite the lack of an experienced receiver or running back to take pressure off him. Coming in to the season, there was a suitable sidekick in sophomore Terrence Coon. However, after being ruled academically ineligible, experience was suddenly thin.

Jill Barrile photo

Senior receiver Trevor Kennedy has been a lightning rod for the Lakers’ offense. He has more than 200 all-purpose yards in each of the last three games.

“It was scary initially, but it’s football,” Kennedy admitted. There was one key member returning for the Lakers this season, redshirt senior quarterback Travis Rearick. With Rearick at the helm, Kennedy has enjoyed his most productive seasons. Of Rearick’s 1,191 passing yards, 538 have gone to Kennedy. At the pace these two are at, Rearick is on his way to tallying more than 3,000 yards, with Kennedy eclipsing 1,400 yards receiving. Kennedy and Rearick have helped the Lakers to a 3-1 record to start off the season, thanks to an offense that averages 34 points per game. For opposing coaches, the Lakers offense is enough to keep them up at night. This isn’t even their worst nightmare. Trevor Kennedy also returns kickoffs and punts. He averages 41.9 yards per kickoff return, including a 90-yard score against Lock Haven. On kicks and punts over the last two seasons, he has totaled 766 yards and three scores. Despite the statistics, Kennedy remains grounded about his success. “When it comes down to it, it doesn’t mean anything,” Kennedy said. “No one player wins the game, but it’s always all or nothing.” Following his PSAC West Offensive Player of the Year season, Kennedy is gunning for the Harlon Hill Trophy. The Harlon Hill award is Division II’s version of the Heisman trophy. Kennedy is also looking to add another PSAC West ring to his other hand during the 2011 season. “My main goal is to win the PSAC, but we still have work to do,” Kennedy added. Next up for Kennedy and the Lakers is archrival Gannon. Last season, Kennedy was held to only 37 receiving yards and a touchdown against Gannon. Dating back to 1991, the Lakers are 9-4-1 against Gannon, but they didn’t face each other from 1998-03. Hopefully, the Lakers can continue their dominance in the series and redeem last season’s 14-10 defeat. The Lakers take on the Golden Knights on Oct. 1, at 1 p.m. on Tullio Field.

The Merciad, Sept. 28, 2011  
The Merciad, Sept. 28, 2011  

Digital version of The Merciad, Sept. 28, 2011